Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Ed's Update

Ed’s Update :

Sheffield United and a pleasant day at Bramall Lane. Our turnstiles were broken so we had to dash to ones that were OK and we got into the lower tier just as Joe made a save at the foot of the post of the ball and three balloons, two blue, one white. Strangely, or not, the ref, Alan Wiley, didn’t let him pop them, our defenders strode over them (couldn’t even tackle a balloon today), we had a free kick, then a throw in when we could have stalled and popped them, and you know what happened next. Naive and unprofessional. Naturally we accepted it all meek and mild, to rank with Dibble at Forest, Margetson v QPR (“here’s the ball, oh that was nasty of you to stick it in the net “), keepy uppy v Liverpool when we needed a win to stay up, and Pollocks own goal that time after running half the length of the field and nodding it over Margetson, and there may have been others.
Naturally they got another, we pulled one back through Sturridge, brilliantly, who then blotted his copybook by doing a silly celebration, instead of picking up the ball and heading back to the centre spot pronto with it, we were 2-1 down remember. So we wimped out, to a team in turmoil, with the manager going to be “sacked in the morning”, half the home fans boycotting the game, and without their best players, plus, of course the rag connection. To say I’m pissed is an understatement. Whilst we weren’t going to win the cup, the aim is to get as far as possible to get more revenue and a bit of pride and passion wouldn’t have gone amiss. 32 years and 27 without even reaching a semi-final. Bah

Transfer news : Bianchi went to Lazio and was sent off in his first game after about quarter of an hour. Samaras has gone to Celtic, we’ve signed no-one yet.

Munich - Observer article touched on how shite united were to caretaker manager Jimmy Murphy after Munich, so a little objective for a change.
Jonathan Pearce in the MU Mirror preached to us about how right united are to hold a minutes silence, but doesn’t really say why, though his article is on Frank Swift.
United’s Phil Townsend, who obviously knows nothing, has rejected City ‘s sensible OSC club pleas to have an applause before the game, or a silence after the game (cos there’d be no-one left there that’s why, and the ‘set-up’ would rebound on them) as “Not being appropriate” whatever the fuck that means.
The F.A. have now done an about turn and there WILL be a minute silence before the Switzerland game on Feb 6th as the fans can now obviously be trusted to observe it?! Who runs soccer in this country? Not sure if N.Ireland or the Republic have a game that day and if so what they are doing in this respect. but at least this is on the actual day of the anniversary.

Paul Hince makes some good points in the MEN about the F.A.Cup then fouls up by wondering why Sven plays the ‘foreign misfits’ instead of blue-blooded Englishman Danny Sturridge. Couldn’t be cos Dan’s been injured for 3 months could it Paul?!

Right, enough doom and gloom, off to derby now for a pick me up, let's hope……

It's A Fix

24) WEDNESDAY JANUARY 30TH : DERBY (AWAY)

Moved to Wednesday cos we were on the box on Sunday

Formed in 1884. Founder members of the Football League in 1888/89, then yo-yo time but stayed in the first from 25/26 until 52/53 after winning the cup in 1946.
Since then they’ve been down to the third, and back won the title in 71/72 (should have been us) under Cloughy, then again in 74/75 under Dave MacKay. Made it back to the Prem via the play offs last season.

Some names/connections : Peter Doherty, Paulo Wanchope, Jon Macken, Tyrone Mears, Geo Kinklladze, Danny Mills?, Robert Lindsay

Paul Jewell’s Squad includes : Price, Davis, Moore, Mears, Savage, Ghaly, Robert, Villa, Miller, Todd, Johnson, Feihaber, Lewis, Barnes, Fagan, Hinchcliffe, Earnshaw, Bywater, Jones, Pearson,Leacock, McEveley, Mills

This season so far : At COMS in August it was our first home game and a narrow 1-0 win for us with Michael Johnson scoring a pearler in front of 43,620 (2,831 from Derby) to set us up for the rags on the Saturday. After that they struggled and sacked manager Billy Davies replacing him with Paul Jewell
Currently they’re rock bottom in 20th place with 7 points from 22 games and 1 win 2 draws and 8 losses at home.
They’ve just bought Robbie Savage, lost to a Sibierski goal at home to Wigan, scraped through the 3rd round in a replay at Wednesday, but gone out of the cup at home to Preston, in a 4-1 walloping, so if we’re serious about bouncing back then tonight’s the night .

