WHUFC vs Wolverhampton Wanderers 01/09/2018 EPL 2018-2019

September 2, 2018 Leave a comment

With zero points from 3, we move onto a game which may have been more suited to our league position against a team enjoying their first run in the prem since the 2011-2012. Holding onto their Championship talisman Neves ,they have also signed West Ham target Dendoncker and Adama Traore from Boro.

West Ham this week enjoyed their first win of the season beating Wimbledon away in the League cup. Hopefully this gave the team some confidence moving into a game, while not a must win would be a big confident boost ahead of the international break. Of out 2 current mysterious injuries, Marko made the squad while Noble made the bench. What was interesting was Ogbonna was bombed out completely, and the centre back pairing consisted of Balbuena and League Cup scorer Diop.

So we start for the first time this season with one up top. Presumably to counter the fast midfield of the opposition. Should we be doing this at home ? No, is my opinion as we should use the OS to our advantage. This was borne out as even though WHU had the early advantage , Marko was on his own, against 3 defenders, and looked lost and almost disinterested. Snodgrass and Antonio were not as effective as they should be , but at least Snodgrass made an effort. That may be because Antonio started on the left. This is now 3 consecutive managers who are just trying to squeeze him in. He needs to either start on the right or not at all. Anderson seems to be a luxury we could do without right now despite him nearly opening the scoring early on. I don’t think he went past a player at any time in the game. Jack Wilshere was quite industrious in the middle. But with nothing going forward and when it did going nowhere, it was all huff and puff. Wolves were very tidy, and took advantage when they could and finished off the half on top.

Having seen Yarmolenko in mid week, my opinion was he needed to be on, and at the half time break he was duly introduced and made an effect almost immediately on the right and by playing further up the pitch. Anderson was still poor, but after 20 minutes Jack (who was starting to pull strings) was subbed for Obiang. Watching the body language suggests this was planned from the beginning. Once again I disagree. And I would have been wrong, as Obiang did liven things up and we seemed to have more connection with the front line. Hernandez was introduced maybe 10 minutes too late (75) and although he did link it up we still didn’t get any clear cut chances.

Our guests however, were getting better as the half went on (as per the first half – not sure if this is their “thing”) and the introduction of Traore gave some pace to attack our relatively solid centre back pairing. As the whole ground was getting ready to leave after a 6/10 0-0, Traore struck well from distance and beat Fabianski to nail us the bottom of the league and 0 points from 4 (last time this happened we went down).

A draw was the right result, but as in the Allardyce years , we have to play for the whole game and keep our concentration to keep this things more predictable.

Back to Wolves, fair play to them and big shout to their fans, who made themselves known the whole time. And had a big ole tifo flag, not seen in the away end since Juventus in 2016.

So what does Pellegrini do ? 2 up top is essential. Also, we have to be careful not to become the Marko show. I think making him the main man , is not good for him personality wise. Also, when him and Hernandez are on, surely Chicarito should be on the last man and not Marko. Once has played 3 World Cups and been a successful striker all his career, and the other, while good, has played up top for 1/2 a season. Marko also has the physical presence to win the balls and make the passes. Our midfield needs to be more consistent. Anderson left, Yarmo right, and Jack and Obiang in the middle. There, I’ve done it , I’ve dropped Noble. Only for a few weeks but he needs to see how he fits in this team, with the likes of Rice around as well. Diop seemed to play well yesterday which could be bad news for Ogbonna, as Balbuena was my MOTM.

No one is happy , and Everton away next. But if we play well, we stay up. Carry on chopping and changing and we get to have the most expensive team and stadium in the Championship, without the fighters required to get out of it.

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Celtic Manor Golf Centre July 2018

July 26, 2018 Leave a comment

Another in the large series of golf course reviews I have done (2).

Not so long ago I was very lucky to be invited to a Golf Society weekend at Celtic Manor Golf Course, Wales. The main course (the 2010) is quite famous having been the venue for the 2010  Ryder Cup, won by Europe (Here) .

On day one we played the Montgomerie Course, named after the designer and Captain of the 2010 Europe squad, Colin Montgomerie. This was a bit of slog in near 30 degree heat, as I didn’t have a buggy. That said with wide fairways in places, and no buggys allowed off the side paths, it was a bit of a pain for some of the buggied players as well, as they were constantly carting 2 or sometimes 3 clubs off with them every time they left their carts. The real killer was between the holes , there are some long walks, which do take their toll lugging a full bag and trolley. I would advise a buggy !

Anyway, A really nice course, with some challenging dips and climbs as it navigates its way around the 2010 course in places. There is an amazing view of the 2010 from the walk through from 3 to 4 ( i think, but could be wrong) which I neglected to take a picture of , so you will have to take my word for it. With the layout, there are some humps with then huge fairways going downhill behind which would really favour the long driver. I played pretty poorly and couldn’t get a run going at all, to the extent that I don’t think I played 2 consecutive decent shots all day. But fun in the sun anyways.

That evening we stayed on site, and enjoyed being ferried about by the on site coaches to our meal at the Rib Smokehouse and Grill and then back to the Manor house for post meal drinks.

Sunday was the main event on the 2010 course, and as we had left our golf bags at the previous course, all we had to do was rock up on the bus to the clubhouse of the 2010, where everything was waiting for us. The locker room was many time the size of my house, and I was given Darren Clarke’s locker to use!

We were then all asked our initials (odd) and then ferried off to be reunited with our clubs at the driving range. After smashing a few balls around, we loaded up the buggies, got a team photo done at the Ryder cup hoarding at the 1st and got underway.

