GLENTORAN 0-0 LINFIELD 27.9.2010

Was at The Oval last night for the big televised title showdown between Glentoran and Linfield, which finished 0-0.

It wasn’t a dull 0-0, but it was one of those 0-0 draws where you know it was going to finish 0-0, despite the best efforts of both teams.

The away end at The Oval is notoriously difficult to get amateur photos from, but I managed to get a good spot for photos, but it meant that if Linfield did score, if the scorer ran to the right, I was a bit fucked.

Managed to get one good photo and a couple of OK ones. The good one was of both sets of players lining up for a corner, as fans looked attentively on.

There was a gentleman who got into shot and totally ruined it.

But don’t despair, my new camera has editing facilities, so I managed to get him out of shot.

To be honest, I do hate the idea of editing my photos, but this was a good photo ruined, and I just made a little tweak to improve things.

From United v Liverpool, to Glentoran v Linfield as my next game, I do love the varied nature of my football watching.

After Saturday (Linfield v Portadown at Windsor Park, not a camera friendly ground) it’s Northern Ireland v Italy (Viewing Lounge, excellent phototaking position) and then Coleraine v Linfield the next day (A very photofriendly ground for amateurs)

Incidentally, it will be the 4th time i’ve been to two football matches on successive days.

February 2009
Linfield v Coleraine
Newry City v Portadown – Mourneview Park (Got a free ticket)

February 2010
Manchester United v Portsmouth
Birmingham City v Wolverhampton Wanderers

April 2010
St Patrick’s Athletic v Sporting Fingal
Bohemians v Linfield

Just thought i’d give a wee heads up that I may post a “Yoochoob Volume 2″ of some of my favourite Youtube videos of news coverage of historical events.

Don’t expect some highbrow intellectual analysis, it sort of takes attention away from the videos.

Myspace Link To Other Photos

YOOCHOOB

Football lovers on Twitter will have noticed in recent weeks, a new account by the name of RetroMBM.

It’s to launch a new football website showcasing videos from “The good ole days”, from the writers of the excellent ‘Joy Of Six‘ on The Guardian website.

I love Youtube, and what I love most is viewing old stuff, such as videos to songs i’ve only ever heard but never seen the video to, news reports of major events in the past, random idents and football matches from yesteryear.

Seeing as this site is setting up, thought i’d share some of my favourite old football videos currently on Youtube, in no specific order.

Trailer for the BBC’s coverage of the 1986 World Cup. They went to a lot of effort building a set which sort of looks like Mexico and hiring Mexican-looking actors to star in it.

ITV’s coverage of the 1982 World Cup, presented by Brian Moore with comedy from Eric Morecambe. In 2010, it was presented by Adrian Chiles with comedy (If you can call it that) from James Corden.

What the fuck went wrong with ITV in the intervening 28 years?

(You may notice Eamonn Holmes in the clip. Didn’t he look like Dimitar Berbatov when he was younger?)

A mundane friendly game from 1998, but worth watching simply for Brian Clough not taking too kindly to Nick Owen correcting him for calling Gary Pallister “McAllister”.

Now, if only someone could write a comedy show about a TV presenter and model it on Nick Owen, possibly presenting a graveyard show on Radio Norwich?

(Also, ever watch a live match from Eastern Europe these days wishing it was in the middle of the afternoon as the ground had no floodlights and with poor sound quality on the commentary? Ain’t modern technological advances shit?)

Amazing Luton Town kit, watch the reaction of the crowd behind the goal when the ball goes in.

Geekgasm alert, amazing ident. One word – GOOOOOALLLLLLACCCCHHHIIOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

Bryan Robson makming Diego Maradona look like a little boy. This is why the big European nights at Old Trafford are great occasions.

THIS, is what the new Match of the Day opening credits should have looked like.

English football allowed off UEFA’s naughty step.

UK TV World Cup coverage opening credits. Bet you can remember most of them too. It’s amazing the evolution of them too.

What’s wrong with cutting together a few clips of teams involved in the tournament?

Football advertising in a more innocent age.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

RETROMBM

West Germany v Holland, Italia 90

Italia 90 ITV End Montage

Oh Pavarotti

Oh ITV4, why won’t you repeat ‘The Big Match’ anymore?

Oh David Icke

Cup Final Build-Up 1983

Cloughie, The Man, The Myth, The Legend

Oh ITV, why can’t you do football coverage like this anymore?

