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Farewell to Focus but the footy goes on

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Dan Walker | 16:45 UK time, Wednesday, 12 May 2010

So that's it. There are still a few cup finals and play-off games to look forward to but we have had the last Football Focus of the 2009/10 season.

For those of you expecting a passionate manly embrace at the end of Saturday's show, I'm afraid it was only a power handshake with Lawro and Lee Dixon followed by fish pie. Can there be a better way to say goodbye?

A few days on, I am sitting in my living room eating a Curly Wurly. There is also a piece of apple strudel in the fridge that is calling me. I always write better when there is food involved.

We have got through a lot over the past 10 months. I've had some rather fruity criticism on here (mostly for talking about Curly Wurlys and apple strudels) but I have to say that I have really enjoyed the interaction over the course of the season. The Focus team certainly appreciates some of the nice things that you have said about the programme.

The show itself has changed a lot since last August. We started with a new editor, new director, new presenter and plenty of fresh ideas. We have gone on the road eight times, attempted a few new bits and bobs in the studio and tried to give you an insight into how things work behind the scenes.

That was my plan with this blog as well - to open a few televisual doors that would otherwise be slammed in your face. Right from the start it was meant to be a bit of light-hearted fun looking at everything from how we got an exclusive interview to the best filling for a jacket potato.

robinho_pa595.jpg
Robinho was not as permanent a resident as planned at Eastlands

We heard Robinho tell us he was going to stay at Manchester City for five years (he left five weeks later) and we learned that Prince Charles was a Burnley fan (sort of). I told you about a shambolic meeting with Jordan (the model not Simon) and we came together to discuss the merits of revisiting a chocolate bar from one's youth (Toffee Crisp).

You shared your attempts to win over friends to the beautiful game (most of them useless) and we embarked on a scheme to find the 20 nicest men in sport (and then I got hammered for not including any women). Wayne Rooney popped up a few times and I scored an overhead kick while training with Kevin Davies - something that inspired a list of our greatest sporting achievements.

We went to the Nou Camp and bumped into Johan Cruyff and Sir Bobby Charlton, discovered the delights of press box food and listed the top five Christmas nuts (the humble cashew came out on top).

On the serious side, Emmanuel Adebayor spoke at length about the reality of staring death in the face while (most recently) you shared your harrowing memories of the Bradford fire after our live programme from Valley Parade.

It has been the best 10 months of my career so far and I have really enjoyed working with our pundits and the numerous guests to have taken their seat on the sofa.

While consuming my fish pie last Saturday, Lawro reminded me of the most random moment of the season when Dixon decided to shout "Saha!" in the middle of the programme. I seem to remember the outburst came after a discussion about a game between Manchester United and Everton. I had just started introducing the next item when Dixon shouted "Saha!" at the top of his voice.

He explained that he had forgotten to mention the striker during the chat and, rather than do what most humans do and keep quiet, decided to put it right. It might have interrupted the flow of the programme but I really hope Dixon throws in a few more random footballers next season. "Ian Woan" would go down particularly well but I cannot see it happening.

Apart from the shouting, we have some grand plans for next season's Focus. Hopefully the show's boundaries will be stretched a little more and this blog will return when the season kicks off again in August (if they still want me to do it, that is).

There might be some blog-based fun from South Africa over the course of the World Cup as well so make sure you keep an eye out for that. I will be on a double-decker bus for most of the tournament, travelling around the country to gather as much football-related stuff as humanly possible.

Hold on please... strudel break.

So South Africa will be upon us soon and for the next few weeks I will be involved in planning meetings and briefings. I might even manage a trip to the golf course.

But before the World Cup takes over I want to take this opportunity to thank you for all your comments, questions and ideas over the season. It means a lot that many of you enjoy this blog. For those who aren't so happy, please feel free to come on and unleash the rage.

So let's finish off in style with a random prediction for something that will happen between now and August. Dixon reckons Arsenal will buy a £20m-plus player, while Lawro has tipped Chile to do great things at the World Cup. Anyone whose predictions come true enters a draw to win a Wham bar and an apple strudel!

If you want to know what I'm up to between now and the World Cup you can follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/danwalkerbbc

I love you all, apart from Joel in Swindon who sent me an e-mail saying I had a head like a brazil nut!

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    I predict I'll be first.

    Wham bar please, keep the strudel.

    Top blogging all season

  • Comment number 2.

    Morten Gamst Pedersen will be purchased by Real Madrid in a crazy part exchange deal involving Benzema and the promise of many millions.