This felt a whole better round to be to begin with, or maybe I hadn’t had as much to drink as everyone else the night before. Driving was straight, and chipping was solid if not spectacular. My new one handed putting technique was paying dividends (more on that later).

As we made our way around you could tell this was purposely built for The Ryder Cup. Decent gaps between fairways, and quite tricky meant , each hole had its own character. Some were linksy (1st). Some were straight out of the American Songbook (18th) . The back nine let me down somewhat meaning although a better score than the previous day, still nothing to be excited about. However that was more than made up by the whole experience, over the entire weekend.

Remember the being asked for initials earlier on ? Well, while you are going around, they make you up a metal keepsake to hang on your bag, with , da daaaa your initials on it.

It also turns out my new putting stroke is illegal, so back to the practice ground for me…..

The hotel was great, the foot was great, the weather was amazing, just need to improve on the golf but don’t we all.

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WHUFC vs Everton 15/05/2018 EPL 2018-2019

May 13, 2018 Leave a comment

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Don’t see this often

The season finished off on a bit of a high today as West Ham pulled apart an on the beach Everton in the last game of the season.

To be fair , it was easily the best performance I have seen us put out all season including beating Southampton 3-0 a few weeks a go.  Noble commanded the midfield, Arnie was on point and linked up well with Mario. Lanzini had his usual poor start, but grew into the game and rounded off the first half with a tidy finish from an Arnie and Mario assist.

Everton didn’t really bring anything to the party. Davies put a shift in in the 2nd half and Baines seemed reasonably interested.

Arnie smashed in a second, which actually looked better because Pickford almost avoided it. Bodes well for the WC next month ! Everton got back in through a very Sam like goalmouth scramble, and then up popped Lanzini to leather in the WHU 3rd to seal the points and 13th in the league.

Of more interest was the interviews afterwards, as both managers have no idea what they are doing next season. Moyes tried to put a shine on by suggesting that with players coming back in and the last week’s performances that there is something to build on and he could be the architect. But level that against his pre Man U interview where he defended his top 8 + finishes and asked if the club could match his ambition. He also mentioned that the Burnley game was the turnaround for the season. In a nutshell he has the measure of the owners and they will have to buy big in the summer if he is to stay.

Sam started waffling about with no smoke without fire when asked if he was out. The Everton fans were not backward pointing out their opinion on their manager. Everton have more choice than us in the market and hopefully will see sense and bin the sanctimonious idiot. Mr 11/10 indeed.

Weird stuff in the ground today, loads of wall hung big WHU panels have gone up. I assume just in time for them all to come down over the close season, when the stadium owners have The Stones, The Foo fighters, Beyonce and Athletics in town.

Also the little temporary bars in the lower tier disappeared, which although a cost saving will be a pain the arse next season.

Special shout out to Ginge today who probably made his last appearance in our claret and blue.  A quiet legend at West Ham over his two spells at the club, lets never forget his pointing at the board at the end of a game just before Xmas suggesting they don’t want to spend money.  Also spending the last 2 away games in with the fans, and taking his kids with him. Top fella and there will also ever only be One Ginger Pele. One more season would be great but if he is off, then fair play and good luck to you big fella.

MOTM Lanzini

WHUFC vs Manchester United 10/05/2018 – EPL 2018-2019

May 11, 2018 Leave a comment

And so the season winds its way to its sorry end with our premiership status once again secured due to the inadequacy of others and self harm. OK, that’s the fun stuff out of the way!

This game is usually a decent affair but the scoreline of 0-0 tells you everything. Neither keeper was massively troubled (although there was a good double save from Adrian in the first half) , and both teams were happy to play it out and see how they got on.

Although near the end things got very tasty when Pogba got some afters on Carroll that went unpunished so he thought it would fun to do the same thing to Noble about 2 minutes later.  This didn’t go down so well, and at one point Noble had him by the neck, which is no mean feat as Pogba is about a foot taller.

Yellow cards all round and the game ends in hugs all round. That’ s about it. One point off the magical 40 with Everton to come in a guaranteed Big Sam bore fest.

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About as exciting as it gets.

In other news, I have a new job, which in itself is not that amazing. However I do have this view on my journey to work every day now.

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WHUFC vs Manchester City 29/04/2018

April 30, 2018 Leave a comment

Not good, got battered. Lets hope Huddersfield are worse.

Heres a dog.

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WHUFC vs Stoke City 16/04/2018 EPL 2017-2018

April 17, 2018 Leave a comment

Back to the scene of the crime(s) for another thrilling Premier League installment at Corp HQ.

Nothing says “best league in the world” like Stoke at home on a Monday night. That said it wasn’t raining and it was quite a full house. Two things the away support are probably not used to.

We lined up in our now steady formation, but with the addition of Lanzini and Carroll on the bench. Joe Hart still in goal but fair play after the Chelsea game I suppose.

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West Ham United vs Southampton 31/03/2018

April 1, 2018 Leave a comment

Once again it’s been a while, other things have been taking over. That said, those things are looking up for future so lets get cracking.

With the past. Burnley at home to be exact. Shambles, shambles shambles. A team playing at half effort, feeding off a crowd that sensed it was their time to make their point. And they did, but not with what you read in the papers.

Pitch invasions, are Scotland 77, Millwall 2017, not 4 separate blokes clutching sheets of A4. That is encroachment and no where near an invasion. At all. That said , seeing the fella with the flag brought all of the memories of the bond scheme protests flooding back, and I’ll admit annoyed me a bit. at the time. Now I know a bit more of the backstory fair play to Paul and I hope it all works out for him.

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