Sunday, 31 January 2010
Saturday, 30 January 2010
It was always going to happen John Terry has gotten away with a lot of uncouth behaviour before, but he's now tipped the scales.
To be captain of England is an honour for a professional sportsman. People think of the likes of Bobby Moore, Kevin Keegan, David Beckham. When the captaincy was given to Terry it seemed to sum up all that's wrong with English players mentality.
Perhaps once he has the captaincy removed, some of us might quite like watching England.
What is is about Chelsea defenders and fidelity anyway?
Friday, 29 January 2010
OK something positive for sunday
from arsenal website;
"Emirates Stadium will turn (RED) this Sunday as Arsenal play host to Manchester United, in a game which sees both clubs show their support for the (NIKE) RED ‘Lace Up. Save Lives’ partnership that raises funds to help fight HIV/AIDS in Africa.
(RED) goal-nets - a first in the Barclays Premier League, will sit between the posts for the match and a giant (RED) lace will be hung around the middle tier of the stadium to ‘tie the stadium together’.
Players from both clubs, including Cesc Fabregas, Andrey Arshavin, Theo Walcott, Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand, will wear (RED) laces in their boots during the game and both sides will run out onto the pitch wearing (RED) track jackets to show their commitment to the partnership.
And fans too can show their support for the initiative by raising (RED) ‘Lace Up. Save Lives’ cards as the players take to the pitch before kick-off, uniting both sets of supporters and the global TV audience to raise awareness of the partnership through the power of football.
The Nike and (RED) partnership invites people to ‘Lace Up. Save Lives’ by purchasing a pair of (NIKE) RED laces. One hundred percent of the profits from (NIKE)RED laces is split equally between The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which funds AIDS programs that provide medicine for those living with HIV, and football-based community initiatives that deliver education and understanding around HIV/AIDS prevention."
I am surprised at how venomous the ‘Arsene Knows’ camp can be towards any criticism. When an Arsenal supporter is concerned about the present and the future of the club there has to be a general correlation to this concern with the manager and his running of the team and squad.
To be critical of Arsene is not a case of so called plastic fans jumping upon some sort of bandwagon of negativity, it’s a viewpoint based on performance, selection and decision making.
Money and financial handling seem to be the main motivating forces at the Club, not winning trophies.
Let’s get one thing straight; the money that is not spent is our money, the money that pays players who are clearly not of the right quality is our money. The wages of a Manager who is failing to manage his resources effectively is our money. The money that floods into the club on a match day generated by purchases of Arsenal products and catering is our money.
When Arsenal concede the FA cup that was a realistic target given that Manchester United and Liverpool were knocked out earlier, it is not value for money or value for fans.
Some of the AKs call it heresy to question the supposed Genius of Wenger. Since when has being an Arsenal supporter meant that you can’t have an opinion?
I hear players being criticised week in week out. Who decided that you are only allowed to criticise players not the person who signs and plays them?
Almunia is not good enough yet Wenger made him first choice. Silvestre is not good enough but Wenger broke his self imposed age policy to bring him to the club. Denilson is not good enough but Wenger chose to lose Gilbeto, Diarra and Flamini as he has belief in his squad.
If Arsenal go another season without a trophy Wenger will still be immune from fair criticism because the books will balance. He will be immune from criticism for what he achieved in the past. But it is that glorious past that we are judging him by; the very standards he set.
To be critical of Wenger is not the act of a traitor as it is a criticism borne out of frustration and a cold hard look at facts. It’s not because we hate Arsene it’s because we love Arsenal.
The voice of youth meets the voice of education.
Just because he is an idiotic attention seeking nincompoop doesn't mean his views are not valid.
...oh sorry i just had a relapse; IT DOES!
(That's all I could muster today as I have a headache)
Thursday, 28 January 2010
Aside from the insipid performance in last nights Aston Villa v Arsenal game i chose to watch it in HD at the Emirates. £5 a ticket including free drink; John Smith and Fosters only, although it didn't say that in the small print. There was no small print. Aside from having to queue to get in and the lengthy queues at the bar the presentation was good. Good for the 50% who had arrived at 5.30 and claimed all the seats.
Then there was the wall, floor, and leaning around a pillar option.
The officious official who was obsessed about keeping the gangways clear didn't help either.
The number of tickets sold was far more than the venue could accommodate, therefore I can only attribute the sale of such a large number of tickets to corporate greed.
I shall not be so foolhardy as to attend another one of these screenings.
The insult to injury was that the performance was so awful.
Wenger "believes in this squad". Of course he's going to say that as he bought them. He can continue to say it as the revenue generated by last nights screenings keeps the corporation happy. So on the pitch and at HQ the product on offer was inferior.
But like most corporations the satisfaction is in profit not product.
Wednesday, 27 January 2010
Why was I in Soho? to see Jerry Sadowitcz. It's hard to describe his act, however, what I would say is that he was dressed like the Clientele of the French House.
Oh how I would have loved him to walk in!
I'm off to watch Arsenal v Aston Villa. Which makes the attached image three fold relevant!
that's it from me today I'm afraid.
well look at me, a night in Soho rubbing elbows with the not so beautiful people.
The French House, the Thingummy & thingummy, The Groucho. how very dare I?
to be fair The groucho was a non starter but the French House was a Star Wars canteena style expereience....
I shall add to this particular post in the cold light of day, as I am currently in a 'match sticks under the eye lids' mode ...
Tuesday, 26 January 2010
Last nite tae celebrate wee Rabbie
T'was to a friends fae Haggis neeps & tatties
A hoose upon a London Square
A jock amid the debonair
Wi Whisky poured tae wash it doon
Accompanied wi sauce of broon
Jings, crivvens, help mae boab i said
When, tummy full, i went tae ma bed
So here's tae you mae wee Scottish cook
The jammiest fellah in my book!
Monday, 25 January 2010
That Wenger feels that he needed to rest players/rotate squad in the FA Cup defeat to Stoke City is in itself not too much of a problem. However when the expectations are that Arsenal go out to win every Tournament and every Trophy it is a fool hardy approach.
