Friday, June 30, 2006

Farewell Chris (once again)

So Chris Powell's off again. The out-of-contract defender's signed a one-year deal with Watford, telling the Hornets' official site:

"It was the manager who attracted me to Watford. I was extremely impressed with what he did last year and want to be part of what's he's looking to do for Watford in the future.

"I'm a great believer in going to places where you're wanted so I'm glad to add my Premier League experience to the squad and be part of a successful season at Vicarage Road."

"After last season I felt I owed it to myself to keep playing. I had to make a bit of a decision and as I was out of contract people can talk to you and ask what your plans are. That's how I came to this decision that I am moving on again.

"It's a shame really but I had to look to the future, what I want to do in my career and what role I want to play." (more)

I suppose you can read as much as you want to between the lines here, but with a new manager in it's obvious Powell wasn't going to be at the forefront of Iain Dowie's thoughts when it came to renewing contracts. And if Aidy Boothroyd's going to offer Powell a few more games, you can hardly blame him for jumping at the chance of one final fling. He certainly earned it with us last season, and it's better than jumping into the lower divisions.

Of course, with a question mark hanging over Luke Young, it makes you wonder if we'll manage to put out a first XI at the start of next season. But with the World Cup on, and old contracts expiring at midnight tonight, it's still early days yet. As for Chris, good luck to him - hopefully Watford know they'll need to give the old boy some rest every now and then... and as Richard Murray says, the door's still open. Hopefully we'll see him again soon.

In the meantime, Sky have unveiled their latest butchering of the fixtures - two pain-in-the-arse Saturday lunchtime kick-offs at home, Newcastle away shunted to teatime (a weekend in the Toon it is, then), while we don't have a Boxing Day game for the first time in yonks since we're now playing Fulham on the evening of the 27th! What to do on the 26th?!

With a thrilling World Cup penalty shoot-out just concluded, and the temperatures set to rocket this season, next season still seems a long way away, never mind Christmas...

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A not-so friendly start

It's traditional that clubs should start their pre-season workouts at the home of a local minor club. But kicking off 2006/7 at Millwall? The Alan McLeary testimonial's been planned for a while, but who thought we'd start the new Charlton era at the Toolbox, eh? Expect a sizeable Charlton contingent, but a quiet away end, if you know what I mean.

Another slight let-down in the All Quiet household is the date of our annual trip to Welling. Sod the players, we all know our visit to Park View Road is like our little fans' social outing - soaking up the suburban sunshine, catching up on what we've been up to in the summer, practising our moans for the season and retiring to the Guy, Earl of Warwick before falling over. So, naturally, it is... on a Wednesday night! Where's the fun in that? Some of us might even be sober! It's also much later than usual, on 2 August.

If a trip to Welling doesn't appeal, there's also friendlies lined up against Germinal Beerschot Antwerpen and Utrecht on 8 and 11 August. Who fancies a ride on the Eurostar?

Our home friendly is, as previously announced, against New Zealand on 5 August. If he takes part, it'll be a bit odd to see AFC Wimbledon's Shane Smeltz line up for them at The Valley, but there you go.

Now, whatever did happen to those plans to play Lazio, eh?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Ipswich's Holland hint

New Ipswich boss Jim Magilton has told the East Anglia Daily Times he would would like to see Matt Holland back at Portman Road. At present, Holland's dulcet tones can be heard on Radio Five Live's World Cup coverage, but does Captain Cleanshorts fit into Iain Dowie's future plans?

“Like Tommy Miller, Matt's name will come up now and again as he is a former Ipswich player,” said Magilton.

“Agents are on the telephone to me all the while, and this is the nature of their business.

“If Matt showed an interest in returning to Portman Road I would sit down and chat to him. At the moment he is working for the BBC at the World Cup."

Still a bit of a World Cup hush going on, ignoring the usual bollocks about Darren Bent, with only some scrapings from the end of last week to go on: Preston's chairman wanting some cash upfront for right-back Tyrone Mears, Reading still talking to Steve Sidwell.

