Dickiebliss’s Blog

The Kickers 4 (four) – 0 HUU Allstars
March 7, 2011, 9:54 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Dickiebliss watched Invictus recently  – a film that chronicles Nelson Mandela, in his first term as the South African President, and his attempt to unite the apartheid-torn land by bringing his people together through the universal language of sport. Mandela rallies South Africa’s rugby team as they make history by winning the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Inspired by the film and its triumphant story, the blog this week has a sports films theme to it (groan –  lots of references to Escape to Victory then – Content ed). Like all good films we begin with the voiceover trailer….

“In a world where men old enough to know better do battle with the forces of evil (well.. the Students Union), where bodies are forced into football kits that really don’t fit anymore, where everything you thought you knew about the world (of  6-a-side football) is challenged, witness a story you that your eyes won’t believe – the tale of The Kickers greatest ever win!”

After last week’s mullering at the hands of SHES Electric, The Kickers script was in need of a radical re-write. Some new leading men were definitley top of Manager Gary Moore’s cast list and to this end he brought Paul Andrews back into the fold and also Paul “were the Hell have you been?” Chin who had not been seen in a Kickers shirt since Chelsea were still credible title challengers.

Sol Campbell wishes he had asked Kolo Toure where his wife gets her slimming pills from

This week’s opponents were HUU Allstars who had improbably already beaten our lads this season by fluking a 1-o win whilst being played off the park by a Kickers side who just couldn’t finish. Seeking to do the double over their opponents, the Allstars brought a crowd of supporters with them that totalled 9! Yes folks, that number is a nine (and it wasn’t even Orange Wed) The Kickers had never played before such a large crowd especially one that included 6 women. Playing before a crowd of women can do strange things to middle-aged men with their legs on display and one or two of the lads looked a bit unsure about the whole affair. Certainly Richard Bayliss was regretting his decision to go with the base layer body armour worn underneath his shirt which was now accentuating his curves in all the wrong places.

Schizophrenic goalkeeper Andy Goram considers a move to The Kickers intrigued by their unusual selection policy - all together now "There's only 2 Andy Gorams"

The return of the two Paul’s to the starting line-up provided an unusual linguistic curiosity  – the Kickers began the match with two Garys, two Pauls and two Andys on the pitch (as well as two Thompsons). This footballing version of Noah’s ark meant that Robert Sherratt and Richard Bayliss had to be content with waiting their turn on the sidelines alongside the injured Wayne Thompson (can this get anymore confusing?) who had come to support the lads. The moniker muddle meant that any instructions/encouragement shouted from the sidelines were constantly being misconstrued and made for a scenario more baffling than any David Lynch film. “Next week were definitley using nicknames” observed Wayne ” gym-freak” Thompson.

The abudance of attacking players meant that The Kickers looked a little more top-heavy than usual and Gary Moore had to beesech his players to show some positional discipline with Paul ‘The Chinster” Chin, Paul “Julie” Andrews and Andy “Hooligan” Hoole all rampaging forward at every opportunity. Only the laconic Andy “Do you want some?’ Thompson and Gary “it means son of Thomp” Thompson (actually it really does – Genealogy ed) were left to the the defending dirty work.

The all out attack strategy was working though (one in the eye for Roberto Mancini then) as first Andy Hoole and then Paul Andrews went close. In an outcome more predictable than Sylvester Stallones’s last minute penalty save in Escape to Victory (I knew it – Content ed), the breakthrough finally came when Andy Hoole swept home an Andrews cross to open the scoring.

Click below to relive Stallone’s penalty save in Escape to Victory. Just a few small points

  • It’s a crap penalty
  • He saves it with his eyes shut and then celebrartes like a pre-pubescent girl at a Justin Bieber concert
  • Weren’t the English officer types in the crowd in Allo Allo?

Almost immediately  Paul Chin played Andrews into space and t’other Paul produced a calm finish for his first goal of the season. With Wayne Thompson taunting the opposition crowd with a chant of “Who are ya?”, brother Gary decided he needed a breather and Robert Sherratt entered the fray meaning there were now four attack-minded players on the pitch for The Kickers – this was utter lunacy. Or was it genius? With his very first touch of the ball, Sherratt was only denied a goal by a magnificent save from the Allstars keeper.

Andrews then called to be subbed as his old leg injury flared up meaning Bayliss was forced into action and he galloped into the uncharted territory of midfield. Forget that! Manager Moore promptly called for Andy T to swap with Bayliss who reverted to his usual right back (out of harm’s way) position.