Foolish, as the quality of the squad is not good enough to pursue this policy.
The last Trophy Arsenal won was the FA Cup and we were able to utilise this squad in pursuit of glory on all fronts;
1 LEHMANN, Jens GK 4 VIEIRA, Patrick M
13 TAYLOR, Stuart GK 7 PIRES, Robert M
24 ALMUNIA, Manuel GK 8 LJUNGBERG, Fredrik M
3 COLE, Ashley D 12 LAUREN, Etame M
18 CYGAN, Pascal D 17 EDU, Caesar M
20 SENDEROS, Phillipe D 19 GILBERTO SILVA M
22 GLICHY, Gael D 21 PENNANT, Jermaine M
23 CAMPBELL, Sol D 28 TOURE, Kolo M
32 SVL URD, Sebastien D 56 SMITH, Ryan M
45 HOYTE, Justin D 57 FABREGAS, Cesc M
51 SIMEK, Frankie D 9 REYES, Antonio M
10 BERGKAMP, Dennis F 11 VAN PERSIE, Robin F
14 HENRY, Thierry F 30 ALIADIERE, Jeremie F
54 OWUSU-ABEYLE, Quincy F
This is the core problem with Wenger's obsession. He has replaced a quality squad capable of winning trophies and sustaining a challenge in the hunt for honours, with an inferior selection. If it were purely down to commerce or availability it would be understandable (even if unacceptable) but it isn't; it's dogma on his part.
If you look at this squad and take out the equivalent members through injury or International obligations it still looks better than what we currently have under the same circumstances.
It's easy to talk about how Stoke play anti-football and how Wenger has belief but the reality is that his belief is not well placed and if Arsenal can't knock out a team of Stokes ponderousness there have to be real concerns.
Nor will I go into our deficiencies in a number of areas. At the end of the day (to use that well worn cliche)
Arsene is responsible for the players that he deems 'fit to wear the shirt'
Sunday, 24 January 2010
Most people know Edie from her role as Carmella Soprano. Her performance over the years as Mrs Soprano was a subtle yet powerful yin to Tony’s alpha male yang. She was rightly praised, as she had been in the under seen Oz.
She’s back now in Nurse Jackie. Again she is the epicentre of the show. A show with a core of strong female characters and a wry humour. What elevates Nurse Jackie to must see status is Edie’s performance as the glue of the hospital. She plays the role of the mythical strong woman complete with minor flaws. Notable characters generally appear as broad stereo types with catch phrases and personal ticks. Edie's style is 'less is more'.
Tune in and don't be put of by some of the lighter elements, Nurse Jackie is involved for 99% of the shows running time because her character makes the other cast members work.
She is watchable because there is so much going on underneath her subtle performance. Edie is showing that she is the star of the show not just one of the supporting cast.
As part of an attempt to reduce the deficit of an overindulgent Xmas, I've just got back from the gym. and it was awful!
Hotter than usual, smellier than usual and more cluttered than usual.
What really pushed me over the edge, resulting in an early conclusion to my session was The Black eyed Peas.
Was there ever a pop group so chaotically contrived? Their music is an aural equivalent of the old Woolworth's pick 'n' mix. The bombardment of their conglomerated (or should that be congealed?) mix of styles was the tipping point for me.
Not only was their heady mix of 'street' pap and cliche blaring out of the gym's multi speaker motivational set up , but their gaudy image was beaming down from MTV.
If you threw a teenagers iPod down a flight of stairs, thus causing it to skip between tracks on random play then you would end up with the Black eyed peas!
They come across as an experiment in Quality Street style product; a bit of everything thrown together to cater to the lowest common denominator.
Yes plenty of pop groups have been manufactured but these guys take the biscuit; not only are they musically vacuous and visually appalling but they are marketed as some sort of Hip Hop/'on trend' concept.
In future, Gym visits need to be undertaken with much bigger headphones and blinkers on, as if i am exposed to The BEP I may end up running amok amongst my fellow masochists.
Saturday, 23 January 2010
My wonderful and adorable girlfriend insists/suggests that we watch this, the final celebrity Big Brother. I can deal with that, on the basis that it gives my blog brain something to conjure with. What i can't condone is Celebrity Big Brothers Big Mouth! A collection of borderline stalkers pontificating about the motivation and inclination of micro celebrities ensconced In the BBB House. Their wry commentary and sarcastic asides make them believe that they are somehow social commentators.They're not. They are Jeremy Kylie's audience with delusions of grandeur.
Friday, 22 January 2010
So the response to Haiti's disaster is millions in aid, sympathy and Simon Cowell.
The news that the erstwhile impresario has deemed it appropriate to release a 'charidee' record in support of this grave event has been greeted with unbounded joy by fans of the mediocre.
He's putting together a group of superstars such as X Factor's Leona Lewis, X Factor's JLS (who knows what that particular acronym stands for?)and X Factors Joe McBoringly.
I'm sure that all profits, after production costs and supply of champagne and personal assistants to remove all the blue M&Ms from the gold plated bowl that will sit next to the microphone, will find their way to aid the victims of this horrendous disaster.
Mr Cowell will obviously benefit from, what will in all probability be a maudlin, sub-Michael Jackson at his most saccharine, singalong replete with gospel choir.
The exposure in the USA of his product will clearly add to his millions.
So cynical you say? If Simon really feels that bad about Haiti then he should just write a cheque. But saying that; a quietly written cheque put into the relief fund does not come with a money back guarantee like this piece of charity product placement.
To paraphrase one of Mr Cowell's epithets; "it was kind of like waiting for the cavalry to arrive , but what actually happened was we had to sign for the delivery'" or words to that effect.
Gilberto v Ibrahimovich
(if link doesn't function go to YouTube search Gilberto sorting out Zlatan )
While the media inevitably bang on about William Galls' tackle on Wednesday night, it's worth remembering that with good football you also need cajones. When Arsenal were winning Titles playing exhilarating football we also topped the Red Card table. We couldn't and wouldn't be bullied. This clip is a reminder of what Arsenal have been missing. Nice one William! a reminder of how things should be.
