Friday, February 8, 2008

Leaky week - Premcorrespondent

It's been a bad week over in the correspondent household.

The dishwasher’s on the blink again and the sunroof in the Kermit-coloured Rover 25 is now leaking. Unfortunately, since Rover went the way of domestic fixtures in the Premier League, the only way to get a new one is from the scrapheap. I now know how Harry Redknapp feels. Currently we are being kept water-tight with vaseline. I now know how [editor steps in with massive pair of snipping scissors].

In the meantime the Scudamore and his wonderful band of league schedulers slipped in a second round of fixtures midweek. Midweek games. Joy.

Anyway, as I was sayin...No I CAN'T go on..... EFFING BALSHAW!! You unredeemable arse. WHY, WHY!!!!. No, DON'T give a penalty away there! YOU'RE RIGHNT IN FRONT OF THE POSTS!!!! SEE WHAT YOU'VE DONE!!!! Now Tindal's hurt as well! Kick it, Just KICK IT. NOW! Oh sweet Jesus WHY!!!!

[Next few sentences unreadable due to tear stains]

I'm okay now. I think. Back to the action in a game where England can probably still beat Wales. At home. Maybe.

It's been a tight few games in the race for the Champions League slots.

Villa and Blackburn drew 1-1, Liverpool lost 1-0 to West Ham. Everton drew with Spurs. Chelsea then decided to enter the mix sneaking past Reading 1-0 then drawing with Portsmouth.

Liverpool improved midweek - with a 3-0 win over Sunderland, but then West Ham went and embarrassed them by losing to a Kilbane goal at Wigan. So that means Liverpool are worse than Wigan then. Villa then fell a little behind the pack, losing 2-1 to Fulham - who it turns out do have a player who can score late winners, he's just been injured for the past year or so.

Blackburn and Everton then faced off in the race for fourth, drawing 0-0. Man City, meanwhile, seem to be determined to prove us right for thinking Sven was punching above his weigh with Ulrika, sorry, England. Throwing away their undefeated home record to Arsenal is one thing, but drawing with Derby?

As it stands there are six teams within six points of fourth place and the glamour that goes with being knocked out of the European Cup in the final qualifying round then making a half-arsed attempt at reaching the Fairs Cup semis. And West Ham aren't that far off joining the pack.

At the top of the table, Arsenal are proving remarkably durable, with six goals scored and one conceded from their games against Newcastle and City, while Man U are being dragged into contention through Ronaldo's attempt to lay the ghost of George Best to rest and write a new chapter in the history of the red 7 shirt. Ferguson is ignoring his heavy over reliance from goals coming from a winger, and decided that benefitting from an own-goal in the 94th minute after being played off the park by a rejuvenated Spurs was, in fact, down to the referee booking 7 of his players. The Gunners are now two points clear.

At the foot of the table - and a nice brass Griffin clawed-foot it is, with a little wheel attached - games were played. Reading lost 2-0 to Bolton, Sunderland won by the same scoreline at Birmingham. Derby and Birmingham drew one all (seeing Derby get two points from two, quite a result for them).

Wigan lost to Birmingham 1-0 to go with their 1-0 win over West Ham, while Bolton and Fulham both failed to score and got a point each for their ineptitude.

The remaining game saw the Geordie nation on the march again, after scoring their first goal under returning legend Kevin Keegan. Robert Huth then equalised for Boro.

Derby are still well out of it (nine points from 25 games does not survival make), while Boro, Bolton, Wigan, Sunderland, Reading, Birmingham and Fulham are all within two losses of the relegation zone or one win from leaving it. The race avoid the drop is tighter than ever with any two of those seven teams looking like they could spend next season visiting Barnsley, Burnley and Blackpool in the Championship.

That's all for now, I'm off to vaseline the roof.


Ebren said...

Cheers PremCo – although I feel honour bound to point out Wales Beat England the last time they played at Wembley. 32-31 I believe.

Upanunder Greengrass said...


One understands, one really does!

Dodgy dishwashers one can swallow, ropey Rovers one can stomach, but botching Balshaws verily make one retch.

I watched the double-header last Sunday, with England trying hard to imitate the Kray Brothers in the first half and the Marx Brothers in the second. Sadly there were a few Sons of Cymru in the alehouse, but at least they didn't treat us to "Bread of Heaven".

This Sunday, another double-header,
with the Manchester derby and Italy
v. England. I'll be watching with a friend from Sicily who knows nothing about rugby - it seems the only ones who play the game back home are the local Fascists.

Would someone mind running a book on just how Ballsall cocks up this time round?

P.S. Dear Lord Ebren, just how do the loyalties of the Sons of Kernow run when their Welsh cousins are playing against England?

andrewm said...

Liverpool are in all kinds of trouble. I'm torn between wanting Benitez to go, because he's underachieving, and wanting him to stay because I'm terrified of how badly we'll do under a lesser manager.

I could cry, but I won't.

offsideintahiti said...

Oh, but you will, Andy, you will. Eventually.

munni said...

Rugby on a premiership thread? Oh dear.

But as long as we're talking internationals, I must say I'm starting to like Fabio, but he cannot do the impossible, and it finally dawned on me this week that England are never, ever going to win the World Cup ever again.

Also, I am way more interested in that dodgy dishwasher than I should be. I fear I am becoming bourgeoise and old.

guitougoal said...

shut!........everybody sleeping including Andrewm.

offsideintahiti said...

yaaawn - stir - scratch - yaawn


gg said...

don't speak too soon!

Now then, where's me nightshirt?

gg said...

don't speak too soon!

Now then, where's me nightshirt?

guitougoal said...

new night shirt is on the way....

mimi said...

Talk of nightshirts: I've bought some lovely new flannelette pyjamas here in OZ - will be so very cosy when I get home. Also seen some interesting roadkill that Offy would love for the Taproom. Wombats, possums and some smaller things that are hard to identify once they've ben squished by the Chelsea Tractors - yes they have those here too!!

Ebren said...

GG - mebyon Kernow tend to support the white rose, as fewer Cornishmen have played for Wales.

offsideintahiti said...


I'm very touched that you should think of me in faraway lands, whenever you see an animal lying dead in a pool of dried blood.

Flattered, even.


gg said...

Dear Lord E,
Have any Cornishmen played for Wales?

did you see the rugby yesterday?
That Fulgency Oesophagus bloke - he sounds scary, but what's he like on the field?
How do they find room for his name on the back of his jersey?
Any decent roadkill of late?

mimi said...

Offy: as we drive the dirt roads of the Dandenongs or other strange Aussie places, and I see furry squashed things, I think instantly of the Taproom menu and what delights you and Ingrid could either whip up or leave to stew in a pot for a very long time.

ingrid said...

"whip up"?

Offy and me have had our moments, but flagellation I certainly do not recall.

Leave me out of this - I haven't asked to be a part of this menagerie a trois!

file said...

hope y'all are ready for ice hockey reports ... just as soon as I can locate the puck (where the puck is it and why don't they make neon pucks?)

well done premco, you're now my only (sane) link with the EPL and I depend on you for the low down like your roof needs it's grease

offsideintahiti said...

He's back. Oh dear. Helmets all around. Padding, too.

file said...

top of the marnin to ya Offster, guess we got the night shift now

offsideintahiti said...

Ingrid, you don't remember?!!? Just how hard do I have to... oh, nevermind.

mimi said...

I seem to recall boiled hockey puck as something Tom Lehrer familiarised us with. Ice-hockey appears to be one sport Victoria, at least, is not pulsating with. Perhaps they get enough mindless violence with the AFL - season not quite started yet, but some pre-season "friendlies" going on. That's enough to make you shudder and run back fearfully to the cricket!

andrewm said...

Ebren, I agree totally with your comment on Scott Murray's thread. There is an attitude in England (probably also in Scotland, although I pay little or no attention) that unless every single minute brings a shot on goal, it has been a bad game. I'm amazed at the unrelenting praise for the African Nations, which seems to me to be the best example of a total lack of tactical awareness and organisation.

Ebren said...

AM – cheers fella.

I think it’s either a failure to understand football on their part (quite possible) or a failure to understand why we watch football (it ain’t just the goals) on the parts of the commentators. There is also the absolute inability/unwillingness to directly criticise a fellow commentator. Motson says “TV replays will ruin the game” studio people/co-commentator then either leave it hanging or agree. If Lawro says “this game is rubbish” then people just won’t disagree. It builds a reputation (if several people say it and no one disagrees) then it becomes an accepted fact.

Chelsea/Liverpool was not a classic, but I really enjoyed watching Makelele and Mascherano play, the intelligence and technique of both players was great to see. I also liked watching Makelele skip round players closing him down (rare to see, but nice that the question of “pressure him to see if he can operate when closed down” was answered resoundingly “yes” by a 30-something holding player”).

The one that got me was a Villa-Man U FA cup game a few weeks ago. I enjoyed it, I thought there was good skill shown and good intelligence/tactics on display. Lawro and Motty just slated it as there were few shots. I spoke to my uncle on the phone (who is very much not of the new-school, and was a fast-dribbling winger back in the 50s) and he agreed.

It really winds me up – has anyone ever done research to see if anyone of the watching public agrees with these tits.

Margin said...

Ah I remember that third round game between Villa and United. If anyone wants to know how good Michael Carrick is, and why United should always play him, watch that game! Truly some of the worst comentary ever - but a great game from Carrick.

guitougoal said...

I made the same observations about Mascherano and Makelele during the Chelsea/Liverpool yesterday-
Also I thought the tv camera worked better than usual
we could see clearly the built up of "cul-de-sac" by each team and that was very interesting.

guitougoal said...

African Nations, players fatigue, bad playing fields, and the heat were the negative factors. But it's true that they lack basic structural support.

gg said...


don't they use jock-straps?

MotM said...

Re Liverpool, I have tears streaming down my face. Laughing!

Actually, I wonder how Liverpool fans feel. Rafa seems in a terminal decline, the owners are unpopular and there's just a crowd and a history to keep them going (okay the CL is theoretically winnable). The spectre of Newcasteldom must loom.

andrewm said...

Ah Mouth, you poor fool, don't you know anything - Newcastle have far more money than us.

We'll be the poor man's Newcastle. Oh God ...

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