The Game's Gone Crazier

For all the latest on the exploits of Uncle Festa, Godfather Cellino, Friar Brian, Old Big Gob, GianFredo Zola, Butterfingers Green, 'Arry the Albatross, The Grand Puppet Master, Il Duce Di Canio, Timmy Sherwood and a cast of thousands!

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Leicester and Nottingham Forest reduced to praying!

Oh dear, it's now well and truly out of either team's control and Saturday's East Midlands crunch game will probably only be important because of local bragging rights.

When it came to managers, Forest decided to twist and Leicester to stick, and both strategies look doomed to failure. Crystal Palace's draw at Millwall means that unless Forest win by five clear goals or more, the talonless Eagles only need a point at home to Peterborough to secure a place in the play offs. Leicester have no hope of catching them.

Bolton remain in reach of both clubs but they will surely prove too strong for Blackpool.

The dream is still alive - just - and I have a hunch that Peterborough will win at Selhurst Park, but then I can see Forest and Leicester pissing on each other's bonfires as they battle out a useless draw.

Leeds United Get Specials Message From FA Disciplinary Committee

All together now, "A message to you Rudy"...According to the F.A. Disciplinary Committee, you're (note the spelling guys!) as guilty as fcuk!"

So Austin AllAgro deserved his red card after all. Just like Lionel Varney deserved his red at Millwall. Can a club be fined for making spurious appeals? If so, it's about time Leeds were penalised.

Poor Nice Guy Brian would be tearing his hair out if he had any. Watford away, and two first choice players suspended. Ouch. And both will miss the start of next season too.

But never mind McDermott and Leeds, Steve Bruce must be fuming. The odds on Watford winning automatic promotion shorten by the day!

Monday, 29 April 2013

Newcastle Fans Praying for Sunderland Victory

You couldn't write it could you? Following the 6-0 home hammering by a toothless - well Suarezless - Liverpool team, the Barcodes are now desperate for Sunderland to get a result against Aston Villa.

There's an uncomfortable feeling down at the bottom that Wigan will somehow wriggle out of trouble, so if they are not joining the Hopeless Hoops of QPR and Reading, who is? If Villa beat Sunderland, suddenly Newcastle come firmly into the frame.

The points buffer over Wigan should be enough, but if Pardew's posers choke in all their remaining games, they could yet go down.

Newcastle fans cheering on Sunderland? Il Duce Di Canio will be delighted to have black shirts supporting his Black Cats!

Leeds sailing into calmer waters claims former player

Well according to The Yapping Post appointed "Leeds Legend", Brendan Ormsby, the 'White Pig' is sailing into calmer waters after McDermott has 'steadied the ship', though Leeds fans will be praying this isn't the doldrums. Stormy waters are preferable to being becalmed in the middle of nowhere!

Back to back defeats have put the McDermott effect firmly into context. He arrived with a mop to wash down the decks in an attempt to make everything look spic and span and demanded that every member of the crew be given an additional ration of grog to ensure smiling faces, and for a week or so, everything went to plan - but a record of two defeats from four games, three of which were at home, does not bode well for the future. There's no point in everybody 'heading in the same direction' if it is the wrong bloody direction! And if a few Seagulls shit on your plans, what's going to happen when you come face to face with a whale?

Of course, it is far too early to pass judgement on Commander McDermott, so you have to wonder why so many have been in such a rush to do so. Thus far, in terms of results, Leeds are no better under Nice Guy Brian than they were under the Warnock, but you wouldn't think it reading the eulogies. It's apparently a feather in his cap that Leeds avoided relegation, but that was never really a possibility who ever was standing on the burning deck.

The real work starts after next week's game. How many of the present crew will still be on board come the start of the new season and will GFH Capital offer more than the King's Shilling for anybody else to climb aboard? What about Cabin Boy Sam? Can Commander McDermott retain his services or will Pirate Patel demand he walks the plank to Manchester City? And talking of planks, what do you do with Brown, Varney, Peltier and co, because the majority of the Warnock's recruitments are not fit to go to sea in a bath tub, never mind in a gorgeous galleon.

It promises to be a fascinating summer, and like the spirit of the Albatross, I will be with you guys as the White Pig sets sail on her latest adventure! Mind that iceberg! Ship ahoy! Thar' she blows! (Oh no sorry, that's Commander Pardew with a player's wife at Newcastle!)

Sunday, 28 April 2013

QPR and Reading cut each others' throats

Oh come on! 5-5 fair enough. 4-4 would be acceptable. 3-3, ok. 2-2 would be tolerable. 1-1 would be inept. But 0-0? When both teams had to WIN to stay up? How the fcuk does that happen?

Of all the possible results, 0-0 had to be the most implausible, illogical and absurd. The bookies must have cleaned up, unless that's how 'Arry decided to retrieve his £1million bonus for keeping his version of the Hula Hoops up! Perhaps he put Rosie and her surprise bank account on a correct score forecast!

I haven't seen the game so maybe the keepers were out of this world, but even allowing for that, both teams should have been playing 0-5-5 for the last 30 minutes, doing anything and everything to break the deadlock.

The conclusion? Both teams and their managers are shit!

Leicester can still win promotion because of failings of Nottingham Forest, Crystal Palace and Bolton

Bolton missed out on a great opportunity to secure their play off place yesterday. A goal to the good against partying Cardiff, they should have seen out the game and banked their place. But they didn't, so now all bets are off as we go down to 4 cup finals before the play offs themselves start.

Points in the bank are crucial at this stage, but so are current form and the fixture list. Bolton must still be favourites  to make it, with a home game against Ince managed Blackpool: Bolton are in the best form of the contenders and apart from the little matter of personal pride, Blackpool have nothing to play for. The trouble is, this is a Lancashire derby and so the Blackpool fans and boys will not be wearing their Kiss Me Quick hats quite yet. I still mark this one down for a Bolton win, meaning there are three clubs chasing two places.

For Leicester to get through to the play off lottery, therefore, they need to win at Forest and pray that Palace don't pick up one point from two games. Let's start with Palace.

The Eagles have the talons of sparrows at the moment and are not likely to tear any opposition apart. The first of their two games is at Millwall, who must get a result to ward off relegation threats. The Lions are toothless themselves and are in a spiral of poor form, but there will be a menacing atmosphere in the stadium and Olly Gummage seems to have lost the plot, and the respect of his players with it. Bet on a red card for Palace and a Millwall win is my advice. Then it is a home game against Posh. Take out the first 7 games of the season and Peterborough would be challenging for the play offs, not struggling to avoid the drop. They need at least a point from the game and I take them to win the match.

Which means that if Leicester win at Forest, because of their superior goal difference, they will finish sixth. That is a huge if, of course, given recent results, but anything can happen in a derby game and Forest will have to go all out for a victory. Imagine how their players will feel if news comes through that Bolton have taken the lead; Leicester players will shrug and think, "So what?"; the guts of Forest players will melt. It's a recipe for a Leicester win!

I wonder what the combined odds are for Palace to lose at Millwall and against Peterborough, Leicester to win at Forest and Bolton to beat Blackpool? You can only get 6-1 for Leicester to finish in the top six which is ridiculous given the results that have to go in their favour for that to happen. However a fourfold on Bolton and Leicester to win, and Palace to lose both games might be tempting.

Anyway, despite appalling form, Pearson's mangy Foxes could yet slip into the play off chicken coop. And then who knows what might happen? If Hull end up missing out on automatic promotion, and I expect that to happen too, then they will go in to the knock out competition utterly deflated. The Seagulls won't fly into the Prem. Bolton would be my favourites, but Leicester would be on an absolute high if they secured their place with a win at Forest; so don't rule them out yet!

Leeds should sack Diouf

No decent club would have signed the scumbag in the first place. Allardyce wanted to, but the West Ham fans made their feelings clear and the Board blocked the move in consequence - leaving the Spitting Image with only Doncaster as an option. Following little Donny's relegation, there wasn't exactly a queue for Hell Hadji's services, so he had no choice other than to link up with a club fashioned in his own image, Dirty, Dirty Leeds.

But Nice Guy Brian is building a new Leeds, trying to break with the vicious past of Revie's reign and the crude mechanicals interregnum of the Warnock. How can he rebrand the club and play Happy Families with Tarot devil Hell Hadji in the pack?

Like Two Bites of the Cherry Suarez, Hell Hadji is a blight on the game and has no place in English football. There must be a clause in his contract allowing for his dismissal in the event of his disgracing the club, and McDermott should seize upon it and show him the door.

Unless he makes a stand now, Nice Guy Brian will never turn Leeds into the cuddly club that he cherishes.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Watford's Zola excited after Hull blow it at Barnsley

Well that was highly predictable wasn't it? After Udinese Calcio's victory over Leicester, the pressure on Hull was ratcheted up and, with Barnsley desperate for points, the Tigers were always likely to be battered by the Tykes.

So it all comes down to the last game of the season. Udinese host a dispirited Leeds, who will have Austin AllAgro and Hell Hadji suspended after their red cards today. Zola's boys won the corresponding fixture 6-1, when, coincidentally, Dirty Dirty Leeds again finished with just nine men on the pitch, and it is hard to see anything other than a Hornets victory: Leeds have got the second worst away record in the division after all.

