“He’s all over the park”
Those of us who remember the 70s and 80s will recall that at one time, there were two Phil Parkes plying their trade in Division One for West Ham and Wolves, but the two Phils were completely outdone in the first week of footie’s return where every player at every club was named Black Lives Matter. The really annoying thing is that I had Black Lives Matter at 10/1 for the first goal when Spurs played United and the bookies refused to pay out.
Virtue signaling isn’t cool
I realise that I’m decidedly anti-PC but I believe that I’m one of the silent majority who are uneasy about seeing football players taking the knee in support of Black Lives Matter; whatever else may be going on in society, sport has always, with a few notable exceptions, transcended politics and religion and served as an outlet for life’s little and big frustrations. It should not be used for political gain and I’m afraid that what we have seen in the past week or so is our national game debasing itself unnecessarily in supplication to a political movement. Politics should stay out of football and football should stay away from politics.
All Livelihoods Matter
“It’s disgusting.” “I’m ashamed and embarrassed by it; these people need to come into the 21st century.” “It is a shocking moment for the game.” These were some of the reactions within football after someone had the audacity to fly a White Lives Matter banner over the Etihad where Citeh were facing Burnley. The second comment was from Burnley’s captain Ben Mee, who hopefully will reflect on the fact that the person who hired the plane and his girlfriend were sacked from their jobs for merely expressing an opinion; this after Lancashire police confirmed that they had not broken any laws. I wonder what the majority of Burnley season ticket holders who contribute towards Mee’s wages think about this state of affairs?
The law’s the law
Football Association law four, section five includes a clause which reads: “Equipment must not have any political, religious, or personal slogans, statements or images. For any offence the player and/or the team will be sanctioned by the competition organiser, national football association or by FIFA.” If they’ve got the stomach to go for it, the FA could be in for a nice little windfall.
From the (Not) sublime to the ridiculous
“How can VAR see an overgrown nostril hair in an offside position yet not see a ball clearly over the line in the Villa Sheffield United game?” That is a very good question. Should we go back to the days when we relied on honest but occasionally hapless officials to make the decisions? I think not, but VAR really does need to get its act together and if laws have to be changed to accommodate it then so be it.
Team of the week
Hugo Lloris, Spurs, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, United, Lewis Dunk, Brighton, Craig Dawson, Watford, Ben Chilwell, Leicester, Bruno Fernandes, United, Steven Bergwijn, Spurs, Adama Traore, Wolves, Danny Ings, Southampton, Neal Maupay, Brighton, Allan Saint-Maximim, Newcastle. Manager Graham Potter, Brighton.
This week’s games
Today 2:30; Villa vs Wolves. FA Cup Quarter final 7:30; Norwich vs United. Tomorrow 6:30; Watford vs Southampton. FA Cup quarter finals 3pm; Sheffield United vs Arsenal. 6pm; Leicester vs Chelsea. 8:30; Newcastle vs Citeh. Monday 10pm; Palace vs Burnley. Tuesday 10:15; Brighton vs United. Wednesday 8pm; Arsenal vs Norwich, Bournemouth vs Newcastle, Everton vs Leicester. 10:15; West Ham vs Chelsea. Thursday 8pm; Sheffield United vs Spurs. 10:15; Citeh vs Liverpool. Selected Championship today 2:30; Preston vs Cardiff, Swansea vs Luton. 3pm; Derby vs Reading. 5pm; Leeds vs Fulham. Tomorrow 2pm; Sheffield Wednesday vs Bristol City. 4:15; Forest vs Huddersfield. Tuesday 9:45; Leeds vs Luton. Wednesday 7pm; Preston vs Derby. 9:45; Forest vs Bristol City, Sheffield Wednesday vs West Brom. League One play-offs first leg Friday 7:30; Portsmouth vs Oxford. 9:30; Fleetwood vs Wycombe.
I looked over Jordan and what did I see
What he or she saw was the Rugby Football Union tying itself in knots over the negro Spiritual Swing Low Sweet Chariot, which as we all know is sung at every England game; accepting the fact that it’s always been a source of wonder to me why they sing that particular ditty, which as far as I can tell has no rugger connotations whatever, the UK public really has enough on its plate at the moment without the usual numpties obsessing over a song. Apparently the song should not be heard at England games because white people singing it are guilty of cultural misappropriation. Now I can see a perverse logic in that line of reasoning, given the fact that not too many people at Twickers will have experienced slavery, but does singing it actually hurt anyone? I’ve always been amused when it comes to the muddied oafs choice of in-game vocalizations, because, let’s face it, footie fans are much more adept at the art of community singing. Okay, some of it can verge on the nasty, but there’s also some cracking humour to be heard at our football stadiums, whereas in comparison, the rugger stuff is generally dullness incarnate. Anyway speaking as an Englishman, I think Flower of Scotland should never be heard again at any stadium no matter the occasion, not because it’s aggressively anti-English ,but simply because it’s an awful mournful dirge which makes God Save the Queen sound jolly. The logical end of this politically correct rubbish will surely see the All Blacks abandon the haka, I mean if that isn’t cultural misappropriation what is?
Last week’s question; what connects Brentford FC and the Dutch national airline KLM? The answer as a lot of people who were regular Heathrow fliers in the 1990s will know, is that, as aircraft approached Heathrow on finals they were given a lovely view from the right hand side of Griffin Park’s New Road stand, upon the roof which was emblazoned a whacking great advert for KLM. This week; what connects Sir Vivian Richards, Dennis Compton, and CB Fry?
I was genuinely pleased to hear that Brian and Sue Hargreaves along with Brian Jones are, in solidarity with Glen and Elaine Cook, forsaking alcohol for the next three months weeks; as the song goes, everybody needs good neighbours.