29 September 2012

Ebbsfleet United v Barrow AFC

The following is my article from the Ebbsfleet v Barrow AFC game which took place recently.  Unfortunately, the Fleet lost 4-2! 

Football and music are, in my opinion, a marriage made in heaven.  Both offer passion, a feeling of happiness, and are definitely at times thought provoking.  It struck me, whilst listening to the radio, that there are songs that indirectly have football connotations.  So without further ado, here is my list of songs that could have been recorded especially for the Beautiful Game.

The first song is the obvious ‘We Are The Champions’ by Queen.  No doubt this epic will be sung the entire length and breadth of the country come April.  Next on the list is a nod to all the Managers out there.  I wonder if Liam Daish has picked up the phone and uttered the words ‘You’re the One that I want’ to a potential signing.  I’m not sure that John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John ever thought about football when they were singing it.

Now we move onto the madmen of the football team.  No, not the central midfielders but those crazy goalkeepers.  A song for our England C keeper, Preston Edwards, could be ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot’ by Pat Benatar.   I’m sure that Preston would certainly be a fan of this song.   

From goal stoppers to goal scorers.  The forwards play an integral part in every team.  They are chosen to score goals and help their club win games and, ultimately, trophies.  Each Manager hopes that their forward line can provide the necessary fireworks.  Often players will hit a rich vein of form during the season when scoring goals becomes a breeze.  When this happens, ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ by Queen would be a very relevant song.

On the flip side, all teams will be hoping that their opponent’s strikers have an off-day.  Hence, a good song for the opposing forward line could be ‘I Missed Again’ by Phil Collins.  Naturally, this song should be played on a permanent repeat setting!

Referees can be much maligned during a game.  Aside from having their parentage questioned frequently, they can make mistakes during the game.   After all, they are human!  The song that would be appropriate for a match day official at an evening game could be ‘Blinded By The Light’ by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band.  Especially when a blatant penalty opportunity is turned down! 

At the same time, fans could be excused for playing ‘Shout’ by the superb Tears For Fears, or even ‘Shout To The Top’ by the Style Council.  My favourite fan song would have to be ‘We Won’t Be Beaten’ by the legendary Australian rockers Rose Tattoo, fronted by aptly named Angry Anderson.  

At the end of the game, most fans might go to a nearby pub or hotel for a celebratory drink where the Oasis classic ‘Cigarettes And Alcohol’ could be the song of choice.  After having a drink or two, fans would then make their way home to watch the football highlights on television.  My final song would have to be ‘Match Of The Day’ by Genesis, which was a hit single in the late seventies.

A big welcome finally to the players, officials and fans of Barrow AFC who have made the long journey south to tropical North Kent.   I am sure that their players and coaching staff will have their own favourite songs.   I, for one, will be hoping that the entire Barrow team have ‘I Missed Again’ on their playlists!

22 September 2012

Keep It Simple Stupid!

It has been a long time since I have posted a typical blog rather than a football one.  Well it seems that way really.  I have been very busy lately with work related matters, as well as birthdays for my two daughters, a few school events and other crazy deadlines!

Quite simply, our modern life is one that is crazy and chaotic.  

I remember back when I was a grasshopper, well much younger than now, our school class visited a local college.  In one of the rooms there was a huge machine (called a computer).  To us youngsters it was truly amazing.  A machine that could do lots of things automatically.  Anyway, the head of the computer department told the class that in the future, the world would be paper free, have quicker processes and we would all have more leisure time.  To me, that sounded really good.  Less work, and more time to spend with family and friends!

Fast forward to 2012 and the opposite is true.  We are still churning out reams of paper.  Our litigious world is the main cause of this, in my opinion.  Do we have more leisure time? certainly not.  Statistically, we are working more hours now than what our parents did.  The culprit for this is technology.  As we are exposed to new improved software and so forth, we can now finish certain tasks much quicker than in the 'bad old days'.  Hence we are able to do more work in our allotted hours!

The other thing that has happened over time is that as people we like complicating matters.  I remember a few years ago I had to write a memorandum to a general manager outlining what my department required.  I wrote down 10 bullet points, and all were approved.

The two other managers in my area wrote a mini 'War and Peace' outlining what they wanted.  Needless to say both their requests were declined!  The reason why they were declined was basically due to their thought process of over justifying their reasons.

In business, it is generally the simple project, invention or product that will win the day.  We are very basic creatures, us humans.  We like things being simplistic.  it helps us to remember things much better. Even if we look at the iPhone, for example.  One of the best selling apps of all time is Angry Birds.  It is an  addictive game to say the least.  What is its premise? Generally, you fire a bird from a shooter to knock down buildings and destroy pigs.  It is a very basic game indeed!

So we need to ensure that we keep things in a very simple way.  Hence the KISS principle - Keep It Simple, Stupid.  if we do this the world will eventually be a better place!