Posts tagged: Champions League

Friday 20th October 2006

Strange week. Productive week. Demanding week. Glad Friday is finally here, although once again not much planned for the weekend. Perhaps I should start with the video I uploaded to You Tube last Friday evening. On Wednesday evening when I was reading the comments and looking at the statistics. It was around 4000 with around 30 odd comments. Nothing major, in comparison to the more popularly discussed videos on the site. To my surprise when I was in the office on Thursday I had around eleven e-mails from of people leaving comments plus at least three people whom were now subscribed to my video feed. Impressive when you consider I have only three comical videos on my account at the moment and they are not user generated content. When I headed over to the site I was shocked to see the views having surged to 45,000 and the comments headed for triple figures. I had picked up a few honours over the weekend with the video being in the top twenty discussed videos of the week but that was as I had only uploaded late on Friday evening. Now I was in the top 15 for the following week too. Impressive. The clip just encourages discussion, not just the fact that the singers are so controversial but as is the artist that is being covered (a great disservice nevertheless). MJ was back in the news earlier this week, thanks to Access Hollywood. Michael was over in Ireland, in the recording studio with none other than from a group you might know. Rather than go into the details, the full interview will be released on Thursday 2nd November and has caused quite a stir within the fan community, following the airing of a teaser trailer. I too am excited and looking forward to a sneak peak of new material for the forthcoming album. Whenever it drops.

Keeping on the MJ theme, I went to the Thriller Live concert back at the tail end of August. I wrote (I know I could have sent an e-mail but they deserved much more) to the producers to thank them personally for a wonder show but only discovered that my review had been published on their web site. (Scroll down the page, third one) In between all the You Tube e-mails I have been reviewing was a note from the team to let me know that the Thriller Live musical was about to begin a UK tour in the new year and I was invited to their launch party in February. Of course I’ll be there.

I was aiming to update my blog on Tuesday evening but had little to write about my day. It was part of the big British blog day as prescribed by History Matters. There was no way I was going to surrender the copyright of my blog (even for one posting) to a third party, so I was happy to blog on here, but found myself forcing the words onto the page so therefore just gave up. Now, three days later I find myself able more readily to draw the lines between the dots. I was going to consider my working day and then reflect it against my evening. Both are spent on the computer. Achieved little in the office. If anything I created work for myself, smashing the call queue to 100, closing perhaps two or three calls over the course of the day. The call queue would remain that way until today when I got it to around 80. I left work late, which has become a regular occurrence this week, apart from today when I rushed out at 6pm sharp. Arsenal were losing and I listened to the commentary on Five Live on the drive home on crackly AM. At home, I was able to catch the last thirty minutes or so on ITV4, including that Henry goal that should have stood. Perhaps the ref saw something different. That set the mood for my evening, I spend the evening online, talking to friends but not actually doing anything really productive. No different from any other night.

As a big fan of Doctor Who, I am looking forward to Torchwood, that starts on BBC Three on Sunday with a double bill. Looks like the BBC has been booked for two shows every weekend for the next month or so. Although time will tell whether Captain Jack will become our next big TV hero. It has the polished website you would expect from the BBC and the trailers have been screened regularly on primetime BBC1 slots, trying to go for the edgy fast paced American style teasers to get you on board. Maybe others need to be persuaded, I will be tuning in regularly on a Sunday evening. Although it took me a while to work out that T shape logo in orange that kept flashing up between trails. Thankfully I have the option to watch Freeview in my room but might have to book out the lounge. Right, I think I will go and upload another video to You Tube. Best to make the most of my new found celebrity status.

Friday 25th August 2006

Do you like routine? I am a big fan of setting a routine and sticking with it. Therefore you can understand any changes to my routine affect me a great deal. Let me give the example of Wednesday this week. I was looking forward to the game that evening, but rather than taking the soft option of taking the day off, or even semi-soft option of a half day, I worked until 3pm and then planned to come home to get ready for the trip into London. As usual, with so much going on in the office and loads to do I did not leave until nearly 4pm, even then I had a difficult escape from the office. I enjoy my job, but gave a very poor account of myself that morning. Felt a bit guilty leaving so early and leaving quite a mess for my colleagues to deal with. Nevertheless, I was off to the football and I tried to forget about work for a while.

Rushed home and the lack of traffic on the roads helped, although I knew it would be busier driving into the town centre. I booked my ticket on the automated machine, pleased to see another Gooner waiting for someone by the station entrance. It was 16:36. The next train to Marylebone was not for another eleven minutes as I had just missed one pull away from platform one, as I was getting my parking ticket. An hour after my train left Wycombe, I was at Piccadilly Circus tube station, waiting to take the Piccadilly Line north to Finsbury Park. I called home at 18:09 to let them know I had arrived safely. I was walking down St. Thomas’s Road and my sister warned me that it was about to start raining. It was a slight drizzle as I came off the phone, but then suddenly the heaven opens. Several of the other supporters that had arrived early rushed for cover under the trees or balconies or doorways. I continued walking. Past Arsenal station (which was packed) I came to the corner of Drayton Park and took some cover under the trees. Waiting for a good fifteen minutes while the rain died down. There were numbers of fans, even some Dynamo Zagreb that braved the showers to head to the ground. As the rain settled down I walked on to the main bridge and waited at the bottom of the stairs, texting Terry. He did not respond, so I walked up to the stadium and took some photographs. As I had not received a confirmation e-mail for this fixture I did not know which turnstile to use to enter the stadium. So I approached a steward who asked for my membership card. He tapped in my number into his PDA, which was wirelessly connected to the main booking computer but for some reason his PDA was playing up. He got took me to another steward who accessed my details and printed off a ticket stub on a small till receipt like printer. This is a very good system, and even with the teething problems, the stewards we all very helpful and kind. I walked around to D and walked through. The concourse was practically empty and I got some food before heading upstairs. There was a plenty of time before kick off, so I decided to make a full circuit around the ground and take a few photographs. It was getting busier, but I was able to snap some pictures from the great glass windows looking out across North London. I was even able to go and take some pictures of the pitch prior to talking my seat. Sony have installed large Sony HD TV screens across the concourse. The picture quality was amazing, as they showed the team arriving. Each of the players coming off the coach in the underground car park, right underneath me. After my lap around, it was minutes before kick off so I headed to my seat. Row 32, is right up at the back of the new North Stand, just one back from the last row. My seat was two in from the aisle, so a central view of the pitch and on the right the big television screen. The teams had been announced. Looking down at the pitch, with a few of the players training, I noticed someone coming up the stairs. Someone famous. Well semi-famous. Just like my visit exactly a month ago, I was to be in the presence of yet another television celebrity. Hardeep starred in the Channel 4 comedy based in Glasgow, last year, Meet the Magoons. He may have been spotted more recently on Newsnight Review and here he was, with his son, sitting a few feet away from me.

The game itself came to live quite early but for all the wrong reasons. The team from Croatia took an early lead due to our defence falling asleep. It was poor performance and perhaps the young team were resting on the cushion of a three nil lead from the first leg. We started to string some passes together and push into the final third but the finishing just was not there. In the second half, Arsene brought on Henry, Gilberto and Walcott to fine tune the attacking options and shield the defence. Some fans believe it was the worst European performance ever, even though we did eventually win. It will will soon be forgotten, as the group stages commence in a few weeks. Yet it will go down in history as the first win at the Emirates Stadium.

Emirates Stadium

On my way home there are a few stories to tell. Firstly, at Leicester square a couple got on, friends I believe. The female was Canadian, I would say American but I think I would be wrong. As I got up to give up my seat before Piccadilly Circus, she made eye contact with me and said, “Did Arsenal win?” Yes they did, was my reply with a nod and she just smiled and beamed back, “My brother will be pleased”. I did not say anything more, just smiled back before getting ready to jump off the tube train. On my Chiltern Railways that left Marylebone at 23:33 I was in a window seat and as the train was quite busy a young lady came and sat next to me. I thought nothing more of it, even when she got out her iPod and plugged herself in. As we neared Gerrards Cross, I realised that she had fallen asleep and would have to wake her up so I could get off the train. This was something I did not really want to do. It was a perfect moment that could be captured on YouTube and played over and over again. I looked across the aisle and a guy laughed as I attempted to tab the shoulder of this stranger. She woke up after a second shake and I apologised before being able to escape. That was not too hard but not something I would like to do again soon.

Wednesday will also go down, in my personal history as the first day I did not use my personal computer. I cannot remember the last time a day went past without me switching on my machine. I am sure it is noted down somewhere on this blog, but right now I cannot recall the date. Anyway it was strange to not pick up my e-mails or speak to friends on MSN but I suppose ultimately a good thing. Time away from the screen, can never be a bad thing.

