BAHAB

The online equivalent of shouting down a well

St. Stephens Green

This week has been a bit weird for me. I watched as Jose Mourinho took the blame for something, paid my credit card the week the bill arrived (not the whole lot, but a big chunk; let’s not go mad), and I found myself stood shoulder to shoulder with Jack Monroe whilst simultaneously disagreeing with her.

Allow me to explain. When I was young my family weren’t rich but both my parents worked and we could afford to rent privately until we got to the top of the council waiting list. So hardly on our uppers. Jack on the other hand has been what I call really poor. Hide behind the sofa every time the doorbell rings poor. Horses in the lift poor. The fact that her story is true is what really makes it fascinating and I recommend you read up on her.

Anyway, nowadays Jack spends a hell of a lot of her time campaigning on issues around poverty, and is, I think it’s fair to say, of a reasonably left leaning persuasion. As you can imagine, her Saturday morning was dominated by news that a few months ago would have seemed like a pipe dream, namely the election of Jeremy Corbyn to Labour party leader. Not only would it mean a set of alternative policies that she could really get behind, but surely such a darling of the left would usher in selection strategies that would signal a quantum leap forward for groups who feel underrepresented at the top of institutes, like women, ethnic minorities etc.? The future looked a lot brighter for all those still astonished that retweets don’t actually transfer into the ballot box, and are still getting over the election result.

By Sunday night she was fucking fuming.

Now here it gets tricky for me. The shadow cabinet has ended up overall to be pretty much a male female stalemate numerically. (Diane Abbott has hung about long enough to snaffle one. It’s been interesting to see people like her accusing resigning Blairites of treachery, when they spent decades sticking the knife into the leadership at every opportunity, but hey ho). In my eyes this is a huge step forward. Jeremy has walked the walk. Or has he? That all depends on semantics it seems.

In any cabinet, shadow or otherwise, not all jobs are pares inter pares, if you’ll pardon the Latin butchery. There is a big four among them. PM, Chancellor, Home and Foreign Secretaries. No matter how much you try and sell being put in charge of Agriculture it really is a step down. Jack was really hoping that half of those jobs were going to be filled by women, and while I get that I think Jeremy genuinely did just pick the best people for the jobs, and I think that if people just did that there would be no more controversy about the diversity of boardrooms, shadow cabinets, or soap opera casts.

Sadly however as I age I am increasingly beginning to think I live in Narnia, and without huge deliberate sweeping gestures, such as the ones Corbyn ducked at the weekend, the march to equality will be painfully slow, and punctuated with pneumatic imbeciles trying to convince me that making a sex tape and appearing nude on instagram is a feminist act, rather than what it is; dressing like a prostitute for money.

(At this point I’d like to put on record my puzzlement that Thatcher isn’t held up as a feminist role model. After all she took on and beat the whitest most male institution in the country and won, while Barbara Windsor was still making Carry On films. I suspect I know why, but it’s always fun to ask I find.)

Anyway, Jack spent a long time after the announcements of roles were made expressing disappointment that someone with such impeccable Socialist credentials as Corbyn had missed the chance to make a statement, and despite the fact it meant I was also agreeing with Owen Jones I had to concur.

But I still say in an age of black presidents and woman prime ministers none of this should be either necessary or thought provoking.

Yeah, weird.

And while I’m on the subject hasn’t Jeremy made in, er. interesting start to his reign. I’m starting to believe that if you frisked him he’d have a dog whistle on him at all times. A rescue dog whistle, obviously.

Not content with promising to nationalise the so called Big 6 energy providers, a move which ignores the fact that firstly only British Gas has any upstream capability and so the open market would control the industry like it does now, and secondly that precious little of the market is actually British owned, he has also decided to go on a one man blanking campaign whereby he ignores all of Murdoch’s outlets.

Now stalking down the street doggedly refusing to engage as a reporter fires questions at you isn’t a good look when you’re on Watchdog and people want to know where their timeshare money has gone or why you’ve fucked up their conservatory and legged it. It implies that you have something to hide. When you are trying to present yourself as the alternative prime minister it frankly looks stupid.

