Eddie's Football Blog

A bizarre look at the world of football, since 2008

Posts Tagged ‘Birmingham’

Sky Sports inspired by Battle Royale in ‘Suvival Sunday’ revamp

Posted by eddiev18 on May 19, 2011

Samba: Up for the battle

Sky Sports announced today that, from next season onwards, any Premier League club threatened by relegation on the last day of the season would have to compete in a televised battle to the death.

A Sky source revealed: “On the last day of the season we have always had the very difficult job of forcing a lot of people to take an interest in a collection of bleak football clubs from the north of England. Surprisingly, the term ‘Survival Sunday’ has always helped us achieve this.

“Unfortunately though, it looks like our viewers have worked out that, whatever we call it, they are still just sitting indoors on a pleasant afternoon in May watching Blackburn kick seven lumps of shit out of Wolves.”

In a bold revamp for the 2011/12 season, the satellite giant plans to copy the plot of Japanese film Battle Royale and send every team in contention for relegation out to an isolated island in the Pacific ocean. There, the threatened clubs would have to to hunt and kill their rivals in order to claim another season in the top flight.

Our source couldn’t hide his excitement: “We were looking at ways of developing the ‘survival’ element of ‘Survival Sunday’, and this idea ticked all the boxes.

“I have this wonderful vision of a bloodied Christopher Samba thrusting the severed head of David Bentley into the sky, and letting out a furious war cry to seal Blackburn’s escape from the drop.”

Those opposing the changes claim that the idea of a top-flight footballer working with others, instead of simply fending for himself, is absolutely preposterous. Claudine Le Woflehoozen, a psychiatrist, explains: “A recent study – by some students who are much cleverer than you – tells us that Premier League footballers have overtaken Katie Price as the most selfish entity in the universe.

“As soon as they get on that island, the weak will either commit suicide – for fear of being eaten by George Elokobi – or they’ll stay alive by performing some sort of service for the strong – most likely sexual.

“You’ll have a situation where Daniel De Ridder is basically only alive because Gary Caldwell has decided he looks a bit like a girl. That’s not something I want to see in ‘stunning HD’.”

When asked whether the Premier League would block such a move due to the blatant brutality of the whole thing, Sky responded: “Do you honestly believe that the Premier League has the final say on anything? You do know how much fucking money we pay them, right?

“No, no, we do what we want.”

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Premier League Predictions – 19th November

Posted by eddiev18 on November 20, 2009

Meg: Busy casting a spell on Thierry Henry

Poor old Ireland eh? Thierry Henry’s left hand on Wednesday night put an end to the Green Army’s dream of following their national team to the World Cup, and condemned them to yet another summer of drinking bottles of cider in picturesque countryside taverns that border acres of beautiful apple orchards. Or so Magners would have us believe…

Oh well, at least they can turn their attentions back to the Premier League this weekend, where their most cherished top flight English team will continue their fine unbeaten ru… oh… right… that’s Liverpool isn’t it? Never mind then.

I’m not really doing a very good job at cheering the Irish up, so I’ll get on with my predictions. Same form as usual. Beat me and you win a tenner*.

Birmingham vs Fulham

I was happy to see that I predicted yet another correct outcome involving Liverpool in the last round of Premier League fixtures. I haven’t got anything against Liverpool, but I saw Birmingham going to Anfield, defending for their lives (as they have done all season), and getting something. However, my prediction was probably more based on Liverpool not having a clue this season, and the fact that they still have Lucas in their midfield.

What I didn’t see coming though was The Blues scoring two goals, and Alicia Keys lookalike Cameron Jerome pinging one in from 30 yards. However, I can live with that because Jose Reina didn’t see it coming either, and I guess it was more important for him to be ready for Jerome’s strike than me.

Apart from their dancing badger, there’s not much you can say about Fulham. Whilst I was waiting for my breakfast last Sunday I was given a complimentary paper to read (presumably whilst the pub’s manager attempted to get the Gap year student to stop going for fag breaks and actually cook the full English I had ordered – he failed), and I stumbled across a quote from Roy Hodgson saying that he hoped Fulham fans realise that there is a ceiling on what the club can achieve.

Whilst he is 100% correct about that, it sort of highlights the problem with reviewing them. Yes, they’ll have a game every week. Yes, I’ll have to think of something to say. However with no ambition, there’s no real excitement. Just a freak season once in a while where they’ll either have a relegation dog fight, or they’ll break into the top seven and get a place in a competition that noone cares about, (even if it earns them a few extra quid, offers their fans a few European city breaks).

This season they’ll finish comfortably in mid-table again, which means that their recent success needs to be balanced up with a defeat this weekend. So that’s what I’ve gone for.

Verdict: 2-1

Burnley vs Aston Villa

Burnley are a Championship side punching above their weight in the Premier League. Them’s the fact ladies and gents. If they didn’t have the support of all those blokey-looking women in the home crowd scaring the opposition’s wide players, they’d be relegated already and wiping the tears away with their bingo-wings.

