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Lootown pikeys caravan suede leave our pubs alone match thread
at 14:45 14 Sep 2019

Sunny and very hot here in SAR

Lots of Mr Plod and wagons in the streets ...
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New Love for Roy Keane..
at 10:52 12 Sep 2019

I found this feature by Matthew Syed in The Times quite absorbing reading:

Roy Keane was right. The words might have been formed of molten lava, issuing from the mouth of the Irishman like an eruption of Mount Vesuvius, but they were apposite and overdue.

At a live event in Dublin last week, the former Manchester United captain criticised Sir Alex Ferguson. The 48-year-old pointed out that the Scot had seemingly used United to further his own ends. He argued that Ferguson’s success as a manager shouldn’t shield him from legitimate rebuke. He wasn’t wrong.

There is a curious but recognisable process where certain people become immune to criticism. High-profile cases include Mother Teresa, whose work in India turned her into a living saint. It took too long for journalists, such as the great Christopher Hitchens, to point out the defects in her medical programme, and that her opposition to contraception was contributing to poverty.

Ferguson exists in a very different context, but one cannot help noticing how the process of hagiography since his retirement has made it almost sinful to point out his defects. When Keane chronicled his indictment of his former manager, Gary Neville — appearing alongside him at the event — went almost rigid. This was football’s equivalent of farting in church.

This is problematic because Ferguson is a complex figure whose methods should be scrutinised, not least because it offers insights into dynamics today. We should remember that in his biography of Ferguson, Michael Crick alleges that he used his position as manager to pressure young players to sign for Jason, his son, then a football agent. In 2004, according to the BBC’s Panorama, six of United’s players were represented by Jason Ferguson’s company.

We should remember, too, that when Darren, Jason’s brother, became manager of Preston North End, Ferguson loaned the club Ritchie de Laet, Josh King and Matty James, three promising United players. The sense that this was not about furthering the development of these players but using United assets to help his own family was strengthened when they were withdrawn from Preston the day Darren was sacked. Tony Pulis, then Stoke City manager and a Ferguson acolyte, withdrew two other players from Preston on the same day.

Indeed, in January 2010, not long after Darren had been appointed Preston manager, Ferguson reportedly allowed the club to use the state-of-the-art facilities at Carrington on three occasions when the Preston training ground was covered with snow. Dozens of other incidents reveal the same pattern of a man acting as though United was his personal fiefdom, not least that Martin, his brother, was, for many years, United’s chief scout.

It wasn’t only the United board, though, that was serially unable to control the Scot; it was the FA too. Ferguson routinely refused to conduct post-match interviews in defiance of contractual obligations, and boycotted the BBC for many years because he didn’t like a particular broadcast. He banned journalists from press conferences, harangued and pressured referees, and alleged that the fixture compilers were involved in a conspiracy against his club.

His excesses as a man-manager are also skirted around. We can all have different opinions about the precise level of intimidation that is acceptable for a football coach to deploy, but we can surely agree that it is wrong to hurl a tray of teacups at a subordinate, smash into the wall (as Ferguson did to Gordon Strachan) or kick a boot at a player, leading to a gash above the eyebrow (as Ferguson did to David Beckham, albeit unintentionally), or to get involved in so many other confrontations.

Keane, left, with Ferguson at the Irishman’s testimonial in 2006
Keane, left, with Ferguson at the Irishman’s testimonial in 2006
MATTHEW PETERS/MANCHESTER UNITED VIA GETTY IMAGES
We can surely agree, too, that it is sickening that under Ferguson’s watch in the 1990s, academy trainees were forced to undergo brutalising rituals by older players. United players have talked to me in harrowing detail of being placed in moving tumble dryers, stripped naked and having the United kit etched on to their naked bodies with wire brushes, and being forced to strip and perform simulated sex acts on a treatment table. In rare public acknowledgement of these shocking events, Neville wrote in the Mail on Sunday: “The coaches would see an apprentice running round the pitch in the freezing cold in nothing but his boots yet turn a blind eye.”

