Beauty is in the eye of the beholder… Norfolk Boreds!

The Beautiful Game?

While watching some of the games at Euro 2016, I realised that I wasn’t particularly enjoying the entertainment on offer.

I have been a football fan for virtually all my life, probably from the late 1940s, and an Arsenal supporter from my first ever attendance at Highbury in 1950.

At school I signed up for rowing, our boathouse, at Mortlake on the Thames, is the one used by the Oxford crew at the end of the annual University Boat Race.  Later I played some football and cricket.

I retain an interest in rowing, I enjoy watching test cricket, the biff bang wallop of twenty20 leaves me cold, I also follow Rugby Union in the guise of Northampton Saints, I’m fascinated by the sheer guts of cyclists in the Grand Tours, golf is the most ridiculous game ever invented but football has up to now been my main sporting interest.

The “Beautiful Game” has, sadly, become considerably less beautiful as television has taken hold and money has gushed in.  Owners, clubs, managers players and agents are all involved in a frenetic scramble for a share of the loot, oh and of course for the “honours”.

On the pitch players have become fitter, more skilled, more talented and much, much more willing to cheat.  Diving, simulating injuries, shirt pulling, stealing yards at throw-ins, challenging officials over the most trivial of supposed injustices, and turning penalty boxes into tag team wrestling arenas.

There are, of course, wonderful moments in games, a superbly taken free-kick into the top corner of the net with the ‘keeper diving in a forlorn attempt at a save.  A rapid passing movement resulting in a player put through on goal with a chance of beating the ‘keeper.  A delightful dribble past a lunging full-back followed by a cross into the box and a late goal saving tackle by a centre back.

For every one of those moments of sheer magic, there will be a raft of sneaky, underhand acts of cheating and that’s what is destroying my love of a game that has given me years of excitement, pleasure and despair in equal measures.

Obviously I’ll continue to support my team but will I enjoy the experience of actually watching the games?

Posted by Norfolk Gooner


78 thoughts on “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder… Norfolk Boreds!

  1. Morning all, welcome back NB, all ways nice to hear from people of our age as too long a lull and you wonder if another old Gooners has popped his clogs.

    Nice one Norfolk, now here’s a guy who has watched football when it actually was football, but he doesn’t blind you with stats a mile long. Personally I feel that the styles of football has changed and agree that cheating is more prevellent now than it was in the past. I too wanted sending off when a man was tackled in a dangerous way usually waiting for an Ambulance to take away the poor bugger in those days tackling was a fine art with a bit of gbh. Nice memories Norfolk thank you.

  2. Morning guys
    Norfolk, I have to confess I’m at the same place, apart from watching Arsenal I watch very little football because of it. I have little faith that those is authority have any intention of changing it, perhaps because of the money thats in the PL. Its give so many talking points for the viewers, that makes compulsive watching, but not for me. I’m must be an idealistic old git.

    There is a piece in todays Football365 about supporting the English team, its just so true.

    On Brexit, I read that the vote gives the edge to Trump in the US, to paraphrase, the voters turning away from the established political classes….Brexit is one thing Trump for president is quite another. That said Clintoness is much better.

  3. Steve, I’m not sure which I like least, the sneaky cheating or the attempt to get a fellow “sportsman” a booking.

    In a game just before the Euros started the Real defender Pepe convulsed in apparent agony when a player brushed his cheek in apology for a previous tackle. The most blatant attempt at getting an opponent a red card I’ve ever seen. Luckily the ref wasn’t fooled and booked Pepe for simulation.

  4. Hi P, Players must now train to “draw” fouls, just watch Hazard. Commentators call it “clever”, I call it cheating.

    There’s nothing to choose between Trump and Clinton, God help the American electorate when it comes to deciding which to vote for.

  5. Well I got the score wrong, so what, what the fuck are we doing, keeper as slow as a snail indecisive but our marking is not good, Vardy needs to come on, sooner or later Why take Dier off surely many others befor him

  6. What do you get when you have spud players in numbers, Chokers get them back to the shoebox

  7. Morning guys
    Truth be told, I switched off the match after 25 mins, watching endless back passes when not under pressure does my head in. Reading the fallout this morning, I watched the best of it…I’m not going to single out blame, as there is no one who warrants praise…..a damning indictment of English football.