  • Comment number 3.

    Meh....

  • Comment number 4.

    You're doing a grand job. Don't go changing.

    Actually Dan, I very rarely watch the main programme as I have young children who deem CBeebies and CBBC more important on a Saturday lunchtime. I enjoy all the other bits that support the main show (Friday Focus, this blog etc). Keep up the good work.

    Have a great summer.

    Mark Wallington

  • Comment number 5.

    Pro-tip: nobody cares who posts first...

  • Comment number 6.

    Great blog, great season. I know you'll have your blogging cap on again come August! Love wham bars, wish I didn't feel like a child buying them though! I predict Blackpool to get promoted (and no i'm not just saying that because of the Forest result), as for the World Cup, has to be Spain!! Under achievers will be France (grrr), Italy and possibly Brazil!!!

    Ariel Ortega

  • Comment number 7.

    Have enjoyed your blog immensley. Keep up the good work, DW!

    Food tips to keep you going over the summer:
    Take a bite of a boost bar, chew a couple of times (but don't swallow) and then take a mouthful of hot tea. The tea melts the chocolate and caramel in your mouth...It's lush!

    Also, a banana sandwich is always a nice snack, but try putting some mango chutney in too. It shouldn't work, but it does!

    Enjoy the world cup! Catch you next season.

  • Comment number 8.

    Have enjoyed your blog immensley. Keep up the good work, DW!

    Food tips to keep you going over the summer:
    Take a bite of a boost bar, chew a couple of times (but don't swallow) and then take a mouthful of hot tea. The tea melts the chocolate and caramel in your mouth...It's lush!

    Also, a banana sandwich is always a nice snack, but try putting some mango chutney in too. It shouldn't work, but it does!

    World cup prediction: one of the unfancied African Nations will make the semi-finals.

    Cheers for now - Looking forward to your world cup blog!

  • Comment number 9.

    This has been a great blog all season Dan. I think I enjoy it most because when it is posted it means the weekend is getting close!

    On crazy predictions I will go with a former England captain will get a managerial job in a former Soviet state, oh wait...

    http://engfootyabroad.wordpress.com/ - English Footballers Abroad

  • Comment number 10.

    A safe bet:
    England to be knocked out in quarters or semis on penalties

    Outside Chance:
    Argentina to win the World Cup, but Messi gets just one goal in the entire tournament.

    No Way José:
    Emile Heskey to finish as top scorer

    Other News:
    Fabregas to sign for Barca
    City to sign a key Chelsea player
    Arsenal to spend less than £20million.

  • Comment number 11.

    Great synopsis of the season Dan! Already looking forward to next season and the blogs. Hopefully hear something about your travels across SA!

    Here's a prediction for you...

    Brazil to get knocked out of the group stages at the world cup.

    Yordan Letchkov

  • Comment number 12.

    Feed the Goat's prediction format looks good so I shall do the same...

    A safe bet:
    Italy will get through to the World Cup Final after a series of fortunate results, but be beaten by Brazil.

    No way Jose:
    South Africa to get through to the quarter final

    Other news:
    Roy Hodgson to move onto another team
    Chelsea and Manchester City vie to see who can spend the most cash during the summer
    Tottenham fail to qualify for group stages of Champions League

    Harry Callahan

  • Comment number 13.

    Ghana to do well at the World Cup, possibly semis?

  • Comment number 14.

    A Safe Bet: Chile to lose all their group games during the WC and 'Arry 'Trffic' Redknapp to attempt to sign most of the Portsmouth team over the Summer.

    (Very) Outside Chance: Burnley to be promoted back to the Prem next season.

    No Way Jose: Man Utd to sign anyone of note.

    Other News: I agree with the above, Spurs to fail to qualify for Champions League, mainly because 'Arry will attempt to sign the majority of the Portsmouth team!

    As for weird food that seems to work, for some reason I find a pork pie dipped in that mint raita you get when you buy a kebab to be amazing. In fact, it goes with anything savoury, soss rolls, pasties, you name it! Once had a scotch egg dipped in one of those pointless chocolate fountains that people seem to buy. Utter taste sensation!

    Great as always Dan, hope to see you back next season!

  • Comment number 15.

    Ooops, forgot to sign off...


    Castor Troy

  • Comment number 16.

    'Once had a scotch egg dipped in one of those pointless chocolate fountains that people seem to buy. Utter taste sensation!'

    That is on my 'must try' list now. Congrats.