Ferguson was a hugely successful manager, to be sure, and has many positive qualities. Nobody is denying that, perhaps not even Keane. This column has often chronicled the ways in which he helped to elevate United, to motivate his players, and to create long-term success. But isn’t this the point? Success shouldn’t provide moral cover for behaviour that falls below acceptable standards, and neither should it shield individuals from criticism. “Successwashing” should always be resisted.

And this is why Keane’s contribution last week was powerful and legitimate. Even if it emerged from personal animus (and even if we acknowledge that Keane’s behaviour often leaves a lot to be desired), the words were fearlessly and trenchantly expressed. This is not about taking sides so much as recognising that it is through criticism and debate that we create and police moral boundaries and norms.

Ferguson often stepped beyond these boundaries with impunity. Only a fool (or a sycophant) would claim otherwise.
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Caption Competition - Priceless
at 10:25 10 Sep 2019

Hmmm she just came out of the Gents!?
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Caption Competition - Priceless
at 08:17 10 Sep 2019

Oi Mate, that's my urine sample you've got there!
[Post edited 10 Sep 15:57]
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Favourite Cheese
at 07:46 10 Sep 2019

Venezuelan Beaver cheese is a classic, my local shop seems to be right out of it just now.
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Wednesday Saturday match thread
at 17:20 31 Aug 2019

https://www.skysports.com/efl/championship/video/11798924/sheff-wed-1-2-qpr
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Wednesday Saturday match thread
at 16:58 31 Aug 2019

Yayyyyy!!!!
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Wednesday Saturday match thread
at 15:31 31 Aug 2019

After the Pompey game, Norf wrote: It’s the fourteenth penalty QPR have conceded from the start of last season and like 12 of the others it was dispatched pretty comfortably into the net by Marquis. ....Nobody, incidentally, in the Championship has conceded as many penalties as Rangers in the last year.
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Everyday Observations
at 09:21 29 Aug 2019

How come a simple beach hut at Friars Cliff was advertised as a studio flat/apartment?
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QPR v pompey match thread
at 21:23 28 Aug 2019

0-2 ho hum
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QPR v pompey match thread
at 21:19 28 Aug 2019

Pen to them 0-1
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QPR v pompey match thread
at 21:15 28 Aug 2019

Wells already on yellow card escapes getting a second
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QPR v pompey match thread
at 20:33 28 Aug 2019

Half time summary sounds more objective. Not a great match but QPR just shading it. Chair sounds lively and BFG solid.
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QPR v pompey match thread
at 20:20 28 Aug 2019

Just realised this is on local radio (solent). Great biased commentary - qpr players e.g. leistner, feigning injury apparently.
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So called classic films you’ve never seen.
at 09:04 28 Aug 2019

Reading this thread, I mused that I had seen and enjoyed most if not all of the 'classic' films - Casablanca and In the Heat of the Night probably my favourites.

Then I realised, I hadn't actually watched Gone with the Wind. Still, tomorrow is another day.
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Women you fancy but probably shouldn't
at 23:40 27 Aug 2019

No you should love her! She is a great presenter on TV and radio, lovely clear intelligent voice and good- looking with it.
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Eze, BOS, Chair
at 23:08 21 Aug 2019

Just back and I agree, all three mentioned were very good - I would also add Manning to the list of players worthy of a bit of praise this evening.

Eze was very very good actually and deserved better
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Rangers Madrid v Swansalona early match thread.
at 16:29 21 Aug 2019

Great - I've earned lots of Brownie points doing things in the house including changing the motor on the vacuum cleaner, so I can go out tonight!!

Be on my way shortly >>>>>> 3-0 up in 15 minutes would be nice again? Or having a Boxing Day Taraabt tribute by Eze?

OK just 3 points please.
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Forgotten foes from Second Division
at 20:00 19 Aug 2019

Cant remember when we played them and in what division but a few names come to mind:
Jon Stead
Grant Holt
Earnshaw
Heffernan
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Famous Last Words
at 11:02 19 Aug 2019

I don't think you're correct re Bognor unless you've got some new source? Actually it was me wot coined the phrase when my parents repeatedly took us as a family to Pagham, near Bognor ( not my last words though)
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