Robbo 10: W**kin Frankel - Click On My Face To Listen!

Monday, 14 July 2014

What a Bloody Brilliant World Cup, Eh?

Well done the Fatherland!! Congratulations on winning the World Cup and being the best team int the whole competition. That was a handsome game to finish proceedings too: pass and move v hold and break, with the right team nicking it.

A German victory is always the cue to reviving some well-worn cliches. Efficient, organised, ruthless... there's an insinuation behind those words that we all understand - in other words, a footballing version of what Adolf Hitler wanted to do.

All right it doesn't help when Joachim Low says his team will rule football for years to come but... Enough already! This a team that despite its talent fell short in every tournament since 2002 (when they overachieved). Far from vorksprung durch technik - although a damn sight better than our lot. It's been a while a-coming but they have fostered and trusted their youthful talents, brought through intelligent players capable of interchanging and thriving in the process: look at Lahm, Muller, Schurrle, Gotze... thrilling, inventive, and - even in the midst of totally humiliating Brazil - respectful and humble.

They've been a great team in the making and we'll have to put up with them being this entertaining for a quite a while to come.

So, before a defeatist melancholia kicks in and we're left to pick over the debris of British sport for signs of life, let us dwell a little longer on an utterly brilliant tournament. I have enjoyed every minute of it, save for Iran v Nigeria and that bloody awful tentative semi-final between Argentina and Holland.

So here are the genuine winners of the awards that count:

Player of the Tournament: James Rodriguez. Obviously. Six goals, one a minor masterpiece, the other utterly sumptuous. Relentlessly positive, even during the Brazilian bundle he withstood in the quarter-finals. Not Lionel Messi. We know what Messi can do and it's a lot more than what he did. It's like rewarding Sir Christopher Wren for designing a garden shed. There was so much more he could've come up with!

Goal of The Tournament: I dunno James's goal was magnificent but for sheer pictorial wonder I still love Robin Van Persie leaping up like a Great White Shark pouching a seal to drop that header over the hapless Casillas. Staggering.

Golden Gloves: And here I have to agree with Mark Lawrenson - this is the worst trophy I have ever seen. It looks like it's been snapped off the arm of C3PO. Neuer the rightful winner although again I will remember more the saves of one Guillermo Ochoa, who I swear saved at least two point blank efforts with his bollocks.

Team of the Tournament: Neuer; Lahm, Thiago Silva, Hummels, Blind: Mascherano, Kroos, Rodriguez, Messi; Robben, Muller.

Runner-Up Team of the Tournament: Ochoa; Zuniga, Gonzales, Vlaar, Vertonghen; Schweinsteiger, Schurrle, Neymar, Rooney (heh-heh-heh... sorry, I've just made myself laugh too much... gimme a moment....) Not Rooney... ermm, Cuadrado, Sanchez, and oooh, I dunno, Muller again given the bloke can play wherever and it's like having two men on the pitch any road.

[NB Okay it might be tricky to have Zuniga and Neymar in the same side, plus there are better times to consider making Neymar part of the spine of your team but hey this is my B team.]

Dumbkopfs XI
A side chockful of hopeless nanas who really could have done with some aversion therapy pre-tournament to avoid some of their dopier moments.

Iker Casillas - a career full of glitter slides down the shitter. Del Bosque was horribly guilty of the crime of blind faith. Or loyalty if you want to be kind. As Iker made howler after howler Del Bosque failed to turn his old basset-hound jowls in the direction of his substitutes, in particular David De Gea, who David Moyes had ensured had had a busy and effective season. Madness.

Glen Johnson - probably a tad unfair but he's not up to it is he?

David Luiz - all the positional sense of a kitten in a dog pound, the appearance of a startled sheep, and the calm composed rationale of Justin Bieber. Luiz is an accident waiting to happen. Indeed the reason Thiago Silva makes my team of the tournament is cos of the way Brazil played without him. Luiz was the skipper who kept on sailing that boat into the rocks. PSG (Perhaps Sanity's Gone) are paying £40 mil for him.

Pepe - which is Portuguese for 'short fuse'; no one much like Muller's play-acting but when you could wind a bloke up this easily why not try? I use to have a p[air of Pepe jeans a while back and if I remeber rightly I used to get irrationally angry every time I put 'em on. Twerp.

Marcelo - Another muppet from Madrid. Yes, he gets up that flank and causes a 'real threat' but it's almost always to the people cover his over-adventurous arse. A terrible tumbler and play-actor too. Cack.

Steven Gerrard - look I like the bloke too, and I'm sure the younger lads in the squad can learn a lot from him but he was pretty bloody awful in is pitifully brief stay and he needs to stand aside. I mean, thanks and all that, but enough already.

Alex Song - Wasn't there a time when this bloke was half-decent? He spent the tournament trotting about like a demented cyborg, screws coming out of his ears. Maybe watching all that tika-taka has driven him hat-stand n all.

Xabi Alonso - perhaps responsible for one of the worst central midfield displays of the competition against Chile. When a skilled craftsman like this loses his bearings you can see just how desperate Spain were.

Gonzalo Higuain - another of these blokes who seem somehow to have been bracketed amongst the best without really ever having been any good. His glaring miss in the final was entirely predictable. He runs around like someone has chained him to a post.

Fred - fuck me where do you begin? They could've put a cardboard box upfront and you wouldn't have noticed the difference.

Luis Suarez - ah what does he care? He could eat his way through the Spanish Royal Family and he'd still get a gig at a huge club on a massive wage. I  think - and I'm absolutely serious despite the mocked-up humorous pics that did the rounds - that Barca should make the bloke wear a mouth guard or a scold's bridle or some such to stop him from harming others.

