|WINTER'S WORLD FEATURING EURO 2012 PREVIEW
8th June 2012
Since my last article it's been a holiday, cruising the Baltic and numerous race meetings, the highlight of which was Bank Holiday Monday at Carlisle where Rangers Racing Club's Lady Ibrox followed up her promising third at Redcar by leading from start to finish to win at 18/1. It looks like we could enjoy some success with this highly promising filly.
Rangers Racing Club has a filly in training called Lady Ibrox. Thirteen owners own the forty shares. It's not too late to join us at Rangers Racing. Click here for full details.
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Northern League clubs are preparing themselves for financial utopia as hundreds of Darlington fans converge on their grounds next season. A culture shock for Darlo fans but perhaps the start of a brand new adventure that will see them enjoy success and rise back up the leagues a stronger and financially stable outfit.
Best wishes to my friend Martin Gray who loves the club, the area and the fans. I am planning to meet up with him next week to see if I can be of any assistance to him, the team and the club.
Boro made a very good early signing in Grant Leadbitter. More like him needed. Sad to see James Brown leave Pools - his injuries have seemingly curtailed what could have been an exceptional career. A lad with tremendous talent.
Meanwhile the weeks fly by and still no solution to the situation at Rangers. Could it be trips to Bishop Auckland to watch Darlo and Montrose to watch Rangers?
Not a religious country but the Ruskies sure knew how to build a church!
So to the Euros and my first question is why the hell is the tournament being held in Poland and the Ukraine? Obviously like with the World Cup and its dubious decisions to host it in new destinations, money and politics no doubt influenced the decision. We all know money talks!
Eastern Europe has the 70s hooligan problems that we had over here. When it's 7.30 in London its 1972 in that part of the world. Even worse than that racism is an obvious problem. So I ask again why are we holding the tournament over there? When fans are encouraged not to travel, when proud parents can't travel to watch their children represent their countries it borders on the farcical and it could get worse.
Impressive buildings in the former communist city then known as Leningrad.
Platini is turning into a wanabee Blatter and some of his comments are worrying. We are going into a tournament with the prospect of players or indeed teams walking off the pitch. Platini's suggestion that players will be cautioned if they 'walk off' was blurted out without too much thought.
He is technically correct as the laws of the game state that any player entering or leaving the field of play without the referee's permission will be cautioned. That is in the main to prevent players who have been off for treatment just running back on and rejoining the game and other similar occurrences. It was not there for instances such as this.
A player should inform the ref if he is being abused, though unless the officials are deaf surely they should hear 'monkey' chants and the like. What worries me is that now the authorities have declared that players will be taken off, it gives the fans a licence. You are 2-0 down so you start misbehaving to get the game abandoned. Lunacy!
If a game is abandoned, then when can it be replayed? Its easy to say that the result should stand in the circumstances I have outlined, but what if the team is winning and its supporters then start chanting, they could use that as a way of getting the game ended to their benefit in a manner where surely no one can say that the result stands. All in all it a potential mess.
Whilst Britain was bathed in sunshine, ominous clouds in St Petersburg. This river is frozen for four months of the year and during the winter 'enjoys' four hours of daylight a day!
The build up to this tournament for England has been equally farcical with the last minute appointment of the new manager and team selection shrouded in possibly more racially motivated suggestions. That's basically what 'non-football related reasons' actually means in my book.
Injuries galore - it gets worse. Probably the only good thing is that for once the nation has not been driven by media frenzy to expect a trophy winning campaign. That does not mean though that when it goes tits up the papers won't be full of crap, name calling Woy, our players and looking for scapegoats.
Hopefully amidst all this mess we might actually have a tournament that we can enjoy until the 'real football' of our domestic game returns.
No trophies last season on the football front, but picking up the crystal with fellow syndicate members at Carlisle.
At least with all the crap that's going on, perhaps the focus will be off match officials! No chance, still no goal line technology, but extra officials, great for Martin Atkinson and Mark Clattenburg who get to be involved in a tournament that otherwise they would have not been selected for.
I wish someone would explain to me why the extra goal line officials are placed on the same side of the pitch as the assistant referees. There is no logic in that to me. Common sense would determine that they need to be on the other side of the goal covering the blind side of incidents such at the Henry handball that cost the Republic of Ireland so dearly.
The Referees will no doubt have been told to focus on certain issues and whilst the racial problem will be to the forefront there will also be on the field issues as well. Maybe they will be asked to clamp down on simulation, or diving as we know it. A good thing but with players so adept at going to ground or drawing contact from defenders then mistakes will undoubtedly occur.
Well done girl, our Lady enjoys her rest after winning her race in fine style.
At least it will give many the opportunity to have a punt on the daily games. My experience is that you should hold back at the beginning of the tournament as the first games are very cautious and a draw is not really a bad result for your opening game. There is also a tendency for the officials to clamp down and set the standard disciplinary wise for the tournament. The circa 11/4 odds available for a red card in the opening game between Poland and Greece might prove good value and gives the neutral an interest right up to the final whistle.
I will be watching the Russia v Czech Republic game with particular interest as Howard Webb and his English team of officials will be officiating. My favourite bet and successful one for my charity bets for the Great North Ambulance last season was for three or more goals in a game, usually available at around the even money or slightly odds on mark.
The layers are, like myself, expecting a cautious start and therefore much better odds are available. The Russia game is showing at around 17/10 for three or more goals in the game and also provides an interest bet.
Whilst advising caution the favourites you would expect to win their games and a treble for Netherlands, Germany and Spain to all win their first games would pay out almost 7/2 and Germany second favourites to actually win the tournament are available at around even money to dispose of the 'Winker's' Portuguese.
Looking ahead to Sunday and former Rangers star Nikica Jelavic is attempting 9/2 to score the opening goal, not a bet I am fond of, because you don't usually get much of a run for your money, but I tell you this guy will win more for you than you lose on him. Betting on him as first goal scorer last season with both Rangers and Everton would have seen you in profit.
Good Luck punting.
Bank Holiday Monday, the Queens Jubilee suitably celebrated with the red, white and blue colours of Lady Ibrox as worn by Dale Swift in the winners enclosure at Carlisle.
The Euros and Olympics coupled with the usual summer break means that Speaking events are fewer but I am in Greater Manchester next Tuesday, Scotland on Saturday then the Potteries the following Friday. Now is the time though to plan your event for the autumn.
Anyone interested in booking me to host or speak at their event me can be assured that as well as speaking I will give maximum help to fundraising on the evening with my auctioneering skills. Contact me regarding availability by clicking here.
Don't forget - Lodges, Pipe Bands, Supporters Clubs, charities and sports clubs to book me for forthcoming events.
Enjoy the Euros.
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