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!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

An End of the Year Feast

A very happy New Year's Eve to all of you out there in the LOB orbit. I'm settling in for an end of the year footie feast this morning. We start a bit later this morning than usual with the 10am kickoffs including United v. Boro. And then we've got a holiday cracker at the end of the day - Liverpool v. Citeh. Join me for the festive fun, won't you?

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Leeds United Thursday!

If it's Thursday, it must be Leeds United live on BEin! Yes, lads, BEin is favoring us with a holiday treat today - Aston Villa v. my beloved Leeds. It may be snowing like the Dickens outside, but I could care less. I've got my feet up, a cuppa by my side and I'll be settling in to watch around 2:30pm. Join me for a Championship classico, won't you?

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Premiership Plus Predictions Game - Week 18 Update

With the end of the Boxing Day fixtures, we came to the official half-way point of the season. This will be excellent news for Chelsea, who are currently six points up on Liverpool at the top of the league. It's rather poor news for Sunderland, Swansea and Hull who appear mired at the bottom of the table. We all know what being bottom of the Premiership at Christmas means. Not a lot has changed since the last flurry of matches; only Brighton switching places at the top of the Championship with Newcastle changed points for any of us. Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku took advantage of Diego Costa's Boxing Day suspension to increase pressure on him, but the Brazilian-born Spaniard is still on top with 13 goals, nearly a goal a match.

Here are the current standings:

1. Red Devil 1FCK - 34 points
2. The Red Dragon - 32 pts
3. Blue Devil - 30 pts
4. The Saint - 29 pts
5. Gooner71 - 26 pts
-  Man Utd Rules - 26 pts
-  United We Stand - 26 pts
8. Someone Said - 25 pts
-  What's Up Wheaton Simon - 25 pts
10. West Ham Rising - 24 pts
-  Yellows - 24 pts
12. Swansong - 20 pts

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Bob Bradley Walks the Plank!

It's been a gloomy old Christmas period for Premiership managers at the bottom of the table. First, Alan Pardew received a lump of coal in his stocking from Father Christmas, getting the sack on Christmas Eve in order to be replaced by Sam Allardyce by Palace's Boxing Day fixture. Now, news today that our Bob, Bob Bradley that is, has been shown the door by the Board of Directors at Swansea City. Fair enough, Bob has overseen the club's fortunes during a time in which he's only notched one win, two draws and seven losses and seen the club fall from 17th to 19th. I feel bad for Bob but, given what's happened to people in 2016, he should count himself lucky that he didn't get run over by a bus on the way out of the Liberty Stadium. Your thoughts on Bob Bradley's future, gents?

Monday, December 26, 2016

Jingle Bells, ManYoo Smells....

Tottenham ran away, oh what fun it is to see Leeds win away on Boxing Day - ay! A very happy holiday period to all of you LOBers out there. I'm here at the crack of dawn to enjoy a full day of the good stuff. We start fairly modestly with Watford v. Palace. Then we've got the usual spurt of matches at 10am, including my beloved Leeds United away at PNE. Then we end up with Citeh away to Hull at the end of the day. Join me for all the festive fun, won't you?

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Do They Know It's Christmas?

As is tradition at The Cottage, Kate and I have the Live Aid concert DVD set on in the background as we're going about our Christmas Eve preparations. Enjoy the holidays, LOBers!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Another Holiday Memory

One of my favorite memories from growing up in Britain is settling in with my family around the holidays to enjoy the holiday specials. I still remember watching this Bing Crosby Special in the living room in Mildenhall and nearly falling off the sofa when David Bowie, one of our favorites, showed up for this ditty. It's still one of the most odd musical pairings of all-time - the Lizard King with the Vaudeville Crooner - but that happened from time to time back then. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Movies of 2016

I’ll be honest - it’s been a difficult film-going year for me. For years, I’ve enjoyed the experience of sitting in the dark, surrounded by strangers, immersing myself in an art work. But this year, there were a lot of weekends when I’d look at the listings in the local theaters and I wasn’t inspired to go out to the theater. There were plenty of great movies being made, but I often had to wait until they came out on DVD or Netflix to see them. So here are the ones I did manage to see this year - and a few I didn’t:
1. Manchester-by-the-Sea - Kenneth Lonergan’s new film featuring a never-better Casey Affleck is a stunner, the kind of film that should have gotten wider release. Lonergan has only made three movies in his twenty year career. Can someone green light his next one right away?
2. Loving - Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga are sublime as the interracial couple whose arrest in Virginia in 1958 led to the seminal Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court case. Young Arkansas director Jeff Nichols is definitely one to watch in the future.
3. All Things Must Pass - As someone who spent more time than I’d like to admit at the Tower Records store at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Boylston Street in the Back Bay area of Boston, Colin Hanks’ documentary about the rise and catastrophic fall of the Tower empire was a poignant watch. I still remember fondly the long afternoons that I spent digging through the stacks and listening to new music on the listening posts. Music has never been the same since.
4. Miles Ahead - Jazz trumpeter Miles Davis’ late 1960s/early 1970s fusion period was a mess, as was Davis’ life at the time. Don Cheadle’s film captures that time in a movie that’s as chaotic as Bitches Brew. It rages and it rambles on over the course of two hours.
5. Sing Street - Irish director John Carney seems to want to make the same film over and over again. But that’s okay with me - each one is as charming and engaging as the last. In his latest film, Carney takes a sweet, nostalgic look at 80s Dublin, through the eyes of a young student who starts a band in order to attract the interest of a school who lives across the street from his school. Every frame has the redolence of a prime 80s MTV video.
6. Birth of a Nation - This searing look at the 1831 Nat Turner Rebellion somehow got lost in a controversy about director and lead Nate Parker’s 1999 sexual assault case at Penn State. Because of this, Parker will likely miss out on an Oscar nod, which is a shame. The achievement of the film speaks for itself.
7. Where to Invade Next - Michael Moore is in fine form in his new doc, where he shows the American roots of ideas that we now mostly associate with European countries. The funniest aspect of his presentation is the incredulous looks on the faces of his interviewees when he describes the austere provisions of life in the United States - e.g., school lunches, lack of parental leave. It’s a deeply satisfying look at the need for real social change right on time to counter the Trump agenda of austerity.
8. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - Tina Fey has already shown that she’s got tremendous range; however, in this adaptation of reporter Kim Davies memoir The Taliban Shuffle, Fey is absolutely brilliant, alternately funny, aggressive and melancholic about the terrible scenes that she witnesses during the Afghan War. I’ve just about sworn off seeing war movies at this point, and the only ones that I’ll see are ones that show the true horrors of war at first hand.
9. Hello, My Name is Doris - The contrasts between generations are highlighted in this delicately-drawn drama starring Sally Field as a low-level clerk in an advertising agency who takes a shine toward a much younger executive. Through a series of mishaps and contrivances, she is drawn into the world of 20-something hipster NYC culture. Of course we know how it’s likely to end, but it’s satisfying to see it all play in its time.
10. Netflix - The reality is that, while Hollywood has been churning out an endless succession of comic book sequels and science fiction twaddle, the best film work is increasingly on view on the small screen on Netflix. Some of the favorite Netflix moments this year included “Stranger Things,” “The Big Get Down,” and the criminal justice system documentary “13.” Hopefully Hollywood will get a clue.
Notable Others:
*Bad Moms
*Born to be Blue
*Girl on a Train
*Jason Bourne
*Love and Friendship
*Me Before You
*Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates
*Money Monster
The Ones I Didn’t Get to See:
*Captain Fantastic
*Gimme Danger
*I, Daniel Blake
*La La Land
*Nocturnal Animals
I Saw the Light - 2016 has seen a spate of musical biopics, starting with this paint-by-
numbers treatment of Hank Williams. The problem with this one, like too many
others, is that it focuses on Williams’ alcoholism and deadbeat dad problems. You
would never understand from this film why Williams is beloved, as he just seems
to come up with a song spontaneously for one scene. And then it’s gone. I hope that
the upcoming biopics about Miles Davis and Chet Baker focus on the artistry.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Premiership Plus Predictions Game - Week 17 Update

