Saturday, 23 April 2011

Thoughts I Thought Today

Today's post is going to be one of those eclectic combinations of thoughts that is probably the most accurate representation of what's going through my mind that the format of a blog will allow.

Firstly i watched Forest play Leicester on Friday evening and i have to say that despite how happy i was with the win, i can't see us winning the play offs even if we scrape into them; we're too mistake prone in defence and no where near clinical enough going forward to threaten any of the teams above us over two legs.

I was frustrated by Davies' team selection yesterday; We're at home against a local rival, it's an opportunity to make a point to the teams around us, eliminate a rival from the pursuit of that final play off spot and build some confidence for the run in, yet he played two defensive midfielders (McKenna and Moussi), with a central midfielder on either wing as well (McGugan and Cohen). As much time as i have for the 4 players he picked as individuals, all 4 of them playing in the same team simply doesn't work. We looked desperately short of width and inventiveness and it was frustrating to watch Davies persevere with it for effectively the entire 90 minutes. We have a good right winger in McCleary and i don't understand why he isn't given more of a chance, especially in home games where we should be really attacking teams, rather than merely setting up not to lose.

I've got a lot of respect for Davies, compared to Megson or Calderwood he's practically god-like, but i get frustrated with how unwilling he is to go on the attack sometimes. 5 wins and 5 defeats gives you more points than 10 draws, a fact that he doesn't seem to appreciate.

A promising element of the match was the debut of Robbie Findley. The American striker came to us injured, then just as he neared fitness around February became injured again. Due to this it's been impossible to know what he might offer us when fit; i've never watched much in the way of MLS and youtube videos are hardly guaranteed to be fair representations of a player's ability. However within moments of coming on he showed signs of being a very good signing; he looked pacy, determined and capable of a bit of skill, three elements we've been lacking in recent months. Earnshaw and Tudgay are useful but inconsistent and slow, Boyd could be good given the right service but we don't play to his strengths, McGoldrick is just poor no matter how much effort he puts in and Tyson may be quick but sadly it's becoming clear he has no idea what to do once he gets into a decent position. Maybe it's the desperation brought on by this lack of consistent quality but i am definitely hopeful that Findley could chip in with a few goals, especially if next season he can stay fit and have a sustained period in the team.

In other news the efforts of the rebels in the Libyan city of Misrata are hugely inspirational; isolated and seemingly out-gunned they have held off Gaddafi's forces since February and are actually occasionally making gains. This is despite daily bombardment from mortars and other artillery as well as the constant threat of sniper fire. Their courage and determination is undoubtedly at least partly born out of a fear of the reprisals the loyalist forces would inflict on the city if they surrendered but this doesn't take anything away from the importance of what they are doing or the respect they deserve.

So far as Britain and NATO's involvement in the conflict is concerned my opinions are less clear cut; the Iraq situation has tainted any questions of intervention regardless of the comparative nobility of this situation. I'd be loathe to see British troops on the ground in Libya, creating another situation where they have to be there for years, taking away from the home grown nature of the revolution. At the same time though i'd feel sick to read about Gaddafi's forces eventually storming Misrata or even Benghazi and crushing the rebellion while the 'West' stood and watched. It's an impossibly delicate decision and is one of the few policy areas that, for the time being at least, i'm not going to judge Cameron on; there is no amount of money that would make me want to have to make those particular decisions. Whatever he decides to do he will be slated by some elements of the media/society in general and what's worst is they will have a legitimate point.

Elsewhere i spotted this story on the Guardian's website - "Tuition fees will deter state school students, admits Cambridge University". My reaction was a simple, "Well, DUH." May not be my most eloquent moment but it's perfectly accurate. The idea that charging £9,000 a year was going to increase the number of state school students attempting to get into the most prestigious universities was one born utterly outside of reality.

The last thing i want to mention is the fantastic storm that my area of Sheffield enjoyed this afternoon; after a week of beautifully warm sunshine mother nature decided to surprise me today. The perfect BBQ weather of the past few days was replaced with thunder and torrential hail storms. It was almost surreal in how abruptly different it was to the weather i've become used to recently and i've rarely seen hail that heavy or dramatic; my mind almost immediately reminded me of the scene in Tokyo in the film 'The Day After Tomorrow'. The fact that about 3 hours later we'd returned to blue skies and a mild evening only added to the peculiar nature of the afternoon's weather.

To finish this blog i'll post a song that is so bad it rivals Rebecca Black's classic "Friday". It's called "My Jeans" and it's by a girl named Jenna Rose. I post it not because i want to join the ranks of people who've posted frankly disgusting insults and threats to either girl for simply making a music video via the anonymous medium of the internet, but because there is a simple pleasure in any art form being produced so terribly; the film that's so bad it becomes good (Dead Snow and Volcano spring to mind), the TV show so utterly inane it is bizarrely watchable (The first couple of seasons of Big Brother for example) or the play so poorly acted and directed it becomes entertainingly farcical (one performance of Romeo and Juliet i saw at the Lyceum would fit this description). So here it is - - enjoy, despair or both, it's your choice.

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