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Goalies, Toffee Crisps and Hansen impersonators

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Dan Walker | 12:20 UK time, Thursday, 4 March 2010

Hello everyone. I hope you enjoyed the programme on Saturday as we went on the road for the sixth time this season. Wembley was a little different to the other stadiums we have been to so far. You need two coloured wristbands and a high-visibility jacket before you can even make it to the toilets let alone the pitch.

I have got a bit of behind-the-scenes action for you later but I wanted to start with something I am getting increasingly worried about. I had a phone call this week from the Match of the Day podcast team who wanted to get my views on England's three problems positions: goalkeeper, left-back and Wayne Rooney's strike partner - if he needs one.

I don't think we need to worry too much about left-back if Ashley Cole is fit and Rooney could play up-front with Scooby-Doo and still shine. It's the keeper that concerns me. I know Capello went with Bobby Green against Egypt but my worry is that David James will be number one in South Africa. He's a fantastic keeper, but I can't help feeling history is going to repeat itself. Older stoppers have scuppered England's chances twice before.

In 1990, a 40-year-old Peter Shilton was unable to pounce high enough to prevent Andreas Brehme's deflected free-kick going over his head. Then in 2002, a 38-year-old David Seaman, who has been impregnable in Euro 96, suffered from the same lack of agility when Ronaldinho curled one in from 700 yards.

James turns 40 in August! I know we are not blessed with an outstanding candidate but I would go with Joe Hart or Paul Robinson as my number one. Hart is in incredible form and Robinson finally seems to have banished the bobbly Croatian pitch from his memory.

David JamesDavid James - will he be England's number one in South Africa

Don't get me wrong, James is a solid option, he's a great interviewee and his current haircut borders on the inspirational. But do we really want the enduring image from another World Cup to be the England goalkeeper sitting on the goal-line, shaking his head, while some bloke wheels away thinking "how on earth did I score from there?"

Anyway, rant over. Back to Wembley. We spent almost seven hours there on Friday, filming the opening, the first half of Friday Focus and some other bits and bobs.

The highlight of the day was fish, chips and mushy peas from the staff canteen. For pudding, I fancied something a little exotic and was drawn to a Toffee Crisp. The first bite took me straight back to my childhood. All I needed was a bag of Refreshers, a poster of Glenn Hoddle and a DVD of the Red Hand Gang and it could have been the late 1980s!

The Toffee Crisp has jumped from chocolate obscurity right back into my top five bars, vying for top spot along with the Twirl, Crunchie, Double Decker and Creme Egg - not technically a bar, and much smaller than the olden days, but still a winner.

The following morning we were back at Wembley at 0930 GMT. The bacon sandwich - picked up by Mr Lawrenson from a greasy spoon around the corner - was brilliant. The torrential rain that lasted throughout the morning was not so wondrous.

I don't know what the meteorological term is for rain that comes back at you off the floor but the "bounce factor" had my suit trousers drenched from the knee down within about 60 seconds. Thankfully, the downpour stopped at midday and the sun came out at Wembley about two minutes before the show started.

Dwight Yorke had only arrived in London from the Caribbean on the Friday and looked decidedly miffed by the British weather before the sun burst through and lifted the temperature to a heady 14 degrees... just 26 short of Trinidad!

Anyway, you should have seen Yorke's face when he saw that Wayne Bridge had refused to shake John Terry's hand at Stamford Bridge. Yorke had spoken to his old boss Sir Alex Ferguson that morning and bet him £5 they would. "The gaffa gets everything right," was Yorke's response.

After the show Yorke asked Lawro if he wanted to join him and Brian Lara on a night out in London. Lawro decided to go for the slightly less showbiz option, taking a taxi back to TV centre with me!

We got there in time to watch the rest of the Chelsea match with Alan Shearer and Alan Hansen. "Who did that impression of Al?" said Shearer, referring to the impersonation of Mr Hansen at the end of the Focus. "I bet that was Pete," said the other Al. He was referring to producer/director Pete 'Nicest Man in TV' Andrews, who has been mentioned a couple of times on this blog before.

He was right. Pete once won a Hansen-off at a World Cup judged by the man himself. Hansen gave him 8 out of 10, but I think he's closer to a 9.

If you fancy a look around the BBC studio at Wembley - and another chance to judge Pete's Hansen for yourself - then take a look at the latest behind-the-scenes video.

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit the blog to access this content.

We have another Focus 5 this week so feel free to send your suggestions in for suitable topics of discussion. The art of tackling - in the wake of the Ryan Shawcross-Aaron Ramsey incident - caused a heated debate between Martin Keown and Garth Crooks in the Focus meeting this week so that might make the cut.

Your thoughts on last Saturday's programme, England goalkeepers, Toffee Crisps and great nights out that you've turned down (keep them clean) will also be gratefully received.

You can follow me on twitter at


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  • Comment number 1.

    Mr Walker....fantastic as always!! Thursdays just would not be the same without your blog

  • Comment number 2.

    Dan how are you not fat?

    If your blogs are anything to go by you just eat, sit in cars and sit some more on the Focus chair.

  • Comment number 3.

    As i am Irish i cant help but much do England wish they had a keeper like Super Shay Given? For me he's the best in the world, followed by Buffon & Lloris. And how fitting that he is now our joint record caps holder. And i honestly can't remember him putting a foot wrong in any of them games. Always Absolute quality. I also feel he is severly under rated by the English press??

    Dan, who would be your top 3 keepers in the world at present?

  • Comment number 4.

    whey 1st??!!

  • Comment number 5.

    Dan, Great blog as always, always enjoy reading a non-footballers view of the game and behind the scenes of footie focus was interesting and probably the best impression of Hansen you could of asked for.