    Who love to hear the private thoughts of the respective players managers.

    The only blessing that comes out of it, we can’t sink any lower.

  8. Morning all,
    we have certainly gone and done it, haven’t we, vote exit and we get our leader resign, same thing with our football team another resignation.

    What do we get in its place, A Prime minister who is not elected by the people and a Manager who was put in by the same wanker who appointed the last one.

    What is it nowadays, a democratic vote is in essence some thing that the majority want, to go against that then it’s a free for all.

    Sturgeon asks for a referendum for Scotland and gets one, she didn’t like the result as the Scottish people wanted to stay British. She now doesn’t like the Brexit result and now wants another referendum, how can this woman say she represents the people when all she is is a shit stirrer.

    The FA picked the wrong Manager that is obvious, and the Manager resigned, the people who picked him should also do the honourable thing and go with him.

  9. Hi Steve,

    I am not an advocate of dodgy Hodgy but in my opinion he was dealt a very poor hand to play with,
    what manager could possibly turn that group of players into a cohesive, aggressive, win at all costs team?

    I would assess the fault this way 30% Hodgson, 70% players.

    Name the players on the team that you were proud to see on the team and who played out of their skins — which is what I would expect of someone playing for his country. I can’t think of any one single player – with the possible exception of Rooney who just ran out of steam against the ice bergs and should have been subbed at half time (Hodgson error).

  10. Fair play N5, when I looked at the line up before kick off, I honestly thought on paper not a bad team, now I have to come clean and say that I fancied us to do well in this competition. Now in hindsight we all know better, but I honestly never expected the performances that I have witnessed.

    Hodgson picked his squad, and apart from a few, I felt his choice was pretty reasonable, those picked had a fairly good season and looked happy to have be included. Now of course we judge them on their results, and we realise it was not good at all, Manager seemed to make mistakes with form players but after that last game who would you have picked in the next had we got through.

    At the end of the day it is now some body else’s problem were out and now waiting to see who wins it.

  11. Steve you are absolutely right, the clowns at the FA should do the decent thing and resign en-masse.

    Starting with Greg Dyke, a media “luvvy” obsessed with the present celebrity culture, his knowledge of football? Minimal.

    He made great noises about reforming the Football Association, getting rid of the “blazers” who ran the county associations and sat on the governing committee and modernising the structure. He’s done nothing.

    Next Martin Glenn, the FA Chief Executive an ex biscuit company director who admitted yesterday “I am not a football expert”.

    Next Dan Ashworth FA Technical Director, a former Norwich City player and has worked at academy level for various lower league clubs.

    Then David Gill FA Vice Chairman, former Manchester United Chief Executive.

    These three were responsible for keeping Hodgson in place following the 2014 World Cup disaster.

    Are they fit to select the next England manager?

    I have no sympathy whatsoever for Hodgson, he took the job knowing full well the state of England qualified professional players. He was in charge for the Brazil fiasco. He chose the players for his next squad. He decided what formation they were going to play, He picked the teams, he was there to coach them, he was there to inspire them, he failed abysmally.

    During the Euros he constantly chopped and changed the players and the system, he played Sturridge out on the wing knowing full well he’s much better as a central striker, he let Kane take penalties and free kicks even after it was shown the bloke was hopeless at them. He played Sterling as a wide player, where he was easily marshalled by the full back, he needs to play in the middle where he can move either way. The list goes on and on. His most truthful utterance came in his final press conference, “I don’t know what I’m doing here”. Too right Roy!

  12. Morning all,
    I have to say that I don’t think Hodgson did a bad job, I know we’re out but so are many other countries. Its alright the British public saying that Iceland have a population the size of Leicester but most of them are Icelandic, here in England we have 60 odd million but have a country of ineligible to play. Most of the Premier league players are from all over the world and Managers would rather replenish thir teams the easy way by using the whole world.

