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The highs and lows of press box food

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Dan Walker | 07:52 UK time, Thursday, 1 April 2010

Greetings and salutations! I am actually enjoying some time away with the family this week in not-so-sunny Devon.

We left as soon as we were finished at White Hart Lane on Saturday - our latest on-the-road production this season. I hope you enjoyed it.

I received plenty of angry emails from Arsenal fans - as many as I got from Tottenham supporters when the programme came live from the Emirates earlier this year - berating us for our choice of venue.

You can never please everyone but I thought Focus had a good pace to it and it was great to have Sir Les Ferdinand giving his insight as Spurs chase a top-four finish.

In a bid to turn me into a Tottenham fan, my dad took me to a game at White Hart Lane back in the late 1980s. We watched Spurs play Stoke City. I remember Glenn Hoddle but little else.

There was about a 10-year wait before I returned - this time to the press box to watch Hoddle manage the side. Sitting in the same seat on Saturday brought back memories.

We also filmed our latest behind-the-scenes footage there. You can watch that below.

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The Spurs press box is a rare one. Few are that close to the pitch, within one row of the dugout. Press boxes are a subject close to my heart.

I spent about the first eight years of my career in various ones up and down the country and they have provided some memorable moments.

The first game I covered was at Chesterfield in 1999. I was there for Hallam FM and my enduring memory is the rage from the seasoned hack sat in front of me.

He spent the entire game with my knees in his back or either side of his head.

At half-time, he launched a verbal assault, telling me that I was unprofessional and too tall to work in a press box. I made matters worse by spilling half my Bovril down his back at the start of the second half.

I was very privileged to sit behind Stuart Hall in the press box at Maine Road on many occasions. He always seemed to be doing little or no work during the match but every now and again he would giggle to himself. At full-time, I used to wait - along with a large group of supporters - to hear him deliver his Shakespearean prose on radio.

I once asked Mr Hall what would be his one piece of advice to a rookie reporter. "Buy a hat young man," he said. "The bigger the better." I didn't follow his advice. Perhaps that's where I went wrong.

Those of you who read my blogs each week will know how I love to talk about food. Well then, I won't let you down this week.

I used to love going to Pride Park once Derby introduced deep fried prawns and guacamole into their pre-match grub.

Leicester weren't far behind in the food stakes. The press officer once sent me off on my journey home with a four-pack of éclairs and a selection of pies and pasties. He still has a special place in my heart.

At the other end of the scale was Coventry City. I've got nothing against the club but I once turned up there to find they had run out of plates and cutlery.

ChipsThe humble chip played a part in my worst catering experience

I was ludicrously hungry so decided to use my programme as a makeshift platter. My cunning plan would have worked had the chef not chosen to cook chicken casserole!

My worst catering experience took place at Bolton's Reebok Stadium on a freezing cold night about five years ago.

I had to wait ages to file my half-time report and was late getting to the press lounge. I quickly picked up a handful of chips and a pie on one of those polystyrene trays and doused the bad boy in gravy.

I could hear the announcer saying the players were coming back out so I sprinted the two flights of stairs back to my seat.

Unfortunately, I lost my footing in the last few strides and had to commentate on the entire second half with my face covered in gravy.

As I was standing on the platform at Horwich station after the game, a friendly Bolton fan asked me if I knew I had some chips in my hood...

Right, with everyone at Spurs obsessed with finishing fourth, let's have your predictions for the top six at the end of the season.

I'm going with the way it stands at the moment... Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs, Manchester City and Liverpool.

You can also send in any food-related injuries.

We're on at 12:15 this Saturday but if you can't wait until then you can follow me on twitter at twitter.com/danwalkerbbc

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Great column. I'd love to have seen the chips in the hood!

    My predictions for the top 6 are as follows:

    Arsenal, Chelsea, Man Utd, Man City, Tottenham, Liverpool though I'm perhaps being optimistic as a Liverpool fan that we'll get 6th and United will win nothing!

  • Comment number 2.

    The last time I went to Bolton someone threw chips at me, it must be a local greeting custom.

  • Comment number 3.

    Morning Danny Boy,

    Speaking of your chips and gravy experience, and knowing your love of slighty random food (I remember you mentioning a ridiculous sandwich earlier in the season), I have a suggestion for you.