But there is one exit - academy defender Sheku Kamara is off to Watford.

(Anyone having trouble with PTV sites should use the username and password "screwyou", or consult for more.)

Saturday, June 24, 2006

All Quiet in the North Upper

So, anyway, catching up with Stuart's fine updates from an internet terminal in a bike hire shop in Alexanderplatz yesterday proved to be my first notice that season-ticket swap week started today - ta for the notice, lads.

But I'm all sorted, and I'm moving from the seat which gave this website its name - as of August, I'm a resident of the North Upper. I get atmosphere, I get to sit next to somebody I can moan to, and I get a £175 refund on my East Stand ticket. What's not to like?

And I also avoid the family in front of my seat who became a the bane of my Charlton-going life - the fairy cake-wielding mum (not once in 6 1/2 years did she offer me one), her fat son who spends most of the match plugged into his iPod or texting his girlfriend (who's called Kayleigh), her younger son who looks like I'm about to hit him whenever I shout, and the mysterious bloke with her in a silly cap who seems to take great amusement whenever we play badly. In the old, pre-Covered End expansion days, the fairy cake-wielding mum once berated some lads near me for using the word "cunt". The lads went that season. Now almost everybody around them has gone, and so have I. Begone, fools. This is a new start.

Still, good to hear traditional Charlton attitudes in the queue for ticket swaps this lunchtime, with one large-bottomed couple at the front of the queue demanding seats "near the exit". How about a seat nearer your telly instead, eh? How I've missed Charlton fans for the past few weeks.

Berlin's festival of fanfreundschaft

Well, what can I say? Two-and-a-bit days in Berlin, and all I wanted to do was stay. A trip to the World Cup capital was enough to restore my faith in the beautiful game. The centre of Berlin has become a sort of paradise where everybody smiles and is in a good mood. It's quite a change for a grumpy fecker from south-east London. Mind you, if I stayed, I'd have been crushed by 750,000 Germans watching the Sweden game there right now!

The centre of the capital, around the Brandenburg Gate, has been turned over to the World Cup, with a mini-Olympic Stadium (backed by Adidas) outside the Reichstag, and a mile of big screens stretching out along through the Tiergarten - as if The Mall had been turned into one huge football festival. And Trafalgar Square. And probably Constitution Hill too.

The place is full of smiles, laughter and fans photographing each other. It's a million miles away from the pent-up tension that surrounds anything England get involved in.

At night, there's music (too much Euro-cheese, alas) and dancing, and there's no trouble at all. Just one bunch of English pillocks singing "5-1/ And we'll do it again" at nobody in particular. Which was a shame, because just around the corner, there was music, dancing, and girls.

Actually, the main stopping-off point for most English (and Scottish) fans seems to be the BBC's base in the corner of Pariser Platz - other broadcasters are working from the same building, but nobody else's presenters are getting cries of "Oi, Adrian Chiles! We love Working Lunch, mate!" Still, it's the place to go if you want to see Leonardo flick his hair.

I also went to Ukraine v Tunisia at the Olympic Stadium - a terrible anti-climax but still a fine experience, I had great seats in an amazing stadium. But Andriy Shevchenko's dive for Ukraine's winning penalty showed just what the Premiership's really going to have to watch out for next season.

Funniest moment at the game? Hearing (Is This The Way To) Amarillo played just before half-time. And no, I couldn't help myself...

The Germans are happy hosts and have done an amazing job - there's a lot of fanfreundschaft (fan friendship, a tradition where fans of one team buddy up with another) going on, with some rather pale-looking Angolan fans, and don't assume someone wearing the Three Lions is going to speak English... if we want the World Cup in 2014 or 2018, could we do the same?

Could England really accomodate all this with the generosity the Germans have shown? I really, really hope we could. This World Cup is shattering a lot of out-dated views of Germany - hopefully we can shatter a lot of out-dated views of England in this tournament, and use it as a springboard for the future. Fingers crossed for tomorrow...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

We have the technology

Deep in the Premier League basement a computer is churning out the fixtures for the new season.

