Lakenheath Old Boys

We are all former students at Lakenheath High School and other public schools in East Anglia. We were in school in the 70s and 80s and drank deeply from the well of British culture of those decades - the pints, the telly, and of course the footie!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rio judge nixes Brazil-England friendly

By news services
RIO DE JANEIRO -- A judge has canceled Brazil's international friendly against England scheduled for Sunday at Rio de Janeiro's newly renovated Maracana stadium, saying the venue is unsafe.
The state government of Rio de Janeiro said in a statement Thursday it would appeal the decision by Judge Adriana Costa dos Santos. The government said the stadium meets all the safety standards required.
Ingrid Cristina/Brazil Photo Press/LatinContent/Getty ImagesThe Brazil-England game in newly-renovated Maracana is under threat from a Rio judge's injunction on safety concerns.
Cancellation and the uproar surrounding it would be a blow to Brazil and its plan to organize the Confederations Cup -- which opens on June 15. More seriously, it would raise questions about the South American nation's ability to organize next year's World Cup and the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016
Football's world governing body FIFA and the local World Cup organizing committee tried to distance themselves from the problems, saying they were not responsible for organizing the Brazil vs. England match.
Local organizers, however, acknowledged they are using the match to view "operational areas."
In her ruling, Costa dos Santos said she was cancelling all matches in the stadium until local organizers presented the documents showing that the venue is appropriate to host events. She said the decision was made to guarantee the "safety of fans at the Maracana."
Prosecutors said that the stadium must remain closed until it is shown there will no safety or health risks to the public attending events at the venue. Prosecutors said they received a police report, saying the stadium presented "safety risks" and added that "dangerous materials" were at the site.'
They also noted there were not adequate measures for crowd control at the 79,000-seat venue.
The government said the problems were due to a "bureaucratic error," and said a report showing that the stadium is safe was not delivered to the proper authorities.
The eight-team Confederations Cup, and next year's 32-team World Cup, has been plagued by delays in getting stadiums ready. The preparations have received open criticism from FIFA, the governing body of world football.
The six stadiums being used for the Confederations Cup -- a warmup for the World Cup -- are in various stages of readiness. Six others that will be used for next year's World Cup are still being built, and FIFA has demanded they be ready by Dec. 31.
Earlier, Press Association Sport reported the Brazilian football federation (CBF) had been made aware of the issue and it was urgently looking at its implications.
The CBF at the time was unwilling to say whether the match at Rio de Janeiro's world famous stadium, which has been given a major facelift ahead of Brazil hosting next year's World Cup, would proceed as planned.
FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke was in Brazil earlier this month to check on venues. He's acknowledged the Confederations Cup will be a maze of unfinished work and admitted that "not all operational arrangements will be 100 percent." He then warned "this will be impossible to repeat for the FIFA World Cup."
"The World Cup, we can't reduce any requirement," he added. "On any (other) competition that would be fine, except at the World Cup. The World Cup is 99 percent of the FIFA system. The World Cup has to be perfect. The World Cup is the diamond of FIFA."
The Maracana stadium in Rio is scheduled to host the Confederation Cup final on June 30, and will be the venue for the World Cup final next year. It is also slated to host the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2016 Olympics.
Brazil President Dilma Rousseff this week offered praised for the six Confederation Cup venues, including Maracana.
"Many people did not think we would be able to build these stadiums before the Confederations Cup at the standards required by FIFA," Rousseff said.
She made reference to what she called the "old-mutt" complex, a sense that Brazil lacked confidence and would fail to meet the challenge.
"But the workers who built these stadiums, the businessmen hired to do these works and all the governments involved have proved that Brazil is able to accept challenges and fulfill promptly commitments undertaken."
The England squad, which is hoping to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, arrived in Rio from on Thursday for the match. The squad is staying at a hotel on Rio's Copacabana Beach.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Burgers and Frites for Dinner, Anyone?

I'm home from work and looking forward to the second morsel in today's double header. If you're searching around for a dinner option tonight, how about burgers and frites, that is the US men's team against Belgium? It all starts at 8pm on ESPN2. Join me for dinner, eh?

England v. Ireland Live!

As meaningless friendlies go, this one is a topper. It's the Republic v. England at Wemberley. I'm around to watch it today - join me if you have nothing else on, lads. Come on, England!

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Richest Match on the Planet

In the topsy turvy world of modern football, there is more money wrapped in the nPower Championship Playoff Final than any other match on the planet - an estimated $44 million. That's what this means today for Palace and Watford as they clash this morning at Wemberley. Unfortunately, it's a workday for me, so I'll be in and out while working on an article that has to get out the door before Friday. Drop on by for a cuppa and a chat if you're watching.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Champions League Final Live!