Thursday, 21 January 2010
Yesterday I went to the Emirates and something tickled my blogging nerve. I'm not going to talk about Arsenal going top of the Premier League after a sterling come back, nor am I going to talk about the merits of the iPhone, I'm not even going to discuss the effects of tidiness on the human psyche. What has got my goat (or should that be gander?) is plastic glasses.
One of the great joys of going to football is enjoying a drink with some chums in a pre match watering hole, preferably near the ground so that the length of the missed start of the game can be minimised. That anticipation of the first pint of cooling beer is nullified by the plastic 'match day' glass it comes in. What kind of stupidity exists where a plastic glass is an acceptable vessel for a beverage?
But which is worse; the rigid multi use glass that is reminiscent of a school beaker, or the one-use flexi glass that, when squeezed too tightly results in a froth spillage?
The irony is that the draught beer is of sufficiently mediocre quality to make it tolerable in a real glass but the plastic tips it back into the 'poor' envelope.Nor can you attempt to bypass the plastic by ordering , for example, a bottle of Newcastle Brown; they will simply decant it into the plastic pot.
Now clearly the use of plastic cannot be due to the fact that football fans might glass each other,it must be just a case of laziness and money saving.
Even when you get to the ground the half time pint is served in plastic, after having stood for a good 30 minutes.
What to do, what to do, perhaps the only solution is to lean over the bar and have your refreshing ale poured directly from tap to gullet.
perhaps I'll give that a try as the alternative (not having a drink) doesn't bear thinking about.
Tuesday, 19 January 2010
Old media resentments die hard. I believe they have been handed down from generation to generation ever since Arsenal had the audacity to become a glamour club in the thirties and break the Northern (down to earth) monopoly.
What Arsenal represent is resented by the sports media, because the club have always been challenging as the number of league titles and record in the top division shows. London's other supposed top teams; Chelsea West Ham and Spurs can get away with things Arsenal never could because those clubs have seen success come and go over the years. The fact is that Arsenal are the thorn in the side of the northern dominated football world. Football is an area in which they feel superior to London and as long as Arsenal have been around & achieving, the culture has been to criticise that success.
The historian in them still hasn't got over Herbert Chapman leaving Huddersfield and creating the Domestic Football giant that is Arsenal.
Regardless of cup runs, being consistently challenging for league titles is what makes a Club a truly great one and this is not the exclusive domain of the North.
As we hit the second half of the season it is interesting to see how the fortunes of teams have differed in comparison to the predictions of so called experts and fans alike. Liverpool where going to get it right and stop being just a Cup team and win the title for the first time in 18 years. Arsenal were going to flounder with a poor squad of youngsters.
So far these views have been shown, at best, to be ill advised. Football journalists appear to be an elite group who, seemingly, have no problem in wheeling out the same clichés year after year. This in turn informs the fans of what tragedies and triumphs they can look forward to. When my fellow Arsenal fans are accused of lacking good grace it is an indication of the frustration and envy that some fans of other teams feel based on their unrealistic expectations
At present Arsenal are in a state of flux yet are 24 hours away from going to the top of the league.
The squad has and is running out of gas and winning the title was a big ask at the start of the season with such an inexperienced squad. With the injuries and lack of investment in new proven players, to go top would be remarkable.
The economics of the Emirates demands success and Wenger may see himself being moved upstairs if it does not come soon. His ability to spot a player and business sense is not in question what is, is his tactical acumen and 'winning ' mentality. Success is the currency and at the moment we are cash poor.
If Wenger delivers a championship (European or domestic) in May it will be a monumental achievement given the number of players still playing at the top level that have left the club, unparallel by any other team in the world; Henry, Vieira, Reyes, Kanu, Van Bronckhorst, Silvinho, Pennant, Upson, Baptista, Bentley, Pires, Laarson, Lauren, Alliadierre,Cole Diarra , Anelka ,Sidwell. To consistantly lose that level of quality and experience and to come up trumps would be nothing short of miraculous! Everyone sees what we are capable of when it comes down to pure football but it's the consistency of a killer instinct that still remains a question mark.
A bloke who is an Elvis fan says he only has music under the letter E & P on his iPod (silly sod)
Which got me to thinking that the only letter you need for a mixture of variety and quality (if you could only have 1) on your iPod / iPhone would clearly be the letter B
I say clearly, because there's not another letter to beat it...
The Beach Boys
The Beastie Boys
Belle and Sebastian
Ben Folds Five
Big Audio Dynamite
Bill Haley and His Comets
Mary J. Blige
Blood Sweat and Tears
Boyz II Men
Brand New Heavies
...unless you have a better letter....
Given that RVP is not looking likely to return, due to an injury picked during the dreaded international break it has again reinforced the fact that I hate international breaks! Deprived of football for what seems like ages and having to think about injuries to the squad, although injuries to our 'competitors' are always good. This brings me on to England. There seems to be one or two English players emerging at the emirates; potential internationals maybe
The whole England initiative, as spouted by king of bling Rio, is amusing to say the least. Claims that the celebrity wag culture has to be replaced by professionalism are a joke!
Since when have international footballers had to more or less say that they are going to START being professional? England gets a decent draw and suddenly the World cup is going to be won.
It's almost a shame that Theo is part of the set up as he should not get swept up in the hype (although he does seems more intelligent than his England team mates)
I wish I was able to watch England and enjoy performances, but the so called golden generation of 'Lamps' 'Stevie G' 'JT' 'Wazza' along with such objectionable characters like Cashley, Rio and Defoe make me want to physically vomit.
‘The England team sponsored by nationwide as seen on Setanta and ESPN’ seems to be just another part of the celebrity bombardment of popular culture.