Now children of the 80s will no doubt be thinking of the malevolent WOPR from
Wargames (oh yes you were). Those with longer memories will no doubt be thinking of Ernie the Premium Bond computer.

But whatever the computing power, the
fixtures are in (of course subject to heavy tinkering from Sky, etc).

Headline news is that first up we're away to the Hamsters on 19th August. If that stays at 3pm on Saturday I'll be very surprised. Still, a kick off in London is always welcome.

Wet Spam away looks to be one of our easier games in an opening from HELL. Next two fixtures are the visits of Manure and Bolton to the Valley, followed by a trip to Chelsea and then back home in time for Pompey. Could be looking for some of Dowie's famed 'bouncebackability' after that start. Or we could be off to a flyer. Here's hoping.

Charlton hit the first of the newly promoted sides on 21st October when Reginald brings his Watford to Floyd Road. Champions of the Chumpionship Reading host Charlton on 18th November, while it's a 2nd December trip to Sheffield to take on the Blades.

As appears to be the norm Arsenal and Charlton play over the Christmas break, this time on New Years Day. Giving us a chance to wipe bogeys all over their shiny new stadium.

Last game of the season is Liverpool away. Last home game is against the Spurts on 5th May.

Anyone excited yet?

Caretaker boss

Like perennial caretaker boss Tony Parkes, I'm back in the hot-seat while the good Inspector takes in the 'Festival of Football' in Germany.

Last time out all I wanted to do was insult Simon Jordan. Instead I got a huge player cull, the Fair Play debacle and the our captain's transfer request.

This time the permutations coming from the FA computer are my main task. Beyond that I'll aim to keep an eye on the tabloid fodder and try to keep things ticking over.

Mission statement over. I've not forgotten tikka-tinged Simon (or the libel laws) though. Maybe we can have some fun later in the week.

A final thought. Broken Michael Owen is limping away from Germany, to the sound of massed Geordie groans (and fat Freddy heaving). How would you feel if it was L'il Bent who'd been crocked on England duty? I'd look as glum as Tony Parkes does up there.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Decent striker link shocker

Sky Sports News seems convinced we've made a move for Wigan's Jason Roberts - if this is true, it's damn good news because he's a decent striker. Perhaps it marks a move away from the problems we had in the latter part of the Curbishley era, where we had players up front who seemed terrified to get involved. Mind you, West Brom also want him back, although unless he's got a particular attachment to the relegated Baggies I imagine we'd be a far more attractive destination these days. With the Steve Sidwell bandwagon still rolling, I'm starting to feel cautiously optimistic, so long as we can shrug off West Ham's attempts to unsettle Luke Young and the usual twaddle about [Insert So-Called Big Club Here] and Darren Bent.

Anyhow, if Berlin's a good enough place for Iain Dowie to spend some time, it's good enough for me - I'm going World Cup glory-hunting with Ukraine for a couple of days. Stuart will be casting his eye over the fixture list on Thursday (Sheffield United away, 5.15pm, first game) while I'll be casting an eye over some Fan Fests and nice beer. Ta-ra.

E-mail problems (less than thrilling post)

Because of a server problem I'm not getting any e-mails at this site's usual address - if you feel the need to drop me a line you'll find me at a temporary address for the time being.

Cor, bet you're glad you spent two seconds of your life reading that, eh?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Spector's a Hammer, Jordan's a...

Since some plonker's replaced with a splash advert which doesn't link to the proper front page (and has probably sodded off for the afternoon to watch the World Cup), I went to West Ham's website instead. And what did I find...?

West Ham United have completed the signing of Jonathan Spector from Manchester United for an initial fee of £500,000.

The 20-year-old defender has agreed a long-term deal at Upton Park and becomes Alan Pardew's second summer signing following the arrival of Lee Bowyer from Newcastle United last week.

