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Robbo Robson | 09:52 UK time, Friday, 24 July 2009

England win an Ashes Test at Lord's; A 59-year-old a putt away from Open glory; Sven-Goran Eriksson is director of football at Notts County. The world has gone mad, I tell you.

I half-expected Sven to 'Robinho' his press conference and talk about the honour of following in Clough's footsteps. No disrespect but there are just four things I know about Notts County:

1. They're not Nottingham Forest and if you say Notts Forest their fans get ridiculously uppity.

2. They're the oldest football club in the world - as if that entitles you to anything. It's a playground argument really. 'Boro are better than Notts County!' 'No!!! Cos my club is older than your club!'

3. Jimmy Sirrel - a wily Scot (managers from north of the border are always 'wily') who raised 'em up from the basement to the top flight in 10 years). And not by using wads of cash from a mysterious source either.

4. Juventus would still be playing in pink if it wasn't for Notts County. In fact it may well be that folks like Claudio Gentile might have been sweet little kick 'n' rush Wenger archetypes were it not for the change of kit.

Sven-Goran ErikssonStill that might be slightly more than Sven knew. The Sun says there are six women to every man in Nottingham so that might be the draw.

Certainly Mr Trembling (surely one of the Mr Men) was living up to his name during the press conference as he nodded along his agreement that one of Sven's jobs would be to identify local talent. Can't see him struggling with that brief somehow. Look out for the Svengirlies.

I've never understood the Eriksson affect on the ladies. How does a 61-year-old with a hairline that's disappearing like the Retreat from Moscow and a voice as monotone as Morse code make a woman's knees go weaker than Freddie Flintoff's? I can only assume his chat-up lines are a bit like Summer Nights from Grease: 'Well-a, well-a, well-a!' Swoon!

Sven will be joined by his usual assistant - the unfortunately-named Tord Grip. It always sounds less like a name and more like a product you can use to clean up after your dog when you're talking him on his walkies.

County fans can look forward to the arrival of obscure and exotic visa carriers from far-flung corners of the world who the mighty Swedes will cobble into a pretty useful side. It makes sense that the Magpies are now favourites to go up - Sven and Tord know how to pick a player.

Let's hope for County's sake that it is successful. Eriksson never leaves a club empty-handed. If they need to bring his weekly wage in a security van, then it'll be a security convoy to pay the severance pay, given past experiences.

You can't begrudge County their excitement. It must feel amazing, like that Secret Millionaire drivel on the box when your new best friend turns round and says: "Actually, I'm not some two-bit numpty that's barely alive in a stagnating corner of a once-proud league. No. My real name is Munto Finance and your whole world is about to change." (Cue music and gruff men sobbing).

It's hard not to buy into the romance of the whole thing, to be honest. Yes, it's not that much different from Man City or Chelsea but at least these people have closed their eyes and stuck a pin in Division Two for a change.

Give it three promotions in four years and we'll all be howling that our club could have done the same if the roulette wheel that is football ownership had spun our way. But for now, good luck, Sven. Although if they do hit the Premier League in a decade, it'll still be nowt compared to the achievements of old Jimmy Sirrel.

Of course, this would be the most outlandish story you've ever heard were it not for the suggestion in that most reliable of tabloids that Maradona's going to be Pompey's 'global ambassador'.
That's right Diego Maradona. Argentina's national hero. Convicted drug cheat. Prone to divinely-inspired acts in both foot and cheating little hand. The greatest player the world's seen (outside of Madrid and Manchester of course). Going to Portsmouth.
Really? What next?

Usain Bolt to compete in an egg and spoon race at Acklam Park Comp Sports Day? Monty and Sandy to announce their engagement in matching kilts at the road hole at St Andrews?
Ricky Ponting and Ian Bell
Ricky Ponting to say in a press conference upon hearing news of KP's replacement: "Who? Ian Bell?! NO! Not Belly!! KP, we could just about handle him, but Ian! All that ferocity and flamboyance?... Noooooooooooooooooo!!!"

I thought I'd heard it all when Villa paid 12 million quid for Stewart Downing. Bargain compared to Glen Johnson but £12m. Is he really worth 15% of Cristiano Ronaldo? That much? I like Stewie but I think they've been rooked.

