Eddie's Football Blog

A bizarre look at the world of football, since 2008

Posts Tagged ‘Mark Lawrenson’

Lawrenson set to talk about Liverpool in every interview this season

Posted by eddiev18 on August 17, 2011

Lawro: Like chaperoning Ann Widdecombe

The BBC confirmed today that Alan Shearer and Gary Lineker have bet fellow pundit Mark Lawrenson that he won’t be able do a single interview this season without mentioning Liverpool at least once.

The two ex-England strikers made the wager after hearing the news that the BBC had received a record number of complaints last weekend when football fans – excited about the start of the new season – tuned in to BBC One, only to be reminded that they would have to share the highs and lows of the next nine months with the insufferable Scouse moron.

Tony Grimshaw, a Wolves fan, raged: “I got so pumped up for the new season that I’d totally forgotten about what a massive tool he is. Honestly, it’s like being invited to a party at the Playboy mansion subject to the previso that you’ll take Anne Widdecombe with you.”

Supporters are so fed up that they have decided to form an action group that will ask the BBC to justify Lawrenson’s employment. Kevin Franks, the man behind it all says that enough is enough:

“I’m pretty sure that lengthy analysis of Liverpool’s title aspirations with an old mate, followed by a brief and lazy dismissal of any other team not in the top four isn’t really in the spirit of a supposedly non-biased public broadcaster.

“The fact that he still thinks his shit puns are funny after so many years of no one laughing is almost as amazing as the BBC’s inability to prevent a discussion about Bolton’s midfield from veering off on to a wank-fest over Luis Suarez.”

Gary Lineker confirmed: “He’s an utter nightmare to control. One minute we’re discussing Tony Pulis’ defensive organisation against Chelsea, and the next we’re back on to why Lawro thinks Andy Carroll is better than Sergio Aguero.

“Alan and I are hoping that the bet might force him into taking an interest in a few other clubs, but we’re not holding out any hope. At the cafeteria this morning he challenged the dinner lady to find him a better young English prospect than Jordan Henderson.

“She’d only asked him whether he wanted fried bread with his bacon.”

Lawrenson has since defended himself: “I don’t really understand what all the fuss is about – I talk about other clubs all the time.

“In fact, I was doing an interview with Martin Jol just this morning, and I told him what I told the Fulham fans – you’re not going to achieve anything this season so you should probably just give up now. I said the same to Tony Pulis last week.

“I mean that winger they’ve got is useless. They should have signed Stewart Downing – what a buy that is for Liverpool. With Henderson feeding him out wide, Suarez with a little bit of movement, Carroll with the…

“Oh… right… ”

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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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Premier League Predictions – 16th October

Posted by eddiev18 on October 16, 2009

Sunderland three, Liverpool twoooooo

Meg Predicts: "Sunderland three, Liverpool twoooooo"

Seeing as Mr.T has not yet driven his tank through my garden wall, and as I have not yet spotted any Snickers bars scattered around on my lawn, I can only assume that the mowhawked one approved of my report this week on what referee Alan Wiley has been up to during the international break.

This has put me in a good mood. As a result though, I am presented with a problem. You see, I had planned to write a bit of a tirade about Premier League scuffle-addict, and Dennis The Menace wannabe, Joey Barton. I was going to have a little rant, rate his face using the Lee Bowyer Smackablomator, and then enjoy the endorphins that my brain always kindly releases after a good old character assasination of an annoying footballer. In my current mood though, there is no way that I could do the man justice, so I’ve had to find something else to occupy myself.

Premier League predicitions aren’t that hard to write. Ask Mark Lawrenson. The basic rule is that if it’s a game between two teams quite evenly matched, it’ll either be a 2-1 win to the home side or some form of relatively low-scoring draw (e.g. 1-1. Although I imagine that providing you with an example of a low-scoring draw is fairly unnecessary). If you have a strong side against a weak side, it’s 3 or 4-0 if the strong side is at home, and 0-2 if they are playing away on a cart-track of a pitch in Wigan. Throw in one nil-nil bore each week, and you’re done.

Oh. Wait. The only other rule is that, if you’re Mark Lawrenson (if, on looking in the mirror, this does appear to be the case, please seek medical attention), you MUST at all costs write an undescribably biased prediction in favour of Liverpool.

Right, so the rules out of the way with, let’s have a look at what we’ve got in store for us this weekend:


Arsenal vs Birmingham

In their last game, Arsenal gave Blackburn the sort of beating that may potentially have forced Big Sam into reconsidering the ‘play a centre-half up front, and lump it long’ approach. That can only be good for the Premier League. Birmingham should expect to endure the same treatment from The Gunners this weekend too.

Paddy Power are already taking bets on the exact minute that Alex McLeish loses his voice from shouting at his players too much. You can also put a wager on the exact shade of red produced by the capillaries on the face of the hapless Scotsman, as he flails his arms about in his technical area in an attempt to get Barry Ferguson to track Cesc Fabregas, instead of making rude gestures behind the referee’s back.

Verdict: 4-0

Aston Villa vs Chelsea

Carlo Ancelotti this week did two things. He got a lap dance on Italian television, and then he compared John Terry to Paulo Maldini. I can see what he means. Both are loyal to their clubs, both are fighters on the pitch, both are defenders, and both are captains (or have been). That’s where Ancelotti’s comparison stops though.

You see, where Maldini has the quintessential character of the Italian footballer – intelligent, softly spoken, stylish, and good looking, Terry, by contrast, is guts-and-glory, loud, stupid, and has a face that wouldn’t be out of place in a Wheterspoons on a Saturday night. Surely I haven’t just described the quintessential English footballer? Oh… right.

Maybe Ancelotti had a point after all. All I know is that, come Saturday, points are not what Villa will be getting.

Verdict: 0-2


Everton vs Wolves

The thing is, Everton vs Wolves is not a very interesting game to talk about. If Everton were going to play against a pack of 11 wolves, all dressed up in football kits and little boots for their paws, then trust me I’d be all over the review of this game like beans on toast. The reality of it all though is that there will be no wolves. No stopping to bay at the moon. No targeting of the smallest Everton player and feasting on him at half time. Nothing.

All there will be is 11 men in gold shirts playing 11 men in blue shirts. The men in blue shirts will procede to score three goals, with the men in gold scoring none. Barring a mild attack of tourettes from Toffees goalkeeper Tim Howard, nothing exciting will happen. However if, like me, you would like English football to be as speicies-diverse as it is ethnically diverse, then how about we all write a stern letter to the Premier League? Word on the street is that Sheffield Wednesday are also interested in the idea.

Verdict: 3-0

Manchester United vs Bolton

He’s just like Dom Joly, that Fergie, isn’t he? Dom Joly, just without the oversized props.

Not content with angering the referee’s governing body last week, with his comments about podgy lard-ass Alan Wiley, professional prankster Sir Alex Ferguson has used the international break to try to wind-up Belgian club Standard Liege. Whilst everyone else’s postman was down the pub enjoying a good old strike, it seems that the United manager’s postie crossed the picket line, because Belgian wonderkid Steven Defour recieved a letter from the Scot this week.

At the letter’s heart Sir Alex expressed his best wishes to the injured playmaker, and reminded the boy that he was in his thoughts. I’m not sure how i’d feel if an old Scottish man wrote me a letter to tell me that I was ‘in his thoughts’, but Defour was supposedly delighted. Whether his club feel the same is another thing.

Verdict: 3-0


Portsmouth vs Tottenham

It’s impossible to write this one without asking the following question. Why did Harry Redknapp conduct a football-based interview in an aquarium on Wednesday afternoon? I think I have the answer.

As we all know, Baron Silas Greenback is now in one of the comfy boardroom chairs at Portsmouth. Greenback would clearly like to start his career as Pompey Director of Football with a win, so what does he do? Instead of sending exploding custard to every single one of the Tottenham players on the morning of the game, he decides to invite the manager of the opposition (rumoured to be partial to a backhander) into his secret evil lair. All secret evil lairs are based in locations largely covered by water, that’s just a fact, so what better place to conduct your business than a secret room in Portsmouth’s famous Blue Reef aquarium. Did Harry take the bung though?

Funnily enough, he did seem to talk awfully highly of his old club in the interview…

Verdict: 2-1

Stoke vs West Ham

This one’s the nil-nil.

Verdict: 0-0

Sunderland vs Liverpool

Sunderland gave Manchester United a real scare last time out. In fact it was Ben Foster who probably gave United the bigger scare, but I digress. The Mackems are on good form and, for Darren Bent, comparisons with Harry Redknapp’s wife Sandra have well and truly been consigned to his Twitter history. One problem I still have with Bent though, and I’ve mentioned this before, is the following… why does he have to wear headphones all the time, even when he’s being interviewed post-match? My only assumption is that he must be learning a language. If so, good luck to you Darren. Sorry, I mean ‘buena suerte’ (if in fact you are learning Spanish, or even reading this at all).

Liverpool have lost their last couple of games, and now have an injury to Steven Gerrard to cope with. Yossi Benayoun will feature for the reds, but is unlikely to have become any easier on the eye during the international break.

Verdict: 3-2

Blackburn vs Burnley

One game. Every weekend in the Premier League we get one of these. The sort of game that is less of a game, and more of an example of how to have a fight within the rules of football. So, lots of shoulder charging, slide tackling, clashes of heads, that sort of thing. There won’t be any football played. It’ll be an absolutely horrible spectacle. However, after 8 pints this game is the footballing equivalent of the girl accross the bar that suddenly got attractive, even though she definitely wasn’t when you sat down five hours ago.

