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!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Euro 2016 Preview - Group C: Ukraine

Next in Group C are Ukraine:

Nickname: "The Yellow-Blues"

Absurd FIFA ranking: 22nd

Coach: Mykhaylo Fomenko

Match Schedule: 

June 12 - Ukraine v. Germany (Lille, 3pm EST, ESPN)
June 16 - Ukraine v. Northern Ireland (Lyon, 12pm ESPN)
June 21 - Ukraine v. Poland (Marseille, 12pm, ESPN)

Prospects: Manager Mykhaylo Fomenko is credited with turning around Ukraine's fortune's in world football after narrowly missing out on Brasil 2014. Fomenko's conservative tactics are unlikely to win over any neutrals in France; however, they have been effective in getting his side there. In a group dominated by the world champions, who are likely to win all three of their games, Ukraine have to be fancied for a second place. With only four players current working outside of Ukraine, the current squad is full of players who will be unknown to most.

Key Player: Skipper Anatoliy Timoschyuk runs this show.

Youngster to Watch: Fomenko is fond of youth - the youngest in the squad is 24 years old. This is a seasoned squad.

Who Will Get the Goals: Kiev playmaker Andriy Yarmolenko takes all of the set pieces and penalties for the Yellow and Blues and naturally is the high scorer in the squad.

Who Will Get the Cards: Shakhtar Donetsk's veteran hardman Vyacheslav Shevchuk has left his studs embedded in shins across Europe over the years.

Prediction: A distant second to the Germans in the group stage. This will bring up a Round of 16 match up with the Swiss. Get through that and you'll get current European champions Spain. Over and out in the Quarters. That would seem to be success for Fomenko.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Euro 2016 Preview - Group C: Germany

On to Group C now. Top seed in the group - The Germans:

Nickname: "Der Mannschaft"

Absurd FIFA ranking: 5th

Coach: Joachim Low

Match Schedule: 

June 12 - Germany v. Ukraine (Lille, 3pm EST, ESPN)
June 16 - Germany v. Poland (St. Denis, 3pm ESPN)
June 21 - Germany v. Northern Ireland (Paris, 12pm, ESPN)

Prospects: Despite the absurd FIFA ranking of 5th, the World Champions will go into France 2016 as presumptive favorites. Manager Joachim Low hasn't changed the side much - and why should he? The Germans have the best keeper in the world in Manuel Neuer, a solid back four, plenty of gifted midfield playmakers such as Arsenal's Mesut Ozil, Real Madrid's Toni Kroos and Wolfsburg's Andre Schurrle, and a potent forward line with the likes of Bayern Munich double act Thomas Muller and Mario Goetze. There are plenty of excellent players in the squad who likely won't get on the pitch in France. It's hard to see any weaknesses in this side.

Key Player: Skipper Bastian Schweinsteiger is the wrong side of 30 now but is still the glue that holds this side together.

Youngster to Watch: It would be interesting to have a look at Schalke wide man Leroy Sane.

Who Will Get the Goals: It has to be Muller, who has scored 31 goals in 70 matches for Der Mannschaft.

Who Will Get the Cards: Juve stopper Sami Khedira picks up plenty of cards, merely because of the role that he plays.

Prediction: Champions!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Euro 2016 - Group B: Russia and Slovakia

Tonight, it's the turn of the also-rans in Group B, starting with Russia:

Absurd FIFA ranking: 27th

Coach: The awesomely named Leonard Slutsky

Match Schedule: 

June 11 - Russia v. England (Marseille, 3pm EST, ESPN)
June 15 - Russia v. Slovakia (Lille, 9am ESPN)
June 20 - Russia v. Wales  (Toulouse, 3pm, ESPN)

Prospects: Russian moods were at an all-time low after a disastrous performance in the group stage at Brasil 2014. After having shed some Fabio Capello weight, new manager Slutsy has lifted spirits, with Russia winning their last four matches to qualify for France 2016. Russia remain a fairly functional yet unexciting outfit. Slutsky might have called up players from FC Rostov, the Leicester City of Russia, but decided that it might be too risky. Keep an eye out for FC Krasnodar's in-form striker Fedor Smolov - otherwise Russian are unlikely to shine.

Prediction: Much will rely on their match up on June 15th with Slovakia; however, I expect Russia to qualify as one of the better third placed teams. Out in the Round of 16, possibly to Germany.

On to Slovakia, who are beginning to be tournament regulars:

Nickname: "The Fighting Jondas" (really!)

Absurd FIFA ranking: 32nd

Coach: Jan Kozak

Match Schedule: 

June 11 - Slovakia v. Wales (Bordeaux, 12pm EST, ESPN)
June 15 - Slovakia v. Russia  (Lille, 9am, ESPN)
June 19 - Slovakia v. England (Saint Etienne, 3pm, ESPN)

Prospects: Slovakia have a tight little cohort, featuring the likes of Liverpool's Martin Skrtel and Napoli playmaker Marek Hamsik who have played together since they were kids and have a good deal of high-level European experience. Their squad is notably thin, so won't be able to go the distance in France. But what they lack in depth, they make up for in heart. Could surprise a few but I still expect them to crash out in the group stages.

Congratulations, Yellows!

Warm congratulations go out to our pal Yellows who, with the wins for Hull City and Real Madrid yesterday, is officially the winner of our 2015/2016 Premiership Plus Predictions Game! Yellows will be the proud owner of the LOB Shield over the next year. Well done!

Here are the final standings:

1. Yellows - 43 points
2. Swansong - 35 pts
3. Blue Devil - 34 pts
- Man Utd Rules - 34 pts
- The Red Dragon - 34 pts
6. Chelskilad - 33 pts
7. The Red Devil 1FCK - 32 pts
8. The Saint - 30 pts
9. Gooner71 - 29 pts
10. What's Up Wheaton Simon - 28 pts
11. Someone Said - 27 pts
12. United We Stand - 25 pts
- West Ham Rising - 24 pts

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Euro 2016 Preview - Group B: Wales

Carrying on with Group B, tonight's competitor is Wales!

Nickname: "The Dragons"

Absurd FIFA ranking: 24th

Coach: Chris "Cookie" Coleman

Match Schedule: 

June 11 - Wales v. Slovakia (Bordeaux, 12pm EST, ESPN)
June 16 - Wales v. England (Lens, 9am, ESPN)
June 20 - Wales v. Russia (Toulouse, 3pm, ESPN)

Prospects: 58 years have elapsed since the last time that Wales graced a major tournament - the 1958 World Cup in Sweden. So, you might think that Welsh fans would be satisfied by just being in France this summer. However, the side played enough stylish football in qualifiers, topping Group B ahead of heavily fancied Belgium, so expectations are unusually high for Cookie Coleman's side. While Real Madrid star Gareth Bale is the undoubted star, Wales have a decent back four anchored by Swansea center back Ashley Williams, and a busy midfield with Liverpool's Joe Allen and Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey. The draw has been favorable, pitting them against the weakest side first and setting up their match against England in the middle of the group stage. So, if they can beat Slovakia and then draw England, they're likely to qualify for the Round of 16.

Key Player: Of course, all eyes will be on Bale. As he goes, so does Welsh hopes.

Youngster to Watch: Spurs full-back Ben Davies is a useful foil for Aaron Ramsey up the right.

Who Will Get the Goals: Reading's Robson-Kanu might chip in with some vital goals. Just kidding - it's Bale again.

Who Will Get the Cards: West Ham clogger James Collins enjoys a good studs-up challenge.

Prediction: Wales should be safe in second place and might even pip England for top spot if their home nation rivals get a slow start against Russia. That will set up a Round of 16 match up against another second place side, possibly Hungary. Hosts France will be too much for them in the Quarters.

The Most Lucrative Matches of the Season!

Hiya, lads - I'm settling in after some morning chores to watch what is the most lucrative match of the season - the Championship Playoff final between Hull and Not a Big Club. Something in the order of £60 million is on the line, with promotion to the Premiership going to the victors.

That's followed by the season finale - the Champions League final. And it's an all-Madrid classico on hand. Should be an absorbing afternoon.

Join me for all the action at noon, won't you?

Friday, May 27, 2016

England v. Oz Live!

