Before we all go under, and in the absence of any club fixtures this weekend, I've a few things to get off my chest, not all of them footie related. Let's call it 'good week, bad week.'
Bad week: Stories of 'unrest and disharmony' in the Fulham camp hardly bear comparison with the summer-long headlines of widespread phone hacking by journalists in pursuit of scandal. But how much more evidence do people need before they understand most of what's in the papers is made up, distorted or spun? Four days after the first hysterical note was sounded, we now know that Kasami (19) was not fined £500 by his manager for missing a vital penalty at Chelsea. The senior players are not 'disgusted with Jol,' and Brede is not raising the case with the PFA. The kid himself has had to issue a statement clearing the 'non-story' up. The fine came for indiscipline in over-riding team orders as to who on the night was Jol's designated penalty taker - and it wasn't Kasami. He's apologised, paid up and says he has absolutely no problems with the decision. On eight grand a week, it's loose change anyway. End of.
Good week: Our Scandi supporters tell me their trip to Odense was one of the best, and they'll be down in Krakow in healthy numbers on the 20th. Well, Polish beer prices alone are enough to have all Vikings salivating, add in the excitement of seeing the Whites in full flow and what a party we'll be having in the Old Town. I've booked my flight and match tickets are just €10.
Bad Week: On the subject of beer, a prices commission reveals the unacceptable gap in the price of a UK pint between the north and the south. Something every fan in the land has known for years. The industry says this reflects the greater rents and business rates across the south-east and London. This arrogant piffle and discriminatory practice epitomises the archaic attitudes of beer barons - ever the greatest of friends with government - but loathe to change and contemptuous of their customers. Prices for everything, from peanuts to petrol get hiked in the south because companies know they can squeeze more from the prosperous half of the country. Northerners moan, southern softies suck it up, I buy my booze abroad and give pubs as little custom as possible.
Good Week: British Aerospace to close factories and lay off 3,000. Cannot understand how this was a lead news item seen as another national disaster. The reason for the closures is a simple one. Order books for sophisticated weapons of war are way down in this blessed era of peaceful cooperation (just that pesky North Korean bloke to get rid of). On holiday I was shaken off my sunbed by the banshee scream of a modern Eurofighter hammering up the beach doing back flips and loops at a height of 100 feet, part of the resort's air display. What a thoroughly pointless exercise an aeronautical display is. The formation stuff was mildly diverting for about 4 minutes but all the solitary Eurofighter pilot could do was point the nose in a vertical climb to near stall, then drop like a stone before engaging the afterburners and barrelling out over our heads. The noise of this thing alone is enough to have you heading for the cellar. I just thought of the astronomical rate finite fuel was being burnt off for our vicarious pleasure. I'm no peacenik, but there'd be a hell lot more love and money to go round if governments stopped committing such astronomical budgets to military toys. Cost per plane by the way - £125 million to the taxpayer and 260 had been built by start of 2011. What a waste!
Good/Bad News: The 'singing and standing' section of the Odense stadium. They have them at some Bundesliga clubs too. The nanny state of British governments goes back to the paternal approach of the Victorian Methodists and sadly persists to this day. Breed people to believe they're incapable of thinking for themselves and you have the lumpen emasculated proletariat that Britons are today. A great idea that every football club in the land should institute immediately. Freedom of choice as to how you want to watch your football. It will never happen here.
Bad News: Ignoring the views of fans, I have heard a whisper the club are not considering producing a DVD of the 6-0 Rangers hiding. Presumably they do not think it will sell in numbers. Considering all the incidents in the game, and what made the MOTD2 edit, I disagree. Looking back, I felt the performance superior to both the Norwich and WBA wins by six in the Prem. How hard can it be to dupe off the match master, top and tale it with titles and stick it in a box?
Good News: Rumours in the press say Capello's planning to start Bobby for the game Friday with Montenegro. Let's hope that's true. What a comeback that would represent to the guy who this time last year had his ankle shattered by you-know-who. This blog will also be keeping a close eye on Clint's two games in the US - he surely now rates as the best player of all-time to emerge from the States and make a career at the highest level. Good luck Deuce and every Fulham player out on international duty. The current squad is packed with big international star names like no other time in its history. Not a bad time to be a Fulham supporter I reckon.
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