Blog template Rock the Crossbar: January 2006

Rock the Crossbar

Friday, January 27

Chelsea lose 140 million quid

This is beyond ridiculous. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/sport/sport.html?in_article_id=375335&in_page_id=1771&in_a_source=

Wednesday, January 25

Bad year to be a Gooner

Ughh - not beaten by Wigan yesterday but beaten in the tie and by some late scrawpy goal too in a game we could have score 5 but so could they.... not a good showing - mocking United isnt even helping... Not sure what Wenger has to do buthe better start with finding out who the imposter is that has replaced Campbell and selling that lazy bastard Pires. Grim season this.

Monday, January 23

West Ham, Sven, Etc.

Anton for England! Anton for England! Anton for England! I think Sven's considerable worries would be eased by slotting young Anton Ferdinand up top for Engerlund. Owen? Past it! Crouch? Bean pole and crap! Rooney? Great for United but useless for his country. I truly think the secret to England winning it all is hoofing it up front to Anton, letting him turn on whatever hapless Tobagan defender is on him, and letting it go from there. I mean, really, how can it go wrong? Doesn't matter now, as Sven's cooked, and England lack the leadership necessary to keep them focussed. Becks? Useless. Terry? Jingoistic, anti-American fool. Lampard? Lampard. Joe Cole? Got ass kicked outside club. Gary Neville? No doubt up for it, but can every nation be Liverpool? Seriously, as a former colonist and all that, I'd enjoy England winning it all, but I think it could all be a bridge too far for Sven...Actually, now that I think of it, England now remind me of France in the 80's...loaded with talent, adequate though uninspired manager, but never quite synced up with the major tournaments. Tigana/Giresse/Fernandez/Platini vs. Becks/Lampard/Stevie Loser/Joe Cole? I'd take the French. Rock the Crossbar

United V Pool

Credit where credit is due, united at half strength somehow beat Liverpool - i felt united were lucky in truth as Liverpool dominated the first 70 minutes but as they faded United picked it up a bit and pulled out a very good late goal. You can never count them bastards out. Rooney again was terrific, I hate the fat bastard but he is the best player this country has, yes even better than Drogba. Englands World Cup chances are on him. By contrast, liverpool relied on Cisse - one of the worst strikers to ever grace the Premiership and not good enough for Middlesbrough yet alone liverpool - his fluff in front of goal was priceless and what is wrong with his hair?? Commentator summed it up by saying Liverpool's team with Ruud and rooney welded onto it would be about all that can challenge Chelsea.

Saturday, January 21

Rating supporters - And how do they measure this?

Somehow the FA has a Fair Play supporters table. Not sure how they measure this. Fulham are on the heels of Chelsea. Granted, Craven Cottage is very friendly but it can be a bit quiet. From a socieconomic perspective the top four clubs are in London with Pompey dead last. Having looked over my shoulder in boozers in Portsmouth I'm not surprised about that one. The ratings are based on the following criteria; verbal support in acceptable form and covert recognition of outstanding play by opponents. Points are deducted for persistent foul abusive language, persistent abuse of Officials' decisions and aggressive threatening conduct towards opposing fans. I really don't put much credence in this. "Covert" recognition. If it's covert, how do you measure it? Also, would state Chelsea are only first because they are leading the real table by a country mile. They can afford to be magnanimous in victory, no defeat requiring defiance these days. There used to be some real animals supporting Chelsea down at the Plough. http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/football_news_latest_6996.html

Arsenal v. Everton [SPOILER]

So the Arse pounds Boro only to go out and lose at home to Everton one nil? Ouch. Don't know if I share Johno's confidence of 2-0 for United tomorrow, but I do think they'll pull out 3 points one way or another. In fairness, I didn't get up at the crack of dawn to watch this and haven't taken a look yet on TiVo. How'd both teams look? Rock the Crossbar

Thursday, January 19

Reading List

Looking to build up a library of decent footie reading spanning everything from serious history to self-serving autobiography and hoolie travelogues. Suggestions? Rock the Crossbar

Billy Bragg Was Onto Something

Years ago, I remember hearing about Billy Bragg introducing a song with this observation: "You may be the most powerful nation on earth, but you can't play football for $hit!" Regardless of how one rates the U.S. National Team at the moment, I think we can all agree that our boys have improved considerably since 1990. Having said that, however, our national federation is right in line with Billy's observations and may as well be in the developing world when it comes to their ability to handle and communicate certain logistical realities. I had the unique pleasure of applying for tickets for Germany via the USSF and found it profoundly disturbing and just plain annoying. The inconsistency of communication, lack of professionalism, and general unresponsiveness were astounding. As if the game doesn't have enough obstacles here in the States, the governing body here seems roughly as well organized and run as a middle school student government. Oh yeah, I got four tickets for each USA first round match and the round of 16 should we qualify. So you won't hear me complaining too much after this. Rock the Crossbar

Loan deal for Bridge from Bridge to Fulham!

