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November Review


bob fleming
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It’s got a bit parky now hasn’t it? Gone are the long barmy days of October, only to be replaced by the cruel harshness of winters favourite mistress, the slag that goes under the name ‘November’. So pour yourself a wee dram if you will and let’s fight off the tarts cold advances as we travel back in time to…

Thursday 2 November. Blackburn Rovers 3 Basle 0. 13,000 braved the Siberian conditions to get down to Ewood and pay the extortionate price of £15 to get in. Well actually £7.50 if you were a season ticket holder. The clocks had gone back the previous week so it meant it was darker than normal as well (I blame the Ticket Office). Plus the match was also being shown on Sky’s Super Stella EuroSport. Add that to the fact that we’re always in Europe, every single season without fail, and always will be.

So all things considered, a poor gate.

Hey, Hey! Rovers are really getting the hang of this European lark and eventually brushed aside the French team with three late goals. The Germans started brightly in the first half and played some good stuff at times. Big bad bouncing Brad kept us in it with several great saves.

Then on 75 minutes, with a replay in Italy looming, the old maestro Tugay pounced, the ageing mountain lion, his mane swaying in the wind, shot from 30 yards into the top right hand corner of the Blackburn End goal. Marvellous. His goal was nearly topped though by his performance in being substituted, it took him ten minutes to leave the pitch, great stuff. A true Rovers legend.

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Tugay: New Contract? “Because he’s worth it.”

We then scored a penalty after The Artist’s legs gave way. Lord Francis of Jeffers succeeding where so many before him have made fools of themselves, smashing the ball down the middle from about 12 yards. The Mighty Reds sealed things in the last minute. Benni McCarthy, like a giant South African Hunting Eagle thing, swooped on a spilled Gallagher shot and made no mistake from a couple of fathoms.

3-0 then, a score that slightly flattered us in all honesty but our third straight win in Europe, we were on a Swiss Roll. That’s poor, unlucky.

It wasn’t all good news though. Rob Sav went off injured with a thigh strain. This left us severely depleted. Nelsen, Roberts, Savage, Reid, Bert Mk II and err, Peter Enckleman, were all out. But did we hear anything from our manager berating our bad luck? The congested fixture list? How lady luck has farted in our face yet again? No. Not really.

Sunday 5 November. Aston Villa 2 Rovers 0. Now and again when writing this column a result comes along when I can find absolutely nothing funny to write about in any way, shape or form. I’m sure that some of you could argue that there has been absolutely nothing funny about any of the games that I’ve commented on over the last few months, and that is of course your prerogative.

It’s a good word that, prerogative. Pre-rog-a-tive. Four syllables. Nothing unusual about that you might be thinking, loads of words have four syllables (I just can’t think of any).The thing is people often spell it incorrectly and if I’m completely honest, and it’s cards on the table time here people, we need to be honest with each other if we’re going to make this thing work, I spelt it wrong as well. See I always felt that it was spelt perogative. No use of the Pre at the beginning.

Quite a shocker I can tell you.

One of the definitions is: - a right, privilege, etc., limited to a specific person or to persons of a particular category: E.g. It was the fourth official’s prerogative to signal for a penalty when the rest of the football stadium saw no infringement. E.g. It was the full backs’ and centre halves’ prerogative to mince about in their own penalty area rather than kicking the ball into row Z. E.g. It was the referee’s prerogative to ignore the blatant hand ball when the shot was blocked by the Celtic reject’s arm moving into the way of the flight of the ball.

Anyway, we lost two nil. Barry with a penalty and Angel with the second.

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Angel: The Eco Warrior couldn’t miss.

Arse.

We’re now just three points off the relegation places. Still, with games against Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspurs to come later this month anything could happen.

Friday 10 November. In an attempt to raise his profile and get himself back in the England team, David Beckham slips Mark Hughes a tenner and asks him to pretend we’re going to sign him in January. Being the decent sort, Sparky does just that and it hits the press.

It could happen, nothing surprises me in football. Beckham’s wife Vicky was seen, according to local rumour and gossip, going into Ewood Carpets on Bolton Road later that day, adding fuel to the fire that the Beckham’s will be buying Ray Wilkins’ house in Wilpshire. A word of warning Dave and Vicky, houses aren’t cheap up that end I can tell you, start saving up.

Saturday 11 November. Rovers 0 Manchester United 1. Another defeat. Perhaps a little more understandable as this came against the self proclaimed biggest club in the world. Some members of BRFCS.com clearly lost the plot however, claiming that we would have got a better result against the table toppers had we kept Jonathan Douglas (playing for Leeds – 3rd to bottom of the Championship) or Neil Danns (regular substitute for Birmingham City).

