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November 18, 2006

Time to go

Writing about web page,,10266~929550,00.html


Another happy Saturday evening….!

I must have spent the last half hour constantly refreshing the official club website in the hope he’d been sacked by now…

Dropping one of the best players in the division, while underperforming senior players are picked week in week out. He’s lost the plot!

November 09, 2006

Is there…

...a parallel Universe somewhere, in which chavs listen to their mp3 phones at mega decibel level on the 12, but actually listen to good music instead? Why do chavs listen to techno?

Just a thought…

October 13, 2006

Vacuum Transfer

Vacuum transfer of catalytic reactions at 3pm on Friday 13th when you have to leave at 5pm can only end one way…

[kicks wastepaper bin]

That is all

July 23, 2006

Permission to panic sir!

I know I shouldn't read too much into preseason friendlies, but losing 4–1 to mighty Boston United has got me more than a little worried.

Why, if you've told the backup keeper (who couldn't catch a cold) he is not wanted, do you start him in pre–season friendlies ahead of an international–level keeper who was arguably the best in the division last season?

Currently, we have let 7 players leave since the end of last season, only 3 have come in. A succession of bargain–bin left backs have come and gone when one who was never given a proper chance under Todd has left the club and signed for a side in…..the Championship.

Currently we have no left back, no left winger, no backup to either, no centre forward. The best three players at the club preceded Todd's arrival and ony Ricketts and Bridge–Wilkinson can be described as succesful signings. Most of his others have been useless.

Internet rumours suggest Todd's reputation precedes him and good players won't come to Bradford. A week or two ago i might have dismissed it as just that. Now I'm not so sure.

March 19, 2006

Come on JR, get the P45 out

Writing about web page

Bradford City 1 – 4 Oldham Athletic

Well, despite being a 25 year season ticket holder, another Satruday afternoon watching the goals fly in on Soccer Saturday was infinitely preferable to watching the whole gory spectacle in the flesh.

The linked match report says everything every fan has known since about September, it appears the only three people who can't see it are the manager, his assistant, and our supine, put-his-fingers-in-his-ears-and-hope-it'll-all-go-away chairman/chief executive.

He should be be given an ultimatum of 6-points-or-you're-out in winnable games against Blackpool and Walsall. Else we'll end up in League 2.

March 06, 2006

Well, another productive Sunday…

…the reaction that i did yesterday afternoon (making LiCp* for those that are interested) has now been purified by glass bin. I seemed to have developed superhuman strength if a gentle tap with my hand shatters a large frit in half.

Maybe all the bacon rolls provide me with such strength…

Time to take the advice (from many moons ago) of the good Dr. Corradi. "If things go belly up, go home and have a beer"

Never a truer word spoken…

March 05, 2006

More Sunday Afternoon Musing…

…or should that be moaning?

I have a plea to the powers that be in the Sports Centre (or maybe someone can pass this grievance on). If three lanes of the swimming pool are going to be roped off for some club/society or other to do whoever knows what, would they kindly update the pool schedule and bookings pages on their website. Having fallen off the eating well/good exercise wagon last week (in quite spectacular style), I had resolved to try and take my PB for an hours' swim up a few lengths.

The pool was busier than usual when I got there, but having checked the schedule on Friday there were apparently no bookings in there. About 15 minutes into my swim, the two roped off 'fast lanes' were closed, a third lane roped off and everyone else crammed into half the pool. This wouldn;t have been quite so galling had the group who had booked it been in the pool, but for 20 minutes plus they didn't get in.

Trying to swim in half the pool was impossible. Something like the M62 at rush hour, now containing the club swimmers, moderate swimmers like me and those (whose logic continually escapes me) who are bent on not swimming at all but just like to arse about. After every length it was necessary to stop and plot a course through the crowded waters so as to navigate a route back to the other end. I gave up after 35 minutes, having somehow done 1100m in a straight line (but probably far in excess of that swimming out of people's way).

It was a joke today. The powers that be would say 'check the timetable, or come at a less busy time' 1) I did, 2) I can't think of many quieter times than Sunday afternoon. Sunday afternoon is about the only time I can get there, with working 9–7 ish weekdays and having to do all the weekly chores on a Saturday.