YOUTUBE CHANNELS

Homesdale35

Mattyredman

THE UEFA 99 CLUB

On a long bus journey home from Manchester last week, I purchased a copy of the new edition of When Saturday Comes to pass the time, and there was one article which really caught my attention.

It was one concerning the fact that 99 different clubs have reached a European Final (European Cup, European Cup Winners Cup, UEFA Cup) and one man is on a mission to see them all in action.

His current total is 66 (Exactly 2/3s of the way through) although being a match going Rangers fan gives him a bit of an advantage, where he can see his own team and three SPL rivals on a weekly basis, as well as foreign opponents due to Rangers Euro adventures.

As the bus was still going through Scotland, I decided to see and tick off how many teams on my list, and got a meagre 22 in comparison, but I did get 8 former European Cup winners, including all 5 to come from Britain.

Can’t say i’m planning on making completing this list a life ambition, but just thought it would be fun to compare.

As with any list, there will always be ones that got away, and mine is not different.

Dinamo Tblisi, 1981 European Cup Winners Cup Winners played Linfield in a European Cup tie in 1993, which I wasn’t at. I don’t know why I didn’t go, but I definately know that I didn’t go.

I remember the first leg tie took place on the same night as a midweek Premier League fixture list, and Alan Green broke off from the commentary game to read out the score, adding “We have a great chance in the second leg with that away goal”

For a 10 year old, having Linfield getting a shout out on Five Live seemed quite exciting.

Linfield lost the tie 3-2, but Tblisi were thrown out for trying to bribe the official, and Linfield went through to face FC Copenhagen, who snuck through to face AC Milan.

If it wasn’t for that cheating bastard ref and his 6 minutes of injury time, I could have had 23 teams on my list.

In 17 years of going to Old Trafford 2-3 times a season, I have seen a wide variety of teams, but Everton are not one of them. For some reason, i’ve never seen them play at Old Trafford.

I was planning to see them in 2001, but that trip got cancelled and I got another game in compensation. I declined the opportunity to see them face a Northern Ireland XI in 2007 as it was only half a team playing, with the other half playing a friendly against Bury the same day.

2009 UEFA Cup Winners Shaktar Donesk played a European Cup Winners Cup tie at Windsor Park in 1995, but with the Ukranians leading 4-1 from the first leg, I decided to give it a miss. If only i’d known the success they would have in 14 years time.

Red Star Belgrade were the biggest miss for me. In 1991, they were reigning European Cup winners, and they began their defence in Portadown.

I wanted to go, but my dad wouldn’t take me. It was a school night, end of debate.

The first team on the list I saw was Marseille in 1992, the most recent Birmingham City and Wolves in 2010.

I’ll definately be adding Tottenham Hotspur at the end of October, and hopefully Barcelona and Athletico Madrid in February. Maybe one day, i’ll be able to add Linfield.

Feel free to post your own totals

Team (Year first seen)

Arsenal (2003)
AS Roma (2007)
Aston Villa (1993)
Benfica (2000)
Brimingham City (2010)
Celtic (2009)
Chelsea (1997)
Dynamo Zagreb (2008)
Feyenoord (1999)
Fulham (2001)
Leeds United (1993)
Liverpool (1994)
Manchester City (2000)
Manchester United (1993)
Marseille (1992)
Middlesbrough (1995)
Newcastle United (1993)
Nottingham Forest (1996)
Rangers (2002)
Real Madrid (2003)
West Ham United (1997)
Wolverhampton Wanderers (2010)

THE DIMITAR BERBATOV SHOW (OR, SEPTEMBER SHENANIGANS)

Was over in Manchester at the weekend for my first United game of the season, and my word, I picked a cracker, taking in the Dimitar Berbatov inspired 3-2 win over Liverpool.

It was the first time i’d taken in a United game against Liverpool since 1994, which was a rarity in this fixture, a Saturday 3pm fixture.

I’d actually turned down the chance to see United play Liverpool in April 2004. That game clashed with Linfield’s final day title showdown with Glentoran, there was only going to be one winner.

United lost, Linfield won (the game, and title) so it turned out to be the right decision. Incidentally, that game I turned down the chance to see was the last Saturday 3pm kick-off between United and Liverpool.

Shocking weather travelling over, it didn’t get much better on matchday, getting totally drenched, killing off any chances of dandering into Manchester City Centre.

It was strange, as the third Weekend in September in recent years always seemed to be gloriously sunny.