Honourable mentions go to Hulk (footballing wardrobe, minus the subtlety) Paulinho, Palacios, Djourou and the blokes running Ghana's shambolic campaign.

But these freaky sideshows can't detract from the best World Cup ever. The hosts have somehow mustered a triumph from the powder-keg formed by mixing social unrest with abject footballers. And for that they deserve great credit. What's more it was a torunament where fans of opposite persuasions nestled side by side in hassle-free enjoyment. It was, like Gotze's immaculate Bergkampesque winner, almost unreal in its glory.






214 comments:

  1. ere ... yep I agree ,

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  2. Typo Alert Luis 'Suarez' (not Sanchez)

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    1. I don't think that was in error.

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  3. yes really enjoyed it. I had a bit of a silk for a few days after the England/Uruguay match but It was never less than entertaining. Sine fucking weird matches like Germany/Brazil when the ghosts played like they were on crack and some shite games to operate as counterpoint to the classics. It was a world cup of teams rather than stars I think, misty of the usual suspects faked to turn up. Including Messi - what a joke giving him the player of the tournament, at least he had the dignity to look bemused by the award.

    Great stuff.pity the next three are in Putin's gulag, the desert and Mordor but I'll still be watching....

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  4. great stuff Robbo. Many will try but none will offer a better summation.

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    1. A veritable non plus ultra of synopticity.

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    2. Paul McCartney's daughter has fallen on hard times, you were saying, trott?

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    3. Which division are Synopti City in?

      yeah, luckily she has her music to fall back on.

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  5. Robbo, good blog, but how the hell is Schweinsteiger not in the team of the tournament. He was carrying Tony Kroos all night. The best midfield display I've seen in a very long time. The real leader in that German midfield without a doubt.

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  6. Schweinsteiger got stitched up both on and off the pitch. How fookin ard was that? Germany deserve to win just because of that spirit. Finally real football wins over divers.

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  7. Great stuff Robb. Best World Cup ever? I dunno, Italia 90 still holds a special place in my heart. School closing early so we could go home to watch England games, filling up my Panini football sticker album, England being good. And the same result in the end.

    But this was certainly the best World Cup since then. England went in with very low expectations, and still failed to meet them. Group games weren't the cagey 'don't lose at any cost' affairs that have scarred recent World Cups, and there were no fucking vuvuzelas to piss me off. Open attacking football in the majority of games, but also tense, close games too. Plenty of goals scored, and the right result in the end - the best team won.

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    1. Belgium v USA was my game of the tournament too.

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    2. agreed on game of tournament. Italia 90 wasn't a good tournament in general, obviously England's run aside for us. 82 and 86 were good. In those days no situation of top players arriving fatigued!

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  8. I think PSG didn't pay £40 mil for David Luiz. He is mostly paid for by other teams in the French League as handicap so they have a better chance of beating PSG!

    Zed

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  9. I suppose you can tell a decision has been cocked up when even Septic Bladder things it's wrong.

    It wasn't a bad tournament with my personal highlight being unable to watch Nigeria v Iran as Mrs Jack (not her real name) had an event on at the college she teaches at as well as missing the first 30 minutes of the other rubbish game because of a school play.

    It was a dull one Germany v Brazil wasn't it?

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  10. As for AH's request from the previous blog,as soon as it's up and running I'll get codes up for the FFSL.

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    1. Excellent - looking forward to continuing my fake managerial career with Lucky Dip United. Thanks, Jacks!

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  11. I think Del Bosque (translation: from the forest) was damned either way unless he won the whole thing. Hobsons Choice: go with the old guard and get slated because they're past it or bring in a new load and get slated coz he didn't take the old guard.
    Congratulations to the team that won.
    Rasteinfairenbitte

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    1. Nice one Rasta, agree entirely.

      Bladder only criticized the choice of Messi as it was made by the 'technical committee' and not by him alone in his infinite all knowing wisdom. He would have had the same criticism whoever got the award.

      Trottersteiger

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    2. http://babb.telegraph.co.uk/2014/07/lionel-messi-completely-deserved-to-win-the-golden-ball-because-he-was-brilliant-at-the-world-cup/

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  12. Enjoyed your blogging as usual, RR - Messi a rather bewildering Golden Boot choice. He was good in the group stages, and perhaps if he could have carried Argentina all the way to the summit, he would have been in the conversation. If it were an MVP-type (most valuable player) award, sure, because how far would Argentina have gone without him? Of course, you could say the same about Silva/Brazil, Ronaldo/Portugal, and even Suarez/Uruguay, etc. Don't cry for Rodriguez - he's already parlaying his achievements on the world stage into forcing a transfer to Madrid, no doubt increasing his wage packet in the bargain.

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    1. 'Scuse, scuse - should have been Golden Ball.

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  13. AH, Suarez is moving back .....Luis Suarez has arrived in Barcelona with his wife and daughter ahead of his his £75m move to Liverpool. Daily Mail

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  14. Was a briliant World Cup, loved it,

    Last weekend I gave the staff the keys to the gaff and the other half and I jumped in the ol' jalopy and headed for the western border.

    Crossed over at Arnhem and ended up landing in Dusseldorf.... Wow!!

    Watched the 3rd/4th play off game in the Altstad Saturday night, with a bunch of German and Dutch folk, great atmosphere. Headed back to the Hotel to get a few hours kip to stand me in stead for Sunday's festivities.

    Coincidently last weekend was also Dusseldorf Kirmis (fun fair/carnival), it was massive, but situated on the otherside of the Rhein, which was no problem, becuase there was a ferry service available, you could even get beer on the short trip over.