    Im just wondering, Im an aspiring journalist and Football is my biggest passion in life and I would really love to visit every ground in the premiership and football league in an entire season and write a report on each game and the different sort of atmosphere each ground presents. I was wondering if there is any chance the BBC Could sponsor me in my quest and I could give a report on each game for football focus, a real fans view of the beautiful game and a chance for every league team in England to get a mention at least once.

    Keep up the good work Matey,

    Fulhamwelsh :)

  • Comment number 6.

    The goal of Ronaldinho curled in from 700 yards was nothing to do with agility but positioning. From memory it was one of Scoles' stupid tackles which led to the free kick; why isn't he blamed for the goal? The part of his brain for tackling is minute if it exists at all. David James is clearly the best England goalkeeper at present.

  • Comment number 7.

    OMFG (Fudgin' Gosh) THAT'S CLASSIC! Such a funny read if I ever read one. I loved Toffee Crisps for the longest time, but then just fell out of love with them. Now it's your typical Milky Bar... Stuff of dreams! And for your information Dan, you can now get Creme Egg bars called 'Twister', and it's officially sanctioned as a chocolate bar, so no-one can say a bad word... EVER!

    p.s. Who needs a link to wikipedia for Scooby Doo? If you don't know Scooby Doo, you're not worth knowing... FACT! :p

  • Comment number 8.

    I have nothing of interest to add. That is all.

  • Comment number 9.

    David James still has plenty to offer, have you seen the spring on the fella? he is in great shape for a 40 year old and still just an awesome shot stopper. That said, he is not playing often enough (or wasn't) if you ask me to be first choice.

    Hart is the obvious choice in my eyes, he is in excellent form and playing weekly for a team playing well above expectations. Confidence is a big thing for keepers, I know I was one myself up until 2 years ago... Shame I am not still playing or the selection headache would be gone! That and I am not English but then is Almunia?

    I still haven't forgiven Robinson for leaving Leeds!

    Oh and Toffee Crisp? Classic stuff. Must admit I enjoy another blast from the past the old Nestle Crunch - anyone with me?

  • Comment number 10.

    Actually, I've got to back Dan up on the Toffee Crisp thing. Those bad boys are WELL worth revisiting.

  • Comment number 11.

    Yorkey, Lawro and Lara on a night out together?! That would have been a sitcom waiting to happen.

  • Comment number 12.

    Dan, your top 5 chocolate bars are so very nearly right. Substitute Creme Egg (as they are seasonal and therefore cannot be called upon 24/7/365) with a biscuit Boost and you are away. In fact, I'd like to throw a Cadburys Spira into the mix as well. They were immense.

  • Comment number 13.

    DoubleDecker is the number 1 Dan! But a Mars must be close?

  • Comment number 14.


    Mars used to be number 1 but they changed something a couple of years back and they are no longer the same!!

    Chunky Kit Kat all the way now!!

  • Comment number 15.


    Great blog again. 'Mr Hansen' was very funny. I'd give 9 out of 10.

    Dark choc 4 finger Kit Kat does the trick now. However, from an 80's point of view, either a 54321 (the lyrics from the ad I still remember) or a Texan. Classic choc 'n' nougat combo.

    Anyhoo, my question is, and its only a question, but why can't the FA retrospectively punish the likes of Vidic for his tackle on Agbonlahor, using video evidence? They'd use it for a foul missed by the ref. It should have been a straight red, by the letter of the law. There seemed to be inconsistencies ref-wise last Sunday.


  • Comment number 16.

    Dan, I played in goal a few times myself (good standard, too) and I don't share your view about old goalies. In a World Cup, I'd go for experience every time. Trouble is, David James, who's just a month younger than me, still plays like a teenager – brilliant one minute, dodgy the next. If James is to be left out I think I'd go for Hart.

    By the way, I'm verging on chocoholic status so can safely state that ToffeeCrisps taste like a block of brown sugar. A higher cocoa content would bring it in line with a DoubleDecker I feel.

    Good work.

  • Comment number 17.

    Dan the only thing I would say about James is he isn't anywhere near the physical shape of a 40 year old.. It was Harry Redknapp himself who said he could play for another 5 years the shape he is in.. I don't see 'England Number 1' when I look at Hart or Green.. but I do when its James or Robinson..

    Maybe Rooney could have a bash at the gloves..

    It's lent so I can chip into the chocolate debate that much as it will torture me.. Im with the person who mentioned Chunky Kit Kats... and Cadburys whole nuts...


  • Comment number 18.

    Goalies, Toffee Crisps and Hansen impersonators - I saw this title and thought it could only be Dan Walker's blog!

    On the Goalkeeper note, I'm also of the opinion that Joe Hart should be given a shot. I like Green but he just doesn't do it for me, and well my heart stops beating everytime the opposition shoots when James' is goal. Great nights that I've turned down? Now I'm married with kids, I find myself turning every night out down!

    Whats your take on Lion Bars?

  • Comment number 19.

    Hart for England!!

  • Comment number 20.

    I had a 'Star Bar'the other day, very good indeed!!

  • Comment number 21.

    Agree with Toffee Crisps and dark chocolate Kit Kats. When will they do Kit Kat Chunky in dark chocolate (or plain chocolate as it was known in my youth)?

    Blasts from the past that need to be revived :-

    Terry's Waifa - like a Kit Kat but better - and it came in plain chocolate (and I think other flavours e.g. orange?) even back in the late '60s early '70s.

    Bar Six - another Kit Kat like bar, this time from Cadbury's, but in portrait rather than landscape - 6 short sticks rather than 4 long ones!

    Fry's Five Centre's - like a Fry's Chocolate Cream but with five fruit creams in alternate chunks - this was also available in milk or plain chocolate.

    Come on Kraft - you own them all, so prove your commitment to British chocolate and bring them back!

    Marvellous, isn't it, wasn't it? Jumpers for goalposts - Oh yes, that's right - it's a football forum. Isn't Gordon Banks still the best ?