In 2007, I took advantage of Linfield not playing to go and check out some murals on the Shankill Road.

In 2008, I took advantage of Linfield playing, on the seaside, to see a 5-0 win at Bangor. Big crowd (in a small ground though), sunny weather and a 5-0 Linfield win, what’s not to like?

Last year, I spent this weekend at perhaps the greatest Manchester derby of all.

So, this game, had a lot to live up to.

The match itself was unremarkable for 40 minutes until Berbatov headed United in front.

His overhead kick for the second had to be seen to be believed. I was behind that goal, in a low seat, and once he hit it, you knew it was going to be a goal.

Unfortunately, rather than witnessing a routine and comfortable (But enjoyable, United beating Liverpool is ALWAYS enjoyable) win, United’s new found ability this season to self-destruct defensively saw it being a more exciting game than it should have been.

The reflief, when Berbatov scored was clear for all to see. I managed to capture a photo of it, which has become my most active post on my fledgling Tumblr account.

Now, Berbatov could do no wrong, a stark contrast from the reaction of fans after the last United game I was at, at Blackburn in April, when he was singled out for an ineffective display leading the line in the absence of the injured Wayne Rooney.

Berbatov was signed to deliver in the big and important games, and he didn’t at Ewood Park (That game, rather than the defeat to Chelsea the week before, was the one that cost United the 2010 title) but made up for it big time on Sunday,

It also meant I kept up my proud record of never having seen United lose at Old Trafford in person, although I did see United lose a fiendly to an International XI at Winsdor Park in 1995, and a league game at Ewood Park in 2006.

My next United game will be the game against Spurs at the end of October (I’ve actually got a bit of a record of missing out on seeing Spurs, but i’ll save that for the photoblog of that game) but until then, i’ll have to make do with the hustle and bustle of the Irish League (with a corproate view of Northern Ireland v Italy inbetween)

Having been to the second biggest game in British football, my next football match will be the biggest game in British football (possibly even World football)

For once, when Sky introduce a match as “Live, from the greatest league in the world”, they can actually justify it.

You shouldn’t really have to ask what it is.

So, when thinking of the three greatest hat-tricks in football history (Glenn Ferguson v Glentoran 2005, David Healy v Spain 2006, Dimitar Berbatov v Liverpool 2010), I can say, I was there.

What beating Liverpool means. Check out the guy in the red hat, he is loving it.

Beatles related graffiti in North-West Belfast. Exact location unknown.

Linfield fans at Bangor in 2008

YES!!! Wayne Rooney scoring against Manchester City in 2009

Old Trafford, September 1994

Ryan Giggs, September 1994

More photos from United v Liverpool

WHAT’S NEW PUSSYCAT?

Was out today around Lanyon Place getting photos of graffiti in Lanyon Place, just outside the city centre which i’d spotted earlier this week.

The street had previously art on it, but it had declined due to time, so this is some new material to replace it with.

The only criticism is that the location of some of the murals aren’t camera friendly, and you do have to spend a bit of time adjusting your position to get a shot.

It’s worth checking out in person. The best pieces are that of the unicorn and the cat.

Previous Artwork

Banana

Cat

Clown

Mulletman

Cat 2

New Artwork

Woman

Milk

Miaow

Owl

Unicorn

What!

Bird

THE SOUND OF (THREE-QUARTERS OF) 2010

As regular readers of this blog in it’s various incarnations will know, I like my music.

Since I started up a blog (On Bebo, in 2006) I used to list the five songs I was enjoying most that week, and then, in July, post my Top 50 of the year, and then a Top 100 in December (Usually drip fed, 20 or 25 songs at a time)

Since moving my regular blogging activity to WordPress, I have continued by having a Top 50 in July (I don’t actually do a Top 5 each week anymore) and will have a Top 100 in time for Christmas (I haven’t decided wether to dripfeed in 20 or 25 at a time)

As with tradition, they will be posted on Thursday nights. I don’t know how Thursday night became my blogging night, it just did.

So, just thought i’d share some songs i’m loving at the moment.

I know for a fact that when I had my blog on Bebo, people read it and sourced out the songs as usually within a few days of posting, they would have the video as their flashbox.

So, you can thank me in advance for introducing you to some new songs.

