It's Up For Grabs Now
Sunday, February 29, 2004
Half time fine as it is, say FIFA at the same time as deciding the best alternative to golden/silver goals is what they replaced and abandoning the earpiece experiment which everyone said would be the way forward for the game. Now, when are they going to do something about the real scourge in football today, namely players possibly kicking the ball twice at penalties?
Thursday, February 26, 2004
Yeovil Town are Britain's newest hitmakers, which led to plausibly Radio 1's least likely chart interview. 'Gary'? That's Mr Johnson to you, even though young Wes clearly has to be told his surname by his producer right at the end of the chat
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
Emails You Don't Know What Else To Do With No.3
I can't believe you missed out the Leeds Utd v Celtic European Cup semi-final of 1970 where Don Revie's unbeatable team were beaten home and away by a bunch of no hopers from across the border.
Celtic had won 1-0 at Elland Road with the return at Hampden I remember the silence in Hampden when Billy Bremner scored for Leeds to equalise. You could hear a pin drop among the "official attendance" of 134,000.
Er, missed out from what?
Still mourning FootOfGod? Hordes of fantastic video clips put together by, er, some bloke on some message board. But all excellently sourced. (cheers, Azul)
Sunday, February 22, 2004
Wednesday, February 18, 2004
In Goa, the match-fixing is a tad more obvious. How proud would you be to say you played for or supported Curtorim Gymkhana or Wilfred Leisure?
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
Emails You Don't Know What Else To Do With No.2
Hi, my name is Craig Taylor, a 22 year old TV production student based in Warrington. I and three other group members are due to shoot a seven minute documentary, we would like to conduct it on Ali Dia and how he blagged his way into the 1996 Saints team against Leeds, do you have any contact details about Ali with the hope of acquiring an interview with him for our documentary?
Well? We'll pass on his details if you know how, but we're not holding our breath. Anyone who comments 'have you tried George Weah?' will get the coldest shoulder we can muster
Saturday, February 14, 2004
Forget that this is the progeny of Johnny Vaughan's Fighting Talk, any commentator vote is worth the effort, dammit! Jonathan Pearce is doing well at the moment, so please do all you can to put things in their rightful places.
Friday, February 13, 2004
The FA are cracking down on offside baiting at free kicks, which is good as we've been meaning to rant about this topic for a few days now. So... well, let's get some perspective here, everyone. This new 'interpretation' was introduced in September, and as such has taken nigh on six months for anyone to notice. This hasn't been raised as an issue in Italy, Spain, France or Germany, and if it is now it'll be because of how it's set fans talking (except it hasn't really) over here.
As ITV have told us, there are three controversial goals that are directly down to this rule. Thierry Henry's at Wolves we'll ignore immediately, as that would have been given onside at any point in the last 130 years, so no wonder Jon Champion, whose goading helped Dave Jones into a set of quotables that have as far as we're aware not been replicated by his own club's fans, and Ally McCoist thought it was controversial. If you're prepared to believe Ian Walker threw the ball through his own legs because the sight of Kevin Nolan's back distracted him, then it has to be questioned why such a low concentration threshold hasn't proved a barrier to his top flight career before, although of course if he'd held onto the ball a) nobody would be talking about this and b) Andy Gray wouldn't have had a nervous breakdown during the replays, which culminated after the game when he cued up a clip of Les Ferdinand being caught properly offside when a ball was played through the middle for him and Gray pretty much shouted "now, why is that offside and Nolan not?" BECAUSE HE RECEIVED THE FUCKING BALL AHEAD OF THE LAST BLOODY DEFENDER, YOU FUCKWIT! (Sorry.)
Which of course leaves us with Ruud van Nistelrooy's goal against Southampton, which must have been down to The New Offside Regulation as Graham Barber told Peter Drury it was. Now, is it just us, or was Barber being disingenuous here? van Nistelrooy, marginally and probably unwittingly offside (ITV's all-knowing camera angle used as evidence wasn't straight on, which oddly Matt Smith neglected to take into account), was behind a large group of defenders and attackers alike, with the linesman standing in a position where he could easily miss Ruud. The ball is played in, it's half cleared, crossed back in, and by now Southampton have two men on the line for some reason. Barber looks at ITV's tape prior to the interview, decides he doesn't want to drop his fellow official in it, and sparks an Andy Townsend rant as clearly Man Utd couldn't have just got away with it through luck rather than judgement. Gordon Strachan ridiculously plays *four* defenders on the touchline at free kicks - all of which are cleared - against Fulham, Sam Allardyce spots this on either Goals On Sunday or The Premiership On Monday, decides to implement it against Leicester, and the 'row' begins.
So, this rule. To quote BBCi above, "The law now states that a player in an offside position is only penalised if involved in interfering with play, interfering with an opponent or gaining an advantage by being in that position." Is it just us who recalls a rule put in with quite a bit of publicity in 1994 stating that players need no longer be ruled offside if they weren't interfering with play? So this controversial rule is a rewording of a guideline which was broadly welcomed some time ago. Well done, everyone. (Of course, this rule was brought in to promote attacking play and would have been most welcomed at the time by creative midfielders and penalty box strikers. Like, ooh, Andy Townsend and Ally McCoist, let's say.)
The moral of this story - next time you see Andy 'I dunno what the offside rules are any more, Martin' Gray, punch him in the face.
Rupert Lowe is some man. Here he is falling out with his own club's fans and completely losing the plot... in one easy move!
Thursday, February 12, 2004
European football was so much easier in the old days, when English coaches were so well regarded that the Greek FA hired a bucket from the country to be its national coach
Tuesday, February 10, 2004
So let's get this straight - a self-proclaimed motivational guru, ie nutcase, turns up at Leicester's training ground and Mickey Adams welcomes him in? No wonder that bloke got on the pitch the week before last if that's the kind of safety standards they promote
Monday, February 09, 2004
Even if it is Chelsea we're talking about, how can you have "12 first-choice players"?
Tuesday, February 03, 2004
Imagine being streaking's Mark Roberts - you get to live out your ambition of streaking at the Superbowl, yet all some woman has to do is wear a curious ring thing and she gets all the attention through clothing removal when you'd previously expected it to be a one horse race in that field. (NB. note careful wording to avoid Google search hits going through the roof)
What is professional football coming to when a referee can't even swear at players without getting into trouble? Clive Thomas must have put brickies and troopers alike to shame over the years. No mettle, today's overpampered stars etc.
Hang on, a referee (in Brazil, mind) pulled a pair of red knickers from The Other Woman out of his pocket in lieu of a card during the game? That's surely a leaked plotline from a poorly budgeted prime-time family sitcom?