    Smack in the centre of the Kirmis, which had more and better attractions then most theme parks in NL, plus more food stalls then I have ever seen, smack bang in the middle was an outdoor vieing area with bigscreen surronded by beer and food outlets. There were thousands of pe;ple there, but, no matter where you were standing you could order drinks and they were brought directly to you..... and get this..... not in a pissy plastic beaker, but in a proper glass..... I nearly lost my mind.

    The game is all a bit of a blur, but the experience was briliant.

    I must admit after the game I thought that there would be crazy scenes, pillaging and all kinds of crazy shit, but that's not how the German folk roll. It was a party atmosphere but all in an ordely fashion.

    There were shops open were you could buy bottles of beer which you could drink on the street in full view of the Polizei, who just stood watching like it was a lazy sunday afternoon. The thing that got me, was in this carnival drunken free flowing party, I didn't see one broken bottle or glass on the street. Amazing.

    A fitting end to, what I thought was a briliant WC.

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    1. Oh, Blogidy......

      Ze hadden mijn fiets niet.

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  15. The U.N. Stolen Dutch Bikes Commission has consistently failed to find evidence of the alleged stockpiles of wartime Dutch Bikes in Germany, H, but Tony Bliar has produced a dossier which conclusively proves their existence.

    Meanwhile if you spot a white one, last seen being carried off by a Hell's angels darts team in Delft, sort them out for me yeah?

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  16. Ihr ein Fahrradverleih stehen Ihnen im gestohlen wurde von einem Hells Angel?

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    1. Ndiyo baiskeli yangu ya zamani ilikuwa kuibiwa kwa pikipiki kukiuka

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    2. Swahili, btw.

      I'm fluent.

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  17. fkn cool….

    http://www.freetranslation.com/en/translate-english-german

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  18. Muller ist ein tauchen Prick. England von einem bestimmten die Weltmeisterschaft zu gewinnen im Jahr 2018

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    1. jawohl! *drink beer

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  19. Eine bier, bitte

    That's the extent of my German!

    Not sure that it was the best world cup ever. All the group matches were close e.g. Argentina v Iran and there were no walkovers but I don't recall that many great prolonged stints of free-flowing football as, for the most part, the teams were well-organised enough defensively to recover their poise. There was obviously one glaring exception - Brazil's England v Hungary Wembley 1953 watershed. It was like watching your kitten getting run over - 7 times! Germany deserved to win, they were by far the best team although even they struggled at times and being the first European team to win in the Americas speaks for itself. Yes, if Argentina could have finished - but they didn't and lost to arguably the best move of the tournament. Spare a thought for Mexico - ahead with only minutes to go and losing to a Robben sleight of leg. Unfortunately, in the fullness of time this World Cup may be remembered more for Suarez's infamy that for any of the football.

    Spidersteiger

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    1. I agree with most of that, Spider. It might have been the most entertaining ever, which is good enough for any England fan as we meekly surrendered. all the excuses were prepared so most people werent that bothered.

      But trying to be objective for a minute, some of the football was fucking shite. In particular the defending - which is where i disagree with you. Later it became more cagey but some of the defending early on (and Brazil throughout) would shame an under7s match and relied heavily on near miraculous efforts by a couple of the keepers. Also a couple of snorefests, major stars who didnt really show their best and there were only one really good team without major weaknesses in the squad suggests it was a World Cup for the football purist - if there is such a thing.

      Three things to remember for me - the 7-1 shooting demented fish in a barrel episode and Gnasher's latest psychotic episode are the stand-out moments.

      Thirdly though, Germany were efficient (tick) ruthless (tick) well organised (tick) dominant (tick) in their establishment of their latest three thousand year footballing riech (TICK) but they also played some beatiful flowing football like the embodiment of a Mozart aria which suggests to me that, depsite the fact they tried to kill my ganddad, lovely bloke, they may finally have earned the right to rejoin the human race. I have never in my life been in a pub full of england fans supporting Germany and thats what happened in that mad semi.

      SO welcome home Germany fuck you UKIP amd Nigel Farage (with your French name and German wife and career from hating all things european) we Europeans can be justly proud of our triumphant north western team from the province of germany.

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    2. *NOT a World Cup for the purists* I meant to say

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    3. Good blog, Blog (also good blog, Robbo). I did add the caveat "for the most part" about the defending however my memory is of breaks being thwarted by closing down the ball-carrier, reducing his options and forcing him backwards or into making a poor pass. By and large I thought the standard of crossing piss-poor. I don't want to re-ignite the tired PL players debate but I thought Ozil Germany's worst player. Interesting to see how he starts at Arsenal - all the PL WC players come to that. Only 4 weeks to go - real football kicks off a week earlier.

      Spidersteiger

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  20. Uko sawa blog. swahili ulifunzwa wapi?

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  21. Uko sawa Blog. Swahili ulifunzwa wapi?

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  22. Back once again to your laugh out loud best Robbo. Great read, well done.

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  23. Utterly brilliant. Funny how the commentators on ESPN kept saying how great Germany was in the semi when it was painfully obvious Brazil had completely lost the plot (and the ball)

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    1. Shearer said the same. Fucking half-wit he is.

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  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. it's not a sport, it's a game, like football, let's see, Wladimir Klitschko, Tito Ortiz, Paula Creamer……old cunts and pussy?

