keresaspa: (Giant Haystacks pissed as a frt!)
Well, that's the Premiership season done and dusted for another year and for my part I was rather glad to see Manchester City winning it. I'm no fan of their lavish ways or their close ties to Middle Eastern despotates but the sudden anointing of Liverpool as the "neutral's favourite" (is anybody really neutral when it comes to football, apart from those who just aren't interested?) did start to grate very quickly. Suarez's racism may have been forgotten by most but I still remember and there is just something about that diminutive, narcissistic, management-speak spouting little tosser Brendan Rodgers that really rubs me up the wrong way so I was glad to see them fail. Certainly their re-emergence reminded me just how tedious I found their earlier dominance and the hollow claims that their success would have been something different rang rather hollow to those of us over 30 who recall their depressing period of endless success. A shame Arsenal didn't win it really, as I've developed a rather grudging respect for old Wenger and they're probably the "Big Five" team I can tolerate most now. "Big Six"? Spurs wish!

Theoretically, though, it was the best season in terms of excitement in some time and yet I can't recall a season that I took less interest in since my period in the early 90s when I was a teenage pseud who pretended not to like football as it wasn't intellectual (what a painful little shit I was). Manys a Saturday night this term I sat down in front of Match of the Day only to find myself wandering from the room for extended periods or on occasion even turning over to something else, an action I don't remember ever doing previously. I think my personal odyssey around east Ulster watching a more grass roots version of the game has something to do with it, seeing the young lads putting it all out there for nothing making it a bit more difficult to accept multi-millionaire prima donnas diving and bleating.

There again if Albion had had a better season I might perhaps have been better disposed towards it all. But they didn't. In fact this season for Albion was, undeniably, a pile of absolute tits. Had Albion been relegated after a crap season on the pitch it would have been a disappointment but I could have taken it on the chin nevertheless. Norwich City's relegation will have vexed their support but nothing major went wrong with the club and they'll probably be back in a year or two with the minimum of fuss. Albion on the other hand - sheesh. Anelka was a toe-curling farce from start to finish and left me ashamed by the whole club but beyond that so much went wrong that it's hard to know where to start.

Clarke's sacking was unfortunate but the insistence that any replacement had to keep all the existing coaching staff despite Keith Downing's rotten run as caretaker just made it all rather daft and ensured that Pepe Mel was only ever going to be a yes man. Inevitably the results during his tenure were crap and in the end Albion only survived because other teams were so poor. One of the few bright spots was the emergence of Saido Berahino but even that was naused up when James Morrison was allowed to get away with beating the bake of him in the dressing room scot free. If Berahino wants to leave in the summer I for one wouldn't blame him. Meanwhile ten first teamers are out of contract (although of the list only Chris Brunt looks worth keeping) and the manager might be on his way, although that would be little odds really. His spell in charge has been characterised by poor results on the pitch and he is hamstrung by the increasingly dictatorial presence of chairman Jeremy Peace, whose megalomaniac tendencies might even end up with him doing a Ron Noades and installing himself as manager. A lot needs to change at Albion or else relegation next season will be almost guaranteed but with Peace in charge that won't happen and it's becoming increasingly clear that his time needs to come to an end. Dark days ahead I fear as a saturnine pall descends on the Hawthorns.

So that was the season that was. Money triumphed, it became easy to hate Liverpool again, it became even easier to laugh at Manchester United again, Vincent Tan got his comeuppance for buggering up a proud old club in Cardiff City but Assem Allam didn't get his despite doing his best to bugger up Hull City AFC, we still had to endure the same old grind of Stoke City, Tony Pulis and Alan Pardew, Jose Mourinho came back a bigger tosser than ever but thankfully a less successful one, Roberto Martinez made us all smile with his pretty football and watery eyes and Felix Magath looked a bit like Penfold. There'll never be another. Well, as an Albion supporter, I certainly hope there weren't be another.
keresaspa: (West Bromwich Albion)
So as Albion enter the post-Clarke era it seems that there are five names in the frame for his replacement. And by God what a motley crew they are. I appreciate that Albion now operate "within the continental management structure" but a cursory look at the continent tells me that such a structure usually involves a high-profile head coach along with a wily veteran director, whereas judging by the list it seems Albion hope to team one complete unproven with another. No way that can go wrong then.

