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Month: September 2007

Items Of Significance

I’m certain that there is some sort of significance to the following results: Chelsea 0-0 FulhamBirmingham City 0-1 Manchester UnitedWest Ham United 0-1 ArsenalWigan Athletic 0-1 LiverpoolPortsmouth 7-4 Reading I haven’t quite worked out what it is yet,...

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Disarming Honesty

There have always been players that one could describe as being plagued by demons. Think of Tony Cascarino bearing down on goal for the Republic of Ireland with little voices in the back of his head telling him that he’s going to miss, or Stan Collymore and the seemingly unstoppable course of self-destruction that ruined what promised to be a glittering career. Step forward, then, Curtis Davies of Aston Villa, whose honesty in interviews over the course of the last week or so has left me scratching my had and somewhat concerned over his well-being. After his multi-million pound transfer from West Bromwich Albion to Aston Villa a couple of weeks ago, he finally made his debut at Villa Park in the League Cup against Leicester City on Wednesday night. It should have been a fairly routine night’s work for the Premier League, but Villa were beaten 2-0 by Leicester, and poor old Davies seems to be shouldering the blame for this himself. In an interview on Aston Villa’s web site, he said that, “I don’t know what it was. I feel fit, I feel fine, so I’m not using any excuses like that. It was just on the day I choked”. Ouch. Most footballers (most famously Michael Owen) get considerable media training from a very young age, and they are trained to not say anything of any interest...

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Channel Four Think You Are Idiots

The gentrification of football over the last fifteen years or so has been well documented. Buying a season ticket nowadays requires a complex system of vetting and credit checking, and that’s just the start of it. You will also be expected to fork out on merchandise, food, drink and so on. It’s a rich man’s game, now. The other cultural shift that happened within the game was the rise of the “lad”. This was a broader social phenomenon, but it manifested itself within football with the rise of “Fantasy Football League”, the Friday night BBC2 TV show that ran from 1994 until 1998. The programme was a reasonable enough way to spend half an hour, but “lad culture” (and there’s a contradiction in terms if ever I saw one) left me largely baffled. The worst thing about “Fantasy Football League” and the “fan culture” thing that sprung up around it was that it strangled the emerging fanzine culture that it aped, and turned it into a load of unfunny chants (Jason Lee might not have been a Premier League quality footballer, but he didn’t deserve the vile heaps of abuse lavished upon him in about 1997), whilst giving celebrities the chance to (yawn) expose their “football credentials”. The game was fashionable again, and there was no way that the rich and famous were going to miss out on that...

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Baker & Kelly – Redux

Just a quickie tonight (as it were). Some more Baker & Kelly for you from 1998. Their own web site is starting to take shape (there’ll be a link to it on the right-hand side of this very page on when it looks something like the finished article), but for now we’re going all the way back to the 19th September 1998. The first twenty minutes is missing from the second download. Don’t blame me for this. I didn’t record them. 11.30 Erm…...

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