Friday, 24 February 2012

Invincibles to Invisibles

Sorry Arsenal fans, but it's been a slow day, there's little to write about and that's a dam good pun.

I'm going to start with a stat you may not have heard before. If Arsenal do not win a trophy this season (and they won't, unless the Premier League turns into Serie A and the top three teams are found guilty of match-fixing), it will be seven years since the North London side won a "proper" trophy. Bet you weren't ready for that. The last time Arsenal touched silverware was the 21st of May 2005.

On that day, Akon was at number one in the UK with "Lonely", Paris looked likely to host the 2012 Olympics, Australia were two weeks from landing in the UK for their defence of the Ashes and Ryan Giggs probably hadn't shagged his brothers wife yet. That's a long, long time in anything, but in football, that's an eternity.

Just twelve months before, Arsenal were the envy of the Premier League and most of Europe. That year, they swept all before them to win the Premier League title from Claudio Ranieri's (wtf?!) Chelsea. That season, Arsenal were unbeaten in the league, ought to have won the F.A Cup but lost to a Tim Howard and Eric Djemba-Djemba inspired Man United and were knocked out by Chelsea in the Champions League by Wayne Bridge's (again, wtf?!) late winner. That season, the main song on the FIFA game was Red Morning Light by Kings of Leon. That was such a long time ago, I've come over all nostalgic, I may play some snake on my Nokia 3410 or imitate the Crazy Frog like everyone else did.

The policy employed by Wenger and Arsenal in the mid 2000's was incredible: buy youthful, talented footballers, develop them into superstars and then create a team, where the importance of football artistry and respect for team-mates was drilled into the young players (hahahaha). It brought unprecedented success in 2004, an F.A Cup in 2005 and almost a Champions League in 2006. But at this point, something should have changed, as patterns were emerging. Once Arsenal had developed a player to their peak, a combination of a responsible - but unambitious - wage structure and an emphasis on style over substance led to both near misses and high-profile departures. In 2005, Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires left the club. In 2006, Ashley Cole left the club. In 2007, Thierry Henry left the club. In 2011, Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and most importantly, Emmanuel Eboue left the club. Arsenal's insistence on achieving self-sufficiency has led to a profitable but ultimately un-competitive team, which now - ironically - leaves the club facing financial problems.

Right, there's all the research and the nostalgia out the way, let's talk about the now. Let's have a go at Arsenal fans for a cheap laugh.

The first set of fans are those I like to call "the deluded". These are the Arsenal fans who will never EVER criticise Arsenal or Arsene Wenger. They will say things like "you have to get behind the team no matter what", "Wenger should have the job for life/is always right" or "Arshavin isn't that bad". I have to say that the loyalty of these fans is to be commended as yes, one should always support the team, one should always trust their manager and one should always encourage the players. But these fans are simply terrified of change, and it is this attitude which is ultimately holding Arsenal back. After each failure, due to a mental fragility as obvious as Nicki Minaj's lack of talent, something had to change. Unfortunately, the departure of David Dein at the head of the club and the continued presence of Pat Rice has given Arsene Wenger a number of talented but meek "yes-men". It's like the world's most un-threatening dictatorship, like if Boris Johnson was the head of the Nazi party.

Then we have the stupid fans, who are in constant conflict with the deluded. These fans are the ones who boo at half-time when Arsenal are only drawing. These fans are the ones who refuse to recognise any of Arsene Wenger's past achievements and insist upon his immediate withdrawal from the club. These fans are Piers Morgan. SIDE-NOTE: Everyone who reads this who is on twitter, feel free to tweet this to Piers. I hate stupid fans more then the deluded ones. The deluded supporters at least believe their own bullshit and show a kind of tragic loyalty while the world laughs at them. The stupid fans are not really fans at all. These fans are only likely to show their support via your Facebook news feed when Arsenal defeat your team. They are the fans likely to start "Wenger out" chants, while fickle fans nod or clap along....or tell you to be quiet, coz there's a game on.

There are also some Arsenal fans who are jolly good chaps, and if you're reading this and you're an Arsenal fan, you're one of them. So well done you.

Although I bear no allegiance to Arsenal, I prefer them to Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea, much in the same way I prefer a Fruit Pastille to a bear, a snake or a Jehovah's Witness. But that's the problem! The testimony to how far Arsenal have sunk is how revered and admired they are by neutral fans. As Paul Merson once said, (when he wasn't off his tits) "everyone likes Arsenal coz they don't win nuffink". Profound.

So then we come to this weekend's game. After losing two "must-win" games in a row, Arsenal find themselves with a third, as neighbours Tottenham come to the Emirates. Unlike in previous seasons, this game means more to Arsenal than it does to Tottenham, and Spurs arguably go into the game as slight favourites. The doom bells won't be ringing if Arsenal lose, but serious questions will need to be asked. If Arsenal finish behind a Chelsea team run by a manager with the authority of an alcoholic supply teacher or a Liverpool team with Stewart Downing in it, there are problems.

It's only fair that I finish with my own opinion of Arsenal and Wenger. Arsenal are and always will be a great team and their philosophy - although fragile - is one to which all teams should aspire to in a perfect world. But this isn't a perfect world. We have Lady Gaga in this world.

My opinion is that Arsenal should not sack Wenger, not because of what he has done, but what he could still do. He is one of the best managers of all time, but, like Sir Alex Ferguson has had to do at Manchester United, he has to adjust his principles. As good a servant as Pat Rice has been to the club, his role needs to be changed so that Arsenal have a coach who will challenge the manager. It's all very well saying "Arsenal need leaders" but that won't come without a challenge to Wenger's dominance of the club. 

Until then, Arsenal will flatter to deceive, do just enough to scrape by, but ultimately stagnate. If Arsenal's ambition is to break even and be a fine business model, they should maintain the status quo. If Arsenal wish to build a legacy like in 2004, if they wish to actually win something, then something must change. And by change, that does not mean simply recycling declining great players from days gone by. As always, I am a sour, cynical man, but the Thierry Henry loan to me was a desperate gamble which - although it technically paid off - is synonymous of a current ethos of papering over the cracks. Thierry Henry is dam fine paper, but  Arsenal is a dam big crack (hahahaha).

I hope this hasn't come across as an excuse to wind up Arsenal fans, as I have genuine sympathy for many of them and I hope they beat Tottenham.

But I hate you. I hate you all.

Feel free to comment!

England win at last! But then lose. And I don't care.

Before I start, as it is Grammy/Brit award season, I want to give some thankyous.

