Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Keys On His Knees

Who’d’ve thought it? Richard Keys and Andy Gray are sexist!

Here’s some other exclusives for you while I’m here. Graham Norton ... not into the ladies. Victoria Beckham... not into the later novels of Kurt Vonnegut. David Cameron... never eaten a pickled egg.

As usual you can’t hear yourself think for the touchline tantrums of the PC brigade. And on this occasion I’ve got some sympathy with this Sian Massey lass who Keys and Gray were having a pop at.

Here's Messrs Keys and Gray with an innocent trainee lineswomen. They're a disgrace aren't they?

First of all, it’s a crap job being an assistant referee. When I was growing up a lineswoman was the telephone exchange operator who could put you through. It’s especially tough on a lass cos them ref’s shorts look shite on a woman’s backside and you can’t exactly offset the effect on even a regular-sized arse by slipping into some three-inch heels with studs on the soles.

Frankly if they could find a more flattering outfit for the lady officials I’d welcome it. Watching Boro at home this year has required all the distractions you can get.

Here's an initial thought on the type of outfit I'm thinking of. Ladies, do advise of materials, practicalities etc.

Secondly, Richard Keys is the quintessential faceless nerk that gets to host football programmes. Clearly he’s well-qualified to espouse his views on gender politics given he’s so hirsute you literally have to shave him to find his fecking face. (Actually, I find the word ‘hirsute’ to be gratuitously sexist. Unless you’re talking about a top-tashed Tajikistani shot-putter called Tamara who can bench-press two Trabbants, the word should be his-sute.)

Keys’s job, as is the case with that Swami of Smarm Steve Ryder, Manish Thingammy and increasingly, the boy-faced crisp-whore Lineker, is to say eff-all in as unobtrusive a way as possible. In other words, don’t draw attention to yourself.

The reason I enjoy Adrian Chiles presenting the Chumps League, ravaged by the fatigue of early-morning starts as he is, is cos he’s not afraid to let slip a churlish Black Country sneer every now and then. Even Colin Murray, who can appear to be entirely caffeinated and as easy on the ear as a wasp in a jar, has a bit of devil-may-care charm and genuine enthusiasm.

Keys can come across as nowt more than a plughole of trapped pubes in a suit. If the chat about women not knowing the offside rule was supposed to be a bit of banter then remind me not to bother having a pint with them two wags down the boozer.

Of course there are aspects of women’s increasing involvement at footy matches that can get on a man’s goat. My Mrs’s interest seems to be directly related to the high totty quotient.

Mrs. Robson's personal selection this. Nah, me either, lads.

She enjoyed Italy in the last Euros n all - when their contribution to entertainment was so minimal their possession stat for the first half v Spain was -23%. But they looked good in their tops.

As Keys n Gray noted, the Offside Rule is a bone of contention between any self-respecting footballer and their partners, regardless of their sex. Anyone who hasn’t used two mugs and a bottle of gunged-up HP sauce to describe this bit of footy legislation to an Unbeliever is not truly a football supporter of any worth.

It doesn’t help that there’s now this flaming rider to the Offside Rule. The Mrs had got the hang of it until Ruud van Nistelrooy started behaving like an infant school goal-hanger and I had to re-explain the new interpretation to our lass by saying that the Dutch Man-Horse was not active when the ball was played in. So he was technically onside.

‘Not active?’ she snooted, ‘I s’pose that means you’re permanently onside, then.’

There’s a lass who sometimes sits behind us at the Riverside and is as passionate a Smoggy as you’re ever likely to hear. She’s also got a squeal on her that could be heard from bloody Neptune. Shrill doesn’t even begin to explain it. When Boro score it’s like I’m having me earwax removed by ultrasound.

I mean I’m all for the lasses getting involved but Jesus Christ, pet, can you find a lower register?

My dear old Dad (dear as in the fees to keep him at the Sunshine Home for the Bewildered are going through the frigging roof) is going a bit deaf and can’t hear higher notes and sounds now. All I can say is 'Lucky bugger'.

Point is, I might like to see linesladies in hula skirts. I might like to see lady footy fans issued with gags. I might like my wife to find more enjoyment in a slick passing movement than she does in the beauteous patterns that Man City’s groundsman is able to mow into the Eastlands turf.

But none of this has owt to do with whether a lass is capable of officiating at a football match. And to suggest that her ability to make a decision is compromised by the lack of a cock in her pants is sexist as far as I understand the definition.

Personally I’d be more than happy to see more women reffing games (as long as they’re not going to drive themselves to the game – JOKE!). They can’t be worse than the card-wielding pipsqueak Mike Dean. But the main benefit might just be that calling a lady ‘a blind f***ing c***’ is far worse a sin than shouting it at some well-meaning part-time actuary from Saffron Walden who happens to like running up and down the line in a blatant toupee.

I dunno why that should be – although some well-groomed Oxford Professeress in a trouser-suit’ll probably tell you it’s an inverted form of society’s inherent patriarchal chauvinism – but I’d more than welcome a reduction in the gobshite tendency of the modern-day footballer whenever the ref gives a decision against him or his team-mate. (NB – it doesn’t happen in women’s football.)

On the other hand, looking at the likes of your Wazza, I doubt they’d be reining in the odd ‘c***’ and ‘f***’.