Blimey, I thought Pardew had an eye for a good signing as well! Apparently he's been after Spector for 18 months! Spector proved to be a bit of a lightweight in his season at The Valley, and I doubt he'll be seen as a huge loss to us - sounds more like a good bit of business for wily old Fergie, to me.

In other Hammers news, earlier this week the tapping-up (did I really say that?) of Luke Young was stepped up, although since we've heard little from Luke Young since his transfer request, hopefully that's a good sign.

Also in the transfer bargain basement bin: The Sun reckoned we were in for Shaun Wright-Phillips on loan, and there was something swilling around about Callum Davenport. Not exactly setting the bush telegraph alight so far, although we're still waiting for a conclusion to the Steve Sidwell business. Ex-Spanner Steven Reid doesn't want to play for us, Clubcall have found a newspaper which says we're interested in Stephen Carr, and a local paper in Surrey thinks we're after Ben Watson from Palarse.

Speaking of which... Simon Jordan's carried out his threat to sue Iain Dowie.

Jordan the other day: “I don’t try and nick managers, maybe other people do. If I agree to pay money, then Charlton should pay money to me for Iain. I am many things, but I am not a fool. Why would I waive compensation for Dowie to then go seven miles down the road to enhance his salary? So I can pay for someone else? The spirit of the agreement of the compensation was very clear. Whatever happens, the reality is that I was lied to.

"There is nothing personal with Dowie. I want it to be resolved and we both know the truth. Hopefully, that will happen at the most inconvenient time for Charlton."

Do you think Jordan's ever visited a shrink before? He could do with one...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Whose jackpot is it anyway?

A bizarre story on this morning - with less than three weeks until the end of her tenure as supporters' director, Sue Townsend's apparently looking for ways of spending the £20,000 booty from topping the best-behaved fans league.

It's a bit odd, really. The leading idea is to stick banners up in the Covered End, along the lines of the ones you see at Old Trafford's Stretford End. In fact, plans are well-advanced to launch a website to promote this idea. But the idea itself developed after a messageboard discussion between supporters' director candidates Vince Nieszwiec and Ben Hayes as well as other fans in January this year. I don't remember Sue putting anything forward.

Ben won the election, and Vince wasn't far behind. So while third-placed Sue still has a few days left, why is she fronting this appeal for ideas?

"One good proposal so far is for the money to be spent on better decorating The Valley with flags and banners, but £20,000 is a lot of money and there may be other ideas." (more)

Hardly a ringing endorsement. Why not ask Ben to front the campaign? After all, he's the one that's got to help implement whatever's decided. It's clear the board are fond of Sue, but the fans voted for someone different, who is about to take over. Shouldn't the new man be fronting this campaign?

Otherwise it gives the impression the board are more receptive to her ideas than his - after all, she did suddenly start to appear on and in the programme around the election period. Which isn't a wise thing. I just hope the board prove themselves to be a little more open-minded than they've appeared to be so far.

Meanwhile, it's good to see Chrystal Palace take on one of our cast-offs - come on, Peter, you didn't really turn us down... and I've just found this BBC Sport interview with Les Reed, buried under loads of World Cup stuff.

"Don't get me wrong, there's no point playing nice, pretty passing patterns if we are going to lose every week, but we have a responsibility to entertain.

"The fans have been patient and now want to see some silverware, perhaps even a European place.

"Both Iain and I are very target-orientated and we will set certain levels the players will need to reach."

And while I'm here, a couple of extra World Cup links if you fancy hunting down fans of other sides in London - Statto Statto is also hunting down London's expats, while BBC London has compiled a list of venues.

Monday, June 12, 2006

From the Fleet to Frankfurt

Well, that's torn it, then. No, really, it's over.

What, you might ask?

It's me and the reserves. No longer will be a chilly night at the stiffs be darkened by my presence. Well, if they will move them to bloody Northfleet. I mean, where's that on my Travelcard?