  • Comment number 22.

    Great blog again...look forward to these on a Thursday.

    In terms of chocolate bars...agree with the fella just above me who said Double Deckers. I'd also like to throw the following into the mix...Boost and Drifters. Both old school especially Drifters. Tremendous!

    On the subject of keepers for England. I would say that you can't really compare a 40 year old Shilts with a 40 year old Jamo. Shilts was a fat old man in Italia 90 whereas Jamo could pass for a 30 year old. I think Capello has made his mind up who's his number 1 is though, and I reckon its Robert Green.

  • Comment number 23.

    No input from Dan today? Probably sat stuffin his face on a 3 hour lunchbreak.

  • Comment number 24.

    I set up a Facebook group “Joe Hart for England Number One” shortly after his loan spell at Tranmere in 2007, while it was optimistic then, I now genuinely don’t see why he isn’t given a go!

    On the chocolate debate, my usual choice is a regular 4 finger Kit Kat (simple but effective), but the Nestle Crunch is a great shout (#9). The return of the Cadbury’s Wispa was also welcome in my household (but not by the bathroom scales!).

  • Comment number 25.

    Can anyone remember Secrets? They were the number one chocolate bar for me when I was at primary school in the late 80s early 90s. It had a sort of bird's nest chocolate outer with a creamy mousse centre. Then they disappeared, never to be seen again!

  • Comment number 26.

    Does anyone remember Mavericks? I'm not sure they make them anymore, but they introduced raisins into the nougat equation for a taste sensation.

  • Comment number 27.

    1. Biscuit and Raisin Yorkie
    2. Boost
    3. Spira (someone bring them back)
    4. Maltesers (The one in celbrations if poss)
    5. Reese's Nutrageous.

    On a non choc basis, remember parma violets? The ultimate in perfumed sweets!

    For a keeper, I say give Robbo another go. His distribution is better than most. The only thing I'd say is he often leaves you thinking would another keeper have saved that one???

  • Comment number 28.

    Am really not sure about David James' haircut being "inspiratinal". My immediate thought when I first saw it was "Fifi" of Flowertots fame.

  • Comment number 29.

    Dan, great article! Talking about 80's chocolate bars really brought back the memories, made me think about Lion Bars and Topics! Two classics. Sounds like you have one of the best jobs in the world, such a laugh. But then having to break up Keo' and Crooks's handbags must be hell! On a serious note as a Blackburn Support I was disappointed not too see Robinson in Fabio's squad for the mid-week game, IMO he's getting back to his best and is making some crucial saves for my club. I think he did lose confidence and form after losing his way at Spurs but the coaching team at Rovers are doing a great job. I would pick Hart or Robinson at the moment because unfortunately James isn't in form or playing at a high enough level also I think the problems surrounding Portsmouth must have a mental impact on him. I think Fabio has already made up his mind on his squad.

  • Comment number 30.

    Dan, great article! Talking about 80's chocolate bars really brought back the memories, made me think about Lion Bars and Topics! Two classics. Sounds like you have one of the best jobs in the world, such a laugh. But then having to break up Keo' and Crooks's handbags must be hell! On a serious note as a Blackburn Support I was disappointed not too see Robinson in Fabio's squad for the mid-week game, IMO he's getting back to his best and is making some crucial saves for my club. I think he did lose confidence and form after losing his way at Spurs but the coaching team at Rovers are doing a great job. I would pick Hart or Robinson at the moment because unfortunately James isn't in form or playing at a high enough level also I think the problems surrounding Portsmouth must have a mental impact on him. I think Fabio has already made up his mind on his squad.

  • Comment number 31.

    Great blog but who had a DVD in the 80's?

    P.S Its all about Starbars!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 32.

    Cracking blog as always Dan!
    Love the fact you had a Hoddle poster - WHAT A PLAYER!

    I really fancy a chocolate bar now, and yes, Toffee Crisp is a wonderful snack. Double-Deckers are pretty darned good too!! Those two, and Lion bars are my usual orders.

    I'd have loved to had a night out with Dwight Yorke and Brian Lara, what a laugh that'd be! Surprised he offered that bet with Sir Alex though!

    One night out I'm glad that I did take not so long ago, was a trip to Las Vegas with four Swedish girls, I'd met in San Francisco (was supposed to go to LA to fly home) worth the detour indeed, and managed to change my flight to come home directly from Vegas - perfect!

  • Comment number 33.

    I'm here... steady on Pulp Grape - the lunch break is only 2 hours. I will be back in a mo. Just need to post a quiz question on Twitter.

  • Comment number 34.

    Come on lads all this talk about great chocolate and no mention of DRIFTER! So so nice!

    Oh and dan

    'when Ronaldinho curled one in from 700 yards'

    Ive told you a Gazillion times, dont exaggerate!

  • Comment number 35.

    Great blog, not read this one before, so top work Dan. I'll be a regular reader from this day forth!
    In terms of the chocolate, I wholeheartedly agree with the inclusion of Boosts and Lion Bars, top chocolate......everyone loves a Chomp as well, surely??
    #25 - I remember Secrets!! I was hooked on them as a kid!
    I would have liked to have seen Hart given a chance last night, he's barely put a foot wrong all season and would have been good to give him the international experience that everyway raves about him lacking. James is a great shot stopper, but always prone to a 'calamity moment' and Green has been a little inconsistent for me this season.

  • Comment number 36.

    Buffon = 32

    VDS = 39

    Age doesn't matter with goalies, they aren't like normal people. They have to sign a contract with the devil, taking getting kicked in the head on a regular basis in exchange for a long life.

    Drifter and Topic are the Messi and Ronaldo of the choccy world. Toffee Crisp is more a Nani sort, occasionally hits the spot but always leaves you wanting something a bit better.

  • Comment number 37.

