Posts Tagged ‘sport’

Shearer and Mills English Traitors

01/10/2016

Alan Shearer and Danny Mills are English traitors who do not want to see our great country ever win national trophies again but are just seeking jobs and money for them and their mates.

What else can be the explanation for their piece on the BBC saying that England should have an English Manager? Why should there be an English manager? What justification is there for former players, part of failed teams to remain involved with the team?

Read Soccornomics, and look at the best England managers. Are they necessarily English? No. The best English Manager according to the research in the book was Italian.

So, do Mills and Shearer want England to win the World Cup or European Championship? Well the evidence from the piece is that they don’t. They are not interested in getting the best manager possible for the England team. Just an English manager. What if they are an average manager but English? OK seemingly according to Mills and Shearer. What if they are the best manager in the world but foreign? No. According to them. Do we want to win? No. Just lets have an English manager. Step up Mike Bassett.

Then, what is even worse, they call, in their own self-interest, to have an involvement in the England team. Why let a bunch of proven losers anywhere near the England team? They won nothing. OK, so the BBC pays them a fine sinecure for sitting on their collective arses and pontificating about whatever the crowd are saying this week. Before moving on to whatever the crowd say next week. What measurable criteria are there for Shearer, Gerard, Mills et al to be involved in the England team? What can they transmit to the players about winning

No. They are losers. I want winners involved. Have Vaughn on how to beat the Aussies at cricket, Mo on winning at running, Hamilton at F1 and the Scotsman at tennis but do not let any of these dinosaurs anywhere near our football team.

 

Engexit?

09/06/2016

So, the Euros 2016 are almost upon us. With some friends at work I am part of a facebook page chatting and, we have to , obvs bantering about the tournament, chances of different teams etc. The group also offers a chance to crowd source opinions for a colleague who plans to gamble on the tournament and hopes to repeat his World Cup heroics of coming out $300 ahead.

I have contributed a fun imagining of England’s performance based upon the many disappointments I have had to suffer since the 1970’s World Cup as an Englishman and football fan. It is just a bit of fun, or is it….

Ok, so 50 years of hurt, though even I’m not old enough to remember ‘66 and the World Cup victory. Based upon the experience of most of the previous competitions England have qualified for, and , remembering the 70’s and 80’s that was not always a given, what do I expect this time?

It has already started with past hero’s saying we ‘have the most exciting team since ‘66.

The hyperbole level has already started rising and it will only get worse as the Russia match get closer.

In the match against Russia we let in a soft early goal and a key player, possibly Joe Hart,(You do not know how much it hurts me even to suggest this) will be injured and out until the next round. We will get lucky and equalise late on when Rooney has gone off and Kane and Vardy are playing as a duo up front.

Not bowing to the clamour from the press Hodgson plays Rooney as part of a front three with Kane and Vardy out wide against Wales. The Welsh clearly want it more than the over-paid, over-hyped English team and win 2-0.

For the last group match Hodgson bows to the pressure from the media and the English public and plays Kane and Vardy up front and England win this ‘must win’ match 2 -1, again coming from behind, to qualify in second place behind Wales thanks to a 0-0 draw between Russia and Slovakia and Wales beating the both of them.

We play the surprise winners of group A, Romania, in the next round, and win 2-1 thanks to a dodgy off-side goal. The media and public are now crowing about how England have beaten the tamers of the host country and pre-tournament favourites, and how we can go all the way.

In the next round,  despite heroics from a fit again Joe Hart, we go out on penalties to France, Germany, Portugal, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Italy.(Take your pick) The players arrive home to opprobrium and vilification and a national newspaper printing Roy Hodgson’s head over a turd and another printing the home addresses of the failures with the headline, “We know where you live” and death threats against them leading to a round the clock Police presence required at their homes.

Just a bit of fun……..

