Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Some lax marking from a corner ourselves allowed Newcastle to pull one back on the stroke of half-time and go in just 2-1 up (it could have been 5-1 then). It didn't take long for Babel to restore our cushion - given two chances to poke home, despite there being four or five men on the line.
Gerrard scored another after a great through ball from Lucas (many called this his best game in a red shirt, though it may have helped that Newcastle had no midfield). Sadly, he was taken off for a rest before Ngog won a penalty, so it was left to Alonso to convert when Stevie could've had a hat trick. Oh well, I don't think anyone from the Liverpool camp will be complaining after a win like today, even if it could have been double figures... I think Newcastle need to pull out all the stops to keep Given.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Whereas last week I walked from Paddington to Liverpool St, this time I didn't have 6 hours to kill so got the bus part of the way (to Piccadilly), then stopped to look (very quickly) at the sales before walking the last bit to Paddington - 1950 train got me home by 2100. Didn't see much in the sales - I was hoping Zavvi would be having a real big clearout, but not yet at least... (Nor did I see any of this in Colchester's Woolworths).
Friday, December 26, 2008
I'm not sure who I'd rather miss, him or some of our star players, but it's worth noting there was still no return for Torres (as some had predicted) and we're obviously very short of full-backs: with Arbeloa, Aurelio, Degen and Dossena all out, Carragher and Insua filled in (personally, I agree maybe two inexperienced full-backs would've been too risky, but I'm disappointed that Darby didn't get to at least make a substitute appearance on the right).
In any case, the game proved to be a fairly routine three points once Riera turned our dominance into a first goal (scoring from what was, I think, our eighth corner in the first half). Then Keane followed his goal against Arsenal with another brace - taking him to five now in the Premier League. We'd perhaps hoped for more, but it's worth remembering I think Crouch was still to score for us at this point in his debut season: at least Keane now seems to have found some form, which is making the return of Torres less urgent.
With the score at 3-0, both managers seemed content to settle for what they had - Megson's substitutions looked more like resting players for the next fixture than a serious attempt to get back into the game, while unsurprisingly Gerrard and Kuyt were withdrawn for a bit of a rest (though, as I say, I'm disappointed Darby didn't get a run out - we'll probably need him if Arbeloa's injury is serious: maybe against Preston though).
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
It was pleasing to see Keane score a good goal - latching onto Agger's long-ball on the half-volley to equalize van Persie's earlier strike. What was disappointing was that, even after Arsenal lost Fabregas (to injury) and Adebayor (to two yellow cards) we couldn't capitalise with a winner. Then again, we were missing a few players ourselves - Keane filling in for Torres, Lucas for Mascherano and Insua for Aurelio/Dossena.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Step 1: Put your music player on shuffle.
Step 2: Post the first line from the first 30 songs that play, no matter how embarrassing.
Step 3: Strike through the songs when someone guesses both artist and track correctly.
Step 4: For those who are guessing -- looking the lyrics up on a search engine is CHEATING!
Step 5: If you like the game post your own
1 Crucified millions go to mass every day
2 Weighing on your mind, like a ball and chain
[One skipped because it had no lyrics: Spahn Ranch ‘Commitation’]
3 I warned you, you didn’t believe me
4 You got your tongue pierced once
*5 [Song title] Sooner than much later, we’ll be there
6 Gonna let the lightning / Tuck me into my bed
7 Sister step love I torn equal Filter and refine my black holes
?8 So in love she says
*9 You need coolin’, baby, I’m not foolin’
10 Came in from a rainy Thursday on the avenue
11 One million light years from home
*12 Melinda was mine
13 We are here to make a choice between the quick and the dead
14 [Song title] Just a little more peace
15 Welcome to the edge of the world
16 Well you may think that this is it
17 I know that I want you
?18 Menage a trois
19 Nicotine, Valium, Vicodin, Marijuana, Ecstasy and Alcohol
[Another without lyrics: Fluke ‘Amp’]
20 [Song title] you’re here again
21 You thrust the knife into my side with words you say you realize
22 Our domain, this kingdom come
[Instrumental: LCD Soundsystem ‘Yeah (Pretentious Version)’]
?23 A million beaches all laid out
*24 [Song title] You talk about things that nobody cares
25 She said words don’t matter
26 Don’t believe in anything
27 [Song title] Baby is this love for real?
28 Let's see a mortal type
?29 They found your body by a lake
30 The winds of fortune don't blow the same
* = cover
? = to be honest, I’m guessing somewhat at these
A few I had to guess at as I couldn't find the lyrics online. Also I've removed the song title from some that I think would be a giveaway.
Only two artists feature twice and I was somewhat surprised/disappointed that a number of my favourites are missing - though, at least, I don't think there was anything too embarrassing...
Friday, December 19, 2008
The night before those of us from 10 Merton Street had a works outing to Loch Fyne - with slightly less wine but in between pints before and after.
I think I need to make new year's resolutions to eat and drink less and exercise more...
