Lucky Col
Dance as though nobody's watching, love like it's never going to hurt

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Johnson looks to future

From the BBC, David Johnson on the way up the coaching ladder.

Good news.

McGaribaldi: Ashes to Ashes

McGaribaldi passes Tebbit's cricket test, although I'm pretty sure first generation Irish kids weren't top of Norman Tebbit's thinking.

But unfortunately for McGaribaldi, and the rest of us, England have started badly, and need to do better in the second test starting later tonight.

I can think of a few reasons for the slow start to the series:

  1. The Aussies are going to be seriously p***ed off after their defeat last year, so will tear into England from the off

  2. Monty Panesar is our best bowler, and was actually picked for the first test, but as he went to catch the bus to the ground, he missed it

  3. Steve Harmison's bad form is costing the team a decent bowler. The dip in form can be explained by this, after Newcastle's start to the season, he'll be hoping they'll take it off him!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Forest 3:1 Millwall - No-one likes 'em, can't guess why

Another 3 points, another convincing victory, still 6 points clear at the top, it's all rosy down by the Trent. That would be nice, but it's not quite that simple.

For the first 30 minutes on Saturday, we were poor. Not just poor, but awful. Defensive mistakes, clueless humps up-field, no midfield and central defenders who looked like they'd only just met, it was not pretty. It was back to the Megson days *shudder*.

Forest fans in general aren't stupid. They like good passing football with a cutting edge, but realise that in the third division you can't play like that week-in week-out and get consistent results, just look at Crewe. We know that Neil Harris isn't good enough, we don't like 5-3-2 and we don't understand why you would want to sell anybody at the moment, let alone our top scorer. All of these gripes got an airing on Saturday.

The general consensus with Colin Calderwood seems to be that, fair play, we're top of the league by a fair margin all without our best player, so he can't be a bad manager. The flip side of this is this insistence on playing defenders in midfield, strikers who can't score and players with no right foot on the right side of midfield.

Maybe I'm being churlish, but I'm looking past the end of the season already, and while we are easily the best team in the third division, a level up and we'll be found out big time.

Another apology to Junior Agogo. Took his goal well, worked his socks off for the whole 90 minutes and appreciated the support he was given. I'm sorry for every doubting the wisdom of buying him. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.

No mention of the opposition, because really, they don't deserve any. I hate Millwall with a passion. Not local rivalry hate, which is just mutual p**s taking when all's said and done, not dislike for a reason (Newcastle, long may they continue never winning silverware) but real can't-stand-them hope-they-end-up-going-out-of-business-and-disappearing hatred. Their fans complain about lack of investment by their board as they slip, almost inevitably, into the basement division. It's not the lack of investment, but the lack of decent support, driven out by the scum who make up the majority of Millwall's rent-a-mob fan base, that is contributing most to their financial troubles. Their catchment area is full of some of the most passionate people in Britain ( I should know, I lived just up the road for a while), yet their stadium is often less than half full. Why ? Because any decent football fan would have been driven away to watch football in a safer environment years ago. The one's that are left are the primeval ancestors of a primitive tribe of animals. Even at 1:0 up on Saturday, they were fighting with each other and the Forest stewards, so it was no surprise that at 3:1 down, there were more stewards / police in the away end than supporters. I won't miss playing them next season.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

At last .....

..... something useful from academics.

It's already killed the radio star, what next for video ?

Another game for bad refereeing decisions (Blackburn 1:1 Tottenham) and another call for video referees. Until you actually look at the decisions made by the referee when you see that every decision made was correct from their point of view.

I'm completely against video referees during the game and I'll tell you why .....

Who decides whether a decision goes to the video referee or not ? Is that a decision the pitch referee makes ? How long before smart-a**e pundits start questioning those decisions made by the pitch referee ? How long before the pitch referees abdicate responsibility in a similar manner to cricket umpires asked to judge run-outs ?

Think of this example: A ball hits the cross-bar and comes down on the line. The crowd shouts for a goal but the ball is still in play, a quick hoof up field and the opposition score. The other set of supporters celebrate the goal. What happens ? Do we have to actually stop the game to decide whether the ball went over the line or not ? Which decisions go to a video referee ? How many times do we have to stop the game for these decisions ? We look at the replay and give the goal to the first team, then what ? Bedlam & confusion, hardly a spectator sport.

There's an assumption that decisions are easier for a video referee. It took over 30 years to decide that England's third goal in the 1966 World Cup Final hadn't actually crossed the line and it took computer technology to prove that. That's a lot of waiting around for the players !!! What's the time limit ? 5 minutes per decision ? 10 minutes ? For every contentious decision ? Who decides what is contentious ?

But my clinching argument is this. Some years ago they introduced video referees into American Football, the biggest stop-start game in the world. They ran it for a season but then scrapped it.

The reason ? Because it slowed the game down too much.

Think about it. A stop-start game that stretches 60 minutes play into the best part of 4 hours scrapped video referees because it slowed the game down.

Think what it will do to football.....

The best a man can get

There's a TV advert doing the rounds at the moment for a popular brand of shaver. The 'new' thinking is that while four blades was the dogs nuts last year, that's old technology and now FIVE blades is what you need for a properly close shave. In twenty years time, there'll be so many blades you'll need a pick-up truck to get ready in the morning.

The basic premise of the advert is this:

Mid twenties son and aging father, the son goes through the usual father / son activities of showing him how to use a computer, explaining his mobile phone to him and putting music on his MP3 player. It then introduces said shaver as another piece of modern technology that the father would know nothing about if it wasn't for his gifted son.

There's two ways of looking at this:

1, While computers, mobiles & MP3 players may be a relatively modern to daily life, I would expect the father to know a little more about blade shaving than the boy.

Or alternatively

2, If he can't be trusted with even the most basic of instruments, should you really be giving the doddery old fool razors to play with ?

Monday, November 20, 2006

Yes Yes Yes Yes

Fantastic new single by Art Brut.

Listen to it here.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Room 101 #5 - Umbrellas

Or more correctly, people who think that everyone else dissapears as soon as their umbrella is utilised.

Just because you have an umbrella up for the extremely miniscule amount of moisture in the air, doesn't mean you own the pavement, doesn't mean I'm going to risk life & limb by walking out into the middle of traffic and doesn't mean I appreciate having my eyelashes plucked by your tacky piece of golfing tat.

Buy a hat, FFS !!!

It's a small world

Finally got round to reading "My Father and Other Working Class Football Heroes" by Gary Imlach, sport's journalist, ex-presenter of the Tour de France and currently introducing 20 year old episodes of Match of the Day on ESPN.

The book chronicles the life and football career of his father, Stewart Imlach, who (among other career highlights) played for Forest in the 1959 FA Cup final.

The book, as one of the reviews rightly states, should be mandatory reading for today's pampered stars. An account of how, in the days of maximum wages, footballers were paid the same, if not less, than workers in other industries and had to subsidise their wages by working as well. How that made them the financial equal to the supporters who they ineveitably lived among. How the committee men who ran football clubs treated the players like slaves and how falling foul of contract negotiations could leave you with no option but to quit the game completely. The chapter describing the '59 Cup Final is absolute poetry.

The subject of the book, Stewart Imlach was born in Lossiemouth, a place I know well from my time in Scotland. The town is now over-shadowed by the RAF base, but contains a couple of really good pubs, a nice play park for the kids (including the tallest climbing frame I've ever seen) and a cracking Chinese restaurant. Back in the day, the residents of Lossiemouth either left completely or took up fishing.

A day out back then consisted of travelling the short distance to Elgin. One such trip for the young Imlach was a trip to Borough Briggs, the home of the mighty Elgin City, to see the likes of Stanley Matthews and Tom Finney play for their respective RAF teams. I've been to Borough Briggs dozens of times and the players I've seen playing in the Scottish Third Division have been more Laurel than Matthews.

Gary Imlach's grandfather never left Lossiemouth and was buried in the local cemetery at Spynie. The cemetery of the church in which my wife & I got married. My wife's grandparents are buried in the same cemetery and owing to the small community feel of that area of Scotland, it is certainly possible that they would have at least known about each other.

In conversation, I mentioned this coincidence to my dad, who then informed me that his dad (my granddad) worked with Stewart Imlach at the dairy on Meadow Lane, which is also mentioned in the book.

So it is entirely possible that, despite the fact that my wife and I were born over 500 miles apart, my wife choosing Nottingham in which to train over Aberdeen and the pair of us meeting by chance on a night out in Nottingham, my granddad worked with a man whose dad knew my wife's granddad.

Six degrees of separation, it's a wonderful thing.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

No knee jerk reactions

I'll leave the knee jerk reactions to the red-tops tomorrow morning.

Me, I'm going to get my moaning in first.

I like England friendlies, the chance to see England play without the pressure of results, penalties or tournament elimination.

However, unlike most England fans and certainly all of the 'lower end of the food chain' tabloids, I would rather learn something from a friendly and lose the match, than beat someone and learn nothing.

Tonight, though, is different.

This is what we will learn tonight:

  1. Micah Richards is, in fact, completely over-rated and we'll all cry ourselves to sleep in the knowledge that Gary Neville (53) is still our best right back

  2. Andy Johnson is an over-rated, cheating, no-trick cart-horse

  3. Steve Gerrard can't play on the right and isn't it good to see that shown (yet) again ?

  4. Proof that while we may have one of the best starting elevens in the world, numbers 12 onwards wouldn't (and in some cases, don't) get into their respective league sides

  5. McClaren must go !!!!!

100 per cent English

There's a lot of talking going on at McGaribaldi at the moment regarding the definition of Englishness, following the Channel 4 program 100 per cent English.

McGaribaldi, born in England (sorry, Nottingham) to Irish parents, now lives in Wales and sees himself as much Irish & Welsh as English. Fair enough.

Personally, I can't trace my family tree past one of my parents, an adopted child of a London Nurse and (so we think) a US / Canadian member of the armed forces, while the other side of my family haven't ventured outside the Radford / Aspley areas of Nottingham for at least four generations. Does that make me English ? I'd like to think so, even though I know it's not genetically correct.

And there is McGaribaldi's point. Being English isn't about place of birth or parentage, it's a state of mind.

What is more English than going out in the evening drinking German beer, Danish lager or French wine, having a kebab, curry or chinese on the way home before falling asleep on Swedish furniture. The multiculturalism of this country is immense and as Channel 4 have proved, far broader than most are prepared to accept.

There was no better sight in the summer than watching 2nd and 3rd generation Pakistanis wearing Pakistan cricket shirts one day and England football shirts the next. Norman Tebbitt once claimed that the 'cricket test' was a sign of proper integration, but then he was always barking mad.

There's a very good reason why people hang off the bottom of lorries for thousands of miles, risking life and limb to make it this far. There's a reason why, when these people are stopped in France, they don't give up.

Yes, there are issues with immigration. Yes, there are people who come to this country solely for the benefits, but the again, there are people 'born and bred' in this country who do nothing but leech off the system.

I would rather be living in a country where people were that desperate to come and live, rather than settle for close neighbours across the channel. It's clear that we must be doing something right.

Being English is a state of mind and anyone with a similar mindset is more than welcome to join the party.

Thin end of the wedge

First Direct are going to start charging customers £10 a month for using a current account.

There are two ways of looking at this;

Either, as the banks claim, it's costly to run certain accounts and that the vast majority of customers will be unaffected.

Or, banks don't make enough profit and they're simply trying to fleece customers for more without lifting a finger. You can see their problem, HSBC, First Direct's owners, only made £12.5bn profit last year, so they must be well strapped.

Banks seem to have this idea that customers money does, in fact, belong to them and shame on anyone who thinks otherwise. After all, customers have no say in the way their money is invested while banks have their grubby little paws all over it. Banks and credit card companies make millions investing in offshore, over-night transactions with not only the money they have, but also money they know they're going to get back. The interest gained on accounts from internal investments far outwieghs the interest passed back to the customers.

Yet the majority of customers who use banking facilities simply have no choice. If you work for a medium / big organisation, try asking your HR department to pay you in cash and see how long it takes them to stop laughing.

