Two Sides To Every Story

Posted by on Sep 27, 2021 in Blog | 0 comments

As the old saying goes “there’s two sides to every story”, I’d probably say, there’s at least two sides, if not more. What you choose to accept and believe, is up to you. The trouble is, nowadays, the “truth” is often what the people with the power of influence, want you to think, rather than what the facts are. It’s not to say that everything in life is purely objective in the true black or white definition. It’s impossible to not have shades of grey in fact. And a lot of stuff is down to opinion at times depending on the given scenario. When it becomes more subjective, rather than objective, there’s always going to be disagreement.

So I read with interest some of the discussion around what Pep Guardiola said about the Man City fans after the Leipzig game. It’s the early rounds of the Chumpions League, the ground was a bit empty and quiet and he was disappointed. Was he wrong to say what he said? I think he has now apologised for saying it, but why should he? All he was saying was what he thought. He’s been castigated for saying it by many, some of the Man City fans have hit back. But there’s two sides to every story.

This was the take of the Manchester Evening News:

Why am I particularly interested? Well, it might be us in a few years, mighten it? Well, we can only hope that in a few years, we are playing in the Champions League so regularly that we are getting bored with it.

Was Pep wrong? Where do we start?

All he did was say what he thought. What is wrong with that? Firstly, the facts. It was the 1st round of the Chumpions League. They were playing RB Liepzig. Citeh won 6-3. The capacity of The Etihad is 54,000 give or take, the attendance was 38,000 give or take. The price of a ticket at Citeh is getting more expensive. The regular fans are going to games twice a week as a matter of course-in every cup generally to the bitter end. Citeh have forced a digital ticketing system onto their fans without any discussion, which unfortunately doesn’t work properly, leading to multiple problems with getting the right tickets for the right games.  The reaction. Pep looked round, there were huge gaps in the crowd, it had been a bit quiet at times during the game, he got a bit cross. How was he to know what problems fans were having with their tickets? How was he supposed to know the effect of being so good that you are in basically every competition going year on year, is going to affect fans pockets so severely?.

Of course , as usual SkyTVisf**kings**t did it’s best to shit stir the pot and sought to further drive a wedge between the manager and the fans. Divide and conquer. It’s an old trick, works like a charm if you want to increase your viewing figures by getting “latest” reaction from the usual hasbeen pundits. Let’s ask our expert panel. None of whom have never been in Pep’s enviable position of multiple trophies and league titles though.

Divide and conquer is also fantastic if you want to cause trouble and capitalise on the weakened parties after the dust has settled. Bates tried it with us, but we were made of stronger stuff. We stuck it out, but there were casualties of war and some of the bridges can never be unburnt, and some of the cuts will never heal. A grudge is for life after all. I digress…

Both sides, the manager and the fans have the right to have a little gripe though. two sides to every story.

The real difficulty is managing the expectation, of both fans and the players and managers (also including Chairmen and owners, I guess).

Take our position after the game on Saturday. It wasn’t a bad display, but we lost. Arguably Antonio shouldn’t even have been on the pitch after the antics of his flailing arms. Their equaliser was a unlucky ricochet. Our defence has once again been torn to shreds, by injury to Llorente and Koch and by the fourth official and Gurning in Struijk’s case. Even with these extenuating circumstances, our so called fans have still felt fit to condemn the team, the manager, the board and the owners with their usual vitriol. It’s fine to have a rant, we all do, but to continue to whinge and over exaggerate our position in the table even though it’s not even October, that’s just excessive.

How do these people think it makes the players feel when they see this terrible language?

How do these people think it makes the manager feel when he hears this? I won’t even mention what Kinnear, Radrizzani and the 49ers might be feeling.

Bielsa isn’t going to react, because he won’t. He’s a consummate professional who takes his job very seriously. We know from the picture from QPR in February 2019 just how seriously Bielsa takes his job. But if he wasn’t such a dedicated manager, if he didn’t respect his work and his job as much, he’d be completely entitled to go off on one and have a pop at the “fans” who are criticising him so vehemently. But he won’t, cos he’s not like that.

It’s not even October.

Like most, I have stayed away from social media since Saturday so I can avoid all the naysayers and doom mongers. I said at the start of the season, it was going to be a marathon not a sprint. We need to hold our nerve. We’ve seen much much worse. They’ll be some clever dick reading this now who going to start saying “oh God, they are going to dig up going to watch Hereford and Histon when we were shit again” .

Actually, I am.