Le Tour diary II

07/07/2014

So, after being awoken by the caravan going past (previous here) Steve and I headed down into town.     At about the spot where we had seen the cyclists heading to the presentation on Thursday there were the tour buses and cars with bikes on them. We got a bit sidetracked looking around the outside of the ‘Village technique’ which was based upon Millennium Square so that when we got to the part of Leeds the Départ was leaving from they were not letting any more people into it as it was so full. We walked along the length of the Headrow and found a place at Eastgate, with the incongruent mix of being opposite the West Yorkshire Playhouse and underneath the imposing, Orwellian building on the hill that houses the Department for Work and Pensions. We were about three or four back from the barrier but them being on the road and us on the pavement meant we had a good view. That deteriorated as the tallest family in Leeds seemed to come and stand in front of us which meant we could see what was happening but didn’t get any decent pictures. So the tour came past and we got to see them but it had a phony war sense to it as the race didn’t start until it had been decided to by royalty. The excitement having passed we headed off back into town and I took photos of some of the interesting use of language including the photo above. The rest of the tour was watched on TV followed by the World Cup.

Sunday we got up early and headed into Leeds to the station. Tickets were bought and then we headed to the platform for the train. As the picture shows it was platform 2b, or not! (Thesp. joke there) P1120927 A train came into the platform,people got off and our train was announced and we got on it. After the time for the train to leave had passed people started getting off it and heading further down the platform. We went out and asked the guard what was happening and another train had come in and would be the earlier train we wanted and the one we had been sat on would now be a later train. So we got on the new train but still left almost quarter of an hour later than timetabled. P1120929 At every station the platforms were packed and it wasn’t long before the train was standing room only. There was a party atmosphere on it though with people were going out for the day, they were going to have fun and they were talking about where they were planning to see the cycling, people were seen to change their mind and go with others. We didn’t.

On arrival at Keighley we got off. We left national railways behind and queued up to get onto the Worth Valley Railway, a steam route run by volunteers. It too left late to allow the people who were in the train from Leeds behind us that had been the one we were sitting on. At least getting on the earlier train meant we got to sit by the window. So the train slowly left the station and we had to listen to the usual guff that these trains were so much better and the carriage was so much better when it was clearly so much slower than a modern train would have been over the track and the seating, whilst not as uncomfortable as boards would be, was certainly not as comfortable as modern trains. P1120935 An experience not helped any by the chap speaking all this guff allowed his kid to bounce up and down on the seat, making the ride more sea-ship like than one would want. Despite the slowness, and despite nearly choking when the engine went in a tunnel, I still felt a certain romance looking out the window and seeing the engine, full-steam-ahead heading over a bridge towards a tunnel on a bend as pictured above. After twenty to thirty minutes we arrived at our destination and got off the train and headed out of the station.

We left the station and, after talking to a Tour guide, found that the caravan was due soon and the race itself in a couple of hours. We got across the road from the station and found a café and had a coffee to fortify ourselves for the day. The caravan came past and I saw again the things that had almost been part of my nightmares, or wakingmares the day before. I did fail in my challenge of taking a photo of the Yorkshire Tea floats as they came past. However, this time it wasn’t my morning befuddledness but chasing after the free pack of tea hurled my way. How did they know. I’m not a proper Englishman.  I don’t understand tea. If my childhood was deprived in any way (clue; it wasn’t) it was that I never leant how to make or appreciate proper tea. I have learnt something of the former from having to care for someone who does appreciate their tea, in fact needs it in the morning to be human. So I was pleased to get a pack of the special THÉ for the Tour. I then discovered that they were giving away a years supply of tea if you tweeted a picture of yourself with yourself and the pack, hence the picture above. I added a few hashtags relating to the fact it was in Haworth, home to the Brontés, etc etc.

After the caravan had passed we looked around and found a place round the corner with a view of the cyclists coming towards us and, whilst I saved it Steve scouted around Haworth to see if there was a better place to be. There wasn’t.  By the time he returned the sun had crossed the yardarm and, our new position just happening to be outside a pub, we sought help for our thirst inside. And, it just had to be Velo, a special brew from local Yorkshire Masham brewery to celebrate the Tour in France, Black Sheep, which Steve had visited the previous year.

