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Fed-exceptional

Robbo Robson | 13:08 UK time, Monday, 8 June 2009

You know them people that suffer from SAD - seasonal affective disorder? I think I get it in reverse.

I don't spend my winter days in front of some weird light box like some illegitimate plant in a dodgy attic. Me, I need to spend my summers bathing in the warm glow of DVD re-runs of the 2004 Carling Cup final.

In fact I think I might be suffering SOD - Season's Over Disorder. Certainly that's been the word my missus has been bandying around the Robson household this week.

She's argued that I've still got a bit of England to watch but Capello's taken a lot of the fun out of that by putting together an England side in the Italian mould - uninspiring, workmanlike, plenty of nous, and lots of wins. Pundits keep shaking their heads about the way the team stutters through the first 20-45 minutes (me included). But then they've spanked everyone in sight in a meaningful match, bar Ukraine, which was more of a gentle slap.
England's Stuart Broad and Holland's Elgar Schiferli
You can rely on the cricketers to fulfil the proper profile of the British sportsman. Losing to Holland! Still, anyone can beat anyone in the short form. I've not quite bought into Twenty20 yet. To me it sometimes looks less like cricket and more like some kind of driving range competition. I'd give it a different name, me. I'd call it Whack It!

The post-match chats are pretty platitudinous 'n' all. What's to say about 20 overs really? Colly does his best but comes across as a bit of a Shearer clone. Still as long as you show 'character' and 'desire', you'll be fine, right? That is unless you lack 'talent'.

Of course the word 'talent' has been subject to all manner of abuse by a certain ITV show recently. Britain's Got Talent? Not amongst the flaming judges it hasn't, unless that's the talent to exploit the naive, the needy and the downright numpty in the name of popular entertainment. Kelly Brook was one of the judges for a bit, for Chrissakes! Clearly that was down to the producers using the Nuts TV definition of talent.

It's a very difficult concept to get your head round - an efficient England. They're getting away with things like the Glen Johnson dally and the Rob Green walkabout, but they're also taking their chances with all the ruthlessness of a Daily Telegraph political correspondent.

If we follow the Italian mould, we'll stutter through the group stages in South Africa, hobble past some very average opposition in the last 16 with a Gerrard plunge and a pen, then remember how to play the game very late on and edge through to the least popular World Cup win in the history of the competition. I will not be complaining.

If you want a proper definition of talent go the dictionary and look up the word 'Federer'.
I speak here as someone who's never really enjoyed tennis. Frankly the game in this country is still the preserve of the la-di-dahs with their club rules and their no hoi-polloi policies.

It seems to me that over the last few years the vast majority of the better British tennis players in this country have gone from comfy drive-arounds with mama and papa to a couple of wild card victories at Wimbers and straight on to the pundits' sofa without so much as a 'plucky' being added to their CVs.

You worry for that Laura Robson lass when she says she doesn't like what the clay does to her socks. Get a grip, love.

Tennis wasn't that lively when Sampras was dominant either; Wimbledon was a bit of a procession and while Pistol Pete was impressive he had the personality of a flat-pack wardrobe. And I never much enjoyed the French when it was all loopy top-spin and rallies that felt as repetitive as a 24-hour news channel.

With Nadal and Federer in competition, I've warmed to Roland Garros, even if it is played on a surface that all too spookily resembles Phil Brown's face. And Federer's comeback from two amazing defeats by the Majorcan Mastiff to grab the one title that has escaped him was a joy to behold.
Roger Federer by the Arc de Triomphe
Everyone's saying that Federer's the greatest ever now he's won the French. I thought he was already 'cos of the way he plays. I'll back him every time against Rafa.

It boils down to whether you're a cat or a dog person, I reckon. Cats = Rog: Dogs= Rafa.
You get the impression if you were trying to stop either of them getting into your house, Rog'd sneak past while your back was turned while Raf'd stand there barking until you just let him by for a bit of peace and quiet.

The other thing Fed's got going for him is the fact that he's so obviously a nice bloke (as is Nadal). There was a time when I'd always favour the volatile, colourful bloke over the calm controlled one. McEnroe or Borg? O'Sullivan or Hendry? Leonard or Hagler? Best or Charlton?

Maybe it's a sign of old age that the brilliant, petulant, win-at-all-costs prima donnas have no appeal to me these days. I just want the likes of Rooney and Drogba, Fergie and Benitez, to grow up a bit and have some self-control.

Federer is a one-off. The fact that he shows very little emotion on court is off-set by the glory of his play. I don't say this about any fella but truly the man is a thing of beauty. Even his trademark collapse into floods of tears has a rather lovely grace to it.

So maybe a summer with Federer - and Woods on his way back to top form - might just keep the footy-pangs at bay. In fact I'll content meself with the knowledge that I'll be boring the pants off me grandchildren about the likes of Tiger and Rog in the same way that my Dad goes on about Bradman, and Matthews, and Rod Laver. And like him, I'll be pretending I was there 'n' all!