Thank you to sport for being so terrible and brilliant at the same time. Without you, my cosmic waffle would be used only for my friends, and they get enough as it is.

Thank you to all my fans... -haha, "fans" - for putting up with my rants, my blog/blag fever and my constant fucking use of metaphors, brackets and puns.

Thank you to my huge Russian following, I've had 9 readers in one month, you troopers! Due to the risk of major reprisals, I am not going to make any political jokes, as I would be Putin myself at risk. Sorry to my 9 USA readers, I hope you don't give me a Baracking (stop me before I make more terrible puns).

On with the blogging/blagging!

It's been a while since I talked about cricket, mainly because no-one likes cricket (they love it), but also because England have starting winning recently, and where is the fun in that?

So thank God they lost today, or my positivity would have taken me to places I haven't been to since watching The Pursuit of Happyness for the twelfth time. In the wake of their brilliant thrashing to Pakistan in the Test Series, England went into the one-day games with a beautifully English pessimism, but they defied the odds to win the series by four matches to nil. Just like Pakistan in the test matches, England only needed three players, as Steve Finn, Alistair Cook and Kevin Pietersen put in brilliant performances to send England to comfortable victories. Boring isn't it? “Oh England did good”, “England are brilliant again”, “let's all be happy”.


Oh yes, after the test and one-day series, we had the first of three twenty20 matches today. England are actually number one in the world at twenty20 as well, so another pattern is clear for England: don't get good at something or you'll lose. Incidentally, after the twenty20 matches, England play in seven 5 overs-a-side and thirty three 1 over-a-side matches, how they finish is anyone's guess, if they care, which I don’t.

The point is, it's strange for someone as geeky (and sexy) as me to get bored at a sport as geeky (and sexy) as cricket, but I am. Sorry if this blog comes across the same - boring, not sexy - but I'm really bored of England vs. Pakistan now. I love cricket and I actually love England doing well, but I really can't be bothered anymore.

Usually people approach my love for cricket with cynicism and some pepper spray, as I sidle up to them with a toothy grin and an armful of useless stats. "It's so boring" they say. "You're a douchebag" I say back. There is nothing boring about a sport where nothing happens for 97% of it, it's intriguing. Anyone who says otherwise should be sent to Siberia...I mean prison. I start thinking that these people are responsible for "Broken Britain"...until I realise I don't work for The Sun. But maybe they're right. I know it's blasphemy to both cricket lovers and my army of international fans, but cricket is played far too much.

There are so many formats and so many matches and at first it's great if - like me - you love the sport to the point of masturbating with both hands at night, violently weeping at the agonies of another loss/scream at strangers in the street, decide to be nice to people, or give slightly too much money to homeless people after a victory. But even when that wears off - I did still yell “SUCK IT AFRIDI” at someone on the 15:28 to London Waterloo the other day - the fact remains that England have been in the UAE for over six weeks now, and it feels like a whole lot longer than that. It's been like watching Per Mertesacker and Andy Carroll in a 100 metre race or listening to a Nickelback song – exciting and interesting at first, but when nothing happens after two months, it gets boring.

So there you go, I have described a whole tour of cricket in about 800 words without mentioning a tiny detail of any match. That proves to me one of two things: a) it's been pretty uneventful or b) I'm a terrible writer. I really wanted to write about England playing cricket, but I can't remember any detail of it, it's just been terrible. I would say "if it was a boxing match, it would have been stopped by now" but I won't, because I'm not a moron, Mark Lawrenson, or a moron. Let's hope everyone sees sense and stops this tour so that I can get back to my degree and resume eulogising over the Europa League.

прощальный! (Or farewell if Google translate isn't working)

Thursday, 16 February 2012

The Europa League is fucking awesome

Sorry for swearing in the title, but I thought it'd grab your attention.

Yes, tonight was the first time I have ever supported a team playing in the Europa League. It was a strange feeling changing to Channel Five, as it is a channel I rarely view unless I want to watch the heartbreaking stories of babies with two heads or people weighing either very much or very little. But was it worth it? You bet it kinda was!

I'm going to have to scrub up on the Europa League theme music which - although not as catchy as the Champions League theme - has a happy, almost triumphant (how fitting) ring to it which suggests that everyone involved in the competition is going to have a jolly good time. And so did I.

I watched both Manchester clubs play two teams with - sarcasm aside - great European pedigree. After United faced up to Ajax, I watched (for the first-half, then Mum said I had to hoover) City play Porto - the holders of the competition. After tricky, nervy first-halves, both British sides won through after mastering the art of "the Europa League goal", where teams aim to score as scrappy a goal as possible. Despite that, the quality of entertainment was shown by the variety of choice on TV. If Ajax vs. United didn't satisfy me - and it did - I had Legia Warsaw vs. Sporting Lisbon on ITV4 to keep me interested. Wow! By the way, Emiliano Insua (remember him?!) plays for Sporting Lisbon. I know, me neither. That game was a real cracker, first it looked like Legia Warsaw would win, but then they didn’t. Only in this competition ey?!

And then there's the coverage! On Channel Five, I had the dulcet tones of Jim Rosenthal - the King of building up something he clearly doesn't give a shit about - and Stan Collymore, that pinnacle of footballing ability and professionalism. For forty-five of our finest British minutes, all 713 viewers were given a treat as the build-up reached the tensest of crescendos before we were guided into the trusty hands of Dave Woods and former England manager Graham Taylor. And then the match began.

And then the match finished.

I know I'm a Man United fan, but I'll be honest now, I can't remember much of that game. I was simply dazzled by the plethora of stars on display; Fabio, Carrick, Eriksen. Fielding a number of players recently back from injury, it took United a while to hit their stride, but when they did, Ajax struggled to get any meaningful possession and eventually United had too much for their hosts, who’s best show of creativity came from their half-time version of Kings of Leon’s “Sex on Fire”, where the PA belted out “woaaaaaah, Ajax is on fiiiiire”. But in the second-half, United urinated all over those flames, leaving Ajax looking like the many people who have a chastening night in Amsterdam; "toasted" and covered in piss.

For all the banter United fans received in the wake of their elimination from the Champions’ League group-stages, many of the boasters have now realised that the teams they themselves follow are also terrible. Last night was a prime example as Arsenal performed their annual February magic show, where hopes of silverware magically disappear. (This view, like so many of mine, could be made to look ridiculous if Arsenal beat Sunderland in the FA Cup at the weekend, but it's funnier to speculate.) I bet Arsenal fans wish their side were playing on the green (brown), green (brown) grass of Europa League pitches, still in with a chance of pursuing European glory.