After a couple the leaders raced through and people hardly noticed. They were there and gone. I managed to get a photo of them,(above). A few support vehicles came through and then the motorbikes and the peloton was upon us. People were cheering. banners were up, photos were being taken. The carnival mood reached a fever pitch as we witnessed what we had come to see.  Then they were gone.

There is more to come. You too can experience what it was like to be there. Come back in a day and see what it was like.

Well I promised it and here it is. The Tour de France in Yorkshire, in the Bronte village of Haworth to be exact. Experience the Tour de France in Yorkshire, in the Bronte village of Haworth to be exact, through the wonder of Stevecam. It’s almost like you were there:

 

 

Le tour diary 1.

07/07/2014

I’ve lived in France for seven years, more or less, now. During that time I’ve worked in the UK every summer. Initially at a summer school teaching teenagers from all over Europe or the world general English and last year and this at a university (pictured left) teaching students, about to start a Masters course at the university, how Academic English is different from the general English they learnt before, or what they did to earn their qualification to get to the university. I do that because people in France go away for July or August so you cannot organise classes in those months and now, increasingly working at the local university, courses finish mainly at Easter with a few lasting into or to the end of May and not starting until the middle of September.

Over time I’ve increasingly become interested in cycling. Initially, as a result of working on it for my job in the early part of this century, in track cycling – I saw races at the Manchester Commonwealth Games and at my local track when living in Reading. Over time this moved to interest in road racing, particularly the Tour de France. I even got to the last two and had an interview to manage the administration for Team Sky three or four years ago. In 2012, whilst working in the UK, I followed the race every day, when work had finished obsessively watching the races as the first Englishman and the first English based team went on to win the Tour de France. It wasn’t quite as obsessive, I had a new job in a new environment so hadn’t the time available, but I still followed the race last year and the second victory.

In seven years living in France I had never seen the race in the country that is my home. I had hardly seen the French TV coverage of the race. My knowledge of it came from the UK coverage on ITV4 and the previous coverage on a number of channels. You would think the tour coming to Leeds for this year would make me excited. I would be happy to be getting a chance to see it at last. Not, at all, it seemed wrong. So, it was with an ambivalence about this aspect that I returned to Leeds just over a week ago.

Thursday and work finished and preparation for Friday done so I went shopping to get a few things. Before leaving work I had talked with a few colleagues about the parade of teams which was taking place that evening through the streets of Leeds before they were presented at the Firstdirect arena.  Having finished shopping I noticed my route home was being closed off with barriers. I spied what would be a good spot to see the riders coming up from Millennium Square. So, I hung around in that spot and was joined by a flatmate and we saw the teams on their way from Millennium Square to the Arena. The one pictured are the Cofidis team. Whilst there I was given a ‘Spectator Guide‘ for stages 1 and 2 which led us to talk about the possibility of going to the ‘Grand Depart’ and possibly going out of Leeds to visit somewhere of interest and also take in stage 2.

On Friday further discussions took place and it was decided to go down to the centre of Leeds at 10ish on Saturday morning. Before that happened though I was wakened by a din from people playing popular beat combo music and talking French. But I’d left all that behind. was this some nightmare with my French living come to haunt me in Leeds? No. In seven years living in France I’d never seen the Tour De France and here theP1120919 caravan was going past my window. As well as the music there were vehicles advertising Haribo, ibis hotels, sugary fizzy drinks (pictured) and, best of all I thought, Yorkshire Tea. The last seemed so out of place with the rest but quite cool that it was present, like a very English intervention in the Tour de France.