Sunday 8th May 2005

As another weekend draws to a close, I use this time on a Sunday evening to reflect. This day of the week has changed, so much for me over the years. At University, particularly in my first year, it was a time to rest, get shopping done, perhaps go down to the local Odeon cinema with my friends from halls. In the second year, moving into a house, things changed. Located further off campus, it meant I had become displaced from many of my friends from the first year. The day was spent working, until 2pm. Returning to the house to have some lunch, get some work done and prepare for another week of lectures, trials and tribulations. My third year was spent on placement, weekends are blurred in between my 600 mile a week trek to Bedford. I am confident, that I spent Sundays recuperating. Then, the final year, once again in a student house, Sundays were strange. Sure, I had bucket loads of work to be getting on with, but I tended to take my time and get things completed as I saw fit. My housemates, both on a Masters course, tended to go to church around 7pm, so I was on my own for a few hours. While I did not mind this at all, I had plenty to occupy myself with, it is just strange, now looking back at those times. At times life was empty and I could not see the finish line, but now is not the time to mention such things. Anything of note has been recorded, and there is nothing that can be gained by going back with post mortems and what if scenarios. We are altogether a better person and heading, for once in my life, the right direction. Onwards and upwards.

Getting up early, on Saturday, I got ready and headed off to Slough. I did not mention it at the time, but I had my first test drive in the Fiat Stilo Abarth in October (the exact date loses me now). Then, I had a quick drive which meant I drove home and then back to the dealership on the Bath Road. This time around, I wanted to make sure I got a better feel for the vehicle. This time around, I was given a black, 03 plate, hatchback, which had been on display on the forecourt. Due to this, I had to have those unlicensed plates on the front and back. Then, it was not until after I had driven off, and was way into my journey on the M4, that I realised that the salesman had not given me the Sat Nav CD, so no talked navigation, I had to settle for the radio. Eventually, I got it tuned into KISS 100. What can I say? The car feels so much like me? you put your foot down and the big engine roars to life! Yet, this car has a special feature, which I want to keep under wraps for now. It relates to a tale from my college days, and you will have to wait for a few months for that particular entry. Does that make sense? To read the full details of my obsession with this automobile, which started in April 2003, yes, I know two years ago. When I returned the car, just a few minutes after midday, I took my time, admiring the cars on show in the showroom. Fiat had just that day, launched the limited edition, Fiat Stilo Schumacher. Not only does the GP Champion give his name to this hot hatch, the whole package has been improved with thanks to Pro Drive. However, the specification in the UK still does not pull a single punch against that available on the continent. Therefore, I’ll be sticking to the Abarth, thanks very much. Oh, but I will be having the addition of the GP kit. Those 18″ alloys, just look too tasty. Planned to be dropping on my driveway towards the end of June. So, stay tuned.

Arsenal beat Liverpool to secure themselves 2nd place, with automatic qualification into next season’s Champions League. Fantastic game to watch, with Arsenal at their entertaining best in the first half, only to take the foot off the gas pedal in the second half to soak up pressure from the Mersey side European Cup Finalists. Thankfully, our little Spaniard, smashed home the third goal to take the tie beyond Liverpool. Joy in the blue half of the city. Did you see the intelligent, well waited pass by Bergkamp? For once, I disagree with Arse Blog, and he deserves one final season at Highbury. Now, what do I have to do, to get onto the waiting list for a season ticket?

Wednesday 26th May 2004

I will be back in Wycombe on Sunday and I must say I am looking forward to going home. Of all the journeys I have made home from University, this will be the sweetest and the most comforting. I have nothing to gain by staying in Leicester. Of course some of my friends remain, but the costs just do not justify the means. Also, my job hunting would be slow, if I decided to send out my applications from here. Without my own transport, making interviews would mean taking the risk with public transport.

There are certain football matches, that I am sure even the most marginal of sports fan watch. The FA Cup Final, the UEFA Cup Final, the big European and World Cup Finals and of course the Champions League Final. It should be one of the most interesting finals in recent memory, as nobody expected FC Porto and Monaco to make it this far. I am looking forward to the match this evening, even if it is being shown on ITV. I am so glad that Match Of The Day is back on the BBC for the up coming Premiership season. But before any of that, there is the European Championships in Portugal. I always watch the BBC coverage, they appear to have a much more relaxed attitude to the whole affair, while those ‘on the other side’ tend to take the professional approach. Football is not about suits, but that is something they will never learn over on ITV. Have you seen the television slots on the BBC for Euro 2004? They feature footage of the greatest players of Europe, but as painters, with the voice over proclaiming, “the masters of European football, presented by the past masters…”. Interesting stuff, but a shame the web team have not got their act together. The Euro
2004 website for the BBC is just a fixture list. Very poor indeed. ITV however have gone for the approach to create, ‘The Avengers’, with Owen the saint and Beckham the sinner. Showing their personal contributions to Argentina game in the World Cup, some six years ago.

Still waiting to hear the ‘tune’ of the summer. I wonder who will set our stereo’s alight this summer? Will it be a tried and tested artist? Or will it be someone new? Well whoever it is, please release the single soon. The public are waiting. With the summer around the corner, I know I need to burn some audio for my car. Actually I need to completely reorganize my entire mobile audio collection. My 10 disc CD changer, needs to be updated and I need to re-issue some of my MP3 CD disc, (namely R’n’B).

Having alienated a vast amount of my readers, earlier this month, by declaring that my dislike for Friends. Well perhaps distaste is the wrong word to use. Misunderstanding perhaps is more fitting. Anyway, you will think I would learn my lesson, but no, here I go again, taking
the unpopular route. I am not a fan of the Channel 4 reality series, Big Brother. I try my best to avoid the show, but it is extremely difficult. Particularly when my sisters find it compulsive viewing. Due to this, by week eight, I get dragged into the program and find myself away on a idle Sunday morning at 2am, watching the attics of the housemates. I think the show is some sort of cancer. You try your best to immunize yourself but over the course of time, you find else more and more exposed. Particularly when you can’t go anywhere or do anything without the presence of BB. Newspapers, websites, even the news becomes dominated by the show. Will the show ever end? The novelty wore off after the first show, but someone somewhere continues to push this sort of programming. Why? Because some sad pathetic people will always watch the stuff? And the housemates have dillusions of being over night celebrities based on their anitcs in the house. Everyone remembers, Tickle and his droned version of the Eagles classic, “Hotel California” sung to the flowerbed. Where is he now, I ask? Anyone know? Well, point made, point proved.

Tuesday 24th February 2004

Just a quick message. My site has transferred to the new domain. However, please always use, when linking to me.

Well done Arsenal for their first win on Spanish soil, an entertaining game and Edu scored Arsenal’s 100th European goal! Read more at Arse Blog.

Prepare yourselves for a major blog entry later this week.

Saturday 21st February 2004

The weekend arrived and with it, another classic encounter with Chelsea. I of course followed every incident via the BBC Sport website. For my post match analysis, I turned to the blog that appears to get the balance, between the facts and opinion, just right. Arse Blog, does exactly what it says on the web banner! So beating Chelsea 2-1, and the old enemy, ‘United’ only managing a point against strugglers, Leeds, Arsenal are in the driving seat (again!). I know that there is still a substantial amount of the season to go, and it would be nice to think of trophies already, but I shall not be so foolish. Major Champions League game on Tuesday evening. Looking forward to that, as I will be able to watch the game live on ITV1.

I have ordered my new web hosting from Portland. However, that means I will lose the domain I have for this site and transfer over to However do not update your bookmarks, just yet. I will phase in the new site as I want to make all the new feature, mainly the guestbook are working properly. So just a few more days of patience is needed.

I was speaking to my housemate Nav and he had just downloaded some songs by the band, PM Dawn. Instantly, it brough back the melody and soothing lyrics of their biggest hit, “Set Adrift on Memory Bliss”. This was famous for the fact they sampled, True by Spandau Ballet. There music is described as ‘psychedelic hip-hop’ and you can read more on their Yahoo Artist Page. Once again a song can summarise how I feel and how I should look upon matters close to my heart.

Hopefully my new site should be loaded next week.

She was right, though, I can’t lie.
She’s just one of those corners in my mind,
and I just put her right back with the rest.
That’s the way it goes, I guess.

Wednesday 12th March 2003

A rare, mid-week update! Just got back from Leicester. I had my Final Year Options Module Day. Quite a busy day, with loads to do and loads to take in. Still quite undecided on the final choices I will make. Going to seek some advice from some of my colleagues at Pericom and FWBS!

Just wanted to say a thank you to the following people, for letting me ‘crash’ at their place and also make me welcome: Sipz, Daz, Shush, Sonia, V & P! Take care guys, and I will indeed see you soon! I’m sure we can do the ‘G’ thing, and drive up and down Gateway in the Punto again soon! :o) Will it be Scandalous we blast or In Da Club?