    Ever tried chips, cheese and gravy? I live in the Isle of Man and it's apparently a local dish. I say apparently so I don't get someone on from somewhere else abusing me! Beautiful, especially after a few.

    I also stumbled across chips, cheese and curry sauce one night in TT Week (Google it) because they had no gravy, another good one! Again, better after a few.

    I have the same order as you. Chelsea and Arsenal will drop points and draw a few sadly (I hate United), as will Liverpool. Spurs have a tough run in, but I think have more resilience to grind out a few points. We did a predictor in work for 4th, I have Spurs 55 points, City 53, Liverpool and Villa 51.

    Have a good weekend, look forward to your response to the chips combos.

    Toddy Orlygsson

  • Comment number 4.

    'At half-time, he launched a verbal assault, telling me that I was unprofessional and too tall to work in a press box. I made matters worse by spilling half my Bovril down his back at the start of the second half. '

    ..... Accidentally, of course ;)

    As things stand in the table, (being a Spurs fan I'd be more than happy with that) though I'd sneak Everton in 6th instead of the Pool, because the hard working lot deserve it.

  • Comment number 5.

    Couple of things, you always seem to be away for a few days! and your dad tried to make you a spurs fan twice...

    United/Chelsea/Arsenal/Liverpool/Man City/Tottingham

  • Comment number 6.

    Would have presumed premiereague and championship clubs provided better service than what you got at coventry and bolton! I'm a lincoln city fan and over the last few seasons I've been in a box 5 times, it's a good view near to the pitch, and its comfy enough. Just the food selection seemed a bit strange. Sandwiches, chicken nuggets, and then a selection of biscuits....

    Quality as usual blog dan. Totally off topic but was wondering if anyone at BBC Sport have been hearing back from Gavin Peacock about how he is and how his new life is going?

  • Comment number 7.

    Every week at Celtic Park I have a food nightmare as it is surely one of the worst places Ive been to for grub.. Awful..

    Although one european game I had snuck in some home made lasagne in tupperware under a large jacket.. and lo and behold the boy in front had snuck in some cheesy garlic bread.. naturally we combined and everyone round about us looked on enviously.

    Is there any reason you didn't buy a hat??

    Chelsea, Man Utd, Arsenal, Liverpool, Man City, Spurs

    Coby Jones.

  • Comment number 8.

    # 6 ... Good question as Gavin Peacock was always my favourite analyst on MOTD.. he reminded me of a young Ray Wilkins.. which is awesome

  • Comment number 9.

    When you mentioned "chips in the hood" - I thought you were leading to a story about dining at the best restaurant in S*nderland! More Michelin tires than Michelin stars!!

  • Comment number 10.

    Being an Arsenal fan i'd hate for Spurs to get 4th. My choice around Xmas was for Villa to nick it but I think they've thrown it again this season. I really like the way MON has got them playing and Gabby, Young and Milner are really good players for them (wouldn't mind the first two in our team). Instead of Spurs, I wouldn't mind Citeh getting in there, but only to lose in the qualifiers! So long as Arsenal come top, I don't mind! Fingers crossed for a Utd-Chelski draw on Saturday.

  • Comment number 11.

    Konnichiwa Brother Dan,

    Greetings from Japan again.
    Great blog as always!

    Since you are in Devon, I recommend if you travel to Plymouth, head down to the Barbican and get yourself (and the family) a portion of chips or two from Platters. Their chips are the best by far. Alternatively, if you feel man enough, get a "Jasperiser" from Captain Jaspers!
    As for predictions, here's hoping (and I am a Liverpool fan).

    1: Arsenal
    2: Chelsea
    3: Man Utd
    4: Liverpool
    5: Man City
    6: Spurs

    (Optimistic, i know)

    Titi Camara

  • Comment number 12.

    You should try cheese, chips and chicken soup. Its great!

  • Comment number 13.

    Chips in the hood... the killer question is did you then finish off the hood-chips?

    As a united fan I hope we finish 1st but not to sure if we will with Rooney injured.

    I predict;

    United
    Chelsea
    Arsenal
    City
    Spurs
    Liverpool

    Ramon Vega.

  • Comment number 14.

