Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Keano on the edge in mobile phone rage

This is classic Roy Keane! In the middle of his news conference, the Ipswich boss is halted by a reporter's mobile going off, apparently for the second time. When confronted by Keano, the reporter fails to turn it off. Does he have a deathwish or what?
Watch Keane's eyes as he does his best to show restraint and control. He wouldn't have done that when he was a player.

Reminiscent of Joe Pesci's performance as Tommy in Goodfellas. Never a dull moment with Keano!
Click here for the current Top Story
Soccermongery's all about your feedback, so write away, right away!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Thierry Le Cunt Henry, the handball cheat!

Ah, Wikipedia: the democratic doyenne of world enlightenment and knowledge. An Open Source tool giving everyone the ability to update encyclopedia entries immediately. But sometimes, accurate information gives way to emotional outrage.

Thierry Henry's not popular after twice handballing France to victory over the Republic of Ireland to secure a place in the World Cup Finals in South Africa.

Here's his Wikipedia entry. His mum won't be proud of him  :(

Soccermongery's all about your feedback, so write away, right away!

Friday, 13 November 2009

Irish and French football fallout!

The Republic of Ireland play France tomorrow evening. A huge match to decide which one will go forward to next summer's World Cup in South Africa.

If you read any big game preview ahead of this international weekend, it's gotta be this one!
It involves Nicolas Sarkozy, the French President.
Sometimes the anticipation of a game is better than the 90 minutes itself. Whatever happens tomorrow night, this is an example of it!
Click here for the current Top Story
Soccermongery's all about your feedback, so write away, right away!

Thursday, 12 November 2009

The tragedy of Robert Enke

The awful suicide of Hannover 'keeper Robert Enke puts the game's importance firmly into perspective. Whether Bill Shankly had his tongue firmly in cheek or not when he famously proclaimed that football was more important than life or death, those words now seem hollow and tunnel-visioned.
Enke's death follows on from those in the recent past of Justin Fashanu and David Clement. My dad told me of the pathetic end of former Chelsea and Newcastle great Hughie Gallacher who, overcome by family problems, also killed himself on a railway line.
Professional sportsmen are as prone to depression and stress as any other human being and their situation is surely exacerbated by being thrust in the public eye, always being under pressure to perform.
Imagine how stressful it'd be if we were in the spotlight everyday and unable to slink away and lick our wounds in private.
There's no hiding place for professional sportsmen who are expected to be supermen and put on a performance irrespective of how they feel. They are as prone to illness, stress and (certainly at the lower ends of the game) to the same types of financial pressures as we lesser mortals. Amazingly enough, English cricketers are almost twice as likely to commit suicide as the average male and have a suicide rate higher than players of any other sport. That's according to respected author David Frith who wrote a book on this very phenomenon.
Frith asserts that cricket puts a strain on nerves that can be as destructive as the post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by war veterans. 'It is the uncertainty, day in and day out, that plays a sinister beat on the cricketer's soul,' he said.
Famous cricket suicides include A.E. Stoddart, the most glamorous cricketer of the 1880s and captain of England from 1894, who shot himself in 1915 after his career ended; Albert Shrewsbury, the finest professional batsman of his day amd in more recent times, former England wicketkeeper David Bairstow.
Mike Brearley commented that "it is not cricket which causes suicide: people kill themselves for reasons that are internal to themselves and their histories.'
For that reason perhaps we should cut our footballers some slack, they're not super human and are as subject to the same foibles, problems and stresses as everybody else. Perhaps we should take that into account when they next miss an open goal or let one through their legs.

Click here for the current Top Story

Soccermongery's all about your feedback, so write away, right away!

Monday, 9 November 2009

Gary Megson keeps going at Bolton

I was at Villa Park this weekend to see Aston Villa's 5-1 crushing of Bolton Wanderers. The visitors lived upto their name, wandering aimlessly. GREVILLE WATERMAN discusses Ginger Mourinho's future.
One of football's less heralded anniversaries came and went unnoticed; Gary Megson celebrated his second birthday as Bolton boss but there were few signs of celebration around the Reebok.
Indeed many Bolton fans appear more likely to burn their manager in effigy rather than present him with a birthday cake or other mark of their esteem.To outsiders - OK then, Southern Softies like me, this would seem a totally unreasonable attitude as Bolton seem to be established in the Premier League after looking certain to be relegated two seasons ago.

Surely Megson deserves the freedom of Bolton for performing a miracle in keeping the total car crash of a team he inherited from Sammy Lee in the top league two seasons ago when the fat lady had already begun her warbling with the last rites almost concluded.

Last season saw consolidation, clear of relegation and a similar finish seems assured this term.
So why are the fans so anti-Megson? Perhaps they were spoilt by the revered Sam Allardyce´s squad that so over performed and finished in the top 8 more often than anyone outside the Big Four and was so feared by their supposed betters in the Premier League.

