Despite His White Boots

Football, football, football and, if the mood takes me, more football.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Ray Jones

I'll save the editorialising about road deaths for another blog and another time. Ray Jones and his two friends who also died were all under 20. It's an awful waste for anyone, professional footballer or not, to have their life cut short at that age. Please think about whether you can find a safer way to get from A to B than by driving a car, and if not, be careful when you're driving and put safety first, both for yourself and everyone else on the road.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

QPR 0 Cardiff 2

Oh dear. This was really flat and disappointing, especially for the first home game of the season. Cardiff were the better side all over the park and wouldn't have been flattered by one or two more. Rangers were as bad as anything we saw last season, if not worse, and for no apparent reason. The new players (Curtis, Nardiello and the on-loan Ephraim) did OK, but the likes of Bolder, Rowlands and Blackstock were really disappointing compared to the standards they set in the second half of last season.

Briefly, Cardiff soon took a grip of the game and went ahead after a spell of pressure when Steve MacLean rammed home from a poorly defended corner. Steven McPhail then missed a sitter and Rangers trooped off lucky to be only one down. For 10 minutes after the break the home side rallied, and Stefan Moore's shot came back off the post after good work from Nardiello and Rowlands. However, when Paul Parry nipped in front of Zesh Rehman to head home the game was comfortably over at 2-0 with fully 35 minutes left. The home fans were so dispirited at the end they barely bothered to boo the team off, and I've seen them really lay into players for a lot less, quite frankly.

Never mind, let's move on. Football is there to be enjoyed and I don't want it to depress me this season. Que sera sera. At least with Mick Harford now on the staff there's a bit more of a fear factor I would hope. I can't see Big Mick taking too much more of this without cracking some heads. Oh, Cardiff looked top half but not really much more than that, Trevor Sinclair had a good game and enjoyed a decent reception from the home fans. Although there was some acrimony when he left, for most people now it's a reminder of better times when a player like Sinclair comes back, and of course there's always that goal. Good luck to him for the rest of the season.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I Had An Uncle Who Once Played For Crvena Zvedza

Title is completely irrelevant, I just couldn't help myself. Even more cryptic than that, the confusion over QPR's current financial status grows ever thicker. It seems to be generally accepted that unless the Rs can cough up £1.3 million to the taxman by the end of the month, they will go into administration and suffer an immediate 10 point deduction. It is also accepted that right now they don't have the readies, despite the recent sale of Lee Cook.

Everything after that is speculation. You can find a lot of reports collected here. The gist appears to be that Paladini (Fat Tony #1 if you like) was negotiating the deal with Briatore (FT #2), part of which entailed that he (FT1) would remain as operating chairman. However, this deal short-changed fellow directors Caliendo and Zanotti (FTs #3 and 4) for their shares, so they nixed it, and are instead trying to set something else up which is more favourable to them, if less so to the club. How it ever came to become this episode of the Sopranos is such a long story ...

We can only hope that some kind of consensus is reached, with the incentive that administration would cost everyone involved a lot of money, unless (as has been suggested by anonymous commenters) Caliendo is in bed with the ABC corporation which may be able to take ownership of the ground in the event of a complete meltdown.

In the circumstances, busting out of the Carling Cup to lower-league opposition as per usual seems almost a footnote. We can only hope that all this Italian intrigue is sorted out one way or the other, even by means of stilettos and kisses of death, or the whole club might end up sleeping with the fishes.

Oh, and in other news, Roy Keane kicks ass.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Tis The Season

Oh right, so we're off again then. Here are some bets. No paralysis by analysis, I basically just either like or dislike these teams this season, and then it's a case of backing/opposing them most effectively.

Premiership :

Tottenham to win w/o Big 4, 4 pts @ 2.4
Bolton to be relegated, 2 pts @ 6.4

Also if anyone wants to bet Arsenal vs (Tottenham + 6pts), let me know, although I reserve the right to withdraw this offer after today's game :-).

Championship :

QPR Handicap +28pts, 1 pt @ 17 (haha)
Scunthorpe to be relegated, 4 pts @ 2.34

League One :

Oldham to be promoted, 2 pts @ 5.3
Leeds to be relegated, 1 pt @ 3.8 (just for fun)

League Two :

There's no handicap in this division. Fuck it, Barnet for promotion, 1 pt @ 12.5 .

As for today, I can't resist Leeds to kick off on the right foot by losing at Tranmere, 5 pts @ 2.3. I liked the look of Blackpool in the playoff final and they're on a roll from last season, so lay Leicester at home to them, 5 pts @ 1.96. I expect Crystal Palace to suck ass this season, so let's go Southampton 5 pts @ 2.06. Finally a long-ish shot in the Championship, Colchester have lost some key players, but are still probably under-rated and could easily get something from Sheffield United, lay United 3 pts @ 1.59.

Finally, if you're expecting me to comment on Formula 1 moguls taking over QPR, I'll wait and see till it happens, and even then, who knows how things might turn out.