Day 108 – Lon-done!

Yesterday evening’s amazing 3-0 win over Chelsea…

Please enjoy the goals again here:

…was our last game against London opposition in the Premier League this season.
It’s been a good haul:

6 points from Palace.
4 points from Spurs.
4 points from Arsenal.
4 points from Chelsea.
4 points from West Ham.

6 wins, 4 draws, 0 defeats.

Lon has been well and truly Done!

Three things

And they’re all about football, so if that sort of thing doesn’t intere… hello? Hello?

Hmm. Well, bugger you. I’m going to write it anyway.

Firstly, well done to Chelsea, who emphatically finished off the Premiership season with a little 8-0 drubbing of hapless Wigan “Athletic”.

Secondly, it’s 25 years since the Bradford Fire – the “forgotten tragedy of the Eighties“. 56 people died at that football match.
I can remember watching it on the news the next morning. I’d have been 11 years old and it would have been a Sunday. I had a habit of going downstairs at about 6am and watching the breakfast kids’ TV (such as it was back then), but the morning TV was dominated with the news of the fire. The pictures were horrific – I can still clearly see the man staggering out of the stand – on fire, but seemingly not even realising it.
It meant more because it was local to us and because there were so many stories of children being killed and injured just because they went to what should have been a celebratory match at the end of their championship winning season.
That top link is worth reading.

Finally, more happy news. We spent the afternoon at the Waterfront, gazing momentarily at the World Cup trophy. That’s my picture of it on the right. It was part of the Coca-Cola sponsored Trophy Tour and, despite the rain, was very well attended.
There was live music, an emotional 3D film of World Cups past (and future) and of course, the actual trophy. It was boxed in perspex, but you could get within a metre of it and no-one tried to steal it (as far as I’m aware).

Which isn’t very South African, now is it?

World Cup Willie

Disambiguation: for World Cup Willie (1966 World Cup Mascot) click here.
Otherwise… read on.

I read today (here, actually) that John Terry, the now disgraced former captain of the England football team, is flying out to Dubai to try and convince his estranged wife, Toni Poole, that their marriage is still worth salvaging.
In case you’ve been under a rock:

Poole, the mother of Terry’s two children, fled to the UAE soon after reports emerged regarding an affair between the Chelsea captain and Vanessa Perroncel, the ex-partner of the 29-year-old’s former club team-mate Wayne Bridge.

The incisive Guardian reporting tells us:

Terry had a serious look on his face as he was escorted to the plane at London’s Heathrow airport shortly after 8.30am, wearing blue jeans and a white hooded top.

I’m not bloody surprised (at the serious look, anyway) (the white hoodie did come as a bit of a shock – I dunno – I thought something in blue, maybe?  A splash of colour. Cheerful. Bright. Make some effort, man.)

Anyway, I hope he’s got flowers and I’m sure he’s got his little speech lined up.
After all, he does “love her to bits”.

How do I know?

Oh – just this little gem I picked out from that exclusive John Terry Interview in the Observer Sport Monthly back in May 2006:

And you’re not married?

No, I’m engaged to my girlfriend Toni Poole, she’s been with me since I was a YTS.

She looks very nice in the photographs.

She is. And she’s good for me. She’s been there from the start. When I was earning £46 a week she was earning £250 a week – she was taking me out to restaurants. It’s nice that she’s there for the right reasons – for me.

And she’s forgiven you your indiscretions?

Indiscretions – you know, I’ve never cheated on her or anything like that. I never would. I can look you in the eye and tell you that. There’s been stories out there that I’ve cheated on her but I certainly haven’t – I love her to bits.

There was an interview in the News of the World where I’d seen a reporter out and I’d apparently admitted it all to Toni. I never admitted anything to Toni because I’ve never done anything. With me saying I’m a loyal person, that goes with my girlfriend as well as with Chelsea.

But you must have been sorely tempted?

Yeah, there’s occasions. I’ve obviously explained to Toni that we get opportunities, we get approached and I’ve probably been in situations that she doesn’t approve of. Maybe. But it certainly wouldn’t be the case where I’d take it any further.

Certainly not, John. After all, you “love her to bits” and you’re “a loyal person”.
You can look me in the eye and tell me that (but you’ll still be lying).