It was great to be at Uni again! On the positives, it was great to see my friends, give out my business card and flash the job title, “IT Manager”! On the negatives, I don’t want to do the work!!!!! Oh well, I haven’t got into all this debt for nothing you know!

Not much else to report really! Arsenal drawing another game in the Champions League again! Apart from that life is quite good! Back into my Bhangra tunes for a while. Don’t worry, its only a passing phase that will last for the rest of the week. By the weekend, their will be another song that I will have on REPEAT in my car! :o)

Saturday 15th February 2003

I would normally apologise profusely for my lack of updates to my website. However, I will not. It will take far too much time, and there is so much I have to tell you. So much has been going on in my world, and the world around us that there is no time for the formal dignitaries. Instead, let us jump straight to the topics….

Michael Jackson revealing to the world, his lifestyle as one of the richest pop stars in the world. Being a big fan of the ‘King of Pop’, I was at first, moved by the story as it unfolded on ITV1 on Monday 3rd February. Referencing his early years, as his ‘childhood’, I feel is unjust. He lives a lifestyle, the rest of us can only dream of, but at what price did he achieve this success? With his father, pushing the five sons, into making sure each performance was ‘perfect’. But you feeling of sympathy, or rather empathy takes a dramatic change when you carefully note his behaviour with children, his own and others. I’m a strong believer that when you have already been massacred in the press for ‘alleged’ child abuse, you do not put yourself in a similar position ever again. Because, as always, once bitten twice shy! It becomes very easy then for the ‘gutter press’ to assassinate our fallen hero, but perhaps to a certain extent his is responsible for creating this aura around himself! How can I use the adjective, hero? Well, it may be difficult for us in the Western world to understand but Michael Jackson is in a small group of individual whom have the ability to touch the hearts and souls of billions of people around the world. In India, my motherland, you find it difficult to find words to describe how such icons are worshipped by these peasants, who have nothing. They have no aspirations, they have no desire to move up in the world, their lives are molded for them, and they do their best to get on with the life they have been given.

No matter what you say about Michael Jackson, you cannot dispute pure talent and genius. The world shall never see such a human being capable, of floating on the stage, and moving in such away that it appears that he is walking on water……

Football – Champions League resumes after the winter break this week! Looking forward to it with great anticipation now, especially since Arsenal, have recently been playing some sexy football. Top of the Premiership, and only this afternoon knocking arch title rivals, Manchester United out of the FA Cup. The least said about England’s diabolical performance against Australia at Upton Park on Wednesday 11th February. We were lucky to get away with result that did little to flatter the English pride, already quite hurt by defeats in other sports. So is this final nail in the coffin? England, who gave the world – football, rugby, tennis and cricket, find they are no longer masters of the sports they created?

A big belated Birthday to my dear friend, Sippy! He turned 23 on 13th February! I’m sorry I forgot about it mate, forgive me? Check out his his website (version two currently under construction!)

On Wednesday 12th February 2002, I made the 45 minute journey from the Kempston office over to Stevenage. I was doing so, quite late in the day, and it was
3.30pm by the time I was in my car and on my way. Instead of listening to one of my MP3 CDs (that still sounds amazing!) I decided to listen to Chris Moyles, as this was an irregular time for me to be listening and I could try and discover what the quality of the programming was at the beginning of the show, rather than the end. To my amazing, he played a song from a female group. My mind suddenly came alert to the sound. This sound was very unique, unique to a particular group. They have been missing from our radio waves for far too long! The group are of course, the fabulous RnB/Garage trio – Mis-Teeq Their new single, Scandalous, isn’t released until March and is from their forthcoming album “Eye Candy“.

I quickly went around some websites yesterday, trying to find news on the girls. The official site, is the usual record label financed flash extravaganza, with the stereotypical content taking backseat to the images of the girls. A band is built on this ‘image’ and therefore its exploited at every possible opportunity.

One of the better fan sites is by Steve Bevis. Please check this out, as it gets the balance between information and news just right to deliver the Unofficial Mis-Teeq! Link removed, site closed November 2003.

Life is GREAT! Actually it’s fantastic, I never thought I would feel the way I do, at this time of year. I suppose, the challenged enforced upon me, has been met with ambitious dedication… and so we face the next challenge that shall fall upon us…

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