Saturday, 10 May 2014

Week 36 - The Grambler gives directions to San Jose


Stewart was an amazing person -  A wonderful husband, a fantastic brother, a loving son and an adored uncle.  He was also a brilliant friend and colleague and will be missed by so many people. His family are determined that his death will never be in vain and are doing their part to beat bowel cancer for good.  We are fundraising for the Bobby Moore Fund which is part of Cancer Research UK and specialises in research into bowel cancer.  If you wish to donate to the fund, you can via https://www.justgiving.com/Geraldine-Smith3 .

 

If you haven’t already done so, please read the article which recently appeared in the Daily Record and learn from Stewart’s story that you must never be complacent.  It makes grim reading for us, his family, even though we were beside him throughout his ordeal, or battle; call it what you will. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/lifestyle/heartbroken-widow-geraldine-smith-raises-3452997

 

His wish was that The Grambler should continue after his death and I have been happy to oblige.  Welcome to The Grambler, the most ill-informed blog you are ever likely to see. Read on and enjoy…

 

We begin this week with a song…

 

Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Woah Woah Woah

Me?

Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Woah Woah Woah

Can I help you, love?

Do you know the way to San Jose

Oh, it’s directions you’re after…
I've been away so long
I may go wrong and lose my way

I know that one-way system’s murder…
Do you know the way to San Jose

Well, if you’d just give me a chance…
I'm goin' back to find
Some peace of mind in San Jose

Erm…Right.  Anyway, you want to go up to the next junc…
LA is a great big freeway
Put a hundred down and buy a car

Eh?  What’s that got to do with ought?
In a week, maybe two, they'll make you a star
Weeks turn into years, how quick they pass

I thought you wanted directions, not a chat.  I’m a busy…
And all the stars that never were
Are parkin' cars and pumpin' gas

Really?  Do I look as if I care?
You can really breathe in San Jose

That’ll be cos of the unleaded…
They've got a lot of space
There'll be a place where I can stay

Oh, quite a few B & Bs I shouldn’t wonder…
I was born and raised in San Jose

Well, it’s not changed that much.  I’m sure you’ll find it without my help…
I'm goin' back to find
Some peace of mind in San Jose

So you said…
Fame and fortune is a magnet
It can pull you far away from home

A bit of a philosopher, eh…
With a dream in your heart you're never alone
Dreams turn into dust and blow away

Look, I’m happy to give you directions, nothing more…
And there you are without a friend
You pack your car and ride away

Erm…The wife’s got me dinner on; I’d better…
Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa

No…I’d better be off…
I've got lots of friends in San Jose

Well, ask them to give you directions…

Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa

Wife’ll be wondering what’s keeping me…

Do you know the way to San Jose

I keep trying to bloody tell you and you go off on a flipping tange…
Oh, LA is a great big freeway
Put a hundred down and buy a car

Oh God.  She’s off again…
In a week, maybe two, they'll make you a star
Weeks turn into years, how quick they pass

Listen, I really had better get going…
And all the stars that never were
Are parkin' cars and pumpin' gas

That’s right, love (I wonder if there’s a policeman about)…
Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa

No fear…I’m off…

I've got lots of friends in San Jose, oh...oh...

I don’t believe you…

Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa

Don’t you come any closer…
Do you know the way to San Jose, mmm...mmm...

No.  Never heard of it…
Can't wait to get back to San Jose

Well, find your own bloody way!

Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa

Bloody pots for rags you are!

Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa

Help!  Police!


There is a reason for starting off with that song this week because the composer of that toon was none other than Burt Bacharach whose 86th birthday is on May 12th.  Happy birthday Burt.  Hmm, surely amongst such a large catalogue of music, there must be a song we could gramblerise.  I know…

Raindrops keep grambling on my head
But that doesn't mean my eyes will soon be grambling red
Gramblin's not for me
Cause I'm never going to stop the rain by garambling
Because I'm free
Nothing's grambling me…

Trumpet solo to finish.