  • Comment number 17.

    Well written and interesting. Looking forward to the world cup blogs.

    Vicente del Bosque to win the world cup with Spain then be named as new manager of Newcastle, problee.

    Wasn't impressed by the England squad. then looked at Brazil and Italy squads which were equally unimpressive, so maybe England can go all the way...to the final and lose to Spain.

    Gournet delights - toasted bacon and egg sandwich with lots of parmesan cheese.

  • Comment number 18.

    Safe bet: The Sun prints some god-awful Fabio-Capello-wearing-a-Union-Jack-coloured-bowler-hat commemorative cut-out.

    Outside change: John Terry retains his Dad of The Year trophy.

    No way Jose: chocolate and scotch eggs should be put together.....

  • Comment number 19.

    Loved the blog all season long :) I rarely get to watch the programme, but I always watch Friday Focus, that's something at least. Any chance of Football Focus being put up on the web somewhere too?

    As for predictions: Forest to sign a left back!

  • Comment number 20.

    Loved all the blogs Dan, You'll be here next year!


    A safe bet: Van persie top scorer for the world cup.

    And #17 there is nothing pointless about a chocolate fountain, assuming you like things coated in chocolate...

  • Comment number 21.

    Dearest Dan,

    It has been an absolute pleasure reading your blog and watching Focus this season - congrats on a job thoroughly well done son.

    My tips for the coming weeks: Argentina resemble key-stone cops in WC2010, Rafa signs for new promoted Blackpool and Berbatov to Bayern (2 out of 3 aint bad) :-)

    But on a more serious note: Have you tried cold beef and white chocolate sandwiches? An absolute must for the "Combo Connisseur" (that's your new nickname, I have decreed so).

    Take care and I shall (as we all we will no doubt) look forward to your WC2010 blogs

    RedSlimCrim

  • Comment number 22.

    Dan these blogs have been quality all year.. I would say the best thing on the website for me but I do like the gossip section..!!

    A safe bet for me would be that I'm going to get fatter during the World Cup..

    Holland and France (who are taking about 16 attackers) to do surprisingly well

    Tip for next season... Dan Walker to take over the Quotes of the Week segment!!!!

  • Comment number 23.

    The Dutch to start really well then fall apart due to infighting and basic squabbling.

    Germany to scrape through all the way to the final and win on pens! Deffo!

    Anyone remember "Spiral" choc bars? They were ace to use a straw to drink your brew of choice! Similarly, Choc Fingers - bite the ends off - suck brew up trough biscuit - dream! DONE

  • Comment number 24.

    Morning all. Danke schon for all the comments so far. I didn’t expect many this week because of all the election madness and general Fulham frenzy. Let’s have a look at this then.

    Raskham (#1)
    I’m afraid you have to take both!

    CHRISSAMBA (#2)
    Live the transfer dream cousin.

    Custodian (#3)
    Great news. Glad to see that Friday Focus and this blog are ticking your boxes. CBBC is the Focus killer but fully understandable. You could always tell them that Lawro is related to Mr Tumble.

    Irish Rss Are Smiling (#6)
    All good predictions and excellent sign off.

    Tucker Jenkins (#7)
    Half eaten Boost + tea = taste sensation. What a discovery. I also enjoyed the subtle variation on number 8.

    Zackerious (#9)
    That Tony Adams thing is a little bit random isn’t it?

    Feed The Goat (#10)
    Full marks for coming up with the perfect prediction framework.

    Onside_Ian_Rush_Goal (#11)
    There are a couple of people who have suggested this might be the case with Brazil but I think they might be a little tastier than that.

    Surreybloke123 (#12)
    I really hope that doesn’t happen to Spurs. It was a bit miserable when Everton went through that a few seasons back. All that effort for almost nought.

    Coulsontom (#13)
    Let’s hope England don’t face them in the second phase then!

    Col029 (#14)
    Mint raita is indeed legendary and I am a big fan of the savoury and sweet combo. I’ve gone pickled onions and chocolate spread before so I see no reason why the scotch egg / chocolate fountain fusion shouldn’t be magical.
    Must have been a strange meal you were at where those 2 were in the same room though... or did you take your own scotch egg?

    Fat Bloke Down The Pub Said So (#15)
    You are right about the lack of impressive squads. Italy certainly don’t look legendary but then again... quite a few people said that 4 years ago.

    Stramash_city (#18)
    You know The Sun have got millions of them ready to roll out! Not sure your outside chance will come true though.

