Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Bjorn again Kvarme

Howaya folks,
JJ here,

Apologies for the lack of posts of late but as Mark explained last week, tis holiday time in Okeydoke land. In the coming weeks were hoping to make some changes to the site and hopefully improve the podcast sound. It depends on time available to us; getting things sorted while we’re actually sober and trying to get Okeydoke work done while in our real workplaces. So here’s hoping no one we work for is reading this.

I don’t think we missed out on too much though and I was certainly glad to be out of the country and unable to see Ireland play like crap against the Czechs (though thankfully the RTE site have kept the Dunphy rant afterwards online - - look at the bottom right hand corner and you’ll find it).

I suppose any delayed ‘Stan Out’ campaigning won’t float too many boats so thankfully the Champions League got into the swing of things last night and provided some interesting results and the shock return to England of one Bjorn Tore Kvarme. Yes, that Bjorn Tore Kvarme who played a total of 45 games for Liverpool in the late nineties and managed to single-handedly lose two Merseyside derbies for the Pool. He was even outplayed by Danny bloody Cadamarteri. Dark days.

On a far brighter note he came on in the second half for Rosenborg against a ramshackle Chelsea last night. Kvarme was as solid as any of his teammates as they held the two-time semi finalists to an embarrassing draw. Though, let’s face it, this was minnows versus minnows what with Chelsea missing Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard.

I mean, what side in Europe could do anything with only Michael Essien, Joe Cole, Andriy Shevchenko and Florent Malouda to call on for inspiration? Sure it was like a Norwegian league game, or so Chelsea would love everyone to believe. It was a horrible start for them… though not as horrible to watch as Liverpool v Porto.

Now, anyone who reads the blog regularly will know I have tried to paper over Liverpool cracks when I can find a defence for them. Last night though was as bad as they’ve played in Europe for a long time. Three years ago they went to La Coruna and got a one nil win and were inspired by a brilliant performance in central midfield. A brilliant performance by one Igor Biscan.

The much-maligned Biscan would have looked like a spark of gold in the mound of excrement that was last night. The defenders played it too long; when Gerrard got on the ball he never did the easy thing and went for 60-yard balls to the corner flag; Pennant was idiotic; Babel never got a chance to show any skill; Kuyt worked hard but his touch was awful and Torres simply never got in the game.

The Monster Mash in the middle tried to get into the action every once in a while – though not often enough – but generally he was bypassed by the atrocious long ball tactics. Even Finnan and Arbeloa were guilty of it, though often this was due to being put under pressure by a midfield that rarely showed for the ball or poor passing from Carragher and Hyppia. In all, awful.

Elsewhere, Madrid continued a great start to their season with a decent two-one win over Werder Bremen, for whom Diego was excellent and will surely start next season’s Champions League for one of the larger sides in Europe. He had a great debut season last year in Germany and won’t stay there too much longer.

Celtic were, predictably, crap. Marseille were lucky. AC Milan looked good in the entire two minutes of highlights that I saw. Olympiacos and Lazio looked turgid in that ghostly empty stadium and Valencia got a good win. It’s very hard to tell much from last night, particularly as this is the first time many of us have seen the clubs outside of the Premiership. Basically, be happy it’s back and avoid Liverpool and Chelsea games.

As for tonight, some quick predictions:

Arsenal v Sevilla: Home win, fuck it 3-2, game of the round.
Barcelona v Lyon: Both have started their leagues in relatively poor form and Henry is now back in his old Juve position of left wing which is frankly quite, quite funny. Home win… barely.
Fenerbahce v Inter Milan: Forza Inter… my pick to win the competition because at this stage I don’t have to rely on logic or form, simply blind hope. Get in. 0-2.
PSV v CSKA Moscow: Guess who’s not watching this game. Hopefully a CSKA win, I’ll go for 1-2.
Rangers v VfB Stuttgart: Guess who’s not watching this game either. Very hard to call as Stuttgart have been poor so far and Rangers decent form halted at the weekend against Hearts. 1-1. Actually two nil to the Germaniacs.
Roma v Dynamo Kiev: 3-0 Roma.
Slavia Prague v Steaua Bucuresti: Hmmm…. You tell me as Stan would say. I’m not even going to dignify this with a Lawro-esque 1-1 prediction. 12-7 Slavia… get your money down.
Sporting v Man Utd: Good game hopefully but United should win considering the contrasting performances of these sides in last year’s competition. Ronaldo’s habit of going missing during away games in Europe has to end at some stage and this could be the game.

Later folks


Anonymous said...

Yesssssss! Jose couldn't resist the thought of stepping into Stans' shoes and rescuing Irelands' chances! Stick your millions Roman the FAI are calling! Or maybe I'm slightly drunk...... aagh almost six quick hours kip and back to the salt mines

Anonymous said...

WHy has Stan not been mentioned for the Chelsea job??

Mal said...

Inter didn't look too clever last night. Roma looked great but they usually do at home. Don't see them getting anything at Old Trafford.

Mal said...

The good old days for chelsea. A football dressing room is a wonderous place.

JJ said...

Anon you're damn right, sure Stan has been trying to introduce a free flowing attack-minded irish set up (see John O'Shea's bombing down the left flank for evidence) for 18 months. The players just don't understand his system. He'll win another league cup for Chelsea and zenith data systems trophy to boot.

At the very least jose could have stayed to grab a point against United. On the subject of which I'd say United will spank roma again in two weeks but then my predictions yesterday were... ahem... hit and miss.

Anonymous said...

jj, You should see the Voice of Sport column in this weeks Drogheda Indo, LEAVE STAN ALONE!! booms the headline saying the Gaffer is class and should only be sacked if (when) we don't go to S Africa in 2010. I love local sports journalism!!
As for Utd Roma, hopefully Totti reiterates his claim that the Roma fans should sit back and enjoy his performance!!!! The bottler.

JJ said...

Back on the chelski front, considering how annoying, cynical and generally snidy the Israel side was under Avram Grant, oul Roman might be waiting a fair while longer for sexy football.

And can't wait til sunday now, the Sky Sports montage of Jose's finest moments will be pure cheese.

Anonymous said...

Wish Jose could've stuck around to play Sunderland,think Keano's kinda going through a jose lookalike makeover and seeing them side by side would figure out which one was the mini-me!

Anonymous said...

God can you imagine the party Sheva and Ballack had today?

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I tried adding a (brilliantly incisive) comment yesterday with firefox, but the post failed twice.

You may be having the same problem described here:

Or I may just be inept...

Anyway, if you are having this problem, you should find a solution in the comments on the above post

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