Perhaps Megson, a client of super agent Mark Curtis, a crony of Chairman Phil Gartside was seen as the easy and cheap option when Lee was finally put out of his misery.

Maybe supporters so accepting of the percentage football produced by the Allardyce squad have reservations about the negative 4-5-1 formation customarily favoured by Megson with flair a dirty word at the Reebok.
They still rely on set pieces and pressing for most of their goals but there are players of real quality in the squad such as Cahill, Taylor, Davies and new Korean sensation Lee (Chung-Yong in this instance, rather than Sammy).
Megson, it has to be said makes few friends with some of his public statements, defending the indefensible when he backed Sir Alex Ferguson after his non-apology to Referee Alan Wiley. He also anatagonised Bolton fans by whining about the size and quality of his squad.
So what's the truth about Gary Megson? The jury's still out but this is a key season for Bolton as they seek to re-establish themselves in the middle rump of the Premier League. Their final position will go a long way to deciding whether Megson enjoys a third anniversary as manager.

Click here for the current Top Story

Soccermongery's all about your feedback, so write away, right away!

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Renaming St. James' Park? another Mike Ashley mess

By GREVILLE WATERMAN. This is well worth reading as Greville's been in the sports sponsorship game for a quarter of a century. Read on as he explains why Mike Ashley is no Dave Whelan!
As pundit Richard Littlejohn often says when faced with yet another example of the idiocy of everyday life - "you couldn't make it up".
Yes, our Keystone Cop friends at Newcastle United have even surpassed themselves with their idiotic announcement that they are seeking a Naming Rights Partner for St. James' Park.
Not content with trampling all over hundred years of heritage and tradition, they've decided for illustrative purposes only to attach the name of owner Mike Ashley's company and for the remainder of the season the stadium will instantaneously be known as Sportsdirect.com@stjamespark.

So where do we start in exposing this example of crass lunacy?

The concept of naming rights can be an extremely effective marketing tool but only if the name is attached to a new stadium.

For all the inherent sense of tradition of most Arsenal fans, The Emirates Stadium IS The Emirates just as St. James' Park IS and always WILL be St. James' Park.

Not content with ignoring marketing precedent and the laws of commonsense, the decision to attach a temporary name to the stadium totally beggars belief.

I cannot imagine that fans and the media alike will use the new convoluted name, and potential sponsors will take this into account when considering the viability of the proposition.

Also why on earth give the stadium another corporate name, however temporary, when you're looking for a new long-term naming rights partner - total madness.

This whole project seems to be an ill thought through and badly conceived bodge that has little or no chance of success.

Newcastle fans and even a local MP are up in arms at this local outrage, although I suspect they needn't worry - I can't see it coming to fruition.

Click here for the current Top Story

Soccermongery's all about your feedback, so write away, right away!

Monday, 2 November 2009

Marlon King should be shunned by the Premier League

By GREVILLE WATERMAN. Greville's signed for the Soccermongery and points his Brentford-maddened focus upon another Premier League star heading for jail.

Smarmy agent Tony Finnegan did his public image no favours by smugly proclaiming there'd be a queue of teams lining up to sign Jailbird Marlon King once he served his 18 month stretch for assaulting a student.

And even the normally sane Arsene Wenger endorsed his view with "you would consider signing someone like that".
Has the world gone mad and can the recidivist King who has amassed thirteen convictions since 1997 expect a continued demand for his services?

In the Greed Is Good Premier League, there's seemingly no moral compass. Previous miscreants like Tony Adams, Jermaine Pennant and Joey Barton have all returned from incarceration into the forgiving arms of their clubs who judge that on-field performances outweigh any moral obligation.

Maybe in this instance, the grin will be wiped off King and his agent's loathsome faces - and the reason will be purely financial.

In the Premier League madhouse, Marlon King is apparently "worth" £35,000 per week - the thick end of £2million per year.

And what does that get you?

A journeyman 29-year-old striker with a decent record of 108 league goals in 345 matches. But when you look more closely, you'll find half his goals were scored for Barnet and Gillingham, and all that after a promising spell in the Premier League with Watford. King's never been more than a squad player at the higher levels of the game with Wigan, Middlebrough and Hull.

It's an indictment of the game's finances that managers have been prepared to spend so much for so little - but maybe there is a ray of hope.

King will probably find some manager prepared to overlook his dreadful behaviour when he's released, but given he's obviously more accurate at hitting the target in nightclubs than on the pitch, I'm sure he will no longer receive such an obscene salary for his mediocre talent.

Click here for the current Top Story

Soccermongery's all about your feedback, so write away, right away!