Monday, 22 December 2008
Champions of England. Champions of Europe. Champions of the World.
A pinnacle already reached in 1999, now it's been done in a tournament which truly separates the Champion of each continent instead of just those of from Europe and South America. Manchester United Football Club are officially the Greatest Club side in the World. Marvellous.
Once again United lead the way, the first English side to win this new edition of the tournament, nay, first British side to win it. And not only that, we will forever stand as the only British side who ever won the Intercontinental Cup version of the tournament.
World Champions twice. That's one more than England. Proving once and for all that United > England.
Worthless? Poxy? I don't fucking think so.
Manchester United - Champions of Planet of Earth.
Sunday, 14 December 2008
So the question now is will the current situation affect England's performance? Well, it seems to be having some effect on the team, after such a great start suddenly India go into tomorrow as the favourites. Captain Marvel's led from the front, Flintoff's batted as well as ever... If it wasn't for Strauss finding form, Cook and Prior having a couple of decent knocks and Collingwood making up for his shocker in the first innings we'd be staring down the barrel.
As it is, the bowling's done that job for us. Only England's attack could knacker up such a good position. Well, maybe Lancashire's, I guess. We'll just have to see what tomorrow brings. Another good spell from Swann and a bit of Monty Magic and we're in. Then again, I could end up in a threesome with Cameron Diaz and Mila Kunis.
Lancashire. Well, it seems they've done half a decent job and told Watkinson to fuck off. Well, OK, so it's not even half a decent job as they've only moved him upstairs. Director of Cricket? Hmm, I'm not convinced. Still, hopefully we'll get in a decent first team coach who's willing to make his own decisions and not be bullied by those above him. And hopefully he'll be given a chance to do that... Getting Laxman back in the squad is a step in the right direction, but we still need a bit more in the batting department. One or two more good signings and things are looking up. Until we get two or three games in and the usual "this is our year" optimism is well and truly blown away.
I guess following Lancashire and England are pretty similar in most aspects...
Wednesday, 26 November 2008
So, then. The credit crunch. Sorry, but it's bollocks. As far as I'm concerned we've been in a recession for 25 fucking years. I've never had money to plough back into the economy, I've always been screwed over by the tax man and... Well, you get the picture.
But the main beef I have is the man who told everyone we need to stop borrowing so much and get out of the loan culture for the good of the country (my words, not his). Gordon fucking Brown. The man who, as Chancellor, borrowed like fuck and increased our country's national debt. Yeah, you're in such a fucking great position to preach about frivolities with money, aren't you?!
So where does the new budget leave us? Well, I'm no financial expert, but I can't see it making much difference to me. We're likely to pay through the nose for it in the future, too. That doesn't mean I trust the Tories, either. I'd rather have the Monster Raving Loonies in charge, to be frank.
We'll just have to see how it all goes, I guess. Just pray this record national debt we're heading into doesn't turn us into a third world country. Sponsor a British child charities, coming to a wealthy country near you.
Monday, 17 November 2008
It says it all when you're left watching the bowlers throw the bat about in a much better attempt to get the total looking somewhere near respectable. Although I'd rather see Samit Patel get a chance further up the order, but them that pick the team and that know more than I do. Apparently. Broad made a decent effort with the bat, too. I'm not going to pick on the bowling, as rough as some of it was at times, except to say one thing. Harmison. Useless Geordie tosser.
Anyhoo, my main gripe is with Flintoff, Collingwood and Pietersen. I'll leave Bell out of it, because we all know he's fucking shite. But the other three really should be doing much, much better. Collingwood's dismissal was weak and Freddie and KP (Copyright the media and everyone else stuck up their arses...) still haven't learnt to bat properly. It says a lot when their best innings have come when they've played defensive shots when needed, taken their time and built and innings. And the big shots have been effortless, unforced and done without too much thinking (arf...) and planning. Yet 95% of the time they think they can win games on their own, don't have to play proper shots and can fuck around to their hearts content. It might work against Bangladesh but it doesn't work against a team that's just recently made Australia look shite.
5 ODI's left before the Tests? It's going to be a long series...
On a lighter cricketing note... Robert Key and Suresh Raina... Surely separated at Birth? The Keys must've had an Indian milkman, I'm telling you!
Finally, a brief footballing interlude. FC United played Guiseley yesterday in the Unibond Premier Division, sorry, Northern Premier League Premier Division, in Guiseley. It seemed a nice little town, just a shame about the Leeds Service Crew nuggets who decided to show up and kick off with a non-league family club. Funny how they only turn up when they know the odds are in their favour? Thankfully the police were well on top of it all and it got no further than a lot of shouting and arm waving.
On the pitch a hard-fought 2-2 draw was an excellent result, although we should've won really. But you can't complain. We'd have lost that game a few months ago!
And this really is the final point... I'm now a qualified First Aider. Scary or what?!
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to get my bat and do a bit of practicing. If that shower can represent their country...
Tuesday, 28 October 2008
Head straight to the laptop.
Around 10 years ago I never used the Internet. I only ever used the home computer to do school work. Yeah, alright, I used my trusted Amiga 600 (and later an Amiga 1200) night and day playing Worms, Syndicate and Sensible World of Soccer, but I got out of the house as well. I spent just as much time outside kicking a ball around or playing cricket, because that was the only way of keeping in touch with friends.
How things have changed. Now I spend most of my time at home connected to a computer. When I'm out, my mobile is constantly tune to Facebook and a couple of forums. Why? Because suddenly the only way to keep in touch with people, find out what's going on and what everyone's up to. Life is organised on the Internet, spend 6 days a week sat at a computer/peering at a phone organising things and then spend 1 day out with said friends.
