*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: Fenech Soler – I Need Love*
I can’t imagine that anyone has got over the midweek Champions League wonder match between Arsenal and a beautiful Barcelona side at the Emirates Stadium, and a first half hour Barca exhibition in particular – if you have you are no football fan I know.
It took just thirty seconds for the Catalan’s to get into their stride, with an instant eye for goal, Barca’s array of attacking brilliance was simply breathtaking. Quick pin point passing combined with technical ability and unquestionable pace ensuring Arsenal looked like talentless schoolboys, shellshocked that someone was dominating them at their own game.
And that is what would have hurt Arsenal the most on Wednesday night, not just the fact they were simply outclassed in all areas of the pitch, but the way Barca did just that. Even the Gunners most highly skilled players like, Fabregas, Arshavin and Nasri looked a cut below at times.
Yet aren’t Arsenal seen as the most enjoyable highly technical team to watch in the Premier League? If that is the case, then the UK elite has quite clearly fallen behind that of the Spanish La Liga. But then again, on
the basis of Wednesday night, no-one could keep with Barcelona.
More impressive to me, is the Catalan’s construction of their side over the past few seasons. There is no big money sheikhs behind Barcelona, looking to buy all the best players in the world (on paper) hoping to throw them all into a team on outrageous wages, looking for it to stick and become the best in the world. It simply does not work – a slight dig at Manchester City and Chelski there (and Real – Ed).
*Listening to Doves – Kingdom of Rust*
There was a tremendous victory at the TPC Sawgrass, in Arizona recently. No, not Ian Poulter’s and British Golf’s crushing victory in the WGC World Match Play, don’t be so ignorant. Try the media picking up its trophy for finally cracking the games best player Tiger Woods.
Whilst his colleagues battled it out for the $1,4 million purse, a tired, broken shell of a man emerged to beg for forgiveness in-front of a rather uncomfortablly watching world. His voice quaking, Woods concluded that he was ‘deeply sorry’ for being so ‘foolish’ and ‘irresponsible’ for his affair(s). It came as evil delight to the modern-day World media, now all too eager to trounce through the private lives of public figures.
In Woods they’ve claimed their biggest triumph yet. Rachel Uchitel was first up to face the media hounds but was soon old news, her week long denials didn’t satisfy the needy, hungry ‘reporters’. On cue, a host of models, cocktail waitress and pornographic actresses came forward claiming illicit affairs with Woods, cunningly seeped out by the media to keep the story running, such was the desire to tear down one of the greatest ever golfers and idol to millions.