Hello once again, and let us delve into the most recent controversy in the footballing world, involving an old regular in Chelsea F.C. and a new addition in the form of a certain ball boy.



Right, first things first, let us get the analysis of the incident itself out of the way.
Now, I think we can all agree that both parties are to blame. Charlie Morgan, as he infamously posted to his Twitter account before the game, came out to time-waste for the Swans. He takes a very long time to get to the ball and by the time he does, Hazard is upon him wanting to get the ball back. The pushing from Hazard doesn't help as it enables the youngster to fall onto the ball and shield it from the Belgian. What happens next however should NEVER be done on a football field if you would like to remain on the pitch. Swinging your boot in the direction of someone lying on the ground is a red card offence whether you touch the ball or not and the referee was absolutely correct to take the action that he did.

Hazard will now have to wait for further FA judgement to be handed out to him as although it's quite clear that his kick was not malicious, it was still dangerous and sends completely the wrong message on how to handle those sorts of situations. Stepping back and getting the referee involved would have been the more sensible course of action.

It is certainly ironic that this incident has happened with Chelsea and any Chelsea fan that is feeling outraged should first consider these two points:

1) Even if this incident had not occurred and absolutely no time had been wasted, Chelsea would STILL have lost the tie.

2) Chelsea would not have won the Champions League last season had they not based entire game plans around time-wasting and conning the referee. Time-wasting and cheating in general has benefited Chelsea a hundred times more than it has hindered them.


Now let us move on to the delightful young moron that is clamouring to get his 15 minutes of fame (and succeeding) and my main point that I would like to express to you in this blog.

Charlie Morgan


He certainly looks like the sort of lad that you wouldn't be particularly distressed to see introduced to a fist at a not particularly subtle rate of knots.

However, that aside, the image does look familiar doesn't it. That is because we now see this sort of picture in every football game we ever watch. We see our favourite players whether they be Luis Suarez, Santi Cazorla, Gareth Bale, Robin Van Persie or Cristiano Ronaldo flinging themselves to the ground every week under little or no contact and holding themselves in a similar way as though they have just been run over by a passing buffalo. Yet of course they are not too mortally wounded to not be able to look towards the referee to try and see if their ruse has worked. The body language in Charlie Morgan's case actually reminds me of Mr Orange as he lays in the back of a car after receiving a bullet to the gut.

We can all laugh and point at him and say "Haha look at him, he thinks he's a professional footballer!". Yet what worries me is that this sort of behaviour is now what we associate and expect with professional footballers. Why is Charlie Morgan acting like this? Simple. Because he sees the top professionals in the world doing it every week, thus making it perfectly acceptable to emulate for the young, naive and impressionable youth of today. Charlie Morgan is living proof of that.



Now we have had instances in the recent months where players like Suarez and Bale have been booked for simulation somewhat harshly. My opinion is as follows: excellent. Without trying to shove the moral of 'The Boy who Cried Wolf' down your throats too much, as it stands in these players minds, they have more to gain by going down than staying on their feet. That is what we need to change and it will take many more harsh decisions on many more players before the message is received and acted upon. It's a sad fact that it has resorted to two wrongs making a right, but it's important in tilting the odds back in favour of the defender. Players may have been wrongly accused of simulation, but you can bet that they have still benefited from simulation ten times more than they have been punished for it.

Whilst the top footballers are allowed to get away with diving, time-wasting, and general gamesmanship, the further warped the image of the game will become. Gone is the beautiful game that was played by men, now we have a low and underhanded farce that is played by little boys. And unless we can help referees to come down harder on the culprits, it will only get worse..

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I figured seeing as this blog has gone up in the nominations for a Neo Award, I maybe underestimated how many people actually read it. Then again, there is also the more likely explanation that hardly anybody bothered to pick a favourite blog. Whichever it is, thank you muchly to the person(s) that thought to mention it. :)

I have kept reasonably quiet over recent months blog-wise, mainly due to my short attention span and my hectic schedule that has always kept me busy. One of those previous statements is a downright lie but I'll let you gue- anyway I'm bored, let's talk about football for a bit!

The footballing world is as emotionally sensitive as it has ever been, due in no small part to the recent cardiac arrest of this young man.



