Thursday, 30 December 2010

My Top 5 Moments As A Dagger This Past Year

Yesterday I  told you about my 5 worst moments of the year following the Daggers. It seems only right though that I end it on a positive note. There have been many highlights this past year and narrowing them down to five wasn't easy. Some of you may agree some of you may not, but these are MY top 5 moments and I will give my reasons why as we go on. So lets get started.

Number 5: Aldershot (Away) 2-3

This was all about revenge for me. Beating them would go some way to absorb the pain I felt in my heart after the drubbing they gave us. The only problem was it would mean more pain for me but this time in my head. I was working late that night and as I left work I checked the score and we were losing 1-0. Great I thought as I got onto my hour long tube journey. At the other end I checked again and was even more disappointed to see that we were losing 2-1. As I waited for my bus I refreshed the text and saw we had equalised. A point was great but I wanted more. As I climbed the stairs of the bus I hit refresh and then it happened. In the dying moments we scored. Paul Benson had put us in front. I yelled with joy and fell down the stairs of the bus cutting my head open as I did so. People came running towards me but I didn't care we had beaten Aldershot away, revenge was mine, well plus three stitches and some explaining to do to the wife but hey we won didn't we!.

Number 4: Carlise (Away) 2-0

The Green kit, oh how it was embraced with love and joy when we all first saw it wasn't it? What do you mean we all hated, Ive not heard that before. Anyway we all thought it was a Jonah kit for us and after we broke our duck away in the..........oh yeah our home kit, oh well it didn't matter did it?. This was when I finally believed that we could stay in this league if I'm honest. It was a superb all round performance and we battered them. What an unexpected result and unfortunately although we weren't to play again this year it was a great way to end our year. Hopefully we can carry it on into next year and stay up.

Number 3: Swindon (Home) 2-1

The loss of Paul Benson left us short of goals. Not to worry Bas Savage was here with his blue and red hair. We bossed the game from start to finish and as John Still said it was our biggest league victory. What a day, what a header. We took on an ex-Premier league side at home and beat them. Not only that we played them off the park in the process. It was a truly wondrous game and I will never forget it. Us beating Swindon at home in a League match absolute quality.They arrived expecting to turn us over and the boys did us proud that day. I hope there are many more of these type of wins to come. This told all League 1 sides not to underestimate us. If they do they may get a surprise coming their way.

Number 2: Morecambe (Home) 6-0 (Away) 2-1 Play-off Semi Final

I know its two games but I class it as 1 because it was over two legs, plus I think they were probably our most important games of the last year. These games stand out because it was so unexpected. After two tight league games we again expected a close game. I'm not sure what happened that day even now. Did they freeze? Were we untouchable? I don't know I think an little bit of both to be honest. We were amazing that day at Victoria Road truly everything we did worked for us. The return at their place was memorable for the pitch invasion at the end. I have never, ever in may years witnessed anything like it. Fans from both sides milling together on the pitch and shaking hands. It was a sight to behold and a wonderful feeling. We were at Wembley and they had won their last ever game at their ground. A better set of results I couldn't have hoped for.

Number 1: Rotherham (Wembley) 3-2

It couldn't be anything else could it? As I made my way down Wembley way surrounded by Rotherham supporters I was very nervous. Then all of a sudden this guy dressed head to toe in Red and White appears and asks for a photo. Why not I thought. We took the photo and shook hands wishing each other luck for the day ahead. I went hoping to see us score. For us to win, well words fail me and I will carry those memories to my grave. From John Still getting chocked up at the after match interview, Arkwright crying on the big screen, to the day itself with my Dad, Father-in-law and Daughter.All dressed from head to toe in Yellow. Lets just say I wont forget what was a truly wonderful occasion. Whatever happens this year they cant take that away from us. Lets be honest how many teams can say they have seen their side lift a trophy at Wembley? Not many I bet.

So there we go then my top 5 moments from last season. I would guess most people have number 1 and 2 but what about the others? Let me know what you do and don't agree with.

Happy New Year All


Wednesday, 29 December 2010

My Worst Moments Of The Year

Its coming to the end of the year and its put me in a reflective mood. So to end the year I am going to look back at my best and worst moments of following the Daggers this calendar year. To start with though I shall start with the worst and tomorrow I shall do the best.

It wasn't a bad year if I'm honest but the following stick out like a sore thumb. They were the moments that I personally want to consign to the history bin of hell and hope that I never have to relive these moments ever again. So lets get this list started then.