    The best chip combo is by far chili, chips and cheese. Gotta be in the right order tho, chips as the base, chili over the chips and then the cheese melted on top.

    Chelsea
    United
    Arsenal
    Spurs
    City
    Everton

  • Comment number 15.

    "In a bid to turn me into a Tottenham fan, my dad took me to a game at White Hart Lane back in the late 1980s. We watched Spurs play Stoke City in a bid to turn me into a Spurs fan."....you're repeating yourself Dan!!

    Curry chips, or Cheesy chips are always on the menu in any chip shop here in Ireland...as well as garlic chips!! Yummy!!

  • Comment number 16.

    Another chucklesome blog Dan!

    I was once at the Emirates and watched in fascinated, slow motion delight at a man who'd been standing with one of the fairly large hotdogs that they sell there. As he returned to his seat his friend whipped out the tube of Jaffa cakes unannoucned (I'm sure these get smuggled into football more than anything else!) and he completely lost interest in the 'dog he'd bought. Chatting and laughing around with his friend a short while later, he lost grip and clutched hard to regain control. Catching the cardboard holder and the bun within, the copious amounts of mustard and ketchup betrayed his firm grip as the hotdog sausage accelerated out of the bun as he gripped harder in desperation only to fall out of the bun... As the chap was sitting on the front row of the upper tier with some friends, I gazed on as the sausage spun and arched downward for the ground in front of him, clipped the guard rail fortunately, sprung back up (and arcing trail of mustard and ketchup catching the chap square in the face from the ricochet) and lurched forward and began its descent the 60 odd ft to the lower tier! I leant forward to watch the descent and in pure amazement watched as (literally) the biggest Gooner in the stadium had seen it coming under him, outstretched the hand and clutched it from the air!!! The guy and his friends who'd dropped it cheered (as did many neighbouring fans) and the guy downstairs laughed, shook the sausage in a wave of victorious surprise and devoured it!

    Whilst not technically an injury - that will NEVER happen again...

    Happy 4-day-weekend people! :)

  • Comment number 17.

    Forgot to mention:

    Man Utd
    Arsenal (by around 8 goals difference)
    Chelsea
    City
    Liverpool
    Villa
    Everton
    Spurs
    (these were after using the Premiership Predictor!)

  • Comment number 18.

    Not food related, but in response to your coments about Chesterfield. One of my earliest footballing memories is watching Burnley at Chesterfield. After this game, I then thought that nearly every ground I went to looked like Chesterfield. Honestly, even some really nice grounds, I always thought they had a look of Chesterfield about them.

    A few months ago I saw a quiz of guess the ground, I didn't have a clue. Turns out it was Chesterfield. Not even Chesterfield looks like Chesterfield. So now i'm not sure about anything any more. Was Chesterfield really Chesterfield that day way back when????

  • Comment number 19.

    HI Dan,

    Enjoyed the show last week but want to know why there wasn't more than a byline on the JPT final. I am obviously biased being a Saints fan but would have expected more than just the mention of the number of fans at the game. It was the biggest attendance in the country over the weekend, so surely was deserving of at least some interviews with both camps?

    I did enjoy the bit on rochdale though, more from the lower leagues please. We see the top 4 stars constantly in the paper and on every other football programme on telly!

    Sergey Gotsmanov

  • Comment number 20.

    I always find where the press etc are positioned intriguing. For instance, in the days of Johnny King as manager and Des Lynam as presenter, TV coverage at Prenton Park used to be presented from ‘the big grey box’ between the Kop and Main Stand, indoor and overlooking the pitch from the corner. When our game got TV coverage in August, Sky pitched up a bit of scaffold and some planks in the Johnny King Stand and did it from there despite the blustery weather.

    We’ll see if they decide the same tomorrow.

    Grub at grounds seems to be going downhill of late, far too many doing hot dogs in pre-packed foil wrappers that only taste marginally better than the wrappers, although deep-fried prawns and guacamole seems a bit far the other way too!

    Another fine blog Dan, keep up the good work!

    Eugene Dadi.

  • Comment number 21.

    Reading the blog while sitting at my desk at work, trying hard to not laugh about what happened to you with your pie/chips and gravy. Class. I went to see a match in Germany a few months ago and ended up looking like an extra in Casualty with ketchup liberally spilt all down my leg where it had dripped out the other end of my Bratwurst.

    Chelsea
    Man Utd
    Arsenal
    Man City
    Tottenham
    Liverpool

    Aston Villa are too inconsistent (even more than those above them) I think to get a top 6 place this year. The top 3 are a little tricky to predict still because they all have injuries to big players. Apparently Drogba is a serious doubt for the weekend, but I think they can cope better without him than Man Utd and Arsenal can with who they have lost through injury.

    Andy Lineghan

  • Comment number 22.

    #16 fantastic story! Hope its not an April Fool?

  • Comment number 23.

    @No.3 Chips, cheese and Gravy/curry is a must at the end of any night out. Best way to stave off potential hangovers!

    Managed once to get curry in my eye (i wear contacts, wasnt good.

    Man U - experience
    Chelsea
    Arsenal - Might have had second but some amount of injuries last night
    Spurs - Are doing well
    Man C - Lose to many points on games they must win

  • Comment number 24.

    I have NEVER been able to eat a pie properly at a footie match. I always end up losing half of it on the floor, dribbling out of my mouth as it's too darn hot, or down the back of the guy sat in front of me. Am always scalding the roof of my mouth and unable to talk for the remainder of the game. However, I like them so much this is a ritual well worth suffering for....

  • Comment number 25.

    I read this blog every week but have never mustered enough courage to write anything until now.
    Firstly great blog, the food related issue each week always makes me chuckle, in fact I actually went and bought a toffee crisp a couple of weeks ago and was very, very disapointed.
    As for food related incidents at football matches, back in 1988 when I was a wee lad I was stood on the Stretford end with my mates awaiting the game against Millwall. We were all munching on sugar free mints. I happened to find these little beauties quite addictive and munched my way through 2 packets. Only after I had I ran to the toilet 5 times and subsequently missed every United goal in a 5-0 thumping did I learn these have a laxative effect if you consume too many. You live and learn!

    Top 6

    United
    Chelsea
    Arsenal
    City
    Spurs
    Everton

    Remi Moses

  • Comment number 26.

    Nice blog and a good little insight into the press box which is invaluable information for any aspiring journalist like myself. Keep up the good work.

  • Comment number 27.

    Entertaining blog again, Sir. It must be quite a challenge every week.

    Eating at football grounds isn't easy these days. I enjoyed it more when standing on the terraces. The ketchup always landed on the floor not your thigh. Mind you, I guess this would be difficult in a packed ground. I would always enjoy my burger (late 80s style) in the sparsely populated corners of the Shrivenham Road stand at Swindon Town where one could easily swing several cats.

    My top six prediction is:
    1. Norwich City
    2. Millwall
    3. Leeds United
    4. Charlton Athletic
    5. (my beloved) Swindon Town
    6. Huddersfield Town

    Sorry, were you talking about the Premier League. Oh no, not again!

    Roy Wegerle

  • Comment number 28.

    Dan, good blog as always.

    I think it will finish Chelski/ManYoo/Gooners/Liverpool/Spurs/ManCiteh!

    As a Liverpool fan, i'm praying we do it!

    As an aside I used Google's translate facility to translate an article from the BBC gossip column regarding Albert Riera's impending departure. Not sure if this is actually a mistake or Rafa having one of his 'special' moments :)

    "Rafa Benitez reiterated on Thursday that Riera is negotiated his departure to Spartak Moscow and stressed that this issue does not mask the smooth running of the wardrobe."

  • Comment number 29.

    On the subject of footy food. I was once at Pittodrie for Aberdeen vs Dundee a few years back. Pittodrie has a seagull problem, particuarly after halftime. About five mins into the second half of this game, I saw and aberdeen fan throw half a steak pie into the away section. Although I couldn't condone such behaviour, it was hilarious watching the Dundee fans fighting off the swooping gulls.

  • Comment number 30.

