Friday, October 18, 2002

As much as I like Sven and his seemingly gentle and philosophical nature, I would never have chosen him as England manager as I don't think his previous record is all that great. My choice would have been Cruyff, but that is by the by. Sven grew on me after his appointment, mainly because of the way he carries himself and his ability to remain unflustered. It has to be said though, that apart from the Germany game, his record is poor.We had a bad world cup which was not redeemed by beating Argentina. Following the Germany game we were made to look distinctly average by Greece. The last 2 games demonstrate that we lack quality.
Sven cannot really be blamed for any of that though. Our players tend to be workmanlike and that it is a result of a lifetime of coaching, which Sven will never be able to rectify. I watch my nipper train and play twice per week and I despair. The people who run his club are good people (probably) and put in many unpaid hours. But they have 5, 6 and 7 year olds training like men, with an emphasis on not losing and eliminating mistakes. Every week I watch 3 or 4 adults try to supervise about 20 kids run about like headless chickens. Research has shown that the best way to learn, for anyone, is through 4 a side games. I cannot fathom why these blokes don't just split them all up and have 3 or 4 small sided games.
The Brazilians play non competitive games when they are nippers and play with weighted balls games so the nippers learn how to pass and move and control the ball on the ground. No hoofing! Holland would not dream of playing nippers in competitive games; they concentrate on technique and skill and interchanging positions. If a nipper turns up and is a shit hot goalscorer he will still have to put his time in as right back or left winger, thereby developing an all round appreciation of the game and its finer points. Both countries seem to have better records than us.
I bring it up because there is a good series of pieces in the Guardian on what went wrong on Wednesday and where the fault might lie. John Cartright is very interesting. Ironically I thought we did alright on Wednesday, especially in the first half. It was a bit like watching the Blues under TF. Loads of possession but unable to score. No wit or imagination in midfield and giving away daft goals. If that first goal hadn't gone in we would have probably won about 6-0, which would have hidden our shortcomings, so maybe it's no bad thing.
The Times on England
The Independent pines for Ramsey
Paul Haywood in the Telegraph is always worth reading and he reminds us that we also struggled against Albania after beating Germany.
Henry Winter chips in with his twopennorth

Arm Wrestle Freud

It's a very important game at the Hawthorns tomorrow. West Brom v Blues, even at this stage is a six pointer. As well as the Baggies have performed so far, we have to take points off them if we have any pretensions to quality. It's a pity Cisse will be missing but Powell I think will be OK if he gets picked over Carter. With either Tebily or Vickers as replacements I don't think Purse will be missed. His days as first choice may be over. Tebily could even replace Cisse in midfield come to think of it, I wouldn't be against that in the circumstances. Blues will not lose, of that I am confident.
A sugar boilers worst nightmare.
Courtesy of Hugh Mungus, once again, a horibble, snarky and downrighting fucking insulting article on our owner, who happens to deal in soft porn. Hard core porn is available at the click of anyones mouse, but this silly cow views stupid titilation as the devil incarnate. Do you come across snobbery she asked. How he resisted saying , apart from getting it from silly midle class tarts like you, is beyond me. Reg required.

Over at Sportsfilter, worldcup2002 has somehow compiled a list of prem teams who provide free web commentary. This will save a lot arsing about when we are away if we don't want our beloved Blues to rip us off any more than is strictly necessary. Cheers worldcup2002.

The Friday Five:
1. How many TVs do you have in your home?
2. On average, how much TV do you watch in a week?
about 6 hours probably, maybe less. Unless there is a world cup on.
3. Do you feel that television is bad for young children?
It all depends. That pink dinosaur thingy is definitely bad for children. Tellytubbies is great for children. Tweenies are just plain evil. Sesame Street needs a by pass building through it. If I am in sole charge of the nippers, anything that keeps em quiet is a work of genius.
4. What TV shows do you absolutely HAVE to watch, and if you miss them, you're heartbroken?
As a fully formed rational adult, heartbreak is not a word I associate with missing a telly programme. I would be very pissed off if I missed a Sopranos episode. Homicide had me hooked. I love Malcolm in the Middle. I made a real effort to see every episode of Phoenix Nights, likewise The Office. That's it really. I tried Six Feet Under, then forgot completely about the second series. The Shield is OK but I wouldn't be bothered if I never saw it again.
5. If you had the power to create your own television network, what would your line-up look like?
I am assuming here that ratings or advertising revenue don't matter. I would take the best of BBC4, with its coverage of events like Womad, its films, and its arts discussions; Film 4 on a good night; Sky Sports and Red Hot and Dutch.

The Bluetitch Five:
1)When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An adult. Really, I was completely lacking in ambition. Still am really.
Alternative answer...happy.
2)What would you have for your last meal?
2 ham rolls
3)You are told you have to be a film star - dead or alive - for one day, who would you be?
I don't like this question as I don't really go in for hero worship of brain dead morons. Spookily, this came up at work earlier, sort of. There is a nurse we have to deal with who all our female colleagues, and most men, I suppose, regard as beautiful. A new female member of staff has developed a bit of an obsession with her and keeps alluding to her. Offer her a nut and she will say no I want to look like thingy. I said for chuffs sake you are obsessed, there then ensued a discussion on beauty, with the girls somewhat astonished that me and the other male present explained she did absolutely nothing for us.
So who do you fancy they all demanded? Who is your ideal woman? My Mrs I replied without irony, because she is. Cobblers they said, which famous woman do you fancy. I explained I did not understand the concept. If I find a famous woman atrractive it is to do with her talent or artistry. Looks have nothing to do with it. I don't think they understood. We live in a shallow world.
Anyway, the same goes for this question, why would I wish to be to be someone who has a talent for standing around looking good. But to answer: Montgomery Clift. Lived fast,died young. Iconic .
Next time Ms Titch, ask what writer or artist or Blues player I would be.
4)What is the worst film of a book you've ever seen?
Schindlers List
5)What's the bravest thing you've ever done?
Popped out of the chuffin womb!
Whoops a bleeding daisy, misread question 2.
I would have Soupe PrintaniƩre aux Herbes du Potagers which takes a bit of making, for something so simple but is worth the effort, followed by beef fillet, stuffed with mushroom and herbs and wrapped in pancetta, accompanied by Pommes Dauphinoise and a selection of steamed vegetables. Panna Cotta to finish. Fruit salad if it was on offer, as a palate cleanser. Some cheese. Muff.
Bugger! I have changed my mind on the film of the book as well. Unquestionably, Hotel New Hampshire. How the hell did Rob Lowe ever get a part in any film?

My favourite lyrics today
A Beautiful Thing
Don't you remember that snowy December when we went to see "Singing in the Rain"? I shouldn't have smuggled in that bottle of gin because after the film, I could barely walk. But, darling don't you know it's only human to want to kill a beautiful thing. When I was seven summer lasted forever. I used to chase fire flies through the woods. Tiny green lights circling warm August nights. I'd catch them inside a washed-out old jar. I dreamed of the stars with the jar by my bed, but each morning my pretty bugs were dead. We should have been dancing like lovers in a movie, but I fell and cut my head in the snow. I wanted to tell you all the ways that I loved you but, instead I got sick on the train.

A useful resource to use the next time you get cold called.

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