About the blogger!

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Stockport, Cheshire, United Kingdom
My name is BinBag, a nickname given to me for reasons that may be explained in future blogs! I'm a Stockport County supporter of 20 years and a general football lover of all standards......Insert own joke here......

Friday, 16 September 2011

England passion....deflated

I haven’t blogged in a while, and although I have had ideas for a blog it hasn’t filled me with eagerness to put fingers to keyboard.  The odd plastic Manc expressing their love for their winning team via social media sites having not step foot out of their house doesn’t really bother me too much anymore - I can only think that this is now becoming old hat.  Although still good sport when you get on one of their cases.  Like recently on Twitter.

A City fan posted that ‘Stockport is in Manchester’.  I quickly came to the rescue of all Stopfordians by saying that it isn’t, and if he didn’t know his local boundaries then he should bloody well go out and learn them.  He promptly told me to mind my own business…………erm……on Twitter - you know, that public social media site.  I do like a good footballing related discussion/argument, but this youngster was just too easy, so I let him go.   

The massive amount of rubbish that I’m going to place in my binbag today is around the England match recently against Wales.  I’m not sure about anyone else, but I was just inanely bored by the whole thing, wishing in some part of me that Wales would score to prompt the players into action.  It just didn’t do it for me.  So, sat there in a bar in France whilst on my honeymoon/family holiday (congratulations…..thanks….) I started to wonder if this is what supporting an ‘Arsenal’ is like, and what football was all about.

We all get very passionate about the football don’t we?  But do you ever ask yourself.  Why?

Watching England is for most Englishmen the pinnacle of the English game - unless you think that your club football is more important, which is terms of spending habits is probably true for most of us - but ultimately we all want to see the best English players playing for the England side beating other nations with aplomb.  We want to see them Barca style pass their through the opposition defence before sidestepping the keeper to nestle the ball firmly in the back of the open net at Wembley - when was the last time this ever happened?  Or will ever happen.  Furthermore is the other chart topping success of the World Cup, but I may as well shelf that along with Liverpool’s title ambition.

Thinking about this during the match it was clear to me that we only have 1 truly world class player - Wayne Rooney.  The others can be selected/dropped with no real impact to the team and how it performs.  Joe Hart is an up and coming exception to the rule - absolutely superb ‘keeper who is getting better and better with every passing match played.

So what’s to get passionate about?  These lads earn ridiculous amounts of money and it just doesn’t make sense to me to add to that by contributing my efforts too - albeit, my efforts on this occasion were to sit in a bar and watch it with other disappointed Englishmen.  Ok we won, but to beat what is effectively a bottom half Premiership team with a Champions League team 1-0 on home soil is a bad shout - and I couldn’t get geared up for it at all.

The adverts from the England team sponsors shout passion, bravery and that ‘English spirit’ - all of which I can’t see emanating from the pitch - with the exception of one Wayne Rooney.  I have wondered that it may be me getting older, finding other things to concentrate my efforts on (family etc). 

This will surely come to most - as I can’t see a passionate England performance coming anytime soon.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Am I a Football Mongrel - are you?

You didn’t read the title wrong…I’m asking if any of you would admit to being a football mongrel.  That is to say that you have, for whatever reason not just supported the team you support now or have other teams that you ‘keep your eye out’ for either domestically or internationally.  We’ve all admitted to supporting Cameroon in the 1994 World Cup (yeah, cheers Turnip head!), or wanting plucky AFC Wimbledon to rise through the leagues as they have - but have you ever taken it a bit further than that?

I have. I do.

I support Stockport County now, a season ticket holder on and off for 20 years.  Away game goer, tattoo donning, ‘buy a new shirt every year’ supporter.  Aren’t we all?  But underneath my blue and white exterior lie a plethora or reds & blues and blacks and reds.  The first of which was Liverpool.  As an impressionable youngster on the Stockport council estate playground there only seemed two teams to support - United, the Trafford variety or Liverpool.  It was really no contest at the time as Liverpool were then the most successful domestic English club, WHY would I want to support Man Utd?  Incidentally, you can see irony of that statement not just then, but now, and the future of the kids today in the playgrounds - football is cyclical is it not?

I soon outgrew this phase as I got older, just a few years older in fact - as I became more involved in the game I wanted more, not just on the pitch but off it.  I wanted to see the football first hand, I wanted to bring the Subbuteo figures to life and not rely on Match Of The Day or Granada Reports to see goals.  Having been born in Stockport, raised in Stockport, proud to be from Stockport and now living in Stockport, I saw it only fitting that County would be my team - regardless of level.  Why actively pretend to be from somewhere you’re not?  Again, you see the irony.