You know we're still supposed to be waist-deep in the credit crunch, and at the moment I can barely credit anything I hear. Owen at United, Lance Armstrong's amazing return in the Tour, Monty Panesar batting for 11 overs, that bloke for Harlequins faking an injury using theatrical blood so they could get a kicking replacement on. And then being the only one at the whole damn club to take the flak for it!

You don't know what to think. The Edgbaston groundsman Steve Rouse has said the Test pitch for next Wednesday is 'like jelly'. Do you know, I wouldn't be surprised if it blinking well was jelly.

They'll take the covers off and there'll be a 22-yard strip of lime jelly. As England's new number four creams one through the covers, there'll be headlines saying 'Jelly Belly'. Mind, you wouldn't want to trifle with Harmy on a bouncy track like that, would you, eh?
If you think that's surreal, let me remind you once again. Sven-Goran Eriksson is the director of football at Notts County. Time for a lie-down.


  • 1. At 12:13pm on 24 Jul 2009, northernsuperspur wrote:

    Its going to be entertaining watching how Notts County get on this season, although you do wonder how long the current manager is going to get if they havent wrapped up promotion by the end of october...

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  • 2. At 12:19pm on 24 Jul 2009, light_lunch wrote:

    Say what you like, Sven got England into all the major championships when he was in charge. If Arsene was ever to leave Arsenal...

    Talking of transfer fees, is Adebayour really worth Gareth Barry and Peter Crouch combined ?

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  • 3. At 12:26pm on 24 Jul 2009, rjaggar wrote:

    Low cost entry into English football.

    M+A/consolidation leading to breakaway? They can buy in then.

    You'll see. Derby, Leicester, Forest, County. Merged as one.

    Four bits of real estate become theirs.

    New stadium? Oh, they'll rent them.

    In the Middle East. China. USA. Africa.

    Sound far-fetched?

    Think about it........

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  • 4. At 12:27pm on 24 Jul 2009, Vox Populi wrote:

    That was actually very funny for once. Well done.

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  • 5. At 12:33pm on 24 Jul 2009, absitomen wrote:

    Pretty funny column. Just a slight correction...Sven isn't the new manager, he's going to be the director of football. They have a wily, pug-faced Scot at the helm and he was at the press conference yesterday...although he did look a little sheepish. I guess he knows the writing's on the wall as soon as they the club starts climbing up the table.

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  • 6. At 12:36pm on 24 Jul 2009, Chris Charles wrote:

    5. absitomen: Quite right, I have gone in and corrected it.

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  • 7. At 12:42pm on 24 Jul 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    Cheers mate. I dunno whether to feel honoured or patronised. 'Patronised' means being talked down to, by the way.

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  • 8. At 12:45pm on 24 Jul 2009, montlepants wrote:

    I think you will find Sheffield football club are the oldest in the world.

    County are the oldest football league club....

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  • 9. At 12:46pm on 24 Jul 2009, Wilo wrote:

    hehe - top blog Robbo!

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  • 10. At 12:54pm on 24 Jul 2009, scottsewell wrote:

    'one of Sven's jobs would be to identify local talent. Can't see him struggling with that brief somehow'

    That is a grade A* quality quote, had me in stitches.

    Well done Robbo, good blog as usual.

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  • 11. At 12:57pm on 24 Jul 2009, Jeff Vincent wrote:

    One thing that alway strikes me about this "oldest club in the world" stuff is who could they play against?

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  • 12. At 1:04pm on 24 Jul 2009, GazUtd wrote:

    Seriously Robbo, you can't figure out Sven's attraction? Maybe the later mentioned truck loads of severance pay have something to do with it.

    I'm not saying women are only interested in money but as soon as I perfect my new aftershave, Eau de Wallet, I'll be worth a fortune and then I'll see if they all come running.

    Anyway seeing as the 'jury' in Liverpool have just come back and said it was awful that poor Mr. Gerrard had his hand attacked by that man's face I assume these comments will suddenly change.

    Maybe I'm just being cynical. Cynical means having the shape of a cylinder, I looked it up and everything.

