Saturday, 19 December 2015

Week 20 - The Grambler salutes Signor Ranieri

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 is 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 .

If you haven’t already done so, please read the article which 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.

Similarly, if you haven’t heard it, please listen to Geraldine’s moving radio interview which was on Radio Scotland recently.

Stewart began writing The Grambler when he was between procedures and hoping for some form of recovery. He loved all aspects of football and was a lifelong Motherwell supporter. 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


They are still up there. Who? What? I hear you ask. Leicester city are still up there at the top of the English Premiershit. It is great to see a team that was expected to fail spectacularly doing so well. Of course, they have some very talented players. Jamie Vardy has been mentioned before in this blog, but the whole team works so hard and well together. I particularly like the old-school defender, centre back Robert Huth. Someone who is willing to chase and stop, by whatever means, any opposition player. It's not pretty, but it's effective. Goalie Kasper Schmeichel is a great player to have in the team. He's learned well from his dad, that well known loony, Peter.
However, the person who deserves most praise, in my opinion, is manager Claudio Ranieri. What a great job that man is doing. I don't know if gloating is in his nature, but he must have been feeling pretty good on Monday night after his Leicester side beat the club he used to manage, Chelsea. I do hope there is an Italian equivalent of 'get it up you' because, if I were Ranieri, I couldn't resist using it. Why? Because Chelsea owner, Harry Enfieldski, did the dirty on him years back.
Ranieri was doing a good job at Chelsea at the time. He had managed to get them second in the league, the club's best finish for many a year. If he had worked for a club like Arsenal or Man United, he would have been given an improved contract as thanks for his good work. That didn't happen at Chelsea though. The following season it was common knowledge that another 'special' manager would be taking his place. Meanwhile, Ranieri had to carry on managing the team knowing that he soon wouldn't have a job.
That special manager, Jos
é Moreaboutmeno, duly arrived and won prizes for the club. Who is to say that Ranieri wouldn't have done the same if he had been given the same support given to his successor?
How nice to see Ranieri now rubbing his successor's metaphorical nose in the sh*t. Moreaboutmeno has managed to get Chelsea where they are today - two points away from the relegation zone. Well done you.
No surprise, then, that later in the week the special one received his jotters. How ironic that having ousted Ranieri from his job 11 years ago, the tables are turned and it is Ranieri that has provided the excuse to sack the special one. I am sure Mouraboutmeno will find another club willing to take a gamble on his management skills; Manchester United has been mentioned. Meanwhile, let's all speculate on who will take over the vacant Chelsea post. It won't happen, but I would love to see Ranieri offered the job, just so that he could tell them to sticka theira job wherea the sun donna shine.





Well it is that time of year again. Happy Gramblemas everyone. I hope Father Gramblemas brings you some nice pressies.
There is something very strange happens to people at this time of year. The capability for rational thought seems to desert them. If I were buying a present for somebody, I would consider what they would like. I would ask myself what hobbies they pursued or what clothes they liked and give them a suitable present based on those things. Thus, any present from me is, in a word, money. Lazy b******, I hear you exclaim! Yes and no. Mrs G loves shopping, whereas I can't stand it. I give Mrs a present that allows her to indulge in a pastime she loves. Simple.
Lots of people do go Gramblemas shopping, though. What could be better than shopping for presents at this time of year? Well, basically, anything. Tis the season to be jolly? Don't think so. How can anyone derive pleasure from traipsing around shops? Especially at this time of year when everyone and his dog are doing the same thing.
This, I believe, is why the rational thought process goes out the window right now. Most people in those shops are doing the same thing; they are shopping for presents for friends and family. It is not a pleasant experience for even the most seasoned shopper. Everywhere is just so busy. So what happens? Instead of buying presents, they end up buying gifts. Hang on a mo, isn't that the same thing, you ask. To some, yes. To me, no. There is a distinction. A present would be, say, a nice new shirt; plain; sensible; a gift would be a shirt with a picture of Santa's feet sticking out of a chimney. A present would be a book related to the recipient's interests; a gift would be a book containing pictures of cats wearing pirate costumes. A present would be a bar of chocolate; a gift would be a bag of misshaped chocolate pieces called reindeer droppings. Do you get the picture? People who are normally quite sane and spend their money wisely, suddenly, at this time of gift giving, think nothing of splashing out a lot of their hard earned dosh on absolute tat. A hat with antlers? Ho ho. I'll take three. They'll do as pressies for somebody or other. A jumper with a snowman on it and some crude joke about snowballs? Ha ha. Gimme gimme. Uncle Harry would love that. Garish socks that play jingle bells? Hee hee. Just right for cousin Joe.
Listen. These things are not funny. Admit it. They're not. They brought a smile to your face, maybe, but they really aren't funny. Before you buy this christmassy sh*te, ask yourself if you would like to receive this as a gift from someone. I would guarantee, that nobody could answer yes to that one.
Now then. Consider the gift I give. Money. Ask yourself, would I like to receive money. Who is going to answer no to that one. Lazy? Maybe. Sensible? Definitely. Appreciated by the recipient? Absolutely no doubt about it.

Speaking of gift giving, please consider a gift to a particular charity at this time of year. You know the one. You do. I don’t say give a huge amount. You can donate as little as two quids. Not a lot at all. Considerably cheaper than that garish jumper with Rudolph complete with flashing nose that you were considering buying. Go on. You know you want to. Just click on .