Comments

  • 1. At 2:14pm on 08 Jun 2009, RedBlueArmy92 wrote:

    Robbo mush, all ways a pleasure never a chore... With you on Federer, truly a legend in his own right... I just hope that first the T20 then the Ashes will keep me occupied until the friendlies start... We'll see?

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  • 2. At 2:27pm on 08 Jun 2009, Malt Loaf wrote:

    Excellent blog as always. Nice to see you bigging up Federer because he does seem like such a nice bloke, which as you point out is a nice thing in a top sportsman. It would be easy to have a large swelling head when you are as good as he is.

    Anybody know when the next football match of an importance takes place? Champions League qualifiers? http://www.loserscomesecond.com/

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  • 3. At 2:33pm on 08 Jun 2009, RedBlueArmy92 wrote:

    Mr_Twilight...

    Easy, July 12th Aldershot vs a Chelsea XI

    But in seriousness, not sure... Too long will be the answer, no doubt!

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  • 4. At 2:33pm on 08 Jun 2009, Kingkane101 wrote:

    Robbo, I alway enjoy your blog but I have to tell you I'm Italian and i really enjoyed the last World Cup as did the other 7-8 million people watching in Italy. If Cappello can get you close to how we played or for that matter near any of our achivements i would build a monument to his greatness, sadly i think the one star on your badge will be all on his lonsome for for some time to come. Oh well you'll always have cricket . . . . oh no wait a sec.

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  • 5. At 2:37pm on 08 Jun 2009, DennyCraneWHU wrote:

    Never mind about the Dutch beating us. I've yet to tell my Aussie daughter (I'm trying not to laugh, dad, she lied, lol) that the Dutch beat the Aussies once too.

    Federa v Rafa? Benitez plays tennis too? I must try and keep up.

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  • 6. At 2:51pm on 08 Jun 2009, DenistheGenius wrote:

    should we just start referring to Phil Brown as "Rusty" or perhaps "Clay" due to his orangey-brown hue? or maybe just call him "Roland Garros!"

    nice cat/dog analogy - i think that paints the picture...Rog is pure artistic genius, while Rafa is uber-boy, an athletic specimen unmatched.

    in a way, i should prefer Nadal due to his football background, but it's Roger for me by a country mile - reminds me of Bergkamp in terms of touch, creativity, and vision.

    though i do appreciate that Rafa seems to have grown out of his bizarre ensemble of weightlifting shirt with Capri pants (so awful, it's almost genius?), but he is still in desperate need of an underwear consultant...love that clip of Soderling @ Wimblydon blatantly imitating his "wedgey" removal technique - classic!

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  • 7. At 2:55pm on 08 Jun 2009, Malt Loaf wrote:

    I feel that if Phil Brown were a couple of foot shorter he could make a very good umpaloompa. He could hire himself out for parties and things like that.

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  • 8. At 2:59pm on 08 Jun 2009, West Country Wonder wrote:

    You should be watching the Lions Robbo, proper blood and sweat and doesnt have the prancing ponies a la Ronaldo.

    "while Pistol Pete was impressive he had the personality of a flat-pack wardrobe" - quality, you always brighten up my lunch time breaks.

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  • 9. At 3:07pm on 08 Jun 2009, DenistheGenius wrote:

    #7 - i believe it was RedBlue who, in a previous blog, was accused of racism for a similar Phil Orange oompaloompa jibe... let us not speak the name of this dreaded PC whistleblower, for fear of him descending on this space again like a black cloud.

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  • 10. At 3:14pm on 08 Jun 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    Nadal does have a gusset-tugging habit, Denis, you're quite right. Echoes of Vinnie Jones in his Wimbledon pomp - only he tugged the gusset of others, as it were.

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  • 11. At 3:24pm on 08 Jun 2009, Xavierneville wrote:

    Robbo, clearly your post bitter relegation journalism has faded like Spring, giving way to an odd sickly sweet Summer offering. Very Odd.....

    Federer is sickenly nice and no sportsmen are, you cannot have drive and power if you don't want to beat the %^&*! out of your opponenent

    Now Nadal or Neighdal as the Yanks might say is an animal, you know he is going to pound you into the ground and stomp on you until you stop moving....and then an ectra kick to make sure

    I know which one I'd rather have in a trench with me.......

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  • 12. At 3:26pm on 08 Jun 2009, RedBlueArmy92 wrote:

    8 and 9... It is true that i did commit a race crime against phil brown, umpalumpas, 95% of the girls from aldershot (the army and fake tans, its what we do) and all other orange people... the poster that dare not speak his name has made a full complaint against me, i now have an ASBO and am awaiting a rather tricky court case with David Dickinson! So just tread carefully or he may return to this blog!

    Also i hear if you say Simpletruth three times in the mirror he appears behind you and beats you to death with his opinion...

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  • 13. At 3:32pm on 08 Jun 2009, lobotics wrote:

    Next football, the Champs League qualifiers?
    Come on Mr_Twilight! Confederations Cup! Here in South Africa! A major international tourn... oh, all right. August it is I guess.

