Thursday, 28 February 2008

Exploding Myths Part 2

Spurs successfully exploded part 1 of current footballing myths- that which said, seriously "the top 4 are just too good now. No-one else will ever win silverware in England ever again. Ever. " Liverpool's absence from the top 4 for pretty much all season has successfully derided the myth of the invincible top 4 as well. I was writing about this last Autumn too. And given those Texan's current financial wranglings, as the RBS watches them squirm, it seems the financial world does not buy into that particular myth either. The final myth to be destroyed right now is the "The gulf between premiership and championship is insurmountable. Relegation is tantamount to annihilation." Myth.

This simply is not true. At all. Sure many clubs will be relegated after their first season. Sure the financial gaps are huge. And sure there are some notable examples of once proud clubs like Leeds, Southampton QPR, Coventry, Oldham, and Wedensday who have sunk and never resurfaced. This testifies as to the risks of relegation. But the truth of the matter is that around 60% of current Premiership clubs have been relegated or promoted in some form and spent some serious time in the minnow's leagues. Only Manu, Aresenal, Everton, Liverpool, Villa , Spurs, and Newcastle have been in the premiership since its conception until now. And there are stacks of yoyo clubs- West Ham, Derby, Birmingham, Charlton, Sunderland, Ipswich, Leicester, Bolton, Sheffield Utd, Palace, and even 'Boro'. Most of the current championship have at least flirted with the premiership at some point. In short, for as many teams that face ruination after relegation there are teams that bob along just fine regardless. Heads above water, legs kicking along like mad underneath.

Where does this myth come from then? I guess form the desire to see the premiership as the Ultimate League made of Heroes and the pursuit of the Impossible. It makes a good story.

The truth is rather less marketable. Well managed lucky clubs survive whether they are relegated or not. Worse managed unlucky ones sink. Teams with a generation of good players do well. Teams with a few expensive signings and no other infrastructure sink. And that is it. Pretty much.

Over to you.

Sunday, 24 February 2008

The entire

footballing universe, bar one man, is lamenting the 'tragedy' of Martin Taylor's 'horror tackle' on Arsenal's Eduardo Da Silva. Theo Walcott is secretly delighted. Now, in the absence of more established or trusted talent, is his chance to prove just how prodigious he is, as he is likely to get that 'sustained run' in the team that everyone has been bemoaning. But, comparing him to similar Ex-Arsenal talents- is he more like Nicolas Anelka last seen playing for Chelsea (19 goals in his first 46 Arsenal appearances)? Or like Christopher Wreh, last seen plying his trade at Bishop Stortford (5 goals in 46 for Arsenal)? All English football fans will hope for the latter.

Football Is Not My God Football Overdose joins the fraternity in offering all the best to Eduardo. And Theo- let's hope you can stand up to the plate.

OVERHEARD: Alex Fergusson hollering ironically in the Man U dressing room before yesterday's thrashing of Newcastle- "I'd just love it if we beat them- love it!" guffawing ensued.
QUESTION: What are the odds on Keegan getting sacked, or more likely quitting, before the end of the season?

King of the Thesbians Daniel Day Lewis

once went mad. He was playing Hamlet in Cardiff, for what company I forget, probably the RSC, and he was so engrossed in the Oedipally conflicted Dane's character that he started to freak out and have real time conversations with hallucinations of his real father during the interval. He was carted off and sectioned, and the poor understudy had to fill his boots for the remaining acts.

Similarly Gazza, who with every recent photo was looking more and more like a wide eyed worshiper of Pan, has become so engrossed with playing the part of the troubled genius that he too has been taken out of circulation by the men in white coats, thereby firming his place in the pantheon of archetypal tabloid favourites, along with all the world's other troubled geniuses, unlikely heroes, plucky underdogs, and fallen idols. The poor bastard. While hard facts of exactly what transpired are thin on the ground in the mainstream press rumour has it that Gazza was so far gone he had actually lost his sense of self, and believed he was the reincarnation of George Best. Paul has some way to go to beat George Best however- a man so reliant on the mental props offered by alcohol that he destroyed not one, but TWO, livers in his lifetime. A nefariously remarkable achievement in anyone's book.

Having had first and second hand experience of mental anguish football is not my god football overdose joins Frank Bruno and every single pundit in offering deepest sympathy and respect. Get well soon Paul.

The whole situation is evidence that all the talent and enthusiasm in the world, and Gazza was blessed with oodles of both, is not sufficient to survive in a world like this. If emotional stability and an innate sense of reassurance are missing the rest can run amok, or whatever, no matter how lucky you are.

Forgive my bad latin- but Deus Volt Perdere Dementat* . Innit. Those the gods wish to destroy they first drive mad.

