Mexican Waves, Facebook and Online Shopping

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved the Olympics and the two week it was on I was glued to my screen screaming land of hope and glory as our amazing athletes created some of the most historic moments in British sporting history. I jumped for joy as Gemma Gibbons slammed her was to an Olympic silver medal and I have been in awe at the masterclass given by the British athletes in the velodrome, but one thing that I didn’t agree with came to light during the Brazil- South Korea game in the semi-final of the football at Old Trafford.

I attended the game with my dad and as we are both avid followers of football we were quite excited to see the silky skills of Neymar and co. But as the game began I couldn’t help but notice that the woman sat in front of me was doing her shopping. During the game! She was online shopping during the match! And if that wasn’t enough she then logged on to her Facebook and proceeded to post a status telling her ‘friends’ where she was followed by a picture of her watching the game. Which funnily enough was the only thing she wasn’t actually doing, watching the game!

I understand when people say that the Olympics allowed people who wouldn’t normally go to a football match to attend and experience one. But if that’s what Olympic football brings then I’m sorry but I don’t want that. If the Brazil-South Korea game is anything to go by then I can honestly say that I didn’t enjoy my Olympic football experience, and that’s including the GB-Senegal game where the atmosphere was duller than dull and the football wasn’t much better.

However back to the shopaholic. She wasn’t done yet, she then proceeded to get overly orgasmic over a Mexican wave.Now I know people love them and yes, they do look good, but being a home and away United fan nothing churns my stomach more and I firmly believe that they do not belong in Old Trafford. I didn’t join in with them and I never will. Don’t get me wrong I love supporting my team and I enjoy nothing more than feeling the Stretford End roar, but Mexican waves, come on. How’s that going to help the players, it doesn’t spur them on. It tells them that the games that boring we’ve had to throw our arms in the air like we’re on the big dipper to keep ourselves occupied. I’d rather watch Aguero’s league winning…. No actually forget.

Honestly I really really loved the Olympics. I loved everything about them. But in my opinion and I hate to say it, the football was a disappointment. I expected to hear ‘Rule Britannia’ bellowing from the terraces at full velocity but instead I got ‘Viva Mexico’ from an online shopping-Facebook addict who I hope got the curtains she wanted.


London 2012: The Race to Gold and Glory

So my Olympic Football tickets for Team GB’s opening game against Senegal have arrived and I’ll be honest I am quite excited to see what the Olympic football has to offer and to see whether it will generate the hype, buzz and excitement that we all hope it will.

Anyway earlier this week the Olympic squads were announced so I thought that I’d review the squad selection and later on this week Team GB’s upcoming matches as well as picking out a few key players to look out for over the course of the tournament. So, as you may or may not know London 2012 is the first time that Great Britain has had a representative team in the football competition since 1960 which is quite surprising to be honest as Britain is such a football obsessed country. Having won the competition in it’s second year in 1908 then following that up with success in 1912 the whole nation will be hoping that the youngsters will be able to mark the 100th year anniversary of their last win with success on home soil.

The squad named by Pearce is jam-packed full of potential talent and I’ve picked out a few players who could make the headlines in the coming weeks, starting off with the young goalkeeper Jack Butland. Fresh from Euro 2012 duty where he would have gained vital experience of how major tournaments work and learnt first-hand from one of the best goalkeepers in the world in Joe Hart, the 19 year old Birmingham stopper may be key to GB’s hopes this summer. Having gained vital experience on loan at Cheltenham last season and representing England at all levels from U16-U21 aswell as playing in the final victory over Spain in the European U17’s championship he is no stranger to the pressure that comes with high profile matches.

As one part of a potential centre-back pairing 23 year old James Tomkins may have a lot of weight on his shoulders. The fearless West Ham youngster is no stranger to high pressure games though, playing in this seasons play-off final win over Blackpool and also representing England at all levels excluding the full national team. He is another upcoming youngster who will be hoping to make his mark in the Barclays Premier League next year with his newly promoted team. The determined ball-winner has made 104 appearances for his boyhood club and he was also voted in the PFA Championship team of the year by his fellow pros. Another London based youngster in the squad is Chelsea’s flying full-back/ winger Ryan Bertrand. The expeditious left-sided 22 year old may offer an easy outlet in times of danger as his determination which was displayed in the 2012 Champions League final where he doubled up with Ashley Cole to do a job on Arjen Robben mixed with his pace and flair has the potential to wreak havoc on defences this summer.

