Sucking heartily on life's half-time oranges

Monday, 28 September 2009

Sleepy Blues (Misbelieving Baby)*

Hhm. WWFC have started the season with less a virile bang and more a half-hearted hip-shuffle under the duvet before giving up and going to sleep. We have lost lots, drawn a bit and have total wins of UNO. My hope for May, which a month ago was probably to merrily leap-frog the play-offs and go zooming up to Championship-dom is already that we'll just cling onto position 20 and just miss certain death via alligators and clouds of arrows. Well, relegation to League Two, anyway...

Match of the Day(s) (I mostly watched the cheeky MOTD2) prizes this week go to:

Most Baffling Player of the Day: Burnley's keeper, Brian Jensen, who just stood and watched every time Spurs popped one past him. He looked like a fat dad who'd been dragged on as all other goalies ON EARTH had DIED.
Lookeylikey of the Day: David Moyes' wide-spaced eyes, broad pale forehead and lack of eyebrows? It's ET, I tell you!!!
Quote of the Day: 'They almost have a smell about them' - Lee Dixon on old-fashioned grounds like Burnley's; what, of chip fat and Lynx?
Away kit of the day: Everton's black-with-filigree-pink detail. Looks quite H'n'M.
Most Aesthetically Pleasing Player of the Day: Bolton's Matt Taylor, in a nicely scrubbed, Topman kind of way.
Moniker of the Day That Andy Desperately Wishes He Had: Titus Bramble, sounding like a villain in a Beatrix Potter story.
Goal of the Day: Steven Gerrard's barnstormer, like a 'Raging Bull'-esque left hook on the already-bleeding cheekbone of poor crappy Hull.

SHIRTWATCH: Burnley's rather sweet Clarke Carlisle, looking and sounding like a superhero's polite alter-ego, sported a no-risk charcoal number for his debut on the MOTD2 sofa.

* Have decided that if I mention Wycombe, the blog title will be an appropriately-titled blues choon. This one's by John Lee Hooker.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Match of the Day, hurrah!

Ah, Match of t'Day. My weekend evenings over the summer were a joyless dearth without it. I enjoyed yesterday night's Bumper Goalfest Saturday on my own, doing yoga positions in front of the telly.

Moniker of the Day that Andy desperately wished he had: Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink (hhm, don't think we'll better that all season)
Most Aesthetically Pleasing Player of the Day: Florent Malouda and his boyish beam after his goal against Stoke.
Best injury: Robin Van Persie's 'Raked Face', courtesy of Talking Point of the Day Emmanuel Adebayor.
Celebration of the Day: Stoke's delightfully nifty fandago (though Adebayor's mad 'fuck you, Arsenal pig-dogs!' pitch-long dash was hilarious, and Arsenal fans' riot-esque response totally ludicrous).
Move of the Day: Adebayor's specialised 'wiggle-wiggle-dummy-nutmeg-pass', sadly rather undermined by Wright-Phillips' subsequent 'kick-trip-SPLAT' follow-up.
Quote of the Day: 'It's all rather stumbly, mumbly and fumbly' - Jonathan Pearce on Liverpool vs Burnley.

SHIRTWATCH: Alan Shearer took his smart-casualwear to a new level of awfulness with his dark-pink/lilac number, complete with white cuffs and ghastly pocket detail. He should be ashamed of himself.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Boys Will Be Boys (Scabby Old Men Will Be Scabby Old Men)