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  • 13. At 1:06pm on 24 Jul 2009, ControlledMagic wrote:

    Robbo always enjoy the blog - apart from when it's rubbish, of course but I have to say that your patronising comment (#7) takes the cake. Splendid.....and you even managed not to mention Benitez, which should keep Red Sam off here this week. 10 / 10 for that initiative.

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  • 14. At 1:11pm on 24 Jul 2009, owlsludders wrote:

    #11, that's why you will find Hallam FC is the second oldest club in the world.

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  • 15. At 1:11pm on 24 Jul 2009, andrewtheboom wrote:

    As far as we know the only women Sven has seduced are his Nancy bird, who always carries a faint touch of man, Ulrika Jonsson, who has never struck me as requiring much seduction, and the FA secretary Fire Alarm, who is not much of a looker.

    I always though Tord Grip was a weightlifting technique.

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  • 16. At 1:16pm on 24 Jul 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    Brilliant Robbo, noooo, it was beyond brilliant, it was a proper warmer-upper for all that's to come. 'ere I am back from a fortnight in Blighty where we had a good Open and a successful Test. Of all the things I missed about America I missed your blog the most, well, perhaps not the most but it was right up there inbetween pancakes and cheerleaders! Trying to get my 81 year old mother to get Open updates on the phone as we drove down the M6 was a challenge but all in the name of sport eh.

    I can easily see Monty and Sandy making a go of it but they'd be wise to engage Sven for a bit of pre-nuptial guidance counselling.

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  • 17. At 1:16pm on 24 Jul 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    Hang on. Yesterday there were five birds to every bloke in Nottingham. Today there are six. What's going on? What happened overnight? Is it some kind of Amazonian set-up they've got down there?

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  • 18. At 1:20pm on 24 Jul 2009, Urchsta wrote:

    Re 11 : Maybe against teams that are no longer in existence ?

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  • 19. At 1:25pm on 24 Jul 2009, Rick wrote:

    Ref #6

    Have you got yourself a secretary these days Robbo? No wonder you can look down on people these days.

    By the way, I know it's an old argument but can anybody work out why if #4 thought the blog was funny "for a change" does he bother to keep reading it?

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  • 20. At 1:25pm on 24 Jul 2009, chrispy51 wrote:

    Also, just because they are the oldest PROFESSIONAL club in the world, they are not the oldest club, I believe there is a team in Sheffield (Sheffield FC) with that honour, now if that were to become professional it would knock Notts County from the 'oldest club' position they hold... Who wants a project?

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  • 21. At 1:32pm on 24 Jul 2009, owlsludders wrote:

    #18, Sheffield FC and Hallam FC are still in existence and their claim to fame is that the Sheffield Derby is the oldest derby in the world, first played in 1860. Sheffield rules introduced solid crossbars and headers amongst other enduring rules.

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  • 22. At 1:33pm on 24 Jul 2009, KingArthuronice wrote:

    Please tell me the names of the four "Directors of Football" at the "big four" and then explain why they are more important than the manager.

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  • 23. At 1:41pm on 24 Jul 2009, GazUtd wrote:

    #21 - Sheffield introduced solid crossbars?

    What were they made of before that? Jelly?

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  • 24. At 1:47pm on 24 Jul 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    Ref 23 GazUtd

    The "crossbar" was made of tape, in accordance with an FA regulation introduced in 1865.

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  • 25. At 1:49pm on 24 Jul 2009, GazUtd wrote:

    Thanks Zoot, you truly are the fountain of all knowledge.

    Or you're just really really old.

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  • 26. At 1:50pm on 24 Jul 2009, owlsludders wrote:

    #23, rope was strung between the posts. I promise I will stop being a mine of useless information like West Auckland of the Northern League were the first 'World Cup' winners. I find the extraction of urine out of Sven much more entertaining.

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  • 27. At 1:53pm on 24 Jul 2009, GazUtd wrote:

    Owlsudders I understand you were trying to get around saying 'taking the proverbial' there but the way you phrased it makes it sound like something you might actually find Sven doing on a dodgy website.

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  • 28. At 2:01pm on 24 Jul 2009, Aah tea wrote:

    The oldest LEAGUE club maybe Notts County but the oldest football club is usually recognised as Sheffield FC (no, not United or Wednesday).

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  • 29. At 2:14pm on 24 Jul 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    Don't overlook The Football Club of Edinburgh, which was formed by John Hope in 1824, and which existed for ten years.

