From: James Allnutt
Subject: [R] International comedy festival
Date: 17/12/2002

So, FIFA has met, and world stocks of magic mushrooms hit record lows. 
Coincidence? You be the judge.

In no particular order, here are the funniest decisions made by an 
executive committee.

1) Ronaldo and Hamm for players of the year.  If this were a 
rehabilitation ward - I'd probably be in agreement.  Apparently playing 
the game (literally) is no longer a pre-requisite for winning these 
awards.  What next, Byron Moreno for referee of the century - Charles 
Dempsey the prize for assertiveness?
2) In the same vein, 4.5 spots for Asia and 1 for Oceania (and 3.5 for 
Concacaf - though apparently we're meant to think this is sensible given 
the confederation's stellar performance at WC98^h^h02).  Now I thought 
maybe FIFA would lighten the mood slightly with a whole spot for the OFC 
- but to go the whole hog and bump up AFC from what they had in 1998 
really got the crowd rolling in the aisles.  Even funnier, UEFA ended up 
with a pie full in the face and Conmebol got a plank smack bang in the 
happy sacks - hilarious stuff.
3) Play-off between Concacaf and AFC - now that is funny.  Especially if 
AFC were to win - that would be very, very funny.
4) Official start date for WC06 qualifiers - 28 February.  Shurely shome 
mishtake, that should read 1 April 2004 - you know it makes sense.

Now I did check the allocated spots in the local paper this morning - 
and I could swear they were different to what the actual number were (I 
was sure AFC got 4, Concacaf 3 and Conmebol 5).  Maybe the subeditor 
couldn't actually believe what FIFA dreamed up.  I know I couldn't.


The question Australian football is asking itself now is:
"How will we screw it up this time?"


From: Riffster
Subject: Re: What have you learned this Year?
Date: 29/12/2002

"Victoria Barrett"  wrote in message

> Let me take the Ronaldo situation so I can be done with it, as I said I
> was:

You're not getting away with it that easy. ;)

> With Brazil, and Ronaldo specifically, I have learned that no matter what
> team can do, if there are people who dislike/envy/disagree with you, it
> doesn't matter what positives you have, people will always look for the
> negatives if they are predisposed to doing so. This includes myself, if
> the proverbial shoe fits
The issue of Mr. da Lima is quite complex and goes beyond
personal dislike. It includes all spectrums of disagreement with
him - ranging from rational and fairly objective logic to out-and-
out petty hatred based in solely superficial, or even darker, issues.

The Brasilian has inspired envy, but he has also inspired feelings
of betrayal. He has shown great courage, but he has also
shown petty envy and selfishness himself. He is not as giant
a figure off the field as he is on it - at least not in human
terms (his commercial status off the field matched his field
prowess, in fact it exceeded it for most of the last three years!)
He is like most people - maybe more so - in that he has his
insecurities and weaknesses.

One issue I will bring up that I haven't seen discussed before
when talking about this issue - Mr da Lima played a power
game with Cuper and lost. That much is a given - but what is
not discussed is that teams play power games all the time with
players/fans/media and they rarely get called on it. The Brasilian
was called on his moves, primarily because they were so very
blatant, while the machinations of teams are far more subtle
and built into the system, but also because they were power
moves made by a *player* and not a *team.*.

Might it be that what was done by the Carioca forward and
his entourage was nothing more than is done by teams on an
almost daily basis, save that it was not built into the system?

Players have clashed with management before - and generally
had little success. There are exceptions - in American sports
one can cite Magic Johnson's "coupe" that sent Paul Westhead
on his way out the door. But players in American sports have
been ahead of the curve compared to players in Europe and
elsewhere when it comes to salary and more importantly,
what is called in the USA "clout."

This theory is NOT in defense of the Brasilian star - as I per-
sonally find more than a bit of distaste for his actions, some
based in my being Interista and some simply as an observer
of human beings (as we all are.)

It is an observation that possibly what transpired over the
past summer was nothing new really - it just was the sign
of the power that players now can wield is now starting to
match that of clubs. Reaction to it has been quite pointed -
with little in the way of defense save his own camp and in
Brasil. And it can be argued that defense is mostly based in
simple parochial support.

Very little defense of him has been based on the observation
just made - that is, the players are simply "using the medicine"
clubs have since the beginning of the game - and the teams
don't like the taste very much.

- Riff "time for some guarana" Ster


From: Mohammad F. Zaman
Subject: Re: Bad times at Liverpool - more rumours!!
Date: 14/1/2003

Dr. Mr. Houllier,

Lets get one thing straight... when you grow up and your dad supports you
along the way, you must remember that and look after him when he grows old..
Unfortunately the same does not imply for football.. Football is not a
happy-happy-joy-joy family situation. You must know that. No one is
indispensible. 5 points out of 33 is relegation form. We have a distinct
possibility of going down this season. You have lost the plot.

World Cup 2002 was the most technically inferior World Cup of all time.. so
going out and buying stars of this World Cup is not a sign of someone's whos
having problem with his heart.. but someone who's losing it in his head. BTW
How many goals did Diouf score in the World Cup? You know what.. I have
scored as many goals as him! Why don't you sign me?

Arsene Wenger's Arsenal has its ocassional slumps.. but atleast they play
attractive football. All you have done is crunch out results.. (see UEFA run
2000). I mean even Andorra can hold out France for 90 minutes.. does that
mean Andorra kicks ass! Lets put things in perspective here... this is a
football team, not some stupid wine which will only grow better with age.

And getting rid of Fowler, the greatest finisher of all time, removing
Litmannen, and getting in heated arguments with your own players.. You just
don't get it. Just because you won a plastic treble you think you have a
bullet-proof protection. And whats this BS about only listening to TRUE
fans.. Well Mr. Houllier I may not be a true fan, but atleast I am not a
braindead fan when I think Emile Heskey is a worthless paperweight, Diouf is
a headless chicken, Xavier gets ripped off by his salon, please bugger off
to a upper-management position before the board begins to question your

Smicer is a FANTASTIC player.. but he is a striker not a midfielder.
Remember 96? Berger, Poborsky and Nedved controlled the midfield, while Kuka
and Smicer were up front. Smicer is not a great distributer of the ball, he
has pace and he can run at balls. Just because he controlled the midfield in
a weaker league (with Lens) does not mean he can make it in a more physical
league like the Premier League. LOOK AT HIM.. I mean even Owen can rough him

Thanks for all the Cup competitions you won us.. in all the years you have
been here.. (sorry) in the one year you won the bingo.