The Europa League provides a truly pan-European flavour of football competition, with 15 countries represented amongst the remaining 32 teams, isn't that great?! The best teams from Romania, Ukraine and the Czech Republic are represented in our competition. Would you be treated to the delight of watching SV Salzburg vs. Metalist Kharkiv in the Champions League? I doubt it. Only in this competition could both the final defender and then the goalkeeper be nutmegged for one goal, with four players on the line being beaten by another.

But do you want to know why the Europa League is better than the Champions League? Yes you do. The Europa League simply has a better quality of sponsor. The Champions League is sponsored by Heineken, some unknown Dutch beer company. Who on earth is thinking about beer when there is football on? Except for Paul Gascoigne and the Scottish, no-one. How beer even goes with watching football is beyond me, surely you want to be stone-cold sober when your team are in action so that, like me, you miss nothing.

As for the Europa League, they are sponsored by Seat. Ahhh yes, because you are often on a "seat" when watching football. That to me is smart thinking, and I would rather my team played in a competition where the organisers are bloody well switched on. But what really tipped the balance for me was the adverts. Last night, as Arsenal were taken apart, we had boring adverts about well-known soft drinks, upcoming movies or DFS. Tonight we had some advert where people in suits kept falling into hay-bails. BRILLIANT!

So there you have it, the Europa League, despite being played between teams of lower quality with barely known players, remains superior to the Champions League. Ever heard of the phrase "save the best for last"?! If that doesn't prove me right, not much will.

While you lot are supporting your Champions League teams on a Tuesday and Wednesday, you have yourselves a free Thursday night. You know what that means don’t you? While I’m relaxing and watching the football, ready for my next Europa League fix, you’re
going to end up at TigerTiger.

And that is a pretty sobering thought.

Monday, 13 February 2012

It's Tevez and his bulldog-like approach again...

Yep, Carlos Tevez is back and has announced his return to Manchester City with typical gratitude by saying he was treated "like a dog".

After months on the sidelines doing God knows what, everyone's favourite poster-boy is back. He has sulked, shrugged and sat his way through this season as his team-mates have swept aside pretty much all before them in the Premier League. So why does he want in now? And how could he be allowed back?

I specialise in simple answers, so I'm going to give them. Tevez wants a return because it his simply in his character. The man craves the limelight, sometimes to the detriment of both his team and himself. There is no doubt that on the field, the boy from Buenos Ares possesses boundless enthusiasm, a willingness to bleed for his team and no little talent. But to me, he is, and always will be, a mercenary; a talent available to the highest bidder, with a combustible character which can be seen as either a trade-off or a curse.

At his previous club Manchester United, he went from idol to criminal when he first disrespected Sir Alex Ferguson by trying to play him off against his fans and second when he moved to City, a move he claims had nothing to do with money. Within days, his arrival was seized upon as an opportunity for propaganda as the inter-Manchester rivalry turned from mismatched to mischievous to malevolent.

After joining City, his troubles seemed to be behind him as his commitment, goal-scoring and most importantly, his ability to wind up United served to endear him greatly to the fans at the City of Manchester/Eastlands/the Etihad/the gentleman at the back/oil money stadium. Then the issue of his new contract came up. Suddenly, City realised they had bitten off more than they could chew when Tevez, temperamental at the best of times and a %+#?! at the worst, made it perfectly clear that he wished to leave City, first slamming Manchester's weather, it's attractions and then it's food. TOO FAR CARLOS, TOO FAR. The Nando's in Manchester are among the best around and it's Subway?! To die for!

And so it seemed Tevez was on his way again, either to be closer to the family he appears to visit twice a week (think of the air miles), to be near the sun, or to avoid the nastiest thing of professionalism - training. Aww poor Carlos, having to do all that running in the cold for measly pay (that was sarcastic, but as I rarely do the most basic research, I do not know what he is paid, but I bet it is enough to pay for some self-help/karate/firework safety classes for Mario Balotelli many times over). However, it soon became apparent that Tevez had become a poison at nearly all the clubs he had played for. Despite his abilities, other clubs decided it would be a shot in the foot as brutal as the burn on Tevez's neck. Just like me considering whether I should delete that last line, Tevez was stuck.

But still City forgave him as manager Roberto Mancini - a man with a backbone as strong as the England cricket teams middle order - moved on once again. Then came what appeared to be the final straw when Tevez (I swear to God, I'm not saying allegedly again) refused to warm up in a Champions League game against Bayern Munich. If true (which it definitely is), Tevez had to go. And so it seemed he would when hesuffered the ignominy of training with the City reserves, a team costing less than £100 million. However, when Europe's top clubs still refused to come for him, City were left with an ugly sight (no comment), so they have now decided to draw a line in the sand under the matter. Bear in mind that this sand now has as many lines in it as Silvio Berlusconi's sex face.

So it appears that Tevez is going to have a (fifth) last chance at Manchester City. Whether he will be trusted to play is one thing, whether he de-rails City's great season is quite another. In simple terms (my favourite), Tevez will bring another talented pair of legs to a squad which may now be starting to feel the pace, but if his re-emergence antagonises the other ego's in City's team, things could slowly turn ugly for the boys in blue. In my opinion, it is quite ironic that Tevez likened himself to a dog after all of this, when he clearly has Mancini and everyone else at the club on a lead.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Chelsea's refusal to finish fourth highlights Europa League's pedigree

It's the only assumption I can make given Chelsea's recent inability to play football.

The presence of Manchester City and Manchester United has clearly made the already prestigious tournament a big hit. With giants Club Brugge and Trabzonspor making good progress, who could argue with any teams desire to compete for its illustrious glory? Think of the prize money! The fact is, we could go on forever about the benefits and the greener grass of the Europa League, but I have a blog to not research.

For the last few years, the words "crucial" "fourth" and "spot" have become by-words for diverted success (or sexual deviants), as teams not quite good enough to win the Premier League compete for a place in the coveted, but over-rated (compared to its cousin which only comes out on Thursday nights) Champions League.

Since Manchester City, that hub of footballing tradition and glory became a magnet for the money of Arabic royalty, the competition to merely finish as one of the league's finest quartet has stepped up a notch. The emergence of Tottenham as genuine contenders for a top-four spot has squeezed previous incumbents Arsenal and Liverpool further. But surely Chelsea couldn't fall?