    Grass roots football have had little incentive to produce English talent as that would be against do do gooders thoughts of fair rights. Hodgson is not wrong, far from it in fact,he has picked out the best that are available but the choice is limited because we care more about foreigners rights than our own people,if anybody is to blame it’s the English public who have let our own people down. Very easy to look for who’s wrong and point at Hodgson , but let’s face it he can only pick what’s available.

    Personally I am not a great supporter of Hodgson, they will change him of course as that pins the blame,but the next England Manager will face exactly the same until his sacked. Arsenal supporters were calling for Arsene Wenger head just a short time ago and he has at least got us top 4 for 20 years, what chance had Hodgson had with just English players. Well done Woy you done your best son now time to pass the the buck to the next lame duck.

  13. Exactly Steve a manager is totally reliant on the players, all he can do is select the best that are available to him and then attempt to (in England’s case) create a miracle on grass.

    I was never a Hodgson fan but he does not deserve the amount of flack he is receiving while the spoiled Prima Donna’s go back to their mansions to be comforted by their WAG’s and then take the rest of the summer to tan themselves on a beach somewhere…………….

  14. Hiya Gays !…..sorry….. Guys

    I`m an Arsenal fan first and foremost, so If honest I couldn`t give a shit about Spudland, I only wanted Spudland to go far so that the Spuds got exhausted for the coming season !
    It was one of the biggest shocks I have seen in football to be honest and this sums it up !
    Bobby Charlton was asked how he thought the England team of ’66 would have fared against Iceland. ” I think we’d have won 1-0 ” he replied. “Only 1-0?” Said the reporter. “Yes,” said Bobby. “Most of us are in our 70’s now!”
    The post headline (and thank you for the post Inbred 😀 ) reminded me of how our MIA leader……..Spermbank………… must think !……………………………he`s so pissed from pint pulling that even the ugliest of french woman probably look gorgeous, but as they say………………………………….” Beauty is in the eye of the Beer holder !”

  15. Wales play today, so far Wales is still part of the UK not that that is anything to do with this competition, but in this moment in time where the UK is in turmoil, or should I say a catastrophic state, I like to think that all 4 corners are right behind them.

    Yes being an English man I have to say that I was shattered that my country went out whimpering, but fair play to Wales even losing to us they still stand a chance of glory. We hear all the time about 2 players in the Welsh side Bale and Ramsey, both pretty good players, but they are only still in because of the whole squad.

    Wales have fantastic support, they are fighting the UK corner, Now I have had many Welsh friends and every one of them have been passionate supporters being Rugby or football or anything Welsh. Good luck to the boys in Red tonight.

    I have traveled all over the UK when I played Golf, and my own experiences have told me that the English seem to not be top of their lists of friends, in North Wales in a shop I asked the price of something and straight away they changed language in front of me.

    Once in Scotland when the world cup was playing the Scots barman was openly supporting a foreign country instead of England, that narked me and I asked him why he said I hate the English cocky bastArds, I explained to him that we always support Scotland when they play except when they play us, he didn’t blink an eye.

    I found the Irish more or less the same as the others, and if I speak the truth never found them that friendly. To speak the truth I don’t really give a toss, but I will still be supporting Wales tonight, the way things are going I think I will make the most of it as it seems they all feel as if they would rather support Europe.

  16. Fuck the Welsh, fuck the Scots and fuck the Southern Irish !…………..only Northern Ireland are ok, they sing God Save the Queen with passion.

    Like you Steve, I always used to support our neighbours but that ended years ago when like you I see at first hand their massive chip on their shoulders…………jealous cunts !
    Watch the vid…………..maybe you will change your mind about the sheep shaggers……….come on Belgium !

  17. Well done Criss Coleman and the Welsh team, excitement all night. Superstars in a side of pashionate Welsh men are called a team, and they worked their socks off, game of the Euro’s so far for me. And a Gooners in there as well, who was my MOTM.

  18. In the absence of an Arsenal related post, or any post at all I’m back on my anti FA hobbyhorse, Greg Dyke will be gone in a week or two, no bad thing in my view.

    The Chief Executive, Martin Glen, who admits to “knowing nothing about football” has said he and his fellow board members Dan Ashworth and David Gill, will consult with and take advice from present and former players including Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard. Four of the most experienced England players of the recent past. Although what help they will be is open to question, none of them have any experience of winning an international tournament in the entire careers.

