Saturday 22nd February 2020

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on February 22, 2020 by bishshat

Chelsea 2 Spurs 1

On the ground where Lampard and Mourinho enjoyed such happy times together, the former Chelsea boss was serenaded with chants of “You’re not special anymore” from the home fans. Antonio Rudiger’s late own goal gave Spurs hope they did not deserve but the Blues held on to move four points clear of their London rivals in fourth place.

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Chelsea could have won by more after dominating the game against a Spurs side that should have finished with 10 men after Giovani Lo Celso’s hideous foul on Cesar Azpilicueta.

Somehow VAR David Coote failed to decree that Lo Celso should have been sent off early in the second half but by then Chelsea were already two ahead.

Mourinho dropped Dele Alli to the bench after his midweek tantrum but the visitors were even more disappointing than they had been against RB Leipzig.

But Lampard’s decision to recall ex-Arsenal man Giroud for a game against the Gunners’ North London rivals paid off in spades.

The Frenchman’s initial shot was saved by Hugo Lloris and Ross Barkley hit the post with his follow-up. But Giroud, who was a target for Spurs in the January transfer window, lashed the ball home at the near post.

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Spurs were second best all over the pitch and fell further behind when Alonso rounded off a lovely move with a 20-yard shot just after the break.
Spurs midfielder Giovani Lo Celso somehow escaped a red card for this apparent stamp on Cesar Azpilicueta

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Substitute Tammy Abraham had the chance to make it three and Alonso hit the bar with a free kick before Lamela’s attempted pass struck Rudiger and wrongfooted Willy Caballero. You could feel the nerves around Stamford Bridge. When referee Michael Oliver called to an end four minutes of stoppage time, the roar was of relief as much as triumph.

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Friday 21st February 2020

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on February 21, 2020 by bishshat

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The Boxer extra verse 

Simon and Garfunkel 

Now the years are rolling by me
They are rockin’ evenly.
I am older than I once was,
And younger than I’ll be.
That’s not unusual;
No, it isn’t strange:
After changes upon changes
We are more or less the same;
After changes we are more or less the same.

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Thursday 20th February 2020

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on February 20, 2020 by bishshat

The date is 20022020

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Salome danced for Paddy, taking off her seven veils.
Salome said, “Maloney, that’s a trick that never fails.”
Malone put Salome’s oily clothing in a sack.
“I’ll run along now to the pawn, and bring your bundle back.”
“Ah kiss me love, and miss me love
And dry your bitter tears.
My loving you’ll remember now
For many, many years.
Be happy love, be satisfied, I left you in the pink.
There’s many a man that wants a bride.
Maloney wants a drink.”

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Shine On You Crazy Diamond

Pink Floyd

Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Now there’s a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
You were caught in the crossfire of childhood and stardom, blown on the steel breeze.
Come on you target for faraway laughter, come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine!

You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Threatened by shadows at night, and exposed in the light.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Well you wore out your welcome with random precision, rode on the steel breeze.
Come on you raver, you seer of visions, come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine!

4

Wednesday 19th February 2020

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on February 19, 2020 by bishshat

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Spurs 0 Leipzig 1

Timo Werner’s penalty left Spurs needing to produce another Champions League turnaround as RB Leipzig took charge of their last-16 meeting.

The striker’s 58th minute spot-kick proved the only goal of the game, earning the Bundesliga outfit a 1-0 win to take back to Germany for the second leg in three weeks’ time, though in truth Jose Mourinho may be relieved that his side are not facing more of a deficit.

With Son Heung-Min joining Harry Kane on the Spurs injury list, Lucas Moura was chosen to lead the line with support from Dele Alli, while Gedson Fernandes was deployed on the right of a four-man midfield.

Julian Naglesmann was without star centre-half Dayot Upamecano because of suspension, but there was a start for Ethan Ampadu in midfield, only his second for the club since arriving on loan from Chelsea last summer.

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The visitors were almost ahead inside two minutes when wing-back Angelino, on loan from Manchester City, rattled onto the post via the knee of Hugo Lloris, while Steven Bergwijn had what would prove a rare glimpse of goal at the other end, denied by a smart stop from Peter Gulacsi.

Patrick Schick headed just wide from a corner before Werner wasted the best chance of the first-half, toe-poking straight at Lloris after taking too long to get the ball out of his feet when in on goal.

Gulacsi was called into action again at the start of the second half, getting down well to push clear after Lucas had deflected Serge Aurier’s cross towards goal, but shortly before the hour mark, it was the hosts that found the breakthrough they deserved.

Ben Davies was the guilty party, sucked in as Konrad Laimer cushioned the ball past him leaving referee Cuneyt Cakir no choice but to point to the spot, and Werner stepped up to arrow home.