Before this season, Chelsea had finished outside the league's top two positions only once since 2003. The acquisition of the lethal Fernando Torres for a mere £50 million and the arrival of the brilliant and experienced Andre Villas-Boas seemed to promise further competition for Premier and Champions League glory. It has not turned out that way as, contrary to media hyperbole, Torres has not had his best season and Villas-Boas, for all his tactical flexibility and knowledge of the English game, has floundered in a sea of his own ineptitude. It's just been a nightmare.

Nevertheless, at 5:10 last Sunday, Chelsea seemed destined for a five point lead over their nearest challengers for fourth place. By 5:10 six days later, they had conceded five goals without reply and they now sit fifth in the league after a surrender to Manchester United which was as pathetic as Jedward, followed by a display against Everton which was as limp as Dale Winton's wrist.

The teams behind them haven't exactly banged down the door either. Arsenal took up the equivalent of Basra (no-one wants to occupy it) this week after what may prove to be a crucial win at Sunderland. For long periods, in a departure from the clinical, efficient Arsenal we all recognise, despite dominance in possession, they could not create enough chances. However, showing typical mental strength, they pulled themselves from the brink of doom to a vital win as Thierry Henry followed up Aaron Ramsey's equaliser. Ramsey has since been taken into questioning concerning the death of Witney Houston, after earlier-season strikes had brought about the death of Osama Bin Laden and Colonel Gaddafi. Nice work Aaron, but keep to the crazy, ruthless, evil rulers yeah? Who knows who could be next as a result of your frankly selfish actions.

People the world over will pleasure themselves over the goal scored by Henry, and fair play to them, whatever makes them happy. I met Henry's return to Arsenal with much cynicism (me, cynical?! I know!), convinced that the move would prove to be nothing more than a publicity stunt to appease disillusioned Arsenal fans. That said, I may have been wrong (me, wrong?! I know!). Despite his advancing years, Henry possesses something Arsenal players have been able to recreate since his departure: the ability to read a game, the readiness to give his all, the wisdom to inspire others, and the knack of selling a few shirts. Sarcasm aside, he will be sorely missed by all, and for their sake, hopefully they can find a new Henry, not an older one.

Who can stop Arsenal then? In my opinion, Arsenal. The Gunners have an almost tragic ability to produce emo-esque levels of self-harm. Possessing boundless talent, but a dangerous proximity to the self destruct button. Chelsea seem desperate for the Europa League, and although Newcastle are having a great season in sixth, their awful return to Old Newcastle against Tottenham served as reminder that they must walk before they can run (e.g. always passing to Demba Ba gets predictable). And Liverpool? Do I have to? I've already spoken about Liverpool this week and I had a right old dig. My legal team (myself) insist I should say no more about them or the racism issue you may have read about. In all seriousness though, they won't finish fourth, too many god-dam awful players in there. Sue me.

So we return to Chelsea. Although the leagues biggest prize is waaaaaaaaaaay out of reach, there is still enough for them to fight for. With a number of experienced players and undoubted quality still oozing from a number of players (not David Luiz, I don't want to think about what oozes from him), the team may be able to carry themselves forward in spite of their managers constant attempts to derail them. Villas-Boas may well turn out to be a great manager, but regrettably, opposition teams have worked them out and so have the media. If Torres finds form or the middle of his foot, things may change. As for now, it's Arsenal's to lose. Surely they can't throw it away...the fact I have said that means they will.

The Europa League (and Champions League) returns this week, so perhaps the heavyweights of Europe can show our leagues pretenders how to do it. Until then, the race for fourth looks as mysterious as Ramsey's assassination techniques (can I say that?), with its competitors as uncomfortable as Luis Suarez at a Jay-Z gig.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Kids, don't do drugs, stay in school, and don't be Luis Suarez

As Patrice Evra extended his hand to Luis Suarez, it seemed like everything was going to be alright. The ugly racism scandal which had enveloped Manchester United and Liverpool was finally being put to bed. Evra, the alleged wronged party, the alleged victim, was going to be the bigger man and shake his alleged (I'm getting sick and tired of using the word "alleged" sixty times in every article, can't we just condemn people as arseholes like the good old days?) tormentor by the hand. Finally, football could make the headlines again.

However, the dentally perfect Suarez decided to stick his teeth into the matter further and ignored the United captain. As a result, this post will essentially be an eloquent, wordy, occasionally witty, incredibly biased assault on Luis Suarez and Liverpool. Although grateful for this opportunity, I have to ask: Why Luis why?

Because you're a tit, that's why.

Anyway, what was meant to be the main event - a football match - soon followed. United seemed to stutter out of the blocks, appearing over-awed by the occasion as Liverpool had the better of the opening exchanges. However, United, perhaps buoyed by the sight of Stewart Downing, Jay Spearing and Jordan Henderson, soon began to dictate the game. That said, it was a pretty ordinary first half, as off-field matters continued to engulf over the action on the pitch. I must say at this point that as much as we (I) love football being the winner, an ugly part in us (me) still likes the scandal, it gives us (me) something to moan about and  gives everyone (me) a chance to qualify their (my) ridiculously poorly formed opinions. I digress, the first half was pretty uneventful and as I have a lot of waffle to get through, I will press on.

The last incident of note (I say last, I mean second) occurred when Suarez was tackled by Rio Ferdinand as he raced towards goal. Suarez, never one to complain, defied his usually calm, fair nature and berated the referee, demanding that Ferdinand should be punished for such a brutal assault on the football. After not getting his way, Suarez smashed the ball into the crowd as the first half drew to a close. Liverpool have since said that Suarez slipped and accidentally fell into the ball, and that any opinion to the contrary is nonsense and that anyone who says that Suarez purposely kicked the ball into the crowd should be booed.

We'll continue with Liverpool's version of events as Suarez, perhaps carried by the momentum of his slip, flew towards the tunnel and into a number of United players. Perhaps the disorientation of his slip caused him to ignore Evra's further attempt at reconciliation. If that isn't true, then Evra probably placed the tunnel there just to get Suarez in to trouble. In fact, Liverpool have since claimed that Evra is not black and that Liverpool won today's game.

The second half started in a blaze of mediocrity. Moments into the second half, a United corner was flicked on by the usually reliable Henderson into the path of Wayne Rooney, who smashed the ball into the net to send United into a deserved lead. If that was a surprise, what followed had everyone watching stunned in disbelief as the cultured Spearing, usually a fine passer of a football, presented the ball to Antonio Valencia, who squared the ball for Rooney to double United's lead. Old Trafford roared, Suarez prepared for the next calculated attempt on his own reputation and Liverpool were up against it.

