05 February, 2008

Is this thing on...?

Until we get our arse back into gear, see what's going happeningon the allotments.

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12 April, 2007

Foam Finger

Hello old friend.

Time to dust off the old blog for a quick post. Spurs went down to a better Sevilla side in the UEFA Cup quarter-final. How different things might have been if not for the outrageous penalty decision in the first leg. Then again, Tottenham conspired in the opening seven minutes to throw away the good work of last week's match in Sevilla.

So, enjoy this very bad mobile phone screen shot of Aaron Lennon.

Also, I very nearly mocked a kid in an AS Roma cap yesterday. Guess he was part of a group of Italian kids visting the delights of Barnstaple.

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21 November, 2006

Alexander Smit Dispatches - 40 man roster edition

The Twins added Alexander Smit to their 40 man roster yesterday. The move protects Smit from the Rule 5 draft.

20 November, 2006

Football - Spilt Milk

Blackburn Rovers 1, Tottenham Hotspur 1

The papers this morning focussed on the confused and fractious ending to the late Sunday game.

Spurs' manager Martin Jol appeared to have been given a red card in the closing seconds of the match after Hossam Ghaly also saw red for a leading elbow against Michael Gray.

What's of more concern for this Spurs' supporter is that a third of the way into the season Tottenham are mired in the lower half of the table. They should be hammering the likes of workhorse teams like Blackburn who, but for Tugay thumping strike in the first half, were devoid of ideas in front of goal.

It was another poor match and Tottenham played their part in making it poor viewing.

Ok, there are injuries. Jol has not been able to field a first choice midfield for most of the season. Steed Malbranque is back, but Aaron Lennon is out again.

The sight of Edgar Davids and Lee Young Pyo in the side rings alarm bells. With Davids running amok, there was a lack of fluidity in midfield for most of the match. Lee is a liability at the back.

And, then there's Mido. The Egyptian striker was lucky to be on the pitch at the end of the game. He's physical. He argues. He has a tendency to be a lightning rod for trouble. In the second half, I was surprised that Jol didn't lift him for Berbatov. After the Tugay red card - very unlucky, but it was a penalty and Tugay was the last man in defence - you could sense that there'd be another flashpoint and possible sending-off. Mido, already on a yellow, was favourite.

In the end, the inconsistent Ghaly got the red. He had no business launching himself into Gray, but he did - to my eye - turn to avoid making contact with the elbow. To this biased viewer, he deserved a yellow card. That's why Jol was incensed. He felt, as I am sure all Spurs' fans did, that the referee was looking for an excuse to "even things up" after the controversial Tugay incident.

Meanwhile, a third of season gone. Hope of a Champions' League place all but disappeared. Spurs' will progress in the UEFA Cup. But, the promise of last season has faded in poor performances, injuries and a lack of character.

Alexander Smit Dispatches - Sickels Ranking

Thanks to Brian of the Nationals Farm Authority for pointing out this link to John Sickels rankings of Minnesota prospects.

Alexander Smit comes in at No.7. That's quite a boost for the Dutch lefty. Sickels gave Smit a "C" rating in this year's Prospect Book. Sickels actually saw him pitch in 2005 though I have my suspicions that was when Alexander was struggling with his control at Beloit.

Smit again started poorly in 2006, but started to put things right around mid-May. Once he joined the rotation in June, he was becoming his dominant self as in the second half of 2005.

05 November, 2006

Football: I Heart Aaron Lennon

Tottenham Hotspur 2, Chelsea 1

For a Tottenham fan, a perfect day. Spurs exorcised their Chelsea demons with a first ever Premiership win against the West London side. (That is a truly staggering and depressing statistic.) More importantly, Spurs finally put one over a "Big Four" club. As this blog has been bleating for most of its natural life, if Spurs have aspirations to be a big club again, then beating the other big clubs is part and parcel. Okay, so you can't do that to order. But, if Tottenham approached other big matches like today's encounter, I'm sure there'll be more successes.

Quite surprising that Martin Jol kept the same eleven that started against Club Brugge in what turned into a 3-1 stroll, one of the least intense European matches you'll see. Compare that to the Battle Royale at the Nou Camp on Tuesday - well, there was no comparison.

So, Donutball does indeed heart Aaron Lennon who netted the winner early in the second half. Lennon has attracted more attention this season, particularly from opponents. It was evident on Thursday when he was immediately surrounded by tow or three defenders when he got the ball. Chelsea did much the same today.

But, the inspiration to switch him from the left wing, where he too often cuts on to his right foot rather than going outside the full-back on his left foot, to the right wing left space for Robbie Keane to do his magic. Keane played Chelsea's substitute right back Boulharouz like a fiddle; a drop of the shoulder left the defender on his backside. Keane's cross to Berbatov was only deflected to Lennon at the far post. Aaron cushioned the ball in one move on his right, then hit a sweet side foot volley with is left leaving Ashley Cole for dust. Goal. 2-1. Ballgame.

Usual sour grapes from the opposing manager. Video

Doubly satisfactory as the Arse went down to a late West Ham goal thanks to nice interplay between two Tottenham old boys - Matthew Etherington and ageless Teddy Sheringham. Handbags between Alan Pardew and Arsene "I Will Always Shake Hands With the Opposing Manager, Except That Racist Alan Pardew" Wenger.