I was once deigned a “glory hunter” and I retorted by saying if I was a glory hunter, I would have never staved the course when we were terrible. Like a few select loyal fans, we have been there through the good times and the bad. The ones who have almost self imploded with vitriol, brimstone and fire this weekend just need to have a good look at themselves and listen to what they are spouting. If they can’t take that we are three wins away from Europe, having played 4 of the top 7 in the league, still technically in the League Cup and it’s still not yet October, they really need to give their heads a wobble. If we are still in the same position by Halloween then I suppose they can get worried.

Are these same people going to be clamouring for tickets if we get past Arsenal and end up in the quarter finals? I’ll tell you what, if we do, anyone who has been slating the team or Bielsa off these last 48 hours doesn’t deserve to get a ticket. Ooh they won’t like that, will they? 

Please, for the good of the rest of us, if you expect instant success and won’t accept anything less, just hand your season ticket back, or get yourself off that season ticket waiting list. Definitely don’t try for any away tickets either. Just leave the rest of us to it. We’ll see you back when we start doing well again, I have no doubt.

Here’s Chorlton to cheer you all up

thanks to googleimages for the picture of the happiest dragon on the planet

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Slow Mo September update

Posted by on Sep 22, 2021 in News and Events | 0 comments

Just a little update for Slow Mo September.

Slow Mo September because frankly since Newcastle it has been slow motion for the last few days.

Those stairs were horrendous for those of us who chose to use them rather than cheating by using the lift. For some bizarre reason, when I think of Newcastle away, climbing up those stairs is never the first thing that pops up in my mind. Trying to get 3,000 people through 2 turnstiles with 5 minutes to go before kick off – that’s what I normally remember.

To top it all off, for those of us who did the St James’s stairs without stopping for a breather, when I got to the top it was like a bloody sauna. Couldn’t flipping breathe. The least they could have done was taken a leaf out of the Great North Run and had people with those foil blankets, cold water and maybe a few oxygen cylinders on tap. Flipping nothing …. apart from a load of drunks. Even a massive cheer for those who reached the top would have been welcome. Nothing.

Yeah, Gary Neville and professional Scouser Carragher apparently did a race or something, and one of them made it up to the top in less than a minute. They’d have been better off enjoying the whole matchday experience and trying it then. Putting themselves on an even keel with the average away dayer by going round a load of pubs first knocking back 10 pints of Double Maxim or whatever the lager drinkers imbibe now, finishing with a couple of rounds of Jagerbombs or port if they have any, then a bacon cheese burger, with onions covered in tomato ketchup from outside the ground…. and THEN trying to get up those stairs. THEN they could have drawn a comparison that I would have been interested in.

You may jest – but those of you who want the ground to be developed – beware. If they start even thinking of copying anything like that, I’ll be straight on them demanding full on facilities for the old, decrepit and intoxicated. Never mind a lift, I want fancy shiny moving walkways like they have in airports. Mind you, if Leeds City Council had any say in it, they’d be demanding a bloody cycle path to go alongside it. St James’s Park might look good on the outside, but the view is crap, you can’t see the goal properly, sober or tiddly. Think of the fans, we have rights as well – old fans matter!

As for Fulham. I sent a few feelers out for a quick branch health survey after that penalty shootout and then that long, long journey home, resulting in most of us not seeing sight of the bed before 3am.

I’m pleased to report Mr Smythe finally saw a game at Craven Cottage at the 5th attempt. The Chairman similarly enjoyed a balti pie during the game and found the bus afterwards. Sonia managed to keep all her bones in one piece and Mad Max actually went to a game with an intact pair of glasses, and got home with the same pair still in one piece.

Proof of Life?

Here it is- I declare these last two games casualty free ( as far as I know anyway) and therefore a pretty good result. Roll on a nice home tie for a place in the quarter finals. Full house at Fortress ER again.

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Modern Day Football

Posted by on Sep 21, 2021 in Blog | 0 comments

Modern day football.

Like all things (supposedly), football is better now than it used to be in the old days, because simply put we have progressed. With the benefit of more knowledge, better education, faster technology, sporting breakthroughs in science, modern day football is so much better nowadays.

But sadly, modern day football, like modern day life, in it’s desperation to demonstrate continued progression, the pursuit of true progress has fallen by the wayside to progressiveness. Producing something which is so sterile, it is devoid of the passionate football we fell in love with all those years ago. It has become something which we barely recognise, the bare skeleton of 22 men on a pitch, dripping only in rags of ridiculous rules, VAR, TV companies (along with their biased narratives) and money, money, money. 