Despite playing incredibly poorly, Liverpool found a way back into the game with just ten minutes to go when a Charlie Adam free-kick was diverted off Rio Ferdinand and into the path of Suarez to pull a goal back. The act was symbolic of how Suarez is now viewed by many football fans "ahhh you did well, but it's not going to change anything, you're still a douchebag." Liverpool were unable to force their way to a thoroughly undeserved equaliser as United held on to take what will probably be only temporary leadership of the Premier League. At the full-time whistle, Evra celebrated wildly in close proximity to Suarez, an act which Liverpool have since condemned as both unsporting and racist against South Americans (not true...yet).

OK, not my most neutral blog, but I really feel today showed how football has a funny way of punishing the bad guys. United manager Sir Alex Ferguson claimed afterwards that Suarez should be dispensed with, while his counterpart Just Kenny Dalglish claimed that anyone claiming Suarez had been unsporting was out of order. 

Hang on what?!

Yes, Dalglish claimed that just because Suarez is allegedly a racist and did not shake the hand of his alleged (grrr, alleged) victim, despite being a tosser with bad teeth and a worse attitude, he should not be accused of what he has been found guilty of by an INDEPENDENT tribunal. Still, don't let the truth get in the way of blind prejudice (ooh can I use that word?!).

Despite his heroics in guiding Liverpool to seventh this season, Dalglish has got this whole situation all wrong. All sarcasm aside, today's events place Liverpool in great danger of being labelled as a small club with a major inferiority complex, whilst displaying Gaddafi-esque loyalty to a lost cause. The sooner they move on and let bygones be bygones, the sooner they will recover the affection many neutrals have lost for them over the last few months.

To finish, let's just say that when a team including Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs can take the moral high ground, you have problems. Even more worrying, if you are in a team with Craig Bellamy and Andy Carroll and you are the one people dislike, you have a disaster.

Still, the game wasn't bad.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Finding Capello's successor may be taxing...and evasive

Oh yeah, two Harry Redknapp puns in a title about Fabio Capello.

Note: The following blog will be 73% sarcasm.

At first glance, Harry Redknapp and England may be a match made in heaven. A team including love-rats, DJ-beaters, drug cheats and racists, (alleged racist, innocent until proven guilty, let the jury decide, other FA-produced cliche's) led by a man who has spent the last two weeks as a defendant. It's a bit like a modern day Peasant's Revolt for millionaires, with Redknapp as Wat Tyler (look up the Peasant's Revolt, it is definitely in the country's top 500 most important events). But why is he there? Who are his rivals for the position? The list reads like a who's-who in OK football managers.

As an Anglo-Scottish writer with a certain antipathy towards the England football team, perhaps I am badly qualified to discuss this matter, but then this is Irrelevant irreverence, the seventh-best zany, alliterative sports blog in all of south-east Surrey.

So, here is a brief timeline of what has happened so far, from the top.

2008 - The FA spend half the GDP of New Zealand on finding a new coach after the glorious failure of the plucky, charismatic, charming (and possibly Dutch if you look at Youtube) Steve Mclaren.
2009ish - New coach Fabio Capello guides England through the Group of man-flu (death would be pushing it) to reach the World Cup in South Africa, or Germany or South Korea, they all end the same, but I think it was South Africa.
1967-2010 - The media proclaim the England manager as the messiah and the man to take England back to their "rightful" place at the head of world football and World Cup glory.
Summer 2010 - That is, once again, shown to be bollocks.
2011ish - Capello does quite well again as England reach Euro 2012, overpowering global footballing titans Switzerland (THEY BEAT SPAIN!), Bulgaria, Montenegro and of course, Wales. Qualification leads to mass hysteria, a feeling heightened when England demolish and outpass a full-strength Spain side at Wembley.
2012 - The FA strip John Terry of the captaincy for being racist (alleged racist, innocent until proven guilty, let the jury decide, other FA-produced cliche's)
2012 - Capello quits job after realising he can't be arsed anymore.

So there you have it, a factually accurate account of Fabio's reign as England manager. Now for the possible candidates.


1) Harry Redknapp
2) Harry Redknapp
3) Harry Redknapp
4) Neil Warnock
5) Kenny Dalglish
6) Harry Redknapp

Wow. A constellation of football management stars is at the FA' disposal.

I like Harry Redknapp. Not just because Man United play Tottenham in a few weeks and I want him gone. No, it's more because he has something criminal mastermind/hapless street corner trader about him. It should work perfectly with Wayne Rooney, John Terry and Andy Carroll (haha, not Andy Carroll, I can't continue that joke). He has managed Tottenham really well this season and, as many of his players are English, he has a good understanding of what makes them tick (wasting money, alcohol, swearing etc). He is also a tactical genius (get the ball to Modric or Van der Vaart, spread it to Bale, cross it to whoever happens to be in the box. How innovative, how very Un-English!).

As most of the other candidates are also Harry Redknapp, let's review the other two I have plucked from obscurity with all the grace of Peter Crouch attempting the limbo, whilst explaining to his missus why he always pays for hotels with cash.

First, Neil Warnock. Watch out ladies! This man is just pure sexual tension, umm-hmm. He is also a very shrewd, very subtle tactician. His management of QPR was a great success before he quit/was begged to leave, in search of greater things...perhaps he knew what was to come. Perhaps he planted Anton Ferdinand in front of John Terry, knowing the whole incident would escalate. That's a man I would want to play for, what a thinker! His calm, phlegmatic manner in press-conferences would also rub off on the team. His refusal to blame everyone but himself and his players would also give the ego's in the dressing room the kick up the backside they so desperately need.

The other candidate is Kenny Dalglish. Yes, I know the Sun and other xenophobic papers would have you believe we need an England manager, but there are only three in the Premier League but there are about 42 Scottish managers! So why Dalglish? Why is he the man I have singled out from the Scottish fraternity of mediocre football management over stars like Steve Kean or Alex Mcleish? Because he is having such a good season, or at least the BBC say so. This is a man who dragged Liverpool from mid-table obscurity to sixth in the table last season after spending a mere £55 million. He has since taken Liverpool, kicking and screaming, to seventh in the table, holding giants Sunderland and Stoke at bay as Liverpool greedily eye a return to Europa League football (don't knock the Europa League, it's amazing). His relationship with top England stars Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing may also prove crucial.

