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View from the Cemetery

View from home

Submitted by Ghostly Gadgie on Saturday, 31 March 2018

It's always nice to be back in your own plot I think. Travel is fine but home is comfy. And a chance to catch up on local sporting matters. Our boys firing well at present and storming up the league, a top six finish would be nice. Sunderland virtually dead and buried and it's looking like the new manager is not producing any magic. Certainly his signings, mostly loans I know, and with little money to spend, have largely been poor so far. It's a tough business is football management, but an old head of my acquaintance was of the view that it didn’t matter what kind of manager you were, tracksuit or best suit, hard case or soft touch, whisperer or shouter, all that mattered was your ability to spot a player. I think this is true at every level from Sunday morning to the Premier League. Certainly in the Northern League the cry of 'Where did you find him?' is often heard. David Beckham was recounting recently the tale of an England coach who when Beckham was twelve had failed to notice the will to win or the sweet right foot, but had noticed he wasn’t that big so dismissed his prospects out of hand. Even more entertaining the other week was the hapless Peter Grant, Assistant Manager of Scotland, saying that he hadn’t heard of Scott McTominay until he made his debut for Man Utd and hadn’t realised he was qualified for Scotland at all, but hoped he was. Obviously I don’t know the names of every potential young Scottish International playing for Premier League clubs, but I’m not Assistant Manager of Scotland am I? To be fair it's not like they are overloaded with talent. So, give Coleman a chance I say, but picking players is what it is all about.

Anyway after the last month or so it's good to be back and talking football. Three home games off the belt, chances for points and maybe Spring is finally here, what is not to like?

View from the far side

Submitted by Ghostly Gadgie on Saturday, 17 March 2018

Rugby is the overwhelming sporting interest in New Zealand, which makes you wonder why Sky call their Rugby channel Sky Football. But there you go.

Anyway you have little choice but to watch it when talking to the wife loses its appeal. And the standard is fantastic; of the rugby I mean, not the wife's conversation. Watched a game the night which finished 38-36, absolutely superb, ten tries, fast, great ball handling and a punch up every ten minutes, which adds to the entertainment value. It bears little resemblance to our fat posh boys waddling about, that's for sure. It's not footy though is it?

I'm keeping in touch and I see we had a belting win up at Whitley Bay the other night, I know they have their troubles at the moment, but even so a great win. And fifty points with a dozen games to go, we could be getting nose bleeds here, and what if we finish top four or five and FA come knocking? I only ask.

I see that one of the proposals being mooted to cope with the league's problems is to move to Scotland, in footballing terms at least. Blimey, given the standard up there we could be playing Celtic in a few years time. Interesting thought but not a starter I think, shame.

View from a New Zealand cemetery

Submitted by Ghostly Gadgie on Saturday, 10 March 2018

Once again by the miracle of post terminal travel, your intrepid commentator reports from around the globe. The very far side of the globe to be precise, Deep South Island of New Zealand in a little place called Hokitika. Seaside place, good beach, great beach sculptures from the masses of driftwood, spectacular sunsets, and much more importantly, a couple of half decent bars, although the price of beer is something disgraceful over here. They fancy the quality is good, but I am not convinced CAMRA would be impressed. Anyway enough of the sightseeing, this is a sporting column; which in New Zealand means Rugby Union. Well yes and no. Turns out the West Coast is a bit of a bastion of Rugby League as well.

View from the Cemetery - November 2017 - 2

Submitted by Ghostly Gadgie on Monday, 13 November 2017

A fun packed day out to Cheshire, enjoyed by all on Saturday I am told, with a good game, lots of red and yellow cards, some deserved, some maybe not so deserved, extra time, some nervous moments and a replay to look forward to after all was said and done. My spies tell me that we seem to have misplaced our shooting boots a little bit of late and that maybe cost us, with enough chances to have won the game, although to be fair Runcorn won the woodwork hitting competition 2-1 so they will be feeling aggrieved a bit. We started like trains I hear, then faded a bit, had more long spells on top as the game went on, but always had to be careful of the Linnets on the break. Good wide men and very much a shoot-on-sight policy are their trademarks by all accounts. A nice flat pitch as well, be a bit different tonight methinks.

A very good and game mascot as well, though not so good in his stint as goalkeeper when the subs were shooting in, and anyway it was not clear what exactly he was supposed to be. Pobably a Linnet we all assumed, a small finch with a very melodious song as I’m sure you all know, but Linnets don’t come in lurid shades of green and yellow as I recall, more brown with a dash of red. Still we nitpick here. I have always been a fan of the football mascot and the Runcorn chap seemed well behaved, unlike some of his colleagues over the years. Who can forget Cyril the Swansea Swan pulling the head off Millwall’s Zampa the Lion, or Robbie the Bobby of Bury removing the lugs from the Peterborough Bunny? And most famously of all that lupine lunatic, Wolfie of Wolves and his fight with the Three Little Pigs at Bristol City? All over a penalty competition. Which he won of course. Only a town like Hartlepool though could take their club’s mascot, the infamous H’Angus the Monkey, put him in a suit and tie and elect him as mayor, and keep him in office so long the authorities had to abolish the post to get rid of him. But can you remember his name?

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