Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Building Upon The Rock Of Rio Puts United In Pole Position


By Shane Thomas

Being raised as a Christian as a child, one of the Sunday School stories I remember was the parable of the man who built his house upon a foundation of rock. When a flood arrived the house remained steadfast & upright - unlike the man who built his house upon the sand. Like all Sunday School stories, the moral was simple. Make sure your foundations are strong.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Halfway To Ashes Glory - Time To Finish The Job


By Shane Thomas

So far during this current Ashes series, the Australian press have lamented & the English press have delighted in the apparent role-reversals currently playing out between the two countries. Australia have been honest, mundane & uninspired while England have been incisive, dead-eyed & ruthless.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Episode 20 - The Thrilla' In Manilla


The latest episode of 'The Greatest Events In Sporting History' is now available for download.

We cover what is regarded by many - us included - as the most epic fight in history. Muhammad Ali against Joe Frazier in Manilla for the Heavyweight boxing championship of the world.

Using the brilliant More4 documentary of the same name as our starting point, we look at the pre-fight build up, Ali's vicious taunting of Smokin' Joe in the lead up to the bout, his brazen infidelity, Frazier's thirst for revenge and finally on the 42 minutes of brutality that took place in a Filipino boxing ring.

'The Greatest Events In Sporting History' is available from both http://sportsevents.libsyn.com/ or at www.simplysyndicated.com

Monday, 6 December 2010

The Ballon D'or - Who Should Win?


By Shane Thomas

While FIFA are currently the number one topic in the British sports media due to their controversial awarding of the 2018 & 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar, they announced news today that thankfully deals with the actual game rather than their murky machinations away from the pitch.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

The Diary Of A Pessimistic Arsenal Fan - Nasri Drags Arsenal Up The Fulham Mountain


By Shane Thomas

ARSENAL 2 - 1 FULHAM, 4TH DECEMBER 2010

Arsenal went to the top of the Premier League after a stuttering performance was lit up by two moments of class from Samir Nasri. Nasri scored both goals at a freezing Emirates Stadium to send Arsenal fans home in high spirits and leaving Fulham fans singing gallows humour renditions on the superiority of West London as a place to live.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Lambs To The Slaughter - The Massacre Of Real Madrid



By Shane Thomas

BARCELONA 5-0 REAL MADRID

Barcelona put on a five-star show in the Camp Nou last night to seize control of the title race in Spain. Real Madrid's heretofore unbeaten league run came to an end in the midst of one of the finest performances in Barcelona's history.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

El Clasico - The Thirty-Six Pointer


By Shane Thomas

As the weekend dissipates into Monday, many people will return to the grind of their working week, bemoaning how quickly the weekend passed them by and looking wistfully ahead to Friday evening. In one part of Cataluyna, the hard work will also begin for Real Madrid & Barcelona.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Second Chances - Michael Vick





By Jonathan Wilkinson

A couple of weeks ago Michael Vick did something that no other quarterback in the history of the NFL has ever done, he throw 4 TD passes, rushed for 2, had 300 passing yards and had 50 rushing yards. Vick's is arguably the form player in the NFL at the moment and this has led to talk of him being the MVP of the league come the end of the season if he continues this form and manages to lead his team, the Philadelphia Eagles to the Super Bowl.

Birthday Boy Puts England On The Canvas


By Shane Thomas

Peter Siddle celebrated his 26th birthday with a hat-trick to give first blood to Australia on the opening day of the 2010/11 Ashes in Brisbane. An awesome display of seam bowling in the final session of the day broke the back of England's first innings.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

The Ashes - Player by Player


By Shane Thomas

In a few hours time, the first ball of the 2010/11 Ashes series will be bowled at the GABBA in Brisbane. Like the World Cup, there will be a numerous posts on here about the contest as it progresses over the next five and a bit weeks. So to start with, here's a quick rundown on the players from both teams who will battle for one of cricket's most coveted prizes:

Saturday, 20 November 2010

The Diary Of A Pessimistic Arsenal Fan - Cesc's Madness Leaves Arsenal Gasping




By Shane Thomas

ARSENAL 2 - 3 TOTTENHAM

Tottenham took advantage of a moment of madness from Cesc Fabregas to end their 17 year away hoodoo against rivals Arsenal. Spurs came from 2-0 down at half-time to stage a memorable comeback to leave the majority of the crowd at The Emirates stadium in a state of horror and shock.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Episode 19 - Martina Navratilova


After having our first female guest host on our last show, we induct our first female into our Hall of Fame of legends.

Possibly tennis's greatest ever player (at least we think so), we discuss Navratilova's defection from Soviet Czechoslovakia to America, her epic rivalries with Chris Evert & Steffi Graf and her influence of how women play the game, as well as her wider social impact as a prominent sporting lesbian.

We then go off topic onto people with humourous names in the world of sport. Unprofessional I know, but come on, Daniel Batman??

'The Greatest Events In Sporting History' is available from both http://sportsevents.libsyn.com/ or at www.simplysyndicated.com

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Haye vs Harrison - Money Over Glory


By Shane Thomas

The build-up for the upcoming WBA Heavyweight title fight between David Haye and Audley Harrison is fast gathering pace. The fight is only available on pay-per-view and as Sky have subscriptions to sell, they have put a substantial amount of their advertising might into promoting the contest. If you have Sky or are interested in boxing, then there's no escaping knowledge of the bout. Added to this, as the fight is taking place in Manchester, U.K boxing fans won't have to burn the midnight oil to catch it live (unlike the contest between Manny Pacquiao & Antonio Margarito, which also takes place on Saturday). Haye versus Harrison is the first all-British heavyweight title affair since Lennox Lewis defeated Frank Bruno at Cardiff Arms Park back in 1993. And despite all this, my reaction remains the same from the moment the fight was announced. I simply don't care.

Monday, 8 November 2010

The Diary Of A Pessimistic Arsenal Fan - The Sins Of The Father


By Shane Thomas

It's a week like the most recent one that go a way towards explaining why I'm such a pessimistic Arsenal fan. 7 days ago, Arsenal had won three straight games, scoring eight goals, conceding none. They were up to 2nd in the Premier League and into the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup. What could go wrong?

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Episode 18 - Top 5 Ashes Moments


The latest episode of 'The Greatest Events In Sporting History' is now available for download.

Shane, Jonathan as well as special guests Tim & Jenni list their favourite five moments from Ashes series past.

Obvious choices such as Edgbaston 2005 and Shane Warne's 'Ball of the Century' are listed as well as a few personal choices. And secret crushes on both Andrew Flintoff & Ricky Ponting are revealed to all.

'The Greatest Events In Sporting History' is available from both http://sportsevents.libsyn.com/ or at www.simplysyndicated.com

Friday, 15 October 2010

Sachin Tendulkar: The Little Master Of Excellence


By Shane Thomas

It's a pity that many have turned their eyes away from the world of cricket since the Pakistan spot-fixing scandal earlier in the summer. While it's understandable how the overlong & controversial series between England and Pakistan would lead some to want to switch off from the game - especially with the Ashes imminent - it meant that people turned their backs on some of the best sport of 2010 so far.

Friday, 8 October 2010

The Spineless Cowards Strike Again


By Shane Thomas

Two weeks ago, I wrote a post on this blog lambasting players who through reckless tackling are endangering the physical well being of their peers. I branded these type of players 'spineless cowards'. It's fair to say that the reaction I received was not exactly positive.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

The 2010 Ryder Cup - Three To Watch


By Shane Thomas

In less than 24 hours time, both Europe & America will have teed-off in what has been one of the most hyped Ryder Cups in history. America will be defending the cup which they regained at Valhalla two years ago, and are looking for their first victory on European soil for 17 years. Here are three players from both teams who may have key roles to play over the coming weekend in Wales:

Saturday, 25 September 2010

A Game too Far?



