Blog of Random Thoughts and Pictures

Kate all dressed up for jersey day in Spurs jersey circa 1986-87

June 3rd, 2011

It started off as a hard task, what jersey should Kate got for, for Jersey day in her school and then it hit me, Spurs 86/87 the Hoddle/Waddle//Allen year.

Daniel a little messi in the making

August 14th, 2010

The little man Daniel is getting handie with a ball and kitted out in his Barca finest may be hes getting ready for the 2017/18 squad.

New Irish stadium is fantastic, the match not so fantastic

August 11th, 2010

So the first roar, the first national anthems, the first boring match for the new Landsdowne Road. This really was all about the stadium and not the match.

I was looking forward to the match between Ireland and Argentina, but this was no competitive international, this was a bore, as Argentina were pure class, and Ireland just had one tactic, to hoff the ball up front. Messi showed some flashes of magic, he was clearly head and shoulders above everyone else, with the only player showing any stature on the Ireland side was John OShea.

But enough about the game, the Stadium was just fantastic, and I could tell that the minute there was any good, cheering, singing it would reverberate around the ground very quickly, on a big match day Id say this would be awesome.

One little gripe, on important instances during the game the big screens would NOT show a replay, just a static screen with the new Irish sponsors logo on it. I know they have to do this, but still no replay, was a pain.

So heres to the new Lansdowne Road Mr. Tayto
a href=http://www.flickr.com/photos/miguelpdl/4887948573/ title=Come on Mister Tayto give us a bag of crisps by miguelpdl, on Flickrimg src=http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4139/4887948573_d9c35e7855.jpg width=374 height=500 alt=Come on Mister Tayto give us a bag of crisps //a

There’s always a first time, “Come on You Boys in Green”

August 8th, 2010

I could barely remember my first time to Lansdowne Road to watch Ireland play football, but I recently came across the ticket stub, and as with any physical item it helps bring some of the memories back.

It was the start of the Jackie Charlton era, his second match in charge and with the arrival of a South America team to Ireland (it was Uruguay), Dad took the chance to crank up the blue Fiat 127 and get it to drag us up to Dublin. I must say the sights and sounds are vague in my mind, it was cold day and so I didn’t enjoy it when we had to stop at the Dart gates just outside the ground to let a train pass. We headed for the West Upper Stand, which I’m sure meant we had to walk in under the Dart line again but anyway for me it was just concrete, grey dark cold concrete everywhere until we got into the stand and up, and up into the gods. I remember the overhead roof being quite long, and the seats, so wooden and old and grey.

The match, well Uruguay scored first, don’t remember the goal, but the feeling of deflation around the ground was definitely memorable.  The biggest excitement of the day was around the Irish goal for sure, which didn’t come too long after the Uruguay one. A penalty taken by the bearded Gerry Daly, scored with aplomb into the South Terrace goal. The cheer was massive, but then the memory starts to fade again as I try and think about whether there was a rendition of “Come on You Boys in Green” at that point, or not, there might have been but I could be wrong. After that the game must have been quite dull as I don’t remember a thing from it, and the match ended as a 1 -1 draw.

Anyway back to the present day and the reason for the post it’s not just a memory of the Old Landsdowne Road, but this week, I get to bring my Dad to the new Aviva Stadium for the first time, in some ways a return trip. The opponents South America again, but this time the mighty, Argentina, sans Maradonna which is a pity.

I’m definitely looking forward to this game, I believe it’s going to be a full house and with the stadium so compact if there is a rendition of “Come on You Boys in Green” I think it will be a good one.

Finally though I do have one small dilemma. You see many months after that match in ’86, Dad had one comment to make, “That fecker I bring him a 100 miles or more to see Uruguay play and he goes and cheers for Ireland!”.  On this return trip I may just make up for that.

World Cup predictions the results

July 17th, 2010

I really shouldn’t post this, but it’s my own fault, just before the World Cup started I posted my predictions and now it’s time to see how it compares to what actually happened.

At the group stages when looking at the top two group qualifiers, I got Group A 100% wrong, with France crashing out, I must say Uruguay really caught me out by surprise. For Group B I was 50% correct Argentina wasn’t hard to pick out, but South Korea did well to pop out of that group. Group C well can I call it 100% right? I picked England and the USA to go through, but then the USA topped the group, so I was 100% wrong. Group D and again Germany went through as expected, but I didn’t realise Australia was in such a shambles. For Group E Holland was correct but Cameroon was a big disappointment, I should have been watching out for the coach change. Group F and on this Slovakia did come through for me, but Italy, sorry olde Italy they are in a serious reverse gear. Group G, Brazil came through but the Ivory Coast didn’t and finally Group H was the only one I got 100% correct, with Spain and Chile.

So at the group stage I made 16 predictions and I had 7 correct. I might as well flicked a coin.

Next to the Round of 16, I made 8 predictions and I had 5 correct, hay this is 62.5% correct not too bad right?

In the Quarter Finals I had Brazil, England, Germany, and Italy for wins, but only one of these came through, Germany.

In the Semi’s I had wins for Brazil and Italy, so nothing there but I did predict a loss for Germany in the Semi’s does that count?

My final pick was Brazil, obviously nothing there, but overall I was delighted to see Spain win, especially given the way Holland went about their task and not withstanding I had Spain in the office sweepstakes.  I had Germany for 3rd place and this was the one final prediction I got correct, well I’m counting it anyway!

My flip mode prediction of South Korea V Paraguay and Mexico V Portugal semi finals with Mexico winning the final didn’t even get close to coming through.

There we go, I enjoyed the World Cup well at least after the first week’s football, I thought the the first week was awful but it picked up after that. So finally a major lesson learned, don’t predict football scores, nor bet on those predictions I wouldn’t make anything from it. I must also stop playing fantasy football games, I only half watch the team line up and I always seem to be up against professionals.

My predictable predictions for the World Cup 2010

June 10th, 2010
FIFA World Cup 2010

FIFA World Cup 2010

Well the World Cup is about to start, so here go the predictions

Group A

Tight group but France South Africa to come through

Group B

Argentina at a stroll and then Nigeria

Group C

England will top the group followed by the USA

Group D

Germany, then Australia

Group E

Holland and Cameroon

Group F

Italy and Slovakia

Group G

Brazil and Ivory Coast (yeap bye bye Ronaldo)

Group H

Spain and Chile

A quick look at this and I have a bad feeling, there are no real teams standing out at the moment breaking the hold of the top teams and while there is always a slow starter, I think Portugal will fall at the first hurdle, but no other surprises.

In the Round of 16 I see wins for South Africa, England, Germany, Argentina, Holland, Brazil, Italy and then Spain. I think Argentina, Italy and Spain may have a tough time in this round, with maybe Cameroon or the Ivory Coast good for coming through instead.

In the quarter finals I have Brazil, England, Germany, and Italy. England may get the hosts SA in this round so that could come down to a penalty shoot out or luck falling on SA. Spain could again drop out in this round, really now Im not seeing them as favourites for the Cup, they will have too many slippery ties.

In the Semis Brazil will have a win over England, and Germany will fall to Italy again.

The final is all for Brazil, with Italy left behind this time and Germany taking the third spot. Its all that simple really.

Most goals scored in the first series could be either Italy or Argentina just because of the teams in their group. With Brazil as winners I also have to go with them as top scorers.

The first nil-nil will be South Korea Vs Greece.

Now having said all of that Id better put my money where my mouth is, so off to Paddy Power.

But before I go one final thing to say, Im useless at predicting soccer scores so if I just go flip mode and reverse all the scores (or winners) Ive predicted in a spreadsheet then I get a semi final line up of

South Korea V Paraguay

Mexico V Portugal

And the winners of the 2010 World Cup will be Mexico. So there goes another each way bet.

World Cup fever is starting to build up, time to look for a schedule

June 1st, 2010

So I was firstly looking for a World Cup calendar schedule and settled on this one from SSIS Junkie {aka Jamie Thomson} and then also came across this great visualisation world cup calendar  (done in flash).

I was also thinking of placing a small bet this year and while I go for outright win from <left blank intentionally> as a gut feeling, I’ve started to use this World Cup 2010 Schedule and Scoresheet spreadsheet to see what team may pop out after I enter all my predicted scores. I’ve managed to get through Groups A, B & C so far.

A tour around the new Landsdowne Road Aviva Stadium

May 18th, 2010

With the new Landsdowne Road Aviva Stadium officially opening up last week I took the opportunity to attend a technology conference event and then take a tour of the new stadium.

The Aviva Stadium at Landsdowne Road

Picture 1 of 7

I have to say it is quite compact (I think 50,000 all seater) and on the fourth tier there was definitely a feeling of vertigo. To my surprise the tour guide allowed us to enter the IRFU presidents room (Directors Box) and we got to walk out the players tunnel onto pitch side.

On the day the stadium was a luscious green alround, but the one thing that surprised me was that the stadium really only has 3 sides which kind of reminds me of a baseball stadium, something like Wrigley Field. I wonder will they ever host a baseball match in the summer?

Anyway given the compactness of the stadium I have no doubt that the first real Landsdowne Roar will be awesome!