The New Year bombardment of celeb this that and the other are a timely reminder of where things are. The Credit crunch, which was on the whole ignored by the average working person is going away,
Haiti, knife crime, social disorder, not being able to have a pint at Champions league games; these pressing issues are secondary to Jordan's boyfriends, who got booted out of CBB, who's going to win American Idol and Victoria Beckham’s new haircut!
Between News night, Question time and News at ten there is a torrent of pap on TV with programmes that actually exist but sound like
Alan Partridge pitching for a second series; Ghost busting with girls aloud. Celebrity cigarette quitting. Celebrity dog training and Jonathon Ross
interviewing the talented Steve Coogan, the talented Stevie Wonder and....Peter Crouch's girlfriend on the same episode! And the crème de la menthe (to quote Delboy) 'Celebrity squeezing through a strange shaped hole in a wall’ yes it’s actually a programme.
Okay so we don't have to watch TV, but the effect of all this tripe seeps into our society. Thank god for Arsenal. Not yet part of the circus.
Yes we all pay over the odds for a pie and a beer, the season ticket is a painful outgoing, but we are able to sit in a great seat watching great
football and, on the whole a lack of ego and bling within our team. Although we are part of the Premier league modern football world with all the
money and other obvious commercialism, we are not the equivalent of brain rot TV we are actually a team in the middle of trying to remain true to a value system. It's when the international break is on when I most want to go to the Emirates and enjoy something with a bit of purity without controversy, cheating or big time Charlies, amid all the cynicism that is all around us a trip to watch the Arsenal can refresh the most jaded palate.
With the possibility of topping the league tomorrow I am looking forward to going to the The Emirates and breathing some fresh air both literally and figuratively.
(mind you i will sset Sky+ in case i miss anything)
Monday, 18 January 2010
Okay Louise Harman from Wembley was ejected from The Celebrity Big Brother house for, to all intense and purposes, being a rebel. As the self styled king of the Streets Dane Bowers so eloquently put it ‘You’re not Ghetto’.
The pseudo rebellious stances, shoulder shrugs and tit grabbing on her exit were just pathetically choreographer gestures. After all ‘Sov’ had to keep up her rep. That rep; being a stroppy teenager. But hold up love aren’t you, at twenty four, a bit too old for that?
After all, the queen of the grime scene has to be a rebel both at the microphone and in front of the camera.
Earlier in the week I had watched John Lydon on Sky Arts. As the lead singer in the Sex pistols he was a stroppy yet creative teenager. His rep was genuinely rebellious both musically and in the flesh. The gestures and stances real and effecting. At least he waited two decades to go on a reality TV show and came out of it looking good rather than looking like a production line rebel. Ms Harman is no more of a thrilling frightening icon than the sandwich board toting Mohican punks of Camden Lock.
Lydon reflected on his musical and cultural impact and influence, but all with a sense of humour that is unfortunately lacking in the likes of Lady S. When we heard and saw The Sex pistols it was thrilling and exhilarating and a great example of British creativity and eccentricity. That may be a lost art. When the likes of Sov are prompted and sculpted into ‘edgy’ and provocative performance it’s enough to make you cringe.
I wonder if Sky Arts 2030 in 3D will feature Louise and her career. Her groundbreaking foray into experimental Grime/classical/avant jazz released as an aerosol or her confrontational attitude towards an ageing Sir Jonathon Ross when interviewed by the New South bank show. Her impact on trends in clothing; the re-emergence of purple clear glass Ray bans for example.
Of course it’s probably unfair to make comparisons , but when do we ever see anyone on mainstream TV who is a real British musical rebel? Her ladyship is just another example of how far we have come from a time when unmanufactured creative people were out there as talking points and inspirations.
At least and at best we can hope that some kind of authenticity emerges as the real stroppy teenagers look upon the cult of celebrity and plastic revolutionaries as outdated and then come up with something of their own that’s more substantial but long lasting.
Under The influence (episode 1)
Some movies and TV shows come across like they are original gangster but they have an equally as good sibling, in this day and age so many films and TV programmes are formulaic but films and TV have always relied on influence, but they may have had an influence that they don’t let on about.
If you liked Airplane try The Big Bus
If you liked Miami Vice try To Live and Die in LA
If you liked The Matrix try Strange Days
If you liked Heat try Thief
If you liked Scream try Experiment in terror
If you liked Dumb and Dumber try Wise Guys
If you liked American Gangster try Prince of the city
If you liked The Bourne Identity try Ronin
If you liked Behind enemy lines try Bat 21
If you liked Forest Gump try Zelig
If you liked How to get ahead in advertising try The thing with two heads
If you liked Gone in 60 seconds try The Driver
If you liked Curb your enthusiasm try Dream On
If you liked Life on Mars USA try Barney Miller
If you liked Conspiracy Theory try Blow out
If you liked Man on Fire try Point Blank
If you liked Jamie Oliver try The Galloping Gourmet
If you liked The Yards try The Killer elite
If you liked Sixteen Blocks try Gloria
With that in mind …….(more to follow)
Imagine my suprise when my local council sent me a letter threatening me because my hedge was over hanging the pavement, thus obstructing pedestrians?
Now I know this comes across as a Daily Mail reader style despatch, but really; the unadulterated cheek!
here's what I sent them
Dear Mr ********
Re: Letter dated 14th January 2010
Thank you for your letter. As an ********resident It would have been nice to have had the letter addressed to me personally rather than Owner/Occupier, never the less, I note with great interest that an inspection has been carried out recently in ******** Road.
I wonder what action is going to be taken about the other issues that I assume your inspector/s have had their attention drawn to. For example,
• The large amount of pot holes in ********Road
• The regular dumping of rubbish in *********Road
• The street drinkers that congregate at the junction of ********* Road and *********Road.
• The Street drinkers and drug users that accumulate at the junction of ********Road and ********Road.
• The noise pollution at night in **********Road.
• The abundance of litter in *********Road that goes uncollected.
• The infestation of Squirrels in and around *********Road.
The implied threat in your letter is not appreciated in view of the other issues that one would view as somewhat more hazardous to members of the public and residents.