    Dan,
    I have a classic food-related injury! Whilst at Uni, we went to the supermarket to grab some grub to watch an England Euro Qualifier. I, naturally, chose pizza as a steadfast option for both lining the stomach and being cookable in less than 15mins... I, rather than for a supermarket brand, plucked for a premium brand (without plugging the brand, it is a pizza company hailing from the Windy City). I put it in the oven for its allotted time (12mins) and waited for the magic to happen. After the cooking time I was ravenous, but gutted to find that the pizza was stone cold on the outside. So I put it in the over for another 10mins to seal the deal. After the second cooking stint the pizza was mildly warm on the outside, so I took a hasty bite out of the pizza and a blod of molten tomato dripped onto my chin. You see, the pizza may have been stone cold on the outside, but the tomato on the inside (tomatoes being the hottest food in the world) was pretty much at boiling point. So, I now have a scar on my face inflicted by a pizza! Every time I eat pizza my mates remind me of this fact...

  • Comment number 31.

    Oh, top 6 would be:

    Chelsea
    Man Ute
    Arsenal
    Spurs
    Liverpool
    ManC

  • Comment number 32.

    #3 Definitely with you on the chips, cheese and gravy...fantastic combo!

    I think my biggest food disaster was as a curious youngster experimenting what food groups would fit up my nose....it turns out the raisin was a snug fit, a little too snug, that little sucker was up there for a good hour until my ma managed to encourage me to blow it out :-)

    Final 6

    United
    Chelski
    Gooners
    Spurs
    Citeh
    Liverpool

    Over and out

    Paulo Wanchope

  • Comment number 33.

    Brothers and sisters. Sorry about the blog silence today. It's dodgy lack of coverage issues. Keep those comments coming and I will attend to eveything either tonight or first thing tomorrow.

    See you soon

    Stuart Barlow

  • Comment number 34.

    Hi Dan,
    "A LITTLE TICKLE OF THE SUBSTITUTES....."
    Ohh man, what are you on? I'm glad they did not edit out your little witticism. I am now persuaded that I have a full & clear understanding of why the BEEB have elevated you to your current lofty position:
    1. You are a good, solid, hard worker, who does the job on a pittance, thus allowing the Beeb to pay unfunny men like Jonathan Woss even more unfunny sums of money.
    2. The Beeb know they need a "John Motson" for the 21st Century. You are the Mottie of the next generation. There are THREE irrefutable pieces of evidence that place this claim beyond doubt.(A) You make gaffs such as tickling the away team's substitutes (my edit of your words) and you share your own gaffs with shameless abandon, see Bolton Chip saga and so many others besides. (B) Stuart Hall told you to get a big hat; he did so because the instruction to get a sheep skin were coming next. (c) Look what job Mottie's old man did- proof positive.
    My old man tells me that Mottie's big break was the Hereford United and Newcastle United. What was yours?
    As for the final 6:
    Arsenal followed by
    Man U,
    Chelsea,
    purs,
    L'pool &
    Man City, but I would prefer Everton.

  • Comment number 35.

    Seeing as your in Devon, why don't you come to Plymouth argyle for monday, it will be a great game,

  • Comment number 36.

    Sorry for typos in last post. Rushing
    (B) Stuart Hall told you to get a big hat; he did so because the instruction to get a sheep skin WAS coming next. (c) Look what job Mottie's old man did- proof positive.
    My old man tells me that Mottie's big break was the Hereford United and Newcastle United FA CUP GAME . What was yours?

  • Comment number 37.

    Dixon clearly not as excited about the press box food as you Dan, can't get my head around it...

  • Comment number 38.

    Dan; RE Food at football matches - a few years back a local radio station (name withheld) did a survey around the NorthWest clubs to find who sold the best meat & potatoe pies! The station's 'pie -eater' visited various grounds and reported back, 'on-air', on the quality he had found. When visiting the old Man City ground at Maine Road (who reputedly sold the best pies) the following was heard from the presenter when asking for his pie "How much...? I'm not paying that for a pie!!!......." followed by what I believe in the trade they called 'dead-air' - so we never got to find out who sold the best pies - the arguements still rage!

  • Comment number 39.

    excellent point about gavin peacock,i wonder how he is getting on? A tremendous pundit and seems an excellent man too. In terms of food specific to clubs,the everton mint toffee never lets you down,along with the rich in tradition toffee girl. I wonder if any other club has specific food conections? With the world cup coming up,and the nations facination with cooking programmes...what if dan was to visit the 32 countries involved. Provide insight into the nation by exploring their footballing and dietry culture. Marrying together the two things we all enjoy most whilst gaining meaningful insight into how different nations experience the world cup. Think eating clam chowder with disinterested new england residents,to the feverish environment of rio while tucking into spiced goat. One to take to the producers? You may need help assembling the ideas,which of course is where i'd fit in.