*just because I speak a smattering of Latin does not mean I went to posh school.

Thursday, 21 February 2008

I am inordinately excited!

Everton Play SPORTKLUBBEN Brann inthe Also Ran's Cup again tonight. Yet, when you compare this to the glamour of Livepool vs Milan, or Celtic vs Barcelona, it kind of fades to Channel 5's normal level of irrelevance. It is perhaps of equal import as Swansea's loss to the MK Dons the other day. OK- maybe a little more important.

I like the MK Dons. They are the only team in league who abbreviate their name to avoid the stigma of being immediately associated with there home town. Sure QPR abbreviate too but that is because the name is a real mouthful. MK stands for Milton Keynes in case you missed it. The dreary suburban hell-hole of ill-repute with a pointy shaped shoppinng centre. I once saw Steve Martin's Father of the Bride in Milton Keynes. This is the most insteresting thing I can tell you about the place. The name is a marketing thing. They reckon they'll pick up more neutrals if they call themselves MK. If they went the whole hog and called themselves Milton Keynes Dons everyone would laugh a them on behalf of the town's dire reputation. The name also serves to induce a kind of amnesia in the Wimbeldon fans who carried on supporting the club after it was famously bought out, and moved, and had its name changed, to widespread derision.

This post feels badly written and insubstantial. Unfinished. Sorry. I have to go now though. Work to do. Coming later a brief history of Milton Keynes and Wimbeldon FC. Bate your breath NOW...

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Don't you just love google images

a whole world of random visual association.

Before I cut to the chase I just want to say that it has been a busy week. And I don't mean in footballing terms alone. My girlfriend has had numerous hospital appointments. I have been preparing for an inspection at work, all of which means that my time for chatting, blogs, and stickcricket has been reduced to an absolute minimum. The footballing week has not passed by unoticed however.

First of all let us spare a thought for Bryan Robson at Sheffield Utd, retired from his coaching duties at the club. Now that thought is spared I hope you, like me, had a good chortle when you consider the useless soak's dire record. We are left to wonder which board of mugs will acquire his services next. As he continues his relentless and almost admirably tenacious quest for glory, or failing that respectability, in the face of terrible opposition. That opposition mainly constituted in his painstaking lack of managerial guile.

Meanwhile in the European Also Ran's Everton and Spurs did OK. Well, Everton did OK, and Spurs where their unpredciatable selves. Neither of these teams looks good enough to win this most important of second tier trophies. I have a Mars Bar for the first reader who can tell me what the SK stands for in SK Bran. My best guess without research is Sokker#Klub. Bolton did well against Atletico Madrid.

Finally however, google images. I was looking for pictures of Carlos Tevez's dentist. Hoping to find one of the most talented dental surgeons in the world. I typed "la dentadura de Tevez" into google and this is what I got.

Cute. [insert predictable Rooney Tevez Ronaldo gag here]

The inspection is in the early part ofnext week. After which I hope to be back to my post a minute rate of always.

Friday, 8 February 2008

Keegan Interview

In a full and frank interview with Football Is Not My God Football Overdose Kevin Keegan has outlined his plans for the club.

"We are a big club" he said for the 702nd time since taking over last month, despite startling evidence to the contrary. "and we have big ambitions. I mean, we want to get the bandwagon going at fullsteam so even if we were to be halted it would be unstoppable. I mean, I've noticed the boys are a bit flat right now. I'd like to boost their moral. So I've approached Jessica Alba and asked her to do a half time motivation session for us. I've asked her to smother herself with whipped cream and sing Fog On the Tyne Is all Mine in the style of Marylyn Monroe. That would get the boys happy. I'd also like to get Samantha Janus in to give the players a backrub after the match- and Amy Winehouse to sing at halftime for the crowd. We area big club" he repeated again, gratingly "and this is the sort of thing our players deserve."

He stopped for a minute then and looked delusional. (Inset: Alba and Janus- on their way to Newcastle?)

"I'd lke to make some big signings in the summer too. Like the sort that a big club" he reiterated as if to disguise his doubt "should have. We are willing to pay silly money. I'd like to get Thierry Henry ideally. And Raul. I reckon they'd be priviledged to give up the chance to play in the Champions' League and come and play for a big club" he emphasised "like Newcastle. Not only would we pay them more than anyone would expect, but they could laugh at the girls queueing outside the clubs in the rain and cold in nothing but a boob tube and a miniskirt on a Saturday. I mean, for me, Newcastle is as good and BIG a city as Barcelona or Madrid, or anywhere. That is what the people from here just don't understand."

(Inset: Henry- On his way to Newcastle?)

the premiership have announced that they

want to play games abroad as of 2011. Ostensibly to build the premiership brand, and make yet more money hand over fist as glamour starved Malaysians or Philipinos hand over three months wages to watch Man U hammer already relegated Derby. Or for gullible Japanese stump up the cash for a meaningless mid-table encounter.