Anyway, they DO have that support, and their home form is why they are still afloat (although if Turf Moor was flooded, the players be able to stay afloat just by grabbing one of the massive buoyancy aids sitting in the stands).

This game therefore should be made all the more interesting by that fact. However, in spite of Villa’s pretty indifferent form of late, I think they’ll win this one easily. The wingers are the reason, and they have two of them in Ashley Young and James Milner who are bang on form right now. If they can avoid the Medusan-like effect of looking directly at the female Burnley fans whilst hugging their touchlines, then I fully expect them to tear The Clarets apart.

Verdict: 1-3

Chelsea vs Wolves

If there was ever a home-win to put your house on, this is it**.

The only way Wolves can win is if they, as previously mooted on Eddies Football Blog, put out a team of real wolves that end up killing and feasting on the entire Chelsea team. However, even if they did that they’d be more than likely to still only get a draw, as I don’t think packs of wolves care much for scoring goals.

Verdict: 3-0

Hull vs West Ham

Last week I must have sent good karma out to Phil Brown with my emotional appeal to keep him in his job at Hull. Not only did they win their game against Stoke, but the man who popped up with the winner may well have inadvertently boosted the Geordie crooner’s transfer budget for the January window.

That’s right; sales of replica shirts with Jan Vennegoor Of Hesselink printed on the back have soared following his injury time strike and, at £1 per letter, that’ll be a nice tidy sum come the end of 2009. Enough to buy Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker from Borussia Monchengladbach perhaps.

It’s a novel approach, but then so is having your half-time team-talk in the middle of the pitch. He’s a pioneer, that Brownie.

By contrast, West Ham ‘ave gone and found themselves a spot of bovva. Tree-trunk legged striker Dean Ashton is expected to retire from football imminently, which is a real shame for the club, the player, and English football in general. The person who will benefit from Ashton’s retirement is World Cup hopeful Carlton Cole, but he must be getting tired of having to do it all on his own.

As a result, The Hammers will have to get Cole to form a partnership with their suggestible Italian Allessandro Diamanti, and will therefore be hoping that the Hull fans don’t all learn the Italian for ‘miss!’ by tomorrow afternoon. Expect an entertaining dogfight though, but obviously without any real dogs (unless a plucky Hammer manages to smuggle his Staffy into the ground, and it ends up getting into a scuffle with Stephen Hunt).

Verdict: 2-2

Liverpool vs Man City

What did I say when I started this whole Premier League predictions thing? Well, I gave you all certain rules to abide by, didn’t I? Certain criteria for aiding you in your conquest, if you will. However, I also said that if you are Mark Lawrenson you must, at all costs, write an indescribably biased prediction in favour of Liverpool.

The Reds go into this weekend with the following form in the last 9 games (in all competitions) – LLLLWLLDD. Despite Gerrard’s return, they are without key striker Fernando Torres, and play a Man City side who have only lost one game in all competitions all season (against Man Utd), and sitting nicely above them in the league. This is why i find the following from ‘Lawro’ the most hilarious piece of biased piffle I have seen in a long time…

“The good news for Liverpool is that it looks like Steven Gerrard has got himself fit, although I’m not sure that Fernando Torres will make this one. Manchester City had four players starting for England last week so it’s not as if they’ve had a rest and that could be a factor.

I think Manchester City now have players capable of taking the game to Liverpool and that might suit the home side as a lot of teams go to Anfield and shut up shop. But this could be an open game and Liverpool will like that. “

So, not only has he turned the potent threat of Man City’s attacking options into an advantage for Liverpool (when, in reality, they will have haunted Jamie Carragher’s dreams this week), but he is also claiming that City’s top-class athletes will need more rest after a game they played 7 bloody days earlier!

This, my friends, is exactly what I was on about. It’s safe to say that I don’t agree with him in the slightest.

Verdict: 1-2

Man Utd vs Everton

This is traditionally a big game, and a game in which Everton I’m sure would want to give a good account of themselves. However, with 11 of their first team players either with knocks or long term injuries, it has turned into a fixture in which David Moyes’ men will just defend in numbers and hope for a point.

With captain Phil Neville absent, a player all too used to winning games at Old Trafford, Everton’s midfield will be outclassed and I can see a United getting three points. Not an easy three points. Or a pretty three points. But three points nonetheless. As Ian Holloway once put it, in gentlemen’s terms, it’ll be like going out and pulling a bird who isn’t the prettiest but, sod it, you’ll still take her home.

Verdict: 2-0

Sunderland vs Arsenal

A really interesting match-up.

Sunderland got mugged last time out against Spurs. Plain and simple. They should have won that game, but for the first time this season they showed their wastefulness in front of goal. They also missed the battering-ram presence of Kenwyne Jones.

If you were to fault Arsenal this season, you could justifiably point a finger at their inability to deal with aerial balls into the box, so they will be relieved to hear that the somersaulting powerhouse is still serving a suspension. However, it is still a weakness that Bruce will target.