In all fairness, though, shifting the stiffs to Stonebridge Road is probably a good idea. Reserve matches at an echoey Valley have only been affairs for the truly hardcore, and they knacker our pitch out. Not that Gravesend & Northfleet's groundsman - who also plays host to Dartford as well as our women's side - will be grateful, but there you go. The Fleet have a Conference-standard ground, and they might well attract the mums, dads, and 2.4 kids who'd be happier to spin down to Northfleet rather than haul themselves up to Charlton for a 7pm start. The Fleet get some cash over their tidy little bar, Scally of the Gills has his nose tweaked, and The Valley's pitch gets a rest. Everyone's happy. Well, apart from me, because I quite liked my little wanders down to see the stiffs. Not that I did much of it last season, mind...

Right, so what's this on my telly... some bloke called Alan Curbishley on ITV1 talking about the World Cup, and Iain Dowie on BBC1 talking about the World Cup! What's that all about, then? At least it's helping me master the Dowie's turns of phrase. In fact, it's essential training. At least Dowie got the trip to Germany - getting any decent scouting in, Iain?

Sunday, June 11, 2006

World Cup of plenty

Isn't new technology great? Anyone can set up their own blog and comment on things, and it's well, just... brilliant, isn't it?

Well, it isn't, really. It means anyone can cook up their own half-arsed "news" website by copying whatever they've seen in the papers and passing it off as their own. People have done this with showbusiness news for years, but now football news is becoming a din of plagiarism. Hunting for reliable news about football on the internet is a real challenge, with Google News and other services clogged up by "me too" websites like Fans FC, Teamtalk and others whose only effort has been to cut and paste from other websites, or to scour the gossip columns of the Sunday tabloids.

One seems to be clogging up the Forever Charlton listings lately, although it goes under the banner of "Foot Fans" on Google, which would suggest it's a website with a slightly more specialised interest. But seriously, the offical site can tell me there's a bust of Curbs planned, why should anyone else on the internet feel the need to just parrot it?

Actually, it'd be nice to see the people behind Forever Charlton get back to providing a news service rather than simply promoting their own sites, and message boards, but now the genie's out of the bottle I guess that's a forlorn hope. Although the message board which called the bust of Curbs a "memorial" gave me a good laugh. He's only left, for heaven's sake..

But on the other hand, it is brilliant! Because so many people are doing good things for the World Cup - from huge corporations to fans armed with no more than a London travelcard. Here's my favourites...

World Cup blogs:
Finals Fantasy: Ben from Newcastle's Black and White and Read All Over is putting his weight behind this spin-off from It's Up For Grabs Now. There's also My Sofa World Cup, Who Ate All The Bratwurst (arf), World Cup Blog, Alone in Cologne, screw-FIFA video compilation Germany 2006 - The Goals, and a BBC blog that's actually pretty good, featuring contributors from news and sport reporters across Germany.

World Cup podcasts:
Soccer Shout asked me if I'd take part, therefore inflating my ego to huge proportions and guaranteeing their damn good podcast a mention. There's also The Beautiful Game (from Berlin) and three so-far disappointing efforts from national papers - the Telegraph's "pubcast" (irritating toff sits in pub, sounding like he'd rather be talking about rugby), Baddiel and Skinner for The Times (sod off back to '96), and The Guardian's too smug-by-half effort.

World Cup songs:
A bit of self-interest here - I know the brother of one of the people on this, but Young Stanley's Sing It For England is probably the best of the bunch. (Buy via iTunes.)

The best idea of them all:
World Cup In One City: "Mark Poole was looking forward to World Cup 2006 but when Scotland crashed out of qualification yet again, he was left with no-one to support. Then it hit him: why not support everyone? He’d joined the Tartan Army in a London pub that turned into a passionate bit of Scotland every matchday: surely there was a good chance that all 32 World Cup teams had similar London venues?" The same idea's also been picked up by Robert Elms on his BBC London radio show, but nobody from the show had the wit to put any of this online.

