Archive for August, 2013

What is it with cricketers and their bladders?

August 29, 2013

Hola. Hope you are well.

I missed the first Premier league game of the season as I was on a train to Birmingham. It wasn’t my intention to miss the game but then again how was I to know BT Sport would launch their live coverage of Premier football with Liverpool vs Stoke.

Despite being in Birmingham for just a weekend I managed to have an argument over politics during a Wetherspoon’s breakfast,  with one of my oldest friends (a female) . My girlfriend naturally sided with my friend and said I should apologise.

This came on the back of Brendan Rodgers ordering Luis Suarez to apologise, Monty Panesar being forced to apologise for urinating on bouncers. Since then, the England cricket team has had to apologise for urinating on the Oval pitch. What is it with cricketers and their bladders?

With this in mind, when as an adult have you been made to apologise? Feel free to let me know via the comments button.

For what it’s worth, Re the England cricketers, at least they weren’t doing number 2s.

Til next time, stay safe!


Sent to Northampton

August 20, 2013

Hola. Hope you are well.

I was reading about Coventry City’s problems and all the financial wranglings started to hurt my head. This is what I could understand, they have a relatively new stadium having moved into the Ricoh Arena in 2006. Yet this season they are playing their home games, 34miles away at Northampton’s Sixfields stadium. This is because the owners of Coventry City football club don’t want to pay the rent to the owners of the Ricoh stadium.

It appears the owners of the stadium were willing to negotiate the rent, with figures between £400 000 and £150 000 per annum mentioned but the owners of the club refused this, preferring to play their home games out of Coventry, which amongst many things will severely reduce the attendances. According to Wikipedia, Coventry’s average home attendance last season was 10 906, the attendance for their first game at Sixfields was 2200.

The plan for the future is for Coventry City to build a new stadium in Coventry in 3-5 years. So by my maths Coventry would have 2 football stadiums in the one city, which is probably one too many.

You only have to check my bank account to know I’m not a businessman but surely it would make more sense to stay at the Ricoh, with bigger gates and more revenue. Plus they wouldn’t have to build a new stadium, which don’t seem to come cheap.

And possibly more important than the above, is that football clubs should play their games where they come from, if nothing else it avoids potential confusion for visiting fans.

Til next time, stay safe!


What have you renamed?

August 16, 2013

Hola. Hope you are well.

I’m going to start with Hull City or Hull City Tigers as they’ve been renamed by their owner Assem Allam. He said he didn’t like the name City because it made them common as there are already other clubs with City in their title. In that case he may as well change Football Club from  the title.

With this in mind, what have you renamed? A car? A pet? A child? I’d definitely like to hear from you if you renamed your child. Maybe you gave them a name and then after a month you thought they looked like another name. You can contact me, via the comments button.

In other news, Shaun Wright Phillips avoided going to jail for driving whilst disqualified as he didn’t know he was banned as he doesn’t open his own mail, his agent does this. Are you an adult that doesn’t open their own letters?

I’m a little concerned about Denis Law. He was the special guest for the Community Shield at Wembley and he was back there on Weds for the Eng/Scotland game, it’s made me wonder is he sleeping at the stadium. If anyone can put my mind at rest by letting me know where he stayed in the days between the two games, I would be grateful.

And Finally…. In the aforementioned game Rickie Lambert, scored with his first touch on his Eng debut. His journey was well documented in the days leading up to the game. He for example, started out bottling beetroot, then played for several lower league clubs and last season at the age of 30 played his first season in the top league. Also on the pitch when he scored his goal was children’s author Frank Lampard. I wonder what the odds are that in Frank’s next book the main character starts out bottling some kind of root based vegetable before going on to scoring a goal with his first touch on his International debut?

Til next time, stay safe!


Most Man Utd fans are from India

August 13, 2013

Hola. Hope you are well.

A lot of people joke that most Man Utd fans come from London and living in London as I currently do, I bump into enough of them and I know this annoys them. They needn’t worry about getting stick about this any more as I am here to help them. This is because I believe that most Man Utd fans come from India.

At this point you may need some evidence, well that’s ok as I have some. Last week it was announced that MS Dhoni the Indian cricket captain will be promoting the English Premier League in India. He was the person chosen as he is a big football fan and his team is…Man Utd.

At this point you might say you can’t base a theory on one piece of evidence. You’d be right as that would be ridiculous. I have more. Last season when Rafa Benitez accused Alex Ferguson (remember him) of refusing to shake his hand, the then Man Utd manager said that he didn’t see the then Chelsea interim manager. Why did he not see him? In Fergie’s own words,

“I never saw him. I was signing autographs at the front and there was an Indian lad who always wants to shake hands before a game because he says it brings me luck”.

Conclusive proof, I think you’ll agree. Just remember where you read it first.

Til next time, stay safe!


Always read the small print

August 8, 2013

Hola. Hope you are well.

I know everyone is fed up with the Suarez saga, so this is the perfect time for me to do a blog post on the Suarez saga.

The best thing I can say about the way he has handled this situation is that at least everyone knows where he stands, unlike Rooney and Bale who have stayed silent about whether they want to stay or go.

I can also understand why he would want to play Champions League football, he’s 26 and he is a top quality player. I am surprised that he is so keen on moving to Arsenal. There’s one thing playing Champions League football, there’s another playing for a club that has the potential of winning it. That’s why I’m surprised he’s not waited for Real Madrid for argument’s sake, to come in for him before he pushed so hard for a transfer.