Which means Hull almost certainly have to beat Champions Cardiff to go up automatically. Going in to the game against Bristol City, promotion seemed a formality; but that 0-0 draw against the team bottom in the division is now looking hugely expensive.

There will be street parties in the Piazza della Libertà in Udine next week if Zola's boys do it!

Leeds 1 Brighton 2 - Seagulls Excrete On McDermott's Statue!

Oh dear. It was all going so swimmingly. Two games - both against modest opposition in the bottom half of the table, and both at home admittedly - and two victories. Nice Guy Brian was the new Revie, a breath of fresh air after the halitosis of Old Big Gob. There was only one direction, on and upwards, and the whole club was pulling in that direction. And then...

Well Nice Guy Brian will have to throw away his pack of Happy Families now. First of all the fans shamed the club, with a brother of the Istanbul Two found guilty of violent conduct - which makes you wonder about the family somewhat.

Then Master Bates started biting any arse within reach. Dentures clamped on The Warnock, on GFH Capital, on Patel and on the "thick" Leeds fans, he chewed the fat and upset the happy clappy atmosphere that Nice Guy Brian had ushered in - irrespective of last week's defeat.

And now Austin AllAgro and Hell Hadji have further buggered the mood, reviehelling in the Dirty Dirty Leeds nomenclature and collecting red cards as Leeds stumbled to back to back defeats under their new managerial  Messiah.

It didn't take long for the real Leeds as opposed to the Real Leeds to show through did it? Poor Brian arrived saying he was no messiah, but the faithful didn't want to listen. The Warnock's statue was hastily being refashioned and now those bloody Seagulls have shat all over it.

Back to the drawing board Brian. It seems that being nice to everybody isn't going to be enough. Leeds are safe but the Premiership looks a long, long, long way away this evening!

Watford's win at Leicester piles pressure on Pearson and Hull

Well done to Udinese Calcio! Another stunning victory sees the Italians maintaining their charge towards the Prem and increases the pressure on Hull City and lame fox Leicester manager, Nigel Pearson. All the focus switches now to Hull's game with Barnsley at Oakwell.  A draw won't be enough, because with Udinese favourites to beat Leeds United last game up, Hull would then have to get something from their last game against Champions Cardiff.

Meanwhile, away from the promotion issue, for the Foxes are now all but out of the running for even the playoffs, the Leicester Board have to start making plans for Nigel. They should have shown him the door a month back and recruited Martin O'Neill, because they would then be looking forward to the play off campaign, but they didn't and the cost of that inertia will be huge. Will Pearson be left in charge for another season? They really should listen to Brucie who would tell them, "You get nothing for a Pearson, not in this game!" Look at where Hull are now compared to Leicester! What divine justice!

Here's hoping for a stunning Barnsley performance today, prolonging the excitement at the top of the Championship for another week!

Bates' Poodle Given Leeds Role

Well that's nice isn't it? Leeds Legend and Master Bates puppet Peter Lorimer has been given a role as a club 'ambassador'. Not sure who he is ambassador to exactly, although many Leeds fans, sickened by his unswerving support down the years for the new President, might nominate Syria!

What qualifications do you need to be an ambassador at Leeds? First class honours in arse licking and a Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil mentality if Lorimer is anything to go by.

Still, with Nice Guy Brian playing Happy Families, Lorimer should fit in perfectly!

Friday, 26 April 2013

Bates Calls Leeds Fans Thick!

Well Master Bates is clearly not on a charm offensive. He's had a go about the Warnock and about GFH Capital, and now he has spat his dummy in the direction of Becchio and Leeds fans.

Talking about the wage demands of Becchio, Bates says, "Luciano Becchio is a perfect example. Luciano was already the highest paid player at the club but his agent wanted £1.5m a year basic wage. Even the thickest Leeds fan must see we can’t afford to pay a player £30,000 per week."

Of course, Leeds fans are likely to take umbrage at this, but based on comments left on here, I'm not sure the thickest Leeds fan can actually count, never mind grasp the implications of paying 30k a week to a mediocre player who just happened to be the best on Leeds United's books. Spelling "you're" is beyond most of them, so Bates really shouldn't expect too much of the knuckle draggers within the club's fan base.

Now, of course, I am only talking about the thickest Leeds fans here. But I'm sure they will be quick to respond to the post in the usual way. Cancer anybody?

Bates Bites Back - And Savages New Leeds Owners and Warnock Too!

Ouch. Master Bates has come over all Luis Suarez and sunk his dentures into the backsides of GFH Capital, Patel and the Warnock.

How fascinating that Bates wanted to sack Warnock back in October but was unable to do so because GFH Capital insisted he remained in place. What does that say about the judgement of the Arab bank built on sand?

And how interesting that Bates was unable to do anything in the transfer market because everything had to ratified by Patel first. It seems as if Leeds' promotion push was hamstrung by the new owners which hardly bodes well for the future.

Master Bates may, of course, be rewriting history to make himself appear good, but there is an interesting divide opening, given Nice Guy Brian wants to play happy families and President Ken is still a card in the pack. Is Bates one of the irritants that McDermott wants removed and are GFH Capital trying to ease him out of the door perhaps?

If so, it seems that Bates will not go without kicking and screaming and biting a few arses on the way!

Shame on Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool

Rehabilitation of the player? What the hell is Rodgers going on about? Suarez hasn't been to prison - though some do get locked up for physical assault!

This isn't about rehabilitation, this is about punishment pure and simple, and how could the ban be for anything less than 10 games, given the little shit was suspended for 7 matches for his first biting offence in Holland?

Liverpool FC keep wriggling, desperate to be seen to be on the side of Suarez in the hope that he will then agree to stay. They engineered or allowed the link with the 96, which was shameful in itself, and now the club and its manager are prostituting themselves for the little biting pimp, doing anything and everything to keep him on board in the hope he won't give them a black eye by demanding a move.

Liverpool were once a proud club. Now all dignity has been sacrificed.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Liverpool keeper Reina is right to call Suarez ban absurd

Reina is right to call the 10 game ban absurd. It should have been 15 at least!

Still, the good news is that the 10 match suspension may be enough to persuade the little shit to quit English football. He's being picked on you see, so he wants to pick up his ball and go home. Well not home exactly.

Barcelona would be a much better option!

Leeds United following the Cardiff City Blueprint

Well it worked for Cardiff, so why not for Leeds? True Cardiff ditched the blue shirts and went for a much more drastic change of look - trading Everton for Liverpool - but after years in the doldrums, Leeds have decided to freshen things up and go with a new, Persil style, blue whiteness. Change of colour, change of luck, perhaps.

Or maybe it is an attempt to ditch the associations with surrender, a feature of recent seasons.

Anyway, the new kit, with its blue centre stripe, looks cute. Maybe Nice Guy Brian is trying to turn Leeds into Reading in little stages!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

FA bottle it and let Liverpool and Suarez off lightly

How cowardly! A ten game ban, with four of them dead rubbers at the end of this season? What a joke! All the FA have done is give Suarez an extended holiday. He got 7 games for his first biting offence in Holland, so how the hell does 10 games fit the bill now?

Barton was banned for 12 games and from what I saw, he didn't bite anybody. But Barton plays for little old QPR, whereas Suarez plays for one of the big boys.

The hope must be that Liverpool are so far off the pace, come the end of the first six games of next season, that the ban really hurts the club. They signed this monster and protected him after the Evra incident, so the club is every bit as bad as the player in my book.

It should have been 15 games at least!

GFH Capital wouldn't pay 2.5m to bring Poyet to Leeds

Well there's a kick in the teeth for Nice Guy Brian. Poyet has revealed that he wants to manage Leeds one day and it transpires that the Lesser Talented Non Biting Uruguayan was on the shortlist to replace the Warnock but the 2.5m compensation demanded by Brighton forced the Leeds board to look elsewhere.

How short sighted is that? If Poyet is the right man for the job, a paltry 2.5m should not have stood in the way of his recruitment.

What does this say to Nice Guy Brian? Firstly, the Arab bank built on sand are penny pinching and don't appear to have two camels to rub together - not great news when the squad needs extensive restructuring.

And secondly, poor Brian was not even second choice after Nigel Adkins, he was number three on the list, unless, of course Leeds would have preferred Il Duce Di Canio as well!

Still, if everybody in the club pulls in the same direction and the obstacles are removed...

Liverpool's Carragher Offers Pathetic Defence of Suarez

Is a bite worse than a career ending tackle, Jamie Carragher asks as he attempts to defend Liverpool's decision to stand by their animal, Luis Suarez.

Well, in one sense no, of course. But funnily enough Jamie, tackling is part of the game and whilst some tackles are legal and some are not, footballers go out on to a pitch prepared to tackle and expecting to be tackled. But except in kick around games at kindergarten, footballers really do not anticipate being bitten.

Apparently Suarez is very sorry. Not surprising given he has been ordered to sit on the naughty step and hasn't been allowed any sweets for three days now. We might be ready to accept his remorse if this was the first time, but it isn't.

Let's hope the punishment today is so severe that either Liverpool conclude it is not worth retaining Suarez or the Uruguayan has a tantrum and insists the nasty Brits are bullying him and so he wants to move to Spain.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Leeds United's McDermott taking a leaf out of Thatcher's book!