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  • 14. At 3:36pm on 08 Jun 2009, Spitfire wrote:

    Fed is a true great and had he not show us his tears, I for one would have never believed he was'nt created by Rolex in some hidden factory under Mont Blanc.

    Comparing to the last couple, it is a rather mellow blog Robbo!

    Still, be sure to check back later to see what off topic douch-off, the ensuing postings have turned it into.

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  • 15. At 3:38pm on 08 Jun 2009, Malt Loaf wrote:

    Many apologies. I mean no harm or offence to anybody remotely orange, or indeed to anybody considering ever going down the orange-face route.

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  • 16. At 3:39pm on 08 Jun 2009, DavePrice wrote:

    Federer is a true sportsman and champion - unlike our less than humble footballing primadonnas.

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  • 17. At 3:42pm on 08 Jun 2009, U2165263 wrote:

    im sure the intertoto cup will start soonish?

    plus at the moment you have the toulon football festival, and of course some leagues in the world are yet to finish, for instance im sur ethe argentinian league runs until end of june? and the eastern leagues may start soonish too

    Youve just got to look for it! that doenst work then remember your youth and FIFA, pro evo and football manager!

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  • 18. At 3:46pm on 08 Jun 2009, DoubleDragBack wrote:

    I predict:
    1)The English press will slate England before the tournament.
    2)After England get through the group stages the English press will declare the team the greatest proponents of ANY sport using a round ball. Ever. And forever.
    3)When England lose on penalties a scapegoat will be found and the team slated.

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  • 19. At 3:55pm on 08 Jun 2009, Joaco Pires wrote:

    Nadal is just annoying, I know he can reach every single ball, but once in a while he should just admit that Federer's shot was too good and just let him win. It's like watching the best ever striker against the best ever goalie, everyone wants the striker to win. Plus Nadal has all those weird twitches, like putting the bottles in the same exact spot during the entire game, the socks, pulling his shorts, etc etc. I think players should start messing with nadal's routine, see if his game changes. Probably not, but it'd be fun to see his reaction. My compatriot Juan Monaco said, the key to beating Nadal is kicking his water bottles. I'd like to see that!

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  • 20. At 3:59pm on 08 Jun 2009, SimpleTruth09 wrote:

    I'm still trying to figure out who Kelly Brook is - google gives me examples but I don't remember ever seeing her anywhere...

    England to grind out like Italy? You are just forgetting one thing there Robbo - England would not get all the "lucky" red cards, pens ect ...

    But, hey if they can grind plus get the odd moment of skill that would work. England just need to get Barry out of that midfield, don't think its going to happen though

    Robbo, not RedBlue, was accused of being enthocentric not racist (racist was substituted in for the forum trolls). The reasons that comment was made, was explained very clearly and had nothing to do with Phil Brown. Call all the people of an entire culture fat and stupid, with fat children, and you don't include a bit of humour in the comment, you are always going to draw fire.

    With that aside it is a sad truth that on all forums you will have the trolls - they are almost without fail the least informed, least educated and sadest people you will find on forums anywhere. The main contribution they can put forward is some kind of insults. Sadly, one of the worst trolls on this forum has yet again given us his insight..

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  • 21. At 4:03pm on 08 Jun 2009, bredtobered-forum troll wrote:

    "Also i hear if you say Simpletruth three times in the mirror he appears behind you and beats you to death with his opinion... "


    best quote of this blog!! he really is a numpty

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  • 22. At 4:08pm on 08 Jun 2009, jay842 wrote:

    Enjoy the Championship Robbo, it'll be Football League 1 for the following season ha ha ha ha.

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  • 23. At 4:10pm on 08 Jun 2009, DenistheGenius wrote:

    noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

    i told you not to speak it's name!!

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  • 24. At 4:12pm on 08 Jun 2009, Rob wrote:

    Federer and Nadal encapsulate everything that is good about sport. The older I get (28) the more I'm going off football, I dont know what it is but as an example I felt every emotion possible in last years Wimbledon final and even though I didnt get the result I wanted, I enjoyed it far far more than any moment watching my team Manchester United in the last 4 years.

    I'm very happy today because I desperately wanted Federer to get to 14 grand slam titles. Maybe now with those 2 gorillas off his back we will see him loosen up and give us more memorable moments for the next couple of years.

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  • 25. At 4:18pm on 08 Jun 2009, bredtobered-forum troll wrote:

    post#20

    slating americans and italians (that would include me) does not make you enthocentric! did you just use a thesaurus on racist? save the jargon for a site that gives a ship.

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  • 26. At 4:23pm on 08 Jun 2009, beardedshrimper wrote:

    Robbo = legend.
    We're in need of a new Prime Minister, fancy the job?

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  • 27. At 4:28pm on 08 Jun 2009, RedBlueArmy92 wrote:

    Number 25, dare you question the all knowing TrulySimple! Rest assured he is penning an essay of biblical proportions now to smite you for your actions...

    Hehe, i still think he's robbo having one hell of a wind up, either way pure quality...

    And as for "Forum Trolls"... YES! That sounds like the best ever football "crew" to be a part of. Sign me up!

