Football Crazy

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Not many of you will know this but I was delighted to be offered the position of England Manager yesterday.  Obviously, I accepted.

This offer came after the sudden resignation of Fabio Cappello who had struggled to take the team to victory during his time as manager.  I have one or two theories as to why this was but I think the most glaring fault was his inability to say “At the end of the day” or “The boys dun good”, both ESSENTIAL phrases within the footballing world, I am sure you will agree.

Anyway, I don’t want to go on about what Cappello did wrong as it is time for a new phase in the life of the England team.  

ME

I have already ordered the pink kits (to be worn at away matches) from Sportsdirect online. I’m expecting them any day (prioritising).

I’ve been shopping for my Press Conference outfit and I have stood in front of the mirror practising my football talk.  Things like, “It was a game of two halves” and “Sometimes in football you have to score goals.”

I am assembling my team and am taking guidance from several close friends who I am likely to appoint as my helpers.  Most of these are keen for Beckham to play but they all want to supervise in the showers so I am a little suspicious of their motives.  I am not sure they have the best interests of the game at heart…..However, we all agreed we will ban spitting and doing that ‘snot’ thing out of your noses.

There was some talk yesterday in the office – yes, I’m going to be a part-time manager. It can be done (not by Harry Redknapp, as some have suggested, as he needs all his strength to take my beloved Spurs to the top, obviously).  However, I am a woman so I can multi-task and I see no problem with doing the day job, fitting in my evening classes AND popping down to see the boys a couple of times a week.Anyway, the talk in the office (with my MALE colleagues) centred around my lack of knowledge of the game, in particular, tactics.  

Look, ok, it’s true, I am not an expert on football tactics. I know what the word ‘formation means’ and I know you have to beat the other side.  I also understand the offside rule, just for the record, although I’ll probably ignore that as it seems to stop a lot of goals getting in.  No, I don’t know everything about football.  But I do like being in charge of things.  And I can spot potential.  And I know how to motivate people.  Personally, I think that is what we need now.

I leave you with a quote from the late, great Brian Clough, one of my favourite ever football managers (apart from Ron Manager, pictured below):

“Players lose you games, not tactics. There’s so much crap talked about tactics by people who barely know how to win at dominoes.”

So, bring it on!

I shall be announcing my team later this week. Providing I haven’t got bored and given the job to someone else in favour of becoming a ballerina or something……..

My little adventure

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While Blackberry were imploding, I was at a conference that was spread over two days, in the Kings Cross area of London.   I went with my work colleagues and two of us stayed over

I thought I was pretty cool about getting round London. Until this time, that is

I have been to Camden loads of times but I haven’t actually been anywhere except Camden Lock/Market etc – the usual tourist bits really.  Our hotel was on Camden Road so I thought it would be easy to find. What I didn’t know was how long Camden Road is.  And we were staying at the Kentish Town end

So, the first surprise was how far our hotel was from the conference venue.  We had decided to go by bus – and that was the second shock

I haven’t been on a bus in years, apart from in Italy earlier this year. It seems times have changed in London and you can no longer hand over any cash!  The bus drivers have all been to the school of obnoxious, unhelpful bastards (the same one that medical receptionists go to) and we had to try to work out how to get a bus and how to get to where we needed to be

Half hour later, having caught the right bus with the help of a local Scottish man, we still hadn’t found our hotel, despite walking almost the whole length of Camden Road (having got off at the wrong end, obviously!).  I was on the point of calling a cab to take me to the nearest Hilton when we saw it

It was the sort of hotel builders stay in when they work away from home

I know that because there were lots of builders staying there who were clearly working away from home

So, we checked in and flumped on our bed in our tiny, weeny little cupboard of a room, having put the card in the slot to turn on the electric

Five minutes later the electric went and we were plunged into the last few minutes before sunset – I phoned the reception, he was very nice, came straight over to us and moved us into another little cupboard on the ground floor (which meant we had to keep the windows closed for fear of being mugged in our sleep)

Time was getting on so we headed out (on the bus again, by now we had mastered that challenge) for something to eat, into Camden, where we had a table booked at a ‘mediterranean restaurant’ with a ‘lively atmosphere’ and ‘regular live music and rave nights’ – more on that in a minute

We stopped off at The World’s End, a lovely pub that anyone who knows that area will be familiar with

There, we met a Welshman who asked us to mind his bag while he went to the loo.  We debated whether it might be a bomb but it didn’t tick so we kept an eye on it for him.  When he came back, he told us his life story, about how he had been a professional boxer and was now a law graduate, trying to get his first bit of work but with a criminal record for GBH he acquired three months ago after a club brawl.  Bless him 

We left Taffy and his Welsh bomb and went to find our restaurant, on foot.  Shops and restaurants fell away with each new road turning and we eventually stumbled on what can only be described as A DIVE.  This was my third surprise.  There are other bits of Camden apart from the nice market and the lock and the bit where all the cool self-harming Goths go

This was our restaurant.  In some tacky little backstreet you wouldn’t want to walk down alone.  The place was totally empty – it didn’t even LOOK like a restaurant. It looked like a ‘spit and sawdust’ pub.  An empty one.  However, as we were just in time for happy hour, we had a half price cocktail, kept quiet about the booking and disappeared off to have a bite to eat in a Turkish restaurant up the road as soon as we had finished our drinks

Feeling very local now, we easily got the right bus back to our hotel and went to bed 

At four a.m. my son (26) phoned to say his front door key had broken and did I know where the spare one was? I had a vague idea and told him and then couldn’t sleep for wondering if he’d woken up KD rummaging around for it in the garden

We had another fiasco with the buses the following morning but got to the venue on time.  The highlight of the day was when one of the speakers forgot they still had their radio mike on and went for a wee.  Very entertaining for everyone in the room

And then, it was time to come home

We witnessed a nasty fight on the street amongst some youths and reflected on how we dare not intervene because it was London and they all have knives – where we live, we still bang their heads together and tell their mums!!

I had to stand all the way on the tube because some inconsiderate bastard had once more thrown themselves on the tracks during the rush hour and I was ready to drop when I got home

The conference was brilliant, very interesting, and I’m glad I went.  I do love London and this was a very different experience from my usual jaunts up there.  I would like to venture forth into other parts of London I am not familiar with now

But I was oh, so glad to be home!!