From: Paul Louis
Subject: Re: RSS Opinions - Natural Goalscorer
Date: 23/1/2003

On 22 Jan 2003 02:04:50 -0800, (SoulSurvivor)

>Question.  We hear the phrase all the time but what in your opinion IS
>a Natural Goalscorer?
>Why is, for example, Robbie Fowler one but Michael Owen (according to
>Glenn Hoddle) not?
>Fire away! :-)

I think practically all modern goalscorers are natural, probably only
with the exception of Wayne Rooney (clearly the product of a bizarre
experiment to weld an 80 year old man's head to the body of a bull


From: gaborzinho
Subject: Re: Italy grieves for 'l'Avvocato'
Date: 24/1/2003

[Upon the death of Gianni Agnelli]

On Fri, 24 Jan 2003 16:40:47 -0500, Futbolmetrix wrote
(in message ):

> This is a sad day for me. A big piece of Juve history that
> goes away.
> Daniele

A big piece of SOCCER history goes way with his untimely (is there any other 
kind?) death. An impeccable, passionate, compassionate, shrewd but honest, 
and very approachable man. Prior to the 1962 WC, when Hungary was preparing 
in Italy (actually they rode the same plane to Chile with the Italian team 
there), Dr. Agnelli spent a lot of time scouting the Hungarian team. He was 
especially impressed with Lajos Tichy, a prolific goalscorer, who learned his 
trade between Kocsis and Puskas at Honved, later at the NT. Dr. Agnelli 
(AFAIR he was the only Italian I addressed by not his first name) had 
previously approached Tichy, of course knowing, that he would have to defect 
in order to accept a contract. On this occasion he put a blank check in front 
of him, and again Tichy was unwilling to severe his ties with his homeland, 
as much as he wanted to prove himself in the West. Ironically, or even 
tragically, this innocent dinner meeting with the three of us was reported 
back to the communist controlled Hungarian FA, and within a year and the half 
(I guess this is how long it took to build the case) Tichy's passport was 
revoked, and the 1964 EC semifinal aginst Spain was his last ever appearance 
for the NT. Under overwhelming popular pressure he was a last minute 
nomination for the 66 WC, but he played not one minute. He continued playing 
for Honved until 1971.
Dr. Agnelli, it was a priviledge knowing you, may you rest in peace.


Subject: Re: Ray Hudson:  Genius
Date: 31/1/2003

napier  wrote:
:> Played seven years in Bulgaria's best club, Sofia. Last year the club went
:> undefeated with sevn goals against IIRC. Playing pretty regular in
:> Bulgaria's national team. Has Stoichkov's recommendation. Sounds like a
: good
:> buy.
: So why doesn't he find a real league to play in?

I tend to think of MLS as a sort of "Pinnochio League."  In other words,
if they continue to grow, buy more and more better players, and ultimately
convince the whiney short-sighted football fans like yourself that it's
worth following (even though it's already been a very entertaining league
for the last 2 or 3 seasons), it will eventually become a real league,
replete with pouty overpaid superstars, lots of off-field arrests,
bankrupting TV deals, a handful of wealthy perennial champions and a bevy
of financially struggling also-rans, and, of course, Benny failing to
grasp who the great players really are.

Mike "Gepetto" Babyak


From: Doan
Subject: More Leeds transfers in the pipeline
Date: 31/1/2003

Seth Johnson to Middlesbrough -£1m now and £50,000 for every month he stays

32year old Lucas Radebe to Kaizer Chiefs -£500,000 now and £500,000 when he
reaches another 50 caps for South Africa

Paul Robinson to Arsenal -£1m now and another £3m based on the number of
goals he scores

Alan Smith -loan to Harry "the Wrench" Flanagan as a mob enforcer with a
view to a permanent career move



From: Paul C
Subject: Re: Nationwide Conference
Date: 2/2/2003

On 2 Feb 2003 12:10:28 GMT, Markus  wrote:

>Aslam Siddiqui  wrote in news:3E3C7C99.29CC0266
>>  Has any side currently in the Nationwide Conference ever played in the
>> top division of English football? For your convenience I have appended
>> the current standings. Thanks in advance.
>As far as I know, the only former top division club who play outside the 
>Football League today is Accrington Stanley. They're currently in the 
>UniBond League, but look certain to be promoted to the Conference at the 
>end of this season.
>Swansea, who are rock bottom of Division 3, played in the First Division in 
>the early 80's. Carlisle also once played in the First Division, and they 
>are still in danger of relegation. So there will probably be a couple of 
>old First Division clubs in next season's Conference.

Here's a 'where-are-they-now' of all teams which have left the
Football League (all corrections welcomed!)

Team                      Seasons 
                          in League
Aberdare Athletic         1921-27  defunct
Accrington                1888-93  defunct
Accrington Stanley        1921-62  defunct (present Accrington Stanley
play in the Unibond Northern Premier League Premier Division)
Aldershot                 1932-91  defunct (unrelated to Aldershot
Town, Ryman Isthmian League, Premier Division)
Ashington                 1921-29  Northern League Division 1
Barnet                    1990-01  Conference
Barrow                    1921-72  Unibond Premier Division
Bootle                    1892-93  defunct
Bradford Park Avenue      1908-70  defunct (team of same name now play
in Unibond League Premier Division)
Burton United             1892-97  merged with Burton Wanderers to
form Burton Swifts

Burton Wanderers          1894-97  merged with Burton United  ""
Burton Swifts             1897-07  defunct (Burton Albion play in the
Conference - unrelated to Swifts)
Chester (City)            1931-00  Conference
Darwen                    1891-99  North West Counties League Div 2
Doncaster Rovers          1901-05 1923-98 Conference
Durham City               1921-28  defunct (I think) and therefore
unrelated to Durham City in the Northern League Division 1
Gainsborough Trinity      1896-12  Unibond League Premier Division
Gateshead                 1930-60  defunct (unrelated to Gateshead in
Unibond League Premier Division)
Glossop North End         1899-15  North West Counties League Div 2
Halifax Town              1921-93 1998-02 Conference
Hereford United           1973-97  Conference
Leeds City                1905-19  defunct (unrelated to Leeds United)
Loughborough Town         1895-00  defunct
Maidstone United          1989-92  defunct (unrelated to Maidstone
United now in the Kent League)    
Merthyr Town              1920-30  defunct (unrelated to Merthyr
Tydfil who play in the Dr Martens Southern League Premier Division)
Middlesbrough Ironopolis  1893-94  defunct
Nelson                    1921-31  North West Counties League Div 2
New Brighton Tower        1899-01  defunct
New Brighton              1923-51  defunct
Newport County            1920-31 1932-88  defunct (unrelated to
Newport County who play in the Dr Martens League Premier Div
Northwich Victoria        1892-94  Conference
Scarborough               1987-99  Conference
South Shields             1919-30  moved to Gateshead (see above)
Southport                 1921-78  Conference
Stalybridge Celtic        1921-23  Unibond Premier Division
Thames Association        1930-32  defunct
Wigan Borough             1921-31  defunct (unrelated to Wigan
Workington                1951-77  Unibond Premier Division



From: James Allnutt
Subject: Australia to play friendly against country to be (re)named...
Date: 5/2/2003

... as in, the country may see its name changed by the time Australia 
gets there.

While the Soccer Australia website says nothing (personally, I'm 
stunned), UEFA has a new story that Australia will play Yugoslavia in 
Kruševac on 28 March.  Yugoslavia apparently just abolished its name - 
although this match might not be the 'new' nation's first match, they 
play Azerbaijan next week.  But if the name change is delayed (at least 
in UEFA's eyes) the Socceroos might be the first international football 
side to take on Serbia and Montenegro officially.