What am I on about now, Dear Readers?

I have finally brought myself round to watching the Livarpool game.


Now you know what I am going on about. And I have to say, I use the word “watching” in it’s loosest meaning. Those of you who subscribe to SkyTVisf**ings**t understand what I am on about. The bit that I was really interested in “watching”, I couldn’t actually “watch”. As Gary “If Rashford can get an OBE for a non football related thing, why can’t I get one” Neville kept reminding us, “they” couldn’t show us the challenge.

Why not, Gary?

By the way, Gary, I understand you want to be the one who champions “real” football fans who want “fairer” football for fans. I understand you want football to have more stringent rules of ownership etc. and you want “proper fans” to have more power and a say of how they want their football clubs to work. I know, because you say this ad infinitum given the opportunity. But I don’t think you understand the hypocrisy of where you are coming from. If you take your situation in it’s most basic form, you are a TV pundit. Your wages are paid for by the very TV company who has singlehandedly helped ruin football for matchgoing fans since 1992. The team you part own, Salford FC is sponsored by a division of the parent company of  SkyTVisf**kings**t. By this virtue alone, YOU are part of the problem, NOT the solution. I love it how you preach (on SkyTVisf**kings**t) about how fans are cheated by bureaucracy and how “the System” needs to reflect what fans want and that fans “need a voice” and true representation. All this whilst you and your pundit pals are responsible for churning your rhetoric narrative, nauseatingly at times, in order to get what your bosses, the True Gods of Football, want. Which is football on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so they can get their audiences and all their viewing figures up there to create all the advertising income they need to fund their greed. The greed which in turn, feeds the greedy agents and players who just want to line their pockets more. The TV companies need constant exposure and their pursuit of their global brand is the only thing that drives their ambition. Their addiction is publicity, and they will stop at nothing to keep themselves at the top of that tree. Why do you think they spend so much time on the non stories which are the transfer windows when the football isn’t particularly interesting? Why do you think they blow every little bit of “news” out of proportion? To keep the audience figures up, Gary. It’s airtime and the longer they can keep folk addicted to their channels, the better. 

Gary, give yourself a break lad. You aren’t going to get an OBE like Rashford. Even though he could feed all the poor and needy children in the UK with what he earns in a week. Even though, what he gets in sponsorship alone in a day is more than what most people earn in a year, no one will see that. Why? Because they choose to ignore it. It’s like film and TV stars at the Oscars, or the Emmys making “statements” about lack of inclusivity and poverty, all whilst parading obscenely expensive outfits and jewellery, barely a stone’s throw from some of the most impoverished people in the cardboard box ghettos of Hollywood and New York. The stench of hypocrisy hidden from the glittery lights by the perfume of the middle class Elite.

I digress – back to the blog.

Free the Pascal One.

Why couldn’t you show that tackle, Gary?

Was it really that bad? After all, from where I was in my stand, it didn’t actually look that bad. In real time, Struijk went in for the challenge, they both got up from it, or at least Elliot tried to get up but sat back down again. The ref turned,  looked at them and played on. Both of the teams played on for a few seconds. Salah went up to Elliot, told him to stay down and Gurning Klopp ran onto the pitch. Then a load of people ran onto the pitch. It was then, and only then, must have been 10 seconds later, that the ref ran back and blew. I couldn’t see what was going on properly, the stretcher with the head stabilising board came onto the pitch, but Elliot was clearly conscious. It didn’t look like a head injury. Yes, there was a load of confusion, but the lad was clearly alert and it wasn’t a concussion. It wasn’t an incident like the sad Christian Eriksen episode, which incidentally the cameras were focused on 100%. Did Gary and SkyTVisf**kings**t think it was as serious as this? Honestly?

I’m no doctor, but I’m pretty sure if someone is still conscious and moving, they are safe. In real time, if the challenge was that dangerous the ref should have stopped the game there and then and brandished his red card, rather than waiting for Klopp, Stockley Park, the 4th official and the rest of Klopps relatives to tell him to do so. It wouldn’t have surprised me if GCHQ, Menwith Hill and the Big Ball at Fylingdales hadn’t put their two pennorth in as well. And all the time, there was Gary on SkyTVisf**kings**t saying “We can’t show it”.

Why Gary? We have all seen Roy Keane’s tackle on Alfie. We all saw Cantona’s two footed leap at that Palace fan. We even saw that Son tackle on Everton’s Gomes.   

