Monday, 26 September 2011

Out Of Line

Think I’ll get the shameless plug out the way first. Yesterday saw me go through the two week barrier of not smoking. You can keep track of my attempts by clicking this link (this one right here!) I have added my friend Dave as an author to the page as he is trying to quit as well. I say trying to quit, he is not smoking when he isn’t in a smoking atmosphere. I don’t know what that means but it sounds like he’s a social smoker to me... (Just joking!)

The Rugby World Cup is still going on and it continues to be awesome. I said how I wanted to watch South Africa v Namibia and Australia v USA as I thought they would be fairly high scoring and I was right. South Africa won 87-0 and Australia won 67-5. I woke up in time for the England game on Saturday and watched them comprehensively beat Romania 67-3. Romania isn’t a team we should brag about beating easily but it was important that we did beat them easily. Anything less would have been unacceptable. The following game was New Zealand v France. It was a good match but considering the hype around it, it wasn’t epic. New Zealand took a fairly early 19-0 lead and while France bravely battled back, they were never going to overturn that deficit and the game finished 37-17. I didn’t watch very much of the Ireland game at all but I saw them score a few points (and saw Russia score a try) so that was cool. Ireland looked very strong and won 62-12 in the end. What followed I would say was one of the best games of rugby I have watched in a really long time. At this stage in the pool, Scotland v Argentina was probably the 2nd most important game to be played. If ever you need to explain to someone that a game of rugby union doesn’t need loads of points to be scored to be entertaining and gripping, use this game as a perfect example. It was edge of the seat stuff for most of the game. I’d say Scotland and Argentina are very evenly matched which added to its intensity. After 2 second half drop goals, Scotland were leading 12-6 and looking good for the win. However disaster struck around the 73min when Argentina burst through and scored a try. After converting the try, the score stood at 13-12 to Argentina. Scotland continued to push and at one point where right at the Argentina try line. The defence was solid and Scotland went for broke and tried to get the third drop goal of the game...and missed. Heartbreaking for Scotland and it will likely mean they are out of the RWC. Of the remaining pool games, I am really interested in England v Scotland (obviously) and Ireland v Italy. If there are no more shocks and everything goes the way I imagine it will, the quarter finals will look a lot like this:

QF 1 – Ireland (winner C) v Wales (runner up D)
QF 2 – England (winner B) v France (runner up A)
QF 3 – South Africa (winner D) v Australia (runner up C)
QF 4 – New Zealand (winner A) v Argentina (runner up B)

And that will be a tasty set of fixtures for a rugby world cup quarter final. I am very much looking forward to next weekend, when the pool games will conclude and the weekend after when the knockouts commence!

I went to watch Pompey play on Saturday. I will say this, we won! That is about all the positives I have. Actually that would be unfair, but we played pretty damn bad. Express FM bugged me by constantly saying “but it was better than the week before” – THAT DOESN’T MAKE IT GOOD YOU FUCKWITS! Does the FM stand for "fail media?!" Ahem, anyway. Pompey didn’t play well in my opinion but we still got the win. I would say Blackpool were the better team. This is my thoughts on our team:

Ashdown – No problems as far as I am concerned.
Pearce – Seemed solid enough but his headers seemed erratic
Halford – Injured his arm taking a throw, sums it all really. Actually he wasn’t terrible
Ben-Haim – Looked slow at times but wasn’t awful
Mokoena – Your own fans shouldn’t cheer when you get injured and have to be subbed! He wasn’t good at all
Ward – I couldn’t work out where he was playing. Seemed alright though, and almost scored
Lawrence – Needs to find his early 2010/11 form fast! He was fairly poor I thought. Almost anonymous in the 2nd half
Norris – He seemed to be our brightest spark at times.
Mullins – 50/50 on him. Makes good passes but also makes bad ones.
Benjani – Not suited to be alone up front. He isn’t the tallest so the long ball system doesn’t suit him either
Huseklepp – Our brightest spark as far as I am concerned. Our man of the match. Superb goal as well.
Rocha – Seemed alright when he came on. Why doesn’t he start?
Kanu – On in the 77th min. Maybe needs to come on in the 70th to have a bigger impact. Alright though

Overall I wasn’t impressed. I thought as a unit we played fairly poor with some bright moments from individuals. Ian Holloway summed up my opinions fairly well:

“It's a bitter one to take. That's football. I don't mind losing so late and in such a way if the other team had deserved it but that was not the case here in my opinion”

To wrap this up, I just want to talk about something which worries me. The situation in itself worries me but it is more than that – it is the fact I don’t think I can talk about it with the person involved without there being a bigger problem created. The person involved is someone who up until recently I would have considered one of my closest friends but that probably isn’t the case anymore. That isn’t because he has done anything to annoy me, or vice versa (at least I hope). I think it is a classic case of people drifting apart when interests differ. I was really quite sad when it dawned on me, but I guess it was a realisation which was going to happen at some point. Anyway, because this person and I don’t talk very much anymore, I somehow feel I have no right to talk to him about my concerns. I used to be able to talk about anything to this guy, so that part of me feels it would be ok, but I am seeing responses to other people who have broached the topic and it has not ended well, or seemingly hasn’t. It is one of those issues which is awkward to raise as well. I don’t know what the best course of action here is to take – 1) say something to my friend and risk completely killing the friendship, or 2) saying nothing and trying to deal with my concerns in private. I see things posted on social networks in the early hours and want to reach out to a person who is clearly showing signs they are suffering with some serious issues. In the morning though, that stuff is gone and discussing what was posted is completely taboo. I really am stumped. I welcome your thoughts on this one.

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