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    2. I can offer a record of the finest round of golf ever played here.

      http://www.cybergolf.com/golf_news/alltime_golf_scoring_record_goes_with_death_of_kim_jong_il

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  25. One for Noel.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-28292188

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    1. Thanks for that Jacks. Yeah we have some good photographers back home, but plenty more who just think they're good and photoshop the shit out of all their pics. Some nice ones amongst that selection though.

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  26. Robbo, you put Gerrard in your Dumbkopfs XI, which I agree with but left out the granny fucker. Gerrard has at least played a couple of good games (not in this tournament) in past tournaments. Rooney has played in 9 WC games for a single goal and fuck all else and in my opinion should not be considered for another tournament match (Euro's or WC) although I know that wont happen, he is England's "Super player".

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  27. In other news, I experienced my first typhoon last Wednesday and only have one word for it... disappointing.

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  28. Palestinian kids killed playing football, 300 innocent people dead because of Putin and his fucking stupid little ageing man power games. I'm beyond disgusted with it all.

    And yet I'll still turn from the need and look up my nickname if i was a Brazilian football player. So add self loathing to the disgust.

    You can too, here...

    http://www.minimalsworld.net/BrazilName/brazilian.shtml

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  29. O fuck. Port Vale, it is reported, have gone bust again.

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    1. As you were - " 'it's all a clerical error' say Chairman"

      confidence restored cough cough

      in the distant chance youre remotely interested ...

      http://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/Port-Vale-Norman-Smurthwaite-says-winding-order/story-21657400-detail/story.html

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    2. Apparently the winding up order has been made on PVFC Limted, the holding company, not PVFC, the football club so they are not affected (cough, cough) - still, if it wasn't for this story you'd simply be on edge wondering what disaster was going to mar your team's start to the season. At least now it's out in the open!

      Spider

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    3. Sounds like the winding up order is on Port Vale supporters...

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  30. Pistorius.

    Sounds like something Harry Potter would say to make your legs fall off

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  31. 14 million for Borini? Christmas has come early.

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  32. Swapped Borini and aspas for Lambert and Remy. Pretty decent deal.

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    1. Do you think? I thought Borini looked good last season, although maybe that was just relative to his team mates. Lambert only has one or two seasons left, and Remy seems to spend a good portion of each season injured. I'm not too sure you've come out on top in these deals, but maybe I'm just hoping for Liverpool to fail this season ;)

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    2. Borini only looks good when compared to Altidore and Aspas not even that. I completely agree about Remy's injury record and would've preferred Bony, but when Sturridge gets injured, we'd have Bern screwed if we had to play Aspas or Borini in the CL.

      Also, don't worry about us failing. It's Man U we ask have to work about. They now have a great coach, spending find of cash, and most of all, like Liverpool last season, no European distractions. Be Afraid, be very afraid.

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    3. Isn't auto correct awesome?

      "It's Man U we have to worry about ."

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  33. Must say I'm really enjoying the Tour de France this year, or even more than usual anyway. With Froome and my tip for the win, Contador, out early, the competition is much greater for the podium places. Great to see some French cyclists performing well for a change. Maybe it's the absence of top quality opponents, but I think Nibali is finding it just a little too easy at the moment. Such a shame that my first thought is that he's juicing and not that he just a top athlete in good form and at the peak of his career.

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    1. have the found a way out of Yorkshire yet, Noel?

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    2. There is no escape from Yorkshire.

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    3. Nibali is as clean as they come Noel.

      It is a shame that 2 of the 3 giants of cycling at the moment are out through crashes as seeing the 3 of them go pedal to pedal would have been very interesting (although I suspect Froome would come out on top as he is a far superior time-triallist)

      However,watching Nibbles toy with everybody else then scarper up the hill leaving them all behind is fantastic.

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  34. Fletch: Where am I?
    Records Nurse: You're in the records room.
    Fletch: Oh. Do you have the Beatles White Album? Never mind, just bring me a cup of hot fat. And the head of Alfredo Garcia.

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    1. You like a bit of porridge now and then Blog?

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    2. This is the Chevy Chase incarnation of Fletch, Bo. Great couple of movies. Chevy ruled the 80's.

      Although Ronnie Barker wasn't too shabby either.

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  35. A refreshing read in a moment to catch up. Surrounded by Germans at this conference of late, and they're all in a buoyant mood. Away for a few more days, but is anyone going to start the PL Fantasy Leagues this go round? Looks like we can register again.

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  36. It's a good time to be German at the moment, let's not spoil it for them for a bit, so no mention of the war. More wisdom from Oily Hoeness, reminding us that they're not Nazis any more....

    Explaining the move to keep season tickets prices down, Hoeness reportedly said: "We could charge more than €130 (£104). Let's say we charged €380 (£300). We'd get €2.5m (£2m) more in income, but what's €2.5m to us?"In a transfer discussion you argue about the sum for five minutes. But the difference between €130 and €380 is huge for the fans.

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    1. Whereas in the land of the "Mother of Parliaments" run for the benefit of teflon bankers, slimy politicians and multinational companies paying sweet FA tax, it's "Let's screw the proles for every last penny." Can't imagine, say, Ken Bates buying in to this!

      Spider

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    2. I think this is a year or 2 old Bogs (I've seen it before), but a great policy.


      Jedi

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    3. I'm sure you're right Jedi. But it passes as news in the daily express.....I've seen all kind of ugliness and hideous excess, but I've never seen a nipple in the daily express.

      Here..
      http://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/490065/West-Ham-look-to-buck-trend-as-Bayern-chief-slams-Premier-League-ticket-prices

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    4. I'm sure you're right Jedi. But it passes as news in the daily express.....I've seen all kind of ugliness and hideous excess, but I've never seen a nipple in the daily express.