    Simon (#19)
    The plan is to try and get a web version of the programme ready for next season. We will have to take out some of the action because of rights but hopefully there will be something to keep you happy when August comes round.

    RedSlimCrim (#21)
    Liking the predictions but have a lot of time for the cold beef and white chocolate sandwiches. Are we melting the chocolate or just throwing it in there with a bit of crunch?

    Mikey (#22)
    I think we can all second that safe bet about the growing girth during the world cup. Quotes of the week aren’t for me partner because a) far too much work and b) mr Charles does them quite spectacularly.

    Right. I am going to snip the grass in the back garden. I shall return later to see if there is any activity.

    Marco Boogers

    P.S. If you fancy a few sporting testers then get over to twitter.com/danwalkerbbc for 3 little toughies at 3 o’clock. It’s the Thursday afternoon quiz that is sweeping small pockets of the nation by storm.

  • Comment number 25.

    Safe bet: England to win world cup(positive thinking!).
    Outside chance: I drink less than 100 pints during the 2 weeks I have booked off for end of world cup.

    Toffee crips wise, my vending machine at work stocks them but they get stuck, you get your money back and then a swift (heavy) nudge to the machine means free goodness! Been working for about 6 months.

    Cobey Jones

  • Comment number 26.

    Safe bet;Key England player as yet undecided to suffer pre tournament injury to a previously unheard of bone.
    Outside chance;Arsenal sign player over 5'6" with limited technical ability but winning attitude.

    Anyone remember Texan bars,'A man's gotta chew when a man's gotta chew' or was that Toffo's

  • Comment number 27.

    Great blogs all season.

    Predictions: Paraguay & Ivory Coast to spring a suprise at the World Cup (Brazil to win it)

    I think Dixon's prediction on Arsenal may come true. Perhaps not a £20m player but defenintly a few expensive outlays.
    Should be a good summer!

    www.football-journo.com

  • Comment number 28.

    Nice work Dan, Football Focus has been enjoyable to watch all season, especially the Barcelona feature!
    same again next year?

  • Comment number 29.

    A safe bet: England to draw against USA and leave it til the last game to qualify top of the group


    Outside Chance:
    Unknown right winger Dave Barnett to receive emergency call up from Capello to fill 'Unfit, unskilled, non-scoring striker' position after Emile Heskey comes down with flu

    No Way José:
    Fernando Torres makes it through every game of the tournament without his hamstrings going

    Other News:
    Benzema to sign for Man Utd
    Berbatov goes to Stoke City for tuppence and a bag of chips
    Chelsea have latest title win stripped when it is found that the entire squad has been replaced by evil cyborgs from the future

  • Comment number 30.

    I think I'm going to miss these blogs! I might have to spend my time at work...erm, working. =/

    What about Caramac's? Came in a reddy, yellow/orange wrapper? Anyone?
    Failing that, Mint Wispa's did it for me.

    Germany to win the whole thing I fear.
    Heskey to bag a hat-trick...maybe.

  • Comment number 31.

    Forgot my sign-off as well! I'm a bit new to this so do forgive me, I'll do 2 now to make up for it.

    Jari Litmanen

    Faustino Asprillia (sp)

  • Comment number 32.

    Safe Bet: Man City to pay over the odds for an average premier league player (Maybe Ashley Young)

    Outside Chance: Man City to buy a top quality player who improves the team as a whole.

    No Way Jose: Man City to get good value for money.

    Also we all know the Fuse Bar rocked like a hurricane.

    Xander Harris

  • Comment number 33.

    mandrews, caramacs were/are classic. Anyone seem the Milka bars with bits of Dime (Or 'Daim' as it is on the wrapper) bar in there? They are the future.

    On the subject of food combos, anyone for peanut butter (Cunrchy of course) and salt & vinegar crisp sandwiches?

    Don Goodman

  • Comment number 34.

    That should have been 'seen' not 'seem'. Shouldn't try and type while eating my lunch really.

    Youri Djorkaeff

  • Comment number 35.

    Prediction:
    Dixon to shout out "tony yeboah" while messi does a maradona (skill not hand o god) against engerland in the semi's

    Look forward to the new season.

    Save QOTW!

    Tony Yeboah

  • Comment number 36.

    Sliced cheese with jam. Good stuff.

    safe bet: Torres to leave leaving Ngog leading the attack.

    outside chance : John Terry scores the winner to win the world cup.

  • Comment number 37.

    Noticed I also forgot my sign-off!
    That said, I've only posted once on here before.