That should keep you going for the next month, shouldn't it?

Friday, June 09, 2006

Club or country?

So as one long-running rumour is put to rest with Lee Bowyer finally joining West Ham (can't say I'm fussed), people's minds start to move away from The Valley for a bit.

So on the first day of the World Cup, let's nick a Netaddicks post from earlier in the week and ask which would you rather see - Charlton win the FA Cup, or England (or your country) win the World Cup?

For me, there's no question. Charlton every time. I love the World Cup, but England's just a sideshow. It'd be fabulous if England did win it, but national fervour never really rushes through my veins. All the hype, all the frustration, all the speculation... I always enjoy it more from a distance. Say England got to the final. The hype would be unbearable, wouldn't it?

I admit it, I'm a snob. Imagine if every four years every idiot in the country suddenly decided they knew everything about Charlton? Sod that. I'm happier in our slightly more exclusive club. And as a Londoner, I know anyone who thinks the World Cup's solely about England is deluding themselves. Go anywhere in this city over the next five weeks, you'll find fans of all the teams involved. A bottle of export Guinness to whoever unearths the Togo fans - they'll be here somewhere. It's not just about us pale English - it's about everyone. And it's that which makes the World Cup so bloody fantastic.

So good luck England - but whatever happens, I'll still be smiling on July 9.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Bottle job

Supporters' director-elect Ben Hayes tackles a knotty question in this Netaddicks post:

A few days ago people asked me could we have bottled beer at the Valley.

I've spoken to the club and they say they were keen but fans said they preferred draught beer.

Is this still the case or have people changed their minds having seen beer on sale other grounds in opened, plastic bottles?

Me, I probably buy one pint of beer a season at The Valley, because it's crap served in plastic pints and definitely not worth whatever they charge for it (haven't a clue, I think the last one was bought for me...) They're easily spilt and while Fosters tastes like piss anyway, Fosters out of a plastic cup is at the bottom of lager's evolutionary scale, while the John Smiths ain't that much better. Anyone who's been in Floyd's/ Bartram's will know that beer ain't Charlton's strong point.

But there is a better way - serve the damn stuff in opened bottles. Fulham had the best idea - have people walking around the ground selling the stuff in opened bottles. See? No queueing. Even I had a beer. All that pouring equipment that only gets used 20 times a year can go elsewhere, and I'd imagine the bottles are easier to recycle/ reuse as well. Simple.

It's a no-brainer, and it's a curious reflection on our current supporters' director that if the club believes something as simple and relatively trivial as this can't be improved, then what the hell else has she been telling them? Fair play to Ben for having a go (and he'd appreciate your thoughts at

I imagine it's because the club's tied into a deal with Scottish & Newcastle for pouring rights, while the clubs which provide bottles seem to have them from Carlsberg. Although I swear I've seen Fosters in plastic bottles somewhere (possibly not a football match, though).

In an ideal world, of course, we'd be buying our beer locally - the Meantime Brewery, which runs the Greenwich Union pub and brews Sainsbury's Taste The Difference beers, is based just across the Woolwich Road in Penhall Road, and is run by Charlton fan Alistair Hook. After all, we are proud of our links in the community, aren't we? I fear either finances or a lack of imagination might rule that out, though.

In the meantime, fair play to Ben for bringing the issue up - it's the kind of thing a supporters' director should be looking at.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Tequila (it makes me happy)

You'll have to excuse me, I'm a bit down in the dumps. This morning I was in Barcelona, enjoying beautiful sunshine as I lumped my luggage onto the airport bus. This afternoon, I'm back in Charlton, and how grey are those skies? Damn the post-holiday comedown, but enormous thanks to Stuart for keeping All Quiet going while I was away. He got the ultimate honour - a comment from Frankie Valley. I am not worthy.

