Archive for February, 2012

The Damned Chelsea

February 21, 2012

A pampered dog

Hola. Hope you are well.

On Saturday evening I watched The Damned United. I’d put off watching or reading the novel because it’s based on a real person and a real event, (Brian Clough’s 44 days as Leeds manager) yet there is an element of fiction to it and stuff like that is too much for my brain. My fear of watching it was that from that day forward I would mix fact and fiction until it became fact. But then in the library whilst looking at the £1 films to hire my girlfriend and I narrowed our selection down to the aforementioned film and Get Him to the Greek. Anyway having watched the film, I’m now wondering if in 35 years there will be a film about Andre Villas Boas time at Chelsea.

Away from my domestic life, Carlos Tevez has made his long-awaited return back to Manchester City. You’d think under the circumstances he’d keep his head down and get on with being a footballer. But being Carlos Tevez he had different ideas, and came out and said, Mancini had treated him like a dog on ‘that’ night in Munich. I doubt Mancini did treat him like a dog, and secondly I think it’s unfair on dogs as they are generally loyal creatures. This did however make me think what kind of dog would Tevez be and I came up with an over indulged one. One that eats the same food as the humans in the house, one that is allowed to sleep in the owners bed, one that had his teeth brushed. Ironically, if Tevez was an actual dog, it would have been easier to have got him on the pitch that night, Mancini could have simply thrown a stick on the pitch.

Since my last blog post, Rangers have gone into administration and subsequently deducted 10 points (yet are still 2nd in the table). What did surprise is that a club like Rangers are running at £10m a year loss. I don’t understand how clubs are allowed and/or get themselves in such a position, especially a club the size of Rangers. They apparently owe the HMRC £9m in unpaid taxes, which just equates to the last tax year. Over the last few years we’ve seen on a number of occasions the HMRC chasing clubs for unpaid taxes, allied to high-profile cases where big businesses have found loopholes in order to pay less tax, it has left me a little concerned as to how the HMRC remains open. Is anyone paying tax, apart from the average man in the street?

And Finally… because I have my finger on the pulse, I’d like to talk about Fabio Capello resigning 12 days after it happened. There’s plenty of things I could say about this but the thing I’d like to focus on, is the fact that Fabio came out and said he resigned over a ‘misunderstanding’. I wonder what this misunderstanding was? Maybe the FA told Fabio they were going to strip John Terry of the England captaincy told him that no matter what he thought of the decision, he mustn’t criticise the decision to the Italian media. Due to the language barrier maybe Fabio mistook this to mean, do criticise this decision on Italian TV. It’s a long shot but who knows.

Til next time, stay safe!

That handshake (or not)

February 15, 2012

Martin Luther King jnr

Hola. Hope you are well.

When I started writing this football blog, one of my concerns was that I wouldn’t have enough stuff to write about. Not for the first time I was wrong, the main problem I have is that I can’t keep up with all the goings on in football. For example, this blog post was going to be about Fabio Capello leaving the England manager’s post and Harry Redknapp taking over, that was until Saturday lunchtime, when the world went crazy because a man in Manchester failed to shake the hand of another man. Of course I’m referring to Luis Suarez and that non-handshake.

I assumed like most people, that the handshake would take place and that it would bring some kind of closure to this whole story. Not for the first time, I was wrong. When I first saw the non-handshake I did think, “Wow, Suarez is a proper mentalist”. Then as the game went on, I started to think, that whether you think he is right or wrong, he should have the right not to shake someones hand. And as my writer friend HP Tinker, pointed out, people condemned Sepp Blatter for saying racism on the pitch could be sorted with a handshake, yet these same people were now condemning Suarez for not shaking Evra’s hand.