After two very busy weeks of May Term teaching, it's a pleasure to be at the end of my course and just about on summer vacation. So, I thought it might be fitting to take a sneaky peek in the office this afternoon as the Engerland boys take on the Socceroos in a Euro 2016 warm-up at the Stadium of Light. If you're in a similar mood, join me for the action.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Euro 2016 Preview - Group B: England!

Group B, then. Top seed in the group is (gulp) England:

Nickname: "The Three Lions"

Absurd FIFA ranking: 10th

Coach: Roy Hodgson

Match Schedule: 

June 11 - England v. Russia (Marseille, 3pm EST, ESPN)
June 16 - England v. Wales (Lens, 9am, ESPN)
June 20 - England v. Slovakia (St. Etienne, 3pm, ESPN)

Prospects: England sailed through qualification for France 2016, winning all ten matches and setting UEFA along the way. Yet, they have failed to make an impact at major tournament before after having had stellar qualification rounds, so expectations are still rather cautious. After superb seasons, Roy Hodgson will likely rely heavily on the rosters of Leicester City and Spurs. This will mean starting XI that may be one of the youngest in the competition. A big question centers on the role of current captain Wayne Rooney, who had an indifferent season for United but remains England all-time top scorer. It's hard to see Hodgson leaving him out, but Rooney has frequently disappointed at the big events in the past.

Key Player: Chelsea center half Gary Cahill will have to anchor the defense for England, alongside Chris Smalling who has real weaknesses when it comes to marking the best strikers. Cahill is also a real threat at set pieces.

Youngster to Watch: 20 year old Spurs playmaker Dele Alli may just keep Wayne Rooney out of the side. He could make the England attack hum.

Who Will Get the Goals: Premiership top scorer this season - Harry Kane.

Who Will Get the Cards: Rooney has previous at big tournaments.

Prediction: Top of Group B, which will produce a decent match up with a third-placed team, possibly Poland in the Round of 16. As they've done in many tournaments England will go out - possibly on a dreaded penalty shoot-out - to the first big side they meet. In this case, that should be Italy in the Quarterfinals.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Can anyone identify this crusty bearded ex-baller?

In Honor of France hosting of the European Championship's I give you two of her most influential and controversial footballers who also graced the Prem.
I could not believe it, but it's Eric Cantona.

Eric Ginola just had a quadruple bypass surgery, but he seems to be a lot better for wear these days:

He's got my vote for the FIFA presidency! Just give me a Rolex.

Premiership Plus Predictions Game - Penultimate Update

I'm taking a break from the Euro 2016 previews tonight to update you lot one last time before the final tally on our Premiership Plus Predictions Game. It's been a wild and woolly season and it's all come down to the last two matches of the season - the Championship playoff match in the morning and the Champions League Final the afternoon. As you'll see, we have a dead-heat at the top, with Swansong and Yellows going head to head. If Real Madrid win on Saturday, the shield is headed to Yellows. If it's Hull and Atletico's day, then I'm going to have to come up with a tie-breaker. If both Hull and Real lose, the Shield will be in Fredonia at Swansong's house. Here are the current standings:

1. Swansong - 35 points
- Yellows - 35 pts
3. Chelskilad - 33 pts
- Man Utd Rules - 33 pts
- The Red Dragon - 33 pts
6. Blue Devil - 32 pts
7. Red Devil 1FCK - 31 pts
8. The Saint - 30 pts
9. Gooner71 - 29 pts
10. Someone Said - 27 pts
11. United We Stand - 25 pts
12. What's Up Wheaton Simon - 24 pts
- West Ham Rising - 24 pts

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Euro 2016 Preview - Group A: Romania and Albania

Tonight, it's the turn of the also-rans in Group A, starting with Romania:

Nickname: "Tricolorii" ("The Tri-colors")

Absurd FIFA ranking: 19th

Coach: Anghei Iordianescu

Match Schedule: 

June 10 - Romania v. France (Saint Denis, 3pm EST, ESPN)
June 15 - Romania v. Switzerland (Paris, 12pm, ESPN)
June 19 - Romania v. Albania  (Lyon, 3pm, ESPN)

Prospects: Romania have had some excellent footballing sides in the past; this is not one of those times. Fortunately for the Tricolors, they've got a reasonably kind draw and should be able to qualify as one of the best third placed teams. Iordinaescu has been around since the glory days of 1984 but the current squad is thinner on the ground and basically picks itself.