Ellie Goulding – The Writer

Amazing song by an amazing singer. The only one of her singles this year which comes close to matching the brilliance of her (criminally low charting) debut, ‘Under The Sheets

One Night Only – Say You Don’t Want It

Ignore the fact that Emma Watson is guesting in the video, THIS, is an amazing tune, by a band I loved back in 2008 when they released their debut single ‘Just For Tonight

A fastpaced footstomper you could just listen to on a constant loop, it makes me wish I could pick up a guitar, and write a song this good.

OMD – If You Want It

I’ve already blogged about how much I love OMD, and when you wait 14 years to release new material, it had better be worth the wait. This is, despite the fact, or perhaps because of, it sounds like ‘Wake Up‘ by Arcade Fire.

Not quite forgiven, but Andy McCusky is slightly redeemed for being the brains behind Atomic Kitten.

The Klaxons – Echoes

The Klaxons are fucking amazing. Nothing else to add really. Unlike OMD, only a 3 year wait. Worth it.

Ting Tings – Hands

You know what you get with the Ting Tings, usually songs you can dance, jog or do whatever you want to.

Silhouette – Volume Destroyed

Big shout out for a local singer with an amazing song that sounds brilliant on 1st, 2nd or 1,000th listen.

Marina and the Diamonds – Shampain

Words cannot express how much I love Marina after hearing her debut single ‘Hollywood

Saw her live at Mandela Hall this year, and she was amazing.

She’s doing a concert at the Nerve Centre next month. If you’re in the area, I suggest you go and see for yourself.

I’m in Manchester that weekend, but if I wasn’t i’d be making arrangements to be a ‘Derry Diamond’ for the night.

This song, with nods towards ‘Magic‘ by Ladyhawke and ‘Love Is A Stranger‘ by Eurythmics is the best of her releases this year.

PERHAPS THE GRASS ISN’T ALWAYS GREENER ELSEWHERE

An interesting story that grabbed my attention today, was that of the problems of the FAI in selling corporate boxes and seats at the new Aviva Stadium.

I would have some sympathy if it wasn’t for Liam Brady spending so much time phoning Northern Ireland youngsters with his “Mother Ireland” monologue.

Perhaps cutting down on their phone bill would be a start.

When the final verdict was announced in the player eligability case, it was mentioned by some about Northern Ireland fans boycotting the forthcoming Carling Nations Cup as a form of protest to get back at the FAI.

Such a suggestion might have been laughed at, but suddenly, a weakness has emerged, and Northern Ireland fans have something the FAI want, money.

If you can’t sell out games against Manchester United and Argentina, then you need to have a serious look at you marketing strategy, especially, your pricing policy.

It’s very easy to make people want to buy your product, but it’s just as easy to stop people from buying your product (either in terms of making it too expensive, or having to go to a third party),

For Dublin, it could easily have read Lisburn, as the Aviva Stadium, was highlighted by the pro-Maze lobby as the template for the national stadium for our utopian vision of the future.

“But they have a new stadium”

“But they have friendlies against Brazil and Argentina”

“But they have this, but they have that ………”

In other words, the “Keeping up with the Joneses” attitude in Northern Ireland football, where ideas get floated without thought because they have it in England/Scotland/Republic of Ireland, rather than if we actually need it.

Perhaps sometimes, the grass isn’t always greener elsewhere.

STLFTEM UPDATE

As regular readers of this blog will know, 2010 has been the year when I have implimented a new life ethos, STLFTEM, or “Something To Look Forward To Every Month”

It’s very self-explanatory, as I always aim to make sure that I have had something to go, do or see every month to look forward to.

There are only two rules :

1. There can be more than one STLFTEM in a month.

2. It has to be seen or taken part in. For example, the World Cup, in June and July doesn’t count, as it was a TV event, rather than something I actually went to.

So far, every full month this year has been catered for. September, October and December have also been sorted. That leaves November to be sorted, but thankfully, there is still plenty of time to rectify that.

I’m already looking to get the first half of 2011, with a hotel booked for Dublin on the date of the UEFA Cup Final.

I’m also looking at going on a short break in February.

I did the same this February when I went to Manchester, and it was great to have it on the horizon, during the freakishly cold winter.

My criteria, is somewhere cheap to get to, with a half-decent football team to go and see, and ideally, not in the UK or Republic of Ireland.

So far, i’ve got my heart set on Munich, and hope to get this sorted within a week.