So what of the famous five? Mike Phelan has coached from here to ya-ya and he does have a brief, but undistinguished, spell as a player at Albion under his belt. But saying that he's a 51 year old who has never been number one and he comes from a long line of Manchester United assistant managers who have been a pile of poop as top men (Brian Kidd, Carlos Queiroz) so I'm certainly not turning somersaults at the sound of his name. Were Albion to announce Phelan's appointment as a member of the coaching staff I would be very happy but as top dog? Na.

Where Phelan would be a slightly flat appointment Michael Appleton would be a complete slap in the face. I have no idea why he is highly regarded in certain quarters because his record in football management is frankly pitiful. Admittedly his time at Portsmouth was blighted by the club being in administration but he was the one who convinced the administrators to blow a sizeable chunk of readies on high-value short-term contracts for good quality League One players like Izale McLeod, thus delaying the club exiting said administration, and, despite doing so, still came nowhere near saving them from relegation. By all accounts the vast majority of Pompey fans were dancing for joy when he left for Blackpool, where his legendary twelve game spell saw him win only twice before moving on to Blackburn. Once at Blackburn he failed to turn around one of the most expensively assembled squads in the division and was ditched after 15 games, with Gary Bowyer again forced to clean up the mess. Jeremy Peace likes him so if the appointment is to be a total yes-man then Appleton would be ideal but if they hope to accomplish anything whatsoever then don't let that moron anywhere near the Hawthorns again.

By all accounts Ole Gunnar Solksjaer's record in the Norwegian League is excellent, with two league titles under his belt. Mind you I'm sure Ståle Solbakken came to the Tatters with a fine record in Scandinavian football as did Henning Berg at Blackburn and they both ended well. To be fair Solksjaer might be different (and Uwe Rosler prospered after leaving the cold north, albeit at a lower level) so I suspect my reaction to his appointment would be one of neutrality rather than despair but he still seems a slightly small fry appointment if I'm being honest. Were we in the Championship I would maybe welcome him but in our fourth consecutive year as a Premier League club Albion really should be aiming a bit higher.

I'm struggling to have an opinion on Paul Clement as I've never heard of him before and so can't get too worked up one way or the other. With his lack of playing career he could be the new Arrigo Sacchi (yay), the new Andre Villas-Boas (pah) or the new Richard Dinnis (gulp) but frankly I think it's all a little too much of a gamble. Martin Jol I've already covered in entries passim. He would do in a pinch and is probably my preferred candidate out of the five listed, despite not being anything special really. If nothing else it would be nice to have another character back in the dugout as I for one missed that when Woy left.

Finally, of course, there's the extra option that has cropped up now that Gianfranco Zola has become available. In a way it seems ludicrous for me even to entertain the thought of somebody who wasn't good enough for Watford but as a more short-term appointment he has much to recommend him. Albion have been a bit on the ugly side for the last couple of bosses and Zola's teams always look good whilst the story of his career so far has always been a very good first season before the wheels come off. So why not a one year contract then a pat on the back as he's pushed out the exit door? It might just work.

So to sum up Jol or Zola will do for me, Solksjaer if it must be, Phelan not so much, Clement I'll pass and Appleton and I'm switching to Blyth Spartans!
keresaspa: (I got the last dodo!)
Alas and alack for [livejournal.com profile] abstract_ellie is but a fleeting visitor round these part nowadays and, as the only other Baggie to frequent this area, her absence is the main reason for my lack of discussion on West Bromwich Albion's travails these days. But sod that because I simply can't ignore today's result - Manchester United 1 West Bromwich Albion 2. Yup, the most successful club in the soi-disant best league in the world, not to mention said league's reigning champions, beaten by Albion at their so-called theatre of dreams. Yes, I know Alex Ferguson is gone and under David Moyes they're easier to beat than a suspect in shackles but this is still a team that was able to take the field with Marouane Fellaini, Robin van Persie and Antonio Valencia - nearly 70 million quid's worth of talent - left on the bench so this is still a massive accomplishment.