Dear God, how many times is Nice Guy Brian going to recycle the same old clichés? If we have heard the line, "go in the same direction", we've heard it a hundred times already. It's all a question of pulling in the same direction, being honest, removing barriers, putting right what is wrong and pulling in the same direction, being honest, removing barriers, putting right what is wrong and pulling in the same direction...

OK Brian we get it!

In fact, if you add up everything Nice Guy Brian has said so far, it could all be summed up by Maggie's statement on the steps of 10 Downing Street after her first election as Prime Minister: "Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope."

That's very fitting, of course, following on as it does from Sunny Warnock's "Crisis? What crisis?" winter of discontent at Elland Road.

Here's a few more classics that Nice Guy Brian could polish up and claim as his own:

We shall have to learn again to be one club, or one day we shall be no club.

My job is to stop Leeds going into the red.

Points don't fall from heaven, they have to be earned here on the pitch.

Defeat—I do not recognise the meaning of the word!

We have become a manager of Leeds.

Or after the result on Saturday:

We've beaten Birmingham twice and now they're back!

QPR manager Redknapp prepares his defence

Oh dear. Poor 'Arry is up before the beak again, this time for speeding and failing to supply the driver's identity as required under section 172 of The Road Traffic Act. I wonder what his defence will be this time?

Your worship, I can't read and rite proper like so I couldn't fill in the form could I?


It wasn't me what was driving, it was my dog Rosie.


He asked my occupation and, as I was out of work at the time, I said none. But the cheeky bastard said, "So shall I just put you down as a wheeler dealer", and I wasn't 'avin' that. I'm not a fackin wheeler dealer, I'm a fackin football manager. By the way anybody here want to buy a big black lad. Slow I'll give ya. Clumsy too. But worth twelve million of any mug's money and he only wants a hundred grand a week as a salary.

Are Cardiff fans feeling blue after promotion?

So, was it worth it? Trade in the club's traditional colours and, in return, surge into the Premiership.

Many were opposed to the kit change at the time, but how many of them are complaining now? It's a statistical facts that teams in red have an edge over teams in blue, and psychologists will tell you that red is an aggressive colour and so is more suited to physical sports.

So, maybe, that kit change was exactly what the doctor ordered!

Monday, 22 April 2013

Are Liverpool FC cynically exploiting the Hillsborough 96?

It is a horrible question to ask, but it is provoked by Ian Ayre's disgraceful attempts to vindicate the decision to retain the services of Suarez and the all too convenient request of Suarez that his fine be paid to the Hillsborough Families Support Group.

Does anybody really believe that this was Suarez's idea? Does anybody really believe Suarez cares about the victims of Hillsborough?

Some PR prat has suggested this as a way of mitigating the revulsion even Liverpool fans must feel for Suarez after his latest act of depravity. But if the fans swallow this, then they will be demeaning the memory of the Hillsborough victims themselves. Margaret Aspinall clearly has reservations given her statement that, "It is a nice gesture but it is a terrible thing under the circumstances".

What is terrible is the cynical way that Liverpool Football Club are seemingly seeking to exploit the dead. How convenient that within seven days of Thatcher's death this "gesture" should be made. It's no gesture, there's no sincerity involved, it is rancid cynicism and the club should be ashamed.

If Suarez really cares about the victims, let's see him pledge 50% of his salary throughout the remainder of his 4 year contract. 40% of that would go in tax anyway, so why not prove how much he really cares?

He won't of course.  Why would he? He has no affection for Liverpool and no affection for the people of Liverpool. He is just a spoilt little shit with all the self control of a three year old.

What is desperately sad, however, is the depths that this once proud club is now prepared to plumb in its attempts to recover past glories. Should Juventus and Liverpool ever meet again, they could bill the game, "The Old Lady of Football versus The Shameless Whore."

Will Watford and Zola have the last laugh on Bruce and Hull?

So, despite the best efforts of the referees, instructed it seems to frustrate Watford's promotion bid, the Hornets are still in the running for second place with two games to go.

The odds are still stacked against them - even if the referees have been instructed to lay off - but the 4-0 thumping of Blackburn sent out a huge message. Watford haven't given up yet and, with the pressure off, they are back to their very best.

Steve Bruce will now be looking anxiously over his shoulder. The gap is down to four points and Watford have two winnable games - against Leeds, who they thumped 6-1 at Elland Road - and Leicester who have all but forgotten how to win a game.

Hull's games, however, have an uncomfortable look about them. Barnsley may be in the bottom three but they are fighting for their lives and draws away to Cardiff, Leicester and Forest show they are no pushovers - albeit Charlton put them to the sword. Nobody would be surprised if this one ended in a goalless draw, which would mean Hull might need to beat Cardiff to go up.

What a night that could be at the KC Stadium. Cardiff players may, of course, be mentally on their holidays after securing the title, but then again, with the pressure off, they may play with a new freedom. Hull players would be desperate and Cardiff players relaxed, and in that situation, you could see the Welsh side confirming their superiority.

Switch back to Vicarage Road and just imagine the atmosphere as Zola's side battles to overcome a Leeds team managed by former Reading boss Nice Guy Brian McDermott!

Of course, the final games may be a dead rubber if Watford slip up at Leicester and Hull rip Barnsley apart. But what a shame that would be. Let's keep our fingers crossed for an epic final day in the Championship!

If Liverpool won't act, the FA, Police and PFA must as Suarez shames the 96.

A "fine" and anger management sessions? What a bloody joke. As if any fine is going to hurt Suarez!

The little shit, of course, is trying to curry favour by requesting that his fine is paid to the Hillsborough Family Support Group, but that is an insult to the victims. It would be blood money, literally if Suarez broke the skin of Ivanovic, and the Uruguayan, having besmirched the name of a once proud club, does not merit being mentioned in the same breath as the 96.

It seems Liverpool knew exactly what they were getting when they signed Suarez, because he has "previous"; and it is amazing that the club has not listed him immediately. But if the club is spineless, others must act in their stead and force their hand.

To begin, Suarez must be charged by the police. He assaulted Ivanovic and millions have witnessed that assault. If John Terry can be prosecuted for allegedly racially abusing Anton Ferdinand, it would be absurd for the police to ignore this incident.

Then the FA / Premier League need to impose a massive suspension. How long was Barton's ban? 12 games. That should be the minimum tariff given Suarez has already sat out seven games for the previous biting incident. If that was stretched out to 15 games, that might just persuade Liverpool to do the decent thing by shipping out this stain upon the English game.

And the PFA also need to make a stand. Why the hell should their members be required to share a pitch with this animal? Never mind refusing hand shakes, PFA members should be instructed not to share a pitch with Suarez. It's time to force him out, and a threatened strike action may just do the trick.

Sadly, as with the Evra incident, Liverpool FC have failed in their responsibilities thus far. Yes Suarez has carried the team this year but that is not an excuse for retaining him as an employee. He has shamed himself, his profession, his club, his nation, and now the 96 by using them as a tool in damage limitation. He must go.

White Noise From McDermott at Leeds

Another interview and still nothing conclusive. Nice Guy Brian is showing a straighter bat than a dug in Chris Tavare as he repeatedly sidesteps questions about squad reconstruction at Leeds.

The same "if we can bring in some quality" line used by the Warnock was again employed, and all Nice Guy Brian would say is that "obstacles" have to be removed.

Exactly what these obstacles are is anybody's guess. It all seems to be about mood, and team spirit and positive attitudes, but as the defeat at Birmingham showed, positive thoughts can only take you so far. If the players are not good enough, you can be as upbeat as you like and it aint going to make any difference.

The cold, stark fact is that, after bottom of the table Bristol City, Leeds have the worst away record in the division. That is shameful, and it is something that, based on his one away game so far, NGB is no closer to rectifying.

The big question for Liverpool & Suarez

After the Evra incident, would Suarez have bitten Ivanovic if his flesh was black?

The guy is scum. Liverpool should have sacked him rather than backed him over the Evra business. Now he must surely be shown the door otherwise the reputation and brand of what was once a great club will be tarnished forever.

For fuller thoughts, follow this link:

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Has Suarez bitten off more than he can chew at Liverpool?

Is the guy deranged, rabid, stupid, stressed, calculating or just plain nasty? The Evra business was bad enough. Boasting about deliberately handling the ball to help Liverpool win a game against minnows said a lot. But today's antics mark Suarez down as a complete shit who has no place in the English game.

When Rodgers sees the bite he must act. And like it not, the only course of action left open to him is to kick the Uruguayan shit out of the club.

Once upon a time, despite the city it represents, Liverpool Football Club stood for something. It was a club with values, a club that didn't just want to win, but wanted to win with honour. Souness soured that but until Suarez arrived like a bad smell, the club was essentially decent.

Well Rodgers seems like a decent enough guy and it is now incumbent upon him to do the decent thing by showing Suarez the door. There's no doubting the guy's ability, but there are now major question marks over his character and, to be frank, over his sanity. With television cameras guaranteed to pick everything up, why would anybody do that?

Unless, of course, he wants out and was trying to force Liverpool's hand!

With Financial Fair Play, Relegation is the Least of QPR's Worries!

