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So we lost on pens
at 16:33 16 Jul 2021

and whilst we wait for news of Saints transfers in, here are some tracks that stand out for various reasons. Sorry if the links need cutting and pasting.

My Generation - The Who

Reach Out - Four Tops

Say a Little Prayer - Aretha Franklin

All Right Now - Free

Wont’ Get Fooled Again - Who

Maggie May - Rod Stewart

Virginia Plain - Roxy Music

Price of Love - Bryan Ferry

One Way or Another - Blondie

Lust for Life - Iggy Pop

I Want to Break Free - Queen

Walk on the Wild Side - Lou Reed

Under Pressure - David Bowie

Night Swimming - REM

Clocks - Coldplay

Chelsea Dagger - Fratellis

Rolling in the Deep - Adele

Changes - David Bowie

Your Long Journey - Robert Plant & Alison Kraus
Racism in Football
at 15:15 16 Jul 2021

I don't normally read The Guardian, but on this they seem to be the only rag that has bothered to do any research for themselves instead of hopping on the headline bandwagon.

I wholeheartedly decry racism in all its forms, but like to get a clear perspective on things. The media and political storm has been based on the actions of a significant minority of deviants. I tend to think that their time would have been better spent directing their messaging at said deviants and making it clear that this is not how the rest of civilised society expects its members to behave.

Over half the recorded incidents were about Taking the Knee, which may well be veiled racism, but at least is an acceptable argument not to involve politics in sport, even if you don't agree with them.

So less than 5% of the abusive posts were overtly racist, which must be a very small proportion of all comment on the games on social media. Still far too much, but surely not worth all the headlines detracting from the achievements of the team?
Season Tickets
at 16:46 30 Jun 2021

Just paid up the remainder for next season. After credits, the £216 seemed like a bargain.
Italy Austria Game VAR
at 21:37 26 Jun 2021

See, it is not VAR, it is the useless English officials (Stuart Atwell in this case) who cannot use it effectively. Twice it has taken far too long to confirm relatively straightforward offsides. The FA and PL need to address this before the use of VAR seriously affects fans attitude to attending and watching games.
v Germany
at 11:13 24 Jun 2021

Here we go again. What does everyone think / predict? I reckon we may not get a shot on target, and have virtually no chance of getting more than one goal (deflected). I am notoriously bad at predictions, so am getting the negatives in early before my hopes build up.
at 18:07 14 Jun 2021

Is that Karen Carney just described the scuffed equaliser from Lewandowski as a brilliant finish?
Abuse and Death Threats
at 14:10 2 Jun 2021

This article shows the complications of policing social media. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-57326901

The behaviour, is of course, despicable, but trying to police these things means you have to be able to access and control account information. Doing that is tantamount to police state behaviours, and cross border, who actually is responsible for pursuing it, and where?. If famous people restricted their account to know friends and families, the main platform for this kind of abuse is drastically reduced. Of course, vanity will preclude that.

I am not saying they get what they deserve, but they are laying themselves open to this kind of sick abuse.
Some Really Nerdy Stuff
at 08:39 31 May 2021

This may not add up to anything, but on a wet Bank Holiday Monday when I woke up at 5.00am, I had to do something with the time. I was perusing the Transfer Markt website, and made a few comparisons of clubs that have been in the PL a while and had a few struggle this season.

It appears that the site includes returning players who had been loaned out as incomers for definition purposes, and I looked at 20/21, 19/20, 18/19 seasons.I don’t know how reliable the data is.

Averaged per season, 17 incomers for a net spend of £23m.

Averaged per season, 23 incomers for a net spend of £43m.

Averaged per season, 27 incomers for a net spend of £56m.

Crystal Palace:
Averaged per season, 11 incomers with a net spend of minus £10m (Wan Bissaka).

Averaged per season, 8 incomers for a net spend of £11m.

So what could we conclude?
Burnley have a specific model tailored to the manager, keeping it small and focused. Less resource spent on scouting, but more research and better selection to fit the system?

Crystal Palace are probably a special case. They are handily located to be attractive options for London based players from other clubs to get a loan placement. They also bring some of their own through and have a pretty low churn of players. (That may change this window as lots are out of contract).

Wolves try out a lot of players (lots of Portugese in the past as has been highlighted by pundits etc), discarding most and have a chunky but not massive net spend every year.