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It should have been two moments later when Werner’s wonderful dummy gave Schick a glorious opening but the Czech international sidefooted too close to Lloris.

Mourinho’s response was to switch to a back three, sending on Tanguy Ndombele and Erik Lamela and pushing Bergwijn up alongside Lucas, and the change of shape prompted some improvement.

And had it not been for the excellent Gulacsi they would have had a leveller, the former Liverpool stopper springing to his right to tip Giovanni Lo Celso’s free-kick onto the post.

So Spurs will need another Champions League comeback if they are to reach the quarter-finals. Leipzig have a 1-0 lead to take into the second leg in three weeks’ time.

 

Tuesday 18th February 2020

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on February 18, 2020 by bishshat

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Taking up space

I am just taking up space
I have put boxes inside boxes inside boxes
Inside a box
I am trying hard to take up less space
Taking stuff I have kept for years to the tip today
An old plastic box went into the bin
My mom had kept cotton wool inside it
It was decorated with stars
Like the ones that you get given
at primary school for good work
I had had that box since 2003
I had kept it safe
A smoker’s cabinet I had had far longer
Was destroyed in a blast of temper
Sue scolded me for its blatant ruination
I knew it was wrong
But the measure of my act
Escalated from frustration to anger
It was such a waste
It was taking up space
Larger things went too
A scanner
A Denon amplifier
Two vintage Apple keyboards
A lockable metal cabinet
Boxes inside boxes take up much less space
Later nearer bedtime foxes fought over left over chicken
And thoughts of MS played on my mind
My fingers burned
My depressed state forced me to write these thoughts to paper
Tomorrow I will rid myself of more possessions

“Horror Vacui”

I’ve read somewhere that nature abhors a vacuum
Also when you decide to rid yourself of negative things
You better have positive things to replace them with
A void is a painful thing
It’s not natural
If my life is void of purpose then what is the point of anything

John Bish 17th February 2020

‘Do something, so that the Devil may always find you busy’

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Today 18th February I decided to rescue the plastic dish with stars on it from the bin
Just long enough to document it with a set of photographs.

‘The devil makes work for idle hands to do’

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Monday 17th February 2020

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on February 17, 2020 by bishshat

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Vitaï Lampada The torch of life

Sir Henry Newbolt

There’s a breathless hush in the Close to-night
Ten to make and the match to win
A bumping pitch and a blinding light,
An hour to play and the last man in.
And it’s not for the sake of a ribboned coat,
Or the selfish hope of a season’s fame,
But his captain’s hand on his shoulder smote
‘Play up! play up! and play the game! ‘

The sand of the desert is sodden red,
Red with the wreck of a square that broke;
The Gatling’s jammed and the Colonel dead,
And the regiment blind with dust and smoke.
The river of death has brimmed his banks,
And England’s far, and Honour a name,
But the voice of a schoolboy rallies the ranks:
‘Play up! play up! and play the game! ‘

This is the word that year by year,
While in her place the school is set,
Every one of her sons must hear,
And none that hears it dare forget.
This they all with a joyful mind
Bear through life like a torch in flame,
And falling fling to the host behind
‘Play up! play up! and play the game!

The Battle of Abu Klea

This was written about a schoolboy cricketer who grows up to fight in Africa, the Battle of Abu Klea in Sudan in January 1885 during the unsuccessful expedition to rescue Major General Gordon. The poem was both highly regarded and repeatedly satirized by those who experienced World War I. There, in the panic of battle the boy is stirred to heroic action by schooldays memories:

” his Captain’s hand on his shoulder smote –  Play up! Play up! And play the game! “

Let’s look at in depth of the value this poem generates. This is a highly purposive and moral poem. It aims to teach a honorable lesson and provide a guiding principle for the demeanor of a better life. It is possible to imagine its audience as young men educated in public schools who were needed to command or govern in the British colonies. But it probably also has a wider meaning, valuing tradition and personal discipline for the sake of the whole society.

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This first verse refers to boys at school playing a cricket match. The team is in a difficult situation; it’s late in the day, the condition of the cricket pitch isn’t conducive, the sun is setting and the light is in the batsman’s eyes. He’s the last man in to bat, there is only an hour left to play, and things are getting tense “there’s a breathless hush“. Will he be able to score the necessary ten runs and win the match? His motivation is not fame or winning a medal, but playing the game well despite the pressure on him. The poet suggests that learning to be a team player is better than thinking of personal gain –

‘not for the sake of a ribboned coat’

In the second verse, those men who may once have been boys playing cricket are now in a foreign land facing an even more difficult situation -. In the bitter reality of the battlefield, the poet tells us, the principles of selflessness learnt on the school cricket pitch still hold good.

