Obviously the world is a bit short of news this week, what with not much in the way of wars and murders and political shenanigans to worry about, so the old story about the price of football, or what they really mean, the price of Premier League football, rears its head again. Nothing much new to report, usual stuff, price of tickets, tea and hot dogs a disgrace, driving the genuine fans away, etc, etc, etc. But one bit did catch my attention; the price of a full adult replica kit from Man Utd for this season is now a touch over £100. The most expensive in the league, which is no surprise, being there are few to match the red devils when it comes to fleecing the punters, allegedly. So, what sort of dipstick pays £100 for an adult replica kit? In fact what kind of dipstick buys an adult replica kit anyway? Including, and a nice touch this, the socks? Well, as any TV match will show you, a cast of thousands, that's who. But many have old strips from years gone by, and presumably very few have the shorts on under their jeans. Or so you would think. But clearly some are a bit more hard line than the common fan. Is there a club for really dedicated replica shirt wearers? Do they have meetings? Is it a complete no no to turn up without the socks? Maybe. Anyway, if you want an RCA replica shirt, just call in the clubhouse, bound to be something lying about...
View from the cemetery
Exciting games in the qualifying for the Euro's this last week. Superb effort by the Northern Irish, equally good qualification from the Welsh, on the back of a solid defeat, and a superb performance by the Republic to beat the Germans, always a popular result.
Strictly football this week. I think I have demonstrated my ignorance of other sports quite enough in the last couple of weeks. But, before that, what was that England rugby captain thinking of last Saturday night? Even as a member of the Bede School under 13s, (a mighty fine outfit in 1967, since you ask) we would have taken the kick for the penalty. Mind we did have a damn good goal kicker, despite the fact he wore specs, not something you see very often on a rugby field. I'm struggling to recall his name, even though he is on the team picture hanging in the ablutions. Oh yes, we have facilities in this cemetery.
Anyway, as I say, strictly football from me. And all going swimmingly here at Meadow Park, what? Despite constant changes of team, as players fall by the wayside or pop off to Benidorm for the weekend. Or was that the manager, I forget...
Another different sport comes under the ghostly spotlight today, the favourite game of those who hate sport, yes, it’s anyone for tennis today. All because we must properly recognise the efforts of Scotland's favourite son in getting GB to the Davis Cup final single handed. Or as near to single handed as makes no difference. I am warming to Mr Murray. He may generally adopt the demeanour of a man who has found a pound and lost a tenner, but he can play the game. And he certainly has a fighting spirit. He must have to have carried the bunch of turkeys he has to call team mates as far as he has. But it looks suspiciously like falling at the last hurdle doesn't it? Against the sporting super power that is modern Belgium? Looks like a bridge too far to me. Hope I'm wrong of course. And they will be playing indoors, so I suppose the chances of old Cliff getting up to give us a tune when it rains are limited....
A small discourse on the wider sporting world this evening, and I was particularly tickled by news of the little bit of a rumpus at the ladies golf over the weekend. Solheim Cup, women's equivalent of the Ryder Cup, our ladies, or certainly females, against those of the old USA. And would you credit it, one of the European team pulled the old "I didn't concede that putt" routine to win a vital hole. On the telly as well. Naughty, but a common trick amongst the more rough and ready school of golfer, though not so generally the pros. And of course it served only to wind the Yanks up so that they finished like trains and won the match. Cheats never prosper they say, unless you are playing up front for Chelsea of course. I played in a bit of a tough old golf school in years gone by. Dodgy maths, even when counting up to five, suspiciously timed coughing and hawking on the tee, not to mention the old leather wedge out of the bushes when they thought no one was watching. You know who you are.
Eleven points from nine games, so OK? Yes, I think so. Not all gone to plan obviously, it never does, but some tough games involved so a steady start is a decent start I reckon. Plenty of time to pick things up, and not chasing our tails this year, And plenty of goals. Sadly so far at both ends, but those who like to see the old onion bag bulging can't complain about our lads. And the usual turn over of players coming in and out as the manager, any manager, decides he was wrong about someone and needs to move them in or out.
Most airlines take an unhelpful view of people in my condition, so the way home from our previously discussed sojourn in Italy is by road, over the Alps and up through Germany to Rotterdam, a decent old run to be fair, and obviously uphill on the way back.
Germany is an interesting place, great beer, hardly any English tourists, lots of trees, hundreds of quaint little towns who seem glad to see visitors, superb free motorways, from which you can see, amongst other things, hundreds of excellent little football stadiums in the aforementioned quaint little towns. Difficult to write a match report at 70 mile an hour, but they seemed to be cracking on canny. Might suggest a German tour for the lads. Mind, one lot were playing American football so I paid little attention to them.