I'm at Chez Nocito today, settling in to enjoy the first all-German Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. Bayern are the presumed favorites, as the Dortmund side is already starting to unravel. However, the Dortmunders are a scrappy bunch with the top goalscorer in the CL this season Robert Lewandowski. Should be a cracker at Wemberley. Join me for a cuppa during the preliminaries before the 2:45 pm EST kickoff!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Soothing the Footie Withdrawal Symptoms

It's that time of year when any footie will do to calm the footie withdrawal symptoms. Three days without the good stuff - anything will do in a pinch. L1 playoffs, MLS regular season, even meaningless friendlies. Tonight we have the "Managerless Derby" (TM) between Chelski and Citeh live from St. Louis, of all places. Tune in at 8:30 on ESPN2 and get your hit of methadone.

Billy Bragg on WTF!

That venerable man of British agit-prop folk music Billy Bragg is interviewed at length on Marc Maron's WTF podcast this week and it promises to be a fascinating conversation. You can download the pod from iTunes or the usual outlets. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

RIP...Brian Greenhoff

I just saw that an ex-Manchester United and Leeds United player Brian Greenhoff died suddnely today at the age of 60. Brian Greenhoff was part of the team that won the Second Division title in 1975 and making three Cup Finals in four years. He was joined at United by his brother Jimmy(my favorite) in 1976. He was a central defender along side Buchan until the 79 season when he was on the bench for the Cup Final. I remember him ready to come on for extra-time after Sammy Mcilroy scored... only for Alan Sunderland to ruin everything! After his REAL United career came to an end, he was sold to Elland Road for a handsome sum
Played quite a few games for England... and Jimmy didn't!

Thanks for the memories Brian


Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Wenger Cup Final... well two finals!

So, the long and winding road of another Premier League season is coming to an end. This day is usually filled with excitement at both ends of the table. Who can beat last year's fight for the title? I've tried but can't! This year everything is done and dusted for the Championship, everything is done and dusted for the drop, everything is done and dusted for the PPP title but there is one last thing to decide.
Who will win the Wenger Cup Second Runner Up? Citeh has already won the Cup, Chelsea second and the big two North London neighbors are fighting it out for the last runner up!
Arsenal travel to the Northeast to St. James' Park where the Magpies' owner has offered a million pounds to his non-playing staff if the beat Arsenal. Could that hurt Spurs if Newcastle are drawing and go for the win instead of getting a point.
Spurs host the rivals of Newcastle at home with a win a must!!

Of course, the CHAMPIONS OF ENGLAND have a game today. A small matter of Sir Alex Ferguson's 1500th and FINAL game in charge of Manchester United... a win has to be on the agenda

Fox are showing a lot of matches at once today and ESPN have one
ESPN has the Newcastle Arsenal match
FSC has the Spurs Sunderland match
MSG+ has WBA Man Utd

Join me for all the festivities


Friday, May 17, 2013

Stoke investigate after Kenwyne Jones finds pig's head in locker

Read the article and look at the hilarious picture at the bottom of the page. Stoke haters will love this.

Kenwyne Jones allegedly smashed up the car of a team-mate believed to be Glenn Whelan after the Stoke City striker found "a bloody pig's head" wrapped in his clothes, which he believed the midfielder had placed there, according to tweets by Jones's girlfriend on Friday afternoon.
With the club launching an investigation into what occurred at the training ground, Kissa Abdullah wrote a series of tweets criticising the act stating it was "not even close to funny". Jones is a Rastafarian so does not eat pork.
Following the incident, the Stoke midfielder Brek Shea tweeted a photo of the pig's head and wrote: "Locker room banter gone wild!!!" The club confirmed they are investigating what occurred.
A statement said: "The club takes seriously reports of an incident at our training ground this afternoon. A full internal investigation will be carried out and those responsible for any unacceptable behaviour will be dealt with in accordance with the club's disciplinary procedures."
Earlier Abdullah revealed what had happened, writing on Twitter: "Big men acting like kids a pigs head is not a prank its just disgusting!!!!! Wtf??? I don't get how was that sup 2 be funny!!!! Really???"
Then she wrote: "me as well I really don't get it at least do a fake one not straight from the butchers! Anyone would be pissed! … they put a huge bloody pigs head in his clothes at training! He warned them 2 keep him out of the banter or else! u kno the rest."
Regarding Jones's and her beliefs, Abdullah tweeted: "Listen 4 all those who don't get it lay the f! back! Where I come from that's not anywhere close 2 funny! Esp not knowing religious beliefs."
Another said: "Everyone is entitled to their own opinions mine is I don't agree wrapping a pigs head in his clothes!" She also retweeted another tweet that stated: "do you know what a pigs head represents in a Muslim religion ??" with an earlier tweet written by Abdullah, saying: "It just takes a minute to be sensitive to someone's beliefs no one says u can't have a sense of humour but let it be a joke! This wasn't!"
She also conceded that Jones's smashing up of Whelan's car was not the best way to have reacted. "you know wat agreed but everyone reacts differently !" Abdullah wrote.
Last Sunday, before Stoke played Tottenham Hotspur in their last home match, Michael Owen, who is retiring after the final game of the season, had his car covered with flour and eggs. He tweeted a photo of his car and wrote: "This is what I will miss once I hang up my boots! Looks like I may be delayed getting to the match." He then identified the suspects: "It's a long week lads. Revenge is in the air! Chief suspects: Whitehead and Whelan. Huth is a possible too."
Jones also retweeted the photo of Owen's car and wrote: "Michael Owen's leaving present."

