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Eto’o to Inter…WTF?

In Uncategorized on July 20, 2009 at 11:44

In fact, that WTF is not really aimed at Eto’o’s want to leave Barca to go and play in a league that used to be called the best in the world but in fact was as slow as a boat and just paid the biggest wages, but it’s the fact that Barcelona want to sign the footballer formerly known as Zlatan Ibrahimovic as part of an elaborate swap deal that could see Alexsander Hleb go on loan to Inter too.

Show us yer teeth

Show us yer teeth

However, I’ve watched football a few times, seen a few games, even attended a few games in my lifetime, but i have rarely seen a more over-rated forward as Ibrahimovic. Perhaps Luis Garcia. Anyway…

Despite scoring this goal :

which was scored against a viciously poor defense (have they never seen a dummy before?), Ibrahimovic has done nothing else, except accept ridiculously large wage packets the likes of anyone reading this will never experience.

So why would Barcelona want to sign this flash in the pan?

Ibrahimovic’s stats read brilliantly. In a career that has seen him play for Ajax, Juventus and Internazionale, the Swede has scored 131 times in 272 league games. That’s an average of 0.48 per game. That’s pretty good by anyone’s standards. The only drawback is, like lots of players with good records, he rarely hits the headlines in the big “must win at all costs” games. Ibrahimovic is a scaredy cat, shirking at the first signs of the big alley cats jumping on dumpsters, hiding away from vicious tom cats, afraid to pop his head out and only surfaces when it’s daylight and all the big rats have already been eaten. He then preys on little mice. Ibrahamovic is best when the going is easy and the opposition is rubbish.

Now, let’s have a quick look at where he’s going to: Barcelona, in the real best league in the world. Barcelona will finish either first or second in La Liga this season, with or without Ibrahimovic. Eto’o was a proven goalscorer in Spain whom i’m sure will score hatfuls wherever he plays. He will slot into Italian soccer like a tomato into Mama Ragu’s spaghetti bolognase.

Ibrahamovic’s career will continue to blossom in Spain, meaning he will score against pitiful opposition, but will struggle to cope with meaner, tougher defences. This is the main reason why Ibrahamovic will never suceed in the Premier League. The defenders are too tough. Though Ibrahamovic is no shrimp — he’s around the 6′ 3” mark. Though look at Didier Drogba — biggest brick shithouse of a striker in the world yet he falls over as easy as Old Man Winters after a bottle of Famous Grouse.

I digress.

Real Madrid’s spending this summer looks to have sealed La Liga. They will be a force to be reckoned with this season, providing they avoid imploding. Eto’o, who has been unhappy at Barcelona for some time now, must be pleased to be skipping the country for Inter Milan where they will again be thereabouts for another Serie A title.

Back Real Madrid to win La Liga and Samuel Eto’o to be Serie A’s top goalscorer. I cant find any prices yet but when i find some, I will post back here. If there’s a lay Ibrahamovic market on Betfair to be top goalscorer in Spain, then lay him for all you can afford.

England U-21

In Uncategorized on June 26, 2009 at 16:31

ENGLAND U21 v SWEDEN U21

England’s future stars have had a terrific performance thus far in the European Championships and are deservedly favourites to see off free-scoring Sweden.

England’s squad is strong and well-prepared and no player has hit the net more than once. However, Arsenal’s Theo Walcott has proved to be a pivotal member of the team during his time on the pitch. He was taken off at half-time in England’s opening match against Finland, was brought on after 60 minutes against Spain, and was introduced at a similar time in the 1-1 draw with Germany.

Despite being pretty quiet against Finland, Walcott was instrumental in setting up James Milner for England’s second goal against Spain. Perhaps manager Stuart Pearce is using Walcott sparingly during the group games to save the lad’s energy for the latter rounds of the tournament. Walcott was used by Fabio Capello in the senior’s games against Kazakhstan (45 minutes) and Andorra (90 minutes), and without getting a break of any significance, Walcott will be heading back to pre-season training with Arsenal very soon.

