*Listening to When the Saints go marching in – Louis Armstrong*
There is a cruel reality in football called the Scottish Premier League. Indeed, for a player to move to it and claim it to be a step up can only mean he has been left with no other option. Well unless you had been plying your trade in the Conference or had another day job as a plumber.
So for Cardiff born Joe Ledley to move to Celtic in the summer and claim it to be a move in the right direction tells its own story. On his induction at Parkhead, Joe may as well have begged for mercy in front of the cameras as he rolled out the usual ‘Celtic are a massive club and I get to play in the Champions League‘ lines whilst holding back the harsh reality of the situation.
It can be further compounded by the fact that Joe arrived back at Cardiff Airport, less than a day after being filmed grumpily ambling through Glasgow Airport to take a look around. Not all that impressed then Joe? Ultimately it was a case of ‘Celtic?.. Does anyone else want me? No… I guess it’s Glasgow then…’.
Indeed when it became apparent that he would not remain a Cardiff player after that play-off final defeat to Blackpool (still feels like a dagger to the heart to say that), it all looked so rosy for Ledley. Roma were sniffing around, apparently willing to take a punt, with Premier League Everton and less desirable Stoke City also considering the compensation required to give Joe his chance at the Premiership.
*Listening to Oasis – Dig Out Your Soul*
Williams’ have been at the top of sport for decades now. You have the two sisters who, when they turn up anyway, take women’s tennis to another level. Snooker also has it’s own Williams star in the shape of fellow Welshman and former Crucible champion Mark Williams. Of course, the Welsh rugby squad boasts one or two as well, but for that I have no care.
But one, now all to often overshadowed Williams name in sport is showing signs of resurgence; that of Frank Williams’ nine time Formula One Constructors Championship winning outfit.
Resurgence, you may think to be a strong word considering Williams’ comparatively poor 2010 Formula One campaign, that is when you think of their already acclaimed sixteen titles. But be aware, this now relatively small outfit on the grid has a rosy future ahead….
Well if things go their way.
There are no billion dollar sheikhs or international businesses behind this team. They are simply a well run British outfit, remaining competitive on a frugal budget and relying purely on the talents of their backroom staff.
And when you think of it like that, it is quite astonishing that Williams have been mixing it in qualy three of late, ahead of the Vijay Mallya funded Force India’s and more than matching the Russian oil driven Renault’s and now German conquered Brawn GP.
Indeed everything pointed to a disappointing campaign before the season began. The loss of Toyota power, and the return of the unpredictable Cosworth engine that had proved so unreliable with the team in 2006, all after BMW left Willams in the lurch to take over Sauber.
Only a positive driver line-up brought some hope.
* Listening to Relentless Fours – Grammatics *
This is a controversial viewpoint (I have ascertained from the internet and its many discussions on the subject), but I feel that the proceedings over the weekend were not as clear cut as the consensus.
Similar to how Red Bull were well within their rights to assign front wings to whomever they desired (being the bill-payers, and as it is essentially a business first), I felt that Ferrari were within their prerogative to swap the driver positions if they thought that was best for their season. It is a team game.
There isn’t exactly much overtaking in the sport and when team mates are allowed to compete with each other it can go very wrong or it can lead to quite hairy moments.
Similar to how teams tend not to send drivers out into the same part of the circuit in qualifying, it is mere self preservation of the constructors championship. The sport should be equipped in that a driver should be able to overtake if he is reasonably faster than their target. Currently, drivers have to take a big risk, and there just simply isn’t enough reward to quantify it.
However. Once again, drawing parallel’s to the Red Bull PR woes of the previous race, Ferrari’s violation comes down to the execution. Similar to Austria 2002 and similar to taking Webber’s front wing with precious few minutes before qualifying, it inevitably leads to a fan backlash.
*Listening To Two Weeks – Grizzly Bear*
“Don’t you know, They’re talkin’ about a revolution, It sounds like whisper, Don’t you know, They’re talkin’ about a revolution, It sounds like whisper.”
Ok they’re not, but I am and we should be. Formula One is rapidly dying, losing credibility by the second. And there are two principle reasons, one big little man and one (two) prancing horse(s).
Just last week, Bernie Ecclestone, the biggest of cheeses in the world of Formula One went on the record saying Monaco doesn’t pay enough and that he would consider dropping it from the calendar.
Enter deafening silence. It’s not like it’s the most iconic, popular GP’s on the calendar and brings in numerous fans every year.
Should it disappear it would leave six races left in Europe, out of 19. And where do the majority of F1 fans live and can attend? Europe. Bernie has, and is, taking out one of the fundamental aspects of F1. The fans. The fans pay the tickets, but you’ll find rows and rows and rows of empty seats at most new venues.
And today he’s come out and said none of the new teams would be missed apart from Lotus and will, ney should, drop out by the end of the season. The only reason he wants Lotus to stay is because they’re called Lotus. Granted HRT are already struggling, but Lotus and Virgin will be on the heels of the back to midfield next season.
This is the equivalent of the F.A. saying Blackpool shouldn’t be in the Prem this season.
*Listening to Bombay Bicycle Club – Leaving blues*
After watching England Under-19s squeeze past their Austrian counterparts, I still fail to agree with that fallacy that our talent pool is running dry.
Obviously I had more than an interested eye on goalkeeper Declan Rudd, and he looked steady, assured and commanding. I think we more than have that area covered in years to come, both in yellow and in the white of England. Joe Hart and young Rudd possibly will see us through the near-distant(?!) future.
And we have got the players coming through. Take that side- we have the needlessly over vowel-ed Nathan Delfounseo, Frank Nouble and John Bostock to pick just three. Add them to the likes of Milner, Huddlestone, Dawson (to an extent), Gosling and Rodwell already around the fringes and, well, the fringes of the fringes. And lets not forget the kid from down the road, Connor Wickham. So let us all calm down, eh?
Anyway, the point of this blogpost? In the commentary box was the man Sky and the BBC perceive as the hero of East Anglia. Well he played for and later coached Ipswich and managed Norwich briefly, and almost catastrophically, so everyone there must love him?
If you hadn’t worked it out we’re talking Bryan Hamilton. No doubt we’ll have the delight of hearing his dulcet tones commentating on the two Ipswich games this coming season for Sky or 5Live. He undoubtedly will deny City anything like the credit they might deserve and overblow everything they either do wrong or Ipswich do well. Not that he’s bitter about not quite getting City relegated.
*Listening To Radiohead – Kid A*
Now, I wrote here originally as a disenfranchised musician and failed racing driver. In the interim, I have decided that I didn’t care for that categorisation, so I’ve gone out and decided to change it. You may now refer to me as a ‘deluded’ racing driver instead.
About a week ago, I sat and contemplated the life choice I had recently made, that is to return to motor racing, and specifically, to try and race a Formula Ford next year. With the headlines full of Government cuts and recession (or, more aptly, early recovery) woes, it was the time to go back into that expensive pursuit of automotive competition.
So now I begin the search for sponsorship. Without the parental safety net that I operated my previous stint in racing available, I am working from scratch. Needless to say, this is going to be a challenge.
I intend to approach it by treating the affair with any potentially interested business as an actual business transaction, and as such I’m not even going near my traditional mailshot before I’ve made a lot of ground on getting some exposure for the car, and net, their stickers.