We didn’t play that badly. Tugay stood out and the question was again asked “If only he was ten years younger?” Well that not might be such a good thing I’m afraid and it hasn’t been thought through properly, he’d either be playing for Manchester United or kept out of our first eleven by Matty Holmes.

Saha (although I wasn’t laughing) scored the only goal of the game and the United fans left happy, so happy they decided to brick a few buses on the way home and make a mess of the Fernhurst pub. Still they have a big away following so what can you expect?

To think that a few posters on yonder web site got a strop on because someone referred to them as “scum”. Oh yes, I’ve not even mentioned the ruined minutes silence yet have I? Still, it was only for people who lost their lives fighting for our country in two world wars. It was a late kick off, they’d been in the pub. Fair do’s.

Moving swiftly on, just when you thought it was safe to go back on the internet. Thursday 16 November. Duh DUH. Duh DUH. Duh DUH, Duh-dur-duh-dur-duh-dur-dur-duh-dur-DUR Dur DUHHH!!!! Arrrggggghhhhhh!!!

Local nut case Vinjay finally tracks down where Glenn lives and forces him to allow him to post at gun point. Funnily enough it’s exactly the same post he made umpteen times eleven months ago.

Gems this time around also included why don’t Rovers fans boo a current player, why don’t the Walker family attend every single game home and away and why bring back David Dunn? Which is probably a valid point when Steven Gerrard may look for a move in January if forced to play ring wing for much longer.

He’s clearly a fictitious character, a creation of someone’s warped and twisted mind. It’s probably Dean Saunders.

Sunday 19 November Rovers 1 Tottenham Hotspur 1.

Dear O, dear O, dear O, dear O, dear O, dear O, dear O, dear O, dear O dear O, dear O, dear O, dear O dear. What are they doing? Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for us with the officials this happens.

Two of the worst decisions I have seen in weeks from a set of officials, both given against us in the space of a couple of minutes. First Tugay was sent off for bringing down a Spurs tumbler, (not even the last man and no intent to foul) and then Mido was allowed to control the ball in his own penalty area bu using his cheating Egyptian arm. The linesman choosing instead to fall into a brief coma rather than watch the game.

Sorry, I’ve let the performance of the men in black take the gloss off yet another wonderful goal from our favourite Turk, Kerrimoglu Tugay. A stunning volley and a contender for his goal of the season.

Thursday 23 November. Super Feyenoord 0 Super Blackburn Rovers 0. Hey!

Where to start with this one? Leeds at 5.30 in the morning is probably as good a place as any. First pint of the day. Got the plane at 7.00 to Amsterdam along with many other Rovers fans and assorted “celebrities”. Train to Amsterdam. Walked round aimlessly for an hour looking for our hotel. Found the hotel at 10ish. Time for a pint.

Headed off in the general direction of Dam square. Had lunch at Poco Loco. Very nice indeed, and the food was good. Then stumbled, completely by accident of course, into the Red Light district. The very first window we came to was inhabited by some oriental type who had a bigger jaw line and broader shoulders than Ryan Nelsen. Kept walking. Quickly. You’re not loving me long time pal.

More beer, more walking round. This went on for eight hours. The Grasshopper was bouncing. Four verses of “No, Nay, Never”, “Blackburn Ranger” and other songs not heard for many a year.

Met someone from Basingstoke, who’s name I forget, who travelled over on his own to watch the Rovers. Hats off that man.

Went to the station, lost the lads. Got the train, which was late. Arrived at the ground at 8.40. Then the turnstiles mysteriously broke. Delayed for 10-15 minutes. When we eventually got through the Rotterdam version of Mousetrap I was told that the upper tier was full and even though my ticket was for there, to go lower tier. Which also appeared to be full. Went half way up the stairwell but there was no way in. The only way to get through would have been to push and shove and despite having been drinking for quite some time that didn’t seem like a good idea. I mean even after all that alcohol I knew that there was a potential disaster waiting to happen. Just a shame that the stewards didn’t or maybe they did but as one pointed out to me he “didn’t care”. Incredible.

Great credit to the 100 odd fans who just decided that the best thing to do was to miss the first half.

Anyway, managed to get up there for the second. Cracking atmosphere. Belting. Everyone stood. Everyone sang.

The Artist was hit in the head with a plastic pint glass. He was reported as saying that although he ended up with sticky eyes he was just glad it wasn’t from something hard. Ironically, a few short hours later he was apparently spotted in Amsterdam’s red light district, where that sort of thing happens frequently every single day.