Then again, at least nothing like this happened - closest I came was a peck on the cheek after walking a colleague home!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Whatever replaces it will apparently be based on 'impact factor', i.e. citations. Sadly, Piled Higher & Deeper have already rumbled that, pointing us to one's real impact factor.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
I'm not really clear on how this happened. If the judges' votes had been revealed, then one could say it's at least partly the fault of the people concerned (though the BBC probably should've pointed out that there was no point voting). If the judges votes weren't revealed, then one could simply say people took that risk, knowing that their vote may prove meaningless, and it is no more reasonable to complain about the fact that their vote was meaningless because of the judges' votes than to complain that their vote was meaningless because most of the public disagreed with them...
In any case, it's good to see that people feel strongly about making their voices heard - if only they felt so strongly about electoral rules that effectively exclude most from a say in matters of government...
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Since we've already come back from such deficits a few times - such as against Man City and Wigan - I hadn't given up hope, and when Gerrard quickly pulled one back I still hoped that we could get at least a draw. As it was, he struck another to bring us level before half-time but that, perhaps surprisingly, was it - a game that looked as if it could have finished 4-3 ended up at 2-all.
I must say, I found it strange that Benitez didn't introduce Keane or even Ngog. Still, if there's any consolation (aside from briefly extending our lead over Chelsea, who play tomorrow) it's that we did play quite well and create plenty of chances, unlike in the frustrating draws against Stoke, Fulham and West Ham. Nor should it be forgotten that Hull have beaten Arsenal and only lost 4-3 at Old Trafford...
UPDATE: Steven Gerrard was voted Liverpool's man of the match by fans on the official website, receiving 80% of the vote.
Friday, December 12, 2008
1029 - WICKET! Tendulkar c & b Flintoff 37, India 102-5
"Just so you know, it's customary to enjoy poetry in motion in an awe inspired silence. Hence why Ashburton Grove can prove quiet when The Arsenal are playing."
Adam C via the TMS inbox
"As an Indian and Arsenal fan - you really know how to hit a man when he's down!!!"
Sonny Nanua via the TMS inbox
"As an Arsenal fan I resent your accusation that the Emirates Stadium is quiet. We're usually very vocally and aggressively barracking our own players these days."
Harry H, London via the TMS inbox
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Anyway, my room is tidy compared to these pictures. Predictably, some of them are academics. (These pictures follow this rather pointless column).
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I was pleased to see there was some role for lotteries, albeit only in selecting between colleges competing to offer second interviews to marginal candidates.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
I'd still say Babel was somewhat frustrating - it's nice to see him take on defenders but too often he loses the ball and failed to pass to a better placed Keane. On the other hand, it was a good performance from Keane - not so much in terms of threatening himself, but it was a great pass from inside his own half to set Ngog clear (one of the assists of the season, perhaps) - and minutes later he set up Leiva, only to see the Brazilian fluff his chance.
Nancy Rosenblum's On the Side of the Angels: An Appreciation of Parties and Partisanship (this should be interesting; party faction has traditionally been attacked from Rousseau and Burke to the present day, though Goodin has a chapter in his latest book defending parties)
The other is a forthcoming release from Fabienne Peter, though details are sketchy: it has a different title here and here. It looks like it's coming out next week though, and that it will be prohibitively expensive (£70+).
The obvious solution would be to review them, particularly the latter, for a journal - and I'm open to offers/suggestions - but having written a couple of such reviews recently this warning (about being quoted out of context) is particularly apt...
Sunday, December 07, 2008
One thing you can be almost certain of is intense media scrutiny. Just as, every year, record A-level results are greeted with accusations of dumbing down, so it seems that whatever happens Oxford (and Cambridge) will be accused of not letting in enough state school applicants.
In fact, I've long held the view that the problem lies earlier in the admissions process - with many state schools obviously failing gifted pupils (either in not allowing them to achieve their academic potential at the school or not encouraging aspirational university applications). Now research from the US suggests that there's a difference in brain activity between children from rich and poor backgrounds as young as age nine. Obviously, damage happens long before these children reach the stage of applying for university, and social imbalance in Oxbridge may be no more than a symptom of a broken system...
Saturday, December 06, 2008
I think that recent stalemates against Fulham and West Ham may have affected our confidence because, still without Torres, we looked short of ideas in the final third - despite the introduction of Babel and Benayoun. Once the goal did come - Alonso slotting in from the edge of the area after a Kuyt knock-down - we looked to have more confidence and began to play better. Benayoun's individual effort looked to make things safe, although Santa Cruz's consolation ensured that the last 5 minutes would be nervy. I was worried when I heard there'd been another goal on Final Score, afraid that we'd thrown two points away, but it turned out Gerrard was able to put a gloss on the scoreline as Rovers pushed for an equalizer.
Overall, it was far from a fluent performance, but another three points (keeping us top of the table) and an end to our scoring duck. Insua got a full 90 minutes, and looks like he can challenge Dossena for the left-back slot, while El Zhar provided another lively cameo (indeed, he played a role in the third: forcing Robinson to slide out of his area but only to clear as far as Riera). Also, despite Torres' absence, we were able to 'rest' £20m worth of striker in Robbie Keane...
Friday, December 05, 2008
Monday, December 01, 2008
Oh, two others point of note: I didn't think much of Keane's response to being substituted. Yes, he's been taken off a lot - only playing three full games apparently - but at least he's starting and until he starts justifying that summer price tag he can't have much complaint. On the other hand, Dossena apparently had his best game since arriving.