The Team GB captain Ryan Giggs who is in my opinion one of the greatest football players to ever grace the field will attempt to hold the mantle for the young hopefulls this summer. At 38 he brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the squad which can surely only help his young and vibrant side. His leadership qualities are second to none and his steely eyed persona will work miracles if GB progress to the later stages of the competition. Having made 638 appearances for Manchester United in which he has scored 112 goals Giggs is the clubs most capped player and one of it’s most adored. He is also the most decorated player in England’s football history with 12 Premier League titles, 4 FA Cups, 3 League Cups and 2 Champions League winners medals, the Welsh wizard will be aiming to add a gold medal to his record breaking collection with GB this summer. The Elvis-hipped midfielder was also voted in the PFA team of the century in 2007, the Premier League team of the decade in 2003, the FA Cup team of the century and he was also voted United’s greatest ever player by fans on their official website. In my opinion he could be one of if not the most important player in the squad as the younger players will look to him to set the pace and tempo of the game and lead by example which i’m sure he will. A possible midfield partner for Giggs could be Swansea’s Joe Allen who as of January last year had the sixth best pass completion rate in Europe completing 90.3% of all his passes the third best in the Premier League.

A player who I believe could make a huge impact in this summers competition is 22 year old Chelsea forward Daniel Sturridge. A bundle of raw direct talent Sturridge could either set the scene alight or flop massively but I believe that this summer we will see him following on from a great season with his club scoring 13 goals to spur GB to victory and add to a sensational summer of sport for our nation. A possible partner for Sturridge could be the snappy, passionate, feisty 32 year old Craig Bellamy. Being a player who performs with his heart on his sleeve Bellamy’s pure passion and pace could be too much for defences this summer and as one of GB’s over age players he brings a vast amount of experience with him. The eccentric winger has 69 caps for Wales during which he’s scored 19 goals and will be hoping to make the headlines for the right reasons this summer.

Another Welsh player who I believe has a big role to play for GB is 21 year old Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey. The dynamic Welsh captain has made 68 appearances for Arsenal after completing a 5 million pound move from Cardiff and has established himself as a first team regular at The Emirates following Cesc Fabregas’ departure to the Catalonian giants Barcelona. He could possibly find himself partnering Giggs as one of an all Welsh central midfield pairing. Voted Welsh player of the year in 2009 and 2010 he could feel that he has something to prove this summer after some criticism from the Emirates terraces this season and I believe that he can prove them wrong and that he will.

So how far can GB actually go? Well I think we should make light work of UAE and Senegal as they are missing big players such as Newcastle’s Demba Ba, however our main competition in the group will come in the form of Uruguay who have the marksman-like Edison Cavani and the hot-firing Luis Suarez. But we should qualify comfortably and face any two of Mexico, Switzerland, Gabon or the Korea Republic with victory leading to a potential Semi-final clash with the Samba boys from from Brazil at Old Trafford. What’s to say we can’t silence the Samba? With ferocious home support and a few inspired performances why can’t our British spirit come out on top? In my opinion I think it’s about time it did and I can’t wait to be cheering the boys on from the stands.

So anyway let me know what you think about our squad and who you think could be influential or important to us this summer as well as how far you think that we can go. But what I’m sure of is that it should be an exciting time to add to what should be a super summer of sport for our country, and David Beckham or no David Beckham I’ll still be hoping for a Team GB gold this summer and I’m sure that Giggs can lead us to golden glory.

If you want to know more about our opponents in the group and who to look out for over the course of the tournament check out my page in the next few days to see ‘London 2012: What we will face’

Let me know what you think

… Introducing Team GB’s New Manager for the London 2012 Olympics, David Beckham

No it’s not a fact, David Beckham is not the new Team GB manager but in my opinion it’s exactly what should happen.

Whether you agree or not I’d like to know but if Beckham is not involved on the pitch come July which i believe he should be, he surely must be orchestrating proceedings from the sideline.