Never mind relegation, transfer embargoes and fines will be the next thing to hit QPR if they can't offload their over priced "superstars" quickly. The money being paid to the likes of Samba, Remy, Wright-Phillips, Cesar, Granero, Green, Barton, Cisse, Zamora and co mean that QPR, on pathetic gates even when in the Premiership, will find it impossible to square the financial circle which will now hang like a noose around the club's neck.

Foolish Fernandes lost sight of reality, and spent like a billionaire kid in a candy shop. But it's not the transfer fees that are the problem, that's money tossed down the drain already. The big problem is the wage bill that will make selling the hooped duffers all but impossible and which, under Financial Fair Play, will be like concrete boots on a condemned man pushed off Hammersmith Bridge.

Talk about being over the proverbial barrel with your trousers and pants round your ankles! Who will take Butterfingers Green on his wages? West Ham let him go for nothing because the club knew he wasn't worth 50k per week. Or Zamora with his injury record? Or Wright-Phillips? Or Big Mouth Barton? Or the lumbering Samba?

Even if clubs agree to take them off QPR's praying, begging hands, they will demand a contribution towards the wages. Take Green. Yes West Ham might, stupidly, consent to his return, but then Green would either have to swallow his pride and take a £20k a week wage cut, or QPR will have to subsidise his wages at West Ham.

Are clauses in place to reduce wages should QPR go down? Even that's unlikely. Why would the likes of Cesar, Zamora, Samba, Remy and Wright-Phillips take that kind of risk when they were on guaranteed fat salaries elsewhere?

What an absurd mess. Who ever thought the Hula Hoop craze of 1958 would ever be re-enacted? Well there's no bigger fool than a fat Malaysian fool it seems. QPR's five year plan is looking pretty hollow isn't it?

And wheeler dealer 'Arry aint going to stick around if there's a transfer embargo is he?

QPR's Mittal Drops Down Rich List

Is anybody surprised given the way Hughes and Redknapp splashed the cash?

It never rains but it bloody pours at Loftus Road!

The Fat Lady Sings at Sheffield United

Oh dear what a shame! Portsmouth, heading for relegation and fresh out of administration, thumped Shafting United 3-0 yesterday, thereby ending any hope that the Blunted Blades might secure automatic promotion.

So it's back to the Play Offs and, hopefully, back to the old heart ache. As little Donny and even littler Bournemouth start planning their campaigns in the Championship, mighty Shafting United, flush with the West Ham money so kindly donated by Scott Duxbury, must try to negotiate their way past Yeovil, Swindon and Brentford - if they even make it into their now traditional end of season knocked out takes nothing fest.

Who scored for Portsmouth yesterday? Was it Tevez, Tevez and Tevez?

The Fat Lady Sings At Leeds United

It was always a near impossible ask, but the Official Site boasted "You never know what could happen" earlier this week, so confirmation that Leeds cannot now make it into the playoffs must be a bitter pill to swallow.

The Cup victories apart - and both Cup runs ended in crushing defeats - this has been a season of massive disappointment.

Hopes were so high in the summer. There was talk of a Man City style take over, of billions of pounds flooding through an oil pipe line directly into the Warnock's transfer coffers. Master Bates was going. The glory, glory days were returning.

Even as yard dog after yard dog responded to the Warnock's whistle and Captain Snakeinthegrass joined the Exodus to Norwich, the Leeds faithful remained, well, delusional. This was the year. This was the beginning of the new era. The Championship was at Leeds United's mercy!

True the take over was taking longer than expected, true there were question marks over GFH Capital when the cloak of secrecy was, belatedly, removed, true the Warnock's recruits were every bit as average as the saner voices suggested, true Leeds couldn't win away and couldn't climb higher than eighth in the table, but no matter, the Arabs were going to give Old Big Gob a warchest of £8m, Becchio was going nowhere and Leeds were going to charge into the play offs. Oh and Bates would sod off for good.

Even when Bates was given the Presidency, even when Becchio departed, even when GFH Capital made a profit from transfer dealings in January, even when more yard dogs, like Warnock Junior and Morison arrived, the faithful remained, well deranged. This was the season. Easy run in. Goal Machine Morison better than Becchio. Warnock Junior an England left back. GFH Capital keeping money dry for next season in the Prem.

True eighth remained a glass ceiling. True results only showed a slight upward blip. True Leeds couldn't score goals. True the Warnock was floundering and GFH Capital sat on their hands. True the parent company suggested they were looking to offload the white camel of a football club but never mind, Leeds could still do it, the Leeds faithful remained, well, in denial.

But after yesterday's defeat at Birmingham, the fat woman can at last sing at Elland Road. But hang on is it a woman? Is it a marque tent rather than a marque signing? Or is it Ken Bates in drag singing Marching on Together?

But don't worry, be happy, the Messiah McDermott is now in charge, Byram won't be sold, GFH Capital will reveal their transfer war chest soon, next year will be the, Singing On Together now...

Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you're chewing on life's gristle
Don't grumble, give a whistle
And this'll help things turn out for the best...

And...always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the light side of life...

If life seems jolly rotten
There's something you've forgotten
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing.
When you're feeling in the dumps
Don't be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle - that's the thing.

And...always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the light side of life...

For life is quite absurd
And death's the final word
You must always face the curtain with a bow.
Forget about your sin - give the audience a grin
Enjoy it - it's your last chance anyhow.

So always look on the bright side of death
Just before you draw your terminal breath

Life's a piece of shit
When you look at it
Life's a laugh and death's a joke, it's true.
You'll see it's all a show
Keep 'em laughing as you go
Just remember that the last laugh is on you.

And always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the right side of life...
(Come on guys, cheer up!)
Always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the bright side of life...
(Worse things happen at Portsmouth, you know.)
Always look on the bright side of life...
(I mean - what have you got to lose?)
(You know, you come from nothing - you're going back to nothing.
What have you lost? Nothing!)
Always look on the right side of life...

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Leeds Messiah McDermott Collects His Cross As He Exits St Andrews

A line of managers files past a bust of Don Revie.

Patel: Crucifixion?
Warnock: Yes.
Patel: Good. Out of the door, line on the left, one cross each.
[Next manager]
Patel: Crucifixion?
Nice Guy Brian: Er, no, promotion actually.
Patel: What?
Nice Guy Brian: Yeah, they said I hadn't done anything wrong and I could lead the club to the Premiership.
Patel: Oh I say, that's very nice. Well, off you go then.
Nice Guy Brian: No, I'm just pulling your leg, it's crucifixion really.
Patel: [laughing] Oh yes, very good. Well...
Nice Guy Brian: Yes I know, out of the door, one cross each, line on the left.

First away game, first defeat, no goal scored...The Life of Brian is just the same as The Life of the Warnock!

Redknapp Loses His Magic At QPR

Not so long ago, 'Arry could walk on water. Now he probably avoids puddles for fear of drowning in them. When he breezed into Loftus Road there was an assumption that he would wave his magic wand and everything would get better. Instead, he waved the Chairman's cheque book and nothing has changed.

The result today was disgraceful. Stoke are shit. But Stoke are better than 'Arry's rag tag bunch of laughing all the way to the bank millionaires. 100k a week for Samba? Criminal! And the rest? Well you would call them a joke, but they are beyond funny.

And Redknapp can't deflect the blame. He had enough games to save QPR and a relatively kind run in. But he has messed around with the personnel and shape of the team, seeming to forget that the likes of Mackie play with heart, whilst the likes of Taarabt offer true flair.

Since taking charge, he has presided over 22 games and QPR have collected just 20 points. Average that out over a 38 game season and you end up with 34 points, which is, of course, relegation form.

All that money spent and QPR are still shit. Maybe it's time for 'Arry to 'ang up his tax returns and slip shame facedly into retirement.

McDermott Faces First Real Leeds Challenge Today

Beware false messiahs. It's no wonder that Leeds fans have responded so enthusiastically to Nice Guy Brian - Avram Grant would have been a relief after the Warnock - but, if we are honest, the former Reading manager has done nothing to deserve the plaudits yet.

True, he has said all the right things. True the team performed well against Burnley. And true NGB has started with back to back wins. But look a little deeper and it is easy to shrug and ask, 'So what?'

The first 45 minutes against Sheffield Wednesday were pretty dire and Leeds looked second best for much of the game. The second 45 were much better, but Lionel Varney has never been a goal machine and is not the long term answer to the problems Leeds have with scoring goals.

The Burnley game was a return to type. Leeds won at home. No great surprise there, given Burnley's position in the table and the fact that they were without their leading scorer and best player. The victory involved a single Leeds goal, and it was not scored by a striker.

Would anybody have been surprised if Leeds had won those two games with the Warnock at the helm? Of course not. The home record, the last couple of games apart, was good. Bloody hell, Old Big Gob's team beat Spurs at Elland Road, and victories over the Owls and the Clarets hardly compares with that.

Where Leeds have struggled this season is on their travels. So a game away to Birmingham represents McDermott's first real acid test. And the stench of sulphur is just marginally stronger because the Warnock masterminded a win at St Andrews earlier in the season.

To be fair to Brian, like his Monty Python namesake, he is doing his best to play down all the messiah bunkum. And with good reason. Messiahs are crucified and NGB would like to avoid that fate!

Friday, 19 April 2013

Should Dignitas Sponsor QPR v Stoke Game?