    Alvaro Recoba

  • Comment number 38.

    Nice 'added-time' round up of the blogs from the last year Dan. Your coverage is definately amongst the best, witty, wide-ranging and enjoyable coverage around - always hitting the 'net'. Really look forward to it next season hopefully..as well as your considered replys - cheers!

    Few predictions - Dan to pile on the pounds over the off-season eating all that scrumptious food he just can't resist - resulting in a redsign of the footie-focus sofa. World wide shortage of hair dye resulting in new 'wiser' look for the rest of the FF team and the programme decides against going 3D..it's in everyone's best interest you know it is ;)!

  • Comment number 39.

    Another Safe Bet- Rafa pledging his future to Liverpool and guaranteeing 7th Place and a Europa Cup place despite currently being 12th- they have been without Stevie G for 45 minutes against Stoke, which explains the mess they are currently in.

  • Comment number 40.

    Excellent blog Dan, as always.

    Safe bet: Diego Forlan to be top scorer at the world cup!

    Outside chance: Emile Heskey to score the winning goal in the World Cup Final!

    No way Jose: The English not declaring that England are going to win the World Cup after one good result early on in the tournament.

    Finally, with regards to Mikey's (#22) comment re you taking over Quotes of the Week, judging by your response you may not realise that Mr Charles has confirmed that this weeks QOTW will be the very last one, as he is leaving the BBC and apparently they aren't going to appoint anyone to take over from him.

    Very sad news because, along with your blog, it's the best thing on here.

    Anyway, looking forward to your World Cup blogs and the Footy Focus blogs returning next season.

    Glenn Helder

  • Comment number 41.

    Great job on FF this year Dan, really enjoyed it.
    Come on the Spurs !

  • Comment number 42.

    Tremendous Dan, a great way to cap off what has been an excellent period of blogging. I hope you return next season, as Thursday afternoons will not quite be the same.

    My blog highlight for this year? Just a couple of weeks ago when the "obscure name" comment was signed off by one Clarence J Bodicker, which then resulted in a nostalgic indulgence of quotes from the old Robocop movie. The christmas Nut top 10 was also a massive highlight.

    Looking forward...my tips for the summer?? The winner of the world cup to be south american, in-keeping with the alternating Euro/South America winner of the World Cup. Uruguay to reach the semi-finals at least...

    Have a good Summer

    Bernt Haas

  • Comment number 43.

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

  • Comment number 44.

    Loving the strudel.

    Prediction for the next season... After vanquishing Huddersfield and Charlton, the might of Millwall buy one or two prem retirees, and storm towards the play offs.

    Also, I'll probably gain at least a stone, eating good sausage.

    Keep up the good work Dan...

    Roy Essandoah

  • Comment number 45.

    Holland to win the World Cup.
    They played some great football at Euro 2008.
    Surely their time has come.

  • Comment number 46.

    Afternoon everybody. I trust all is well everybody. Let's get cracking.

    Ottski (#23)
    Spiras were always highly under rated. Incredible twisted chocolate fun.

    AlicePulley (#24)
    They were always on the chunky side which is probably why they get caught in the machine. There’s only one thing better than a Toffee Crisp... a free Toffee Crisp.

    Chilli Puzzle (#28)
    Hopefully we’ll have a bit more on the European road next season. We’ll see who fancies it but I wouldn’t mind a nose around Bayern Munich.

    Stevedave86 (#29)
    If your outside chance comes together this could be the most memorable world cup in history. Great double sign off and fascinating sandwich choice (#33).

    Mandrews10 (#30)
    I never had much time for the Caramac – too thin. Mint chocolate doesn’t really float my boat either... I am something of a traditionalist.

    Vincent B Rodriguez (#32)
    Interesting focus on the spending of Manchester City. “We all know the Fuse Bar rocked like a hurricane” could well make quotes of the season.

    Alan706 (#35)
    If that happens you can have the shoes I am currently wearing... slightly ropey ‘cutting the grass’ trainers from the mid 1990’s.

    Liammac_EFC (#36)
    Good shout of the cheese and jam. I wish I knew what Torres wants to do. Doesn’t really make sense to stay but we shall see.

    JoC (#37)
    I think your prediction may be coming true already. My Focus trousers did feel a little tight around the middle last week – maybe all those years of Fig Roll abuse has finally caught up with me.

    Jeppo, davyspurs, Lee and Steve_S I can’t see yours at the mo... you are under MODERATION!