‘ The Gatling’s jammed and the Colonel dead ‘

their gun has jammed, their commanding officer is dead, their square, a defensive combat formation of the time, has been broken by the enemy action and many of the men are dead too. The survivors cannot see well for dust and smoke, and they are a long way from home and reputation is just a word when they are fighting for survival. And then the men hear a rallying cry that inspires them to keep fighting,

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‘But the voice of a schoolboy rallies the ranks: / “Play up! play up! and play the game!” 

As English schoolboys they have all been taught to keep going even when things are difficult.

The final verse makes an appeal for the values of permanence and custom and discipline learnt at school to be handed down from generation to generation. Every son of the British empire has to learn and remember this philosophy and carry it with them throughout their life. When they fall in battle this cry, or ethic, must be passed on to the ones who are coming behind them so that they will continue to live up to this high standard – Play up (try your hardest, do your best) and play the game. (Fight life’s battles in a spirit of sportsmanship).

Those words have become famous through the years, symbolized Newbolt’s view that war should be fought in the same spirit as school sports. The poem was well received both critically and publicly at the time, and his work underwent a further revival at the outbreak of the First World War, when optimism was high; however as gloom set in, Newbolt’s verse consequently suffered in popularity.

I hope the poem and its meaning will be helpful to you in situations when you need a ‘kick to go in your life’. So then, see you all in my next post.

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Sunday 16th February 2020

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on February 16, 2020 by bishshat

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Villa 2 Spurs 3

Heung-min Son scores dramatic late winner as Tottenham slice gap to Champions

Bjorn Engels went from villain to hero and back again after he gifted Heung-min Son a stoppage time winner as Tottenham beat Aston Villa 3-2 in a Premier League thriller.

After Toby Alderweireld had found the net at both ends, Engels’ up and down afternoon saw him give away a penalty, make amends by scoring his first goal for the club, only to cost his side a point with a shocking error late on.

Ben Davies returned from injury to start for the first time since Jose Mourinho’s first game in charge, while Villa were without England centre-half Tyrone Mings through tonsillitis.

Villa flew out of the blocks, with Jack Grealish giving Serge Aurier all kinds of problems on the left, but it was a cross from Anwar El Ghazi on the right that gave the hosts the lead in comical fashion as Alderweireld hesitated before toeing past his own goalkeeper.

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Dean Smith’s men missed a host of chances to double their lead, Douglas Luiz seeing his effort blocked on the line by Davies after Grealish’s clever cut-back, before the Villa skipper wasted a decent opening by trying to pick out Samatta in the middle when he might have gone alone.

Spurs’ leveller, and Alderweireld’s redemption, was almost as freak as the game’s first goal, the Belgian reacting fastest to a fortuitous deflection off the heel of Eric Dier to fire a stunning swivelled half-volley past Pepe Reina from a tight angle.

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The chances kept coming, Alli twice having efforts blocked at close quarters, while Davies had to make another crucial clearance from underneath his own crossbar.

As the interval approached, Steven Bergwijn’s pace came to the fore as Engels found himself caught the wrong side of the Dutchman and though Martin Atkinson was initially happy with his desperate sliding tackle, VAR overruled and awraded a spot kick. Up stepped Son, to be denied in the first instance by penalty specialist Reina, but fastest to the rebound to give the visitors a half-time lead.

Less than ten minutes into the half, it was Engels’ turn to make up for a goal-costing error as he rose brilliantly to nod home from Grealish’s corner and make it 2-2.

Spurs looked the more likely to find a winner. Son tested Reina after a glorious first-touch nutmeg on Engels, while substitute Marvellous Nakamba made a terrific sliding block to deny Bergwijn and Ezri Konsa recovered well to thwart Alli again.

But as the clock into the last of four added minutes, Engels allowed a simple ball to squirm under his foot, sending Son clear to steal it.

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Dean Smith is not happy with the decision to award Spurs a penalty on the stroke of half-time…

“No-one in the stadium thought it was a penalty – not even the player who went down. It took two minutes to come to the decision which shows it wasn’t clear and obvious. Why Martin Atkinson doesn’t walk over to the monitor and have a quick look I don’t know. In my opinion they’ve turned over a good decision by the referee.”

“The run up to my penalty was the same versus Southampton, I was waiting for the keeper to move but he stood up and it was a great save but I didn’t give up and luckily I scored. I was happy to help the team.

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“We were 1-0 down so we showed our character and we didn’t give up. I felt bad because I had a couple of chances to score but I got the winning goal which makes me very happy and I think the lads deserved the win.”

With that win Spurs go into fifth, which as we must get used to saying for a while now, is a Champions League spot.

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