The 200% Podcast 13: FOUL!
The Power Of Discretion And Why Guidelines Are… King
Steven Gerrard, The Media & Liverpool’s Structural Issues
The Twohundredpercent Podcast LIVE!
Where, Exactly, Do Queens Park Rangers Go From Here?
End Of Season Ennui
The 200% Podcast 12 – General Election Special
Saturday Night On Channel Five For The Football League
The Decline & Fall Of Leyton Orient
Rape, Disrespect & Fury: The Oyston Family & Blackpool FC
Is It Time For A New Football Club For Newcastle?
Tranmere Rovers & Cheltenham Town Stare Into The Abyss
I can’t help but think that I over-did the Chelsea yesterday. I didn’t quite dream about Ken Shellito last night, but it was a close thing. Still, good news everybody! To my considerable surprise, I have been cleared by my boss to take time off to go to Japan next week. Sadly, I’ve got a nasty, nasty cold, so I’m currently unable to get ridiculously over-excited about it all, but I dare say that by about Tuesday or so, I’ll bouncing around like a seven year old on Christmas Eve after his fortieth glass of Sunny Delight.
Friday nights are usually round-up night on here, when I bring together some of the bits and pieces have been playing on my mind over the last seven days or so. First up, the referral logs. Now: I have to say that I was… how can I put this… “surprised” to note that somebody had come to this place as a result of searching Google for “any free pictures of Rio Ferdinand’s cock?”. I’m not usually one to chase after a pound sign, but I can forsee a potentially lucrative future for me here posting photographs of footballers’ genitals. Although the searcher’s disappointment must have been, erm, “massive”, I wish him/her all the best in his/her travails. On reflection, though, I think I’ll keep this place Safe For Work (though it is probably worth pointing out that the two or three people that have got here by searching for “Helen Chamberlain’s arse” will have been somewhat more successful). Similarly holy-grail-like is the theme tune to “Midweek Sports Special”, ITV’s Wednesday night equivalent to the BBC’s “Sportsnight”. It has turned up as a Google search about fifteen times this week, and I don’t have a copy of it. In fact, I can’t even remember how it goes. Can anybody help? Together, we could put a number of people out of their misery. Such is the high volume of TV theme tune related searches that end up here, you will note that I have added the music based posts to the Links on the right. We aim to please.
On the pitch, I’ve already gone into Arsenal’s torpor in some detail this week. Successive defeats, to Bolton Wanderers and Fulham? It’s like watching the last days of the Roman Empire. Meanwhile, the other “Roman empire” (heartfelt apologies for that luke-warm pun) continued to bore the entire population of England into submission with yet another “workmanlike” 1-0 win – this time at Bolton. They and Manchester United (3-0 winners against a surprisingly lacklustre Everton team) are now so far ahead that they need binoculars to see Portsmouth, in third place. Considering their recent form, I’m surprised at how many people were shocked that Pompey could go to Anfield and get a draw against Liverpool. Every neutral should be willing these teams to bust the Chelsea/United/Liverpool/Arsenal hegemony wide open this season. Finally, Aston Villa (who are a big enough club to support a sustained crack at the Champions League) continued to infuriate by losing 3-1 at home against Manchester City. What was somewhat surprising was the crowd: just over 30,000 for a match that, had they won, would have put them third in the table. The Villa Park crowd can be somewhat fickle, it has to be said, and their form of late has been patchy, but this important match saw the ground only three-quarters full. Weird.
Off the pitch, Manchester United have continued to indulge Alex Ferguson’s recent peccadillo of signing elderly players (hello Edwin Van Der Saar), with the loan capture of Henrik Larsson. Five years ago, this would have been a massive signing, but I would question the wisdom of it now. Maybe he’s there to teach Wayne Rooney a thing or two about how to be a professional footballer and a gentleman at the same time. Finally, Arsene Wenger is certain that Arsenal will beat Spurs in tomorrow lunchtime’s North London derby. What are you basing that on, Arsene? Your team’s performance in their last two matches? Now, just watch him prove me wrong.
Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.
Congratulations on winning and managing to get the time off for the trip!
I think Man Utd getting Larsson on loan is a great move. And even if it doesn’t work out, it hasn’t really cost them anything. Plus, you know, van der Sar seems to be doing pretty well so far.
(Referral logs are fun…my favourite was discovering that people were finding my blog searching for “Jose Mourinho is a wanker”.)
I think the Larsson loan is a pretty shrewd move, regardless of his age.
I’ve not seen much of him at Helsingborg, but it’s only six months since he turned the European Cup Final on its head and turned down another year at Barcelona – and he’s always been a very fit and disciplined player.
Also, in being a top quality player at a small club with a no winter football, he presents a unique opportunity.
Where else are you going to find a player of that quality, who isn’t tied for Europe and can get away from his club for three months?