Great news for Fulham supporters. No delusions that this is nothing more than a self-interested move on part of Bridge for WC but no reason why Fulham should not be the one to benefit; it means one less donkey on the pitch. http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/football_news_latest_6998.html

Wednesday, January 18

They wouldn't....would they?

Mahamadou Diarra

Rumours abound today that Mahamadou Diarra is headed for England next season with Chelsea and United the forerunners in the chase for his signature.

On the surface, he seems like exactly what United need right now but we obviously don't have a chance if Chelsea are in for him. Considering they already have Essien, Lampard, Maniche and Makelele, and are favourites to end up with Obi-Mikel when all the singing and dancing has finished, will Chelsea make it even more depressing for us all by signing Diarra?

I think they will. They can land another massive blow to United by beating us to another top centre-midfielder, thereby overloading on the very position where we are weakest, while at the same time bringing in what many consider to be the natural, long-term replacement for Makelele. One week they can play with Makelele, Obi-Mikel and Lampard and the next they can go with Diarra, Essien and Maniche.

I don't see how we can get him if Chelsea want him. Even if he would prefer guaranteed first team football at United, Lyon will demand the highest price and United cannot match Chelsea there. Just for fun Chelsea can go in with a 25million bid and see what happens. If United don't match them they can haggle a little with Lyon like they did over Essien. If United do match them, they can just go to 26. Worst case scenario for Chelsea is they drive United to spend their entire transer budget for about 3 seasons on a single player - a player who Chelsea don't really even need.

Sack the Swede!

This controversy is not dying down. Wigan chairman has called for his head. Back in the day when England ruled the world lobsters themselves would be executed for misdeeds that today would seem trivial. Today, the FA hires foreign mercenaries and continues the gravy train after they have figuratively pissed on the Three Lions. Hang him high! http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/internationals/4624038.stm

Tuesday, January 17

Arsenal 7-0 These Men

So 7-0 and I swear that the team we face had more nameless faces than any Premiership team I have ever seen. Cattermole, Johnson, Taylor... The Generic names... much like Star Trek had these men in red.

Monday, January 16

What Sven said in Dubai

What Sven said in Dubai

On England future "Everything is possible. But only at the end of the season - if we win the World Cup I will leave and say goodbye."

On Aston Villa "The chairman (Doug Ellis) is an old man today. He's sick."

On Beckham "I know for sure he wants to come back to England.

"If it was a London club, he would come tomorrow.

"This is his third season not winning anything. He is a bit frustrated. He's been there [Real Madrid] two and a half years now - and he doesn't see any improvement at all in the club.

"Some of the big stars are getting older, like Roberto Carlos and (Zinedine) Zidane and they have had five managers in three and a half years."

On Wayne Rooney "It is his temper . . . he's come from a poor family. His father was a boxer . . . he could have been a boxer as well."

On Michael Owen at Newcastle "I talked to Michael Owen and said 'you are happy?' He said 'not really with the club, but economically I never earned that money in my life.' So they paid the salary more than Real Madrid did. He said 'they gave me a house, they gave me a car, it's incredible.' They had to do it because in any other way he wouldn't have gone there."

On Rio Ferdinand "He is lazy sometimes."

On Shaun Wright-Phillips [Eriksson is asked to name the most 'exaggerated' transfer fee] Shaun Wright-Phillips.

On Steven Gerrard's no to a move to Chelsea "There were rumours about a threat to his parents in Liverpool."

On whether Ryan Giggs would rather have played for England "Yes of course."

Friday, January 13

The club / "the brand"

Everyone seems to want fans globally from new markets. Here's some interesting stuff: Liverpoolfc.tv is offically the most visited football club website in the world according to alexa.com. It's traffic rank is 2,182 out of ALL internet sites on the web and even ranks above the Premier League's own website. The top 10 clubs are as follows:
1. Liverpoolfc.tv - 2,182 2. Realmadrid.es - 4,078 3. Manutd.com - 4,183 4. fcbayern.t-com.de - 5,350 5. Arsenal.com - 6,086 6. Inter.it - 8,244 7. Chelseafc.com - 7,984 8. Acmilan.com - 13,520 9. Psg.fr - 14,918 10.www.olweb.fr (LYON) - 19,162
SOURCE: Alexa.com Our global support is clearly massive - but I fear other teams are doing a better job of capturing theres. ...

Merson's understudy now Irish Overlord

So Merse has taught Steve Staunton all he knows and Staunton has 'somehow' gotten the Irish job - with Bobby Robson basically telling him what to do - Robson was made international football manager consultant or some other trumped up title. Maybe Magic Merse will put tips on betting slips to send to Staunton - O Toole - what do you think of all this - did anyone see this coming before Wednesday?

Finally a good day to be a Gooner

We have made, gasp, a signing and by all accounts we have a future World Cup winner. Powerful hard lad with skill - Chelsea tried to steal him but he told that Maurinho twat where to go. We are also about to sign Theo Walcott and beat everyone to him - of course none of this will solve our defensive problems but its positive - now we need a new winger - 5 new defenders and Henry to resign.

Thursday, January 12

Health Advisory for female footie players

As a service to women's health please share the results of this research with whomever may benefit. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/health/dietfitness.html?in_article_id=373877&in_page_id=1798

Wednesday, January 11

Joe Cole facing the bench

Things were starting to look so promising for the lad, but couple of apple friters later with mates ANTON FERDINAND and John Terry, bit of aggro and slanging match with Page 3 slag and young Joe is in trouble with the gaffer. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/sport/football.html?in_article_id=373786&in_page_id=1779&in_a_source=

Tuesday, January 10

Which player would you sign?

Its a tough call but which of these 3 players would you rather have in your team - one got beat by Clyde, another had his penalty CAUGHT by the keeper - the other is a quiet all rounder, I know my pick.

Cackalacka Cup

Okay so we got beat 1-0 by Wigan - we fielded half a team, we played away and got beat just 1-0 by a full team with a good record. We have the second leg to come and I can honestly say I dont care if we win - this Cup has to go - its worthless, no pride in winning something that teams only half compete in through to the semi finals - apparently United tomorrow are playing their dross against Blackburn - cant they just consolidate the cups into one (ie do away with this cup) - how does the Worthless Cup have a 2 legged Semi? Wigan's JJB Stadium was only half full!

Monday, January 9

FA Cup

So Burton have drawn Wolves in the next round.. Chris has committed suicide as his beloved Fulham have been found out as pap (Coleman's job must be close to ending..), Liverpool fluked a win against MIGHTY Luton after 2 Alonso hoof and hopes, Spurs couldnt finish their dinner let alone the chances they squandered against leicester. All in all, clearly Arsenal's cup - shame about being drawn at Bolton again.

Poetry Genius.

Let's have some. I hope my My BBG posts some of his on here...

Sunday, January 8

Keane = Shambolic

So Celtic fans today got their new prized asset.. ROY "I walk out on everyone" Keane. They played Clyde in the Scottish FA Cup - the equivalent of the Kendall Pub Cup. Clyde twice had goals ruled out (unfairly) for off side... But then they scored 2 legit goals and Celtic with a late consolation were knocked out at the first hurdle. Congratulations on your new club Roy - try not to cost them the league though.

Saturday, January 7

Henry Stays

Despite valid concerns that he goes missing at key moments, and that he's not the best choice of captain, his statement of intent to stay is very positive news for Arsenal. He's is and is regarded as world class. Having this out of the way I predict will encourage a team that's got a fight on their hands to get the important European place, continue progress in the CL and the domestic cups and attract the best players to Arsenal. Obviously the next step is to get a strong central midfielder who will boss the game like Vieira did pre-'04.

Friday, January 6

Fulham: Too good to do down?

