Monday, 29 January 2007

Pass the Bong, Brucie.

Samuel Butler wrote that happiness and misery do not depend upon how high or low you are but on the direction you are tending. Given that things could not get much worse following our FA Cup exit on Saturday, I think there could be some mileage in trying to look on the bright side today.

Firstly there is the news that the Aussie swagman, Lucre Neill, will be back within three weeks rather than the six originally predicted. Mercurial Israeli Yossi Van Helsing will return to the squad for tomorrow night’s clash with Liverpool and even Carlitos is back in training a lot sooner than I thought given that he was last seen on a beach somewhere south of Buenos Aires. I half expected him to do a Reggie Perrin with worried lifeguards finding nothing but an abandoned Hammers kit on the shore of Bahia Blanca. Even the news that Dean Ashton has suffered a slight setback on his road to recovery can not dampen the spirits. I convinced myself several months ago that he probably wouldn’t play at all this season so to hear he is back kicking a ball is a limp in the right direction.


On the transfer front, Steve Bruce has revealed he is looking for at least £20 million before he will release Upson from his Brummie purgatory. Fuck me Brucie, step away from the bong. I mean, Upson is a decent central defender but he is not a great one. He has only limited Premiership experience and has had a litany of injuries that would make Kenny McCormick wince. Even if you were spazzing on Carlos Castaneda’s out-of-date peyote buttons you would still never mistake him for the second coming of Bobby Moore, which is exactly who I would want for that kind of money. On the bright side, there are reports tonight that negotiations are still ongoing between the two clubs, which I would like to believe means Birmingham have seriously re-evaluated their position.

Nearer home and the stubborn floater of a rumour concerning our interest in Darren Bent resurfaced again this morning. The tabloid story that we had made an official £12million offer was quickly flushed by both sides, an over the top they ‘doth protest too much’ response that I choose to take as a sign that something might yet happen. One offer regrettably confirmed was for Charlton’s fast defrosting Bejamic defender Hermann Hreidarsson. Charlton have turned down the £2.5million bid and in keeping with the positive thoughts of this post I want to believe that will be the end of our interest.

The continued absence of Robert Green is another source of irritation but news today that we have joined the chase for Hearts keeper Craig Gordon, the man described by Gianluigi Buffon as one of the brightest goalkeeping talents in Europe, has gone some considerable way to leavening the gloom. Finally, Scandinavian newspaper reports have us showing an interest in F.C. Copenhagen centre back Michael Gravgaard. The imposing defender has bagged 4 goals in 11 games for the Danish national team and has been tagged 'The Copenhagen Airforce' because of his aerial prowess. That’s obviously some claim; I don’t think Danish armed forces even had aircraft until at least the 1950’s.

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