 

Christmas Part I, or what we did in our holidays

11/01/2013

This week I returned to Strasbourg from three weeks in the UK, seeing family and friends for Christmas and seeing the New Year in. If there was a theme for the period it was that we generally did the undoable.

dante%20gabriel%20rossetti%20lady%20lilith%20core_0The first day was spent looking round Walthamstow and the market, particularly to the good value store, and then on Friday we went to the Tate to see the Pre-Raphaelites exhibition. There were some fabulous paintings, a lot featuring women with long red hair, and I learned a lot about the movement, particularly on the impact they had on art, I hadn’t known before they were influential upon the Impressionists. The rest of the day was spent in London before meeting up with a friend who had recently left Strasbourg for Walthamstow.

searchSaturday saw us leave Walthamstow, via the fantastic and well worth visiting William Morris Gallery for more red-headed women, furniture wall paper etc, and headed to the Barbican for Complicite’s version of Bulgarkov’s Master and Margarita. Despite there having been earlier stage versions of the book it was held to be unstageable. Well it was three hours of fantastic theatre and definitely bought the story to life on the stage in an engaging and interesting way, was well acted and the time flew by.

Then I was with my parents for a week and JTO braved the flooding in the west country to celebrate Christmas with her mother, the first time we have been apart at Christmas for almost two decades! I went to see Reading FC play Swansea which was a dire game but they did what had largely been undoable for them before and avoided losing. After a really good night out in Reading with some friends and JTO going to visit her newly arrived granddaughter it was off to celebrate New Years Eve.

Supping, but not cheering, with the enemy

12/06/2012

I’m glad I left early to save some space for friends in the Irish Pub for last night’s game as friends and other people I was not expecting joined us, having a table and a lot of stools worked out well. The place was packed and it was hard to hear JTO singing our national anthem pretty much on her own. When it came time for the French national anthem all the, mainly young – the pub is at the edge of the University near the area where lots of students live – people sang it with gusto. It is a rousing song, which despite its name was written here in Strasbourg, and it was good to hear it sung with such passion. It was the only time that there was any singing as the French present with us did not sing for the rest of the match, just some almost Parliamentary banging on the table when something exciting or good for France happened.

When England scored first the group I was with jumped up and cheered loudly. This was of course exceeded in volume when the French team equalised. I was left wondering why Samir Nasri didn’t scored like that more often for Manchester City this last season?

I apologise for the quality of the pictures but they were taken on an iPod and it is not too good when there is little light. The top left is the view of the screen from my seat and the one behind is out onto the terrace and garden behind my seat and the last one is looking through, past another screen on the wall opposite the bar, to the bar.

Before the match started someone came round inviting entries for a competition to win a bottle of champagne. To do so you had to guess the score of the night’s matches. I said 1-0 to England scored in the 48th minute and 2-1 to Sweden. Needless to say I will not be taking up forecasting football results and was happy to lose the chance to win the champagne when England scored first around 30 minutes into the match.

I was pleasantly surprised at England’s positive start to the match and thrilled when they scored. The atmosphere in the pub quietened a bit after that but picked up after the French equalised and then got more tense as they got on top, having more possession, but without scoring. An enjoyable evening with some friends and, having lost the chance to win the champagne I didn’t have to stay on to see the other match.

I did think that by leaving I would lose the chance to see the match as one-third of the games are being broadcast on TF1, one-third on M6 and the remaining on the pay channel bein, the French branding for Al Jazera Sports. The France – England match being on terrestrial TF1 the other was on bein. But I had been reminded by a friend that we could watch matches free to air on German TV so I saw the game on ZFR.

Falling off the wagon

27/03/2012

So, at the end of February 1998 I stopped smoking. I survived my birthday, that of JTO and an impromptu holiday in Nice – where it still seemed compulsory to smoke in many of the cafes we visited! The first time I fell off the wagon and smoked was on 30th June 1998. I remember the date and the venue very well.  At the time JTO was an MP and I worked for her in Reading but on the day I had to visit her in The Houses of Parliament. It was normal after finishing work, at the end of the day around 10 o’clock, to go down to the Stranger’s Bar for a quick drink before the last vote and then go home. But this day we had gone there more like 19:30 to reserve a place. I say down because, although it is level with the terrace outside, which looks out over the river, it is actually one floor down from the Chambers of the Houses of Commons and Lords. It also had a dark small cave like feeling. Much like the bar under Nottingham Castle, hacked into the rock, which is supposed to have a tunnel up to the castle and where crusaders were alleged to have had a last drink before departing the country.