And when it comes to odd fucks, Rooney knows what he’s talking about.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Nice Little Urners!

There’s the chill evening pint on a warm summer’s day.

There’s the soft kiss of Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey after the ten minutes’ thawing time is up.

There’s the hard smack of a green chilli crunched off the top of a true jalfrezi.

And then there’s the taste of victory. Sweet, full-bodied, crisp and consummate Victory. I say Victory. I mean, Utter Annihilation. England were more dominant than a fat lass at a finger buffet.

Apparently this is the worst Australia team ever. Really? Good. Once they’ve unpeeled themselves from the chunky soles of Team England’s DMs they can go away and deal with that. Of the blokes currently wearing the baggy green only three of them could reckon on deserving another go. Hussey, Haddin and – if only for a bit of gumption, Siddle. Let’s hope the baggies are recyclable.

'Look at us, Punter, they've done us up like skippers!'

Lord knows we’ve had some cack-handed selectors in the not-too-recent past. This lot of Australian pickers must select using the blindfold and the drawing pin.

Not since Marilyn Monroe stood on that grille have I seen owt quite so wafty as Phil Hughes. Shane Watson would be great if he didn’t get halfway up, look down, and come over all dizzy. Ponting has been honest about his form and has taken out his frustration on officials rather than the turgid lame-brains all around him. Michael Clarke has all the confidence of a baby turtle trotting through a seagull colony.

The bowlers have been average to poor, bluntly spearheaded by Mouthy Mitchell who has talked a lot but Perth aside, delivered little. Leave the sledging to the snow, Mitch, mate. Hilfenhaus must be Old German for Trundle.

You could see how desperate the selectors were getting cos of their Freudian slip of a selection policy. First, Bollinger. Then Beer. I half-expected to see a bowling attack of Neil Harvey Wallbanger, Glennlivet McGrath and Keith Miller Lite.

Nah, they weren’t up to much – and for once, England got ‘em by the throat in Tests 4and 5 and didn’t let go.

The Barmy Army were in their pomp – like the footy fans of one of them Championship sides that still somehow stagger to the FA Cup Final, there was no pricking the joy. (Just watch us cheering when Mowbray leads our boys out in May!) Obviously there wasn’t a bloke amongst them who earned under forty grand a year, but what the hell? It’s good to see the old-fashioned values of beer, sunburn and stupidity all condensed into one jolly mass of Englishness.

As for the heroic Englishmen well... it’s a wonderful achievement. It really is. And a lot of the credit goes to Flower and Strauss. We can just about expunge the memory of the 5-0 drubbing last time around. Just about.

Cook was the revelation of course. His namesake discovered Australia but even had that Cook imbibed a dozen senna pods he could not have got more runs. As it was he was closely followed by a dose of the Trott. I’m not sure I could watch Jonathan for too many days in the future. He can make Chris Tavare look a bit carefree. But he’s been like cement for the team.

Pietersen, well... he’s been Pietersen. His claim that England wouldn’t be where they are today were it not for his sacrificing himself to get rid of Peter Moores is very Marc Almond (takes a lot of swallowing). But they’ve managed to cage his ego and got him back somewhere near his best.

Ian Bell – perhaps the least engaging post-match interviewee since Alan Shearer – showed bags of style on the park (if you ignore his twatty sunglasses) and Prior flayed them like a master butcher on Day Four.

England weren’t afraid to ditch the slightly struggling stork that is Finn for the hulking menace that is Tremlett. Tremlett was the rediscovery of the tour. He must be hugely intimidating to face, like being charged at by a runaway tennis umpire’s chair.

Bristling Bresnan took up the mantle of honest Yorkie with great verve. Swanny didn’t tear them apart but didn’t half shut ‘em up. And in Jimmy Anderson England have a rival to Dale Steyn as Shit-Hot Bowler in the World.

And just to prove that the team is a team, Collingwood leads them out this morning/last night, even though by his standards he’s been pretty shite. I mean in this series he averages less than Ponting!

It’s great to see the Durham lad bow out now, mind. He’s been damned with fiant praise over the past couple of days cos he’s ‘made the most of his limited ability’. To my mind that’s the highest praise you can give.

Obviously we’d all like to be Kevin Pietersen and be able to reverse sweep a six in a blindfold, but Colly’s done more than just grind out inningses and he’s been a top one-day player, a more than useful dobbler of a bowler and the finest English fieldsman since the scurrying twitchfest that was Derek Randall.

Apart from the Western Australian aberration, where Mitchell Johnson’s arm was clearly being remotely controlled by Denis Lillee with a handheld monitor, it was a series of complete bliss.

Count 'em. An innings and 71. An innings and 157. An innings and 83. Hmmmmmmmm!

The Aussie failure is being matched in the Premier League too. Chelsea, the Abramovincibles, the Blue Meanies – a team that oozed through and over the opposition like so much West London lava – have well and truly cooled off.
Soon Ancelotti’s eyebrow will take off out of there and the rest of him will surely follow.

Meanwhile in Ipswich the prawn sandwich salesmen have come out of hiding. And back in Cheshire a pair of Irishman’s hounds are cowering in their kennels and begging not to go our for walkies.

Now can one of youse lead me back into football management?

If we needed verification, we have it. Keano is a cack manager.

Ipswich could do worse than bring in Andy Flower.