Again, his backers in the labour movement were probably hugely impressed at his show of principle. He is going to get slaughtered anyway, they will tell you, so why bother? Well the problem is that whatever you think of the Sun (and it’s fairly clear where Corbyn sits on this one) any man who is starting nine million votes behind David Cameron should be using every opportunity to put his case across. He doesn’t have to LIKE them, he just has to USE them. All those people cheering when he makes his noble gestures better not blame the nasty media when he gets his arse handed to him in 2020. It’s going to be a thankless slog, but if he’s going to turn round the deficit he is simply going to have to put up with being monstered in the Sun, Mail, and Express, like a boxer marching forward to get in his blows against an opponent with a height and reach advantage.

Not content with deciding to take on the mass media by inaction, his appointment of John McDonnell as shadow Chancellor seems to be a huge fuck you to his haters. The usual suspects have jumped on a quote where he is supposed to have wished for a time machine so he could go back to the eighties and assassinate Thatcher. They’ve also studiously avoided the fact that Tony Blair was so terrified of this left wing firebrand that he offered him a job in his cabinet. It must have been like listening to War Of The Worlds in that meeting.

The reasons that I don’t believe Jeremy is the man to lead Labour are many and varied, but the big one for me is that he’s spent so long being the outsider that unless someone he respects tells him to sell himself (which is different to selling out) he will be left bewildered and defeated because the arguments he’s been having among sympathetic friends won’t be automatically accepted by previous Tory voters. I think they won’t lead him into Number Ten, but rather the back benches as a busted flush, as everyone with any brains points out that no matter how right you think you are sometimes people just don’t want what you’re selling.

He needs to start listening, and quick.

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South Dakota

What up fluffers? It’s been a while, but don’t hold that against me.

So what’s been going on then? Well firstly Wayne Rooney stopped leering down your nana’s top long enough to equal Sir Bobby Charlton’s England goalscoring record, and of course as is the way of these things opinion was divided as to its merit as an achievement.

Well on the one hand you can argue that Charlton’s tally was the more remarkable seeing as he got most of his goals from midfield. On the other there is the fact that while everyone’s favourite bald knight played with Moore, Peters, and Greaves Rooney has had to cart round the likes of Cahill, Milner, and Darren Bent. Honours even in my book.

What else? Oh yeah, on Sunday the Mirror ran a story straight out of Jeremy Kyle’s bargain bin, about a young woman who died while being hoisted from a hospital bed to a gurney. Yes, hoisted. Her mother described it as being a hairy moment as her daughter was scared of heights. In the hoist.

Now your social worker gets a lot of stick, what with Baby P and whatnot, but taking a FORTY STONE TEENAGER into care isn’t something we can be critical of. The parents were unable to get their child to stop eating apparently, presumably because telling her not to and not buying enough food to let her get to FORTY STONE was too much like hard work. Of course, clearly this kid had a ready supply of money coming in to support her gluttony, rendering the parents as impotent as UEFA enforcing financial fair play. Oh no, apparently she had a secret weapon.

It appears that when her parents tried to make her do something she didn’t want to, such as, er, PUTTING ON TWO STONE A YEAR EVERY YEAR UNTIL SHE DIED AGED TWENTY, she deployed her superpower.

She threw a tantrum.

Wait, what? A child? Throwing a tantrum? Fuck me, that’s a game changer. Imagine if every kid ever decided to do that. Parents would be properly snookered. How would they cope? It’s a conundrum she’s posing for sure.

Of course, it’s Social Services’ fault that she was doing an impression of a goose limbering up for fois gras season. Apparently she hated care so much she kept running away. Obviously she didn’t run very far, but still…..

I think you’ll go a long way before you find a more deserving candidate for compensation. I recommend sterilisation for both of them. Now that doesn’t sound very lucrative, but imagine the amount of money they’ll save not breeding and producing another fucking porker like that.

Hoist.

On we go. Oh yes, Syria.

There seems to be a bit of confusion about the rules regarding possessions you can take with you (and indeed own) when you’re a refugee, particularly about mobile phones. The problem seems to stem from what you’re photographed doing whilst running for your fucking life.