    Ill-informed, uneducated but never sad!

    Aldershot for the Cup!

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  • 28. At 4:31pm on 08 Jun 2009, CypriotJohn wrote:

    Please, no PC references, not even in jest. This brigade has taken away what was truly great about Great Blighty.

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  • 29. At 4:34pm on 08 Jun 2009, CypriotJohn wrote:

    I heard that 13million pound Alfonso Alves has been voted the worse Brazilian since Stevie Wonder had a go at one for his wife!!

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  • 30. At 4:34pm on 08 Jun 2009, Pirlo-vision wrote:

    Italians are 'dull and defensive', you say? I could have sworn you were talking about England, who made a routine 4-0 victory over (the mighty) Kazakhstan look like hard work. Come back when an England side can string three meaningful passes together...

    I also suggest you watch some re-runs of Barcelona's recent Champions League games and ask yourself which part of Italy do Man Utd and Chelsea hail from.

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  • 31. At 4:40pm on 08 Jun 2009, bredtobered-forum troll wrote:

    30. At 4:34pm on 08 Jun 2009, Milan fan wrote:
    Italians are 'dull and defensive', you say?


    errr, no. He didnt say.
    he said uninspiring, workmanlike, full of nous and lots of win. i took it as a compliment.

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  • 32. At 4:42pm on 08 Jun 2009, WhitleyBayWonTheVase wrote:

    Robbo, you should get yourself down to that Tees Barrage place and watch a bit of kayaking in the closed season. The last time I was there we took bets on who would capsize and not come back up within 2 minutes. It was fun in a kind of cruel and totally immature and gruesome way.

    No-one won.

    I find plenty to do when the footie is off the box. Wimbledon starts in 2 weeks and it doesn't matter if you like Tennis or not as long as Sharapova stays in for a good while.I was looking forward to the Haye v Klitschko fight under Haye pulled from that with his mystery injury, so I now have to settle for the vastly over rated Khan losing to Kotelnik. Nice guy, quick and and very powerful - but a chin as fragile as my head after a night on the seafront up here.

    Jenson is keeping me entertained for a few hours on some weekends, and I will never get bored of laughing at Fernando Alonso. The problem isn't a lack of other sports, but a lack of other sports that allow one the opportunity to exchange banter with others about. Its just not the same when arguments have to be reasoned and you can't call a Toon Army fan delusional just for the fun of it. Oh but hang on, that'd be true!

    I'm still enjoying my game of Hunt the Toon Fan and keep me thoroughly amused for the next 12 months. I'd forgotten anyone else went down with them.

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  • 33. At 4:43pm on 08 Jun 2009, Wilo wrote:

    Best one for a bit Robbo, nice work!

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  • 34. At 4:48pm on 08 Jun 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    #26

    Good call, shrimper. I could manage June til mid-August easy enough. I don't tend to be up before noon either so I reckon I'd be Britain's first pm PM.

    Manifesto pledges'd be summat like:

    1. All matches involving home nations on terrestrial

    2. All home Test matches on terrestrial

    3. Taxes up for everyone but down on beer.

    4. Reintroduction of capital punishment for reality television producers.

    5. Positive discrimination for lasses within the cabinet - a Darling and a Mandy of me own, eh? (a bit Berlusconi that one - see - the power's gone to me head already).

    I'll go away and think this through, actually.

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  • 35. At 4:51pm on 08 Jun 2009, Retirethenumber17shirt wrote:

    Robbo mate, suffering too. As a Blue in exile in Viagra Falls, Canada, I was filled with doom and gloom for the coming weeks. However, the current Stanley Cup Finals - ice hockey for the unknowing - have been stellar. The Detroit Red Wings are kind of yer 80's Liverpool side, efficient, rock solid backbone, scoring for fun, with a few fat Danes like Scouse Jan thrown in for good measure. The Pittsburgh Penguins are young, talented and fast - with 2 superstars in Crosby (no not Malcolm!) and Malkin - so that'll be todays Ronnie and Rooney show at OT. Throw in a commentator, Don Cherry, with the dress sense of Niall Quinn in disco pants and a case of beer, you have the makings of a summer!

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  • 36. At 4:53pm on 08 Jun 2009, Maradona wrote:

    The Rog/cats, Raf/dogs thing is a work of pure poetry, and applying it to my mates and their fave it works perfectly... hilarious stuff as per usual.

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  • 37. At 5:14pm on 08 Jun 2009, eyeoftheturner wrote:

    #35 i went to a very poor steelers vs nottingham ice hockey game once and my head nearly fell off. even at that very low level, the speed with which that puck shifts around is stupid. i'd rather watch dancing on ice to be fair.
    nice blog, the nadal barking bit was chucklesome.
    praise the lord for 20/20 though. i reckon that, wimbledon and aerobics oz style will just about cushion me through until august!

