Friday 10 March 2017

Week 31 - The Grambler on Barcelona

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


All righty. When did that start? It happens all the time. Whenever anybody is completing a bit of business in a shop/bank/other emporium of choice, they finish with the words all righty? Why? What’s wrong with all right? Who started this all righty lark? What is happening to our language?

Guys. That’s another one I hate. You go to a restaurant and the waiter shows you to your table all the while calling you guys. I do not like be addressed as guys... I like the subservient sir and madam.

Enjoy. I hate that. When I am presented with a meal I don’t want the waiter to say enjoy. Don’t you order me about, young man. Strangely, I am happy with the statement ‘enjoy your meal’, which is still an order when you think about it.

What really bugs me though, is not a slackening of language but a slackening of manners. When I buy something in a shop I like to be noticed. How do you mean, I hear you ask. Imagine you are in a clothes shop, say. You have chosen what you want to buy and have taken it to a pay desk. Sometimes there are several such desks with a sales assistant at each. How many times have you gone to pay and, while the assistant is scanning the items, she (it is always a she) is chatting away to the sales assistant next to her? It is as if you just aren’t there. It does my nut in, it really does. To me, it is rudeness, plain and simple.

Another thing that annoys me... don’t stop me now, I’m on a roll... is when you are in a supermarket or any shop that is full of aisles and you haven’t got a clue where to find an item. So, you look for a member of staff to help you. The first problem is actually finding anyone. Yetis are sighted more often. Yeti... Bigfoot... Sasquatch or whatever you call it in your neck of the woods. The point I am trying to make is that staff members are pretty scarce when you are looking for them. Any road up, you finally track someone down. Usually they come in pairs. And, surprise surprise, they are talking to each other. You stand and wait for one of these individuals to notice you. But no, they just carry on talking to one another as if you didn’t exist. So you clear your throat in the hope that this will make them acknowledge you. At last, one of them looks in your direction, although the look is pretty disdainful. ‘I wonder if you could help me. I’m looking for (insert product of choice here).’

You then get a one or two word answer like ‘None’ or ‘Aisle nine’ before this sour-faced ignorant sod goes back to his/her conversation which is obviously more important than actually doing the fn job he/she is fn well paid to do!!!

Sorry. Getting a bit carried away there. Oh yes. Bring back the time when shop assistants (Do you see that? Assistant. It comes from the verb to assist.) were helpful. Bring back the time when you were given their undivided attention whenever you were making a purchase. Bring back the time when they b****y well knew their place.

By gum! Think I need to go for a lie down.

And gum. I can’t abide shop assistants chewing gum.




I am sure you know all about this week’s big football story: Barcelona vs Paris Saint-Germain in the second leg of the Champions League last sixteen round. PSG had a 4 goal advantage from the first leg, so, barring a miracle from Barca, they were expected to progress to the quarter final stage. After Barca won the game 6 - 1, I am sure a goodly proportion of the 96 thousand in the crowd would attest that they had witnessed a miracle on Wednesday night. It was the greatest ever comeback in a European competition.

Local boy Sergi Roberto scored the decisive goal with the last kick of the ball. If you perform miracles, you might get canonised. [What?  Like in snooker? - Ed.]  Ahem.  Saint Sergi; it’s got a ring to it.




Were any famous or notorious people born on the 11th of March? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. Malcolm Campbell 1885 (Speed record bloke, not the fruit shop owner.), Jessie Matthews 1907 (I’m terribly worried about Jim.), Harold Wilson 1916 (Prime minister a Gannex mac mannequin.), Louise Brough 1923 (Tennisy bloke.), David Gentleman 1930 (Stamp designer. Here’s one of his),

