Despite His White Boots

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

Saturday, January 31, 2009

QPR 0 Reading 0

A draw was a fair result in a competitive and reasonably enjoyable, if not exciting, game. Both sides had their best chances in the early stages ; Heidar Helguson headed wide from Damien Delaney's inswinging cross, and Khalifa Cisse's deflected shot bounced off a post for Reading. Defences were pretty much on top after that, but there was no lack of effort from either side. Stewart and Gorkss were oustanding for Rangers, Routledge did manage to evade some very tight marking to cause problems on a couple of occasions, and Miller had an encouraging debut in midfield.

Nice to see Loftus Road full, although not so good to have to fight your way to the bar before the game and the toilets at half time. Just goes to show we should count our blessings even when the ground isn't full and the opposition aren't great !

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Credit Where It's Due

This is the funniest and best-observed football piece I've seen in a long time :

The 50 worst things about modern football

Do read it all but I think my favourites are :

16. Internet message boards - My team’s better than yours. No, my team’s better than yours. No, my team’s better than yours. No. my team’s better than yours. Repeat until the world ends.

9. The FA Cup [1] - When was the last time a milkman lifted the FA Cup? When was the last time a postman scored at Wembley? There’s nothing romantic about a competition which ends every year with a bloke who earns £100,000 a week lifting a trophy that he doesn’t really give a monkey’s about.

And of course

6. Radio phone-in shows - “The next caller is Gary from Guildford. What do you want to get off your chest, Gary?” - “Well, Alan. I think Rafa’s got to go. How can you leave Torres on the bench when you need three points? And as for that ref, he’s got to be the worst ref I’ve ever seen.” - “Were you at the game, Gary?” - “No.”

This list should be printed out and stapled to the head of every TV executive and FA suit who is responsible for all these atrocities.

Meanwhile things are looking up in W12, two excellent away wins have brokem the hoodoo. Reading come to town on Saturday and whatever happens I'm sure the joint will be jumping.

[1] LDO. You know what I think of the FA Cup already.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The School Of Science (better title pending till I think of one)

It looks like the new scientific approach to football hasn't made it as far as Doncaster. When fans questioned why their new £30 million stadium doesn't have undersoil heating, the managing director said, and here's the link if you don't believe me, "I think the view was taken that due to predicted global warming that there wouldn't be a need for it" .

LOL, who's your scientific advisor, DY ? Here's a quick heads up for football directors, right-wing bloggers and other n00bs. What you think of as "global warming" does not entail "well that's a shame for hot countries but it'll be nice to have milder winters here". What the scientific community now calls "climate change" to try to avoid this kind of blockheaded nonsense actually entails "catastrophic and permanent wrecking of the climate and environment to a point where life on the planet as we know it would be unsustainable". And before that happens, one possible effect is that the Gulf Stream is diverted, causing temperatures in the UK (which is after all on the same latitude as Siberia) to drop by around 10 degrees. I'm sure it will be a comfort to you to mutter "so much for global warming" at that point.

Thanks to the Camel for bringing this to my attention, and standard disclaimer, if by about a 25-1 shot the guy was levelling then most amusing.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

QPR 1 Coventry 1

QPR looked set for a third goalless draw on the spin at an arse-numbingly cold Loftus Road today until both sides popped up with a goal in the last 20 minutes. Rangers had a fair amount of possession even before City were reduced to 10 men but, despite Wayne Routledge impressing on his debut, created very little with Heidar Helguson in particular having a real, let's say off-day to be nice. When Stephen Wright lunged in on Helguson just before half time, I thought a straight red might have been a little harsh, but given that (as I suspected at the time) he had already been booked he was definitely walking either way.

City then parked the bus, pretty much, not that I'm blaming them and I'm sure we'd have done the same. Out of nowhere though, they took the lead when Radek Cerny gave free-kick expert Daniel Fox far too much space to score with one of those near post free kicks that bounces before going in, that never looks good for a keeper. Emmanuel Ledesma came on for QPR and did quite well IMO, but thanks to woeful shooting all round, the visiting keeper was not tested until a long punt forward was helped on by Samuel Di Carmine, and Dexter Blackstock nipped in between the hesitant defenders to nod home. A point isn't really much help but it would have sucked to watch that oik Clinton Morrison dancing around celebrating a victory so at least there was that.

I see that Paulo Sousa has acknowledged that it was a mistake to change the system (to a flat midfield four) when players have been unable to train much because of the weather, but frankly it's what I'd have done and what I'd like to see us do when Cook returns and he and Routledge can stretch teams on both wings. Rangers are in a kind of odd position at the moment, we are struggling to attack cohesively but I don't see this as a long term problem because Vine and Buszaky will improve the forward play no end when they eventually return. In the meantime I'm happy to cut them some slack and watch a gradual process of putting a team together for next season.

Monday, January 05, 2009

The FA Cup Is Super Ghey

IMO. Of course the media think it's great because they can trot out all their cliches about plucky postmen and all that bollocks. Everyone else only watches it in the hope that Johnny Big Nobs United get embarrassed by Scungeford. But even when they do, newsflash to Scungeford : no one actually cares about you.

Still, provided these no-marks tug their forelocks and slope off after their five minutes are up, that's not so bad. However, now that everyone seems to be obsessed with money and nothing else, they start getting uppity. First off, Droylsden. They play a guy who is suspended and he scores both goals in their 2-1 win. Bang to rights you would think. But no. Their defence going into an appeal, seriously, was "It is not as if we have brought a ringer in at the last minute ... It was a genuine mistake by our secretary. Fine us by all means but don't kick us out". Oh well that's alright then. Once people start on this "but ... but ... it's us !!" line of argument it's such an insult to the intelligence of everyone involved. There are such things as precedent and deterrent. You let this go through and Chelsea will play John Terry in the final even though he decapitated four opponents last week and say "Oh, was he suspended ?" *clicks fingers at minion* "Cheque book ?". Doryslenden, whatever the hell they're called, their chairman also said if they didn't get reinstated he would "throw himself off the nearest bridge". Still waiting for news of that.

Then I might have let that go until those frightful nouveau riches Histon started chirping. On Saturday the referee had the nerve to call their game off because the pitch was like concrete. For some reason, I can't even see how this helps anyone, their chairman put it down to pressure from their evil scheming League opponents, Swansea City. "when [the referee] arrived, he had the assistant manager of Swansea and a number of their staff in his earhole, saying the pitch was not fit. " raged the Histon chairman. Except it turns out that the only Swansea official present was their physio, who said nothing other than "no, we've enjoyed our five [hour] bus trip so much we are all desperate to do it again next week" when accused of wanting to get the game called off. Presumably this is all something to do with Histon having to pay police and catering expenses twice. You haven't heard of insurance then ?

My message to non-league clubs is simple. You got your big draw, take your money, kick as many professionals as you can for 90 minutes, shut the hell up and fuck off. Magic of the cup my arse.

NB : This post is completely unrelated to the fact that QPR haven't won an FA Cup tie since 2001.