At times, Fulham have played some lovely football this year only to lose their concentration for a few moments each match squandering precious points. Conceding a goal to Wigan in the 91st minute; losing at Middlesbrough having taken the lead twice; conceding a goal in the 7th minute at White Hart Lane and then even stevens the rest of the match; the the 3-3 draw to Aston Villa at the Cottage, and the 1-0 lose to Pompey with Gary O'Neil controlling the ball with his hand are five examples and 9 points dropped. Fulham would be level on points with Bolton who sit in 7th with 32 points. Fulham were worthy 2-0 winners over Liverpool, lost 3-2 to Man U at Old Traford and acquitted themselves well in a 3-2 loss to Chelsea. The 4-1 loss to Arsenal featuring a Cygan brace was the only true hiding incurred this year. I blame Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dum for that performance (Zat Knight and Zesh Rehman). The gaffer publicly exudes confidence and believes results will come Fulham's way with a little rub of the green. The fact is the last three matches were far easier than what lies ahead and Fulham only took 4 of 9 points from those matches, injuries and dodgy calls and noncalls by refs prime reasons. Newcastle and Tottenham at home in January become must wins. February and March include Man U, Arsenal, Chelsea and away to Bolton. The lads will have to be on their game, show bottle and concentrate till the final whistle to get any points from those matches. Fulham also face West Brom at home and Villa and Everton away. No match is ever easy and with Fulham's away jinx Villa and Everton will be tough. Fortunately the run-in is not too bad with home matches to Portsmouth, Charlton, Wigan and Middlesbrough. A healthy confident Fulham could take maximum points from those matches. Without being a doom monger but also not being blinkered the points might look something like this. Current points 23; Jan - Need fix point but based on casualty ward posing as squad go with 4 points, Feb and March - 6; April run-in 12 (21 points is maximum). That's 45 points. I should point out though that West Ham went down with 43 or 45 points and finished 7th the preceding season so no club is too good to go down. The key will be the defence. No lead is secure when Zat Knight's on the pitch; Bolton making a match of it late at the Cottage being one stomach turning example. If Fulham can stay up and Coleman can keep the team intact, i.e. not sell Papa Bouba Diop, Fulham could go on a nice little run next year and challenge for European honours. There's a cart and a horse, however, and for now the Great Escape is the goal. Let's hope West Brom and Birmingham continue their poor form. With "arry" back at Pompey and Russian riches you got to fancy them to buy their way to safety this season.

MLS and the A-League

I was up late last night and caught some A-league highlights on FSC. This league is ridiculous, pure sunday pub football stuff. I think the lowest scoring game had 4 goals, and the commentator was boasting that the whole fixture list averaged 5 goals a game - too funny! Pop And the A-league is superior to the MLS - this says it all abotu MLS. I think I should start a book on how far American goes this World Cup while I am at it..

Thursday, January 5

What we need is....

"Sir Alex will continue his bid to buy a new player in every position except centre midfield by signing Monaco left-back Patrice Evra." Bwahahahaha. From The Guardian. http://football.guardian.co.uk/

Fletcher and Alan smith seem to be the first choices. Smith is so dense he wore gloves but a short sleeved shirt in one game over Christmas.

http://football.guardian.co.uk/News_Story/0,1563,1680380,00.html

Portsmouth

How much pap can one team buy in a year. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/p/portsmouth/4586280.stm BBC Radio Solent has reported that Portsmouth have smashed the club transfer record by signing Zimbabwe international Benjani Mwaruwari. Pompey are believed to have agreed a £4.1m deal with Auxerre for the 27-year-old, subject to a medical. They have bought 100 players the last 12 months - all pap, I pray they go down so that their new Russian has to wait a couple of years to buy second in the Premiership behind Chelsea.

Tuesday, January 3

Arsenal V United final score

Well kind of got what I thought - a tentative Arsenal played good possession stuff but made sure not to shoot at goal at every opportunity. United had good counter attacks and both Ronaldo and Neville probably should have scored. A fair result overall - but for the second year running Rooney should have seen red but didnt. Yellow carded he then commits a deliberate handball and should have received a stupid red for it. Arsenal also should have had a penalty but that aside, I think a draw is fair. Chelsea and Liverpool will be pleased.

Sunday, January 1

Transfer season

Its January and transfer time - United are linked with at least 3 players - 2 Frenchies, some Vidic fella in Russia. Arsenal are linked with not a lot.. Chelsea apparently will take Maniche till the end of the season. Liverpool have some Chilean coming in I think... Who needs what and how badly??? Everyone is linked with Theo Walcott , some kid at Southampton who can apparently kick a ball in the Championship. Anyone seen him?

Big week

The last game of the Xmas mini season is upon us - Liverpool will get a stern examination and a good kicking at Bolton - Arsenal renew the rivalry with United while Chelscum go to West Ham. The Bolton Pool game is interesting as Bolton away is one of the toughest fixtures there is and if Liverpool can win it then they can maybe challenge Chelsea though I think this is where the winning streak stops. Arsenal V United is tough - Arsenal need the win to keep in touch with everyone but with our shakey defence I have never feared United more. I would gladly take a draw right now as Fergie wont treat us like he did Birmingham. We rested a lot of people against Villa which proved to be a mistake but at least they'll be fresh for United one would hope. As for Chelsea - who cares.