Best I stick to polyamory and carrier bags

Occasionally readers who I know in real life tell me they like my blog, but skip the posts on sport. To be honest, I can’t say I blame them. This is what I said ten days ago:

Alistair Cook has failed miserably, and hasn’t had a run of decent scores for years;

At the time I wrote that I’d have been happy to see him dropped for the next test. Only I woke up this morning to find he’s sitting pretty on 244 not out at the MCG, overtaking Jayawardene, Chanderpaul, and Lara on the all-time run scorers list. This is probably why the ECB aren’t urgently calling me for advice on such matters.

Then there was the time I wrote about Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola:

Of the three top-name newcomers to Premier League management, Guardiola has the furthest to fall and seems to be struggling the most.  I suspect that explains his rather odd behaviour in the interview I linked to in my opening paragraph, in which he hints at retirement.  Things can change quickly of course and Man City are still in the Champions League, but Guardiola is likely going to have to work harder in the next five months than he has in his entire managerial career.  Welcome to England, Pep!

One year on and Manchester City are 15 points clear at the top of the Premier League, the widest ever margin at this point in the season. They have yet to be beaten in the league and have won a record-breaking 18 successive league matches, and are playing and winning in a manner their closest rivals could not even hope to match. Guardiola and his men will win the league at a canter. In Europe, they finished top of their Champions League group with ease and face FC Basel in the first round of knockout matches. I suspect this turnaround in fortunes came as a result of Guardiola finding my blog post and taking to reading it aloud in the changing room before vital matches. Whatever success he achieves this season will be thoroughly deserved.

Happily, Liverpool’s defence is still crap so I don’t yet have to revisit my critique of Jurgen Klopp. If the £75m they are spending on Van Dijk shores them up at the back I may soon have to: their attack is phenomenally good.

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18 thoughts on “Best I stick to polyamory and carrier bags

  1. Haha Tim, a friend of mine (who played Test cricket and knows the game backwards) says he is the same. As soon as he says a bowler is not up to it, the bloke takes 5 wickets.

  2. Before this season began, I wondered how Guardiola would respond to football in England after his first season was unsuccessful. Pep had it easy managing Barca and Bayern and I was curious to see how he would manage in England where the footy is more helter skelter. So far, Pep has shown he can adapt and his squad look like they going to win league at canter.

    I think Klopp/Liverpool paying that much for single defender is ridiculous – defence is more about how well they work together than individuals. A well drilled defence is all that is needed but many managers cant be bothered, they focus solely on offence.

  3. As soon as he says a bowler is not up to it, the bloke takes 5 wickets.

    Us lot are like that about Stuart Broad. Sure enough, he’s played well in this test.

  4. A well drilled defence is all that is needed but many managers cant be bothered, they focus solely on offence.

    One thing a defence needs is a leader though, in the John Terry mold (although ideally less of an utter twat off the pitch). Or Sergio Ramos. Liverpool have been lacking that, and probably Klopp hopes Van Dijk can fill that role. Utd have struggled a bit in this area, with neither Smalling or Jones really showing top-class leadership. Kompany did this in spades for City: look how badly they did without him.

  5. I’m still fed up that it took until his 7th innings in the series to do his damn job. Any of the other occasions could have saved The Ashes.

    The silver lining is that, if they sneak a win or draw in Melbourne, they will cost the Aussies a million dollar whitewash bonus.

    Let’s also bear in mind the Aussies dropped Starc because Seth Effrika.

  6. Let’s also bear in mind the Aussies dropped Starc because Seth Effrika.

    What’s that all about? Keeping him fresh for the next series?

  7. “cost the Aussies a million dollar whitewash bonus”

    Just imagine how bad it would have been for them if they lost the Ashes after negotiating their huge wage rises earlier this year.

    Anyway TNA, its good to see that today’s play has flushed you out, you cant keep a good man down, all the best for 2018.

  8. Why do Liverpool persist with a goalie who is not only not Top Six quality, but not Premier League quality, indeed not Championship quality? It’s a mystery.

    Goalies are an odd one: Man City’s reserve keeper is neither Premier League nor Championship quality. Last season when he was first choice he let in almost every shot on target, or so it seemed. Just dreadful.

    On the other hand the ManU goalie is so good he’s the best player in the side by miles.

  9. “What’s that all about? Keeping him fresh for the next series?“

    Apparently.

    Reminds me of a Prince Phillip quote when meeting a gentlemen in a suit and open-necked shirt,
    “No tie?” he enquired.
    “I don’t ‘do’ ties” came the answer.
    “Saving it for a special occasion, are we?”

  10. “Anyway TNA, its good to see that today’s play has flushed you out, you cant keep a good man down, all the best for 2018.”

    And to you too, Bardon!

    Overseas at the moment so my attention to this series is sporadic and highly-contingent on 3rd world 3G and wi-fi. From afar, it seems a good one to miss.

  11. “From afar, it seems a good one to miss.”

    Nothing compares to the Ashes jibes we used to have over at your gaff, they were a fucking good craic alright.

  12. “Nothing compares to the Ashes jibes we used to have over at your gaff, they were a fucking good craic alright.”

    Aw, bless ya! All things must pass, though.

  13. Well Tim, gustibus non disputandum est but I much prefer your sport and politics posts to the polyamory stuff which can sometimes verge on the repetitive.

    But I love the blog. Generally and wish you well with your book and for 2018 generally.

    And all your readers.

  14. I much prefer your sport and politics posts to the polyamory stuff which can sometimes verge on the repetitive.

    Indeed, and I don’t write about it so much now. The reason I did it was to provide support to some of the issues surrounding polyamory I cover in my book, and to allow me to make off-hand remarks about it in future without having cite chapter and verse each time.

    But I love the blog. Generally and wish you well with your book and for 2018 generally.

    Thanks, and the same to you!

  15. As I said on your last sporting post, Broad does nothing until the selectors are starting to think maybe it’s time for him to go, and then he will take a bag of wickets. That’s exactly what he’s done in this Test, just as his neck was looking like it was on the block.

  16. I’d say definitely stick to polyamory and carrier bags.

    Both are immensely more significant issues than the vile business of ‘sport’. Well done on the polyamory thing by the way; early spotting of this, low on the horizon, does you credit. Percipient, gawd ‘elp us. As if we didn’t have enough crap to deal with…

    Unlike ‘sport’. Thing about ‘sport’ is who (in any reasonable or even mildly concerned world) ought to be prepared to give the merest shit, could seriously or justifiably claim to care anyway. For instance, does, or rather should, anybody, beyond their cynical sponsors and limited and predictably profoundly thicko audiences, care for the outcome of a silly contest between two thoroughly befuddled fearful and currently pretty despicable nations? The Ashes, that is. I see that one of our signal erstwhile ‘heroes’ Freddy Flintoff has recently enrolled in the Flat Earth Society. Nuff said, Your Honour, prosecution rests. Thick as planks, the lot of them, and way less interesting. Or useful.

    I’d avoid all mention of sport, bar possibly female volleyball. Even then, one should pretend to like it less than one does in case anyone thought one were some kind of wacky normal weirdo.

    You start talking about sport, next thing you’ll have loads of drones barrelling on about was Hurst’s goal over the line or not. Who, honestly, could give a shit? Not worthwhile or, more importantly, interesting people, I’d say. It’s inconsequential crap, and grown-ups really should know better and not fall for the same old trick. But apparently some of you do.

  17. “It’s inconsequential crap, and grown-ups really should know better and not fall for the same old trick. But apparently some of you do.”

    I can’t see the joy of collecting stamps, but I’m actually glad that some people do. It makes us a more varied and interesting species.

  18. @Buster,

    Whilst I can see the intellectual and logical component of your argument, I am reminded of the fact that I’ve never heard it expressed by anyone other than a woman or a beta male with noodles for arms who was relentlessly bullied at school. I’ve also never heard a non-lefty male express that opinion either.

    Which is why my sons have been completely indoctrinated with the concept of having to strive at competitive sports. Obviously there are several other more important reasons but that one is enough on its own.

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