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  • 38. At 5:32pm on 08 Jun 2009, Rita Cocking wrote:

    Doubledragback,I suggest you get yourself a crystal ball and a tent!You seem to be better at seeing the future then Mystic Meg.I am old enough to remember the 1966 World Cup,and although it was great at the time it is now getting to be a millstone around our necks because certain members of the press are still so enamoured of the 1966 team it seems that they cannot bear the idea of anyone else equalling their achievemnt which is why they continually try to sabatage any efforts of any England team trying to follow in their footsteps.

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  • 39. At 5:37pm on 08 Jun 2009, gibbo915 wrote:

    this is why your opinion means absolutely nothing! i don't know when it was but i remember reading one of robbo's articles about 12-18 months ago, when federer had his little wobble, and he was jumping on the bandwagon saying he was past it, saying he should hang up his racket etc etc.

    not that he ever went away (20 consecutive grand slam semi finals...?!?!) but now that federer has proven once and for all that he is an all-time great i would like all the nay-sayers - robbo most definitely included - to eat their words

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  • 40. At 6:16pm on 08 Jun 2009, Merseyblues wrote:

    I think the Irish professional league is a summer league...

    And of course we could all get off our derrieres and kick one of those ball things we see on the tv every weekend around a bit ourselves!

    What´s the worst that could happen?

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  • 41. At 6:49pm on 08 Jun 2009, beardedshrimper wrote:

    #40.

    I'm allergic to excercise, every time I try it, I get injured

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  • 42. At 6:51pm on 08 Jun 2009, donprestoni wrote:

    Good read Robbo. A nice change in coverage to something topical unlike some of your BBC Blog Bretheren.

    At #30, Ahhh a mistaken bloke, who rather than reread a comment first, decides the best course of action to take t this outrageous insult is to get all defensive and spout off before checking he has got his facts right.

    Come back yourself when you have a good enough grasp of English to spot the implied compliment and subtle humour before you get your knickers in a twist.

    Great blog Robbo. Im currently hiding from football for a while myself. The sickeningly cliche and over done comments being sent Burnley's way at the moment make me want to throw up. Yeah they did well, and deserved to go up, rather than going up as "over acheivers" *cough* Derby *cough* but come on, you would think that they had won the World Cup, then brought the ashes home to England whilst Owen Coyle was busy healing the sick and feeding the worlds hungry with nothing more than a single half time pie and a pint.

    Give it a rest already, and talk about something that happened this week. Paul Fletcher, you know who you are.

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  • 43. At 7:13pm on 08 Jun 2009, DenistheGenius wrote:

    # 39 - a) Federer proved he is an all-time great, like, 5 or 6 years ago! did you mean THE all-time great?

    b)don't remember the article you mention very well, but i can definitely recall Robbinho praising Roger's game quite sincerely in the past. you can't really blame anyone for assuming he was psychologically finished after Wimbledon/Aussie finals - which makes his clay season dominance (also beat Nadal in the Madrid final!) that much more impressive.

    FourKingAce wrote: "I felt every emotion possible in last years Wimbledon final and even though I didnt get the result I wanted, I enjoyed it far far more than any moment watching my team Manchester United in the last 4 years."

    wow...that's a bold statement, and sure to ruffle some Manc feathers.
    i see where you're coming from, though.

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  • 44. At 7:17pm on 08 Jun 2009, collie21 wrote:

    Alright then I have got passed the football bit. What the sod is wrong with you English heads for Crying out loud. You have not been moulded in the Style of an Italian team. The Irish Repulic however have under Trappatoni. The difference is we start the first 20 mins well and then try to figure out how we came away with a point. Your lot have been banging in the goals more so , than under any of your previous 5 managers I would wager, and you are still moaning. You can go book your tickets you have qualified. Capello could put out a team of donkeys at this rate and you would qualify. Would you not for once take stock, realise you only won the world cup when it was on home soil half a century ago. The fact you are even in the top 10 in this day and age, given all the forigeners who play in your top league, is astounding.
    You lot don't know a good thing when you see it. I reckon you would give more credit to your team if they played blindingly well and lost 5:0. Strewth.....what is WRONG WITH YOU?

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  • 45. At 7:30pm on 08 Jun 2009, Pirlo-vision wrote:

    #42 donprestoni

    Admittedly, I misquoted Robbo - but you still got the gist of it, I assume. And to say it was a 'compliment' is wrong - it's only a compliment when it's not shrouded in criticism.

    I feel annoyed by quotes such as '...the least popular World Cup win in history'. Maybe he forgets how we thrashed Ukraine and matched Australia after having a man sent off. Or how we were involved in arguably the best World Cup tie for years (against the hosts). The fact of the matter is, the British media refuse to give credit where it's due whenever it concerns Italy.

    Yes, Grosso dived against Australia but was that as bad as Crouch using the Trinidadian defender's hair as leverage when scoring against them? Why do we never hear about that?

    Far from getting my knickers in a twist, I responded in kind with something English fans don't like to hear; namely, the fact that they've hardly set the world alight with their own brand of football.

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  • 46. At 7:38pm on 08 Jun 2009, Malt Loaf wrote:

    Is it me or is that picture of Federer a bit crap?

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  • 47. At 7:38pm on 08 Jun 2009, FootballMadAmerican wrote:

    Robbo,

    Top marks for the latest blog. I, too, am already suffering from SOD.

    And your observations on Federer and Nadal are excellent. Both are great players, but Federer is a proper sportsman. Does anyone recall the true meaning of sportsman (which tends to include being a gentleman)? If not, look it up in the dictionary - you'll likely see a picture of Roger Federer next to it.

    Looking forward to Nadal returning to full health and to RF winning his 15th and 16th, etc., majors so that the title, "Greatest Ever Male Tennis Player" is further clarified.

    (from 11. Xavierneville) "Now Nadal or Neighdal as the Yanks might say..."

    "Neighdal"? Who says "Neighdal"?

    As for your preferences for being in a trench, that sounds fine by us Yanks.

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  • 48. At 7:54pm on 08 Jun 2009, U11947716 wrote:

    God, even during the off season we have to put up with Robbo's articles

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  • 49. At 8:09pm on 08 Jun 2009, DenistheGenius wrote:

    #48 - is your name "Heaven'sChimney" meant to suggest that you're really, really high all the time?

    'cause that's what your useless comment suggests.

    and Robbo - i could see you going a bit Berlusconi on the job... except your cartoon visage is far more human looking than Silvio's plasticine mug

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  • 50. At 8:21pm on 08 Jun 2009, Thanks A lot BBC7 wrote:

    Good work Robbo, for this piece they should pay you.

    Question to you: How much would you be worth as a footballer, in today's overheated transfer market?

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  • 51. At 8:23pm on 08 Jun 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    44. At 7:17pm on 08 Jun 2009, collie21 wrote:
    Alright then I have got passed the football bit. What the sod is wrong with you English heads for Crying out loud. You have not been moulded in the Style of an Italian team. The Irish Repulic however have under Trappatoni. The difference is we start the first 20 mins well and then try to figure out how we came away with a point. Your lot have been banging in the goals more so , than under any of your previous 5 managers I would wager, and you are still moaning. You can go book your tickets you have qualified. Capello could put out a team of donkeys at this rate and you would qualify. Would you not for once take stock, realise you only won the world cup when it was on home soil half a century ago. The fact you are even in the top 10 in this day and age, given all the forigeners who play in your top league, is astounding.
    You lot don't know a good thing when you see it. I reckon you would give more credit to your team if they played blindingly well and lost 5:0. Strewth.....what is WRONG WITH YOU?

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Now son, I could tell we were heading for block capitals when you started. The irony has been a little lost on you again, bless. I didi say 'I won't be complaining'... as in I don't mind how we win. It's just you get used to having a good old moan but clearly Capello's licked them into shape.
    And you know what, Milan fan, it was a compliment - a tad back-handed, I grant you but you're not world Champs for nowt. Don't be so blinking touchy, man.

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  • 52. At 8:25pm on 08 Jun 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    #50

    Me, at today's prices? Even Real Madrid couldn't weedle enough cash out of the great and good of Castille to bag me.

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  • 53. At 8:28pm on 08 Jun 2009, Just1keano wrote:

    At 3:36pm on 08 Jun 2009, Spitfire wrote:

    Still, be sure to check back later to see what off topic douch-off, the ensuing postings have turned it into.

    Well, this may not be so off topic, but I can't help shake me head in wonder when I hear of these dreams of England winning the World Cup in 2010. No lessons learnt from the 'Golden Generation' saga last time round then...
    I thought the friendly against Spain should have made it blindingly obvious to England just where they fit in against the top sides. Yeah, celebrate the win over the weekend, and the fact that after the Euro 2008 fiasco, you'll be back in a major tournament, but if I were English, I'd simply wish for a better performance than in Germany 2006. That was Kazakhstan for goodness sake! Their fans came to cheer the England players!!!

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  • 54. At 9:06pm on 08 Jun 2009, snoopy wrote:

    that kelly brook is a tasty one. cipriani is a very lcuky boy. i would nail her if i had the chance.

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  • 55. At 9:15pm on 08 Jun 2009, sandcastlejim wrote:

    great blog as per usual Robbo. on the money, creative and witty. what's the downside, how come you don't get onto the tele - are you ugly ??

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  • 56. At 9:52pm on 08 Jun 2009, Alex wrote:

    #45 you mean apart from the best league in the world?
    The Italian win was poor... congrats for winning it but there is no need to pretend it was a great campain in which you anywhere near thrilled in each game.
    We had the same issue with English football and criticsed ourselves. i think that give us the right to say the same about you.

    Robbo - always a good blog. like the branching out too... you should have a little watch of the British and Irish lions though.

    #54... amen...

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  • 57. At 10:50pm on 08 Jun 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    #55
    There are no downsides mate. I've a perfect face for blogging.

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  • 58. At 11:23pm on 08 Jun 2009, Spooks123 wrote:

    #55
    Robbo can't be that ugly - there seems to be a Mrs Robbo!!

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  • 59. At 11:36pm on 08 Jun 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    Thanks Robbo, packed with interesting ponderings.