Ironically, it's usually the Socceroos fans who have to put up with S+M.



From: Raulinho7
Subject: Re: La Liga Round 21
Date: 10/2/2003

> Displays like this make it very, very hard to 
>continue backing Sociedad as potential champions.

I see that reality is beginning to set in Disneyland too. The truth is that
Real Madrid gave an awesome display of total football in the second half of
Saturday's match making it clear that it is indeed the best team in the miles. There's been so many great displays by Real in  the league
this year that people in the Bernabeu are in fucking limbo right now because
the level of entertainment that this team provides week in week out. 

Personally I think that Zidane should be cloned. What a fantastic player. The
most elegant soccer player of my lifetime. Every time that he touches the ball
there is a huge level of expectation in the Bernabeu waiting for the next great
move and he always delivers. I've never seen so many different beautiful moves
by a player in my life. He is the fucking Picasso of football. And his goals
are always special. Is there such a thing as a bad looking Zidane goal?. His
goal on Saturday made people wanna cry. What a beauty. Perez was right. Zidane
was indeed born to play for Real Madrid.

About Real Sociedad I really hope they make the Champions League but I think
that Valencia is the true pimple on the ass for Real Madrid. It is going to be
between those two teams down to the wire.

And Barcelona?. Well they don't want to believe it but they are indeed in
relegation trouble. They remind me of Atletico in 2000 when they were "too
good" to be relegated. This spanish league is a bitch. There are 19 teams that
are of very similar level. Only Recre is playing out of his league. Only Recre
is truly a worse team than Barca. If Barcelona loses the derby on Saturday,
well: how do you say "un an~ito en el infierno" in catalan?.


From: Paul C
Subject: Re: Should football stop for War?
Date: 11/2/2003

The outbreak of the First World War worked a treat for Arsenal, of
course. In season 1914-15, they finished 6th in Division 2, but when
the Leagues restarted in 1919-20 they found themselves in Division 1 -
the only club ever to have been promoted to Division 1 on grounds
other than footbaling merit.

It was decided to expand Division 1 from 20 to 22 clubs.  Chelsea, who
had finished 19th were re-elected to Divison 1 without any debate and
were joined by the two clubs promoted on merit from Division 2 - Derby
and Preston.

This left one place available in Division 1. Tottenham had finished
bottom in 1914-15 and where forced to apply for the vacant place along
with other applicants from Division 2 including Arsenal. Eventually
the other clubs were eliminated leaving just Tottenham and Arsenal. At
this point the League president, a personal friend of Arsenal's
influential chairman, Sir Henry Norris MP, intervened and announced
Arsenal should be given the place because of their "service to the
League and their longevity". In the ensuing vote Arsenal received 18
votes and Tottenham 8.  

As the official historian of the Football League puts it "....never
has the League been so manipulated as it was in 1919"



From: David Tiemroth
Subject: Re: Australia 3 - England 1
Date: 13/2/2003

On 12 Feb 2003 17:07:14 -0800, (Steve)

>We've proved we can beat one of the best teams in the world. 

Was that before or after the England game?



From: Futbolmetrix
Subject: Re: Best pre-capita players
Date: 13/2/2003

> (The Alchemist) wrote:

> > Just interested to hear which countries the readers of this newsgroup
> > think produce the best players in propotion to their total population.
> >
> > I would have to give my vote to Holland. They produce brilliant
> > players with a relatively very small population (compared to say
> > England and Brazil). In the past I would have to say that Uruguay
> > produced some fine players, though I'm not sure if that's still true.

Let's extend the question to "what are the overachieving and underachieving
countries in international football, based on their population and their

I have some data on the average elo ratings of a country in the late 1990s,
GNP per capita and population. I estimate a log-log regression function
(other specifications don't alter the results substantially):

Log ELO = 6.88 + 0.044 * log(GNP per capita) + 0.036 * log(population)
        (0.055) (0.007)                       (0.006)

R-square: 0.31

Standard errors in parenthesis.

First of all, some interpretation of the results: a 10% increase in
GNP per capita is predicted to raise your ELO rating by about 0.44%,
and a 10% increase in population is predicted to raise ELO by 0.36%.
These are not very large effects, but they are highly significant.

Now, after running the regression, I can calculate the residuals, and
rank the countries based on their residual: Countries with big residuals
are overachievers: they have a higher ELO rating than what predicted
by their population and GNP per capita. Countries with low residuals are

Here are the top 10 overachievers:

                              country     resid2
  1.                          Croatia   .2281323
  2.                         Paraguay   .1816722
  3.                   Czech Republic   .1772641
  4.                          Romania   .1676563
  5.                         Bulgaria   .1647769
  6.                           Zambia   .1616668
  7.                          Nigeria   .1569217
  8.                         Honduras   .1542673
  9.                           Brazil   .1540732
 10.                          Bolivia   .1438726

And the worst underachievers:

147.                       Luxembourg  -.2567647
148.                            India  -.2632898
149.                        Hong Kong  -.2657145
150.                        Sri Lanka  -.2662773
151.                             Laos  -.2725079
152.                            Nepal  -.3249932
153.                         Cambodia  -.3368171
154.                         Pakistan  -.4264052
155.                      Puerto Rico  -.4381242
156.                      Philippines  -.6000575

Clearly things can shift around a bit if you use current rankings,
but the general pattern is: small European nations overachieve,
large Asian nations underachieve.



From: John Rose
Subject: Re: What's the third team in Glasgow? 
Date: 27/2/2003

Sorry to make this a disjointed thread, but Foorum keeps on crashing on me!

Partick thistle are the third team in Glasgow at the moment, although in 
historical wins, Queens park are probably ahead of us. Clyde used to be 
considerred a glasgow team, although I think that they have moved further out, 
and clydebank no longer exist. Hamilton also used to ground share at firhill, 
but that ended a couple of seasons ago.

Thistle's ground in maryhill is close to glasgow, caledonian and strathclyde 
universities, as well as the school of art (and various others). It is also 
close to the BBC and STV studios. As a result a lot of students, professors and 
TV luvvies go to their home matches. We even have a season ticket holder who is 
a former winner of the turner prize! I am not surprised to find that we have the 
highest average IQ of any home support in this country. A lot of glaswegians 
also have it as their second team, but the only real area where there is a core 
support is in the west end of the city. As you all know from school geography 
courses, the west end of a city in the tends to be the most affluent, as a 
result the stereotypical jags supporter is regarded as a bit of a luvvie, who is 
more interested in rugby really. This is not true.

On a side note following on from the series of celebrity boxing matches, there 
was a charity boxing match between chic charnley (currently a thistle coach!) 
and an ex ranger player (macdonald I think). If you know your thistle folklore, 
you will know that chico once fought off two sword wielding attackers on the 
training ground. Needless to say, the ex rangers player was gubbed. his quote at 
the end was that "I would have taken a dive if I had known which way the ground 

anyway enough jolity for now.

ps. sad to report that the midweek score was killie 1 PTFC 0.