If he’s done it once, he’ll do it again (see Woods, Tiger).
My advice is to dump him, Toni – but only after the World Cup.
While he might have been covering the hole that Wayne Bridge had left at the back (sorry), he’s still a damn fine defender and part of the backbone that will win the World Cup for England a bit later this year. (Albeit that we need a decent coccyx.)

As long as he’s not in a state of abject depression.
So please just lie back and think of England (literally), until July 12th.


Snails, Cheese and Wine. And Rain. And Footy.

It’s been a wet weekend. Very wet.
Latest figures from Kirstenbosch suggest that they weren’t really expecting rain at this time of year and forgot to put the rainfall gauge out. But if they had have done, it would have been full. And that’s a lot of water.
I would look it up on the SA Weather Service site, but since it got “upgraded” it’s worse than useless.

Aside from a trip to the supermarket, we stayed in. As you would have done as well.
Mrs 6000 and her chums were due to take some horses out through the vineyards in the spring sunshine, but after the spring sunshine failed to pierce the thick grey clouds above and all around us, apparently even the horses were moaning about it being cold and wet (98% relative humidity 13.8°C at 3pm), and thus a semi-impromptu cheese and wine party took the places of the ruiterkuns. Which was nice.
Especially since we didn’t invite the horses.

The wet weekend flickr set.

Snails, cheese, wine and bathing the kids gave me limited opportunity to watch Chelsea and Man U, but I did get to see the goal and yes, it was a foul; no, Drogba wasn’t offside and no, he wasn’t interfering with play anyway. And yes, actually I am a qualified referee, so **** you.
I’m sure Fergie and the Man U fans won’t be happy, but to be perfectly honest, who really gives a toss about what they think? Deep down inside they’ll be happy to have something to moan about, anyway.  

And so it’s onward and upward (the stairs, to bed), with a week full of grey, wet weather to look forward to. Happy days.

Tom Henning Ovrebo

Was it just yesterday that I complained that there wasn’t enough drama in the Arsenal v Man U UEFA Champions League semi-final to keep me interested? Well, evidently Tom Henning Øvrebø was reading while (possibly) getting instructions from various betting syndicates across the shadier parts of Europe. And he offered me some lovely Stilton to go with my previous evening’s chalk.

Our Tom

I don’t think I have ever seen a more biased or inept refereeing performance in my life. Well, not one that didn’t involve Sheffield United or a match I was playing in, anyway. The refs always seem to be bent in those matches.
For me as a neutral to have been so disgusted at it tells you what the Chelsea fans must have thought. As does the fact that there are death threats against Mr Øvrebø all over the internet and the fact that he had to be smuggled out of the UK by police.
He must be thanking his lucky stars that the annual gathering of the Uncle Fester Lookalike Organisation was held in London this week, affording him some form of protection.
Now, I’m certainly not condoning the death threats, nor do I support the antics of Didier Drogba, who turned dramatically to the camera as he left the field at the end of the game and shouted, quite audibly:

“It’s a disgrace! It’s a [naughty word] disgrace!”

But I can quite understand why he felt that way. Because it was a [naughty word] disgrace. I mentioned this whole thing in February, when Peter Walton made mistakes in the Blades cup tie at Hull City. Once again, a referee has not done the job he is paid to do. And it’s cost Chelsea millions of pounds. Sod the fact that Roman Abramovich can afford it – that’s beside the point.

Drogba and teammate Michael Ballack will surely face disciplinary hearings over their actions last night. I would guess that Bosingwa and Lampard, who have also spoken out will be in trouble too. But what of the overweight baldy from Norway, smuggled back to Oslo by police overnight? What action will he face?

Well, if Euro 2008 is anything to go by – not much. Øvrebø refereed one match there and made so many errors that he was removed from the referees list for the rest of the competition. But UEFA still obviously trust him to have another go at making costly errors in big games. Surely that’s got to be it now, though?

Til next time, right?

EDIT: I was on John Maytham’s show on Cape Talk last night discussing this point.

EDIT 2: Drogba has issued a formal apology.

EDIT 3: 5fm reporting that Chelsea will dump Drogba at the end of the season and not renew his contract.