Monthly Archives: January 2011

Home Nations Set For Comeback


A new sponsorship deal for the FA has brought about the possibility of a revived home nations championship starting in 2013. The home nations, last played in 1984 was already set for a comeback this year, albeit without England’s presence. Now sponsors Vauxhall, who also back Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are said to be actively encouraging England to compete. The FA, at the time of writing has said the 2013 tournament would be a one-off to celebrate its 150th anniversary, although the idea of an annual competition has not been completely ruled out.
The tournament was played annually for 100 years, England and Scotland dominating for the most part with 54 and 41 wins respectively. Its demise was attributed to falling attendances, crowd troubles and England’s desire to play against stronger opposition. Since then several attempts have been made to revive the competition, its supporters arguing improved attendances and a significant reduction in football related violence would make it viable again. However critic’s such as the FA claim fixture congestion and the relative importance of the World Cup and European Championships make it impractical.
FA general secretary Alex Horne said, “The reality of preparing for qualifiers that we face for the European Championship and the World Cup mean that managers rightly want to experience different playing styles, and fans want to experience different playing styles, and we only have a limited number of friendly matches available.”
As much as the proposal may be impractical it is likely to be a hit with fans who will relish not only the passionate nature of the fixtures but also the chance to actually win something. England would surely be favorites and winning could just be the catalyst needed to push on to greater things. Unfortunately the fixture list would dictate that other friendly games would need to be sacrificed to make way for the tournament. Unless the domestic game was to be drastically transformed in order to better accommodate the national team this is always going to be the case.


What’s It All Aklout?


As much as I love the idea of ‘old school’ print journalism I have learned that to be successful in this age you must accept and embrace digital media and online technology. Being a bit of a technophobe it has taken me a while but recently I have made a concerted effort to be more active online, either through blogging, tweeting or just networking on facebook. An aspiring journalist not only need’s to practice their skills but also try to build an active audience. This is why I was interested to hear about ‘Klout’, a website that takes information from your Twitter feeds and Facebook activity to give you an ‘online influence rating’. It may sound like a vanity calling but to me it sounded like an interesting tool and I was keen to find out how I rated.
A Klout score ranges from 0-100 and is effectively a measure of your reach and activity online. It takes into account a number of variables such as how often your posts are retweeted, the average number of ‘likes’ your status updates receive and the number of comments you receive. Results are broken down to allow you to see the size of your active audience, their influence, and the likelihood your content will be acted on. It also provides a handy grid which plots your progress, from observer or browser right up to broadcaster or celebrity.
I scored a disappointing 22 although I was assured that my level of activity and engagement shows I ‘get’ it and they predict I will be moving up, which is nice to know. The results breakdown was both interesting and helpful, identifying the area’s I need to focus on. Facebook and Twitter can be misleading at times. It’s all good having hundreds of followers and friends but not all of these are actually paying attention to what you are saying. Klout only takes into account those that are and therefore is an effective and useful tool for people wanting to measure and improve their influence.
Initially Klout only gathered information from Twitter, only recently factoring in Facebook data. I believe this was a decision made to open it up to a greater audience and possibly the biggest criticism I have. Facebook is far more ‘friends’ based than Twitter and perhaps its inclusion has taken away from the initial point. Having said that, the potential for followers is far greater on Twitter and the people with the highest Klout scores are all famous ‘tweeters’ such as Justin Beiber , who worryingly is more influential than Barak Obama . By in large I think Klout is a good indicator although I would like to see more factors included such as WordPress and other blogging sites.
Although my reasons for using Klout are mainly as an aid to my career I have a feeling it is going to catch on in a big way.There is a certain amount of competitiveness in social networking and it would not surprise me to hear people boasting about their Klout score in the near future. Either as a useful tool or just out of curiosity I would recommend it to anyone.


All we need is….Ravi Bopara, Ravi Bopara


Billy 'The Trumpet' Cooper


An ode to England’s ‘twelfth man’ in the wake of the superb victory at the MCC. I have put together some of my favorite barmy army chants, enjoy.

Ricky Pointing
Ponting is the captain
Of the Aussie cricket team
But once the match is over
He is a gay drag queen

Ponting’s special friend
Is a man called Glenn McGrath
You’ll see them holding hands
At the Sydney Mardi Gras

Shane Warne’s Villa

(To the tune of Amarillo)

Show me the way to Shane Warne�s Villa
He’s got his diet pills under his pilla
A dodgy bookie from Manila
Nursey’s on her mobile phone

Repeat x3

La-la lar la-la la-la lar, Fat Git!
La-la lar la-la la-la lar, Take a bung
La-la lar la-la la-la lar,
Warney where’s your mobile phone?

Graeme Swann
(to the tune of Champagne Supernova)

How many special people came
So many flights we had to change
Where were you when we were in Chennai?

Got hit for four with his first ball
Then took Gambhir and the Wall
Where were you when we were in Chennai?

Some day you will find him
Taking loads of wickets
In a Swanny super over in Chennai

Some day you will find him
Taking loads of wickets
In a Swanny super over, a Swanny super over

Because people believe
That we should never have come here at all
But you and I, will never die
And Graeme Swann is just one reason why, why, why, why…

Jonny Trott

(to the tune of Only Fools and Horses)

Stick your passport in your pocket
And your kitbag in the van
Cos if you want the Ashes
And you don’t mind Saffers
Then brother, he’s your man

Cos where he comes from is no mystery
But he’s gonna lead us home to an Ashes victory
A song for him was driving us beserk
But then we thought that Jonny Trotter works

La-la-la-la-la la-la-la-la-la-la

Kevin Pietersen

(To the tune of Just A Little)

KP
When you walk out to the crease,
You’re sexy
You are England’s number four
You’ve got a ton to score

(chorus)

Hook! Just a little bit,
Pull! Just a little bit,
Drive! Just a little bit,
Score just a little bit more
KP score a little bit more,

Just a little bit more, just a little bit!

Dont look back in Anger

Slip inside Ricky Ponting’s mind
He’s trying to find
Some new players to play

He wants to play his older team
But that’s just a dream
They’re too old to play

He said he’d start a revolution in his head
But he’s been through all the players A to Z
Now there’s just a summertime of doom
If he loses the Ashes race
He is going to lose his place
Losing three would simply tear his heart out

So Ricky can wait
Shane Warne is too late

And there’s no Glenn McGrath
Gilchrist’s had his day
And don’t look back to Langer
He cannot play

Where did all those old players go
Now everyone knows
You’ve nearly had your day

You’ll have to leave the team in the hands
Of Michael Clarke and
He’ll throw it all away

He said he’d start a revolution in his head
But he’s been through all the players A to Z
Now there’s just a summertime of doom
If he loses the Ashes race
He is going to lose his place
Losing three would simply tear his heart out

So Ricky can wait
Shane Warne is too late
And there’s no Glenn McGrath
Gilchrist’s had his day
And don’t look back to Langer
He cannot play

So Ricky can wait
Shane Warne is too late
And there’s no Glenn McGrath
Gilchrist’s had his day
And don’t look back to Langer
He cannot play

At least not today

Siddle by Siddle
(to the tune of Little by Little)

Siddle by Siddle,
You bowl us everything we ever dreamed of,
Siddle by Siddle,
The wheels of your team are slowly falling off,
Siddle by Siddle,
You always bowl a ball that goes for 4,
And all the time,
Ponting asks himself why, are you really here?

Why are you really here?
Why are you really here?
Why are you really here?

Alastair Cook
(the the tune of YMCA)

Young man, when you come to the crease
I said young man, let your runs never cease
I said stay there and you’ll score lots of runs,
and you’ll make many more tons

runs runs runs runs runs

It’s England’s number 1

Alastair Cook
It’s England’s Number 1
Alastair Cook

Andrew Strauss
(To the tune of Shout)

Strauss, Strauss
Never gets out,
He plays the shots that we dream about
Come on, we’re talking ’bout you
Come on

Kevin Pietersen
(To the tune of Hi Ho Silver Lining)

And its Hi Ho Super KP
Everywhere we go now Peter
You’ll score a double century
Or maybe just a ton
You’re Kevin Pietersen