I wasn't actually watching the game when the incident happened, looking at Facebook on my phone made me aware of what was happening and I immediately rushed to turn ESPN on. I saw Muamba play many years ago for Arsenal at Highbury. From what I remember it was a Carling Cup tie against Reading of all teams (I live in Reading if you didn't know and that statement seems odd) and it was a tie in which Wenger pitted many youngsters against the Berkshire side with a view to grooming some of them for the first team (David Bentley was also playing.. LOL). Unfortunately for Fabrice, places in central midfield at Arsenal were practically non-existent as that area had been flooded with players. Anyway, I digress, and I promise not to drag you into tactical talk at this point.


This picture is from the only game I ever saw Muamba play for Arsenal.

Fabrice has the privilege, and the danger, of playing in one of the most demanding roles in football. A central midfielder will cover an incredible amount of ground every match. Those of you who follow the likes of Xabi Alonso, Iniesta and Yaya Toure will know that it's not uncommon for players in the middle of the park to be covering 14km in a single game. A massive toll on a player in peak physical condition, near impossible for anyone less fit to cover in 90 minutes. One of footballs other fatalities in the last decade, Marc-Vivien Foe, was also a midfielder player subjected to huge physical strain. It is such a miracle and evokes incredible relief that Muamba's case has not ended in the same tragic way that Foe's did. It was a very emotional time for anyone with a love for football. It doesn't matter whether the player is from Bolton, Arsenal, Spurs or Millwall, an incident like that is not about teams, it is about the life of a man, a man with a child. We all pray (yes I'm atheist but I don't mean in a religious sense) for Fabrice at this difficult time for him and his family.


Quite simply, a disgusting human being.

Just a couple of things that have stemmed from the above. First of all, I was extremely glad to see Liam Stacey jailed (though I would have hoped it would have been longer) for his vile and abhorrent comments on Twitter regarding Fabrice. I happen to think Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez are two of the most arrogant and underhanded prima-donnas the sport as seen in a long long time. That DOESN'T mean that I would take any happiness if they were to suddenly collapse from a suspected heart attack. I, like many of the other 'normal' human beings in this world would not wish that on anyone, so Liam Stacey's thought process as he was making these disgusting comments is totally alien to me. I hope he has a terrible time during his short stay in prison.

The other thing concerns comments made by Bolton skipper Kevin Davies in the aftermath of Muamba's collapse. Davies claimed that it was a sad state of affairs when the only way you'd be applauded by opposition fans was if you were carried off on a stretcher. My mind stretches back to Real Madrid fans applauding Ronaldinho's wonder goal against them for Barcelona, it also goes back to Portsmouth fans applauding Arsenal as they were destroyed 5-1 by them in the cup. True, such incidents are few and far between, but what I found ironic was that of all people to say it, it was Kevin Davies. A player who would quite happily kick, scratch, shove and feign injury against his fellow players. A player who can only thrive under the guidance of an anti-football manager such as Sam Allardyce (I'm not going to start on Allardyce's latest comments because every time he tries to sound like someone who knows what real football is, I laugh until it hurts). Does Kevin Davies really expect opposition fans to cheer his cheating, thuggish nature? Does he expect a round of applause everytime he tries to elbow a defenders head? I really do not understand his thought process. I wonder if even he does? What he proposes is certainly possible, but not whilst people like him are in the game.

I realise I've gone on about football for entirely too long again. My humble apologies, I should really focus on alternative subjects, if someone wants me to chat about something that isn't football then feel free to suggest something so that my blog looks less like the manical ramblings of a failed football manager. I'll be posting this blog on Twitter now as well so if you want to become part of my Twitterati then you can find me at http://twitter.com/JimmyOttaway thanks peeps!

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It's been a chaotic year in the Arsenal camp. Highs include the famous 2-1 victory over Barcelona in last season's Champions League and the inspiring 5-3 win over Chelsea. Lows include, well.. that cannot be summed up in a simple sentence.

After allowing the Carling Cup to be won by Birmingham was the customary exercise of completely falling apart and unravelling at the seams as Arsenal are in recent campaigns becoming famous for. They will often go from competing in all competitions to competing in none in the space of about 2 or 3 weeks these days. Many would attribute it to a defence that has been gutted of power and reliability ever since its members decided to either leave for richer clubs, were emotionally destroyed by Bobby Zamora, or just plain thought that a pitiful £55,000 a week was not worth turning up to work for.

However, there is hope in Arsene Wengers current set of 'kids', I feel. In Wojceich Szczesny we have found a keeper whose reflexes, presence, and overall, consistency are reminiscent of the great David Seaman.

Thomas Vermaelen, injured now, as I'm sure some feel is the norm in his few years at Arsenal, represents our most commanding, fearless and composed defender since Sol Campbell was the rock of the Arsenal back four. If he manages to stay fit for a decent stretch then he will be vital for Arsenal in a defensive (and also an attacking) sense.

Laurent Koscielny is (along with RVP of course) our player of the season so far in my humble opinion. His ability to read the game and make vital interceptions has saved Arsenal from conceding on countless occasions. His strength and determination has also shone through in Arsenal's increasingly make-shift back line. If he continues to improve then he really will deserve to wear Tony Adams' number six shirt.

Currently our first choice full-backs are on the operating table, but when fit, Sagna and Gibbs provide a potent attacking threat and decent defensive coverage. Gibbs needs to work on getting back a bit more, as does his understudy Andre Santos, though he can be excused as it is in his Brazilian nature to be a forward-thinking defender.

With these players fit on a consistent basis, then Arsenal can begin to look more like the composed and solid defensive unit we remember from nearly a decade ago.

What needs to be addressed is that much better cover needs to be made available. Mertesacker and Jenkinson look completely lost and out of their depth when they play. Mertesacker is not used to the pace and physicality of the English game and Jenkinson looks like what he is, a player that barely made an impression in League One. Djourou had moments last season when he looked quite solid at the back, and he is a more consistent choice at right-back than Jenkinson, but he is still caught out of position too commonly and doesn't read the game as cleverly as his peers. He needs to improve fast if he wants to survive in the team, he's had more than enough time to do it.

I'm going to finish by saying welcome back to King Thierry Henry. I'd take him over Marouane 'I promise I was good for Bordeaux' Chamakh and Yao 'Maybe if I dribble into a player he'll disappear' Gervinho any day. :)

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Two votes out of a possible twenty-two was a clear message to England and its media, FIFA are not to be trifled with.

The following day, the British papers emblazoned their front pages with words such as 'BUNG', 'FIXED' and 'DISGRACE' as they tried to direct the country's disappointment and inevitable backlash against FIFA, rather than themselves. For as much as the media impact has been downplayed in.. well the media.. it is of no doubt that their interference has proved catastrophic for not just England's World Cup bid, but also their relations with FIFA.



Put yourself in the shoes of one of the 22 (remaining) voters that will decide which nation hosts the 2018 World Cup. Two of your peers have been suspended from voting on charges of bribery and corruption. The instigators are a media group from one of the nations actually vying for the bid. This media group did not just hear of bribery and report it, they physically went out of their way posing as American lobbyists with the deliberate intent to misle your peers, discredit them and, of course, cash in on the story. Now with this turn of events, not only is your organisation's integrity in question, but your own morality is thrown into the spotlight, suddenly you have to answer for all your actions and your every move is scrutinised by everybody looking for the tiniest hint of collusion with your neighbours to pounce on.

Well you know something? I wouldn't feel particularly good about England or the English media either.

David Cameron and Prince William can bleat about people 'promising their vote and then voting elsewhere' all they want, as people that know about politics, they are well experienced in putting on a smile and lying through their teeth to someone, it's the easiest way to get them to leave you alone if you tell them what they want to hear. What is important is the bridges you have built with them when they enter the meeting room and that's what will influence where they will place their vote. Standing by and letting your own media paint them as corrupt for months and then appearing to shake their hand in the final week is not a vote-swayer, it's not even a peacemaker. For the case of England, after their media were allowed to cripple their bid completely, it was too little, too late for Cameron and his men.