    Ok... thanks for the comments far everybody. You cannot beat chocolate based reminiscence.

    Football first. Green_manc (#3) You are right about Shay Given. Lawro still says he is City's best signing by a country mile. He has made some mistakes recently but he rock solid. The Football Focus editor is a Bristol Rovers fan and he's top 3 goal keepers in the world are Mikkel Anderson, Brian Parkin and Nigel Martyn. I think he might have his West Country spectacles on.

    Rob (#6) makes a good point about Seaman's positioning and Custodian (#16) has the perfect name for judging keepers and also seems to know an awful lot about cocoa content. I also like the way that Tony (#9) is backing himself for the no.1 jersey.

    Chris Wright (#5) I don't think the BBC sponsor people directly. The best thing to do is try and sell the idea to a production company and then they can do the same to potential broadcasters.

    "Who needs a link to wikipedia for Scooby Doo? If you don't know Scooby Doo, you're not worth knowing... FACT!" Wise words from Beantown Fan (#7)

    Some great bars being thrown out there by CliffParachute (#21) and MikeBassettforEnglandManager (#27). I should say LABSAB9 (#14) that Motty is a big fan of the chunky kit kat.

    Robdan (#20) throws in the Star Bar and what a mention from GoonerRon (#12) for the Spira. Sadly no longer with us but while it was here it was magical.

    Keep them coming - including the suggestions for Focus 5. Lee, Garth, Lawro and Super Steve Claridge are the 4 pundits on the sofa for it. If we pick your topic (there's another good bar) you will get a mention.

    The quiz question by the way was... the 4 teams in the football league that have all of the letters from the word 'GOAL' in their names?

    See you shortly.

    Nico Krancjar

  • Comment number 38.

    Dan, I thought of 5 teams with GOAL in their names - pLymOuth ArGyle, dArLinGtOn, briGhtAn & hOve aLbion, accrinGtOn stAnLey and GiLlinghAm tOwn. But checked Gillingham FC is in the league Gillingham Town FC isn't - you're right! (And only two have the letters in right order - Brighton and Accrington Stanley

  • Comment number 39.

    4 teams with the word GOAL in the title.

    1. pLymOuth ArGyle
    2. dArLinGtOn
    3. briGhtOn & hove ALbion
    4. AccrinGtOn stanLey

  • Comment number 40.

    Fry's Chocolate Cream is a big favourite of mine, the mint fondant and the dark chocolate is a perfect mix. Brings back memories of spending my bus money on sweets in the newsagents on the way to work. There also used to be a larger bar, like a large square shape, of Cadbury's Whole Nut that was very nice. Haven't seen them in ages.

    And of course, the original Curly Wurly before they shrunk it! What a chocolate bar that was for a youngster when they introduced them the first time.

  • Comment number 41.

    To be fair, James has fantastic agility for his age so I don't think the worry is for him to be beaten Seaman-esque at the World Cup. I'm more worried about him dropping a clanger; such as rushing out of goal for no real reason or dropping a cross.

  • Comment number 42.

    Andy Connor (#34) How did we forget about the Drifter? Well done on the hyperbole watch. I will aim to keep it in check.

    woodsforthetrees (#35) Welcome along comrade. Chomps are still great value. You can't argue with a 10p chocolate bar.

    Old Chicken Feet (#36) I take your point about experience. Goal keepers are strange creatures but I fear the spectre of history will come calling again this summer. I see what you mean about Toffee Crisps and Nani but surely it's more like a Tony Yeboah? Pops up every now and again and dazzles everyone before disappearing without a trace!

    Surreybloke123 (#40) I don't like the fact that you are wandering down a mint road. I know it's popular but mint chocolate for me is a big no no.

  • Comment number 43.

    Dan, can you help me win a bet with my girlfriend
    (no money will change hands but the pay off is worth winning. and I certainly dont want to have to pay up, no way Im doing that! Its all dark, damp and full of spiders!)
    Anyway I bet her that eventually someone in the media will refer to man city by the initials B.S.M.C (big spending manchester city as everyone in the media now calls them!!)
    So if you could refer to them as such just once then I will get what I want and also wont have to clean out the shed!!! (Why what did you think I meant?)

  • Comment number 44.

    The 4 teams in the football league that have all of the letters from the word 'GOAL' in their names?

    Accrington Stanley
    Brighton and Hove Albion
    Gillingham (Town?)

  • Comment number 45.

    "I don't know what the meteorological term is for rain that comes back at you off the floor but the "bounce factor" had my suit trousers drenched from the knee down within about 60 seconds."
    I can understand this must have been a blow. However, surely more of a blow is when rain drips off the bottom of a waist-length kagool (don't think I've used that word since childhood) to dampen the top of the trousers.
    John Burridge

  • Comment number 46.

    One other to throw in the pot, although what your opinion on mixing 'fruit' and chocolate is I don't know... Chocolate Limes! Used to be plentiful in a well known pick 'n' mix area among plenty of other favourites.

  • Comment number 47.

    The first bite of a Toffee Crisp would take me right back to Monday when I last had one. I eat so much chocolate that giving up smoking was a doddle in comparison.

    When I was a kid (a small kid as opposed to the big kid that I probably still am) Cadburys used to do a Mars bar look-alike called Aztec, except that by making the caramel chewier they turned it into a much-missed (by me anyway) classic. Another favourite from my youth are Milka Lilapause bars. They did a really good one with crispy bits in the middle. More recently, I wish Galaxy Hazelnut hadn't been replaced with a "posher" version with caramelised nuts in instead. It just isn't the same.

    When Jamo reaches 50 he will still be a better athlete than Shilton was at Italia 90. If England make him captain he could be their Dino Zoff (except that Zoff had a team that was capable of winning the world cup.)

  • Comment number 48.

