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  1. Thanks to Den, USABlue, American, Le Chuck, Hughesy, Paul, FifeRover, Tashor, Philipl, Shevchenko, Tugay4England, Krislu and all the others who have been like an army of midwives, easing my out of teenagerhood into adulthood. Sorry for squealing so much, and the mess. It's over now and I have to live.

  2. My love of football has virtually died. I will always admire skilful play but the whole business of ardently following the pantomime from week to week, with partisan gusto - nah... The magic has died.

  3. Phil and parsonblue, still think that Moko is a useful Premier League footballer...?
  4. Is it time for certain people to munch on some humble pie, after re-reading this thread? I've done plenty of humble pie-ing myself, in the past, so you guys....take it away... BTW: Pompey fans have twigged Moko, taken from a Pompey forum: "He's got to be the worst captain since John Lathan way back in the 1970's. I cannot see what he gives the side , he hasn't got a first touch , he loses possession , he can't pass , turned easily when defending but he makes a loverly cup of tea though." I think that history will show that Mokoena was one of the worst footballers to wear a Rovers first team shirt regularly. He was in the right place at the right time and has made his millions from that. Objectively speaking, he is a dreadful player. (Although, I do admire his self-belief. It takes something special to get away with such ineptitude. In fact, it's his self-belief that's the only thing keeping him at this level. His ability to disregard the reality of his crapness is almost George Bush-esque.)
  5. From Gray's BBC blog about the recent Steel Derby. I felt quite relaxed in the tunnel and had a bit of a laugh with my old team-mates from Blackburn, Keith Treacy and Andy Taylor, asking if they were nervous. Keith looks like he's just got out of bed every time I see him so I asked if he had brushed his hair with a toffee apple, to which he replied: "Shut it, old man."
  6. Harkins helped Dundee to beat SPL Aberdeen in the cup. His star is rising... BTW: I found a little about Sergio Peter's background and it goes some way to explaining him. Apparently, he is of gypsie heritage and he grew up in a very tough, crime-ridden area. He must have needed hubris to get out of that and then work his way through the inevitable racism and become a good football player. It may not excuse his bad attitude but it does go some way to explaining it. Since leaving Prague, I think he is going to join his old team in Mannheim.
  7. There is absolutely no way of proving this but I would dispute this. From what I read, it seems that Harkins has some technical skill. Mokoena has nothing but brawn and the gift of the gab. Pompey are shipping goals and Moko's the man who's meant to be stemming opposition attacks. He is currently being selected because the myopic Pompey management can't see beyond his experience and size. Many a experienced player has lived off his reputation well beyond the days when he was contributing anything to anyone (eg Flitcroft in his final seasons at Rovers).
  8. If he was a bit more agile, he'd be a superb defender. As it is, he's useful. Good luck to him.
  9. Yup, excellent book. So ambitious and Steinbeck pulls it off. I agree that it does dawdle but that was inevitable considering he wanted to write about a series of generations. Very thought-provoking. Incidentally, anyone read Grapes of Wrath and/or Ulysses? Despite many strong recommendations, I lost interest in GoW early on. I don't know why because Steinbeck is a great author. I'll have to try it again - this time, not on train journeys! As for Ulysses - gave me a headache... So many classical quotations that are meaningless to me and so many blimin' obscure words. I gave up - but, again, I have to give it another go soon.
  10. Stopforth is playing in the US.
  11. Thanks for the update, PB. I would just say that, interest from Premier League clubs is not a foolproof criterion for quality. Otherwise, Nigel Quashie and Djimi Traore would be world beaters. No matter how much interest, I and most ROvers fans have seen enough to know that Mokoena is dreadful. I will never forget his attempt to mark Teddy Sheringham for a goal we conceded from a cross. Just shocking. I make one of the infamous rover6 predictions here and now, "WIthin the next two years, Aaron Mokoena will disappear into obscurity and Harkins will be making a success of his career in either SPL or maybe CHamp." I am hundred percent confident about Mokoena's career demise, and the Harkins prediction is going on his current amazing form. BTW: Do you know what happened to Ralph Welch. He was the tempestuous left winger who was a good player for our U18s/reserves, when he wasn't being sent off. He got chucked out of the Liverpool academy for some misdemeanour, I think, before joining us.
  12. I appreciate that you are more factually endowed here, PB, but I think you are clutching at straws. Even if you gave Mokoena an acre of space against a dwarf defender, he still wouldn't come across as skilful. Harkins renaissance needs more explanation than "he has more space" in Scottish 2nd level. Yeah - I have been vaguely aware of Ian Black's progress. Although, I would argue that surely he can't be that good if he still can't get into the Scottish squad when he's playing for Hearts. I mean - Gary Teale gets in the squads for Scotland! A player whose career I followed a bit was that of Adam Nelson. I think he was part of Rovers Youth Cup finalist side (thrashed by Arsenal) and, although he never made it, he forged a half-decent lower league career in Scotland as a creative, skilful right midfielder. Not sure where he plays now but I think he was at Brechin. Another player that fell away was left winger, Andy Reid (not the Irish version). I'm not sure if you know much about him? He played for our U18s and he, Treacy and Peter were a triumverate of lefties that seemed to promise much competition for Damien Duff. Didn't materialise!
  13. Of course, he'll have to be in the Scotch Prem before he can hope of international caps but I don't think that that will be far off, barring injuries. At Dundee, he seems to have picked up where he left Partick. He'll either get signed or promoted. Nothing more than a "Workmalike midfielder" EXACTLY my point. Back in Scotland he has turned into a Damien Duff type runner with the ball, from all that I'm reading. That's the mystery. Yes, a number of youngsters have done well on being released to return up North. However, I do not believe that any of the names you have mentioned received the rave reviews that Harkins is receiving. Neither did they undergo Jekyll-Hyde kind of transformation in style, either. I await further news about Harkins with interest. I like to see ex-Rovers youngsters do well - and because I see skilful football as the apotheosis of football, I am very happy to see an ex-Rovers skilful youngster flourish.
  14. Thanks FLB... it does please me, in a way. With Harkins, however, I am not casting any blame on Rovers (not yet...) - I'm just plain bemused. (If I hadn't made it clear!). There is little doubt that he will be in the Scotland national team before long. I say it again: How does a tough-tackling defensive midfielder/centre back of our reserve team, who made little impression during loan spells in the lower leagues, suddenly become a skilful dazzler of a midfielder? You may cite the standard of the Scottish league - but I guarentee that if you put Mokoena - or Keith Andrews in the Scottish 1st Division you would not be hearing about how marvellous his running with the ball is and the flair-some nature of his game - however long you left them there. I wonder if anybody watched much of Harkins at Rovers. Did he show signs of skill back then?
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