2480 days ago
I never thought I’d find myself writing in support of a convicted rapist but the footballer Ched Evans is at the centre of a witch-hunt egged on by vote seeking and spineless politicians which makes me feel rather ashamed to be British.
The transcript of the trial makes it clear that Mr Evans is a prize sleazebag. He insists that when he climbed into bed with his pal and a bird the pal had pulled, that the oral sex he offered to pleasure her with was at her invitation and that she consented to full sex thereafter. The next morning the victim bragged by text that she had bagged “a big one”. The next evening she reported Mr Evans and his pal for rape. The pal (who went first) got off, Evans served 30 months.
There is a very legitimate debate about the leniency of sentence. I would regard two and a half years for rape as shockingly light. However based on the court transcripts I am not convinced that I would have been able as a juror to have found Mr Evans guilty beyond all reasonable doubt of rape. Yes he is a sleazebag but a rapist? I am not so sure.
But he was convicted. He served his time and now he is out. Yet it seem as if the media and political establishment is determined that he never ply his trade again. He is not allowed to play abroad because he is on the Sex Offender’s register and when a UK club tries to sign him it faces such a barrage of hostility that it walks away. Nick Clegg was first to jump on this populist bandwagon.
David Cameron spouted some rubbish about how he could not take his son to watch a match in which Ched was playing. What utter nonsense. Posh Dave is a faux footie fan. A few weeks standing outside the posh seats at any club and he’d know from the chants that very few soccer players can be held up as role models. “Andy Carroll’s ‘avin a party, time to get the vodka and Charlie”
2978 days ago
Alan “he shags who he wants” Pardew was appointed as manager of Newcastle United in December 2013. The word is that a P45 with his name on it is slowly on its way. But as things stands Pards is the second longest serving manager in the Premiership. Only Arsene “with a packet of sweets and a cheeky smile” Wenger has been in situe longer. What an appalling indictment of how football is run as a business.
Premiership managers trouser seven figure salaries. And it now seems taken for granted that after a couple of years (or half a season at Chelski) they are fired, getting vast compensation, before some other fellow gets a temporary stint at the helm. Sooner or later you end up with Mark Hughes in charge for a while. Hughes has managed six clubs within the past six years. Still only fifty, there has to be a good chance that by the time he finally retires he will have managed at least three quarters of England’s top sides.
In business (and football) there is a good correlation between having bosses in charge for the long haul and success. Looking back at my own club, our glory years came when we had someone at the helm for a decade or more. The idea that you might get a Johnny Lyall managing a club he loved for years and years just seems so out of kilter with the modern game.
There is also the financial madness of this merry go round to consider. Inevitably new managers want to reshape the sides they are in charge of and so the merry go round of bosses simply adds to the merry go round of players. More fees for agents, more “cuts” for the players, more losses for the clubs.
Footballeconomics makes no sense at all and the managerial merry go round is just one part of it. That may well be highlighted further. If Wenger gets his marching orders (as may happen) and when Pardew is asked to spend more time with his wife (again), who do you think will be the longest serving manager in the Premiership? At two years and 84 days step forward West Ham’s very own Fat Sam Allardyce. Amazing.
3095 days ago
My football mad daughter and I were at the Arsenal game a few months ago and as the crowd chanted “with a packet of sweets and a cheeky smile, Arsene Wenger’s a paedophile” I dreaded the question “Daddy what is a paedophile?” Wenger is not a nonce as it happens but what would I say? “Er.. It is a sort of person who is often on the BBC.” I guess that is true.
Today’s game (a nil nil draw with Newcastle) was hardly a classic. The bloke two seats down shouted Cisse loudly as the Newcastle player ambled from the corner flag towards his goal (which is where my seat is). He was ignored. Cisse. Again ignored. Louder still came the shout Cisse at which point Mr Cisse looked up and got an instant shout of “Wanker!” from the bloke two seats down who regarded this as a win.
Former West Ham boss Alan Pardew manages Newcastle. Not for much longer one suspects as they will – at best – narrowly survive but I sense they may not. Pards left Upton Park amid, no doubted unfounded, rumours about his private life. And so within minutes of the opening whistle the rhythmic chat went up: “Alan Pardew shags who he wants, Alan Pardew shags who he wants.” After a few minutes of this the chant changed to “Alan, Alan give us a wave.” Mr Pardew obliged. The Trevor Brooking stand then started off with “He loves us more than you” at the Newcastle supporters. A few minutes later it was back to “Alan Pardew shags who he wants, etc.”
A couple more terms I am glad that I do not have to explain to my daughter.
With my record of having seen West Ham lose every time I have watched them this season broken and with the Irons now 100% safe from relegation I shall take my daughter to the last home game against Reading. “Going Down, going down” and “That’s why you’re going down” should not be too hard to explain.
3095 days ago
As fate would have it. Every West Ham game I have seen this season seems to have been a defeat. As such I head off from Clerkenwell to Upton Park this afternoon, taking along a Real Man Pizza Company loyal customer, with some trepidation.
Alan Pardew comes back to the Academy with his side still a good outside bet for relegation. Their recent form is poor and my sense is that whatever happens between now and May 19th, come May 20th Pards is set to get his P45. For a team that thinks it is a “big side” Newcastle has had a lousy season.
By contrast the Irons have started to play some pretty decent football of late. We are now almost certainly safe from the drop and one sense that Messrs Nolan and Carroll will have a point or two to prove today. The odds have to be on a home win, 100% certainty of top flight football next year and Pards being one game closer to black bag time. But I warn you, I shall be heading down to the Academy in a couple of hours, the Albatross is on his way.
3214 days ago
It is a 5.15 kick off so for now I can relax and look at how the other games are unfolding. I was chatting to a Newcastle supporter yesterday and the mood at whatever the stadium is called these days must be very bleak right now. On 20 points in the league (just two points above third bottom Wigan) and today out of the Cup thanks to Championship side Brighton. The side has injuries, its best player has just gone to Chelski ( and scored already) and I suspect that West Ham old boy Alan Pardew must – at the back of his mind – be starting to think that a P45 is on the way. Newcastle thinks it is a big club and unless Pards turns it around quickly, he looks like toast.
As for West Ham, Fat Sam has been active in the transfer market. Two new strikers (Maguire and Chamakh) are on board given options other than Carlton Cole up front with Carroll still injured and Maiga off to the African Cup ( and perhaps shipped out in the transfer windown anyway). But Joe Cole will almost certainly be playing today. With him, Jarvis (he of the covershoot in gay magazine Attitude fame), and Noble (if on form) playing behind Cole we do look able to score goals. Top scorer Kevin Nolan is back from suspension and although he is not universally loved I welcome his return. He may slow the game up a bit but a) he scores and b) he adds a bit of grit in defence which is where I always panic.
Injuries means that we have recalled young Danny Potts from his loan spell at Colchester.