Afternoon, chaps - I'm here on a Tuesday to update you on the goings-on in our humble PPP game as we approach the busy holiday footie schedule. Liverpool's smash and grab win over their city rivals yesterday brought Week 17 in the Premiership to a close with a bang. It also moved Pool back up to second. There was also a bit of shifting at the bottom with Sunderland and Swansea jumping over hapless Hull at the bottom. With that, we had a bit of shifting in the points, all of which means that Red Devil (our sole Chelsea predictor) is on top of the pops again.

Here are the current standings:

1. Red Devil 1FCK - 34 points
2. The Red Dragon - 33 pts
3. Blue Devil - 32 pts
4. The Saint - 30 pts
5. Man Utd Rules - 27 pts
-  United We Stand - 27 pts
7. Gooner71 - 25 pts
-  Someone Said - 25 pts
-  Yellows - 25 pts
10. West Ham Rising - 24 pts
-  What's Up Wheaton Simon - 24 pts
12. Swansong - 21 pts

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Merseyside Derby Live!

I'm taking advantage of officially being on Winter Break to settle in this afternoon to enjoy the Merseyside Derby. If you're around and about, please join me. I'll look forward to your company. Cheers!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

A Big Sunday Match!

I'm getting a late start on things today, as I wasn't that keen on the South Coast Derby this morning. I opted instead to get some extra kip. But I'm up and around and looking forward to the big one - Citeh v. Arse at 11am. It's a match-up between the two main rivals of Chelski for the title. Who will win out - find out next.

Time for a Change

So I've decided to support a new team starting today. These little 1-0 victories are not enough for me. I'm going to be Chelsea all the way now. Sorry to my boys, but it's time for a change.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Can Anyone Stop Chelsea?

That's the question that's on everyone's mind now, as we inch toward the holiday period. Chelski are six points up on Arsenal in second and have won 10 matches on the trot. Today, they visit Selhurst Park early doors. The result there will color the rest of the weekend's action. After that we've got some averagey looking 10am EST fixtures and then United visiting the Baggies in the late one. Join me early for all the action here on the LOB.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

A Holiday Tradition at the LOB

It's a holiday tradition here at the LOB - Paul Shaffer imitating Cher singing "O Holy Night" from the Sonny and Cher Christmas Special. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Premiership Plus Predictions Game - Week 15 Update

Happy Tuesday morning, chaps - I'm here as usual to take stock of our PPP game. We're nearly at the Christmas period, so things are beginning to take shape in the different leagues and in our game. Chelski are looking ominously good and the also-ran sides are starting to be cut adrift. The only thing that changed in the Premier League this week is that Swansea swapped places with Sunderland after their terrific six-pointer win in that relegation dogfight. Bayern have resumed normal service in the Bundesliga, so we've all gained our two points back. And Diego Costa continues to romp it in the goalscoring charts, after another impressive goal on Sunday.

