>My great old mate Alex sent this advertising picture to me a few years back and I’ve just found it again. a 1971 advert for Smirnoff. A classic picture and the tag line is just awesome. We who have drunk copious amounts know that at certain points in our lives we could have taken the wrong path and headed into some other kind of oblivion.

>NUFC – Time for a Change

>Well it’s just over 25% of the way through the season and NUFC are in 16th place. We can moan on all we like about injuries but apart from Owen and Shola’s hip, there aren’t many now. The fact is we have 9pts from 30 available, 9 pts in 10 games. We’ve only conceded 13 goals but scored a mere 7. So defence is our strong point? How many times have we seen our defence look stupid and clueless/ With an attack and defence like that, we are truly f##king useless.

Is Glenn the man for the job? Well everyone knows that a no. We all like him and he did himself proud last season but Glenn is the kind of manager who inevitably gets fired. So what do we do? We won’t get relegated here, not even close. But what do we do? We’ve a decent squad but have wasted over £20m on signings like Luque and even Martins. Players we don’t really need. The defence looks strong at times but you always fear for them. The midfield is strong, solid and organised with enough flair to create chances that Duff, with his redundant right peg, can’t put away.

We need Shola to play. Need to play Butt and Solano who add a little dependable class, rarely giving the ball away. Parker is class. Milner is hard working and skilled, N’Zogbia can beta defenders but his final ball is lacking. The team works hard but always looks that way. Nothing is effortless, smooth passing movements are rarely the hallmark of NUFC. More often you’re going to see a bundled shot, a lucky break from a ricochet. Well that’s down to training and work off the field.

I have no doubt the players respect Glenn, are working hard for the fans and the club. They want to win but the breaks aren’t coming. But we barely deserve them. Luck is granted to you when you are unlucky. We’re not unlucky. We’re not good enough. Time for a ‘world-class manager’ Freddie and I mean world class. A manager who hasn’t failed at any level. Give him the spending power. A manager not unlike Bobby Robson. Or Alan Curbishley, a manager used to dealing with the average.

>This is weird – Man banned from touching muscles

A man has been ordered by a judge not to feel people’s muscles or ask them to do exercises in public.

Akinwale Arobieke, 45, from Liverpool, was also banned from measuring the size of muscles, under the order requested by Merseyside Police.

Arobieke, who is known in the area as Purple Aki, is out of jail on licence after a sentence imposed in 2003 for 15 counts of harassment.

More here

>Robbo Robson’s Xmas Books list

>Always funny and observant. More found here

Of course there are some books I’d love to read:

20,000 Leagues Under the Premiership – the story of Leeds United in the 21st Century

The Rise and Fall of Roman’s Empire – the story of Chelsea in the 21st Century

Malice in Sunderland – Roy Keane’s new book

Tumbledown – a season in the life of Arjen Robben

Tender Is The Bite – Tottenham Hotspur fans’ tribute to Jermain Defoe

The Invisible Man – Jermaine Jenas’ World Cup 2006 diary

The Days of the T’riffic – Trevor Brooking’s nostalgic look at the Hammers team of the 70s and 80s

And finally the book I’m desperately trying to get hold of…..

How To Be Successful In Football Without Really Trying – by Francesco Totti.


I left work at 6pm tonight. Overrun all day, sorting out various problems. Cajoling, experimenting and ultimately fixing problems. Good for the esteem, not that this lad lacked any. It energised me, made me wanna stay longer. While these days the make-up is merely daubed around the eyes on my work colleagues, the tiredness shining off their cheeks, rubbing into their eyes, I felt good. Wooohhhooo!

But 6pm? I had been there since 8am. 10 hours. But the time I get home and fed, there will be a mere 4 hours or so until bedtime. Its ludicious. How am I meant to get any real worthwhile work done? Am I meant to wait until the weekend, grateful to my employer they have granted me such a reprieve?

Its not my work here though. I quite enjoy it in a functional way. But that’s the rub. Its functional. What I really enjoy doing I can’t. I’ve got no time or am too tired to get motivated over it. Lucky this is a mere temporary a bit of ‘real’ life. I live close to work. I wouldn’t work anywhere else. I get my cardio/belly workout every morning and evening on the bike to work. It’s a time liberating exercise allowing me to get to and from work quickly, feel the world run through me, and get some exercise. I’d always be this way. I don’t mind taking the subway or bus; it’s an opportunity to read or study. It’s about time management I suppose. Damn, that’s depressing. Making the most of the time I have, be that daily, weekly etc.

And that time management, which I am fairly conscious of, leads to me the wide-eyed, gaped-mouthed, limp-cocked understanding of modern working life in European sweat house UK. For most, work is unenjoyable, justified by a wage which allows you to keep up the mortgage and bills payments, allowing a night out a week, saving for the future, a holiday a year and the hold grail of owning your own house. woooohhhooooo!!! (I wonder if Bill Gates still looks at his monhtly pay cheque, screams out loud, ‘Yeah, let’s hit the town.’)Except you’ll be a mere 20 years from death by the time you’ve achieved that. Woooohhhhoooo!!! I’m a near-dead man but I got a house. Woooohhhooo!!

I’ve got different sunsets to see.

(PS. I can’t get that Homer Simpson cheer out of my head)

>I saw the sky today, for the first time in maybe 6 days. It was blue and massive, reassuring and gently uplifting. It’s been raining here for days, downpours galore. When your day consists of going to work in the dark and leaving as the sky pales, it can be fairly depressing in this country. I like the sky, love the colour and adore raging sunsets.

I’ve become un-English over the last few years, like a lot of my generations, we are moving away from the stiff, conservatism that made this country unique and homely. The Graham Greene characters my old mate Paul Prosser loves so much are past now; the foreigners stranded abroad, living in his ‘Little England’ far from home, pessimistic of ever returning, unable to mentally even if he could physically. The Englishness is receding but maybe the inability to return home isn’t. I know Paul and I have talked about it after our traditional 20 pints.

The clocks go back this weekend hastening the winter, pushing us indoors, huddled under the weather and English culture, watching the same TV programmes in each house, almost hibernating until the spring. But this usurping of old Englishness has led to almost an open celebration of summer. The summers are truly great, sitting outside drinking a beer. You will never not find a smile. That’s where I’m gonna live, forever summer. I’ll invite you when i find it.