You see, when people in informal civil wars being waged by two sets of third world fuck knuckles find out that they are having the shit bombed out of them it’s normally too late to do anything but scrabble together your family and a few bits and bobs. Given most people attachment to them these days one of them is quite likely to be an iPhone.

Now clearly a lot of people living in the west have a laminated list of items sat by the door in case Cornwall suddenly decides to get shirty and it comes on top which make them look just the right amount of impoverished to any stray media types looking for an image of how the humanitarian disaster is playing out, and they are therefore perfectly entitled to complain when a refugee has the temerity to have a better phone than them. There is another school of thought though.

It’s the theory that after you’ve escaped with your kids and everything that you carry, and your house has been bombed flat and you don’t have access to the money you left behind in the bank, you might be stuck with a phone that indicated what disposable income you used to have.

Then when the contract expires you’ll obviously hand it in and swap it for a Nokia 8310, because that will keep those looking for any reason to be a tight fisted mean spirited cunt one less reason to want to send you back home.

It’s the world Steve Jobs was working towards.

And finally, sometimes there appears a story that is one thing at first glance, but quite another when you delve into it. For example, the Independent reported last week that a teenager in Texas has died after he fatally shot himself as he posed for a selfie with a gun. No no, not yet.

Family members have identified the man as Deleon Alonso Smith, who was apparently taking photographs with a gun at an apartment in southwest Houston when the firearm accidentally went off, police have said. Seriously, that’s not it.

The teenager died after the bullet pierced into his throat. The father-of-two was due to start college on Wednesday, according to his family.

OK, there it is. College? HE SHOT HIMSELF TAKING A SELFIE FOR FUCK’S SAKE. What the fuck is in the SAT?

You can only hope by starting college they mean the dopey cunt had managed to get a job as a janitor there.

This, and the tale of the man who might lose a hand after an attempt to take a selfie with a rattlesnake came to a predictable conclusion are just some of the reasons why the west needs to put a contingency in place where Trump wins but isn’t allowed access to the launch codes.

Mind you, it’s an oval office so they could just tell him that they are in an envelope in the corner….

Until next time, eat your greens.

 

The 39th Game

Can’t be arsed with ranting about something, so have some SOCCER instead.

Here’s your cut out and keep guide to the forthcoming season. It features a depressingly static top six, and an inordinate amount of mentions of Tony Pulis for some reason. Please feel free to keep it and abuse me about it come May.

I haven’t backed anyone yet, so if your team are crap it’s not my fault.

I’ve tried desperately to be impartial, but I’ve failed obviously…..

Placed in reverse order then…

20th Norwich

Nothing against the boys in yellow and green, but every year you spend away from the Premier League makes it much more difficult to cling on when you get back up. Full of lots of players with top flight experience, but it’s experience of getting relegated. Unless lots of sides underperform they will be gaining some more knowhow of the drop. Sorry Delia.

19th Watford

May have more money to spend than Norwich but essentially the same problems remain for them. Signed a player from Spurs. Well to be more accurate Spurs reserves. It won’t be enough. Lovely club, but nice guys finish (second) last I’m afraid.

18th Sunderland

Conor Wickham has gone. They are fucked. Passionate fans aren’t enough. If Brown and O’Shea self-destruct as they often did early in the season they will be pushovers. If they win a derby it will be a pyrrhic victory at best.

17th West Bromwich Albion

Again, not a great side by any stretch, but others will keep them up. Notoriously tight budgets might be tested if January rolls around and they are in trouble but they have fight and Tony Pulis’s knowhow on their side.

16th Newcastle United

Expectations will be sky high, results will not match them. They will laugh at Sunderland, moan about Mike Ashley, and boast about having the best fans in the world. Anything to deflect from the tripe being served up on the pitch. McClaren’s coaching will keep them safe though…

15th Swansea City

Will stay up because there are several worse sides than them. You’ve got to hope they stay brave and pass it, and with the other strugglers being so bad they might well be able to. To finish any higher they need goals and a bit more aggression though.