By Jonathan Wilkinson

Tonight St. Helens booked a place in their 5th straight Grand Final, a remarkable achievement until you realise they lost the last 3 to Leeds and the one they won was against Hull in one of the worst seasons in Super League history.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Spineless Cowards Are Uglifying The Beautiful Game




By Shane Thomas

Here's a scenario for you. Imagine you were hit by a car and ended up with a bad injury, say... a broken leg. Imagine that the driver was driving over the speed limit and had also had a little too much to drink. Imagine that the case not only failed to go to trial, but the parents of the driver justified their child's behaviour with the statement, "There was no malice in the incident. Our kid's not that kind of driver".

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Great Sporting Comebacks: Philadelphia Flyers vs Boston Bruins - Guest Post By Stefan Preiml



This was sent into us by one of our listeners, Stefan Preiml. We often overlook the sports on the other side of The Atlantic so hopefully this will help redress the balance a little. This is to do with the 2009 Stanley Cup 2nd round series between the Philadephia Flyers and the Boston Bruins.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

The 2010 US Open - Supermum & Iron Man

By Shane Thomas

With the final Grand Slam of the year now over, here's a brief review of the two people who tasted victory at Flushing Meadows:

Monday, 13 September 2010

Women's Tennis & The Equality Charade



By Shane Thomas

As this year's US Open women's final became one of the most one-sided Grand Slam tennis finals for years, the narrative thread drawn up by the press was both inevitable and disheartening. Since 2007, when Wimbledon finally came into line with the rest of the Grand Slam tournaments, women now receive the same amount of prize money as their male counterparts. Well that's good isn't it? Equality and all that jazz. What possible qualm could anyone have with this?

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

England Run Like Clockwork In Switzerland



By Shane Thomas

SWITZERLAND 1 - 3 ENGLAND

England continued their post-World Cup recovery with an impressive 3-1 win over Switzerland in Basle. In what was considered the toughest match in England's group to qualify for Euro 2012, they overcame injuries to key personnel and driving rain to make it two wins from two in Group G.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Mohammed Amir Just The Latest To Join The Corrupted Wonderkids Club



By Shane Thomas

Wunderkind. An addition to language to which we all owe a debt of thanks to Germany. And don't we love a wonderkid when one comes along. Watch the joy elicited from a parent when their young child learns how to string words together or walk unaided. The arrival of a special young sporting talent has a similar effect on those who love sport.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

The Diary Of A Pessimistic Arsenal Fan - Theo Cleans Blackpool's Clock



By Shane Thomas

ARSENAL 6-0 BLACKPOOL, SATURDAY 21ST AUGUST

Ok, so I'll admit it. This was quite a fun experience. There'll be a distinct lack of pessimism from this post (don't worry, the misery will return soon enough) as Arsenal demolished Blackpool to go to second in the Premier League table.

Friday, 20 August 2010

The Diary Of A Pessimistic Arsenal Fan



By Shane Thomas

Fandom isn't that complicated. You experience something. You like it. And then you follow it until it loses its appeal. Whether it's religion, a television show or a musician, it latches onto your consciousness and becomes a permanent part of your very existence. And this is never illustrated better than in sport.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Johnson 'Sand-Trapped' at Whistling Straits - Guest Post by Jared Ptaszkiewicz



By Jared Ptaszkiewicz

In the early spring of 1968, Gay Brewer placed The Green Jacket around the shoulders of Bob Goalby, crowing him Masters Champion. The Green Jacket - maybe the ultimate of symbol of golf victory - would cement the legacy of Bob Goalby as a champion at Augusta National.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

The Premier League 2010/11 Preview - Here We Go Again



By Shane Thomas

First, a confession. The new Premier League season starts tomorrow. And I have not a trace of anticipation or excitement. With the World Cup filling in the the gap between the last domestic seaosn and this one, I would happily go at least another month without any football. But there's money to be made and SKY were beginning to look somewhat pointless as a television station. So back it comes, propelled into the sporting conciousness. You know that person at a house party who you suspect might be on cocaine, and doesn't really care for your opinion on anything? Well neither does the Premier League. They've got all this football for you to watch, and you'll sit there and like it.

