Thursday, February 23, 2006

Singing the Blues...

So Chelsea's Champions League hopes are hanging by a thread, after a home defeat by Barcelona, who, man-for-man, look the best side in Europe at the minute. It was always likely to be one of those games that would fail to live up to the hype, so I decided against watching it (choosing instead to come fourth with my housemate at the Wheatsheaf pub quiz) and wasn't surprised to see the Blues' defeat accompanied by yet more bleating from Jose Mourinho. He's been an excellent addition to the Premiership, particularly for sports journalists as he's always good value, but his whining does grate. His condemnation of Barca's Lionel Messi for diving to get Chelsea left-back Asier del Horno sent-off is somewhat ironic considering Arjen Robben did the same thing in Chelsea's recent game with Liverpool, writhing around on the floor after the slightest of nudges from Liverpool 'keeper Jose Reina, who was then sent-off. Mourinho is undoubtedly one of the best coaches in Europe, but he needs to learn when to button it so people don't get bored of him.

Real deal

The one game I did see in midweek was Arsenal's win at Real Madrid - a superb result and a good performance, albeit against a misfiring Real side. Another irony here - two English players started the match, both in a Real shirt, Beckham and Woodgate. Woodgate limped off early on, and Beckham tried hard but very little came off for him. At least he worked hard, which is more than can be said for the overweight Ronaldo, the anonymous Zidane, and the hopeless Cicinho. I just hope Arsenal can finish it off in the second leg and progress like they deserve to. Ditto Liverpool, who lost 1-0 at Benfica on Tuesday night, but will still fancy their chances to go through.

"Come on, Borough!"

It may be less glamorous, but non-league football is where it's at for me. Less hype, just as much passion and committment from the fans, more passion and committment from largely part-time players and a more enjoyable experience than watching 22 millionaires going through the motions. I support Eastbourne Borough, currently in the Conference South, two divisions below the football league and five beneath the prawn sandwiches Premiership. I also write the match previews for their official website. Their game on Tuesday night at home to Sutton United was postponed, and with the amount of rain since then, the game with St. Albans this Saturday (Feb 25) must be a major doubt. Ho hum. A backlog of games is not what we need in our fight against relegation, which we appear to be winning after a much-needed 2-0 win at Hayes last Saturday, a game I covered for BBC Southern Counties Radio.

Turin cloud

Not been a great week for our guys and gals in the Winter Olympics in Turin. Our skeleton bob blokes (yes, the nutters on the tea trays) missed out on the medals, and Rhona's curling girls, defending the gold they won in Salt Lake City four years ago, didn't qualify for the semi-finals this time round. Our men did, then lost to Finland last night (Wednesday). They'll hope to get bronze in the third/fourth place play-off against the US on Friday. Sadly, it looks like our last hope of adding to the bronze Shelley Rudman managed in the skeleton last week.


Blogger James said...

Sorry to be picky - but didn't Shelly Rudman win a silver...

The things on here are good so far - well written and thoughtful. Some good linking - though it would be good to link to someone else apart from the Beeb every now and then...

I liked the stuff about Eastbourne Borough... more of that, bounced off the more familiar Premiership stuff, could make for an interesting mix.


3/09/2006 10:39 pm  

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