Monday, August 27, 2007

We Don't Need That Fascist Groove (Thang)

There is a short story in the Independent today by Roddy Doyle. It's worth a read because it is a good story, there is an added piquancy for Blues fans though.

Again in the Independent, from a couple of days ago, Robert Fisk wonders about the unanswered questions relating to the attack on America. He makes clear that he is no conspiracy theorist, but points out there are several fundamental and fairly simple questions that remain unanswered.

Roy Keane has told his players that they must not argue with the ref, which has to be the biggest laugh of the season so far, apart from Steve Bruce's shirt and Martin O'Neill's attempts to communicate with his staff via the miracle of modern technology. Also, Steve Bruce and O'Neill have both apologised to refs this week for comments that they made about them or to them. Bruce hasn't apologised for his shirt yet though.

This all makes perfect sense, ref's don't change their minds, there is no point arguing and to get booked for arguing is the height of stupidity. As for being nice to refs, well, keep calling refs nasty names and it is hardly likely that they will be any more kindly disposed to you next time you meet. Still, it's unusual and I wonder if managers have had their cards marked.

A good win for Blues on Saturday, however, given that every one else will also beat Derby I don't know how significant it will be at the end of the season. I think we look alright though and Bruce has publicly stated that he intends to attack, so I am hopeful of a good season. I think we have already scored more goals than we did in the whole of our relegation season.

Apparently, we are in for Peter Luccin, as in, who the devil is this fuckin' Luccin? You might well ask. We may or may not be in for some other bloke with an unpronounceable name as well, who may or may not be any good. I have said before that I don't know how this season will go for Blues, none of us do, because if we are honest we know hardly anything, if anything at all, about our new players. In the case of De Ridder, we may never know, given his career history of about 1.5 games per season. Of those we have seen so far, they look good, admittedly most of them being British.

Which sort of brings me to Man City. Who would have thunk it? I don't think I should be too embarrassed to admit that I had never heard of most of their signings, after all, the press had a field day ripping the piss out of Sven for buying blokes he had only seen on video (do they still make videos?). As early as it is, it is evident that these Carlos Kickaballs, generally, kick a ball very deftly indeed, whether we had previously heard of them or not. The prem is littered with people of whom we had little or no previous knowledge, but who are comfortable on the ball, confident, happy in the knowledge that they possess the ability to do their job, be it pass, run, tackle or all three.

So back to Blues. Of our new signings, the one likely to cause most excitement is Kapo. I had never heard of him before he arrived and even after the first game, struggled to remember his name. The pundits and experts in the pre season supplements told us that we had not bought wisely, and that Kapo had never settled anywhere, because he isn't very good. I don't think those highly paid experts knew what they were talking about, I don't think they ever know what they are talking about.

They saw an unfamiliar name sign for Blues and did a quick scan of his history via google and made assumptions, the lazy, lazy gets; the same can be said of their attitudes to Man City and others, notably Portsmouth, going back over several seasons. Kapo, is a pleasure to watch. He has style, grace and panache. He looks head and shoulders a better player than anyone else on our books, yet, none of us who are honest enough to admit, it had heard of him before. The experts considered him a journeyman, and maybe, in other leagues he is, but not this one.

Every season we see players come here and surpass our expectations. Take Dugarry. I could never work out how he got picked for France, whenever I saw him he looked hopeless, pathologically unable to score, and, when he signed for us the world mocked. Some wee Scottish bastard whose name escapes me for the moment, but who made his name playing for Ireland, because Scotland didn't want him, as well as turning out for our neighbours, told the world that he was a waste of space.

I am as thick and as stupid as Ray Houghton, (I remembered) because I also thought he was a waste of space, but he wasn't a waste of space; he was a genius at using space, and creating space, but he wasn't a waste of space. In 40 odd years of suffering the Blues, I can only think of Willie Johnstone (briefly) and Frank Worthington who can compare when it comes to taking ones breath away.

So where does the widely held notion that we have the best league in the world come from? I watch a fair bit of foreign football on the box and have done for years; I am not a narrow minded xenophobe, but I have never heard of half the players who turn up here; they are not exactly setting their leagues alight in Italy or France or Spain, yet they come here and show us all up. I have said it before and I will continue to say it: our arrogance and insularity is killing us, we need to wise up.

Meanwhile you could be listening to one of the best shows on the radio.

Talking of radio, more people are listening than ever, apparently, and awhat good thing that is; the interweb is a wonderful thing.

Soften an onion, add garlic , some chopped carrot and a chilli, followed a bit later by some tomato puree, throw in two tins of different beans, like chick peas or borlotti, add a couple of handfuls of small pasta bits, cover with about two pints of decent stock, simmer for about half hour. Delicious. Even deliciouser if left for a day.
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