The hour that we were kept in the ground dragged. Three of Feyenoord’s “hooligans” offered 3000 Rovers outside for a fight. It would have been a close run thing no doubt, thosch guysch are crayschee. Simpletons.

So, back on the train to the Dam. Lost the lads. Many thanks to the friendly couple who lent me their phone, I owe you a pint! (mine packed in and wouldn’t allow calls or texts after approx 6.30. Thanks T Mobile)

Back to the hotel, via the Red Light, it was on route. Stopped on the ale all night with Taff. It was decided that that would be a better course of action than catching just four hours sleep before setting off home again. A well thought out and well executed plan.

That’s more or less it for November. A month that sees us progress in Europe but maybe at the expense of our league form. We’re lurching at the wrong end of the table and December is going to be a big month for us, seven league games. Someone tell the strikers to bring their shooting boots.

Finally, a public information announcement. This was the penultimate review I’ll be doing (I may do the odd one further down the line). The first one was in January so I’ll just round the year off. I reckon it’s time to throw this open to everyone instead of me hogging the opportunity to use all the cheap gags every month. So from January if you fancy doing a monthly review please put your name forward. I’m sure den will create a thread nearer the time and set something up in much the same style as the match previews.

Have a good Christmas. Are you all set?

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Excellent! I'd forgotten quite how fraught a month November was - thank god for Two Tremendous Tugay Thunderbolts otherwise referees and their "assistants" would have taken all the headlines. Mind I quite like the foreign versions - one dodgy penalty given to us vs Basle, one firmer one not given to Feyenoord - we must be a big club in Europe after all!

Bob, I can claim to be the fella that leant you my 'phone and my lass checked that you'd found suitable refreshment later in the evening - if only I'd realised I mixing with such celebrity I'd have had to get drunk - hell I did that, er I mean eat cake - hell I did that too, er enjoy the attentions of one those ladies in the windows, er....................

We ended up with Bobby Ball (or was Joe Pasqualle) singing George Formby songs in some bar at 3.30am - those chaps from Darwen were completely crackers and very good company

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I'd like to thank Bob for the fact that I'll be singing happy monday's for the rest of the night. Fair play to Rog erm, I mean Jim Royle for the loan of the phone as our Bob would struggle otherwise.

Next time tho Mr B, use a spellchecker! ;)

See you in Milan, or Jack Walker Way, whichever is easier for you. I'll have to tell you about my conversation with the Dutch police when enquiring about the whereabouts of a suitable taxi rank. It puts your "thosch guysch are crayschee" to shame, yaaa for scchuuure.

Edited by Lee
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More great stuff Bob,

For heaven's sake, don't retire after one year, none of the rest of us have a hope in hell of equalling your posts.

If you do decide to throw in the damp sponge then all the best and thanks. But please don't

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Thursday 23 November. Super Feyenoord 0 Super Blackburn Rovers 0. Hey!

The very first window we came to was inhabited by some oriental type who had a bigger jaw line and broader shoulders than Ryan Nelsen. Kept walking. Quickly. You’re not loving me long time pal.

Anyway, managed to get up there for the second. Cracking atmosphere. Belting. Everyone stood. Everyone sang.

The Artist was hit in the head with a plastic pint glass. He was reported as saying that although he ended up with sticky eyes he was just glad it wasn’t from something hard. Ironically, a few short hours later he was apparently spotted in Amsterdam’s red light district, where that sort of thing happens frequently every single day.

The hour that we were kept in the ground dragged. Three of Feyenoord’s “hooligans” offered 3000 Rovers outside for a fight. It would have been a close run thing no doubt, thosch guysch are crayschee. Simpletons.

Freaking priceless. Laughed so hard, thanks for that. You must love my beautiful country :D

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Well if Flemings off in the new year window, then I say stick him in the reserves and let him rot. If his heart is not interested in writing comedy for this site for the rest of his so called life then get rid now!

Bring Enoch in and see how he makes us laugh.

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I wonder whether our Bob has had an unofficial approach, Ive often wondered about them brown paper envelopes he's been stuffing into his pocket outside the BBE.

blattent tapping up if you ask me, note the reference to the offer of whichever is the easier. Milan or Jack Walker Way.

I'd like to thank Bob for the fact that I'll be singing happy monday's for the rest of the night. Fair play to Rog erm, I mean Jim Royle for the loan of the phone as our Bob would struggle otherwise.

Next time tho Mr B, use a spellchecker! ;)

See you in Milan, or Jack Walker Way, whichever is easier for you. I'll have to tell you about my conversation with the Dutch police when enquiring about the whereabouts of a suitable taxi rank. It puts your "thosch guysch are crayschee" to shame, yaaa for scchuuure.

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