One of the problems I have with this whole saga is, that if you were to believe Twitter (and other social media) all Man Utd fans are descendants of Martin Luther King Jr, all thinking about how to solve the issue of racism from the moment they wake til the moment they fall asleep whilst everyone associated with Liverpool FC are at home ironing their Ku Klux Klan outfits. I’m not saying Man Utd fans aren’t bothered about racism but I do wonder how vociferous they would have been if the player involved hadn’t been a Liverpool player. I say this not to be provocative, as some of my best friends are Man Utd fans. (red scum)

I don’t think it helped after the game when Mr Ferguson, said that the non-handshake could have caused a riot. For one it didn’t, secondly, I think he’s done Man Utd fans a disservice if he thinks, they would riot over a handshake, thirdly, if you are someone who would riot over a non-handshake, you need to re-assess your life. and fourthly, there have been plenty of riots across the globe in the last year, including in England and none of them have involved one man refusing to shake another’s hand.

By the next day Suarez had suddenly realised the error of his ways, and apologised, Kenny Dalglish had seen the error of his ways and apologised and Liverpool FC had seen the error of their ways and apologised. All this re-evaluation on the situation happened organically and had nothing to do with the owners putting their foot down and saying this doesn’t look good for ‘brand Liverpool’.I did think it was kind of amusing that having supported Suarez all through the racial abuse charge, the straw that broke this particular scouse camel, was that he had misled the club about the handshake.

What probably made Liverpool think they needed to address this issue was when their shirt sponsor Standard Chartered got involved, to say this didn’t look good. Let’s face it, in this day and age, if a bank is telling you that you’ve f*cked up, you’ve probably f*cked up.

Til next time, stay safe!

Credit where credit’s due

February 4, 2012

Susan and Karl

Hola. Hope you are well.

Let’s start with the England captaincy which was taken off John Terry yesterday (3/2/12), which means he’s been the England captain, then he got it taken from him, then he got it back and then he got it taken off him again. It’s a long shot (no pun intended) but has anything like this happened to you, it doesn’t have to involve the England captaincy. The only thing I can think which is similar is Karl and Susan‘s on-off relationship in Neighbours. They are currently going through another separation, should anyone be interested.

The January transfer window passed with little fuss, there were a few surprising moves, for example Louis Saha and Ryan Nelson moved to Tottenham, I doubt they are the signings that are going to see Spurs win the league, and the much sought after Ravel Morrison who had been linked with moves to Barcelona, Arsenal and Newcastle eventually left Man Utd for … West Ham.

One person who didn’t move in the window was Chris Samba, but he has gone on to say he can no longer give 100% to Blackburn‘s cause. What I would like to ask Chris is, what percentage is he able to give and for him to show his workings. It’s also made me wonder what will happen if he now goes in for a 50/50 tackle, will that now become 70/30 in the opposition player’s favour. I don’t feel I’m skilled enough in maths to sort out problems like this, does anyone have Carol Vorderman’s number?

Mario Balotelli’s agent has gone one step further by saying his client will leave the country if he continues to get picked on by the officials. This comes after Balotelli got a four match ban for a stamp on Scott Parker’s head. Normally when people threaten to leave the country, especially bankers, I’m like ‘leave then’ but in Mario’s case I’m saying stay, for two reasons. Firstly, I’m a fan of the man, the player and his antics and secondly, it would appear that he is single-handedly propping up this country’s welfare state, with his cash donations.

Mario’s 4 match ban does beg the question, what would Alan Shearer get if he did this today?
And whilst we are on this theme if Vincent Kompany got 4 matches for his tackle on Nani, how long would Greame Souness be banned for this tackle, in today’s climate?

On to other matter, and it was nice to see that now football has eradicated racism, they are now tackling homophobia, with the 20 Premier league clubs agreeing this week to get behind a poster campaign. That will definitely sort the issue. Ok, I admit I am being flippant and any step in this direction has to be viewed in a positive manner.

Talking of which, I watched the documentary, Britain’s Gay footballer, this week and one of the stand out moments for me was the fact Joey Barton was the only player from the Premier League to contribute to the programme. Which, I think shows him in a good light, don’t get me wrong I still think he’s a pr*ck but credit where credit’s due.

Another player who divides opinion is Craig Bellamy and he was also the subject of a documentary this week, looking at the work his foundation does in Sierra Leone. Which again shows Craig in a good light. I’m now waiting to see what Gary Neville is going to do, to show he’s not such a kn*b.

Til next time, stay safe!