    They do, of course, have ample experience when it comes to the kind of bi-annual melt-down which has occurred regularly since 1966.

    One other question that springs to mind, why is it that the chief executive recruited, presumably, for his business acumen rather than his admitted lack of football knowledge does not get on with running the commercial side of the FA and leave the recruitment of the next sacrificial lamb, sorry England manager, to those who actually do have some football knowledge.

    I can only assume that Gareth Southgate is a lot more savvy than he appears at first glance, he had the good sense to recognise a poisoned chalice when offered one last week
    Another gem to fall from the lips of the chief executive recently, we could have more than one England manager at a time in future. That seems unlikely as there doesn’t seem to be an actual stampede of candidates for the post.

    In the absence of a front runner, or any runners at all, may I suggest Sam Allardyce.

  19. Morning all,
    I have come to the conclusion that the only thing the English are good at, is telling us how good we are then in the next breath resigning and leaving us in the shit. For some other mug to take us too the next disappointment.

    TI have seen names put forward on who should get the England Managers job next. I have to say that when Hoddesdon name came up again I shuddered in my shoes. If we are even thinking in those old names I fear we have definitely hit rock bottom..

    I feel it’s fair to say that English premier league where players are usually selected from, is not English any more, and has been taken over just to make money. Now we all know that is what football is all about, as many clubs are now managed by foreign managers and clubs owned by foreign owners. Many premier league clubs have a majority of foreign players, and the amount of English players to choose from has reduced dramatically from years ago.

    Since the open door policy was introduced, English footballers have reduced so less players to pick, many neutrals would say that only a squad of around twenty odd players is needed to win a competition and a country with sixty odd million to choose from that should not be a problem. Obviously it is as we keep seeing the same faces from one competition to another and we get worse in every one.

    English sport is now open house you only need a relative who speaks the language to be classed as English so why do we not win more. We are now looking at foreign managers to prop English football up we have tried that before and was unsuccessful, but like the Ostrich we bury our heads and just carry on doing the same old things.

    We have few English champions, in golf, and tennis in fact most sports, the ones we do have have seem to be few and far between. We pin our hopes now on British sportsmen golf is Mcelroy tennis Murray and Boxing Fury, we seem now to be a nation of looser, and that seems to sit alright with the hierarchy but sadly not with me.

    Before the common market came into being, we had English sportsmen who were chosen from millions of English men, I wonder how long we will have to wait after this Referendum before we start to see premier clubs field English men again. Will Arsenal ever field an all English side again if they ever have. Not in my lifetime.

    Will Granit zhaka get a visa who knows will Wenger stay, will Northbank come home, will he ever write another post fuck knows, and to be quite honest, I am to old in the tooth to give a fuck. Have a nice day, coy Wales what am I saying. 🙂

  20. Just read that back what a load of shit and it should read Hoddle not Hoddesdon but only Norfolk will read it.

  21. Cheer up Steve, Mark Cavendish won the opening stage of the Tour de France yesterday, they call him the Manx Missile, oh hang on a minute, Manx Missile? That means he from the Isle of Man. Not English at all. Oh well…… 😀

  22. Oh and I like the idea of a small town in Hertfordshire being the next England manager. It might have a few more ideas than the last bloke to do the job.

  23. Morning Norfolk, I knew you wouldn’t let me down,ha ha, fucking state of affairs mate that we find ourselves in at our time of life. Fucking Politicians trying to get the young against the old protests in the streets. Elected wanker who pull out just as we show some fucking fight that we have been missing in years, Scottish tarts who think the world revolves around them a fucking drunk who can’t write a fucking sentence a Cockie that wants to fuck the world what the fuck is there to live for, thank fuck for you Norfolk, give it a week and me and you will be at one another throats, but you know what Norfolk, who fucking really gives a shit.

    Went fishing yesterday and never had a bite, 8 fucking hours and fuck all and the old woman wants to go again today,the older they get the more fucking stupid they are and would you believe it mate, we’re fucking going, you can’t keep these English down can they

  24. Blimey Steve, I always thought your fishing trips were an excuse to get away from the missus but now I find you go together. I take a book if we get the bus to Norwich, a half hour trip would exhaust our conversation topics for a week.

