Posh London street to be blessed with Montenegrin footfall

I must admit I love it when the underdog manages to ruffle the feathers of a few supreme peacocks.  This article from the London Evening Standard describes a row in some posh London back street with lots of clean white houses.  It all centres around Montenegro moving their embassy to the street without planning permission.  Probably not the wisest thing to do but the objections are very funny, if not also very sad.

“We don’t want emotionally unstable people attracted to the street”

A few responses from me:

  • Who do they think they are?  Is the way of the world that if you are rich enough you don’t have to see normal people with normal problems?  Very sad.
  • As if a bunch of upper class London residents are not going to be emotionally unstable already!?
  • Did they not read the client list of the hotel at the nearby Baglioni Hotel – Beyonce, Jay-Z and Lindsay Lohan.  I’m not one to judge but the objecting residents may want to pass similar concerns on to Kensington & Chelsea Borough Council about this establishment also!
  • I assume the complainants haven’t don’t much research and so their concern about ’emotionally unstable people’ may just be the tip of the iceberg.  Let’s hope they don’t get into conversations with any visiting Montenegrins – as it does take a bit of getting to know the Montenegrin way to realise that what can appear to be some blazing row about to explode into violence, is in fact just a helpful discussion to help understand one another’s perspective.  Nothing to worry about but a little alarming when you are in the middle of it.


Planet Football

I find the result of the Eden Hazard kicking the ballboy incident quite worrying but unsurprising.

Ok, the FA did their best to try and get the ban for violent conduct extended past the obligatory 3 games.  However, what is disturbing is that Chelsea seem to be totally unbothered by his actions.  I have blogged about this sort of thing before but football clubs really do not care about the conduct of their players and staff so long as they keep the money coming in.

In any other industry where adults are rubbing shoulders with children on a daily basis, as footballers do, an employee would immediately be suspended if they were alleged to have kicked a child.  But rather than suspend him from work whilst they investigate the situation Chelsea just want to argue his case.  And I wonder what the Safeguarding Board of Swansea have got to say about this?  A child was assaulted on their turf but it seems because it happened on a football pitch different rules apply.  Surely football clubs have a duty to protect children who play, volunteer or work for them?

What would happen if you took a weapon into work and shot a work experience student?  Do you think you’d be going back the next day?  Football really is another planet.

Ashley Cole Air Rifle

Premier League Predictions

It’s the turn of the Premier League today.  Just a few more days till kick off after a great weekend of Football League action.

Anything could happen but here are my predictions:

  1. Chelsea (Champions)
  2. Manchester United
  3. Liverpool
  4. Everton
  5. Manchester City
  6. Arsenal
  7. Tottenham Hotspur
  8. Aston Villa
  9. Fulhum
  10. West Ham United
  11. Sunderland
  12. Blackburn Rovers
  13. Wigan Athletic
  14. Wolverhampton Wanderers
  15. Stoke City
  16. Birmingham City
  17. Bolton Wanderers
  18. Hull City (Relegated)
  19. Burnley (Relegated)
  20. Portsmouth (Relegated)

What do you reckon?  I do love a good bit of debate and disagreement.  On the other hand, I love flattery and encouragement so feel free to say that I have got it spot on and am a genius pundit.

Out with a whimper

I spent much of this Premier League season haughtily publishing the top few places of the league table.  You may have noticed I haven’t done this for a while, for obvious reasons.  Out of our last 14 league matches we managed to win only twice!  Absolutely pitiful.  Just how poor we had become was totally evident yesterday as we only managed to limp past a disgracefully bad Newcastle through a flukey own goal.

The extent of the damage was masked by our terrific first half of the season.  Martin O’Neill must build the side over the summer if we are to have a chance of maintaining our top 6  ranking again.  I can see Man City, Tottenham, Fulham and West Ham being very strong next season.

It’s gonna be great to have three West Midlands sides in the top flight and I desperately hope Sheffield United will join us after today’s play off final.  I was genuinely gutted to see West Brom go down.  They are a great side and I’ve become quite fond of them since I started working in West Brom in September.