    1. Boost
    2. Star Bar
    3. Wispa Gold
    4. Galaxy Cookie Bar (New,like a party in my mouth and everyone's invited!)

    Chocolate bar to bring back-Aztec

  • Comment number 49.

    Whatever happened to Cadbury's 'Nuts about Caramel'? I couldn't get enough of that hazelnutty goodness.

    Also - whilst Wispa did make a welcome return, where was Wispa Gold?

  • Comment number 50.

    Hi Dan, nice blog, choc a blok with yummy goodness.

    For me the England No1 has to be Hart, I don't think Green is good enough, Mr Capello obviously see's something I don't/can't (and who am I to question him?) and like his hair, James should be cut! (from the team)

    Living abroad I can't get many of the chocalate bars mentioned above, so to torture myself a little more here's my top 5 of hard or impossible to get treats.
    5 Flake
    4 Yorkie
    3 Caramel
    2 Aero (the mint or orange chocolate varieties)
    And the one I used to love.....
    1 Turkish Delight.

  • Comment number 51.

    Star Bars are the king (Boost with peanuts basically!)

  • Comment number 52.

    Dan, great article! Talking about 80's chocolate bars really brought back the memories, made me think about Lion Bars and Topics! Two classics. Sounds like you have one of the best jobs in the world, such a laugh. But then having to break up Keo' and Crooks's handbags must be hell! On a serious note as a Blackburn Support I was disappointed not too see Robinson in Fabio's squad for the mid-week game, IMO he's getting back to his best and is making some crucial saves for my club. I think he did lose confidence and form after losing his way at Spurs but the coaching team at Rovers are doing a great job. I would pick Hart or Robinson at the moment because unfortunately James isn't in form or playing at a high enough level also I think the problems surrounding Portsmouth must have a mental impact on him. I think Fabio has already made up his mind on his squad.

  • Comment number 53.

    I do love a toffee crisp...but find it suffers terribly if not kept at the correct temperature...Nothing worse than a cold/frozen toffee crisp.

    Others to throw into mixing bowl...Picnics & Biscuit and Raisin Yorkie's

    Once when I was in Australia, I had a bar called a 'Cherry Ripe' sort of like a bounty with coconut, but cherry flavoring covered in chocolate. Have been after one ever since?? Anybody know what I'm on about??...

    On the David James debate, the guys come along way from when I used to watch him at Watford as a kid. He used to throw the ball out well over the half way line as he wasn't very good at taking goal kicks!!

  • Comment number 54.

    Great program and blog.

    C.S.Lewis would be proud of your titles.

    I'm sure he would be able to sort out The Lion (bar), the Wispa and the ...

    Fry's Turkish Delight.

    I'm cutting down on chocolate a little and your blog is not helping.

  • Comment number 55.

    Cabana - chocolate, coconut and cherry....mmmmmmm

  • Comment number 56.

    Evening friends.

    Andy Connor (#43) Mr Connor you win the most bizarre post of the week / year. I feel that it must be true because the only other explanation is that you are a madman. Excellent work.

    rob_of_the_rovers - the real one not the imposter (#44) No monsieur. Gillingham are just FC i think. You are missing PLymOuth ArGyle.

    JuggernautFC (#45) This is bordering on poetry and you speak the truth. Dampening at the top of the trousers is indeed a huge issues. Kagools should have a drainage area at the bottom.

    Surreybloke123 (#46) You really have to stop all this chocolate mixing lark. The whole lime this is as wrong as the mint in my humble opinion but then I have just eaten a really old piece of pizza that I found on the floor.

    Cheeseisthedevilswork (#47) You've got me filling up here with your chocolate memories. You clearly miss the Mars rip-off.

    Abhammer (#48) I like the way you break the mold and go for a top 4 while John (#49) I think the Wispa Gold sadly disappeared in the Wispa frenzy. They used to work really well as the bed-fellow of an egg mayonnaise sandwich.

    Holloway2Holland (#50) never been a fan of the Yorkie myself but I like your top 5 minus that one. Hart for Prime minister.

    Ibrox_Via_Bristol_1985 (#51) adds another vote for the Star Bar and Big Sam's little brother (#52) has somehow managed to post the same thing 3 times. Either your computer is broken, you're a madman or you really want me to comment on your comment.

    I also like Mr Robinson and feel he has the confidence back. Unfortuntely for him it seems impossible that James, Green and Hart will not be his 3 for South Africa.

    Right, good night one and all. Time to rest the weary cranium.

  • Comment number 57.

    best choc - Twix
    worst choc - turkish delight

    im now hungry.i cant wait to go home tomoz and eat.student life is hard.

  • Comment number 58.

    Chocolate bar to bring back - TEXAN remember that chewy centre .... MMMmmmmm.

    As for goal keeping I would go with Joe Hart. Start looking to the future, Robinson has had his chances and James is Too old

  • Comment number 59.

    Chocolates to remember (and memorable for much better performances than David James)

    Texan - a mans got to chew what a mans got to chew
    Nuts bar - with the nuts on the outside, fantastic
    Cabana - coconut, & cherry and caramel - yummy
    Montego - rum and raisin biscuit.

  • Comment number 60.

    Think of the attacking elements Robinson would bring with his Koeman style right peg too... bit direct but other defenses dont like the distance he gets..

    Chocolate again but does anyone ever realise how much they enjoy Cadbury's Fudge when you get them in the selection box but you never go with them in a shop.. same with a Curly Wurly.

    Hans Seger

  • Comment number 61.

    Dan funny you mention it as I had a feeling last weekend somebody somewhere was having a toffee crisp.

    Re point 3 we wish we had a Shay Given as much as Ireland wish they had Rooney, Lampard, Terry, Cole, Gerrard, Carrick, Ferdinand, Milner, Lennon.... but you can't have it all can you.

  • Comment number 62.

