Monthly Archives: June 2010

England Expects… But Can’t Deliver

ENGLAND supporters are the Geordies of international football: they have deluded themselves that because they won a trophy once on Pathe News and they have the “best” fans they are entitled ex-officio to be world champions.
That they have star players and an all out attacking style of football that is the envy of the world and that only a series of outrageous refereeing decisions as every major tournament comes to the boil has stopped their inevitable and popular march to glory.
Don’t let the evidence of almost 50 silverless years get in the way of that passion.

Continue reading England Expects… But Can’t Deliver

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Pundits Pronouncing On Politics: A Fundamentally Flawed System

ALAN Hansen: dour deep lying tactical guru and small screen frozen foods frontman… and now hard-hitting social commentater with a withering line in political critique.
Hansen, best known for his sarcastic sneering at schoolboy defending and suspicion of creative flair, stunned his studio sofa squadmates as he did the pundits equivilent of a Cruyff turn and suddenly threw in a controversial opinion on a non-football topic.
“Apartheid…. ” he dangled the word solemnly in front of expectant teak tanned team-leader Gary Lineker. “That system was obviously fundamentally flawed.”

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Fixtures: It’s All Gonna Kick Off

FIXTURES…. embargoed until 9.15am. And even then I’m not allowed to relay them in full. On pain of death. If we print a full list on here Football DataCo will kick my door down at dawn and rough me up like an evil unlicenced orange mini-dressed ambush marketer.
Last year as we waited for the fixtures there was a frisson of excitement mixed in with a patronising air of ‘just passing through’ complacency and arrogance. After over a decade in the big time the prospect of little grounds with standing and open bogs and real old school floodlights and players we had never even heard of … Scunthorpe, Plymouth, Blackpool… oh, how quaint.
This time there is none of that. That shiny new shoes playground excitement is long gone, replaced by badly scuffed cynicism and hard nosed, worn in resignation. This time there is no room for Championship tourism. We need to approach it in a mundane businesslike fashion, go to games with a ruthless efficiency, get the points and get the hell out of this division.
Briefly the highlights (I’m allowed to do that) ….

Continue reading Fixtures: It’s All Gonna Kick Off

The Traveller Returns

RIGHT. I’m back after a week incommunicado. I was in Roma and this time I wasn’t chased by Ultras or threatened by stick wielding Carabinieri. I was going to take the lappy but at the last minute I traded the baggage weight for the gold-dust of the Englishman abroad with kids… a couple of tins of beans. What have I missed?
Quickly touched base with the Gazette nerve centre and been told Gary Hooper looks to have opted for Leeds and former Tory right winger turned play-maker Leon Britton has joined Sheffield United. So, being pipped to top targets by bigger clubs… it is the fate of the middling Championship club not prepared to play over the top.
So, what’s been going on? Not the headlines. I’ll flick through the back pages when I’m back in the office. What about nuance, rumour, conspiracy and Boronoia?