At lunch in the Brady Arts centre today, I joined in superficial chat about England's impending match against Croatia with the lovely cafe owner and an old dude buying coffee. He seemed flabbergasted that I liked football, repeating several times to himself 'a girl that likes football' as though it would help make it real. As I suggested to him it wasn't so rare these days, he told me he'd watched a women's international recently on telly and went on:,
'There'd been a massive collision between two of the players. The physio ran on and pulled out a mirror; I thought it must have been such a bad run-in they were checking to see if the player was still breathing, like. But, no, she'd just smudged a bit of mascara.'
Cue sound of tired drummer falling into his kit. Something tells me this wasn't the first time my companion had told this story, and as I rather too nicely (well, he was an incorrigible old East London codger) gave him a head-shaking grin, he shook his head at me as he took his coffee, saying 'We're men, love, just men. We can't help it.' Hhm. Oh, for a gazelle-calved female England player to be walking past and catch that, give him a swift drop-kick in the groin and say 'I'm just a pretty little girl, love, I can't help it' before sauntering off into the sunshine, doing a few neck stretches for good measure...

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Brighton vs Wycombe, September 5th, 2009/10

Taking advantage of a) the ebbing summer and b) my last Saturday fully free before back teaching at Junior Trinity, Andy* and I decided to train it to Brighton to shop, have some beach time and watch WWFC, back in business in League One. We've had a sorry start to the season, losing three and drawing one, AND getting pummelled senseless by Peterborough in the League Cup.

How I wish, once we'd had an hour in Brighton, that we'd had a Sliding Doors moment: one in which we miss the no. 27 bus by seconds, decide to forgo the match in order to make the most of the sun, and happily potter around the Lanes, purchasing trinkets from the fleamarket and munching, ruddy-cheeked, on vegan delights, before sinking down onto the pebbles for a couple of hours' reading hefty historical crime novels whilst getting a face full of seaspray. Instead we made the bus, teetered up and down the hills to the ground, and spent two hours watching some sort of drunken pub kickabout in the shittiest stadium I've ever been in. Gillingham's jagged concrete terrace surrounded by crack dens, even Leyton's half-finished (two terraces, two ends of rubble) were like royal boxes compared to the shambolic Withdene Stadium, apprently voted the second worst ground in the country. Which can only mean Luton house their fans in a couple of sheds as they attend to affairs on a slagheap. For the Seagulls' home is a soulless and rickety athletics track; we away fans sat baffled in one of three thoroughly uncovered ends, 20 metres away from the touchline and no-one more than 10 rows high. From our perspective, the pitch was concertina-ed to a squat 10 metres long, the ball disappeared from our view for vast stretches, and to see half the pitch we had to look through the goal netting. Any ardent fan-noise made immediately dissipated into the gulf between mouth and pitch. And we paid a grand £20 for the privelege - the scoundrels! I was probably the only WWFC fan thinking of how I could be watching Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre at the Coliseum for a few pennies more.

I'd probably have forgiven Brighton's shanty-town hostelry had we slaughtered them 5-0, but they were that little bit quicker and stronger than Wycombe, who, even though I thought we didn't defend too badly for the most part, decided to play stick-in-the-mud at the key moment when Brighton scored. Curses. It was for the most part such a desperately dull match that the gulls started circling above us, waiting for us to die of boredom. The only highlight was the return, after a couple of seasons away at Bristol City, of a player I actually know, Kevin 'Heavens To!' Betsy, coming off the bench to little avail near the end.

There's one explanation for us being so poor: we fell over rather a lot, and the ground was being sprinkled by three blank-faced groundsmen seconds up to kick-off (including, during the cringe-making cheerleading routine by -ye gods! - Gullies Girls, possibly in an attempt to turn the entertainment into a wet leotard competition, all of which doth not a happy feminist make). I suspect sinister work afoot: Brighton have been ferreting away the dosh they've charged away fans to sit shivering in a ground fit only for a primary school sports day and manufacturing special 'non-slip' boots, so they continue to stride manfully ahead whilst their opponents crash haphazardly to the ground. Hhm. Well, either that or we're just freakin' rubbish.

Andy: husband, 32, lives in East London, into books and bass-playing
Place of birth: Cambridge
Team supported: None, though is nice about WWFC and has considered supporting West Ham, given its proximity
First football match ever seen live: Leyton Orient vs WWFC, 2004/5.