Jump to content


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Talismanic

  1. James Milner is ..... This  http://www.football365.com/news/millie-an-ode-to-liverpools-timeless-cup-of-tea



    From Football365


    It really is a delicious pleasure watching Liverpool play right now. They have so many joy-bringers to lift the spirits, so much slippery talent and wonderful organisation with which to thrill.

    And they also have James Milner.


    As much as the others are great, I would pay the money merely to watch the man perhaps remarkably nicknamed ‘Millie’.

    He’s brilliant is Millie. Well, OK, he’s not. But it’s a delight to watch him ploughing a furrow up and down the left. He seems to be quite literally incapable of getting tired: a Yorkshire Energiser Bunny. In the 90th minute he’s still going up and down at the same sweaty pace he did an hour and a half earlier. And he hardly ever seems to be injured. If you add in internationals, he’s already racked up 650 appearances for club and country and he’s still only 30. He’s got over 60 caps for England, and was once the youngest Premier League player to score a goal – you forget he had four years at Newcastle, two at Villa and five at City after leaving Leeds. It feels like he’s been around forever, and yet, here and now, he seems to be playing the best, most effective football of his career. It’s magnificent to see.

    Born in Leeds in Yorkshire, he’s the very embodiment of that county’s unglamorous, undemonstrative, nuthin’ fancy, dependable and emotionally repressed charms. Not an ounce of concession to pretty, he’s all manly, sharp cheekbones and square jaw, looking like he was hewed out of the ground, a fully-formed football Terminator made from millstone grit. What my dad would have called “proper”, by which he meant: a male of the species without long hair, who didn’t like poetry, display any emotion apart from passive-aggressive indignation, and never, ever cried.

    Somehow, it’s just perfect that his parents are called Peter and Lesley. Down-to-earth, no-nonsense names and I’d wager down-to-earth, no-nonsense people who like roast dinners, a good pair of gloves and the local news. The sort of people for whom tea is holy and a preference for a plain biscuit is a sign of moral purity.

    There’s a timeless quality to him which means he could have belonged to any era. While so many modern footballers couldn’t have survived the icy mud and violence of the past, you just know Jimmy M could. You can see him coming up out of the pit to play a game in the 1890s wearing massive shorts and hob nail boots, or post-war on pitches of mud and sand, his huge calves and thighs pounding. Or in 1970s, the game all blood and snot, there he is staring Chopper Harris down. Bloody cockneys, sod off back down south and take your weak beer wi’ ye. Don Revie would have loved him for his stony-faced, never-fazed quality. He’d have been perfect for his early 70s title-winning side; like Paul Madeley, he’s capable of playing pretty much anywhere on the pitch.

    And now, in the 21st century, full of new multicultural ways and faddish tactics, that’s no problem to him either. Any position you want to play me in, boss. I’m not fussed, me. I’ll do a job for you anywhere you like. No strops thrown. No ego. No dancing. No being self-regardingly precious. Just Millie being Millie.

    In his career, he’s played up front, as a winger on the left and right, as a central midfielder, as a right-back and now, perhaps most incredibly, as a left-back and superb penalty taker. And it’s in this position for Jurgen Klopp that he seems to have found a permanent home. Having played further up the pitch, going forward doesn’t give him a nosebleed, but his industry and sheer doggedness means he’ll go up and down all day long, tackling, harrying and sweating. I’ll leave others to look up his stats, but I’d wager he’s top of the sweating numbers. Lord knows, he must be dehydrated at the end of every game. It comes as no surprise to read that he was his school’s cross country champion for three consecutive years, whilst also being a district 100m sprint champion.

    He’s a high achiever, but one that isn’t especially stellar at anything other than keeping on keeping on. In fact, he’s made steady, predictable industry into an artform. While he may never give you a 9 or 10, he’ll never give you a 3 or 4. He’s a solid 7 or 8 week in, week out. No scorpion kicks, and he can take a pretty awful corner, but every great team needs one of these rocks of dependency on which to build their success. It’s easy to admire players who are brilliant at football, but those like Milner, whose talent doesn’t seem like a weird blessing from a higher power, are more easily empathised with.

    As we watch him, he looks like a man who is working for his money. A man who seems morally, physically and spiritually incapable of not giving every game every ounce of effort. That cheers the heart, the same way watching a mongrel with one floppy ear, chasing a ball in a park does. In a soulless era of blacked-out windows, VIP rooms, caviar and champagne, Millie is a lovely warm, buttery, reassuring slice of toast and a mug of tea strong enough to stand a spoon up in.



    John Nicholson

    • Upvote 3

  2. Great Piece in the Sunderland Echo http://www.sunderlandecho.com/sport/football/sunderland-afc/i-was-star-struck-by-my-sunderland-team-mate-paul-stewart-but-i-m-even-more-in-awe-of-him-now-1-8269308



