Tuesday 6 November 2012

Week 12 results: The Grambler Dot Com

There is some Grambler news to get out of the way first... I might have kind of maybe accidentally purchased the domain name www.thegrambler.com.  But only because this is such a serious operation and needs to look as profechenal as posabil.  And also, at the current rate at which Hollywood producer types are currently churning out any old crap with a superhero in it for many millions of dollars, it's only so long before some super-human chump is called 'the Grambler.'  And when that happens, I own their website and will only surrender it for $4 million and a cameo as Lieutenant Von Grombler, an evil, bitter and twisted relative of the eponymous hero.

Secondly, there is now some kind of navigation bar at the top of the page.  It is, in fact, a bar which can be used for the purpose of navigation.  For example, should you wish to view the home page, simply click on the page labelled 'home.'  What an age we live in!  Feel free to offer any suggestions of how this wonderful site can be further improved.  Alternatively, don't.

And I wasn't paying much attention, but their may have been some football on over the weekend.

Game 1: Morecambe vs Rochdale
Prediction: Away win 
x )
Ah, the magic of the FA Cup!  The tournament where any team from any division can go on to be champions!  The cup where smaller teams can showcase their talents!  Or so it is always claimed, the actuality is the Premiership teams fielding their 'youngsters' (still a team assembled expensively by kidnapping 14-year-olds in their sleep), bottom-half League One teams 'resting' their 'star' players, stadiums being half-empty and generally no one actually caring until the semi-finals.  Which brings us to Morecambe vs Rochdale; two teams who had met in the league just weeks before playing out a mediocre score draw in front of 1,800 fans.  Inspiring!  Andy Flemming put the home-side in front early on with a 20 yard shot but for most of the match, Rochdale looked like the hungrier side.  Shrimps goalkeeper Barry Roche was in fine-form, denying the Dale on numerous occasions before Jason Kennedy finally got the better of him, turning in a rebound to earn a replay, meaning the fans will have to shell out another £20 a head to witness the 'magic' of the cup.  But fear ye not, devoted Shrimpdale fans!  The excitement of a trip to Coventry awaits in the next round!  Magic!  

Game 2: Bolton Wanderers vs Cardiff City
Prediction: Home win 
( ✔ )
Saturday saw Dougie Freedman appear in the Bolton dugout for the first time, and he made it known beforehand that tactics would be changing under him: "El quezo estaba viejo y mohoso.  Donde esta el bano?" said Freedman.  Actually, that was Brendan Fraser in California Man... Freedman has actually said that promotion is still achievable for his new side this term, and a 2-1 win over league leaders Cardiff was a good start for the Dougster.  But it was the BlueRedbirds who looked the better team in the first half.  A Peter Whittingham cross caused confusion in the Bolton box on 40 minutes and allowed the visitors to take the lead.  Following some comical defending from Zat Knight (who I genuinely believe permanently has Julius Fučík's 'Entrance of the Gladiators' constantly playing in his head) the ball fell nicely for Craig Noone to fire past Adam Bogdan.  It was two substitutions in the second-half which turned the game around.  David Ngog only played 25 minutes, but it was rather eventful.  In the 68th minute, Ngog fell over in the box and the referee pointed to the spot.  Fellow substitute Martin Petrov stepped up to score the penalty.  Ngog then put his side in front with a flick from six yards.  And to round of an eventful afternoon, he picked up two yellow cards in seven minutes to earn a hypothetical early bath.

Game 3: Hibernian vs St Mirren
Prediction: Draw 
x )
I have a theory about Hibernian's Leigh Griffiths; should his hairline ever stop receding, he will stop scoring.  He's like some kind of anti-Samson... The better form he is in, the more his hairline diminishes.  And his fringe moved further from his forehead on Saturday as he notched two against St Mirren.  It was the visitors who had taken the lead when a long drive from Kenny McLean found it's way past Hibs keeper Ben Williams, a man who has put his jail sentence for manslaughter behind him to take the number one jersey.  The lead was only to last five minutes however, a cross found the noggin of James McPake who headed downwards for Griffiths to score his tenth of the season.  Hibs took control of the match in the second half and found themselves in front when Griffiths scored a second, this time with a fine 20 yard shot.  The striker could have increased the lead further, hitting the post twice during the match.  But the one goal lead was enough to take all three points and there was still time for Saints captain Jim Goodwin to get a second booking for doing what he does best - elbowing someone in the face.  
And finally, no mention of Leigh Griffiths is complete without linking to the Real Lee Griffiths Blog, one of the finest moments in the history of the internet.     

Game 4: West Ham vs Manchester City
Prediction: Away win 
x )
Much of the build-up to this game was dominated by the revelation that Roberto Mancini came close to leaving City last season to join a mid 1990s Peter Hook side-project.  It was old news and Rubbertoe insisted that the revelation would not disrupt he build-up to this match.  But by kick-off, the City players were aware that a win would take them joint top of the table, and it would appear that the pressure got to them as they struggled to a 0-0 draw.  West Ham had the better chances during the game, with a Kevin Nolan volley incorrectly ruled out for offside and a Yossi Benayoun shot striking the bar.  City did manage eight shots on target, but couldn't find the net and 
Mancini responded to his side's inability to score in one match in a way that only a Manchester City manger can - by demanding that the club's owners spend £50 million on Neymar post haste.  To give the Hammers their due, they proved to be as tough as nails to hold on for the point.  Maybe they can build on this result and construct a fine season.  It would seem that they have the right tools for the challenge.  Sam Allardyce will hope that they don't screw up.  Etc. 

Game 5: Fulham vs Everton
Prediction: Home win 
( x )
Fulham pinched a point in the last minute of a game which was dominated by Everton.  A mistake from Timothy Howard put the home team in front as the keeper pushed a free-kick onto the post only to watch on as it bounced back into the net.  The score stayed that way until the half-time in spite of the Toffees having a host of chances to equalise.  Into the second-half and Everton finally found the net, Marouane Fellaini scoring from eight yards after good work from fellow Belgian Kevin Mirallas.  Fellaini grabbed a second in the 72nd minute with a low shot but the despite the visitor's dominance, they could not hold on for the win.  Substitute Steve Sidwell tapped in at the back post in the final minute of the game to earn a draw.  Interesting fact of the day:  Fellaini's old man was a goalkeeper and signed for Belgian club Mechelen.  However, his former club had a strop about the signing and wouldn't let him play so he just became a bus driver instead.  As you do.  Terrible joke of the day: Why won't Martin Jol buy the 115g packet of Finest Wafer Thin Wiltshire Cured Pig Meat from Tesco?  Because he wants the full ham!

Game 6: Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford Park Avenue
Prediction: Home win 
( ✔ )
More FA Cup 'magic!'  This tie at least presented a 'glamorous' opponent for non-league Park Avenue and there was a chance for them to indulge in a spot of giant-killing.  Alas, it was not to be as Doncaster had the game all but wrapped up by half-time.  Martin Woods turned in an Ian Hume cross from the edge of the penalty area to put his side in front.  In the 37th minute, Hume turned from provider to scorer when he side-footed in from Billy Paynter's cross.  Bradford started the second-half brightly and managed to pull a goal back when Richard Marshall found the top=corner from a tight angle.  But any chance of a comeback was put to bed in the 76th minute when Paul Keegan's cross surprisingly found R&B singer and wife-beater Chris Brown who headed in.  Whilst the result may have been expected, Bradford PA attempted to give their fellow Yorkshiremen  a run for their money and managed to keep the score respectable.  Everyone returned to their farms happily and ate Yorkshire pudding with gravy whilst discussing their whippets and saying 'ey oop lad' a lot.  Apart from Chris Brown, who went home to a crate of Stella.

Game 7: York City vs AFC Wimbledon
Prediction: Away win 
x )
Another 'glamour tie' between two sides in the same division which ended with an insipid draw.  Both sides had chances to take the lead in the first half but there was no goal forthcoming until the 62nd minute, when York substitute Jamie Reed finished off a Jason Walker move.  With the Minstermen looking to hold on for a win, a free-kick was presented to the Dons in the 80th minute and a deflection from Charlie Strutton's shot beat City keeper Michael Ingham to earn a replay.  The only real talking point to come out of this game is that a victory for Wimbledon in the return leg will see them facing MK Dons in the next round, should the other Dons also win their replay.  This would be the first time that the sides have met since an acrimonious split of fans when the original Krazy Gang relocated to Milton Keynes.  I like to imagine that this resulted in two groups of casuals made up entirely of Wombles, who will be set to rumble on Wimbledon Common prior to a potential tie.  They would finally get to make good use of all of those sharp and pointy objects that everyday people left behind....

Sometimes it is hard to draw positives from The Grambler's poor predictions.  But as the old saying goes, "if life gives you lemons, eat some lemons."  Here are some positives from this week:
  • We learned that Marouane Fellaini was conceived on the number 83 bus somewhere between Putkapel and Wijgmaal.  Possibly.
  • Craig Levein finally got the sack.
  • I have some lemons.
And seeing as there is apparently an election thingy going on somewhere, have a topical quote to finish...
"I’ll show you politics in America. Here it is, right here... “I think the puppet on the right shares my beliefs.” “I think the puppet on the left is more to my liking.” “Hey, wait a minute, there’s one guy holding out both puppets!”"
- Bill Hicks


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