    Neil heaney

  • Comment number 40.

    Dan- RE Food at football matches - a few years back a local radio station (name withheld) did a survey around the NorthWest clubs to find who sold the best meat & potatoe pies! The station's official 'pie -taster' visited various grounds and reported back, 'on-air', on the quality he had found. When visiting the old Man City ground at Maine Road (who it is reputedly sold the best pies at the time) the following was heard from the presenter when asking for his pie "How much...? I'm not paying that for a pie!!!......." followed by what I believe in the trade they called a period of 'dead-air' - so we never got to find out who sold the best pies - the arguements still rages!

  • Comment number 41.

    not so much food. more a drinks nightmare at forest green last night... coffee, bovril and diet coke on my notes, kit and coat at different stages. and it was freezing.

  • Comment number 42.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 43.

    Hi from sunny Houston.
    All this talk of food makes me hungry and sad. I miss chips with gravy or curry, or just a touch of salt and since Ive lived in the states (for the last three years) I've had no real ones. I think that when I went to watch matches, sausage rolls were my favourite.

    OK so the top 4:

    Rooney is out so I dont think that United will sustain their goal scoring and they will go out of the champions league. Arsenal will also go out (of the CL), as well as seeing their chase for the title finally collapse without key players.
    Tottenham and City have a harrowing fixture list and see them dropping points a many, and Villa will slip away - finally succumbing to Everton for 7th place. As for the FA cup, I think that its Chelsea's to give away.
    The only team I havent commented on is my own team, Liverpool. They have the easiest fixtures and I think that they will get at least 14 more points, which should secure fourth (hopefully)

    Chelsea
    United
    Arsenal
    Liverpool
    Man City
    Tottenham
    Everton

    Come on you reds

  • Comment number 44.

    Went to Notts County v Northampton in the away end a few years ago, had somehow gone all day without eating anything and decided to just get a pie at the ground. Just get a pie... They didn't have any. I had a Snickers and half a packet of Starburst on a completely empty stomach. Nearly threw up. Hungriest I've ever been. Got a 15" pizza on the way back to my mate's place and devoured it.

    The pies at Wigan are the best I've ever tasted at a football ground.

  • Comment number 45.

    Following Derby away this season hasnt been good.Best food has been a fantastic pie at Palace mind you it was corporate.
    Worst has been and we have not even been there yet Coventry it always so bad will be eating away from the ground this Saturday.

    UP THE RAMS

  • Comment number 46.

    worst food moment, thought I was being Billy big balls by getting press accreditation to a national motor event whilst I was doing student media. Turned up at the new Wembley stadium and downed more mini sausage rolls in the press hospitality than Kauto Star could manage. All the press then get told that colin mccrae and andy priaux were ready to take us round the track. Track? Turns out the event was a sort of stunt event inside Wembley. I stand in the wrong queue for mccrae, so I got shoved in the back of a rally car driven by Priaux who drives us around the edges of the pitch on this make-shift track. Somehow, the geezer gets up to 40mph and then slams on the brake and takes us 90 degrees sideways at each corner flag. safe to say, i get out the car, mumble a thanks to Priaux, walk briskly to the bathroom and say hello to my little sausuage rolls once more!! have a gud one again on Saturday fella, ross. http://footballshorts.wordpress.com

  • Comment number 47.

    Hey Dan.

    Glad to hear you resisted the urge to join/support the dark side, probably saved yourself years of pain and anguish too.

    I´m afraid my beloved Arsenal have blown the chance of the title, it´s still possible and I won´t give up hope (a footy fans best friend) but considering the players we lost yesterday it´s gonna be tough. A lot rides on the Utd v Chelsea game this weekend for all three sides.

    4th place is also hard to call, I´d like to see Spurs get it, just to show them how difficult the CL really is, but I think Merc City may just pip them to it.

    Enjoy your break and try not to scoff too many Easter Eggs next week.;-p

  • Comment number 48.

    Re: #3 "Spurs have a tough run in, but I think have more resilience to grind out a few points".