    Tomefccam (#42)
    Mr Bodicker was indeed quite special and the Christmas Nutdown will live long in the memory. I like the way you have actually consulted the past for your world cup prediction.

    Paul Faithfull (#44)
    Staggering optimism but that’s what we like.

    Right I’m off for a barnet trim with daughter number 1. Time for the summer cut.

    Robert Fleck

  • Comment number 47.

    2nd prediction - Dan to get a spin off show on Saturday afternoons directly after Football Focus called "Food Focus" where he discusses his favourite foods and features combinations of foods that shouldn't taste good but do with Hollywood 'A' listers and footballers from the days of yore such as Jason "He's got a pineapple on his head" Lee and John Moncur.

    Ugo Ehiogu

  • Comment number 48.

    France to drop out of the World Cup in the group stages, and the whole world to give Henry a massive hand. (boom boom)#

    Hasan Sas

  • Comment number 49.

    Ooops, that should've said "English MEDIA not declaring England are going to win the World Cup..."

    Whilst I'm back on, I'd like to mention the picnic chocolate bar. It's a pretty good one, but it seems to have lost a lot of girth over the last 20 years!

    Jordi Cryuff

  • Comment number 50.

    Jeppo, I'm of the same opinion about wotsits, I'm sure they used to be like tree branches, now they're not even big enough to play pooh sticks with.

    Benito Carbone

  • Comment number 51.

    but Dan Chris Charles is jacking the QOTW.. he said so in this weeks one.. it's the last edition.. That flame must not be allowed to extinguish.. I think you should carry the torch..

    Roy Munson

  • Comment number 52.

    Are we not getting any Football Focus during the World Cup? I seem to remember we did in 2006

  • Comment number 53.

    Anyone mentioned the good old cheese'n'apple butty yet? Always good for a munch and you get half an apple left for when you get peckish later.

    Nice to see Paul Robinson getting some recognition from someone at last Dan with your quiz question, he's had a solid season. Players tend to get overlooked for England duty when they don the blue and white halves, Warnock was usually solid when he played for Rovers but frequently got overlooked in favour of perennial Chelsea benchwarmer Wayne Bridge.

    Yours,

    Tugay "you are my Turkish delight" Kerimoglu.

  • Comment number 54.

    best blog on the BBC at the moment, and the way you've made the focus show a lot more down to earth and showing what us the fans want to see (even behind the scenes at the spuds) is great. Keep it up! my vote for long term replacement to lineker!

  • Comment number 55.

    PS, the Brazil nut comment at the end had me in stitches....


    maybe because its true hahahaha

  • Comment number 56.

    Intelligent, funny, well thought out and just generally a pleasant read. And you yourself seem like a really good guy aswell, top blogging!
    I would like to see more lower league grounds on focus next year. Not just because I am a supporter of a lower league team but because in general there are so many colourful charecters, quirky stadiums, strange local delicasies (sp?) and theres some decent football played every now and then also! Any chance of it happening dan?

    Yours sincerely

    Beckenbauer

  • Comment number 57.

    Leeds.Premier League.You know it makes sense.

  • Comment number 58.

    I'm under moderation, is it cause I am Spurs ;-)

    Your show this year has been great, i grew out of football focus when i hit 20, but you have sucked me right back in.........even though the wife is slighty unhappy about it !

    Love seeing behind the scenesort fo things, and if you ever want to do a show from Nortnern ireland, let me know ;-)

    David

  • Comment number 59.

    Top blogging all year Dan, easily the best read on the BBC.

    Long live the Cabdury Spira.

    Banana sandwich with crushed ready salted Hula Hoops is interesting.

    Oleg Luzhny

  • Comment number 60.

    Genuinely the best blog on the net (L)

    So good you even prompted me to join twitter so i can go that step further down stalker road.

    Hope we get the same quality next season.

    Cinnamon Swirls for the win

  • Comment number 61.

    Hi Dan,

    In response to your question regarding the scotch egg scenario, I was at a house party and my friend likes to go all out (he even has a bar in his front room, for crying out loud!) so there was a big spread set out. After a few ales another friend and I thought it'd be mighty hilarious to see what everything tasted like dipped in chocolate. Ham sandwiches and dry roasted peanuts also rated very highly, although those naff Christmas pretzel efforts didn't go down too well!

    The Clarence J Boddicker tagline was definitely a highlight, as was the Terminator related follow-on the week after. Had me wracking my brains for quotes and character names!

