Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I've fallen off of my chair, Brian

You should understand that there is no way that I am bowing to pressure. This blog remains fiercely independent, and is no way influenced by the large donation made by Tom’s Organic Dope, plc.

But, my kind nature cannot be concealed permanently, so here is a football project for you.

So why not submit your all-time soccer XI. And your all-time England XI. And your all-time British XI. Selections can be as bizarre as you wish. Anyone wishing to play seriously should restrict their selection to those playing during their own lifetime.

Can we do cricket as well? Why not. All time world XI and all time England XI. Or any other country. Same rules apply, as long as due reverence is paid to Tom Graveney.

And for the ladies, so that you don’t feel left out, what are your favourite knitting stitches?


Martha said...

oooh oooh goody. I'm first.

1. Plain
2. Pearl
3. Pearl and plain together
4. Cable (hot!!)

Thanks for the opportunity, what a corker idea, I'm sure you'll have lots of people copying the idea.

(Strolls away whistling happily, life suddenly fulfilled).

Martha said...

Damn. What a dumb idea to write idea twice. It ruins the whole idea of the post.

Martha said...

I mean comment. Jesus.

Vicus Scurra said...

I would counsel other readers not to get too excited by the challenges presented here. Martha is lying down.

caroline said...

And I'm second...another 'lady'...

Buffon - goal keeper.

G Neville - right back.

Alexandro Nesta and John Terry - centre back field.

Paulo Maldrini - lefty back.

Louis Figo - right wing.

Steve Gerrard - centre mid.

George Best - left wing.

Zidane - attaching mid-field.

Wayne Rooney and Pepe - striker.

Put that in your smoke and pipe it, you sexist dog.

Vicus Scurra said...

And you were doing so well until "Pepe". How is that pronounced?
Not bad for a girl!

caroline said...

Damn, Pele.
Thanks, I'll tell the 12 year old.

tom909 said...

I too have enjoyed pearl many times.
But on to the beautiful game. Can a frivolous platform such as this really host a serious discussion as you suggest. Is it a trap of some kind?

Vicus Scurra said...

You are never satisfied are you, Tom? I suggest you come back here after you have explored the internet, the anal-sex sites, the Ant and Dec fan sites, the information on industrial lubricants (although those may be just one category), and when you have realised that there is nothing better than this site out there, then come back and join in with the adults.

tom909 said...

On the cricket, I'm going to stick with English players, and before anyone gets too snotty, I openly admit my sporting knowledge is at or below tabloid level.
So naturally I'm going to go for players like Botham and the Flintster. See, can you have two all rounders in the same team.
I'd go with Gower - because his style is very similar to mine, and I'd go with Jack Russell as wicket keeper because he's a bit odd. I'd go with Derek Randall cos I liked his fielding - he's obviously not as good as that SA bloke whose name evades me right now. As for bowlers, I liked Bob Willis at the time. One of my favourite bowlers of all time was Hadlee, but of course he's not English. I like swing bowlers and spinners more than out and out pace, but I can't think of any English spinners of note at the moment.
I enjoyed the Botham years although I do find shredded wheat a little dull.
On the football, I'd probably build my team around Mick Heathcote, a good reliable centre half for Argyle in the early 2000s. I'd have to include Rooney who is probably the best player the world has ever seen. My goalie would be Shmeichel - reliable, sensible and a model professional.

Vicus Scurra said...

Very woolly thinking there, Tom.
And here's a rule. We do not refer to players by their silly sobriquets (e.g. "The Flintster"). It is childish and unseemly. Points will be removed.
Further, I don't think that there is anything 'below tabloid level'.

caroline said...

So...bad show Vics. Do Denton and I get the prize then? Atleast we tried.

Richard said...

This is deserving of a great deal of consideration, or rather the cricket one is. Regarding Association Football, as there are no Englishmen currently playing the game to any great standard and all foreigners are cheating nancy-boys liable to go into a backward twist and pike at the merest mention of physical work, there is little merit in compiling a best of English after 1966. I will compile an entry to be posted on my own blog sometime today.