Brighton also churn a lot of players and spend a fair bit doing so. They have struggled consistently for a few seasons, so whilst they have stayed up, it could go either way.

Southampton don’t churn as much as other clubs, with a more stable squad, and topping up with lads from the academy. Compared to say Brighton over the past 3 years, where results have been broadly comparable, the club save up to £20m pa by scouting younger players into the academy. (No comments about Ben White please, haha).

With a squad of 25, on average you are likely to be having 8 contracts ending each year, either to re sign or replace. Arguably, we have only been seeing one academy product each year really make it into the squad, Tella this year, Smallbone last, not sure how to place Valery in that. The others have been peripheral. So we aren’t really seeing the benefit of the £20m underspend, say £10m. So are we potentially under investing in the squad by £10m each year?

I don’t really know if this makes any sense, but I’d say that we either need to see a better return from the academy, else a bit more spend on transfers in if we aren’t to continue struggling against the relegation risk.
Chelsea - much as it galls me
at 08:03 30 May 2021

Chelsea were value for money yesterday. Almost in complete control throughout the game, leaving Man City with only one shot on target. And they didn't do that by being defensive or boring. The City formation and tactics may have been a fault, but the talent and creativity they have should have produced better than this lame challenge.

Werner got some stick from the pundits, but the way he pulled Rodri's pants down to open up the defence for Havertz's goal was sheer class.
"Sour Grapes" Austin
at 10:19 20 May 2021

At it again. It always turned my stomach when the faithful sang "He's one of our own." He's wasted most of his career after a brilliant start, and hasn't succeeded anywhere after QPR. Clearly didn't like being called out for his half hearted approach before being kicked out here.
Spurs Transfers
at 10:24 13 May 2021

Last summer, (and before) it felt like Hojberg had been "got at" and we were being short changed on the deal. Now, looking back, I'd say that we haven't really missed Hojberg much and getting KWP for £12m has been a masterful negotiation. He has his flaws (who doesn't) but his ambition and enthusiasm mostly bring much joy to the game.
Robert Jenrick - Incompetent or corrupt?
at 12:02 3 May 2021

His decision on approving a tory donor planning that avoided a multi million community contribution was dodgy to say the least.

This is just incompetent grandstanding. Most churches and crematoria cannot accommodate more than 20-25 people with proper social distancing, so unless there is to be an outside service in a cemetery, the ruling is totally meaningless. In the past, this would probably account for less than 1% of all funerals (except for the romany/traveller community, and the IRA where enforcing rules and laws are off the agenda). - Not racist by the way, just observed fact by hundreds if not thousands of people around the country.
City and Spurs Fans
at 18:17 25 Apr 2021

Based on the almost complete disregard for mask wearing, I'd say there is little chance of any fans return to matches until next season.
Stupidest Pub Landlord
at 17:04 8 Apr 2021

Talk about deceiving yourself. It doesn't take much of a brain to figure what he was doing wasn't going to pass muster. Now he is trying to blame the council. Doh! https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-56666447

Effectively he is saying that building a big shed is not an enclosed space.
Lemina may have an admirer
at 12:35 11 Mar 2021


Good luck to the chap, one less to worry about offloading every summer.
Plan B
at 17:03 20 Feb 2021

It was great to see we have a workable option when KWP is out of contention. It was tough against a very good Chelsea side who moved the ball about well and were quick to close down when they lost possession.

Whilst Djeneppo has his best game for us today, against lesser opposition and with Armstrong in for preference, we would still create plenty of opportunities with his drive. I am pleased to that Salisu is emerging as a useful player now that he is adapting to the speed and pressure in the PL.
Crystal Palace vs Burnley
at 14:41 13 Feb 2021

Looking at this fixture, I am struggling to believe that the PL is the best league in the world. Probably no more than 55,000 people in the entire world interested in the result. I don't mean to be derogatory to either club or sets of supporters, but really.....
RH grateful for fans support
at 18:43 4 Feb 2021

Said he was more emotional than after any win with the support given after the latest 9-0. I've always thought the "We March On" slogan was rubbish. In my head it always makes me think of the cr@p time under Mark Hughes. However, in our present circumstances, it has suddenly become meaningful.
Extra tests in England
at 13:20 1 Feb 2021

When I saw this headline, I thought it was going to be for extra cricket coverage on TV this summer. Just goes to show how easy it is to see what you want to see.

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