    Edgar Friendly

  • Comment number 62.

    Sorry for the lack of activity tonight. I was watching The Hurt Locker! Fascinating and slightly disappointing at the same time. I shall return triumphantly tomorrow and have a look at the latest round of comments.

    Until then comrades...

    Gilles de Bilde

  • Comment number 63.

    Football Focus, in my opinion, strikes that perfect balance between the serious MOTD and the more lighthearted MOTD2. My personal favourite.

    I reckon:
    Safe bet;
    Martin O'Neill to um and er all summer before signing a 6'2", slow striker with a 'great finish' for about £12m.
    After Germany lose to Australia and draw with Ghana England (after topping our group) then lose to them in the last 16.

    Outside Chance;
    Arsenal out of the top 4 next season.
    Torres stays at Liverpool.

    No way Jose;
    An English team wins the Champions League
    Nicky Maynard leaves Bristol City.

    Carlos Costly

  • Comment number 64.

    GK Thomas Ravelli
    RB Hani Ramzy
    CB Miguel Chendo
    CB Eric Gerets
    LB Tab Ramos
    MF Giuseppe Giannini
    MF Cyrille Makanaky
    MF Enzo Scifo
    MF Pedro Troglio
    ST Tomas Skuhravy
    ST Ruben Sosa

    Subs:

    Tony Meola
    Gheorghe Popescu
    Olaf Thon
    Anders Limpar
    Toni Polster
    Hossam Hassan

    Drifter, Boost and Double Decker are the chocolate bars of champions.

    Gilles YAPI YAPO

  • Comment number 65.

    Safe Bet: Breaking News covering every front page over an World Cup ending injury to one of the squad, only for him to be fit again in time for the opening game. England to then fall at the last hurdle and the papers to pour scourn on Capello for selecting a half-fit player.

    Outside Chance: John Terry, feeling isolated, lonely and alone, uses his "I'm Chelsea captain and would've still been England captain if I wasn't irresistable" chat up line and has a fling with the wife of one England's semi-final/final opponants.

  • Comment number 66.

    Great blogs Daniel son!

    Safe Bet:

    *Geoff Hurst is wheeled out to reminisce about sixty six!
    *News of the World release another 'player scandal' before England start their bid to win 2010 world cup
    *English Media to whip up the usual gale force storm as England progress through the tournament.
    *The Sun to create a derogatory headline about Capello once England get knocked out.
    *99% of English supporters to utter the words 'Heskey is cr*p' at some stage of the tournament (I personally think he does a job up top).


    Outside Chance:

    *Ancelotti's right eyebrow also outed as a comedy eyebrow, when he is papped with both raised.
    *Man City buy Bermuda in homage to 'The Goat'
    *Harry Redknapp* smiles (* for Harry R you could have Avram Grant, David Moyes, Arsene Wenger)
    *DJ Campbell decides that he wishes to have 'Dudley' on the back of his shirt from next season, he did think about Dudlinho too.
    *Vanessa Peroncel releases her autobiography 'Taken it to The Bridge'


    Frode Grodas

  • Comment number 67.

    Safe-bet: At least one England player to break a Metatarsal in tomorrow's FA Cup Final (Lampard, perhaps?)

    Outside Chance: Peter Crouch to win the Golden Boot at WC2010.

    No way Jose: Micahel Brown to score a hat-tick tomorrow. And not get booked.

    Danny Invincible.

  • Comment number 68.

    Great blog loved reading it.

    1) World cup
    Paraguay to be the suprise package.
    all african teams to be out by second round
    Huddlestone to have a staring role and England to win world cup ( im a blackburn fan no spurs baisis here)

    2) Premiership next year
    Chelsea and Man city to contest it Arsenal and Man utd third and forth either way round.
    Liverpool to sell gerrard and the mighty blackburn rovers to Qualify for europe ( we can all pray)

  • Comment number 69.

    Enjoyed the last season's blogs DW cheers. Will be back next season for more from you I hope?
    Safe-bet: Shola Ameobi signs for Leeds (I'll personnaly drive him there myself!); Agree with #66 regarding NOTW scandal but it's about "do you like my suit" Capello; Arsenal sign a goalkeeper and he's useless.
    Outside chance: England to make the final; Colin Murray signs Pat Nevin for MOTD2 paa;
    No way Jose: Heskey injury a week before the start, Capello calls up Micky Owen!; Jimmy Bullard declared a Footballer!
    Cheers Neebs
    Norbert Hackenbauer

  • Comment number 70.