Now I know there may be people out there who will say that he has no managerial experience and that if he was picked to play for Team GB that his selection would not be based around his technical ability as there are other players who may be far more active and mobile than Beckham. However it cannot be denied that David Beckham is one of our countries’ most influential personalities, one of our countries’ biggest stars and also one of our countries’ all time sporting heroes. He is a man who fought tooth and nail to ensure that London would host the 2012 games, a man who devoted his personal time to fly from country to country to meet organising officials in a bid to sway their opinions which he undoubtably did. His name bears a substantial amount of weight wherever in the world you are and if Beckham would have been picked I can guarantee you that there would not be a prouder man representing his country than him.

Now it can be argued that there are other players who deserve a place in front of Beckham, Micah Richards being a prime example in the opinion of Stuart Pearce but how did David react to the news that he wasn’t selected? By showing a display of passion, ferocity and commitment in the California Classico against local rivals San Jose. Topped off with a trademark free kick and in my opinion clearly demonstrating that he be would be the perfect man to lead a young team through what looks to be a competitive tournament as his dedication and determination is second to none. He is a leader on and off the pitch, a role model to young children and he would be the perfect man for the younger players to look up to as he has the character and attributes to inspire and encourage a successful showing for Team GB this summer. This is clearly shown through his commitment to the England setup and his enthusiasm to jump on a plane and travel the thousands of miles required to compete for his country.

If the Olympics is being used to blood young players such as Manchester United’s Tom Cleverly, Chelsea’s Ryan Bertrand and Swansea’s Scott Sinclair then surely it should be used to provide experience for a man who I am sure the whole nation would support and get behind. Surely the sight of a suave David Beckham strolling Armani clad along the sidelines looking like coolness personified would inject confidence into the pulsing veins of our football crazy nation rather than the scruffy shaggy Stuart ‘physco’ Pearce nervously biting his nails looking like a fourteen year old boy wearing a suit for the first time. And although Pearce may have a better managerial past than Beckham, Pearce was a man who ex-England manager Fabio Cappello treated like a rag-doll and who Roy Hodgson deemed unsuitable for a place in his staff for the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine. He also had unsuccessful spells at Manchester City during which they lost to Chesterfield and Doncaster Rovers in successive years. In the 2005-2006 season he lead City to a 15th place finish after losing nine out of their last ten games and in the following season under his control they scored a dismal 10 goals at home in the League, an all-time Premier League low scoring no goals after new years day.

Don’t worry, I’m not just basing my argument on who looks the part but in the eyes of the players and the fans it does make a difference. However let’s not forget Beckham’s achievements so far as a footballer, he is one of an elite group of players who have won the domestic league in three different countries. He holds the record for the amount of appearances made by an outfield play for England with 115 caps, 58 of which he led as captain scoring 17 goals. He also currently has the third highest number of assists in the premier league with 152 during 285 appearances for Manchester United in which he scored 85 goals. He is a six time Premier League winner, two time FA cup winner, La Liga winner during his 116 appearances for Real Madrid, MLS cup winner with LA Galaxy and not forgetting the famous last gasp Champions League victory in 1999 in which he provided two beautiful corners to set up the goals. Surely a man who has provided us with so many iconic moments such as the stunning last minute free-kick to secure world cup qualification against Greece and the half-way line wonder-goal vs Wimbledon deserves the chance to proudly lead his country into one of it’s most glorious hours.

With David Beckham comes a mass of media attention and an army of adoring fans and I’m sure the prospect of seeing him may have been the reason many people purchased tickets for the games. He has millions of fans and him being appointed as manager would boost the image and status of what has to be said is a tournament which in the past has had little spectator interest. It would also help avoid the repeat of the embarrassing scenes of thousands of empty seats from Beijing 2008. It would generate masses of public interest and surely increase Team GB’s support, therefore consequently increasing the teams confidence as a team of young raw talent could be capable of an amazing achievement if they were backed and encouraged by the whole nation and let’s not forget that the games should be good for the whole of Britain, not just Stuart Pearce, it should be the people’s games and I believe that Beckham would make it that way.

Now don’t think I’m discarding Stuart Pearce’s achievements with England U21’s, it’s just that he has clearly been deemed unfit for a first team coaching place and I think the mantle for the Olympic Games should be passed to someone who can truly create an Olympic Legacy. He’s even been replaced by Gary Neville who seems to have been a success within the England camp. A prime example of how past players can use their experience to help a squad out and no-one has more experience than David Beckham. And I assure you no-one would be prouder than him to lead his country especially as manager.

Agree or disagree? Let me know what you think.