      Here..
      http://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/490065/West-Ham-look-to-buck-trend-as-Bayern-chief-slams-Premier-League-ticket-prices

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    5. Here you Blogs. Mirror 9 March last year. Don't expect the Express to bother to do any work for their stories. All the tits there are employed as "journalists".

      http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/revealed-bayern-munich-season-ticket-1752700


      Jedi

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    6. I just can't get my head around Blogs even looking at the Daily Express, let alone reading it! The Daily Mail can only be a matter of time!

      Spider

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  37. And this one for all England fans, any sport, where 'ere ye might be


    It's Not The Despair ...: http://youtu.be/FfnhmuZ27eQ

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  38. Stevie G announces his retirement from international footy.

    The right decision at the right time.

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    1. well said AH. And if LFC don't qualify for Europe next year he can always make himself available again.

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    2. Sad, but the right decision. I think Brazil proved to be a step too far.

      Spider

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    3. he's been known to change tunes you'll recall!

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  39. Bo, congrats on signing for Stoke. A bit of a comedown from Barcelona, but it'll do.

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/28430289

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  40. From the Beeb Football Gossip: AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli, 23, has posted a video of himself on Instagram reading the autobiography of 32-year-old Paris St-Germain forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic while ironing.

    Where to start, where to start? :)

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  41. H, hope you and yours are all ok mate although I'm sure this murderous act affects everyone.

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    1. you still livin' under a rock in PA?

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    2. Ah, for some reason thought your comment was directed at me and was wondering which one of the many murders in Philly you were referring to.

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  42. Fuck it's been pretty quiet in here these last few days.

    So who should be the next England football captain? Anyone give a shit? I don't think it's a particularly important position anymore, but if they give it to Wayne Rooney then I'm fucking giving up on the England team and supporting France for a couple of years.

    Off to the rugby league tonight to see Sonny Bill Williams destroy the Newcastle Knights single-handedly. It's going to get messy on the scoreboard.

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    1. It should be Hart I think. The worst part about England captains is they make the player undroppable. It'd be best if every outfield player could be dropped if needed.

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    2. So let's make the ball the captain then joe hart will have no problems as it will be undroppable

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    3. I'll captain England. I'm neither English nor athletic, so maybe I'm better suited for cricket?

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    4. Hart's a fuckin psycho, enough responsibility catchin' the ball now and then. I'd give it to Wilshere with Cahill, Sturridge and Lofthouse as back-ups.

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    5. Wiltshere is injured a lot and not even first choice when fit though?

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    6. I hear Becks is available...

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    7. They should just say screw it and name Cristiano Ronaldo as England Captain so he will play badly, make big mistakes and/or get embroiled in some scandal.

      Portugal will then do badly so hopefully England won't be eliminated by them when they inevitably end up facing each other in the knockout stages

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  43. Napoli manager Rafa Benitez has compared his frustrations in the transfer market to swapping his wife for German model Claudia Schiffer.
    _----------------
    In the words of that wiser old sage Scott, where to start, where to start?

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  44. Thanks for your concern Trott, luckily I'm way too busy to be able to take a vacation, a couple of families from Middenmeer (where the former bar was) were not so lucky. Pretty tight community there and the folk are taking it pretty hard.

    Hope you all are well.

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  45. In another time of world strife and tension, a football team from Dallas, TX embarked on one of the weirdest pre-season tours ever - fascinating read, and a great reminder of my youth spent following the Minnesota Kicks with Ade Coker, "Ace" Ntsoelengoe (yeah, I had to look up the spelling. NO, NOT OF ACE), The Alans (Merrick and Willey), Ron Futcher, etc.

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/28451609

    And van Gaal has the gaaaaalll to bitch about United's summer tour...

    ReplyDelete
  46. Greg Dyke: "If we just carry on like this - old, white males - we're going to be increasingly irrelevant."
    Translation: "I think minorities and women will be grateful to me for saying this, and so will do what I say, whereas these old white men don't listen to me. Thus, diversity is wonderful as long as I stay in power."

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/28499047

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tell that to the bull elephant!

      Spider

      Delete
  47. Hello? Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me...

    Almost as if you all have lives beyond preseason football.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, there's the Commonwealth Games, cricket and the most exciting F1 race of the season (Hope Robbo doesn't excommunicate me from the blog for mentioning the words "exciting" and "F1" together). Not that any of these would register over the pond. Oh yes, there's the endless pre-season tours (not mentioned when managers complain about the effect of an "overlong season" come March or April, meaningless friendlies and the yawnathon that is the pre-season transfer merry-go-round. I mean, I couldn't give a flying fffs if some premier league club's U-19 centre-back is sold to Crewe, Coventry or Cowdenbeath. Rant over (for now!)

      Spider

      Delete
  48. best sports story of the month for me was the overweight 20 fags a day 40 year old that dragged his arse off the bar stool, off the sofa and out of the kebab shop to finish tenth in the Commonwealth games marathon, this after he'd already won a 100km race (running, not on a bike or in a car). Incredible, there's hope for us all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, can't you get me a link, Trotts? Googling it would take time away from smoking and kebab-eating...

      Seriously, well done, that man!

      Delete
    2. I'm an American - BOTH

      Delete
    3. http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/get-inspired/27994073

      http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/mar/07/are-sausages-bad-for-you-processed-meat

      Delete
    4. Well played, Trotts, well played...

      Delete
  49. I really fear for Southampton next season. It's bad enough that Spurs nicked their manager, but then Liverpool, with a little help from Utd and Arsenal, have stripped them of all their star players. And if reports are to be believed, then Spurs are going to be the last vulture to arrive at the carcass and take Schneiderlin and Rodriguez. They'll have plenty of cash to spend, but it looks like Koeman only knows the Eredevsie when it comes to player recruitment.