Abnormaly appealing.

Verdict: 1-1

Wigan vs Man City

Alan Wiley is back and, as revealed on Eddie’s Football Blog, has spent the international break punching dead cow carcasses, running up steps, doing push-ups in the snow, and generally finding obscure ‘Rocky’ influenced techniques to get himself into top conditon in the limited timeframe he had at his disposal between Premier League fixtures. Will he now be able to out-sprint Craig Bellamy though? Probably not.

In fact, I don’t think anyone can out-sprint Craig Bellamy at the moment. In the sort of form the Welshman is in, I can see his pace being the difference between the two sides. His unique ability to get on everyone’s nerves will be another difference between the two sides.

Verdict: 1-2

Fulham vs Hull

Family club vs Family club, taking place in the only stadium in the Premier League to have a section for ‘neutral fans’. There are probably still some tickets available, why not buy a couple? Take the kids. Buy some candy floss. Play poo-sticks on Putney Bridge, and have a jolly nice Monday evening. The football won’t be great, but a giant badger wearing a Fulham shirt will do something funny at half time. The kids will like that.

Verdict: 1-1

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The (English) Commentator’s Curse

Posted by eddiev18 on September 6, 2009

Lawrenson. Dick.

Lawrenson. Dick.

“We’re the best in the world! We’ve beaten England 2-1 at football! This is truuuuly incredible! We’ve beaten England, England the fighters’ birthplace: Lord Nelson, Lord Beaverbrook, Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Anthony Eden, Clement Attlee, Henry Cooper, Lady Diana – we’ve beaten you all. Maggie Thatcher, can you hear me? Maggie Thatcher, I have a message for you in the middle of your campaign… Maggie Thatcher, as you say in your language in the boxing bars around Madison Square Garden: Your boys took a hell of a beating!”Bjørge Lillelien (Norwegian commentator), Norway vs England, World Cup Qualifier 1981.

Ok, so there’s that, and then there’s:

“What a hit. Take a bow son”Andy Gray, Sky Sports co-commentator, after every goal scored from outside the penalty box.

And there in lies the problem, English football commentary has decayed. Gone are the days of Stuart Hall eulogising about ‘a match of titanic proportions about to take place at the colusseum’ with ‘the gladatorial figure of Owen’ looking to slay the Italian beast, when simply tasked with introducing an England vs Italy game. Nowadays you are most likely to hear some washed up ex-pro using a co-commentator’s job to try to showpiece his knowledge of the game, in a desperate attempt to convince viewers that he knows what he’s talking about. Trouble is Warren Barton, we don’t care, and we don’t want to hear you. As for an article I recently read, claiming that Mark Lawrenson was John Motson’s ‘funny side-kick’. No. Stop it. Never write that.

It also annoys me that when Sky Sports commentators are talked about, the first name that comes to everyone’s mind is Gray, who is always the co-commentator. In my mind, the reason for this is that the guys actually doing the commentating aren’t the personalities they should be. The lack of eccentric, enthusiastic shouty-blokes is evident. The closest we get to eccentric is John Motson, but he is slowly losing his marbles, and has essentially become a parody of himself. Stuart Hall is another eccentric, and also wonderfully descriptive, but has been criminally under-used by the BBC.

As for shouty-blokes, it’s a crime that Jonathan Pearce decided to ditch the radio for television. Pearce had to dumb himself down for TV, and it’s only the viewer/listener’s loss. I used to love muting the TV and tuning into Capital Gold on the radio, to hear the over-exciteable Pearce screaming with excitment when England got a throw-in in a promising position. His goal celebrations weren’t bad either… “and there was Teddy, ever so steady, and he’ll celebrate tonight with a glass of sherry!” I like that. You don’t get much rhyming anymore, and it’s certainly better than “get in there you beauty”, which could be mustered by any old drunk in the pub.

I understand that the English way is to be more reserved, with the occasional hint of sarcasm for humour. I have time for that too. For example, Motson proclaiming that England’s 5-1 win in Munich was their ‘best result against the Germans since the war’ was fantastic. However, when it’s 0-0, England v Uzbekistan, on a damp Saturday afternoon in November, the commentator has to take some form of resposability for whipping up the atmosphere. You can be damn certain that the 30,000 ‘corporate spectators’ at Wembley won’t be creating it. Turning to Joe Royale to ask ‘So Joe, after 30 minutes, have you seen any evidence of threat from this Uzbeki team?’ is not interesting, and his response is undoubtedly going to be about as exciting as watching Gordon Brown tweeze the grey hairs out of his nostril.

The reason for this rant? Jealousy. The source of this jealousy? I have just watched the following clip of yesterday’s Mexico vs Costa Rica game. I want what Mexico have.

Get rid of Martin Tyler, and get me a shouty Spanish bloke. Problem solved.

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