14th West Ham United

Won’t be relegated, and where they end up will be decided if they are ok in November when they have their cup final. Allardyce has been fired, Bilic looks a bit unhinged, and they’re already out of Europe. With Frank Lampard in New York their focus will be on hating Spurs, which is how they like it……

13th Leicester City

Looked impressive beating the likes of Man United, and despite sacking Nigel Pearson they have hired Ranieri who has the Premier League experience to ensure they cling on and look to consolidate next season. Likely to be torture to watch but if they stay up their fans won’t care a jot.

12th Aston Villa

Spent last season winning the games they were meant to, and losing the others but never disgracing themselves. Since Delph tucked them up and Benteke’s release clause has been triggered you worry for them a bit, but I suspect Tim Sherwood will get through his first full season, and therefore the only one you can actually judge him on, with top flight status, if not gilet, intact..

11th Bournemouth

Every year there’s a promoted side that does unexpectedly well, and this year it could be Dorset’s Finest. A tight home ground, and an enormous level of head patting and patronising by other sides will result in a few shocks and a surprise finish. I freely admit this one could go sideways fast however…..

10th Stoke

Business as usual. Slightly better football than Pulis, unhinged home fans, wins’ losses, draws, all predictable stuff. If you’re a Stoke fan you get to be part of the big show for another year, but not much more.

9th Crystal Palace

Cabaye is an intriguing signing. You have to wonder why no other side in Europe were in for him, but if it comes off it will help Pardew consolidate last season’s encouraging finish. Pace up top, decent back four, midfield bolstered. A safe mid table finish, which after losing Pulis will be welcomed again.

8th Southampton

If you keep selling your best players it will eventually catch up to you. If you sell them all over one summer it will catch up to you a lot quicker. That was last year’s received wisdom, which shows how little people really know about football, including me. Koeman’s side will be neat and tidy and well coached, and have Europa League to enjoy too. Will consolidate and stabilise after a crazy last summer…

7th Everton

Didn’t score enough (Lukaku proving why Chelsea never trusted him), and at the time of writing under pressure from Chelsea to hang on to Stones, their best young defender. If they keep him they have a good defensive unit, but their barrier to progress will again be creativity unless they can retain the injection of verve and pace that Aaron Lennon gave them after January.

6th Liverpool

When their fans aren’t trapping you in the pub droning on about Istanbul they like to remind each other of the good old days. They still believe they are big players, and have spent accordingly. They are wrong. Sturridge has a lot to prove physically, and Benteke, a highlights player who goes missing for months on end, will be under huge pressure to fire them into the top four. Meanwhile at the back they will still have the likes of Sakho. Their European squads will be interesting too

5th Tottenham Hotspur

Fifth was a surprise for Spurs last season, but they won’t progress because of a chronic lack of urgency in the transfer market and in moving the ball around the pitch quicker. Their fans love to hark back to better times, but yet again the teams ahead of them have moved on. To break the top four glass ceiling they need Champions League calibre players on Europa League wages, which is massively difficult to achieve since those kind of players want to be in the big show. Should take the Europa League seriously. Won’t.

4th Manchester United

Hard to gauge for several reasons. Firstly rebuilding is in progress, with several comings and goings. Secondly, their defence has a massive rick in it every week. Thirdly, and most importantly, van Gaal hasn’t won the fans over yet, and that could be crucial in influencing his decisions if results don’t come early enough. Most vulnerable of the top four, especially if de Gea is really off to Madrid……

3rd Arsenal

Sanchez’s goals made them easy top four qualifiers, but a paper thin squad (Wilshere starts another season crocked for example) and still fragile mentality will mean they are ten points off the pace by Valentine’s Day. Will come with another late run to give their fans more false hope.

2nd Manchester City

Team might be going over the top agewise, but if Aguero, Hart, Silva, Toure, and Kompany play the majority of games, and Sterling shows why they paid the money they are still the only team who can challenge Chelsea, even if they come up short again.

CHAMPIONS Chelsea

Diego Costa was the missing link that solved their goalscoring and starting a fight in an empty room problems last term. Quite simply the most rounded side out there, even if their manager is a prize prat who helps lazy journalists pay their mortgages. Should win again by 10 points.

#38 Season’s Starting, Must Be Duggan Time Again…..