I had expected Albion to struggle more this season than last (and I still do) but all credit to Clarkey-boy for this one. We may have played them at the optimum moment but player for player United are still miles ahead of Albion (and nearly every other club) so to beat them in their own backyard is excellent. Credit too to Saido Berahino for getting the winning goal. Albion's youth season, as I previously bemoaned, has produced absolutely nothing in years so it is heartening to see this lad coming along and finally giving some hope that at last the club that produced the likes of Bomber Brown, Bryan Robson, Ally Robertson and Len Cantello is finally going to grow another one. It's still very early days and I would hate pressure on him but he looks special already and the sooner he gets his new contract the happier I'll be. What with his emergence and new signing Amalfitano getting the other goal things might be looking up.

For my own part however, I spent the day in the less glamorous surroundings of Valley Park, Good Shepherd Road in the republican Poleglass area of west Belfast/Dunmurry filling up a DC-free Saturday by watching Colin Valley face Bryansburn Rangers in Division 1C of the Northern Amateur Football League. And what a game that was too! My last three matches have been a 3-2, a 6-1 and a 3-3 but today took the biscuit as I witnessed my highest scoring match ever. Colin Valley (the Colin being a small river in the area, not some bloke's name) took a very early lead and then had another disallowed before Bryansburn (an area of Bangor) got their act together and scored two of their own. Valley then scored a penalty but Rangers retook the lead and went 4-2 up after a comedy own goal by a Valley defender. That was only half time though as Colin Valley came out like lions and turned on the style scoring two to equalise things at 4-4 then striking again late on, this time an own goal by a Bryansburn man, to take the win by the odd goal in nine. Breathless stuff all round and a great advert for the non-league game here as, whilst the quality was certainly lacking, the entertainment definitely was not. DC are away in the hillbilly outpost of Castlederg next week so I'm unlikely to see them and as such will again have to get my Saturday fix at this level but if things continue the way they're going on I can look forward to Oragnefield Old Boys shading it against Abbey Villa with a 10-8 win. Or wherever I end up.
keresaspa: (Piggy Banks)
Finally, at long last, we can put all the nonsense of people pretending to care about made-up rubbish like omnium and yngling and get back to the only sport that matters, football. OK, so there was allegedly football at the Olympics but any international football tournament that has the UK as a participant is clearly not worth the candle. The league is where it's at and as such I must now turn my attention to the coming season and do my usual load of waffle about how it won't pan out. Enjoy.

Read more... )
keresaspa: (Dora-Kai Lan-Kitty)
Long term reader (the plural would be a bit presumptive given how dead things are round here) might recall the praise handed out to Alexandra Presbyterian Church for the light chuckles raised by their inventive poster. Well their brethren in the presbytery closer to me, Cooke Centenary Church, have decided to follow the lead of their north Belfast kin with decidedly poorer results.



Nice idea with the football motif and all that, folks, but the thing doesn't really stand up. "Man United" clearly doesn't go with "You'll Never Walk Alone" given that Manchester United and Liverpool are arch rivals, so if the aim is to entice football supporters in (good luck with that) it must be adjudged a failure as it is just too slapdash. B+ for effort but a D- for achievement on this one I reckon.

And whilst we're at it, advertising a spring fete that happened a few weeks ago makes your website look rather amateurish. Whoever is coming up with these for Cooke needs to take a little stroll up the York Road and ask his opposite number in Alexandra for a few tips on the proper way to do this.
keresaspa: (Max Miller)
At last. For the good of the Premier League it was imperative that somebody other than Manchester United won the title this season as there is only so long you can keep interest going in a league that only one club wins (witness Donegal Celtic struggling to break three figures in their crowds in a competition that Linfield have won six times out of seven). After all if the same club wins every year what is the incentive for people who don't support that club to bother? Variety is the spice of life and Manchester City's win is still new enough to be welcome. So let's review.

Premiership 2011-12 Club by Club )

A satisfying finish all round for the most part. Nice one, City.