Around the House of Commons you see green TV sets, actually called annunciators, and when the house is sitting they display the subject of debate in the Chamber and the name and then in large capitals the constituency of the MP speaking, something which was rather
unfortunate for her and always gave me a giggle when it was Margaret Hodge who represented Barking. The picture at the top is of an annunciator in the House of Lords, which is why it’s red. A secret about these is that you can change the channel on them and you can see a live feed of the debate in the Chamber. You can also get terrestrial TV channels and certain satellite channels, including Sky Sports. We had gone in early to reserve a seat for the England vs Argentina match in the last 16 in the World Cup, taking place that evening at Saint-Etienne in France.

England had qualified for the last 16 coming second in their group after beating Tunisia and Colombia but being beaten by Romania. Then England Manager, Glen Hoddle,(Who interestingly reappeared yesterday saying he wants the job again.) had received a lot of stick for not playing David Beckham and, then 18-year-old, Michael Owen. Both started this game. Six minutes into the game and Argentina get and score a penalty. Four minutes later Michael Owen goes down and England get and Alan Shearer scores a penalty. Then came a bit of Michael Owen magic:

Just before half-time Argentina equalised with a well-worked free-kick. Then, two minutes into the second half David Beckham is fouled and goes down. He does this:

 So a match which had been tense just got a whole lot more tense. England down to ten men. They held out for the second half. Extra time. England hold out for the two periods of extra time, Penalties. Alan Shearer scored the first for England then Berti equalised for Argentina. Paul Ince stepped up and missed. The tension was too much I had to have a cigarette. I took one from JTO’s packet. Crespo then stepped up for Argentina and missed. Relief, or was it the cigarette? The next penalties were taken by Merson then Verón, Owen then Gallardo and all were scored. It was the last penalty before sudden death and it had become sudden death. Any penalty missed now, with the others scoring and it is elimination from the World Cup. David Batty, who had never taken a penalty before, stepped up, shot to his left and the Argentinian goalkeeper guessed correctly and dived to save it. Ayala scored for Argentina. England were out. If you can bear it there is a great Four Four Two recreation of the match in quotes here.

I had done it, I had smoked. I had not enjoyed it much. And I thought, it was a penalty shoot-out in the World Cup. It would be four years before it came round again. Just keep up the stopping smoking. Funnily enough the debate in the Chamber on the Finance (No. 2) Bill did not see a vote between the start of the match and the end of extra time.

#Winning

12/01/2012

If the email received today is anything to go by it seems I have joined Charlie Sheen in #winning:

From: London Olympic Draw 2012. <garretdonegan@yahoo.co.uk>
To: tattersalla2000@yahoo.co.uk
Sent: Wednesday, 11 January 2012, 23:06
Subject: Dear Respondent.

Stonecutter Court
1 Stonecutter Street  
London  
United Kingdom
EC4A 4TR  

Ref No: JG3/6801/LNDL

                  DELOITTE/LONDON 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES PROMOTIONAL DRAW  

Dear Respondent,

We are pleased to announce your email address as one of the 20 lucky winners in the Deloitte/London 2012 Olympic Games Promotional Draw held on the 11th July 2007.  All 20 winning addresses were randomly selected from a batch of 100,000.00 (One Hundred Thousand) international emails addresses.

You have therefore been awarded a promotional prize money of GBP 3,800,000.00 (Three Million, Eight Hundred Thousand Pounds) only.

Your email address emerged alongside 19 others as a category winner in this series.

The Deloitte/London 2012 Olympic Games Promotional Draw is proudly in association with, Grosvernor UK, Centros Miller, Marshalls, Cushman & Wakefield, & Drapers International, it has been organized to encourage the use of the internet and computers.