Hello people. Just pretend I was in a coma for three months eh? Easier all round…..

It just keeps coming back. Later today a load of protesters will descend on Tottenham police station to demand a judge-led public enquiry into a shooting from 4 years ago. Same arguments, except this time it’s the police’s fault for not taking the gun off the streets. To quote Pamela Duggan, his mother…

“It has come to light that the man who passed a gun to Mark before he was killed was not arrested weeks earlier, despite evidence he was known to officers and had used the same weapon in another attack. If Trident acted more responsibly, Mark may not have been killed and Londoners would not have witnessed violent public disorder on its streets which traumatised our city.”

*sigh* Yes Pamela, because once he had been arrested there would have been no other way of Duggan getting hold of a gun, BECAUSE THAT WAS THE ONLY ONE AVAILABLE. In Tottenham. Massively simple issue to fix. Done.

So now, again, there will be the usual suspects revving up. Jasper, Abbott, that knob off Kick It Out, all whining on about deeper problems and institutional racism, and making dire warnings about civil unrest. Sadly for them there are a couple of things that are different now.

Firstly, the Allied Carpets, the store burned down in the 2011 rioting, has gone, and been replaced by a Sports Direct. Let me tell anyone hoping to make a statement by repeating the arson that you will in fact be tidying up the High Road by razing that fucker to the ground. Plus half the stock is so flammable you’ll hardly need any petrol to get it going. Fucking Lonsdale, honestly.

Secondly, and this is the real problem, the inquest has already stated that Duggan may have been unarmed but was lawfully killed, and if that apparent paradox didn’t get people charging round the streets when it was published in 2013 then demands for a public enquiry simply won’t be sexy enough to get kids to postpone their sulking on the couch in the school holidays to lob some Molotovs about.

As I’ve said before the depressing bit about this isn’t the light it shines on not only a particular area but a problem facing society at large, is the crushing inevitability of the whole thing. You know what will be said, by whom, and when. And since it’s been 4 years since this all happened how much do you think has changed or is about to? Same here.

The really good thing about Ed Miliband having his arse handed to him back in May (sadly going one up by winning Houghton And Sunderland South and trying to park the bus didn’t actually work for him), was that all the talking heads, columnists, and general left leaning commentators who had forgotten 1992 when a load of Tories lied to the pollsters and descended into a smug circle jerk of congratulatory tweets and retweets had a chance to ask themselves some pertinent questions about where their party went next. They didn’t though: instead they blamed everyone but the people who put the policies together.

Labour seems to be a mass of contradiction. On the won hand they are only too happy to tell you about Attlee and Bevan ad nauseam (and quite rightly too) as it is a part of their history to be proud of. Mention their most successful campaigning Prime Minister and they are suddenly struck dumb. It’s as though they are ashamed of him or something.

Dig deeper and the usual suspects are trotted out Iraq, centrist policies, Afghanistan, PFI, etc. etc. as if he never actually achieved anything (the Tories said the minimum wage would cripple industry, now they’re extending it; 85,000 more nurses, lower waiting lists) but just spent his entire premiership shelling Arab kids and sucking off Blur and Oasis while Cherie raised nonsense human rights suits.

The Communication Workers Union endorsed Jeremy Corbyn by saying that they had no need to move to the centre of British politics. It’s almost as if they don’t know that that’s where the votes are. It’s like they don’t want to win; being in opposition makes them rebels, outsiders, and not being the government means nothing is ever your fault and you can dream up any kind of fucking mumbo jumbo and you’ll never have to actually implement it.

Instead of offering the electorate something they don’t want, in language they haven’t responded to in decades, what they should have done is found a way to advance a set of policies that were both credible and palatable to the country. For example, if parents really are ambitious for their children and their education don’t you think they might be interested in looking into how Germany were able to abolish tuition fees, not as some grand political gesture but as a moral judgment about what kind of country they want to be? If they can afford it why can’t we?