So that's my take on it. Let's not discuss why Capello left, that's not as funny as who could replace him. Let's hope England can move on and seize their obligatory quarter-final place, with the terrified players aiming to avoid being the scapegoat, such as Gareth Southgate, David Batty, Phil Neville, a 59 year-old David Seaman, Darius Vassell, Scott Carson and Gareth Barry. Yes, all those players were considered good enough for England. Is it already two years since the last major tournament? My cynicism missed it so much.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Liverpool 0-0 Tottenham

Yes, the title sums it up. I don't even know where to begin. It was just so awful.

I have been told that Liverpool can realistically expect a return to the good life, starting with a top-four finish in this season's Premier League.

I have been told that Tottenham are realistic title contenders. With their strength in many positions, many have stated that Spurs could yet snatch the title from the big bad Manchester clubs.

I was told that this would be a great, attacking game between two teams who play football the right way.

I have been told that the Premier League is better than La Liga.

Wait, what?!

None of the above is true on tonight's evidence. Maybe I'm just tired, maybe when I wake up, I will be hungover and realise that last night's game was brilliant, a great "advert" for the Premier League - whatever that really means - and I missed a real cracker. But I didn't.

The match was played against the backdrop of the return of Luis Suarez. Suarez hasn't played a match since Boxing Day, having been found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra, a decision Liverpool disputed...then couldn't be arsed to argue anymore.

Liverpool controlled much of the possession, but lacked a knock-out punch when it mattered, with Andy Carroll's usually silky touch and dazzling pace deserting him. Then Liverpool had a shot that went wide. That was about it in the first half. The second half wasn't much better, Liverpool pressed a bit, but not too much, perhaps scared to let Spurs advance into the Liverpool half...imagine that!

The introduction of Suarez did liven things up a bit. The poor buggar has been treated really badly by the big bullies in the press since the Evra incident. After all, all he did was probably racially abuse him, and Evra DEFINITELY lied to stitch Suarez up because he's a big meanie. (Umm, it's important to note at this point that my tongue is basically stuck to my cheek and Suarez remains a douchebag of the highest regard).

We didn't have to wait long for Suarez's first impact...which was on Scott Parker's stomach, missing a high ball by mere yards as his foot cannoned into Parker's midriff. I have since come to the conclusion that Parker is made of some kind of metallic alloy and derives sexual pleasure from being hurt, a bit like Max Mosley.

Although they were pretty poor, Liverpool at least kind of had a go, as proved by late chances for Suarez and Carroll. But Tottenham were so negative it was cringe-worthy. Shorn of the services of Jermaine Defoe, Rafael Van der Vaart and Aaron Lennon, their squad was made to look pretty crap. Playing five in midfield isn't necessarily a bad tactic when you have the pace of Gareth Bale and the apparent genius of Luka Modric - I say apparent because he doesn't seem all that good to me - and you are away at Anfield. But as the game became stretched and legs became tired, Spurs still refused to offer anything up front. They simply sat back even though Liverpool were hardly barging down the door. A late chance for Bale (who was earlier KO'd Mortal Kombat style by Martin Skrtel) aside, Spurs didn't create anything of note.

If Tottenham's ambition is to finish in the top four, then tonight can be seen as a point gained and a well marshaled, tactical, team effort. If they want to win the title - as so many people have said they do - they need to actually try and win these games. Spurs were more defensive than Ryan Giggs at a family party. The fact their players were all smiles at full-time was telling. Spurs won't win the league, and they never were going to. This season, I've thought of Spurs the same way we thought of Dick Dastardly in wacky races, when you thought "he can't win...can he?!?!"...and then he didn't.

Finally, the bit which may be controversial (if you've read this far, in which case, you're my friend). The Premier League is not better than La Liga. The Chelsea vs Man United game yesterday was amazing, but only really due to the laughably poor quality in the defending. Tonight was just crap, crap, crap.

The Premier League is allegedly better than the Spanish top division because it is more competitive. No-one wants to see the same two teams win the title over and over again.

Premier League Champions:
2004-2005 Chelsea
2005-2006 Chelsea
2006-2007 Man United
2007-2008 Man United
2008-2009 Man United
2009-2010 Chelsea
2010-2011 Man United

Wouldn't it be rubbish if the same two teams won the title over and over again?!

Yes, Man City lead the table this year, but they and Man United are now respectively seven and five points clear of third placed Spurs and a further seven points clear of fourth place Chelsea.

I love the Premier League, I really do. It is my favourite league in the world (mainly because it is convenient...I am British and I do support a team in that league...not that I or the press are biased?!) But it is not the best, unless we are judging on factors other than competitiveness and quality. Other than that it's right up there.

You're probably expecting a big, funny, satirical finish to this blog, much like we were all expecting a big finish to the game tonight as Liverpool finally began attacking. In fact, there nearly was; after wriggling past two Spurs defenders, Glen Johnson found crucial space for a cross with several team-mates waiting...surely this was it, surely there couldn't be an anti-climax?..

The scuffed cross travelled three yards before being intercepted. Tonight's game sucked.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

When is a draw not a draw?

OK let's all breathe and calm the hell down for a minute.

BEWARE: The next paragraph begins with a sentence containing brackets within brackets. A bit like Inception in Sport blog terms.

Today I watched (well not watched, tentatively followed via BBC Sport (how bad is their new website?!) from behind my girlfriends's sofa) Chelsea against Manchester United. And I still have no idea what happened. Let me break it down in typically hilarious/poorly detailed fashion.

The first half was pretty terrible. United had a lot of possession and Chelsea looked like a mid-table side (how true that is depends on your definition of mid-table). Despite their marginal superiority, United didn't really create any chances, but did cause Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas's perfectly conditioned hair to stand on end when Danny Welbeck was obstructed by Chelsea debutant Gary Cahill. Was it a foul? Would Cahill have been sent off? The answer is of course: no-one really cares. Despite being second-best for much of the first half, Chelsea went in to half-time with the lead when Daniel Sturridge's trickery helped him fire in a cross which the hapless/hopeless Jonny Evans could only divert in to his own net.

Although United were behind at the break, Sir Alex Ferguson would have been happy with his sides performance and must have felt that an equaliser and perhaps a winner could still be in the offing for his side. As it happened, Chelsea extended their lead faster than Villas-Boas can get out a sentence. Fernando Torres - I'll try not to slate him, but it is so easy - sent over a great cross which Juan Mata coerced into the net, in a not too dissimilar way to how Michael Douglas probably proposed to Catherine Zeta Jones (not necessarily true). If a 2-0 lead was giving their luck a push, Chelsea shoved it over a cliff moments later when defender (not necessarily true) David Luiz's header was deflected in by Rio Ferdinand to put the hosts 3-0 up. Chelsea fans - mostly via my Facebook news feed - rejoiced and I made the bold decision to stop following the game. The fact United salvaged a draw is thus entirely down to me.