'Arry insists QPR are "not dead yet" but the flat line will finally sound if the Hula Hoops fail to beat the Pulis Pugilists this weekend. MacMillan nurses are standing at the ready and Barnes & Hicks are on stand by, ready to make all the necessary arrangements.

Meanwhile, defeat for Stoke could spare the Premiership from the extended agony of their bruising, ugly brand of football thuggery.

Dignitas would be the perfect sponsors for the game. Lose or draw and QPR are dead meat and anything other than a Stoke victory would mean they are favourites for the drop too.

My money's on a draw, and on both clubs playing each other in the Championship next season.

McDermott insists Leeds players must be treated like Kings!

How long will the Long Good Love In last at Leeds? Nice Brian Guy will be giving out 'Free Hugs' to the city's benefit claimers next as he seeks to share the love at every turn.

The guy is just so damn nice. He doesn't want the credit. He doesn't want to be put up on a pedestal. He insists it's not about him.

So, it's not a question of the Board backing him, it's about, in Brian's words, the club "backing themselves". Well it didn't take him long to pick up on that did it?

Importantly, there appears to have been no commitment with regard to a transfer war chest. There was a chat after the Burnley game and Patel assured him that the club would be "supporting" him - well, two games in, that's a bloody relief!

But what about the money? No mention, it seems. Brian's been too busy preparing for two games in a week to pin down details of how much he can spend in the summer. Mind you, surely that should have been sorted out before NGB accepted the job.

But Leeds fans should note that Nice Guy Brian identified other priorities, like improving the training ground and the infrastructure. So that's a lick of paint on the walls of the bogs then rather than an expensive centre forward! And some new cones and bibs if season ticket sales go well!

And meanwhile, Brian insists that the players brought to the club by the Warnock and his predecessors must be "treated like the best". Why? Perhaps because they're the best Leeds fans can hope to get!

But Nice Guy Brian loves them to bits and insists they are "Special" - as in Special Needs perhaps?

Lose to Wigan and the Relegation Reaper will peep through the West Ham letter box

Like Princess Brady's gynecologist, the Relegation Reaper might peep through the flaps of our letter box should we lose against Wigan on Saturday. 39 points should be enough, but 42 should have been enough too, and we learnt differently.

Villa's game at Old Trafford apart, the fixtures threaten the Perfect Storm of potential results should Wigan leave Upton Park with 3 points on Saturday. Stoke will be targeting three points at QPR, Norwich should beat Reading at Carrow Road, Di Canio will have his Black Shirts fired up for the visit of Everton, Newcastle will see the game at the Hawthornes as winnable and Southampton could beat Swansea too.

Loads of ifs, buts and maybes, but come Sunday night, the Relegation Reaper could be saying, "Open wide, I just want to investigate that fishy smell"!

Byram Battlelines Being Drawn Between Brian McDermott and Leeds Board

Interesting. Nice Guy Brian said "for us, for me" Byram would be 100% playing for Leeds next season, and suddenly the Official Site rushes out an article on Byram headed, "You Never Know What Could Happen".

Now I said that McDermott was being clever with his words, allowing for a 'sale and retain for a season' deal, aka Zaha, but the GFH Capital spin doctors may have taken management of expectations to a new level.

Apart from the headline, designed to refute the 100% assertion of Nice Guy Brian - for clearly nothing is 100% certain if "You Never Know What Could Happen" - the author who 'penned' the article also writes,  "The defender is looking to the future and how great it would be to be at the club if promotion could be achieved" (my italics, bold and underlining).

That word "if"is so, so, so telling. Byram didn't say it, somebody has deliberately formulated that sentence and it is a massive poke in the eye for the new manager. Not a slap down as such, but a coded message about who is really in charge at Leeds.

Warnock claimed that the new Board had given him assurances that no players would leave without his say so, and told Leeds fans that Becchio was not going anywhere in January; and look what happened.

The battle lines have been drawn in the Arab bank's sand!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Surely action must now be taken against Watford manager Zola

He's at it again. And maybe he is right. Maybe the families have united against the Pozzos. Maybe that instruction really did go out: "Stop Watford, the upstart cheating bastards, at any cost" - not that I think Watford have cheated of course.

Listen to the formerly genial GianFredo's latest rant: "We had two clear penalties not given. One when a header was stopped with a hand, and one on Troy Deeney in the first half."

"And it's not the first time it's happened. It looks like they are enjoying themselves when they do not give us anything."

"It's not the first time and we are missing points that would have made a big difference. It's game after game."

Now what are we to make of the allegation that the officials are "enjoying themselves" when they turn down legitimate claims for penalties? This is nothing less than an allegation made against the match officials of deliberate bias and of cheating. And the use of the word "they" and the reference to "game after game" implies a premeditated conspiracy.

Now had any other manager said this, he would be in very deep water with his feet set in a block of concrete. Zola has overstepped the mark and surely must be brought to book. We know officials have been bribed in Italy and that the games there are fixed, but to suggest that the same applies in England is intolerable. Or should be.

GianFredo is a nice guy but seems to have cracked under the pressure.

Read McDermott's words carefully - Byram 100% may be sold by Leeds this summer!

He may be a nice guy, but Brian aint a sucker. He chose his words VERY carefully when asked about the possibility of Byram being sold at the end of the season. Look again if you thought he said that definitely wasn't going to happen!

NGB's exact words were: "From our point of view, my point of view, absolutely, 100%, I would expect Sam to be playing for us next season. He will get better and he will improve at Leeds, there is no doubt about that. He's a Leeds boy - the fans love him, the staff love him, the players love him."

Now where does it say that Byram will not be sold? He will be playing at Leeds next season, but that does not mean he will not be sold! Man City have no need for him next season, but boy could GFH Capital do with a ten million quid cash injection.

So the solution? Well the Zaha deal will probably be the template. Leeds sell him and retain use of him for another season; Man City land a top young British talent; and Byram becomes a very wealthy young man overnight.

And Brian has been absolutely honest with the fans he adores!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Has Zola been found out at Watford?

It was all going so swimmingly for GianFredo and the Hornets of Pozzo Wood. The loan signings bedded in brilliantly, Zola's affable character meant that nobody asked any questions about the questionable strategy of capitalising upon the Pozzo connection, and Watford looked like genuine contenders for automatic promotion. Glory seemed to be there for the taking and some even started talking about GianFredo as a contender to replace Benny Benitez at Chelsea.  Until...

Well, despite the win at Hull, it all started to unravel when Watford came out for the second half at Wolves intent on holding on to what they had. That second 45 minutes at Molineux was a betrayal of everything that Zola is supposed to stand for.  Leading 1-0 at the break, Watford were defensive, conservative, cowardly. And they got what they deserved with the late, late equaliser.

Wolves were there for the taking in that game. They were shocking. Inept. Clueless. Had Zola and his band of borrowed men gone for it, they might have won 3-0. Vydra was withdrawn and it seems that Vydra has never quite been the same since.

It's true that Sheffield Wednesday were beaten next game up, but since then, Watford have played seven, and won just once, ironically at Hull. Defeats against Blackpool, Barnsley, Millwall and Peterborough tell a story of wheels coming off in a major way and Vydra has done a complete Lord Lucan.

Meanwhile, the old warhorse Bruce has bullied Hull through and, with a buffer of six points and just three games to play, its looking odds on that the Tigers will roar down the buzz of the Hornets.

So, what's gone wrong? Have the Watford players been found out, or is GianFredo at fault? He started well at West Ham, of course, but the longer he was in the job, the more out of his depth he appeared. Lately, he has resorted to blaming the officials, failing to accept that you make your own luck in the game. Instead, Zola ordered a classical Italian retreat at Wolves, and it has all gone tits up ever since.

Leicester's Pearson makes his critics look foolish

All those who were calling for Pearson's head must be pretty shame faced today. After the pulsating victory over promotion rivals Bolton, despite falling behind to an early penalty, Leicester are now back into the playoffs, and with Crystal Palace getting thumped, Watford losing yet again and Brighton only drawing at struggling Peterborough, the Foxes are arguably now the form team in the play off pack.

Mind you, it's looking increasingly as if nobody wants to finish in the playoff places with even Forest and Bolton showing signs of running out of steam.

This really is a joke of a division and any team slipping up via the playoffs is going to be in for one hell of a reality check next season! What is the lowest points total ever achieved by a club in the Prem? It could be under threat!

How did Everton's Gibson stay on the pitch after his assault on Arsenal's Walcott?

Talk about as thick as a Swarbrick! How the hell did the idiot with the whistle decide to book Pienaar for a cynical body check, yet a matter of seconds earlier, decide not to book Gibson for an even more brutal and cynical professional assault?

The answer is, of course, that Gibson was already on a yellow and Swarbrick bottled the decision to show a red card. Dear God, Gibson's challenge could have merited a straight red, never mind a second yellow.

The decision was huge in the context of both this game and the push for Champions and Europa League qualification. Millions of pounds were at stake last night and Swarbick showed gross dereliction of duty and cowardice in the face of enemies to good football!

Swarbrick should be invited to explain his decision on television, detailing in what ways, exactly, Pienaar's challenge was more worthy of a yellow card than Gibson's. There's only one logical explanation, that Swarbrick is a fan of George Orwell and is of the opinion that "All animalistic challenges are equal but some animalistic challenges are more equal than others"!