I can also understand why Liverpool are reluctant to sell to Arsenal. With a fully focussed Suarez in the Liverpool side, there’s a chance Liverpool could challenge Arsenal for fourth place. With Suarez in the Arsenal side, they move further away from Liverpool. Partly because of this they can’t sell to Arsenal for £40m. The other reason being, that £40m doesn’t accurately represent his value. Especially when you consider the only player to arguably have a better last season is being valued at around £100m.

This then brings us on to the £40m trigger to negotiate/buy out clause depending on your point of view. You’d think that when his contract was being written up, top lawyers for the club and the player would have looked over the fine details, so why the ambiguity? It would appear that this comes from the fact that Suarez believes he got a verbal agreement from Brendan Rodgers that if Liverpool didn’t make the Champions League he could go to a club that was in the competition.

I obviously wasn’t privy to any of these conversations but whatever was or wasn’t said Suarez now feels he’s been wronged and we now how Suarez reacts when he feels this is the case. You only have to look back to the Evra situation, where he went as far as refusing to shake the Frenchman’s hand because he believed Evra had held his hand in a way that made it hard for him to shake.

In some ways I have to admire his stubbornness. After Steven Gerrard‘s testimonial, where he received a better than good reception from the Liverpool fans, Brendan Rodgers speculated that this must have been humbling for Luis. If it was, he hid it well as his next move was to do interviews with 2 national newspapers, expressing his desire to leave.

If during the window Arsenal remain the only club who come in for him and they are not prepared to come close to Liverpool’s valuation, I think Liverpool have no choice but to keep him. He has after all got 6 games to sort his head out, which may prove to be the only upside to ‘that bite’.

Til next time, stay safe!


A zero hour contract manager

August 6, 2013

Hola. Hope you are well.

Anyone bored of the Bale/Suarez/Rooney on going transfers?? I wonder if there is a football fan out there that would like these transfers to rumble on right up to the end of the window (and maybe beyond). If that is you feel free to let me know via the comments button.

One player who has left Spurs after 1 season at the club is Clint Dempsey, moving to Seattle Sounders in the MLS. It seems an odd move for a player who has proved to be a good Premiership player and is only 30. Then again he is going back to his homeland which may have influenced his decision as might the fact he’s reportedly getting a yearly salary of £5.2m.

Over to Glasgow Rangers where Walter Smith has stepped down as Chairman due to in fighting. If I were a Rangers fan, I would be worried as Walter Smith strikes me as a proper Rangers and football man. According to reports Walter didn’t see eye to eye with Charles Green who has returned to Rangers in a consultant’s capacity (whatever that involves). Green hasn’t taken time upsetting Ally McCoist and the squad after saying they are  “the worst Rangers team ever”. I don’t know if he’s noticed but they are in the Scottish League One, they’re hardly going to have the calibre of player of a Brian Laudrup or Gazza.

And Finally…. I’m impressed by the approach Swindon Town are taking. They’re the only league club to have started this season with a temporary manager, Mark Cooper, and at some point during the season I’m sure they’ll get a permanent manager. This is the opposite to most other clubs who start with a permanent manager and then at some point during the season due to results end up with a temporary manager. So good on Swindon, maybe they could go one step further and be the first club ever to employ a zero hour contract manager.

Til next time, stay safe!


The Loan Reina

August 2, 2013

Hola. Hope you are well.

Loan deals used to be simple, it was a way to get young players at your club to get some valuable playing time. Time they wouldn’t get at their parent club.

The loan system got muddied over recent times with established players being loaned out and because they are on such a big wage the loaning club paid part of the wages. Which to me is a bit odd, it’s like asking to borrow your mate’s car and then expecting him to put some petrol in the car before you drive it away.

By allowing a senior player to leave for a season, you’re surely bringing down their value, as not only are you saying this player is surplus to requirements but it also means when they return to the club they’re a year closer to the end of their contract, meaning the club is in a weaker bargaining position when it comes to selling that player.

This brings me on to Pepe Reina, who has been loaned out to Napoli for a season. It seems a shame that his 8yr Liverpool career should end this way (I presume he will be sold next summer). He’s been a good servant of the club, he’s always fought for the club and bought into the ethos of the club, as can be seen in his open letter to the club. In addition to this he was/is a good keeper.

It was obvious that once Simon Mignolet was brought to the club, the writing was on the wall for Pepe. He’s one of the biggest earners at Liverpool (2nd biggest earner) so you couldn’t have him on the bench, nor could you justify having a newly signed £9m keeper not playing.

The worse thing about this situation, for me, was when I read this quote from Brendan Rodgers,

‘Pepe and I went out for a meal a couple of months before the end of the season and I told him exactly what we were going to do, which was to provide real competition in that area’.

I know Brendan’s thing is being Mr personable but did he have to reveal he goes out eating with the players, especially as we now know he eased that player out of the door. There’s something Last Supper-esque about it. (please note I’m not saying Brendan is Judas, nor am I saying Pepe is Jesus).

Anyway back to Pepe, I’m sure he will enjoy his season playing Champions League football, being re-united with the ‘best manager’ he’s worked with (his words) and the goalkeeping coach he had his most successful years with. Although there will be no more cosy meals with Brendan. It just goes to show, in football as in life you can’t have everything.

Til next time, stay safe!