Prediction: Not quite enough firepower to edge out Switzerland for third, although it will be a close thing and the last group matches on June 19th may determine the final standings. Out in Round of 16.

More intriguing is Albania, who are making their first appearance in this competition:

Nickname: "Kuq e Kinjte" ("The Red and Blacks")

Absurd FIFA ranking: 45th

Coach: Gianni de Biasi

Match Schedule: 

June 11 - Albania v. Switzerland (Lens, 9am EST, ESPN)
June 15 - Albania v. France  (Marseille, 3pm, ESPN)
June 19 - Albania v. Romania  (Lyon, 3pm, ESPN)

Prospects: Albania are true unknowns in this tournament with few A-list footballers who will be recognizable to fans of the European game. The draw has been unkind to them, as they would have preferred to meet the French right out of the gate, as Les Bleus are notoriously slow starters in tournaments. De Biasi has worked miracles to get them to this stage and has one shining new star in 19 year old Vitesse Arnheim striker Milot Rashica to look out for. But it's difficult to put any money on this lot to finish anywhere but last in this group.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Euro 2016 Preview - Group A: Switzerland

Next up, it's the neutral, multilingual cousins over the border - Switzerland:

Nickname: "Schweizer Pati"

Absurd FIFA ranking: 14th

Coach: Croat supremo Vladimir Petkovic

Match Schedule: 

June 11 - Switzerland v. Albania (Lens, 9am EST, ESPN)
June 15 - Switzerland v. Romania (Paris, 12pm, ESPN)
June 19 - Switzerland v. France (Lille, 3pm, ESPN)

Prospects: The Swiss public's expectations are low going into this tournament, as Petkovic took over from the extremely popular Ottmar Hitzfeld, who led the Swiss in Brasil 2014. Petkovic has already ruffled feathers by excluding influential ex-captain Gokhan Inler for not playing for his club regularly. Yet, the Swiss could surprise a few, as the ultra defensive Hitzfeld has given way to some decent football in recent months. Switzerland will likely be well organized and tidy in the middle of the park, without a lot of punch up front. It should just be enough to get them into the Round of 16 given the low quality of the group, but they'll get knocked out by the first good side they meet.

Key Player: Classy playmaker Xheridan Shaqiri has done the impossible - made Mark Hughes' Stoke City side a team worth watching.

Youngster to Watch: Speedy 19 year old Basel winger Breel Embolo won't start in but could make an impact off the bench.

Who Will Get the Goals: Borussia Monchengladbach midfield Granit Xhaka chips in with some vital goals for the side.

Who Will Get the Cards: Watford chopper Valon Behrami is always looking for a booking.

Prediction: Just enough to fend off Romania for second place in the group. Out to Ukraine in the Round of 16. This might be seen as relative success in the land of clocks.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Euro 2016 Preview - Group A: France

Wahay! It's that time again, boys. I'm beginning my 20-day preview of the festivities in France this summer with a look at the hosts who sit at the top of Group A. Let's have a look at "Les Bleus," shall we?

Nickname: "Les Bleus" ("The Blues")

Absurd FIFA ranking: 21st!

Coach: World Cup winning skipper Didier Deschamps

Match Schedule: 

June 10 - France v. Romania (Saint Denis-Paris, 3pm EST, ESPN)
June 15 - France v. Albania (Marseille, 3pm, ESPN)
June 19 - France v. Switzerland (Lille, 3pm, ESPN)

Prospects: France's quarter-final finish (where they were beaten by eventual winners Germany) at Brazil 2014 earned Didier Deschamps a contract that will last through this tournament. The French, as usual, have an embarrassment of riches through the middle of the park, with veterans such as PSG's Blaise Matuidi as well as younger stars such as Juve's Paul Pogba; however, they are wobbly at the back with Arsenal's Laurent Kosnielny and Manchester City's Eliaquim Mangala the likely starting center back pairing. But the real problems are the lack of goals up front, relying overly heavily on Olivier Giroud, who's had an indifferent season at Arsenal. Deschamps was a water-carrier as a player and he manages his side that way as well, so don't be surprised to see Atletico's Antoine Griezmann, who just fired his side into the Champions League Final, used as a lone striker. It will be interesting to see if West Ham's Dimitri Payet or Leicester City's N'Golo Kante feature after spectacular Premiership seasons.

Key Player: Juventus star Paul Pogba, who is unbelievably still only 23, makes Les Bleus hum. If he plays well, they play well.

Youngster to Watch: 19-year old Manchester United starlet Anthony "Kung Fu Panda" Martial has the grace and ability of a young Thierry Henry and would be in my starting XI; but will Deschamps use him?

Who Will Get the Goals: Griezmann should be the outlet, but he's got a poor strike rate for Les Bleus (7 in 26); there are plenty of goals in this side and they'll likely be shared around.

Who Will Get the Cards: Mangala gets a bit tangled up at times; also a good shout for an own goal.

Prediction: France have been awarded one of the easier groups in the tournament, so it's plain sailing through to the Round of 16 where they'll meet a third placed team and the Quarters where they'll meet Wales or perhaps Hungary. Not enough power to get past one of the tournament favorites in the semis, though.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Cup Final Day.. enough said

Morning Boys, it is FA CUP FINAL DAY.  It used to be the best day of the year for me. How I loved all the build up to it. I was a BBC man so I would be tuned in to Cup Final Grandstand all day. I would switch over to ITV once in a while but it was the Beeb for me. I was actually Youtubing yesterday and found many FA Cup build ups. I am in the process of watching a three hour Grandstand for United's clash with Brighton in '83. Even crazy David Icke was at the Brighton hotel. It was great viewing and still have a lot of it to watch.
Anyway, today is the repeat of the 1990 Cup Final. It will be 8th Final since WW2 to repeat as a Final. Can you name the other 7? I can! It was The Beast question last night on 5Live and I had Matt Tweet in the answer. Right at the end Kelly Cates said "Matt on Twitter got them all".
All you know my hatred for the bloke on the right in the picture and I don't want him to have any reason to stay but United have to win today. 12 years without the Cup is too long. Will Carrick and Rooney get their hands on the one bit of domestic silverware they haven't touched before!

Join me

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Premiership Plus Predictions Game - Week 38 Update

The final week of the Premiership season finally came to a close with United's comprehensive 3-1 win over the Cherries in this evening's re-make at Old Trafford. United fans booed LVG off in the end, but it secured his side's Europa League 5th spot above Soton and West Ham.

That leaves us with just four items to sort out - the Europa League final on Wednesday, the FA Cup on Saturday, the Championship Playoff match and the Champions League final on the following Saturday. Swansong is the man to beat right now, four points up with an impressive 35 points, but he can't add to his total at this point. And as our current champion is only left with his pick of United to lose the FA Cup final (2 points), not enough to make up the 14 point distance between him and Swansong, I can confirm that we will have a new champion the season. Sorry, Simon, your days of eating brekkies off the Shield are over for at least a year.

There are a few PPPers who can still catch Swansong now but the most likely is Yellows, who is amazingly still in all three competitions to come, having predicted Sevilla to win the Europa, United to win the FA Cup and Real Madrid to win the Champions League. As he currently has 27, he only needs to win two out of those three to top Swansong. All three would leave him with an outstanding 48 points.

Here are the current standings:

1. Swansong - 35 points
2. Man Utd Rules - 33 pts
3. The Red Devil 1FCK - 31 pts
4. Gooner71 - 29 pts
5. Chelskilad - 25 pts
6. Yellows - 27 pts
7. The Red Dragon - 25 pts
- Someone Said - 25 pts
- United We Stand - 25 pts
10. Blue Devil - 24 pts
- What's Up Wheaton Simon - 24 pts
- West Ham Rising - 24 pts
13. The Saint - 22 pts

Monday, May 16, 2016

Why Chooses His Provisional Squad

England gaffer Roy Hodgson chose his provisional squad for the Euros this morning - and he's been defending his choices since. Some real surprises in there. Only three center backs - wot?! Marcus Rashford rather than Jermain Defoe? Cor! Jack Wilshere back from the hinterlands? Crikey!

