Tuesday, 31 July 2018

What's wrong with this picture?

Well, obviously green grass is unusual nowadays, and the fence is new, but, wow, how large has our corner "D" become?

Monday, 30 July 2018

Planning Schmanning

Just thought we'd help out with the new planning application

Thursday, 19 July 2018


Mild mannered by day
Heroic by night

errr...sleeps upside down?

Saturday, 14 July 2018

England - A case of the Emperor's new Waistcoast?

The records will show that our National team reached the semi-final of the World Cup.  If nothing else, it gave us something else to talk about other than the inability of our skies to squeeze out any water this Summer.

Overall the public, punters and the red-tops were happy with England's efforts over the past few weeks.  Pride restored.  Young lions roaring.  Southgate being compared to a root vegetable deferred for a month or two.

But, looking back dispassionately over the Tournament, was our effort really so glorious?  We beat Tunisia at the absolute death.  We beat non-league Panama with a mixture of penalties and flukes.  We needed penalties to overcome Colombia.  Even the relatively easy win over Sweden was summed up by a Man of the Match award for Pickford.

Tunisia / Panama / Colombia / Sweden

All teams we should beat every day of the week.  World Cup or pointless friendly.  Our record when the opposition could actually play football was a little different.

We lost easily to both Belgium's "A" and "B" teams, and were, frankly, swept away by Croatia, who pick from a national population roughly half that of London.

Our lack of goals from open play was perhaps explained by our numbing inability to actually create goal-scoring chances from open play.  Any midfield where Henderson is seen as the star, is always going to be lightweight.  Add to this the "efforts" of the supposed world-class Alli and Sterling, no wonder we were so reliant on the one-dimensional Harry Kane's penalties and the foreheads of our central defenders.

Has the England team improved?  Not sure.  We try to play a more "modern football" game.  With other nations this manifests itself with flowing, attacking football. With us, it seems to be reduced to our lumbering centre backs playing the ball in triangles with each other until getting into trouble and relying on the keeper to boot the ball down the park.

Fourth place?  Beyond our expectations certainly, but, even our most optimistic fan wouldn't claim that we were the fourth best team in the world.

Friday, 13 July 2018

Back Home

So it wasn’t so bad after all. Instead of skulking home wearing dark glasses or with blankets over their heads, England will return from Russia with heads held high and rightfully enjoy their day off before reporting for pre-season training.

It was unexpected, it was fun, it was emotional, it was 20 minutes from being incredible. We saw a side of relatively modest pedigree gel into a good, effective unit that played to its strengths. We marvelled at the size of Harry Maguire’s head. We found ourselves considering the purchase of a waistcoat. We imagined what we would do after the final if we actually bloody won the thing.

Russia put on a great tournament and entered into the spirit of things by not invading any adjoining countries, shooting down airliners or poisoning former spies for the duration. VAR sort of worked and gave the TV commentators something else to chew over.  Overall the punditry was pretty good, though I have heard enough of Alan Shearer’s pub-bore statements of the obvious to last me until at least Qatar 2022. Ian Wright, as always, did not disappoint – transmitting exactly the right amount of passion and lunacy. Perhaps it’s just as well we didn’t go all the way. He would literally have died of joy.

But life must go on and already the first friendly of the new season is here. Westcarr and Kelly are coming home. Not quite the home they remembered, but just wait until we have our big new fence. Trump couldn’t build that wall – we can!

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Never again. Seriously, never again

Two visits to Latimer Park to watch England play.

The first was Iceland in the Euros....
The second was tonight against Croatia....

Never again.

I don't care what Martin says to tempt me a third time.

Never again.