    I would like to applaud whoever threw Spira into the mix. I've not seen or heard of them for years but have to agree it was a stupendously good chocolate bar.

    As a youngster in the mid 80's I could happily eat my way through a whole box of Matchsticks too, mint or orange, I wasn't fussed.

    To the Irish chap commenting on Shay Given - he gets plenty of praise from the English press however I personally think to be regarded the best in the world he would have to improve his aeriel command in the box, distribution to the midfield and charge of his back line. Shot stopping I'd agree though he's one of the VERY best.

  • Comment number 63.

    The winning formation must be:-

    GK - Chewing Gum (On loan from Alex Ferguson) - Makes everything stick
    CB's - Mars Bars - Solid and dependable
    Full Backs - Milky Ways - Like Mars Bars but less bulky, more lightweight
    DM - Lion Bar - Gritty and Tough or a Crunchie as in tackles
    AM - Fry's Chocolate Creme bar - Elegant, flamboyant, smooth and positionaly better than Lampard
    Right Wing - Curly Wurly - Twisty Turny Supple
    Left Wing - Space Dust - Mind Blowing, crackling, sparky
    CF - Wham Bar - After plugging away for 90 minutes it's still there in your face refusing to go away. The best pence per minute ratio there was.
    CF - Well at the moment you can't leave out Rooney really

    Manager - The late Choc Stein or Choc Wallace (you get the idea, anyone called Jock really)

  • Comment number 64.

    Top 5 England players who earned fewer than 5 caps oe were not capped at all; Brian Clough, Robine Friday, Steve Bruce (yuck)...

  • Comment number 65.

    At last I realise I am not the only one who can see which GKs we should be taking.

    Yes green_manc is right that Shay Given is the best GK in the world (never seen why people rate Buffon quite so highly) but Hart and Robinson haven't been far off this season and they both have quite a few years left yet. Green is good but has had an unremarkable season.

    I really don't think we have the GK crisis the media seen so intent on inventing, if anything we have too many good GKs to choose from.

  • Comment number 66.

    Top 5 England players who earned fewer than 5 caps oe were not capped at all; Brian Clough, Robine Friday, Steve Bruce (yuck)...


    Maths not your strongest point then.

  • Comment number 67.


    Great blog, just a few points.
    Where does the Daim bar come in your league table of chocolate bars?
    And if you hadn't heard (which is unlikely) what do you think of the first football player to be jailed for an on-field tackle?
    Also, is there a way to get an Alan Hansen mask?

  • Comment number 68.

    They did bring the Wispa Gold back for a short stint not so long ago, seemed to be in very limited numbers though :( had a couple just before xmas.
    Has anyone tried though new Werthers Chocolates? They are damn fine! Seem to be on offer most places so get them while they are hot (well ro0om temperature!
    Not too much love for the good old bounty or Snickers it seems :S Infact Mars seems to have a poor showing all round.
    My personal favs:

    1. Lion Bar
    2. Drifter
    3. Bounty
    4. Crunchie
    5. White Chocolate Crunch

    On another note, i've noticed a tstarnge phenomenon with the Kinder Bueno - women seem to absolutely love them but all men i know think they are vile....

    Oh and the Birmingham bloke for goal stopper person

  • Comment number 69.

    'Don't get me wrong, James is a solid option'

    WHAT?! James would not have the nickname 'calamity' if he was a solid option. Regardless of his age, he has always been vulnerable to making howlers in goal.

  • Comment number 70.

    I dont think green has been good enough in an england shirt to be getting so much time of late.

    I think capello is ageist.

    I cant see why he overlooks hart especially when you look at recent performance.

    I know he has acracking record and overall the team has been playing pretty well but there are a few things I question about him.

    His persistence with Walcott. We have had 2 years since his one hit wonder and he has done nothing, diddly squat to deserve to be in contention. There are so many players who have performed week in week outt and desereve a call up over him. Milner, Young, DOwning, SWP, I even think if D,Bently was fit he has proven to have more to offer.

    But back to goalkeepr, green just doesnt inspire me with confidence,
    James, well your point about his age is a good one but he has a nickname for a reason and despite some outstanding saves he is always prone to a game changing blunder far too frequently. Besides the fact he hasnt been playing much and has been quite injury prone this season.

    For me its a toss up between hart and robinson, the latter has nearly 50 caps and besides one unfortunate incident that could of happened to even the best keeper in the world he has done quite well for england.

    As for rooneys partner, well it cant be defoe, he should definetly go but they cant play effectively together, defoe is the ultimate selfish striker, and is a must to go as an impact player but there is only one choice to partner rooney and that crouch, especially if he plays like he did on weds.

    Ive given him plenty of stick for his abject performances for spurs this season but he looked a revelation, not just his touch but his hold up play, positioning, and even his defending.

    Oh and you cant beat a curly wurly, not sure if theyve been mentioned but I could eat a multipack in one sitting, and wispas,

  • Comment number 71.

    For Blitz18 (#53) if you still want cherry ripes then have a look here, they will deliver it!! (But why is it Cadbury's have such varied chocolate bars around the world and we basically get it with/without nuts and fruit)

    AS for keepers they is no outstanding candidate, they have all got flaws which seems a shame as we are always usually strong in this area.

    Back to chocolate, anyone remember the Nutty (closest you can get today is the Reeses Nutrageous) it was a peanut/caramel dream....

  • Comment number 72.

    Good blog my man.

    Just a small point but if you were back in the 80's with Red Hand Gang wouldn't you be watching a video not a dvd? Unless of course you are had a handy DeLorean and 1.21 gigawatts

    PS you have to go a long way to beat a Twix dunked in a cup of tea

  • Comment number 73.

    OOoh I just remembered on the chocolate fron - Crunch.

    Always a holday treat.

  • Comment number 74.