Number 5: Notts County (Home) 0-3

This pained me greatly if I'm honest. Notts manipulated the League and bought the title last year. On a freezing cold night at home at the end of January I sat there and watched us get beat. To make matters worse Lee Hughes wound up our fans every chance he got. I'm not condoning the throwing of tea at him or the fan that offered him out ( that made me chuckle though as the bloke was huge). Its the way he took the opportunity to shove it down our throats every chance he got. The club in my opinion has no class, they spent money they didn't have, and spent it wildly. To lose to them at home in the way that we did really annoyed me. I wanted to beat them more than anyone else last year but it wasn't to be.

Number 4: Scott Griffiths

This disappointed me to be honest in the way it was done. I don't blame Scott at all for going, he left us for a Championship side at the time and I wished him well when he went. The problem I had was with the timing of it. His agent started spouting off and turned the lads head and he was gone. He didn't go in January though did he? No he went before that on loan and that meant we were sort at left back until we could sign someone else in January. Sometimes I wish the club would say no until the transfer window and look out  for our needs first. To make a player wait a few weeks wouldn't hurt him would it?. Good luck Scott with wherever your future lies, I just wished it was still with us.

Number 3: Cheltenham (Home) 0-2

This was not how I was supposed to spend my Christmas. I got the corporate tickets as a Christmas present, delivered with a letter from John Still as well. I was really looking forward to this. We arrived early and sat and enjoyed the meal with the people on the table who happened to be Cheltenham fans, a bit of banter ensued and we took our seats to watch the game. They to be honest didn't expect much as they were fighting at the wrong end of the table and had been on a bad run of form. Then guess what happened? We didn't even turn up. We were awful that day and were totally outplayed, outfought and overran. We were diabolical. The Cheltenham fans next to us couldn't believe their luck and to be fair to them they didn't rub it in too much, I'm not sure in their position I would have been so gracious, they offered handshakes and best wishes at the end of the game and I thought that was as bad as it was going to get. How wrong was I!.

Number 2: Paul Benson leaving.

Before I start I don't blame him going I really don't, the timing could have been better, but for him it was the best move and the fulfilment of a dream. Good luck to him. For me it was the end of an era simple as that, He had been on our journey with us from Non-League to League 1. A fantastic servant of this club. Will it mean we will get relegated without him? Who knows the season isn't over yet is it! For me though it was a huge loss when he went and we miss him more than he will ever know. The way he led the line, the goals he scored, I'm going to stop now as I'm getting all misty eyed.

Number 1: Aldershot (Home) 2-5

This was bad, really bad, so bad Ive even been to the doctor to get some memory erasing tablets to stop me waking up in cold sweats. I had badgered a few blokes I work with to come and watch us and they agreed to do so and picked this game. What a nightmare!. Jamie Day made his debut and for the first 2 minutes I thought we had found the replacement for Scott Griffiths we needed. Then he had his first touch and all my hopes evaporated like yesterdays turkey sandwich. It wasn't just him though the whole team that night was bad. It has to go down as our worst performance of the last few years. We were that bad. I stood behind the goal watching them score when they felt like it and they felt like it often, We were all over the place. Arrrgggggghhhhhh it still hurts.

So there you are then my worst 5 moments from the last calendar year of being a Dagger. Have I missed any? Or are some of your memories worse than mine?.

Monday, 20 December 2010

David Beckham A True Legend

When I heard that David Beckham was going to be awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Sports Personality Of The Year Awards tonight I must admit that I was a little bemused. The reason for this is that when you think how long someone like Bobby Robson or Bobby Charlton took to be awarded it, it seemed to me to be a little crash. However after watching it tonight I totally changed my mind.

Ive been lucky enough to have met him twice. The first time he made me look an idiot, it wasn't his fault I just happened to be the goalkeeper playing against him as a kid. He mugged me at least 4 times and I got such the hump I wanted to come off. No one had done the things he was doing with a football to me before. I was a good keeper as well I was on Portsmouth's books as a kid playing with Darren Anderton and I thought Id seen it all. Oh no he was different class even then. All the parents stood there in awe, as did most of my team mates which didn't help me much, as he seemed to score at will. I had no idea who he was then, but could see he was totally different class. It was only when we got back to Portsmouth that Jimmy Greenhoff, Peter Osgood  and Alan Ball started talking about this kid called Beckham that we took note of the name.

The second time was an even bigger shock. We had taken my Mum and Dad to dinner for their anniversary. They had never been in a limo so we booked one and went to Smiths. We were shown to our table and as I sat down in he walked. My Dad couldn't see him as he had his back to him and when he saw my mouth drop open he came over and shook my hand. Gobsmacked a mumbled something like 'I love you' well it may well have been I couldn't speak. My Dad saw him stood up and chatted away for a good 10 minutes too him. Now seeing as he was there for his Nans birthday with Victoria and his kids, that to me showed what a legend he is. He spoke to my Mum then invited Victoria over as well and they BOTH chatted for a few minutes to us all. He asked for no photos as he had his kids there which was fine by us.

