A Pop Video

17 08 2011

It might be the Super Furry Animals and it may not be football but I like this;

Ans there’s a part 2;

I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking why Cheryl Cole can’t be more like this. Well my friends that would require imagination and Wor Cheryl has none of this magical quality.

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Upon finding yourself in second hand book shops…

5 08 2011

Yesterday I found myself in Colwyn Bay’s premier second-hand book shop and it was like a treasure trove. Firstly I found these two photos from Llandudno’s football history;

The photos were not my only, or my best, find. This honour goes to the philosophical opus; “Kevin Keegan: Against the World” (only 5 pounds!!!). To find such a work of genius in Colwyn Bay was a shock, but to say it was a shock would be a gross, gross understatement. After reading this treatise on the human condition I just don’t know how it came to  be disregarded.

Behold the gems of insight……

“It’s in grim Iron Curtain cities that character is proven……”

“A whole combination of factors are to blame (for England’s 1970s malaise); one of them in Wembley itself. We play our matches on a foreign ground……”

“Lawrie McMenemy…… said of the need for “seven roadsWeeper and four violinists”………..You need a gambler and someone who is the soul of caution. A girl-puller must be balanced by one of nature’s monks. You need a clown, and he needs team-mates prepared to be the audience. You need card schools, and a few fellows who prefer paperbacks. Drinkers should be offset by teetotallers, the nightclubbers by loving husbands who go straight home”

“I’m a fan of (Alan) Ball only as a player, for there are aspects of his personality that don’t appeal to me…….”

“Another drawback to the home international series is what I call the “treason factor”. In all the camps players’ tiniest weaknesses are being revealed by club-mates to men who will opposing them in League matches a few months later.”

“The English attitude – or arrogance, if you like “We’re being set up here, with everything to lose and nothing to gain.” Our team tends to feel like a champion compelled to meet a club player for a worthless prize……….”

“Put any international team in the world on a pitch and, if you like, disguise their strip. And I will bet that after five minutes of studying their play I will name their nationality – and be right 9 times out of 10”

“I’ve called the Russian a set of robots, look at this picture and see if you agree”

“……Luckily I had the last laugh again!!!!”

With such unpolished gems out there I’m off to hunt more of them out. At the moment I’m really anxious to find “Kierkegaard and Me” by Alan Mullery and “Contemporary Art Criticism – My Take” by Ronald “CHOPPER” Harris.

Get out there, there’s a whole world to discover!





Another New Flag!

1 08 2011

This time we’ve taken inspiration from John Lydon and his Public Image;

 





Set adrift in a beautiful dream

16 07 2011

No Rupert, none of this shit;

Unfortunately Kelvin McKenzie would probably still be a cunt. Why the Sun is full of shite;

If only it were like this.





A couple of Bangor City questions

11 07 2011

Question number 1

On Wednesday Bangor City will have something in common with the following list of clubs, what is it?

  • Sturm Graz, Rapid Wien, Tirol Innsbruck, SV Austria Salzburg, Austria Wien, LASK Linz.
  • KS Dinamo Tirana, KF Partizani Tirana.
  • F.C. Dinamo Minsk.
  • Royal Antwerp, Standard Liège, K.A.A. Gent, K.R.C. Genk.
  • CSKA Sofia.
  • NK Zagreb, HNK Rijeka.
  • Apollon Limassol, Anorthosis Famagusta FC.
  •  AaB Aalborg, OB Odense, AGF Arhus, Esbjerg, Lyngby Boldklub, FC København
  • Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur.
  • B36 Tórshavn, HB Tórshavn.
  •  TPS Turku, MyPa 47, HJK Helsinki,
  • Lens, Auxerre, Marseille, RC Strasbourg, Bordeaux, Marseille, , Paris Saint-Germain F.C., AS Saint-Étienne, FC Nantes Atlantique, Olympique Lyonnais, OGC Nice.
  • FC Dinamo Tbilisi.
  •  Stuttgart, Hamburger SV, Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund Hamburger SV, FC Schalke 04, FC Koln, Kaiserslautern, Werder Bremen.
  • Budapest Honvéd, Vasas SC.
  • Keflavík.
  • Bohemians, Sligo Rovers, , Shamrock Rovers F.C., Shelbourne F.C.
  • Napoli, Sampdoria, Lazio, Bologna, Juventus, Maccabi Haifa F.C.
  • Floriana, Hibernians FC.
  • FK Ekranas
  • Union Luxembourg, CS Grevenmacher.
  • FK Vardar
  • FC Twente, SC Heerenveen, Willem II,
  • Cliftonville, Ards.
  • Rosenborg, Lillestrøm, Kongsvinger,
  • Górnik Zabrze, Lech Poznań, Ruch Chorzów,
  • Rapid Bucharest, Dinamo Bucharest, Universitatea Craiova,
  • Torpedo Moscow, Dinamo Moscow, FC Spartak Moscow,
  • Hibernian F.C.
  • Slovan Bratislava, MŠK Žilina, Košice.
  • NK Maribor, Olimpija Ljubljana.
  • Deportivo, Atlético Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, Valencia CF, Atlético Madrid, RCD Mallorca, RCD Espanyol.
  • AIK Solna, Kalmar FF, Djurgården IF, Halmstads BK, IFK Göteborg, Malmö FF.
  • Grasshopper Club, Neuchâtel Xamax, FC Basel, FC Luzern, FC Aarau, BSC Young Boys, FC Zurich, St. Gallen.
  • Trabzonspor.
  •  Shakhtar Donetsk.

Well the answer is quite simple – These clubs have played in all four of UEFA competitions (European Cup / Champions League – Cup Winners’ Cup – Inter-Cities Fairs Cup / UEFA Cup / Europa League – Intertoto Cup). Bangor City will become the first Welsh Club to achieve this feat.

Incidentally here’s the proof for Wednesday;

Question Number 2.

What does Bangor City player Mark Smyth have in common with the following list of players? 

Wayne Rooney, Gaël Clichy, Cristiano Ronaldo, Philippe Senderos, David Silva, Lukas Podolski, Mario Gómez, Łukasz Fabiański, Tranquillo Barnetta

Again the answer is very simple – All of those players played in the 2002 Under 17 European Championships and Mark played for England in those championships.

Incidentally, it’s funny how all players sound the same before the hype sets in;

“……when Mark Smyth found Rooney in acres of space and the Everton FC man had no trouble completing his hat-trick.”

 





Jesus Christ, what the f%&@ is that?!?!

3 07 2011

I was casually looking at the internet yesterday and I found the new England goalkeepers’ shirt;

If you’re wondering about the lower sleeves;

“The lower part of the arm on the goalkeeper shirt are also crafted with the specifics of the player in mind, with a tight kit offering articulation and compatibility with goalkeeping gloves”

It’s good to know that during the innovative design process they managed to remember to make a goalkeeper’s shirt compatible with the basic equipment of goalkeepers.

I thought Umbro were doing really well with their “Tailored by Umbro approach”; Man City looked classy, Wales looked stylish, even Northern Ireland looked smart in their rugby league-esque creation. Then they go and produce something like the new England goalie shirt. The last something I saw something that horrific was 1996;

Or as David Seaman saw it;

The red kit from the Semi-Final of Euro 1996. I had worn it before, the one with the stripy socks that made it look like I had two packs of refreshers on my legs. I remember before Euro 96 we were in the line-up for the national anthems and it was the first time I wore it, and I looked down the line and two of the opposition players were laughing at my socks. I was fuming. And then after the game a reported asked me what I thought of the kit, I said: “It’s shit!”

You might think there’s something about England’s goalkeeper jerseys  but it’s not just them. This picture features a Welsh kit from 1995;

In fact Umbro had an ignoble record of design horrors in the mid 1990s. Chelsea……

 Celtic……..

Wales……..

Are Umbro returning to the bad old days? I thought they were doing the right thing as they were producing clean, crisp and sharp designs. They even employed Peter Saville to design the present England shirt.

This was a brilliant step in good football kit design. Peter Saville is a great designer. He was  a partner in Factory Records and he produced some of the best record sleeve designs in music history, as well as other fantastic work;

He sounded a bit like this;

So why did he design the present England kit? Well he puts it like this;

 “…Football shirts are not about anything – this was about ‘something’ and it’s reach is massive. But I didn’t see how it could go the distance.”

The “this” that was “about something” was the addition of multi-coloured crosses on the shoulders;

The multi-coloured crosses were an attempt to use the shirt as  “a vehicle of cultural provocation“;

“It’s beautiful but it’s very loaded,” Saville claims of the design. Taking the cross of St George and rendering it in a rainbow of different hues is, he says, about acknowledging difference and promoting tolerance of those differences. “I was frustrated, along with many others, by the marginalisation of the cross of St George. It has acquired connotations that some of us don’t associate with and I find that frustrating because there is nothing wrong with it as a symbol. [The design] is a provocation. It’s not negative, it’s not aggressive, it’s not critical and I think it feels like England 2010. This is a country of lots of different people, get on with it.”

It’s the little things like that show the “Factory Spirit” – Subversion –  lives on, unfortunately I’ll bet the point was lost of England’s less intellectual fans. I’ll bet they thought the shirt was “a bit gay” because of the little detail.

Anyway why this slightly in-depth discussion about Peter Saville? Well it seems he doesn’t just design striking and iconic images, he designed the new England Goalkeepers’ kit as well.

Jesus Christ!





Welsh Premier League managers and the world cup – It’s a rich history!!!!

29 06 2011

I might as well come clean. I lied yesterday. I lied about the Welsh Premier League managers that have featured in world cup squads.

