Posted: 2/24/2008


       EUREKA!!  I was  taking a shower after watching Manchester United demolish Newcastle United at St. James Park, it it suddenly came to me. I realised what returning Messia, Kevin Keegan's tactics were.  He had resigned in Geordie Land before, and also at Manchester City and England and was running his Soccer Circus  up in Glasgow, pouring over 3 million of his own money into the venture.

         Well, he was called back across the border in January and the team haven't won a match since he donned his track suit on the sidelines. Six weeks ago they were humbled at Old Trafford 6-0 but yesterday the Toon Army and myself saw The Magpies ONLY lose 5-1. Obviously his tactics were to not conceed 6 goals again - and it worked!!

           It,s very sad to see GAZZA, Paul Gasgoine, taken in and 'sectioned' under the Mental Health Act by authorities a couple of days ago at The Hilton Hotel in Gateshead, across the River Tyne from Newcastle. He had stayed 2 weeks at Newcastle's Malmaison Hotel in a 240 a night room, before being asked to leave, and had moved across river to the Hilton earlier in the day. He had evidently spent most of his time indoors carrying around 3 mechanical parrots that used foul and abusive language. He often ordered raw liver from room service amd most times answered his door naked.

           Most of use remember Gazza stories. He became a legend in 1990 when in the FIFA World Cup Semi-Final against West Germany in the Stadio del Alpo in Turin he was given a yellow card by referee Jose Ramiz Wright of Brazil.  He burst into tears, knowing that the additional card would keep him out of the World Cup Final in Rome. I was in the stadium that day and the match went to penalties which England lost and finished up at the 3rd place match in Bari instead.  My favourite memory was his wonder goal against Scotland at the EURO 96 Championships at Wembley Stadium. I was also privileged to be a spectator that day as, at speed down the left side, he flicked the ball over the shoulders of the approaching defender and scored with a volley from his other foot.

           He was transferred to Lazio in Rome where he didn't learn the language and was an expensive flop. He had loads of problems with drink, substance abuse and couldn't find anything worth while to do after a divorce and retirement from playing.  Fans of Tottenham, Newcastle, Rangers, Middlesborough, Everton, Burnley and England  for whom he played, had loved him, and hopefully he gets the treatment, understanding and love that he needs.

           Parrots bring to mind the recent news about the Pirates of the Caribbean. I mention Jack 'the lad' Warner, President of CONCACAF and Vice-President of FIFA.  He flew to the island of Dominica(population 72,000) and tried to unseat the incumbent soccer federation chief, Dexter Francis, and re install his buddy Patrick John.  John was a former President of the island nation for six years. In 1981 he was jailed for 12 years after trying to overthrow his successor by force in Operation Red Dog,and his sidekicks, Klu Klux Klan leaders Don Black and Wolfgang Droege were arrested in New Orleans with explosives, nazi flags and more. They wanted to bring lucrative casinos and prostitution to the island.

          He was released from prison after serving 9 years and was appointed president of the DFA  (Dominica Football Association)by Jack Warner, but was ousted a couple of years ago. Warner made John a  member of the CONCACAF Hall of Fame and tried to get him his job back.  FIFA Secretary Jerome Valcke answered a letterfrom the DFA to the FIFA Ethics Committee (headed by Lord Sebastian Coe), in their favour and invited both sides to Zurich for talks. 

           Meanwhile the ABFA (Antigua and Barbados F.A.) have been told that they will be out of the 2010 FIFA World Cup preliminaries and unseated by Warner if they don't repay $US 177,000 to former islands soccer chief Chet Greene,another Warner buddy, and reinstate him.  More info at  and

          A nicer parrot story is that of GEORGE, who was attacked by another bird after using foul language and lost a limb. The University of Salford came to the rescue when George's owner said that the bird fell asleep at night on his perch and kept falling off. An articifial limb was devised that gave George a more comfortable night.