Oct 16, 2001     Best Cheaters Ever - New Entry (Futbolmetrix)
Oct 31, 2001     Asia vs Europe (Bob Dahlgren)
Nov  4, 2001     Three great saves and a list of great goalies (Lleo)
Nov  7, 2001     Serse Cosmi and "Big Brother" ("Riffster")
Nov  8, 2001     Iranian clubs (sjevid, Christopher Horymski, Sven Mischkies)
Nov  9, 2001     Iran-Ireland ("Nearco")
Nov 14, 2001     The Ronaldo Virus (Victoria Barrett)
Nov 16, 2001     The Romario-Baggio doctrine (Bordon Gone)
Nov 19, 2001     World Cup Mascots ("Jobrano2")
Jan  1, 2002     Louis Van Gaal (Jeroen)
Dec  3, 2001     Scottish Football vs English Football (Paul C)
Dec 28, 2001     Antonio Oliveira's Resignation (Petrovich)
Jan 15, 2002     Ireland: World Cup Darkhorses? (by MMcC)
Jan 16, 2002     Andriy Shevchenko: Terminator (by Jeroen)
Jan 17, 2002     England 2002 vs England 1966 (by Glen)
Jan 18, 2002     Goalscoring Referees (by Lleo, J.Stephen Thompson)
Jan 20, 2002     Today I Failed in my Duty as a Football Fan (by steve d)
Jan 21, 2002     Bad Away "Ends" (by steve d)
Feb 27, 2002     Blatter's Promise (by James)
Feb 26, 2002     Subdivions of RSS (by "Riffster", Renaud Dreyer)
Feb  1, 2002     Celtic vs Rangers: A "Neutral" Perspective (by John Rose)


From: Futbolmetrix
Date: 16 October 2001
Subject: Best Cheaters Ever - New Entry

October 14, 2001

After a couple of years' absence, the Torino
derby is back with a vengeance. Juve strolls through
the first half, building an easy 3-0 lead. Torino
looks like the Serie B team they were last year,
and likely will be again next year. But a derby
is a derby, and Torino players throw into the hustle
the "vecchio cuore granata", the old Torino heart,
the only thing that can compensate their manifest
technical inferiority. Coupled with a criminal
nonchalance on the part of the Juve players,
they slowly climb back into the match with Lucarelli,
and Ferrante, and Maspero completes a remarkable
comeback with 8 minutes to go. Juve has still time
to get back into the lead. With two minutes to go,
the ref Borriello gives Juve a penalty for a
pretty undisputable foul by Delli Carri on Tudor.
Ten Torino players immediately surround te ref:
probably they wanted to ask him where he got his
latest haircut... or something like that.

Here is where our hero comes on stage. While all his
teammates are busy arguing with the ref, Maspero
slowly walks towards the penalty spot, and starts
digging a little hole right in front of where the
ball will be placed. Salas puts the ball on the spot,
but doesn't notice anything. More arguing, and Maspero
walks up to the spot once again and continues digging
the hole. Only at this point does Tacchinardi notice
that something is fishy, and tells Maspero to go away.
Maspero replies "I'm going, I'm going", but by now the
damage is done. Witnesses say that at the time the ball
was kicked, there was a 4 cm hole right in fron of it.
If this were not enough, while Salas is taking the penalty,
Maspero shouts "You'll miss it!".
Salas takes the penalty, and it sails absurdly high
over the crossbar. The match ends 3-3, one of the
most dramatic derbies in history.

In terms of creativity, originality, wit, plus the
added drama of the "outmatched rebels against the
Evil Empire", this must rank as one of the best
cheating acts in history. Hats off to Maspero.


From: Bob Dahlgren
Date: 31 October 2001
Subject: Re: More problems for Roy Keane and Ireland

beineke@rgmiller.stanford.edu (Philip Lennox Beineke) wrote in message news:<9ro5ta$ls0$1@usenet.Stanford.EDU>...

> Civil response to a scathing attack; maybe I have misjudged you.
> Still, I've re-read your post about how easily *any* Euro second
> seed (a group that includes Austria and Slovenia) would dispatch
> *any* Asian opponent, and it smacks of being nothing more than an
> untestable boast.
> Maybe you saw the Confederations Cup and Kirin Cup (I didn't) and found 
> some gaping whole that sets the Japanese behind; however, they allowed a 
> total of one goal in seven matches. The results offer precious little 
> evidence to support your claim, and you didn't offer any analysis
> to back it up.
> P

Phil: I always try to be civil, even when it comes to talking
football, which as Bill Shankly right said, "isn't a matter of life
and death: it's much more serious."

I wasn't "boasting" when I talked about Ireland's chances - I'm not an
Ireland fan, so I have no reason to boast; I was merely assessing the
records. You see, while I'm not a gambling man, the odds are fairly
clear in this case and the results are eminently testable. That's what
the World Cup Finals are all about. Asian teams have been reasonably
well represented in the past two decades and have done consistently
poorly, against European sides and others.

I know that the impersonal quality of the Internet makes this tricky,
but did it ever occur to you that I actually live in Asia - and have
also lived in the Near East - and so have had ample opportunity to
watch these teams. I challenge you to watch a full 90 minutes of J
League play and tell me that it's of the same standard as Serie A or
Premiership or Bundesliga - hell, it's not even as good as the Belgian
First Division - or to tell me that you've enjoyed watching it.

