Life, Football, Technology and Vespas…

Football

My vote for next England Manager.

From this mornings’ Guardian :

Rodgers has empowered a team of nobodies (that word is used in the nicest possible sense, and plenty of them are well on the way to become somebodies) to such an extent that they could outclass one of the best squads in the world…

… why has he not at least been mentioned as a candidate for the England job?

This is a damn good question. With (some of) the press finally realising that Harry Rednapp is no longer the only English manager out there – AND the fact that Tottenham are swiftly following their trait of bottling it at the end of the season – as they did last year (2 wins out of last 12), Brendan Rodgers should be very high up on the FA’s shortlist.

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Say No CPO

The freehold on which Stamford Bridge stands is owned by the fans. It is the only example of real fan power – unlike Liverpool’s fans’ talk of doing something, but eventually doing nothing – we did something.

The club now would like to buy back that freehold to potentially use in any financing of a move away from Stamford Bridge, should they wish to move to a larger stadium elsewhere. The arguments for moving to a larger stadium are understandable and not totally ridiculous. Really it is the emotional issues that are getting people, including myself carried away. But that is what being a fan is all about.

I was on the fence for the vote on the 27th until the clubs point blank refusal to instill the same setup with the freehold at any potential future site. Why would they not do that?

The value of the current freehold, due to it’s location, would surely be more than that of any new site (in my opinion), so it makes no sense why the same setup could not be done at any new site. Why would the club flatly oppose that? I cannot see how they would lose any value.  Buying it back from us (the fans) for the value it was, back in the early 90s, and now selling it on an open market would constitute robbery in my book unless the same structure with the freehold is put in place at any new site.

I also don’t believe that we would consistently fill a 60,000+ stadium in future. My opinion is to rather increase our income through TV/Advertising and stay at The Bridge. Who knows what football viewing will be like in 10 years time.

I also don’t want us to become another Arsenal. Great stadium, but cannot fill it, has no atmosphere and the burden of paying it off hinders the growth on the pitch.

The main argument for the move is to put us on a level playing field with the top clubs. But we are already competing with top clubs. The only club that has given Barca a game over the last 5 years has been us. Domestically, Man Utd have had the start of all starts this season (seemingly) yet we are only 1 point behind them and had a linesman been able to do his job properly, we would be most likely, 2 points clear of them. Man City have just moved into a new stadium in the last couple of years and it is of similar size to our own.

I cannot see any reason why staying at The Bridge will put us behind anyone else. I am grateful, as I am sure all CFC fans are, that we have an owner who, unlike others we won’t mention, is a fan and loves our club. He appreciates our history and tradition – evident in his immediate reversing of some of the more unfavourable decisions during the Bates reign.

But the truth is that although Roman may not be here forever, CFC will. We, the fans must continue to possess the unique opportunity / structure that we have with our club to guard against any future threat like we had in the 80s. Look at what has happened in Liverpool and Manchester. None of us want that.

And one last thing – Osgood’s ashes are laid to rest at the Shed end penalty spot…What happens to those? I know it is a bit irrelevant to the whole economics of the debate, but we have great history and none better than that of the Bridge – how the fans dug deep to save it. No other club has a ground with the history like ours.

The commentator v West Ham last season said, that when Torres scored his first goal for us, he felt the whole stadium shake when that ball went in – such was the noise and euphoria of the celebrations. Welcome to The Bridge my friend. Anyone who has been there and felt The Bridge shake to it’s foundations knows that it is an awesome feeling and one that will not be replicated at any other ground.

On the 27th Oct, my vote will be NO.


John Terry

Captain. Leader. Legend. This is how the blue end of London will continue to see John Terry. In the same way no one in SW6 cares where Roman Abramovich obtained his fortune from, the same ignorance will be applied to John Terry. And rightly so.

The vultures in the press are baying for his resignation as England captain (but incidentally enough, not the Chelsea captain!)- with none actually providing a suitable replacement. I suspect the reasoning is because if he does so, then this will undoubtedly provide more column inches in the hope that it boosts dwindling newspaper sales. They are banging on the doors of MPs, the F.A and as soon as they have the chance, Fabio Capello, to get some sort of scrap of info that may indicate that England’s world cup chances are in disarray because of it all.

It seems, from what has been swirling around the sewer press, Terry did the one thing that journalists hate. The one thing that fuels their carnivorous desire to tear anyone to shreds if there is a remote chance it will shift a few newspapers – and that is to shut them up. The very fact that he succeeded in obtaining a super injunction has incensed them beyond measure. This is what it is all about. Nothing to do with morality. How dare he? Who does he think he is? We’ll show him…

Journalists think that it is their god given right to have the freedom of the press, no matter how low they sink to obtain content for their bile. Just look at how they have hounded Ms Perroncel since Friday. There is no genuine concern for the ‘innocent victims’ in all of this, who is in fact Wayne Bridge and his four year old son. They could not care less.

But through it all, let’s weigh everything up in terms of the England captaincy – morality and ability…

John Terry has never been and never will be an angel. The FA knew that. Capello knew that and Chelsea knew that. So why the media believe now he has to be whiter than snow because he is the England captain is baffling. If we are to discuss the replacements as the England captain, then let’s look at the likely suspects that would be in the running to take over Terry if the press have their way –

David Beckham – The F.A. Ambassador for the 2018 world cup bid is hardly squeeky clean himself, but no one is bothered about his ‘transgressions’ any more when he is being touted for re-instated as captain. I think that he has done an excellent job in the past and is a tremendous example to others but seriously consideration regarding his ability to play consistently must be looked at. You cannot have a fringe player captaining the side  – and at this moment in time, Capello cannot guarantee Beckham a start in the world cup.

Then we have Steven Gerrard. The heartbeat of Anfield. This is the guy, remember, who escaped an assault charge over the summer by the skin of his teeth. It seemed to all and sundry that he was doing a bit more than ‘pre-empting an imminent attack’ : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9aehRAX_bk. As for his ability – when he feels like it, there is no one more inspirational. He can drag his team by the scruff of the neck to heights unimaginable. But he can only do that when it suits him and, only when he is fit. He has been a shocker for Liverpool of late and it would be hard to argue against this has been his worst season ever for Liverpool. Combine that with his actual lack of desire to  play for England in ‘lesser’ games and it does not look like England would be getting a better captain to lead them at the world cup.

Rio Ferdinand is another potential candidate. He has kept his nose clean of late (no pun intended), but his ability to dodge drug tests at his convenience will always raise question marks. I could not care less really, to be honest, but his form this season for Man Utd is almost at the point where he may not even start for England. His lame defending against Tevez in the win over Man City last week begged the question – If it were Terry and he were up against an ex team mate who had done nothing but taunt players and fans in the run up to the game, would he have gone in like a wet lettuce into that challenge? Not a chance.

The only other candidate to take the arm band therefore is Rooney. From a morality perspective, it could be highlighted that Rooney has dipped it into more prostitutes than anyone would care to count, which puts the whole angelic figure of the captaincy, as demanded by the press, out the window. Again, I could not care less and his ability as captain could not be doubted. He leads by example and he exhibits that same desire and determination as Terry. A champion. A leader of men. But… he is a timebomb. At any moment, he is only ever a second away from a complete, nuclear, neurological meltdown. Should he explode on the pitch (and trust me there will be teams out to try and exploit this) he would be crucified by the same English press that is bleating for him to be there. God forbid he were to be sent off in a game at the world cup and England should then go on to lose. He has recovered once from 2006, but I don’t think that the press would be so forgiving.

The bottom line is England have no one else. They have no one that can give what Terry gives. His performance against Burnley in the face of all what was going on around him was amazing. I was tempted before the match to put money on Terry scoring the winner. I said twice to my wife during the game – I reckon he will come up with the winning goal. That’s what he is about. After the champions league final, he played for England and gave exactly the type of performance that Capello, Mourinho, Hiddink and Ancellotti believe in. They are four very big names in world football management and they can’t all be wrong.

Just to put the last argument to bed, the noise that Terry has benefited financially from the position and that that should also be considered as a reason for him to go is absolute hogwash. The powers that be have made plenty of money from Terry being captain. It’s not like it has cost the FA an arm and a leg to have him there. What they have got for their money has been –  as Mourinho put when he was talking about Terry’s new contract at Chelsea – Worth every coin.