What I object to is not the blatant profiteering of it all. I am long accustomed to that. and the proposition of seeing Everton-Bolton in Tokyo, for example, is a somewhat beguiling (although somewhat exclusively priced for 'normal' fans). What I object to is the unfairness of it all. The beauty of a league system, and the reason for its dominance and longevity, is the symmetry of its system in an otherwise daft and unpredictable world. All teams play each other an equal number of times home and away therefore ergo sum one team's final position in the league is a rational explanation and indication of the team's ability. To start fucking with that and introducing 'one game at random to be played anywhere in the world with the top 5 seeded to stop them meeting each other' is to shift the odds seriously in the favour of the house. The symmetry is broken, the system is lopsided, the rational equality of the league has been upset in the name of profit. And hyperbole like that.

Clearly this game abroad idea is a very silly one, and clearly the fans are going to hate it, especially the ones who will have to pay up thousands in order to maintain their proud record of seeing every league game, but the premiership will do what it likes and we will get used to it and come around in time. Marketing and weariness will see to that. Football is like parliamentary politics in that respect. Last game of the year in Kiev it is then, with Newcastle supported by the Tartar toon Army.

Meanwhile- fancy watching Arsenal in Tirana? The whores are 'plentiful, cheap, and desperate' (Lonely Planet Albania 2004).

Arsenal Albania was formed in February 2005. Arsenal is a very popular team now in Albania and every day more people are joining our supporters club and becoming regular members. Arsenal fans are welcome to contact us for more details.
Contact Names: Bledar Leshica (Chairman)
Martin Morina (Secretary)
Redi Coha (Treasury)
E-mail: arsenal_albania@yahoo.comContact number: 00 355 692 667 618

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Wales just beat Norway 3-0!

Since I watch the BBC in Wales we just saw England beat Switzerland 2-1 so you will have to be regaled about a Koumas hatrick elsewhere.

Some post match thoughts on England who overall were underwhelming yet professional. Cole and Rooney flickered with promise and delivery. David James erred towards (against a defensive Swiss side) the uncalamitous. Jenas contrived to look like a proper international. Bentley looks alright in David Beckham's boots. Stuart Pearce managed to remain seated throughout, but he looked like a bag of contorted nerves. Capello has a good tailor and would make a very good pro-poker player. Unreadable that man. Cross yet warm looking. Intelligent but barbarous.

This is the sort of performance we can look forward to more often with Capello. Nothing of fireworks. And an outfit who rely on technical superiority and organisation to win through, just, but consistently. Welcome to Italy. If England keep winning, even 1-0 or 2-1, against all comers, no-one will be complaining.

The important question however is will Fabio Capello have as positive effect on the sale of thick rimmed specs as Sven Goran Erikson did for rimless ones?

OK- this is a brave but probably foolish

attempt to write a post about tonight's football in Jamaican patois. Note: Use of patois in real Jamaican newspapers is minimal.

"A dis eveling will be naa ten toe turboe in di park for di bald heads England dem ooo play gainst Switzerland ina frendly. Di game x important, an' naa quantie, as dis di first chance for di new don Fabio Capello fi star. All fruits ripe for England dem wit facety Wayne Rooney up front an bwoy Steven Gerrard as cap'ain. But if england dem laas di fass gleena ginnygogs gwine fi aks x difficult questions bout di fuckery. Dey all gaan fi bed wit football. A True.

A craven half eediat David Beckham naa gwine fi play for di 100th. Hush David."

"Tonight will be no walk in the park for England as they ytake on Switzerland in a friendly. This is a far from meaningless encounter as it is new boss FabioCapello's first game in charge and subsequently his chance to shine. England have no real injury worries with oft-criticsied Wayne Rooney up front, and Steven Gerrard starting as captain. If England lose the nation's notorious tabloid hacks are sure to ask some difficult questions, such is the enthusiasm for the game in England.

Star David Beckham will not mark his 100th start for his country in this encounter. Sorry to hear that David! "

Monday, 4 February 2008

Capello said something that

interested me when he appointed Stuart Pearce last week. He said "Stuart will sit next to me on the bench during matches. I always said it was my intention to appoint an Englishman in the staff". And in Stuart Pearce he couldn't have chosen a more English Englishman famous for overreacting after scoring penalties. As far as token gestures go this is a most pleasing one for England fans I feel. Capello is clearly not too familiar with Pearce's touchline habits however. I can't imagine him doing much "sitting" when England are playing. He is more than likely to be remonstrating from the touchline in animated fashion, as anyone who recalls his time as coach at Man City will testify.