You want analysis, okay? Iran - I'll be blunt - are crap. I wouldn't
need a FIFA coaching badge to be able to shut them down. Their back
four is hopeless. They're all about hitting on the break, with speedy
and useful strikers and wingers. Play them a little deeper and it's
all over. This is precisely what Mick McCarthy's side will do. Strange
things happen in football, but based on the respective records, this
is no contest.

Japan: also hopeless. Have you ever seen Kawaguchi (who's name
ironically means "river mouth") defend a corner? His back four is
similarly of a Keystone Cops variety. The Japanese are all about
athleticism; they'll run all day. I play every weekend for a
hilariously misnamed team called "MUFF" (that's Miyazaki United
Foreign Football, you wags!) and we regularly take younger and fitter
Japanese sides apart with the old "Route One" approach. European sides
will, I fear, do likewise to the Japanese next year.

Look, I'd love to see developing soccer sides, well...develop. But
they have to do so on their own merit, not through political
machinations and manouvering from FIFA. So far, Asian sides have only
been in the World Cup to make up the numbers, and that's not good
enough. I'm all in favor of socialist international development
schemes when it comes to life and death issues of health care,
economics, education and so on. But with footie, I'm a "bootstraps"

Cheers, bd


From: Lleo
Date: 4 November 2001
Subject: Three great saves and a list of great goalies

Just felt like talking about goalkeepers :) Three of the greatest
saves I have seen, in no particular order, nor mattering the
importance of the games.

1) World Cup 1970 - Brasil 1-0 England

The play started with cross from the right side of Brasil's attack
(now WHO was it? Jairzinho, Tostão, Carlos Alberto?). With microscopic
precision, it is aimed at Pelé in the goalmouth, who outjumps his
English marker while still staying at enough distance from Banks (who,
wisely, has no intention of trying to cut the cross).

Pelé heads it down to the right corner, but it could as well be
considered a kick, given its strenght. Banks, who at the moment of the
cross was at his left post, had not stopped running since the cross
till the header and is still midway towards the far post. The ball
still hits the floor and goes up, which only makes harder an already
daunting task. Banks jumps, his arms outstretched, and gives that
little punch underneath the ball, making it go 0,0001 cm away from the
post. Corner kick.

2) World Cup 1982 - Italy 3-2 Brasil

So the Italians are winning. Final moments of a crucial second round
match in a group of giants (Italy, Argentina and Brasil). Last minute
cross, Oscar, almost in the line of Italy's small area heads it down
to Zoff's left corner. The Italian, in the middle of the goal,
lightning-reacts and dives. He doesn't palm nor punch the ball away.
He STOPS it.

Oscar was what, 7 meters away from the goal, and when he headed half
of the Brasilian population screamed "É GOOOOOOOOOOOOOL". After Zoff's
save, the gol scream is interrupted midway, substituted by muted
amazement ("how did he do that", thinks one) and some swear words
("ITALIANO DE M..." shouts another). Every time I see the picture of
Zoff lifting the World Cup, I can't help but think "bastard... but you
made up for that". I mean, can you imagine Valdir Peres in Zoff's

Final whistle, it's Italy 3-2, they're in, we're out.

3) Friendly - England 0-0 Colombia

Long distance shot from outside the Colombian penalty area. While a
hard shot, it is mostly harmless, as it is going straight to where
Higuita is standing. He could simply raise his arms and stop it.

But that is too simple for the Clown Prince of Goalkeepers (more
likely, the Joker of the Goalkeepers). He looks at the ball, makes
some mental calculations and goes for the obvious: jumps forwards,
knees bent, body horizontally positioned, and with his ankles, he
kicks it away. If it's too hard to picture (and my description
probably doesn't help a lot), it's enough to say that it's known as
the "scorpion save" for a reason.

Now, a list of great goalies, loosely decade-wise, by no means
exhaustive, and with glaring omissions:

60s: Banks, Yashin, Gilmar, Manga, Cejas, Mazurkiewicz
70s: Maier, Fillol, Gatti (at least he was fun), Zoff, Leão
80s: Dasaev, Zenga
90s: Schmeichel, Chilavert, Preud'Homme 

Those who have seen more pre-mid-80s, please feel free to add to this
list the aforementioned glaring omissions.



From: Riffster
Date: 7 November 2001
Subject: Re: I don't like this "Big Brother" biz

"Victoria Barrett"  wrote in message
> [Talking about "Big Brother", the Perugia prima donna, Serse Cosmi, is
> reminded of that show as he hates when t.v. cameras focus on him during
> Serie A matches -- apparently he also dislikes being called the "Vortex"
> because of his match-time gyrations, toing-and-froing with each Perugia
> move...thought you might like that especially, Jackie :)]

Cosmi easily lifted the mantle of "Maniac of Serie A" from
the comparatively mild-mannered Alberto Malesani, ex-nutcase
at Parma and now resident sideline stalker at Verona.