I trust that when I find the time to cutback the overhanging hedge/shrubs and arrange for a collection of the cuttings, that *******council will remove all the cuttings and not leave half the bags behind, as they have done in the past.
I would appreciate it if you could inform me what action is planned regarding the issues that I have raised in this letter. As an *********resident I am concerned by the Council’s priorities in making the borough a safer and more pleasant place to live.
....A timid response arrived shortly after.
Sunday, 17 January 2010
I am putting on my M&S pants, Paul smith socks, Paul Smith glasses, Au savage Eau de toillette, Gap Jeans. Pink Paul Smith T-Shirt, Charcoal TM Lewin V neck, adidas gazelles, Austin Reed Overcoat and Paul Smith scarf. this mix of UK/US/Continental styles makes me feel good. Will the Chav's and N'er do wells notice ?
Just trying to cheer myself up during this cold spell.
my fingers are too cold to type anymore
To paraphrase Charlie Brooker 'all hail the rise of the idiots'
I know what would be a good idea; get some young women with stupid names and or celebrity fathers and build a brand. The more untalented and verbally vacuous the better.
The press and media seem to be filled with the exploits of these brattish parasites.
Chief amongst this trend is Peaches Geldof, an appallingly moronic glove puppet. To hear her speak and declaim on subjects she has no knowledge about is quite appalling. If, as we are lead to believe, young girls are influenced and shaped by celebrity behaviour then we should all be afraid for our daughters, nieces and general population. The inane attitudes and sense of entitlement displayed by Peaches, Daisy, Lilly, Pixie, Gnomie etc are prime examples of what is wrong with the culture that exists where achievement means nothing and talent means even less.
These wasters are a reminder that a class system operates in the UK and within that system a class of non talented loafers has become an aspiration.
It's not so much that these girls are annoying,really annoying it's that they are everywhere. Even supposedly serious papers carry article and features on them. Terms like zeitgeist and irony are bandied about.
The real truth is that there seems to be a celebration of idiocy, a real reveling in stupidity.
Is it the fault of these young advantaged women or the machinery behind them? Who can say. What is clear is that their existence and prevalance in the media is encouraging the cult of stupid.
Like most cults, it may very well be a major threat to our civilisation. Or at the very least a threat to anyone with an attention span of less than five minutes.
Please can we bang on about young girls who have talent, have acheived things or at least who are decent people not parasites.
Oh, who cares anyway I'm sure that by mentioning Peaches in this rant I am only adding oxygen to her inevitable rise to being the overlord of inane.
Saturday, 16 January 2010
Spurs and the modern English player
Why do Spurs attract the modern English player so beloved of the tabloids? Is it about good old Harry and his cheeky cockney persona or is it that Spurs are the X factor of the football world? The Spurs legend that persists, even after 48 years as also rans, is that they are somehow a glamour club. Glamour and celebrity without achievement, sounds familiar in this day and age. Just ask any of Simon Cowell’s protégé wannabes.
Of course we should all be behind England in the world cup next year but this will prove difficult as the bulk of the squad are made up of these camera hungry night owls. Spurs seems to be the club of choice for the bright lights big city players who don’t have enough about them to play for Arsenal in terms of talent or Chelsea in terms of application. They can spend their evenings comparing WAGs and Bling and their working lives not having to achieve a great deal other than stay in the Premier league. God forbid the club that’s pays for their extravagant lifestyle gets relegated how would they be able to afford to run the Bentley and the Porsche? Talking of Bentleys, the successor to Beckham (in his own fevered imagination) has ended up at the perfect club for him as he’s just like the White Hart Lane Club; all mouth and trousers.
Perhaps these young men merely mirror the culture that is prevalent in modern times; conspicuous consumption. Over paid; probably, over valued; definitely over inflated egos; definitely. Since 1961 Spurs have created an environment and ethos at the club that it’s all about style. But the problem is that it’s (questionable) style rather than substance.
The fact that the recent shenanigans involving Crouch and his chums was sparked by a momentous win over Pompey should worry Spurs fans. It’s a bit like an alcoholic using his pet Gerbils birthday as an excuse to go on a bender.
Friday, 15 January 2010
In my post New Year stupor i tuned into the last ever Celebrity Big Brother.This year's parade of micro celebrities is an all time low in levels of banality.The first entrant was the 'other' Baldwin brother.
Stephen Baldwin entered the house in a bewildered state unable to perform the basic task of opening the door, he was followed by Nikkola T, she of the wags workout fame.
Her idea of the worst thing to expect in the house was celebrity 'skid marks on the toilet'.
Next up the tangoed visage of attention seeking Alex-Jordan's ex-Reid. The man had to ask what underwhelmed meant and despite his posturing assured the frozen throng at the gates, that he would show everyone his good side. Lady Sovereign and Sisquo (both presumably bought in to give the show some sort of abstracted street cred) sashayed in the house assuming that they were known by all; their claim to fame being a couple of novelty records..
Bass hunter; a man who is responsible for the worst music ever commited to vinyl, entered the house with the fake subtlety of a James Bond impersonator. If ever a housemate belongs on Euro trash it's Mr Hunter.The ex madame Heidi Fleiss wandered in with the demeanour of a shocked car crash survivor.
Why on earth Stephanie Beechan is in the house is anybody's guess. The Hollywood star who has appeared in films with Marlon Brando, Charlton Heston and Christopher Lee sat and surveyed her housemates with all the distain of a TV critic watching 'Hole in the wall'.
Dane Bowers is presumably there to get into a tustle with Alex Orangina Reid, and Vinnie Jones ('I'm LA, Mullholland Drive') was the only contestant not to be booed by the baying crowd.Oh and there were a couple of others who are so bland that I can't remember who they are, although I think one of them was the work experience stylist wandering in through the wrong door, she was from the land of Borat apparently.
God only knows what sort of mundane and idiotic tasks lie ahead, but this is a fitting group of celebrities bleeding dry the very last drop of a moribund and pointless excercise in atention grabbing. Big Brother? why bother!