    Blimey! As much as i love them i never thought i'd see a neutral mention "Spurs" and "resilience" in the same sentence!

    As a Spurs fan i obviously want Spurs for 4th, but if i'm really honest i don't think we'll get it. I've been here too many times before, Spurs always manage to throw great opportunities away.
    I'm expecting Liverpool to string some wins together and nick it from us on the last day, with Man City not far off either.

    1: Chelsea
    2: United
    3: Arsenal
    4: Liverpool
    5: Spurs
    6: Man City

  • Comment number 49.

    Right. Good morning all. I hope you are enjoying your Easter so far. The office is pretty full today. We've just filmed Friday Focus and the opener for the programme.

    No surprises that Manchester United v Chelsea will feature highly. Let's have a look at these comments then…

    Matthew (#2) that never crossed my mind!

    Davemathieson (#3) I have been down that road and I have to say I found the the culinary view very nice. Chips + cheese = magic, chips + gravy = golden so why not bung them all together? Trickynumber9 (#14) also enjoys it.

    PepeXabiBarnes (#5) He never gave up! I don't think my wife would agree with the few days off thing.

    Imps Promotion 2012 (#6) What a collaboration! Sangers, nuggets and selection of biscuits. I was talking about Mr Peacock to a guy from Christians In Sport the other day. He has returned to Canada and to be a pastor full time. He was a great pundit and a top bloke but I think he is doing something far more worthwhile and really enjoying it.

    Mikey (#7) What a beautiful story. Anyone bring cutlety? The reason I didn't buy a hat was because I have an odd shaped head and all hats look ridiculous. It's a cross between a guppy fish and a cashew nut.

    WeAreTheMags (#9) Love it.

    Wanfmeister (#11) Excellent local knowledge. Pity I only read this today on my return from the Devon area.

    YNWA Spirit of 76 (#12) Another good shout. Bit like chips and ice-cream… it shouldn't work but it does.

    Chelseadub (#15) What's wrong with putting the word 'Spurs' 17 times in one sentence? Good shout… well spotted.

    Hughesie (#16) That has just gone straight to the top of the list of 'sausage inspired stories'. 100% winner.

    Mjclaret (#18) That is super deep brother.

    SaintStatto (#19) Point taken sir. There is a lot more that we would like to fit in the programme but can't. Great win for Southampton as well. I take it you were there?

    Surreybloke123 (#21) BRATWURST!

    AFCleigh (#23) Oooh… not nice. How hot was the cuzza?

    Jellywobble (#24) Burning the tongue is a horrible thing - especially early on in a meal. Try cracking that baby open immeadiately after the purchase and letting some steam out. I once bit into a fresh slice of pizza and the molten cheese all game off and swung open my chin producing severe discomfort and a blister.

    Paul Codd (#25) Greeting Paulo. Great to have you aboard although the Toffee Crisp comment has crushed me. Great to see you share your story about the dark side of mints… it's a peril.

    Umaronlinedotcom (#26) Keep practising chief. You'll get there.

    Custodian (#27) Good point about the dangers of seated ketchup trauma. Not thought about that before.

    Scouse-torres (#28) Great quote. We can only hope it's accurate.

    Paul Curtis (#29) Genius battle plan.

    Smudge (#30) INCREDIBLE. I had just told a similar pizza injury story. These things are dangerous! I can only assume your injury was far worse though… my chin in without a scar.

    Blarnorynnclwyd (#34) Thanks you foreign friend. In response to your question about breaks… mine was being told I was too immature to be a teacher. I then went on a postgraduate journalism course in journalism instead.

    Georgiethebest7 (#38) The most I have paid for a pie was £4. I still feel slightly guilty about it.

    Tomefccam (#39) Another great idea but I am not sure the licence fee payer will go for that one. Spiced goat sounds like a winner!

    Matt Newsum - BBC Sport (#41) What on earth were you doing drinking those 3 together?

    Redmacuser (#43) Come in Houston! Sorry I couldn't resist. Nice to have you American comrade.

    Rossfox (#46) Simple equation… Full gut + tight corners = vomit.

    Thanks for all the comments and interesting to see a full range of predictions for the premier league top 6.

    On another note Coventry City have just sent an email inviting me to go to the Ricoh Arena and see how the food has changed since the chicken casserole days at Highfield Road. I might take them up on that.