Half-time: The Kickers 2-0 HUU Allstars

With Gary Thompson restored to defence in place of Bayliss and Andy Hoole given a rest for the returning Andrews, the second half began with the Allstars upping their game. Inspired by their star player Matthew ‘Wheely’ Barrow (that really is his nickname – nothing to do with Dickiebliss), they huffed and puffed but unlike 80s popsters Living in a Box failed to blow the house down despite a couple of near misses.

"Adrian! Yo Adrian!" Rocky loses his friend Adrian "Inchy" Heath in the crowd at Goodison Park

In an attempt ot kill the game off, Moore bought Andy Hoole back on and with that decision the game was won. Almost immediately, Andy strolled onto a through ball and chipped the onrushing Allstars keeper with impudence. It was a great finish and was a knockout blow for the Allstars and had them sobbing for the final whistle like Rocky Balboa blubbing for his Adrian. Raging Bull Hoole isn’t finished though; going in for the kill like Ivan Drago taking apart Apollo Creed, Andy spectacularly arrived on the end of an Andrews cut back to finish explosively wrapping up the game and his hat-trick. Pele’s overhead kick in Escape to Victory? Nah, this is better.

Its a picture perfect ending and there’s even just enough time for Bayliss to get back onto the pitch for one last appearance before his knee surgery sidelines him indefinitely. The feel-good factor is definitely back in the Kickers camp – purely belter!

Click below to see Andy’s Hoole’s dazzling third goal

Full-time: The Kickers 4-0 HUU Allstars

Scorers: Andy Hoole (3), Paul Andrews

How they performed:

Gary Moore: One of the easiest games he has had in a while. Hardly any saves to make as most of the Allstars efforts were off target. Admitted afterwards he had actually been a bit bored! Oh beg your pardon Gary! How about next time to make it a bit more interesting we make you play with both hands tied behind your back and with a blindfold. Actually that sounds a bit like facing a firing squad – nobody tell Ashley Cole – he’s lethal with an air rifle from 5 feet.  7/10

If he was a character in a sports movie he would be: Capt John Colby from Escape to Victory

Played by Sir Michael Caine, Colby was an ex England player imprisoned in a PoW camp in WWII who manages an allies football team in a match against a German team in Paris. Colby only agrees to train the prisoner team provided that his players are provided with certain amenities in order to get them into some sort of shape for the intended match. Kickers manager Gary Moore similarly mananged to secure “certain amenities” for his players including a full team kit (home and away) with embroidered logo.Try getting that lot on ration books.

Gary Thompson: Mr Reliable – has played more times for The Kickers than there have been Old Firm punch-ups. Forget Ryan Giggs and his 600 appearances for Man Utd, this is where the real players ply their trade, in the cruel, harsh world of Friday lunchtime 6-a-side football where one game is worth a dozen of Giggs’s. On the other hand, Gary has invariably been hopeless in most of his matches so yet another case of quality rather than quantity then. 6/10

If he was a character in a sports movie he would be: Juliette ‘Jules’ Paxton from Bend it Like Beckham

Played by Keira Knightley, Jules is the best friend and team-mate of young Punjabi Sikh girl Jess who struggles to escape the traditions and expectations of her family to secure a football scholarship in this feel good comedy drama. Gary Thompson, with his now shorn pony-tail used to look like a girl and indeed still plays like one.

Andy Thompson: Some of The Kickers players take this blog very seriously and nervously await the weekly verdict on their most recent travails. Andy is more affected by the comments of this blogger than most. After last week’s observations about his persistent bleeding knee and lack of forward passes, Andy took great delight in showing Dickiebliss that both knees were completely clear of any bloodiness after this victory and indeed that he had made at least 3 forward passes during the game. Alright Andy – calm down! For the record Andy, turned in a solid if unspectacular performance – a bit like this blog then.  7/10

If he was a character in a sports movie he would be: Jonathan E from Rollerball

It is 2018 and the world is controlled by hegemonic corporations. Rollerball is a violent, globally-popular sport adored by the masses of which Jonathan E (played by James Caan) is its biggest star. Globally recognized, Jonathan is encouraged to retire from the game he loves by the powers that be – his singular talent and longevity in the sport defeats the intended purpose of Rollerball -to demonstrate the futility of individualism. Andy is also under increasing pressure to retire (he won’t be seeing 40 again) from his ageing legs (those bleedin’ knees!) but he refuses to yield. Unlike Jonathan E, Andy is not world famous although he can lay claim to being a legend in his own lunchtime.