It is worthy of note that over GBP 25 Million Pounds are won annually in our promotional draws in over 150 countries world-wide.

Below are particulars attached to your winning payment order:

Batch No:    90556313/251
Winning No: 13-53-61-82-85 Bonus No: 7

You are advised to currently keep your winning information confidential untill you claim your prize. This is part of our precautionary measure to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this promo.

Kindly contact our Promotional Claims Agent to enable a quick process of your winning prize.

Pamela Goldman (Promotional Claims Agent)
Deloitte/London Olympic Games Draw  
Stonecutter Court
1 Stonecutter Street  
London  
United Kingdom
EC4A 4TR  
Email: pamelagoldman@live.com

Once again, we say congratulations.

Regards

Garret Donegan
Public Affairs Officer

Note: All winners outside the UK have been granted automatic visa waiver to attend the London 2012 Olympic Games. A special Gala party will also be held in your honour by the City of London Council.

Now to reply to the email to claim my prize, after all what could go wrong, right?

November spawned a Monster

30/09/2011

In exactly one month I shall already be in the air, having departed from Paris CDG heading towards Shanghai on a China Eastern flight with the final destination of Sydney. I hinted that something big was happening in this post in June. JTO was not overjoyed at our Oz 2011 trip getting the name Monster. That earlier post was written in June just after the tickets for the trip had just been bought and if I was excited then I am, perhaps unsurprisingly, even more excited now.

We arrive on 1st November and after a night in a hotel head off to experience one of the country’s most important, if not the most important, sporting occasion, the Melbourne Cup. Whilst not at the racecourse it is such an important event that it is celebrated across the country. Then the first of four wine trips to the Hunter Valley, NSW‘s premier wine-producing region and somewhere I’ve not been before. Back in time to meet up with wider family on 5th November. (Though with no fireworks) The day after we leave to one of the few cities I’ve not visited in my four previous trips downunder, Adelaide. Here we’ll meet friends and visit the vineyards you are most likely to have drank wine from, if you’ve ever had any Australian wine outside the country. All the time staying at a beach-front motel in Glenelg. We leave there very early in the morning to do a three-day, two night tour along the Great Ocean Road to Melbourne, a city we both love and we’ll have a few days here, including a visit to the Yarra Valley vineyards, before taking the night ferry to Tasmania, another part of the country I’ve never visited before. We’re planning to hire a camper-van to explore the island, visit the two other main cities and, of course, visit the vineyards. As the climate in Tasmania is closer to that in Alsace I’m expecting the vineyards and the wine they produce to the closest in the country to those here at home. We return to the mainland on the ferry overnight, I just love travelling by ferry or train overnight; have a couple of drinks at the bar then go back to you cabin and be rocked to sleep and then wake-up in a new city. Fantastic. We’re still planning how to get back to Sydney from Melbourne but the current favourite is to do it by rail as it would allow us to stop off and visit family at Shellharbour and near Sutherland before returning to Sydney for a few days before our return journey on 27th November.(Boo)

One thing is for certain Oz 2011 spawned a monster of a blog, enjoy:

A matter of inches

27/09/2011

At the weekend the British cycling team  won the the world road race to, as RoadCyclingUK said “cap (a) historic week for British cycling” topping the medal table at the World Championships in Copenhagen with six medals, including two golds. A fantastic performance to win the road race but also to win all the medals. I think not enough congratulations have gone to the British team for their outstanding performance over the week that has seen them as the most feared team at the World Championships, so I wanted to add mine.

As Matt Slater reports on the BBC the victory margin for Mark Cavendish was “a matter of inches” but the team as a whole dominated the race. On a day when some of the people I follow on soical media have ben busy with a speech. Elsewhere on a site celebrating speech, that I was first pointed to this week, there is one which also talks about inches. I’ve not seen the film but it is a good speech with a good delivery by Al Pacino, enjoy:


%d bloggers like this: