Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Romantic Eriksson picked up by Magpies

The little man's popped up again. Sven-Goran Eriksson, the bookish and mild mannered former England manager, has re-ignited his love affair with English football. Trouble is, this time our dear Sven has not chosen a young busty lovely with which to while away his lonely hours.

Oh no, Mr Eriksson has chosen the most aged babe at the bar. Notts County, at 147 years old, are the oldest professional football club in the world, with a history that pre-dates the Football Association, and now - due in no small part to County's recent takeover by Middle Eastern moneybags Mundo Finance - the famous Swede has moved to Meadow Lane to become the League 2 club's Director of Football. Yes, Director of Football. Yes, very 2005.

Notts County fans are, as one would expect, roundly ecstatic at bringing such a famous name to their club, with their more experienced fans comparing it to when County last upset the applecart, snaring Tommy Lawton, England's most feared marksman, in 1948.

Whilst there is no doubting this is an exciting move for County, some may say the opposite is true for Sven. Athole Still, Eriksson's agent, claimed 2 months ago that his client would "love to return to England", and at that point one would have expected Eriksson to draw the line at the top 20-placed English league teams, much less plumping for the team that finished 87th on the football league ladder last May.

But maybe, his detractors would claim, Sven is only doing what he has done throughout his career - chasing the cash. Whilst he built an incredible side at Lazio at the turn of the century, the side was lavishly put together and cost over £270 million of President Sergio Cragnotti's hard-earned Lira. His two stints in England, as national team manager and at Manchester City, were paid handsomely by clueless bigwigs and Thai billionaires respectively, whilst his most recent sojourn as Mexico head coach netted him £3.5 million per annum.

Or maybe we British are too cynical. Whilst our favourite Swede's jobs have often enjoyed a bounteous salary, he often chooses the romantic option. On and off the pitch. When he arrived at Lazio, the Roman club were a sleeping giant with just one Scudetto in their history, intent on rediscovering their glorious past. Ditto Manchester City, a once proud club who, with marked parallels to Notts County, now sit in the shadow of their famous neighbours.

As for Sven's most famous job, there is no doubt that even for a foreigner, the opportunity to re-unite football's mother country with sport's most cherished prize would appeal to but the hardened football fan.

The same is the case then with County, albeit to a smaller scale. Backed with a generous budget, Sven will try to restore a proud team to the heights they once enjoyed. Who couldn't find the romance in that?

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

And I was so in love I thought I knew what love was all about

Thought it'd be nice to work out how to stick Youtube videos onto here. So now I know, whilst thirteen-year olds across the world smirk at my technological naivete.

Ruddy beautiful song though. Please come to England, Jens.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

"Sky sponsored 'Silly Season' sucks", says scribe

This time of the year, we are told by influential men who wear white coats sponsored by E-on, is officially known as Silly Season. When the overblown magniloquent Jabba The Hut that is football continues to rear it's unnecessary and unwanted head, spewing transfer filth to arouse expectant proles, dependant on their daily football fix.

We are told how Liverpool are to sign countless young Frenchman; how Real Madrid will splash filthy lucre on superstars; that Spurs are interested in all number of average English talent; that Manchester City want to buy all the disaffected strikers in the world (what's with this? Is Sparky aiming to go back to the 1880's and playing 2-3-5?); that Stoke and Hull are desperately seeking quality to plug the inevitability of 'Second season syndrome'.

I don't care. There's an Ashes on, man!

Ideally, the summer is a time for perspective. One remembers that there is such a thing as 'outside'. That the sun is a friend and releases happy chemicals in your brain. That Blur are the best festival band ever. That beer tastes fantastic in the park. That it's nice because you can see your girlfriend on a Sunday afternoon. One remembers that other sports exist.

The beauty of the start of the football season in mid-August is the drought that precedes it. The scouring the back pages and pretending to care about Athletics. Enjoying the cricket season (if that's possible with the Aussies here). Watching the Lions fail.

Instead, spurious transfer stories still cover the back pages like a lingering fart that just won't go away. The Sky Sports yellow news ticker continues to whizz around the bottom of the screen telling us about Vincent Kompany's bad foot or how Matthew Etherington scored against no-one in particular. Football in this country - and probably around the world - has become a bloated behemoth, stretching around the year, flatulent and stinking the place out.

Here's hoping for an Ashes win to revive some perspective in this country.

....Oh. Silly season is it then.

Monday, 6 July 2009


Sorry, I've not been about recently. I've actually been busy, interviews for jobs, travelling on coaches, seeing Blur in Hyde Park (amazing, but not amazing like in Southend), playing and watching tennis (haha Murray) et cetera et cetera.

Turns out there was a team that wanted little Mickey... The English champions. It will be interesting to see how often (or not) Owen features for Manchester United, but the more one thinks about the move, the more it makes a little sense.

Weird as it may seem, United seems a sensible choice for Owen. He showed he was unable to lead the attack for a struggling team at Newcastle, and could well been an expensive flop for a team like Hull, who were linked with the little marksman. Whereas at United, he'll sit on the bench most the time and occasionally pop up and score a goal or two when United are desperate. Everyone's a winner. Apart from Liverpool fans, whose former darling now sleeps with the enemy.