Rupert Murdoch 1931 (Rich bloke. Ranked 96th richest person in the world. Forbes list ‘Rupert Murdoch and family’ as the 35th most powerful person in the world. [Wha? - Ed.].), Nigel Lawson 1932 (Climate change denialist.), Harvey Mandel 1945 (Geetarist. Here is your first link this week. Ladeez and gennulum enjoy The Snake.), Jan Schelhaas 1948 (Keyboard player for Caravan and Camel. Another link? Go on, then. Here is Jan doing the keyboardy stuff on Camel’s Remote Romance.), Bobby McFerrin 1950 (Here’s a little song I wrote.), Jerry Zucker 1950 (Film producer, director and writer. Wrote the line... ‘Surely, you can’t be serious.’ ‘I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.’ Yay!), Douglas Adams 1952 (So long and thanks for all the fish.), Alex Kingston 1963(’Er in ER.), Shane Richie 1964 (Alfie Moon.), Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen 1965 (Great, super, smashing. What do you mean, that was Jim?), John Barrowman 1967 (Torchwood bloke.), Lisa Loeb 1968 (Singer, actress and Sarah Palin lookalike. Here’s another link... Stay (I missed you).), Johnny Knoxville 1971 (A bit of a jackass.), Didier Drogba 1978 (Footy bloke who falls down a lot.), Jack Rodwell 1991 (Footy bloke.) and Andrew Robertson 1994 (Footy bloke who has the distinction of actually knowing The Grambler [Unlucky sod. - Ed.].)




Let’s move on to grambling matters. How did we do last week? We won. Yay! No. Not quite yay. We actually got £1.95 back from our £2.20 stake, so we lost 25 pees. What happened? Read on...



Derby vs Barnsley -Prediction Home win

Result - Derby 2 Barnsley 1


The visitors went ahead when the Rams failed to deal with Marc Roberts' long throw and midfielder Matty James headed home.

The lead lasted only two minutes as Tom Ince fired into the net after Barnsley's defence failed to clear.

Ince then hit the post before David Nugent struck with the help of a deflection.


Fulham vs Preston -Prediction Home win

Result - Fulham 3 Preston 1


Sone Aluko fired in from Neeskens Kebano's cutback to open the scoring before Chris Martin found the bottom corner to double the hosts' lead.

Tom Barkhuizen made it 2-1 on the break, but Kebano pounced to end Preston's hopes with a calm finish.


Bradford vs Peterborough -Prediction Home win

Result - Bradford 1 Peterborough 0


Striker Alex Jones [I wondered why she’s not been on the One Show lately. - Ed.] scored the winner in the 24th minute, forcing the ball over the line after goalkeeper Luke McGee could only half stop Mark Marshall's angled shot from the right.

The ball then rebounded into the path of fellow striker Charlie Wyke who fired into the net from close range, but referee Brett Huxtable signalled a goal after being alerted by the assistant referee's flag that Jones' effort had crossed the line.


Swindon vs Chesterfield -Prediction Home win

Result - Swindon 0 Chesterfield 1


Substitute Reece Mitchell struck in the third minute of time added on. Mitchell was introduced in the final 10 minutes, replacing the ineffective Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, and the change proved an inspired one as he netted his first goal of the season.


Crawley vs Doncaster -Prediction Away win

Result - Crawley 0 Doncaster 0

Ooh! ’It the bar!

Goalkeeper Glenn Morris saved a first-half penalty and produced several other important stops to ensure Doncaster took only a point at Crawley.

The Reds had former Gillingham man Morris to thank for keeping them in the match before half-time.

Rovers' leading scorer John Marquis, with 20 goals already this season, wasted a perfect opportunity to give his side the lead when he had a 25th-minute penalty saved.

Defender Mark Connolly gave away the spot-kick for bringing down Tommy Rowe and Marquis' tame penalty was saved to his left by Morris, who then kept out the rebound from Alfie May.

Ho hum. Let’s see if The Grambler can improve on those predictions this week.

Game - Result - Odds

Cardiff vs Birmingham - Prediction Home win - 4/5

Leeds vs QPR - Prediction Home win - 10/11

Newcastle vs Fulham - Prediction Home win - 4/5

Norwich vs Blackburn - Prediction Home win - 4/6

Luton vs Stevenage - Prediction Home win - 4/6


All matches kick off at 3pm on Saturday the 11th of March. The bets have been placed (10 x 20 pee doubles plus 1 x 20 pee accumulator) and if they all go according to The Grambler’s Prediction, the Bobby Moore Fund stands to receive a whopping...


A bit more whopping than last week..




Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked who is the only Scot to have scored a Premiershit hat-trick against Chelsea. It was Everton’s Steven Naismith who came on as sub after only nine minutes when Chelsea visited Goodison Park in September 2015.

One for this week? Which African has scored the highest number of Premiershit goals? That’s it. Nice and simple.




As usual, 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, I am indebted to a Mr R. McFerrin for our finishing link this week. For those of you who think he can only do that annoying Be Happy song, listen to this... It's absolutely mesmerising.  Enjoy. [Don’t you order me about, young man. - Ed.]

Happy grambling.


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