    And, no, Gaz, I didn't play on the wing for them.

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  • 30. At 2:16pm on 24 Jul 2009, GazUtd wrote:

    There was Hope in Scottish football?

    It must have been a long time ago.

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  • 31. At 2:18pm on 24 Jul 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    Ref 30 GazUtd

    Good stuff! You rascal.

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  • 32. At 2:21pm on 24 Jul 2009, God_Tony_Yeboah_21 wrote:

    So Sheffield FC are older? Quick, call a Sheikh...

    Funny, all of these clubs get bought out by Megabucks McGhee and we at Leeds get Papa Smurf. Not that I am bitter!

    I reckon Svengali can do a job with the Magpies. Possibly much like one that Sir Michael Caine pulled in Italy in a documentary I saw once. 'Hold on lads, Qatar just made me an offer...' Before you know it the doors will be bl00dy blown off the Notts County office

    And tape for a crossbar? sounds marvellous! Make it sticky enough and the keeper doesnt need to worry about rebounds in the 6 yard box. Mind you back then the ball was so heavy you couldnt kick it from 6 yards away from your target anyway

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  • 33. At 2:23pm on 24 Jul 2009, Pokerlovintaxadviser wrote:

    #17 You are relying on The Sun as gospel. The universities used to advertise that Nottingham had a high women:men ratio but desperate men sniffing out an opportunity bombarded the city and eliminated the gap. In fact, The Sun running this story will probably create a further 'man-rush' and the ratio will end up 6:1 the other way.

    #15 Kaka's better half ran a documentary on herself entitled "Am I a sex addict?" and introduced herself to Celeb BB as being best known for having 4 kids by 4 different fathers. Wasn't she also an alleged John Leslie victim? In summary, Sven could have looked like something out of Planet Of The Apes and still bagged her.

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  • 34. At 2:28pm on 24 Jul 2009, jordanuk90MUFC wrote:

    so thats who county played Sheffield FC must be lonely being first team

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  • 35. At 3:37pm on 24 Jul 2009, dyrewolfe wrote:

    Another quality blog Robbo. Loved the Tord Grip and talent-spotting jokes.

    As for Boro getting £12m for the crocked Stewie Downing (won't be able to play until December at the earliest) - I'm sure he'll prove his worth in time. Besides we need all the dosh we can get to build a side that can get us to the Championship play-offs (automatic promotion's too much to hope for).

    Amazed (and pleased) to see the majority of replies to this blog are as amusing as the original article.

    Thanks to all you merry japesters for your amusing and informative replies, brightening up a rather dull Friday afternoon.

    Gives me hope for the future of mankind...or at least the portion of it that lurks on the BBC website. :-D

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  • 36. At 3:51pm on 24 Jul 2009, footvoodoo wrote:

    The sarcasm when talking about Maradona, looks a bit out of place. The fist of God was a cheat, but the second goal in the same match showed the quality. He was also a player who never complained about the rough tackles he got. And most of these free-style techniques shown by modern football heroes, he used to do then itself. Check out you-tube. Professional footballers will try to score a goal at any extent(tumbling footballers is a star attraction in most teams, to get a free-kick or penalty) and we cheer them week in , week out. So do spare a bit of respect.

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  • 37. At 4:00pm on 24 Jul 2009, bluehellsbells wrote:

    I believe Sven appointed his right hand man after one day having a wobbly and being told to 'get a grip' - it would seem that Tord fitted the bill.

    re #12 yes I do feel for Stevie G, what with all his mates pleading/being foudn guilty and there he was an innocent bystander. Obviously no Everton supporters on the jury

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  • 38. At 4:37pm on 24 Jul 2009, wedontknowfootball wrote:

    bet if notts county failed promotion end of this season or the next, sven gets the sacked and picks up his severance pay. easy money.

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  • 39. At 4:56pm on 24 Jul 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    Things are looking up Robbo, your lads have got a bye in the first round of the Carling Cup. Hopefully there's an appropriate celebration in the works.

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  • 40. At 5:21pm on 24 Jul 2009, God_Tony_Yeboah_21 wrote:

    By the way Robbo, forgot to mention earlier - top blog! Especially like the title... thanks ofr amusing away 5 mins of my afternoon!