Cosmi has a wild-eyed stare that makes you wonder
if Rasputin had some relatives who managed to get
south before the Big Russki Putsch. I guess he wears
the baseball cap to hide his baldness, but I really wonder
if there might not be antennae under there too.....beep beep.

Sorry Jackie, but you have a Bull Goose Loon for a
manager. Which is okay as far as I am concerned -
makes for good entertainment.

But if were a sideline spectator, I would wear track
shoes just in case Cosmi manages to get ahold of
a sharp object and runs amok screaming about
conspiracies and cabals and the like......

> 06 November, 2001 19:04 GMT
> MILAN (Reuters) - Perugia coach Serse Cosmi thinks being on the bench in a
> Serie A match is now akin to appearing in the fly-on-the-wall television
> show "Big Brother".
> Cosmi, an excitable and colourful personality, is unhappy with the
> attention of television cameras focusing on the bench during games.
> "It is like being in the 'Big Brother' house with cameras and microphones
> everywhere and with the attention concentrated ever more on the coach's
> behaviour and what he says, rather than on the game on the pitch," Cosmi
> told Italian news agency ANSA.

Hmmmm - this is mass entertainment Signore Cosmi - you ARE in
Big Brother's house. What did you think this was - a retreat for
40,000 hermits???

> The Perugia coach, a diminutive figure with a goatie beard, who always
> a baseball cap, regularly features on television highlights shows, leaping
> around the bench with an animated expression on his face.

Animated is one word -- "pazzesco" is another one word that comes to mind.

> But after a late goal from Marco Di Vaio condemned his team to a 2-1
> defeat
> at Parma on Sunday, Cosmi reacted angrily to close-range television
> "It is the norm now to present the public with situations that are simply
> emotive and not rational and this has unpleasant consequences," Cosmi
> "But I don't want to be the centre of attention and the fact is that my
> behaviour was the same when I was coaching (lower division clubs)
> Pontevecchio and Arezzo.
> "My only aim is to become a good football coach and to give my best in
> situation," he added.

Well, I can sympathize with anger and yes, the managers of
today put up with a lot of stress. But in the end this is just soccer
and not war, and any action's that use violence as a means of
resolution are liable to end up being punished (and should be.)

Cameras should not invade the private life of anyone, but when
one is a manager of a soccer team and is on the sidelines it is
absurd to think that the camera cannot focus on the manager
of the losing team after a controversial loss.

A kinder, gentler broadcast....a kinder, gentler media......

I can see it now.....

Director: Okay camera three, full time, focus on Mr. Straight Jacket....

Cameraperson: I can't do that....

Director: Why not?

Cameraperson: Because I would be invading his privacy....

Director: Hey amico, this is a soccer game, not the toilet....just get
the camera on Cosmi, okay?

Cameraperson: He is going completely nuts, he might not like it.....

Director: I could give a well-fed Perugia rat's ass - get the shot!

Cameraperson: He is not going to like that.

Director: Well, I will send him a candygram as an apology - get
the shot or your next assignment WILL be cleaning out the toilet at
the station.

Cameraperson: (starts to turn camera towards Cosmi)

Director: That's more like it.

Cameraperson: I can't do it....I can't do it..

Director: WHY?!?!? Don't you know you culo is finito
if you don't?

Cameraperson: (making choking sounds) My culo is already
finito - he just shoved your best portable camera where the
sole don't shine.......AAAAAIIIIIIAAAA.

- Paul "ooooo" Mettewie

From: sjevid
Subject: Iranian clubs (was Re: Seriously, though...)
Date: 8 November 2001

Victoria Barrett  wrote in message

> Ooh! The Dinamo Bucuresti of Iran! Hey, sjevid, come to think of it I know
> next to nothing of clubs in Iran (or their histories). You wouldn't care
> run-down some of them for us, with a little local spicey comment, would
>you? :)


This is some info on Iranian clubs. I do my best to be unbiased.
The first fully professional league of Iran started last week! Before that
we always had semi professional clubs. Most clubs are subsidized by
government but unlike EE countries,  Iranians even if they are opposed to
the government they still love their clubs and it they consider as duty of
government to fund their clubs. Some clubs are owned by (state run)
industrial companies and they have really ugly names (see the end).

Esteghlal Tehran - the blue half of Tehran.
They are the best team in the universe, they are also good at football.
Twice Champions of Asia (that is an Asian record, along with 4 other clubs).
They are the oldest football club in Iran (1945). Before 1979 revolution
they were called 'Taj' which means 'crown', hence they are linked to the
Royal family but that is rubbish. So they changed the name to 'Esteghlal'
which means 'independence'.  Their matches with the red scum of Tehran
overflows the 120,000 capacity of Azadi stadium. Their supporters are the
better of the society. They are honest, peace loving, humane, passionate,
benevolent, smart, hard working , wise, rich , beautiful, strong, healthy,
noble. They go to heaven.