    By David Preece

    First of all, let me say that as shocking as these child sex abuse revelations are, they aren’t a total surprise. The potential extent of them are, but from the moment I set foot in the full-time game, there was always a shadow hanging over football for me. At the time, it was only rumour and hearsay, but when conversations turned to Crewe Alexandra, the dark insinuations were never far away. I just saw it as people making twisted jokes and unfounded accusations on the basis of the club’s emphasis on youth Then I spoke to a someone who had not begun his career at Crewe but had been transferred there in his early 20s and the anger with which he spoke of these ‘rumours’ said to me there must be some truth in them. But surely if they were true, something would have been done about it by now? That’s what I thought. Naively. That it has taken this long shows the just how heavy the burden has been carried by victims. Not that Crewe are the only club. Players around the country – like Stewy – are now coming forward. It was difficult to watch someone who I have always identified as a strong individual look so vulnerable. Watching Stewy repeatedly bare his soul in front of the television cameras drew a myriad of emotions from me. Sadness. Anger. Sympathy. Above all, what I felt was an overwhelming admiration for the man. A man I’d known in our time together at Sunderland as a genuinely funny guy who lit up the dressing room. As a 20-year-old I was in awe of Stewy. He had achieved things I was still dreaming of, and despite the slight star-struck anxiety I had when I was with him, I was drawn to him. Not that we got off on the best footing. In one of our first training sessions, I came sliding out at his feet to block his run. It was one of the perverse situations you miss as a keeper when you no longer play. The type of 50/50 challenge where your upper body collides with the ball and the forward’s legs in perfect synchronicity. The timing is like the perfect golf shot; minimal contact, maximum impact, leaving just enough pain for it to somehow feel satisfying. Both of us ending up entangled on the floor. The ball free somewhere, expelled by the force of the challenge. As I struggled back to my feet, I could feel resistance. I was being pulled back. Instinctively, and somewhat stupidly, I kicked out, catching Stewy somewhere around the throat. Have you ever had your life flash before your eyes? That moment in a movie when the camera does an extreme close-up, right into the eyes the victim of misfortune, just in time to catch the pupils dilating as the adrenaline shoots through their veins. That was me. Pure panic. As Stewy grabbed me, I waited for my punishment. Bobby Saxton attempted to defuse the mismatch from the sidelines – “Stewy! Leave it. It was an accident”. We all knew it hadn’t been but he seemed to value my life enough to step in. My mouth, still disconnected from my brain, offered some resistance. A final act of bravado. And it was an act. The rest of training and the journey back to Roker Park was a blur. Reality was setting in. I was heading back to the dressing room and I was going to have to face Stewy. At 20, apologising and admitting you were wrong in front the whole dressing room doesn’t enter the equation. Do that, and no matter what the real perception is, your ego takes over. Rather than saying “Look, I was wrong. I’m sorry,” and holding out your hand, you prepare for confrontation. Show weakness and you’re as good as dead anyway. Or that’s what you think. I walk in and scan the dressing room. Stewy’s sat with his head down, taking his socks off. Richard Ord sees me come. He looks over at Stewy. This is it. “Stewy, what about Preecy starting on you?” he says. Stewy hasn’t seen me yet. “Yeah, I know. Fair play to him.” Then he looks up and sees I’m in the room. At this point I don’t know what the hell’s going to happen. He gets up and makes a beeline for me. My breathing gets more shallow. Regret engulfs me. Stern-faced, he asks “What do you think you were doing?” I shrug my shoulders, the disconnect between my mouth and brain more notable now. His nose is six inches from mine and just as my whole body tenses, a smile breaks out over his face, confusing me. “Don’t do that again, Preecy. I thought you were going to kill me. I was really scared.” He was the one holding out his hand. He was the one forgiving me for my act of immature stupidity. He could have embarrassed me in front of everyone and after my behaviour, I’d have deserved it. But he didn’t. What he did was teach me a valuable lesson that I took forward from that day. I’ve fallen out with almost every player I’ve played with in my career but with rare exception, the first thing I’ve done as soon as I step off the training pitch was to apologise, whether I was at fault or not. Whatever ignorant crap the likes of Eric Bristow might spout, men like Paul Stewart aren’t wimps. He stepped away from the stereotype of what was expected of a “man” and showed me how to rise about ego, bravado and faux machismo. And what he is doing now is a far greater than any kind of physical retribution he could hand out. Paul Stewart’s bravery is in helping others come forward and deal with the demons they’ve held inside for so long. And that makes him more of a man than anyone I know.


    • Upvote 1

  3. The reaction has started on GOT....




    Well, that's the most staggeringly negative article on the Everton support I've ever seen from The Guardian

    They'd never be ballsy enough to tackle Kopites in such a fashion of course

    I think we need to develop a bit of a siege mentality now in all honesty, because the media are being outright overt in stacking the deck against us and trying to stir the pot

    The entire point of this article is to cause dissension amongst the fan base

    Why don't we use it as a call to arms instead?


    Or they could just set a Markah?

  4. I actually think Williams will be great for Everton. He's their level and will improve them. He'll be solid enough for 2 or 3 seasons and probably not get injured much (although you have to think with his age combined with luck he must have had not to be injured) it won't be injury free. Just slightly disappointing for them when they thought they were going to out bid Chelsea for Koulibaly.....

  5. OK - which one of you started this on GOT?  :ph34r:




    So Arnautovic, a Stoke player is turning us down...
    Stones/Lukaku want out
    Almost every target we are linked with want nowt to do with us ie Witsel, Arnautovic, Mata, Jose, Emry etc

    At what point do we realise that we just are not that relelvant anymore and no one of any significance wants to come near us !

    We cant even get lads to leave Stoke FFS...
    Players are going to nomark clubs ahead of us for the past few years

    We seem to be seen as similar in draw to the Hulls of this world.
    Is this really where we are at now 


  6. This is the worst deal the club has done, Carroll had an outstanding attribute with his ability in the air and Benteke had a 1 in 2 goal record.Mane is a poor striker who can do a job out wide, he's a very poor mans Bellamy and is very inconsistent.


    If we are willing to have someone out wide who is shit for large parts of the season we should have let Ibe have a run of games to develop.I was laughing when Manu were linked with him last season and I hoped they would sign him as he is not good enough for a top club, embarrassing deal and we should have stumped up for Teixera.

    After this, I'm all for Mané and think he will be a huge sucess