    How is he as a manager, H? My main memory of him is scoring a free kick against England at the second attempt, and Graham Taylor, well, did he not like that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, they seem to be saying today that Schneiderlin and J-Rod are going nowhere. Even so, departed so far

      shaw, lovren, chambers
      lallana
      lambert, osvaldo

      Heck, thats more players sold than Blackpool have at all.

      Delete
    2. I hope the deal falls through, AH. I think we have other areas need strengthening before we spend 50mil on a striker with a ruptured cruciate and ANOTHER midfielder.

      Delete
    3. Between Chelsea, you lot and us, we have enough attacking midfielders to supply the rest of the league. Word is we aren't done yet and we might yet add Shaqiri. All this while what we're really crying out for is a left back.

      Delete
    4. Yeah, left back was a problem position for us too. Hopefully Ben Davies has solved that. Could do with some decent competition for Kyle Walker too.

      Delete
  50. Good news for United loathers - van Gaal is already making excuses! The one I find most appallingly stupid is "it would be easier to follow Ferguson than to follow Moyes," apparently because SAF had a good squad, and Moe broke it. Um, same squad, Louis - same squad. The tall bloke with the afro (but no 'fro no mo') aside...

    Reminds me of a sitcom bit where two employees switch jobs, and the boss comes into the exact same office with the exact same furnishings but with a different person in it, and starts remarking how the office used to be bigger, the other person's couch was more comfortable, etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Except for almost an entire back four that have departed!

      Delete
    2. My point was that the team during SAF's last year and Moyes' brief tenure was largely the same. Van Gaal's characterization of Fergie's squad as "good" and Moyes' as "broken" is something of a canard. Certainly after the season, with the departures. But many people were saying that half the team should be given the heave-ho by December. For myself, I would say that RvP's health was the biggest difference (20 fewer appearances - including 17 League games, 12 fewer goals).

      Just a further testament, really, to the motivational powers of the Govan Beetroot, flogging that team to a title.

      Delete
    3. To be fair, when Fergie had the team, they were a year younger. And a year less aware of being useless.

      Delete
    4. Fergie had Scholes. Moyes' team had scoliosis.

      Delete
    5. I thought Bent was with Villa

      Delete
    6. I've a hunch you might be right.

      Delete
  51. Koeman is a crap manager with a big rep in football due to his playing days.

    Everytime he does anything anywhere near decent he jumps ship for the bigger, better deal, in which he subsequently gets found out and gets fired, to go back to zero and start the cycle again.
    ====
    What van gaal said was probably lost in translation,although tbh, I only read the Dutch version. I would agree with him that Moyes broke that squad, how else could you possibly explain the same players going from Champions to missing out on the Europa League in one season.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Lukaku to Everton. Oh no! Say it ain't so, Mo!

    Meh. Why keep one of the game's bright young stars if you can buy a ready-made new one whenever you like?

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/28569197

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm delighted. Would hate to have seen Lukaku on the bench for a year. He's too good to watch for that!

      Delete
  53. I was hoping he'd go overseas to be honest. Whichever team he played for, he has always had our number.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it works out for everybody, Chelsea make a profit on a player they'd come to despise after his crucial penalty miss in the Super Cup, Toffees get a good un sewn up that could even be worth more in 2 or 3 years and apparently, even the player is happy to be there. Whodathunkit?

      Delete
    2. Delighted, amazed, slightly frightened. First two that Kenwright and the board opened the coffers to such a degree. Last, because I hope he makes good. If Martinez thinks that highly of him, and can get the effort out of him, he should. Very happy the club signed Barkley as well. Again, Martinez helped him showcase his talent last year (actually playing him helped), and hope to see further development.

      Or, as others have put more succinctly: Get the fuck in.

      Delete
  54. Dear Mister Fantasy play us a tune
    Something to make us all happy
    Do anything take us out of this gloom
    Sing a song, play guitar, make it snappy

    Or just start the Robbo/Jacks leagues. All one-way traffic at the moment. I'm in the top 2.5% of the overall MLS fantasy points standings, so I'm hoping to be more Tim Howard than Jozy Altidore.

    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSQ1akE2CcM if you need more)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. D'you mean you'd like to keep us all out?

      'Cuz that's what Tim Howard would do. :)

      But taking Stephen's point, are the leagues back up for this year? I've been cleaning and rearranging the house, and my desktop computer hasn't been so much as plugged in for about a month, and that's where I had the sites bookmarked (and my passwords saved). Same login info?

      Delete
  55. No use crying over spilt Milk Cup?

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/28575627

    ReplyDelete
  56. So, Manchester City has already got their own 'farm team' - namely NY Red Bulls. Lamps is already going to find himself loaned back to City until January, and I'm sure the likes of Jack Rodwell (although he himself may escape via transfer) will be thrilling the New York fans when their season starts up in March of next year.

    Thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. NYCFC will be the farm/feeder, though I doubt too many players will come through that way. Makes sense for Lampard's situation since NYCFC don't play for quite some time, but anyone capable of contributing to Man City will stay there (or take their summer break during the bulk of the MLS season). Anyone decent but not capable of playing for Man City might as well be sold, because of the salary gap. I'm not sure how the loan system works, salary-wise, but the cap on salaries and number of non-US players, plus the non-concurrent seasons, will probably keep the loans to a minimum.

      Alternatively, there may be a way to abuse the system, and City will start vacuuming up US talent funneled through NYCFC, who will benefit from loaning in scads of City's overpaid benchwarmers.

      Delete
    2. Man City have also bought Melbourne Heart here in the A-League, renamed them Mebourne City, and are using it as a feeder for both clubs. David Villa is playing here I believe, to get him match fit for when the MLS season starts. Damien Duff (remember him?!) is also on their books as he's on NYCFC's books (?). So basically, Man City are buying franchises all over the world and will have players moving between them in some attempt to get round salary caps, player quotas, dodgy deals etc.

      Delete
    3. Wow, didn't know about that one, Noel, but agree with your characterization of the situation. Wouldn't be much point in owning all these clubs if you couldn't indulge in a little sleight-of-hand to flick the V's at FFP, National-team eligible quotas, etc.

      Delete
  57. Back from hols (lovely,thanks for asking)

    Will set up various FFSL tonight and post codes.

    Must dash,long haired chap has arrived.....

    ReplyDelete
  58. League codes.

    982832-235069

    982832-235091

    982832-235070

    982832-235077

    Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers Jacks. I'm just off to play my wildcard.

      Delete
  59. Thanks, Jacks! Excited to be back. Now if only I could buy a second team to loan in some players...

    ReplyDelete
  60. Nice one, Jacks! Will there also be a Robbo Blog Championship league this year? Or am I being typically dim and missing it somehow?

    ReplyDelete
  61. Fantasy Football League Football League... that's right, Championship, League 1, League 2. Blogs, howsabout a scouting report on Port Vale?

    http://www.football-leaguemanager.co.uk
    League: Robbo Blog League
    Password: robbo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As Dave Bowman said upon entering the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey, "My God! It's full of football players I have no knowledge of!" Or stars. Coulda been full of stars.

      Delete
    2. is that the Championship fl? The one I'm champion of? You must have blocked my access as it says page not found, typical, I'm calling fifa you corrupt bastards!

      Delete
    3. I got the same thing initially, Trotts - seems they changed their website (now www.football-leaguemanager.co.uk) and format (C-ship, League 1 and League 2 players eligible for team inclusion - truly, a bewildering array). I had to re-register as well, but once we are accepted by the league admin (ahem, ahem), Lucky Dip United will once again take to the pitch!

      Now don't get all riled and sic Saint Blatter on us - we all know your credentials. No time for losers, 'cause Trotter's the champion...of the robboblogchampionshipfantasyleeeeeeeeeaaaaague.....

      Delete
    4. Excellent Stephen.I'll enter as soon as I get 5 minutes.

      Delete
    5. Trotts: I was blocked, too. Had to search for it and make a new link. It won't let anyone in immediately; for some reason I have to approve entrants, even after you use the password.

      Jacks: Thanks for entering. Feel free to share the info with those in your PL leagues, too.

      Delete
    6. That was strangely inarticulate from you, Trotts - usually, the baddie in a comic goes, "Pah!" and then reveals his evil plan ("Pah! I will destroy the puny earth with my Z-Ray!") or derides his opponent ("Pah! Your colorful sword is no match for me, Freedom Knight!")

      So - what's your pah mean?

      Delete
    7. my pah means that Stephen's explanation is suspected as just a cover up for corruption at the deepest roots of fantasy football, searching, new links, entrant approval, passwords....it's all techno babble to discourage the computer illiterate.

      Delete
    8. Oh crap... Trotts has exposed my collusion with Sepp Blatter to prevent him from winning FFL trophies. Ever since I tasted one a couple years back while blowing the other to another Stephen and/or AH, MLS wins haven't been enough for me.

      On the bright side, we do encourage the illiterate. Just check out how many people sign Rooney.

      Delete
  62. A German court agrees to end the bribery trial of Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone in exchange for a $100m (£60m) payment from him.
    ------

    German economy: good. German courts... erm....

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-28656050

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kafka's been claiming German courts suffer from some procedural bugs for years. That said, I'd rather stand in front of a German court rather than an Italian court.

      Delete
  63. Rodgers also confirmed Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho, 22, had been offered a new deal, adding: "He is someone we want to tie up for a period of time."

    Maybe that scouse tranny on Twitter was right.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I think there were some Craigslist personals to that effect, as well.

      (Full disclosure - in researching this bit, I discovered that indeed, Craigslist's reach is worldwide. And in just about every corner of the globe, it encompasses the basic human drives: depravity, selling crap, and giving away unwanted pianos.)

      Delete
  64. Cheers Jacks.

    H2HFC signed up and ready for action.

    ReplyDelete
  65. On a sexist note it is ironic to see that Corinne Diacre, the first woman to take charge of a men's professional match with Clermont Foot lost 2-1 to Brest......tumbleweed.
    An apologetic Rastafairy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did notice the players were a bit leggy. Honestly, they it seemed a half-assed effort in the second 45. Though flowers from the opposing coach was far more inappropriate.

      Delete
  66. By the way, Football League season (and thus the fantasy season) starts in a few days. Get in while you still can.

    To be fair, though, given my lack of knowledge of, well, everything, but particularly anything below PL, you could probably start in Week 7 and still win.

    ReplyDelete
  67. I'm awaiting your confirmation Stephen.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Can't wait for the new season. Should be really competitive especially if United's form under Van Gaal continues

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I seem to remember Mr Moyes winning a trophy pre-season 12 months ago as well.

      Delete
    2. the only certainties in life; death, taxes and football fans showing up when their team wins.

      Delete
    3. so what keeps bring you and I back on here Trotts?

      1981 for my team.

      (unless you count winning the old 2nd division to be promoted to the new founded Premier League in 1992)

      Delete
    4. for me it was the 3-1 win at Sheffield in April!