Any birthdays to celebrate this Saturday, the 19th of December? Why, yes. There are, indeed, a few. Ralph Richardson 1902 (Ectaw dear laddie.), Leonid Brezhnev 1906 (Trivia: He loved the game of dominoes.), Jean Genet 1910 (David Bowie song.), Edith Piaf 1915 (Trivia: Her stage name La Mome Piaf translates as the waif sparrow.), Eamonn Andrews 1922 (Thurss uz yur loif!), Gordon Jackson 1923 (Name the film: ‘Gut luck.’ ‘Thank you... D’oh!’ Okay, he didn’t really say d’oh.), Robert Sherman 1925 (The bare necessities of life will come to tou.), James Booth 1927 (Not Cheri’s dad. The other one. He was in Zulu. Not Til Death Us Do Part.), Maurice White 1941 (Rose from The Golden Girls... Hang on...), Alvin Lee 1944 (Ten Years After bloke. Never did say ten years after what.), Richard Leakey 1944 (Inventor of incontinence pants.), Marianne Faithfull 1946 (Don’t mention Mars Bars.), Robert Urich 1946 (Burt Reynolds wee brother.), Rosemary Conley 1946 (Thin woman.), Jennifer Beals 1963 (Welder.), Richard Hammond 1969 (Jeremiah Klaxon’s stooge.), Jake Gyllenhaal 1980 (Trivia: His favourite book is To Kill a Mockingbird; his pet dogs are called Atticus and Boo.) and Alexis Sanchez 1987 (Footie bloke.)




Let’s move on to grambling matters. What happened last week? We won. Again. Four out of five correct. Fifty one pees up. Yay! All is revealed below, fair reader...


Hull vs Bolton - Prediction Home win

Result - Hull 1 Bolton 0


Chuba Akpom pounced from close range midway through a poor first half after Ahmed Elmohamady's shot was blocked, and Sam Clucas should have doubled the lead, but fired over from five yards.


Wigan vs Blackpool - Ptrediction Home win

Result - Wigan 0 Blackpool 1


Defender Tom Aldred's first-half effort from a corner was enough to earn the Seasiders all three points.

Substitute Donervon Daniels had a chance shortly after the break to equalise for the home side but saw his free header go wide.


Portsmouth vs Hartlepool - Prediction Home win

Result - Portsmouth 4 Hartlepool 0


The hosts took the lead when Caolan Lavery curled a superb effort in after 12 minutes from the edge of the box.

Visiting defender Adam Jackson diverted a Ben Davies centre into his own net to make it 2-0 to Pompey at the break.

Marc McNulty teed up Gareth Evans for the third before the former got on the scoresheet with a calm finish beyond Pools keeper Trevor Carson from an Enda Stevens pass.


Annan vs East Stirling - Prediction Home win

Result - Annan 3 East Stirling 1


The hosts dominated the early stages, and after the visitors failed to clear a high ball Matt Flynn rose to head in.

Peter Weatherson nodded against the bar as East Stirling hung on, but he soon finished beyond Darren Dolan.

Weatherson grabbed his second after the break with a trademark free-kick from 25 yards, before Alistair Roy pulled one back late on for the Shire with a solo effort.


Queen’s Park vs Arbroath - Prediction Home win

Result - Queen’s Park 1 Arbroath 0


Joe Bradley beat the defence with an accurate through ball and Chris Duggan beat Allan Fleming.

Duggan nearly grabbed another when he turned a whipped cross from Gavin Mitchell just wide.

Darren Ramsay nearly equalised when he beat the goalkeeper and was denied only by Ryan McGeever's clearance, and Willie Muir also repelled Bobby Linn's shot from close range.


A good week for The Grambler, then. What can he/she/it come up with this week?

Game - Result - Odds

Manchester United vs Norwich - Prediction Home win - 9/20

Burnley vs Charlton - Prediction Home win - 3/5

Rotherham vs Hull - Prediction Away win - 19/20

Coventry vs Oldham - Prediction Home win - 4/7

Kilmarnock vs Aberdeen - Prediction Away win - 8/13



If the bets (10 x 20 pee doubles plus 1 x 20 pee accumulator) all go as predicted by The Grambler, the Bobby Moore Fund will benefit to the tune of fanfare please…


A wee bit more this week. Fingers crossed.




Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked which was the only club to win the FA Cup and promotion to the top flight in the same season. The answer was West Bromwich Albion way back in 1931. That has just reminded me of an embarrassing moment for Hugh Grant when he tried to suggest he was a supporter by saying he was a fan of WBA, spoken as ‘Double you Bee Ay’. Bollocks! No fan would call them that. It is always West Brom.

One for this week? Since Leicester City are the team of the moment, let’s have a question relating to them. Who was the only Leicester player to have played for England at FIFA World Cup Finals? A nice easy one for you there.




Once again, let’s finish with a mention of the main reason for continuing to publish this blog – to raise awareness about bowel cancer. If you have any bowel problems, don’t be fobbed off with the line that you are too young for bowel cancer to be a consideration. Just point your doctor in the direction of .



And finally, Cyril? And finally Esther, as it is Ms J. Beals’ birthday, I am indebted to a Mr R. Webb (Yes him from Peep Show, That Mitchell and Webb Look, That Mitchell and Webb Sound, etc.) who provides us with a clip of his most famous Comic Relief moment. Ladeez and gennulum, I give you Flashdance.



Happy Gramblemas.


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