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I Have Moved…

I’m not really going to use WordPress any longer and have decided to migrate onto Posterous.  You can check out my latest stuff at http://randomranger.posterous.com/

RR

Hartless Appointment

My club is VERY quickly turning into a laughing-stock.  Yet another scandal means that we are the joke of English football. No longer are Manchester City and Newcastle United the brunt of all jokes – we are.

I started writing this post when Paul Hart was appointed and by now he’s moved on! I don’t blame the club for this one actually. You could see after 2 games that he wanted ‘effective football’ and the fans didn’t like what they saw – I’ve never seen the R’s booed off the pitch after a victory before but a combination of bizarre substitutions and tactical suicide meat Paul Hart was fighting an uphill battle.


Magilton had us playing some fantasic football but lost the dressing room. Once it’s gone, you can’t get it back.  So, who next? Would any respectable manager take the ‘challenge’? I would personally like to see a proven manager, with a reputation for passing football. Alan Curbishly fits that bill but I can’t see him working with our owners – afterall, that’s what saw him leave West Ham. My money would be on a return for Gigi Di Canio in the summer.

The drama continues…

RR

Caster SeMENya – Man in Drag

Wow. What a saga. Is she? Isn’t she?

This has been a great source of debate recently.  I’ve heard some pretty interesting accounts and the overall story fascinates me. So, she dominated the South African junior championships 3/4 weeks prior to the World Championships and this alerted the international authorities – who then decided to keep a close eye her/him. Then this happened…

The wife and I didn’t know about the prior ‘debate’ and both remarked that she/he was very ‘manly’.  John Inverdale then confirmed our suspicion during the post race analysis on the BBC. She smashed the final and was quickly whisked away for further ‘tests’. Someone in the office did say “how hard can it be? whip down her strides and check whether she has meat and 2 veg!”. Many are probably thinking the same but I heard a really interesting account of the ‘process’ following a BBC interview after the race.  The process is delicate.  Caster has been bought up a girl, she believes she’s a girl – why wouldn’t she?  The interviewee (an IAAF governer) remarked that this case is unlike a drug cheat – where you can single out the individual for cheating and disqualify them, taking away their medal.  The Caster situation is delicate in that DNA tests may prove she was/is a man.  The difficult task is managing the athlete during what must be the hardest time in their life. Dealing with the consequences and coming to terms with such a life changing discovery cannot be easy.

So, after a hero’s welcome when she arrived back in South Africa (where she displayed even more manly characteristics) they decided whisk her away, whack on a bit of slap and make her more ‘feminine’ for the cover of ‘YOU’ magazine. Amazing.

I’m amazed by the whole story. What are your thoughts? Man? Woman?  Either way, ‘it’s’ a bloody good runner!

Would you?

RR

Typical Start to the Season

Fireworks, explosions, flags, WAGS, models, billionaire owners and their billionaire mates, wheeling out the legends before the game – we’re getting used to the spectacle that comes with Mr Briatore at Loftus Road by now.  Did it match what I saw on the pitch? Not really.

Good, steady start
After what was a quite tentative, slow paced opening, which Rangers totally dominated, ‘big Ben Burgess’ opened the scoring for the very poor Blackpool side on 37 mins.  Up to that point the R’s had bossed the game and looked the far superior side.  Nice passing, injections of pace but ultimately poor finishing was the main story of the opening period.  Blackpool didn’t offer anything going forward apart from their goal.  Typical Holloway side – all huff but no puff.

The need for a goalscorer
This is so obvious it’s unreal. It smacks me in the face every week.  Surely the board / management can see it too??  Vine missed a great chance, Helguson looks lazy and lethargic, Agyemang is not a finisher and Taraabt is awesome, but a typical number 10, rather than a number 9. Please, please, please address this problem. We look a great side up until someone needs to put the ball where it hurts – then we look weak. We wont get as many chances against better opposition in this league so we need a ruthless, deadly and clinical goalscorer.  I seriously cannot believe we haven’t addressed this after going on about it so much last term and all of the summer (or was that just me?).

Ramage
Slowly winning me over after the terrible start he made in a hooped shirt last term. Seems to care more than most and that goes a long way.  Both full backs (Ramage and Borrowdale) had solid /decent games in my opinion.  I think Ramage is solid but basic.  His goal was a pure fluke but so what, let him enjoy it!  It just goes to show how much of a state we’re in when our goal threat comes from a marouading right back who scores from a cross-come-shot. Oh dear.