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  • 41. At 5:41pm on 24 Jul 2009, immariner wrote:

    What a load of rubbish. 'Stagnating corner of a once proud league'? You prem types really haven't got a clue what goes on outside your glamorous, soap opera of a league. Oh, right... Christ knows why you're still paid for out of tax payers money.

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  • 42. At 6:20pm on 24 Jul 2009, ForTheLulz wrote:

    7. At 12:42pm on 24 Jul 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    Cheers mate. I dunno whether to feel honoured or patronised. 'Patronised' means being talked down to, by the way.


    Cracking response Robbo, made my evening :D

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  • 43. At 6:36pm on 24 Jul 2009, Hurlmere wrote:

    Hmmm... Did players at the oldest club have to play with themselves until another team joined up??

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  • 44. At 6:39pm on 24 Jul 2009, panchopuskas wrote:

    "the unfortunately-named Tord Grip. It always sounds less like a name and more like a product you can use to clean up after your dog when you're talking him on his walkies."

    Pure Robbo.

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  • 45. At 8:29pm on 24 Jul 2009, Darren wrote:

    Robbo, I love your blog's and I usually agree whole heartedly with what you write, but I can't help feeling that the loss of Downing hurts more than you let on. He was by far Boro's best player last year and the year before that... So I disagree with Villa being 'rooked'! Anyhow lets hope you use the money wisely and climb back up into the Premier League soon enough! :)

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  • 46. At 9:02pm on 24 Jul 2009, EmergingFromGorse wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 47. At 9:26pm on 24 Jul 2009, goonergetit wrote:

    Stephen Gerrard should stand as a politician and claim 800,000 million pounds in living expenses, he'll get just as much negative honesty from the BBC as she did! If someone walks up to the Queen and kills her with a Kalashnikov on live TV, will that person face honest unbiased journalism from the BBC ? I really do wonder. Are BBC journalists unbiased ? Am I dreaming ?

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  • 48. At 00:29am on 25 Jul 2009, R Nair wrote:

    Sheffield FC, an amateur club, are the oldest non-university football club in the world. FIFA have have recognized the club as the oldest in the world. They celebrated their 150th anniversary in 2007.

    Notts County are the oldest professional football club in the world.

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  • 49. At 00:49am on 25 Jul 2009, Moyseyside wrote:

    Good blog Robbo, the world is mad at the moment, pigs might fly soon, oh wait then we've already seen the pig flu :)

    Here is the table of oldest clubs in the world from Wiki:

    Mostly Sheffield or Yorkshire based at first. Notts County were the first to play what is now Association Football (and League Football) - they predate the FA, but unfortunately they are not allowed to tell the FA when they are behaving ridiculously, if they could we'd all be County fans - ha!

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  • 50. At 09:21am on 25 Jul 2009, bigroy00 wrote:

    Enough with the 'Oldest club in the world' claims, please!
    Robbo you have opened a Pandora's box full of anoraks

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  • 51. At 10:44am on 25 Jul 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    You're right. So many anoraks it's like a fire sale at Millett's. Sorry I mentioned it.

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  • 52. At 10:54am on 25 Jul 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    Interestingly, the oldest anorak in the world may well be the child's anorak, made from paper thin seal intestine, which is on display at the State Museum of Ethnology in Bavaria. It is set alongside the oldest known kayak in the world, which was delivered to Holland by polar explorers in 1577.

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  • 53. At 11:15am on 25 Jul 2009, Tim Boyde wrote:

    The more recent and now common use of "patronised" as you use it is a complete change from its' original meaning; to patronise someone was a good thing, to support, to treat in a fatherly fashion, be it with good advice or financially or in any way one can. English is a language with roots in many others, Greek, Latin, French for example. Nowadays the roots are forgotten or distorted so that "could of" and "should of" make absolutely no sense but seem to be accepted and "phobia", which means a fear of, has come to be used as meaning hate, as in homophobia which literally means to be afraid of man.
    In the meantime, I will continue to patronise my local football team, Plymouth Argyle, by supporting it in any way I am able. And despite the falling standards of English in journalism, I will continue to patronise your blogs, Robbo, as I do find them to be amusing and provocative in equql measure.