Oof

Apr. 11th, 2012 07:15 pm
keresaspa: (Diggory)
I knew it was coming of course. Whenever I find myself extracting moustache hair from my mouth it is always a sign that it is coming, especially when the beast was just recently trimmed. So it's no surprise that I am sitting here feeling like a washed-out dishrag. Quite what is wrong with me I'm not sure but I'm running a temperature, I feel like throwing up, my knees are trembling, my head is reeling, my insomnia is rampant (to the point where I got around half an hour's sleep last night all in) and I'm freezing cold and yet dripping with sweat. I rather thought that I had gotten away with murder this winter in terms of flus and bugs so obviously my lousy immune system was just holding off to the spring before hitting me with the big one. To bed would be the sensible recourse but, as is often the case with me, the jitters has me as well, meaning that I would be thrashing about too much for it to do any good. Looks like I'll have to tough this one out on the sofa. Bloody spring lurgy.

Still I suppose I should look on the bright side really shouldn't I? At least Albion have a chance to finally confirm their survival tonight with a nice easy game against struggling Manchester City. Given that they've taken two points from their last three games and in the process meekly handed the title over to their cross-town neighbours (was there ever really any doubt that United would win, even when City were a trillion points clear or whatever it was) they should be easier to beat than a suspect in shackles. So fingers crossed for a nice 2-1 win or if, as is often the case, the hallucinations arrive, a nice 1,368-259 win. 5-0 to City is it then.
keresaspa: (Lucy Liu)
There are times you just get the feeling you must have fallen down a wormhole in time and ended up back in the past again. No, I'm not referring to the ConDem junta going down the road to the workhouses, nor Greece being bailed out of yet another economic crisis, nor yet more desecration of the Koran, nor even Chelsea losing yet another game of football and placing the officially dreamy Andre Villas-Boas back in the firing line. Rather I refer to what we shall hitherto call Exhibit A:



The third biggest story on their site tells us that that fragrant (in the sense that the stench of desperation is a fragrance) Imogen Thomas was the one who was being bonked by Manchester United youngster Ryan Giggs. Thank you, Exhibit A. I was unaware of that until several months ago when it was reported absolutely everywhere, including even in this load of old tosh. Good to see that Auntie has her finger on the pulse when it comes to the news.

And before Captain Obvious pipes up, I'm fully aware that the story is actually about it now being legally OK to mention all this and that me and the rest were technically breaking the law by naming him previously. Still if that part of Exhibit A is fairly weak in the Twilight Zone stakes then the fifth top story is simply inexplicable. "US X Factor drops Cheryl Cole". Well, I never. I was more than a little perturbed to hear of the sacking of the fragrant (in the sense that the stench of desperation is a fragrance) toilet attendant basher when it happened last May but the fact that it is now the Beeb's fifth most popular story a full nine months later is frankly mystifying. The calendar tells me it is 21st February 2012 but I'm sure there must be some mistake if wor Chezza and ein Imo are still top of the news.

Cuddly Dudley presents an evening with Whitney Houston featuring special guests Eddie Marshall and Gordon Beck, you say? I'll book the tickets right away.

Cess-Pool

Feb. 11th, 2012 04:51 pm
keresaspa: (Salvador Allende)
A rare, possibly even unique, occurrence has transpired and it has left me feeling decidedly odd to say the least. That's right I am actually finding myself in agreement with Alex Ferguson and, even worse, finding myself slightly pleased that the malevolent Manchester United have won a match. Generally I'm fairly neutral towards Liverpool but their handling of this whole Luis Suarez affair has been nothing short of disgraceful. He spends a whole match referring to Patrice Evra by a racial epithet, protests ignorance about it being offensive (because constantly calling somebody by their ethnic group rather than their name is never going to be offensive) and then, despite him being found guilty and sentenced by the FA, Liverpool act as if he has done nothing and Kenny Dalglish (was he always such a tosser or has age changed him into a moaning minnie of Tony Pulis levels?) keeps presenting him as the wronged party. Far be it from me to suggest that the whole thing has been a godsend for Dalglish as it has deflected attention from Liverpool's ropey form and complete waste of money that has been Andy Carroll but supporting the resident racist has certainly given the chirpy Scousers something to unite behind. As if all that wasn't enough Suarez today refuses to shake Evra's hand because he dared take offence at racial abuse. Disgusting. Ferguson is right about Suarez being a disgrace to Liverpool and the club are in danger of slipping back to the gloomy days of yore when a hate-filled bastard like Tommy Smith was hailed as a hero. Have these people forgotten what John Barnes endured for the good of the game? A day of shame for Liverpool Football Club.
keresaspa: (Nina looking a tad pertubed)
So after yesterday's 4-2 win over Cardiff City Albion will now be facing the might of Norwich City, with their baked flans and their misplaced pedantry, in the fourth round of the FA Cup. I feel a bit of a heretic saying this but I'm struggling to care one way or the other. A couple of ropey results in recent league matches mean that my earlier optimism was, as I suspected, misplaced and that Albion are facing yet another relegation battle so these injury magnet games for a tin pot are really a distraction that we could do without. We all know how it will end anyway as a middle ranking Premier League side will make the final where they will be outplayed by one of the big money outfits but the game will still end 1-0 to make it look closer than it actually was. Were I a gambling man (which I'm definitely not, having turned down a free ten quid bet after registering for Sky Sports Super 6) I would put my money on Manchester United winning it for the umpteenth time with Newcastle donating their bodies to the "spectacle" come May.