Time Tunnel Vision
How I enjoyed reading the transcript of our local 'sports' journalist's stand up routine in my local Newspaper.It was the sort of material that one might have enjoyed watching on Sunday night at the London Palladium on an old black and white television back in 1961, just after seeing Tottenham win the League. It had all the golden oldies; the Woolwich Chestnut (chuckle), the nuggett about the Carling cup being more than a way for mid-table teams to get into Europe (guffaw) and the old 'Stylish Spurs' punchline (titter).
He forgot to include any new material such as the certainty that Spurs always finish below Arsenal in the League, and that they don't qualify for the Champions League.
Mr local seems fond of historical anecdotes so he might like to bring in a real historian as a ghost writer so that he could be reminded of the team that ground out victories of Brady and Rix that put 5 past Spurs first Team at White Hart Lane, or the 'efficient' Arsenal team of George Graham that, thrillingly, won the title at Anfield.
The deluded journo wonders if Arsenal fans have enjoyed watching Arsenal win 11 league Titles more than Spurs, 2 Doubles More than Spurs, 2 FA Cups more and finishing higher than Spurs year in year out? Have a guess what the punch line to that is.
The real humour was in the fact that Spurs fans need to nail their colours to the mast of any team that plays Arsenal. I suppose it gives them some enjoyment in a keeping up with the Jones' kind of way. What would one expect from a Club who's own rebranding exercise has resulted in a small, mid table,bitter club that won't acknowledge that it's rivals are Middlesborough and Fulham not Arsenal
Big teams stumble on in the league and Chelsea are being lauded as the best team since Moses came down with his tablets.
The chirpy scousers are staring down the barrel of Channel 5 Thursday afternoon matches against Dynamo Spartak Red Lion both this season and next (would this spell the end for Torres and Gerrard?)
Many City, Villa, and Spurs show inconsistency; Yes Tottenham are in the top half of the table, however the spurs fans will still be at home watching Eastenders on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. ManUtd have one of the poorest line ups in ages and there are no signs of progress at Everton.
The Premier league is there for the winning, that's the frustrating thing. The quality of the league has not been so poor for a great many years, unfortunately, The quality of the Arsenal Teams that Wenger puts out, has not been so poor for a great many years.
The Premiership is not 'alive and kicking' because too many teams are operating on A) staying up. B) finishing in the top four C) getting a Europa spot.and not forgetting D) making a profit at all costs.
The way to be on the top of the current Premiership seems to be ,having a manager who knows what to do with his squad and being the biggest bully.
Is the drop in quality connected to player greed, or just a system that is happy to settle for mediocrity?
The FA Cup appears to be the only trophy that will or can be won by being bold; a sort of 'who dares wins' policy may win the day.
The sobering thought when considering the English Premier league is that If Chelsea do win the title it will be another victory for the power of Russian oligarchy.
Latin lovelies and lager
Nestled in a quiet side street away from the bump and hustle of Holloway Road is the oasis of El Comandante, or as it’s known to the Emirates faithful, The Che. On a match day this peaceful corner of North London comes alive with the bonhomie and banter of the pre and post match Arsenal supporters who flock there.
Still relatively unknown, The Che has become an integral part of the match day experience for those Gooners in the know.
What was once an uninspiring pub called the Lord Palmerston, tucked away from any through traffic or passing trade, has come alive with the move of Arsenal Football Club from their long time Highbury home to the all singing all dancing Emirates Stadium. Now a two minute walk from the stadium, the Che has come into its own.
William the Bolivian owner, who always greets his clientele with a smile, has grasped the proximity of Arsenal with gusto and has created possibly the perfect pub, close to a ground, for football fans in the land.
On the day of a match when you arrive, prior to kick off, the exterior looks very much like any local boozer, in fact the only discernable difference is the iconic image of Che Guevara captured in red and black on the overhanging pub sign that still has the cannon of Taylor Walker proudly standing on top. On a sunny day, or even on an average British autumnal day, there is a throng of people outside in the pedestrian friendly street, sipping their beers and speculating on the game to come. Once inside, the Tardis like effect and loud Latin music leaves you in no doubt that this pub is not your average watering hole. Seldom will you find such an atmosphere at a ‘football pub’, let alone one so close to the ground. The mood inside is one of fun and harmony; like the beginning of a fiesta or street party. The knowledge that you are a stones throw away from the ground means that the feeling of anxiety and clock watching is not evident.
Then there are the girls. A plethora of Latin lovelies behind the bustling bar, each serving with smiles and good humour. With their exotic accents and easy charm, you could almost be in a South America bar.
The girls of The Che
What also defines The Che is that it has become a natural part of the Arsenal experience. The celebrations after Thierry Henry’s late winner against Manchester united two seasons ago were part of a defining moment for the club and the pub. It was a continuation of the celebrations inside the stadium, as wave after wave arrived back at the pub and celebrated into the night. This was a real carnival atmosphere. On European nights the smattering of continental fans are untroubled in The Che, in the winter evenings the place feels even more welcoming as a spot of sunshine in the Grey North London chill.
Before the Che and the Emirates, there was Highbury. What did the Arsenal supporter, who considered themselves in the know, do before the Che? Well, there are many alternative pubs and bars near the stadium in which to imbibe and pontificate on a Saturday afternoon or Monday night or super Sunday. Principally those with doormen, apathetic bar staff and slot machines; hardly the place for the erudite Arsenal fan. These places are still full but have little appeal as a social gathering point.
Other venues were available including The Compton. A lovely old pub with low ceilings and fine ales, however, many a time a taxi had to be called to ferry fans to the ground in time to just miss the kick off. This also meant a trip to the toilet half way through the first half to siphon off the quaffable pre match ale. Arranging to meet back at The Compton meant a long walk from Highbury with various friends not making it back, instead deciding to go into the nearest hostelry. After all a half hour walk with a thirst on could sometimes be a little too much for some.