Perspolis Theran - the rotten red scum, also known as 'long' (an ugly filthy
piece of red mop replete with dirt, used in old style Iranian bathes).
Their official name after revolution is 'Pirouzi' (meaning 'victory') but
nobody uses that (I don't know why). They are a mutated club founded
sometime in 60s when all the players of another shit club decided to move to
find a new place to display their arrogance. Never champions of Asia
(obviously). But they have won the domestic title more than every body else,
by refereeing and intimidating and bribery and loads of penalties and all
that (obviously). Nobody knows whether they have more supporters or
Esteghlal, but we know that their fans have less TVs so on the day of the
derbey against Esteghlal , most of the stadium is bleeding red, and they are
the ones responsible for the foul language. Until very recently they had
more influential government elements in their board so they had more money.
That is why they grabbed all the (allegedly) better players from poor clubs
(Ali Daei, Karim Bagheri, Mahdavikia, Karimi) but now as the small clubs
learnt to sell their players to foreign clubs themselves, they are in deep
financial trouble.

Paas Tehran -
A club run by police. They have been once champions of Asia but they have
ZERO fans. That is pathetic after 30-40 years, and perhaps they should
change their city. They play boring football. Never liked them but better
than scum any day.

Saipa Tehran -
A club bearing the name of a factory that produces cute cars, but still they
have very little crowd. Sad.

These are the only clubs that have ever won the league.  The rest of the
clubs are sub toppers and they may eventually win a cup competition. I just
mention some funny names of the clubs competing in Iranian league:

Teraktor Sazi Tabriz : tractor manufacturing of Tabriz
Poly Acril Isfahan : poly acryl of Isfahan
Bargh Shiraz: electricity of Shiraz
Ab o Khak Ahvaz : water and soil of Ahvaz

And finally the most mesmerizing:
Gach Khorasan: chalk of Khorasan

From: Christopher Horymski
Subject: Re: Iranian clubs (was Re: Seriously, though...)
Date: 9 November 2001

Sez Jackie Tellier  
> Wow! This was so cool, to get the lowdown dirty on Iranian club teams....who
> knew?

It's encouraging to know that, despite how different cultures may be,
most large cities will contain a) The Greatest Club Known to Man
b) The Cross Town Scum of the Earth c) The Cute Lower Divison club
everyone sort of likes but probably can't name more than two players
d) (optional) some vestigial of the previous regime

Chris [ a) supporter]


From: Sven Mischkies
Subject: Re: Iranian clubs (was Re: Seriously, though...)
Date: 9 November 2001

Christopher Horymski  wrote:

> Sez Jackie Tellier  
> > Wow! This was so cool, to get the lowdown dirty on Iranian club teams....who
> > knew?
> It's encouraging to know that, despite how different cultures may be,
> most large cities will contain a) The Greatest Club Known to Man


> b) The Cross Town Scum of the Earth


> c) The Cute Lower Divison club

St.Pauli, Altona 93, Concordia, ... :)

> everyone sort of likes

Oh, than i have to take out St.Pauli. :)

> but probably can't name more than two players

0, to be honest of Altona and Concordia. :)

> d) (optional) some vestigial of the previous regime

Not in Hamburg. :)


From: Nearco
Subject: Play-off predictions
Date: 9 November 2001

1st leg    Ire 2-0 Iran

2nd leg Ire 1-3 Iran

Agg       3-3   Ire wins on away goals

Iran collapse in first leg and Ireland win handily, but Roy Keane 
aggravates injury late in game and is out for 2nd leg.
In 2nd leg a reinspired Iran run rampant in front of fanatical home 
crowd go into early 2-0 lead, shellshocked Ireland struggle to hang on. 
Ireland manage goal midway through 2nd half. Iran reply soon after with 
another goal and a battered Ireland hang on as 
Iran lays siege to Irish goalmouth for last 10 minutes seeking elusive 
4th goal. Tempers flare, a player from each team sent-off in 2nd
half. McCarthy and Blazevic have heated exchange after match. Blazevic 
tell Mick Mc to "go back to
Burnley you psuedo-Paddy", McCarthy accuses Blazevic of 
crimes against humanity. Blazevic sucker punches Mick who stumbles back 
dazed. Mick replies in dazed  state with a haymaker. Blazevic ducks and 
McCarthy's wild swing catches president of Iranian  Football Assoc 
knocking him out cold. Big mellee ensues. Revolutionary Gaurd is 
called in. Irish  team escapes on team bus and make mad dash
for mountains west of Tehran and are eventually smuggled 
across border into Armenia by sympathetic

That's how I see it turning out anyways


From: Victoria Barrett
Subject: Re: Play-off Full Time Scores
Date: 14 November 2001

"Nightswimmer"  wrote in message

> that's no reason at all, probably just some psychological game.  If they
> weren't fit enough, they wouldn't have played.  And who has seen the first
> 15 minutes, knows that not one czech player was sick.  After that first
> quarter, Belgium was the better team, and has earned the qualification.
> They only lost one game in the whole campaign, and beat the nr10 of the
> ranking twice.

You'll be delighted to know that medical science has discovered and named
this pesky-prematch condition. It is henceforth called

The Ronaldo Virus.

Symptons: Sudden dizziness before kick-off, inability to jump over bald
goalkeepers, and fights with girlfriends just before the match of your life
begins. The Ronaldo Virus is highly contagious to your teammates, as the
ones unaffected, flee from the ones who are on the pitch.

Ain't science grand? :)


From: Bordon Gone
Subject: The Romario-Baggio doctrine
Date: 16 November 2001

The idea of not getting to see Roberto Baggio and Romario in another WC has
disturbed me recently, after so many years or months I have preached that
Romario was hostory in the Selecao.