McDermott upset Leeds Board didn't sack Warnock sooner

Nice Guy Brian's on a roll and he's saying all the right things! After Warnock's angst ridden tenure, NGB is only here to have fun. Sod the tension. Sod the stress. Sod the what ifs and the if onlys. Sod the blame culture. Sod the excuse searching. Sod the Big I Am mentality. Sod the persecution complex. In fact, sod everything, let's just smile, cos Brian just wants to have fun!

What a difference a few days make, as Dyche acknowledged after the game when he said:

"Leeds showed their experience and that's interesting because the same group of players weren't playing like that two weeks ago because I saw them.

"So that's an interesting one in itself, but we caught them on a night when they were on the front foot and we weren't quite at it.

"There wasn't that freedom in our play tonight, there wasn't that 'front-foot thinking".

In contrast, NGB, a beaming smile across his chubby chops enthused:

"I've come here to enjoy myself, the staff want to enjoy themselves and I want the players and the fans to enjoy themselves, that's what life's about.

"I've told the players, I have no fear about a game of football and I want them to have the same philosophy."

It's just what the Doctor ordered at Leeds and as NGB added: "I'm just a bit upset there's only three games left, it's a shame there's not six."

Ah, just imagine if GFH Capital had acted sooner, just as I suggested when I blogged on March 19, "Leeds MUST sack Warnock now".

 Leeds are now just six points shy of the playoffs. A more decisive Board might now be contemplating an extended season and the possibility of Premiership football!

But NGB is smiling anyway, so altogether now, "Don't worry, be happy!"

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Leeds United's Lionel Varney insists he is a striker - stats suggest otherwise!

If Lionel Varney's vital statistics support his claim that he is a striker, then Twiggy qualifies as a BBW!

He can protest as much as he likes, but he has failed to score more than six goals in a season in all but one of the last 6 seasons! Striker? If so, then he is a bloody useless one as 90 league goals from 330 games suggest, with 25 of those scored in 33 games for meat substitute team Quorn.

For those who can't do the maths, which would probably be 98% of the Leeds fan base, that means that if you take out those non league goals, Lionel has scored just 65 career league goals from 297 games, or 1 goal per 4.57 games!

Bloody hell, Carlton Cole is almost prolific on that basis!

Still given he played for Quorn, perhaps Nice Guy Brian should view him as a striker substitute! Let's face it, Fresh Choice For You Morison isn't going to fire Leeds to glory any time soon is he?

Twiggy takes a snack

Monday, 15 April 2013

Brian and Anthea are a marriage made in heaven at Leeds

So Nice Guy Brian isn't going to send Anthea packing, nor is he going to make her return to the nursery. Nope, Brian swept through the door, asked Anthea to give him a twirl and said, "Nice to see you, to see you nice" before establishing a sexy little threesome with Nigel Gibbs.

Two's company but three's a crowd? Not as far as Brian is concerned because he knows you get nothing for a pair, not in this game - unless that pair comes courtesy of Lionel Varney!

It's all suddenly smelling of roses at Elland Road. It was a "Good game, good game" on Saturday, and what do points make? Points make prizes!

Brian's first words on arrival? "I'm in charge" and after Varney's Messi style performance, NGB was cooing, "Didn't he do well?"

Supported now by two assistants, Brian will be purring, "I'm the leader of the pack which makes me such a lucky jack. And here they are, they're so appealing, OK dollies do your dealing."

And Brian is so pleased with the Leeds fans as he told them after the game, announcing "You're such a lovely audience, so much better than last week's!"

And how did he decide on his substitutions? Easy. "We asked a hundred people and..."

But all jesting apart, McDermott is bringing everybody on side quickly. It's a promising start. Let's hope Burnley don't bugger it all before the honeymoon is over!

Another Cruel Blow for Newcastle

It never rains but it pours. When Krul went down and stayed down, I figured it was just a ploy to persuade the referee to stop the game to relieve Sunderland's pressure, and then I saw the replay. Ouch! A Krul, Krul blow to Newcastle's survival chances.

The arm isn't broken, but the shoulder is dislocated and Krul will now miss the rest of the season. And that is a savage blow as he is one hell of a keeper, almost as good as Mignolet.

But as Mignolet, Krul and Cesar all prove, there's only so much a keeper can do when the defence in front of them is crap - and as Sunday's game showed, the defensive units in the North East are truly shite.

It was a massive win for Sunderland, but with their back five, relegation remains a very real possibility; and whilst it seems unlikely that Newcastle will go down, anything is possible with their defence.

Why, oh why, don't modern managers take the old approach and build from the back?

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Dreadful Officials Cost Newcastle Dear Against Sunderland

To blame the officials exclusively would be unfair. Pardew was caught with his pants down and Il Duce's straight arm salute scored a direct hit on Pard's exposed rear.

The game was a Keystone Kops affair with more errors than an average Geordie's GCSE English script, and neither team seemed to understand that it is within the rules to pass a ball to a player in your own team. Every time a player received the ball, he ran with it. It was absurd. It was laughable. It was school boy stuff. Talk about headless chickens, this lot made Carlton Palmer look like Glenn Hoddle!

Mind you, the players were superstars compared to the two "assistant" referees. Newcastle had a perfectly legitimate equalising goal disallowed for offside, with the "assistant" a good yard and a half behind the play. Had that goal stood, Newcastle would probably have won the game.

Then there was Taylor's booking when the brilliant Mignolet dived on a loose ball that the Newcastle man was already committed to challenging for. Full marks to the keeper for his bravery but I'm not sure what Taylor was expected to do - apart from defy the laws of physics!

But there was still time for more Thomasin foolery when the little woman with the flag forgot to wave it when Sunderland scored a clearly offside goal. Well, what woman has ever managed to get her pretty little head around the offside law? It's a good job messers Gray and Keys weren't in the Sky Sports commentary team!

How serious is the injury to Krul? That could prove a huge loss for Newcastle. And how many chances does Cisse need before he scores? Amazing!

Are Watford Suffering Unfair Decisions In Promotion Run In?

Is there some sort of conspiracy to stop Watford winning promotion? Listen to GianFredo Zola and you would think so. It has absolutely nothing to do with Watford cracking under pressure, nor with Zola's inexperience showing through, but everything to do with some sort of Da Vinci Code conspiracy.

Angered by the way the Hornets have by-passed the spirit of the game's laws by importing more Italian exports than Ellis Island, perhaps the Godfathers of the Football League have convened a meeting and ordered a war on the Pozzo Family.

Cue that haunting music as Greg Clarke, his mouth full of Football Association mothballs, mumbles: "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse. Pozzo's a pimp. Leave the gun, take the whistle. Pozzo sleeps with the fishes."

So the order went out. Stop Watford. Whatever it takes, stop Watford. The referees were briefed. Send off Watford players. Don't give Watford penalties.

But GianFredo has seen through the plot! GianFredo knows what is going on! Listen to him!

"I thought we should have had two penalties which were not given, and it is not the first time this has happened to us. I see things on the pitch that make me believe we have not been treated well and I said that to the referee."

If I were Howard Webb, I wouldn't accept an invitation to have a meal with one of the Pozzos, heaven only knows what might be hidden in the toilet!

With Cardiff joining Swansea in the Prem, should Football follow Cricket's example?

It's a bloody Welsh revolution! Not since the days of Owen Glendower - rugby apart - have the Leek Lovers had so much to baaa about!

How ironic that, in the year that Thatcher dies, the new Wales - refashioned by Maggie's savage economic policies - should be enjoying such success.

But the football authorities are still dragging their heels in an appalling way. Ten per cent of the Prem next season will be Welsh, so surely the name EPL is no longer acceptable and the product should be rebranded the E&WPL.

And if the Welsh teams do well, maybe the logo should be changed too with that lion replaced by a lovable sheep!


How are Pearson and Mowbray still in jobs at Leicester and Middlesbrough?

Good God, even the new Leeds board got their heads out of their camels' backsides and saw the light of day in relation to Warnock. They were, of course, at the very least, a few weeks too late to act, but they got around to it eventually and asked Old Big Gob to go politely. And the form of Leeds since Christmas has been close to spectacular in comparison to the lame Foxes and the choking Smoggies.

Another week goes by and Leicester, who at the end of January looked favourites for an automatic promotion place, have slipped further behind the play off pack, whilst Miserableboro's chances are now officially zero. And all this time, the directors at the two clubs have fiddled whilst, well in the case of Mowbray's mob, Rome choked on fumes.

Look at the stats for God's sake! Since the beginning of February, Leicester have snuffled just 8 points from 13 games. That is an average of just .615 points per game, which averaged over a 46 game season would see a team finish with 28 points and relegated by a country mile! Oh, and Leicester also contrived to exit the FA Cup at the hands of Huddersfield!

And Miserableboro's record is even worse! They managed to lose to Leicester - a huge achievement in the circumstances - and have collected just 8 points in the whole of 2013 at an average return of .47 points per game. Average THAT out over a 46 game season and a team finishes with 21 points!

Now those stats do not suggest a blip in form, they suggest a terminal decline. When you consider how much Leicester have spent, Pearson's record is an absolute disgrace and whilst Mowbray may not have a great squad - and has saddled himself with the albatross that is Kieron Dyer - there is no way in a million years that the players are as bad as the results suggest.