Ooh, he wrote some lovely songs did that Burt Backache.  He had a lyricalist with him too.  His pal David.  It was him that wrote the lyrics and the words as well.  They did that one There’s always something there to….I’ve forgotten.  And What do you get if you cross a…No, hang on, that’s the start of an joke.  No, I remember – What do you get if you’re falling, love?  That was one of theirs.  And that Jerry Korma one – Magic Mushrooms.  And that one by the…Ooh, what were they called…the Car painters.  Them.  The one about sheep…Close to ewe.  Then there was the one by that woman fellow….Jean Pitbull…24 hours Tesco.

Haw, Arthur…

Why, it’s my old partner in wine,  Dougie the local inebriate.  How the devil are you?

Kin brilliant, by the way.  D’ye want a slug of ma Bucky?

Oh, that is a ardmirarble idea.  Thanks.

Ye’ve furgoat wan.

Fur coat?  I don’t follow…

A song.  Ye’ve went an’ furgoat wan.

Have I?

It’s the wan they kin wrote for that Michael Caine fillum.  Kin rubbish fillum, by the way.  He wisnae kin steamin’ wance in it.

And should he have been kin stea…what you said?

Coorse he kin should.  Why else wid they call it kin ‘Alky’?  D’yae geddit?  Alky.

Thass an good one…hic!...Do you want your nempty boddle back?

[God, give me strength…- Ed.]

Thass anudder one!  They blibbing wrote that ‘n’ all…I think I’m gonna be sick…

I think it might be a good idea to move on.

How did The Grambler fare last week?  Erm…not too well.  A little bit of money back, but not enough to give us the stake money back.  How much?  74 pees.  74 measly pees.  After last week’s rubbishy maths, I will use the calculator.  Here goes…2 point 2 minus 74 equals… minus 71 point 8?  Ay?  Oh, hang on.  The point.  I’ve forgotten the point [You’re telling me.  Get on with it. – Ed.].  Sorry.  We lost, basically.  What happened?  Read on…


Newcastle vs Cardiff – Prediction Home win - Yay

Newcastle 3 Cardiff 0

So Cardiff have been relegated from the Premier League after a single season; defeat at Newcastle sending the boyos back to the Championship.

Newcastle, who had lost their previous six games, took the lead through a Shola Ameobi header after 18 minutes.

A number of Magpies fans walked out after 69 minutes in protest at the running of the club. Why 69 minutes?  Is it some sort of symbolic number?  Indeed it is.  It was in 1969 that Newcastle last won a major trophy when it won the Fairs Cup (which has now evolved into the Europa Cup).  So that answers that one.  For all of you who thought 69 signified something else entirely, I have just one thing to say – stop sniggering.

Any road up, the ones that walked out missed a brief rally from Cardiff before late goals from Loic Remy and Steven Taylor sealed their fate.

Newcastle's poor recent form was partly behind the open mutiny from their fans, but the supporters who stayed until the end were able to celebrate what turned out to be a comfortable victory.

 

Crewe A vs Preston NE – Prediction Away win - Boo

Crewe 2 Preston 1

Crewe Alexandra secured their League One status with victory over Preston - their first home win since February. Crewe went ahead on 10 minutes, Adam Dugdale heading in his first goal of the season from a Jon Guthrie corner.

Preston were the brighter side after the interval but Mathias Pogba doubled Crewe's lead on 60 minutes.  Incidentally, you know how managers always call their players by a jolly, shortened version of their names?  Guess what Crewe manager, Steve Davis (no not that Steve Davis) calls Mathias Pogba.  Pogs.  Obvious, but still daft.

Back to the game.  John Welsh's shot pulled one back for the visitors in the 90th minute but Crewe held on.

 

Sheffield Utd vs Coventry – Prediction Home win - Yay

Sheffield Utd 2 Coventry 1

Second-half goals from Ryan Flynn and Ben Davies helped Sheffield United to victory over Coventry City.

Nathan Delfouneso put the Sky Blues ahead against the run of play when he ran on to John Fleck's pass to score after 39 minutes.

