Friday, 26 June 2009

ODF 26 June Podcast Online

Hi Folks,

Our latest podcast is online now.

We discuss:

Confirmed Transfers.

Pub Talk.


Transfer Talk.

We ran a tad bit overtime but we hope you enjoy it.

Mark & JJ.

Download it


Podcasting tonight...

Howdy folks,

Heading over to the Vance Ranch for a midsummer's pod this evening. In no particular order we'll be talking about Peruvian robberies, South African hookers, Big Mac diets for professional athletes and even a little bit of football.

In preparation...

Tune for the afternoon (Know I'm serious as a cancer when I say Vancer... you won't like this)
Tune two for the afternoon (who couldn't like this?)
Obligatory Blackadder reference
Later, JJ

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Michael Owen's Brochure

I was looking for this all week, and finally came across it.

Michael Owen's Marketing brochure.


Friday, 19 June 2009

What's Happened to Italy?

I'm sure those among us, who all painfully wished for a break from football, in order to recharge our batteries, have been flirting with cricket, rugby and hell even a bit of Formula 1 over the past weeks, have come crawling back to the Confederations Cup for a bit of real sport.

Yes, watching the international might of New Zealand & Iraq is a thrilling business, and it also served up a fascinating encounter last night, between Italy and Egypt.

I apologise if I'm going to parrot some of Cunny Kenningham's comments here, but there really is no other choice. the Italians look a bit of a shambles.
When Ireland played them recently, they were down to 10 men inside a few minutes, so nothing concrete could be gleaned from the match.
But their 2 recent matches have shown them up.
They went 1 nil down to a poor USA side, and required a thunderbolt from Rossi to draw level. They then put the hurt on the US, who had been reduced to 10 men in the first half.

Last night, a handy, functional Egypt side, beat them one nil. Egypt started brightly, and caused Italy problems with their pace, and eventually scored a nice header from a corner after 40 minutes. To be fair to Italy, they did create some wonderful chances in the second half, but certainly didn't do enough to win the game.

Taking a step back, lets look at some of their squad. All through the team, there is the concern of age.
Grosso (31) - his time in France did him no favours, but still a quality left back.
Cannavaro (35) - he really is starting to creak a bit, much preferring a cynical foul to chasing a man.
Zambrotta (32) - formerly a thrilling attacking full-back, now looks a shadow of his former self.

Gattuso (31) - a player whom everybody likes, but doesn't have the legs of old days, so his influence is on the wane.
Camoranesi (32) - well, he was never really good in the first place, was he? Worse now.
Pirlo (30) - still a fine player, but his proposed retirement to Chelsea would be a big mistake for all concerned. As slow as me on a Monday morning.

Toni (32) - a big lummox, and his style has all but died out in modern football. Scorer of a sum total of no goals at the last WC. Finished.
Gilardino (26) - still only a youngster, but my god is he rubbish. Couldn't hack the pressure at Milan, having a better time at Fiorentina, but what exactly does he do?
Iaqunita (29) - a late bloomer at Udinese, now doing well at Juventus, but I have never seen him convince.

So that's all well and good, but what about the youngsters? Surely there is a well of talent coming through?


Let's have a look:
Inter's Davide Santon (18) is the only exciting prospect in defence. Various no-marks are making up the numbers - Dossena (wtf), Legrottaglie (32), Gamberini (27).

In midfield, Pepe (25) looks decent, but hardly exciting. De Rossi is only 25, and a quality player, but Roma are going a bit backwards, and he could do with a move.
Montolivo (24), could be promising in future, Palombo (27) is Gattuso-lite.

Up front, Rossi (22) looks to have the most potential, a terrific eye for goal, and a great long shot, a consistent scorer in Spain. But is he a bit powder puff for the modern game? Quagliarella (26) has been talked about in glowing terms the past few years, but his goal record is uninspiring, and I haven't seen him play well for Italy.

That's it. Seriously. Pretty depressing, eh?

But wait, who's in the U21 team or close to getting in the squad?

Barzaglia (28), Aquilani (24), D'Agostino (27), Brighi (28), Pazzini (24), Di Natale (31), Balotelli (18).

Hmm. Only Super Mario, Aquilani & Pazzini look to be decent shouts.

What is becoming clear is that Italy are one paced, are out of ideas, and have sparse talent coming through. The squad needs a shake up, but Lippi seems reluctant to inject youth and pace into the team. His formations are also horrible - Rossi as a lone striker? Quag on the right, Iaquinta on left? The one paced midfield trio? It's all a bit of a mess.

From a sporting point of view, lets hope that Italy get their house in order for next years World Cup, and provide a credible defence of their title. But, from a personal point of view, I hope it's after Ireland play them in the autumn.


Thursday, 11 June 2009

It’s a deal, it’s a steal, it’s sale of the farckin century innit…

Alright folks,
Another quick blog today and this time there can be only one story. England v Andorra…. Are England the greatest side ever? Have they re-invented the game? Isn’t it great that Fabio Capello has made multi-millionaires fall in love with the game again?

