Villa – we had a good run down the M6, just a slight delay due to a burnt out car on the hard shoulder that everyone wanted to gawp at.
Parking restrictions don’t make it easy down there these days, but found a decent little car park for a fiver so we were all set. Snack at Tesco's with lots of familiar faces. Bloke on the next table was a Bristol Rovers fan who visited the Swamp when they beat the rags one tinme. So that was nice!
Got a text from Sean R as we parked up then looked up and there he was parking up in the same car park!
Apparently Fergie after the Suarez saga – (ironic that the monkey grunters of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s are the ones to be up in arms – rightly after all this time) would like to also apologise in response to Suarez;s apology for :
Cantona’s kung fu kick
Ferdinand’s missed drug test
Giggs shagging his brothers wife
Rooney shagging granny prossis
Clayton Blackmore (unprintable)
Assault on Beckham with the flying boot
Keane purposely ending Haaland’s career and United fans giving Keane a standing ovation as he left the field.
Keane calling his own fans prawn sandwich munchers.
United fans pelting Craig Bellamy with objects with the score at 0-0 in the Carling Cup semi – aiding the rags to go on and win.
Bullying of referees and linesmen
Bringing the game into disrepute, continually.
So called mind games to intimidate other teams, managers and players.
All the insullting tweets that Rooney, Smalling and Ferdinand etc get up to.
He’d like to but he won’t.
Anyway it was quite pleasant at Villa – some young kids had a bit of a protest against McLeish presumably -Eck out?. Then we were into the match. 1-0 win, good enough I suppose but question marks again re team selection and the last ten dithery minutes, just like the rags v Liverpool.
Good getaway and a misty run home.
Tevez could be back and you have to say that time’s a great healer, or is it? Up to the squad and Roberto to decide but having slipped up not buying anyone up front in the window we may need him, fully fit of course.
Thursday it‘s Porto, here’s the It’s A Fix extract:
GAME 25A) THURSDAY FEBRUARY 16TH : FC PORTO (AWAY) EUROPA LEAGUE ROUND OF 32 FIRST LEG KO 8.05PM
Futebol Club de Porto, the Portistas, Dragoas (Dragons), blue and whites, were formed on September 28th 1893, as a Sporting club after a certain Jose Monteiro da Costa returned from England full of enthusiasm for the game.
The city of Oporto , is in the Northern region of Portugal on the Atlantic coast, the Duoro river estuary where the sea is cold, even in August. It has a population of around 250,000 but 1.3M in the urban area, and is famous for its wine making. It dates back to the 4th century under Roman occupation, then by the Moors, but was reconquered, before in 1387 John 1 of Portugal married Phillipa of Lancaster prompting a long standing military alliance and trading between Portugal and England.
In 1809 Napoleonic troops invaded but were eventually booted out by the Duke Of Wellington though the locals later ungratefully rebelled against the English.
It’s known as the city of bridges and residents are referred to as Tripeiros as tripe is a culturally important dish. It’s twinned with Bristol, and there will be many historic sites for Blues to see if we so wish! But no doubt the bars will be most frequented.
They were founder members of the Primeira Ligua in 1933, and, like Benfica and Sporting Club, have never been relegated, unlike City, who have, once or twice. They were, also founder members of the now disbanded G14.
Other lower league clubs in the city are Boavista and Salgueieus
European pedigree is good, from the 80’s – Cup Winners’ Cup runners up in 1984 losing to Juventus; European Cup winners in 1987 beating Bayern Munich, and Intercontinental and UEFA Super cup winners; 2003 UEFA Cup winners beating Celtic; 2004 European Champions League winners beating Monaco (and united on the way) and Intercontinental Cup winners; 2011 Europa league winners beating fellow countrymen Braga.
In the Champions League this season results were : Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 home 2-0 away; Zenit St Petersberg 1-3 away, 0-0 home; Apoel Nicosia 1-1 home, 1-2 away; to go out on 8 points surprisingly.
Domestically they’ve won the title 25 times, the Cup 20 times and the Super Cup 18 times, and since 2003 they’ve won the title 8 times and finished 2nd once and 3rd once, though in 2004 had 6 points deducted for bribing referees. (but still won the title)
Current ground is the Estadio do Dragao which was opened in 2003 ready for the 2004 UEFA European finals, which replaced the existing Estadio das Antas.
Esatadio do Dragonoa : Capacity : 50,399 (tbc for City)
The ground cost 97M euros, 18M being paid by taxpayers, with EDP sponsoring the south stand, TMN and SAPO ADSL the East stand, PT and MEO the West stand and Coca-Cola the East stand. Away fans are housed in the left corner of the North stand. Porto supporters groups the Portistas or the Dragoes used to be housed in the south stand but are now in all stands.
A museum is to open shortly and the club has had a full colour monthly magazine since the 1980’s.
Coach is Vitor Pereira who replaced Andre Villas Boas at the end of last season.
They play in blue and white stripes with dark blue or black away shirts.
This season, so far after 18 games they’re in 2nd place with 43 points and 9 wins and 1 draw, 0 losses at home and 4 wins 3 draws and 1 loss away. They’re 5 points behind leaders Benfica.
Danger man, as his name implies is probably Hulk.
Comment : Probably the toughest draw of the lot, (united play a mid table Ajax) but results in the Chimps league, if not in the domestic, show that a win can be achieved. City fans will enjoy the camaraderie of the trip with fellow Blues, and Oporto ain’t a bad place to visit even if it is just in the Europa League. Strongest team? We’ll see!
We’ve never played them competitively but friendlies were played in 1980/81 away resulting in a 0-0 draw, and in the Thomas Cook Trophy in 2006/07 it was a 0-1 home loss, after which we dined Thailand style in Albert Square.
Tons of stuff coming in for KK 195 incidentally