Day 461 – Poor takes

First off, I got a miserable 4/8 right on my Euro 2020 R16 predictions. That’s why I’m not a betting man. No-one could have foreseen France’s weird capitulation, Holland and Sweden’s decisive red cards and England’s… er… win.

It’s not for me to talk about what’s racist and what’s not, but I am completely happy to talk about how you can choose your sources to suit your narrative. So this tweet:

…might seem to make a very fair point until you look at the other UK newspaper front pages this morning and note that the good doc has only chosen the to share the ones that don’t feature Raheem Sterling. Like ignoring the front page of The Sun. Which is usually a very good idea, fair enough, but not for his reasons.

Or The Times:

Even the FT (That’s Financial, not Football) got overlooked:

But while we’re on the subject of poor takes, did England really win? Or is it all part of the “experimental vaccine” plot? Which doesn’t exist, but if it did, was England’s “win” actually just to keep our minds off it?
Sarah Plumley BA PGCE thinks so:

To which the all-knowing Dj42(74404412) sagely replies:

Seems legit, and will surely be proven true when we crash out at the hands of Ukraine at the weekend (not an official prediction) and suddenly realise that we’re now 5g-nanobot chipped, somewhat magnetic, DNA-manipulated, mind-controlled mutant zombies.

Or just a bit less vulnerable to Coronavirus infection. One of the two, anyway.

And not me, anyway, because I won’t see a vaccine for many months yet, thanks to SA’s disastrous vaccine rollout (see 6000 miles… passim).

Sarah’s tweets are a veritable smorgasbord (have you ever known of a smorgasbord that wasn’t veritable?) of Thin Aluminium Millinery: Epstein, Big Pharma, IVM, Trump, “Sheeple” every second post.
It’s amusing to watch her calling other people “brainwashed”.

You could argue that maybe I’m just choosing the tweets that suit my narrative.
However, in Sarah’s case, there weren’t any others available.

Day 453 – Rain and England

Over 100mm of rain today has soon put me in my place as far as celebrating the lack of winter goes.

Never mind though. We had a successful trip out to The Flats this morning to renew some passports (no, we’re not going anywhere), and there’s a free-standing fireplace to light and an England game to ‘look forward to’ this evening.

Yes, I enjoy watching football, and yes, I’m English, but I’m no huge fan of the England national team.
Sure, I’ll watch them and I’ll support them, but it’s not life-ending for me when they don’t do well.
‘Nice when they win, meh when they don’t’ sums it up nicely.

I was saying recently that this is likely because when I was growing up, the England team had no relevance to me. All the games were played at Wembley. That was somewhere I’d never been and never seen – it meant nothing to me. (It still means very little to me.) So it was always based in London, and London was a long way away and… well… had no relevance to me. Added to that, the fact that none of my heroes were ever involved, and you really shouldn’t underestimate the effect that can have on a young kid’s level of interest.

Then there was the playing style. English domestic football was always more physical, more rough and tumble; harder and faster. And yet when I watched the England team, they always slowed it all down and played to the foreign opposition’s strengths instead of their own. I never understood that.

Aside from the matches of the 1990 World Cup, most of which I spent in Germany and had to be seen to be a total England supporter, I can only think of one other memorable England game: the 2001 5-1 win against Germany. For some reason (beer, probably) I felt like a proper fan that evening, as we watching in the Britannia in Headington before heading down the Cowley Road. That was a fun day.

But look, I’d much rather be watching Sheffield United: then and now.

That said, it’s either the England game or sitting outside in the rain, so I think Ill still be watching this evening.

Day 427, part 2 – Welcome, Slaviša

Sheffield United’s new manager is Slaviša Jokanovic. (The c has an accent, but WordPress can’t cope with that. Bit racist.)

The 53 year old was born in Novi Sad in (then Yugoslavia, now) Serbia and… actually, the club have provided a handy infographic, so let’s let that do the talking.

Image

Both Watford and Fulham fans seem to think he’s the business, so it looks like promotion next season is basically a given*.

This guy was our number one target and, given the situation, I think the right man for the job. It’s a real positive step forward and great news that we’ve managed to get him in, and get him in early. Hashtag A New Beginning.

* i’m joking, obviously.

Day 423 – End of the season

Yep. The end of another weird, horrible, broken football season. And we all know that it didn’t go well.
More defeats than in any other campaign in our illustrious 132 year history, relegated long before today’s well-deserved victory over lowly, lucky Burnley. It’s interesting (and promising) to note that we put in a great performance and a decent win today in front of an actual crowd. That lockdown restriction has hurt us more than most.

But, with such a terrible start to the season, there was some weird degree of acceptance early on (this post was a huge hit with United fans), and suddenly, even the small positives became highlights and moments to remember. Like that first win over Newcastle, the hard-fought victory over Aston Villa, and – of course – the absolutely incredible, near unbelievable 2-1 away at Old Trafford.

I was quite emotional that evening. And it was a big win: the first ever Premier League win by a Yorkshire club at Old Trafford. At the 36th attempt, nogal. And ManU went on to put 9 past Southampton there the following week.

Oh yes, and the little fact that we weren’t the only Sheffield team to get relegated this season. Shame.

Much of the time, we didn’t play badly. Stuff just didn’t click: we lost just by a single goal on an incredible 17 occasions. But the Premier League is an unforgiving place, and so the Blades drop to the Championship, which means that I won’t get to watch them anywhere near as much next season. And that’s sad. But hopefully, the fans will be back at Beautiful Downtown Bramall Lane, and that will be the catalyst to get us straight back up.

Come fill me again…