Then there was The Wig and Gown a newish pub with an equally low ceiling and wall to wall TV screens. It also had a great range of lager on tap and was slightly nearer to the ground. The Wig also organised away trips, leaving after a 6.00 am pint of Guinness to Villa Park and Old Trafford. It was in this very establishment that Arsene Wenger’s first double was celebrated. Why its popularity waned is unclear; it just got too popular perhaps.
The Hobgoblin then became the pub of choice, a student pub on non match days, with a cracking jukebox selection and unfortunately the kind of staff who were used to serving Countdown fans multi coloured Alchopops. Getting from there to the ground usually involved a quick jump onto the Piccadilly line at Holloway Road getting off at Arsenal and walking briskly to the turnstiles as the referee blew his whistle for kick off.
With the move to Ashburton Grove the pressure was on to find somewhere that met all the criteria for the perfect home pub. It had to be near the ground. It had to not have doormen. It had to be a little bit tucked away. Not too expensive and if it had half decent bar staff then that would be a bonus. Enter El Comandante.
William, who cuts a distinctive figure with his beret and manly ‘bandits’ moustache arrived in the UK 20 years ago. When you speak to him the word that he returns to time and again is respect.
Respect from customers and respect from staff. Of course having such lovely bar maids helps. Initially adverts for bar staff were placed in London’s Latin free papers such as Noticias. With tongue in cheek only beautiful applicants were asked to apply. The result being that, indeed, only beautiful girls did apply. From all parts of Latin America they came, saw and conquered. So much so that not only are they treated with the utmost respect and admiration but occasional gifts are given to them by the Arsenal faithful.
This interesting and charismatic landlord had initially had a career in bars and hotels in the UK before working for the British refugee council. The Lord Palmerston was his local which he had the foresight and opportunity to take over in 2000 changing the name to El Comandante.
The takeover led to a unification of the local community with William holding an annual street party which has encouraged the residents to get to know each other in a carnival atmosphere. With meetings also being held there it has become something of a local hub.
Freedom is another word William uses. Much like his hero Che Guevara, he believes that the people must be free. Thus, no bouncers and no CCTV. The result being that a self policing philosophy prevails. This is not strictly speaking an Arsenal pub, it is a football pub. There is a welcome for all in this multi cultural environment, something that William goes to great lengths to ensure. Arsenal’s team and following is a melting pot and in The Che that diversity is embraced by William and his staff.
Fans of The Strongest in a fiesta mood
His own football loyalties lie with a Bolivian team called simply (and poetically) The Strongest. One hundred years old in April, this club wear the Orange and black of their Tiger symbol. William also has affection for Crystal Palace here in England as well as The Arsenal.
He understands the needs of the clientele; The 60, 0000 managers. Quick service, a place to celebrate the ups and commiserate during the downs. William has certainly met those needs, with great aplomb.
EVERTON AT HOME
There are really only three big domestic games at the Emirates; Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and you can add the Spurs game, even though they are generally at the other end of the table, it has a certain atmosphere. For January it’s the turn of the other Liverpool team to visit. Traditionally the Scousers with their famous so called ‘sense of humour’ come to town and have a good time. The ones with the chips on their shoulders tend to stay at home.
After ninety minutes and a cold half time spent looking out over London, The Che is full once again, so much so that, despite it being a cold January evening, the pavement outside is crowded with the overspill,. It doesn’t take long for the party to resume. After all a draw isn’t so bad
On Sol's return I thought i would catch up on my thoughts when last playing spurs;
So there you have it 10 years of league encounters for Spurs against Arsenal and not a single Victory for the White Hart Lane club. But hey, this was going to be 'their year' again. Facts are it hasn't been their year since the days when Fatal attraction topped the Uk box office. Rather than Spurs accepting their position and status within the English top flight, the fixation that they have with their neighbours makes their lack of success all the more bitter for them. The pre match statements of intent had the familiar ring about them. The relative size of clubs, strength of bench and potential fot achievement where bandied about. No such pronouncements from The Arsenal; the football and scoreline did the talking.
Any mitigation of Spurs missing players through injury contradicts the strength of bench boast as does the stature of clubs when looking at relative achievements. Arsenal have a Champions League game midweek while Spurs will be at home watching Waterloo Road. While Arsenal gain three points towards looking to win their 14th League title Spurs can only dream of a third championship.
The Ole's echoing around the Emirates were not of irony but of pity on the club who aspire to greatness. As Arsenal toyed with the Spurs players, while sitting comfortably on a 3-0 lead, One could only imagine what excuses would be made by the Spurs fans after seeing such a humbling end to a decade of dellusion.
When The Spurs manager suggested that there is no difference between the two clubs it was the mumblings of a man in denial. A decade of depressing league encounters for the Tottenam faithful should be indication enough that, while Spurs are in the same league, they are not in the same league.
Let's hope Arsenal meet Spurs in the FA cup, should prove interesting
right here right now
So Mr Campbell is back at the Arsenal. Wenger's over 30's policy seems to be a thing of the past, which in this case, can only be a good thing. Sol, much like Owen at Man Utd is a proven player not a gamble. Should Tommy or William get injured then Sol can step into the breach.
The question is not why Arsenal have re-signed him now but why not earlier? that way we wouldn't have had to put up with Silvestre. Senderos has clearly done something wrong and Djourou is not available therefore it can't possibly hurt to have the ability and experience of Sol to hand, particularly with the avalanche of games ahead.
It's particularly interesting that Sol should return just when our supposed first choice goalkeeper is inspiring zero confidence to the defence and zero tolerance to the fans. any semblance of defensive power/confidence/experience is welcome; in that respect Sol fits the bill.
The sour note is not to do with Sol but more about 'what ifs'. What if Wenger had rethought his age policy in previous seasons? Would we have kept Pires and Gilberto longer? Lauren and Lehmann perhaps? Who knows.
The question remains; does this signing mean that Wenger will be less rigid in his thinking in future? after all it isn't the only time he's bouight in a player considered 'past his best' Look at Suker, he played his part in getting Arsenal to a European final.
