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August 5th, 2004


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06:27 pm - Status report and football
Remarkably little going on here. Happily, my recent Belgium-and-beyond cold has all but disappeared, with the only vestiges remaining being an occasional tickly cough. Next event on the horizon is running an office of volunteers at the eighth Mind Sports Olympiad for a dozen days at the end of the month, which I'm looking forward to but in a somehow ambivalent fashion. Come along, learn a new game and in less than five years, you'll win $400,000 at it. Not guaranteed, alas.

I buy the Racing Post once per year; today is this year's day, there being a 56-page football betting preview within for the new series which starts to roll into action from Saturday onwards. If you're interested in British football and in betting, this is the edition of the year to buy. I particularly enjoyed reading that the best odds about each of the three promoted teams winning the Premiership title are 5,000-1 against, and the best odds about Arsenal finishing last in the Premiership are 10,000-1 against.

Interesting also to see the newspaper pundit predict Middlesbrough (my home town here) to finish fifth this year, quoting a possible 4-4-2 line-up of Schwarzer; Reiziger, Southgate, Ehiogu and Quedrue; Mendieta, Parlour, Boateng and Zenden in the middle with Hasselbaink and Viduka at the far end. (Subs bench? Juninho, Job, Maccarone, Doriva and a goalie...)

Fifth is getting a little overexcited, perhaps, but that is indeed a fairly fearsome-looking first XI, capable on a good day of giving the England team a run for its money. Expect the usual Middlesbrough Christmas collapse as the remarkably high average age takes its toll but nevertheless anything less than beating Middlesbrough's best previous finish of ninth place will be regarded as disappointing. Indeed, you can get 5-1 against Middlesbrough to finish best outside the big five (Man U., Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Newcastle) which looks promising considering the opposition - Aston Villa, Birmingham, Fulham, Charlton et al - all look to be at least as ramshackle as the 'Boro do. Local fans and displaced ones like sir_gareth can at least look forward to some fireworks this season, not least in the season-opener away at Newcastle.

For familial reasons, I support Sunderland, who are currently in the Second Division (known, for ridiculous reasons, as "The Championship"). We have as good a chance as ever of getting perilously close and then disappointing the fans at the last moment, which is what you want, really.

Happy birthday to mintogrubb!
Current Mood: discontentdiscontent

(21 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


From:daweaver
Date:August 5th, 2004 11:16 am (UTC)

Boro 5th?

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Er, didn't I just say that myself? Either great minds think alike, or fools never differ.

Probably the latter.
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From:jiggery_pokery
Date:August 5th, 2004 03:20 pm (UTC)

Re: Boro 5th?

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My view is that Middlesbrough can finish fifth, but it's going to take everything going right for Middlesbrough (no major injury crises, no Christmas collapse, no end-of-season collapse and Steve McClaren to do well with the new signings) and/or a fairly substantial number of things going wrong for some of the other teams. It's conceivable that the new Liverpool coach might not work out well, which might result in Kenny Dalglish being parachuted in, and Sir Bobby Robson can always implode.

Middlesbrough fans should think themselves very lucky that this conversation is even being had about them, though!
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From:sir_gareth
Date:August 5th, 2004 05:13 pm (UTC)

Re: Boro 5th?

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I do! I do!
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From:jiggery_pokery
Date:August 5th, 2004 03:21 pm (UTC)
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I missed most of the Chat00bage in-jokes, as well as all the video watching, and feel a little sad about it. Oh well. Had a lovely time anyway.
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From:meggitymeg
Date:August 5th, 2004 12:23 pm (UTC)
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It's all Greek to me, too. See what leaving him to his own devices whilst I'm away in a staff meeting comes to?

I agree with Cle. *pokes*
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From:jiggery_pokery
Date:August 5th, 2004 03:23 pm (UTC)
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Ooh! You can poke me as much as you like :-)

Seems that I missed you by about ten minutes. I hope that they are not running you around too much this afternoon and evening!
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From:jiggery_pokery
Date:August 5th, 2004 03:22 pm (UTC)
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I really have had nothing to say recently - or, rather, nothing to say to a much greater extent than usual. You know what happens to people who have things to say on at all a regular basis? They get 500 Friends-of.