Well actually that’s not really a great story so let’s concentrate on a hush-hush transfer story emanating from Spain.

Now that United have accepted the Ronaldo bid and due to the fact that it’s absolutely gigantic who do you think they should spend their money on? I reckon they should put it all on Newcastle to come straight back up, safe money that. At the very least they can pay up the rest of Berbatov’s contract and send him back to Spurs what with their boomerang policy for buying back players. Expect to see Gary Mabbutt back at White Hart Lane sometime soon as well.

I’m moving off the point though, if there is a point… anyway, essentially, after all this rambling, who should Unireh buy to plug that greasy hole Ronaldo has left behind him? If I was Ferguson I’d at least try and piss off the rest of the top four by trying to pinch some of their talent – a marquee signing like Fabregas, Torres, Drogba, Adebayor or Monster Mascherano. Unlikely I know but it’d suit Ferguson’s shit stirring instincts to a tee. The rest of the summer will be very interesting at Old Trafford anyway.


Wednesday, 10 June 2009

My Greatest Achievement

From Serie C2A to Serie A Champions in 13 years!

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Unlikely role model

Afternoon folks,

When you find yourself pointing towards the behaviour of Steve Bruce as an example to others you know it’s an odd day. The bendy-nosed one is set to become Sunderland manager today and, most likely, clear out the majority of the 4,073 professionals currently on their books.

Bruce, as well all now know, is a survivor. For a while that meant teasing one club for a little bit (Sheffield United, Huddersfield) before going off and getting his end away elsewhere (Wigan the first time around and Crystal Palace). He finally settled down at Birmingham and survived relegations, boardroom politics and apparently having his daughter fall under the spell of the cahviest man in chavtown, Lee Hendrie. And ODF favourite Nicklas Bendtner.

When he eventually did leave St Andrews some accused him of succumbing to his loyalty ‘issues’ again but really the past two years have simply seen the guy brilliantly realise both his limitations and his strengths. In turn he has handled his career perfectly. Sunderland is just what he needs and he is just what the least shambolic club in the north east of England needs in return.

To adopt a simplistic, somehow award-winning, Martin Samuel turn of phrase ‘What can Steve Bruce offer Sunderland? Mid table respectability that’s what’. I feel like a bacon sambo already… anyway….

A finish anywhere between ninth and twelfth that will guarantee that the club’s new owner, Ellis Short, gets a few years in the Premier League will be the task ahead for Bruce. The former Man Unireh defender is being brought in to assure Short that investing a few bob in the club is a good idea. From there things could go very, very right for Sunderland.

Bruce can, realistically, offer no more than mid-table, but he doesn’t have to offer anything above that. He stuck around too long at Birmingham, with several players complaining that the club went stale under his stewardship and will most likely learn from this lesson. If Sunderland get that little bit bigger and can actually attract a coach they deem able to take them on further to say, Everton, Villa or Spurs’ level (and both in terms of stadium and support they could eventually be on a par with any of those three), then I’m sure Bruce can find his niche elsewhere happily enough.

Getting a job in management is built around your standing in the game at that minute (there are occasional exceptions like Gary Megson who got a second chance at the highest level from nowhere) and where Bruce has recently known exactly when to go and where to go to, the last few months have seen some prize tulips pass up opportunities which will, in ODF’s estimation seem foolish in the long run.

Take Phil Brown for starters (when talking about foolish chumps where better to start), he could have walked into the Newcastle job after Kevin Keegan’s second reign predictably ended with him back at the Soccer Circus. Brown’s reputation was never going to get any better than around November last year. Now, there are TV stations across the globe treasuring the images of him singing on the pitch the other week, ready to dust them off when he’s sacked within three months of the start of the 09/10 season.

There’s the big example everyone’s looking to at the moment, Own Coyle. Burnley will go down, and even if they don’t they may well replace him after two months if the results still aren’t coming their way. A move to Celtic would have kept the juggernaut going and he should have jumped on the opportunity.

Roberto Martinez shouldn’t make the same mistake either. It’s not that Celtic is necessarily a step up in real terms, but as far as CV-building goes it’s hard to argue with a vacancy that will bag you a few titles and Champions League exposure, over taking the Wigan job with (apparently) no budget and all the team’s best players gone.

Yes, I am wholeheartedly advocating a lack of loyalty to clubs across the board but when reputations can be savaged in matter of months in the Premier League, managers should know when best to jump at all times. Boardrooms will have no sympathy for the man they deem to be losing them money week after week. Well maybe Steve Gibson will but he’s that little bit different.

Alex Ferguson made a good point a few months back when he pointed out that a high-profile failure can leave a manger jobless for years. He noted how Brian Little – a man he said could manage 85% of the clubs in the UK – found it hard to get work after parting company with Villa.

And if there’s one cautionary tale that will have every manager quaking in his boots it’s the idea that if they don’t manage their career correctly they may well end up being the meat in a punditry sandwich featuring Paul Dempsey on one end and Phat Pat on the other. Terrifying.