From: Karel Stokkermans
Subject: Re: Real Madrid Fans Turning on Ronaldo
Date: 4/3/2003

Bruce Scott TOK wrote:

> Caspar wrote;
> |> > |> Raul is the best player in the world today. Why? Because when Real
> |> > |> Madrid find themselves in deep shit, he always, always bails them out
> |> > |> with a moment of genius (check out the goal against Dortmund). If you
> |> > |> consider the decisive nature of his plays (e.g. points won per
> |> > |> goal/assist) you will find he is way higher than any major player in
> |> > |> the world apart from maybe Rivaldo.

> |> > That just makes him the best player for Real...

Surely no mean feat given Real are collecting world players of the year
like Leverkusen collect runners-up spots.

> |> He is the best player for Real. But apart from Rivaldo at Barca (until
> |> the summer), pretty much no other player displayed similar
> |> characteristics for his team. That is why Raul is the best!
> Well, you could make a similar case for Roy Keane...

Who would deny Keane (or Rivaldo) is among the best players worldwide?
> I agree Raul is a great team player, but his team does not depend on his
> form as much as many others depends on that of one major star...

It's easier to have your team dependent on you if your team-mates 
are a bunch of misfits.  If Vieri breaks a leg, Inter will be lucky 
to reach the Champions League qualifying round.  Does that make Vieri
the best player in the world?  If Kahn gets too stressed looking for 
21-year old girls while his wife is delivering a child, Bayern might 
actually fail to win the double (here's hope).  Is Kahn the best 
player (or even keeper?) in the world (at the World Cup, Friedel, 
Marcos and Rüstü were on a similar level)?  If Van Hooijdonk gets
injured again, Feyenoord might not win the Dutch Cup in spite of
being certain of a home match at every single stage of the competition.
Does that make Van Hooijdonk the best player in the Dutch League?
No, no, and no.

Raúl's scoring records both for Spain and Madrid are truly amazing
given his youth and the fact that his game (unlike Ronaldo's, for
instance) is not only about scoring goals.  If it hadn't been for
a blind linesman from Jackie Warner's Trinidad, Raúl might well 
have swept all awards in 2002 (and at least we would (hopefully)
have been spared the embarrassment of seeing a poor and boring 
second tier European team like Germany (the notion of Eurocroto 
comes to mind) make the World Cup final).



From: Lléo
Subject: Re: Brazilian team has 11 players sent off
Date: 5/3/2003

"Dani Sdao"  wrote 

> [This is nuts.  Has something like this ever happened before?]

I think it did, in a junior match back into 1991 or somesuch. Campo Grande
vs Volta Redonda. The ref sent off 32 players - both teams' 11 plus both
teams' subs bench (5 players each). Don't ask me why. :)

> Trouble erupted at the Bangu-Olaria game after the home team were
> awarded a controversial penalty with ten minutes remaining and the match
> still scoreless.
> The Olaria team bench, led by coach Sergio Cosme, raced onto the pitch
> and stood on the penalty spot to prevent the kick being taken.
> Olaria players also joined in and media reports said that, after nearly
> 20 minutes of protests, referee Jose Ezequiel summoned the Olaria
> captain and told him that the entire team had been dismissed.
> Neither team had any chance of qualifying for the semi-finals of the
> competition.

Actually, the game finished 1-1. While neither team had any chances of
making the semis, the game wasn't at all meaningless. Both were fighting for
the 6th place, which means a spot in next year's Copa do Brasil. It'll
probably go to Bangu.

> Vasco da Gama and Flamengo finished their campaigns level on 22 points
> after a 1-1 draw in a match controversially scheduled of the first day
> of Brazil's Carnival week.
> The result meant that Vasco will win the first stage - and the so-called
> Guanabara Cup - unless fourth-placed Americano win their game in hand on
> Wednesday by an eight-goal margin.
> Carioca federation officials apparently decided that the result was a
> foregone conclusion and presented Vasco the trophy.

So you see how serious this league is. Start the Brasileiro already!

> Flamengo president Helio Ferraz had promised before the match that he
> would eat dried cod balls if Vasco - who traditionally represent the
> Portuguese community - finished ahead of his team.

No, he said he would had cod for lunch, before the game. A way to say,
"we'll eat Vasco today". This Helio Ferraz guy, btw, is turning out to be an
excellent president for Flamengo... from a Vascaino perspective. He was
elected during last year's Brasileiro substituting their former president,
who suffered an impeachment. His first match was precisely against Vasco,
and he thought it was sensible to promise a 4-1 win... some wounds are still
wide open after five years, apparently :). Btw, they lost 1-2 back then.

> Vasco, often referred to as the Dried Cod which is a Portuguese
> speciality, replied by eating their own cod balls instead.
> "I've sent some cod balls to Ferraz and I've made sure they haven't got
> any bones in them so ***he doesn't choke,***" Vasco da Gama president
> Miranda told reporters.

Lovely translation, isn't it? I should dotsig it. Flamengo blew a four point
lead with two rounds to go, with losses to America and Olaria...



From: James Allnutt
Subject: Re: OFC World Cup Qualification scheme announced
Date: 18 March 2003 23:55

Mango wrote:
> I'm not sure how they get away with doing a complete draw
> ahead of the official draw.

It's actually part of the OFC's "take football to the people" programme. 
  The OFC (led by the ghost of the decisive Charlie Dempsey) have been 
paying close heed to the discussions on RSS about WC qualification, and 
the problems seen with teams like the Dutch not qualifying etc.  So, 
they have solved the problem.

The draw is, of course, just the first step.  Not only have the teams 
been placed in groups, the results have already been decided by the OFC 
match committee - to prevent any "incorrect" teams advancing.

I can now reveal the final results of the OFC qualication.  Tahiti and 
the Solomons advance from Group A, Fiji and Vanuatu from Group B.  The 
Hex finishes with a "showdown in the South" where Australia, needing to 
win by 3 goals at the MCG (after a shock - well, to those people who 
don't know much about the OFC - reverse in Tahiti) score twice in the 
last three minutes to deny the kiwis a spot in the finals.

FIFA is looking closely at this new qualification scheme, as it 
overcomes a number of the problems inherent in schemes that acutally 
involve playing games.

Expect some surprise performances in the WC finals in 2006.


From: Paul C
Date: 20 March 2003 18:14
Subject: Re: Should Lunch-Time kickoffs be ended?

On Thu, 20 Mar 2003 10:57:44 -0500, Victoria Barrett

>Manchester United fans plan to make a mass protest at Saturday's Old
>Trafford match with Fulham in a bid to end lunchtime kick-offs. 
>United have only five out of 22 home fixtures in the Premiership and
>FA Cup this season kicking off at the traditional time of 3pm.

I have every sympathy for them.

Having to leave London at 6 am for a home match can't be much fun for
MU's supporters.


From: Doan
Date: 21 March 2003 16:51
Subject: Foreign Office Warning

The Foreign Office yesterday advised people to avoid Jordan.

Unfortunately the warning came too late for Dwight Yorke.



From: Jim Goloboy
Date: 22 March 2003 03:48
Subject: Botswana Meat Commission

Yes, #rss people, they are a real team. They won the Botswana Second
Division South last year:

 1.Botswana Meat Commission (Lobatse)   15  11  4  0  42-13  37
 2.Gaborone United                      15  11  2  2  50-17  35
 3.Wonder Sporting Club (Gaborone)      15   9  1  5  32-26  28
 4.Blue Diamonds (Jwaneng)              15   6  5  4  26-21  23
 5.Red Sparks (Tlokweng)                15   4  6  5  21-26  18
 6.Gabane Santos (Gabane)               15   4  6  5  21-26  18
 7.Cosmos Blizzards (Jwaneng)           15   6  0  9  27-35  18
 8.Black Peril (Gaborone)               15   5  2  8  24-35  17
 9.Naughty Boys (Tlokweng)              15   3  5  7  21-27  14
10.Sharpsville                          15   3  5  7  18-26  14
11.Young Fighters (Mokgosi)             13   3  3  7  21-27  12
12.Southern Pirates (Kanye)             15   1  7  7  15-28  10


From: Karel Stokkermans
Date: 22 March 2003 09:44
Subject: Re: Botswana Meat Commission
You'll find a slightly more actual but still not final table at:

More to the point, they indeed did win their division, got promoted
and won their first match in this year's mini-league against the 
Extension Gunners, their Lobatse cross-town rivals, 2-0.

In other good news, Naughty Boys escaped relegation to the third
level on goal difference (Sharpsville and Southern Pirates went 
down, along with Orapa Bucs and Maun Tigers from the northern group.


From: Paul C
Date: 31 March 2003 17:02
Subject: Re: dunfermline athletic

On 31 Mar 2003 02:40:50 -0800, (sinky) wrote:

>does anybody know all the competitions that dafc have won.

Here's the list you are looking for:



From: Patrick Kehoe
Date: 02 April 2003 05:37
Subject: A note on Leonardo's re-retirement 

I take it this is really Leonardo's final good-bye... such an intelligent
player and man... if he's had top level skill in the air he'd have been
wondrous... still was great with the ball and moving it into the logical
spaces... really a keen passer... he explored the spaces around him... in
1994 the Ramos incident was tragically stupid to be sure... but even in the
"up the wings with speed" game he was positioned to perform over Branco -
who was only marginally fit when the 1994 finals began - he was very
exciting to watch... if ever a player was not utilized at the national level
it was Leonardo... he just didn't seem to ever fit the balances of the
offensive game except for a brief interval around the late 1990's for

I remember that a lot of those who were on this group 8 or 9 years ago
didn't really care for Leonardo at the world level... his move to Italy did
change some opinions, as I recall... and for those of us who longed to hear
Brazilians express their game and the team in English he was a god-send! :))

Some of his press conference talks were spoken essays on the nature of the
sport... he's a guy that should be interviewed by one of the major mag's...
great insights and rhetorical flourishes... sadly, I do not read Portuguese!


Patrick Kehoe


From: Lléo
Date: 05 April 2003 16:15
Subject: Back in the USSR

I was fooling around on , on the bit about the regional analysis
of the old Soviet Union first division (Supreme league?, when a question
occurred to me: how was the Soviet pyramid set up?

The way I figured it, given there were lists of champions for some SSRs
during the USSR period, that the republics' leagues were used as feeders for
a top league, featuring clubs from all over the country (well, those who
could stay up that is). Or maybe it was two national tiers and then the
republics', I don't know. Is that any accurate?

Plus, were the republics's cups a part of the Soviet Union Cup? Or were they
all independent from each other?

PS: on the "weird club names" subject; no offense intended, but "Atletas
Kaunas" (Lithuanian champion 1970) and "Atmosfera Mazeikiai" (same country,
winner in 1976 - sounds like a japanese cartoon) must rank along with the
Xghajra Tornados of the world, in my humble opinion.


From: David Tiemroth
Date: 07 April 2003 17:17
Subject: Re: Which is the best pair of strikers in soccer, past or present?

On Mon, 7 Apr 2003 20:28:26 +1000, "Diablo" 

>IMO (and from what I have only seen):
>Gullit-Van Basten.
>Others that I think rate highly:

You can't mention strike pairings without mentioned Preben Elkjær and
Michael Laudrup, perfect mix of a fox in the box and a... slightly
more clever and less penalty box inclined fox.

What animals are regarded as clever apart from foxes, anyway? And no,
cats don't count, they're regarded as malicious...


From: Lléo
Date: 08 April 2003 01:09
Subject: [R] Bahia-Flamengo

From the Fonte Nova, Salvador:

Bahia 1-2 Flamengo

I only watched the goals, so no match report. And I'm only posting this
result because of Bahia's goal. It was a good laugh, I wish I had seen it

The main characters of this comedy are:
Julio Cesar (Flamengo's goalkeeper)
Fabinho (Flamengo's defender)
The referee (??)

The scenario:
Flamengo leads 1-0, due to an early and undisputable penalty over Athirson,
away to Bahia in a crowded Fonte Nova (though probably everyone in Bahia
also backs up Flamengo), and is managing to keep the lead after HT.

The play:
Julio Cesar made a save and had the ball in his hands. The defenders are
leaving the penalty area, as he prepares to kick it upfield. And he does, a
very strong kick. Unfortunately for him, his defense was still too close to
the penalty area. The ball hits the back of Fabinho's head, almost knocking
him unconscious, and goes over the aghast goalkeeper, whose attempt to
backtrack was as desperate as it was pointless... As the ball crosses the
line (and the scoreboard is updated by the gift equalizer), a loud laughter
explodes across the Fonte Nova (New Fountain) Stadium. To crown the whole
scene, the referee awarded the goal to Fabinho, who woke up without ever
knowing what hit him just to learn he had scored an own goal...

Good thing for Julio Cesar that Flamengo scored the winner a few minutes
later. I don't think Bahia supporters were that much bothered. Not only
because most of them hold Flamengo as their second team, but because
whatever was the final result, that play was already worth the ticket.


From: Steve Jones
Date: 08 April 2003 22:16
Subject: Re: Adu vs Rooney

"steven ryals"  wrote in message
> ??????
> at the same age of course?
> what a pair they would make as a strikeforce..
> has anyone actually seen Adu play? I saw him in potomac long ago,
> there was a big buzz about how great he was, but he just looked like
> an extremely skilled player, nothing so special.. well, i'm not a scout
> or anything, so maybe I just couldn't see the potential.
> -steven

So lets get this straight, what was Rooney like at 13... you know the funny
thing ?

IT DOESN'T MATTER, because lots of players aren't brilliant at 13 but are
amazing at 20, Gary Lineker wasn't unbelivable at 13, most youth
internationals don't go on to play representative football at senior level.

So until he plays at a senior level, FORGET ABOUT HIM, sure he might be a
Best, a Maradona or a Pele... he could also be yet another of those players
who shows great promise early on but doesn't develop physically or
skillfully as a player.  And as a bit of a guide....

There are millions of players who don't make it, thousands who do, and most
of the best don't demonstrate that until their early twenties, those that
are brilliant at 17 are rare enough, and many fail to improve (Ryan Green
youngest ever Welsh player... where art thou now ?).

Adu will burn out, and will be surpased, unless he is the next Diego.... and
the odds are not good, because for every thousand "next Diego's" there
hasn't been a single one who has actually been it.


From: Steve Jones
Date: 10 April 2003 21:49
Subject: Re: "Real Madrid play like Harlem Globetrotters," says Neville G

"Paul C"  wrote in message
> ....and here was me thinking it was MU who played football like the
> Harlem Globetrotters.
> MANCHESTER, England, April 9 (Reuters) - Real Madrid reminded
> Manchester United defender Gary Neville of exhibition basketball team
> the Harlem Globetrotters in Tuesday's 3-1 Champions League victory in

So to put it another way....

Gary Neville doesn't even think he is playing the same sport as Real
Madrid... I have to agree.


From: Steve Jones
Date: 16 April 2003 22:00
Subject: Proposal for a new rule...

In Rugby the referees can wear mics that can be transmitted live.  In Field
Hockey if you question a ref you get a card, in Basketball you get a

So why the hell would it be so wrong to book players for surrounding the
ref, linesman or whatever screaming and swearing at them to change a

Book em all.  So what if the first few matches finish 5 a side, I'd like to
hear the ref in the same way as I hear the six nations rugby refs.  There is
no excuse for 4 players hounding are or linesman, its just that the game
allows it.  And where its worse is on the park for Sunday league with the
oafs, if we stamp it out at international level we can stamp it out at all
levels, but while 4 players can swear at the ref or his assistant without
fear of getting booked nothing is going to improve.

Its not about stopping it being a man's game, hell rugby is hardly for the
pink and Gucci set, its about professionalism and control.  Lets give refs
support, so at least when we insult them from the terraces they aren't also
getting verbally abused by players.

And for anyone who says "its part of the game" BOLLOCKS, Rugby and Field
hockey introduced the 10 yard rule and ALWAYS enforced it, WEEKS later
people stopped arguing.  The problem with football is that the press hold
the players up as angels who can't be critisised.

This is a world where Roy Keane can admit to pre-meditated assault... can
threated a ref... and be lauded for it.

This needs to change.


From: Philip Lennox Beineke
Date: 21 April 2003 16:49
Subject: Re: poll: worst player in MLS history?

John Knapp   wrote:
>Thor something-or-other with DC United in 96.   Terrrrrible.

Thor Lee ... as in, a replathement is thorlee needed.

In more recent years, a lot of the truly horrendous
performances have come from Project-40 youth players
and back-up goalkeepers (especially Canadians).

Last season, San Jose had a super-quick Project-40 forward
named Devin Barclay. Late in a game, he was given a wide open 
breakaway down the middle of the field. The keeper
came far out to challenge, and instead of chipping, Barclay 
tried to dribble around him. 

Well, Barclay has all the jitter of Frankie Hejduk but
none of the skill. After his first bad touch, things
just got worse. And in the end, he managed to dribble
all the way over the left sideline: throw-in to the 
opposing team.


From: Juan Vasquez
Date: 21 April 2003 19:36
Subject: Valentina and the ethics of pro football

Valentina and the ethics of pro football

On our way home from school, Valentina, my 16 year old daughter and
friend was taking to me about the repetition of Barça-Madrid on
Friday by ESPN and the affair of Figo, the J&B bottle, etc. and she
asked me about any other player coming to Real Madrid after being
a Barça player.

I recalled Ronaldo Barça-Inter-R. Madrid and Bernd Schuster,
who was culé (Barça), fororo (Real Madrid) and then colchonero
(Atletico de Madrid).

Also Luis Enrique, but the other way around: Madrid-Barcelona.

Any other ?

She is of the opinion that this is kind of unethical, being
the two sides archrivals and I reminded her of the Jerry
Seinfeld's routine on what you really love and are a fan of
in proffesional sport is clothing ;-)

Of course this is a gross exageration because apart from
clothing you also root for history and kind of atavistic

I myself grew up being a fan of Caracas Lions (baseball) and by
extension of Caracas FC (born in the 80's) because of a family

But undeniably clothing is a major factor, specially nowadays
that merchandising is pushing hard and there's this huge
market for shirts and memorabilia in sports.

But how can you be so fororo after being culé ?

Are you possibly a bostero (Boca) after being a gayina (River) ?

Is ethics divorced of pro football ?

Yes, many people say they are pro players and they go wherever
they get the best offer.

But how about this players who sometimes do not celebrate scoring
because the goal was made against their old club which they still
love ???.

(Not the case of Luis Enrique on Saturday, by the way).

Juan Vazquez


From: Raulinho7
Date: 24 April 2003 02:13
Subject: And on the 7th day God created Real Madrid

He put on the glorious #7 white shirt and called himself RAUL  (Raulinho 3:16).

Miscellaneous observations about Real Madrid's private bitch (sorry I meant
Champion's League) quarterfinals:

1. Real played United like a cheap fiddle. The progress of Real to the semis
was never in question not even for one second of the 180 minute tie between the
devils and God's team. It was a very comfortable quaterfinal for us. I feel bad
that United had to go out and crap like Inter, Juventus and to a lesser extent
Milan are still in the competition. Barcelona and United are evil but they play
very entertaining football and I apreciate them for that.

2. Inter is officially the worst team in the history of mankind. I propose that
the next match involving Inter should be played without a football. Believe me
it won't make one iota of difference. A football is as much of a foreign object
to Inter as a hairy nacho is to the Pope. They don't know it, they won't miss

3.The MI6 poisoned Raul and we know it. Expect retaliation. It won't be pretty.

Finally one last thing:,

 10 European Cups looking at you kids, whacha gonna do about it?.


From: Raulinho7
Date: 24 April 2003 14:20
Subject: Juventus' tactics for the match against Real Madrid

1. Place the bench on the goal line.

2. Sit the substitutes, the technical staff, the medical staff and their mamas
on the bench on their own goal line.

3. Tell the driver of the bus that took them to the stadium to park the bus in
their own goal line. 

4. Hide behind their mamas' skirts for their entire match.

5. Hang a picture of la Madonna in their own goal and pray for the 90 minutes
to pass as soon as possible 

6. Gain full praise from the Italian press for a brilliant tactical display
while at the same time cricize Real Madrid for being a reckless team that only
knows how to score goals. And scoring goals is not what football is all least not in Italy.

It is up to the greatest soccer club in history to rescue football from the
claws of cattenacio. Headlines such as "Great. Cattenacio is back!!!!!!!" are
abundant now in Italy. Next thing we'll know football will be dead. But fear
not. We'll make our point and send ugly football  back to the plastic

[Juventus won 4-3 on aggregate - SE]


From: Steve Jones
Date: 24 April 2003 17:12
Subject: Re: Milan, Inter and Juve: Attacking football

"Diablo"  wrote in message

> Milan, Inter and Juve have made it to the semi-finals of the Champions
> league.
> Many people say they play defense football.
> In your opinion, is this the reason why they win?
> Is it the quality that takes them through?
> If italian teams played attacking football, would they win easier?

Nope, fundamentally there is a difference (gross generalisations ahead but
pretty true I think)

In Italy you win by conceeding one less than the opposition.  In Spain you
win by scoring one more,   in England you win by being more physical and
quicker, in Germany more organised and better trained, in Scotland you lose
gracefully as a result of bad luck.

> It was great to watch Milan at the start of the season when they played
> offensive football and won easily in the Champions league.

Nope they'd get spanked as they don't play that way normally.
> IMO, if the italian teams played attacking football they would win easier.

Again, Nope.  They can't take Real on head to head in attack, but they can
take them on defence v defence. That is the game they will play.


From: Juan Vasquez
Date: 24 April 2003 18:20
Subject: Bilardo, the man with the pin (was: Re: Valentina and the ethics of pro football)

"Michael Hynes"  escribió en el mensaje
>back-heeled the ball into United's net. It won the game 
>for City 1-0 and
>United were consequently relegated (although they were  
>down regardless of the result). 
>The devastation on Law's face after the goal showed the 
>bond he still had with his old club. In fact, it was his 
>last ever kick in League 
>football as he was so downcast he retired straight after 
>the game. The fact the United fans never blamed him for 
>it showed their great affection and respect for him also.

Coincidentially I was living in Manchester at that time.  Grim times for
United.  Only went to see them (lost) a couple of times, because of my pals
only could play football on Saturdays afternoons and I chose to play
instead of going to Old Trafford to the disappointment of seeing United
being relegated.  Neverthheless they played almost all their games to
full attendance (47.000 at the time iirc) because of the expectancy of
the crowds, full of hope, for their side to escape the ominous fate.

The made a rollercoaster of their 2nd division campaign the following year
and got inmediate promotion, again to almost full attendance.

It has been my favourite english side, even when I (being a southamerican)
rooted for Estudiantes de la Plata in 1967, when Juan "La Bruja" Veron
(father of Juan Sebastian Veron) scored that late goal which captured the
Intercontinental Cup for the argentinian side.

Times of Dr. Carlos (Narigon = Big nose) Bilardo, the DT of the 1986
champions, in midfield of the "pincharratas" with his pin concealed in his
shorts, used by him to sting it into rivals to provoke them into
retaliation, with the subsequent red cards LOL :-)

The Dr. Bilardo practice was exposed by a Lima newspaper at that times when
Estudiantes went there to play Alianza Lima and it created this legend,
never confirmed by Bilardo himself, but that is a little piece of
latinamerican picaresque ;-)




From: Shahbaz J. Sabeti
Date: 25 April 2003 06:03
Subject: Re: On the passing of Norberto Longo

I, too, was deeply saddened by the passing of our mercurial
broadcaster Senor Norberto Longo.

Thanks to Oliver Tse, who posted the news of his passing on the site, and to El Nuevo Herald for giving the event the
proper press it is due.

Since hearing the news, I've been filling up my leisurely gaps in the
evening watching some Univision videos of past World Cup games
featuring the dynamic duo of Cantor & Longo.  Tonight I checked out 
their most passionate call at the '98 Coupe de Monde (arguably ever?)
featuring England v Argentina.  Cantor goes berserk after the final
penalty kick, unquestionably in tears, and then Longo takes over by
slapping the table in joyous relief and going on an absolute barrage
of superlatives for the next 10 minutes.  A moment of immortality.

It was unabashedly biased, unscripted, and raw.  All for the love of
the game, futbolisticamente hablando.

I started watching Univision and their Domingo futbol telecasts in
'93, when I was a newbie to the soccer scene.  I was 15.    Thanks in
part to the telecasts I was one of the few Americans after the 1994
World Cup to stay on board, which meant becoming an avid follower and
participant of  The last few years I haven't been
able to see the tandem on Telemundo, and had lost track with RSS.  Now
I'm back with my first post since I believe 1998.  Thanks Mr. Longo.


From: Michael Hynes
Subject: How not to prepare for a season -an A league tale of woe !
Date: 29 April 2003 20:03

We have a professional soccer team in Calgary. If you use the word
professional very loosely, I suppose.  Last year, the Storm's first in
the A league, they stopped paying all the local players half way through
the season.  Bad weather and bad results meant attendances were well
below the expectations that a very successful season in the PDL in 2001
had brought on.   

However, we Foothills Park faithful could always hope things would be
better this year - or could we ?

Three of our better players (all Canadian U20) got snapped up elsewhere
(Lemire by Montreal Impact, Ledgerwood by Bayern, and Dutras by an
unspecified german or Japanese team).  And we all waited for news of new
signings.  As of last week the team had only 14 players under contract -
three loaners from Constant Springs FC in Jamaica (who only arrived last
week), 5 or 6 returnees from last year, Sean Fraser (a former Canadian
U20 player) , and Dave Wiebenga (An american GK) -- and the status of a
few is still unclear.  While other teams like Vancouver and Montreal
have been training hard (and some teams in the states have already
started the season), the Storm hasn't has a training session with all
the players yet, and the only friendly scheduled so far was cancelled on
Sunday due to over a foot of snow on the pitch.  There is still tonnes
of snow on the ground, and last I looked, some promised new signings
from Aldershot had still not materialised.

So this rag tag collection of players gets to head out this weekend to
the Coast to play games against the the powerful Whitecaps and Sounders
(back to back games on Saturday and Sunday).  

One wonders how long "professional" soccer can last here at this rate. 
Well, I will be in the stands on May 10 for the first home game.  At
least nobody can accuse us of being glory seekers !


From: Michael Babyak
Date: 06 May 2003 12:26
Subject: Re: MLS Results for May 3

LHeilb8013  wrote:
: Does DC United lead the world in 0-0 draws or what??:)

: Lloyd Heilbrunn

Says Hudson, "Without penetration, it's just masturbation, and right 
now, we're playing with ourselves."   


From: Steve Jones
Date: 11 May 2003 22:52
Subject: Please please please please please

8 years old, watching a bus come through Tettenhall Wood, a trophy after
beating the European class of Nottingham Forest.  Then despair, the drop,
the drop, the drop, the failed playoffs, the rise and rise.  Steve Bull with
over 100 goals in two seasons, sticking with the club when the big time
beckoned... and never making it there with Wolves.

Ever since I moved away from Wolverhampton I've been waiting for us to make
the move just one division into the top flight.  4 failed playoffs attempts,
one capitulation, lots of 7th or 8th place finishes, an encylopedia of
managers, millions of pounds of players.

COME ON LADS.  Lets not be pretty, lets not be scared.  Lets thrape Reading
on Wednesday, then go through in Cardiff as a result of a dodgy penalty and
an dreadful disallowed goal.