I welcome back Sol with open arms. It makes a nice change to have a player that doesn't take six months to acclimatise to the premier League, and who won't be shrugged of the ball by the big boys. In this case it's not about potential or the future it's about right here right now
The fact is he's played more first team football in the last year than Rosicky and will probably play more until the end of the season.
Out of Ammo
It’s over. The most immersive, multi faceted ongoing drama you could wish to enjoy. A great cast and creators at the top of their game. No I’m not referring to the Wire I am talking about 100 bullets, the peak in graphic story telling, or comic books, as I prefer to call them. Much in the same way that I would rhapsodise about the quality of the Sopranos and then the Wire I have to, try at least, to preach the gospel according to 100 bullets. Many critics felt that TV fell a long way short of the more revered art forms; cinema and Theatre but shows from HBO and FX showed the quality that TV could bring, particularly in an ongoing multi dimensional drama.
100 bullets is and was simply a new high in the medium. The writing as good as anything in the hard boiled tradition of American Noir the art consistent and detailed. The covers of each of the 100 issues /episodes descriptive and iconic.
Waiting each month for a new episode became both addictive and frustrating; at least with TV you only have to wait a week. I envy people who have just got the box set of the wire and are about to enter that world, but I also envy those broad minded enough to buy the collected 13 volumes of 100 Bullets.
Once read you will probably feel, as I do, that it is crying out to be picked up by HBO or FX and given a new audience. This is not to say that it can be improved upon in it’s original form, but rather that it’s complexity and pure entertainment can be expanded.
In a world where quality is rare in most things 100 Bullets can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best of entertainment.
As we enter 2010 i looked back at The Champions League semi final in 2009, perhaps our lowest point of the decade,
Heres what i wrote at the time;
Last night was when the chickens of Wenger's philosophy came home to roost. The five year plan has not gone accoding to plan.
There are certain games that are defining; England v Hungary in the 50s, Barcelona v ManUtd in the 80's. These are games when the realisation that change is needed hits home.
Wenger needs to start reflecting right now. Out-classed by the players on the pitch and out-thought by Ferguson on the bench.
There was no Henry to their Ronaldo, No Bergkamp to their Rooney, No Pires to their Anderson, No Vieira to their Carrick, No Lehman to their VanDerSaar, No Campbell to their Ferdinandand, and on and on. Even the supporting cast were better.
Mitigation is that proven players like Eduardo,Rosicky,Arshavin, Gallas were missing. However the modern game is about squad depth; something the teams that we are trying to compete with have. It's also about balance and team selection and these are the two key areas in which Wenger falls short. I say this because no one knows the financial situation at the club. If there has, and is, money available to buy quality 'finished' players then Wenger has nowhere to go in mitigating his errors of judgement.
But lets look at what he has done with the players available on the three occassions he had to redeem a season of mediocrity; the FA Cup Semi and the Champions League Semi. His selection against Chelsea bordered on the insane! in the first leg at old Trafford we were creatively nutured with players being overly cautious and having restrictive roles. But last night, last night takes the biscuit. The first goal was unortunate but even before the game it was evident that we would need 3 so that was not a disaster. The second however was a catastrophe, a catastrophe that Wenger dd not have an answer to, other than bringing on Eboue at half time at left back! Bendtner, who had sparkled on Saturday did not get on until the 70th minute. What was Wenger expecting? an Arshavin 4 goal haul perhaps. From 2-0 on Wenger sat inactively not knowing what to do and this indecision was decisive, for United.
Lest this turn into an exended moan abour Arsene, let's not forget some of the performances. Adebayor needs to make that big money move to serie A ASAP. Walcott cannot perform with the Hand cuffs on and wasn't it ironic that the first time we ran into the box with the ball we got a break with the penalty.
There are players at the club who are good there's no denying that, and some that have improved but there is also an underlying lack of experience to ofset youth.
Five years is a long time to have the words 'if', 'potential' and 'could' bandied about. are we to become another Tottenham, always looking at next year to be the one?
Take stock Arsene. My opinions are just that; opinions. But the facts are there plain and simple
* in the last 5 years we have won nothing
* in the last 5 years we have dropped into a fourth place team
* in the last 5 years we have not bought enough proven big players (ie;Alonso,Torres, Ribery all linked at one stage)
* in the last 5 years we have seen the undefeated champions team dismantled and not adequately replaced
* in the last 5 years we have seen mystifying team selections become the norm
* in the last 5 years we have seen strange substitutions become a regular thing
* in the last 5 years we have dropped points against so called 'lesser' teams
* in the last 5 years we have seen a policy that is over reliant on youth but doesn't show enough faith in that youth
Please take stock Arsene, change tack,see the things that more and more of us supporters can see need addressing.
I just hope that Wenger's hubris does not cost the club damage that wil take another 5 years to fix.
..well there you have it. Have things changed?
- ► 2015 (23)
- ► 2014 (16)
- ► 2013 (72)
- ► 2012 (285)
- ► 2011 (397)
- rubbish at Ashburton grove
- Captain material
- Emirates turns red to 'Lace Up, Save Lives'
- He who shall remain nameless
- Cock & Balls
- Suckling at the corporate teat
- one night in Soho part two
- one night in Soho
- Lady GaGa v Grace Jones= No contest
- Australia day
- Burns Night Ode
- Wenger's Squad Poverty
- Praise for Edie Falco
- pass on the peas
- idiocy in the UK
- Heil Haiti
- middle class tomfoolery
- Arsenal go top but is the glass half full
- Gonzo journalism?
- the Bs knees?
- Football v TV v Ego
- Rebel Celebrity
- under the influence (episode 1)
- Mr Angry from *********
- flash Harry
- walking on the beaches...
- modern manspurs
- not big not clever
- drawing comparisons
- where did it all go wrong
- the emirates and the che revolution
- reflections on a choked chicken
- Out of Ammo It’s over. The most immersive, mu...
- Well Hello there I have moved home from: welyousa...
- ▼ January (37)