Wednesday 27 January 2021

Fulham hold Albion in yet another draw

Albion 0, Fulham 0
Amex Stadium
Wednesday 27th January 2021

A dogfight between the two teams in 17th and 18th place in the Premier League resulted in the inevitable and predictable draw. In this proverbial six pointer it was Albion who dominated play for most of the match, had more possession but missed a hat full of chances and almost threw it away in the final minute. Sound familiar? 

It was a match that Brighton should, and could, have won. Once again it was pretty football with fluid passing movement that lacked the killer punch in the final third. Having spent 90 minutes trying to find the back of the Fulham net Albion almost threw the point away in added time when Ruben Loftus-Cheek had his goal bound shot spectacularly cleared off the line by the ever dependable Lewis Dunk. It would have been a snatch and grab result that Fulham hardly deserved.

Fulham made so many poor passes and gifted Albion countless chances but the Seagulls failed to put them away. It has to be said that Areola in the Fulham goal was in outstanding form for the visitors but it was the same old story for Brighton, attractive to watch but with no end product. The home team probably deserved to win but why Graham Potter didn't make further substitutions towards the end of the game was a little baffling. 

With the team crying out for some more firepower up front Potter decided to bring on midfielder Davy Propper and take off MacAlister who was actually doing okay. It was a like for like change and hard to see how just that one change could make a significant difference or have any impact up front while the likes of Aaron Connolly, Percy Tau and Adam Lallana remained on the bench. What the team needed was a goal and although Trossard (who had a decent game) and Maupay came close it was clear that more firepower was needed. The boss decided to just make the one change when perhaps bringing on another striker might have proved the solution to winning this game, I guess we'll never know.

In the end Albion were left ruing their spurned chances yet again. Another good performance but this team are now the league's draw specialists with nine draws, no other team has drawn that many matches in the Premier League this season. Pretty football and the lion's share of possession doesn't necessarily win matches, if Albion are to progress and avoid relegation they need to be more ruthless and start turning those draws into wins...and quickly.   

Some tough questions to answer

Click on the image above to watch Sky News presenter Niall Paterson ask some tough questions to poor Robert Jenrick who is the unfortunate minister left holding the government to account.

I have to say that I’m not a great fan of the blame game, it’s more important to me that politicians recognise what lessons they have learned from this awful pandemic so that the same mistakes will never, ever be made again when the next one comes along.

You may not be surprised to read that I’m not a huge fan of this government but I do give credit to them for the furlough scheme and to the NHS in getting the vaccine program roll out moving so quickly. I would question some of the judgement calls made by our government during this pandemic and some ministers have been extremely poor in getting their messages across. 

I could mention the dreadfully belated response the government took in responding to the explosion of Covid that swamped our care homes early on, the shambolic world beating track and trace app that became a laughing stock, Dominic Cummings who broke all the rules and managed to come up with such a lame excuse that nobody (except his boss) thought was acceptable or 'Operation Moonshot' that disappeared into outer space never to be seen or heard of again. Nope, you won't hear me mention any of those moments of madness during the coronavirus crisis.

However to be fair and balanced it’s also probably true to say that no matter which political party was in power at the time of this pandemic it was inevitable that mistakes in dealing with it would have been made. 

It’s time for politicians to accept and acknowledge that mistakes were made in their decision making, albeit under extremely difficult circumstances in a worldwide pandemic. There’s no shame in admitting those mistakes, anyone with common sense can see it’s been an almost impossible job trying to manage the country in these unprecedented times.  

Over 100,000 lives lost in the UK due to Covid is such heartrendingly sad news. It is not the time for recrimination, for now it is more important that lessons have been learned from the way this pandemic has been managed so that we can prevent such a dreadful loss of life in the future.

It's Alright Now

It's alright now, we've got a little bit of Free on the turntable today. I had forgotten how nice it was to turn over a piece of vinyl halfway through the set 🎸

Friday 22 January 2021

SMiLE your way through lockdown

SMiLE, it’s vinyl day in the Seagull's nest. There’s nothing quite like a bit of Beach Boys music to help get you through a lockdown.

Wednesday 20 January 2021

Today is a good day

Today is a good day. The deluded narcissist has finally left the building and the grown ups have moved in. I wonder if there’s room in that helicopter for his enormous ego?

Tuesday 12 January 2021

Priti please, just answer the questions

The Priti Patel coronavirus press briefing today was a lesson in how not to answer questions by repeatedly ignoring them and saying the same thing time after time after time. Every question was met with the same carefully worded, scripted response. Aimed at getting the message across the briefing was dull, boring and failed to engage her audience at all. Priti Patel’s stern personality and lack of warmth made her completely the wrong person to host this briefing to give out the governments most important message.

I get the crucial ‘stay at home’ message Priti and I understand why you have to get the point across to those who don’t but please, please answer the journalists questions. It’s a pointless exercise to have a press briefing if you don’t properly answer questions that the press throw at you. 

If our politicians want the great British public to get the important messages in these challenging times then they need to answer questions directly with clarity, transparency and honesty. Unfortunately these are not traits that come easily to most politicians, no matter which side of the house they are on. 

The great British public doesn’t want bluster or repetitious statements from politicians who fail to address the questions put to them. 

That’s the end of Tuesdays rant, time for a cuppa.

Thursday 7 January 2021

Is this really the way to make America great again?

The world saw disgraceful and shocking scenes of violence yesterday as mobs of Trump supporters stormed the White House, the citadel of American democracy. Their leader, the President of the United States, refused to condemn their actions telling them instead that he 'loved them' and calling them ‘special people’. Havoc and chaos reigned as these thugs showed such remarkable disrespect and disregard to the democratic process. Perhaps we should all be shocked but not surprised as these scenes were stoked by mad conspiracy theories, rants and lies from a deranged and outgoing president. 

Strategic and planning failures by White House security chiefs allowed these violent events to happen, perhaps a deliberate act by Trump to encourage the use of mob force to stand behind his false and unproven claims of a ‘stolen election’. Gun wielding and ignorant thugs (not the brightest tools in the box it has to be said) listened to Trump as he implored them to march on the US capital and ‘fight like hell’. And so these morons followed like sheep and did exactly what he told them to do. 

Trump supporters, anarchists and white supremacists took to the streets and blindly followed their leader’s instructions, taking their guns and pipe bombs with them resulting in four dead. It was mob rule.

Imagine what the reaction would be if it were a group of Black Lives Matter protesters who stormed the White House yesterday. Would the security arrangements have been the same? I suspect President Trump would have not hesitated to quickly use the national guard to forcibly protect US democracy resulting in many more dead, and he would have called the protest an insurrection and threat to democracy.

Donald Trump lost a legitimate election, there's no convincing or hard evidence that shows us otherwise. Not only did he lose but he actually lost by what he would define as a landslide. The president needs to be a big boy now, grow a pair, stop crying, accept defeat gracefully and move on. But we all know that isn't going to happen don't we? Trump has now left himself isolated, his behaviour in the days leading up to this event with his bullying phone call to an election official in Georgia probably led to the republican parties losing control of the senate as well.

Is this the way to make America great again? America needs a President who shows decency and will respect the office, who will respect the democratic process and who has the respect of those around him. Not a rude, ill mannered, ill informed narcissistic bully who has an ego the size of the White House.Too many of his aides were grovelling yes men, either through fear of him or because they chose to crawl up a ladder of ambition. 

In the words of President Elect Joe Biden, speaking as protesters stormed the capitol "The words of a President matter, no matter how good or bad that President is. At their best the words of a President can inspire, at their worst they can incite". How true. 

Unbelievable scenes at the White House, Washington on 6th January, 2021