    I appreciate that they're hardly in the 'world class' bracket but considering the problems we have with the position might it not be time to consider either Casillas or Almunia's offers to switch national allegiance to English? Alternatively Steve Harper has had a great season at Newcastle, not a starter for sure but the 3rd keeper's place at the world cup has hardly been grabbed by anyone.

  • Comment number 75.

    Never seen that much of him but thought Green looked pretty comfortable against Egypt - not that he had that much to do... Throwing Hart in now may be a risk as he'll only have a couple of caps before the World Cup

  • Comment number 76.

    Unless of course you are had a handy DeLorean and 1.21 gigawatts


    And of course a flux capacitor.

  • Comment number 77.

    Fond memories of an Aztec bar, named after the only stadium to host two world cup finals of course and Curly Wurly, named after David James' hairstyle. On the goalies, I don't think it matters that David James is 40, he was just as bad when he was 30. In every game, he gives the feeling of a disaster waiting to happen. It is incredible that England who have had so many world class keepers for the past 40 years currently need to choose on the basis of who might cause least damage.

  • Comment number 78.

    #76 Andrew -

    How could i forget the flux capacitor?- it's like ive fallen over and bumped my head on the sink. Great Scot!

  • Comment number 79.

    Following on from #72 in pointing out anachronisms #67 would be a Dime bar rather than Daim bar. Which coincidentally is in my top 5 of "name changes of retail products where the new name made no sense and wasn't even a real word" not a catchy top 5 but a top 5 all the same others include; snickers & cif i'd be interested to here other peoples top 5 "name changes of retail products where the new name made no sense and wasn't even a real word" I'm sure you all have one.

    P.S. I was a big chomp fan but only when I couldn't afford a real chocolate bar as there wasn't enough change in my Mum's purse for me to steal too much without her noticing.

  • Comment number 80.

    Morning everybody.

    Really good news to see the Spira getting such a good response... what an under-rated bar that was!

    I'm impressed with the attention to detail from Faz (#63) with his bar 11. The idea of Space Dust on the left wing is brilliant and good to see the Wham bar coming to the table.

    80minutes (#67) if the Daim bar is the same as the Dime bar then I haven't got much time for it. From what I read the tackle was pretty horrendous and the judge obviosuly thought it was basically assault in a football kit. It will be interesting (not sure that is the right word) to see how it develops. As for the Hansen mask... just find a good picture of him on the internet, blow it up, print it out and then stick it on a piece of cardboard. Simple.

    Gopherboy (#68) why mess with the simplicity of Werthers by adding chocolate... not a favourite in the Walker household.

    realronburgundy (#72) you make a good point about the DVD. I can confirm that I did hit 88 mph and just avoided those terrorists in the carpark.

    Thanks for all the comments on the goal keepers and the chocolate. Don't forget to keep your suggestions coming for topics for the Focus 5 tomorrow.

    Also... if you want to know what is happening on the programme this week - follow this little bad boy.

    Buenos Aires

    Trevor Steven

  • Comment number 81.

    It is incredible that England who have had so many world class keepers for the past 40 years currently need to choose on the basis of who might cause least damage.


    Have we really though? In the past 40 years there has been Shilton who was obviously world class. Seaman could definitly stake that claim too (forgetting Ronaldinho, Australia and Nayim). If we're talking world class I'm struggling to come up with many more that are truely world class, certainly when compared with their peers such as the Scmeichals of this world etc etc.

  • Comment number 82.

    I feel I am about 24 hours late on this blog but still feel I have to make a few comments on the chocolate front.

    - Faz #63 - I thoroughly enjoyed your chocolate team. The whammy bar was a classic and was definitely the sweet of choice if one had a loose milk tooth that was gagging to be rid of.

    - The Kinder Bueno - This actually has a lot of things going for it despite the fact that it is basically a poor mans Ferrero Roche. It contains Kinder chocolate which is superb and each leg of chocolate is in it's own wrapper so can easily be saved if just one leg is needed for cunsumption.

    - The mention of a Spira - fantastic! My friend reckons that he used to suck tea up through the middle of a Spira. I question if this is possible. Surely the leg is too long and the holes are too small to generate enough suction to get tea through it, any thoughts on this (If anyone is still checking this blog!)

    - Final thought. Why would anyone EVER put a chocolate bar in a fridge. It annoys me when bars are chilled. It is detrimental to both texture and taste. If I wanted a cold chocolate bar I would purchase a Mars Ice.

  • Comment number 83.

    #81 Ray Clemence was world class and you could just about squeeze Gordon Banks in 1970 into 40 years ago!

  • Comment number 84.

    Sorry to be negative but aside from the points made on England’s number 1 problems, which does inform and invokes a dialogue as a blog should do. The rest of the article is drivel with the overworked, silly, sentimental, nostalgic references to confectionary (which appear to have prompted the greater number of responses but hardly relevant to a football blog) and column-filling padding. I hope the recently announced costs cutting exercise around the BBC website includes a reduction in the proliferation of articles such as these.

  • Comment number 85.

    Glad to see that several posts have recognised the genius that is the Starbar - chocolate, caramel, peanuts and some weird stuff in the middle, what more could you want in one bar!

    RE: Ibrox_Via_Bristol_1985, I've always thought that Star Bars are just a re-branded peanut boost and I remember there being biscuit boost but I'm sure there was a third original variety - does anyone know what it was? (Not that added Guarana filth and it's like).

    Re: The England Goalie situation, I'm not too fussed who it as I've always liked the - we'll score more than you - approach to football and Rooney is on fire!

  • Comment number 86.

    # 74... bit confused.. Casillas is Spain's number 1.. Almunia is murder and I really don't see where the big problem with the GK position is.. you have quite a few GK's all competing in your own league for the spots.. certainly 2 out of the 4 have been in good form.. I just dont think there is as big a problem in goal as is being made out..

    The back 4 is a different matter though.. The form and injuries and lack of playing time to your usual bunch hasn't been good.

  • Comment number 87.

    How about a discussion on crisps next week???

    Can i put forward Pickled Onion Monster Munch and Nice & Spicy Nik Naks as my choices.

  • Comment number 88.

    As a friend of mine has often said, how much is there really to pick between top flight goalkeepers. For all the talk of needing a top class keeper, what does that even mean? How many shots a season do you see someone like Myhill miss that someone like Reina would have stopped? Maybe enough to fill one hand maybe ...

    We all know our keepers can have a bad day but even the supposed 'world class' keepers have those. Did anyone see Real Madrid vs AC Milan earlier in the season? Casillas and Dida seemed to have a competition as to who could make the most ridiculous mistakes. Personal favourite was Casillas running about two metres out of his area, still not getting to Pato and then trying to stop it with his hands. He's lucky he didn't touch it successfully, the lad would have been off.

  • Comment number 89.

    Corporateslave (#84) Thanks for your comment... you don't have to apologise for being negative.

    I see where you are coming from but the whole point of this blog is that it is a slightly more informal and relaxed where comments about chocolate are just as welcome as those about formations, goalkeepers and changes to the offside rule.

    There are plenty of other 'football' blogs on the BBC website if this is not your cup of tea. I was going to say that it's not always so food-fixated but then I saw LABSAB9's comment (#87) asking if we could discuss crisps next week!

    I hope you find something to your liking on the website but you're more than welcome to come back if you get bored.

    By the way...

    "I hope the recently announced costs cutting exercise around the BBC website includes a reduction in the proliferation of articles such as these".

    Don't panic. I've just done the books and this blog's costs come in at... £0. It leaves no dent in the fee payers pocket. I am very cheap.

    See you soon.

    Gary Caldwell

  • Comment number 90.

    Corporateslave....try retracing your steps and I'm sure you'll find it. When did you last have your sense of humour?

    A few years ago Nestle brought out a rival for Dairy Milk and Galaxy and I think it was called Double Cream. A real shame it didn't catch on as it was nicer chocolate than the other two.

  • Comment number 91.

    If we do discuss crisps my vote is for walkers sensations thai sweet chili.
    However, on the subject of choclate a personal favourite is the humble choclate button, even if not technically a bar.

    England's goalkeeper quandary is difficult, James is old, Hart unproven, Robinson not world class and Almunia not good enough to challenge for Spain's goalkeeping spot. So, it seems we are left with Rob GReen, fantastic for West Ham but less so for England, and I think I know why. For west Ham he is constantly pulling off save after save barely leaving him time to think about what he is doing, but with england's defence he has time to over-think what he's going to do.

    For the world cup, I would back Hart simply because we don't have a particularly tough group and I honestly think he could step up to the plate beofre we face tougher opposition in the knockout stages.

  • Comment number 92.

    Can i put forward Pickled Onion Monster Munch and Nice & Spicy Nik Naks as my choices.


    Fair choices but far from being world class.

    I'll end this argument now - Scampi Fries.


  • Comment number 93.

    Andrew and Labsa.. there are crisps and there are 10p crips (dont know if they still cost this) though.. the 10p variety consisting of things like Tangy Toms, Johnnys Onion Rings, Space Raiders etc.. You cant compare these bad boys to crisps as they are in a league of their own.. especially whenst drunk.

  • Comment number 94.

    This is my Focus 5 question,

    When players are called up into their national squad, why do they get paid? I heard the England players donate their wages to charity, so that is good - but it is an honour and they should play for free.

    My question is quite rubbish - If Lampard is alledgedly on £140k a week at Chelsea how much would he get for spending the week away with England?

    Sorry to everyone if this question/subject has been covered before.

    Double Decker's are the best. I would pick Paul Robinson ahead of Rob Green and David James. Joe Hart is the future No.1, I think he should have started on Wednesday to see how he got on though.

  • Comment number 95.


    Agreed you can't knock the 10p variety my wife bought me home about 50 packs of space raiders, tangy toms etc a few months back now after we were discussing snacks from the school days, they all went within a week!!!

    Note to self "get wife to bring back more"

  • Comment number 96.

    Mark my words, and i'm sure Rochdale, QPR and Wycombe fans will agree, Tom Heaton will be England number 1 one day

  • Comment number 97.

    #90 cheeseisthedevilswork - Question: "When did you last have your sense of humour?" Answer: “Abuse is the weapon of the vulgar" hahahahaha. See, sense of humour is intact.
    #89 I found the comments "I hope you find something to your liking on the website but you're more than welcome to come back if you get bored." quite churlish and inappropriate. I rate the BBC website and its breadth and depth of information content head and shoulders above any of its closest rivals and I could probably spend the rest of my life happily trawling through it without getting bored and without feeling the need to return to this blog.
    #89 Gary - glad you're not doing my books. At the risk of being subjected to further abuse for being a pedant, the cost of this blog is not limited to the cost of the writing an article. What about all the costs associated with data storage, comms links, admin, etc., etc., etc.?

  • Comment number 98.

    And Fuse bars! Whatever happened to fuse bars. Essentially a picnic which had been sanded down to allow for smooth edges.

    Oh and Mr Walker, Madman? I dont appreciate name calling, Ill pray to my Aztec lord and get an army of slugs to attack the content of your vegetable garden if you do not apologise posthaste!

  • Comment number 99.

    #93 I'm not disagreeing with you, the 10p range of crisp has served me well over the years, just my pocket stretches a bit further these days and therefore I can afford something a little more expensive.

    Anyway when I smell my fingers after a bag of scampi fries it reminds me of certain nights out when I was younger and bags of crisps and many other things only cost about 10p too....

  • Comment number 100.


    LOL that is both funny and disgusting at the same time!!!


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