Come on Greeny “Drop the Gloves”

NHL Rule 46 – Fighting:

46.1 Fighting – A fight shall be deemed to have occurred when at least one player (or goalkeeper) punches or attempts to punch an opponent repeatedly or when two players wrestle in such a manner as to make it difficult for the Linesman to intervene and separate the combatants.

In hockey (particularly the North American brand), when things ain’t going well, the team is under the cosh, losing the physical battles or perhaps just needs a boost in their spirits, there are certain players who will call out a player of similar reputation, off come the gloves and away they go.

On other occasions it may fall to someone who isn’t naturally a fighter.

St Ignatius, Stamford HillWell, our spirits are low, we need a boost, I haven’t had a fight since I was nine (that’s 40 odd years ago dear reader), when my opponent ducked the haymaker I was throwing and I left half my knuckles on the Church wall in front of which he was standing.

(It’s the wall down the right hand side of the building, which adjoined the school playground – the skin is still there and worshipped on an annual basis as a holy relic by devout locals – by the way Alfred Hitchcock’s old school is on the left hand side of the Church.)

My hour has arrived. So come on Green, let’s sort this out now!

You just do my head in with the endlessly carping negativity.

I attempted to listen to the commentary on the Spurs game on Sunday to try and crowd out all the anguish of the Newky result and you just started in straight away about players wearing gloves. Couldn’t understand why they do it, what it’s for? “Just a joke” or some such other of your lame phrases. You were even more exercised by the wearing of the “short sleeves and gloves combo”. Went on about it for ages. Why? Sniggering insinuation that it was only soft foreigners, followed by vague suggestions that hard men don’t wear gloves.

I had to switch the bastard thing off.

And then another time you’ll spend the whole evening whining about it being cold up on a gantry and convince us you’re in some god forsaken hole where the football on offer just doesn’t measure up to your unfathomable standards, forgetting all the while you’re also part of the circus that’s being paid to “inform and entertain”.

The only activity that comes close to yielding as little useful information, while being that far from entertaining is waterboarding.

Have you watched a marathon Alan? They go out on a lovely spring day in next to cock all but with gloves on. Wondered why Alan? Have you sniggered at our Paula as she floats along, pony-tail bobbing in that jaunty way with those teeny tiny little gloves?

It’s all about heat loss. Just as diet, training and all other manner of other jiggery-pokery has moved on since the 16th century, so has sports clothing. They’ve discovered that after the head, the hands are one of those areas through which you lose most heat. Even during rigorous physical exercise it is wise to maintain a reasonably consistent level of circulation and body temperature, thus minimising extraneous energy loss and the consequent fall off in performance and perhaps increase in risk of injury (or some such sciency-physiology-medico type explanation).

No doubt some players would wear hats if they were allowed, it’s just that they don’t fancy letting Stephen Hunt drop the knee on them so they can get the dispensation to do so.

Do you see it now son?

And anyway even if my pseudo scientific explanation is cobblers, why shouldn’t they wear gloves if they want to? And pink boots and lacy G strings and a furry bloody willy warmer if it takes their fancy. Provided it is within the rules and Nike want to fork out a fortune for them to wear it, why in the name of the very beardy Jesus wouldn’t they?

You see Al, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t mean they are all ponces. No-one has produced a scintilla of evidence that wearing gloves means you’re not up for a scrap, or more importantly are not going to play well. It’s all part of your deeply conservative, small minded, purblind view of what constitutes the acceptable world.

All classes of men now have a wash more than once a week. We don’t wear the same woolly long johns all winter to only get cut out of them in the spring. We even use soap. We wear clothing in a wide variety of colours. Personal grooming products for men, Greeny. It’s a big market. A market that encompasses the weak, the strong, the hetro, metro, homo and any other sexual you can think of.

It’s no good laughing at noncy foreigners, ‘cause we’re all dandies now.

The future of football depends on attracting youngsters to the game. They’ve grown up with the concept of man as a vehicle for fashion. Listening to you will make them think the game is peopled by backwoodsmen from the fifities.

In philosophical and hair management terms, what is the difference between an alice band and layers of brylcream and pomade? Only girls wear alice bands? Yeah and only ballet dancers wear tights? Is that it mate? The world has moved on from the narrow definition of what constitutes maleness in the backwaters of your mind.

Trevor HockeyAnd don’t start on about the neck warmer! What do you think Trevor Hockey was doing with this beard? Is that not an attempt to grow enough fur to keep his neck warm? I know what I’d prefer.

Gary LinekerIf a football player wants to cut a dash, display appalling personal taste or look like a twat, do we care so much any more? They don’t have to wear black. They are not undertakers. So they wear red boots? At least they don’t have perms and mullets and wear shorts 90% of which are wrapped around their ball bag or up the crack of their arse circa 1980.

And if they wear gloves at least they are honest. What was so manly about all those players in the 70s shivering, their shoulders hunched up and their sleeves pulled down over their hands? Did they look hard? Did they look up for it?

I’m sick of the cheap shots, the bar room bore who thinks he’s the world’s greatest comedian. You’re not funny. You’re not even vaguely amusing. In the name of the God who makes the best biscuits, it’s a relief to listen to Sad Stanley and his mates on TalkSport sometimes, just for a change.

That I can even say that, me, who doesn’t have any interest in the latest large capacity van, am incapable of doing my own tiling, does not believe that all wisdom resides with the London Cabby, who will probably never do enough serious man-work to make it worth paying the extra for DeWalt quality over the cheapo crap that’s piled up just inside the door of your favourite DIY store, just shows you how bad it has got.

Greeny, it has to stop! Now! And now it’s pointless trying to discuss anything on your enervating, mind numbing 606 phone–in where you just talk over or cut off anyone who marshals a few salient facts or looks like they might win an argument.

So drop your gloves.

The Tale of the Tape:

Blue Bayou:

Age: 50; Height: 5’ 11; Weight: 175 lbs give or take 10, well mainly give; Reach: Far enough to pick up my drink.

Alan Green:

Age: 58; Height: Dunno he’s always sitting down; Weight: Probably more than me; Reach: Right into my guts where he twists them up.

NHL Rule 46.11 – Instigator:

46.11 Instigator – An instigator of an altercation shall be a player who by his actions or demeanor demonstrates any/some of the following criteria…

Distance travelled – I’m prepared to get on a bus to get this done.

Gloves off first – Oh they’re off all right (be careful with them they’re cashmere).

First punch thrown – Take that! You annoying numpty.

Menacing attitude or posture – Grrr (but this might be easier on something less slippery dontcha think?).

Verbal instigation or threats – Come on I’m going to lamp you!

Conduct in retaliation to a prior game (or season) incident – There’s just too many to count – but have that on the hooter anyway!

Obvious retribution for a previous incident in the game or season – You’ve just ruined listening to football on the radio so have that in the bracket!

Sorted. I feel better now. Hopefully you do to. So let’s man up and show a bit of spirit on here ahead of Saturday.

46.11 Instigator – A player who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation shall be assessed an instigating minor penalty, a major penalty for fighting and a ten-minute misconduct.

I’m off to the box for my five minutes, or is it two minutes or ten minutes?

I’ll be gone a while anyway.

There are 111 comments

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  1. Cunningplan

    Do you think we can have a blog competition, so the winner could help BB when he kicks seven bells out of him.

    And I mean by help, give him an alibi!

  2. FanSinceTheSixties

    Coming from the left side of the sectarian divide, I’m usually well disposed to all things green, but this fellow sounds a most disreputable chap, and thoroughly in need of a sound thrashing.Can’t say I’m sure which one of the many tossers he is though.My extrication from all things mainstream in football media coverage is fairly complete these days, since my discovery of Sky Italia, which brings the benefits of 3p.m. Saturday matches and no English commentary – a double win if ever there was one.Next up Everton, weather permitting, and plenty of the ‘Chelsea Belissimo’ which so punctuated the early part of this season.

  3. Der_Kaiser

    Yes, only puffs wear gloves. Just ask David Haye.The thing that always strikes me about Alan Green is that he has not one remaining ounce of love or passion for the game; the world-weary cynicism is all well and good, but there comes a point where it actually spoils enjoyment for the listener to hear some moaning old fart whining his way through a job that most would give their high teeth for.Thankfully, as hackneyed and cliched as most pundits are, at least their love for the game comes across reasonably well. I’d categorise Glendinning in the Guardian with Green; as with Green, some cynicism is fine to an extent, but every paragraph he writes just seems to be a sly dig at anyone who takes football remotely seriously, a crime that automatically makes them intellectually inferior to him and as such beneath contempt.

    • Anonymous

      I feel like that about professional misery guts Paul Hayward.

      If anyone ever needed to get laid……….

      • bluebayou


        While I’m happy to “take one for the team”, I rather fight ’em than shag ’em – that’s just my preference but if anyone wants to step up be my guest……

        • Anonymous

          Actually I was rather hoping that once you’d sorted Green, you’d have enough left to punch the living daylights from Hayward. I was merely commenting on the fact that he needs to get laid, because I have serious doubts as to whether he has been, and if he has been laid was it intentional or accidental?

  4. Anonymous

    You can chuck in Adrian Durham from Talksh*te whilst we’re at it. To paraphrase Billy Connolly why don’t they just f*** off and get jobs they like.

    For the record, I was planning to play hockey last week in gloves and about 36 layers and I’m Northern.

  5. bluebayou


    I saw from Mark’s post on the previous thread that they’ve settled quite rapidly with Raymondo. That’s good. I wonder why?

    I’ve been thinking about him in this cold weather. Mooching around at home, having lost his job through no fault of his own. Is the air a bit frosty chez Wilkins?

    At least they’ll be able to put the heating on now. Warm ’em up a bit.

    • Anonymous

      Phew, for a moment when I saw that “Fist City” title I feared we were heading for tasteless Julian Clary territory….

  6. bluebayou

    Before I trudge off into the gloom, could someone enlighten me on how we top the league for agents fees in a year where we’ve hardly bought anyone, sold quite a few and negotiated some contract extensions, while Mad City and others through money round like they were rich as Croesus (oh yes they are aren’t they).
    As well as playing hardball with the likes of Borini and Kakuta over money, any chance we could do the same over the agents fees?But then that might impoverish those “advisers” close to RA who seem to make from both ends and the middle of any deal.

    • Cunningplan

      Yes I was wondering the same thing, perhaps Pini Zahavi accounts for 80% of the ammount, just for being RA’s friend.

      • Anonymous

        I was equally perplexed – the only other alternative I can think of is that perhaps football agents work on the same basis as the commission paid to that other bunch of chancers, financial advisers in the personal finance industry, who keep getting paid a percentage every year till eternity after they have “advised” on a purchase despite doing bugger all in the interim.

        This would mean we are still paying for our past profligacy and will continue to do so unless some reform is forthcoming, as I believe is gradually happening in the financial adviser rip-off at least.

  7. Ringo

    Don’t believe I’ve had the pleasure.
    Hearing Mr.Green that is.

    I’d suggest you first have an easy warm-up bout against a no-hoper who won’t hit back before taking him on though.
    And as luck would have it ,Audley has said today that he’s going to “fight” on.

  8. Der_Kaiser

    My understanding of the role that helpful Mr. Zahavi plays is thus; a lot of the players we’ve signed and subsequently renegotiated deals with, he doesn’t actually represent -he’s almost a ‘fixer’ who sets up the deal with CFC and the player’s agent, so in effect we’re paying 2 ‘agents’ for 1 deal.Quite why on earth we need to do this is another matter entirely, but it would seem to go some way towards explaining how we’ve spent so much on the dreaded middle man recently.(I stand corrected, but I think that Cech, Drogba and Essien fall into this category)

  9. Anonymous

    From memory wasn’t he involved in a few of the ridiculous early transfers of Roman’s reign, Veron, Crespo etc?

    • Anonymous

      Crespo wasn’t ridiculous though, he was bloody fantastic and I was sorry to see him go, even if I understood his reasons.

      • Agh57

        Your right, I was thinking in general throwing money around terms and not particularly the merits of any particular player and those two were the first that popped into my head.

  10. Anonymous

    I read somewhere that the figure for Chelsea involves very long-term (therefore high-value) deals where the agent fees happened to be paid this year or last year or whichever year they’re counting. In other words it’s not really the kind of analysis that gives a “representative” figure at any particular moment. I’m guessing agents get paid in full when the contract is inked — so JT may get X gazillion each year of a five-year deal, but Mr Agent gets 10% of X x 5 gazillion right away.

    Anyone care whether the World Cup comes to their country? Personally I like going and would be chuffed if I could see a World Cup game live and be making tea with my own kettle that same evening.

  11. Gleb

    Well, I’m Russian and I’d love to have the World Cup, but only for the stadiums and various other infrastructure. We really, really need that. Of course, billions will be embezzled by the government as always, and we have much more urgent issues to blow shitloads of money at (and there would be no chance of getting tickets whatsoever anyways), but I do want them proper stadiums. Other than that, we don’t really need the WC in terms of increasing the sport’s popularity and all that other FIFA crap, because we have absolutely everything necessary for football, apart from decent stadiums. And I know they’re never going to build them unless we win the bid.

    Good luck to England, though! I know it’s gonna be such a joy to watch the WC in England! I just want some stadiums… 🙁

  12. Cunningplan

    Nick, just to inform you that the donation I made to the blog through Paypal has been returned to me. It states that you haven’t completed the Paypal registration to take the money.

    • Nick Benfield

      Thanks Clive. I’m pretty sure it’s because I didn’t change the PayPal donation email address when I switched from OleOle to It should work now. Sorry for the balls-up.

          • Cunningplan

            Haven’t been that far, just been travelling to and from Blatters and Putins house with heavy suitcases.
            They still haven’t told me what was in them, but I’m getting suspicious now.

          • Anonymous

            Please send me details of the strategy you deploy in order to avoid Euro Championships and World Cups as you have previously stated. Please include any plans for buildings in which the outside world can be sealed off, whilst allowing access to non-football related TV (Movie Channels etc). Any holiday destinations that also allow the complete blocking of any FIFA organised competitions either audible or visual would also be much more appreciated.

            Those decisions (more the Qatar than the Russian one) are exactly the sort of things that chip away at the mojo. I’m rather hoping that by 70 (the next chance we get for a World Cup, but probably planned for North Korea) I’ll be free from this vicious drug of football fanaticism and sitting in my dotage somewhere with no TV/Radio or internet, just me,some cigars, some nice wine and some good books.

          • Cunningplan

            No special strategy Tony, as much as I like to think I had a foolproof way of avoiding said tournaments. International football just doesn’t do it for me anymore, too many friendlies played just kill the whole thing for me. Same goes for test cricket, I used to love the days back in my yoof, when it was a rarity to see these games, you switch on the TV now, and it’s all year round. It would be a bit like shagging Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie every day, the novelty would wear off eventually, and become routine.Holiday destinations are an easy one, just go to the States to avoid it, afterall the last World Cup was interrupted by the TV networks, showing the SLOW speed O J Simpson car chase.

  13. mike12

    Well, I’m South African, and having the Wrold Cup here was tremendous. Our infrastructure prior to the Cup was shite, to be brutally honest. The introduction of all the different strucures is a good start, but I don’t think England really need all the improvements that we got. From a footie perspective, the only issue is the matter of Football overdose, where you just get bloody tired of seeing so so much football. Other than that, we all loved it down here.

    • Der_Kaiser

      Does seem to be a good way of getting the country in question’s infrastructure out; went over to Germany in 2006 and spoke to a number of fans who said that getting the tournament and the subsequent investment had really given the game a boost in the years running up to the finals.

      • Anonymous

        In that case the World Cup should definitely come to England but be played in December. We could then drastically improve our transport infrastructure. One snow plough and a few bags of salt should be sufficient investment!

  14. Anonymous

    As much as I would love the 2022 World Cup in Australia, I fear in would be the most bland and banal World Cup ever. Frankly, as good as they are at winning, the Aussies will never understand the passions that go along with the World Game and it would piss travelling fans off enourmously to be continually treated in the way A League crowds are treated.

  15. FanSinceTheSixties

    Not sure that I could take all the hype and expectations of a home WC, and then having to look at Rooneys face staring out from every TV screen and newspaper stand for the six months preceding it….

  16. bluebayou

    Re infrastructure and taking the example of the Olympics:

    On the plus side they’ve built the Spammers a new stadium, we’ll have a new big John Lewis as part of the Westfield Centre, and there’ll be a competition sized swimming pool.

    On the negative side they’ve built the Spammers a new stadium and the as far as transport infrastructure goes, the big plan, according to the documents released the other week, is to discourage the indiginous population from using any of the existing stuff, which is obviously cheaper than building anything new.

  17. bluebayou

    Oh and the idea that we’ll all be flocking to the world cup, provided we’re allowed on the transport infrastructure, I’m not so sure.

    There were a lot of empty seats at the Euros when they were here. Were any of you one of the 23 people who showed up for the France V Czech semi-final?

  18. Anonymous

    First I thought our bid presentation was very good, although I fear brown paper bags stuffed with cash and Putin’s absence mean it’s in the bag for Russia. Shame, but if we don’t get it then I wouldn’t favour another bid for 2026 or whenever, because I’ll be 65 then and with any luck living in France! Plus after losing the 2006 bid I think enough ‘bid’ heartbreak is enough. If we don’t get this one then the owers that be patently don’t want it here.

    And then this…..tweeted by PeteW, and as atheist as I am I find this rather heartwarming

    • Anonymous

      So, 2030 at the earliest. I’ll be 70.

      I’d rather not be 70 and have to put up with all that shite, so take note FA. Don’t bother, take the money spent and shove it into the grass roots and Lilleshall.

      What a hateful bunch of cunts all the FIFA execs are, including the English bloke.

    • Cunningplan

      Aye there’s a surprise, who would have thought it eh?
      Looks like Panorama need to do a new programme and dig a bit deeper this time.

  19. bluebayou

    Whatever about Russia (and now we know why Putin didn’t travel, it was in the bag) but

    Qatar? Hosting Football? which goes with Beer? With Beer and excessive profanity. Air conditioned stadiums when we’re trying to be “Green”? Fucking madness.


    Sorry, I had to get that off my chest……..(I thank you)

    • Anonymous

      Well I’m not one to peddle national stereotypes [except when it suits me] but if you were looking for World Cup hosts who might perpetuate FIFA’s reputation for dodgy financial dealings could they have chosen better from the candidates?

    • Anonymous

      Point 1

      It is a punishable offence to drink alcohol or be drunk in public – foreign office advice for visiting Qatar

      Point 2

      Homosexuality illegal in Qatar, and can be punished by imprisonment, or 90 lashes.

      Point 3

      A state where women are treated as 2nd class citizens

      Point 4

      Public displays of affection, between married or unmarried couples are also punishable

      So, well done FIFA, that is one WC that will be dismally attended except by corporate liggers

      Russia, good job teams like Spartak Moscow aren’t racisit then!

  20. bluebayou

    I hear Greenland is bidding for the next Cricket World Cup, to take place in December 2023

    They’re shit at cricket and it’ll be 30 below.

    But I understand they’re nailed on to get it.

  21. Anonymous

    Well Roman looked pleased.

    At least that explains why Chelsea have been falling apart lately. His lobbying and cash have got Russia a great event but I think we’d all like to ask him to come back to the Bridge with that same determination and cash for Carlo.

    Some may laugh at Qatar but with the money they’ve got, expect an Abu Dhabi F1 style project.

  22. bluebayou

    And the “No Shit Sherlock” Award for helping the public to a true understanding of what really happened goes to

    Former England captain and bid ambassador David Beckham: ” We didn’t get enough votes at the end of the day and that’s obviously what we needed, what we hoped we would get.” (as quoted on the BBC Website)

  23. Anonymous

    Amused by how sycophantic Blatter tried to soften our blow by referring to us as the Mother Country of football

  24. bluebayou


    I claim my prize for quoting the first sight of blaming “Chelski” for England not getting the world cup

    From the BBC News Have Your Say site

    17. At 4:03pm on 02 Dec 2010, AuntieLeft wrote:

    “When you analysis it, we didn’t have a chance. The left wing media (BBC) who seem to want the UK (and USA) to loose in everything. This combined with the alleged corrupt state of Russia and its agents (nay Chelski lot) discussing ‘terms’ with an alleged corrupt FIFA. The ‘mob’ are winning children.”

    (yes that’s their use of “analyisis it” not mine)

    • Anonymous

      I’m not sure what “the ‘mob’ are winning children” is meant to mean either from the same quote? Possibly some strange kind of lottery looking to attract sponsorship from Angeline Jolie or Madonna?

  25. Anonymous

    Can you hear that banging? Its the noise of the last nail in the coffin of my interest in any International football

  26. bluebayou

    And the final team to be drawn in the European Zone qualifying for 2022 is ……..Israel and they will go into Group G with Spain, Holland, Portugal, Germany, and Italy…………so that’s that potential problem sorted then…….

  27. Anonymous

    Oil-Rich States Win Bribe-Based Contest Shock.

    No offence at all to Russia. In lots of ways I think Russia seems like the obvious choice for a “European” World Cup, and if the decision had been made on the right combination of rational and sentimental grounds it would probably have ended up there anyway.

    But — Qatar??

    An interesting sideline here is the failure of the US bid. One can’t help feeling that it’s symptomatic of the general decline of our slowly fading superpower. The ’94 tournament obviously went to the US in pursuit of $$$$, at exactly the wrong time. Whereas now there’s an established league and a very large and knowledgeable general audience for football in the States — but unfortunately the $$$$ and the geopolitical clout are elsewhere.

    Same’s true for us in Blighty, of course, mutatis mutandis, but we lost our empire decades ago so we’re used to it. It’s more fun to note that the Beckham Effect is now worth precisely Bugger All.

    The most depressing thing is that there’ll now be another of those hysterical anti-BBC witchhunts.

    • Anonymous

      I’m rather hoping the BBC and the ST go for the jugular now and get Blatter out and FIFA replaced by something more democratic and inclusive.

  28. Gleb

    The Czar does it again! When there’s not enough bread, just ’em more circuses, eh? My attitude towards our government aside, it does feel really good, because money or no money, in the end it’s all about football, isn’t it? It’s about the oldest teams in the country finally getting their own stadiums (after 120 odd years of homelessness), it’s about the kids getting proper footy schools and facilities, it’s about improving the overall infrastructure. I think that’s good, from every possible perspective. We might not have any World Cups under our belt, but we’re European Champions (the very first ones, in fact), and your very own British Jonathan Wilson gives a lot of credit to Russian managers and players in “Inverting The Pyramid”. A Russian guy invented 4-4-2. Dynamo Kiev invented pressing. You can’t say we’re not a footballing nation, that’s appalling and just plain bitter. Say what you want about corruption, the scary KGB and whatever other ghost stories keep on circulating, we, first of all, the people – deserve a World Cup, don’t you think? It’s funny how everyone, just some 6 hours ago, was so excited and cheering on England and whatnot, yet now they’re saying “fuck it! we was robbed! they’re all corrupt!” ad nauseum. Again, I by no means am defending FIFA, our government and whoever else gets your blame, I actually think we did simply buy ourselves a World Cup, but for once I’m happy because England hosted it, Spain hosted it, Holland hosted it (I think… They definitely had the Euros), all of you have sensible enough governments and chairmen to have built all the necessary infrastructure without winning a WC bid – I’m very, sincerely happy for you because as your main WC bid argument went: England breathes and lives football. Without a World Cup. So I think it’s only fair someone like myself, who isn’t involved in all the crap thrown at Russia, might someday enjoy a sunny Sunday afternoon supporting my favorite team on our very own Old Trafford, St. James Park or Anfield, and watch my son play footy under proper coaches and utilizing training facilities newer than 80 years old.

    Thanks limetreebower! I meant absolutely no offence to any of you, I would have been happy for England, but a lot of the media and the comments are being really bitter about this, I don’t think it’s fair at all.

    P.S. However, I too do not understand the Qatar decision… 0_o

    • Anonymous

      Is it really all that? Stamford Bridge has got heaters in the West Stand Upper and the District Line runs a good service (aside from weekend maintenance, hot weather, cold weather and the Autumn).

  29. Der_Kaiser

    Have to say that on reflection Cameron had it right; having the best technical bid and the best commercial bid seems to mean very little to FIFA – he didn’t say it, but there was an unspoken “What’s the point?” at the end of his quote.

    FIFA are sailing very close to the wind and one hopes that they come unstuck somewhere; 3 host nations categorised as ‘high risk’ bids from Brazil in 2014 to Qatar in 2022.

    Still, they will probably get away with it – they usually do.

    • Cunningplan

      Brazil will certainly be interesting, rich pickings for the gangs. I’m sure Jenson Button can testify on how dangerous things can get.

    • Anonymous

      Not a Cameron fan, but yes I detected that sigh/shrug ‘what’s the point’ as well, and well done to him for capturing what a lot of us feel. If we’d known upfront about the ‘new frontier’ criteria then we could have not bothered, and neither would Spaingal/Holgium. We have been conned into spending money on a bid we could never have won.

      As a fully fledged bloke who can sulk for England and as my militant alt-personality Grocerjack I’m still pissed at the whole thing, but I feel like many others that we could save International football in the UK by doing (including the other home FA’s)……….

      a.) No more bids for anything FIFA or UEFA.
      b.) No more bids for our stadiums to be used for showcase UEFA finals
      c.) Cancel any England friendlies booked on the basis of the bid (Thailand and Paraguay) and allow us to choose our own opponents freed up from bid pressures
      d.) Re-instate the Home Internationals for non-UEFA/FIFA competition years, so odd numbered years – this gives our teams some meaningful ‘local derby’ competition which would help our international competition readiness. Extend this to Eire and France maybe.
      e.) Put the money potentially used for bids back into the grass roots of the game, and Lilleshall.
      f.) Deploy an English coaching TEAM for the national side, similar to the Clive Woodward rugby regime, using Harry as the head coach but giving chances to ex-players to cut coaching teeth under his guidance.
      g.) Surreptitiously ensure that Blatter or any of the exco never gets any invites to any EPL games – an easy directive from an aligned FA/PL
      h.) Reform the FA and PL to a single organisation, with regional football covered under the umbrella of a professional executive committee. So the regional FA heads report into a board headed up by proper football people mixed with business experts (best of both worlds) – the likes of Beckham, Mabbutt, Hoddle, Lineker, Shearer could be the football people
      i.) Replace the nice but utterly ineffective Trevor Brooking and Geoff Thompson. Do not have any UK representative on the FIFA exco for 2 years until someone with dynamism can be installed.
      j.) It would be worth lobbying support from established Euro nations to force FIFA’s hand in changing or ensuring the criteria for bids is published beforehand
      k.) Use ex-pro’s to ref games.
      l.) Install mikes for refs (no don’t ask FIFA/UEFA for permission)
      m.) Implement the rule that ONLY captains can approach and talk to the ref during play (no, don’t ask FIFA/UEFA) for permission, just fucking do it.
      n.) The new aligned/merged FA/PL should implement goal line technology in UK games at PL/Championship level, again without any nod from UEFA/FIFA.

      This is about leadership my friends. We either follow UEFA/FIFA and tug our forelocks as we kneel at their feet, or we show some leadership and go our own way. If the rules work, they will follow, if they don’t we can say we tried some new ideas, some worked some didn’t. It’s about being brave, and to do this we need to pull our horns in. We can market our football irrespective of these intitiatives

      • Der_Kaiser

        Well I’d vote for you chief!Really felt for Andy Anson and his team; the older chap whose name escapes me looked so frustrated when he was talking about the 3 million or so they’d spent on the technical report which gave England a great rating, only to then lose out to a vastly inferior bid in technical (and other) terms. And if it was all about taking football ‘somewhere new’, how did Australia poll less votes than Japan and the US with what by all accounts was an excellent bid? All very arbitrary (to put it politely).Anson is absolutely right – whether anything will (or indeed can) be done about how FIFA handled this is another matter – but 22 men awarding 2 tournaments consecutively is so open to abuse that it’s laughably ridiculous it was passed as an idea in the first place.Add to that Blatter’s apparent ‘evils of the media’ speech to the electoral college just prior to the vote – just unbelievable. I sincerely hope that the Brit based investigative hacks leave no stone unturned in tearing FIFA to pieces in the coming years. This is no ‘loser’s rant’, but having read various books on the subject of FIFA’s dirty laundry in recent years, I just find it increasingly saddening that these corrupt fools are in charge of a game we all care a great deal about.

        • Anonymous

          What are the books called m’lud? Or would it just be eternally depressing to read them?

          Mine was part losers rant, but not because we lost fairly, simply because despite the best technical bid we only got one vote, which implies something else. The ‘free press’? Surely not that much impact really? Like you, I hope the red tops go to town along with the broadsheets, after all nothing to fear now.

          And wtf was Geoff Thompson doing through all this…..didn’t he have even an inkling? If he didn’t then he’s seriously out of touch and should go, if he did then he’s an incompetent bumbling fool (part of the job description sadly) why not stop the Dave/Dave/Billy show? Holgium had given up the ghost but still got 4 votes…..tells me a lot that.

          So, my rant is just what I’d like to see us do, Fuck FIFA and fuck UEFA. Plough the lonely furrow, make the changes, pull out teams away from any global FIFA charity initiatives and concentrate on home issues. Isolationist? Of course? But maybe it’s time to sort our house out.

          I wouldn’t be sorry to see the decline of the WC. Uncle Kens idea of a breakaway Euro association (but not UEFA) with Spain, Italy, the UK, France, Holland , Portugal and Germany, plus others like Switzerland, Sweden, Serbia etc would leave FIFA flat on it’s arse. And I like that. The TV companies would fund it because the best players would be on show, bar the South Americans, but they could do similar in league with the US.

          My interest has declined in the international game, and maybe this would have re-ignited it, maybe not. But the rank unfairness is what sticks in the craw. Do we really need it here? No, and neither do we need UEFA or FIFA to run our game.

  30. Austin Solari

    Tony, I agree with every one of your points but you just know our weak FA would never dream of implementing even one of them. Why? Because they travel on the same gravy train that those useless dicks from FIFA do.

    • FanSinceTheSixties

      Hope you excused my seasonal outburst, but I was amused.Also like the idea of scraping International Friendlies and reinstating the Home Championships. That was possibly the one ace that we had up our sleeve over the other nations and none of the home teams has done well since those fixtures were removed. Scotland in particular went from almost perpetual qualifiers to constant no-hoper’s and the extra competitive edge we all gained is sorely missed.

  31. Austin Solari

    I listened to a BBC slot where NIcky Campbell spoke to Oliver Holt and Shaun Custis today on R5. Custis really let rip at FIFA and Holt was only slightly less restrained. Custis gave every impression it is ‘gloves off’ as far as FIFA are concerned now.

    Also seems we are not the only ones creating ……………. the Aussies are up in arms too. Their guy is saying that Australia, the US and us should never bid for anything again til they sort their act out. He says it was ‘contanimated’

    • Anonymous

      Heard it too Austin, working from home as Clanfield is yet again snowbound and cut off, well my road anyway. Very impassioned stuff from Custis and Holt.

  32. Gleb

    Why are you all suddenly coming up with all these crazy ideas about breaking away from FIFA? Because you lost a bloody bid? I don’t understand this attitude at all.

    Everyone knows that England has one of the best football infrastructures in the world and is ready to host any kind of football event as early as tomorrow. We all get it and are happy for you. But what do you expect? You expect to host the World Cup, the Euros, the European cup finals and everything in between, all the time? Just because you have the best stadiums? Well, you and maybe a couple of other European countries, so you’d share all the tournaments among yourselves just because everyone else is, according to you, crap and knows nothing about football and how to be a fan etc. So you’re saying you should have gotten the WC ahead of Russia, and then the next time ahead of someone else and then again and again, just because your stadiums are great and you all enjoy football? The whole freakin’ point is to bring the World Cup to as many places in the world as possible. It’s a WORLD cup. One nation, no matter how technologically advanced, cannot host all the tournaments. It was blatantly obvious that FIFA carries out a certain policy regarding host nations, based on their geographic location and “continent rotation”. Everyone knew about it. What did you expect?

    It’s unfathomable how this kind of stuff occurs. I can accept that FIFA is very dodgy, so are all organizations, but one thing you have to admire is their policy of expanding football’s geography. Asia, Africa, South America, now Russia, then the Middle East. Europe had its turn in 2006. The next time Europe is on the agenda, I will support England with all my heart.

    You do not have the divine right to everything football-related just because you’ve invented the modern version of a very old game. How can you get upset with FIFA if everything was so obvious?! It was NEVER about who has the best stadiums. It was never about who invented the game. It is political, it is about uniting nations and continents, it’s about bringing a huge event to as many places as possible. How on earth can you disagree with that?

    • Der_Kaiser

      Very impassioned, Gleb, but you miss the point completely. No-one thinks that anyone has the divine right to host, but what has annoyed people is that all the hoop-jumping, commercial and technical assessments that a nation has to go through seems to count for nothing; again, fair enough if that’s the way it is, but why put bidding nations through it all if they clearly have no chance of winning?

    • Anonymous

      And you my friend have the wrong end of the stick.

      it’s not about the LOSING. It’s about the way we lost, along with Australia, the US and others. FIFA have effectively conned the losing nations out of loads of money by having a criteria that none of them met, or even if they did, by not having something else. England wasted money on a bid that COULD NEVER have won, and if FIFA had been upfront and stated that they wanted new frontiers and all that bullshit then that money could have gone back into the game rather than being chucked at a a bid already lost. Look at the comments from other losing nations and that much is obvious. The technical nature of the bids was utterly disregarded as the risk rating. Why not just let Blatter choose from the outset and gain agreement like he does with the others.

      Leaving FIFA won’t be political but it will be financial when countries who have great technical infrastructures decide to sweat their assets even more and big business joins in. Put it this way, FIFA can’t just piss off the big nations forever because by the nature of their size in football terms they will decide they all want some of the pie, and the TV companies will fund it because they know people will pay. Their arrogance will be their downfall.

      Now, Russia will no doubt put a good event on and they do have a footballing legacy but Qatar….over Australia? Come on, get real. The US has a fledging league with growing interest but….no it’s Qatar. It’s hardly a footballing legacy. as my previous link to Dan Levene shows, it’s all about ego’s, oil and money for Qatar.

      We haven’t exactly hogged the major tournaments have we? One world cup (66) and the Euro’s in 96. Accusing us of arrogance or expecting to have a divine right is not something you can accuse us of if you had any knowledge if England. All we wanted was a level playing field and some honesty and transparency, all of which were missing. I’m lost at how anyone can defend an organisation with that hideous crook, Jack Warner in it.

      We gave the world football, so let it enjoy it. All I’m saying is that maybe we should try something brave and new to pioneer the game and for that we don’t need FIFA or UEFA thanks.

  33. Anonymous

    What Jonny Kaiser said.

    You’re quite right, Gleb, to take offence at the idea that England deserves the World Cup more than Russia. It doesn’t. There’s a lot to be said for taking the tournament to a major nation that’s never had it before and will put on a good show.