Why has it come to this? Why is it so hard to just pick up the phone and talk to someone, to go around to their house and see them? Jesus, sometimes it's hard work to even text someone. An entire life contained on a computer and a phone - dates, addresses, phone numbers, organised events and so on. With no access to any of that, the world collapses, everything grinds to a halt. I find myself staying in the house and turning down the chance to go out just to speak to someone. Even purely on the off chance that the person I want to speak to comes online.
Not so much why, but how? How have I turned so reliant on technology? How has life become so hard to live away from a computer? Why am I asking all these questions when it's probably obvious? And it's not just me, thousands, nay millions of us lay slave to these machines. Facebook, MySpace (not for me, but there you go), Message Boards, Forums - people spend a lifetime on these things. And there's no need. Let's get out there, people, and start living away from machines. Otherwise we're all going to continue to be sad bastards spending too much time in our bedrooms...
Whitby. Lovely place, if a bit windy. And a bugger to get to. Two trains and a bus across the moors to get there, the same bus and thankfully only one train home. Not too sure about this Magpie Cafe's reputation, though, it was no different to any other chippy I've ever been to. Chips were crap, an'all. Shame the football was a tad on the poor side, but it was a good day out with a very early start to the drinking. You don't want to know - my excuse was it was Hursty's birthday. Blame it on him.
So between football and being a sad fucker it's no wonder I'm single. Mind you, not being able to get someone out of my head doesn't help... But that's another story for another time.
Time to leave t'internet behind, swallow my pride and admit my jealousy... To be predictable!
Sunday, 19 October 2008
Today has been the usual weekend. Football yesterday, with a piss up afterwards that took in a gig (more on that later), but then today starts just after midday when I finally crawl out of bed and before I know it, it's 20 past 9. I've eaten, pissed about on the 'net and put a film on. That's it. A day wasted, admittedly mainly down to the fact that I was seriously hungover, but still, all I've done is sit here and do fuck all.
It gets to the early evening on a Sunday and all I can do at the moment is sit here and think about how many hours it'll be before I'm back in work. That's wrong. How can I stop it? Well, short of not getting wankered on a Saturday and getting out of bed before 12 o'clock I guess not a lot. I'll just have to stick to ranting about it on the Internet.
The football wasn't even worth talking about yesterday. United's game only became worth watching after I was no longer able to watch/listen to it. And as for the FC game... Fuck me. The dullest 90 minutes I've had the misfortune to encounter for 3 years. Yeah, great, we won, but when you have to wait to the last attack of the game for a winner (which I missed due to taking the banners down anyway) after such a dull, painful game and atmosphere you wonder why you bother. But I guess I know why I do...
The music, however, was superb. My mate Simon's band The Cities (http://www.myspace.com/thecities) played the Mad Ferret in Preston alongside The Strangeways (http://www.myspace.com/strangewaysmusic), Coco Shackle (http://www.myspace.com/cocoshackle) and main act Boomhauer (http://www.myspace.com/boomhauermusic) all the way from Finland. All the bands were superb, The Cities are a top band and worth keeping an eye on over the coming months. And no, Simon didn't pay me to say that...
The Strangeways were top, Coco Shackle were a nice relaxing change to the rest of the night and they're worth checking out for the lass who sings for them. I'm in love! And Boomhauer... Well, no words can do the crazy Finnish bastards justice. They're superb, funny as fuck and completely and utterly on another planet. Check them out.
Hey ho. The film's finished, time to turn it off and go to bed. Before I know it it'll be 7 o'clock Monday morning again. Fucking woo.
Monday, 13 October 2008
So, the question is, was it the right decision? After coming within 25 runs of a historic first outright County Championship since 1934 in a heroic fightback at the Oval in the last game of last season, this season has been, well... One to forget. Ignore the third place finish: poor batting; unrest amongst the members; unrest in the dressing room (apparently...) - it's been a bit of a downturn this season. Law himself hasn't been in the best of form - his batting has been in decline since he took the Captaincy on (for Law read Chilton...) and a string of erratic decisions have littered his time at 'the top'. (Erm, again, for Law read Chilton. And Hegg...) At the age of 40, it's fair to say he's past his peak.
Lancashire haven't exactly gone for the youthful approach in recent years. With the signings we've been making the dressing room's resembled a retirement home more than anything else. Which points the finger squarely at Mike Watkinson. Coming up to 7 years in the job and he's taken us backwards, he's dull, no personality, a right miserable get according to people who see him often - plus he's completely unaware of the feeling amongst the members towards him. Apparently he reckons he's popular! Well I've got news for you pal, your dismissal would lead to street parties across the Red Rose County. Do one.
Admittedly, the Committee probably have their fair share of the blame to shoulder an'all. Bobby Simpson wanted to do his own thing with Crawley and rejuvante the youth policy - funny how they both left under a cloud, eh? Watkinson could just be a 'Yes Man' - in which case, and I think this is pretty clear anyway considering some of the other idiotic decisions made by the idiots in charge (I'd be here all night if I started on them!) that we need a change in the club from top to bottom, in the way things are run and who's in charge. But that's another debate for another time - plus there's people in a far better position than me who are discussing it in other places.
So, Glen Chapple comes in as Captain. Not exactly a youthful choice, but he's the most experience Lancashire player on the books. If anyone knows the County, it's him. Plus, he's not got a batting talent to fuck up, so that counts for something. Hopefully his bowling won't suffer, he's been one of the few shining lights this season. His second innings performance against Kent at Aigburth was from another planet and I'm privelliged to say I was there to see it. We say this every year, but let's hope this is what we need to finally bring the Championship back to Old Trafford. It'll be 75 years in 2009 since the Red Rose stood at the top of English cricket. For a club of this size, it's far too long.
Well, thanks for everything Stuart, you've been a superb player for the club. But now we've got to look to the future. And hopefully, it's a future filled with success.