Monday, March 29, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
After the longest and worst winter for decades, I`m looking forward to a few days away in North Devon next week. We`ll be staying in Woolacombe (pictured) and no doubt moving the sheep along as we walk around the headland of Baggy Point and take in the spectacular views around to Morte Point in the far distance. Just hope the weather is like it is in the picture, but at the end of March, who can tell? It won`t really matter though, for the change of scenery, some sea air and revisiting old haunts will do us good and go some way towards lightening the mood after a difficult winter.
Back next Friday; just in time to have Saturday to get sorted out before heading off to Wembley early on Sunday to see Saints play Carlisle in the final of the Johnstones Paint Trophy. Yes, I know, but a final is a final and (gloomy thought) now being the wrong side of 70, I don`t know how many more chances I might get to see the Saints in a Wembley final.
So, apologies for absence for a short while. I think it is possible these days to `blog` remotely and I think one or two of my blogging friends might know how to do that. Not me, I`m afraid - I remain in the ranks of the terminally dim so far as hi-techy stuff is concerned - but I`ll be back on these pages in a week or so once I`ve dried out.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
A BIT RICH...
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Forget Manchester United. Forget Chelsea. Forget Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City and all the BIG clubs. Even forget Saints` 1-0 home win over Leeds yesterday, for nothing, but nothing can compare to the performance of Durham City FC, pictured above. A few posts ago (see `INCOMPETENCE AND HEROISM` on 23rd February) I reported on the plight of Durham City and the fact that, at that time, they had played 25 games in the Unibond Premier League this season, lost them all, scored a measly 15 goals and let in 131.
Well, all that has changed. Yesterday, they travelled to FC United of Manchester - the club formed a few seasons ago by those disenchanted with the Glazers taking over Manchester United - and, before a crowd of over 2,000, Durham won the game 2-1. The three points gained were their first of the season. Their first goal from Andrew Stephenson was probably the cheekiest strike of the campaign as he lobbed United ‘keeper Sam Ashton from near the halfway line and then Durham ‘keeper Rhys Jobling became the North East side’s hero with a penalty save to his right although at times it was all hands to the pumps to keep United out.
The victory has been hailed by true football fans from all over the country, as witnessed by the congratulations and encouragement posted on the club`s website, even from fans of FC United of Manchester themselves:-
"Well done today, I'm an FCUM fan and I have to say well done, you deserved all 3 points for the battling spirit you showed. In the end I think everyone was in agreement you deserved the win and we can only wish you the best for the future".
The League table hasn`t changed much for Durham. They have now played 29 games, scored 18 goals and let in 138, giving them a goal difference of -120. They are still in negative points territory on minus three points, 26 behind the team next to bottom, Ossett Town. But none of that matters, for yesterday was a day to savour, not just for Durham but for all those who know of their problems and can at last rejoice in the triumph of the underdog.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
It`s all very commendable, of course, but not only very New Labour but also very `London` - East Ham, Tower Hamlets, Whitechapel, Newham - how much more `London` could it be? Nonetheless, the good Baroness asserts that her main home is the tiny ground floor flat in provincial Maidstone, of all places. Nearby residents have reportedly said they had not seen any occupiers in the flat since Uddin purchased it and that it has remained completely unfurnished.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
DOES IT REALLY HAVE TO BE LIKE THIS?
Monday, March 08, 2010
Sunday, March 07, 2010
Saturday, March 06, 2010
Thursday, March 04, 2010
On Tuesday evening, an even sterner test was expected, as the visitors to St. Mary`s were Huddersfield Town, a form team lying in the play-off spots and unbeaten in eleven matches. Saints won 5-0 with a performance that was even better than the one which overcame Walsall. I noticed just how much the players were actually enjoying it; playing for each other and for the manager, Alan Pardew who, it seems, has been under some pressure from the club`s chief executive, Nicola Cortese, who seems to be demanding that Saints make it to the play-offs despite starting the season on minus ten points and not winning a game until about the seventh attempt. A tough cookie, our Nicola, but to be fair, he and owner Marcus Liebherr have supported Pardew with £millions invested in players and they expect a return on that investment. It`s a big ask though - we`re still 14 points off the play-off spots but if the team continues as it has done in the last two games, it might just be possible. Breath not being held though.
In the meantime, our friends down the M27 are deep into administration, in and out of the High Court and their stay in the Premiership looks doomed as they are expected to be clobbered by a nine points penalty which will surely secure their relegation. Such a shame, but the mismanagement of the club, the ducking and diving, the succession of `fit and proper` owners who raise mystery to an art form and the smoke and mirrors style of financial management all suggest that they might, at last, be about to receive their just desserts, courtesy of HMRC. So, whilst us Saints fans are over the moon, we still spare the odd thought for our rivals:-