Instead of that we get the mansion tax, dreamed up by someone who lives in NW3, works in SW1 and has mates in N1. If that’s all the parts of London you hang out in it will seem like a fair and equitable way of raising a few quid, but to people who live in other parts of the country it just looks spiteful and plays to an increasingly small gallery. Auto pilot soaking the rich, droning on about food banks when the people who use them are going to vote for you anyway, and allowing an atmosphere to develop in your party where Blair, Mandelson and Campbell can be described as ‘a virus’, despite winning three elections in a row.

Looking back they had no chance really did they?

Whoever wins the leadership race needs to get on the phone to them and take copious notes as they detail the strategies they used. Then once they’ve got those they should order a fresh (in every sense) set of policy documents.

And at the bottom of all of them should be the phrase “… but first we win….”

Then they’ve got to sell them to all the people who deserted them in 2010, and didn’t come back in 2015. Easy.

And finally, Dapper Laughs is still a thing. Where are the Mayans?

Right, that’s it. I’m off racing tomorrow. Sadly my beer gardening leave is approaching its last lap.

Enjoy

37 Vote Early, Vote Often

Hello Lovelies. Let’s face it, you haven’t missed this so I’ll just get on…

It’s here then; the day you get to decide what kind of country you want to live in.

I’m not going to say how I’m voting. It’s not important, and frankly if you need my advice on who to vote for we really are fucked. What’s important though is that if you can, you do make the effort, even in a safe seat.

Why? Well even if you live in a seat where the incumbent won with a 5 figure majority, voting for the party you want can make them wary. If majorities are whittled down from say 11,000 to 6,000 by previously reticent voters at least letting them know they’re as not secure as they think. At the moment they have absolutely no incentive to be any good because they think they don’t have to try. Plus, if you’re really lucky, you get to see the smile wiped off the face of a smug wanker like Portillo.

The upshot is disinterested, incompetent, lazy people pretending to represent you, and you deserve more.

If they have some competition they might just get round to being your MP rather than simply lining their pockets, furthering their own career, or both.

Also, the reason pensions are always well up the electoral agenda, and student finances aren’t, is very simple. One group votes, the other doesn’t. Nick Clegg was perfectly comfortable stitching young people up with tuition fees because the old people who will decide his fate today don’t give a tuppenny fuck about how much it costs to go to university.

And don’t vote tactically. If your party is unlikely to win vote for them anyway. Helping a party you don’t believe in to stop one you hate will give you no satisfaction at all. If you support Tottenham are you going to enjoy cheering on Chelsea because it stops Arsenal winning the league? Really? Exactly. Vote FOR something, not AGAINST. It really feels better.

Finally, the world is full of people who aren’t allowed to vote. They get shot in the face for going to school, or driving a car, or get thrown from a tower for being in love with the wrong person. They’d give their eye teeth to be able to shape the future of their their country. They certainly wouldn’t let a detour of ten minutes to a local school on their way home from work put them off…

Go on, express yourself.

So I’m whiling away a nice Saturday afternoon. Bit of racing, pottering around the house, quick browse on Twitter, when I see a tweet that piqued my interest.

It was a snidey little post stating that Greville Janner, dementia riddled peer strongly suspected (more than strongly really) of child abuse had been seen going into certain flats in the years he is supposed to have been an active predator.

Now although he has evaded justice due to being too ill to stand trial such evidence would be interesting to anyone looking to look into some kind of pattern of behaviour or identify the networks that such people move in, and how they manage to evade detection and operate in plain sight for so long.

I would argue though, and I did, that it might be best given to some kind of actual authority, rather than just slithered out into cyberspace to allow self-appointed Noncefinder Generals to nod sagely and slap themselves on the back for being right about him.

Well fuck me if it didn’t go Radio Rental.

A bunch of self-righteous berks decided that I was some kind of kiddy fiddling stooge spreading disinformation and shooting down their theories. I was retweeted, favourited, and also immediately blocked by a crowd who I can only assume have never had their mission questioned.

“Are you pro Janner?” asked one of the more mentally agile of them, and to be fair he had me stumped… that a question so ludicrous could be allowed to infect anyone’s timeline, and that he actually expected an answer.

I countered by pointing out that while they were pumping out cowardly shite about a man who would never face justice an adult was systematically and totally ruining a young life. Someone who was active NOW and would find it much harder than Cyril Smith or Leon Brittan to avoid their day in court by virtue of being alive and compos mentis.

