Thursday, 8 July 2010

Paul the Octopus to join MOTD and other shocking news

Wellllllllllll who knew I could be bested by a mollusc?  I mean what do years of watching football , instinct and knowledge  mean  when you just let an escaped English octopus pick teams at random from his home in Germany and he gets it right every time????!!!!!!  Just sack them all , In fact, why even play the matches, Paul will tell us who the cup belongs to. Imagine the impact on Ladbrookes and other betting shops when  odds mean nothing  because this watery genius will just tell us. It was funny when Garry Linaker finally acknowledged the blither's existence and suggested he's be joining the MOTD panel. One mate cheekily said Garth Crooks looked worried.  I suspect one day very soon, Paul will get it wrong and we can all go back to being smug humans who think we need a few years of schooling in the arts of football before we can predict an outcome. In this situation I pity the guy who put £50 on Germany to win the cup 100/1 odds despite Octo Paul's clear warning that Germany would loose to Spain. Being wrong is one thing, but being wrong to a cephalopod who is mostly concerned with eating  must sting  just a bit. I take some blame for it as I bigged up Germany on the facts and current form, who knew they would bottle it like that? I honestly never saw it coming. But then again, Spain play a very dull defensive game that had Germany locked down for most of the match. If you can't get near the goal mouth you can't score.  I have bravely decided against all odds and logic to back Holland in the final regardless of what Paul says. Let the players decide who wins this one. And PS Paul, you are a legitimate phenomenon having now received two death threats in the mail, no word if an assassination squid has been sent . ( ta much Keith Topping for that)

EDIT:  Paul as of the latest news, has predicted that Spain will win the World Cup and Germany will win the consolation match. The significant thing is that he is now telling us these things via a Spokesman. Seems Paul is too good to talk to us directly. Furthermore, he is now getting love letters from Spanish girls. Having seen some shocking anime, I'd have thought it was Japanese girls, but what do I know.  Paul has gone Hollywood, next thing you know Katie Price will be rumoured to be seeing him as he's got more press than she does. Let me enjoy the moment ...a mollusc is getting more ink than Katie Price !!!!!

And I wasn't kidding about shock news, it just gets better all the time . I saw this from the BBC today ....
Goal-line technology in football has moved a step closer after Fifa General Secretary Jerome Valcke revealed the 2010 World Cup is set to be the last tournament under the existing refereeing system. In an interview with the BBC, Valcke admitted the moment when television replays showed Frank Lampard had scored a goal in England's second round defeat by Germany was a "bad day" for organisers.

But following the fallout from that and other controversial refereeing mistakes in South Africa, Valcke hinted that major changes would be made before the next World Cup in Brazil in 2014.

Valcke said: "We are talking about a single goal not seen by the referee which is why we are talking about new technology. But, again let's see if this system will help or whether giving the referee an additional four eyes will give him the comfort and make duty easier to perform, then why not? "I would say that it is the final World Cup with the current refereeing system."

Although Valcke's comments will be interpreted as a change of policy by Fifa following the International Football Association Board's (Ifab) decision to reject goal-line technology and other aids for referees in March, the Fifa general secretary said the speed at which the modern game was played meant the whole approach to refereeing had to be reformed. "The teams and the players are so strong and so fast. The game is different and the referees are older than all the players," said Valcke. "The game is so fast, the ball is flying so quickly, we have to help them and we have to do something and that's why I say it is the last World Cup under the current system."

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has repeatedly rejected calls for the introduction of goal-line technology or TV replays, insisting an element of human error has always been a part of the game.
Opponents have also pointed to concerns over universality - that all levels of the game should be subjected to the same rules and methods of refereeing.

But following the Lampard "goal" and Carlos Tevez's offside strike for Argentina against Mexico, also in the second round, Blatter performed a U-turn, saying that it would be a "nonsense" not to reopen the file on technology. Ifab - the game's rule making body which consists of representatives of the English, Scottish, Northern Irish and Welsh FAs as well as four representatives from Fifa - is due to hold a meeting on 21 July where the issue is expected to be discussed. But Valcke added that it was unlikely to hold serious discussions until a further meeting scheduled for October. In March, Ifab heard presentations from two companies pitching to introduce systems which they say provide definitive proof when the ball has crossed the line for a goal. But both Cairos Goal-line technology, which uses a microchip inside a football and magnetic fields around the goal line, and Hawk-Eye, which uses six television cameras positioned around the goal, were rejected. The Cairos system was tested by Fifa in the World Club Championships in Japan in 2007, but despite their claims that the test was a success, Ifab again rejected the proposal in March 2008.

It was debated again in 2009 but again turned down. Both Hawk-Eye and Cairos insist cost is not an issue as they offered to pay for the installation of the system in return for a share of sponsorship rights. The introduction of two extra referees positioned on the goal-line, a move initiated by Uefa president Michel Platini, was trialled last season in the Europa League and is set to be used in the Champions League this coming season. But again, Ifab turned down the chance to introduce it in time for the World Cup in South Africa. 