So, STLFTEM for 2010 looks like this so far :

January

Neil Delamere at Island Arts Centre

February

Manchester trip (United v Portsmouth, Kelly Clarkson concert)

March

Glentoran v Linfield Irish Cup tie
Ocean Colour Scene at Mandela Hall

April

North of England trip (James in concert, Blackburn v United, Sean Lock live)

May

Irish Cup Final
Echo and the Bunnymen at Custom House Square
Marina and the Diamonds at Mandela Hall

June

Tegan and Sara at Mandela Hall

July

Adam Hills at Mandela Hall

August

Edinburgh Festival
Stereophonics at Belsonic

September

United v Liverpool

October

United v Spurs

December

Boxing Day (If you don’t know, Linfield v Glentoran, which is actually on December 27th)

So, can anyone suggest something for me to go and/or see in November?

WEER NAT BRAZIL, WEER NORN IRON (OR, A TALE OF TWO DAVIDs)

Believe it or not, today was actually the fifth anniversary of Northern Ireland’s 1-0 win over England in a World Cup Qualifier.

Even though it didn’t really mean much in the grand scheme of things (England still qualified with a game to spare, and Northern Ireland lost their last two games to finish 4th), it’s still always nice to beat England.

This match actually marked the start of a period when I had a severe disinterest in international football. There were two things which caused this.

The first was that the next day, the IFA announced that Stephen Nolan would be a special guest for the next month’s game with Wales, having been humiliated into making a charity donation after ridiculing the team and their chances the previous day.

It wasn’t that show which riled me, it was a show the previous year, on BBC1, where he “Debated” the need for a Northern Ireland football team.

Where else in the world would you get a load of self-loathing apologetic bollocks about a country’s football team?

When I say “Debated”, I mean it in the Nolan way, where he is right and nobody else’s opinion matters. Quick to accuse and slow to prove.

Basically, in conclusion, all Northern Ireland fans are bigots, and we’re crap at football and don’t deserve our own national football team.

Since then (The ‘My Old Man‘ case and the night of the Poland game in 2009 where he demanded Northern Ireland be thrown out of the 2010 World Cup after touble on the streets that day), he has proved that he is one leopard that doesn’t change it’s spots.

Yet, the IFA rolled out the red carpet for him, whilst many other fans are unable to get a ticket. A slap in the face and insult for all football fans in Northern Ireland.

Around that time, the IFA were happy to leak e-mails and memos to their chums at the BBC to wage a propaganda war on Linfield FC regarding the state of Windsor Park, in an attempt to get The Maze stadium built.

Bullshit press release followed smear after sensationalist headline. Quite simply, I felt I was having to choose between club and country, and it was a choice that country was never going to win.

Eventually, once The Maze died once and for all, I decided to take an interest again.

I wasn’t actually at the England game, despite being at the earlier fixture at Old Trafford. I was however, at the Spain game in 2006 when Northern Ireland came from behind to win 3-2.

In 366 days time, it will be the 5th anniversary of that game. Incidentally, that game hasn’t been immortalised in mural.

The original mural, in East Belfast, is of David Healy’s winning goal. This photo was taken during the afternoon of March 24th 2007.

Linfield were away to Loughgall but I didn’t go, so I walked over, camera in one hand, listening to Radio Ulster with the other, to get a photo.

It was an international Saturday, and Northern Ireland beat Leichtenstein with a hat-trick from ……… David Healy. Who else did you expect?

In order to clarify, the man in the photo isn’t a fan or tourist, he’s a guy waiting for his car to get fixed at a garage next door.

In 2008, the mural was painted over, and replace by one of David Ervine.

A new mural was painted across the road. In my own opinion, it’s not as good as the original.

For many people my age, they will always remember England 2005, but what i’d really want, is an Israel 1981.

THE OWL

Was out in Belfast City Centre today, with my camera as companion, and stumbled upon some new art at Garfield Street.

Garfield Street has been previously featured on this blog, as an unofficial graffiti home, with the wall space of the dormant buildings having a rotating gallery of work.

The most prominent artist in this location is Kev Largey.

This new street art is of an owl, on shutters of the site where The Garfield Bar used to be.

There is no signature at the bottom of the art, so i’m unable to determine who it is by.

Ironically, last night, I had a dream I was playing for Sheffield Wednesday, so it was perhaps appropriate I saw owl graffiti.

There is also some new art to the left of it and around the corner.

If you’re ever in Belfast City Centre, it’s well worth checking out, as it’s a great of showcase of street art, right beside Belfast’s main shopping street.