Thursday, 27 November 2014

RIP Phil Hughes

CRICKET is mourning the loss of a player, no not a legend from yesteryear but a current player who went out with his bat on Tuesday morning.

Sadly Phil Hughes never returned to the pavilion but will always be 63 not out in the hearts and minds of all who knew him and those who had the pleasure of watching him.

The left hander was struck by a bouncer from Sean Abbott during the game, fell to the ground and never regained conciousness.

At this time the only blessing the cricket world can take is the fact he was apparently in no pain when he passed.

As well as the pleasure of watching him bat, I grabbed an interview with him following a man of the match performance for Worcestershire against Essex in 2012.

He'd already done an interview with Sky Sports but I approached him and after a 'sure mate' he spoke for five minutes, humble, honest and a guy who loved to play cricket.

The tributes show what a great guy he clearly was and my sympathies to the Australian team and especially to the lads in the Worcestershire dressing room.

Our thoughts should go to Sean Abbott as well, he was doing his job as a fast bowler, trying to unsettle Hughes and get him out.

The bouncer isn't designed to kill, a few inches in the other direction and all Hughes would have suffered is a 

As well as showing love and support for Phil Hughes family and friends, I hope we all remember Sean Abbott.

Heaven already had a damn good cricket team, sadly it now has a talented left hander to add to its ranks.

RIP Phil, sleep well

Monday, 24 November 2014

What to do with the misfiring Gunners?

IT'S fair to say Arsene Wenger has probably had better days at the office, an awful result again, shambolic defending and an increasingly vocal Emirates expressing their displeasure.

We don't do white hankies ala Barcelona or Real Madrid, but if we did there would have been more than enough on display to wipe up the red wine allegedly thrown at the Manchester United bench on Saturday evening, such was the anger at full time.

Why? Because yet again Arsenal have battered a team only to be caught out and beaten. If matches were played on stats and on paper Arsenal would have done the treble more than once.

But they aren't and again Arsenal huffed and puffed and just before blowing the house down decided to hold their breath some more.

Truth be told Arsenal should have been at least two goals to the good before the defensive calamaties but equally could have been down to 10 men as Jack Wilshere's fuse once again was lit far too easily for my liking.

Instead, a silly own goal gave United a lead they did not deserve and then Arsenal's lemming like attitude to push up the field gave United an easy second. It should have been three as Di Maria missed when it was easier to score.

What to do? Sack the manager? No, no our club owes Wenger more than that. Without him in 1996 Arsenal could have fallen away so badly we could have ended up like Leeds United.

But the time has come for someone at the Emirates to sit down with Arsene and ask about the future, does he want to carry on? Lately in after match interviews he is looking more and more like a man who doesn't have the answers he needs to find.

The problems aren't deep rooted, they can be fixed but Arsene needs to adapt his methods somewhat.

The back four needs training, to defend as a unit and to stop getting caught up field so often. Steve Bould is sitting there like a bubble in a can. Surely training can be adapted to allow one of George's legendary back four to nurture the current four incumbents.

A couple of a players need a kick up the backside. In my opinion one of them is Wilshere, if he put in as much effort into developing his talent as he does effing and jeffing referee's the kid would world class. I love Wilshere, a local lad done good, but his constant temper tantrums are beginning to wear thin.

Wojciech Szczesny needs reminding he's won nothing of note yet, the man is very good with the banter but frankly got a lesson in goalkeeping from David De Gea on Saturday night, another playing behind a rather porous defence.

Arteta is no longer a starter and certainly not captain. Mertesacker retired from German duty, is very vocal, give him the captaincy – if that doesn't 'motivate' him then maybe ask him to move on.

And buy, buy in January – Arsenal need a centre half and a defensive midfielder. Maybe just maybe something can be salvaged from what is beginning to look like a worrying campaign.

The 'Arsene Knows' banner still proudly takes its place at every home game. More and more though are wondering 'does he?'

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Thornberry isn't a snob, she's just stupid

"It's just one of many pictures I've taken on the campaign trail today. However if you're asking my personal opinion I like to think it shows the proud patriotism which exists in our country and what we shouldn't be afraid to embrace."

IF Emily Thornberry had said the above then tonight; she'd still have a job, the headlines would be about another Tory winning a seat for UKIP having defected and maybe some wavering Labour votes would have felt like their party did understand them after all.

Instead she came out with a stupid 'never seen anything like it' (what a flag?) comment, Ed apparently had a fit of pique and Labour look like a mess....again!

I'm not saying I'd do a better job than Labour's press office but my line is a huge improvement on the shambles which has dominated the airwaves all evening.

Truth be told this is just the latest chapter in a catastrophe of errors from a party which ought to be wiping the floor with the Government.

Cast your minds back, if this was 1996 Labour might be contemplating winning a seat like Rochester and Strood but would certainly be heaping pressure on a PM facing losing another by election to a defecting former MP.

David Cameron ought to have gone to be d this evening petrified at another potentially huge defeat and concerned some disgruntled colleagues might decide a change of leader was necessary.

Instead he lays his head thanking Labour for turning down the heat in the political pressure cooker.

To messers Johnson, Burnham, Cooper, Umunna et al - really? Do you really think this is the best your party can do?

Labour's slim chance of a majority has been shrinking for months. Tonight it disappeared, most probably for good.