So there you have it, the turtle known as FIFA has finally started the less than glacial pace required to reform the game and join the rest of the 21st century. We need not harm the game by doing this, Rugby , Tennis and Hockey have all done this with no harm to the game or the professionalism of the officials involved. The number of blatant officiating errors and easily re-viewable bad red cards is too high. Cheating or playing the rules is outside the spirit of the game and should be stopped when ever possible. At least two players deserved to be named and shamed and barred from play for at least a month's worth of matches. They caused two quality players from competing. Even if FIFA were to rescind the cards in the next 24 hours it's already too late for the matches that were affected by these bad calls. Suarez boasted he saved his team by blocking a sure goal, clearly an instant where even a penalty is not needed, just award the goal, it was going in full stop, and Suarez cheated knowing he was taking a chance on missing the pen. It makes Maradonas hand of God look like an accident. Teams have been relegated or missed out on tournaments on avoidable human error. Goals that were goals were not goals because one man out of millions in some cases, did not see the ball go in or cross the line.  It's 2010, time we got with the program. I suspect the real reform will take place in time for Euro 2012, with a test drive in the 2010-11 Champions League season. We can only hope this crack in the fundamentalist wall of football ayatollahs is only going to get bigger and we can clean  up our game in short order. Somehow I don't think the later will happen as quickly, but if it sees Sepp Blatter leave, it will be a step in the right direction.

And the shocks keep coming.... News from the cobbles .... straight from MSN news. Before you read what follows, I'm not a big fan of spoilers, I will as a rule avoid them like the plague but this is hardly a spoiler, it's more of a warning to viewers and a shot across the bow to cast members who think they may be irreplaceable.

Much-loved characters are to be killed off in a massive disaster which causes carnage in Coronation Street, show bosses have revealed.  The viaduct, which has long been a Weatherfield landmark, is to collapse, sending a tram careering off the bridge and on to the cobbles. The gripping storyline marks the show's 50th anniversary in December and will leave some favourites from the show injured. Producer Phil Collinson said: "We'll be losing some well-known, well-loved characters." Show bosses said it will be the biggest stunt in the soap's half-century history. Collinson told ITV1's This Morning: "If you're listening in Weatherfield it's not good news. One fateful night at the beginning of December the viaduct's going to collapse, down by the corner shop and the Kabin, and a tram is going to crash into Coronation Street. "People are going to be injured, people are going to be killed. It's a big, big story for us and one fateful night will play out across a whole week. Picking up the pieces of that into next year is going to be huge."Show bosses will issue alternative scripts and keep security extra tight to keep the outcome a secret.Even cast and crew are in the dark about which Weatherfield residents will be killed in the disaster, which soap chiefs promise will be the biggest stunt the programme has ever staged. Collinson has drafted in special effects experts from The Mill, who have worked on Doctor Who and Gladiator, and producers have worked with GMPTE, which runs Metrolink trams in Manchester. The producer added: "We'll be using all the wonders of modern television production to bring you a disaster that will rock the lives of everyone in Weatherfield."

OOOO arrrrr This has to come as incredibly bad news to some cast members who have been hanging on by their fake nails for ages now. No amount of can tan or boob jobs will stop this new broom sweeping the street clean. Some people have asked for a spectacular way off the programme, Jack Duckworth comes to mind, and yet other newer cast members like Maria and Michelle may be given the chop as well. Long established couple and annoying wife saddled Ashley Peacock may  finally move to a new neighbourhood to pick up the pieces while  the Websters could finally be sent packing after years of infuriating us with snobbery and a daughter that could have been so much more , but has turned into a yet another Crowther tart. Then of course we have the Windass clan, hands up anybody who will miss the ginger menaces. Ex Doctor Who show runner  Phil Collison has with this one announcement  made it clear he wishes to bring some order to the mess that was Corrie in the dying months of Kim Crowther. In the last few weeks we've begun to see the return of the Corrie we loved for so long , but had been stripped away to base drama and conflict  by the previous regime. Humour , the corner stone of Corrie as well as the mundane family based dilemmas are back.  David and Graham are not quite bessie mates again, but David hasn't tried to shoot him with a sniper rifle or plotted to drop him in a pit of vipers either, if anything, the situation has been diffused in the normal amount of time for regular humans such as ourselves. Will he kill everybody off? Not likely. Will he sack dead wood and rescue characters from a slide into  irrelevance they had suffered from? Jason Grimshaw and his mam Eileen, have both behaved badly off screen and that can't be good for those characters. I don't envy the the cast right now, months of uncertainty, reading scripts wondering if that's it. Even if  they hand you a new love interest, it doesn't mean you won't be killed by a Dalek at Christmas. Phil Collison is the breathe of fresh air that Corrie needed for the longest time. ITV hasn't got too many things right of late, but this was an inspired decision. I have gone from dreading to watch to wondering what's going to happen next. Well done Phil and well done ITV.

No comments: