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Roll on the footy!

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Robbo Robson | 12:52 UK time, Monday, 27 July 2009

I think I've had my fill of summer sport now, ta.

By and large I enjoy a bit of football respite. But the pre-season friendlies have never done owt for my footy cravings. Vegetarian sausages, alcohol-free lager, silicone implants, football friendlies... all one and the same to me. I just want it to get under way and get a bit of order back into my life!

Jonas Gutierrez, Newcastle United; Lee Peltie, Huddersfield Town

Fortunately for the footy scribes, SAF keeps on chuntering about every other team at the slightest opportunity. Ferguson's sharpest barbs are heading across the city of Manchester. City are 'a small club with a small club mentality'. This from a man who said that when Benitez called Everton 'a small club' it was beyond the pale.

Still, I suppose most men would differ in their definition of 'small'. He added that Adebayor's agent had been making last-minute enquiries at United and Chelsea before signing up for City. I'd be surprised if you don't find Fergie sneaking into an Eastlands board meeting before August with a blackboard and some sharp nails.

Thing is, other managers keep their counsel, and if they do have an outburst (Wenger and Benitez) it sounds petty and adolescent. But that is Ferguson's default mode, and he plays the irritant well.

Lower down the food-chain, we've seen the ugly, but amusing spectacle of the Newcastle United Club shop opening to a small queues (if you can call 'one' a 'queue') and a 20% discount already in place. It's a brave smile on Steven Taylor's face on that poster where he's trying to flog the Newcastle away kit. I say kit, but a team coming out dressed in that clobber will look more like a bag of pineapple humbugs than a football team. Mind the match against Orient suggested that they were more like a right bunch of allsorts.

Shearer still doesn't know what he's going to be doing in August. It's not a bad time to have the job. Expectations are nil, but that sentiment extends to potential buyers too. The idea that Freddie Shepherd could return should be outlawed. I'm sure some blokes in the city have been fired for forcing down the price of something so they can buy it back on the cheap. Not saying Freddie's done that deliberately - not sure he'd have the nous to - but the overall effect looks the same.

The Boro exodus continues, with Mido leaving the club for some unnamed destination. Rumour has it that this move would have happened weeks ago but the poor lad couldn't actually get out of the dressing-room and had to wait, Winnie-the-Pooh style, til he was slim enough to be pulled free.

All of the idle chit-chat is of course displacement activity cos we're gagging for the season to start. The summer sports can't allay the cravings.

There's a few topers down the Blue Bell who'll bend your ear about the majesty of Le Tour. I gave up on the Tour de France years ago, when every cog, spoke and peddler seemed to have a 'pharmaceutical sponsor'.

It's a bit of a conundrum of an event to me though. I mean why so many jerseys? I don't ride a bike and I find I only need one meself. The lad Cavendish is clearly the greatest sprinter in the world right now, but what difference does winning the odd stage make if you're still ten minutes behind the leaders any road?

I mean I'm not knocking it as a triumph of physical strength and endurance. And it's hard to think of a more swashbuckling name than Alberto Contador. I suppose I never used a bike to race around on. If they had to carry their best mate on the cross-bar and do wheelies every mile then I must just understand. But if it was me at the bottom of a Pyrenee, I'd get the bus.

Of course I could've suppressed my footy urges by enjoying the F1. But why bother? Jenson's season's so close to meltdown I'm thinking of calling him Chocolate Button. The car's not as good as it was, he says. And there's the point. Hamilton wins cos his car's running better. Button fails cos his is worse. Solution: everybody use the same car. Fair fight. Again, I'm not saying I could drive the way these fellas do, or given Massa's crash, would want to, but who drives it is not the most important thing. F1 races are won in wind tunnels and computer programs.

Apparently there was a cricket final on Saturday. Sussex v Hants, featuring players who you've not really heard of. County cricket's finals used to be a thing of national interest, now it's cricket's equivalent of the FA Vase - really important to a bunch of local enthusiasts but a matter of complete indifference to most of us.

There was a bit of swimming 'n'all. I hear another great raft of world records have been achieved. Jaw-dropping, unless you look at what these people wear these days. There's no friction whatsoever on them bodysuits. They speed along like greased piglets in a length of plastic guttering. I wouldn't outlaw the suits, though. If everyone's got one then where's the advantage? If you're going to stop 'em wearing the suits then surely the hairier gill-heads should be disqualified from body-shaving'n'all. And try telling that to the Brazilians.

The Ashes will provide good compensation this week, especially if Mitchell Johnson keeps spraying it around like a reveller at a festival loo. I don't expect they'll pick him so England will be up against a pretty benign attack with Clark and Watson in for Johnson and North. There's still hope for the Aussies, mind: a Cooky crumble, a Ravi flash, a Bell pull and a Colly wobble and we can be 50/4 in no time.
It'll make 7 August arrive a little quicker: Sheffield United at home - a six-pointer to begin with, eh?

Comments

  • 1. At 2:14pm on 27 Jul 2009, joeybarton_everton wrote:

    Robbo if you're gonna get hot under the coller about the swim suits surely you should mention Rebecca Adlinton's nose job (that thing was definitely created in a lab with hydro-dynamics in mind, it's a shark's fin on her face!)

    Re: a bell pull; a girl I was seeing who went to uni in Brum pulled Bell once, don't think it had a negative effect on the England performance... she said he had a very 'leathery face' which is a little harsh.

    good blog as always Robbo, lovin the chocolate button reference.

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  • 2. At 2:14pm on 27 Jul 2009, Malt Loaf wrote:

    August 7? Blimey that has come round quick. What do you make of John Terry finally committing himself to Chelsea now that he is satisfied the club never had any intention of selling him? Bearing in mind of course that Terry has presumably negotiated himself a fat payrise in the process, though of course money has nothing to do with it - cut him in half and he's blue and white etc etc

    Ferguson's comments over the weekend were comical. Doesn't matter if you support United or not. City ARE a small club. How long is it since they won anything that matters?

    http://www.loserscomesecond.com/2009/07/ferguson-accuses-city-of-arrogance.html

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  • 3. At 2:20pm on 27 Jul 2009, richjseymour wrote:

    "Rumour has it that this move would have happened weeks ago but the poor lad couldn't actually get out of the dressing-room and had to wait, Winnie-the-Pooh style, til he was slim enough to be pulled free".


    genius robbo... as always, there's always at least one gem that creases me up.

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  • 4. At 2:20pm on 27 Jul 2009, kgoeseast wrote:

    As a toon supporter, I'd think Shearer should chuck in the tower and get back to the comfy seat at BBC, the magpies seem to be heading the way of Leeds, what a bunch of overpaid, overrated, underperforming muppets, they should dump the lot of them and buy the Leyton Orient squad

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  • 5. At 2:20pm on 27 Jul 2009, couch_potato_peeler wrote:

    Great blog as always Robbo, Cooky crumble ... a classic.

    I reckon Fergie's started the wind ups early this season because he's genuinely worried, having lost Ronaldo and Tevez. Look out for the poisoned barbs aimed at Ancelotti and Benitez any day now!

    I also reckon August is going to be the most hyped up transfer period yet, should be a great watch!

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  • 6. At 2:22pm on 27 Jul 2009, kgoeseast wrote:

    Sorry "towel" and I hope Massa gets better.

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  • 7. At 2:24pm on 27 Jul 2009, MrBlueBurns wrote:

    At least you point out Ferguson's contradiction's Robbo. Seems that most of the media are too afraid of missing out on an invite to his retirement party, hence the brown noses when it comes to him.

    Chocolate Button. Classic!

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  • 8. At 2:36pm on 27 Jul 2009, trellzaboppin wrote:

    Yet another myopic ramble on how football is the only sport of choice. Cant understand different coloured jerseys in cycling? Well that about sums you up, after blathering on about football strips. Cycling is not dominated by journeymen mercenaries whose only loyalty is the chequebook, unlike the circus you call football.

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  • 9. At 2:43pm on 27 Jul 2009, Nessun Dorma wrote:

    Robbo clearly enjoys a good wind-up. To use net-speak, much of that blog was flame-bait. Especially the F1 and Cycling sections. Flame away, people!

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  • 10. At 3:06pm on 27 Jul 2009, GazUtd wrote:


    This really is the worst time of the year. It's like the shortest day, sunlight wise. Can just about remember last years joys (Boro fans not included, obviously) and looking forward to next years quest for success (again, Boro fans not included), wondering if it will ever come.

    Now that the proper golf tournaments are out of the way, that PGA thing in August is about as exciting as draughts night in the Blue Bell, there is nothing to do. And as you say Robbo, those friendly cash-cows are about as appealing as anything with low-fat on the label.