When most teams go three-nil down, they decide that damage limitation is the way to go. They may sit back and defend, whilst hoping for a free-kick and/or a rebound and be delighted with a narrow defeat. However, Manchester United are not Manchester City...I mean most teams.

When most teams find themselves in a crisis, they turn on themselves or throw money at the situation. United decided to throw strikers at theirs. Having gone for broke, United attacked...and attacked...and attacked, a bit like Rocky would, or the big bad wolf in "Three Little Pigs". Courtesy of two debatable but understandable penalty awards, the visitors found themselves just a goal behind, and when Mexican striker Javier Hernandez (his name isn't actually Chicharito, if I wanted "sex-god" or worse, "little-pea" on the back of my shirt, I'd be ridiculed) headed home a deserved equaliser, Stamford Bridge reacted like it had been given a glancing blow to the testicles. In many ways, they had. Not literally. That would be ridiculous.

OK, that's the match. All done. I hope you don't have any questions because I am a) very biased and b) very tired.

To go back to the title of this blog, when is a draw not a draw? Well, in the perpetual competition for Premier League glory and Champions League qualification - which is starting to look like that cycling race where the cyclists kind of look at each other in that sexy, suggestive way - today is when a draw is not a draw. How Chelsea recover from the loss of two points will be crucial as to where they finish this season. As for United, despite falling behind neighbours City again, getting out of West London (which is now in flames after Torres did some kind of clumsy metaphor which I can't be bothered to come up with) with a point will be nothing short of a blessed relief.

I hope you enjoyed this piece as much as I despised following this match. Until next time people!


Thursday, 2 February 2012

Who's for the game?

I've actually lifted the title of this post from a World War One poem. You'll be surprised how relevant it is as a comparison to the England cricket team's task in Dubai against an insatiable Pakistan tomorrow.

In the poem, the writer Jessie Pope urges England's boys to join the fight against Germany and her allies on neutral soil in Belgium and France. To read it now seems incredibly irresponsible and still rankles with many, much like Kevin Pietersen's shot selection. In ninety years, maybe we (well not me, I'll probably have already choked on my own pessimism) will look back on tomorrow's match and shout "WHY DIDN'T THEY JUST GO HOME AND SAVE THEMSELVES?!"

Prior to the series, Pakistan legend Ramiz Raja urged the "home" side to treat the upcoming series like a "war". I'm sure he had some sort of siege in mind, like the Alamo or that cool scene in Lord of the Rings where the baddies get killed by those green dead people. As it happens, it's starting to look a bit like the Battle of the Somme.

In that battle, British soldiers were forced to walk slowly into a barrage of bullets. Tomorrow they will have to walk (probably literally, I don't see them hanging around long) into the line of Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman's fire. In the last test, the two spinners combined to deadly effect as England capitulated. I actually laughed, but it was that little British laugh we all do, when something annoys us, but we take pleasure in being annoyed, because it gives us something to moan tuition fees, the council's new parking scheme or Justin Bieber.

The strange thing about this series is that Pakistan actually have only four players. They could probably justify fielding just Ajmal, Rehman, all-rounder Mohammed Hafeez and captain Misbah-Ul-Haq. No-one else has done anything for Pakistan, they haven't had to, England have had no answer to their bowlers grenade's or their captain's defiance with the bat. Hafeez has been a bit like trench-foot for England. He probably won't kill you, but he does just enough to piss you off and ensure you get a bad start and then, two days later, you wonder how it all went so badly. Note: I've never had trench foot, but I did have to walk outside in just my socks (and other clothes, behave) yesterday and it was really horrific, so I can empathise.

The strange thing is, England's bowling has actually been pretty good. The bowlers are blameless in this massacre and I feel kinda sorry for them. Each time they have bowled, Pakistan have struggled to score runs or bat for very long, and have stuttered to mediocre scores. Then England get out for about 9 runs. Stuart Broad said in the last match that how England bowl means nothing unless they bat well. His statement raised eyebrows at first, but he proved himself right by rescuing England with the bat and then helped to bowl his side into a position of superiority. Then England got out for about 9 runs.

At this point, let me say that I am HOPELESS at cricket. I have never hit more than two runs with a single shot without my bat aiming one way and the ball going the other. My bowling is probably a bit better, although it is apparently illegal (thanks Mr Gunn, your cruel words ruined my confidence and prevented me from fulfilling my destiny of playing for England you big meanie. When we next meet, I will strike you...albeit with a slightly bent arm. DISCLAIMER: I will never play for England because I am a) crap and b) not South African). The point is, I'm bollocks at cricket, so if you came for in-depth analysis or detailed advice, this isn't the place to look.

So here's my in-depth analysis and detailed advice.

PROBLEM ONE: England can't play spin.
Yeah, we're pretty hopeless at it. Pakistan's bowling is made up entirely of spinners. Yeah, they have two fast bowlers in there somewhere, but they're there to make up the numbers. It's a bit like South Africa's quota system, only England don't benefit. Why are England rubbish against spin? I dunno. I mean I don't. If I knew, I'd be good at cricket. However, all the clever people say something about not having good footwork. So England just need to improve their footwork and they'll score loads of sixes and win by super-mad margins yeah.

PROBLEM TWO: They didn't prepare well.
Well, they kinda did. They had two practice games against decent opposition and then the first test match to gauge just how sh*t they were. Think of it like playing FIFA on a different console for the first time. You go two-nil down before saying "ahhh I've got the hang of this now" before losing 6-1.

PROBLEM THREE: I ran out of World War One analogies four paragraphs ago.
Doug, if you want to be the best, you've got to pummel your readers with metaphors until they beg for mercy. So here's one. Think of this series like England launching shell after shell at the Pakistani trenches. For all their effort and power, they can only incur limited damage. Then Pakistan release mustard gas and England choke to death/get out for about 9 runs. In short, England just don't have the mystery or strength in defence to keep Pakistan out.