So I may be running on empty but I have another new season to preview, as you'll read below. Just don't ask me how I'm going to get through the next 9 months:

Thursday, 5 August 2010

World Cup 2010 - The Round Up



By Shane Thomas

I think a suitable amount of time has passed for me to take stock of the football festival we had in South Africa this summer. Apologies for taking so long with it, but truth be told, I'd gotten pretty sick of the sight of the game afer 11 months of non-stop football. But here it is - the World Cup round-up, where you will find my ratings of the England team, the tournament's best XI, and directly below, the competition's highlights and lowlights:

World Cup 2010 - Team Of The Tournament



By Shane Thomas

GOALKEEPER:

Iker Casillas - (Spain)

Was unfairly castigated for the goal that led to Spain's defeat in their opening game to Switzerland. But made a crucial penalty save in the quarter-final that was as important as David Villa's winning goal and was one of the players of the final. Had Casillas not rescued Spain twice when Arjen Robben burst through the match would have been out of sight long before their extra-time winner.

Special Mentions: Vincent Enyeama (Nigeria)

Monday, 26 July 2010

Tour De France Review



By Jonathan Wilkinson

Another year and another doping scandal in the Tour, oh wait, there wasn't, well not yet anyway. So now that is out of the way lets get down to the review of the Tour, one of the best in recent memory and also one of the closest, with just 39 seconds between 1st and 2nd:

Red Mist Set To Descend On Ferrari As They Fix German Grand Prix For The Favoured Son



By Shane Thomas

Anyone who has an elder sibling has probably had to go through the experience of feeling marginalised. Whether it's when receiving the cheaper presents on Christmas Day, having to wear their 'hand-me downs' at the end of August - just in time for the new school year - or getting less pocket money at the end of the week (do parents even bother with pocket money these days and if so, is 'pocket money' even the correct term? Christ I'm old) it's easy to feel like your parents have earmarked their affections for the child who came first. It's not that they don't love you as well but the elder sibling was always part of the plan. You were more of a alcohol-fuelled afterthought.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

England's World Cup - The G.E.I.S.H Index



By Shane Thomas

So now that the hype has come & gone and the flags have been taken down, England's footballers have gone from 'world class' to 'overhyped disgraces to society who should be put in the stocks for letting their country down'. Well at least that's the case if you read 'The Sun'. Away from such hysteria, how did the England team perform in South Africa? Well going through the squad memebers (obviously only those who featured) here's my marks. We've seen Fabio Capello's Index. Here's mine:

Monday, 12 July 2010

Guest Post by Elton McManus - The British Grand Prix




By Elton McManus


British Grand Prix, Silverstone 11th July 2010

Well, an epic weekend was had at the British GP, Silverstone.The weekend started off slow for McLaren, struggling with their new blown diffuser. Once it was decided that it wouldn’t be used because it was causing parts of the body work to overheat & proved difficult to drive with, Garry Paffet (test driver) spent most of the night on the companies simulator trying to find a good set up, or base line, for Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton to use in Saturday practice.

Pass Masters Show Their Courage To Beat Down The Dutch Playground Bullies



By Shane Thomas

SPAIN 1 - 0 HOLLAND (a.e.t)

In what was one of the worst World Cup finals of modern times, Spain wrote themselves into football history by adding the game's richest prize to their European title won two years previously.

Spain vs Holland - Match Ratings



By Shane Thomas

SPAIN


IKER CASILLAS (8)

It's been a mixed bag from the Spain captain in this World Cup but he was at his best here. Made two key saves to deny Arjen Robben, the first one being an absolutely belting stop. A good case can be made for Casillas being man of the match.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

The World Cup Final - The Matchwinners

By Shane Thomas

After the hype, the build-up, the wall to wall television coverage, the goals, the red cards, the refereeing blunders and the vuvuzelas, football's biggest match takes place in a few hours time. Either Spain or Holland will inscribe their name onto the game's most coveted prize for the first time, and by extension, someone will etch themselves onto the planet's sporting consciousness for ever. I will pick three names from the two teams who are the most likely to be the lead items on every news report come Monday morning:

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Tomorrow Belongs To Them



By Shane Thomas

All of Germany probably woke up with very sore heads today after drowning their sorrows due to their country's footballers being knocked out of the World Cup last night. Having given the watching world the most thrilling football of the competition, they met their match in the European Champions, Spain. Die Mannschaft were thoroughly outclassed and deservedly beaten. But Germany should not be too despondent about their elimination. Not only have they played some wonderful football but they have quite a few reasons for optimism in the immediate future.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Rafa Brings Out The Torture Rack As Murray Broken By The Spanish Inquisition


Rafael Nadal Beats Andy Murray 6-4, 7-6, 6-4 In Wimbledon Semi-Final

By Shane Thomas

Rafa Nadal produced an awesome display of ruthless power hitting to crush Andy Murray's dreams of ending the British title drought at Wimbledon. The World Number 1 showed why he is just that by producing (bar the final of 2008) his best ever performance at SW19.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Rugby League Fights back against Homophobia

By Jonathan Wilkinson

How many openly gay sports stars can you name? I bet it is less than you have fingers, I know for me it is, there is Gareth Thomas (rugby union/league player, more on him later), Ian Roberts (rugby league), Justin Fashanu (football) and Martina Navratilova (tennis) are the only ones I can name.

Blood On The Centre Court As God Made To All Too Human



By Shane Thomas

While not neccessarily a changing of the guard, yesterday felt like a key sporting day of 2010, at least in the tennis world. The sport was in shock after Roger Federer's elimination in the Wimbledon quarter-finals to the Czezh, Tomas Berdych. Not only was the defeat itself a surprise, but the manner of it rendered the Centre Court crowd agape with shock. Like all great sportspeople, the accepted wisdom is that to beat Federer, you have to play at your very best, maybe the best you'll ever play. Well that wasn't the case yesterday. Make no mistake, Berdych played very well, but he's played better. Anyone who saw him reach the semi-finals of the French Open last month will attest to that.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

The Other Events Of The Summer

As you may have noticed Shane does must of the posting on this blog, that is because a)I'm a bit tied down with all the editing/work/uni work

b)Shane is just miles better at this than me

Anyway I was reading Shane's latest post about events that are not football and going on this summer and noticed one big omissions, the Tour De France:

By Jonathan Wilkinson

Tour De France

For me this is the biggest annual sporting event of the year outside of Rugby League and Football. 3 weeks of the toughest endurance race on the planet, which unfortunately has been tarnished by the use of drugs for pretty much all of its existence.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

The Summer of Sport - And Not A World Cup In Sight

By Shane Thomas

This blog's been a bit football heavy recently hasn't it? Well let's move the spotlight away from South Africa for a moment. As we've had quite a lot of sport going on elsewhere this summer. And sport of a very high standard. It's just a pity that it has been put into the shade by the looming shadow cast by the World Cup. Well... cricket, tennis & Formula 1, come out of the corner for a second and bask in the spotlight. You've earned it.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

England vs Germany - Match Ratings



By Shane Thomas

ENGLAND


DAVID JAMES (6)

England's best player, making two good saves to keep the contest going longer than it should have done. Commanded his box well but should have done better with Muller's first goal. But he can leave the pitch with his head held high.

Possession Holds The Key As Naive England Embarrassed



By Shane Thomas

ENGLAND 1 - 4 GERMANY

England were on the receiving end of a harsh footballing lesson as they received a chastening 4-1 defeat to Germany. In what was England's heaviest defeat in World Cup football, it was England's experienced players who looked callow and mentally fragile, while Germany were assured and organised. It was the Germans who carried out their manager's instructions to the letter.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

How To Beat Germany



By Shane Thomas

Tomorrow, England face Germany in the first knockout round of the World Cup. This is the part of the competition where people begin to write their names into football folklore. No do-overs, no reset button. Lose and you go home. So how do England avoid this. Germany have been one of the more entertaining sides in South Africa and are regarded as having the best mentality when it comes to knockout football. They have to be considered favourites in Bleomfontein. So what can England do to triumph...