Now I believe that no coach for Brazil or Italy has the right to keep Romario
or Roberto Baggio out of the WC [for the economists: they are WC public
I even admit that if Romario is not playing as well as Luisao or Franca or
Edilson, he must be benched, but his greater than life figure simply cannot be
left out of the event.

After all, one can make a case that Luisao [Del Vecchio] might be more useful
than Romario [Roberto Baggio]- after all Corinthians' [Roma's] rural striker is
more fit and stronger than Vasco's [Breascia's] injury prone prima donna. But
even the most rational adepts of utilitarian football will have to admit that
the case for Luisao [Del Vecchio] over Romario [Roberto Baggio] is no better
than slight. Certainly not enough to keep the Baixinho [Divino Codino] out of
the World Cup.


From: Jobrano2
Subject: [POLL] Favourite World Cup Mascot?
Date: 19 November 2001

[ ] World Cup Willie (England, 1966) 

A cuddly lion wearing a Union Jack football shirt.

[ ] Juanito (Mexico, 1970)

I think Juanito is supposed to be a chubby Mexican child, but if
anything he looks Oriental. Wears a Mexican hat and a Mexico football
strip, the green shirt of which is so small on him that his belly
button is exposed for all and sundry to see.

[ ] Tip and Tap (West Germany, 1974)

Two youngsters, a tall blonde one and a short dark haired one (maybe a
Turkish immigrant, lol) stood with their arms round each other wearing
the white shirts and black shorts of West Germany. Don't know which
was Tip and which was Tap.

[ ] Gauchito (Argentina, 1978)

A young boy wearing an Argentina football strip. Nothing wrong with
this in itself, but take into account that he also wears a string on
sun hat and has a sailor style scarf tied around his neck.

[ ] Naranjito (Spain, 1982)

A giant orange. With limbs. And a face. Would look more in place on
the side of a jar of marmalade.

[ ] Pique (Mexico, 1986)

A little man with a chilli for a head (his head is so pointy it
actually tears through his Mexican hat) and a giant moustache. For
some reason, doesn't wear his nation's national football strip.
Instead, Pique wears an all red shirt with a yellow and black v-neck
collar. So that's where Galatasaray got the idea for this season's all
red third away kit.

[ ] Ciao (Italy, 1990)

Erm.....how do I describe Ciao? Well, I suppose you could say he is a
stick man. Each of his limbs are coloured in the green, white and red
of the Italian flag, and.....erm....he has a football for a head.
That's about it.

[ ] Striker (USA, 1994)

A dog in a white USA football shirt. Not to be confused with The Sun's
comic strip character of the same name.

[ ] Footix (France, 1998)

A cockerel with "France 98" emblazoned across his chest. Looks like he
should be in a Sonic the Hedgehog video game.

There you have it. Personally, as rubbish as I've made him sound, Ciao
holds a place in my heart, as Italia 90 was the first World Cup I
watched. However, looking at all the mascots side by side, Pique is
the one that really stands out.

From: Jeroen
Subject: Re: Fergie hints at non-retirement but do ManU still want him?
Date: 01/01/2002

"Jackie Tellier"  wrote:

>Dutch magazine Voetball International has chosen Louis Van Gaal as the
>most-losing coach of 2001. Meanwhile Sportsweek defined him as the most
>arrogant of the season. Van Gaal's Holland did not manage to qualify for
>next World Cup finals.

LVG is stuck in his own quagmire of trying to show everyone what a
football genius he is.  The always-present egomania reached epic
proportions when he forced Rivaldo one of the world's top 3 playmakers
while playing behind the strikers, onto the left wing to prove a
point.  It has only continued to escalate with his idiotic tactical
decisions while manager of Holland (Hasselbaink as a winger, bringing
on van Hooijdonk instead of a defender while up in the second half
against Portugal, etc.), and subsequent refusal to own up to them.  Of
course it was all the players fault!  That you were unable to manage
them worth a damn and pool together the collected talents one of the
most technically sound nations of footballers in the world has nothing
to do with Holland's failure to qualify for WC2002!  Idiot.

On another note, Louis's head has literally swelled to immense
proportions since the glory days of Ajax.  Seriously, someone should
construct a cranial growth chart starting from 1995's legitimately
great manager to present day LVG Bighead.  It's like the head of a
boar or something.

From: Paul C
Subject: Re: Scottish football
Date: 03/12/2001

On 3 Dec 2001 12:34:37 -0800, gloom50@hotmail.com (Neil Norton) wrote:

>In my personal opinion I think the Scottish League is too weak and
>pointless because almost every season it is between two teams Celtic
>and Rangers who fight it out for the Scottish Premier League 

I agree.  It's so unlike the the competitive nature of the English

1993   Manchester United
1994   Manchester United
1995  -Blackburn Rovers
1996   Manchester United
1997   Manchester United
1998  -Arsenal
1999   Manchester United
2000   Manchester United
2001  -Manchester United

>If you look at Scottish clubs in European competitions they never get
>past the first or second round of a competiton, and either Celtic or
>Rangers ever get past the first group stage of the Champions League,

Yes they never get past the first or second round.  Well they do, but
only if they're given an easy draw - like getting to play the English
champions.  You know, like the last time Rangers just missed out on a
place in the final aided being drawn against the English champions -
and even then they only just managed to beat the English champions
home and away. Pathetic, really.

