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!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Who will be #50?

So Brighton and Huddersfield became the 48th and 49th team to make it into the Premier League since its inception in the Fall of 1992. I think that's pretty impressive to have that amount of turnover. Now, I beg the question, who will be the 50th team to be able to sing 'WE ARE PREMIER LEAGUE, WE ARE PREMIER LEAGUE" ?
The highest Non-Prem team finisher this season was Brentford followed closely by Preston. Will they be the next? Besides those two, only Bristol City, Burton and Millwall will be playing in the Championship next season. Will it be one of them? Will it be someone in the 3rd and 4th tier? Will it not happen for yonks?

Your thoughts?


RIP John Noakes (1934-2017)

For those of us of a certain age, John Noakes was a huge figure in our lives. He (and his trusty dog Shep) were our companions after school on Blue Peter. He taught us all about conservation and science and arts and crafts. John died yesterday at the age of 83, which makes me feel just a wee bit older. RIP.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Premiership Plus Predictions Game - Penultimate Update

Congratulations, MUR! Our friend and loyal blogger in Harlingen, Texas is our champion for the 2016/2017 season and will claim the vaunted LOB Shield for the second time. Arsenal's fine win over Chelsea in the FA Cup Final last weekend put MUR over the top, adding 8 points to his previous total of 38 for a final total of 46 points.

I've also updated the worksheet to include Huddersfield's win in yesterday's Championship Playoff Final at Wembley. Alas, no one chose the Yorkshire side to be promoted this season. Also no points for anyone in the PPP pool for predicting Victor Moses who got himself sent off at Wembley for a second yellow for simulation (a silly offense).

We're down to the last match of a long season - the Champions League Final - next weekend. Gooner71 has Real Madrid and Someone Said has Juve. However, neither of them can catch MUR with the 6 points up for grabs there.

Here are the current standings this week:

1. Man Utd Rules - 46 points
2. Red Devil 1FCK - 41 pts
-  United We Stand - 41 pts
4. What's Up Wheaton Simon - 33 pts
5. The Red Dragon - 32 pts
6. The Saint - 31 pts
7. Yellows - 30 pts
8. Blue Devil - 29 pts
-  Gooner71 - 29 pts
10. Swansong - 28 pts
11. Someone Said - 27 pts
-  West Ham Rising - 27 pts

Monday, May 29, 2017

Championship Playoff Final - Hudders v. Reading Live!

I'm joining proceedings in the second half after completing some pre-Memorial Day party preparation. This is a poignant match for me, as I'd hoped that my beloved Leeds would be in this one. And so they should have been, as these two sides are at 0-0 nearly an hour in. Join me if you're around.

Saturday, May 27, 2017


Morning Boys

This used to my most favorite day of the year!! One of the only live games to be seen all year. Pre-game starting at 9:30 on BBC and ITV. I used to always watch the match on the Beeb but used to try and figure out which features to watch. Of course, it started with a reporter at the team's hotels. We were all on the coach trip to the stadium. The fans going crazy as they pulled up to the Twin Towers. Walking on the pitch... and then the match
Of course, there were all the features shown. I remember in '81 a boy went to the factory to make the Cup Final ball. No one every said anything but they had to replace ball after ten minutes!!!
Always looked forward to the  Cup Final It's a Knockout or Question of Sport.
My first real memories started in '72 for the Arsenal Leeds final. In the '73 Final, they were at the team hotels talking to squad. Leeds were sitting like a team photo for the questions. Sunderland were lounging around on sofas and chairs.... We all know who won!
I remember the '75 Final when West Ham beat Fulham... I thought to myself... why can these teams make it and Man Utd hadn't made the Final in my life time! Well, they listened to me and made the next three out of four..sadly only winning one of them!
Now today, even in England there isn't much of a pre-game and with us it is on FOX at Noon with a 12:30 kick off
Join me for a repeat of the 2002 Final
Chelsea for the Double?


Friday, May 26, 2017

Premiership Plus Predictions Game - European Update

Hiya, folks - another quick check-in this week on our PPP game. Man Utd's glorious win in Stockholm on Wednesday night has meant that Gooner, Red Dragon, The Saint and United We Stand all had four points added to their totals.

So here's where we stand right now with only the Premiership playoff, the FA Cup Final and Champions League Final to be settled:

1. Red Devil 1FCK - 41 points
2. Man Utd Rules - 38 pts
3. The Red Dragon - 33 pts
4. What's Up Wheaton Simon - 32 pts
5. The Saint - 31 pts
-  United We Stand - 31 pts
7. Blue Devil - 29 pts
-  Gooner71 - 29 pts
9. Swansong - 28 pts
-  Yellows - 28 pts
11. Someone Said - 27 pts
12. West Ham Rising - 23 pts

Now, here are the possible scenarios. No one picked either Huddersfield or Reading - the two teams in the playoff final - to be promoted so those 4 points are going to go to waste, sadly.

The only player still alive in the Champions League is Gooner, who backed Real Madrid (most of us plumped for either Barca or Bayern). If Real win next weekend, Gooner will get 6 points added and will end up with a very satisfactory 35 points, but still shy of Red Devil's 41 points.

Thus, it all comes down to the Cup Final on Saturday. Here's what could happen:

Arsenal wins - Man Utd Rules gains 8 points and wins easily with 46 points. The LOB Shield would travel to Harlingen, Texas for the second time.

Chelsea wins - Red Dragon gains 8 points and ends up with 41 points, level with Red Devil. We've never had to do a tie break, so we'll have to sort that one out somehow.

Join us here on the LOB on Saturday afternoon to see how it all plays out!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Europa League Final.... Champions League playoff round

The Europa League Final has lost a bit of luster because the atrocities in Manchester this week. It is right for the Final to be played. I hope the United fans and players will do their best to honor the fallen... Manchester... a CITY UNITED
Took the day off to be here... hope to have some company and United make me happy


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

King Eric: "My Heart is With You"

All of us were feeling for the people of Manchester today, after the terrible events of last night. But leave it to Eric Cantona, celebrated adopted son of Lancashire, to put everything in the right terms. We stand together, indeed.

You can watch the video here:

Monday, May 22, 2017

Premiership Predictions Plus - Week 38 Update

Welcome to the working week, chaps. I'm checking in with the Premiership season ender update. So, what happened to our table after the dust all settled yesterday. Well, not a lot. The main thing that changed in the last week since my last update is that Harry Kane went on an incredible 7-goal streak in the last two Spurs matches, which shot him from 22 goals past Romelu Lukaku (25 goals) to 29 goals for the season. Kane will claim the Golden Boot and Man Utd Rules, Someone Said and Yellows will claim 6 extra points as a result. The other slight detail is that Real Madrid pipped Barcelona at the post to claim the La Liga title, so half of us lost two points and the other half gained two points. There was also a slight shift in the Premiership order with Man Citeh switching places with Liverpool - they'll end 2nd and 3rd respectively. So a few of us either gained or lost a point there.

Here's how it all shakes out:

1. Red Devil 1FCK - 41 points
2. Man Utd Rules - 38 pts
3. What's Up Wheaton Simon - 32 pts
4. Blue Devil - 29 pts
-  The Red Dragon - 29 pts
6. Yellows - 28 pts
7. The Saint - 27 pts
-  Someone Said - 27 pts
-  United We Stand - 27 pts
10. Gooner71 - 25 pts
11. Swansong - 24 pts
12. West Ham Rising - 23 pts

So, going into the last few matches of the season Red Devil 1FCK sits atop our table, but has maxed out with his points. Here's how his rivals could beat him:

Man Utd Rules - 38 points currently (Arsenal win the Cup - +8) = 46 points
The Red Dragon - 29 points (Chelsea win the Cup - +8 and United win the Europa League - +4) = 41 points

It'll go down to the last kick!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Another Season Comes to an End

I always hated this day growing up. Footer was done for the whole summer. We had the Cup Final to look forward to and I always liked watching all the Test Matches but it wasn't the same. My Shoot and Match magazines were still there to read but no tables to look at.
Not much last day excitement to look forward to unlike 1999 and 2012. Pretty much everything is done and dusted except for the Champions League spots... sounds exciting.. except it looks all done there too. The two favorites, City and Pool, have very very winnable games against Watford and Bore respectively ....surely they won't give Arsenal a sniff
My lot have given up on the league long ago.. I HATE THAT! We will be playing a lot of no hopers for the Final... will United get a win at the Theater of Draws to end the season?
Will Kane win the Golden Boot after his four midweek?
Still some questions to answer!
NBC is fantastic showing all of the games... which one shall I watch? Which one will you watch?
Join me


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Rating the Premier League Managers

As we near the end of the 2016/2017 Premiership season, here's an interesting question that's been percolating all week on Five Live: which managers have had successful seasons and which have been failures? Now, obviously Antonio Conte had the most successful season, having taken Chelski to a title, after a disastrous 2015/2016 campaign under Mourinho. And the bottom three managers - Mazzarri, Karanka and Moyes - have all been failures, having guided their clubs back into the Championship wilderness.

But what of the rest of them? Spurs fans seem to be fairly pleased with Potchettino, but what about those below him in the top ten? A lot of Citeh fans appear to think that Pep Guardiola has been a major flop. How about Klopp? Is fourth good enough for Liverpool fans? Fifth place is obviously a failure for Arsenal, who are accustomed to Champions League footer at this point. Wenger out? And UWS and MUR seem fairly irate at Mourinho - in Jose we Trust or Jose Out?

What about the bottom half managers who managed to keep their clubs up? Eddie Howe, Slavan Bilic, Mark Hughes, etc. - successes or failures?

Your thoughts, gents?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Tuesday Afternoon Action!

Have I mentioned that I'm on summer break? Yes, indeed. I've got my feet up at the Cottage and looking forward to enjoying the Premiership and Championship playoff action this afternoon. Two matches that are crucial to the Champions League race kick off shortly - Arsenal v. Sunderland and Man Citeh v. WBA. Add to that the Championship playoff between Reading and Fulham and it's a cracking afternoon. Join me, if you can.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Premiership Plus Predictions Game - Week 37 Update

Happy Monday to all of you! I'm basking in the beginning of my summer break, with the promise of ten weeks of backyard barbecues, outdoor concerts and tennis matches to come. How about the rest of you? I'm checking in as usual with the update of our PPP game. Well, the domestic season is just about sorted with only fourth place in the Premiership left up in the air. That might well be sorted tomorrow evening, leaving NBC Sports Network wondering why on Earth they're broadcasting anything on "Championship Sunday" next weekend.

You would think, given that picture that our game would also be done and dusted; however, you would be wrong. Red Devil did seem to have an unassailable lead going into the weekend, yet, here's the irony. Arsenal's win and United's loss means that the entire Nocito clan (United fans all) picked up four or five points, which puts them in the picture. Think of it this way: Red Devil is the side that has all the points but no matches to play (that is, with Chelsea's title win, he has officially maxed out his point total - he would need Jamie Vardy to go on a ten goal blitz in the final Leicester match in order to pick up any more points). The Nocito boys (Red Dragon, The Saint) have both picked Chelsea to win the FA Cup (8 points) and United to win the Europa League (4 points), while UWS has chosen Arsenal to win the Cup (8 pts) and Chelsea to lose (2 pts) Here's how that would play out:

Red Devil has 39 points now
Red Dragon - 30 points now (+8 points for Chelsea and 4 points for United) = 42
The Saint - 29 points now (+8 points for Chelsea and 4 points for United) = 41
United We Stand - 27 points (8 points for Arsenal, 2 points for Chelsea and 4 points for United) = 41

It's going to be a nail biter. Here are the current standings:

1. Red Devil 1FCK - 39 points
2. The Red Dragon - 30 pts
3. Man Utd Rules - 29 pts
-  The Saint - 29 pts
5. Blue Devil - 28 pts
-  What's Up Wheaton Simon - 28 pts
7. United We Stand - 27 pts
8. Yellows - 26 pts
9. Swansong - 25 pts
10. Gooner71 - 22 pts
11. West Ham Rising - 20 pts
12. Someone Said - 19 pts

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Farewell, Shite Fart Lane!

We say goodbye today to another classic London stadium - White Hart Lane. I can well remember many a weekend making that long walk down Seven Sisters Road to see Spurs play during the Glenn Hoddle era. We have a fitting final match at the Lane today, with United showing up to pay tribute. Before that, we have the relegation battle of Hull v. Palace and Liverpool's crucial visit to West Ham. Join me for all the fun this morning.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Saturday at the Business End

Well, Chelski are champions, due to that Friday evening win over WBA. So what is left to sort out. Well, Champions League and relegation, of course. We start and end at the top today, with Citeh v. Leicester in a few minutes and Arsenal's trip to Stoke at 12:30pm EST.

Unfortunately, I'll be running off to the Fredonia Commencement ceremony at 9am or so, so I'll miss most of the proceedings. But I thought I could get us started today. Come join me, eh?

Thursday, May 11, 2017

United's Quest for European Silverware Continues

You wouldn't know it to talk to most United fans, but their side is poised for a big European final in a couple of weeks. Of course, it isn't the Champions League, but no matter. It's still a European final. United go into this second leg of their semi final with Celta Vigo at Old Trafford tonight a goal up from the first leg due to a lovely free kick by Marcus Rashford. Join me to see United through to that final with Ajax or Lyon from around 3pm onward.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Guardian Premiership Ineptitude Index

At the end of each season, the bodkins at the Guardian compile a brilliant index of all of the suicidal tendencies of the various Premier League players and teams. They assign points in categories such as Throwing the Ball Straight to the Opposition, Yellow Cards for Simulation or Dissent, and  - of course - Own Goals.

After all of it, they put together the following table, which gives you a good sense of which teams had habit of pushing the self-destruct button during the last season:

Hull City 82
Sunderland 79
West Ham 77
Bournemouth 72
Stoke City 69
Burnley 68
Leicester City 65
Middlesbrough 64
Swansea City 61
Watford 57
Crystal Palace 55
Liverpool 55
West Bromwich Albion 45
Everton 44
Manchester City 37
Southampton 35
Manchester United 33
Tottenham Hotspur 31
Arsenal 30
Chelsea 24

Congratulations then to Hull City, who look likely now to join Sunderland and Boro in the big drop to the Championship.

You can view the article here:

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Premiership Plus Predictions Game - Week 36 Update

A very happy Tuesday afternoon, chaps. I hope that you're enjoying relaxing work week. I'm here with a quick update on our PPP game as we approach the business end of the season. With two matches left to be played in the Premiership, along with semi-finals and finals in the FA Cup, Champions League and Europa League, our pal Red Devil still sits atop our league, largely due to his prediction of a Chelsea championship bid in the Premier League. It will take a running of the tables in the other tournaments to unseat him at this point. It's happened before - will it happen again?

Here are the current standings:

1. Red Devil 1FCK - 39 points
2. Man Utd Rules - 29 pts
3. Blue Devil - 28 pts
4. The Red Dragon - 26 pts
-  Yellows - 26 pts
6. The Saint - 24 pts
-  What's Up Wheaton Simon - 24 pts
8. United We Stand - 22 pts
9. Swansong - 21 pts
10. West Ham Rising - 20 pts
11. Someone Said - 19 pts
12. Gooner71 - 17 pts

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Sunday Morning Blues

It's the end of the road for the Championship regular season this morning. For me, it's a feeling of "should've been." For months, we were safe in the playoff spots, but Leeds somehow contrived to lose its last three matches going into this last day. So I'm up a bit late to follow the proceedings, but I don't have any enthusiasm for it. Neither do BEin, who have decided to show tennis instead.