So there you have it, England are playing tomorrow and are probably going to lose. AND I DIDN'T MENTION THAT THEY ARE WORLD NUMBER ONE!..until then. I should give up, and say what will be will be, but I'll probably still not be able to sleep, knowing in the back of my mind that England will be playing when I wake up. I will then switch on my radio at half past seven to words like "it's not been a good start for England" or "Ajmal, looking for his tenth wicket, bowls to Panesar" or "Goodness me, there's a pigeon". Let's hope we can restore some pride, start well and build a trench around our wickets.

Who's for the game? Sigh, it's time to go over the top once more.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Massa the man to beat as F1 prepares to start again

Haha, I haven't gone utterly insane, it's a parallel universe, let me go with it and see if it's funny.

Since winning the Formula One Championship in 2008, Felipe Massa has been - to put it mildly - unstoppable. It makes you wonder: How different could things have been if Lewis Hamilton was just able to get past Timo Glock at the end of that dramatic Brazilian Grand Prix just over three years ago?

Some so-called experts have been keen to downplay the Brazilian driver's dominance, attributing his 2008 title to luck. Others say that Ferrari's shrewd re-appointment of Ross Brawn on the back of that triumph has given Massa a car which is unbeatable. The more cynical suggest that had Fernando Alonso - and not Michael Schumacher - replaced Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari in 2009, the Spaniard would have been able to out-perform Massa at most races and prevent him from taking at least one of his four titles.

What's the secret?
However, all of this is nonsense. Massa has been simply excellent throughout his title triumphs. The way he managed the good but not brilliant F60 car to victory over the revolutionary Red Bull in 2009 was exceptional. That season, the talented but raw Sebastian Vettel showed great qualifying speed but time and time again was picked off by Massa's now trademark over-taking manoeuvres in the race. Since then, Vettel has struggled to show us his obvious ability. His confidence has been shattered by Massa's imperious dominance and the German was mediocre at best last year.

Lewis Hamilton, the man who so nearly snatched the title from the Brazilian driver in 2008 has been simply wretched ever since. Even before his horrendous accident at the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2009, Hamilton struggled with what was actually a decent car. After faltering when so close to glory in both 2007 and 2008, Hamilton's inherent confidence eluded him, as team-mate Heikki Kovalainen was able to consistently outperform the Stevenage driver. After the horrific accident in Hungary, Hamilton was replaced by the returning Schumacher and has never been the same since. The "Heikki is faster than you" message at the German Grand Prix in 2010 hasn't exactly helped the Brit's confidence.

Many in the paddock believe that Fernando Alonso could compete with Massa in the same car. Such a suggestion seems like folly as the tempestuous Alonso - still with Lotus (formerly Renault/Caterham/Lotus Renault/Lotus3000) - hasn't come close to adding to his two world titles in recent years. He has made it clear that he is struggling with the Pirelli super-super soft and super-super-super soft tyres, which were introduced by the FIA in 2011 as a way of making the racing more unpredictable. Alonso was rumoured to be close to joining Ferrari for the 2010 season, but was reportedly unhappy when told he would not be the team's number one driver. Who could argue with that? No-one could make Massa a number-two driver, his stubbornness, ruthlessness and race-craft would not allow it.

Alonso? Number one? Hahahaha, go f*ck yourself.
So who else can challenge Massa as the 2012 season comes into our rear-view mirrors? Kimi Raikkonen, the man who beat Massa in the same car in 2007, refuses to return to Formula One, especially after last year's triumph in the World Rally Championship.

Red Bull are said to be in serious financial trouble after their woeful 2011 season. They are even rumoured to be prepared to take a punt on Jenson Button, the British driver who has been without a drive since Honda collapsed in 2008. Button has been something of a laughing stock in the motor sport community after his constant protestations that he would have won the 2009 title had Ross Brawn not defected to Ferrari. Although this blog aims to be speculative, even fanciful, Button's suggestion is simply too ludicrous for even yours truly to take seriously.

I would have won I swear!
On top of this, the future of F1 remains in serious doubt. Sky, who were close to buying the rights to Formula One for this season, have since withdrawn their offer to show the sport as a result of the predictable outcome to every race. The BBC have been left with the largest of White Elephants as the procession looks set to continue. Despite the great commentary of Jonathan Legard, fans are starting to vote with their remotes as viewing figures plummet.

Ten new venues, including Kazakhstan, Cambodia and Antarctica will join the already loaded calendar, taking the total to 54 races. The teams may struggle to overcome the difficulty of two race weekends in one weekend, with the Brazilan/Japanese Grand Prix weekend particularly taxing.

As the season approaches, it may be time to make some predictions. Here is what I expect to see:

Champion: Vettel. HAHA! Just kidding, Massa.

Runner-up: Schumacher. He may run team-mate Massa close, but even that would be a miracle.

New-comer of the year: Bruno Senna and the Scottish Grand Prix.
The great Ayrton Senna's nephew finally arrives in Formula One after numerous attempts to start a career in the sport. He could make the difference and improve on Hispania's impressive 2011 season, where the team picked up three podiums and didn't suffer a single retirement.
As for the Scottish Grand Prix - confirmed in the wake of Scotland's independence - I am expecting a great race. The quadruple chicane at turn 46 will challenge the drivers, while the grandstand, made entirely out of batter, looks magnificent.

Surprise of the year: Jenson Button returning to F1. It's a long-shot, but who knows!

I'm sure this season will be just fascinating.
Flop of the year: Lewis Hamilton. A bit easy to kick a man when he's down, I know. Wife Nicole Scherzinger (who could forget her premature celebrations in 2008?!) says we should be ready for a new, focused Lewis Hamilton. Sorry love, I refuse to buy it.

So the season is nearly upon us. While the introduction of rocket boosters and trap-doors may make the racing more exciting, this blogger remains pessimistic.
Let's hope someone else wins a race this year.

Hello people I've coerced into liking what I say


I want to be a sports journalist. All of my friends (and some others) know this after my constant, pompous reminders. While I smugly proclaim that I am chasing this dream job, these people have to be content with the knowledge that - unless I'm the 1 in 10,000 shot - I will be on about £457 a year covering Carshalton vs Met Police every week. Don't get me wrong, that'd be a great game for the first ten times, but I'm aiming a little higher than that.

So, to plump up my C.V and to impress my grandparents, I have decided (well, been persuaded) to start a blog. I hope you enjoy my pointless musings and I hope that you read my verbal diarrhoea (thanks spell-check)  of your own accord...unless you're my which case, you will be forced to laugh at my hilarious wit.

What makes me different? I have no idea, let's find out...hopefully I'm not yet another blog-standard wannabe.