That said, Cesc ‘Harry Potter’ Fabregas is in the form of his life, and he will have been rubbing his hands in anticipation after viewing the amount of space that Tom Huddlestone was allowed at White Hart Lane by Sunderland’s midfield. Expect Mackems captain Lorik Cana to return with typical hatchet-man style to remedy that, and make things difficult for the Spaniard (unless, of course, he’s still drunk, and staggering around in his pants somewhere in Algeria).

With Van Persie out for Arsenal, this one is very nicely balanced. I’ll go for a high-scoring draw.

Verdict: 2-2

* N.B. You won’t actually win a tenner. I lied in order to get you involved. I’m sorry. Here’s a tenner to compensat… Balls. I’m at it again. I better stop now before I offer you the keys to my house.

** N.B. If Chelsea don’t win, and you did end up taking my off the cuff remark as actual advice, then you’re an idiot. However, if you need to crash on my sofa for a couple of days whilst you find somewhere new to live, then fine. Just don’t try to sue me. Or drink the beer in my fridge.

Check back tomorrow for my predictions for Sunday’s games (including the weekly 0-0, if you were wondering where it was!)

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Greenback Back To Save The Blues

Posted by eddiev18 on October 7, 2009

Grant: Back in the big-time

Grant: Back in the big-time

I’ll admit it, whilst trying to think of something witty to open an article about Baron Silas Greenback‘s (aka Avram Grant) return to English football, I got a bit lost in the statistics of the Danger Mouse villain’s record as manager at Chelsea. This is why we’ve ended up with a) a rubbish title to the article, and b) an opening paragraph explaining why it isn’t making you laugh. I can only apologise for this.

The thing is though, after trawling through various statistics about wins, losses, draws and other stuff that people with no interest in football would rather burn their eyeballs than bare witness to, it appears that Greenback wasn’t actually a bad gaffer. In fact, he was quite good.

In the 32 Premier League games which Abramovich allowed him to sit in the hot-seat (whilst stroking his fluffy white caterpillar, and trying to find the exact post-box on Baker Street that his arch-nemesis had set up camp in) his record was as follows; 23 wins, 7 draws, and only 2 losses. That translates as 76 Premier League points, which is certainly a very good haul to ask your evil crow-henchman to gather up and put in your dungeon.

In fact, if you take his average points per game (at this point I’m aware that I will have lost a few of you who don’t care much for statistics. I expected this, which is why I put a picture on the right to distract you), and multiply it by the 38 games that he would’ve had at his disposal, had Chelsea decided to fire Mourinho before the start of the season, The Blues would’ve collected over 90 points that season.

Manchester United won the league with 87 points so, yes, I am essientially saying that The Baron would’ve won the Premier League at his first attempt. Factor in a Carling Cup Final (stop sarcastically saying “ooooooh!” back there!), and being a penalty-competent centre-half‘s width away from winning his Russian owner’s very own holy grail, the Champions League, and future historians will be scratching their heads as to why this man was given his P45. Especially when he’s been balancing football management with world domintation. It’s a tough juggling act to one minute have to send tins of exploding custard to every address on the planet, and then the next have to face the media after a 1-1 draw with Birmingham. Very tough indeed.

Greenback: Hell-bent on world domination

That was the problem with Greenback though. Like most evil super-villians, he was media shy, and he also looked like a super-villain should look. All toady and green, with a wheezy little laugh. Those very same historians will soon understand the reason for his dismissal when they see a picture of him. They’ll realise that he never stood a chance because Joe Public is never going to want an evil toad-creature as manager of his club.

Evil toad-creatures are simply not cool or funny enough when interviewed by Garth Crooks on Match Of The Day. As a result, these fans will put completely unrealistic performace expectations onto the manager’s shoulders. So will his chairman. Expectations so high, that all of the achievements stated above will simply not be good enough. If Greenback had been a man with nicely combed hair, who answered every question from Garth with a witty quip about a man walking into a bar, I’m sure those acheivements would at least have earnt him another season at the helm.

His demise was inevitable though, and is probably what drove him to steal a growth serum to create giant chickens that could take over the world. Probably.

Thankfully though, The Baron will have to reign in all that harebrained plotting now, as yesterday afternoon he accepted the Director Of Football job at Portsmouth. Just like his last job, this appears to be an interim position. On this occasion, however, it’s an interim position in the boardroom, and it looks very much like it’ll be Paul Hart who will end up biting the bullet. This should pave the way for Greenback, ironically for a super-villain, to step in and save the day.

Pompey fans, if it does happen, and you switch on the TV to see Greenback stroking his caterpillar whilst giving monosyllabic answers to Geoff Shreeves, in a press conference that he has rigged to interrupt every channel in the world, don’t dispair. He may not be pretty, and may occasionally be side-tracked by plans to destroy all the world’s signposts, but you can’t argue with his record during his last stint in the Premier League.

Plus, he looks like a cartoon character. So just think of all the songs you could make up.

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