    The only thing that keeps me going is Fergie's ability to wind everyone up. Infuriating for all you non-United fans but it's geniuenly hilarious for us lucky ones. Mind you, he always does tell the truth. Well nearly, small is too big a word.

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  • 11. At 3:07pm on 27 Jul 2009, KingArthuronice wrote:

    I sometimes enjoy these rants but being proud of your own ignorance is sad.

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  • 12. At 3:13pm on 27 Jul 2009, GazUtd wrote:


    Being proud of your own ignorance is a great gift. In the North-East I think you can even do a degree in it.

    I am overjoyed that I am ignorant to many things. The 'humour' in The Office, what happened in that Titanic movie and the unknown reason why people continually find Angela Jolie a Goddess while forgetting how much of a fruitcake she is.

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  • 13. At 3:14pm on 27 Jul 2009, Edd M wrote:

    Totally agree with the F1 comments - driving skill, whilst important, is completely overwhelmed by technical superiority. It comes down to whether it should be a test of driving skill or mechanical skill. It used to be a balance, now it's most definitely the latter! Standardising the cars is the only way to get back to the former, but a) would the teams ever agree, and b) is that what we want? To completely remove the technical aspect is also bad. how about: All teams start with the same car at the beginning of the season, and can make whatever modifications they want to it?

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  • 14. At 3:20pm on 27 Jul 2009, ElBuho wrote:

    Alberto Contador translated is 'Albert Counter'. Not too swashbuckling that, is it?
    Now if he was called say, Staff Sergeant Max Fightmaster, that would be a different proposition.

    http://www.cracked.com/article_14982_9-manliest-names-in-world.html

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  • 15. At 3:26pm on 27 Jul 2009, NEARPOSTHEADER wrote:

    Errrmmm....I've forgotten what I was going to say.

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  • 16. At 3:27pm on 27 Jul 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    My favourite bit from the beeb clip of the Newcastle jersey launch was the lad, aged about eighteen, who said that he wouldn't be buying the new strip, but that it might appeal "to the younger generation".

    Suddenly, my Mido-aged spread seemed all that much greater...

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  • 17. At 3:29pm on 27 Jul 2009, Harry_Potts wrote:

    Who are you again? I thought you were that bloke who used to organise the car strikes in the '70's. You're just as tedious

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  • 18. At 3:29pm on 27 Jul 2009, GazUtd wrote:



    #15 You were either going to say;

    a)Robbo you are a &$"£(&(&, why does the BBC keep wasting taxpayers money on you.

    or

    b)Robbo you are a legend, why do the morons who hate you keep reading.



    and #16

    Zoot - anyone less than 30 who refers to 'back in the day' or 'when I was young' should immeadiately be arrested and sentenced to spend a night with Gordon Ramsey, listening to how wonderful he is.

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  • 19. At 3:38pm on 27 Jul 2009, nottinghamshire_red wrote:

    Just when you think Newcastle couldn't become anymore of a laughing stock, they design a kit like that...

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  • 20. At 3:40pm on 27 Jul 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    Ref 18 Gaz Utd

    When I was young, Gordon Ramsey played for Glasgow Rangers (once) and thought that Mido-aged spread looked tasty on an aubergine. That was back in the day when there was hope in Scottish football.

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  • 21. At 3:44pm on 27 Jul 2009, NEARPOSTHEADER wrote:

    Ah yes, Robbo, you are a legendary moron! Thank you Gaz.

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  • 22. At 3:46pm on 27 Jul 2009, pads1982 wrote:

    Gaz utd
    Lucky ones, half your supporters are from south of the M4!!!! Who support ManUer because they win and have been the dominant force for nearly 2 decades, as a sportsman i say well done, as a football fan i say every child under 10 and over 50 miles away from old trafford in a red manc shirt should be beaten with a slipper and forced to write "I will be a true supporter of a local team" One line for every pound of debt the glazers put you in should do it. Same applies to liverpool and arsnal, spurs fans are exempt, every village needs an.....

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  • 23. At 3:47pm on 27 Jul 2009, GazUtd wrote:



    No problem. Some of us have to keep these comments going as there's no chance you will see Robbo replying today. He's off to H&M with his CV in hand...

    http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/UK-News/HM-Investigates-Staff-Sex-Romps-Probe-At-Cardiff-Store/Article/200907415346888?lpos=UK_News_First_Home_Article_Teaser_Region_5&lid=ARTICLE_15346888_HM_Investigates_Staff_Sex_Romps_Probe_At_Cardiff_Store

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  • 24. At 3:48pm on 27 Jul 2009, GazUtd wrote:



    #22 Pads

    Did you run out of steam there? You should try the odd paragraph and bit of punctuation, you'll last longer.

    Works for me. The wife is always yelling "STOP!"

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  • 25. At 3:50pm on 27 Jul 2009, roversince1938 wrote:

    Let's face it, while Ferguson might just know a little (or a lot) about the arts of playing Football -(or he might just have had the luck of having excellent players along the way!) - the man is an ignoramus as regards just about everything else. His verbal meanderings only show him to be a small man intellectually and this must assuredly be proven by his own countless inane statements and outbursts.

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  • 26. At 3:51pm on 27 Jul 2009, jordanuk90MUFC wrote:

    has the new season started yet Robbo im bored of eating wine gums and watchiung them hit a cricket ball

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  • 27. At 3:57pm on 27 Jul 2009, danger_dave wrote:

    Hey, what have silicone implants ever done to you!

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  • 28. At 4:00pm on 27 Jul 2009, Vox Populi wrote:

    25. At 3:50pm on 27 Jul 2009, roversince1938 wrote:
    Let's face it, while Ferguson might just know a little (or a lot) about the arts of playing Football -(or he might just have had the luck of having excellent players along the way!) - the man is an ignoramus as regards just about everything else. His verbal meanderings only show him to be a small man intellectually and this must assuredly be proven by his own countless inane statements and outbursts.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    I'll tell you what he is- Ferguson is a wind-up merchant. And when I read comments like yours on blogs and message boards I have to say that Ferguson is probably very good at it!

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  • 29. At 4:01pm on 27 Jul 2009, collie21 wrote:

    Nice blog Chris

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  • 30. At 4:10pm on 27 Jul 2009, Toadflax wrote:

    Regarding the wonderful Pies' away kit: not sure about pineapple humbugs. You could have just invented a sweet that is as vile as the strip. Personally I would have gone for a cross between a sherbert lemon and a Werther's Original, so I have no room to comment.

    So, farewell then to Mido, no longer will he cast a Zeppelin-like shadow at the Riverslide. Please tell me that the "un-named destination" is Sid James Park and my day will be complete. Or even better, let SAF turn up saying that the boy has something special to offer Manyoo, forming a striking partnership with Diddyowen.

    The I woke up...

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  • 31. At 4:11pm on 27 Jul 2009, Meeky_Man wrote:

    Robbo if I could give you one piece of advise for the future Moto GP would be it. It really has got everything. The sport is far more entertaining than the dreary sleep inducing F1. Colourful riders like the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) Mr Rossi who always has humorous post race interviews. The english are represented, barely, by James Toseland who is constantly built up only to fail... must be an english thing. It often has battles where the riders are constantly overtaking each other. Unlike F1 where it's all about boring things like pit stops and fuel loads. Honestly give it a go and you'll be hooked.

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  • 32. At 4:11pm on 27 Jul 2009, adampsb wrote:

    the unknown reason why people continually find Angela Jolie a Goddess...

    Get her to stand in front of you not wearing much or anything and you'll sharp get the point...

    Not that it's likely any of us will be that fortunate

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  • 33. At 4:12pm on 27 Jul 2009, Dennistoundon wrote:

    @15 must have been a lie then, Good Blog Robbo and I'm with you I couldn't careless about the drug addled joke that is the Tour de France.

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  • 34. At 4:14pm on 27 Jul 2009, adampsb wrote:

    #22 can we get an exception if you're local team are the barcodes (or as they are now known the bananas in pyjamas)

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  • 35. At 4:18pm on 27 Jul 2009, Sam_Red_Galactico wrote:

    I've been on holiday - what's the drunken Scotch OAP been blethering on about now?

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  • 36. At 4:18pm on 27 Jul 2009, Dennistoundon wrote:

    @25 Ferguson has just got lucky with good players? what for the best of 30yrs? diagree with man but at the end of the he's more than any1 else in the game has and it will be a long time till he's surpassed.

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  • 37. At 4:25pm on 27 Jul 2009, GazUtd wrote:



    #35

    Sam Sam Sam, when those men in white coats come and your mummy tells you you are just going for another little 'holiday' it doesn't mean you spent a week in the sun.

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  • 38. At 4:27pm on 27 Jul 2009, Sam_Red_Galactico wrote:

    Beyond the pale.

