Then Saturday Comes… the half decent football blog

LCFC: filling the ‘drawing expert’ role left void by Tony Hart and Mark Speight (RIP x2)
April 6, 2009, 8:57 pm
Filed under: Mat Reville's Football Blog

Hello there cherished reader.  Sincere apologies for my lack of posts recently.  I just got back from making some cheese with Flo-Rider over in A-Town.  You know my pedigree.

A once great journey hits an unexpected bump

This GIF is not working, but trust me it's really good


Oh good.

Just when it looked like Leicester City were cruising towards our first top-two third finish since 2002, we’ve decided to sneak out a bit of relegation form and see how things turn out.

This season wasn’t supposed to be like that.  We were supposed to slide on like the boy in the graphic, jumping over ladders and having a great time.  However, excessive celebrations have took our mind off the target and we have come screeching to a worrying hault.

With six games to go, only the most delusional Chizzit would complain about the state of play with six games to go.  Top of the league by two points and seven off third, it looks pretty lovely to a neutral.  However, it’s not quite so good when you consider we were 12 points clear no more than four games ago, and we have drawn six of the last seven at home.


Milan extends his best wishes for the run-in to Big Nige

The numbers that have taken over this blog are systematic of worried fans at the ‘business end of the season’ (copyright Mark Lawrenson).  And to be honest, if I supported any of the other teams in League One I’d think Leicester fans are being doooouchebaaags.  We should still be OK, and if we’re not and collapse further still, we frankly do not deserve to get promoted to a division that would subsequently murder us.

But after so many years of watching Leicester choke when any form of challenge comes up, it’s hopefully understandable why people are starting to get a little squeak in their bum.  And with promotion being expected since being top of the table since October, this feels more like we are battling against relegation rather than to be champions.

Our run-in is definitely tough; home games against Leeds and Scunny and away to form side Southend.  But there are winnable games against Crewe and Hereford.  To make things sure we need to win at least two of those games, probably three.

This Saturday’s trip to Hereford is therefore massive.  Oh how ironic that such a huge game is staged at Edgar Street, the same destination that we played the part of ‘Goliath’ in an FA Cup tie a decade ago.

Still, maybe that means we’ll be playing Barca in ten years time…


"Um, um well, y-y-y-you d-d-d-don't have to t-t-t-tell her, Miss Ratched."

"Um, um well, y-y-y-you d-d-d-don't have to t-t-t-tell her, Miss Ratched."

Shearer joins the Geordie-go-round

Big news in the Danny Murphy household… Big Al’s left the BBC.

Of course, with Big Al out of the MOTD2 studio there was a gap on the sofa for an uncharismatic and cliche-spouting footballer.  Good news for Danny Murphy, bad news for the Sunday soccerball viewer.

The footnote of all this nonsense is that Newcastle United have bagged themselves a new manager.  Old big elbows himself has finally taken to the dug-out, and the Geordie spirits have risen…

Well, in reality Shearer’s appointment is not really a new manager, he will more than likely turn out to be exactly the same as other ex-skippers who have returned to ‘messiah’ the club out of stagnation (going right back to you, Osvaldo).  So although it’s a new body, in reality it’s the same symbolism of Geordie ideology that takes over in between shambolic appointments.

Let me take you on a history lesson.  I am a Bachelor in that Art, after all.

1992: Geordie old boy Kev Keegan
1997: Worrying outsider Kenny Dalglish
1998: Worrying outsider Ruud Gullit
1999: Geordie old boy Bobby Robson
2004: Worrying outsider Graeme Souness
2006: Geordie old boy Glenn Roeder
2007: Worrying outsider Sam Allardyce
2008: Geordie old boy Kev Keegan
2008: Worrying outsider Joe Kinnear
2009: Geordie old boy Alan Shearer

However, that’s not to say I’m opposed to the tactic.  I think Newcastle chairmen Mike Ashley and Freddie Shephard are more erudite than people give them credit for.

They can essentially bring about their own ‘things can only get better’ New Labour ’97 moment every couple of years.  The scapegoats are thrown away (Dalglish/Souness/Allardyce/Kinnear), and then the ‘returning hero’ (Robson/Roeder/Keegan/Shearer) steps in to joyous fanfare from the unemployed masses.

A Mat Reville prediction

A Mat Reville prediction

And it is always just about enough.  Like Roeder, Keegan and Robson, Big Al will steady the ship and save them from the drop. Don’t believe me?  Ch…ch…ch…check out the screengrab of my ‘BBC predictor’ thing!

The home games against Fulham, Boro and Portsmouth will bring either 7 or 9 points.  Either will probably be enough to stay up in this dire Premiership.  However, once safety an already pretty likely safety is assured the ‘Circle of Geordie Delusions’ kicks in.

1) Rise in ambition
The new manager brings a rise of the unattainable dreams which run through the minds of Newcastle fans and their returning manager hero.  Management, who due to being ‘good local boys’, therefore share the delusions of grandeur with his fans, and excitement starts for the upcoming campaign that will see the first silverware since that old man fan was a foetus.

2. Reality disgarded; conspiracy theories formed
Three months into the new season, and NUFC are not performing as well as their fans thought.  For the record, this could mean anywhere between 6th-20th.  The manager starts going crazy and blaming imaginary problems… how else could the glorious Magpies not be top?

3. Messiah resigns
The Geordie gaffer decides that the forces of evil that keep The Magpies from their coveted top spot is not worth battling against.  He jacks in the job, and Geordies take to the street burning their straight jackets etc.

4. An ‘opposite’ is appointed
Whoever is the opposite of the previous messiah is appointed.  Lovely Bobby is replaced by horrible Graeme.  Soft Glenn’s job goes to tough Sam.  Loveable Kev’s seat gets taken by foul-mouthed Joe.

5. Period of competency
Newcastle start to turn into a boring middle of the table team.  It is very stagnant and dull.  Fans start to get angry and call for a manager who knows how to manage a “club like Newcastle”

6. See Step 1 and repeat.



Has Red Nev punched Rafa out the title race? In a word, 'no'.


I feel like I have to talk about the top of the big division to retain relevance to some of y’all.  The battle for a position that doesn’t really bother 88 English teams this weekend all feels like media hokum after a national Party conference.  Nothing has really changed, but everyone seems to think the future is set in stone.

Before the weekend, people had picked out Man U’s games against Wigan (away) and Man City & Arsenal (home) as potential banana skins.  They would be the places the title was won or lost.

Against a recently turgid Aston Villa side, Man United looked the worst I have ever seen them play.  The admittedly makeshift defence still included four internationals (van der Sar, O’Shea, Evans and Evra) and one ex-England regular (Neville).  This was only ‘bare bones’ in the Harry Redknapp sense of things.

Despite still having internationals throughout the midfield (Ronaldo, Fletcher, Nani) and up front (Tevez), they looked very very ordinary for most of the match.

However, a 10 minute salvo and people are saying the title is wrapped up.  What a load of nonsense.  As you will see from my BBC preictor grab, if you take it game by game my head says that Man U will drop points at least three times this season, and this weekend’s performance makes it look like they could even ‘do a Leicester’ and drop a hell of a lot more.

A second Mat Reville classic prediction for you to laugh at in May

A second Mat Reville classic prediction for you to laugh at in May

Although my prediction on the right says Liverpool, in my heart I know Manchester United will still lift the trophy in May.  And they deserve to, as they’re definitely the best team in the Premiership this year.  But I don’t understand why such a polemic shift has been made after one scruffy home win against a doddering team.

The old ruse of ‘winning ugly’ has been banded about, but isn’t that exactly what Liverpool did at Fulham (aka the conquerers of the Rouge Devils).

Maybe it’s because of the birth of new footballing icon superstar and future king of soccer Federico ‘Kiko’ Macheda.  Obviously we’ve all made up our minds that he is better than any player to have previously graced the Premiership, but I think he needs a better webpage designer.  Check that out, yeah?

Gary Webster, earn your biscuits and sort this mess out.

Getting back to ‘the’ title race (obviously it should be ‘a’ title race, as ‘the’ title race is happening in League One).  Once again, the press seem to have made their minds up on this one.  But free from the shackles of media ownership I can say “hells no this badboy’s going to the wire”.  Yet more evidence that reading this blog is at least twenty times better than reading a newspaper.

(Unless it’s an article written by me, yakkidy yak).


Finally my dear chums, I would like to break down the fourth wall and speak to you personally.

I implore you to check out the new cricket blog that is the sister to this fine blog.  It is written by a well known Peruvian chap known as Nigel ‘Big Nige’ Slater, aka ‘The Derby Dog’.

Sadly Nigel is a Derby County fan, but I am still supporting his rehab to rectify this problem.  One of the treatments is getting into other interests other than supporting scumbags so he has set up this cricket blog as a way to ween himself off the crack that is Derby County FC.

Please check it out, no sledging in the comment box though!


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I’m too busy trying top sort out Walshy and Muzzy’s websites to try and unfurl that website. Itsa cracking tribute though.

Comment by Gary webdesigner

I think Leicester will struggle to get automatic promotion now, the team is conceding is sloppy goals and i think Peterborough and Millwall are better equipped for automatic promotion. Darren Ferguson is doing a crackin job at the Posh

Comment by Nigel Slater

oh and thanks matt for the plug of The On-Drive, much appreciated, have a nice easter break

cheers. Nige

Comment by Nigel Slater

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