The Groundsman’s Shed

Grounds’ Clippings: The Guvnor at Blackburn by groundsman
June 22, 2008, 5:04 pm
Filed under: Blackburn, Cristiano Ronaldo, football, Footballers, MK Dons, Paul Ince, Real Madrid

It’s Sunday.  I’m at work.  Italy and Spain are strolling around a pitch in Vienna looking as if this were a friendly rather than a quarter final match in the European Championships.  If they’re not going to be bothered today, I may not as well.  To be honest, I’m still a bit gutted about the Dutch loss to Russia last night- but at least it was a quality match. 

In the meantime, it’s a bit of a slow news weekend all around, but some folks have managed to pick out some quality goodness:

The Guvnor’s Coming To Ewood Park (The Guardian): Paul Ince has become the first black manager in the Premier League after being appointed manager of the Blackburn Rovers.  That’s right, he beat out Big Sam Allardyce for the jobby job, and here’s hoping the former England captain and MK Dons manager will make it through his three year contract.

Just let him bloody go!  If Cristiano Ronaldo wants to go to Real Madrid, then let him- if only so that writers can stop wasting column inches online and in the sports pages on this guy.  Yeah, he’s a really good player, yeah, he’s probably not a very nice chap- we know, we know.  I found this fantastic letter to Cristiano from a ManU fan, and well- it says it all. (Manchester Red)

How many sports blogs are written by women?  Let me rephrase this: How many sports blogs are obviously  written by women? Do you care? As a woman footie blogger, and a fan of bloggery in general, I was stoked when Anna of This Is Extra Time sent over this link to an interview with Andrea from Ladiesdotdotdot about blogging whilst female.


Roundup:Shirtsleeve Tributes, MLS action, Arsenal’s Krazy Komeback by groundsman


-Jermain Defoe got in on the t-shirt scribbling tribute by putting Sharpie to Spandex and penning a sentiment for his gran on Saturday.  He of course recieved a yellow card for his troubles, but it’s no matter- Pompey took down Wigan 2-0, thanks to JD’s goalscoring efforts and DJ’s work between the sticks.  ‘arry Redknapp was so pleased with his keeper that he said, “James was a fantastic signing. They kept throwing all these silly names at me. There was only one goalkeeper I wanted here. He was different class. He’s the Ronaldo of goalkeepers. He’s got so much talent.”  You can read DJ’s take on the up and down week for him in his column on The Guardian website.

-Speaking of goalie’s who can write, the beloved Shaka Hislop is the new MLS correspondent for GU Sport.  His latest blog could use some punctuation, but it’s still a refreshing and non-condescending look at Major League Soccer.  Also, it’s Shaka.  C’mon now.

I am working overnights in the CNN digital recording center this weekend, so I fell asleep after Premier League action finished, thus already going back on my promise to be an MLS supporter, but I’ll be watching re-feeds of the matches during my shift tonight.  Click here for the scores.

-I came home to watch the Bolton-Arsenal match, and was horrified to see it was 1-0 when I flicked on the channel.  Mere minutes later, the Arse went down 2-nil, and when I went to see how the lads and ladies over at the Arsenal Facebook group were taking in the match, I was alarmed to see that some were clearly near tears.  I’ve no idea what Arsene Wenger said to the boys in the dressing room at the half, but I’m pretty sure it was something along the lines of, “Hm… maybe we should try to win this, eh?”  The players must have agreed, because within minutes of taking the field for the second half, they’d leveled the score at 2-2.  The final score of 2-3 to Arsenal was accomplished by Cesc Fabregas kicking the ball and joyfully watching it ricochet off of two hapless Bolton boys before it finally dropped in the net.  Not exactly pretty stuff, but a win is a win.

-The pundits on Setanta (and some print news outlets) have dubbed Manchester United “the title holders-elect”, and after watching the match against the absolute shower that was Aston Villa today, it’s hard to disagree (though I really, really want to do so).  I can’t stop watching Ronaldo’s accidental/on-purpose flick on goal- it’s frightening how good and useful that guy has gotten over the past year.

-League Two’s MK Dons take on Grimsby at Wembley on Sunday for the unfortunately named Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.  The Observer has a nice little write up about the club’s journey through its relocation, problems with finances, hiring of Paul Ince, and now bid for silverware. 

-Those of you who read and were shocked by the dry-heave inducing News of the World story about Derby County manager Paul Jewell’s hour-long videotaped bondage romp with an unnamed blonde will be thrilled/oddly disappointed that the tabloid has removed the story from their website at the behest of a law firm.  Don’t worry, we’re sure it’s archived somewhere.