There are the three that everyone will know straight away. ex-Bangor City manager Graeme Sharp (Scotland, Mexico ’86), new Newtown manager Bernard McNally (Northern Ireland, Mexico ’86) – Read Mark Pitman’s blog post about him –  and ex-Inter Cardiff boss George Wood (Scotland, Espana ’82).

Mind you these are the only ones that everybody knows about (we can now add  Tomi Morgan to the list) there is a hidden history of Welsh Premier League managers at the world cup;

John Hulse

Hulse played for Australia in 1974;

Ken McKenna

As you would imagine from the name he is Scottish. He played for Scotland  in Italia ’90.

This piece of news is inexorably connected to two things; 1) Tomi Morgan’s appearances for Costa Rica. 2) Tomi and Ken’s long-standing grudge – it’s so bad they haven’t spoken civilly for years.

Many have thought that the bitter rivalry stems from that notorious post-match interview in 2006 when Tomi famously quipped  “Llansantfraid still had a soul when I was there” but this is not true. The feud goes back to Italia ’90, more specifically the match between Scotland and Costa Rica.

The start of what would become Welsh football’s most infamous feud is recounted by Bryan Gunn in his world cup diary; Three weeks on an Italian bench (plus other adventures)”;

“We were warming up at half time in case we would be needed. We were in one half and Costa Rica were in the other.

At one point during half time a ball bounced several times near the halfway line. It came to  rest about a yard inside the half we were in. McKenna was the nearest of our players, Morgan was the nearest of theirs. Both men saw the  ball and both men wanted it. You could see a disaster unfolding.

Both men leapt at the ball but Morgan was quicker and won the ball. In fact he didn’t only win the ball he proceeded to showboat in front of McKenna  (remember this was the time before Lovejoy made showboating cool). This didn’t go down too well with McKenna as he hates this rubbish.

I could see the red mist descending around McKenna. After it had descended he tried to set about Morgan but Morgan was too quick, he avoided the clumsy attempts at capture. Kenny was normally so poised but you know what it’s like when you’re in a rage, your co-ordination is the first thing to go. 

The worst thing about it all  is the two players forget they were in front of a crowd. The duel became very personal. The most embarrassing thing for McKenna was that not only did Morgan evade capture but he also retained possession of the ball. Morgan’s touch was just too deft for the enraged and lumbering McKenna. I actually had to stop laughing at one point.

Morgan nutmegged McKenna over and over again. After the fifth nutmeg Morgan put one foot on the ball, looked down at McKenna, looked him straight in the face and then extended his hand before exclaiming “OLE” with a matador’s flourish. This was the last straw for Kenny and he arose like a volcanic eruption.

If the restraining presences of Stewart McKimmie and Ally McCoist had been absent blood will have been spilt on that Genoese evening. Luckily the second half was about to start and Morgan was due to replace their ineffectual number 9.

Unluckily for the rest of us Morgan was not finished. Early in the second half Morgan created what would turn out to be the only goal of the match with a cheeky backheel.

Instead of celebrating with the rest of his teammates. Morgan made a beeline for our bench, he pointed at Kenny before saying in what sounded like a Welsh accent, “That was for you Bollocks!!!”

Then he performed another matador flourish with his right hand. “OLE” said Morgan. “I’M GOING***@<>?  TO GET THAT PIECE OF F£$%^&*( COSTA RICAN S$*&” said McKenna. McCoist and McKimmie were again the peacemakers. Kenny finally got on to the pitch but didn’t touch the ball.

Anyway everybody knows that Scotland lost and this ranks as one of our most embarrassing defeats. Morgan wouldn’t let us humiliated Scots wallow in self-pity, he was intent on humiliating Kenny once more. He did his Matador flourish with his hand – “OLE!!!” once more, again McKenna was restrained.

Morgan wasn’t finished, he then began to cluck like a chicken, which only  further enraged McKenna. The last thing I heard was “Leave it Kenny, he’s not worth it” as McKenna was bundled down the tunnel.

Even then Morgan still wasn’t finished.  Archie MacPherson wanted  to talk to one of the subs after the game because he wanted a perspective from the bench. Kenny was the only sub willing to talk to Archie. Morgan stood around in the background clucking and perform what would go on to become his well-known “chicken dance”.

If you listen to the replays Morgan’s antics are very audible on tv. Again McKenna was restrained but this time it was by Archie. The last thing I remember about this was Morgan’s laugh echoing around the bowels of the ground, it was a chilling sound for every Scot there”

Neil Gibson

Neil Gibson is older than you think. He may look like he’s in his early 30s but he’s actually 48. In case you doubt this fact I should let you know that he was part the Austrian squad for Espana ’82. He was a raw nineteen year old at the time (you do the maths);

They say he learnt the effectiveness of cynicism in the “squalid non-aggression pact” that masqueraded as the West Germany v Austria match (both sides engineered a result that would allow them both to proceed at the expense of Algeria). They say he uses this match as a template for the Welsh Premier League matches his horrible little team plays.








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