Rowan’s Premier League Predictions 2019/20: 30th June-2nd July

The football action continues after the weekend that saw the last four winners of the FA Cup, all away from home, reached the semi-finals. They will be big games.

The Premier League only had three games and it did not change much in terms of what’s at stake in and around the relegation places with Watford being well beaten by a Danny Ings inspired Southampton [Image above from BeIN Sport] and Aston Villa beaten by Midlands rivals Wolves as they seemingly push for a Champions League place. read more

Rowan’s Premier League and FA Cup Quarter Final Predictions 2019/20: 27th-29th June

Liverpool are the Premier League Champions. That is one sentence I never thought I would write but there you go. Their impressive 4-0 victory over Crystal palace coupled with Manchester City’s defeat at Chelsea [Pictured above, image from The Evening Standard] meant the title was there’s and it was thoroughly deserved.

They have been the best and most consistent team by far this season. I’m sure the fans will have wanted to be there but that is not possible. Although after my experience of Liverpool fans last season when they thought they were going to win the league after their 3-2 win at Newcastle, that is probably a good thing for everyone else. read more

The Nazis were not socialist or left-wing Lord Tebbet!

Number Ten may well be busy trying to bring the country out of the Coronavirus lockdown; too quickly and not quite in a logical way, in my opinion, but Conservatives still seem content on stoking up a culture war and trying to rewrite history. The Black Lives Matter movement in the last few weeks have triggered it but the government seem intent on distracting us from their failures with arguments over statues and so-called ‘lying about our history‘.

This is where Lord Norman Tebbet [Image above from The Daily Mirror] came in with an absurd claim in his Telegraph article… read more

Rowan’s Premier League Predictions 2019/20: 23rd-26th June

One full round of fixtures down, nine to go. That is the first weekend of the Premier League’s Project Restart done and the sprint finish to see the 92 games remaining done within a month continues with another round of fixtures in midweek.

Questions have been raised about David De Gea after his error in Manchester United’s draw at Spurs; the injuries mounted up at Arsenal as Brighton secured their first win of 2020. Other teams in and around them at the bottom of the table struggled. Liverpool have to wait a bit for the title after their goalless draw at Everton and Manchester City’s emphatic win against Burnley [Image above from Bleacher Report]. read more

Rowan’s Premier League Predictions 2019/20: June 19th-22nd

Premier League football is back and not without controversy. An unusual error from goal-line technology denied Sheffield United a win at Aston Villa. Then, in a rain-soaked Manchester, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side breezed past a disappointing Arsenal but not without concern after a horrific head injury for Eric Garcia.

It was a great gesture from both sides at the two games in midweek taking a knee to mark their solidarity with the fight against racism and the Black Lives Matter movement [Image featured above from The Premier League]. The players will be wearing that slogan on their shirts during this weekends games and I think it is likely we will be seeing that gesture in these games too. read more

The Far-right was out in force last weekend, our leaders are at fault, this cannot go on…

Never have I ever been as ashamed to call myself either British, English or Geordie after the scenes we saw over the weekend in what some of the media called anti-antiracist protestors descending in cities such as London [Pictured above with the image from Sky News] and Newcastle in quite frankly horrendous and embarrassing.

This was, in the immediate sense, in response to vandalism that had been seen the weekend before during the Black Lives Matter protests. The Churchill memorial had been vandalised (not for the first time), a statue of the slave trader Edward Colston as toppled in Bristol which prompted some councils to take discussions about the statues they have in their local authorities. The same Churchill memorial, as well as a host of others, had been boarded up in anticipation of another wave of protests. read more

Rowan’s Premier League Predictions 2019/20: 17th June

Project Restart has come full circle and we have the delights of Premier League football back on our screen. For the first time ever, all the fixtures will be televised with 33 games being free to air and some of those will be broadcast on the BBC. That will be something.

It feels weird writing these up while we are still in lockdown and I am slightly surprised it is going ahead given how the UK ranks in handling the pandemic and after two positive tests came in on Friday. In my view, it is clear this is about money and I was on Troy Deeney’s side when he did not want to return to training. Some of the comments about him were unfair, we don’t know the full circumstances they’re in and if they live with someone who are vulnerable. The return of sport in general, not just football, is money motivated but at the same time, it does give us something to look forward to. read more

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter! Of course, all lives do matter but they don’t all matter until black lives matter. If you don’t agree with that statement, you will not like the contents of this post and I would kindly ask you to look elsewhere.

This has taken a lot of thought even before the protests weekend before last. I was conflicted over it having been critical of others for not adhering to lockdown restrictions such as the Prime Minister’s Chief Advisor Dominic Cummings which I wrote a post on and also criticised people for flocking to the beaches on the South Coast the other weekend. Consequently, I was initially anxious about supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and the reasons so many were protesting at this time would make me look like a hypocrite. However, I hate racism. read more

Cummings must go but the damage is done…

Bank Holiday weekend was explosive for political news with the stories surrounding the Prime Ministers Special Advisor Dominic Cummings [Image above from The Times] and his alleged breaching of lockdown rules.

It started with a joint story from The Guardian and The Mirror newspapers that broke late on Friday evening alleging that Cummings and his family were spotted in Durham on April 12th with the police having previously visited his parents household. It was followed by a whole day of Cummings denying any wrongdoing and government ministers lining up to defend him publicly. Then came the second story from the two papers alleging he was spotted in Barnard Castle on April 12th. When these stories broke, I was furious and the anger I feel is still there in the public.  read more