    Enjoy your day, I’ll talk to myself on here unless Le Patron actually shows up.

  25. Morning guys
    Very amusing conversation you two. I can’t add much, never mind the drunk, whats Wenger doing?
    Some Japanese kid, doesn’t get much more exciting than that. Is this yet another season of starting without …oh you know the story.

  26. Afternoon all, watched th e French demolish Iceland, have to say at the start I felt the ref was a homer 3 bookable tackles and he hardly noticed, as the goals started going in it seemed he relaxed a little, the French first goal looked offside to me but it was an age before they showed it and that was from an angle that you couldn’t tell from, by the time we saw it properly the commentator said probably a foot offside but he felt it a good goal, funny fucking rules.

    As the game wore on and France looked to be in control Evra inside his box fumbled a ball and it hit his hand but the referee waved play on. Iceland had seen their last upset the still stung the French with a couple of goals but in all honesty their number was up. Northbank and his harem celebrated while I was not that impressed.

    Funny when you watch different countries play and even when players from your own club are playing you still want the other side to come back, must be that English mentality where we help every body else but they really couldn’t give a shit about you.

    Don’t ask me about fishing as five sessions on the trot has produced bugger all, and the fish have been bow waving right over my baits, frustrating and bloody annoying

  27. Yes 69er, we’ve signed a twenty-one year old Japanese kid Takuma Asano, eleven goals in fifty odd games in the J League.

    That’ll give all those big teams the shits.

  28. Morning Steve, seems it’s only me on this fucking site, with the odd old codger now and again 🙂 Well I watched the Wales match, was watching Murray on the other side, one hell of a match, very seldom watch Tennis but Wimbledon and a Brit, going for the semi’s was a must watch for me. As the match got to ball brake time, Murray who had taken the first set after a fantastic battle in a tie brake, he went on to win the next set with Tonga looking well and truly beaten, but Murray relaxed thinking he had taken the match already, and Tonga hit back took the third set and then the fouth, fuck me we had a battle and a fifth set to play.

    Fuck I looked at the time, and the Welsh must just have kicked off, fuck what do I do, watch the Scots or watch the sheep shaggers. Fuck both were taping anyway and the Scotsman looked fucked, so I turned the fucker over, had to watch the football, this is history in the making. Have to say that Wales did as good as could be expected, they had our man Ramsey suspended and a defender out as well, and in my opinion this would be the difference between winning and losing, why the fuck it should make any difference to an English man fuck knows but you know what it did, I found my self continually changing channels to follow both fucking matches, without one fucking English man in sight.

    Well would you Adam and Eve it, the Scots man fought back like the Champion he is and the sad Welsh although held strong for the first half would fall foul of that fucker Ronaldo. From a set piece out on the left wing, the ball was crossed inch perfect and that smarmy bastard, with perfect header put the Portuguese in front, the Welsh chins hit the deck and within seconds of the restart still reeling from the shock another one goes inand the Welsh are more or less fucked.

    I watched the match till the end still pulling for the Welsh, but they had had the stuffing knocked out of them, and unlike the Scotsman the Welsh had been well and truly fucked, strange thing was, I was fucking gutted. Pleased that Murray had fought back but was well sad that Wales were going home, maybe Murray knew that the Scots had not qualified and this was his attempt to get Scotland on the map, why it should make a difference to an English man I don’t know, but it certainly did, it’s my wish that Great Britain stays together but let’s face it I have never known anything else, they may take the piss when we get knocked out but that wasn’t reciprocated from me, I believe that the English were supporting both nations, I know I was. That’s my lot.

  29. For some reason this tablet changes spelling as it choses, Tsonga seems impossible to write, but it looks like it has accepted it now.

  30. ‘morning Steve, plucky little Wales. Yeah well their luck ran out last night, basically they are a two man team, Bale and Ramsey tacked onto a group of mediocre journeyman players.

    They had a good team ethic, worked hard and gave their all but ultimately we’re limited by the lack of real talent.