I do feel a bit out of it, mind - I haven't seen any of the last two England friendlies so it's news to me that Peter Crouch is suddenly lauded for his dancing... and his scoring? I didn't see Jason Euell (and young Jamal) try their best as part of a poor Jamaica side against England. Funny how Euell's suddenly back in the spotlight a little - a cameo part in the Marlon King debacle helped. Perhaps he's now a big part of Iain Dowie's plans?

Iain Dowie... Iain Dowie... still feels odd to type that name. But Barcelona's Nou Camp did rock last night to the sounds of "Iain Dowie's red and white army!" as I wandered along to Morocco v Colombia at a one-tenth-full stadium. I went on the off-chance, but it was mayhem trying to get a ticket at first - let's just say the Moroccans can't queue. Trying to negotiate my way up what passed for a queue, pushing, shoving and jostling broke out - these lads can't just wait patiently for a ticket, they have to be first. And they have to be accompanied by five of their horrible little scrote mates as well. I gave up and considered going along to something more civilised instead - bullfighting.

But I remembered there were other ticket booths on the other side of the ground, and found myself in with the Colombians. I've never been surrounded by such happy people in my life. Flags, banners, horns, songs, mile-wide smiles and stunning-looking women too. The Moroccans were also dancing and singing, but their pent-up, boys-only aggression belonged in the dark ages. Sexy football? I was surrounded by it. I couldn't speak their language, they couldn't speak mine, but we bonded through the international convention of talking bollocks and gesturing. And... "hey meester!" They gave me their tequila to drink too. And bloody nice it was as well.

So I told them about my team. If you're in Barcelona and you hear some Colombians talking about "Sharlton", say hi to them from me.

The game? It was okay, but Morocco - featuring one Talal El Karkouri in defence for the first half - spoilt the spirit with their continual diving and cynical play. Shame, because they've got some nice touches. Their best early chance came from a certain ex-Charlton player unleashing a mighty free kick... but it was to no avail as the Colombians won 2-0, a penalty from Hugo Rodallega and a late goal from Elkin Soto. My Colombian friends went wild, the Moroccans lobbed bottles onto the pitch. Sexy football won the day - I bet they're still dancing now.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Strictly dance fever

I'm all at a loose end.

The build-up to the UEFA fair play draw was brought to a sudden conclusion. More evidence of the English FA being incompetent old blazers?

Oh well, must be some transfer talk. Mr Iain, abetted by General Manager - Football, has finished a wide-ranging clearout, perhaps some new faces coming in?

Well, no. All I've seen
(in the shape of the News of the World) is Luke Young set on leaving for Wet Spam in a £3.6m deal, and Wayne Routledge linking up with Dowie again (because we NEED another winger).

If the Young deal is true that seems good money to me. But, paper-talk is just that, talk.

And by hell has there been a lot of talk about
Peter 'FREAK' Crouch's robotic dancing.

I don't want to re-open the debate about him keeping l'il Bent off the most eagerly awaited flight from England to Germany since the Dambusters raid. But I'm keen to know, is 'the robot' the most embarassing celebration ever?

Can you think of worse?

Here's some starters. The Real Madrid team pretending to be cockroaches? Peter Beagrie's flips (Love that someone from the capital of smog has 'amended' the Wikipedia entry)? Fowler sniffing the line? Mary Poppin's spirit-crushingly dull one-arm salute? I'm sure you'll all have your 'favourites'.

Friday, June 02, 2006

You couldn't make it up

Blimey, now I know how caretaker bosses feel.

Holding the fort and all hell breaks loose with the news that UEFA and the English FA somehow forgot to tell us we're out of the Fair Play draw.

The FA received a final co-efficient of 7.984. 18-thousandeths of a mark away from inclusion. What's that? One dodgy refereeing decision? A couple of dives?

Saying that, if you were the French entrant you'd be totally
sick. 0.007 away.

Words cannot express the frustration I feel. 'Reg' Varney summing up again: "The whole situation is a complete shambles and reflects very poorly on both our own Football Association and UEFA."

I'm sure you'll have your own words to describe it.