All entries for August 2009

August 29, 2009

One Big Nostalgic Kick

Writing about web page http://twtd.co.uk/news.php?storyid=15171&title=one_big_nostalgic_kick_

I may be a bit too young to admit this, but I love wallowing in nostalgia. Memories of those great moments from the past can help you deal with those dog days when everything seems to go wrong as soon as you decide to untangle yourself from the bed sheets and stare bleary-eyed at the mirror. You wonder whether that was you on the other side of the glass.


Snap Judgements and Hasty Retractions

Writing about web page http://www.onlinegooner.com/exclusive/index.php?id=1280

There are a few things that can be regarded as predictable in football. Many clubs will complain about an injury crisis before the first ball is even kicked. Some commentators will suggest that the fledgling season will be Spurs’ year, and all of the promoted teams will be written off as certain relegation fodder before the first whistle is blown.


August 26, 2009

The Football League Show

Writing about web page http://www.thefirst90minutes.com/20090824276/football-culture/the-football-league-show.html

This article has to be a bit of a collector’s item. It is not in my nature to have a go about the BBC and their football coverage. If I start to whinge about the BBC, I feel that I am taking a swipe about everything that is great about Britain. If I grumble about Match of the Day, I feel as if I am committing one of the biggest sins in British football. I was a bit young for David Coleman and Frank Bough but Des took me through the big football moments of my crazy childhood years. Gary has taken on the task over the last decade or so.  


August 17, 2009

What Do We Want From England?

Writing about web page http://www.thefirst90minutes.com/20090816273/football-culture/what-do-we-want-from-england.html

A couple of years ago, I was watching a pretty boring England friendly, and, I decided to text a friend who is a devout England fan, to commune together about the misery that was being played out in front of us. The response was short and blunt. He had given up on watching any England friendly, and dismissed these games as money making exercises for the FA, with little relevance to the national team.


August 12, 2009

Will Xabi be missed

Writing about web page http://www.thefirst90minutes.com/20090810270/football-culture/will-xabi-be-missed.html

Not for the first time in recent years, I had to find myself providing therapy to Liverpool-supporting friends who believe that the Anfield roof had fallen in as Xabi Alonso boarded the plane to Spain. It felt as if the season had been written off before the first ball had been played. One fan threatened to walk away from football, which I thought was a bit strong, but it was a small snapshot of what Alonso meant a lot to Liverpool fans. Other fans seemed to be genuinely sad that the midfielder was returning back to Spain for his league football. It felt as if Alonso was a cult hero amongst reds


Me and My Mate Shak Part II Sent to Coventry

Writing about web page http://www.twtd.co.uk/profile.php?m=dspblog&id=367&blog=9

It was another season, and I wanted to reintroduce my friend Shak to all things associated with Ipswich Town Football Club. We were catching the action in the comfort of Coventry’s Ricoh Arena. This was the third Town match that I had watched at this stadium, but the weather was sunny, and not dark, windy, cold and rainy like the other occasions. These previous matches had been largely forgettable affairs, made slightly better by the best Portman Road music in the league and a very catchy Play Up Sky Blues theme tune that could not get out of your mind.


August 02, 2009

A Perfect Tribute to Sir Bob

Writing about web page http://www.twtd.co.uk/profile.php?m=dspblog&id=367&blog=1

Most of my trips to Portman Road involve a mad and manic dash from the car to my seat in the ground, in the mistaken belief that my seat will be taken and I will be stranded outside the ground having to listen to the shouts, screams and gripes through the stadium gates.


August 01, 2009

Farewell Sir Bobby

Farewell Sir Bobby!

In a weird way, it was not that unexpected. The papers had a picture of Sir Bobby at a charity match last weekend, and the great man looked very frail. Despite being confined to a wheelchair, his eyes still had the determination and the resolve that characterised so much of his football career.

It was an emotional sight but there was a strong sense of respect. Being an Ipswich Town fan, I know all about the legacy that Sir Bobby left to this club. It is just a shame that I was born in 1980 and can not remember those glory days of the seventies and early eighties. It was a startling achievement to take this club to FA Cup and UEFA Cup glory in 1978 and 1981, as well as preside over Ipswich’s domination of the leagues nearly thirty years ago.

There is a large statue on

Portman Road that sits opposite the Cobbold Stand. Sir Bobby has been sculptured in a questioning finger-pointing pose, and the face is etched in excitement as if he is enjoying the action on the pitch. It is a fantastic piece of artwork and became a focal point for people’s remembrance in Suffolk, as the sad news was released.

Before the recent pre--season game against Real Valladolid, I stood at the statue whilst the local TV stations did their broadcasts, young Town fans carefully draping their shirts around the statue base, and older fans quietly remembered those games that defined this proud family club, when Robson strode the touch line and coaxed the best out of legends including John Wark, Kevin Beattie, Paul Mariner and Arnold Muhren.

There was a sense of careful order amongst the grief. The one minute silence was impeccably observed. The only sound was a seagull flying across the pitch and wondering what was going on beside the wide patch of grass. The rigging of the half-mast flags was gently tingling above the Cobbold Stand. There was a sense of emotion but an appreciation and a respect for a football gentleman that defined four decades of the national game.

Sir Bobby seemed to straddle football clubs in the UK and across the world, and I do not believe that it was merely due to his position as England football manager from 1982 to 1990. The semi final against West Germany during the 1990 World Cup was the first national game that deeply entered my consciousness.

It is not hard to watch videotape footage of that dramatic game, and to watch the missed England penalties flying into the sky. It is also not hard to respect the measured attitude of Sir Bobby, who seemed to display an impressively calm demeanour and an offer of a comforting arm around his players, even if he was a raging volcano of emotion. He also seemed to adopt a shockingly measured approach in the 1986 World Cup, despite Maradona having scored a questionable goal in that searing heat of Mexico.

When you caught a sight of Sir Bobby, you knew that you could hear the words of a genuine football man who had a passion about the game. Instead of the rent-a-quote panellists that have grown like algae through the studios and the message boards, Sir Bobby always had something worthwhile to say coupled with a few memorable quotes that would liven up the dullest of matches.

The word ‘legend’ is overused in football. A player can become a ‘legend’ on the execution of one pass or a particular save. A manager can become a ‘legend’ after guiding his team to one fluky victory against the arch rivals. We can have a ‘legendary’ burger outside the ground when we build up to our match day experience.

We struggle to understand who is a legend and who is not, and we only begin to realise our heroes when they have to leave the pitch for the final time. Rest assured, we lost a legend in English and European football as the 2009-2010 season is about to spring into action, but we will never forget him.


August 2009

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  • great work i am moved. are u on facebook or email as i would love to share my publication ideas for … by ned on this entry
  • Any views on Englands world cup squad? by Joe on this entry
  • Interesting article. The Irish were cheated out of a World Cup final chance and to talk about Roy Ke… by Ned on this entry
  • Hi Tim, Great article again Thanks Ned by ned on this entry
  • interesting article, it is interesting to see your passion towards museums shining through!!!!! by Joe Carr on this entry

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