So, you know the drill, England fans - here is the 26-man squad - pick your starting XI:

Goalkeepers - Joe Hart, Paul Heaton, Fraser Forster

Defenders - Nathaniel Clyne, Kyle Walker, Gary Cahill, Chris Smalling, John Stones, Ryan Bertrand, Danny Rose.

Midfielders - Dele Alli, Ross Barkley Fabian Delph, Eric Dier, Danny Drinkwater, Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana, James Milner, Raheem Sterling, Andros Townsend, Jack Wilshere.

Forwards - Wayne Rooney, Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy, Daniel Sturridge, Marcus Rashford.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Long and Winding Road... has come to an end

Morning Boys,
So the Premier League is coming to an end... what will we do on our weekends??
NBC are doing themselves proud by again showing all ten games across ten networks. The two matches that actually have something riding on it are NBC and NBCSN. Man City's visit to Swansea is on NBC while Man United host Bournemouth on NBCSN...after the  Spanish Grand Prix. With nothing really to play for the table can still change a lot. There are only three place in the league that are already cemented. Of course, Leicester are guaranteed top spot, Aston Villa are guaranteed bottom spot and Sunderland are happy to be cemented in Seventeenth.
Read that this morning, there could be a possibility that West Ham and Liverpool could finish completely tied on points, GD, GF and GA.  A playoff would be needed it a European spot was at stake!

The Pre-Game is on CNBC

Here is where the matches can be found today

NBC- Swansea vs Man City
NBCSN- Man United vs Bournemouth
USA- Newcastle vs Spurs
E!- Southampton vs Crystal Palace
Esquire- Everton vs Norwich
MSNBC- WBA vs Liverpool
SyFy- Arsenal vs Aston Villa
Oxygen- Watford vs Sunderland
Bravo- Stoke vs West  Ham

Join me,

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Last Stand at Upton Park

I'm stealing a couple of hours of peace in the office this afternoon to follow the West Ham v. United match this afternoon. This is a crucial match for both sides, who still have a chance to claim their places in next season's European competitions. Join me if you've got the time.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Premiership Plus Predictions Game - Week 37

Evening, chaps - I'm here with the usual update of our PPP game on a Monday night. Not a lot changed this past weekend, just some things were confirmed. With one Premiership match left on Sunday, Leicester are champions, but 2-5 are still in some flux. Beyond that, we got these points left for the cups:

FA Cup - 8 points for winner; 2 points for loser
Champions League - 8 points
Europa League - 8 points.

Here are the current standings:

1. Swansong - 37 points
2. Man Utd Rules - 34 pts
-  The Red Devil 1FCK - 34 pts
4. Gooner71 - 29 pts
5. Chelskilad - 27 pts
6. Yellows - 26 pts
7. Red Dragon - 25 pts
-  Someone Said - 25 pts
9. Blue Devil - 24 pts
-  United We Stand - 24 pts
-  What's Up Wheaton Simon - 24 pts
12. The Saint - 23 pts
-  West Ham Rising - 23 pts

Sunday, May 08, 2016

That's so Spursy!

If things had gone differently on Monday night, Spurs would be kicking off against the Saints this afternoon with a chance of winning their first title since the 60s. As it is, the two big matches today are all about Champions League slots rather than titles. Oh - and Liverpool are playing Watford as well. Join me for all the fun, eh?

Saturday, May 07, 2016

The Future's So Bright....

...LVG has to wear shades! Yes - it's the inimitable Dutchman's 100th match in charge for United today - and it couldn't be more important. United still have a chance to grab that vaunted fourth CL slot - and from their city rivals no less. Their hosts Norwich, on the other hand, desperately need a win in order to stay up. 

After that, the relegation battles continue at 10am with Aston Villa v. Newcastle and Sunderland v. Chelski. And then there is that Leicester City party at the KP with Everton along for the ride. Join me for all the action this morning. 

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Champions League Semi Wrap-Up

The most tedious semi final round of the Champions League in recent memory ended today, with Citeh's exit from the competition thanks to a sole own goal, the only bulge in the net from 180 minutes of top notch European footie. In the other tie, Atletico went through thanks to the away goals rule, knocking out presumed favorites Bayern. That sets up a Madrid final, which hopefully will be a bit more exciting.