So, for your viewing pleasure, here is the final Premier League table to the 2008-9 season:

  1. Manchester United   90pts
  2. Liverpool   86pts 
  3. Chelsea   83 pts
  4. Arsenal   72pts
  5. Everton   63pts
  6. Aston Villa  62pts
  7. Fulham   53pts
  8. Tottenham Hotspurs   51pts
  9. West Ham United   51pts
  10. Manchester City   50pts
  11. Wigan Athletic   45pts
  12. Stoke City   45pts
  13. Bolton Wanderers   41pts
  14. Portsmouth   41pts
  15. Blackburn Rovers   41pts
  16. Sunderland   36pts
  17. Hull City   35pts
  18. Newcastle United   34pts    R
  19. Middlesborough   32pts    R
  20. West Bromwich Albion   32pts    R

Didier Drogba, a human

I don’t have much affection for Didier Drogba – he cheats, he has a foul temper, he cheats, he is arrogant, he cheats, he throws coins at football fans and he also cheats.  Most football fans hate him but I think there is a lot of envy in there as well.  He gets paid loads of money and is an incredible footballer.  What’s more he is fairly good looking too.  There is a lot to be jealous of and I think that is why I am more partial to participate in the anti-Drogba feeling than I would be to slate the average bloke in the street.

But what last night’s outburst reminded us is only that Didier Drogba is a human being.  He has faults and doesn’t live up to other people’s expectations.  Can anybody reading this say that they have no faults or are able to live up to everybody else’s expectations?  Yes what he did last night was wrong and he should face the consequences but at the end of the day he is just another human trying to get by in life.

Everybody has fallen a long way short of God’s standards.  I have, Didier Drogba has, and you have. 

watch out there is a swear word in this clip!

The Blades will blow it again

Who would have thought that it would be Neil Warnock who would be thwarting Sheffield United from gaining promotion to the Premier League?  You couldn’t have written it, but as the Blades line up against Crystal Palace tomorrow they will be within 90 minutes, plus some crucial injury time, of returning to the top flight.

But they won’t achieve it.  Not because of Warnock but because Sheffield United always bottle it.  Whenever they reach a defining moment in their history they buckle and collapse:

1.  FA Cup 1993.  Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Sheffield United.  The most intense steel city derby in my memory and it was the FA Cup Semi-Final.  Win this one and you get bragging rights for a decade but United couldn’t raise their game and Wednesday went on to make their second final of the season (losing both ha ha!)

2. Premier League 1994. Chelsea 3-2 Sheffield United.  At half time on the last day of the season United were well clear of relegation but then it all changed.  Everton came from 2-0 down to beat Wimbledon 3-2 and United conceded a late goal at Chelsea.  All they needed was a point but they had blown it.

3. Premier League 2007. Sheffield United 1-2 Wigan Athletic.  I know that it was all totally unjust with the Carlos Tevez thing and that West Ham United should be in the Champtionship right now but when all you need is a point at home against a weak Wigan side then you have only got yourself to blame.

Tomorrow Birmingham will fail to beat Reading leaving the door open for United to take their place in the Premier League.  I wish I could say they will grasp the opportunity but they won’t.

Glorious Villa should lead England

I always used to think that national teams were way better than club sides but in reality the best club sides in the world are probably better than the best national teams.  For example – Manchester United versus Brazil would surely end in a comfortable win for United as they have a great combination of world class players who work superbly together as a team.

These days the big four Premier League sides don’t have a huge amount of England players.  Aston Villa had more players in Spain than the big four put together!  Here is my cunning plan to secure world domination for the Engish national team:

Simply play Emile Heskey, Gabi Agbonlahor, James Milner and Ashley Young upfront and on the wings and then have Gareth Barry slot in behind them.  You really can’t say better than that!  Can you!?  Ha ha I’m a genius, who needs to pay Fabio Capello all that money!  And why not bung Curtis Davies and Luke Young in defence while we’re at it.  And just for fun, here’s the top of the Premier League table again:

  1. Manchester United    56pts
  2. Liverpool   54pts
  3. Aston Villa   51pts
  4. Chelsea   49pts
  5. Arsenal   44pts
  6. Everton   40pts