With Martin O'Neill available it is a mystery why he has not be installed to get Leicester into and through the playoffs on a million pound bonus if he succeeds. Never mind next season,  he was, and is, an obvious short term fix. As for Miserableboro, the season is now dead and the smog over the city has been added to by the cremation of the fans' dreams for yet another season - though incredibly the manager refuses to accept the fact probably because he has seagull shit in his eyes after yesterday's defeat at home to Brighton.

Now sacking managers willy nilly achieves nothing, of course, as the Blackburn and Wolves boards have proved, but sometimes the situation cries out for a change. Quite how Pearson and Mowbray remain in jobs is a complete mystery given results for three months now!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Leeds United's Émigrés Put Current Crop Into Context

Much has been said about how Leeds have cut their own throat in recent years by selling their best players, but when you look at how the "best" have performed since shipping out of Elland Road, it's no wonder the "rest" have struggled.

Where are Norwich, who use the once great Leeds as a feeder club, in the Premiership table? Seventh from bottom and just four points above the bottom three. Snodgrass has looked half decent but nothing more and Becchio is getting splinters in his arse from sitting on the bench.

Delph cost Villa two crucial points with an own goal against Fulham and has an appalling disciplinary record. He was supposed to be a star; but he's at very best ordinary, and Villa, of course are only just above the bottom three.

Have I forgotten anybody? Beckford? He's on loan at Huddersfield and isn't pulling up any trees.

You could bring home the lot of them and Leeds would still be ordinary.

McDermott Starts With Victory At Leeds

Well done Nice Guy Brian. I missed the game. The lure of Titan Park in 75 degrees was too much, but Lionel Varney did the business and has seen Leeds through to safety.

Now, if Leeds were to go on a Reading style run, the playoffs may yet be in reach. And bacon could be flying past Elland Road into the bargain!

The hope will now be that Nice Guy Brian gives a few of the kids a chance. Poleon surely deserves a run out and Hall must be overdue a start.

And miracles will never cease, the fans actually dipped into their pockets too, forgoing a KFC Family Bucket or two in favour of supporting the new manager. 23,936 for a local derby? It's nothing to get excited about, but it's a start!

It could be on and upwards from here on in!

QPR Go The Way Of Maggie Thatcher

Oh dear. All that money spent but the coffin lid was all but nailed shut today. It's true that there may be a little kicking and scratching before the last rites are eventually read, but the earth is drumming down on top of the wooden box already.

Of course, this is exactly what the Hula Hoops deserve. Money can't buy you love, and money can't buy you Premiership points either if you spend it with stupid abandon. Fernandes has proved himself a mug with a capital M, and all those West Ham fans who hoped he would oust Sullivan and Gold should hold their hands up and admit to being complete arses! You know who you are!

As for the gRs who lambasted this blog when I warned it would all end in embarrassment, I can only say that you have got what you deserve too. I once had an affection for QPR and will, until my dying day, count Stan Bowles amongst my favourite ever players, but the ugly triumphalism of the Johnny Come Lately Rangers fans had all the noxious odour of Maggie's Eighties Yuppies.

Where do QPR go from here? Well, like Thatcher, I can't see it being next stop Heaven!

Warnock Praises Leeds Appointment of McDermott

Interesting to read the Warnock's assessment of Brian McDermott. Does he call him a great coach? No. A brilliant man manager? No. A tactical mastermind? No.

He calls him "a really nice bloke" which makes my nickname of Nice Guy Brian in charge of the Leeds United Reservoir Dogs pretty much spot on!

Can nice guys be winners? Well in this division perhaps. NGB did turn Reading around, then led them to one play off final and then to the title the following season. Adkins guided Southampton to promotion too. And Zola is doing well at Watford. All three have been found wanting in the Prem, of course, but first things first!

The Warnock has also said that the new owners may give McDermott money to buy "two or three players" but how much money is unclear. I suppose if Byram is sold for £10m, McDermott may be given six.

McDermott certainly seems unclear on how much investment is coming his way. He has been "promised" he will be "supported" and he has had "a good conversation with the owners" but the key phrase, "We will be looking to invest in the squad to build a team to challenge for promotion next season" was conspicuous by its absence, as was the phrase, "I have been assured that none of our key players will be sold". You can bet your life that an Allardyce or an O'Neill would have secured those assurances before taking the job, and they would have made them public knowledge pretty pronto to cover their own arses.

But Brian is a Nice Guy, a resonable man. Haigh says that McDermott "shares our vision" which could mean anything. That vision may be to do everything within a tight budgetary constraint, which is how McDermott operated at Reading.

The words of the Chairman were also noticably short of blood and thunder. When Allardyce was appointed at West Ham, the Board stressed that he had been recruited to secure an "immediate return to the Premier Division" and made public a £1m bonus if that target was achieved. Haigh's "vision" is for Leeds to "return to the Premier League as soon as possible." Well, I'm sure even Portsmouth have that aim!

So, all in all, it was a low key appointment. But maybe that is precisely what Leeds need, a cooling of the overheated sense of expectation around the club. Perhaps if Leeds United stop acting like Big Time Charlies they may stop looking like Complete Charlies. If Nice Guy Brian can turn the Nasty Club into a decent club, who knows, perhaps the fortunes may change. As a former scout, he has a good eye for a player and those players seem to like playing for him - and crucially, he does get the best out of mediocrity, a key skill given the bunch the Warnock has left behind.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Eight Reasons why Leeds Appointed McDermott

1. Nice Guy Brian wasn't under contract, therefore no compensation had to be paid. Unlike Poyet.
2. GFH Capital spent too long pulling their fingers out of their arse. First choice Adkins was missed; and Il Duce Di Canio joined Blunderland.
3. NGB is desperate for a job. Even Blunderland didn't want him!
4. NGB is used to operating on a shoestring: even after promotion Reading didn't give him any money to spend on the squad.
5. Nobody else wanted the job.
6. Nice Guy Brian couldn't be more different to the Warnock. He is decent, reasonable and self effacing; Warnock is a big gobbed, irrational cnut.
7. Nice Guy Brian won't make waves. When Byram is sold, he will support the Board.
8. His record is good. If he can translate that to Leeds, he may prove a very astute appointment.

Referee should lead players from pitch if Leeds fans abuse Dave Jones again

After the ugly events in the reverse fixture at Hillsborough, a stand must be taken in the name of decency. I get sick to death of the way the word pedophile is used as a term of abuse, with no consideration of whether or not it is appropriate, and in the case of Dave Jones the guy was not prosecuted following investigation.

Now Jimmy Savile managed to wriggle out of justice by dying before the long arm of the law eventually pulled itself out of its pocket, but Jones has suffered the reverse, a wrongful accusation which must have caused him huge mental and emotional hurt. The fact that he stayed in the game speaks volumes for his passion for football and for his integrity. He will be subject to regular CRB checks because of his contact with children through the youth team at Wednesday  so he is probably "cleaner" than most in terms of proof of innocence.

The abuse he suffered from Leeds fans was utterly unacceptable therefore, and the Board of Leeds, along with the police and F.A., should be making it crystal clear that a repeat will not be tolerated. If the foul abuse goes up again, the players should be led from the pitch and sections of the ground cleared if necessary. If that results in trouble, Leeds should be deducted the points.

And before anybody cries foul, I believe the same should happen when West Ham play Spurs. Should the hissing or Nazi salutes go up, the players should leave the pitch and that section of the ground should be cleared. If that presents problems, West Ham should be deducted the points.

And the difference with Newcastle against Sunderland? Sadly Il Duce Di Canio did give that Nazi salute and has got that tattoo. If Newcastle fans straight arm salute him, it will not be in support of Fascism but in protest at his appointment. And as much as the gesture revolts me, I think it would be justified if aimed only at Di Canio. He saw no problems with the salute to racist Lazio Ultras, so what's the problem in showing him the mirror image?

Redfearn Still In Charge For Leeds Game With Sheffield Wednesday

So, Anthea will pick the team, decide the tactics and make the substitutions in tomorrow's six pointer with Sheffield Wednesday.

Where's the sense in that? Why the hell hadji didn't the Board get their skates on and appoint Nice Guy Brian at the beginning of the week, rather than on Friday?

What exactly has been gained by waiting? Were the negotiations protracted? Did it take the bald headed boffin time to get his head around the idea that he will have to turn the club around without any significant funding? Who knows.

But then, I have said before that the Oxford English Dictionary will have a new entry under Prevarication, with the word defined as GFH Capital. Nine months to buy the club, four months to shed the Warnock, and now far too long to appoint a new manager. The delay could be costly if Anthea overseas another defeat.

Never mind Anthea, give us a twirl, this lady is for turning!

Thursday, 11 April 2013

No Fascist Salutes Allowed at Newcastle v Sunderland Game

Di Canio celebrates the opener at Chelsea
Well that's a bit rich. What's good for the goose step is not good for the Gordieanders apparently. Plod have stepped in and said that straight arm salutes will not be treated as a joke if directed at Il Duce Di Canio during the loser takes relegation derby encounter.

But if the salutes are delivered in protest - and Newcastle fans would clearly not be heiling the Blunderland Duce - then why shouldn't the Barcodes make their point?

