Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Footballers' signatures - the new ENIGMA code?

As I work around the gambling industry I am more than acquainted with the man who does the PR for Fulham's betting & gaming partner Bodog (check them out at http://www.bodog.co.uk/), who very kindly sent me a signed Fulham shirt, seemingly from the record breaking 2009/10 season. The only thing is I can't make out a single signature. Not one. Here is a list of the squad from that season. Number 4 might be Erik Nevland because of the 10 next to it.

Anyone any ideas?

Monday, 25 July 2011

Supporting Norway

There's a thread on Friends of Fulham encouraging people to pick up Norway flags to fly at the home game against Split next week as a way of showing solidarity with the club's three Norweigan players; Brede Hangeland and the Riises. After the absolutely horrendous events in Oslo and Utoeya island last weekend, it's a good way for the support to show the players that the victims in their homeland have our sympathy.
Flags can be picked up for less than £3 here.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Crime Thriller - Child Number Three

A quick plug for my friend Phil Martin, who is looking to get his book published. The first third of the novel can be read here. Unfortunately you need to register to gain access, but it doesn't cost anything. - Here's the synopsis:
Snatched, rescued and brought up in a loving environment, Amy Walker embarks on a journey of self-discovery taking her deep into a disturbing Chechen underworld
Having graduated from medical school, Amy Walker turns her attention to another lifelong ambition; finding out where she came from. Adopted by a loving couple, Amy believes she was orphaned in a coach crash in Tuscany. Her initial research tells her one thing; she was never on that coach.

Having exposed lie after lie, Amy confronts an evasive adoption agency and then her mother with fatal consequences. The discovery of a gun hidden in her father’s desk, a mysterious list of names and a passport stamp confirming his location at the time of the crash, all convince Amy she should stop at nothing to find out her truth.

After journeying to the shanty towns and palaces of Morocco, more untruths lead her back to a dark Chechen underworld, where Amy discovers she was the third on a sinister list of stolen children spanning two decades. Her quest alerts the abductors to Amy's existence but this is about so much more than just her. They're still in operation and Amy must stop them before they strike again.

Child Number Three must be silenced. Little girl lost must never be found.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Japan - world champions

Just watched a thoroughly absorbing Womens World Cup Final, where Japan squeezed past the USA courtesy of a penalty shoot out. I've been very impressed at the quality of football in this tournament, especially after my lukewarm reaction to the Womens Champions League Final hosted at Craven Cottage last season. It seems the international standard is far higher than at club level, when for the men's game it is now the other way around.
The quality during this tournament is at a higher level, I would say, than the old first division before the advent of the Premier League helped up technical standards. There are still some obvious deficiencies in the women's game; goalkeepers are far too susceptible to a lob/ looping shot and there seems to be a tendency for panicked defending even at the highest level. There is also a lack of diving, hysterionics and just plain cheating that makes its male counterpart so unedifying to watch. Given USA's opener was a lovely two footed piece of skill and the last goal was a flying backheel volley which seems to have been invisible to cameras, it would be foolish to suggest that women's football is technically far behind. At the highest level it is pretty impressive.
Still even Martin Keown's impression of Mickey the Spiv from Only Fools and Horses hasnt detracted from the fun of seeing Japan pick up the trophy, which resembles a missing piece from the old Mouse Trap board game.

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