This was too much for them. By now I was defending child rape. Honest to God, if I wasn’t laughing so hard I would have cried. They had clearly spent years yodelling down the well of the internet and were so used to having their drivel pass around without question that asking what they were doing and why was tantamount to condoning it.

Look at it this way, if you knew of a children’s hospital that Jimmy Saville, who is still being investigated to find out how far his vile web extended, had frequented would you take it to the people writing the report, or spew it to your followers like some kind of curtain twitching cut price Colombo?

“Rolf Harris walked past a school and looked in the playground in 1978!!!!” Well done. I’d better not tell them about the times I’ve changed my niece’s nappy, or they’d have the pitchforks and flaming torches marching towards me quick smart. Any Paediatricians living near them must have been fucking bricking it.

Tinfoil hats off to them. Hours of fun, and a great peep into their delusions.

As a contrast, on Monday a vine was doing the rounds of America’s Next Gay Owl, featuring one of our feathered friends doing a wonderful runway walk and look over left shoulder. Well, it made me laugh anyway. Look it up, it’s brilliant.

Proof, if ever it were needed, that the internet giveth, and the internet taketh away.

Now, back to work drones…

36. It’s Not The Despair……

My frankly terrible season’s predictions, revisited at halfway through the Premier League season

BAHAB

I was honestly going to do something poignant about Robin Williams, forceful about Vicky Beeching, and hilarious about Gaza (it can be done, trust me). Instead, SOCCER.

Here’s your cut out and keep guide to the forthcoming season. Please feel free to keep it and abuse me about it come May.

I haven’t backed anyone yet, so if your team are crap it’s not my fault.

I’ve tried desperately to be impartial, but I’ve failed obviously…..

Placed in reverse order then…

20th Burnley
Probably the smallest budget in the division, no notable signings, and a small squad will mean that Sean Dyche is hampered fatally, despite his qualities. Seventeenth will be a miracle. I’ve been to Burnley. There are no miracles there.

19th Crystal Palace
No Pulis, no hope. Whoever comes in will have to deal with an interfering owner and a tiny budget. They will be fucked by Christmas…

View original post 1,129 more words

36. It’s Not The Despair……

I was honestly going to do something poignant about Robin Williams, forceful about Vicky Beeching, and hilarious about Gaza (it can be done, trust me). Instead, SOCCER.

Here’s your cut out and keep guide to the forthcoming season. Please feel free to keep it and abuse me about it come May.

I haven’t backed anyone yet, so if your team are crap it’s not my fault.

I’ve tried desperately to be impartial, but I’ve failed obviously…..

Placed in reverse order then…

20th Burnley
Probably the smallest budget in the division, no notable signings, and a small squad will mean that Sean Dyche is hampered fatally, despite his qualities. Seventeenth will be a miracle. I’ve been to Burnley. There are no miracles there.

19th Crystal Palace
No Pulis, no hope. Whoever comes in will have to deal with an interfering owner and a tiny budget. They will be fucked by Christmas anyway. The most pointless breakdown in a relationship since Kid temporarily fell out with Play.

18th Southampton
If you keep selling your best players it will eventually catch up to you. If you sell them all over one summer it will catch up to you a lot quicker. Koeman’s side will be neat and tidy and well coached, and the balance sheet will look stunning, but ultimately without their departed stars they are a championship squad, and will soon be there…

17th West Bromwich Albion
Again, not a great side by any stretch, but others will keep them up. Notoriously tight budgets might be tested if January rolls around and they are in trouble but they have fight and knowhow.

16th Queens Park Rangers
Car windows will be wound down, players will be talked up in the press and not picked, and Glenn Hoddle’s hair will be off the hook. They will do enough by being hard to beat at home, and beat enough worse sides than themselves to never trouble the relegation scorers. Won’t give two monkeys about the cups.

15th Swansea City
Will stay up because there are several worse sides than them. You’ve got to hope they stay brave and pass it, and with the other strugglers being so bad they might well be able to. Got to keep Bony fit and at the club though.