Bank charges have been declared unfair by the OFT, yet banks still charge disproportionate amounts for unjustifiable reasons.

Hopefully, this is a toe in the water exercise to see how many people close their accounts in response. If enough people do, it could be seen as an experiment that failed (remember cash-point charges ?).

However, if most people either accept it or take out other services to negate the charges, expect to see account charges at a bank near you soon.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Oh bugger

From the FA, that's our cup dream over for another year .....

The TV cameras will be at Kings Lynn and Salisbury City as the two non-league clubs take on League One outfits in the shape of Oldham Athletic and Nottingham Forest.

The two 'big boys' were both founder members of the Premiership 14 years ago. Now playing in the third tier of English football, 1991 FA Cup Finalists Forest and 1994 Semi-Finalists Oldham are both going well in the division and looking for promotion.

But first they have tricky away ties in the Second Round of The Cup at the start of December live on TV.

On Friday 1 December, Kings Lynn will welcome Oldham to town. The Southern League table toppers beat Bishop's Stortford on Saturday to set up the match while the Latics saw off Kettering.

That game will be live on Sky Sports at 8pm and could see the first qualifiers for the Third Round and a potential match-up with a Premiership giant.

Two days later on the afternoon of Sunday 3 December, Forest travel to Salisbury City, high-flyers in the Nationwide Conference South.

Salisbury dismissed Fleetwood Town 3-0 at the weekend while the two-time European Cup winners made light work of Salisbury's league rivals Yeading at the City Ground.

But as we all know, The Magic of The Cup could strike at anytime and, with the match going out live on the BBC1 from 1.10pm, fans at home may well bear witness to a giant-killing at the Raymond McEnhill stadium.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Clough Aid

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Biggest waste of money award, this weeks winner

The award goes to Wakefield Council for investigating why a fish and chip shop smells like, well, you find out .....

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


It's been a while since I've been greyhound racing, so a night out at Colwick Park came as a welcome distraction to the routine of weekly life.

I had a few of my reverse forecasts come up, but meagre tote returns each time meant a slight, but not unwelcome, profit on the evening.

Highlight of the night was our group being asked to award the trophy to the winning owner on the last feature race. We told our naive & frankly gullible representative that he had to keep the dog after. The speed with which he left after the ceremony only matching that of the victorious animal.

Nightbus, is this the in place to be ?

I don't know why it's taken me so long to sample the joys of night-buses in Nottingham, heaven knows I used them often enough during my short stay in London, but Saturday I broke my night-bus cherry by catching the 98 back home.

Standing at the bus stop at quarter past three in the morning I had visions of a magical mystery tour round the estates of Nottingham before arriving home somtime in the middle of next week.

In reality, the bus couldn't have taken a shorter route to my house if I'd been driving it myself. Superb !

Is this the future for beer induced travel ?
Have taxis had their day ?

Yes and indeed, YES.

Another week, another racist Tory

This time caught forwarding a racist e-mail which, contrary to Mrs Bland's opinion, most people WOULDN'T consider to be light hearted, unless they too considered the atrocities in Germany in the 40's, the genocides in the old Yugoslavia in the 90's and the gassing of Kurds in Iraq as being "a bit of a laugh".

She quotes fellow in-bred scum Ron Atkinson with his quote: "I am not a racist".

By claiming it was actually her husband who forwarded the mail (despite the fact that she wrote her own name at the bottom, idiot) and also trying to justify the message contained in the mail, I would say it's safe to say she is not a racist.

She is, in fact, a thick spineless racist.

No, sorry, a thick spineless UNEMPLOYED racist.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Easy like Sunday morning, yeah ......

I love my digital radio. Crystal clear reception means no more holding my tranny up at a jaunty angle to listen to Radio 5, the extra channels not available on 'normal' radio, but best of all, BBC 6 music. Cracking music 24 / 7 and zero adverts. Heaven.

And BBC 6 music has just got a whole lot better.

Why ?

Because this talentless clown has buggered off to Radio 2, taking his incessant puerile knob jokes with him.

Sunday mornings will be top listening again.