More sour grapes from Whinger.

Oh, how sweet.

23 October, 2006

Football - Chomp

Tottenham Hotspur 1, West Ham United 0 (upper central incisor)

Well done Jermain Defoe for putting the (ahem) bite into Tottenham's attack. Jermain, struggling in front of goal (just one away from 100 in all club matches), appeared to take a bite at West Ham's Argentine "Rent-a-Player" Javier Mascherano in yesterday's 1-0 win.

All in all, it was a scrappy little affair which Spurs should have won comfortably but for another 90 minutes of missed chances.

This is becoming a familiar story. Despite five games undefeated since the 3-0 drubbing by Liverpool, Spurs are failing to kill off matches. Against Besiktas in last week's UEFA Cup match, Robbie Keane, in particular, was guilty of wasting gilt edged chances.

Three tests coming up that should see Tottenham's goal shy strikers find their boots.
  • Wednesday sees a Carling Cup clash at Milton Keynes Dons.
  • Spurs travel to Vicarage Road to play winless Watford on Saturday in the Premier League.
  • Next week, it's European football at the Lane as Club Brugge come to N.17.
Now's the time to start clicking, improving performances AND winning.

Meanwhile, Martin Jol called Defoe's alleged bite a "comical nibble". With that and Didier Zakora's flagrant diving, Donutball is not impressed with Tottenham's downward disciplinary path. Reminds us of the early days of Arsene "I did not see the incident where my player drove a Sherman tank over the opposition" Wenger up the Arse.

Just make sure you brush and floss after each Mascherano, Jermain.

22 October, 2006

World Series - Game 1

A power failure meant I missed watching Game 1 of the World Series, re-shown on NASN this morning.

The last time the Tigers met the Cardinals in the World Series, my team made the League final...and lost.

12 October, 2006


Went AWOL for awhile: been busy with this and that. A few details can be found over here.


Don't blame Paul Robinson for England's 2-0 defeat to Croatia. Blame the other ten players and the clueless coach. Donutball already told you that Steve "Steve" McLaren was the wrong man for the job. Doesn't help if most of his players are overrated and big headed. Nevermind Wayne Rooney's troubles, it's players like Gerrard, Ashley Cole, Rio Ferdinand and even captain John Terry who are stinking up the place.

This is not the answer. We told you it might happen.

Nice timing with the announcement of the shortlist for FIFA Player of the Year. Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard? More like Playa of the year.

18 September, 2006

IRBL: 7 is a magic number

Meanwhile, the Mariners (my International Replay Baseball League entry) leads the AL West by 4 games with 10 left to play. All of sudden, this light hitting bunch have a magic number of 7.

The next series is a 5 game home set against the Angels, our closest competition. Taking 3 out of 5 would give the M's at least a tie for the division.

This club is held together with string and candlewax. Big stick for this team? Try Jack Wilson (.281/.321/.454). Chad Tracy and Aaron Boone both have 20 homers. In fact, we've got a remarkable 8 players with double digit dingers. Then again we've also got a couple of top notch double killing leaders - Boone (23) and Marcus Giles (20). All in all, the Mariners are 11th out of 14 in hitting - .254/.319/.391.

Our strength has been pitching though as the season has worn on, the Mariners have slid down the rankings to sixth. Anchoring the staff have been a trio of veterans - Scott Elarton (18-9, 3.57 ERA, 1.22 WHiP), Mike Mussina (13-12, 3.81, 1.29) and Pedro Astacio (9-8, 3.53, 1.14). The bullpen is deep with contributions from Jeff Farnsworth (29 Saves, 1.13, 0.74), Todd Jones (7 SV, 5 Holds, 1.31, 0.85), Danys Baez (7 Saves, 8 Holds, 3.72, 1.44), Matt Miller (7 Holds, 2.92, 1.22) and Brian Shouse (14 Holds, 4.88, 1.41).

Whatever it is - luck, brilliant management, chutzpah, team chemistry or a collection of 1s and 0s in the right order - the Mariners tonight sit atop the AL West with an 82-70 record closing down on an unlikely playoff spot. It has helped playing in the IRBL's weakest division, but it has been a dogfight all season long.

If we can get past the Angels in the upcoming series, the Mariners look certain to play against the Tigers (97-50) in the first round of the playoffs. The Tigers pwn the M's with a perfect 9-0 record.

Fingers crossed.

14 September, 2006

UEFA Cup: Slavia Prague 0, Tottenham Hotspur 1

An encouraging result for Tottenham in their long awaited return to European football. Okay, it wasn't the Champions' League (grumble) and it wasn't Barcelona (sigh). But, job done.

Jermaine Jenas scored a fine goal midway through the first half after a powerful run from Didier Zakora. Tottenham cruised through the first half, took the foot of the gas in the second, were always comfortable, but conceded too much possession. A better team would have punished them.

Still, 1-0 in the away leg. That's what counts.

Top performances from Zakora (more Viera than Murphy) and Michael Dawson (stout in defence). The lean, mean Mido machine (welcome home, BTW) had the occasional deft touch. Jermain Defoe looked poor. His confidence seems shot to pieces and he's unlikely to keep his starting place on this evidence.

Top marks to the visiting hordes who made a noise throughout.

Bottom marks for Channel 5's amateurish coverage and the chocolate brown strip. Worst. Strip. Ever.