The day Bobby Robson ran me over #BobbyRobson RIP


Really sad to hear the news of the death of Bobby Robson. For English men and women of a certain age he will forever be remembered for playing a key role in Italia 90 – which is still for my money the most memorable World Cup ever. It was such a beautiful few weeks and I was young enough, and single enough, to have watched pretty much every single game. It was astonishing watching a pretty poor England team suddenly grow in stature to the point where had they been a bit more imaginative with their penalty taking they might have won the thing.

A few years later I was in Barcelona for a trip and we ended up staying at the hotel next to the stadium. Robson had recently been confirmed as manager and we were convinced he was staying in the hotel and spent ages trying to get the guy on reception to confirm this. Sure enough after a Estrella powered afternoon session we staggered back to the hotel just in time to leap in front of Bobby’s BMW just as he was pulling away. Somehow he managed to slam the brakes on and avoid us, and even remained cool when we rather sheepishly started telling him much we loved him.

Instead of screaming abuse at a pair of pissed English blokes he actually waved at us and wished us well.

A couple of years later I got to interview the man for a football trade mag. He was managing Newcastle at the time and was obviously loving every minute. He was a wonderfully amiable interviewee and clearly cared passionately about the game and his players. At the end of the thirty minute chat I couldn’t help myself. I thanked him for his part in giving me one of the best summer’s of my life and asked him if he ever relived that moment when Platt’s toe was mms away from putting England in the final. He just sighed and told me that even if people had described him as an unlucky manager he felt he had lived a very lucky life.

He’s so right. God bless you Bobby

The best pop album about cricketing ever #Ashes


I have @annawaits to thank for this. At the moment concept albums about cricket, even if they are created by the stellar talents of Neil Hannon from The Divine Comedy and Thomas Walsh of Pugwash, aren’t too uppermost in my thoughts, so until she tweeted about how much she loved it yesterday I’d completely forgotten it has been released.

I was also a little wary because while I love The Divine Comedy of sweeping orchesteral ballads like this

and the albums Promenade and Casanova I have never got on well with his more jolly pop-oriented fare like National Express.

Anyway, I needn’t have worried. Sure there’s a whiff of Irish Cheddar, and yes at times it does sound like ELO, but this album is really good fun. Who else would write a song about Shane Warne’s first ball in a test match or a pilgrimage to find Javed Miandad (which is my favourite song) and wrap them up in such catchy melodies and glorious harmonies?

I am particualarly impressed by Hannon’s co-conspirator on this, Thomas Walsh of power poppers Pugwash. I really enjoyed his band’s Jollity album, but on this it is clear that he is seriously raised his game (cough). I am not sure how they wrote this, but many of the best songs have Walsh on lead vocals.

How ironic then that an album about the quintessential English past-time has been created by a couple of Irish fellas.

Looking forward to Radiohead’s Gaelic Football themed opus – now that would be something.

Anyway, come on England!

Yes I think I do want Patrick back


Ok, so he won’t be the player he was five season ago, but at the moment Arsenal are desperate for a bit of experience and maturity and Patrick Vieira is the man. I do think we have a great collection of young central midfielders (Song, Ramsay, Diaby etc) and like Wenger I hope/think one of them will blossom this season, hopefully under Patrick’s tutelage.

Maybe this is his first step into Ms Wenger’s shoes? Mind you they said that about Tony Adams.

Seriously would love to see him back, but Wenger better be damn sure that one of his young charges steps up this year.

David Cameron takes on Twitter – says ‘too many twits make a twat’


He said it on Absolute Radio and it was reported here by Sky News . That’s going to win him a load of votes then.

You can hear it on Sky too.

Is twat offensive? Probably – it is not what I want to hear from politicians anyhow.

Can’t wait until other news sources pick it up. Will we be searching Google News for ‘David Cameron Twat?’

What’s more interesting is that various parts of the Tory party have been all over Twitter recently – and they have their own feed . The Tories will be all over Twitter in the next few months too.

Silly boy.


Guardian claims that 90% of iPhone app makers don’t make any money

Not quite sure how it worked this out, but it seems to ring true –   IMO without the apps the iPhone would be a good, if slightly tempremental smartphone, with a few huge weaknesses. The apps make it a complete must have for anyone with more than a passing interest in technology. The only company to really benefit from the app store is Apple. In some ways it has used a classic web 2.0 tactic in harnessing a community (fan boys and girls) to promote and enhance its brand.

Clever stuff. Having said that I am in no way bored with iPhone apps. This one, which is new to the UK, could prove very very useful.

Twitterlater – microblog in the future, maybe

So this little app enables you to microblog in the future. In other words you can do a timed tweet. Sounds great. But then you think why you’d want to do a timed tweet? To spread your tweets out throughout the day? To remind you of something later? Mmmm.

There has to be some really clever use for this, but the collective brains of Shiny Red haven’t come up with it… yet.

Also the app is a bit buggy. You can time a post using its calendar, but it didn’t work of us. There’s also a countdown option so you can write a post and set it to tweet in 15 minutes, one hour etc. But that didn’t work either.

Nice idea, and there must be a really cool use for it, but it ain’t there yet