Shrewsbury, and a pleasant day out. The Blue Vicar had us visit the Hawkstone Follies on the way there and we survived the hill climbing experience, which is well worth the visit if you get chance.
Yet another of these new grounds where you can’t park, and no burger vans, much to Ged’s disgust. Parking was available at the Brookside pub, but did anyone else get food poisoning from eating the chilli? All ticket also ( £12 a throw and these clubs need all the financial help they can get), Shrewsbury not yet having a full safety certificate for the ground. Programme was a bit basic as well, but only 50p, and they missed the chance to have a gloat at the embarrassments they’ve given the Blues over the years and highlight ex City players like Ken Mulhearn and Alf Wood. Can 'arsed around' be acceptable in an official publication ? (Glyn Price’s ASFC Summer Update)
As for the game, first chance to see the new away strip. Looked OK, but sky blue would have been less of a clash with the home team’s darker blue. Some good stuff in the first half, but we couldn’t buy a goal. Second team out in the second half and we were dreadfully poor until my bladder got the better of me and we popped in two late goals whilst I was otherwise engaged – Corradi and Dickov – as an injury ravaged Shrewsbury visibly tired. Still, a win’s a win. The walk back to the pub car park was an eye opener. No pavement on one side and no safe road crossings, but an enjoyable day out overall.
The buzz was we were signing four new players, and so it came to pass – Valeri (so choice of two songs, Stevie Winwood if he’s crap and The Zutons if he’s good) Bojinov, (not to be confused with Bon Jovi) £5.5M from Fiorentina; Elano Blumer (not to be confused with Orlando Bloom), Brazilian mid-fielder for £7.5M from Shakhtar Donetsk; Vedran Corluka Croatian right back £7M; Javier Garrido, £2M Real Sociedad left sided defender.
Valencia next up. Tickets £15, bought when it peed down so even the pathetic canopy the club put up was welcome, plus umbrellas were doled out. Erm why not a proper enclosed canopy? Don’t shoot the messenger, and let’s try again eh with POB.
Thaksin showed up, and free Thai food doled out near the main entrance. Fuck all for us poor sods who pay the same price in the East stand, and only one burger van. Lots of fat old bald guys at the front of the west stand with their Thai brides apparently, according to Tom the KOTK seller at that pitch.
Cost of catering’s gone up too. As for the game, a midfield lapse let them in for their goal, then Michael Johnson hit the bar from well out, and Bianchi likewise with a great header. A bit of pisstaking from the south stand of their subs warming up on the touchline and portly Ricky Hatton, (too much Mr. Guinness) didn’t escape either. Despite a couple of previous assassination attempts on Thaksin, folk were seemingly happy to sit near him (thanks to John Rowan for that one) but the game was a stroll, and we still couldn’t score.
Then off to Albert Square to partake of the free Thai food, after queuing for a while, and to watch the entertainment, which to be honest was quite entertaining even though ‘My Way’ is the most done to death song of all time, followed closely by the dreadful ‘Mack The Knife’ which thankfully wasn’t renditioned!
Sven and the players appeared plus Dr Thaksin, and to be quite frank (?!) we did enjoy being amongst a vast quantity of Blues (not sure about 8,000 though) celebrating the 'Thomas Cook Finalists’, who were just happy to sing Blue Moon. OK it may have cost a fortune and just been a propaganda exercise but what the hell. Grandson Joe didn’t fancy the Thai food on offer so inevitably we finished up in MacDonalds!.
The rags drew with a depleted Chelsea team in the Community Shield 1-1. Van Der Sar should have been sent off for a foul on Chelsea’s goalscorer Malouda and then kicked SWP in the bollocks in the box – sending off and penalty? He then went on to make 3 great saves in the penalty shoot out and the media claimed it was a glory day and revenge for losing the cup final. When is this fucking drivel going to stop and the truth be told. Ronaldo was at it again too. Cheats, one hundred per cent!
Today’s news is we’re after the Aussie boy Mark Bresciano, midfielder for £3M and now Weaver’s gone, Isaaksson’s injured (again) Schmeichel isn’t fancied and Joe Hart is too young (?), though he did play a first team game last season, we need a new experienced goalie, before Saturday. Doh!