>Even in International competition Scotland fail to impres. 

Yep, especially that last game they played at Wembley.  Only
outplaying England 1-0 was pitiful.

>I mean look
>at their track record in both World Cup
> and European Championships
>failure to get past the first stage, 
>and this year Scotland could not
>even beat Latvia by a big margin to get either a play-off or automatic
>qualfication to Japan and Korea.

Yep.  Only just managing to beat Latvia, whilst England really showed
them how to clinch a place in the finals - get a last minute gift from
a referee to scrape a home draw against Greece and at the same time
rely on Finland to hold Germany to a draw. Truly awesome. I can't
understand how England failed end up amongst the top seeds for the
finals after that display.

And because of the duplicity of FIFA England ends up in the group of
death against awesome countries such as Sweden - the same country that
all England decided was crap when Scotland put them out of the last WC
Qualifiers.  It's a funny old game, and no mistake.

>An unambitious leauge structure and teams is  a knock-on effect on
>nations performance in international competition in my opinion.

I think you're right Neil.  I think Scotland should take stock of
itself and follow the lead set by England's international successes
over the past 30 years or so.  Successes such as .....erm well I can't
actually think of any but I'm sure there must be some. After all as
everyone in England knows, they are the best in the world as was
recently proved by that 5-1 win in Germany.

>I feel that the Scottish League should be disbanded and the teams like
>Celtic and Rangers should try their luck in other leauges such as
>England or maybe even in in Holland because it is a pointless
>competition and little ambition or brakethrough happens.
>I personally would like to hear replies from Scots about my message,
>and waht they think of their leauges.

You've made some marvellously original points Neil.  Like England,
you're in a leauge of your own.

From: Petrovich
Subject: Re: Petrovich must be delighted
Date: 28/12/2001

"Victoria Barrett"  escreveu na mensagem

Delighted, Vic? Well, yes and no. Let me explain.

> LISBON, Dec 27 (AFP) - Benfica coach Antonio Oliveira announced his
> resignation here Thursday, describing his decision to quit as the best
> for the club.

This is the part I'm not too happy about. For three sets of reasons:

1) 'Toni', as he is widely known here, is one of the rare ones among Benfica
people that doesn't share the egocentrism, megalomania, bullying and
arrogance that are the trademark of the club. Just as an example; last
Summer while the directors were boasting that Benfica would simply
annihilate opposition at home and in Europe (kindly forgetting that in order
to annihilate you first have to qualify and also that opponents might not be
very much in the mood of being annihalted), he was one of the few that tried
to put down such baseless euphoria, warning  that you don't turn a club in
shambles into a sucess story overnight and that it takes considerable more
time and hard work to build a winning side than to make a bunch of flashy
signings coupled with explosive claims in the press.

2) Toni was in fact a member of the endangered species of managers that
actually have an emotional bond to their club. He really loved Benfica -
he's been at the club since his playing days - and was always known for his
sportsmanship and fair-play. Loads of things make Benfica loathable but Toni
isn't among them.

3) And actually he was such a nice guy that he didn't have hand on the
mercenary prima-donnas and overrated players that fill the Benfica ranks.
If, as it's been rumoured, they name the arrogant but astute and harsh
disciplinarian Jose Mourinho, former assistant of Bobby Robson at Sporting,
Porto and Barcelona and nowadays manager of Leiria, they are capable of
becoming a much more dangerous side - and a real contender for next season,
if he's given space and autonomy to build the team (something Toni didn't

> Oliveira has come under pressure from disgruntled fans of the Portuguese
> giants, who are languishing five points off the lead in the championship
> behind bitter city rivals Sporting Lisbon.

That's the part I'm delighted with :-))))))


From: Shove the pig's foot a little further in the fire  [MMcC]
Subject: Re: DARK HORSE candidate to go all the way in WC 2002
Date: 15 January 2002 07:03

On Mon, 14 Jan 2002 10:34:22 +0000, Colin Beirne  wrote:

>Ireland and Senegal

Interesting that both Colin and Marcos have tipped Ireland as a dark horse to win the WC.
While I admire ye're optimism lads, Ireland winning the WC would involve some, nay all of the

A couple of mudslides
Gallons of Holy Water
Possible earthquake
Well attended nightly vigils and month long novenas
Several unforntunate plane crashes
The intervention of a divine being
An couple of unhygenic team chefs and the eboli virus
More Holy Water
The sacrifice of copius amounts of virgins to Huitzilopochtli.
Busload of blind referees
The introduction of a goal that automatically enlarges to 15ft tall and 45ft wide when Irish players
kick a ball in it's general direction.
Even more Holy Water

And even if all that happened we'd still need for Roy Keane to 
a) be fit and  uninjured
b) not collect more that 2 yellow cards.
which is asking a lot.


From: Jeroen 
Subject: Re: Shevchenko v. Vieri
Date: 16 January 2002 04:32

"Victoria Barrett"  wrote:

>Hard call. VERY hard. What made me think about it (rather than
>Sheva/Owen/Henry etc.) were the similar leagues, and styles. Who would you
>choose and why?