He has been a style icon as well as a footballer. Yes he fell out with Sir Alex but he has been welcomed back with open arms since hasn't he. Put his name on the back of a club shirt and the sales increase 200%. How many players can do that? Not many. He puts bums on seats and Ive watched him live many times down the years. You think he's having a quiet game then bang your one nil down. Id pay to watch him every week. When we talk about the players of the future we cant go to far wrong with showing them Beckham in his pomp, plus hes English as well. We should promote that more than trying to knock him down all the time like some do.

I cannot think of a footballer that has crossed all ages like he has in my lifetime. To go from being the most hated man in England after the 1998 World Cup to how the nation regards him now is some achievement. He has played for three of the biggest clubs in the World and won trophies at two of them. Some achievement. To me he was the best player this country had produced since Bobby Moore. He may have been criticised for his lack of pace but he was never an out and out winger. He was a play maker the like we hadn't seen for many years. He could stick a ball on a forwards head from 40 yards without looking. It was instinctive.

He had his detractors who said he was to busy chasing the showbiz lifestyle and that his wife controlled him. Well I found her funny and smart and incredibly good looking ( I offered too take her to the local chippy but she politely declined. Well it was worth an ask surely?). I guess what I'm trying to say is that for me he is the kind of footballer that I want my kids to look up to. Not the Rooney's and Terry's of this world. He didn't ask for anything over than to play for his country and his club. He never asked the fans for anything and he always gave everything on the pitch.

When he got that award tonight the standing ovation said it all. Then you looked at him and he was welling up. That's how much that meant to him. That's what it meant to him too play for the clubs he did and England and it was a great touch mentioning Preston North End as well. So Beckham well deserved on your reward mate, I was wrong to doubt that it was right to give it to you. Whatever you now decide to do with your life after you finish playing football I wish you well and happiness. This word is used quite a lot but tonight I saw a true Legend and I cant think of any other way of putting it.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Fan Of The Week...........Its Tony Mullins this week.

Well here we are then the Final Fan Of The Week for now. Thank you too everyone that has taken part. Ive enjoyed doing them and I hope you have enjoyed reasing them. If there are enough people that want too take part in the future then it shall return. However for now, thank you for all those that have taken part I appreciated it greatly.

Who Are Ya?

Hi im 44 born and bred in  the borough
first game was early seventies who ? dont remember! only 7 or 8

Best Ever Dagenham and Redbridge Game?

3-2 home to luton was 2-0 down

Worst Ever Dagenham and Redbridge Game?

Hereford home wont mention score

Best Ever Goal Scored?

Nurse wembley.

Worst Ever Goal Conceeded?

Sorry to many to mention

Best Ever Away Game?

Charlton FA Cup what a day !!

Worst Ever Away Game?

Norwich or Stoke both cruel and emotional (personal reasons)!

Best Ever Dagenham And Redbridge Player?

Mark Stein chance became a goal !

Worst Ever Dagenham and Redbridge Player?

Sorry about this Paul Terry

If You Could Sign Any Player For Dagenham And Redbridge Who Would It Be?

Past Glen Hoddle present Messi !!

Where Do You Think Dagenham And Redbridge Will Be In 10 YEARS?

With more backing Championship, no money League 2

Thanks Tony for taking part much appreciated.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Fan Of The Week...........Its James Curran this week.

Fan of the Week time and its the turn of James Curran who has been a fan since 1992. Thanks James for taking part and enjoy it.

I'm James Curran, 34, and I live in Braintree and I am a postman. I have 3 children, Maddy,Lola-Berry and Rafael Romain (He was born a few weeks after our Wembley win hence the name!)
I have been a Dagger since 1992 and my first ever game was in our first season and was an FA cup qualifier against Billericay Town. We drew 1-1 and I think Cavell scored for us?

Best Ever Dagenham and Redbridge Game?

My best ever game is going to be predictable but I am going to choose Rotherham VS Daggers at Wembley, I thought we had NO hope. And being dressed as Elvis was quite a laugh too!

Worst Ever Dagenham and Redbridge Game?
My worst ever Daggers game is probably every Daggers fans worst. Lets just say 9-0.

Best Ever Home Game?
My best ever home match is tied between our amazing 3-2 over Farnborough after being 2-0 down and the demolition job against Morecambe when we won 6-0.

Worst Ever Goal Conceded?
My worst goal ever conceded is all of them!! But Herefords 8th or 9th is up there.

Best Ever Away Game?

Best away game not including Wembley Daggers VS Gloucester city at Slough Stimson's goal was magical!

Worst Ever Away Game?
Worst away game was against Doncaster in the play off final at Stoke. So close, what ever happened to Doncaster? :)

Best Ever Dagenham and Redbridge Player?

My personal best Daggers is Vincelot or Robbo, but I still have a soft spot for Cavell,McDougald,Mackail-Smith,and Green.

Worst Ever Dagenham and Redbridge Player?
I don't really think I have a worst Dagger but was very frustrated at Ben Barnett a few years ago.

Who Would You Love To See Pull On A Dagenham and Redbridge Shirt?

I would love to sign Le Fondre if it was possible as his record speaks volumes. But ultimately would love to see Henry or Kaka come in.

Where Do You Think Dagenham and Redbridge Will Be In 10 Years?
I have always said I would support us even if we were in the Essex senior league but I honestly think in 10 years time providing we can get someone with even half the skill Stilly has we will be an established league side. Maybe league 1, if not I think the non-league days are gone forever.

Should We Pull Out Of FIFA?

There has been a lot of things said about why we didn't get the World Cup over the few days since the result was announced. There have been allegations of corruption on FIFA's part, there have been allegations that the media in this country was the problem and there has been calls for us too pull out of FIFA completely and start another organisation too teach them a lesson. We all know FIFA is pretty much corrupt as are most football organisations. The money talks simple as that. Was the media the problem? Well I'm sure it didn't help but I'm glad we live in a country that has freedom of the press whether I agree with it or not sometimes. So that leaves us with pulling out of FIFA. Before I give my verdict on what I think we should do lets look at the top 15 teams as ranked by FIFA and see who could join us in this breakaway.

These are currently the top 15 sides in the World as ranked by FIFA.

1Spain Spain19200Equal39
2Netherlands Netherlands17180Equal35
3Brazil Brazil14930Equal0
4Germany Germany14890Equal8
5Argentina Argentina13530Equal33
6England England12500Equal45
7Uruguay Uruguay11740Equal7
8Portugal Portugal11020Equal-21
9Croatia Croatia10980Equal12
10Egypt Egypt10471Up13
11Greece Greece10431Up17
12Norway Norway10041Up15
13Russia Russia1003-3Down-58
14Italy Italy9952Up94
15Slovenia Slovenia9580Equal32

So lets start with the top 5 shall we Spain, Netherlands, Brazil, Germany and Argentina. How many of them do you think would join us in a breakaway? None. Brazil have the next World Cup, Spain are World Champions, Germany has Franz Beckenbaur on its executive committee, could we trust Argentina with what they think of us over the Falklands Islands and Holland well thanks but they aren't exactly a super power are they. So lets move onto the next 5 shall we.

Uruguay will never go against the rest of South America, Portugal bid for the last one with Spain, Croatia are part of Eastern Europe who will host it for the first time in 2018 and Egypt have a member on the executive committee. So then the next 5. Does anyone see a pattern emerging here? Greece were critical of our arrogance, Norway they may do, Russia? hahahahaha stop it my sides hurt, Italy no chance, Slovenia just look for Croatia.

So by my calculations that leaves us with possibly Norway and ourselves out of the top 15 sides in the world who could break away. Doesn't sound too good now does it. To be fair it would be a disaster. If we did it the sanctions against us would be terrible. Banned from European competition, don't think that will happen? who's in charge of UEFA? Our biggest fan Michelle Platini. All the top players would leave our game and move back to European games, SKY would pull the plug on live games and the Premier League would collapse, hold on a minute that doesn't sound too bad does it.

What are the options then. Well we have a few and it is going to be difficult for people too swallow some of  these so here goes.

Option 1: We never bid for it again. Well until Blatter and all the others have retired or died. We are NEVER going to get it whilst they are there and in charge. They don't like us and I bet privately they enjoyed the fact that they had humiliated the English and put us in our place. Cameron, Beckham and Prince William must have really been hurt by the way they were treated, but we are so anti-European in this country what did they honestly expect anyway?.

Option 2: We start kissing butt. We play the game and we give them money and presents when they want them. We do everything that they want us to do and we do it until they cant take anymore.

Personally I cant stomach either of these so how about option 3 then.