What is also interesting is the 2022 vote. Now Qatar are a nation that raise many eyebrows when spoken of in a footballing sense, mainly, because their team has never even QUALIFIED for a World Cup. However, I fear that FIFA felt pressured from all this media scrutiny that has made them look far from impressive in recent weeks. One key aspect of the Middle Eastern nation's bid was to 'flatpack' their stadia, enabling it to be dismantled once the World Cup was over and transported to much poorer nations. A unique gesture. A gesture that presented itself as FIFA's knight in shining armour. What better way to restore your image than support a bid that has immense humanitarian strength and meaning. FIFA can use this 'human interest' bid to iron out the crease that has been exposed in their armour, the British Media have a little more work to do than that.

I understand this is a different approach to many that you'll read but remember this, the media will happily discredit anyone, anyone but themselves.

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Good-morrow to you all, it's been quite a while since I assaulted you with another one of my ill-advised potshots against whatever is currently grinding my gears. Today, I am irked by something that the majority of the English nation has ground gears over, reducing the general background noise of our nation to what sounds like someone trying to interbreed a rusty nail and a car bonnet.
It is of course, our countrys meek surrender in the World Cup against a nation that once, over half a century ago, could not muster a response against our proud stance and unflappable spirit.

It was an afternoon that people envisioned to rival that glorious game at Wembley in 1966. Sadly, and cruelly, for the Tommies, the controversy of the 'was it in or was it not' goal returned for this fixture. The sickening thing was, that there was absolutely no doubt from anyone that studied the incident closely that England were denied a goal. Sepp Blatter has gone to great lengths to oppose video and goal-line technology, he obviously fears that he will be restricted to eating smoke salmon only 3 times a week if he imposes such a simple and obvious asset to the game. His other feeble excuse of time wasted will also become redundant as petty arguments by opposing players will surely be cut as their crimes are exposed on the big screen for all to see.

However, as much as I would like to blame the technology, the temperature or even the unpredictable football, the sad fact is, England have no one to blame for their dismal tournament but themselves.

Now as an Arsenal fan, I feel quite relieved to not have any of this England team playing for my club, but I also know that come August, Rooney will smashing in goals, Lampard will be inspirational and Glen Johnson will look downright deadly. Why is it that these players can be so woefully abysmal when playing for their country, yet demonstrate scintillating form for their clubs? Ladies and gentlemen, I think I have stumbled upon the answer, and it is only a two-syllable word... money!

More to come later...

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As this blog is displayed so blatantly in my signature, I feel obliged to actually post updates to it, so that the few of you that follow it aren't re-reading the same shite over and over.

I hope everyone had a good New Years. I personally didn't. I hadn't eaten prior to the party so when we played a Transformers-related drinking game it got me mashed very quickly. As a result, I don't actually remember midnight. I do remember a couple of hours later when my supposed best female friend suddenly flipped over me allegedly stealing 2 pounds (I had about 20 pound coins in my wallet so my want for another couple seems a bit strange). What ensued, was a massive screaming match between us. It got violent with her pushing and hitting me, telling me to hit her because she wasn't afraid. That called upon all my self-restraint tbh. I never want to hit a girl but this girl was really crossing the line verbally and physically. I compromised by punching and headbutting her fiance which ultimately resulted in me being thrown out of the flat (note to self: don't get involved in arguments with the hostess or her fiance when it's their flat and its sub-zero temperatures).

So, there I was, 2am and I have nowhere to go except go and sleep in my car outside in my hoodie and sleeping bag and try not to die of hypothermia. So that's exactly what I did. Normally I would have just left, but unfortunately I was giving a lift home to the other members of the party. So I woke up bruised, freezing, hungover and feeling like I'd rather die than face a year that clearly didn't want me to be happy. 2009 was one of the worst of my life and it looks like 2010 is preparing to trump that. Oh well. I didn't really intend this post to be as depressing as it probably is. Still.. you guys can compare and say how great your New Years was in relation. :D

In brighter news, I have a week off work in a couple of weeks time which will be spent filming for my friends short movie he needs to make to get into Directors College. He wrote the script himself, sadly, I cannot make head nor tail of what my character is saying or meaning half of the time. As soon as he e-mailed me the Word doc with the script, I opened it and hundreds of red and green squiggly lines appeared on the page and I was like "UH-OH!". The script may be weak but I've written a 30 page script of my own and know how to beef up performances, fortunately. Look out for me and my friends in a terrible Youtube series in the future. ;)

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As most of you poor unfortunate souls may know, I am an Arsenal fan. This may aid in solving what is a great mystery to some, and that is that the 'Goon' in my username refers to Gooners (Arsenal fans). Those of you who didn't know that have surely learnt a valuable fact, those of you who did, well, this paragraph has probably been a waste of 15 seconds..

Being an Arsenal fan is a lot like following Tim Henman. It's not well-paid, you will get the odd high from feeling like you're watching someone make progress, but in the back of your mind, you know the final hurdle will only contain failure. You also have to deal with comments from the people that follow your Federers and your Nadals saying that your guy will never make it to the top You will fight your corner and say you do it for patriotic reasons, or that you like him as a person, or it's a family tradition. Whilst these arguments let you regain a shred of moral righteousness, you are also very aware that success is always the thing that matters in sport, and Henman is not going to bring it to you.

As I write this on the back of a second consecutive 3-0 defeat for Arsenal, things at the club that I've followed since I was 4 (family tradition if you must ask) are hardly going swimmingly.

I believe they do miss this young man...



... but that isn't justification for how they're playing.


Now you may think that Arsenal's gargantuan injury-list may anger me? You may think that unnecessary International friendlies may annoy me? They are continuing irritations, but they are not going to go away if you are unhappy about them. I don't recall watching a season where Arsenal haven't been hampered by injuries. No, the thing that angers me, is the excuses.

Let's use Chelsea and Manchester United as examples, they are by far the two strongest English clubs and the two clubs most capable of winning trophies. Both these sides experience injuries, both these sides have to deal with suspensions, both these sides have decisions go against them (unless it's Old Trafford) and yet they are able to win either the Premier League, FA Cup or Champions League every season. It's not a case of focusing on one trophy either, they are able to keep winning in all competitions for the duration of the season. Sure they can slip up in the odd game, but when you're one point away from winning the Premiership and in the final of the Champions League, are you going to be feeling embarassed?

There are a few qualities in these two teams that I believe help guarentee this success, qualities that Arsenal lack,

1) They are adaptable and versatile teams. They are capable of being dangerous along the floor should the need call for it, and dangerous in the air should the need call for it. In short, their style of playing can be adapted to fit specific games. They can roll up their sleeves and scrap it out with teams like Stoke, and they can also pass it around them. The physical side to their game also seems to reduce their risk to injuries as they get to assert their physical presence as opposed to trying to dart around their opponents with touching them. A tactic that will inevitably end with them being swatted out of the game.

2) They have strength in depth. This is a massive one. If Wayne Rooney is injured then United have the quality of Michael Owen to call upon, or the 30 mil rated Dimitar Berbatov. Call it insurance if you will. Managers should always plan for a season so that every one of their first teamers also has adequate back-up. This also opens the door for squad rotation that won't harshly affect results due to the quality that comes into replace the rested first-teamers.

3) They decide their own fate. This one may sound corny but I believe it does make a difference. If one of these sides has a bad game, the first thing they will look at, is what THEY could do to solve it. Bleating to the match officals, blaming the opposition, blaming injuries, whining to the FA achieves nothing. If you work with your players to make them the best that they can be, then you won't be experiencing such disappointments that spawn these sorts of petty squabbles.


Until I see an Arsenal team that addresses these 3 issues, then I doubt I will see an Arsenal team that achieves any sort of competitive trophy. Arsene Wenger cannot consider himself or his team blameless for the fact that they haven't won a trophy in 4 seasons. What is important is how he aims to stop that becoming 5 seasons, not what he can divert the blame to.

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Goonjimbo's life.

Update #1 transmitting...


So, fellow SeekoNeers, I have reason to celebrate. Definitely not a common occurence for myself as I usually spend the majority of my weeks wallowing in misery and self-pity so I keep reminding myself to be very grateful for such rare luxuries.

My monotonous, stress-inducing, nine-to-five job at the Ministry of Defence shall be cast to the back of my mind for 2 weeks as I take a fortnight off work, and in the midst of this, I shall jet off to Cyprus.