Please please please Sports Centre update your webpages. The excel spreadsheet was last updated on Jan 17th, the webpage on Dec. 15th. Then people like myself whose window of access to the facilities is a couple of hours once a week can do their bit unhindered.


February 26, 2006

The Winter Of Discontent

Milton Keynes Dons 2–1 Bradford City

I wrote the other day about adding a new football ground to my list of those I've visited. I sincerely wish I hadn't bothered. Perhaps the new low in a season of lows, if there's anyone out there that still wants Colin Todd in charge after yesterdays utter shambles then please nurse, hand them the medication.

We'll leave the game for a bit. In the old days, this would have been Wimbledon v Bradford, but for the moving of the club lock-stock-and barrel to this depressingly obscure part of Buckinghamshire. Quite what architects in the 1960's were on we can only speculate at but my walk from the stadium to the National Hockey Stadium was one concrete-and-glass monstrosity after another (the sort that they're tearing down in the middle of Bradford actually).

The Hockey Stadium was just as unappealing to the eye, both outside and in. The ground comprised of temporary stands at both ends, the home end covered, the away end not (quelle surprise). A stand ran the middle third of the pitch to our left, and a main stand to the right. Soulless, grey, very very cold and nothing aesthetically pleasing about it. Not a football ground full stop.

And it was blowing a gale, straight down the pitch into our faces. Hypothermia began to set in long before the kick-off. There was a very excited man on the PA system who like to SHOUT VERY LOUD and try and make some atmosphere, because to be frank, there was none. During the game, the match was played in near silence. The wind ruined what chance there was of any football, and with the home side bottom, there was little cause to cheer. Other fans of other clubs get behind their team. Not here.

This is part of the problem with the whole franchise concept. Football clubs are parts of their local communites, and in some cases have been for far more than a hundred years. Supporters have a bond with the team and the club, borne over decades of tradition handed over from father to son to grandson of last minute wins, heavy defeats, heroic cup runs, cup finals, raising money for new floodlights and so on. At Milton Keynes, a team has been parachuted in. What affinity does the club have with the fans /locality and vice versa? None. All the chanting there was was blatantly orchestrated, the type of songs in most other football towns the last time you heard them was when you were 11 years old on the back of a coach on a school trip. This wasn't a football ground/club, it was some false, plastic stand in.

So to the game. City's away form once again has been respectable, but no more than that. If it was coupled to a good home record we'd be threatening the top 6, but it isn't and we aren't. MK were bottom of the league at the start of play. They had a reasonably good home record, but are dreadful on their travels. The howling gale meant precious little happened at all in the first half. MK's tactic of long balls downwind meant lots of work for the 2 centre-backs, but it generally came to nothing, with the exception of a last-minute block from Mark Bower (once again playing at left back, a position he is blatantly unhappy in) to deflect a shot over his own bar.

The major entertainment was seeing whether keeper Ricketts could kick the ball into the MK half. He couldn't. Then in first half stoppage time, Bower buried a header from a Bridge-Wilkinson corner, but the goal was disallowed for a foul on the keeper, who stayed down and needed treatment. He didn't reappear for the second half.

The announcement on the PA was barely audible. "Substitution for MK Dons. Replacing number 1, Matt Baker is number 21 Aaron Wilbraham". "Hang on", I thought Wilbraham is a typical lower-division striker of unremarkable career stats- 42 goals in 221 appearances for Stockport, Hull, Oldham and Milton Keynes. 1 goal in 6 is hardly stellar. it transpired there was no sub keeper on the bench. I don't think it was obvious to the majority of the away supporters the keeper had even been changed (he was wearing Baker's shirt), let alone he wasn't actually a keeper at all. So thought I, we'll barrage him with shots and run in 2 or 3 goals without reply and ease our way away from the bottom 4. I should know better than that. For 15 minutes we couldn't get hold of the ball. Owen Morrison, lively in the first half, didn't see the ball in the second. Then on 58 minutes, calamity.

Ricketts looked like he was leaving a high ball to the far post to drop out of play. The wind held it up, it hit the angle of post and bar and dropped in the 6 yard box for an easy tap in to home midfielder Harding. City came back, actually managing to venture into the MK half, and from Bridge-Wilkinson's corner, a melee ensued and Claridge hit home his 194th league goal in 631 league games, ever the penalty box predator. On 64 minutes, it would virtually be the last time we got the ball in the penalty area as once more, we sat back, seemingly happy with a point. MK sensed this and forced the pace in the final quarter- Ricketts made a fabulous save from a long range drive and a similar shot flew just wide.