More interesting will be Liverpool's match with Soton at 8:30am and then the big one, ManYoo v. Arsenal - a classic Premiership match-up. Join me for all the action this morning.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

A Tale of the Top and Bottom

With West Ham's demolition of Spurs' title hopes yesterday, the race for the Premier League title is just about done and dusted now. So, the focus this weekend is for Champions League places and for league survival. It all starts with Citeh hosting Palace. That's followed by the 10am kickoffs, including Hull v. Sunderland. Relegation threatened Swansea then kick off against Everton in the late one. Join me for all the fun and games this morning, won't you?

Friday, May 05, 2017

How Much Do We Love Rebecca Lowe?

Let's sing the praises of Rebecca Lowe, shall we? Over the past three years, the lovely British lass has wormed her way into the hearts of American footie fans as the face of the excellent NBC coverage of the Premier League. She's become such a weekend presence at The Cottage that, when she was temporarily missing during her recent maternity leave, my Kate asked, "where's Rebecca?"

Check out this excellent profile of Rebecca from the Guardian:

Thursday, May 04, 2017

United's Spanish Road Trip in the Europe League Semis!

United hit the Europa League semi final stage tonight in Spain against a wily Celta Vigo side that they can hardly afford to take lightly. It's a busy day in the office, so I'll likely be in and out during the affair, but I thought I'd post this one so that anyone who is around can post as they wish. Come on, United!!

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

All Hail Cristiano!

I've been a Cristiano Ronaldo skeptic for many years now, but after his astonishing one-man demolition of Atletico Madrid in yesterday's Champions League semi final - his 42nd hat-trick for the Galaticos! - I'm finally willing to consider him one of the greats in the history of the game. I once thought of him as a fancy dan, a big time bottler - but no more. He's now won big things with club and country. So - welcome to the pantheon, Cristiano!

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Premiership Plus Predictions Game - Week 35 Update

If it's Tuesday afternoon, it's PPP Time! Yes, I'm back as usual to take stock of our humble game after the weekend's matches. For the first time in my memory, the picture is exactly the same as it was last week. That is, the top five and the bottom three in the Prem, as well as the top six in the Championship are exactly the same. So, the standings will stay the same as they were last week, with Red Devil on top.

This is the time of the year when the tournament points start rolling in as the FA Cup, Champions League and Europa League wrap up. Here are the participants still in it:

FA Cup:

Chelsea to win (8) - Blue Devil, Red Dragon, The Saint
Arsenal to win (8) - MUR,  UWS, West Ham Rising, What's Up Wheaton Simon
Chelsea to lose (2) - UWS, Yellows
Arsenal to lose (2) - Gooner71, Someone Said

Champions League (6)

Real Madrid - Gooner
Juventus - Someone Said

Europa League (4)

Manchester United - Gooner, Red Dragon, Swansong, UWS

Here are the current standings:

1. Red Devil 1FCK - 26 points
2. The Red Dragon - 26 pts
3. Man Utd Rules - 25 pts
-  The Saint - 25 pts
5. Blue Devil - 23 pts
6. What's Up Wheaton Simon - 22 pts
7. Yellows - 21 pts
8. Someone Said - 20 pts
-  West Ham Rising - 20 pts
10. United We Stand - 18 pts
11. Swansong - 17 pts
12. Gooner71 - 15 pts

Monday, May 01, 2017

Hail to the Kaiser!

Many thanks to Red Devil for alerting me to this brilliant article about Carlos Henrique Raposo (aka, "Kaiser"), a fascinating and enigmatic figure within Brazilian footballing circles. Despite having been  linked with half a dozen clubs during his "career," Kaiser went out of his way not to play any actual football. He is rightly known as the greatest con man in world football (and that's saying something!)

Check it out here: