First of all, something of an apology to any of you that might have lumped your money on OM to take a hiding at the hands of Besiktas last night on the strength of how awful I said they were last Saturday. They were really dreadful, I promise. Still, as I’ve said before, anyone that takes my opinion on anything in the slightest bit seriously should really reconsider their general world view in the most profound of senses. Meanwhile, Liverpool coughed and spluttered their way to a lethargic looking 1-1 draw at Porto (repeat the mantra after me: “No team will ever win the European Cup with Jermaine Pennant in its team”), whilst Chelsea… well. Held at home by the mighty Rosenberg – a club whose entire financial turnover throughout the whole of their history would barely cover the cost of one of John Terry’s ivory back scratchers. Marvellous stuff. Of course, the format of the European Cup as it stands takes into account the possibility of richer clubs dropping points against the likes of Rosenberg. Expect them to grind their way through to the next round with five successive 1-0 wins. Honestly. I just don’t get what people see in it. In lieu of having much else of enormous interest to say (insert sarcastic retort here), here are a few more nuggets that warrant mention in passing.
New Blogs For Your Delectation: I probably shouldn’t be encouraging even more of you to desert me (seriously, the viewing figures around here have plummeted recently), but here I have recently added some more to the links that warrant your further attention. Sam Kelly’s excellent Hasta El Gol Siempre should be your first stop off point for all things Argentinian (and Argentinian domestic is brilliant – one of these days I will write something furious about how scandalous it is that we see so little South American club football in this country). I came across Gramsci’s Kingdom by accident, but I’m jolly glad that I did. I don’t know whether it’s a North American thing, but they seem to do this football & politics thing a lot better than us. Maybe we’re just too immersed in it all to be able to detach ourselves and see the broader picture. Finally (and if you haven’t been mentioned it’s probably because I’m an idiot), I would point you all in the direction of Early Doors. A marvellous way to waste an evening (or three), it’s a collection of vintage football clips from YouTube, with the accent firmly on the 1970s and 1980s. If you know any more links that should be on here, let me know.
Wednesday Blues: It’s a pretty complex situation, politically speaking, but Sheffield Wednesday have joined the ranks of clubs taking legal action against their supporters. The club still has deep rifts between supporters’ groups and between supporters and the current board of directors after what I can best describe as a chaotic set of circumstances over their ownership of late. However, it seems again as if a football club is acting in a ridiculously heavy handed manner. It’s a thin line between “protecting the brand” (as I believe the modern parlance would have it) and being seen to try and silence any criticism of the way that a club is being run, and I am not completely convinced that this isn’t the latter. We live in sad times, in some respects.
Revie & Clough Go Head To Head: Apologies to anyone from One Touch Football that has already seen this, but this extraordinary recording has surfaced on the ITV website of a special edition of the Yorkshire TV show “Calendar” from the night that Brian Clough was sacked as the Leeds United manager after just 44 days in charge of the club in 1974. YTV reporter Austin Mitchell (later, of course, to become a Labour MP) not only managed to get Clough into the studio, but also his predecessor at Elland Road, then slightly eerie then-England manager Don Revie. They manage to say more about football clubs and how they run themselves in the first five minutes than anybody connected with the Premier League (managers, players, chairmen or media) has managed in the last fifteen years. You can only watch this on Internet Explorer, by the way, and possibly only in the UK, for all I know. With this in mind, I have snaffled an MP3 of it for your perusal. Really, it’s quite special.