The Todd made his usual curious substitutions. Claridge is a danger in the box. Morrison was OKish on the left. Bridge-Wilkinson is always a threat cutting in from the right. Off came Claridge and Morrison. Colbeck came to play on the right, Brown up front. Both barely touched the ball. Bridge-Wilkinson went to the left. And so here's the anatomy of the winning goal in the 89th minute. MK left back Lewington received the ball in his left back position. He no longer had MBW to worry about. And so he ran. And ran. And ran some more. When he had run 80 yards with no-one venturing close enough to even think of making a tackle, he let fly from the edge of the area with a swerving left footed shot. And found a postage-stamp sized spot in the top corner. Cue some noise from the far end at last. The 168 away fans left en masse.

To be fair, it was no more than MK deserved. City were a shambles in the second half. Disinterested in taking the game on, they sat back with 25 minutes to go and paid the price for such a lack of ambition. This lack of ambition comes from the top. If the players are told by the manager to press the ball and attack they will. I'm not usually one for calling for the manager to go, but such is the black cloud of apathy that hangs over the club and supporters at the moment, coupled with some desperately poor football that the manager must carry the can soon. Fans are staying away in droves (our average attendance has halved in 4 years) and they won't be encouraged back by some of the excruciatingly bad stuff we've seen this season.

Todd did a good job during the summer of 2004 when the club almost went to the wall, and did well to keep the side in the top half of the table all of last season. This year was 'top 6 minimum'. We are going backwards week by week, and lie only 4 points from 23rd position. His record in the transfer market is mixed to say the least. For every Bridge-Wilkinson there has been a Paul Tierney, a Craig Armstrong, a Zema Abbey. Petta and Cadamarteri have been massively disappointing, players that were billed as the ones to get us in the top 6. With the team unable to score goals we have 4 (FOUR!) strikers out on loan. Cooke was shipped to the gulag that is Darlington for 1 league goal. Cadamarteri? 1 goal, on Auguest Bank Holiday.

Players are ignored for months, nay years on end and are then in the team to be dropped after 1 poor performance. The football is negative to a degree i've never seen before. We have scored more than 1 goal in a game 3 times since the first month of the season (i.e. about 30 games). PLayers are continually out of position. Last week we had a left winger on the right, a left back on the left wing and a centre back at left back. Why? And as I've mentioned, 23rd place is 4 points away.

We need someone who will galvanise the support and the club. Someone who has played for the club and loves it. Someone who won't take less than 100% from players. Someone who realises that we must earn the right to play. Someone committed to attacking open football. Has the time come for the Ginger Prince? Or Sir Beagrie? Or the Halifax (and ex City players) managerial duo of Chris Wilder and Ginger Wayne?

Time will tell, but the axe must fall soon, or else we'll 'grace' the bottom division for the first time since 1982…

City (4–4-2): Ricketts – Holloway, Wetherall, Stewart, Bower – Bridge-Wilkinson, Schumacher, Penford, Morrison (Colbeck) – Claridge (Brown), Cadamarteri. Subs not used: Howarth, Kearney, Emanuel.

MK Dons (4–4-2): Baker (Wilbraham) – McClenahan, Partridge, Morgan, Lewington – Small (Rizzo), Edds, Harding, Morais – Taylor (Platt), McLeod. Subs not used: Mitchell, Kamara

MOTM: Wetherall. With the exception of him and Stewart, nobody else comes out of yesterday with much credit

Attendance: 4,826

February 23, 2006

Costcutter Rage part 6597

Church Sign

The sum in question? Less than £2…

February 06, 2006

Can I please put on record…

…how utterly utterly utterly utterly utterly utterly utterly utterly utterly utterly utterly utterly utterly utterly utterly utterly utterly utterly utterly utterly utterly utterly utterly utterly utterly utterly utterly beepety beep beeping beep* Novell GroupWise is!!!!


*Insert any of a whole range of expletives here, my vocabulary grows by the minute

Edit: this post has somewhat randomly been automatically tagged ITS. A pint in the Grad on friday for the reader to come up with the best acronym. The ruder the better.

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