They are both Terminators on the pitch, but ultimately it's Shevchenko
whose body upholds the metal compactor of Serie A football better,
making him the T-1000 to Vieri's T-800.  That said, as long as Vieri
is healthy and has a good playmaker (a John Connor?) feeding him, he
can overwhelm damn near any defense on the planet.  But as far as
being the ultimate one man wrecking crew goes, that would be Sheva.

This completely out there analogy is brought to you by a lack of sleep
and a recent viewing of the Terminator 2: Judgement Day DVD.

From: Glen 
Subject: Re: Michael Owen: "Better than '66"
Date: 17 January 2002 05:16

"Victoria Barrett"  wrote in message

> Don't know what to think, but unless they win it all, it's just in the
> realm of speculation. Anyone hear that quote in the UK? Can't find 
> it thus far.

I reckon he meant that they'd match up well against the team of 66 if they
played them now. With a few of the 66 players passing away and the average
age being a bit higher than the current England squad fitness may play a
factor and next year World Cup winners (if we are to believe the English
media) should be able to pull a victory out of the bag thanks to a 98th
minute Beckham free-kick.;-)

From: J. Stephen Thompson 
Subject:Re: Referee scores goal
Date: 18 January 2002 20:29

"Victoria Barrett"  wrote:

>Ref of 18 years experience had a momentary brain fart, and decided to score
>a goal when the ball came to him. Instea of laughing it off, he pointed to
>signal a goal had been scored. Few people other than he were amused, and his
>local FA asked him to resign. Question: Have you ever seen a ref score a

Kind of.  In a 1999 Italian Cup match between Inter and Lazio, Ze
Elias (then with Inter) took a shot from just outside the box...only
to see it deflect off the referee and into the goal.  The referee
ruled the goal as valid, with the apparent explanation being that the
referee has to be considered "part of the pitch" in such situations.
Anyway, that late flukey goal away at the Stadio Olimpico set the
stage for a outright thrashing of Lazio at the San Siro, with Inter
eventually pressing on to the final and losing to Parma.  I think
that's how it turned out, anyway.  I'm sure Riff will correct me if
I'm wrong.  


From: Lléo 
Subject: Re: Referee scores goal
Date: 18 January 2002 20:14

Yes, and in a derby...

But it was accidental. And ok, I haven't actually 'seen' it. Santos vs
Palmeiras, Paulista league of 1984 or 1985. 90th minute, Santos is 2-1 up
and a free kick is appointed to Palmeiras, in front of the area. It is
poorly taken, and the ball is going away from the post. It would go out, but
an extremely poorly positioned ref sees it hitting his shin all of a sudden
and going in (the goalie, of course, had no time to react)... He was
surrounded by Santistas, while a Palmeiras player went in the midst of the
confusion to shake his hand... 2-2 and game over.

But have you ever seen a ref being *sent off*?

Again in the Paulista league, Corinthians vs XV de Jaú. 1986 I think, well,
mid-80s. I don't know what propped a certain confusion, but Dimas (otherwise
anonymous XV player) simply took away the red card from the ref's hand and
"carded" him, while pointing him the tunnel's general direction...

He didn't actually leave, of course...



From: steve d 
Subject: Today I failed in my duty as a football fan
Date: 20 January 2002 00:25

We all have dreams in life. We have all resided in the gutter hoping to reach
for the stars. Occasionally we accomplish tasks that would have tested
Hercules, conquering our own Cerberus (Cerberi ?). 

At other times simple tasks must be performed. Subconciously we go about our
daily lives achieving these. Due dilligence must however be observed.

Today I failed. I failed my dreams, my duties, my simple task. I failed
football fans across the World.

The adrenalin rush of football is enough for any sane minded individual but in
the game a defining moment arrives that allows the fan to be lifted to a higher
plane of ecstasy. He has the chance to touch the ball. Be it from a mishit
cross, a header tipped round the post, a shot deflected wide by a last second
charge, the ball leaves the field of play.

Now is the time to act - touch the ball and you become part of the play. The
ensemble cast has written a walk-on part for you. The moment is yours.

In 25 years of footballing watching/supporting/despairing and ecstasising I
have never touched the match ball. At half-time today I moved seats at the
Liverpool-Southampton game to sit next to a mate right at the front of the
famous Spion Kop, just 1 metre to the right of the goal. And in the second half
it happened.

A powerful shot was deflected off a defenders leg straight at me. I could have
met it with a powerful forehead clearing the imminent danger of spilt bovril
and pulverised meat pie. I could have practised my near post flick on. I could
have held the ball firmly in front of my face or if feeling a little
"continental" punched it away.

I ducked.

The ball ricocheted up the stand and was thrown back onto the pitch. I may
never get the chance to touch a football again. That millisecond of fulfillment
was lost.