14th West Ham United
Won’t be relegated, and where they end up will be decided if they are ok in November. Allardyce has given up trying to win the fans round with football so will live and die by his results, and if they aren’t up to snuff by Bonfire Night he might get his cards. And if THAT happens, well, you know the rest. Bit tough on them to start the season with a cup final though……

13th Leicester City
Looked impressive coming up, and Nigel Pearson has enough resources (unlike Burnley) to ensure they cling on and look to consolidate next season. Likely to be torture to watch but if they stay up their fans won’t care a jot.

12th Hull City
Almost pulled off the shock of the season to continue Arsenal’s trophy drought. If their chairman doesn’t continue to be bonkers and Bruce spends the Shane Long money wisely they will be solidly in midtable and safe from any relegation fears by March. Might have a pop at the League Cup too.

11th Newcastle United
Expectations will be sky high, results will not match them. Alan Pardew will argue with Ben Arfa then have to pick him as he’s their best player, or sell him at a huge loss to get him out of the dressing room. Shola Ameobi has finally left, and will have the same effect as the ravens leaving the tower. Dark times in Black And White Town…

10th Sunderland
Could be anything. If Conor Wickham becomes the player he showed glimpses of during last season’s climax they will give anyone a game. If Brown and O’Shea self-destruct as they often did early in the season they will be pushovers. Outside bet to finish higher than Newcastle, and to their hard core that will be a great season.

9th Aston Villa
Spent last season winning the games they were meant to, and losing the others but never disgracing themselves. Roy Keane may light a few fires under any slackers but lack of goals will mean they won’t threaten a Europa place.

8th Stoke City
Prettier to look at than Pulis’s side (not hard), Mark Hughes will be looking to push on from mid table safety. Sadly replying on Peter Crouch for consistent goals is foolhardy, and so their mid table mediocrity will only be leavened by the sight of their fans crowding round the Sky Sports News reporter on deadline day looking for all the world like extras in a The Hills Have Eyes remake.

7th Tottenham Hotspur
A drop of a place for Spurs, but only because of a resurgent United and the fact that for the 40th season in a row they are in a period of transition. Pochettino is credited with improving a lot of players at Southampton, so the White Hart Lane faithful will be hoping they have acquired the real star of their last twelve months, and he can make some use of £30m man Erik Lamela. Unlike the last two managers picking him would be a start. They are also desperate for the players purchased last summer to follow Christian Eriksen’s example and take to the Premier League. Should take the Europa League seriously. Won’t.

6th Everton
Expectations will be high at the School Of Science after securing Lukaku, but there is a reason Chelsea never trusted him, and if we find out what it is he might disappoint. The Europa League will test their squad depth too, and may ultimately hamstring their attempts to turn a creditable 5th into 4th.

5th Manchester United
Not in Europe so will be going all out to win the cups as compensation for their fans. van Gaal has too much to turn around to challenge even the Champions League places this season, and will hope his fans are patient and expect signs of progress and potential rather than trophies. Wayne Rooney as captain sets a dangerous precedent after his two transfer requests too…..

4th Arsenal
Will start well if managers keep quitting two days before they have to play them. Home for their first and last games, don’t leave London over the festive period, so their traditional luck remains. Sanchez could make the top four an easier target to achieve, but a paper thin squad and still fragile mentality will mean they are ten points off the pace by Valentine’s Day.
3rd Liverpool
I’m afraid they still haven’t convinced me that their defence is tight enough to win the league, but the loss of Suarez is something I think they can deal with by other players stepping up. Sturridge gets a lot of stick but I think he will be OK without his partner from last term. Cup squads will be interesting now they are back in Europe too.

2nd Chelsea
Lack of goals cost them last season, and if Diego Costa doesn’t fire it will again. Will be massively hard to beat, incredibly boring, but ruthlessly efficient. And Mourinho will sicken everyone with his antics, but idiots in the media will call him a character.

CHAMPIONS Manchester City
Quite simply they won the league by outlasting their rivals. If they can keep Aguero fit they will be too strong and powerful and have too many goals in them to cope with. They might even have a proper go at the Champions League as well. The ones to beat again.