Vicus Scurra said...

Caroline, you and your friend are to be congratulated on your timely responses. My admiration is sincere.
However, the real point of this, as you would have known if you were blokes, is that the real fun begins when you start the post-selection debate. When this has started, the clever thing is to slip in a remark of no consequence such as "was Johnny Haynes a better reader of the game than John White?" and then piss off while the anoraks debate it among themselves ad infinitum.

My sympathies lie with Richard when it comes to Association Football. I saw Stanley Matthews play, you know.

Betty said...

The all-time world soccer XI would be ...

Proust (stands around doing nothing in goal)
Chekhov (solid and dependable in midfield)
Virginia Woolf (token English player)
Sartre (J.P.)

tom909 said...

I just knew you'd pull in the kind of 'up your arse' kind of comments like Richard's with this thread.
What a load of bollocks. What about John Terry, Wayne Rooney, and Steven Gerard, and not so long ago, Paul Gascoigne - there are 100s of them. Yes Vicus you are right, this is where the fun begins.

Geoff said...

A twat's 11. No left back but three centre halves, I'm afraid.

Ray Clemence

Phil Neal
Terry Butcher
Steve Bruce
Sam Allardyce

Mick Channon
Vinny Jones
Robbie Savage
Graham Rix

Kevin Keegan
John Fashanu

I don't know about the best ever 11 but Diego Maradona HAS to be in it. And Johan Cruyff.

I'll be back later.

Geoff said...

That should be "twats".

Richard said...

Tom, there may have been hundreds of decent English players but there are very few at the moment. If there were our teams wouldn't be full of rubbish cast-offs from Hadjuk Split,Young Boys Berne and Athletico Seoul.

Gerard is a choker at the top flight, he gets over-awed and flails the ball all over the place with a lack of precision hitherto only taught at West Point. Rooney is a muscle player but does have good foresight and an obvious feel for the game that looks very promising. Beckham in 1999-2002 was flawless. What happened? Gascoigne was good but he wasn't outstanding because he let himself down when it mattered. The most complete player in the game I've seen recently is Dean Ashton. His last couple of games for Hammers have been very impressive. What on earth are all those third rate Oriental players doing over here other than bumping up shirt sales in the far east? But football's not my game so who am I to talk.

As for Maradonna he will forever deserve to rot in football hell. If ever there was proof of footie karma, he is it.

I'm working on the cricket one.

Richard said...

I'm willing to sell any of the foregoing clich├ęs to the highest bidder. I have a headache.

Vicus Scurra said...

Betty, I am not sure about Balzac on the right side of midfield, and if you are playing 4-3-3, then Sartre is way out of position also. It is no use having individual flair if the team does not play as a unit.

But full marks for your reasoned and sensible remarks.

Richard said...

I would put in Voltaire for Cervantes, much more of a utility player and a far better sweeper. He would allow Nietzsche to overlap better on the right.

Richard said...

I read today that Gerard had a creative hand in all of Liverpool's goals last night against Birmingham. That's what he's paid for, surely. If he'd scored all seven I would have been impressed.

zoe said...


what's this post about ? footballers - right:

sol campbell
rio ferdinand

david beckham
somebody lapard
peter crouch

wayne rooney
my baby michael owen (who has a preference for older women, sensible boy)

Vicus Scurra said...

I have tried to be pleasant to the ladies, even dear old Zoe who only knows the names of eight (almost) footballers. She comes from Belgium, OK? However, now that people have started to tinker with Betty's selection (pause for nudge, nudge), I should make it clear that although she tried her best, she could not make up her mind whether to use creative writers or philosophers, and consequently the team is neither, to be colloquial, arse nor elbow. Richard fell into her trap by suggesting Voltaire who falls someone between the two, instead of going for an out and out story teller like Trollope. May not be so challenging, but at least we know where we stand.
Edrich, Milburn, Cowdrey, Graveney, Gower, Botham, Knott, Trueman, Hoggard, Underwood, Statham.

Geoff said...






To play in the Argentine national strip.

Where's Mark? Someone with the foresight to start supporting Chelsea 40 odd years ago should be able to name the definitive team.

Mark Gamon said...

I've been working on my all-time footballers with funny names eleven. So far I've got:

Stern John

Collins John

Cinema Pongolle

Lennon and MacCartney (these would be the subs obviously, but it would always have to be a double substitution)

Zinedine 'Zouzou' Zidane

I had others but I've forgotten where I wrote them down. I'll keep you posted. Meanwhile, any suggestions?

(I will of course be the arbiter of humour in this exercise)

Sharon J said...

Gosh! Now you've really got me excited.

Drop stitch rib. Definitely.


hiwhschi - wishes that whizz past and then kick you up the bum.

tom909 said...

Vicus, might you have fallen into the age old trap of thinking,'oh, how much better things were in the old days. Those are all cricketers from when we were kids - I reckon you got most of their names off the cigarette cards that your dear old Grandad saved up for you - god bless his lungs.
Yes just like Richard, who somehow imagines that in the good old days we had superb footballers running around all over the country even though they were comparatively unfit and the game was played at half the speed.
We could easily win the world cup this summer, and that's despite Sven, not because of him.
Who the fuck are all those foreign players in Betty's team.

Richard said...

I'm not wholly sure I gave that impression Tom, I just reckoned they aren't as good as everyone seems to think they are. I would imagine that if you are English and play for a Premiership team then you have a fair old chance of playing for England, such is the dearth of half decent English players actually playing in the top division.

Jonty Rhodes it was.

I gave up with blogging my England team so here it is, right here and now. A few cigarette cards for Tom to get aroused by but these could all live with today's game and vice versa.

JB Hobbs, MA Atherton, GA Gooch, FE Woolley, TW Graveney, A Flintoff, JM Brearley, APE Knott, FS Trueman, JB Statham and AP Freeman.

Vicus Scurra said...

If Richard is going that far back, let me revise my selection.
Hobbs, Hutton, Hammond, Woolley, Graveney, Botham, Knott, Rhodes, Trueman, Barnes, Statham.

And Richard: Gooch? Graham fucking Gooch? The man most responsible for England's dour, boring, dour, joyless cricket of the last 20 years, which began with his ousting of Gower from the team because of his attitude, and lasted until Hussain was turfed out for being so miserable. And he went on the rebel tour to South Africa.
Banks, Cohen, Moore, Carragher, Samson, Beckham, Bobby Robson, Haynes, Gerrard, Charlton, Greaves.

xersxgf - knitting stitch used to hide inclusion of very average player in team selection.

tom909 said...

OK Richard. So our present day players are better than those of the old days but in world terms they don't measure up. Maybe the difference is negligable and the reason our league is full of johnny foreigners is that they are cheaper to buy. The laws of supply and demand prove your point, I surrender.
Vicus, surely you mean Bryan Robson not Bobby.
On the cricket I think Boycs (can I use this sobriquet as every other fucker does)is one of the best commentators, and he was my absolute worst ever player ever, apart from Tavare.

Vicus Scurra said...

Tom, I meant neither Bryan nor Brian. Bobby Robson. Midfield genius. And I do not call him Boycs. Does this mean I am not one of the genus "every other fucker"? Where am I going wrong?

smenita - a very, very unpleasant cocktail.

Richard said...

I thought he would excite some controversy. I believe the team could do with some solid dependability in case of an early breakthrough. No need for someone in the middle order who's going to get over-excited. Think Ricky Ponting. I was there at Old Trafford last year when he scored an invisible century.