    Great work Dan, your interest and enjoyment shines through.
    WC Prediction - Brazil to exit at the group stage. England might have to overcome a stuttering start but they can go close with a united team.
    Just Fontaine
    http://scottssportsandsocial.blogspot.com/

  • Comment number 71.

    Great blog and great season! (Apart from Arsenal's end of season collapse)

    Enjoy focus on a Saturday afternoon although a bigger mention of the SPL, other than Lawro generally saying how awful it is, would be nice.

    Safe Bet – The English media build up England to such an extent that even if they win, which I don’t think they will, it will not be good enough…and everyone wonders why Emile Heskey is in the squad before…anyone!

    Outside chance – Arsenal keep Cesc and yet still make a high profile signing…and Rangers (that’s right, a Scottish team mention) manage to keep Kris Boyd, Steven Davis or any of their decent players as Lloyds turn the screw.

    No way Jose – Emile Heskey does anything of note at WC2010.

    Strange foods – Banana and cheese toastie. Perfect when you get back from having one too many !!

    To any of the Wham bar fans…Irn Bru bars are far superior!

    Basile Boli

  • Comment number 72.

    Random footballer: Ian Botham

  • Comment number 73.

    Over the season you won me over Dan.

    Great blog, enjoyed the interaction with you and other fans. Highlight of the season has to be Leeds beating the scum in the F.A CUP.

    Thank god for the world cup

    Gary Kelly

  • Comment number 74.

    I enjoy your blog more than I do Football Focus! But if it was up to me, the show would be hosted from Villa Park every week!

    SHAUN TEALE!

  • Comment number 75.

    Guten abend people of the world.

    KirkstallOwl (#48)
    You couldn’t resist could you? Not many would shed a tear if France went early.

    Jeppo (#49)
    Ahhhh the picnic bar. A lot smaller than the old days but still the taste sensation remains the same.

    Mikey (#51)
    I’ve caught up now. Sad news about Mr Charles because quotes of the week was immensely popular. I don’t think the torch will be coming my way.

    MarkW_91 (#52)
    No Focus at the world cup this year because it would clash with the first game of the day. They were there in 2006 but we shall return in August.

    Rob_of_the_rovers – the real one not the imposter (#53)
    The cheese and apple butty. Never had those 2 with bread before but I do enjoy them together. I think that Paul Robinson was undone by one odd bobble against Croatia. Great to see the use of Tugay’s surname as well.

    ThaatArsenalGuy (#54), GoonerRon (#59), Paulscholesindisguise (#60) and sidogmillionaire (#63).
    Your comments are very much appreciated. Thanks.

    Imps Promotion 2012 (#56)
    We are hoping to get around a bit more next season. I think we will still visit premier league grounds predominantly but we shall also venture down the league as well.

    Davyspurs (#58)
    Glad to see you have come back.

    Col029 (#61)
    Thanks for the scotch egg clarification.

    Onside_Ian_Rush_Goal (#64)
    Excellent random 11.

    Some excellent predictions as well as we reach the late 60’ and early 70’s.

    Cuzza10 (#73)
    Were you one of the angry ones at the start of the season? Delighted that you now enjoy the blog.

    James Somers (#74)
    I like the Villa idea but I think fans of all the other teams might get a little fed up.

    Have a lovely weekend everybody. It’s going to be a bit strange tomorrow to not go to work in the morning but I am sure I will get used to it.

    By the way I went to a charity do for the Lord’s Taverners today to raise money for the Sir Bobby Robson foundation. Sir Alex and Big Sam were there and Harry Rednapp was asked how he got the best out of Roman Pavlyuchenko this season. He said “I just kept saying ‘come on Pav, run around a bit’ and eventually he did”. Brilliant.

    See you soon.

    The blonde haired one from the Righteous Brothers

  • Comment number 76.

    Dan Walker i cannot believe you will blogging stint is over, i am getting withdrawal symptoms already.

    They really should have given you the World Cup main presnter gig, instead of that bloke called Linekar, you are a million times better than him.

    I am planning to start a petition to get you promoted and replacing Linkear.

    I hope my kind words, have softened the blow not being able to present Focus for a long timw, you must be pretty down.

    Anyway all the best Sir Walker.

  • Comment number 77.

    On the WC prediciton notes... top tips from me:

    Italy to get knocked out in the roup stages.
    Mexico and paraguay to make it to the Quarter-Finals
    Spain - Brazil final
    Kaka top goalscorer.

 

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