Be our year, be our year.  I won't talk about "deserve" because you have to
earn that, but screw the Forest fans, screw the Reading fans, screw the
Blades fans.  Hope you all get promoted next season, but please to the god
of all that is good and great (Billy Wright) let this be the year.


From: Faisal Zaman
Date: 7 May 2003 06:00
Subject: Re: Best European team?

> Guivarch did nothing to re enforce what you think was tactical.

True his finishing was pretty poor.. but Jacquet could have put in Henry or
Trezeguet when he took off Guivarch... why did he choose another Guivarch
(Duggary). Simple.. they are both physical and good at holding the ball.
That was Aime Jacquet's tactic for the final.. Jacquet knew how to play the
Brazilians.. defend and they will come at you and eventually score (with a
little help from our friend.. in black).. play too open then they will
attack you in the counter. The best way to play a skillful yet brainless
team (eternally Brazil, Spain and more recently Argentina) is to hold on to
the ball and not lose possession quickly. Patient build-up is the key.

People who want to get into management must watch two games: (1) Milan-Barca
94 and (2) France-Brazil 98.

Football is a real simple game.. and the more simple you keep it, the more
better off you are. The likes of Capello, Pekerman, Beckenbaur.. these guys
don't have PhDs in Physics or Chemistry. Football is more about managing
people rather than tactics. Football is too simple for tactics. There are
two modes of football.. Attack and Defend. Vary its intensity in either
direction and you've accounted for everything. You know that would make a
real good social science thesis.. maybe when Houllier gets the sack he can
join a University and complete his dissertation on that topic.. Modes of

Houllier and Eriksson want to repeat the same contain-hold-distribute type
of result with Heskey.. but they keep forgetting they need to have a decent
midfield first.


From: Steve Jones
Date: 26 May 2003 20:33
Subject: English Playoffs a summary [R]

First some history.  Born in Wolverhampton, moved to Bournemouth to work
there for quite a while, saw Redknapp, Holland et al at the Cherries so they
are my official 2nd club.


What a game, big "fletch" a stalwart for the club getting the first, a
temporary rivial from Lincoln before they were blown out of sight.  Great
club and a model for smaller clubs every where.  The Cherries (with a logo
of a man missing a header) are never going to get into Europe, but that
doesn't matter.  Great start to the weekend.


Did Gardening


Nerves, tension, stress.  This isn't as bad as watching your wife go through
labour, but its in the next tier down.  19 years I've waited.  And then in
the first few minutes some great chances go begging....  then a pass from
Miller, is it too short ?  SLAM! Kennedy puts us one nil up... and what do I
think ?

"Too soon"

Not kidding, that was my reaction.

Game goes on, we are taking them to pieces, "we have to get a second" I tell
my wife... we win a corner... Ince... Blake... GOALLLLLL.....

"They came back from two down against Forest"

Then the defining moment.

Mix-up at the back, ball isn't cleared, cross comes in... Ince flicks his
head... its going goalwards... MURRAY flicks it away for the corner....

"Could it be ?"

Ball on the right, the fleet footed Newton has an easy early ball to
Miller... he doesn't take it.. chance wasted... cross... Miller...

"Bloody hell... it might"

2nd Half... we set our stall out to defend... hogging the edge of the
penalty area like against Reading... United smash the ball across the area,
Butler tries to move his arm out of the way... PENALTY?!  WTF.. "Shit shit
shit... no not now, bastard ref.. fuck fuck fuck"

Brown steps up... Murray standing slightly to the left of the goal as Brown
looks at it... Brown sends it right... Murray goes right... SAVED....


We've won it, no doubt.  The match continues, we try and break, they try and
score, Murray makes another top class save from a free-kick.  But the two
moments that won us the game without doubt are the save from Ince and the
penalty.  The first kept us clear, and the second destroyed United... you
could see it on their faces, when Murray made that save it was all over.

Thanks Dave, thanks Matt, thanks Jack, great team performance boys.

The Wolf pack is hunting bigger prey next season.


From: Matt LaFontaine
Date: 27 May 2003 15:35
Subject: Re: the dark arts....

"greenback88"  wrote in message
> i am currently coaching a team of amateurs, and wish to instruct them
> in some of the more *professional* aspects of the game.
> any of your favorites would be most welcome, so that i can ensure that
> they develop into fine young professionals.

Teach them to piss and moan as much as possible to the referee whenever he
makes a call favoring the other team, regardless of how obvious or blatant
the foul was. Make sure they know to tell the referee that the ball *always*
went off the opposition before a throw-in. Their protests should be loudest
just when the other team is releasing the ball into play. Sarcasm is
important too; referees love players with snotty tones.

Your players should also be taught to inform the referee when an opposing
attacker is offside. Defensmen should immediately raise their hands and
stand still regardless of where the attacker is when the ball is in play.
Moreover, your attackers should be vocal in letting the referee know when an
opposing attacker is offside, especially when they are viewing the play from
40 yards behind. Referees love this as well.

Lastly (and most importantly), teach them to crumble to the ground and
writhe in pain while grabbing their lower leg, even if they were gently
shoulder-charged by an opponent. This is a guaranteed sympathy-getter, and
the referee will be much more likely to yellow- or red-card the opposing
player if the individual on the ground is moaning loudly. An added plus is
having teammates tell the ref that the foul "oughtta be a red card!!!"

Just a few tips to make professionals out of amateurs!

Matt "not at all a cynical referee" LaFontaine


From: Renaud Dreyer
Date: 29 May 2003 18:15
Subject: Re: Juventus like Benfica......

In article ,
 Benny  wrote:

> I hope we never have to play an Italian team in the competition again.

May all your opponents be Spanish teams! (Ancient Serie A blessing)

Congratulations again,



From: steve d
Date: 10 June 2003 21:16
Subject: Re: FIFA announces new World league

Dani wrote:

>Division 2
>Trinidad & Tobago
>New Zealand

I've started printing the "Wales FIFA Division 2 Champions 2003-04" merchandise

T-shirts (signed by Ryan Giggs) £15 - not to be worn at friendlies 

Baseball cap £10 - includes Robbie Savage blonde hair extentions so you too can
look like an Afghan hound.

Goalkeeping gloves as endorsed by Neville Southall - £12. Wear the gloves that
allowed the one man team of big Nev keep the Dutch to just 7 goals in
Eindhoven, 1996. Collective amnesia has wiped the fact that the Binamn produced
one of the great performances of all time alongside ten clueless muppets. They
could have scored 20.

Realistic-looking parole reports £7 - pretend to your friends that you're Craig
Bellamy on your return from a night club

Retro-looking temporary tattoos from our Viiny range £2 each. Choose from
dragon, daffodil, leek or raincloud. With any luck you too will be spotted by a
young Brit film director and have the dubious honour of getting out-acted by

And finally I've managed to source some Pieces of the True Cross(bar) as
touched by Apostle Paul of Bodin whilst suffering his penalty and hidden since
the WC Crusade of 1993. Serious offers only for this priceless relic.

steve d