September 2008 Archives

Surely the final piece in Martin O'Neill's Aston Villa puzzle is another world-class striker to keep in-form goal-getter John Carew on his toes.

Reports this afternoon have linked O'Neill with a swoop for Porto ace Lisandro Lopez after the 25-year-old's contract talks with his new club stalled.

Of course O'Neill has been linked with every man and his dog since taking charge at Villa Park. But just incase here's a snippet of the Argentina international in action (apologies for the rambling foreign commentary):

They say that football is a funny old game but judging by Warwickshire's title-winning season, that tag should be attached to the sport of cricket.

Today the Bears were crowned LV County Championship Division Two champions after picking up the four bonus points needed against Glamorgan.


Yet despite their achievement, Warwickshire are on course for only their first home championship win since APRIL 2007! And if they manage that then Ashley Giles' side would have won only five matches out of 16 on their way to the title.

Is it me or is cricket a sport when you can perform OK and still emerge as champions?

May 6 2007 - Wolves hammer local rivals Leicester City 4-1 at the Walkers Stadium to cement fifth place in the Championship and book a play-off showdown with local rivals West Bromwich Albion.

Seyi Olofinjana, Michael Kightly and Andy Keogh, not forgetting Gareth McAuley's own-goal, had just helped shove four past the Foxes and Mick McCarthy's boys were looking forward to the next lucrative challenge.

But that challenge never arrived for goalkeeper Matt Murray because days later he broke his shoulder and has remained on the sidelines ever since.

matt murray.jpg

Now following Murray's 45-minute return with Wolves' reserves last night, what's more remarkable:

The fact that Wayne Hennessey has grabbed his opportunity with both hands and now looks to be Molineux's undisputed number one?

Or that fact that Leicester have seen SEVEN different managers in the dugout since Murray's last taste of first team action between the sticks? Yes, that's right - Nigel Worthington, Martin Allen, Gary Megson, Frank Burrows, Gerry Taggart, Ian Holloway and Nigel Pearson.

So Isaiah Osbourne has become the latest Villan to sign a new deal and pledge his future to Martin O'Neill's claret and blue revolution - but has the midfielder made the right decision?


In recent weeks John Carew, Gabby Agbonlahor, Craig Gardner and Wilfred Bouma have all put pen-to-paper on new contracts while Stiliyan Petrov and Ashley Young are tipped to follow suit. However there's one difference between that group and Osbourne - they play regularly, he doesn't.

Osbourne is a talented player and has rightfully been tipped for a bright future but the longer he sits in the reserves, the quicker that bright future will start to fade.

Please note: Half Full, Half Empty will be back in a fortnight due to Mat Empty's well-earned holiday to Skegness.

IN an exclusive interview with the Sunday Mercury, Wolves newboy Matt Hill reminisced about his debut in professional football.

His big bow in the full-time game just so happened to be Bristol City's 6-1 defeat to Wolves 10 years ago.

And Hill couldn't supress his amusement at the memory of the half-time entertainment that day - Wolfie's hilarious mascot scrap with the Three Little Pigs of course!


I'M a Sky TV subscriber and BBC licence-fee payer, but I'm not going to get into a debate over whether or not Setanta should have had exclusive rights to England's Cracker in Croatia.

Because, as far as I'm concerned, the competition between the broadcasters is akin to Tesco v Asda or Sainsbury's v Morrisons, so why should I insist cabbages be freely available at my local Blackheath market store?

But the absence of Setanta - or Se-tonto, as one ex-player/manager of this patch and current pundit once allegedly accidentally called it during an unsuccessful try-out for the station - does make patriotism difficult in my household.

I think it was former England onion-bag rippler Gary Lineker - or Crispy Big-Ears as I call him - who once suggested he would rather watch Ceefax than Wimbledon's Crazy Gang of old.

That's all well and good, but has he really viewed an important match via the medium that is Teletext, or more specifically, the BBCs online update service?

I'm not unduly knocking this facility. Indeed if I'd have concentrated long enough without the odd detour to check my Facebook page, then I'd have thoroughly enjoyed it, I'm sure.

But, watching an England classic via the odd text update, is like Paris Hilton talking dirty to you using Stephen Hawking's voice-box or supping your favourite tipple through Bella Emberg's jogging bottoms. In other words, it distorts the pleasure to be had.

The grim realisation that I was slightly out of touch came during a random 9pm-ish phone chat with a Setanta-subscribing pal. My probing question of: "It's still 1-0 Englund, ay it pal?" elicited the reply "Wot you on about?" from my confused friend.

While he was party to Joe Cole being maimed and Theo closing in on those "Three-O" headlines, I was still waiting for Walcott's Facebook status to be updated to "Theo has just scored a hat-trick. Have that Becks!"

Double whammy

By Mat Kendrick on Sep 10, 08 12:24 PM

THERE always a debate going on in our house over rightful ownership of the remote.

While yours truly wants to watch the sport, if the missus has her way it's soaps or music channels.

Now, thanks to these cracking Ultimate Fighting Championship egg-heads in the clip below, we've found a compromise!

I just told her it was Grant and Phil Mitchell having a bust-up in Albert Square, and the replay was Right Said Fred reforming and splitting up again.

Chin up Amir Khan

By Andy Walker on Sep 9, 08 09:37 PM

The lightning quick manner in which Colombian Breidis Prescott dealt with Britain's 'brightest' boxing hope on Saturday night understandably raised doubts over a certain boy from Bolton.

As the boos rained down on Amir Khan (is it me or is booing more fashionable than ever before?) question marks were once again raised over the lightweight's chin.

So surely the glass-jawed let-down would give anything to have steel chops like these two scrappers.

1 2 Next

Blog Authors

Andy Walker

Andy Walker - Sunday Mercury sports writer
My postings | Andy Walker's RSS feed My feed

Mat Kendrick

Mat Kendrick - Sunday Mercury sports writer
My postings | Mat Kendrick's RSS feed My feed

Keep up to date


  • Cricket
  • Football
  • Rugby

Sponsored Links