Flynn drew the sides level with a cool finish after swapping passes with Conor Coady before finding space in a crowded penalty area to slide his shot home (62 minutes)

Coady turned provider again when he unselfishly passed to substitute Davies to fire home the Blades' winner on 73 minutes.

 

Newport vs Rochdale – Prediction Away win - Boo

Newport 2 Rochdale 1

George Donnelly put Rochdale ahead before Aaron O'Connor marked his return from injury with a scrambled equaliser.

Matthew Lund had an 83rd-minute penalty saved by Ian McLoughlin after Ryan Jackson had been sent off for bringing down Ian Henderson.

A late looping header from Kevin Feely gave 10-man Newport County a shock win.

 

The win means that Newport finish the season in 14th place; not bad after their promotion from the Conference Premier league at the end of last season.

 

Inverness CT vs Dundee Utd – Prediction Away win – Boo

Inverness 1 Dundee Utd 1

Dundee United fought back to draw with Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the Scottish Premiership.

Ryan Christie headed home Marley Watkins' cross to give the Highlanders an early lead.

Dean Brill made some fine saves to preserve the Inverness lead, denying Nadir Ciftci and Brian Graham.

But United did level when Farid El Alagui bundled home midway through the second half.

 

So that was last week’s results.  What about predictions for this weekend?  Well, as you all know, all the senior leagues are finished apart from Premiership games in both Scotland and England, apart from play-off deciders, of course.  It means that there are few games to choose from this weekend; very few indeed at The Grambler’s favourite time of 3pm on a Saturday.  What can we do?  How do you like this idea?  We get The Grambler to pick all five games from the English Premiership which all take place on Sunday the 11th of May at 3pm.  Okay with that?  I like to be polite.

So what has he/she/it gone for on this final weekend of British senior league football for season 2013-14?  Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear…


Game – Result – Odds


Southampton vs Manchester United – Home win – 8/5

For our first game this week we head way down south to St. Mary’s Stadium where the Saints play host to the Red Devils.  The Grambler thinks that Southampton will take the points from this encounter.  Hmm.  Not sure about that Grambler.  Man U will be going all out to secure European football next season, so if they can win and Spurs lose, they could do it based on goal difference.  Also in Man U’s favour is the fact that they have won the last 6 league meetings.  Sorry, Grambler, but I don’t think this will go Southampton’s way.

Thought you might like to see the When Saturday Comes take on Manchester United’s woes – a front cover from the issue dated January 2014…




Looks like they called it right.

 

Tottenham Hotspur vs Aston Villa – Draw – 10/3

For our second game The Grambler takes us to White Heart Lane where Spurs take on Villa.  The Grambler has called this as a draw.  Again, I am not too sure.  True, Spurs only need 1 point from this game to qualify for Europa League football, But surely they will be going all out to get all the points with such a target at stake.  Recent results also go in Spurs favour; 5 of the past 6 home games have gone their way.  Villa, on the other hand, have failed to win in 7 of their last 8 league games.  Again, I must say that I don’t agree with The Grambler.


Liverpool vs Newcastle – Home win – 1/5

For our middle game we are off to Anfield where the Reds play host to the Magpies.  The Grambler has gone for a home win here.  I can’t disagree with that.  Liverpool, so close to winning the league, have had their best season in years.  Prior to the last 2 games, they had won 11.  Newcastle, though, have had a bit of a stinker of a season.  Last week’s win against Cardiff was the first after a run of 6 without a win.  No, happy to go with The Grambler on this one.

Newcastle’s form has not gone unnoticed.  A poem (anonymous) appears on the Beeb Beeb Ceeb website and sums up the fans’ feelings…

 

Black and white shirts flogging pay-day loans,

Kinnear making Tyneside a no-buy zone,

Their one decent striker only there on loan,

Cabaye's bye-bye, the Gallowgate groan.

A trickle of goals running almost dry,

Stressed-out fans walking out on 69,

A head-butting manager's head on the line,

And just five wins since Boxing Day - you've got to ask, why?