My oldest friend (technically not my best, especially since he's been annoying the bajeesus out of me lately) has landed a free apartment in Paphos, opposite his grandparents house. Combine that with cheap flights, and this trip will cost me 225 pound for the flight (first class on the way) and whatever spending money I take. Best investment since Arsene Wenger decided to take this 'Thierry lad' on for half a million.

Now most people would associate 2 weeks off work as non-stressful, but ironically, the preparation for this holiday has made it quite a stressful time. The main obstacle being the argument of the contraptions that are known as 'bum bags', or 'fanny packs' as I understand, to Americans.

It's quite a simple stand-off, all the old people say we should take one, all the people going on the trip (3 of us) say we shouldn't. I've never quite seen the attraction of grouping all my valuables together into one bag and displaying it on your stomach with an air of 'come and get it' about it. Also, the additional grievance is that it makes you look like the sort of tourist that dresses in all the wrong clothes, takes lots of pictures with a camera thats lense extends as far as Switzerland, and talks loudly in their own language and considers speaking foreign to consist of talking even louder in their own language.

But anyway, with any luck, as long as my mates don't turn into selfish dickheads which they've been known to do before, then this should be an enjoyable trip with lots of drinking, clubbing and sex along the way. Beautiful.



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The approach of October is a major event in a football-lovers calendar. Not simply because they now know that Owen has survived the first couple of months of the season hence actually becoming a viable option in their fantasy team, no, it's the arrival of the newest football games.

FIFA versus Pro Evolution Soccer has been a battle that has raged long and hard for more years than it takes for Cherie Blair to take a 'good' photo.

As a staunch PES fan since ISS Pro Evolution 2 on PS1, I have now become totally disillusioned by the startling lack of the same charm on PS3.

I have played roughly 10 games of the newest demo. My thoughts? Well, firstly my thoughts are to challenge the validity of my own thoughts, 10 games is not a significant number and the completed version will hold a lot more depth than a demo. However, the demo does contain an insight into what is most important in these games, the gameplay.

True, it is distinctly slower than both PES 08 and 09, possibly too much, to the point that star players feel quite manouverable, whilst any other player feels like they're wading in treacle. This may have validity in that it emphasises the star players of your team. But what of your reliable players? Your players that don't grab all the headlines but whom you couldn't function without? What of your Essien's? Your Alonso's? Your Flamini's? (yes I still reminisce about those days) Your Vidic's?

Another major concern for me, is the difficulty level. I often play my games on 10 minutes length, the demo makes you play games at 5 minute length. On my VERY FIRST play, on Regular, I beat Barcelona 5-0 as Liverpool. On Professional, I beat them 3-0. On Top Player, I beat them 2-0. You notice the difference but the CPU still seems much too weak. Goals are still too easy to come by with woeful goalkeeping and inconsistent defending.

The major plus for this game is the visuals, which are stunning beyond belief. The best visuals I've ever seen in a football game. Fact.


Look at Torres' freckles. Just look!!

But despite these mouth-wateringly luscious graphics, what do I do when I want an incredibly exciting football game, with balance, wit, precision, and most of all, a thrill that makes me punch the air everytime I score? Well it's simple, I don't go to FIFA, that doesn't excite me, I don't think next gen has any exciting football games, all I do is simply, go to the other room, switch on the PS2, and load up PES 5.

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Owing largely to a job that saps me of any zest on weekdays, my contributions to Neoseeker have been barely noticeable, bordering on non-existent. A blog, therefore, will help in a number of ways.

1) My fans, generally consisting of crackheads, hookers, backwards-dressers and escaped convicts, will be provided with a measured insight into my life, my opinions and my way of thinking.

2) Due to an affinity for writing, I shall be able to expand my writing material which will allow me the rare moment of being creative as well. It has always been an interest of mine to emulate the revoltingly overpaid and underevolved writers that you see with columns fitted snugly in the newspapers you find on the floor of your local Asda.

3) It will give me a feeling that I've given something back to the Neoseeker community. The reality being, of course, that this is an excuse to talk about myself without interruption and inflict my own bias on the poor souls that will inevitably find themselves with nothing better in their highly fruitful lives to do than to put up with my blog for five minutes.

