Then Saturday Comes… the half decent football blog

Posh away day for honeymoon couple
September 6, 2010, 3:10 pm
Filed under: Mat Reville's Football Blog | Tags:

A FOOTY mad couple will swap romance for Row Z when they spend the last day of their honeymoon watching a Peterborough United away game.

Richard Smith (49) and Anne Valentine (49) have never done holidays the conventional way – they signed up for a trip to Trinidad and Tobago together the day they met.

However, their honeymoon will 
include a visit to the slightly less glamorous setting of Exeter City’s 9,000 capacity St James’ Park 

And in a twist to make men everywhere green with envy, it was Anne’s idea to include the beautiful game on the couple’s honeymoon.

She said: “All our family and friends think we are mad, but 
they have learnt to go with the flow now.

“We were already going to Jersey on our honeymoon and then when I saw the fixture list I realised it would be easy to get to the game.

“We are season ticket holders and try to get to as many away games as possible, so it just made sense to pop into Exeter as we would be down south for the honeymoon.

“It sounds really sad but we both love watching the football so why not?”

The couple plan to exchange their vows at St John the Baptist church, Peterborough, on Anne’s 50th birthday on Saturday, September 11.

They will drive to Weymouth on Monday to take the ferry to Jersey, where they will spend a week before catching the ferry back and then making their way to Exeter for the League One game on Saturday before heading home to Peterborough after the final whistle.

Richard, a self-employed electrician, said even a Posh disaster would not dampen his mood on the honeymoon.

He said: “There is life after football and the most important thing in my life is Anne.

“We met in May 2003 at a house party and I told her I was going to a friend’s wedding in Trinidad 
and Tobago and asked if she wanted to come.

“To my surprise she said yes, and even though I didn’t know her surname when I phoned the travel agents she came along with me.

“We have had season tickets for the last four years – we stand on the London Road end.

“I am very lucky to have met her but Anne liking football isn’t the biggest thing in the world – but it is an added bonus.”


The World Cup is over, The Premiership is back.
August 22, 2010, 3:51 pm
Filed under: Mat Reville's Football Blog

The domestic season is back, cementing the ‘end’ of the dismal era of English football that was the 2010 World Cup.

With the passing of the torch football is thankfully, once again, more than a tool to aid James Corden to continue his unstoppable cultural dominance. Bad news for all who are delighted by the adverts – Corden is banished, The Premiership is back.

Is it a co-incidence that it comes back at the same time as The X Factor?  Is it Simon Cowell running the FA or did Sir Bert Milichip set up Syco Productions?  I truly hope the latter.

Anyway to celebrate the beginning of the new season a lot of teams have gone goal mental. In the first two weeks, a staggering four matches have ended 6-0.

To fans of Grandstand, that is four matches ending 6 (six) – 0.

On the opening day Chelsea beat West Brom 6-0. This weekend they matched the score in the away game at Wigan, and the six-up was matched by Arsenal against Blackpool and, most surprisingly, Newcastle against Aston Villa.

To celebrate, here are six words on each team for my prediction for the 2010-2011 season. L’enjoy;

1. Chelsea
Easily the best again, plus Essien

2. Arsenal
Looking tasty but not quite there

3. Manchester United
Expect another April collapse under pressure

4. Liverpool
Roy Hodgson will steady the ship

5. Manchester City
Too many mentals with weak manager

6. Everton
No Europe plus Arteta equals success

7. Tottenham
Will lose points because of Europe

8. Bolton Wanderers
Much better than most people realise

9. Newcastle United
Mike Ashley for Freedom of City?

10. Aston Villa
No manager, no direction, no improvement

11. Birmingham City
Solid defence and competent going forward

12. Sunderland
Could be higher but lacking strikers

13. Blackburn Rovers
Allardyce will brag about this finish

14. Fulham
Transitional period but in no dander

15. Stoke City
More of the same, Mr Pulis

16. Wolverhampton Wanderers
You probably won’t notice them, again

17. West Brom
Surprisingly there are three worse teams

18. West Ham United
Avram Grant will get thoroughly exposed

19. Wigan Athletic
About time these wasters went down

20. Blackpool
Chairman/manager already cracking up – doomed




Getting back to the start of the season, most of the teams have been ones you would expect to get spanked.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Blackpool, Wigan and West Brom made up the bottom three at the end of the season – although my prediction would be for West Ham to replace West Brom.

Again though, the only decent team thrashed was Aston Villa, against Premiership newboys Newcastle United.

Newcastle United aren’t really ‘new boys’ per se. They are more like naughty boys who were suspended from school for a term and have come back to re-establish themselves in the playground.

This allegory is particularly fitting due to the childish nature of the Magpies fans.

A quick glance at Newcastle United online fan forums shows the Mags why-ayeing about Champion’s League football. And so the cycle begins again.

It’s all very easy to say this won’t happen, but so I’d like you to copy and paste the above predictions to remind me of my mortality come the end of the season.

After my very un-Nostradamas- like World Cup ‘predictions’, I wouldn’t be surprised if the opposite of this happens.

Blackpool for the title, then.

Posh fans are two PISAs in a Podcast
August 22, 2010, 3:20 pm
Filed under: Mat Reville's Football Blog | Tags:

A pair of Peterborough United fans have set up a weekly podcast to vent their views on the good, the bad and the ugly at the club.

Jamie Jones (34) and Chris Slade (24) began broadcasting their Standing On The Glebe podcast at the beginning of the season.

Jamie and Chris, who have been fans of the club since 1984 and 1997 respectively, are both members of the Peterborough Independent Supporters Association (PISA).

The 100 per cent unofficial show has already become a smash hit with club supporters with thousands of listeners tuning in for each of the first two episodes.

Host Jamie said: “We have been blown away with the positive feedback we have been getting. 

“The show has been downloaded 2,000 times a week on iTunes and we have had 6,000 hits on the website.

“At the end of the day, we are just a couple of fans talking about the club but there are a lot of people that can’t get to games that won’t be able to have these sort of post-match chats.

“We have a bit more freedom than other media because we don’t have a relationship with the club to protect, so we can say just how good or bad they are doing.

“We do have a structure but it is a bit of a ramble – I think that is part of the fun though.”

The show includes dissections of the last game, previews of the next fixture and a range of fun features.

One of the sections includes pre-recorded skits with impressions of club personalities such as Barry Fry and Darragh MacAnthony by fellow Posh fans.






Jamie and Chris record the show in the back room of the Swiss Cottage pub in Woodston. 

PISA donated £200 to buy microphones to record the show, which Chris – an interactive media degree graduate – then edits on his laptop before uploading to the internet.

Chris said: “Doing a Peterborough United podcast is something I have always wanted to do but it was hard to find other people interested in getting involved with it.

“We are having guests every week and would love to hear from anyone that wants to be a guest – if they’re Posh fans or not.”

The new shows are released every Thursday and the hosts hope that future guests could include PISA chairman Adi Mowles and The Evening Telegraph sports reporter Alan Swann.

The podcasts can be downloaded by visiting

Then Saturday Comes’ 2009-2010 video review!
August 13, 2010, 9:21 pm
Filed under: Mat Reville's Football Blog, Season Review Videos

Sticking up for Don Fabio and sticking it to the haterz through the medium of Kipling
June 23, 2010, 7:13 pm
Filed under: Mat Reville's Football Blog

 If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too.

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating.

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise.

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim.

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools.

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools.
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss.
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch.

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much.

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it.

And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

England flop but fans in Blighty still enjoy the night
June 19, 2010, 12:19 pm
Filed under: Mat Reville's Football Blog

The misfiring millionaire footballers representing England could not match the passion shown by loyal fans that cheered them on all over the country yesterday.

Thousands flocked to Peterborough city centre to watch England’s lacklustre 0-0 draw in the crucial World Cup game with Algeria.

Passionate supporters crammed outside  The Sports Lounge, on King Street, where a capacity 700 fans gallantly cheered the misfiring squad on while watching on a big screen TV.

The bar’s booming soundsystem blared football anthems such as “Three Lions” and “World In Motion” across the city centre while fans clad in replica shirts and flags of St George descended on Peterborough bars.

However, the carnival atmosphere that preceded the crucial match became replaced with a nervous mood when the Three Lions put in a second limp performance at a tournament many optimists have tipped them to win.

Mayor of Peterborough councillor Keith Sharp joked: “The team need to start playing better though or there might be a riot in the town centre.

“But seriously, anything that brings people together has got to be good and I just hope the team start putting in a performance half as good as their fans.”

England can still qualify for the next round if they beat Slovenia on Tuesday, but even then they may have to settle for second place in what many pundits saw as one of the weakest groups.

Shrugging off the disappointment from the match Tom Roberts, from Fletton, said the atmosphere generated by the legions of England fans outside The Sports Lounge was brilliant.

He said: “The outdoor screen helps create a big match atmosphere and it is just great to have a chance to have these events.”

The revenue from the fans watching the game in city bars will come as a welcome sight to landlords vying for additional business during the recession.

The game was also being shown in Charters in Town Bridge on three outdoor screens.

Manager Hugh Sherwood said: “We have put on a ‘beers from around the world promotion’. We haven’t been able to find a beer from every country and don’t have an Algerian one – but I don’t think we would have sold many.”

Urban regeneration company Opportunity Peterborough chairman John Bridge said that the public gatherings would help the city’s economy.

Mr Bridge said: “It is great news for pubs going through a difficult time. The key thing is we need them to start winning – the longer that we stay in the competition the more nights like these the city will have.”

Rob Green makes the second biggest Anglo-American spill of the summer
June 13, 2010, 9:25 pm
Filed under: Mat Reville's Football Blog | Tags:

Calm down everyone.

Yes England’s first round result was not what most of the readers here wanted, or predicted. The game seemed to sum up every English international campaign in living memory: strong start, overexpectations before an outrageous clanger exposes the true problems blighting the team.

But we didn’t lose and we played OK. We could have won the game comfortably if we reneged on the national hobby of conceding metnal goals.

However, there is no way to sugar-coat it: a 1-1 draw with America is starting with a limp. If the next game goes badly the whole campaign will already be crippled.

Going into the Algeria match this is the team I hope Capello will play.

Johnson – Terry – Upson – Cole
Lennon – Barry – Lampard – Gerrard
Heskey – Rooney

From first choice to bottom of the pile - poor old Robbie Green.

Rob Green will rightly receive the majority of the criticism. I hope he doesn’t start against Algeria, and not just for the mistake. I’ve always thought David James deserves that. How mental though that our keepers come from teams that finished bottom, 17th and 10th.

Although Green’s performance was otherwise good, that is not a mistake one would expect to come from a World Cup winner.  Similarly, although Heskey’s performance was outstanding, his inability to finish the one-on-one is not what you would expect from a World Cup winner.

This all sums up what is generally the case: England are probably just not good enough to really challenge the top teams.

But that doesn’t mean we have no chance. Football is a mental game and, with a bit of luck, momentum can come to any team’s fortunes around. Conceivably a dozen teams could win this tournament.

From now on, England should have a proper holding midfielder when Gareth Barry returns. Although Barry himself is not amazing, his role is vital. Although Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard are both better footballers, playing the two of them in the middle clearly does not work.

There is an argument that if he was closing down on the American midfield they would have been unable to pepper Rob Green with so many long-range efforts in the first half.

The Gerrard-Lampard midfield partnership was the same as it was way back in 2004 and 2006. Although both played well individually (Gerrard, especially), as a combination it just doesn’t work.

It may seem harsh to push Gerrard back onto the wing when Barry returns, but that is what I hope to see happen. Lampard is too valuable to drop and, although it is a dis-service to remove Gerrard from his best position, it does make sense for the overall benefit of the team.

Also, if things need changing you can always put Joe Cole on for Lampard, and push Stevie G into the middle.

Anything but Shaun Wright-Phillips, please.

Fabio has a jigsaw puzzle to solve

With Ledley King likely out for the next game (surprise, surprise!) another headache is in central defence. As seems to be the case with England, we may have to drop the more talented player (Jamie Carragher) for the more functional one (Matt Upson).

Although Carragher has excellent decision making ability, so too does John Terry. More worryingly, Carragher is also as flat-footed these days as JT. The two looked creaky against the Yanks and if Jozi Altidore can skin past them it doesn’t bear thinking what a more talented forward would do.

For that reason, I’d partner the brick-wall of Terry with the more athletic Upson.

As is the recurring and frankly boring argument regarding Emile Heskey, I think the most important thing is to play the best players to fit your tactics, rather than creating tactics to focus around the best players. Again, it’s the reason why the likes of Kleberson and Stephan Guivarc’h were regulars in World Cup winning teams.

The major difference though is that Kleberson could rely on Ronaldo and Ronaldinho, and Guivarc’h had Zinedine Zidane.

Let’s just hope that our one genuinely incredible player – Wayne Rooney – turns up for the next game. That way we have a better chance of maximising our extremely talented ones – Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Steven Gerrard.