Here are the current standings:

1. The Red Dragon - 33 points
2. Red Devil 1FCK - 32 pts
3. Blue Devil - 30 pts
-  The Saint - 30 pts
-  Yellows - 30 pts
6. Man Utd Rules - 29 pts
7. Gooner71 - 27 pts
8. United We Stand - 26 pts
-  What's Up Wheaton Simon - 26 pts
10. Someone Said - 25 pts
-  West Ham Rising - 25 pts
12. Swansong - 23 pts

Monday, December 12, 2016

Music of 2016

In Memoriam: David Bowie, Prince, Sharon Jones, Leon Russell, Leonard Cohen, Merle Haggard, Phife, Maurice White, Mose Allison,... The list seems endless and I’m writing this before the final tally is counted. In 2016, every morning, I was confronted with the news that another artist had died this year. I’m sure that I’m not the only one that will think of 2016 in terms of how many were lost. To read about the terrible suffering that Prince experienced which drove him to pain-medicines that ended his life was terrible. It seemed to me that he had recently engaged in a yet another higher gear, and then he was gone. I took solace in what these giants left us. David Bowie for instance hung on bravely to deliver “Blackstar” days before he passed, a record that rewards every time you listen, and which cements his legacy as the very brightest, the most innovative, the furthest forward thinking artist in rock and roll in my lifetime. He was a vital presence right to the last and this record is a breath-taking signing off point. I consume most of my music during my commutes to and from work.

This year, I eagerly waited for those first and third Wednesdays when Mr. Rice and Peas would post his Monday night WERA-Arlington “Soul Shake Reggae Radio” show on Mixcloud. His show is a pitch-perfectly curated list of the very best and rare reggae recordings from the 60’s and 70’s. There’s not a show yet where he didn’t serve up record after record after record with those sweet-spot satisfying sounds. The shows are archived and well worth repeated listens.

I saw relatively few shows this year, but I enjoyed the ones I did thoroughly. The Charles Bradley show at the 9:30 Club started with a riotous performance by the Seratones, but the moment “the Screaming Eagle of Soul” hit the stage, you knew that the Daddy had taken charge. Sometimes the last minute decisions are rewarding; I hadn’t planned on seeing WAR, but a unexpected free moment sent me down to the Birchmere to hear those songs from my childhood radio. Another nostalgia trip for me was the Squeeze/English Beat show at the 9:30. Two shows, not supporting new records necessarily and jam-packed with hit after hit. The other memorable one this year was seeing YES playing their “Tales of Topographic Oceans” record at ART/Park on the embankment of Niagara Falls. YES have found some bloke who is a dead-on soundalike for Jon Anderson, and Steve Howe as the remaining original can still play thrillingly.

I enjoyed these records a lot this year:

Blackstar-David Bowie
Art Science-Robert Glasper Experience
Paul Simon-Stranger to Stranger
Charles Bradley-Changes
the Bad Plus-It’s Hard
Charles Lloyd and the Marvels-I Long to See You
DeLaSoul-and the Anonymous Nobody... 

Songs are still my main focus and these were the ones that did it for me in 2016:

Memory-Violent Femmes - Everything I heard off their record sounded as if there had been no gap at all between this year and 16 years ago when they last released a record. I loved their sound then, and I love the sound of this song.
The Wheel-PJ Harvey - Admittedly a harrowing vocal that references the death 28,000 children of Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan (at the time of recording; the Aleppo deaths later this year drove that number up drastically). It’s a tough message delivered through Polly Jean’s always interesting musicianship.
Car-Porches - This guy’s love-song to his car is a wry update of Queen’s “I’m In Love With My Car.” Stick it on the next time you hit the open road.
Silly Bone-Streets of Laredo - This is the song that I was looking for when Eric was little to hook him in musically. The music is pop-y and hooky, and the lyrics are just silly enough to engage a kid’s imagination. Mine too. Really fun stuff.
I’ve In Love-Teenage Fanclub - Another favorite band with a strong return in 2016. 
Sour Candy-Bleached - Every year there’s one song where the girl singer’s voice satisfies that need of mine to be reminded of the Mo-Dettes, and the Go Go’s. This is this year’s pick.
Bottle Rocket-Working For A Nuclear Free City - My top pick for Worst Band Name on my list. 4 Lads from Manchester would have been less embarrassing. Still, I’m glad I wasn’t put off listening to this. The driving rhythm and flashes of guitar grabbed me by the lapels and shook me good.
Freaky Feedback Blues-Benji Hughes - Here’s a soulful sounding song with a warm organ and call and response between the singer and his crew of back-up singers. Just try not to nod your head to this one.
The Outsiders-Kweku Collins - I love the bright finger picked guitar, and introduction of hip-hop beats over his soulful vocal.
Creeping-Obonglayar - Easily my top pick song of 2106. The spooky atmosphere and general WTF-ness of this sound captivated me early and never let me go.
Perfect-Atmosphere - It’s a pretty old-school rap delivery but the hopefulness of the “I’m not perfect but, I try” message resonated deeply with me.
Whoa-Henry + the Invisibles - This owes a lot to artists like Dilla, Glasper, and Musiq Soulchild. The soul vocal over a jazz piano with a punchy hip-hop beat and a Whoa chorus that draws you in. Just a Man-Nori - A lovely soul influenced ballad by an artist with a terrific voice. I’m reminded of Sade at her most romantic. Hear in After-De La Soul - What a terrific idea to team up Damon Albarn with the genius of De La Soul. It’s got Albarn’s wordly influences, the sharp thoughtful raps, and a great chorus from De La. The best Gorillas record ever. Long may this collaboration last. Shut Up Kiss Me-Angel Collins - There’s a catch in Collins’s throat, but she’s not crying. There’s a fierceness to her vocal delivery and just great rock and roll that marks her as one to listen to and watch in the future.
Edge of Town-Middle Kids - The way she sings about feeling “upside down and inside out” engaged me from the start. This is another fiercely emotional rock and roll song.
Some Sunsick Day-Morgan Delt - There’s an interesting tinkling keyboard that introduces this song before a swoon-y underwater vocal comes in riding a fuzz guitar. It’s one of those songs that hit my ears and made me think, “Oh, wasn’t expecting this...” It’s an over the ear headphones song that then builds to a big finish.
In Your Head-Tiger Waves - How many times have I been tricked by a song described as reminiscent of those lovely Beach Boys harmonies and been disappointed? Not this time. These Austinians got it right; summery and perfect.
Semaphore-Flock of Dimes - Runners-up worst band name on my list and again I’m glad I wasn’t put off listening to this. It starts with a long vocal that builds into a tight groove with interesting sounding guitar effects. Lava-Pleasant Grove - What I liked about this song was the way the tension builds and builds and builds before they turn that corner to the bridge and then it’s a football chanted chorus which really satisfies.

OK, that’s enough from me. What were those endorphin releasing moments in music for you this year?

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Sunday in the Premiership

I'm getting a late start on the action today, after a lovely lie-in after a late night out with the missus. Still plenty of the good stuff to watch today, though. Join me for the end of Chelski v. WBA, followed by United v. Spurs at 9:15am and then Liverpool v. the Hammers at 11:30am. It's a weird schedule today but the football should be good. I'll look forward to the pleasure of your company.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Snowed in with the Football

We've had a very snowy week here in WNY, so what better than to bunker in at The Cottage and enjoy a morning of the Premier League's best. We start early with Watford v. Everton. That's followed by the 10am EST kickoffs, including Arsenal hosting their nemeses Stoke City. And we end the day with underperforming champions Leicester City taking on troubled Manchester City. Should be fascinating. Grab yourself some brekkies and join me, won't you?

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Premiership Plus Predictions Game - Week 14 Update

Afternoon, chaps - it's been a rather busy week here in WNY, so I haven't gotten around to taking stock of our PPP game until a Thursday afternoon. Here we go, then. Chelsea continue their romp at the top, which means that our sole Chelsea back - Red Devil 1FCK - has now risen to the top. Several of us lost points this week, as the top five shifted a bit and Sergio Aguero got himself banned for four games rather than scoring goals against Chelsea (which you would think was his job, eh?). Leipzig continue to nick two points off all of us, and there we are.