However, in recent interviews, Walcott has underlined his commitment to the international cause, no matter what England team calls him up, and the 20-year-old’s determination has never been questioned. Dropping down from competitive senior action to under-21 level must seem like taking candy from a baby for baby-faced Walcott. Providing he plays at least 45 minutes of the Sweden game, Walcott’s pace, strength and bravery should provide the ultimate reward.

Walcott is as short as 7/4 (with Ladbrokes) to get on the score sheet at any stage of the game, but Paddy Power are currently offering odds of 3/1. With Walcott eager to prove to everyone (especially Arsene Wenger) that he was correct to play all of these international games during his summer vacation, he will be more determined than ever to get a result.

Even though Pearce’s team selections are as unpredictable as Rafa Benitez’s, he will play his strongest line-up in Friday’s game, and that will surely include Walcott. However, perhaps waiting to see his name on the team sheet is advisable.

Theo Walcott     To score at anytime        3/1 (Paddy Power)

England U21       11/10 (general) Draw     9/4 (general)      Sweden U21      2/1 (general)

What are you giving up for Lent?

In Uncategorized on February 25, 2009 at 11:30

I was just reading the latest edition of The Irish Catholic. Not my regular read, you understand, I had access to a copy of it and I thought: “It’s Ash Wednesday, why not see what the good paper have to say on one of their biggest days of the year.” This time of year must be The Irish Catholic‘s version of the Punchestown Festival…well, maybe not that big, but big.

Anyway, apart from all the child abuse scandals, retiring Bishops, and an editorial stab at Mary Raftery, Lent seems to have a fairly low profile within their 36 pages.

However, there is a “Going Green” campaign feature on page 12 which certainly makes you wonder about the benefits of giving up Penguin Bars for Lent. The article suggest an environmentally friendly approach for the next 40 days.

All the usual stuff is included (turn down your heat, conserve water, leave the car at home, look both ways before crossing the road, switch off electrical appliances, attend a table quiz,  hang out your washing instead of tumble drying etc) but it certainly got me thinking (seriously).

There are a lot of things around the home that people can do to help our environment. But those little things don’t help the kid on the front of the Trocáire box. Reducing our domestic bills is only gonna contribute to our lavish Easter party — lots of food, gargle, and chocolate. Or go towards paying your car’s NCT or your television licence. That doesn’t help the little kid on the front of the Trocáire box.

Lent is not about giving things up, apparently. Lent is about “not being greedy, cutting down on things we dont need, Fasting, not watching as much television or playing on Playstation, cutting down on our waste, caring for our environment” (The Irish Catholic page 27).

I’m gonna play less Playstation. The Trocáire kid will appreciate that.

A green Lenten campaign certainly has its merits. Obviously schools are teaching our kids to take this approach too, which is fantastic. Now, instead of kids sitting indoors, eating Wagon Wheels and baiting each other on Wii Boxing, they’ll be outdoors running through meadows with dogs, skipping, jumping rivers,  swapping Panini stickers, playing Feet Off The Ground, drinking Galahad Lager and sniffing petrol.

I’m being cynical.

Kids should be taught that there’s more to Lent than stuffing 18 pancakes into their gobs and then not eating Cocopops until Easter Sunday. The environment angle certainly adds a new dimension and it is to be applauded.

For me, I’ll be abstaining from all kinds of nice stuff for the next 40 days and nights. That means no sweets, chocolates, fizzy drinks, crisps, take away food (chipper and Chinese), cakes and biscuits. Popcorn is allowed seeing as it’s made of air. And I never mentioned Thai food. Also, plain biscuits are permitted…like digestives, or maybe a Rich Tea if can get them. I can’t wait.

I tried this venture before at Lent — about three years ago I think. It wasn’t very successful. I broke a number of times. This year’ll be different. I promise. I’ll be fully expecting to drink a squeezable bottle of honey to get my sugar fix. Or I’ll be whacking little Bono tomorrow night at the recoding of Jonathan Ross’ show. It depends how much honey is available at the BBC studios.