As for Gooch's credentials being destroyed by rebelliously touring, the wicketkeeper was not averse to lining his pockets occsionally either, but he is my all-time cricketing hero so has to be there. This is despite me having a family link to the greatest wk/bat ever, Leslie Ames.

tom909 said...

Re not falling into the category of 'every other fucker', sadly, it is not a case of right and wrong - it is an inevitable consequence of being someone else other than me.

I'm going to keep this thread going until it breaks your record, just to show you that really and truly football is the number one interest and purpose of the human race. Maybe then you will put an end to all this bollocks about Balzac et al.

Richard said...

No no no. Cricket is the one true key. Football was created for those of a more urgent and excitable disposition. Australia's less than rigorous policy of inviting all and sundry footballing nations to become part of their own commonwealth has led to them to adopt ever more American ways of increasing the tempo of the game. This is against all natural order and given time, the game will triumph. I think it's started: full and very big "up" to Andrew Flintoff for having the courage to be photographed not wearing a helmet while playing spin bowling.

tom909 said...

I have to admit that watching cricket is one of life's real pleasures. I'm not sure that cricket truly has the power to over-ride the evil powers of the great religions in the way that football possibly has. To a degree I admit that football does rely on mass hysteria (spot the similarity here), but you know, if we said you can't come into the world cup unless you start behaving like proper human beings that might bring the arseholes in this world into line. Dream on I here you all say.

Geoff said...

Christian Dailly

(In answer to Mark)

Boggins said...

I'm working on a football team who could "look after themselves" and even "put it about a bit". Stuart Pearce is in. Back later.

Betty said...

Another one for Mark - Junior Agogo, the only footballer named after a Smokey Robinson And The Miracles song.

Interpreter Pavlov said...

I'm doing my best with an all-time Eng Lit. XI. Actually I don't much care what game they play - if they turn up variously with hockey sticks, football boots and cricket pads that's fine by me: it's the masterpieces that result that I'm interested in. There's a bit a of handicap in that the nominations were made by a French 'cultural' association, so some undoubted candidates they passed over are out of the running, footballing giants like 'Constipation' Coleridge or leg-spinners like Alexander Pope. I'd be glad of any suggestions.

Vicus Scurra said...

IP, if I may be so familiar. Welcome. I hate to point out that most of my readers (AMToNW) no nothing of literature, hence this thread on the subject of soccer has been more popular than any other.
I struggle in vain to raise the standards, maybe you could help.
Although, deducing as I do that you are acquainted with Betty, I am not raising my expectations to an unrealistic level.

nibus said...

I'm not sure about Zoe's innovative 2-3-3 formation; perhaps she's stolen Sven's notebook. Mark Gamon's XI is much more like it, because a) it's funny, and b) does not contain Neville or Sammer. To add to his comedy names:

Jermaine McSporran
Danny Invincible
Boomprom Bumrung

oh, and if he's going to have Collins John, he should also have John Collins.

Ruth said...

Stocking stitch, every time, because it gets the boys going, don't it? -
and it makes super football jerseys too.

Vicus Scurra said...

Nibus. Thank you for assisting Mark. He purports to be busy, but actually he is just waiting for inspiration, and watching Oprah.
Ruth. Welcome. You little vixen you. I have to say that if any of the perverts who post here pester you for details about stocking stitch, I am powerless to stop them. Let's hope they are preoccupied with the problem of left side midfield, and a sound centre back to play alongside Bobby Moore.

Mark Gamon said...

I think my eleven is coming along well. I'll be back in a week to publish a definitive list on my own site.

Sharon J said...

Tsk. Men!

tom909 said...

Enough of these old farts off the cigarette cards. Let's pick players who we all love to watch. Players that, when they get the ball, you just feel that something exciting is going to happen.
Bruce Grobbelar, Craig Bellamy, Robbie Savage, Patrick Viera, Jan Molby, Paul Gascoigne, Frank Lampard, David Beckham, Thierry Henri, Darius Vassell, George Best,