BBC BLOGS - Robbo Robson
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Caribbean scream

Robbo Robson | 12:38 UK time, Monday, 9 February 2009

I often get hassle for always accentuating the negative, but even for an old misery like me it's hard to know what which piece of shoddy slack-backsided shambles to pick on first after this weekend's sport. Suffice to say if you played for a team called 'England' you're not up to much.

Credit must go to the Italian lad Bergamasco, a scrum-half who delivers with all the accuracy of a drunk relieving himself against a wall. I know he's not really a number 9, but hellfire a kid playing blind man's bluff could have made a better stab at it.

It got so bad I was wondering whether the English backs might ask Mauro if, before delivering the next pass, he'd like to Gift Aid it.

Still, he was out of position. In the Premier League we watched people on the sort of wage that would make an RBS banker blush, missing chances that weren't so much sitters as lie-down-take-a-nap-and-flutter-it-in-with-your-eyelashes. Were it not for the fact that Afonso Alves couldn't finish a pot of yoghurt right now, let alone a serviceable chance, the Blue Bell would have been a sea of glee.

Top three in this weekend's Iwelumo Awards are:

3. John Terry's lame left-foot poke, although to be fair a little lad behind the goal squeaked "Excuse me, can we have our ball back" and JT duly obliged;

2. Henri Camara for his full-blooded Jonny Wilkinson on to the bar at the JJB;

1. Ryan Bobble - there must have been a bobble - for his desperate waft at Pompey. Ian Bell could have got closer (actually Belly would have nicked it to be fair).
Tony Adams leaves Portsmouth
Of course the real shoddiness at Pompey came 36 hours later with the grizzly treatment of Adams. Here's a bloke who took up a job on the proviso that he lost his best players and had his budget cut.

As it happens, the team's been playing decent enough stuff it's just that the rock on which Redknapp built his side, namely Sol and Distin, have been showing all the composure of a couple of contestants on Masterchef. (I love that programme but why does that barrow-boy slaphead have to eat food like he's forcefeeding a drowsy Orangutan?)

Adams was on the edge of a precipice last week and what did he tell the world? 'All the board, the players, the fans are behind me.' Just hold that image in your head for a mo, Tony, and see where you might end up.

It's discouraging 'cos Adams is so obviously a decent bloke. He was open, honest, and prepared to take the flak when it came. In short, he was Gareth Southgate. And you have to reckon on him being next even with chairman Gibbo being an honourable bloke who sticks to his guns.

Who's going to take over from Adams? Well, there's always the outside chance that Harry will once again rediscover where his heart lies and return to Fratton Park with his puppy Jermain on a leash. Not that the Pompey fans'd have him. Curbishley has to be among the favourites. Not Avram Grant, surely? You don't want to be replacing the Donkey with Eeyore, do you?

But nothing has surpassed the shoddiness of English cricket this weekend. We did actually win the Ashes in 2005, didn't we? It wasn't some sort of Blairite brainwashing experiment that reduced the whole nation to fawning imbeciles?

If two of the current team are worth £2.2m, what price the rest of them? £2.20?
It's pigging chaos from top to bottom. The handling of KP/Moores was rubbish and while I joined in the Pietersen slating I'm beginning to wish they'd just tugged their foppish forelocks and let the South African ego have his way.

KP got all sorts of flack for throwing his wicket away on 97, but if the rest of the sorry bunch ever pulled their bleeding fingers out it wouldn't matter, would it?

The England set-up is still like some sort of chummy clique where you have to know the flippin' password to get in. Strauss comes in and everyone makes the usual, pathetic, predictable claims of positivity and happiness in the camp - as if some monstrous PR muppets have inserted a microchip of public relations best practice into the back of their skulls.
Ian Bell
And yet your average bystander is looking at the team and thinking Bell? Collingwood? Harmison? Even Monty? Just how stonkingly average do you have to be before someone says "pack you bags , it's time you left"!' Only Flintoff, KP, Broad and Prior could be said to have put any real fire into that first Test. The rest can jump into the sea at Montego Bay and swim for it.

The Stanford match was humiliating enough but this... 51. FIFTY ONE! Never mind all these referrals on decisions. I'd like to refer the whole bloody shambles to the ECB and ask them what the hell they're going to do about it. The Windies would have found more resistance if they'd have boarded the Marie Celeste.

If Ian Bell is not replaced for the next match I will assume he is Geoff Miller's love-child. If Monty Panesar cannot vary the pace and flight of his deliveries I will conclude he is not a bowler but a cyborg facsimile of a cricketer - albeit a loveable one.

Alastair Cook must be in a steady relationship cos he's clearly forgotten how to pull. And Harmison is about as threatening as drizzle these days. They're lucky they're on tour or half of them'd be back at their counties by now.' Cos there are people who take playing for their national team seriously.

Back home come May let's have this team:
Denly, Cook/Strauss, Key (captain), KP, Shah, Fred, Prior, Broad, Rashid, Swann/Hoggy, Onions. It could not be worse if it tried.


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