Still I suppose it is a break from the gloom for some (well, maybe not crisis club Liverpool, who even managed to turn a 5-1 win into yet another PR disaster) so in case any of you reading care and don't know how to log onto any of the thousands of websites that carry this then the fourth round draw is as follows:

Brighton & Hove Albion or Wrexham - Newcastle United
Sunderland - Middlesbrough
Dagenham & Redbridge or Millwall - Southampton
Hull City - Crawley Town
Milton Keynes Dons or Queens Park Rangers - Chelsea
West Bromwich Albion - Norwich City
Blackpool - Sheffield Wednesday
Arsenal or Leeds United - Aston Villa
Stevenage - Notts County
Watford - Tottenham Hotspur
Liverpool - Manchester United
Derby County - Stoke City
Everton - Fulham
Macclesfield Town or Bolton Wanderers - Swansea City
Sheffield United - Birmingham City or Wolverhampton Wanderers
Nottingham Forest or Leicester City - Swindon Town
keresaspa: (Default)
So, after the recent problems with the new version of Internet Explorer I decided to give the much praised Firefox a try. Am I missing something or is this one of those deals like Googlemail that everybody loves but I hate? I never thought I would find something to make IE9 seem reliable but Firefox has done just that. Every window seems to turn black constantly whilst they change position seemingly at random every couple of minutes. Having heard that Google Chrome is also crap it looks like back to rotten old IE9 and its constant closing and reopening of windows I must go. I'm sure I'll soon learn to love every window turning into the same thing. Either that I'll chuck my blasted laptop through the actual window and make it all a moot point. Gnash!

On the other hand we must try to remain positive, especially after the fun last night. There are few things more satisfying than seeing Manchester United soundly beating and the look of stunned resignation on the face of Alex Ferguson said it all as he knew he would never beat that Barcelona side in a month of Sundays or even a sunth of Mondays. All credit must go to Lionel Messi who is the first player I have seen since Zinedine Zidane who genuinely looks like an all-time great of the world game. Well done that man. All the crowing about Ferguson getting the league record this year made the defeat sweeter.
keresaspa: (West Bromwich Albion)
So that's more or less it for another football season, barring a couple of play-offs. And what a funny old season it was. In the end the same old team won it but everything else was somewhat on the topsy-turvy side. Let's review:

Reflections on the Revolution in Sandwell and other stories )

So that's it for another season and with no prospect of anything in the summer given that the year ends in an odd number all I can say is roll on August.
keresaspa: (Default)
Good riddance, Liz, now don't come back. The only things your visit has brought are a big bill for the Irish taxpayer, a chance for reckless-driving, embezzling serial shagger Iris Robinson to present herself as a brave victim alongside that overpaid cuckold of a First Minister, an opportunity for a bunch of ball-lickers in Cork to cheer some old duffer in a soppy hat and the final death of any notion of Sinn Fein as a republican party who shamelessly refused to protest a visit by the Commander in Chief of the British Army. God, Bobby Sands must be spinning in his grave at how far they have sold out. Bitter? I bit 'im too!