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Premiership Plus Predictions Game - Week 37 Update!

We're getting down to the bare nub of the domestic season, with the last set of Premiership matches on Sunday morning, the Champions League Final the following Saturday and the Championship Playoff Final on Memorial Day. I've gone over my figures for this season's PPP several times and it appears to me that Man Utd Rules now has an unassailable lead with 39 points. United We Stand will agonizingly finish one point behind him. In the end, MUR's bet on Cardiff for the Championship title (3 pts) has trumped UWS' pick, albeit in the wrong place, of Wigan for the drop (2 pts). A real nail-biter, in other words - here are the current standings:

1. Man Utd Rules - 39 points
2. United We Stand - 38 pts
3. Matthew - 26 pts
- Thomas - 26 pts
5. Blue Devil - 17 pts
6. Gooner71 - 15 pts
- Simon Burke - 15 pts
8. Red Devil FCK1 - 14 pts
9. Chelskilad - 13 pts
- Someone Said - 13 pts
- West Ham Rising - 13 pts
12. AZ Kicker - 7 pts

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Europa League Final Live!

I'm taking a break from grading binders to watch the Europa League Final this afternoon. It's Chelski v. Benfica in the Amsterdam Arena. Join me for a cuppa and a chat if you have a chance.

A Premier League/Champions League Play Off???

Chelsea and Arsenal could have to have a ONE OFF playoff game to see who finishes third in the Premier League. Certain scores could happen that they would end up with IDENTICAL RECORDS!
It would matter because the third place team automatically qualifies for the group stages. Fourth has to go through a qualifying round. Chelsea host Everton and Arsenal visit St. James' Park!
A playoff game would be played at neutral venue to be determined. I don't think it could be Wembley because of the rule of not hosting something two weeks before the Champions League Final. When would it happen? Chelsea play Citeh at Yankee Stadium on May 25th

Here are the possible permutations... some far fetched... some very doable!

Any of following score combinations would ensure Chelsea and Arsenal finish the Premier League season with identical records:

•Chelsea draw 0-0; Arsenal win 2-1

•Chelsea draw 1-1; Arsenal win 3-2

•Chelsea draw 2-2; Arsenal win 4-3

•Chelsea draw 3-3; Arsenal win 5-4




Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Arsenal v. Wigan Live!

The race for the Wenger Cup and to avoid relegation heats up this afternoon as Arsenal meet Cup winners Wigan at the Emirates. Join me from 2:45 pm EST onward for what promises to be a crucial clash.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mancini walks The Plank

Roberto Mancini walked the plank today after an embarrassing cup final defeat to lowly Wigan and some sub par performances this season. Mancini clashed with some players this season. It was all too much for the Qatari owners. I called for him to be sacked immediately, failing to realize it would actually happen.Who will be in charge for the match tomorrow at already relegated Reading and Sunday vs Norwich? Your thoughts

Eagles v. Seagulls, Part Deux

It'll be another stripey grudge match today as the Mods and Rockers of Brighton and Palace meet up again after their goal-less first leg. Something's got to give today, so join me to find out who will join Udinese West in the Championship Playoff Final.

Is the Championship the Best League?

Just in case you missed it yesterday, here's more evidence from yesterday's play-off semi-final that the Championship is superior entertainment to the Premiership. My favorite part of these extraordinary scenes is when Zola is sent flying by one of his assistants during the ensuing melee. Are you watching, broadcasters?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Penultimate Premiership Sunday

I've had a bit of a Sunday lie-in, so I'm just getting to the Premiership matches on FSC. First up is the crucial Stoke v. Spurs match from the Britannia. It's Stoke 150th anniversary, but Spurs will be hoping to spoil the party with a solid win. Later on we've got the largely ceremonial last United home match against Swansea. Apparently some kilt-wearer will be giving an interview after the match where he'll ask to borrow a tenner for the weekend. Join me for all the action!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

It's Still the Biggest Match of the Season

Okay, things are not the same. We're not ten anymore, Morcambe and Wise are long gone, and we no longer get eight hours of build up including the teams having breakfast and on their coach on the way to Wemberley. Still - it's the biggest match of the season - and always will be in my heart. The FA have cheapened it by including another match or two on the same day - and I'll be watching it. So, let's treat Villa v. Chelski as if it's just part of the build-up to the match - like a goals of the season. Join me, won't you, gents?

Friday, May 10, 2013

They All Seem Friendly Now....

...but all indications are that fierce rivals Brighton and Palace will be engaged in a real grudge match this afternoon in the Championship playoff. Apparently, the history of the conflict goes back to the Quadrophenia-style Teddie Boy v. Mods riots in Brighton during a fixture in the late 60s. The police have been fore-warned. Cor!

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Premiership Plus Predictions Game - Week 36 Update

We're through the 36 round of matches now, with two matches left of the Premiership season to go. It's time to take a quick check on the PPP standings:

1. Man Utd Rules - 39 points
2. United We Stand - 38 pts
3. Matthew - 28 pts
4. Thomas - 26 pts
5. Blue Devil - 17 pts
6. Someone Said - 16 pts
7. Gooner71 - 15 pts
- Simon Burke - 15 pts
9. The Red Devil FCK1 - 14 pts
10. West Ham Rising - 13 pts
11. Chelskilad - 12 pts
12. AZ Kicker - 8 pts

Football in the Post-Fergie Era

So Sir Alex has finally chewed his last piece of gum on the touchline at Old Trafford. What does that mean for the rest of us? Well - someone else has a chance to win some silverware, for one. First up in the post-Fergie era today - the Wenger Cup clash between Chelski and the Spuds at the Bridge. Join me from 2:45 pm EST to follow along.

Sir Alex Ferguson... Simply the Best!

So, that day that we all thought would not arrive has officially arrived! Sir Alex Ferguson is retiring from the helm at Old Trafford! Who will replace him? Will it be the same as when the other Scottish Knight left Old Trafford? Will it take United 26 years to win the league again? Will it take five managers to finally find the right replacement ? Moyes? The Special One? Who knows? Did SAF have a plan for his retirement that Sir Matt didn't? Will United's gravy train of trophies finally be over?

Let's not look forward for a minute and look back instead. SAF did not have success right away. He was given time though. He took 4 years to win a trohpy and then everything came right. During those four years, no one, except for the people in the know, saw what he was doing behind the scenes. Hopefully, that has continued and the incoming manager will have an easier time of it.

Here is a list of the trophies won by Sir Alex Ferguson... THE GREATEST MANAGER EVER!

Premier League: 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013; FA Cup: 1990, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2004; League Cup: 1992, 2006, 2009, 2010; Uefa Champions League: 1999, 2008; Fifa Club World Cup: 2008; Uefa Super Cup: 1992; Uefa Cup Winners Cup: 1991; Inter-Continental Cup: 1999; FA Charity/Community Shield: 1990 (shared), 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011


Thanks SAF for all the happy times


Tuesday, May 07, 2013

If It's Tuesday....It's Relegation Dogfight Time!

I'm home from proctoring my final exam to settle in to watch Wigan v. Swansea. A win for the Latics this afternoon will put enormous pressure on the three other sides on 38 points from 36 matches: Sunderland, Norwich and Newcastle. Swansea have nothing to play for at this point and their talisman Michu is out for the season now. It couldn't be poised any better for Martinez's boys; however, they may also have an eye toward Saturday's Cup Final. Drop on by for a cuppa and see what happens.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Sunday Double-Header!

Yesterday in the Premiership was a bit of a snooze-fest, but today will be anything but. We start with the 220th edition of the Merseyside classic. It doesn't matter that Liverpool and Everton can't really change their position at this point - these matches always matter. Then we have a match with real consequences for the top of the table - United v. Chelski. Join me from 8:30am onward for all the action.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

The Final Round of the Championship

So, today is the last round of matches in the Championship with still many things to be decided.
Will Hull or Watford join Cardiff with the big boys? Who will make the playoffs?
Down the bottom, Wolves look doomed to join Bristol City. Will it be Barnsley, Peterborough, Millwall or Wednesday to join them. After all that is decided, the Premier League gets going. The two North London teams have important games!

Join me

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Barca vs Bayern on FX. The second CL Semi.

Barca vs Bayern is the only show in town today with Bayern all but in the final. Real and UWS showed us though , that it's not over till its over. Come join us for the usual banter as the match is on FX, not FSC.