Our form at Derby : We last played them in 2000/01 season and drew 1-1. We’ve a poor record at Derby. No wins in the last 14 visits, but prior to that 4 wins out of six, so time to redress the balance.
Best win 7-1 in 1938. Worst loss 7-0 in 1949/50.
Post war attendances ranged from 14,470 in 83/84 to 40, 788 in 69/70.
Groundwise : Modern stadium in the Walkers/ St. Mary’s style, now fully enclosed. We should get the whole of one end so we can really give it some umpty
Pride Park capacity : 33,597 ( 3,162 for City)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Comment : Disastrous season so far for Derby. No doubt we’ll be nice to them with a few “going down chants” and we surely can’t let them win, can we?

Stats: 44 pre-war and 47 post make it our 92ndt league meeting and post war in Derby. it’s :
Played : 23 won 4 (3-1 52/53 and 63/64; 2-1 65/66; 1-0 69/70) drawn 5 lost 14
Last pot: League title in 74/75
Last attendance : 31,174
WWTWTWShite: Averaged 10,833 in ‘84/85
Away day Zines: None that we’re aware of
Route : Leave the M1 at J 28 and follow A38 into Derby. Follow signs for A52 (Nottingham) off the Pentagon island in Derby. After one mile look for a large Toys R Us store on the right. Take first left at signs for the Wyvern shopping centre (also signposted Pride Park stadium) and continue to traffic island . Take second exit passing Sainsbury’s on your right and continue to next traffic island. Take first exit over the bridge into Pride Park and the stadium is on your left. It’s vastly changed since our last visit, parking is available, but it can be time consuming getting away.

Monday, 28 January 2008

Munich Anniversary

The newspapers have continued their deamonisation of us over the weekend for something that hasn't even happened yet. It will be interesting to see if the minutes silence is respected 100% by the City supporters. Personally after so much adverse publicity on the subject, it will be an absolute moron(s) who would risk booing or shouting whilst the minutes silence is being observed. Surely anyone that did, would quickly be rounded upon by fellow blues stood next to them? I (being a conspiracy theorist) belive that we are being set up to fall. What's to stop United fans jeering from areas close to where the City fans are sat? Who will believe us when we utter the words "It wasn't us"

No cup of Cheer

Don't be too downhearted at our cup exit guys, after all we were never going to win it. I am writing this at 12.55, before the Cup draw and I have a sneaking suspicion that the 5th round draw will be Manchester United vs. Sheffield United. So we have saved ourselves from another potential hammering. On the plus side, what a performance by Danny Sturridge. Hopefully now his injury worries are behind him, Sven will give him the same kind of opportunities he has given the other academy kids.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

It's A Fix

23A) SUNDAY JAN. 27TH : SHEFF. U. (AWAY) F.A CUP 4

Put back to Sunday at 4pm for TV

It was tempting fate to assume we’d get through to this round but a pretty safe bet.
Last season we beat Southampton 3-1 at COMS. In 05/06 we saw off Villa 2-1 in a replay. In 03/04 it was Spurs and the 4-3 in the replay at WHL. In 01/02 it was Ipswich away 4-1. In 00/01 it was Coventry 1-0 at Maine Road, and the 5-2 loss at home to Leeds in 99/2000 seems a very long time ago now. Eight years actually.

Sheff. U. were formed in 1889, joined div 2 in 1892/93, loads of time pre-war in the first, winning the league in 1898, and the cup 4 times, last in 1925, post though down to the 4th div. and back, but reached a few semis..

Some names/connections : Sean Bean, KK subscriber Barry Calder, ….Currie, Woodward, Hagan, Hodgkinson, Howard Kendall, Fred Eyre, David White, Michael Brown, Keith Curle, Willie Donachie, Michel Vonk, David Sommeil

Bryan Robson’s (boo) squad includes : Kenny, Bromby, Kilgallon, Armstrong, Geary, Gillespie (boo), Carney, Hendrie (boo), Stead, Speed, Tonge (a Leyther, whose sister’s a Blue), Hulse, Sharp, Shelton, Montgomery, Lucketti – Beattie’s doubtful.

This season so far : Well they went down after losing their last game at home to Wigan as the rags let West Ham beat them at home in the first part of the Tevez deal, obviously. Warnock resigned and they set on the ever popular Captain Marvel Bryan Robson, boo, the ex rag and West Brom and Middlesbrough failure.
Currently they’re in 14th position in the Championship with 35 points from 27 games and 5 wins 5 draws and 4 defeats at home. In the 3rd round of the cup they won at Bolton 1-0, and they’ve just lost the ‘steel city derby’ 2-0 at Wednesday.

Our form at the Lane : Went from ’68 to ’91 without losing, then just the three wins in ’94 (1-0) 3-1 in 2002 on New Years Day, and 1-0 last season in December with Stevie Ireland’s goal. Attendances have ranged from 13,906 (87/88) to 38,184 in 71/72.Best win: 5-0 in 1925 Worst defeat ;3-8 in 1926
In the cup we haven’t played them post-war and pre-war it was :
1906 1st round 1-4 (A) 21,352
1914 4th round, 0-0 (H) 35,738; 0-0 (A) 46,139; 0-1 at Villa 23,000
1939 4th round 0-2 (A) 49,795
So we’ve never beaten them in the Cup, yet!
We also however won the 1926 semi-final there 3-0 against united, crowd was 46,500

Groundwise: It’s the most mis-spelt name in the league (BramHall!) Once held 68,287, when 3 sided and part of a cricket ground., now 33,000. A few little changes noted at the Lane last season. We only got the bottom tier of the stand behind the goal, which had been extended to link up to their main stand, but we get the top tier as well this time. 5,000 Blues?

Comment : Their Kop gives them great support, though there’s talk of an anti Robson boycott today, but it should still be a cracking atmosphere. Listen out for their Yorkshire, Yorkshire dirge, and give them the town full of Wednesday/Rotherham/Barnsley/M***chs, and Robson out, which should go down well, or not! We’ve already won in the Carling Cup, with a weakened team against top of the table Bristol City, so if we’re not daft, we should get through this one.

Stats : 58 pre-war and 52 post made it 110 league meeting, and over there P/W it’s :
Played 26 won 8 drawn 11 lost 7
Last pot : F.A.Cup in 1925
Last attendance : 32,591 (2,918 Blues)
WWTWTWShite : Averaged 9,992 in 86/87 (Div 2)
Their current home average : 30,081
Away day Zines : Flashing Blade

Steve P’s Routemaster/parking :
M67, (A57, Snake Pass is closed) A616 then A629 & A61 ), into Sheffield City Centre; road becomes dual carriageway, right at roundabout (A61, Upper Hanover Street); at 2nd roundabout turn right (A621 – Bramall Lane) and the stadium is on the left. On street parking was OK last time we were there, and we don’t know of any residents only restrictions.
Public transport: nothing, except the Sheffield Metro lines offer a service every 20 minutes to 19 00 (so you could use the Park & Ride at Meadowhall off M1 jn 34) and take the tram to the city centre,.
Pub :The Devonshire Arms, Eccleshall Road a few mins walk from Bramall Lane is welcoming Blues, has a car park and food laid on.

Ed's update

Ed’s Update
Well we beat the ‘ammers in the 3rd round of the cup – sweating on that one as in KK 157 we presumed rightly we’d get through to the next round - and drew with them in the league (their goal should have been disallowed for dangerous play by the way) , so 2 wins and 2 draws this season gave us a good return. Still no ‘e’ on the end of Roy Clark yet in the second tier of the East stand bar. Does anyone care apart from me? (I think it's insulting to a man who was a great player and loyal City servant 'til the day he died, and the error was pointed out to the club months ago) We’re now in 5th position with Everton going above us.

Over at Reading, rags fans weren’t searched for drugs, after a commendable outcry from IMUSA. The team got two late ones to win 2-0 and the ever gracious Fergie made rude gestures to the Reading fans. No charge from the F. A. though, surprise, surprise.

Monday night and Liverpool drew 2-2 at home to Villa, the scousers being unhappy with their Yankee owners after the Benitez debacle, probably wishing that they’d got Thaksin after all?? But this result dropped us down to 7th place.

Kevin Keegan’s gone back to Newcastle. How long’s that gonna last? Paul Hince in the MEN thinks not long (so do I!). He penned an article saying how short KK was with him after a match at Barnsley in season 2001/02.when PH suggested we took our foot off the pedal when 3-0 up at half time and let them pull back to 3-2. If I remember right this was a night when we were stuck on the motorway for hours, and Hincey was on the radio going on about how Ali, Eyal and SWP couldn’t play in the same team. Oh and we won 3-0 not 3-2 so not surprising KK wasn’t best pleased with Hince.

Hey the old media circus is into overdrive over the Munich derby. United have erected a (great, it has to be said) pic of the players before the Belgrade game in 1958 (will a pic of our boys in the minute silence at Spurs appear anywhere, programme even?) and they’ve got the words of the united calypso song wrong (I used to sing bungling not bouncing) plus the AIG logo has angered rag fans, and fair do’s to them.
David Gill has rejected City supporters club suggestions that there should be a minutes applause before the game – who does he think he is? How about a minute silence at 4pm? The whole thing is beginning to get on my nerves. Never a day goes by without someone preaching to us about this game. Will someone in the media pen a piece on how United have cynically exploited this anniversary, besmirching the memory of those that died, or will we have to endure .this continual media hype? Wonder what the 500 Thais who’ve got tickets with their loyalty points make of it all?

Rags announce record turnover, profits and how they’ve increased their support by millions in the last few years Bet this Munich anniversary‘ll add a few more millions on.

Micah’s been slagged off in The Mirror, it was Dunney last week, and Olly Holt has penned an (other) article on the derby but at least concluded that the game should not have been arranged for this day. I’ve e-mailed him suggesting that if there was a minutes applause City fans would probably remain silent, and if there was a silence then we’d probably applaud. Loneliness Of The long Distance Runner anyone? It’s no joking matter though, is it?.

Wenger slipped up in the Carling Cup semi not picking his best team who got walloped 5-1 by Spurs, bet that went down well with the Gooners, and Everton made sure we’d have a game on Monday February 25th by losing to Chelsea in the other Carling semi, so that’s all right then.

On the transfer front there’s no sign of the £150 million yet (shouldn't reporters be sacked for printing such crap?). Bianchi’s off to Lazio, Castillo, Bojinov and Johnson are out for weeks. I’m sick of hearing about players on trials and transfer targets, that materialise into nothing, so we wait patiently to see what, if anything happens. I would imagine that Sven’s pretty sick at the mo. and if we are to push on then we need to splash the cash. But we are now safe, the youth team’s into the next round at Bristol City after beating Reading 3-1 with Danny Sturridge bouncing back with a hat-trick, and we’re setting on a Supremo as Thaksin seems to be tiring of his plaything, maybe.

Sheffield United next in the F.A.Cup tomorrow, c’mon City……

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

MUNICH 50 YEARS ON

With reference to the derby game on February 10th:-
When the fixtures were first released (and the clubs get notice of them before we do, so that they can request changes where necessary) our club officials should have asked for this fixture to be re-scheduled. The fact that they didn't even suss it out until fans pointed out the date's proximity to the 50th anniversary of the Munich disaster, is bad enough, but to leave it unchallenged displays gross incompetence. Instead they have chosen to push the responsibility onto the football supporters club officials who have done their damndest to come up with ideas that will foil the antics of some mindless cretin who is likely to grab the headlines on the day for all the wrong reasons. A task so impossible and thankless that it has led to a plea to Man U for a handclap instead of a silence. Needless to say, they have refused.
Much has been written within the pages of KOTK on this subject, and here is a selection:-

John Burfield writes:

I appreciate that this may not be the case for older City fans, but Munich means nothing to me. I was born six years after it happened, I don’t regard it as anything other than one of any number of notable civilian tragedies, and the fact that Frank Swift perished in it (which is the angle being plugged to try and ensure the City fans all behave) is of no greater significance to me than the fact that Duncan Edwards did. It was unquestionably a sad day for English football, but no more so than events at Ibrox, Hillsborough or Valley Parade. Keeping quiet when the minute’s silence is held, is the right and proper thing to do, and I would urge all Blues present to do so. Yes, it will be a circus, yes, there will be more crocodile tears on display than if you tear gassed the reptile house at Bristol Zoo, yes, United have milked this event for all it’s worth since the game became awash with money (before that they pretty much did sod all for the victims or their families), yes, manyoo fans' stance on the subject – what with their Hillsborough, Istanbul and bonfire songs – has long been one of sheer hypocrisy, but this is going to be a global event whether we like it or not, and the world’s journalists will be poised with poison pens should we stray from the path of righteousness. So let’s not give them the satisfaction, eh? Whatever contempt we may have for horrible tossers like Ferdinand, Neville and Ronaldo, the fact is that the team of ’58, which included Matt Busby, were cut from a different cloth, and the families of the deceased do not deserve to have to listen to a load of graceless booing. So let’s show a bit of class, and then when the game starts pray that we tear into the Rags where it matters; on the pitch.

Paul Bunbury writes:

I was thirteen years old at the time of the Munich Air Disaster and disaster it was - for apart from anything else the flower of the England football team perished that dark day in February 1958. As with the murder of President Kennedy and 9/11, I remember where I first heard the news - with my mother in Harrington's cake shop on Moston Lane. The woman serving us said '' 'ave you 'eard the news? United's team's been in a plane crash!'' . After an immature concealed 'YES!' and attempting to portray a serious concerned face, I wondered how many of them had died, for there were no details at that stage. We have always been a family of dedicated Blues since my grandad from Collyhurst watched them in the early days at Hyde Rd. His two sons followed his lead and their families were similarly influenced. My elder brother though was more objective than most and he appreciated that the 'Busby Babes' were an exceptionally good team and regularly watched them (along with his beloved City) because of the exhilarating football on display. He would take me along with him and it pained me to acknowledge that they were an exciting, special team. The most special player - and I make no apology for writing it yet again - was the truly awesome Duncan Edwards, the finest rag of all time and after Bert Trautmann, the greatest player that I have ever seen. When I realised that he might be dead the colour drained from me and my mother asked if I was ok. His spectre has haunted me ever since; the sight of him striding past opponents like they were meaningless ants before unleashing a thunderous shell of a shot will remain with me forever and even now, when I see photo's of his clean cut, handsome features, the sadness returns. What a cruel waste. But for the tragedy he would, in all probability, have captained the England World Cup team in 1966. As for respecting the memory of the United team and the other people who perished, of course I will, as will most people of my generation. Reasons for not affording the necessary respect will be championed but they are petty and trivial compared to the human tragedy of the deceased who perished in the Munich slush. We, better than most, know how the rags have shamelessly exploited it to their advantage but there can be no excuse for any objectionable behaviour - we should all be above and better than that, at least for one day for heaven's sake! Let us show them some true class and deny the odious rag worshipping journalists the opportunity to gleefully besmirch our name, for they will be hovering like a kestrel above a field mouse, waiting to swoop and mischievously exploit the slightest excuse to attack our club and fans. Whatever the reasons for some people not respecting or considering others, and our fans can be as bad as any - a recent example being the appalling and unjustified booing of the American anthem in Las Vegas - it is generally and perhaps perversely the case that the vast majority of one minute silences at football matches are meticulously observed, please let this continue at Old Trafford on February 10th.The world will be watching us! Bill Shankly may not have thought so but some things are elevated to a higher plane than the game of football.

Dave Miller writes:

During the late '50's and early '60's I had many football pictures pinned onto my bedroom wall. Virtually all were taken out of Charles Buchan's Football Monthly (and later 'Goal' magazine). One of those was a full page reproduction of the stained glass window in a Dudley church which is a memorial to Duncan Edwards. I don't know how I rationalised this, but I knew it felt right. Flicking through 'The Fans' section of our Editor's wonderful 'Century City' book, comments like, "I actually went to the first (United) game after the disaster"; "… I thought it was dreadful and kept disappearing upstairs lying on the bed crying my eyes out. I was devastated"; "….The crash was very, very, sad"; "….We shouldn't seek to diminish the memories of some really great players"; "….I remember the bodies arriving at Ringway and being driven in hearses to Old Trafford"; "..I, a staunch Blue was in tears. That's why I don't like the songs some fans sing, it's not City's style."

There are about four different attitudes from City fans on the subject of the Munich Disaster. One is that of the older fan who clearly remembers the event, saw it as a disaster for Manchester as a whole, was devasted to lose Frank Swift and expresses emotions like those in Dave's book. Another view would be people like myself who only have a vague memory of the crash itself (although strangely, a clear memory of the gravitas surrounding the Cup Final three months later v Bolton), but who, in the immediate years after, grew to learn the full extent of the tragedy. A third view taken by fans who are probably in their 40's or younger, is the perfectly reasonable one of the event having happened before they were born and therefore, whilst accepting that it was a disaster, believe it to be something they struggle to relate to, will show a modicum of respect, but rather wish there weren't so many references to it. There is a sub-division of this group who believe that United have exploited Munich to their benefit (but can rarely produce any significant evidence to substantiate it). Then finally, there are the scumbags...our scumbags.

When it comes to the game on Feb10, let us hope City fans show respect and do not let the club down. If they can't manage respect to United, or the relatives of those who died (including our own Frank Swift), and can't manage respect to those older United fans who are real football fans and want to pay one last tribute before the memory surely does start to fade away, then how about some respect for their fellow City fans who will stand in silence, understand the significance of the event and would never do anything to shame the name of the club. Too much to ask?

WHAT DO YOU THINK? PLEASE POST YOUR COMMENTS.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

IT'S A FIX - West ham (again!)

23) SUNDAY JANUARY 20TH : WEST.HAM (HOME)

Moved to the Sunday at 4pm. So, as often happens, having just played them in the Cup - twice - it’s now the league fixture.

They were formed in 1900, joined div 2 in 1919/20 after World War one, which they won for us as well as the World Cup in ’66. Loads of ups and downs over the years, and they’ve picked up a few cups here and there.

Some names/connections; Iron Maiden, Billy Bragg, Russell Brand, Marc Vivien-Foe, Stu Pearce, Steve Lomas, Justin Fashanu, Ian Bishop, Trevor Morley, David Cross, Malcolm Allison, John Bond, David James, Trevor Sinclair, Tyrone Mears, Paulo Wanchope

Alan Curbishley’s squad includes : Green, Upson, Ferdinand, Neill, Mullins, Noble, McCartney, Bowyer, Ashton, Cole Etherington, Wright, Spector, Collins, Gabiddon, Reid, Boa Morte, Ljungberg, Faubert, Bellamy, Solano, Zamora, Quashie, Parker, Dyer .

This season so far ; On the opening day of the season we had that wonderful 2-0 win at Upton Park, Bianchi netting in the18th minute and Geovanni wrapping it up in the 87th. 34,921 (2,869 Blues) Currently they’re in 10th place with 32 points from 21 games and 5 wins 1 draw and 4 losses away from home.

Our form in Manc v West Ham : Last season it was a 2-0 win in September, Samaras scoring in the 50th and 63rd minutes. Generally it’s been pretty good recently after the 3-5 in ’62, 1-6 in ’63, 1-4 in ’67, and 1-5 in ’70. They’ve won only 2 in the last 20 league meetings in Manc. (1-0 in ’82, and in 02/03)
Recent atts have ranged from 18,839 in ’62 to 43,627 in ’78..
Best win 4-0 in 1975. Worst defeat 6-1 in 62/63

Comment: It’s us who’re cock-a-hoop after Wednesday night. With the 1-0 win. Can we do it again? Why not, to make it 4 league wins in a row over them.. So here’s hoping we can stick those bubbles up their arses again.

Stats : 16 pre-war and 63 post make it our 80th league meeting and in Manc post war it’s :
Played : 31 won 21 drawn 3 lost 7
Last Pot : F A Cup 1980
Last Att : 41,073 (2,747 WH)
Their current average home attendance is : 34,498
WWTWTWShite ; Averaged 17,699 in 55/56 so not bad

Saturday, 12 January 2008

It's A Fix - Everton

22) SATURDAY JANUARY 12TH : EVERTON (AWAY)

Saturday at 3pm. Short trip to Goodison, let’s fill it.

Formed in 1878, always a top division club apart from a season out in 1931, and 3 seasons in ‘52/3/4, and have won trophies in almost every decade, 9 league titles, 5 FA Cups, 1 Euro Cup Winners Cup.
Names/connections : They’ve a few famous fans including Degsy Hatton, Freddie Starr, Ed Stewpot etc, and must have some modern ones by now.
Joe Mercer, Joe Royle, Alan Ball, Howard (boo) Kendall, Tommy Johnson, Earl Barrett, Richard Dunne, Asa Hartford, Andy Hinchcliffe, Brian Kidd, Neil Pointon, Paul Power, and George Heslop,

David Moyes’ squad includes : Howard (boo), Stubbs, Lescott, Yobo, Carsley, Baines, Osman, Cahill, Arteta (are you better, are you well, well, well?) Yakubu, Pienaar, Wessels, Jagielka, Valente, Gravesen, McFadden, Anichebe, Vaughan, Johnson, Turner, Hibbert, Neville (boo)

Last season : At COMS in January we won 2-1 with goals from Samaras in the 50th and 72nd minute with a penalty. Osman pulling one back in the 84th minute giving us a nail biting finish.
39,836
They finished in 6th place.
This season so far Outs were Pistone, Naysmith, Wright, Connor, Phelan for £4M. Ins were Jagielka, Pienaar, and Yakubu for £12M.
Currently they’re in 6th place with 36 points from 21 games with 6 wins 1 draw 3 losses at home.
In the Carling they won at West Ham, and have just lost 2-1 at Chelsea in the semi-final first leg..
In UEFA they’re progressing nicely, In the F.A.Cup they’ve just lost to Oldham 1-0 at home.

Our form at Goodison : Last season in September we went behind in the 44th minute to a Johnson fluke, and had to wait until the 90th minute for Micah’s equaliser.
We used to do really well over there but have now not won since the 3-1 in 1993. Since then 5 losses and 4 draws.
P/W attendances have ranged from 20,242 (’93) to 64,459 FA Cup 3 in 48/49. Big moments were the ’33 cup final, the ’69 semi-final, and at Goodison, Paul Power’s equaliser in the F.A. Cup 6 ’81, and the 5-2 in ’58
Best win 6-2 in 1929. Worst defeat 9-1 in 1907

Groundwise ; No changes, but could be on the move.soon.. We’ll be in the Bullens again, upper and lower, with nothing to recommend it in the 21st century.

Comment : Off we go to the city of Culture as the celebrations get underway. We go there to meet Everton who are on the back of a couple of cup defeats and it’s a top six clash which has got to be good for both teams. Our away form has picked up recently so let’s see if we can keep Cahill and co quiet and pop in a couple ourselves to consolidate. Compensation for them if they lose is that we’ll keep Liverpool out of the top four.

Stats : 60 pre-war and 88 post make it our 149th league meeting and at Goodison post war it’s :
Played 44 won 10 drawn 14 lost 20.
Last Pot : F.A.Cup in ’95, beat rags 1-0
Last Att : 38,250 (2,036 Blues)
WWYWYW Shite? : Averaged 19,343 in ‘93/94
Their average home attendance this season : 36,353
Away Day Zines : When Skies Are Grey (cracking mag. pick it up if you can) Satis; Speke From The Harbour
Route : A580 to the end and park up.
Pubs : The Elm Tree, 5 mins from ground, and a few at the Liverpool end of the park

Saturday, 5 January 2008

It's A Fix - West Ham

It’s the Eds birthday, you know, the one the Beatles sang about all those years ago!
Last season we beat Sheff Wed 2-1 after the 1-1 draw at Hillsborough. In 05/06 we beat Scunthorpe 3-1at COMS. Apart from the 1-0 defeat at Oldham and the 0-1 v Liverpool in 02/03 we’ve generally gone through.
This one’s a bit of a stinker though. We did beat them on the opening day of the season, and Everton have shown that they can be beaten at home in both the league and the cup.
Our last meeting in the cup was the 6th round two seasons ago at COMS when we lost 2-1 with Musampa getting a late consolation after gifting them their, and Ashton’s, second in front of 39,357 - with 4,197 ‘ammers at Coms. Previously it was the 4th round in 1998 at M/Rd which we lost 2-1, 26,495 with Kinky scoring for us. We did once win at Upton Park in a league cup replay way back in 1984./85 2-1.

Our form at Upton Park: This season’s result was only our third win in the last ten visits. Attendances there have ranged from 16,600 in ’63 to 35,550 in 02/03.

Groundwise: Same again at Upton Park. We’re in the left hand side of the Centenary stand but could get part of the stand down the side.
Not as intimidating since they built the new main stand, with the pitch not as close to the crowd as it used to be, and no sign yet of the stand to our left being replaced. Tickets are £12/15

Comment : Will we get a glimpse of Russell Brand’s mates, Noel and Liam, or preferably Steve P’s favourites, The Hammerettes “It’s the only reason for going”, although they were missing in August.
West Ham are currently in 10th place with 29 points from 20 games and have just beaten the rags in the second instalment of the Tevez deal.
We’re back up to 4th with 39 points from 21 games, our away form has picked up, and we’re now unbeaten in our last four games. So you’d expect at least a replay.

The Steve Parish Routemaster/pubs/parking :
M6, M1, M25 to jn 27, M11 (London NE) to end of M11 and onto A406 North Circular (the left lane). Continue past A12 and A118 junctions and take left slip to A124 roundabout, 4th exit into A124 London Road (heading for London). Ground is a mile on right (Priory Road).
Park up? No obvious places to park up and come in by train. Upton Park station is on District Line. M25 jn 29 then A127 toward Romford, and second left to Upminster (station car park, then 20 mins to Upton Park, £4.30 return).
Where’s all these cheap advance train tickets?
Pubs : Tricky, The Boleyn Tavern, Millers Well, Denmark Arms
Parking : On the street. Bugger to get away from!

Friday, 4 January 2008

Football via your PC

For the last couple of months I have been watching City's games from the comfort of my armchair via my PC. Some of you may be doing the same thing and be aware of what's available, but for those who aren't and want to know more, I thought you might like to know what's involved. The site I am using and can recommend is called PCFootie.com and they charge an annual membership fee of £7.50. Some of my relatives and friends have also started using them, so whats involved? For your membership fee you get one years unlimited access to the members area which tells you which station is showing which premiership game and a direct link to the channel. There are many sites that you can go to already on the Internet to view premiership matches such as PPLive, TVAnts and Sopcast and once you have downloaded their software, you can access any of them for free. But, finding your match can be time consuming and the quality of the signal can be poor depending on the bandwidth. PC Footie takes you to the best quality link and provides links to all the software for every provider. You need a PC with a reasonably fast processor (around 800MHz or faster) a reasonable graphics card and although they say you don't need broadband, I can't imagine dial up being able to cope. The picture is certainly watchable although sometimes it does freeze for a few seconds. Every game that I have watched so far barring one, was the MotD or sky broadcast with the original commentary. Some of the games are beamed from China, some from Saudi Arabia or the USA. The company claim they are 100% legal. If you would like to find out more then go to their home page at http://www.pcfootie.com/thanks.php where you can register and see an example of the quality on offer. One word of warning though, on a couple of occasions, the matches that I tried to view were encrypted and it may be that more and more countries do this to prevent this mushrooming, but to date I have watched seven games so I am more than happy with what I have paid out. On a typical Saturday, every premiership game is available. You can also access the site from any PC anywhere. At first, I couldn't get some of the software to work and when the company didn't reply to my e-mail, I complained to paypal and received an immediate refund and was told I could use the service for free. It must have been a glitch, because I quickly found that I could get games and was so pleased I re-paid my £7.50.

Tony P

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Newcastle United 0-2 Manchester City

Manchester City have secured a first away victory since August, with a 2-0 victory over Newcastle at St James’s Park.

Goals from Elano and Gelson were enough to secure Sven Goran Eriksson’s men return to fourth spot, after Liverpool failed to beat Wigan.

The first half was a very even affair, with a single goal from Elano the difference at the break.

The early minutes of the game were dominated by Newcastle, but they couldn’t make their possession and rising corner count pay.

Martins produced a comfortable save from Hart after 20 minutes, moments before he managed to steer a Faye pass wide from 8 yards.

N’Zogbia swung a low cross through the six yard box just before the half hour, but Viduka couldn’t connect.

The left-winger then squandered Newcastle’s best chance of the half, shooting straight at City’s Joe Hart, after beating three players in his mazy run.

City then began to take control of the half, with Petrov forcing a wonderful save from Given and Elano volleying just wide.

City scored moments later, after Elano curled a low drive around Given, from just inside the area.

The goal was controversial, as less than a minute earlier, City’s Nedum Onuoha could have seen a red card from referee Martin Atkinson for his foul on Damien Duff, but luckily for the City right back, Duff was adjudged to have been offside.

Then it was the goalscorer Elano who was lucky not to see red, for his reckless tackle on Faye.

City then had the chance to double their lead, after a catalogue of errors in the Newcastle defence. Petrov crossed for Ireland, but the midfielder’s volley was mishit and Michael Ball drove the rebound narrowly wide.

Michael Owen came on for the home side at half time, as Sam Allardyce tried to overturn the deficit.

Newcastle had the best of the opening 15 minutes of the second half, with Joe Hart saving from a one-on-one with the England striker.

Minutes later, former Manchester United man Nicky Butt lofted a ball into the area and City were lucky not to concede after a mix-up between Hart and Dunne.

City then began to take control of the game, with some fluid passing in Newcastle’s half, resulting in a Corulka back-heel finding Elano, who squared it for Petrov, but the left-winger could only hit the defender.
Newcastle resorted to the long ball, but Dunne and Richards were able to deal with them easily.

Eriksson then sent on Etuhu and Gelson for Elano and Ireland, and on 76 minutes the substitutes combined to score City’s second.

Corluka sent the ball high from midfield and Etuhu expertly controlled and laid it off for Gelson, who slotted home with his left foot.

City were able to see the game out by keeping the ball, much to their fans’ delight. Newcastle haven’t won in four games and the pressure continues to mount on Sam Allardyce.




NEWCASTLE: Given, Beye, Taylor, Cacapa, N’Zogbia, Butt (c), Milner, Faye (Emre 73), Duff (Enrique 64), Martins (Owen 45), Viduka

Booked: None

Goals: None



CITY: Hart, Onuoha, Ball, Richards, Dunne (c), Hamann, Corluka, Ireland (Gelson 75), Elano (Etuhu 71), Petrov, Vassell (Bianchi 88)

Booked: Elano, Gelson, Vassell

Goals: Elano 37, Gelson 76