Moving on as I really don't want to dwell on the whole fiasco as it just raises my blood pressure and I've finally got it down to an acceptable level. Did I miss the meeting where footballers completely changed. Not so long ago they flaunted their affairs like there was no tomorrow, circulating videos of themselves bonking strumpets left, right and centre, wearing their conquests like a badge of honour. Now what have we got - Ryan Giggs doing an absolutely awful job of trying to hide his affair with the "famous" Imogen Thomas. Unusually for me given my well documented hatred of all things Manchester United I have always respected Giggs as a footballer due to the fact that he plays the game in the proper spirit (unlike his malevolent team-mate Paul Scholes). However he is not playing the off-field game as it should be played. Footballers are by definition morons and so when they nab a WAG like the fragrant Ms. Thomas (who, to be fair to her, is not too shabby in the looks department compared to some of the usual leathery blonde ladies that hang from footballers' arms) they should be shouting it from the rooftops not wasting their time with unenforceable super-injunctions. After all, it's not as if he's been doinking Jeremy Clarkson is it?! And as for any argument about protecting his wife and family from the news, he should have thought about that before dipping the wick in the first place. Stupid boy.

Well if Harold Camping is right this will be the last post I make and as such it has been nice knowing you all. If not see you all next time. Good Lord, how many of these apocalypse predictions are we going to get until one finally turns out right?!

FAC up

Mar. 14th, 2011 07:18 pm
keresaspa: (Ivy the Terrible)
The past weekend's football has demonstrated one thing to me - this might well prove to be the first year in God knows how long that I might not bother watching the FA Cup final. Of course the semi-finals are still to be played but if things turn out as I suspect and we end up with a Manchester United-Stoke City I can see little reason to bother with it. Like all sane people I cannot abide the Red Satans but this Stoke City side runs it a bloody close second in the bastard stakes. Be it their Combat 18 and English Defence League loving supporters, their steady supply of reprehensible thugs like Shawcross, Walters and Fuller, their son of a bitch manager who seems to spend all his time attacking other managers for being a bit miffed when one of his scum shaves a year off yet another player's career with yet another horror tackle, the fact that their constant violence seems to go unchecked because it is mainly perpetrated by British players who are above the law (witness Paul Scholes and Wayne Rooney for the other mob) or even the fact that their entire game is based round something as mind-numbing as a throw-in there is just nothing to like about them. Put these two showers of shite in a final and there will be nowt for me to get bothered about and every reason for me to find some other way to spend a Saturday afternoon. A win for Bolton and Owen Coyle, a man for whom I have a healthy dose of respect, would be a fine outcome but I just know that the two gits will prosper as ever.

Day 14 )
keresaspa: (Nina looking a tad pertubed)
FA Cup Third Round day - it's not what it was is it? We're often told that there was a time, somewhere in the distant past when football meant big ears, bad teeth and Brylcreem and people had suet-fried National Service smothered in condensed milk and polio for breakfast every day, that the FA Cup was the very pinnacle of football and that people as far afield as Oubangui-Chari, the Kingdom of Tavolara and Gondwana spent every waking moment with their teeth gritted in envy at the Little Tin Idol and the exploits of the Wanderers, Battling Barnsley and Bruddersford United. Unfortunately that was then and somewhere along the way the Premiership, the Champions League, the Club World Cup and the Steel and Sons Cup all pushed the glorious old fellow aside to the point where these days it is difficult to get truly excited about a competition where the top clubs field players who would struggle to even get into their Pontins League teams. Of course try telling that to the good folks at the Buena Vista-Miramax Sportssssss Network who have shelled out mucho dinero to screen it and so need to remind us constantly that the FA Cup is still specialTM.

I don't mean to be flippant about the grand old competition (what was that last paragraph about then?!) but one thing does need to be brought to book and that is the overuse of the phrase "giant killing". Now there was a time when this actually did mean something and, whilst no hard and fast definition has ever been agreed upon, generally it meant the winner should be at least three divisions below the loser and the loser should either be a big club at the time or have an impressive recent history. These days Bury beating Exeter is apparently an act of giant killing despite the fact (a) Bury are only one division lower, (b) they were playing each other in league games a mere two seasons ago and (c) Exeter, with their no major trophies and their stubborn refusal to ever enter into the top two divisions, are about as far removed from giants as one can get. Today I heard Sheffield Wednesday's win over Bristol City described as a giant killing despite Wednesday being a much bigger club than the Robins by every possible measurement except current position and Southampton's win over a third string Blackpool made out to be one of the greatest results in the history of a club that was wiping the floor with Manchester United only a few years ago. Feel free to correct me if you are a Saints man and happen to be passing this way (you never know) but I doubt a win against a club that you faced in the league as recently as 2009 and who prior to that you finished above every season since 1977 will join that 6-3 win over United at the Dell as an all-time great club performance.

Of course I can't ignore the elephant in the drawing room any longer and therefore must recognise the fact that apparently Albion were giant killed today as well. By Reading. Now I don't have the exact figures to hand but I would imagine that the two teams probably cost about the same and Albion are the consummate yo-yo team whilst Reading are a club that fairly recently managed a top half finish in the Premiership. OK, so we are a division higher this year but the way both teams are playing at the minute there is a fair chance that the reverse might be true next year. If I'm being honest I personally reckon that Reading are one of Albion's peers these days as they are fairly similar sized clubs and even given the difference in division this season the only resulting difference in size might be that Reading are golden retrievers to Albion's Labradors. A disappointing defeat by a good team who happen to be a division lower yes but a giant killing - come on! If Albion are giants then Reading are at least ogres!

Still the magic of the cupTM rolls on and tomorrow we can look forward to an epic clash between two true titans in a game that we only normally get twice a year, except with better players. I must admit it is set up to be a good one with Roy Hodgson slinking out in disgrace in favour of a man who hasn't actually managed a club since his debacle with Newcastle United way back when and I'll be keeping my fingers crossed tomorrow that we get to see Nathan Eccleston knock Liverpool's winner past a despairing Conor Devlin in the United goal. Meanwhile I'll be keeping my fingers crossed (on the other hand) that we don't get the inevitable ad break during the goal or sudden loss of picture in the style of Image Movers Mammoth Records Football and Soccer Broadcasting's coverage today. The magic may have faded but the gremlins remain more powerful than ever. Or is it just that these TV companies recognise that the FA Cup is not the draw it once was and so are scrimping on the money for these shows?

And interesting to note on the day that Dalglish returns to management the most shameful episode of his reign at St James Park, the bullying of Stevenage Borough, came back to bite the Magpies on their voluminous backsides with Stevenage (not Borough) putting them to the sword. Now that actually is a giant killing so well done to Not Borough on a famous win (although I rather suspect that their promotion to the Football League was a bigger event, despite what the [insert name of defunct Disney franchise as a woeful attempt to make a joke at the expense of ESPN] commentator said). Were I more romantic I would put it down to the aforementioned magic of the cupTM but perhaps a more sensible reaction would be to put it down to the tragic of Alan Pardew, a man who is to defeat what George Osborne is to supercilious boobery.

Oh and this again as reminder of the days when I knew what comments were - Who comments the most on this journal? )
keresaspa: (Lucy Liu)
2-0 down to Manchester United at the Theatre of Breams and with the talismanic Peter Odemwingie nowhere to be seen and not only do Albion still manage to salvage a draw but, judging by the orgasmic groans emanating from Charlie Nicholas on Sky Sports News, a win could have been nicked on more than occasion. Have it! OK, judging by all accounts the point gained had as much to do with Edwin van der Sar channelling the spirit of Carl Muggleton but equally it seems Albion played a progressive game that United had trouble living with and were worth the point. Heck, even Somen Tchoyi scored, a man whom I had forgotten Albion even signed. Plus just imagine Tony Mowbray's side 2-0 down at Old Trafford - a 5 or 6-0 hiding would have been the outcome. Could this finally be the season where Albion nestle comfortably into mid-table and don't have anything to worry about on the last day? As pessimistic as I usually am it is nonetheless starting to look that way.
keresaspa: (Gus Goose)
All over bar the play-off shouting in the football season and a mixed bag overall. There was good stuff and bad stuff and as such I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on what has gone on. So if you don't like football see you later.

Season review )

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