    #12 RedBlueOrangeArmy, brilliant. Simply, truly brilliant!

    When's the boat race?

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  • 60. At 03:26am on 09 Jun 2009, gunner_erm_down wrote:

    k

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  • 61. At 03:27am on 09 Jun 2009, gunner_erm_down wrote:

    robbo what are your views on the eric cantona film

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  • 62. At 08:07am on 09 Jun 2009, jordanuk90MUFC wrote:

    Great blog as always Robbo makes my day go faster

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  • 63. At 08:25am on 09 Jun 2009, CypriotJohn wrote:

    No.61.
    Re:Cantona movie. I saw it last week, decent quality pic for a snide one, if only the quality of the film was as good! Needless to say it was one for the insomniacs of the world. ZZZZzzzzz.

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  • 64. At 08:29am on 09 Jun 2009, M wrote:

    Your wife hasn't been bandying about any words, you don't have a wife, you're just a figment of some BBC editor's imagination. Silly Robbo.

    Interesting blog though. Summers without a world cup or european championship are very strange, I have to fill my time thinking about other, far less worthy sports.

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  • 65. At 08:43am on 09 Jun 2009, MU_Andy_58 wrote:

    Have to laugh at all the PC comments, some people have a serious lack of humour.

    As for enthocentric, just unbelievable, try wikipedia.

    Have to agree about the summer, no footie, boring.

    good blog as usual

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  • 66. At 09:33am on 09 Jun 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    #64
    How dare you suggest I don't have a wife... you sound just like she does of a Friday night.

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  • 67. At 09:42am on 09 Jun 2009, RedBlueArmy92 wrote:

    Number 64... thats a scary thought what if were all just part of some BBC editors imagination. We could all mearely represent the darker regions of Phil McNulty's subconscience, or the the repressed anger of Mihir Bose ... That's creeeped me right out!

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  • 68. At 10:23am on 09 Jun 2009, TKRedman wrote:

    I've been wondering about the nature of reality. Is any of this real, just because I believe it is? Do people who log on to a blog to complain about its existence understand the nature of its existence?
    And can you really have more than one Messiah?

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  • 69. At 10:43am on 09 Jun 2009, duffy wrote:

    Cricket, Lions, Wimbledon, U21 WC. Even Grand Prix if desperate.

    Failing all else lets hope for decent weather to get us through this Godforsaken no-mans-land of closed season Footie.

    As for ethnocentricism. Who isn't / doesn't? ;)

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  • 70. At 11:05am on 09 Jun 2009, Geeronimo wrote:

    Nice blog as always Robbo, and boy do I know SOD. These days I find myself reading the Croatian transfer gossip. Not a remedy by any means, I might add.
    Like the piece about Roger and Rafa as well. To me, no analogy has been more telling than Ferrari against Lamborghini. Perfection, sophistication, beauty and finesse against raw, fierce, sheer in-your-face power. Let's hope to see both of them drive their joy-to-see-laps at Wimbledon again in two weeks.

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  • 71. At 11:33am on 09 Jun 2009, Forest Pines-Hotel and Golf resort westandtiger wrote:

    Robbo

    clearly the football season is over as you are struggling to find anything important to think about and your general North East humour seems to be missing you somewhat.

    I have to say that you are developing a problem with regards Phil Brown. You seem to include him in many of your blogs, even when he has not been mentioned anywhere else for a while.

    You seem somewhat jealous that he kept Hull up and your team Boro (who now appear in their rightful place on the CCC pages) went down.

    Perhaps you should spend a little more time mentioning Southgate and his inability to to keep your team up whilst having a much more expensive squad, spending 15 million on a non entity of a striker and in the meantime trying to come over as Mr nice guy without any charisma what so ever.

    Therapy is requires Robbo...the sooner the better.

    UTT

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  • 72. At 11:52am on 09 Jun 2009, kgalagadi wrote:

    not sure i'd agree that nadal is "volatile" (if that's what you were trying to say). he's one of the most "un-volatile" athletes in world sport.

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  • 73. At 11:53am on 09 Jun 2009, Rovers Return - HKR AWAY DAYS wrote:

    Hi Robbo,

    If you are stuck for something to do over the summer may I suggest you take in the Super League action. It has been fantastic this season and is only half way through with the Challenge Cup semi finals still to play.

    I'd suggest you check out the mighty Hull Kingston Rovers, 3 year in top flight and currently second behind St Helens. That will keep you going until August!

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  • 74. At 12:07pm on 09 Jun 2009, SalemHanna wrote:

    Robbo - have you forgotten the Confederations Cup? It may not be the most glamourous international football tournament (World Cup, Euros, African Cup of Nation and Copa de America all have more fans) but it IS a mini-world cup of sorts. I really liked the 2005 tournament.

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  • 75. At 12:09pm on 09 Jun 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    #71
    I am developing a Phil Brown problem - every time I see the colour orange I see him smirking away with a mike in his hand like the (marmalade) cat who got the cream.
    In fact I'm thinking that Hull could get a new sponsor - a well-known mobile communications company perhaps?
    Our future's sh**e - your future's Orange.