Peter Ramage

Predictions for the campaign ahead
Without the 20+ man we need – 10th. With a goalscorer I truely beleive we’ll make the play-offs with an off-chance of making the top 3.  Our midfield and defence is more than good enough to mount a charge. We need to spend big on securing enough goals to get us in the Premiership  – over to you Mr Briatore / Mittal / Ecclestone.

You can view highlights from the 1-1 draw, courtesy of the BBC, by clicking here. Count how many chances Blackpool have.  Quick mention for Aldershot Town who started the season by winning 3-1 against Darlington – well done Wads!

RR

Man City Starting XI Lottery

Right, so Manchester City are signing everyone.

I’ve heard numerous conversations on the train, in the office and down the pub where people are trying to pick the City starting eleven.  When you look at their squad it’s almost impossible to pick the strongest team.

The Tevez Poster in Manchester

So here’s the challenge. From the list of players below pick the starting eleven that will feature against Blackburn Rovers on August 15th.  Strikers are ridiculous, what formation would you play? It’s bloody hard!  Let me know your eleven from the names below (I’ve removed the ‘kids’)…

RR

Womens Tennis – Why Pay More?

Why do women get the same prize money as men? This is not a ‘sex’ argument, so don’t start shouting at me.  In 2007, Wimbledon started paying women the same prize money as the men (£850,000 for the singles champion this year).  Back then, the argument was based on equality.  For me, the argument should be based on quality.

As with anything in life (pretty much) you pay for what you get. Tennis is the only sport that bucks the trend.  The mens game is quicker, more powerful, more physical and the matches last longer.  It’s the last point – games lasting longer – that forms the basis of my argument.  The mens game can last up to 5 sets (anything between 2 and 5 hours long) where as the womens game only lasts a maximum 3 sets (approx. 1-2 hours) in length.  Remove the fact that the mens game draws a bigger crowd, is quicker, more entertaining, has bigger sponsorships etc and focus on time.  Men should expect to get more prize funds, merely as reward for the hours they put in on the court! I WOULD NOT be happy if I was paid the same as someone else who worked half the hours I did for what is, essentially, the same job.

If anybody wants to argue against my reasoning, bring it on. I think it’s a joke that women get paid the same – ‘time = money’ SHOULD be the determining factor.

Simona Halep - proving why womens tennis can be popular

Simona Halep - proving why womens tennis can be popular

RR

The British & Irish Lions

Tomorrow sees the first game of the Lion’s tour of South Africa.  The Lion’s has always been a big part of my sporting life ever since 1997 when the Lion’s beat the Boks (then world champions) 2-1. Lions matches are the best of 3 tests for those that don’t know.  Yes, I come from a rugby family – so I suppose you could say I’m predisposed to like the sport – but there’s something very special about the British & Irish Lions.  Every four years, four nations (England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales) and the best rugby players in our land come together under one cause – winning against the best that the soputhern hemisphere has to offer. Rivalries are temporarily put to one side and four nations become one – all singing each others national anthems along the way.

The Lions unites four nations in a way unlike any other sport.  The Lions fans are the best in the world – I have no doubt about that. They simply outnumber, outsing and outdrink any of the three nations they tour every four years – South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.  It was an amazing site to see the Lions dominate (in sheer numbers) the stadium back in the 1st test of the Australian tour in 2001.  The Aussies even had to place scarves, hats and yellow t-shirts on seats before the 2nd test – trying to stem the tide, passion and extremely loud noise generated by the red army. “Lions, Lions, Lions”. We’re similar in many ways to our cousins in the southern hemisphere – but different in many others.  We tour better than they do, that’s for sure.

The tackle that rocked the world

Scott Gibbs sets the tone in 1997 - Ouch!

There are some iconic memories from years gone by. The Gibbs tackle (above) that ‘rocked the world’, the same man sitting 22 stone Os Du Randt on his arse, Waltzing O’Driscoll in 2001, Dawson’s dummy, the Bentley try in 97, Jason Robinson sidestepping Chris Latham in what was no more than 1 metre of space…the list goes on.  This is why I love the Lions – oh yeah, it’s always nice to get one over the Boks too, it is there No.1 sport after all.

Sky Sports really provides a great build up for the tour and I genuinely believe that their involvement has taken the tour onto a new level.  Fingers crossed we produce the magic and passion of 1997.  Can’t wait…

RR