Fortunately, we can make even the most turgid footer exciting with our PPP. Bayern's exit means that we're left with only the following players, who all picked Real Madrid, with a hope of picking up the 8 precious points for picking the Champions League winner: Gooner71 and Yellows. To show the implications of that, if one were to add those eight points to their current scores, Yellows would be tied with Swansong for second on 37 points and Gooner71 would be top of the pops on 41.

The Leicester Thing: Why it's important!!

Just got this in an email from brother Mike. It was written by a friend of Phil Thornalley. Martin Stockman plays five-a-side with Phil. Well written and SPOT ON.  I agree with every one!!

1. It's not about money
2. It's not about stars - it is about Team ethic .. the alchemy of a group of players coming together and being greater than the individual parts .. a collective beauty that is a world apart from the ego of the individual
3. Football is not about possession. Leicester averaged 43% possession (keeping the ball) throughout the season. Dull teams like Van Gaal's United or any Mourinho team obsess about passing the ball around in the hope that an opening develops; Leicester played with gay abandon, firing the ball forward with pace and intelligence, shooting early and accurately ...
4. Lower league players can excel in the top flight
5. Managers don't have to be arseholes - Claudio is not only quietly intelligent, he's also a very nice man. Despite all the pressures he never criticized referees (a modern curse) nor engaged in "mind-games" with other managers / teams.
6. Premiership footballers can be small - Kante, Mahrez and Vardy were considered too thin / weedy / small by Big Sam types throughout football. Perhaps the best thing about footie is the fact that all shapes and sizes can play ... which brings me to ...
7. Centre-backs can be huge ungainly units like Huth & Morgan! 
8. People who have been thugs - Vardy and Simpson have done stupid thuggish things - deserve a second chance 
9. Football can unite a diverse community
10. It's not about money

Your thoughts?


Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Premiership Plus Predictions Game - Week 36 Update

Congratulations to Leicester City FC and its fans. With yesterdays 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge between Chelski and Spurs, they achieved what no one thought possible in the Premiership era, a title-winning bid by an unfancied side rated 5000-1 by the bookies at the beginning of the season. It is what I confidently believe the most impressive Cinderella story in world sports history.

Leicester's win, however, means that no one will be picking up the 10 points for picking the champions this season, and our point tallies will be diminished as the result. It's still a tight race at the top with several of our players - beginning with the Fredonia boys, Swansong and Red Devil, with points tallies over 30 points and in with a shout. A few others have a shot at winning big points out of the remaining cup competitions. But Swansong has an impressive lead with 37 points. Here are the current standings:

1. Swansong - 37 points
2. The Red Devil - 34 pts
3. Gooner71 - 33 pts
4. Man Utd Rules - 30 pts
5. The Red Dragon - 29 pts
- Yellows - 29 pts
7. What's Up Wheaton Simon - 27 pts
8. Someone Said - 25 pts
9. Blue Devil - 24 pts
- United We Stand - 24 pts
11. Chelskilad - 23 pts
- The Saint - 23 pts

Monday, May 02, 2016

Happy 10th Birthday, LOB!

Ten years ago, I was convalescing after abdominal surgery when I decided to start a blog for Lakenheath High School friends to reconnect around their experiences in England and their mutual love for footie. I'm delighted that, after ten years, we're still going strong. Thanks to all of you who have made the LOB great, day after day and weekend after weekend. Happy birthday!

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Could the Impossible Dream Come True at the Theater of Dreams

So, the season started with Leicester City with a new 'uninspired choice' of a manager after firing a man that saved them from relegation having odds of 5000-1 to win the title. During the season, they have only lost to two teams(Arsenal twice and Liverpool)  but everyone still was saying... Leicester can't win the league!! Well, today everyone could look like numpties. A Leicester City win at Old Trafford would make them champions for the first time in their history. I know they have other chances to win it but it could become squeaky bum time if they don't get it done right away
Even though it is against my beloved, I wouldn't mind a win for the Foxes. That would hurt United's Top Four spot but because of LVG... I don't care!

Swansea v Liverpool and Southampton v City also on the docket

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