Good chess player, that Einai Ola.
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From:sir_gareth
Date:August 5th, 2004 05:11 pm (UTC)

Not funny

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> They get 500 Friends-of
They do not! I try and post once a day when I can... and have bugger-all friends-of. Oh! wait... maybe it's because I have never had "things to say" and just write pseudo-inane bollocks most of the time... and the fact that, like Viz, I'm officially not funny anymore.
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From:sir_gareth
Date:August 5th, 2004 12:03 pm (UTC)

Boro

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> Local fans and displaced ones like sir_gareth can at least look forward to some fireworks this season

I concur that the smoggy boys certainly look like a well-equipped outfit for a pre-Christmas assault on the top five. In fact I whole-heartedly agree with all your sentiments. I am eagerly awaiting the first season-ending injury (probably occuring in a training session) and the predictable home defeats to all the promoted clubs. I also can barely contain my excitement at the prospect of losing to Arsenal by more than four goals. I'm similarly all of a twitter about the referee gifting Newcastle a penalty to win the opening day derby.

Joking pessimism aside, I do think the season looks like it could a good one for Boro... and I shall be interested how they perform in Europe for the first time. Ironically enough, the season-ending injuries will probably occur during the Eurpoean campaign, and we will probably be relegated as a result of these crucial personnel losses. Thus retrospective punishment is exacted for winning the first piece of silverware, albeit a season after I expected.

PS: I don't really feel this way, but it seemed amusing. The lads are gonna have done good by the end of the season, I reckon.
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From:jiggery_pokery
Date:August 5th, 2004 03:27 pm (UTC)

Re: Boro

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That's football! For every perplexing defeat to Manchester City on the last day of the season so they just manage to scrape staying up again, there is bound to be an away win over Liverpool due to a freak deflection off Juninho's bum :-)

The lads certainly will have done good for some description of done good, but I fear that Sky Sports will still more-or-less ignore them. Did you know that Middlesbrough were Sky's joint least frequently featured team in live games last season? This seems inequitable, not least as each appearance carries a fairly hefty chunk of money for the team involved - about £600,000, I think.
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From:sir_gareth
Date:August 5th, 2004 05:05 pm (UTC)

Re: Boro

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I do know that Sky featured Boro as little as they could last season because that's the only time I get to see them... Sky live broadcasts are shown on Fox Sports World immediately after the game ends. They did show Boro games two weeks in a row in October last year though... but I think that was about it that I can remember... though I confess that I kind of suffered a football inattentiveness during the 'bad months' of the divorce proceedings. In fact, I even incredibly missed the audio broadcast of the cup win and had to hear about it in an excited IM box from mum in Colorado.
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From:zarchasmpgmr
Date:August 5th, 2004 12:30 pm (UTC)
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the best odds about Arsenal finishing last in the Premiership are 10,000-1 against

Well, if Arsenal sell off Viera to those bastards at Real Madrid, those odds might come down a bit.

I guess Real Madrid is trying to steal the title of "New York Yankees of European Football" from Man U.

Are there odds on Derby Co. falling to Second Division? They damn near made it last time around.

(I couldn't decide which team's logo to use on this comment - Arsenal, Derby Co. or Burton. I decided to use the one that has the best chance of promotion this year.)
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From:jiggery_pokery
Date:August 5th, 2004 03:32 pm (UTC)
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That would be Chelsea, whose multiple-billionaire-in-pounds owner Roman Abramovic who has spent quite literally nine digits of pounds on new players for Chelsea over the last two seasons. The figure £230,000,000 is springing to mind, but I can't substantiate this.

Derby odds: Laddies and ToteSport say 4/1 against relegation whereas Victor Chandler go as far as whopping 10s. You must be able to get an underround on the market with differences of opinion like that, come to think of it...
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From:zarchasmpgmr
Date:August 6th, 2004 10:42 am (UTC)
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I might take one of them up on those odds, but there's all those arcane rules about no overseas betting.

Besides, I don't have liquidity in pounds sterling at the moment.

The Bundesliga starts today or tomorrow. That's too early.
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From:addedentry
Date:August 5th, 2004 02:18 pm (UTC)
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Middlesbrough (my home town here)

Is Boston now your home town across the water?
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From:jiggery_pokery
Date:August 5th, 2004 03:33 pm (UTC)
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I'll go as far as "home from home", but to say more would be presumptuous. Cheeky addedentry!
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From:meggitymeg
Date:August 5th, 2004 03:39 pm (UTC)
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*grins*
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From:ewx
Date:August 5th, 2004 04:07 pm (UTC)
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IJLS "Belgium and beyond".
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From:jiggery_pokery
Date:August 5th, 2004 04:36 pm (UTC)
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Belgium. Almost as fun as infinity. (Almost infinitely fun, I suppose.)

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