    But no one here is saying that. What we’re saying is that FIFA quite clearly didn’t make its decision based on any of those factors. If they’d chosen Russia because it was the best bid, that would be great. But if they were choosing the best bid, then you can’t possibly argue that England would have got 2 out of 22 votes. And if they were choosing the best bid, *no one* can argue that Qatar would have won the 2022 tournament.

    FIFA members are known to take bribes (we know this because some of them got caught). There’s absolutely no transparency at all to the process; they don’t have to say why they made their decisions. They commission complex reports on the bids and then ignore them without comment. They claim to be “offended” by the actions of a major international media source (rather than, for example, taking the allegations seriously).

    Russia deserves the World Cup and will do a good job. But that’s not why FIFA gave it to you, and you know it.

    Until the organisation can prove that it’s making decisions based on the evidence submitted to it, rather than based on the most rank and shameless corruption, why should anyone get involved in those decisions?

  34. Gleb

    I not only know it, I acknowledged it straight away.

    Grocer Jack and limetreebower, thank you for your replies and I’m sorry for sounding a bit fan-boyish. What you are saying is absolutely right and irrefutable. I totally agree. I again apologise, because my post wasn’t in any way a “We won, you lost, so shut up” kind of thing, not at all. I love England, I love London and Brighton, and obviously I love English football and really do wish to someday witness a Wembley World Cup final. On the contrary, I was actually being honest and straight-forward asking you about all the negative and disappointment when it was quite clear that FIFA won’t give it to England for a number of reasons. I’m defending them at all, never have and never will.

    Other than that… I understand what you’re saying and obviously it’s a huge blow, but it was to be expected.

    It just looks a bit crazy, with the press going nuts, all-guns-blazing at everybody, and a lot of Englishmen saying, to put it mildly, very unreasonable stuff about both Qatar and Russia, when it was obvious that FIFA adhere to a certain policy, apart from being corrupt and bent. I guess they’re doing this – backing “unsafe” (we’re definitely miles safer than SA, trust me), as you put it, bids – a lot now, rather than 30-40 years ago, because all these countries that they “want to bring football to” finally have the financial capacity to host such an event. That’s why it’s Brazil, Russia, Qatar and possibly China all in a row.

    I’d like to stress yet again that I wasn’t attacking any one of you or England in general, that’s just not me 🙂 I was merely asking a question in a “passionate” way, probably crossed the line somewhere…

    P.S. I do feel for the Aussies, though, really do, was supporting them all the way. Whereas the US just had one less than a decade ago, so again – no brainer there.

  35. FanSinceTheSixties

    What’s the shit with all this bidding anyway, World Cup via ebay?

    Why don’t they just allocate the finals to nations who ask to be considered and commit to providing suitable facitities, in whatever order they deem appropriate?

    And btw Gleb, you’re starting to sound paranoid (which doesn’t mean that we’re not out to get you).

    • Cunningplan

      Yes the ideal scenario would be for ‘Rafa’s Return’, (sounds like a good name for a pub) Harry get the England job, and the mad one take Spurs down to were they should be

  36. Anonymous

    Credit to Mad Rafa, he’s destroying Inter a lot faster than he destroyed the ‘Poo. He must have refined his technique up at Anfield.

    Gleb tovarishch — we’re all on the same side. Death to Blatter.

  37. John

    Good luck to Russia for the outcome but the reasoning is shite. Yet another example of the way a great sport is governed by buttock-clenchingly piss-poor administration, from the FA, the Premier League through to EUFA and on to FIFA. Cunts the lot of them. What should and could – don’t let them tell you otherwise – be a relatively cheap and straightforward process becomes an expensive jamboree. Why are we surprised? They can’t organise a fucking draw without turning it into a less camp Eurovision song contest. Why not have something along the lines of simple “technical” criteria to do with stadia and travel etc, then let continents take turns, then give it on the basis of whether the country have had it before or more recently than other bidders? Even allow these stupid joint bids if you must, but make a joint bidder’s recent hosting override a partner’s non-hosting. That way it would have been between Russia and Holland/Belgium, and the others could have saved themselves the bother. This is not sour grapes – I couldn’t give a fuck where it’s held on one level and on my own criteria Russia should have it – I’m just fed up with the cunts who spout pious crap about spreading the word when we all know it’s about money, and in particular their snouts in the trough.

  38. bluebayou

    Random noodling re the WC (yes it has become strangely synonymous with a toilet)

    I’m not an engineer but I do work in a construction environment so I was interested in how they planned to make the Stadiums playable in Qatar where football is normally played in winter (they are hosting the Asian tournament in January 2011).

    This may be of interest. It all seems as though it could be achieved. Indeed it may help advance such technology.

    But a note of caution. Remember how so many of our wonder stadiums were built and then they found they couldn’t get the grass to grow. All the talk of scaleability well are they sure….and those references to cold climates that’s a little specious. We’re talking of technology used so that people can live rather than play football, which the author seems to overlook.

    And they will do this for 11 stadia which wont be used again? (And I don’t for a moment believe the goolies about rebuilding elsewhere.) Isn’t there a better use for this money?

    Is it really going to improve football in the Middle East to do it this way?

    FIFA has become almost its own state. It is meant to be the administrative center of football, serving as a central organisation to facilitate the running of the game internationally. It is now a power in its own right controlled by an elite who manipulate matters for their own ends.

    The whole quasi -state, quasi-legal goon show that the Dutch highlighted does not serve the interests of football. FIFA poses as a positive good for football helping channel the wealth (monetary and otherwise) of the established football nations to grow green shoots in other parts of the world. Fine. Lovely thought. But in reality they abuse power by strong-arming members into doing things with the promise of benefits down the line. Fixers like Warner have enormous power to hold associations to ransom.

    The prospect of staging tournaments is used as a means of extracting maximum advantage through barefaced lying and manipulation.

    Yes there should be a transfer of wealth and knowledge from rich to poor. But it should be because we want to do it for the good of the game. Not to garner votes. And what about Hungary and other nations that have historically been strong football cultures (one of the big differences between the Russian and Qatari situation)? How much help do they get from FIFA? To what extent has FIFA tried to ameliorate the problems in Eastern Europe post the fall of the Iron Curtain? Staging one off tournaments isn’t the long term solution (cf Poland and Ukraine). We hear all the time about new frontiers. What about the existing football world? All is not well there. FIFA can’t be a cure-all as it can’t control economic reality or the power of TV money concentrating wealth through UEFA’s mis-mangement, but neither of they or UEFA seem to want to stand up for the small guys in a European context. No votes in it I suppose.

    Gradually, the whole sorry mess gets worse as areas with little or no real football infrastructure are given more power so as to keep the administrative elite in situ. Tournaments are weakened and become bloated so that power blocks can be formed through guaranteed participation for nations with little hope of otherwise qualifying.

    The supposed expansion for the good of the game is actually a self serving race to further enrich and empower a body that is now beyond the control of those it is supposed to serve. It isn’t going to change when Blatter goes.

    Ponder this (taken from an article on ESPN)

    “Blatter is running for a fourth term and has said he is braced for a candidate from Asia to challenge him in the vote at the May 31-June 1 FIFA Congress.

    “Qatar’s Mohamed Bin Hammam is president of the Asian Football Confederation, which would have nearly half of the votes needed to elect a president if it votes as a bloc”

    How do we interpret their successful bid. A warning to Blatter or him buying off the challengers?

    Oh and while we’re thinking about rich and poor, Qatar has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. Think of giving the WC to Luxembourg and you get the picture.

    As many on here have said, it’s not about England’s (or Britain as it inevitably became once it was lost) bid failing, it is the dishonesty of the process. They should have invited bids from countries who had never hosted and would represent a moving of the frontiers. Then we wouldn’t have bothered and by we I mean England, Spain/Portugal and Holland/Belgium and the same for the 2022 bid. Big savings on time and money.

    Still back to the real stuff. Desperately need 3 points tomorrow.


    • FanSinceTheSixties

      Interesting read but a bit worrying that it’ll take 12 months photovoltaic generation to offset the carbon from a few football matches.

      The article states that matches can’t be played undercover, which is OK but it also implied that they can’t be played at night either which I don’t understand.

      Many International games are played under lights as are league and cup competitions, so what’s the problem?

      Probably just some archaic rule that has never been rescinded so we’re still stuck with, a bit like FIFA itself.

  39. Anonymous

    Oh dear.

    This is beyond a joke now. Third and Utd have a game in hand. I don’t understand why after a great first half we decided to run back to the edge of our box for the next 45 minutes and hold on to a 1-0.

    Everton more than deserved their goal and our second half display was terrible. JT’s organsiation and leadership nearly got us through but with Mikel putting in yet another sloppy performance (the number of times Cahill or Rodwell ran past him into the box to get a free header was incredible) and our attack again offering little, more dropped points was almost inevitable.

    But this has gone beyond a blip now. Our form is abysmal and with Everton at home being one of the easiest of our December fixtures, I fear for the next 4 weeks. I said last week that by 2011, we could be 5th and if that happens Carlo’s out the door.

  40. TrueBlue

    Ramires for Anelka? What was that about? If Carlo does not trust Sturridge then get rid of him in Jan!! And again Ramires proved his crapness. 17 million Euro’s for this featherweight? what is he?? CM/ DM/AM? All 3?

    Drogba really worked hard today – great defensive play … but still not his sharpest.

    No excuses today – only Lamps missing. Not wanting to sound like a doom-sayer – but it’s clear we are not in a position to challenge on 3 fronts. Who knows … maybe this is all a clever ploy by Carlo to throw the Prem so we can slip unnoticed into the CL final? ??

  41. Anonymous

    5 points from the last 6 games is relegation form.

    The squad just doesn’t look good enough at the moment.

  42. Anonymous

    One win in six and held by the side in fifteenth. Still, not a defeat so I’m sure we’ll hear some hollow positive spin about today.

    Fucking shambles on and off the pitch. Not seen any of the game so have no feedback about players, but can’t believe Kalou has started again and no chance for Sturridge. Drogba sounds like he was hugely average. We need to have a very un-Chelsea December (as in win some games AND play well) or our season is over.

    I’m sure someone will be on soon to tell us not to worry and things aren’t over. I’m not sure there’s a Chelsea fan on the blog who can say we’ll be ok. As I see it, Carlo’s not far off packing it in.

  43. Anonymous

    Also, 3 goals in 6 games.
    Arsenal are top (that hurts more than our shit form – them and United still haven’t played well. Our good patch was at the start of the season)
    Gareth Bale next week. No decent performing right back for us, that’ll be nasty.

    I’m hugely fucked off. Can you tell?

  44. Anonymous


    Dreadful, hideous, ghastly. Shockingly bad.

    What’s happened to Cashley? To name but one.

    Poor old Drogs gave it a good go but the two-half-chances he had were tapped weakly along the grass to the keeper. It seems symptomatic. Two years ago he’d have swivelled on them and blasted the crap out of the ball, even if he didn’t score.

    Why did we keep falling over? No, don’t answer that.

    I’m with Habs I’m afraid. This doesn’t look like a blip any more, it looks like the future. (Mind you I didn’t see the Brum game where we were apparently not complete shit.)

  45. Tony Glover

    Terrible display. 2nd half worse than Sunderland. Not 1 single shot on or off target second half. Kalou dire but also Essien and Malouda. Something is very wrong. Back as Grocerjack later.

  46. Anonymous

    Oh and I forgot to add that Kalou deserves to be shot for his shocking display.

    And my calls for us to move on from the Didier show last week are looking more accurate by the day. He offered nothing apart from a nice penalty. Just see his inability to pass to a blue shirt or to dribble past an Everton defender if you are in any doubt that he’s on the way down.

  47. Cunningplan

    Time for hibernation I think, this could well take away what’s left of any Xmas cheer I have.
    On saying that, three penalties for me one given, the other two, well….

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