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  • 54. At 11:20am on 25 Jul 2009, Tim Boyde wrote:

    Apologies for the spelling of equql. I am struggling with a French style keyboard which has the letters q and a transposed.

    Zootmac, earlier kayaks were warmed by lighting small whale blubber heaters, which invariably set the kayaks alight with disastrous effect. This of course led to the saying that you can't have your kayak and heat it.

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  • 55. At 11:56am on 25 Jul 2009, michaelcgreen wrote:

    Robbo, shouldn't your blog be on "The Championship" page

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  • 56. At 1:56pm on 25 Jul 2009, DenistheGenius wrote:

    ...lotta witty comments out there - nice work, team.
    we'll beat those drab McNu*pty bloggers yet!

    Stevie G found innocent? well we couldn't have seen that one coming! it's just like that episode of MacGyver where you thought, "surely MacGyver is done for this time," and then, lo and behold, he escapes to fight another day.

    now who's going to look up "irony" for us?

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  • 57. At 2:32pm on 25 Jul 2009, willsie wrote:

    "I've never understood the Eriksson affect on the ladies."

    What you need to understand is not the Eriksson effect, but the urban legend re the "proportion" of the male Swede :-0)

    Does nothing for me, but I can see how it attracts some ladies.

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  • 58. At 2:51pm on 25 Jul 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    I'm still trying to look up "Director of Football", to find out what it actually means. Is Sven's big job to stand on the half way line, with a sign saying "THIS WAY", and an outstretched arm pointing the Notts County players towards the opposition goal?

    Presumably, he'll have been offered a huge salary. And he can look forward to walking his huskies in Nottingham Forrest, Tord Grip in hand, listening to ABBA on his Walkman, and hoping that Steven Gerrard isn't out for an especially long jog and doesn't like his taste in music. And, by the time he settles into the post, there'll be 143 birds to every bloke in Nottingham...

    But what will he actually DO?

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  • 59. At 3:40pm on 25 Jul 2009, Auqakuh1123 wrote:

    1502, from L. ironia, from Gk. eironeia, from eiron "dissembler," perhaps related to eirein "to speak" (see verb). Used in Gk. of affected ignorance, especially that of Socrates. For nuances of usage, see Anywhere Outside of America.

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  • 60. At 3:44pm on 25 Jul 2009, Auqakuh1123 wrote:

    @17, Zootmac

    Obviously, women have heard Sven is in town and are now flocking there in droves in the hope of a quick fumble behind the bike sheds.

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  • 61. At 3:45pm on 25 Jul 2009, Auqakuh1123 wrote:

    @54, moroccogreen

    I laughed hard enough that Lilt came out of my nose.

    And I'm not even drinking Lilt.

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  • 62. At 4:56pm on 25 Jul 2009, DenistheGenius wrote:


    as a Yank, i'm both flattered and offended ;)

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  • 63. At 5:21pm on 25 Jul 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    ref 60 Auqakuh1123

    So the Amazonian solution is a non-starter? Sven will be disappointed: he was told at the interview that Nottingham was the only place in Britain he could go where he wouldn't feel a right t*t.

    As for the Lilt dilemma: if it IS Lilt, it will have a totally tropical taste. But I wouldn't do the test.

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  • 64. At 5:28pm on 25 Jul 2009, kurtschwitters wrote:

    does this guy get paid to write this?


    (if he does)

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  • 65. At 6:34pm on 25 Jul 2009, el_chino wrote:

    with regards to sven, its just come to my attention that hes got jimmy savilles haircut - how does he pull birds like he does?

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  • 66. At 6:45pm on 25 Jul 2009, plin68 wrote:

    A red letter day - Robbo blogging on Notts.

    Get used to it Robbo - the Nottingham worm has turned. Fulham and Wigan didn't have many fans watching them in the fourth division either....

    Bigger than Forest? Don't really care, but playing them in a league game (at last) would be good. Thought I'd die before seeing that happen again. Still, we beat them 2-1 in today's friendly so maybe the IKEA revolution has already started!

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  • 67. At 8:36pm on 25 Jul 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    Ref 66 plin68

    Well said, sir!. We're all taking the mickey out of Sven - but events at Notts County will be worth watching. Robbo's reference to the Juventus pink shirts is a story worth following up for those (like me, before this blog) who don't know it.

