Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tree By A River

Iron and Wine | Tree by the river | A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

Well. It’s been a rum old world since I could last be arsed to blog. The Arab Spring hasn’t developed into a summer, there is drought in Somalia, The Mad Hatters and their Tea party are intent upon visiting ruination upon the U.S, our dear coalition has been seen to be in the pocket of News International, a right wing nutter has massacred children in Norway and Christ knows what else has been going on. Far too much to mention.
Given all that, it is quite understandable that events down the Blues have been dominating my thinking. I’ll come to that later.
First, the wonder of the internet. I feel a bit sorry for my kids, who don’t realise what a miracle it is. All they know is that if they want something, it is instantly available, by fair means or foul. I was telling my youngest about dial a disc the other day, which we all thought was brilliant at the time, as it gave us instant expensive access to a menu of about 6 songs. I didn’t bother telling him how we listen to the chart show of a Sunday night, attempting to tape songs we liked from a tinny little transistor.
Now we have artists streaming full versions albums prior to release, we have artists tweeting that tracks or videos are being streamed for free, we have youtube, we have spotify. Best of all we have access to like minded individuals all over the world, who will point us in the direction of good shit, who will point us in the direction of radio shows, which we would not otherwise know about or have access to.
The same applies to books. I was searching for something the other week, dunno what, when I ended up on the US Amazon site, where a Peter Blauner was being recommended.
I like Peter Blauner, have done ever since Slow Motion Riot came out many years ago, but I was unaware of this particular book. I took myself off to Amazon UK and ordered the thing, I think it cost a quid. It arrived very quickly and I read it very quickly. It’s brilliant. Blauner is brilliant, if you don’t know him you should seek him out. As far as I know, this book hasn’t been released in the UK, but there you go, I haerd about it, ordered it and it was delivered within days. My poor nippers canot understand what a privilege this is. 15 years ago, I would never have known this book had even been written, never mind had more or less instant, and very cheap access to it access to it   
Modern life is bostin’, unless, of course, one is a Blues fan, in which case, bostin’ may not be the first word that comes to mind. Where does one start? Not at the beginning, it’s difficult to know anymore where the beginning is, so I will start at the latest news and drop in a few random thoughts.
Since we won that bastard cup, apart from Ecks defection to the neighbours, we Blues fans have had only bad news. Day by day, drip by drip. Bad news follows bad news, yet the fans still turn up in large numbers to watch Blues away from home in meaningless friendlies, and still have fun. Hereford last Saturday was the most fun I’ve had watching the Blues for years. I fear we may have more fun filled days like that ahead, because the future is not looking too bright.
Firing up the PC this morning the first news I read was that Ben Foster had turned up late for training, objected to being to task by our new coach, delivered a volley of abuse at said coach, and then drove away. It may be true, it may not. It probably is.
This seemingly trivial matter is a huge disappointment. I have a few issues with Foster anyway and this has just about put the tin lid on it. First off, before the League Cup Final he spoke of how at Man Utd they would win a trophy, then carry on as if it was just another game. They didn’t spend days on the lash. Now, I don’t mind players having a bit of a piss up, but this demonstrates a gulf in approach, between those who achieve a lot, and those who achieve very little. You don’t want your players to be joyless automatons, but you do want them to behave like highly paid professional athletes, not a pub team.
I don’t know how Blues celebrated that win, nor for how long, but this is a bullshit blog, not a journal of record, and I do recall at the time many fans talking of benders that carried on into the next week. It might be wrong, but I don’t recall anyone rushing to deny it. What I do know is that following that win, our form dropped alarmingly, and large numbers of players were unavailable or playing whilst not fully fit. It is hardly a secret that players are advised on lifestyle and diet, and it is hardly a secret that those who pay attention to lifestyle and diet endure a bit longer than those who don’t. I can’t shake the feeling that once the cup had been won, some of our players decided that it was holiday time. It smacks of a piss poor attitude towards the club and the fans. Of course, I might be wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time, and may not be the last!
If what the Daily Mail has written about Foster and Trollope is true, this also smacks of a piss poor attitude. I don’t know what time training commences, but I doubt if any of them has to rise at 5.30 a.m in order to catch 3 buses for a 7.30 start. I very much doubt that they have to worry much about getting home in time for their tea either. If Foster was late he was late, if it was only 10 minutes it was only 10 minutes, these things happen. But a quiet little apology wouldn’t have hurt.
What we don’t know is how Trollope approached it. He may well have decided that as the new sheriff in town he needed to assert his authority, but there are ways of doing this too. A quiet word away from the gaze of others would suffice: if he decided to make Foster look like a twat in front of his mates, well, it’s poor management.
Whatever the ins, whatever the outs, it’s piss poor. Despite the daily drip of bad news, despite the fact that the club isn’t really telling us anything, despite the fact that our owner might well end up in chokie, despite the fact that we cannot hold on to board members or administrators, despite the fact the we seem to be selling players at below market value (it will be buy one get one free next) and despite the fact that the failures that have jumped ship are being replaced by free transfers from fucking Scotland, the fans are turning up; the fans are turning in large enough numbers to pre season friendlies that hundreds are getting locked out. 
The fans deserve better. The one constant that this bastard club has is the fans, we have been going 120 odd years, and, when this is all over we will still be going, as long as there is a club to support. It is obvious that the club is in deep shit. This is not the fault of the fans. It is the fault of the board, it is the fault of Eck, and it is the fault of players like Foster who, against the odds, managed to get us relegated. Frankly, I am pissed off with Foster. He should be full of contrition, not arrogance. He failed us last year, and with his recent behaviour he is failing us again.
I am not a child. Nor am I a cry baby. I don’t mind that we got relegated, I won’t mind, in the circumstances, if we get relegated again, but I do mind that Foster, who, ultimately, failed us so badly last year, displays such arrogance, such a lack of commitment to the cause, such an inability to stick together with his mates, and such a cavalier disregard for us fucking mugs who pay his wages.