    Keep your comments coming and send in your questions for ALAN HANSEN who is making his annual appearance on the programme tomorrow.

    See you soon.

    Steve Ogrizovic

  • Comment number 50.

    Yep, it is so Lincoln city to do something like that. That is nice news, yes he always seemed like a really
    good guy and intelligent also.
    I'm sure I speak for everyone on here when I say thanks for taking your time to answer as many posts as possible and that we all enjoy the show greatly, keep up the good work :D

  • Comment number 51.

    **Yours sincerely

    Carlos Valderama

  • Comment number 52.

    You're not a fan of the Bratwurst then? Nothing like standing on the terraces with a pint and something hot to eat.

    Rene Higuita

  • Comment number 53.

    Surreybloke123 (#52) Big fan of the bratwurst and delighted with it's first mention on the blog.

    If you want to know what's on the show this week than you can click on this little beauty... http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/football_focus/6958524.stm

    Jon Otsemobor

  • Comment number 54.

    Friday Focus is up and running everyone. Nice and early this week.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/football_focus/8600917.stm

    Gerard Wiekens

  • Comment number 55.

    thanks Dan... many folks are catching on with signing off as some ex-international. i find that to be interesting as it reminds me of the stars of years gone by.

    Justine Fashanu

  • Comment number 56.

    #55 Freudian slip...?

  • Comment number 57.

    1. Chelsea
    2. Man U
    3. Tottenham
    4. Arsenal
    5. Man City
    6. Aston Villa

  • Comment number 58.

    Great blog as always.

    I'll go for:

    1: Man U
    2: Arsenal
    3: Chelski
    4: Spurs
    5: Liverpool
    6: Man City

    Spurs are going to need one big result out of the games against arsenal and chelsea, and can't afford to lose to City if they are to come 4th!

    Yours Truly,

    Jonathan Blondel

  • Comment number 59.

    Good blog as usual.

    Dan, i'm guessing you will be going to South Africa for the World Cup, maybe presenting a few matches?

  • Comment number 60.

    Terrific blog Dan.

    Courtesy of my role at the University newspaper, I have had the priviledge of covering Reading throughout the season, from the early season tribulations through to their fantastic cup run. I always enjoy the intricacies of the Press Box, the pies, the atmosphere and the cameraderie. I was wondering where the best Press Box experience has been for you in this country?

    Also, as I am coming to the end of my role due to graduation, I was wondering if you had any tips for aspiring journalists like me who would revel in the opportunity to make this experience permanent in future. I would greatly appreciate your input.

    Many Thanks

    Jimmy Downing (not an ex-footballer!)

    PS - for good measure, I shall unleash my own predictions for the end of the season:
    1. Arsenal
    2. Man Utd
    3. Chelsea
    4. Liverpool (got the bottle and the right fixtures)
    5. Spurs (they always blow it)
    6. Man City (inconsistent)
    7. Everton (in form)
    8. Aston Villa (gutted for them, but running out of steam again)

  • Comment number 61.

    serves you right for having gravy on your chips - nasty northern habit. Went to Leeds Uni many years ago and the first time I went to the chippy the old bat behind the counter asked 'Do you want gravy with that luv?'

    I honestly thought she was taking the mickey! Disgusting prospect

    Anyway:

    Man Utd
    Chelsea
    Arsenal
    Man City
    Tottenham
    Liverpool

  • Comment number 62.

    Dan, as a Christian man yourself, you should know that plastering your column with a big picture of chips is torture on a fast day! I'm struggling enough as it is.

    Great blog by the way, it's definitely my favourite on this site.

  • Comment number 63.

    Southampton by far does the best Chicken Tikka Pukka Pies. I promise they won't let you down. My Prediction is Chelsea, Man Utd, Arsenal, Liverpool, Spurs, City, Villa

  • Comment number 64.

    HI Dan,

    I was indeed one of the 44,000 at Wembley last week. First trophy of my lifetime, so wasn't going to miss that!

    Looking forward to tomorrow's show. Shame you're not on Bank Holiday Monday!

    Ali dia

  • Comment number 65.

    Great blog.Now for some breakfasT


    Neil Mellor

  • Comment number 66.

    This made me hungry!

 

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