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  • 76. At 12:16pm on 09 Jun 2009, SirRobinSaving606byRunningAway wrote:

    great blog and all robbo (as usual) but i thought i'd pick the football category not cricket or even worse tennis. of course your right about feddera, he's one of the best sports people of all time and 20twenty cricket is like a bunch of kids playing on the local field. so until august (booho) keep it up fella your a gem.

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  • 77. At 1:02pm on 09 Jun 2009, Mightyblooze wrote:

    Milan fan

    Just to even things up, I think the Azzuri play great cultured footy as Robbo and those who truly appreciate the great game understand. The rest of you are either children or plain ignorant, or have no sense of humour.

    If I weren't English i'd want to be Italian - great country, great food (not so sure about the beer!), gorgeuos women, sunshine, footy mad - what more could you want?

    If Capello gets us to a World Cup final he will be a true hero!

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  • 78. At 1:24pm on 09 Jun 2009, G_K___ wrote:

    "Rog'd sneak past while your back was turned while Raf'd stand there barking until you just let him by for a bit of peace and quiet."

    This just hits the nail on the head.

    But in the next bit I think you've lost the point slightly.

    "McEnroe or Borg? O'Sullivan or Hendry? Leonard or Hagler? Best or Charlton?"

    The Federer/Nadal comparison breaks down here. The fact we love McEnroe, O'Sullivan, Leonard and Best is not down to their PR skills, or emotional index, but to the fact they have a touch of genius about them. So does Federer.

    Nadal just... doesn't. He is a superfit plodder. A supercharged turnip. A *fuel-injected potato*.

    He can vamos! He is not the path to our tomorrows!

    GO GENIUS!

    That's all.

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  • 79. At 1:52pm on 09 Jun 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    Fuel-injected potato? Patatas bravas perhaps? (Bet you didn't think I knew owt about tapas, eh)

    N

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  • 80. At 2:03pm on 09 Jun 2009, Gunishment wrote:

    #75

    Haha! If he gets anymore tanned, he will live up to his namesake ... think about it.

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  • 81. At 4:11pm on 09 Jun 2009, CypriotJohn wrote:

    I can see your point Robbo regarding P Brown, an utterly distasteful man. Early season when Hull were a wild card he was lapping it up, you name it, he was on it. Then when it all started to go Pete Tong nobody wanted him so he made his own headlines, and how it all backfired. He lost his players at Man City and they will never be back with him. To see him singing to the crowd after getting beaten by a reserve team on the final day of the season was truly gruesome. Stick a few pounds on him becoming one of the first managerial casualties of the new season.

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  • 82. At 5:05pm on 09 Jun 2009, I Am Deluded - Hughton Is A Geordie wrote:

    Not your best Robbo but still bleedin brilliant. This line made it for me "I've warmed to Roland Garros, even if it is played on a surface that all too spookily resembles Phil Brown's face."

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  • 83. At 9:53pm on 09 Jun 2009, hand_of_god86 wrote:

    Do you always talk so much rubbish hand of hidden forces or is it just on days that end with Y. How can someone who as not lost in roland garos until this year, current wimbledon and oz champion not have a touch of genious? All your potato talk, makes you seem more of a baked one when you produce such drivel.

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  • 84. At 09:15am on 10 Jun 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    Nadal may be the potato but it's Federer who sells the jackets.

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  • 85. At 6:02pm on 12 Jun 2009, youngblueblood wrote:

    what's up redbluearmy anD simpletruth, sorry guys i've been busy for some time . is it me OR has anyone noticed simpletruth's change of mood? or should i say he's doing a "robbo". the other day i was complaining about robbo's change of language and now anyone can challenge simpletruth and go free. you know..it kind got me believing he's actually robbo in disguise or his missus. As for you robbo(simple)....quite a good blog matey, but don't start getting jealous over rafa, he's the better player and the current ATF RANKING says all. get a life mate..nay, make it 2 and give one to simple your missus..LOL

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  • 86. At 7:06pm on 14 Jun 2009, used2beprofi wrote:

    i was on holiday and missed this one- so glad i went back and found it. great stuff, robbo, i knew your take on the french open would be fun to read. i look forward to wimdledon bits...oh, yes, and i was in miami for holiday (unbelievable by the way- just way too hot) and saw nba finals. ever see those? a little bit boring and i can't figure out why the refs sometimes call fouls and sometimes don't?? that game is about as frustrating as an oil spill to try and figure out what is going on?? that said- there may be a new word for choke- magic...

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  • 87. At 08:27am on 16 Jun 2009, aries22 wrote:

    Robbo, get yourself up to Turnberry next month for The Open. Go to the practice days if you can when the atmosphere's nice and relaxed and you can actually get autographs, and make sure you walk the course to get the feel of the whole place and watch your favourite players, and then go again on the Sunday and at round about 2.30 pm sit yourself in the grandstand at the 18th with your flask and sandwiches (seats are first come first served) and stay for the presentation of the Claret Jug. It really is a memorable occasion.

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