Here are the current standings:

1. Red Devil 1FCK - 36 points
2. Red Dragon - 30 pts
3. Blue Devil - 29 pts
-  The Saint - 29 pts
5. Yellows - 28 pts
6. United We Stand - 24 pts
7. Man Utd Rules - 23 pts
8. Someone Said - 22 pts
9. Gooner71 - 21 pts
10. What's Up Wheaton Simon - 20 pts
-   West Ham Rising - 20 pts
12. Swansong - 18 pts

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Champions League Wrap-up

I barely had time to eat lunch or have a crap at work this week, let alone tune into the Champions League. So I'm here to wrap up the action tonight and start a bit of a chat about the potential draw for the next round.

Not bad for the English this time - Arsenal and Leicester both ended up topping their respective groups, despite the Foxes taking a 5-0 pounding in Porto today. Citeh finished second in a very competitive group. And only Spurs missed out on the next round. They'll end up dumped into the Europa League - that's so Spursy, eh?

So who would you like to see Arsenal, Leicester and Citeh matched up with in the knock-out round? Let's be having ya, lads!

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Books of 2016

It’s that time of year again, time to take stock of the books that I’ve most enjoyed this year. The main change in my reading habits this year was the increase of audiobooks in my “reading” diet - I’ve found that dense, non-fiction books are fairly easily consumed while working, in a similar manner to NPR podcasts. In that way, I’ve gotten through a dozen books, most ordered through Interlibrary Loan, that I might not have otherwise enjoyed. Here are the books that kept me listening or turning the pages in 2016:
1. Nathan Hill - The Nix: Nathan Hill’s astonishing debut novel is my favorite book of the year. From its opening incident of political theater, which might be ripped from today’s headlines, it grips the reader tight. I had many late nights when I could scarcely bare to put it down.
2. Thomas Frank - Listen, Liberal: Thomas Frank’s disquisition on the problems of the neoliberal wing of the Democratic Party predicted their historic loss in November. It contains valuable insights as the party begins to rebuild along, hopefully, more progressive lines.
3. Anthony Doerr - All the Light That We Cannot See: There are too many historical novels written about the World War II era, in my view. However, Doerr’s story of a young, blind French girl and a bright German boy soldier growing up around the horrors of the growth of fascism and the beginning of the war, is a welcome addition. What elevates it is the focus on the human costs of war.
4. Bill Bryson - The Road to Little Dribbling: Bryson returns to the travel humor style with which he built his career after several heavier historical books. His sequel to Notes on a Small Island after twenty years is a delight from the first page to the last, with Bryson squeezing the humor and the odd facts out of a trip across Blighty.
5. Ian McEwan - Nutshell: McEwan’s novella about a pregnant woman Trudy who is engaging in an open affair with her brother-in-law has an atom bomb of a conceit - the whole murderous tryst is narrated by her fetus from inside Trudy’s womb. In beautifully baroque prose, McEwan imagines the fetus struggling in vain to intervene in the sordid details of his parents’ failed marriage and lives.
6. Elvis Costello - Unfaithful Music: One of the things that’s always drawn me to Elvis Costello is that he is a student of the music as well as a brilliant performer. Unlike so many musicians, Elvis can communicate his intentions in an intellectual fashion. This brilliant memoir shows that ability off to good effect, with vignette after compelling vignette from a creative life.
7. Tracy Chevalier - At the Edge of the Orchard: Tracy Chevalier has long been one of my favorite historical novelists. In her latest novel, Tracy strays from the document-based books that she’s been known for since Girl with a Pearl Earring. She introduces us to the Goodenoughs, a dysfunctional family stuck in an Ohio swamp during the mid-19th century.
8. Sarah Vowell - Lafayette in the Somewhat United States: Vowell’s latest book of popular history is a useful corrective to the right-wing myth about France being an unreliable ally for the United States. As she shows in her breezy gallop through the experiences of the 19 year old French aristocrat’s romp through the revolutionary period, the French have been on our side from Day 1 of our country’s existence.
9. Aziz Ansari - Modern Romance: Aziz Ansari has emerged as one of the brightest, sharpest voices on the comedy scene these days. In this hilarious book, Ansari makes some really insightful points about the ways in which texting culture has changed relationships between men and women.
10. Kevin M. Kruse - One Nation Under God: One of the standard arguments on the right is that the U.S. is a “Christian nation.” Kevin Kruse has written an exhaustively researched history of Christian organizing, showing both the contemporary roots in the 1950s Cold War era and the heavy influence of business leaders on the agenda.
Notable Others:
Eric Foner - Gateway to Freedom
Henry Giroux - Education and the Crisis of Public Values
Jon Krakauer - Missoula
David Lagercrantz - Millennium: The Girl in the Spider’s Web
Erik Larson - Dead Wake
Amy Schumer - The Girl with a Lower Back Tattoo
Marc Spitz - Poseur
Mindy Kaling - Why Not Me? After having enjoyed Aziz Ansari and Amy Schumer’s books in audiobook form, I thought I’d try Mindy Kaling’s book. Big mistake. I enjoyed Mindy’s work on The Office, but I found her isolated voice like fingernails on a chalkboard.

Monday, December 05, 2016

FA Cup 3rd Round Draw!

It's that time of year, lads - can you feel it in the air? The draw for the 3rd Round of the FA Cup was made this afternoon, and, as usual, it threw up some fascinating encounters. The headline is that Reading boss Jaap Stam will be returning home to Old Trafford to meet up with his old mates. I'm also pleased as punch by the away draw that has my beloved Leeds traveling to the Abbey Stadium to meet up with Cambridge United.

Here's the draw in full: 

Ipswich Town v Lincoln or Oldham Athletic
Barrow v Rochdale
Manchester United v Reading
Hull City v Swansea City
Sunderland v Burnley
QPR v Blackburn Rovers
Millwall v AFC Bournemouth
West Ham v Manchester City
Brighton v Charlton or MK Dons
Blackpool v Barnsley
Wigan v Nottingham Forest
Birmingham v Newcastle United
Chelsea v Notts County or Peterborough United
Middlesbrough v Sheffield Wednesday
West Brom v Derby County
Everton v Leicester City
Liverpool v Newport County of Plymouth Argyle
Wycombe Wanderers v Stourbridge or Northampton Town
Watford v Burton Albion
Preston North End v Arsenal Cardiff City v Fulham
Stoke City v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Cambridge v Leeds United
Bristol City v Shrewsbury or Fleetwood
Huddersfield Town v Port Vale Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa
Brentford v Halifax or Eastleigh
Bolton Wanderers v Crystal Palace Norwich City v Southampton
Sutton United v AFC Wimbledon Accrington Stanley v Luton Town
Rotherham United v Oxford or Macclesfield Tow

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Happy Birthday, Gooner!

A very happy birthday to The Gooner, seen here in his birthday finery. Have a great day, Steve!

Sunday at Gooner HQ

A very good Sunday morning, lads. I hope that you're enjoying your weekends. It's Gooner's birthday - I'll be posting a birthday message thread later - and we're settling in to do what we love best - watch some of the football. The footie gods have planned a fascinating birthday schedule as well. It's Liverpool visiting Bournemouth up first and then it's Everton hosting ManYoo later on. Stick around for all of it, won't you?

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Premier League Footie on the Road

Greetings from Alexandria! I'm in the road this week attending a conference and visiting family in DC. After a long week of conferencing, it's a pleasure joining you for what promises to be a super day of the English domestic footer. We get started early with Chelsea v. Citeh at 7:30am. That's followed by the usual 10am EST kickoffs, including Spurs v. Swansea. And then we wrap things up at 12:30am EST with the London derby between Arse and the Hammers. Grab a cuppa and join me here on the LOB.