A tale of a Scotsman living in SW london...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Oh dear, that didn't go to plan did it?

Croatia played with passion, with pace and intelligence. They were worthy winners. England didn't play with any of those things and deservedly lost. I won't dwell on it, but Lampard was bloody awful - how he gets a game in an England shirt is beyond me. Club football he is good (ish - he still plays for Chelsea remember!), international level he has not played a good game in ages. Gerrard was ineffective, although I can't help but feel that's because he didn't get the ball enough going forward. I feel sorry for Carson - the pitch and conditions were awful to play in such a big game and I hope he doesn't let it get to him.

You could see the pressure the players were under on their players faces, particularly Gerrard and Lampard, and it showed with the performance on the pitch. The press has changed in recent years on how much influence they have over football, and wider public figures lives, and it's not for the good. It's to sell more papers, and as such McLaren will be sacked today. Who will replace him? Nobody with an ounce of sense, that's for sure. So expect to see Sam Allardyce in place soon.

The positives from an England view was the giraffes finish for the second goal. A perfect cross from brand beckham, and Crouchs first touch was superb, the finish even better. It reminded me of a debate my mates and I have every time we get together - what's the best touch/pass in this move? The long ball from De Boer was inch perfect, the first touch makes the chance, the second makes the space, and the finish is sublime.

Also, one more thing - Scotland finished on 24 points in a much harder group to Englands 23 ;-)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wembley madness

Why spend £780M on a stadium designed to make sure the pitch is in good condition, and then build a retractable roof on it as well to keep it dry, and then not use it? Wembley is a technical masterpiece for it's design, and as a venue it's superb with little queuing for anything, easy to get in and out of, great view all around the stadium of the pitch. But was it really needed?

Would the Stade De France have done the job? It's certainly big enough, was a lot cheaper to build, and if they were to do it again I'm sure they would lose the running track to get a better atmosphere. Millenium Stadium - looks like a dog, but what an atmosphere. Shame the pitch suffers so badly. However, if you really want to see a brilliant covered stadium, there is only one - and it's German.

The Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen is the home ground of Shalke. It has a retractable pitch, so it can sun itself when not in use, retractable roof, a moveable video cube and one of the stands move. It seats 60,000+, but there would be no reason why you couldn't make it bigger. Why people start again with design when something as brilliant as this exists, I'll never know. And having been to both it and Wembley - I'd rather watch football in Gelsenkirchen. The atmosphere is just unbelievable, the view perfect and did I mention the atmosphere? Noise like you've never heard from a crowd (well, maybe Hampdem on Saturday, but as I wasn't there I can't really comment!)

See for yourself. The pitch is out the front in this one.

The video cube can be moved if needed, or left where it is even with the roof open.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Part of my house has a flat roof on it. This was replaced last year as it was leaking. However, I'm now convinced it leaked less than the new one. Everytime we get prolonged rain, it comes in through the roof in the study. Now, this is where all the computer gear is, so it always makes me nervous!

Luckily, I was at home yesterday to catch the water, and so the roofer comes out today to fix it. Only good thing about it is that I get another night at home.