The TV audience has been completely desensitised to any violence / peril / gore over the last 30 years. What is the actual difference of watching that tackle going to make?

30 years ago, you wouldn’t have heard the F word said in the cinema without having a XXX certificate shoved in your face. You used to have “parental advisory” stickers on your “risque” album covers. Now Samuel L Jackson has that as his personal Snakes On A M****F***** Plane motto and even cartoon characters use smutty language.

We were brought up on the likes of Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry, and Rocky and Rambo. Later on it was Tarantino and Kill Bill et al. The 30+ year olds were brought up on a diet of GTA and TuPac & Biggie gangland shootings. The 20+ year olds have been brought up with SAW, Gears of War and Halo. The 15 year olds are brought up Fortnite and The Walking Dead. The average 18 rated film of the 80s in the cinema, has now been totally eclipsed by the 15 rating films in today’s film theatres. We don’t need to be protected and cossetted by SkyTVisf**kings**t and FA old codgers censors board. As if you lot know what is right and proper, your moral compass is so far apart you wouldn’t know inpropriety if it smacked you in the face with a wet fish.

With the advent of Youtube and social media, all you need to do is whisper something about action films and those cheeky algorithms will select similar content for you to see next time you switch your device on. Tailored content which increasingly gets more intense the more you look. Before you know it, you could go from Colin The Caterpillar to watching The Human Centipede. Incidentally, this is an extremely unpleasant film – please do not go to Blockbuster and hire it.

What I am trying to say is that, in the 70s and 80s the scariest films you saw were Carrie, The Omen and Salems Lot. Nowadays, even the 12a films show violence and bad language de riguer. Limbs being hacked off and 15 minute fight scenes are common place. The Disney Channel is the only place to watch The Walking Dead. Disney – that’s right – the company that brought you Steamboat Willy and Minnie Mouse, showing you gruesome, gory zombie fight scenes.

Some of the Drill and Grime music on the radio glorifies gangs and violence and the music videos that kids and young people aspire to show scantily clad persons in suggestive poses and are little with lurid language. It’s a far cry from the New Seekers “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” and “All Kinds Of Everything” by Dana. We sat through the Sex Pistols and Punk for Pete’s sake. No one needs a modern day Tipper Gore to protect us. And for those of you who don’t know what I mean, here is the link. The might of Christian values and wholesome good Old American values – God Bless Dee Snider

The viewing customers of today have been so anaesthetised by modern day life, nothing is going to phase them, Gary. Modern day sport includes a dedicated boxing channel, two competitors punching the living daylights out of each other. Boxing is an Olympic sport. MMA which is much more violent, isn’t an Olympic sport, but it’s still readily available to stream. Two guys punching and kicking the s**t out of each other in a cage. 

So, Gary, when you say “We can’t show you this” and “No one wants to see this sort of thing” actually no. Not really. No one is particularly bothered about a football challenge. Christian Eriksen having a medical emergency, that’s what we don’t want to see. A competitive challenge in a contact sport? That’s part and parcel of the professional game.

I’ll tell you what we don’t like to see in the professional game. Cheating and diving or to give it it’s modern day football correct terminology, clever game management. We don’t like to see things shown out of context, manipulated by the TV camera angles to make things look different to what they actually are. We don’t like deliberate selective misinterpretation, for effect, in order to sensationalise something. We don’t like to hear insinuation, supposition, hearsay or speculation, which may exaggerate or over emphasise something that isn’t really true. We really just want to watch the football as it happens on the pitch and listen to the commentary of the game as it happens.

As for Elliot, I hope he gets well soon. No hard feelings. Even he admits the challenge was fair and the way he landed, or perhaps how he stood up after the challenge caused the accident which damaged his ankle. At least he admitted it. He will hopefully heal and get back quickly as he’s young. Struijk? How long is it going to take him to heal? He’s been accused of deliberately going in with an illegal dangerous challenge. He didn’t, it was a fair tackle. He knows that, Elliot knows that. The FA may know that, but they are not going to admit it. After all, with all the furore that it has generated, with all the mass hysteria from Klopp and his team, with all the confusion from the ref not looking at VAR (why do they have VAR again?). Together with all the exaggeration from the TV pundits, they are going to look a little bit stupid if they withdraw the red card. 

All this just plays right into the old adage of Them v Us. As if Leeds fans didn’t already have a massive persecution complex. As if we didn’t need anymore excuses to feel let down by the FA and footballing authorities Elite. 

They All Hate Leeds Scum

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