So – what ever it is that John Terry is said to have or have not done, no matter how unsavoury the press have flavoured it, John Terry should and in all likelihood – will remain as the captain of England. I am not here to judge him on how he or any other professional footballer maintains their personal lives and I find it rather humorous that suddenly everyone is an expert on morality.


When it rains… it pours

Man City 2 – 1 Chelsea

Ok. What went wrong for Chelsea? 2 things. The first being that they just did not want it as much as City. The commitment in the middle of both De Jong and Barry  totally crippled any ‘diamond’ system that was supposed to have been there from Ancelotti’s side. Chelsea’s first goal only seemed to provide the catalyst for City’s midfield to chase more, tackle more and want it more.

The second reason reason was Chelsea’s petulance. There was too much of it all over the park. Carvalho – who was rightly subbed off before he got himself sent off – was the guiltiest of the lot,  needlessly kicking out at Tevez which resulted in the free kick from which the same man offended, duly tucked away the winner into the bottom corner. This, perhaps ironically.

City’s performance signalled their intention that they have big ambitions in qualifying for the Champions League next season with a display that showed skill, commitment and determination. I would be sitting a little bit more uncomfortable right now if I were a Liverpool fan.

The star of the show probably would have to be Given. He will automatically be man of the match based on his penalty save. But had he not made the save, he was very much in the running for that accolade anyway, running a very close second to De Jong. His early save from Drogba after a wonderful cut back from Deco was quickly backed up with reaction saves from both Ivanovich and Anelka. It was only the ricochet from Adebayor that beat him.

There were other heroes for Man City today. Micah Richards did well to thwart the threat down the left and in doing so, left De Jong and Barry in the middle to gang up on Essien, which they did with great effect. His unfortunate injury to his troublesome knee hopefully is not serious.

Hughes’ tactics were spot on. He figured that Chelsea would start with Essien as the sole central midfielder with Lampard and Ballack drifting slightly off centre to the right and left, respectively. Essien is a tough, tough midfielder – but De Jong is no fairy himself. He shied away from nothing and set the tempo with some no-nonsense 50-50 victories in the middle. He was also well backed up by those around him, in particular, Adebayor and Robinho – both of whom mucked in with their fair share of tracking back. It was only the when the injury to Bridge and some additional muscle arrived in the form Mikel, did the coveted diamond midfield started to shine.

This was not a good afternoon for Ashley Cole as he had a terrible time at left back. He can be forgiven for having an off day based on the season he has had, but these are the games that you expect the top players to rise to. City were up for it. The had their tails up and needed no motivation to get about Chelsea. By my count, Cole had slipped no fewer than eight passes straight to the wrong type of blue shirt. Not that he was the only one. Essien joined in with this new found fashion and even pumped a free kick straight along the ground to a City player.

Anelka was wasteful on a number of occasions. Either opting to shoot from a ridiculous angle with Blue shirts piling into the box. Or, not producing enough venom when having the opportunity to do so.

It could be argued that the conditions were not good for goalkeepers and Cech certainly gave the Chelsea fans a scare when he raced off his line to meet a cross – only get nowhere near it. Richard’s header, although going wide, was acrobatically headed away by Carvalho.

Drogba was his fearless self. He showed exceptional skill in controlling the ball in the box that led to the penalty and again to send him through for a strike that he put wide with minutes remaining.

For City this is a huge morale boosting win. Their vociferous support in my opinion resulted in the nerves that Frank Lampard showed in his penalty preparations. It is now Arsenal and Chelsea that have left licking their wounds.

For Chelsea they must turn to the positives – Deco showed – not for the first time this season – that he is injury free and getting into a rhythm. Maybe the return of Joe Cole has prompted Deco to up his game a notch. And although was a full hearted display from City, their dominance did not result in too many clear cut attempts. It could be argued that the free kick from which the equaliser was scored from was incorrectly awarded against Chelsea. It could also be argued that Micah Richards may have used a little more arm than what is permitted when the ball fell fortuitously to Adebayor.

For all of City’s industry, Chelsea missed both a penalty and a great chance from Drogba at the end to snatch a point.

No need to panic from Ancelotti’s team. Still clear at the top with a favourable run of games coming up…


Arsenal’s moral high ground is a joke

Eduardo

Eduardo

Arsenal are incensed at the decision to ban Eduardo for the diving incident against Celtic last week. The basis of their fury is that UEFA should be now trawling through the thousands of hours of football every week to implement Article 10 (1c) which was introduced back in 2006. Only one player, Lithuania international Saulius Mikoliunas, has been charged with breaching the said rule and now Eduardo is the second.

The rule basically states that a player acted with the ‘obvious’ intent to deceive the officials, whether that is by acting in a manner which makes the official produce an incorrect decision or by supporting his error of judgement.

I feel that it is the second part of the rule where the charge against Eduardo comes in. I agree that any player that has had such an horrific injury, such as Eduardo had last year, is intitled to get his body out of the way of players flying into him, even if that means going to ground – that’s just instinct. It could also be argued that this is what his intentions were – as stated by Arsene Wenger.

Arsenal’s 19 page dossier trying to prove and disprove many points of their’s and UEFA’s arguments sound extremely flat when they are not consistent. One one hand you have Arsene informing us that some players dive to avoid challenges or injury. And on the other, Arsenal are claiming that there was a deviation of his ankle – which now makes me confused. Are Arsenal saying that he was trying to get out of the way, or are they saying he was touched by the keeper? TV replays show without any doubt that he went to ground on his own accord – and that is still fine by me if he is trying to avoid contact from the keeper.

What I am not convinced about is why did he not then get up and inform the ref that he was dodging the keeper’s challenge? By high fiving his team mates and looking generally pleased with himself at winning a penalty, he “continued to support the referee’s error of judgement” and in my opinion, those actions are worthy of the charge.

By all means Arsene & Arsenal – preach about the (failing) morality of the game – it’s good that someone is trying to uphold it. But for crying out loud, stop embarrassing yourself and your club by continuing to support Eduardo’s actions when it is clear he has deceived the officials either by diving or by supporting the penalty decision.


Quick Stuffz

Quick pic upload… On our way to football (play). The only thing was, at the end of the day only one of us could walk!

Chelsea 'till we die...

Chelsea 'till we die...

Just I was starting to think that the internet was getting too boring, I come across a few good links on the web:

Other things that are happening – qmail-ldap migration to Zimbra is now all systems go. 9000 accounts have been migrated. only another 580,000 to go! Sheesh! Upgrades of clusters was not so good. Bug in upgrading from RedHat 5.2 to 5.3 in a clustered environment meant that it was not possible to do rolling upgrades. Complete shutdown of the physical cluster and the virtual machines. Not good.

Still no contract from Telkom to go to Multilinks. However, they have sent me the documentation to complete the visas, so I can only assume that the whole process is following traditional Telkom fashion. It’s only been 6 months since the initial interview, so what’s another month?

Some cool stuff that I am loving at the moment is:

Gmail video & chat – http://mail.google.com/videochat. Voice and Chat from within gmail with support for MacOS X!

Finger Piano for the iphone http://jyproduct.webhop.net/jyblog/index.php/fingerpiano-for-iphone. This app is SO cool!


Scolari Gone…

At the time of writing this the manager of Chelsea has been relieved of his position. Chelsea never really recovered from the defeat by Liverpool at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season and it has all snowballed from there on in. Once teams had worked out that stop the full backs… stop Chelsea, those tactics worked every time – the writing was on the wall. Some of the players have to take the blame for their tepid performances. Drogba has been particularly poor this season. Not just his form, but also his attitude. Scolari should have grown some balls and got rid of him in the transfer window. I suspect though that there were not many takers! Deco, Alex, Malouda, Ballack and Kalou just have not cut the mustard this season and have really let us down. So now we are slowly turning into Newcastle. 3 managers in a year and a half… Not good.

A nasty tackle at the weekend resulted in me going to get a scan on my left leg. Caught high and late by ‘Big Rab’ which has left me nursing a messed up left leg. Fortunately it is not broken – just some tissue damage. To top it off, I never even got a free kick! Nightmare.