 

Sunderland vs Swansea – Home win – 6/5

For our penultimate game of the season we head to the Stadium of Light where the Black Cats take on the Swans.  The Grambler has this one down as a home win for Sun’lun.  The last time these two teams met was Gus Poyet’s first game in charge of Sunderland.  On that occasion Swansea won 4 nil.  It gave Sunderland their worst ever start to a campaign having only 1 point from 8 games.  In this very blog they were referred to as ‘poor old Sunderland’.  However, Poyet has turned things around completely and they have finished the season on a real high winning 4 and drawing 1 of the last 5 played.  One point and one place separate the 2 in the league with Swansea in 13th spot and Sunderland in 14th.  Neither team has anything to really play for as they are both now safely out of the relegation zone.  It has all the hallmarks of a draw to me, but maybe Sun’lun will want to make amends for that 4 nil defeat and will take all 3 points.  Could be, Grambler.  Could be.


Cardiff vs Chelsea – Away win – 4/11

And finally, Cyril?  And finally, Esther we head to the Cardiff City Stadium where the Bluebirds (in a red strip!!) play host to the Blues (in a blue strip).  The Grambler has predicted that Cardiff will lose their last game in the Premiership.  For what it’s worth, I agree. 

Poor old Cardiff.  The owners do seem to have shot themselves in the foot.  Manager Malky Mackay had done a brilliant job by getting Cardiff promoted last season.  Okay, they struggled a bit in the Premiership, but they were getting the occasional win.  I know my opinion counts for nothing, but I reckon that Mackay, had he been allowed to stay on as manager, could have kept them in the league.  But, typical of clubs that want success and fast, Mackay was sacked (or invited to resign, which amounts to the same thing) when the club was at a low-point and a new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer brought in.  ‘Baby-face’ Solskjaer had been manager at Norwegian club Molde for 3 years and had considerable success with them.  Obviously Cardiff’s owners saw this and thought ‘here’s our man’.  Unfortunately for them, they had seen the successes; they presumably didn’t see the first 11 games of his last season in charge there where they only managed 7 points.  Bring back Malky!  That’s what I say.

 

Righty ho my fellow gramblerinis out there in Gramblerland, that is your last bet of the 2013-14 season.  Will The Grambler finish the season as a Man City (winner) or a Cardiff City (loser)?  You know fine well the answer to that one, but, if a miracle were to happen, how much would be winging its way to the Bobby Moore fund?  Fanfare please…

 

£18.42

Not bad.  But, let’s face it, it’s not going to happen.

Okay, we now have a dilemma.  The World Cup doesn’t start until June the 12th, so we face four whole weeks without any footy to gramble on.  What should we do?  Stewart (our glorious founder) locked up and closed the shutters through the summer months.  I intend to carry on writing all the fine literature that makes this the world’s greatest waste of  a blog.  It’s nice to have a wee gramble bet, though.  Why don’t we have a gramble with the gee gees [grambling horses? Steady on – Ed.]?  What do you reckon?  Get back to me.  Meanwhile, I will discuss this possibility with The Grambler and see what he/she/it can come up with.


What about last week’s teaser?  I asked which 2 English top flight clubs had managed to go a full season without a defeat.  Arsenal was one, back in season 2003-04.  It was part of a run of 49 games without defeat which beat the previous record of 42 set by Nottingham Forest between November 77 and November 78.  The other team to achieve no defeats in a season?  Preston North End.  Remember that?  No you wouldn’t; it was back in 1899!


Right, on to this week’s teaser.  Since it is the last week of the season when all the divisions of the league can salute their champions, we have a question relating to league winners.  What linked the winners of all four English league divisions in season 1972-73?


Let’s finish with a song.  It’s a toon written by birthday boy Burt Bacharach.  Take it away Bobbie Gentry…


What do you get when you fall in love?

Blimey.  Where do you start?  Herpes, crabs, chlamydia…

 

Happy grambling.

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