No salutes? Then Newcastle fans should attach curtain tie backs to their tea cosies and affix a golden eagle perched on fasces on the front - but guys, that was fasces not faeces; I know the football is shit in the North East these days but that would be going too far!

Sheffield United Don't Want Leeds Reject Warnock

The One Man Team
So, after sacking Danny Wilson, McScab has said that he is "unlikely" to bring the Warnock back to the club.

That is bitterly disappointing. I would like nothing more than to see Old Big Gob reunited with Shafting United. Then they could go to hell together!

The decision to part with Wilson is typical of McScab. True, the Blunted Blades should be storming the division given the money West Ham have pumped into the club, but McScab has not been investing that in the squad has he?

So, what does he do? Shift the blame onto somebody else of course!

Why were Shafting United relegated from the Prem? Nothing to do with McScab failing to buy Premiership quality players of course. What bloody nonsense. It was all down to Tevez and West Ham's cheating.

Odd then that the Blunted Blades have since slipped through the Championship and are struggling to climb out of the third tier of English football.

The Warnock should now say his piece and tell McScab where to stick his bloody job! Why would the man who did such a brilliant job at QPR and Leeds consider a position in the Old Third Division? He's waiting for Manchester United to come knocking when Ferguson calls it a day at the end of the season!

Sky Sports Presenter reveals McDermott on his way to Leeds after pulling out of programme at last minute

Pulled out at the last moment? Leeds fans wish Warnock's dad had on the night of Old Big Gob's conception! But with Warnock gone in less time than an elephant's gestation - like his four predecessors in the Leeds hot seat - it's looking more and more likely that Nice Guy Brian is heading to Leeds.

Sky Sports presenter David Jones has tweeted "Brian McDermott has pulled out of tonight's Footballers' Football Show. I'm told he has a very good reason." and surely the only explanation is that the former Reading boss is on his way to Leeds.

What now happens to Anthea? Will Brian ask her to give us all a twirl and keep her on as his assistant, or will she be sent packing along with the Warnock and his band of unmerry men?

Nice Guy Brian to Manage Reservoir Dogs at Leeds?

They had one Brian who famously did not fit in, but McDermott is cut from completely different cloth than Clough. He is the perennial nice guy, looking more like a studious university lecturer than a football manager.

Does he have what it takes to turn the reservoir dogs  of Leeds into a decent team in his own image? Well he has a Mr Brown in place and a Mr White and Mr Green, but I can't see many of the Warnock's dregs happy to play the Mr Pink.

McDermott's record at Reading was excellent but his CV is thin. It may be that he was simply the right man in the right place at the right time, and there have to be big question marks over his ability to successfully  take over a club of the size of Leeds, with problems as big as those at Elland Road.

Reading tended to win games in spurts under McDermott. He seems to be able to get a team on a roll when their confidence is high, but he has struggled when form has dipped. Great when the Big Dipper is on the climb, not so clever when it is on the way down.

And in which direction have Leeds been heading lately?

I wish him luck because I like him, but Nice Guy Brian is going to need it!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Dave Jones Managed Sheffield Wednesday Climb Above Leeds

What goes around comes around, it seems. After the disgraceful behaviour of Leeds fans at Hillsborough, there is, perhaps, a sense of divine justice when you glance at the Championship table and see Wednesday above their Yorkshire enemies in the table.

When the first fixture was played, Wednesday were haunted by relegation fears and Leeds fans had their eyes fixed firmly on the play offs. How times have changed!

With Wednesday's win at Millwall, and Barnsley's excellent point at Cardiff, Leeds have sunk still deeper into the relegation mire. Points on the board are vital, so relegation remains unlikely, but with Anthea in charge and confidence at an all time low, seventeenth placed Leeds may yet exit the Championship, but in the opposite direction to that anticipated by their gung-ho fans. Saturday's televised game should be very entertaining!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

QPR's Cesar to join West Ham in summer?

It's a tantalising prospect. Cesar has been a bright star in the dark sky hanging over Loftus Road this season, and with the Brazilian saying that he wants to stay in the Prem and in London, West Ham might be the ideal destination.

How deliciously ironic would that be? QPR go down to the Championship paying Rob Butterfingers Green 50k a week for spreading confusion through his back four at corners, whilst Cesar packs up his old kit bag and moves across to East London.

Cesar would meet our needs perfectly, with Jussi edging towards retirement, and is ten times the keeper England's 666 will ever be.

Ken Bates Has Leeds United Supporter's Trust Chairman's Number

I thought LUST had gone a little quiet and put it down to embarrassment. After all, it was this mob that suggested they had the inside track on the great Arab takeover, and who raised supporters' expectations to fever pitch. Then the damp squib takeover happened and suddenly, nothing.

Now, in a great diversionary stunt, the Chairman of LUST is crying foul against Master Bates after the soon to be club President cruelly revealed on the radio that Mr Cooper had not attended any games over the course of an entire season. Unfair, screams, Cooper, firstly because Bates has abused the Data Protection Act to check how many tickets he purchased - the bloody cheek of it! - and secondly, because he did go to games, he just didn't buy the bloody tickets!

So, rather than an absentee fan, Mr Cooper is apparently a freeloading fan, cadging off his brother and brother-in-law who "took" him to games.

And how many games did Cooper attend? "About a dozen" apparently. "About"? How about Cooper names them and gives an exact figure? After all, he is such a passionate fan that every game is surely burnt into his memory.

LUST? It's more of a casual fancy if you ask me.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Why was Redknapp so upset after QPR draw with Wigan?

Dear God, the guy's only been at the club for 5 minutes and he has always supported West Ham, correction Arsenal, correction Tottenham since his days in nappies, so why on earth was he so upset after Taarabt ducked under that free kick rather than risk disfigurement of those almost handsome looks?

It doesn't make sense. Redknapp is a hardened pro. So why, why?

Oh hang on, he had a big legal bill to pay and he was on a  bonus of  a million to keep QPR up! Not crocodile tears as such, more self pity perhaps! Or maybe, just maybe, 'Arry has visited the Wizard of Oz and found a heart!

Warnock Vindicated by Subsequent Events at QPR and Leeds

Poor Old Big Gob, he knows he did a good job at both QPR and Leeds but nobody else seems to be in a hurry to acknowledge the fact. Both Hughes and Redknapp have pointed the finger and used the Warnock as a scapegoat for QPR's travails, and now the revisionists are trying to paint his tenure at Leeds as one of abject failure, when really the blame, as the Warnock knows, should be apportioned between Master Bates and the Arab bank built on sand.

Who is to blame for the QPR mess? Well, in the Warnock's book, it has to be Fernandes. He came in like Father Christmas on cocaine, making extravagant claims and triggering false expectations. A two tier salary system was immediately established with journeymen like Wright-Phillips and Joey Barton signed on a King's ransom whilst the guys who had battled to get QPR up continued to collect groats and bottle tops.

Then he sacked the Warnock in a move reminiscent of West Ham's sacking of Pardew after the Board had divided his dressing room with the signing of Tevez and Mascherano - although there's no suggestion that the Warnock shafted one of the player's wives - perish that thought!

Then in came Mark Hughes and out came the cheque book, with a host of absurd signings. It was like the Eggert and Alan "Turds" Curbishley era at West Ham all over again. If it could run and kick a ball, Mark Hughes wanted it. And what Mark Hughes wanted, Fernandes stupidly delivered. The gRs toasted every signing, claiming each to be a tactical master stroke, and like Oliver, Hughes asked for more, then more, then more again. And Fernandes, high on his own ego, chucked the cash around like a gambling addict in a casino.

It was always going to end in disaster but the silly gRs, like the Claret & Blue Klan at Upton Park, wouldn't be told and bought into all the crap about a five year plan. Five years? In football, you take one game at a time, you don't operate on Stalinist five year plans! New stadium? New training ground? How about building a decent team first?

But Fernandes still couldn't see beyond his own stomach. Out with Hughes and in with 'Arry. And 'Arry, inevitably, had his own shopping list, and 'Arry loves to spend big money if the Chairman is stupid enough to give him access to his wallet. Bournemouth, Southampton and Portsmouth all went bust after 'Arry managed them, and he blew the Rio Ferdinand money at West Ham too.

The money spent on Remy and Samba was obscene. Yes Remy is a good player but QPR will be over a barrel when he leaves in the summer so the "investment" will not be recouped; and a fortune will be lost on Samba, especially after his frailties were so laughably exposed against Fulham.

And despite all the money spent, QPR have remained lower in the table than they were when the Warnock was sacked. If you pay peanuts you get monkeys; but if you pay caviar you get even bigger monkeys it seems! So the Warnock sits beneath his Bodhi tree smiling at the mess Fernandes has made of things!

And now look at Leeds. The Warnock has gone but what has changed? Same team, same tactics, same excuses, and Leeds, under interim manager Anthea, sit lower in the table than at any point under Old Big Gob's reign. Some will say it's just a coincidence, but the Warnock will know differently. He knows that it was down to him, and him alone, that Leeds were in the top half of the Championship table; and now, without him, all thoughts have suddenly turned away from promotion and to survival.

There are no statues of the Warnock at either Loftus or Elland Road but perhaps there should be. It's only after the guy has gone that people appreciate his true worth. One day, Leeds fans may find themselves saying, "If only we hadn't sacked Neil Warnock!"