      Delete
    5. Ipswich fans will always have John Wark's moustache. In my opinion, a trophy greater than any team based one available.

      Delete
    6. Escape to Victory of course is something to always treasure.

      We had 3 players in the Allied team (although one of them had to have his arm broken so Sly Stallone could play)

      We also made up the majority of the German team,so what you gain on the swings....

      Delete
  69. I see Man U have lost another high profile name.

    http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11095/9408417/premier-league-referee-howard-webb-retires-to-take-up-technical-role

    ReplyDelete
  70. Howard Webb’s kids have denied their Dad is a secret Man Utd fan.

    “He is totally unbiased,” Alex, George, Bobby, Matt and Cristiano stated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow. Nice one! What have you been drinking lately, Trotter?

      (Phil Hartman voice): "Well, you are a SASsy one this summer, Trotts..."

      Delete
  71. Jacks--thanks for letting me know you were awaiting confirmation. For some reason, I didn't receive a notification. Better fire the secretary.

    Everyone: let me know if you enter so I can approve your entry. As you join Jacks' fantasy PL
    982832-235069

    982832-235091

    982832-235070

    982832-235077

    Head over to:

    http://www.football-leaguemanager.co.uk
    League: Robbo Blog League
    Password: robbo

    (In case you couldn't be bothered to scroll up...)

    Anxiously awaiting Trotts' repeat performance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There won't be one! I hereby (gracefully) resign from the Championship to focus my efforts on the Premier ffs League. I can't be persuaded otherwise, don't try and change my mind, it's made up, no amount of pleading or on your knees begging will make a scrap of difference.

      Delete
    2. In other words, you're afraid to lose.

      Delete
    3. haha, I wouldn't be focused on the Prem if that was the case.

      Delete
    4. Damn, Stephen - I was thinking "intimations of bein' chicken" was the way to go, Trotts having taken away my two best options - begging and pleading. Skills I've honed to razor sharpness over a lifetime of dealing with women.

      Just kidding, Bells - for God's sake, please forgive me! I've been drinking because the painkillers for my terminal cancer aren't effective anymore, and they don't have medical marijuana in my state yet. It was the pills and booze talking, I swear.

      Delete
  72. So, anyone heard if Robbo has landed safely at Lhasa airport yet? I know he likes to meditate about the coming season for his predictions blog in a Tibetan monastery...

    ReplyDelete
  73. 'I think, if you look at a map, the quickest way from Chelsea to Manchester is not to go to New York first.' Good old Arsene. With FFP proving toothless, all he has left is sarcasm.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can't really blame City for using such an obvious loophole.

      The loan system in general should be reformed. Or just limited.

      Delete
    2. Another great turn of phrase from The Professor.

      Next Top Gear: Jimmy and Dick, flying TIE fighters, try to beat Jizzer, driving a new sports car made of uranium, from Chelsea to to Manchester. As a handicap, the flyers must go to New York and pick up some gelato from Carducci's on Prince Street along the way. Darth Vader is the (Death) Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.

      Delete
  74. Last taste of Landycakes

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/28697646

    ReplyDelete
  75. Money makes the rules, as with barca buying vermaelen.

    I find it ALMOST funny that that weaselly degenerate little creep ecclestone can buy his way out of a bribery charge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bernie wants to know how much it will cost for you to delete that observation, Blog.

      Delete
    2. Tell him to go fuck himself, trott, I'm incorruptible.

      Alright then, let's say a tenner.

      Delete
  76. Stephen,

    Keep an eye out for Silverlands Park joining.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Spurs will play AEL Limmasol in the Europa League.

    For those of you who have never heard of them, Spurs are a small team from North London

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ouch.

      Limmasol - isn't that a cream for hemorrhoids? Green. You can smoke it. You think good is talking to you and then you wake up in a psychiatric ward.

      Anyway, it sounds familiar.

      Delete
    2. I think I used some Limmasol to scrub my toilet the other day...

      Delete
  78. Oscar Pistorius had been on the phone to Celtic to ask how you can lose both legs and still win.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ^^THIS is why I love the comments on this blog. Just about spat a mouthful of my morning beverage of choice all over the screen.

      Delete
  79. I might have mentioned this but there is a rumour that a middle eastern oil billionaire by the name of Sheik Fheik is thinking of buying the vale. I think Messi will like Burslem.

    ReplyDelete
  80. And now for the cricket. Not sure if anyone at all cares about this one. Not sure anyone in UK cares about fucking annoying anymore tbh. In a couple of weeks we could be losing one third of our land area and a trillion pound asset in the north sea to a bunch of hairy arsed Scotsman and no one cares much at all. 'good luck to them' is the nearest you'll get to an opinion on this in my neck of the woods.


    Is this odd? Or is it the case as Freddie mercury once crooned, that nothing really matters?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm actually wondering about the Scots units and soldiers/sailors/aircrew in the UK military. They have to stack arms and march home? Do they get to leave even if they're in the middle of a firefight in Afghanistan? "Sorry, lads, I gae ta go - best o' luck to ye..." "Come back, McTarget, come back!"

      Will Scotland have its own military? Will England, after the Scots leave? Will Scotland then immediately invade a weakened England? Gurkhas, to the front...

      Delete
  81. Not too late to join the Robbo Blog Football League Fantasy Football League. As the home loan shill said in 2005, no one will be turned down, even if they have no idea what they're getting into and won't pay any attention after the first week or so.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Helluva strike...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=7hShW-AlNYs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow - great skill on the two passes (one backheel) to set up the goal, as well.

      Delete