    Tsch.

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  • 39. At 4:28pm on 27 Jul 2009, gringo Loco wrote:

    what happened in that Titanic movie

    It SANK

    If Wiggo had caught a bus in the mountains, he would have won the tour.

    Only 49 weeks to wait for TDF 2010

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  • 40. At 4:37pm on 27 Jul 2009, ScottVernon wrote:

    Who on earth IS Angelina Jolie?
    Ramsay never played for Rangers, it was a porkie.

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  • 41. At 4:39pm on 27 Jul 2009, Mancunian-in-Kenya wrote:

    Gazutd, to use a direct translation of a swahili colloqualism, you are ours! The Great one's attack on FC Dubai kind of surprised me. That venom is usually aimed at a big four team/ coach like 'mr' Benitez or wenger. Like Gaz said, its hilarious for us the reactions these wind-ups invite but, like in Chelsea's case last season, he is usually right. And yes I am from far far south of the M4 and I hav supported united from when we bought a b&w tv circa 1989 and plastic am not. Why does that hurt some people so much???!

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  • 42. At 4:40pm on 27 Jul 2009, Toadflax wrote:

    I have just had a nightmare vision of a future SAF biopic, with the Auld Geezer being played by Gregor Fisher (as Rab C Nesbitt) with a script by Brecht, directed by David Lynch. A sort of existential nightmare with tight shorts, a whiff of single malt and something weird behnid the radiator. Am I normal?

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  • 43. At 4:41pm on 27 Jul 2009, TommyO wrote:

    stunning levels of hypocrisy from Ferguson, even by his standards, over the weekend - good to see someone in the media has the guts to point it out - well in, Robbo.

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  • 44. At 4:41pm on 27 Jul 2009, CypriotJohn wrote:

    Good stuff Robbo,
    Tis true about old whisky nose, he can say whatever he likes and when he likes about any body/group/affiliation, but when someone else does then he rants on about it for an age.All very ZZZZzzzzzz now though, he looks and sounds ridiculous. I never did quite get it about those swim suit thingy-ma-jigs,how can it be seen as cheating,and why dont all swimmers wear them? Far too much snobbery in sport now! On the subject of swimming pools and stuff, it was good to see that 15 year old beating Didier Drogba`s monopoly on diving!

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  • 45. At 4:47pm on 27 Jul 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    I was in Cambodia in November and had my snap taken at the doorway in the Ta Prohm Temple, on the very spot where Angelina Jolie went in, in Tomb Raider. I've compared pictures. I look better.

    In Cambodia's airports, the duty free shops are actually called "Du Frey". I kid you not. I went into the one in Phnom Penh, and bought the usual stuff (Khmer Rouge for the wife, Agent Orange for Phil Brown, that kind of thing) so I've got the poly bag to prove it.

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  • 46. At 4:50pm on 27 Jul 2009, GazUtd wrote:


    #41

    Good to get the old Swahili colloqualisms in there. The last time I heard one of those was, oh, about 4 weeks ago when I was last in Kenya. Maybe if the rest of the masses took a bit of notice of 'pole-pole' then Fergie wouldn't get under their skin that much.

    But no worry, it keeps us amused. However now that Mr. Onions has made an appearance and seeing as Sam is on day-release again we better stop before this turns into another "we hate United but can't really explain why" comments page.

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  • 47. At 4:54pm on 27 Jul 2009, Toadflax wrote:

    Rememeber that Khmer Rouge is best drunk out of a Pol Pot.

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  • 48. At 4:56pm on 27 Jul 2009, yajustdonsavethose wrote:

    Le tour is one of the greatest events in the sporting calendar. the reason for so many jerseys is certain cyclists are better on the sprint (cav) than say the mountains (pelizotti). its incredible to watch such human strength although take your point about it being so tainted the last few years. but seriosuy if there were no fights for other jerseys, it would be like 400 riders with just one winner, or for instance, the entire football league and non league with just one winner at the end of it.

    dont be so blinkered about other sports - trust me championship football aint nothing to write home about.

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  • 49. At 4:56pm on 27 Jul 2009, jimbobbillyjoe wrote:

    Re: F1 fun, I've always liked the suggestion that they completely separate the Driver's and Constructor's championship - the driver's go round the teams in a random rota, so they each drive 1 race in each car. Most points at the end finds both the best driver and the best car, not a combination of both.

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  • 50. At 5:09pm on 27 Jul 2009, tj wrote:

    Agree the cars are very important in F1 but the driver is still very important to? This year Button is leading after winning 6 races, how many has Rubens won? Last year Lewis won the championship but Kovi wasn't a challenger. Year before that Kimi won and don't remember Massa challenging either. All had the same cars so again; although the cars are mightily important you still need a top driver to drive them an ordinary one will still give ordinary results!

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  • 51. At 5:10pm on 27 Jul 2009, vanjoh wrote:

    OK, the 'small team' thing. I've thought long and hard about this one...

    The smallest team in the Premiership is Hull.

    Wolverhampton Wanderers are the biggest team.

    I thank you.

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  • 52. At 5:30pm on 27 Jul 2009, U11947716 wrote:

    Veggie sausages rock you philistine!

    To be fair I stopped reading after that...

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  • 53. At 5:37pm on 27 Jul 2009, 4thecaptain wrote:

    Fergie just says things to annoy people. Up he pops, gives a few verbals, and ducks back in the trench.
    He's very good at it, ask Rafa.

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  • 54. At 5:41pm on 27 Jul 2009, Jacks_The_Lad wrote:

    If the "small" clubs recent outing is any indication of their coming season, SAF has nothing to worry about, losing 1-0 to the Kaiser Chiefs is pitiable, there's only five guys in the band.

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  • 55. At 5:44pm on 27 Jul 2009, tommy2010 wrote:

    I think you have completely the missed the point of Formula 1 racing..

    It's a technological battle to see who makes the best car- It's a sport for petrol heads and techies and as you rightly point whoever has the best wind tunnels and computer programs will win- that's the whole point no?

    Does anyone actually care who the best driver is?

    If you do you can watch A1 or the MotoGP where more is down to the racer..

    If you're interested in torque, tyres, technology and tactics you watch formula 1...

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  • 56. At 6:08pm on 27 Jul 2009, PhilNevillesLeftFoot - AOG OUT - Justice 4 606 wrote:

    "Vegetarian sausages, alcohol-free lager, silicone implants, football friendlies... all one and the same to me"

    Might I add Robbo Robson's comedy articles to this list - in that there is never anything remotely funny about them?

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  • 57. At 6:10pm on 27 Jul 2009, mrchorizo wrote:

    Have you had any hands on experience of the silicon implants then Robbo? Ha ha ha

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  • 58. At 6:13pm on 27 Jul 2009, wedontknowfootball wrote:

    as a manchester united fan, i cringed when i read the article about ferguson blasting city. first of all, he took the tevez billboard bait - they got under his skin. second, it was just plain hypocritical of him to say so - as youve mentioned the incident of ferguson criticising rafe benitez for calling everton a small club. ahh, sigh.

    http://wedontknowfootball.com/

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  • 59. At 6:36pm on 27 Jul 2009, mrchorizo wrote:

    Since when was it against the law to support a team other than your local one? Do you really think that 70.000 fans make the trip to Old Trafford for home games from South of the M4? Personally it takes much less time to get to Old Trafford than it does to Brunton Park, from the South Lakes. That's coz the roads in Cumbria are sh$te! Despite Cumbria Tourist Board being the highest earning tourist board in the country, all our taxes go south of the M4 to pay for stupid upside down woks in Landen !!

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  • 60. At 6:37pm on 27 Jul 2009, vanjoh wrote:

    Big club, little club? It all changes, doesn't it.

    Notts County were a big club once upon a time, then they were very tiny. In ten years time (under Svenmeister) they could be fairly large again. Man U were surely quite small after Denis Law's backheel relegated them in the 1970s. And look at Newcastle (from behind the sofa, if you're a fan)- they're big but if they keep on at their current rate they'll be not so much small as extinct in years to come.

    Bit like that Shelley sonnet, innit? Ozymandias. Simply massive. Then really, really not.

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  • 61. At 6:40pm on 27 Jul 2009, NEARPOSTHEADER wrote:

    As to the boredom factor of certain sports - quite a large percentage of footie games are boring to watch; in fact, I think they should be reduced to 80 minutes, like rugby. It might help their watchability and would definitely help those poor, overworked top players who whinge about how much they have to play.
    Any sport becomes more interesting when you know more about it, who the protagonists are, the tactics, etc. Watching a bunch of cyclists pedalling away is, on the face of it, as interesting as listening to Kenny Dalglish, but the whole spectacle becomes watchable when you know what's going on. The countryside is nice, too.
    It always surprises me when so many take Robbo's bait (and Sir Alex'). He's got to have a pop at something and keeping track of three jerseys in the TdeF is hardly taxing.
    For all those who say he's not funny - the Mido dig? Come on! I can picture the elephantine Egyptian lying in his back in the dressing room with an enormous pot of honey propped up by his feet.

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  • 62. At 6:44pm on 27 Jul 2009, georgesbest wrote:

    #2 Ferguson's comment about City was certainly a strange one. I don't know what he means by small- a premier league club with a big stadium and a huge fan base! If he meant that Man City are a small club because they have won little, the fact that his comment was a reaction to City's strive for success seems kind of stupid.

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  • 63. At 7:00pm on 27 Jul 2009, 4thecaptain wrote:

    If you drink alcohol-free lager, does that mean you have a hangover because you're a Newcastle fan?

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  • 64. At 7:30pm on 27 Jul 2009, jam tomorrow wrote:

    At long last some sense from the Teesside one!

    I can also testify vegetarian sausages are absolutely rank, alcohol free beer still gives you a hang over and Newcastle are now officially bananas in pyjamas.

    The new Liverpool monopoly set will includes a Steven Gerrard get out of jail free card, Fergie is writting a book entitled "living with double standards" and David Beckham is wondering if its worth all the hassle in LA for a mere £500k per week.....YES!

    Roll on the new season when we can all moan about dodgy Utd penalties and Rafa pigeon English rants, Arsxxx Whenger complaining his side dont get enough protection and Everton winning the League only for UEFA to award it to Liverpool.

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  • 65. At 7:37pm on 27 Jul 2009, jay842 wrote:

    Not bad Robbo

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  • 66. At 7:40pm on 27 Jul 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    52. At 5:30pm on 27 Jul 2009, HeavensChimney wrote:
    Veggie sausages rock you philistine!

    To be fair I stopped reading after that...

    ________________________________________________________________

    Erm 1. If you're veggie sausages are rocking you've probably overcooked them.

    2. If there's one thing I can stand more than a philistine it's a prissy vegan.

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  • 67. At 7:43pm on 27 Jul 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    I can't go into too much detail re implants but let's just say I once visited silicon valley and it was just plain weird.

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  • 68. At 7:54pm on 27 Jul 2009, wedgy14 wrote:

    Excuse me robbo, but how exactly can you you compare manchester city to everton in terms of being a big club in english football?? manchester city's trophy haul is pitiful in comparison to everton's and the mere fact that you would even think to compare the two clubs is embarrassing for you and the bbc.

    and just in case anyone tries to claim otherwise as far as trophy's is concerned, city have 2 league titles to evertons 9 and 4 fa cups to evertons 5. the only area they actually outstrip everton in terms of trophys is the league cup, hardly something that cud be considered as a major trophy.

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  • 69. At 7:54pm on 27 Jul 2009, LS wrote:

    Robbo.. I appreciate that it is silly season but you seem to drop into the 'boro pub slang on a frequent basis. If you are illiterate then your boss should be fired for employing you and you can always go back to college.

    I would like to point out that this is a football column and not a summery of the Tour de France. Maybe this is because you have run out of obcenities to describe the Newcastle away kit and jump on the bandwagon with the rest of the toon army hate mob.

    Still, 'Boro are always going strong aren't they? I am told that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit but at least that is a form of wit. However, I would suggest that any form of wit is lacking from your column.

    Please feel free to disagree but an opinion is an opinion at the end of the day.

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  • 70. At 8:12pm on 27 Jul 2009, jonnothecitizen wrote:

    Long time no speak Robbo, how ya been?
    Good blog as always mate.
    The stuff with SAF and the Tevez poster in Manchester City Centre is pretty funny, seeing as we (City) put the poster up like 2 days after we signed him, while United were still in Manchester, and its took SAF how long to comment...

    It might also be a dig at the fact that Man United arent actually based in Manchester, they are based in Trafford. Every Traffordian I know flips when i say they are a Manc, Ive been beaten before until I agree that they are infact from Trafford not Manchester.

    but saying that, I do agree with SAF, we are a small club and will continue to be a small club until we actually win something.

    To LS (post number 69) above me, this isnt a football column, its a column that delivers a 'commoners' views on all British sport, it just so happens that there isnt that much football going on at the moment, making it quite difficult to talk about it in detail.

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  • 71. At 8:25pm on 27 Jul 2009, GazUtd wrote:



    Robbo if the vegans get you down just show them this...

    http://images.cheezburger.com/completestore/2009/6/22/128901787463433998.jpg

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  • 72. At 8:30pm on 27 Jul 2009, jam tomorrow wrote:

    ref #68, i agree entirely, Everton are massive compared with small club City, I really wish we (City) had a rickety wooden stadium with views blocked from lots of seats like you, about 10,000 less fans per home game like you and an owner without two bob to rub together again like you. Never mind Uncle Terry might sort you a stadium out, you just need a few billion more Tesco club card points.

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  • 73. At 8:41pm on 27 Jul 2009, vanjoh wrote:

    It's not the size of your club, it's what you do with it.

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  • 74. At 8:52pm on 27 Jul 2009, Spitfire wrote:

    I feel City are getting unfair treatment on this spending spree. You give out a couple of hundred Mill over 5 seasons or all at once to get a short cut, I dont see what's different. You could do an Ashley and end up putting it all in the drain or a Chelski and have some success, either way if they got money, why should they sit back. If I were in their position, I would have started with a top manager that Hughes most definitely isnt. His buying policy is wrong as Kiera Knightly getting 38DD Silicons. Do able but insane.

    I am with Robbo that they will get someone like Murinho and could well be him. He looks like he is bored at the moment and EPL will be a better place if he were in the mix. Imagine how it will be with the three War Lords in North West.

    Sooner or later,City will win and after they have 'bought'(not my words) success, will it stop the Ballacks,Brogbas and Terrys from joinging them, in say 4 years from now?


    Shame City have one of the best programs in country for local talent development. These kids will end up the biggest losers of their new found barrels.

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  • 75. At 8:52pm on 27 Jul 2009, genericname1 wrote:


    Erm 1. If you're veggie sausages are rocking you've probably overcooked them.

    2. If there's one thing I can stand more than a philistine it's a prissy vegan.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    You prefer prissy vegans to philistines?

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  • 76. At 8:56pm on 27 Jul 2009, Spitfire wrote:

    @73: well said. But if its big, you dont need to 'compensate' by, say, buying a Ferrari when all you need is a Fiat 500.

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  • 77. At 9:10pm on 27 Jul 2009, Rita Cocking wrote:

    Nice to see that Mark Hughes has managed to rattle Fergies cage.Keep it up Sparkie!

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  • 78. At 9:12pm on 27 Jul 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    Entertaining, witty, thoughtful and provocative as ever but I'm just a tad worried Robbo..... You've mentioned Winnie-The-Pooh and greased piglet in the same blog. Where's this leading? Did you have a good weekend?

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  • 79. At 10:43pm on 27 Jul 2009, dodiesmith wrote:

    Robbo, you need to lie down with a cold cloth on your face, you really are ready for the season to start, just hang in there a bit longer!
    I meanwhile am relieved that Steven Gerrard is not being hauled off in leg irons, maybe has learned to avoid Southport for his celebrations, stay at home and ask the gang over)....concerned that Beckham is losing his cool now he's back to the reality of MSL after playing with the Italian pros, pure culture shock; but then there's David Owen, scoring his first goal for ManU albeit in a friendly.
    Ferguson has a heart, unbelievable... he did the right thing for Owen and I bless his heart.
    Things are looking up, Robbo.... the beautiful game will be back!
    As for Angelina, I just think she has finally grown up and I wish her well. Ask her to the Bluebell, she may just show up!

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  • 80. At 10:55pm on 27 Jul 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    I thought that Prissy Vegan was the new Bond Girl. Then I discovered Robbo.

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  • 81. At 10:58pm on 27 Jul 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    ref 79 dodiesmith

    I'd check up on my Owens, Dodie. David is the one who famously changed his allegience every five minutes, whereas Michael...

    OK - fair enough.

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  • 82. At 11:50pm on 27 Jul 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    Zoot, the plot thickens.... There's a DODO that has something about David Owen and Man Utd's Olympic donation. But no Dodie, no dido and certainly no dickiedido (and no Christopher Robbo in the house at Pooh corner).

    http://twitter.com/dodo938/status/1647614798

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  • 83. At 00:52am on 28 Jul 2009, U11947716 wrote:

    ________________

    Erm 1. If you're veggie sausages are rocking you've probably overcooked them.

    2. If there's one thing I can stand more than a philistine it's a prissy vegan.

    ------------------------
    So you prefer prissy vegans? Are vegans the only people who eat veggie sausages?
    As usual robbo, you fail to make any sense, show any intelligence or even suceed in being funny.
    Keep up the below average work!

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  • 84. At 00:55am on 28 Jul 2009, U11947716 wrote:

    Last but not least, it is "your" not "you're"... intelligent people are out of work in this recession and you get paid for this guff...hmm.

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  • 85. At 01:20am on 28 Jul 2009, thefrogstar wrote:

    Nice one, Skippy.

    In the same way that a Glenn McGrath prediction of "5-0 to Australia" marks the true beginning of an Ashes series, so SAF "getting his retaliation in first" marks the true beginning of the football season.

    On a more serious note, do you think he might be trying to protect Mark Hughes from failure, so he might still be an outside contender for his throne in the next two years?

    Or will the Glazers go and get someone else? Are they saving up their money to buy a "Special One"?

    And is it really true, as several City fans have told me, that City may be a "small club" but that they are not not the smallest Premier League team in Manchester (that is, there are more residents of the City of Manchester who support Man City than support Man Utd?)

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  • 86. At 02:19am on 28 Jul 2009, Mr George Banjo wrote:

    ***Ferguson's comments over the weekend were comical. Doesn't matter if you support United or not. City ARE a small club. How long is it since they won anything that matters?***

    The same could apply to Everton who haven't won anything since 1995, but apparently they aren't a small club to Ferguson, but Manchester City are?

    It's hypocrisy.

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  • 87. At 06:17am on 28 Jul 2009, dearziad wrote:

    The A1 GP involves teams with a standard car. No modifications allowed, although I understand that the team engineers can tweak the mechanics a little. That would pit driver against driver. But the A1 never gets any coverage on the BBC.

    Looking forward to the new season and see if LFC can continue their form from last season.

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  • 88. At 07:47am on 28 Jul 2009, raszobbo wrote:

    @29

    who the hull is chris???!!

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  • 89. At 08:54am on 28 Jul 2009, robertgraeme wrote:

    Surely, Trellzaboppin, you realise that this is a humorous blog and not a nasty dig at anything in particular?

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  • 90. At 08:55am on 28 Jul 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    I believe that the implication is that there is no such person as Robbo, and that the Robbo articles are penned by Chris Charles in his alter ego.

    Trotter USA - so there are TWO David Owens! I remain of the opinion that the likelihood of either scoring for ManU is as remote as Robbo pulling Prissy Vegan in the Blue Bell.

    Although Robbo does have a licence to swill.

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  • 91. At 08:57am on 28 Jul 2009, Start spreading the news,He's playing today,I want to see him score today, Sammy Clingan ™ (1987) wrote:

    Don't know why everyone is pointing fingers at Fergie. City _are_ a small club - Everton aren't.

    Everton won something in 1995. For City, it's been 30+ years of nothing.

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  • 92. At 09:00am on 28 Jul 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    68. At 7:54pm on 27 Jul 2009, wedgy14 wrote:
    Excuse me robbo, but how exactly can you you compare manchester city to everton in terms of being a big club in english football?? manchester city's trophy haul is pitiful in comparison to everton's and the mere fact that you would even think to compare the two clubs is embarrassing for you and the bbc.

    and just in case anyone tries to claim otherwise as far as trophy's is concerned, city have 2 league titles to evertons 9 and 4 fa cups to evertons 5. the only area they actually outstrip everton in terms of trophys is the league cup, hardly something that cud be considered as a major trophy.

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Oh please. I wasn't comparing clubs, I was comparing Fergie's description of his neighbours with him slagging off Benitez for doing the same to his neighbours. Sometimes you blokes take chippiness to new heights.

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  • 93. At 09:17am on 28 Jul 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    Following our success in Robbo's previous blog, I can see an opportunity opening up for we anoraks to establish what is the smallest club in England.

    May I open the bidding with Bernie Ecclestone's mashie?

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  • 94. At 09:34am on 28 Jul 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    83. At 00:52am on 28 Jul 2009, HeavensChimney wrote:
    ________________

    Erm 1. If you're veggie sausages are rocking you've probably overcooked them.

    2. If there's one thing I can stand more than a philistine it's a prissy vegan.

    ------------------------
    So you prefer prissy vegans? Are vegans the only people who eat veggie sausages?
    As usual robbo, you fail to make any sense, show any intelligence or even suceed in being funny.
    Keep up the below average work!

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    84. At 00:55am on 28 Jul 2009, HeavensChimney wrote:
    Last but not least, it is "your" not "you're"... intelligent people are out of work in this recession and you get paid for this guff...hmm.

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Fair point re 'You're' v 'your'. I stand corrected. By the way 'succeed' has 2 c's. You started it.

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  • 95. At 09:51am on 28 Jul 2009, pads1982 wrote:

    "all our taxes go south of the M4 to pay for stupid upside down woks in Landen" I think you will find the flow of money goes up. Why are house prices higher, why are wages higher, why is the cost of living higher in the south than it is in the north? The GDP of the south far out weighs the north. Where do you think the money came from to re-develop liverpool or manchester, on the local tax returns id be suprised of they cold build a Aldi!

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  • 96. At 10:19am on 28 Jul 2009, StratfordBlade wrote:

    Nice one Robbo! The tedium is nearly over and we can get down to the real business.

    In the meantime, who in the wide, wide world of sports decided that season kicks off on a Friday night on Teeside?

    I was looking forward to my trip to Robboville, and some oik employed by Lord Murdoch scuppers the whole trip! Shows who runs football.

    On the same point, the Sheffield derby was switched by HM Constabulary South Yorkshire, to 6am on a Sunday Morning or somesuch due to safety considerations and trying to prevent trouble caused by fans spending all day drinking. Stupid, but fair enough if it prevents trouble! Within 24 hours, it's been switched to 5.15pm and a Saturday because Emperor Rupert wants it on the box! So who exactly is in charge??

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  • 97. At 10:25am on 28 Jul 2009, Ferdinand wrote:

    Not one of your better blogs Robbo - it was literally all over the place!

    But comment 94 - your riposte to HeavensChimney - made me laugh (hope I've not made any spelling mistakes in my contribution!).

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  • 98. At 10:33am on 28 Jul 2009, collie21 wrote:

    I reckon your banging on about the tour de france, because you got confused with Newcastle yellow jerseys. However, given you normally blog on the premeriship, would it be too much to hope that from this point forward the idiots who got relegated instead of Hull or Sunderland would be left to play in the championship and we shall discuss them no more till they get promoted?
    As for Fergusons jibe, I think it proves how sensitive most of you are and how bitter minded he can be. Yes he is winding them all up. But calling them a small club is a reaction to the Tevez poster for sure. It would be far superior to have said nothing and trounce them off the park.

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  • 99. At 10:37am on 28 Jul 2009, Bellion-Wonderland wrote:

    Re Everton/City supposed hypocracy. Don't forget that United are a much bigger club than Liverpool (and were even in the 70's in Division 2) therefore the gap between United and City is a lot bigger than the gap between Liverpool and Everton.

    And city fans - there's no pride in having a MASSIVE stadium if you only fill it once a season. And as for this gem

    "Nice to see that Mark Hughes has managed to rattle Fergies cage.Keep it up Sparkie!"

    This has nothing to do with Judas Hughes who did worse than Sven last season but more the comedian who went to the trouble of erecting a huge banner featuring a United cast off as some form of oneupmanship. Fergie's point is City are acting like a small club by being obsessed with United rather than focusing on their own shortcomings. Everton meanwhile are a club who are proud of their own traditions. You wouldn't see a poster like that or any of that "this is our city" (despite their being more reds in Manchester) nonsence in Liverpool.

    33 years

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  • 100. At 10:58am on 28 Jul 2009, Zidanepirouette wrote:

    Tevez a 'United cast off' ?? ha ha ha you manu fans make me laugh... you begged and pleaded with Fergie to keep him during every home game since Christmas. But now he's gone to City he's a 'cast-off' - brilliant.

    And as for the Ferguson comments, what Robbo is pointing out is not who's a big club and who isn't, it's the fact that Fergie is being a massive hypocrite by making these comments in the wake of him criticising Bentinez for making similar comments. The 'wind-up' issue doesn't come into it, whether he's deliberately trying to wind people up or not... he's still being a hypocrite.

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  • 101. At 11:12am on 28 Jul 2009, U11947716 wrote:

    Re 94 - At least mine was a typo ;)

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  • 102. At 11:53am on 28 Jul 2009, RedBlueArmy92 wrote:

    Robbo mate, top marks for this and the notts peice! Glad to see Sven take an interest in real football... can't wait to see him at the rec next season! A bit of proper glamour for him and Tord...

    And seeing as how you mentioned it, well done the mighty Hampshire for the cricket! (local enthusiast) Shame none of my hants bretherin before me have mentioned it? Most Man Utd fans love to gloat in victory... ah well?

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  • 103. At 12:01pm on 28 Jul 2009, SalemHanna wrote:

    Has anyone considered the possibility, however remote, that Utd (yes, the reigning champions) could be the team that City push out of the Top 4?

    I wouldn't put money on it myself, but it's not impossible...

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  • 104. At 12:23pm on 28 Jul 2009, funnyvivalarasa wrote:

    99. At 10:37am on 28 Jul 2009, Bellion-Wonderland wrote:

    This has nothing to do with Judas Hughes who did worse than Sven last season but more the comedian who went to the trouble of erecting a huge banner featuring a United cast off as some form of oneupmanship. Fergie's point is City are acting like a small club by being obsessed with United rather than focusing on their own shortcomings. Everton meanwhile are a club who are proud of their own traditions. You wouldn't see a poster like that or any of that "this is our city" (despite their being more reds in Manchester) nonsence in Liverpool.
    -------------------------------------
    exactly the point Sir Alex was trying to make.

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  • 105. At 12:37pm on 28 Jul 2009, Bellion-Wonderland wrote:

    " Tevez a 'United cast off' ?? ha ha ha you manu fans make me laugh... you begged and pleaded with Fergie to keep him during every home game since Christmas. But now he's gone to City he's a 'cast-off' - brilliant."

    -------------
    Fergie didn't want him ergo he is a cast off. With the amount of day trippers and numpties in a regular crowd at OT these days you'll get disloyal rubbish like chanting for Tevez when Fergie is addressing the fans. A lot of fans were hugely unimpressed by him last season. No faulting his commitment but he only delivered in a handful of games and that's why he wasn't getting in the team every week.

    He'll do well I'm sure but if Fergie had wanted Tevez he would've been signed a long time ago.

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  • 106. At 12:49pm on 28 Jul 2009, Terry_Nutkins_QED wrote:

    How have you kept this job if this is the calibre of article you can come up with?

    yawnfail

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  • 107. At 1:07pm on 28 Jul 2009, TommyO wrote:

    Rafa NEVER called Everton a small club he said ""When you play against the smaller teams at Anfield you know the game will be narrow."

    It's that 'park the bus' mentality that so many teams have when they go to Old Trafford, the Emirates or Stamford Bridge too. He also said ""We know some teams will do the same thing and defend. We just have to learn to upset them and to attack." Hardly slating Everton as is repeatedly portrayed in the media, repeated and used by Ferguson last season in his/Allardyce's embarrassing attack on Rafa last season and lapped up by the easily lead United/Everton fans and repeated as FACT - when it quite simply isn't and never was.

    If you don't beleive me - look here - http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/fa_cup/7848091.stm

    For Ferguson to be goaded into responding in this manner about City is completely hypocritical and, i'd imagine, is EXACTLY the response whoever at City was responsible for doing the posters in the first place (I doubt Hughes had anything to do with it) would have wanted.

    Finally - Man Utd/Ferguson offered Tevez a contract - they've admitted that - so I don't see how anyone can claim he is a United cast off. The player rejected Man Utd, not the other way around.

    Hope that's cleared that up.


    As for vegetarian sausages - they're filth. Vegetarian black pudding - that's where it's at !!!!!!!

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  • 108. At 1:14pm on 28 Jul 2009, gay fish wrote:

    99. At 10:37am on 28 Jul 2009, Bellion-Wonderland wrote:

    This has nothing to do with Judas Hughes who did worse than Sven last season but

    lol. Least you forget one of the last few matches that Sven was in charge of City was an 8-1 loss to Middlesbrough. Oh ye all of the short term memory loss. Mark Hughes didn't lose any games by that margin last season. NUFC and Aston Villa came close and SAF is dreaming about winning a game by that margin again. Probably utd's best result last season, in terms of goals scored was the 5-2 against Spurs and that needed a helping hand from the referee.

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  • 109. At 1:18pm on 28 Jul 2009, iNotHere wrote:

    This is probably nothing to do with the article at all but I thought people here might be interested.
    I've just read on the Guardian website that China are going to be able to show the Premier League on free to air television next season. They are getting one live game a week and a highlights package, no subscription. I think that's a little unfair personally, they are getting more than we are in the UK and it's OUR league.

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  • 110. At 1:22pm on 28 Jul 2009, Im not really here wrote:

    Fergie didn't want him ergo he is a cast off. With the amount of day trippers and numpties in a regular crowd at OT these days you'll get disloyal rubbish like chanting for Tevez when Fergie is addressing the fans. A lot of fans were hugely unimpressed by him last season. No faulting his commitment but he only delivered in a handful of games and that's why he wasn't getting in the team every week.

    He'll do well I'm sure but if Fergie had wanted Tevez he would've been signed a long time ago.
    -----------------------------------
    So, the United website was lieing when it said on 20th June ManU had made a £25m offer and offered to make Tevez one of the highest paid players at the club but he had opted to leave....... Either that or SAF is lieing, club or manager, take your pick which is the liar.

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  • 111. At 1:25pm on 28 Jul 2009, gay fish wrote:

    109. At 1:18pm on 28 Jul 2009, iNotHere wrote:
    This is probably nothing to do with the article at all but I thought people here might be interested.
    I've just read on the Guardian website that China are going to be able to show the Premier League on free to air television next season. They are getting one live game a week and a highlights package, no subscription. I think that's a little unfair personally, they are getting more than we are in the UK and it's OUR league.

    Everyone all over the world gets more live football than we do. I went to Belgium last year and went into an Irish bar in Gent. They had 6 flat screens all showing a different live game from the 3 o'clock kick off on Saturday. How many do we get to see in the UK? None. I hope people take this into consideration when deciding to spend £800 a year on subscription football channels...naming no names.

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  • 112. At 1:26pm on 28 Jul 2009, iNotHere wrote:

    107. At 1:07pm on 28 Jul 2009, TommyOnion wrote:
    "Finally - Man Utd/Ferguson offered Tevez a contract - they've admitted that - so I don't see how anyone can claim he is a United cast off. The player rejected Man Utd, not the other way around."

    Sorry, you got that one wrong.
    United offered Tevez a contract true, but they gave him a time limit to decide, 48 hours I believe, (if I'm wrong someone correct me) he asked for more time. United withdrew the offer believing his heart wasn't at United anymore, he'd been there 2 years, if he couldn't make his mind up within 2 days then in their opinion he didn't want the contract that badly.
    United WITHDREW the offer, Tevez didn't turn it down.

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  • 113. At 1:46pm on 28 Jul 2009, Bangforyourbuck wrote:

    Didn't Fergie say they offered Tevez a contract in January, but he turned them down?? I'm sure they were words to that effect.

    And Bellion-Wonderland, how you can say Man U have always been bigger than Liverpool is ridiculous. I'm sure in the 70s/80s when Liverpool were winning every trophy in sight while Man U were floundering, there might have been the slightest favouring towards the scousers. Never mind the fact that you've only now equalled the league title haul but are still behind on European trophies.

    You have single-handedly proved everyone's theories on Man U fans, you delusional tool.

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  • 114. At 1:48pm on 28 Jul 2009, Bangforyourbuck wrote:

    Also, when your entire ground is reverberating with the sounds of "Fergie, sign him up" I don't think you can try and palm it off as "a few numpties" no matter how delusional you are.

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  • 115. At 1:51pm on 28 Jul 2009, bigbabalee wrote:

    ROBBO. IS. THE. BEST. BLOGGER. EVER. LMAO!!

    What cracks me up are not just the articles but the comments they generate...constantly classic!! 2 thunbs up!!

    "Thing is, other managers keep their counsel, and if they do have an outburst (Wenger and Benitez) it sounds petty and adolescent. But that is Ferguson's default mode, and he plays the irritant well."

    Im a die hard United fan but that's so true! lol

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  • 116. At 1:52pm on 28 Jul 2009, TommyO wrote:

    112. At 1:26pm on 28 Jul 2009, iNotHere wrote:

    Sorry but it's YOU who have got it wrong


    A club statement read: "Following contact received from Carlos Tevez's advisors last night, in advance of the deadline the club set for concluding negotiations, Manchester United announces that Carlos will not be signing a new contract with the club.

    "The club agreed to pay the option price of £25.5m and offered Carlos a five-year contract which would have made him one of its highest paid players.

    "Disappointingly, however, his advisors informed the club that, despite the success he has enjoyed during one of the club's most successful periods, he does not wish to continue playing for Manchester United.

    "The club would like to thank Carlos for his services over the last two seasons and wishes him good luck for the future."

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  • 117. At 2:01pm on 28 Jul 2009, Bangforyourbuck wrote:

    Regarding the lack of 3 o'clock kick offs not being shown in the UK, this has always been the case because of the effect it would have on attendances. Which doesn't apply to other countries obviously, because a bunch of Belgians are hardly likely to affect an EPL attendance.

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  • 118. At 2:35pm on 28 Jul 2009, Pasinho wrote:

    I can't wait for the start of the football season either. I'm also hoping to see the day when my fellow footbal fans stop slagging of other sports. I mean, I rarely hear swimmers and swimming fans slagging of cyclists, or long distant runners laughing at the gymnasts' outfits etc. Or is there really somebody (Robbo?) out there who thinks the world would be a better place if football was the only sport there is?

    I still enjoy your blogs Robbo. But you're funniest when you write about football - please stick to it.

    As of HeavensChimney, why read and comment these blogs (and come back to see if your comment received attention) if you don't find them funny?

    109 - iNotHere - The English Premier League is only "English" by name and location these days (also note the idea to have some games abroad...). The owners, players, and managers are increasingly anything but English these days (plenty of English fans, but probably more the clubs probably have more foreign supporters than natives). Has anyone noted how Steve Bruce complains about Eglish managers not getting a fair chance in the Premier League, yet he has no problem signing tons of foreigners instead of English players - double standards?

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  • 119. At 3:08pm on 28 Jul 2009, GazUtd wrote:


    #109 iNotHere

    I am assuming from your general tone that you are somehow blaming the Chinese on the fact that they may be getting the Premier League free to air?

    If you are it never ceases to amaze me how blinkered some people can be. IF the Chinese are going to get free to air footie like you say then good for them. It's hardly their fault is it? And the Premier League hardly gave it to them for free. If this happens it means that a Chinese TV company or the Chinese government bought the rights and have decided against charging a subscription to see them. With a billion people for advertisers to butter up there should be plenty of money coming in.

    If you weren't blaming the Chinese and by some utter miracle the Premier League have given the rights away for free then sorry.

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  • 120. At 3:38pm on 28 Jul 2009, johnnythewombat wrote:

    hey robbo, just want to say - mitchell johnson spraying like a festival reveller - genius, and spot on. he might just be the aussie's saviour though, he has done some amazing things in the not too distant past.

    keep up the good work buddy. :)

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  • 121. At 3:49pm on 28 Jul 2009, SaintCesc04 wrote:

    Cyclying is not a spectator sport, and Football is by far the choice of sport- if you are not participating! It's world cup - is the most watched event on T.V... nothing can touch it!

    Reading a football blog, trying to berrate football, what a fool without balls

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  • 122. At 4:33pm on 28 Jul 2009, lazerspewpewpew wrote:

    I can't believe that these people who don't like the blog are going to the effort of actually coming here and moaning about it and abusing the writer about his spelling/grammatical mistakes.

    Get a life!

    Saying things like "carry on with the below average work". You sound like a right laugh. Get off your high horse and if you've got nothing interesting to say (which it looks like you haven't) then shut up.

    Unbelievable Jeff!

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  • 123. At 4:35pm on 28 Jul 2009, ExPat Smoggie wrote:

    Can't agree more with you Robbo. Roll on the 7th and Boro's glorious first step to recovery!

    The Summer sport offerings have been pretty dismal (Ashes excluded). It's been sooooo dull, that on a recent visit to the good ol' U.S. of A., I even got interested in Baseball!!!! So much so, I ended becoming a Red Sox fan (not sure where that puts me in the "supporting my local team" argument but at least I've been to Fenway Park now). Also ended up watching the Woman's Softball World Cup which is Baseball for Girlies. Although saying that, there is nothing Soft about the ball and those girlies bowl/pitch (delete as appropriate)underarm at around 60+ mph.

    Can't wait for the start of the season when we can debate about real things like "Com'on Ref!!! He was a mile offside"....Discuss, rather than the endless speculative tranfer tittle tattle.

    "Cumm'on the Boro" (oh, and "Let's go Red Sox")

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  • 124. At 4:40pm on 28 Jul 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    ref 118 ppl752

    Steve Bruce has been "signing tons of foreigners"? So Sunderland have picked up Mido on a free without telling anyone? Crafty devils.

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  • 125. At 4:45pm on 28 Jul 2009, RedBlueArmy92 wrote:

    124! Yes mate, Thats funny!

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  • 126. At 4:45pm on 28 Jul 2009, U11947716 wrote:

    122) lazerspewpewpew - Oh look, it's Robbo's secret alias coming on to defend himself! :D

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  • 127. At 4:52pm on 28 Jul 2009, RedBlueArmy92 wrote:

    126... we are all Robbo... except for YOU!

    And now you know our secret we must kill you with over used colloquialisms and subpar grammar! hahahahaha....

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  • 128. At 5:23pm on 28 Jul 2009, mrchorizo wrote:

    #67 Robbo

    I'm not surprised you found Silicon Valley strangely wierd. It's the peaks you should be concentrating on!

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  • 129. At 6:53pm on 28 Jul 2009, 4thecaptain wrote:

    Silicon Valley has gone bust.

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  • 130. At 7:49pm on 28 Jul 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    RedBlueArmy92

    "We are all Robbo"? That got me all emotional. It was like the closing scene from "Spartacus".

    I notice that HeavenlyChimney has so far failed to reply to your merry riposte. Maybe he's gone out for a smoke.

    Still no word about Brett Lee for the next match. No point in asking Robbo. He thinks that Edge Baston plays the ukelele in U3.

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  • 131. At 8:32pm on 28 Jul 2009, dyrewolfe wrote:

    Another top effort Robbo. See - you complain about there being no footie, but you still find plenty to write about.

    I am getting slightly worried though. The more I see Newcastle's away strip...the more I'm starting to like it.

    Anyone know of a cure for this, before I actually go and order a shirt?

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  • 132. At 8:37pm on 28 Jul 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    Oi, that is what Edge Baston does! Along with his feloow ukulele-ists Trent Bridge and Ed Ingley.

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  • 133. At 8:41pm on 28 Jul 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    131
    You LIKE the Barcode Away Kit. First - get checked for colour blindness. Second - buy one but keep the receipt, then wear it to your local boozer. On hearing the gales of laughter from people you could once have counted on for a bit of diplomacy, take off shirt, immolate and revise opinion.

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  • 134. At 9:25pm on 28 Jul 2009, GazUtd wrote:


    Hello, it's me Robbo again.

    Sorry for using the word immolate in that last comment. I have no idea why I thought a load of blokes would want to use facial scrub.

    Carry on.

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  • 135. At 9:52pm on 28 Jul 2009, trellzaboppin wrote:

    In response, #89, obviosly i realise this is a humourous blog, with no malice intended, but it does somewhat irk when i read comments by #121, the TdF attracts around 15 million spectators on the roads, is televised in 170 countries totalling a market of 2 billion, oh, and #121, its spelled cycling and that is berating you!!

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  • 136. At 11:29pm on 28 Jul 2009, mikeelmes wrote:

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

  • 137. At 00:02am on 29 Jul 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    Old Man Trafford will be turning in his grave.

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  • 138. At 00:28am on 29 Jul 2009, U11947716 wrote:

    136 - ouch

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  • 139. At 10:00am on 29 Jul 2009, shaunkc92 wrote:

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

  • 140. At 12:11pm on 29 Jul 2009, dodgy_bloke wrote:

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

  • 141. At 12:33pm on 29 Jul 2009, Istanbul_5 wrote:

    Comments and phrases that should NEVER feature in this, or indeed any other blog:

    1. LOL
    2. LMAO
    3. Ending a sentence with "FACT!"
    4. "Drivel"
    5. "Genius"
    6. "Anyone who thinks otherwise knows absolutely nothing about football"

    Hate Cricket, can't wait for the season to start. Definitely can't wait to boo Judas boy Owen - can't think of another ex-Liverpool player who has been booed on his return. I'm sure someone will furnish me with examples.

    Oh yeah, and anyone who disagrees with the above list is an idiot and knows absolutely nothing about lists - FACT!!

    Oh yeah

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  • 142. At 12:37pm on 29 Jul 2009, lazerspewpewpew wrote:

    136 - Consider that line stolen!

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  • 143. At 1:46pm on 29 Jul 2009, sharptosheedy wrote:

    136 - if you think alcohol free lager tastes the same, maybe you've been drinking too much of the export strength

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  • 144. At 3:07pm on 29 Jul 2009, RedBlueArmy92 wrote:

    141 Lol!

    I would like to add using anyone as a suffix

    e.g When trying to prove a point about, say, footballers who use to much hair gel... "Ronaldo Anyone?"

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  • 145. At 3:39pm on 29 Jul 2009, joelmurray wrote:

    I agree with the comments that Formula 1 is a lot about mechanics, aerodynamics and the like but I think a lot of people need to realise that F1 isn't an individual sport. If you take the constructors' championship then this is obvious but even in the drivers' championship it's still a team effort, the driver has a whole team of personal advisors, race managers etc. who they couldn't do without.

    Although it is a race, it's not like an athletics track where each man is on their own, it is totally a team sport and races being won and lost in pit stops or the garage is a part of that.

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  • 146. At 4:24pm on 29 Jul 2009, aka_bluepeter wrote:

    Bit of a half hearted Eeyore blog if you ask me, but a sign of the predictable times in pro sport....including football.
    Big money rules and big money doesn't like unpredicatability.
    Unfortunately it's hard to be fanatical and passionate about predictable events, even the chance of my once beloved MCFC making it into the top four, possibly at the expense of MU...or more likely, Arsenal.
    The identity and brand of the teams has been diluted if not replaced by likes of the Rasputin at MU, Laurel and Hardy at Liverpool, Attila the Hun at Chelsea and the well lubricated Arabian Knights at MCFC not to mention the mercenaries they have created and attracted.
    Actual attendance levels will drop and Sky will feel the pain of multiple cancelled subscriptions and the big money people will start to get cold feet or go bump themselves. Then what?
    Can Abramovich stomach another year of failure anything of importance,and will the Russian Government finally work out how he became an overnight Billionaire in a Communist country...legally and snatch him from the protection of the spotlight.
    Can the Glaziers and Laurel and Hardy find yet another bank to swap their debt yet again using some instrument or other. Maybe they have found Merlin's wand????
    To experience the pain of defeat and the glory of victory we must feel uncertain about the end result and the fans do not feel uncertain.
    Anger is replacing joy and pain.
    Anger at failure?? well it's just not very British....is it.
    The sight of Ferguson aiming his barbed scottish comments at MCFC before the season has even started is just Alien to us MC fans. It feels like we have become another team and my beloved MC have gone forever. Even Main Road is gone. Next it'll be Benitez and then Wenger and whoever is the caretaker manager at Chelsea.
    Maybe the FC United people were not Prophets of doom, but farsighted Harbingers and luminaries.....
    Maybe Robbo your mood will not lighten when the season starts!!

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  • 147. At 4:54pm on 29 Jul 2009, RedBlueArmy92 wrote:

    146... well that certainly cheered me up!

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  • 148. At 6:28pm on 29 Jul 2009, Sam_Red_Galactico wrote:

    I'm still laughing at Fergie - what a hypocritical goon.

    Gutted at losing Arbeloa today, mind, and it's brought into sharp focus for me how ephemeral some of these foreign players can be; Arbeloa and Alonso were nothing when Benitez picked them up and, with LFC on the brink of something good, they decide (certainly in one case) to up sticks for the joys of home and a bit of sun on their backs.

    Both of these players have been well-treated by LFC, especially Alonso who seems to have forgot just how average he was up until last season.

    And then there's Mascherano with his supposed travails with his wife - with his money, why can't he ship her off to Spain and see her at weekends? I would.

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  • 149. At 7:01pm on 29 Jul 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    #147 chuckle chuckle chuckle

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  • 150. At 7:04pm on 29 Jul 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    Ref 149 TrotterUSA

    That's the best impression of Cliff Thorburn I've ever seen.

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  • 151. At 8:06pm on 29 Jul 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    #150 chuckle chuckle chuckle, you two are right up there with Morecambe and Wise, Little & Large, Peters & Lee etc etc. I hope you both know how much you're loved.

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  • 152. At 9:51pm on 29 Jul 2009, GazUtd wrote:


    Ephemeral, immolate, riposte.

    What is this blog coming to.

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  • 153. At 11:19pm on 29 Jul 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    Dear Mr Gaz,

    Kindly be informed that the "blog" to which you refer will henceforth be referred to as "Derek Robson's Forum for Discussion and Debate on Matters Relevant to Sport".

    Your use of the rhetorical question is an effective method of questioning the legitimacy of a specific contribution, or contributions; however, a question mark is adviseable to ensure the maintenance of an acceptable standard.

    Thank you.

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  • 154. At 00:04am on 30 Jul 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    Aye Gaz, yer right lad and what's more, 'e 'ad that "riposte" on a triple word score!

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  • 155. At 09:45am on 30 Jul 2009, RedBlueArmy92 wrote:

    In light of Mr Zootmacs post at number 153, i would like to second the motion that this "blog" now be known as the "Derek Robson's Forum for Discussion and Debate on Matters Relevant to Sport" or DRFFDADOMRTS (pronounced derf-fuh-dad-o-merts)... I think this will lead to more high brow discussions and an over al improvement in the level (and class) of poster... "Blog" has always seemed such a draconian term...

    I am aware that i am supporting this forums name to be changed to "Derek Robson's Forum for Discussion and Debate on Matters Relevant to Sport", and that in doing so i am not actually discussinng sport, so no need to bring the irony to my attention... Thank you.

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  • 156. At 10:08am on 30 Jul 2009, Spitfire wrote:

    'derf-fuh-dad-o-merts' sounds like something out of harry potter or whats his name.

    Keep it simple!
    How about 'Derek Robsons Open Opinions Limited' or 'DROOL'?

    But keep working on it, we might just be on to something.

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  • 157. At 10:12am on 30 Jul 2009, RTID - They think its all Rovers wrote:

    Great blog robbo. I look forward to visiting the riverside this coming season!!

    RTID

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  • 158. At 1:35pm on 30 Jul 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    155
    Sport and soil-redistribution implements?

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  • 159. At 3:13pm on 30 Jul 2009, GazUtd wrote:



    Yes Trotter, I was thinking the same. Perhaps this weeks blog will be done from Middlesborough's top garden centre?

    Anyway I have to go and attempt to play golf, if the new one comes out while I am away try not to have too much fun. I'll buy a dictionary while I'm out.

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  • 160. At 6:57pm on 30 Jul 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    Gaz, drive for show and putt for doe (or is it dough?) but above all else remember that Robbo has expressly requested that we only put one 'o' in Middlesbrough! All other typos, spelling cock-ups, punctuation errors and grammatical oversights are forgivable.

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  • 161. At 6:53pm on 31 Jul 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    Never trusted dictionaries since getting my first one, in primary school, when I was about ten. It was called "The Schools Etymological Dictionary". Blimey. I thought, "What's 'etymological'?. Then, of course, I realised that all I had to do was look it up in my "Schools Etymological Dictionary". So I did. And it wasn't in it. What the hell was that about?

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  • 162. At 7:27pm on 31 Jul 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    Interestingly, Middlesbrough is twinned with Middlesborough in Kentucky -and they use the additional "o". Usually, our American chums drop what they perceive as unnecessary letters (labor, valor, etc), but clearly not in this instance.

    So, The Kentuckian may have come from Middlesborough. Makes you see Burt Lancaster in a whole new light.

    Lee Majors, the Six Million Dollar Man, was born in Middlesborough. Makes you wonder if Robbo was ever reconstructed from old Ford Cortinas. We'll never know.

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  • 163. At 8:42pm on 31 Jul 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    That's fascinating Zoot. I wonder, what's the etymology of 'Burt'?

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  • 164. At 10:33pm on 31 Jul 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    Interestingly, Burt can be used either as a Christian name or as a surname. The etymology of each is different.

    And, yes, there is a Burt Burt. Perhaps predictably, he is located in the USA... Possibly in a neighbourhood near you?

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  • 165. At 10:46pm on 31 Jul 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    Would you look at that....Burt Burt is at Alabama State. Nowhere near me but I'll not forget him easily. He's perhaps the Robbo Robson of Alabama. Wonder what his middle name is?

    By the way, a tip of the cap to Sir Bobby.

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  • 166. At 9:02pm on 01 Aug 2009, Zootmac wrote:

    Interesting thing is, about Bobby, when my wife (not a great footy fan) asked, when the story broke, the first sentence I answered contained the word "gentleman". Just about every plaudit I've read since also caontains that word. Says a lot, really.

    So much achieved, and always a gentleman.

    SAF's tribute was good.

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  • 167. At 1:51pm on 02 Aug 2009, Glenn A wrote:

    Robbo's right: summer sport is about as exciting as watching paint dry. Cricket, golf, athletics from Crystal Palace, yawn, yawn, yawn, and these sports seem to go on forever rather than the 90 minutes in football or 80 minutes in rugby. Same as Formula One is like listening to a wasps nest that's been oveturned and it's about as exciting as watching Scalectrix. Roll on August 8th when real sport returns and we can talk about something intertesting.

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