Friday, 25 June 2010

Festival Of Togetherness Converts The Atheists



By Shane Thomas

When you next get a chance, have a look around you. It's not easy to forget that the World Cup's on, is it? Sitting in my office at work the other day, I couldn't believe how much football paraphernalia (especially regarding England) adorned the walls. And if you don't work in an office it makes little difference. Wallcharts and flags on the windows of houses, those same flags on the outsides of cars annoying certain podcasters. And talking of annoying, you can even buy vuvuzelas in supermarkets (I must state that I'm a fan of the vuvuzela, but it'd be remiss of me to ignore the majority. But how I'd love that majority to be silenced if the vuvuzela could make it over to Britain during the next Premier League season).

Thursday, 24 June 2010

England vs Slovenia - Match Ratings



By Shane Thomas

DAVID JAMES (7)

Has been a calm and reassuring presence to England's rearguard since returning against Algeria. Was unflappable yesterday. Which only exacerbates the feeling of what might have been if he had of played against the USA.

England Master Their Nerves As Capello Chooses Right



By Shane Thomas

ENGLAND 1 - 0 SLOVENIA

A 22nd minute goal from Jermain Defoe was enough to send an improved England through to the last 16 of the World Cup. In what proved to be a tense 90 minutes in Port Elizabeth, England finally produced a performace of quality when nothing else would do. It leaves them on a collision course with Germany in Bloemfontein on Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

England's Potential Saviours

By Shane Thomas

If you haven't heard, England aren't doing so well at this World Cup. In a few hours, they appraoch their final group match against Slovenia. A game in which the England team must win, or go home in embarrassment. So if England are to save their bacon in Port Elizabeth this afternoon, who will be the one to step forward to start the receovery. Cometh the hour, cometh which man?

Friday, 18 June 2010

England vs Algeria - Match Ratings



DAVID JAMES (6)

Apart from an awkward moment in the first 15 minutes, James was solid, unfussy and dependable. He fulfilled the minimum requirement of a goalkeeper and will surely stay between the sticks for the rest of England's time in South Africa. However long that lasts.

Cowardly Three Lions In The Last Chance Saloon



ENGLAND 0 - 0 ALGERIA

A sterile England were booed out of the Green Point Stadium after a woeful performance left their hopes of making the knockout stage of the World Cup in serious doubt. England now have to beat Slovenia to make sure of qualifying for the last 16, which given events in Cape Town, is far from certain.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Games Of 'What If' Turn World Cup On Its Head



By Shane Thomas

In the 1960's the people at DC Comics took the decision to mix up the 'constants' of some of their established characters. These parallel tales gave us alternate scenarios of superheroes that had probably ever only been discussed previosuly by the kinds of people who spend too much time on the Internet, and have too much idle time on their hands (in short, people like me). So now Batman marries Selena Kyle, Superman creates a world sans superheroes - just to see if it could work & Wonder Woman falls through a space-time warp and encounters her double.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Marquee Names Could Shift The World Cup Out of Neutral



By Shane Thomas

Been enjoying the World Cup so far? England's draw with the USA aside, the first four days of competition have been greeted warmly by the watching fans, but it has also been accompanied by a collective groan that this tournament may have a touch of 'The Emperor's New Clothes' about it.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

England vs USA - Match Ratings




ROBERT GREEN (5)

Made a good save to keep the score at 1-1, and hardly put a foot wrong. But the one he put wrong was damaging. Mistakes are never more costly then when one plays in goal. I hope he can recover but the fact is that England would have probably have won the match if it wasn't for his error.

American Take-Away Turns England's Stomachs Green



ENGLAND 1 - 1 USA

A goalkeeping howler from Robert Green combined with a resilient defensive display from the USA continued the early trend in this World Cup for drawn games. Fulham's Clint Dempsey's speculative shot from outside the area squirmed through Green's gloves in the 40th minute and England were left frustrated in the second half, banging on the USA's door with increasing desperation for the winning goal.