Option 3: We start by getting the Premier League too help the FA. They now need each other more than ever. Start working WITH each other rather than AGAINST each other or there is no future for us at International level. Whether it be bidding for tournaments or winning them. There has been talk of Beckham being the head of the FA. No don't laugh I think he would be excellent at it. There hasn't been a higher profile or more dare I say iconic figure in this country for a long time. However I would have him working alongside David Dein. That man knows how the power game works and he would be superb at it. With these two at the head of our game then I feel we may start to make some headway in the direction that we want to be.

Don't get me wrong it wont happen overnight and there are more fundamental issues with our game that go far deeper than appointing these two at the head of our game but for a start it would be a move in the right direction. It would perhaps get UEFA and more importantly FIFA on our side and working with us rather than against us. They would smooth the workings of FIFA and perhaps who knows they may even like us. It has got to be worth a try surely? What do we have too lose? Nothing.

Until we sort out the issues in our own game then I feel we should NOT waste money on bidding for another World Cup. That hurts to say that as it could be another 20-30 years before we see the best the world has to offer play in this country but until we sort our own house out then that has to be the price that we pay.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

FIFA And Honesty

I have calmed down a little from this afternoon but I still cannot believe the blatant cheating that is corrupting sport at all levels. Did I want us to win the bid for the World Cup? Yes absolutely it would have been an amazing event in this country and we would have done an excellent job of it. Am I surprised we didn't get it? A little to be honest. When I saw that we went out in the first round it smacked of putting 'that little island in its place' to me.

I'm annoyed at the BBC mostly though. They should be bloody ashamed of themselves for that absolute joke of a programme that they allowed to be shown on Monday night. I'm all for freedom of the press and the right to have a proper investigation into allegations of corruption at FIFA. After all they are the World governing body of football and set the rules we all must follow. However the programme was an absolute shambles. It spoke of allegations that officials had took bribes at least 10 YEARS AGO. How is that recent? What on earth did they expect FIFA to do? To screen it 3 DAYS before the event was an act in my opinion of sabotage and I feel they should offer an apology for what they did. Will they? Will the heck they don't care and I will address the BBC in a separate blog on my other page in the next few days.

This is what Villar Llona the chairmen of the Spanish/Portugal bid had to say about FIFA a few days ago:
"I love FIFA dearly but those I love the most are my colleagues in the ExCo.Recently we have been criticised by many media outlets. Unfortunately for them FIFA is a clean institution.FIFA values honesty, FIFA works for football and for the world and all my colleagues here present are all honest, hard-working football people and the people not here are also honest and hard-working.You have already heard enough slander in the media, the bidding process is clean regardless of what they say."

Really what about this FACT then Mr Llona if FIFA is so 'clean', Six FIFA officials were last month suspended following a Sunday Times investigation, yeah really clean aren't they?. Jack Warner the FIFA Vice-President had been implicated TWICE in ticket touting. He has also been fined a MILLION DOLLARS for it as well yet you still say FIFA is clean? Really? Do we look stupid? Obviously you think we are. A man who has been found guilty of ticket touting is allowed to stay as the Vice President of FIFA. Only in the corrupt world of football would this be allowed too happen. It smacks of 'Oh you got caught never mind don't do it again will you'. An absolute disgrace if I'm honest and one that should strip them of all credibility, but it wont because they are all at it.

I'm all for the World Cup going around the world. I like seeing the tournament in the other countries and tournaments I think its great to get a view of cultures and the way they do things. However FIFA continue too put profit above safety and that means they take back handers. Don't believe me? Well lets look at Russia. They have NO stadiums that are of the required standard. Their transport links and accommodation are appalling. They have some of the worst hooligans in Europe and yet FIFA feel its okay to stage a tournament there?. How about Qatar. Come on you know them that fantastic footballing country with the huge history at international level, you will remember them from the World Cup of...Oh yeah sorry forgot they haven't qualified before EVER. The best bit though? You can expect professional footballers to run about in temperatures in the 50c. That's over a 100f. Going to be a great footballing showcase isn't it?.

Ive had enough of this now I really have. The way money rules the game I love from the Premier League to the National Squad to FIFA and UEFA themselves is beyond a joke now. It has to be investigated from top too bottom and then, only then, will I start to watch it again. If it doesn't involve Dagenham and Redbridge I don't care. Honestly I'm that fed up with the way that money dictates who gets what and finishes where. Its about time that the corruption in football was ended. Will it be though? Of course not they make far too much money in back handers for it ever to be clean.

For them to keep saying it is makes them look fools and us even bigger ones trying to win a tournament that we wont stoop to with backhanders. Well done today Team England you did us proud. FIFA? Oh wait and until the English press goes after YOU now, which they will, we have some of the best investigative journalists in the world. You wont know whats hit you, you cheating, bribe taking, liars I hope you all get what is coming too you.