4) It's a fantastic way to pass time that otherwise would be spent (I contemplated using the word 'wasted' but then realised I was a fool) visting Madam Palm and her five lovely daughters.


Anyway, I have a short topic to discuss before I sign off here. It concerns the tremendous lows that have occured in sport in recent weeks, so if you're not into sports, then I would assume this would be the point where you stop reading...

Hardly headline-making, but once again the Old Trafford atmosphere gets in the way of the match officials common sense as they allow a highly controversial goal to mar what would be have been one of the greatest games we'll see in any league this season. I fully support Mark Hughes seeking an explanation from the officials who somehow deemed it fit to add on 4 minutes injury-time, then 2 more for United to score, in a half that consisted of 3 substitutions and no injuries. No doubt, the officials won't attribute these lapses to home fan expectation, but who would? Of course, the fans are used as an excuse in other cases, most notably the despicable antics of one Emmanuel Adebayor the previous week, ironically, the reason he couldn't come to City's rescue on Sunday.

The Togolese striker blames fan taunting for his ridiculous 90 yard sprint at Eastlands the other week. Maybe this explains Adebayors clear disinterest in playing for Arsenal in the past seasons; it appears he wasn't paying attention because he was straining to hear snippets of what the supporters were discussing in the stands. Well he'll have at least 3 games of sitting in the stands to realise that a football game wouldn't be a football game without supporters slating the opposition players, especially ones that prefer to flirt with AC Milan and stroll around the pitch rather than earn the ridiculous salaries that fall into their bank accounts every week. Couple this with a stamp that would be classed as Grievous Bodily Harm if I'd have done it to him outside the stadium. I'd happily take the charges for the satisfaction it would bring.

I must admit, another satisfying sight for me, was seeing the permanently blue-sunglassed Flavio Briatore being harassed by reporters as he left his Renault perch before he was struck from it. Eddie Irvine claims that people will do anything to win, there have been lots of winners in the past, finding the true winners that achieved the most they could in a modest and respectful way is becoming a much more difficult task.

It is a terrible tragedy that we have only recently said goodbye to one of the latter in Sir Bobby Robson. Now there's a true sporting hero and legend that's overwhelming passion of the game will be remembered by all.

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The approach of October is a major event in a football-lovers calendar. Not simply because they now know that Owen has survived the first couple of months of the season hence actually becoming a viable option in their fantasy team, no, it's the arrival of the newest football games.

FIFA versus Pro Evolution Soccer has been a battle that has raged long and hard for more years than it takes for Cherie Blair to take a 'good' photo.

As a staunch PES fan since ISS Pro Evolution 2 on PS1, I have now become totally disillusioned by the startling lack of the same charm on PS3.

I have played roughly 10 games of the newest demo. My thoughts? Well, firstly my thoughts are to challenge the validity of my own thoughts, 10 games is not a significant number and the completed version will hold a lot more depth than a demo. However, the demo does contain an insight into what is most important in these games, the gameplay.

True, it is distinctly slower than both PES 08 and 09, possibly too much, to the point that star players feel quite manouverable, whilst any other player feels like they're wading in treacle. This may have validity in that it emphasises the star players of your team. But what of your reliable players? Your players that don't grab all the headlines but whom you couldn't function without? What of your Essien's? Your Alonso's? Your Flamini's? (yes I still reminisce about those days) Your Vidic's?

Another major concern for me, is the difficulty level. I often play my games on 10 minutes length, the demo makes you play games at 5 minute length. On my VERY FIRST play, on Regular, I beat Barcelona 5-0 as Liverpool. On Professional, I beat them 3-0. On Top Player, I beat them 2-0. You notice the difference but the CPU still seems much too weak. Goals are still too easy to come by with woeful goalkeeping and inconsistent defending.

The major plus for this game is the visuals, which are stunning beyond belief. The best visuals I've ever seen in a football game. Fact.


Look at Torres' freckles. Just look!!

But despite these mouth-wateringly luscious graphics, what do I do when I want an incredibly exciting football game, with balance, wit, precision, and most of all, a thrill that makes me punch the air everytime I score? Well it's simple, I don't go to FIFA, that doesn't excite me, I don't think next gen has any exciting football games, all I do is simply, go to the other room, switch on the PS2, and load up PES 5.

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