That’s when my then step Dad took me to County.  I was hooked.  You can’t beat that match day feeling from waking up on a Saturday morning to catching the goals you’ve already seen in the flesh repeated on TV that night, or the next day, or the Monday night round up.  It’s priceless.

Wait, there’s more!

Around the age of 15/16 the football management games were all the rage - Championship Manager, Club & Country and Ultimate Manager to name just a few - but one caught they eye that still lives with the hardcore of us today.  Championship Manager.  To the point where I downloaded a (legit) copy of CM0102 recently just to play it’s football management super awesomeness again.  Me and 3 mates used to sit in night after night competing for honours and looking back, wasting hours on end.  Our clubs of choice were spread across Europe, me, I plucked for Paris St Germain.  Ajax, Man Utd and Liverpool were the other choices, but nothing stopped me winning the Ligue 1 and Champions League in my first season.  It’s amazing how that can get you in football terms - beating your mates at what was then and still is now an excellent game to play. I’m 30 years old by the way!  I can still remember some of the players, Chrispohe Revault in goal and Patrice Loko up front.  Signings followed, a young Mickael Silvestre at left back.  I bet my mates can name some of their signings of the time.  Mario Paletti anyone?  Since then I’ve kept my eye on PSG and watch them on the box when I can.  I’ve purchased a few shirts and will continue to do so.

Did I mention that my middle name is Colin……..after Colin Bell.

That’s my story - what’s yours?  E-mail me at russcjohnson@hotmail.com with your story and I’ll post it on here - make it bloggy style though!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little blog - until next time.


Wednesday, 11 May 2011

How to lose Twitter followers and alienate people!

It was just a normal Sunday until the Manchester United players, fans and the whole United fraternity decided that they didn’t need another point and celebrated a title win that wasn’t mathematically secure, albeit in the bag, at the same time showing a huge block of disrespect to their final two opponents of the season - and almost dismissing them as competitive matches.  Maybe it’s my proximity to the club and it’s fans that had me riled post Super Sunday - to the point where I felt the need to tweet a rather less than flattering few words on the subject. 

This didn’t go down well.  My Twitter account is also linked to my Facebook account which only added to joviality - as a 36 comment debate ensued.

I tried to get my point across to those Utd fans that dug in, that I’m not one of these ‘anyone but United’ or a ‘bitter’ fan - but that I am in fact a lover of football the world over.  I can sit there and watch any kind of football, understand it, the implications of it and more importantly the effect it can have on a town or city.  I must admit that there were a couple of reds that did they say they knew it wasn’t over, and wouldn’t be singing until the fat lady did. 

As my Facebook friends spoke with their written words, my Twitter followers spoke with their feet and I quickly lost 4, yes 4, red followers.  To say that I couldn’t cope was an overstatement!  And even today in work I was accused of being a ‘bitter blue’.  Now if I’d known my tweet was going to cause this much commotion I’d have done it a lot sooner, but you see, these moments don’t come very often.  It’s not every day that an action by any of the two Manchester clubs or a statement by one of its ‘fans’ annoys you.

A point to this particular blog is that for years I have taken a verbal beating from fans of all the clubs and given as much back - it’s what you as a football supporter expect, enjoy and revel in.  I almost love it when a fellow supporter says ‘What do you know? you’re only a Stockport fan?’  The truth is that as a proper football fan I had the foresight to see that although the Premiership title may be in the bag for Utd, a little respect for your next opponents as professional footballers wouldn’t go a miss - thus adding fuel to the already eternal flaming unshakeable arrogant tag.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

The County Crisis Curve

It’s heartbreaking - seeing my beloved Stockport County slip from the dizzy heights of the football league to the slums of the BlueSquare Premier.  But is it all that bad?  I think I’m now on my way out of the crisis curve - having started my decent following our horrible 4-1 home defeat to Macclesfield Town.  Probably the most embarrassing result since we lost 7-2 at home to Rochdale, and 6-0 away at the very same Silkmen! 

We all know that football fans are fickle, but are we all aware that we go through the crisis curve at every swing of the fickle pendulum?  As I said, I’m currently on my ascent out of this well known process, and I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and that tunnel is the Blue Square Premier.  In my mind I’ve already left the football league and am looking at the away games that I can go to next season, how much my season ticket will cost, and more importantly, which other ‘big clubs’ are down there.  We’ll be keeping extremely good company as I count 9 ex football league teams.  All their fans most likely thinking that their ‘big club’ deserves a place in the football league because they were there first, they have history, they have a bigger fan base etc.  It doesn’t work like that - does it?

The way I see it we’ll be two divisions lower in the English football structure than we realistically can expect to compete at, and that’s pushing it.  The likes of Manchester City, Leicester, Norwich and Leeds United to name a few have been in a similar position and all recovered.  Some with more outside help than others.  But the ethos at County seems to be the belief that this club can run within its means, with no assets and still compete at a good level of football in this country - and I believe it can too.  The board have steadied the ship, on appearance.  There’s good communication coming out to the fans, and ok, the on field results have been far from satisfactory, but I think we’re running out of people to blame for that.  All County fans know that we nearly didn’t have a club to support a year ago, and if I’m right in saying, we only had 9 signed on players in July 2010.

We can only see it as an inevitability that should breed a better chance to compete on the field, although I’m sure I said that last season!  The board have commented that we will be a top 4 or 5 side in terms of wage budget, but that doesn’t guarantee you a corresponding finishing position.

So if you are feeling down about your club, well, going down - then do not fear.  Just remember that it doesn’t matter what division your club plays in, as long as you have a club……….oh, and are winning games!

Another worry for me personally is the impact that this situation will have on the town, but I’ll leave that for another blog.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Captains, Crunches and Capello

A few footballing gusts of wind have blown my frock up this weekend, and they’re probably the most obvious that you can think of.  If you’re anything close to football then you wouldn’t have gone through the whole weekend without having a tweet, text or IM about John Evans’ ‘horror tackle’!  Unless of course you’re an actual football goer that partakes in the age old tradition of ale consumption early doors, and doesn’t stop until last orders Sunday night!

So this horror tackle then……was it?  Erm….not for me – not a chance.  For me it just looked like to committed players going in for a 50/50 challenge – when I eventually saw it.  Because on Saturday afternoon whilst vegetating to Soccer Saturday and listening to my very own team succumb to yet another defeat, the tweets started to flow in of a horror tackle at Old Trafford.  I thought it must be justified, because red cards aren’t handed out at Old Trafford (to the home team) unless it’s really bad and the player 100% deserved this level of punishment.  Maybe that’s why it was blown out of all proportion, for a time at least, because of the OT factor, the game wasn’t readily available on tv – and that the pundits on the panels seemingly have something against Manchester United.  Just my opinion of course, not that I’m bothered!  Young Holden is left with 6 months on the sidelines, Evans joins his boss out of action and we all scoot back to our lower league football wondering what all the fuss is about.  Challenges like this are seen week in week out from the top to bottom leagues.

The other main story from the weekend has to be the England captaincy - and this stories’ ability to split the country right down the middle.  John Terry has it back from Rio Ferdinand when in reality should any of them have it?  Should Capello even be in charge?  I personally think it’s time we got shut of the oldies in the camp and brought some new blood in - what’s wrong with slapping Gary Cahill in the centre of the park with Dawson and seeing how they get on?  For a world class defender John Terry makes too many positional mistakes when the ball is in his vicinity, especially judging the bounce and anticipating the error.  We have a big game on Saturday against Wales, and there won’t be a better time to push some new blood in and give some debuts.  It’s nice to see Jarvis get a shout - and hopefully Andy Carroll will start.

As for the managerial position.....................Harry Redknapp all the way for me.  Even Ben Shepard agrees!

This is only my second blog - let me know how you think I’m doing by leaving some comments.

Friday, 18 March 2011

First blog.........after thought!

Wow, well this is more difficult than I ever imagined it would be.  I feel like that woman off Sex And The City talking to myself trying to conjure up ideas that might get some remote interest - so, this is my first blog - as my profile says, I'm a massive Stockport County fan.  Something that some of you readers may find difficult to understand!  Over the course of my blogs I'm not going to harp on about how badly live had treated us over the past god knows how many years and get my little violin out....oh no!  I'm going to post about football in it's truest form, from all divisions in all the countries that take my fancy.

You see, I love to watch football – pure and simple (Hearsay!).  Any football!  I drive my better half mad with the level of football, not just the amount that I’m prepared to watch.  From your massive big game bus goers to the quintessential Northern Irish league on a Monday night!  So don’t be too surprised if a blog post comes up about the ‘heavy tackling’ in the Northern League, or Blue Square Premier!  And the latest lino decision in the big bad Premiership – is it the best league in the world?

This blog will also be connected to a fans football site, which I’ll post details later on.  I’m on Twitter and Facebook, so be sure to add me if you want.

Thanks for reading, and please come back again - follow me, and make it a favourite!