Saturday, 26 April 2008

Shire-ly Not?!

Big hats off to East Stirlingshire FC today. A massive 3-1 last day victory against Montrose meant that The Shire finished 9th in the Scottish third division.

To the untrained eye, this is a rather unremarkable feat (or probably not even worthy of being described as a 'feat' at all) but make no mistake, they'll be partying on the streets of Falkirk tonight... maybe.

For those of you who don't know, East Stirling have finished bottom of the Scots third for the last five years. No relegation from the Scottish league means that every season they remain in the division as the proverbial whipping boys. In 2004, the club actually finished the campaign with a pitiful 8 points!

The club subsequently earnt the rather unflattering label of Britain's Worst Football Team.

The Shire have gained cult status internationally and even had a book published about their exploits.

For the gambling man, it's almost suicide not to back the home team when East Stirling are away on the saturday accumilator.

However, despite no relegation, The Shire were under threat. The constant last place finishes had the authorities questioning the worth of the Falkirk based side. Had they finished bottom again this year, the league would have reduced the club's status from 'full' member to that of 'associate' member meaning that a vote would eventually be taken to determine whether they could continue to play in the league.

Naturally, The Shire struggled this season and the dreaded scenario looked odds on going into the final game of the season today when play-off bound Montrose came to Firs Park. Forfar Athletic, the only team they could overhall faced fellow strugglers Dumbarton but could only draw as The Shire came from behind to take the three points and avoid the indignity of being Scotland's worst yet again.

Thank fuck for Forfar (try saying that fast!).

Sir Alex Ferguson was none too pleased about the events at Stamford Bridge earlier but I'm sure he would have raised a smile upon finding out the fantastic news about the club who gave him his first job as a manager.

...or not.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Friday Bits and Bobs

To be Frank...

My condolences to the Lampard family after this week's tragic news.

However, at the risk of sounding callous, why has this story dragged on over the last couple of days? Yes, it's a tragedy but why was it front page news and why am I still hearing about it on rolling SPORTS news channels?

Footballers (like all human beings) suffer berievements all the time but why has coverage of poor Pat Lampard been in the spotlight so much?

Methinks the PR machine is trying to drum up sympathy for one of the country's most disliked players.

Bad taste? Well, that's CSKA Fulham for you!

I Miss You Thierry-bly

So the grass isn't necessarily greener?

I'm not going to subcribe to the newfound assertion that the man that made the Premier League his own for so many years is now crap!

However, it's no secret that Monsieur Henry's Catalan dream is turning into something of a nightmare.

Not once has he talked about how good life is in the sun and he cant stop talking about the club he left behind.

Wenger, ever the diplomat, refused to shut the door on a return for the former Arsenal talisman.

Shame that in reality he rarely signs anyone over the age of 20


Sad news today could see Rotherham go out of business.

The club has gone into administration twice in the last two seasons and have struggled to find a buyer.

When top flight clubs are whinging about their managers not buying so and so or which billionaire owner they would prefer, it takes a story like this to put that all in perspective.

Wes Brown was given a £50,000 a week contract last week (for what?). The Millers' are overdrawn by just(in football terms) a couple of million quid.

Football needs to take a good long hard look at itself when professional clubs are on the brink of extinction.

The Big One

CSKA Fulham host the Salford Bay Rowdies in a 'Showdown' for the premier league title tomorrow.

We're in for a cracker! What with CSKA's unrivalled ability to send the opposition to sleep at The Bridge and The Rowdies prioritising Tuesday's second leg against Barca, it should be one for the ages.

The current CSKA team would be the worst champions this country has seen. Even their own fans will tell you that (if you can find them. None will be at the game). In a bittersweet sort of way, winning the title would actually be quite amusing. The experts have had a field day telling us that expansive, exciting football is the holy grail. If CSKA bore their way over the finish line, Sky TV might actually implode on itself.

Ronaldo has been brilliant this season. A bag full of tricks, incredible pace and an eye for goal have made him seemingly untouchable. And just when you thoughts there was no end to how amazing he is, the boy added a touch of the supernatural to his game as he actually DISAPPEARED at the Nou Camp on wednesday. The boy's a genius. Expect him to pull the same trick in another big game tomorrow...

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Something Is Seriously Wrong

*Blows off cobwebs*

This was recently doing the email rounds.

John Arne Riise's alleged payslip.

If this is indeed real, something is fundamentally wrong in the world if someone being paid THAT MUCH to play football cant kick with his right foot!

...You really do have to wonder sometimes.