I failed football


From: steve d 
Subject: Bad away "ends" - leave the popcorn at home
Date: 21 January 2002 14:00

The concept of an "end" has long gone in English football. That mythical place
where you bonded with fellow fans supporting your team, all stood behind one
goal after travelling on a train service barely an upgrade up from a cattle

These days you are likely to end up 200 yards from the action in a top tier
corner with a great view over Tyneside as you watch Subbutteo players manouvre
far below (those of you who have been to St. James will recognise the

So in recognition of times past I'll throw in two nominations
1) Oxford United - a crumbling edifice overlooking both the cabbage patch that
pretended to be the pitch at the Manor Ground and the local playing fields
behind. For those who spread their sporting largesse around this was a bonus as
it meant you could watch the football or the pugilism outside among the local
Cowley carworkers on their day off and Reds who hadn't got in.
So what was wrong with the end? It had a bloody shed in the middle of it. You
could end up snookered by the shed and unable to see a quarter of the pitch.
Coupled of course with their fence. The posts holding the fence up were 4 foot
wide. In fact if you were low down the posts blocked off a bigger % of the
pitch than you could actually see. Together this meant there were only two
decent specs at that end for 4000 reds inside a pen built for quarter that
2) Coventry City - an end that seemed to ebb away from you. Got shallower and
shallower the longer you stood on it, almost as if there were mine workings
beneath. You always felt that you were running up a down escalator desperately
trying to glimpse a match at the top.

Open to all the elements. Remember one day when I missed almost all the action
as i) when the sun came out it was so low and bright you'd have needed
radiation shields to look at the pitch ii) when the sun went in the freezing
rain drove hard straight down the pitch at the away end, stinging your face so
you had to turn away. We all came away as pock-marked as Ziege on a bad day.

Now for yours - I'll leave the Nou Camp for another time ........

From: James 
Subject: Great news for NZ - Oceania to get automatic spot in WC Finals
Date: 27 February 2002 23:40

Dateline: Wednesday, from the quantum of Sepp's mind.

New Zealand football received a huge boost today when FIFA boss Sepp 
Blather announced that from the 2006 World Cup finals onward the winner 
of the Oceania qualification will proceed automatically to the World Cup 
finals, rather than having to play off against either a previous World 
Cup winner or a member of the 'axis of evil' (TM).

Speaking after the announcement, a man no-one has ever hear of, but 
identified as the head of the New Zealand 'Not Rugby Football So Not Of 
Any Real Interest To Us As A Sport' Association said "This is great news 
for New Zealand.  I know most of you would expect Australia to win this 
tournament, especially as we are completely useless, but we know the 
Socceroos will screw it up at the last moment somehow, so we must be in, 
probably for ever".

Analysts expressed some surprise at Mr Blathers promise, as it now 
brings the number of confirmed spots at the 2006 World Cup finals to at 
least 37, well above the 32 apparently allowed by the rules.  One 
commentator noted however, that this was the least of the FIFA's 
problems, as Sepp has also promised the 2010 World Cup to every country 
in Africa, meaning the finals in that year will require at least 80 spots.



From: Riffster 
Subject: Subdivisions of RSS - An immodest proposal
Date: 26 February 2002 03:19

Every now and then someone posts subdivisions of RSS
that should exist, even if they don't now, nor ever will.

Personally I think it is time to launch:









































- Riff "rec.sport.soccer.please.end.this.post" Ster


From: Renaud Dreyer 
Subject: Re: Subdivisions of RSS - An immodest proposal
Date: 26 February 2002 03:42

"Riffster"  writes:

> rec.sport.soccer.does.anyone.whose.name.doesnt.start.with.dan.like.juve
> rec.sport.soccer.renaud.doesnt.count

For a moment I thought I read rec.sport.soccer.renaud.cant.count and
that my terrible secret had been discovered. 


From: john Rose (jrose@SPAMBLOCKtality.com)
Subject: 01 February 2002 10:30
Date: Re: Club Rivalry histor

As a neutral observer of the old firm from within Glasgow. (I support the third
team in Glasgow), here are a few factoids:

Both Celtic and rangers fans never wash. (and for this reason are known as soap

They are also affectionately (not) known as weedgies

they both get an undue amount of help from referees, However Celtic fans are
convinced there is a referee's masonic conspiracy against them. (old joke:
person 1: I hear rangers got a last minute winner at kilmarnock. Person 2: Oh,
who scored the penalty?)

Willie Miller was once playing for Aberdeen against Rangers when he went to take
a throw-in, The linesman stopped him and said "hey it's oor ball" (meaning it
was ranger's throw-in)

Both sides are convinced that the Scottish tabloid press are pro the other side,
and have pet names for the papers (daily rebel, sunday liam , sunday mason,
etc). Fans of other sides have difficulty finding stories about their team.

A player who's dad once had a reserve game for the Old firm and never did
anything else in the game, will always be known as "son of rangers legend" or
"son of celtic legend" even if the player has never had any other connection
with the old firm and has on his own merit notched up hundreds of international

After 9 years of suffering gloating rangers fans, it took me 1 year of suffering
gloating celtic fans for me to lose any fealing of sympathy for them.

It is said that if you got to Celtic park often enough, you will eventually
steal back your own wallet.

Having met bigots from both sides they are both just as bad.
there are a few decent fans from both sides.

there is a constant debate about which "9 in a row" is better.

If you ever say in the west of scotland that you support club **** (non-old
firm). You will always get the reply "Aye, but who do you *really* support?"