    The English contribution to the development of the top Italian clubs, especially in the late 19th century, is fascinating. Look at the origins of AC Milan, for example. And, to this day, Genoa retain the "cricket and football" attachment to the club title. Genoa is, of course, the oldest football club in Italy...

    Perhaps we'd better not get into that.

    Good luck to Notts County for the new season.

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  • 68. At 8:40pm on 25 Jul 2009, 404navyrum wrote:

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  • 69. At 8:41pm on 25 Jul 2009, 404navyrum wrote:

    What drives Sven? One thing and one thing alone A challenge ... ? The only challenge he likes is trying to fill his pockets . Lets just deport him back to Sweden.

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  • 70. At 00:25am on 26 Jul 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    59 62

    Outside of America or Outside America? What irony.

    Ok, out of this chair, back to the ironying.

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  • 71. At 10:34am on 26 Jul 2009, SonnyMaroon wrote:

    About the women to men ratio in Nottingham thing. As far as I know it's not significantly different to any other city. It's so widely quoted however and has been for so long that there must be something in it. I've come across an explanation which sounds plausible that goes something like this: because Nottingham was, historically, a centre for lace and hosiery, industries which employed a lot of skilled working class women, it had a far higher proportion of women with their own income than other cities based on industries that would have male dominated workforces. Thus the women of Nottingham were more independent and having their own income more able to spend their money on themselves and have a life outside the home. The result would be that visitors to Nottingham would form the impression that Nottingham had a higher proportion of women and more attractive turned out ones to boot. Although the industries have declined that reputation has stuck.

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  • 72. At 11:17am on 26 Jul 2009, Tess Sgs wrote:

    Robbo, the reason Nottm Forest fans get so uppity is because "Notts" means Nottinghamshire, as per Nottinghamshire County. Forest is Nottingham, not Nottinghamshire.

    Hope that's clear :)

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  • 73. At 11:45am on 26 Jul 2009, CypriotJohn wrote:

    Sven pulled that hag Ulrika, the 4x4. Not really much of a challenge I should imagine. As for her from the FA, my God, she was a proper double bagger that one. Got to admit though that his Nancy scrubbed up well. It must be his charismatic enthusiastic persona!! Watch out Nottingham, lock up yer WAG`s, he`s on the sniff again!

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  • 74. At 09:33am on 27 Jul 2009, collie21 wrote:

    Just hilarious not one Englishman can ever refer to Maradonna without using the word cheat. As if you were all perfect, without sin, unblemished gods or something. Just hilarious. Then you go on complaining when half the world doesn't like you because of your colonial history, more mirth. Keep the hypocrisy coming, it's a better laugh than what passes for comedy.

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  • 75. At 1:06pm on 27 Jul 2009, Mightyblooze wrote:

    I think you'll find that when Englishmen justifiably complain about Maradona (one n btw) they are referring to one incident in one match, albeit a rather important match! They are not referring to an entire culture's past, incidentally for which the present living population are by no way responsisble.
    Just hilarious indeed. If you ever advertise in lonely hearts columns be sure to point out that you have NSOH :)))

    Great blog Robbo, keep it up.

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  • 76. At 1:37pm on 27 Jul 2009, bredtobered-forum troll wrote:

    64. At 5:28pm on 25 Jul 2009, chesterpwondlesworth wrote:
    does this guy get paid to write this?


    (if he does)

    he does, by you and me and everyone with a tv licence. i for one am happy about the situation.

    interestingly, the colour tv licence was introduced in 1962, around the time robbo robson was born and was secretly used to fund his lavish lifestyle. infact, during the early 90's Robbos spending became so increased the BBC had to cut funding for decent programmes and make period dramas for the next 10 years as they already had the costumes from The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.

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  • 77. At 1:54pm on 27 Jul 2009, DaddyRich wrote:

    I went to the Sheffield FC anniversary game no too long back. They were beaten 5 - 3 by Inter Milan - really enjoyed the match. Well nearly - was loving it right up the point where the centre half got substituted.

    You see, all through the match I'd been giving this guy a load of abuse for the great big 45 yard wonder passes he was trying to hit out to the left wing and ballooning over the stands etc. Words to the effect of "You better hope your Gaffer missed that mate, you'll never earn a professional contract like that" as most of the Inter Milan team were youth players.

    The word MOST is key here because after spending an hour giving this guy grief, much to the hilarity of my wife, friends and the rest of the crowd near me, the guy trotted over to the sidelines and waved to all and sundry with the stadium announcer blaring out

    "Coming off for Inter Milan, World Cup Winner Marco Materazzi on his way back from injury"

    Oh the shame I felt as all my new found footy friends rapidly found new seats . . . .

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  • 78. At 1:58pm on 27 Jul 2009, Presto West End wrote:

    Nottingham does have more women than men, but you wouldn't notice.

    Sheffield FC, football's coming home ... and it expects tea on the table with Henderson's Relish.

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  • 79. At 2:02pm on 27 Jul 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    ref 74, 75 & 76

    On behalf of my Robbo anoraks everywhere, please may I point out that the colour tv licence was first introduced in Britain in January 1968. It was in the form of a supplement of five pounds, which was added to the existing five pounds tv licence, making a ten pounds licence charge in total.

    In the context of colonialism, Argentina was never colonised by Britain, although many academic bods do suggest that British ownership of key elements of the Argetinian infrastruture, prior to the Second World War, meant that, effectively, Argentina was, for some time, part of Britain's "informal" empire.

    The oldest color license was issued in America in 1950...

    I'll get me anorak.

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  • 80. At 2:02pm on 27 Jul 2009, nottinghamshire_red wrote:

    This will all end in tears. Charlie Mcparland to be sacked by christmas and he knows it. The look on his face at the press conference said it all.

    Notts gaining promotion this season? Little chance.
    Notts becoming bigger than Forest? No chance.

    Our younger brothers across the trent will be forever in our shadows.

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  • 81. At 11:25am on 28 Jul 2009, TheMightyRover wrote:

    Since people keep asking Sheffield FC was formed by cricketers looking for a way of keeping fit over the winter. They played games amongst themselves, for example under 21s v over 21s, it was very much an amateur effort. The game of Sheffield rules football became popular in the city and soon Sheffield FC were joined by Hallam FC the worlds second oldest club and the worlds first derby was played. Very soon there were some 15 teams playing in the Sheffield area and they competed for the worlds first knockout cup competition, the Youdan Cup. The game was quickly exported to surrounding towns and cities like Nottingham.

    Reyt then, I'll get me anorak.

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  • 82. At 12:43pm on 28 Jul 2009, Faz wrote:

    Man A - My wife works for the oldest fooball club in Italy.

    Man B - Genoa ?

    Man A - Of course I do, I married her didn't I !

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  • 83. At 11:23pm on 28 Jul 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    72. At 11:17am on 26 Jul 2009, Tess_sgs wrote:
    Robbo, the reason Nottm Forest fans get so uppity is because "Notts" means Nottinghamshire, as per Nottinghamshire County. Forest is Nottingham, not Nottinghamshire.

    Hope that's clear

    Clear! And just a tad petty. Now if you numpties could learn to spell Middlesbrough (1 'o' please!) that'd be just great.

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  • 84. At 02:28am on 29 Jul 2009, Aussie loves Reading fc wrote:

    melbourne football club is actually the oldest football club :)

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  • 85. At 4:54pm on 31 Jul 2009, MonkeyS- all revved up with no place to go wrote:

    RE: 56 Surely irony means.... being made of, or like, iron. Sven also said that he'd like to return to management, so it won't be long before he's poached by another club. So much for a contract, then.

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  • 86. At 12:14pm on 02 Aug 2009, aries22 wrote:

    #52 - which pole - north or south? Call yourself an anorak?

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  • 87. At 2:50pm on 02 Aug 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    Aries22 - Anoraks throughout Pandora's Box are unanimous in their conclusion that it could only have been the North Pole. There has never been an indigenous population in the South Pole, hence the origin of the oldest anorak could only been the Northern Polar region.

    The fabric from which the oldest anorak was made, seal intestine, may be of little interest to non anoraks, but it does explain why Pandora's Box smells of fish.

    Thank you for your interest in these compelling matters.

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