Andy Hoole: Fantastic stuff for the second week running from Andy. A sublime hat-trick delivered in devestating style. Caused his manager to comment “Blake who?” (Sorry Blake! Sorry Debbie!!). No adjustment period required by Andy who has hit the ground running – unlike one F.Torres. Rumours that Carlo Ancelotti was spotted asking pedestrians on Ingelmire Lane where the 3-G pitches are with a big wad of notes in his back pocket remain unsubstantiated. 9/10 Man of the Match

If he was a character in a sports movie he would be: Ivan Drago from Rocky IV

Vicious Russian punching machine with almost superhuman strength. Displays cold indifference to the plight of his opponents. Andy showed similar unerring finishing to leave the opposition devestated. We’re not saying Andy is a souless automoton but he does work in IT.

Paul Chin: Back from the wilderness like a footballing Bear Grylls, Paul supplied some much needed energy to The Kickers midfield. Lacked a little positional discipline with his desire to get forward constantly – maybe his soccer SatNav was on the blink – but you cannot knock his enthusiasm or confidence. Unfortunately, you can get a bet down Ladbrokes that Fergie’s is more likely to retire before we see Paul in a Kickers shirt again. 7/10

If he was a character in a sports movie he would be: Vincent Lauria from The Color of Money

Played by Tom Cruise, Vince is mentored in the ways of pool hustling by veteran Fast Eddie Fulson. However, Vince turns out to be a talented but flawed show-off which leads to many a showdown with the frustrated Eddie. Now Dickiebliss has never seen the overly ebullient Paul’s prowess on the pool table but I understand he does a mean version of Werewolves of London down his local karaoke bar. Aaahoo!

Paul Andrews: After missing last week’s defeat, Paul returned to give a masterful display of passing and running and even managed to (finally) get himself a first goal of the season (YES!). Still not fully fit – had he been he might have bagged himself a hat-trick like Andy Hoole – but even if he is only operating on 70% capacity, Paul is well worth his place in the team. As important to The Kickers as Fabregas is to Arsenal  – unlike Febregas though, Paul is not a petulant, arrogant, imaginary card-waving, referee-insulting, snot-gobbing little gobshite. 8/10

If he was a character in a sports movie he would be: Terry Brady from Escape to Victory

His acting may have been as wooden as the goalposts but there was no denying that our Bobby still hadn’t lost his touch on the pitch. Equally assured and classy, our Paul showed he wouldn’t have been out of place in an allied team that included Pele, Ossy Ardilles and err…Werner Roth…no.. me neither.

Robert Sherratt: Took his demotion from the starting line-up stoically but proved his worth when he got on by nearly getting on the score sheet immediately. What can you say about Robert that hasn’t already been said? Nothing it turns out. 7/10

If he was a character in a sports movie he would be: Fast Eddie Felson from The Color of Money

Veteran pool hustler who mentors temperamental young buck Vincent whilst being driven to distraction by his protege’s arrogance. Earlier in the season, Robert performed a similar role with young sidekick BLAKE MACE! – fortunatley for everybody he was not required to come out with the line Eddie used on Vince -“I’m not your daddy, I’m not your boyfriend, so don’t be playing games with me. I’m your partner.

Richard Bayliss: Valedictory performance from Bayliss before he departs to the hospital for his knee surgery. Spent most of his time on the pitch fiddling with his frankly unnecessary support bandage (talk about getting your excuses in early). Couple of loose passes, couple of bog standard tackles and that was your lot from Richard. His projected surgery recovery time remains as uncertain as Fernando Torres’s form. 5/10

If he was a character in a sports movie he would be: Jimmy Muir from When Saturday Comes

The most unconvincing footballer ever seen on the silver screen. Played by a 36 year old Sean Bean, Jimmy Muir is a hard-drinking brewery worker who plays for a local amatuer team. After securing a trial with Sheffield Utd, Jimmy gets pissed the night before and blows his trial by playing with a hangover. Somehow he gets a second chance and comes off the bench to score the winning penalty in a cup gane with Man Utd. For a crucial goal in the game, team-mate Mel Sterland appears to play a long ball which Jimmy heads down for Sterland to then score, although there is no way he could have realistically made up that ground in that time. Its utter drivel! Having said all that, if Richard is a half decent footballer then When Saturday Comes is a gritty fly-on-the-wall documentary exposing the truth behind the professional game. 

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