    Of course the media love that sort of story, it sells papers and that makes the advertiser’s happy which means more money for the media moguls.

    It’s back to reality now and the news that our manager is top of the FA’s wanted list. Good thing? Bad thing? You know my views on that.

  31. There are people here, morning guys
    I watched some of the match last night, but cannot stand watching that peacock, he just rubs me up the wrong way. As far as the England manager is concerned, I wouldn’t be adverse to Martin O’ Neill his teams are invariably hard to beat, and he has certainly got the best out of the Irish team. He ticks a lot of boxes, maybe his age counts against him although younger than AW….he could bring his pit bull with him…as some wag posted after their win Roy Keane smiled, people were terrified.

  32. Morning guys, Yeh we all have our own views about little Wales, I take Norfolk view that talent was the difference, Dickhead last night said that Bale and Ronaldo was the only top talent both sides had was he not watching the game as Sanchez was outstanding for me both teams played within themselves without any heroics but there was talent out there but not pushed to their limits.Coleman said after the game that his players did all they could and will go home and be seen as hero’s, I don’t think he honestly thought they did all they could because they hardly attacked with any venom and in my view let themselves Portugal are a good side but never had to show a lot of effort to win, yes I think they had more talent than Wales but the had the luck on the night, hero’s I don’t know as losing is still for loses.

  33. Actually Steve I didn’t think a lot of Sanchez last night, a lot of running about but too many passes going astray and no real end product, a bit like Ramsey in away.

  34. Hi P, I watched the whole game, the only thing to say about it as a neutral was I hope tonight’s is a bit more interesting.

  35. Watching Germany this evening was just like watching Arsenal. Loads of possession, innumerable passes, no end product. Boy do Germany need a striker! Just as we do.

    Allies les Bleus, just stuff Portugal!

  36. Morning nobody
    I will talk to myself. Good match last night, I thought, the handball looked a bit blatant to me and was asking for trouble, it changed the game. I thought O.. (umlaut fell off) zil was very good, shame they didn’t have anyone to put the ball in the back of the net, would have been a tremendous game had they equalised fairly quickly. Its history now, and sunday, I hope to fuck they trash that peacocks team.

    £30m for Alexis, I’ll have some of what they are smoking…£43 for Draxler am I missing something, he seems to have had potential for years.

  37. Not sure if anyone else thinks our buying/selling people work at snails pace, probably reflects our playing team, lots of passes no end product…Without going to that dung heap that is newsnow, it appears we only do 1 purchase or sale at the time, no word of any sales, which is surprising considering Debuchy wants out, plus I’m sure there are others who either need or want to move on…I must have been an awful sinner in a previous life to support Arsenal, its a wonder I still have hair on my head.

  38. Morning all, apologies for making you wait for a post that never came, as i didn’t think i would get an answer till about Thursday 🙂 and went fishing instead. My intention was to try and take the load off our drunken mate NB, who was anticipating a great French Win, sadly that didn’t happen so he will be down for a few days. Norfolk has kept the blog going with a comment a day as well as Poig, Kelsey flits in and out, and Cocky has been busy shagging everything in sight.

    The post i scribbled down was just an effort to let us read another post headline so i hope it doesn’t disappoint, if it gets posted some of it is pre Euro final, just to warn you. The season will now start to get closer and very soon we will get our guys together for our pre preperations, hopefully we can all help our leader out with a post or two just to keep the blog fresh.

    Of course we have to mention Andy Murray winning Wimbledon for the second time, a fantastic achievement for a Brit who many of us like to think is English, only because we cannot find an Englishman who can do it.

    Of course when Andy first came on the scene he made the mistake of showing happiness when England lost a football match, since then of course his advisers have informed him that he is now a very wealthy man who has had fantastic support by the English which has welcomed him into the fold , Wimbledon has helped him amass his fortune, and i heard him say yesterday that he now see’s Wimbledon like home. Course he does.

    Amazing that Portugal won the final without superstar Ronaldo for a great part of the game, Prior to the game, Ronaldo was the star player who could make the difference. In the end mere Mortal French men managed to nick it without him, well done to the French, Yeh really.. 🙂

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