Cleanairofshorts Podcast – Ep96 – Good luck editing this

It’s just Mike and Ollie this week, but that doesn’t stop them digging deep into the weekends Premier League action. There’s goal of the week, Fantasy League round up, and the return of predictions. Plus something get’s dropped. Something definitely gets dropped. Enjoy…

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Ruud was the real deal

Now we all hold admiration for Jamie Vardy’s goal scoring run that to date has equaled Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s 10 goals in consecutive games. Well in fact If Ruud had not beaten then keeper Kasey Keller in the 89th minute of a game against Spurs it would never of happened but he did and now everyone is jumping for joy. Also please remember Sir Alex didn’t have much to say on this matter at the time, so why the big deal?
Is it because Ruud followed the standard European path of a footballer to reach the elite level and Jamie didn’t? Or is it because we as the public class Ruud as a better player than Jamie Vardy and that’s why we are so surprised. Or could it just be someone’s need to sell a story to make football relevant and shift some papers and subscriptions.

Now the young kid from humble roots story is all romantic and nice but it doesn’t wash with me and yes I am not really a fan of Jamie Vardy, but how many strikers have came up from non-league and had a case to claim for the Roy of the Rovers accolade? In the premiership era quite a few. Look at Charlie Austin, his season in the big league was a success. it was a shame the side around him was poor, yet he still scored lots of goals. Lets not forget Mr Ian Wright came to football the hard way and at a late age went on to score goals for fun. Let’s give a shout to Steve Bull and also a special nod to Kevin Phillips who even won a golden boot. So this story has been played out before many times just with a different format, kind of like a Scooby Do carton, the monster is different but the plot is the same and we all buy it.

Is Vardy a better player than Ruud? Well that’s personal opinion and in the fast evolving world of the EPL the game has changed much since Ruud’s day, but I think no. Even if they are different types of players. Ruud had star quality, a big time player with an ego to match. He was chased by Man United and they continued to chase and capture their man even after he ruined his knee in training. Vardy had a different Footballing education. After he was shown the door at Sheffield Wednesday he came up though non league like the rest of the names I have quoted but I bet that if you asked some young kids who is better Ruud Van Nistelrooy would be the answer.

I think this is because overseas the football pyramid is different. For example in Spain and Germany they have second teams in lower devisions like Barcelona B and Castilla of Real Madrid, or like the Regionalliga League that are home to Bayern and Nümberg Reserves,  which keep players in the clubs systems and give them time to develop. Unlike here where one kid in 1000 might make it to a youth team, so this doesn’t make Vardy a better forward than Ruud, this makes Vardy a more determined player. There will be a point where a bigger club will come in or show interest and that will be the real test for Jamie Vardy because if he feels he has reached the top of the mountain it might show the world that he is not quite the elite forward everyone wants. 

Leicester as a team are surprisingly top of the table and are in wonderful form and this helps the Jamie Vardy story because the media have a platform to build form. Now if Vardy didn’t have the work done behind him would he even be in this position and as I stated in the this weeks podcast (which you’ll find on this website) Leicester face Manchester United his coming weekend, Ruud’s old team, and I think this run will be halted. Leicester will have a good season but won’t be in the Champions League spots or any where near the Title. Now I understand that you may think this is a pessimistic look on things and yes your right, but the romance of the kid taking on the big boys after being rejected can only be played out so many times. All in all what I’m trying to say is class is permanent and form is temporary!! We have to respect Jamie Vardy for his journey to the Premier level of football and for this great run of games scoring, but let’s not get to carried away. 

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Cleanpairofshorts Podcast -Ep95 – Goal 4

This week the gang all excited over Liverpool’s Comprehensive victory over Man City, and laud Vardy as the best player in the whole wide world. We give Gary Monk a vote of confidence , sort of, and also consign Villa to championship. A standard affair then…

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Cleanpairofshorts Podcast – Ep94 – Windy

This week the gang are joined by a special guest, the wind. You can even hear its contribution in the background. That aside the, the gang get stuck into England and the upcoming Euro’s, plus there’s a preview of the upcoming Premier League shenanigans. There’s bonus World War 2 football related facts and the world famous CPOS travel news. Tuck in…

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Cleanpairofshorts Podcast – Ep92 – Clotted Cream

We’re back, and on time and everything! Game week 12 of the Premier League is chewed up and spat out with focus on Villa v Man City, Liverpool v Crystal Palace, and Stoke v Chelsea. We also lament the untimely demise of Payet and weirdly, start prematurely talking about player of the season. All this plus added Cornwall. Dig in…

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Cleanpairofshorts Podcast – Ep 92 – Panda’s

We’re late. We’re sorry. To make up for it this week we have a preview show looking forward to game week 12 of the Premier League. There’s Rooney and Van Gaal chat, Remi Garde, and more woe for Chelsea. All this and a Fantasy League round. And bad french accents. What’s not to like?

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Aston Villa Have Hit Their Iceberg

Aston Villa won the old European Cup in 1982. The place was Rotterdam and the opposition was the mighty Bayern Munich, and the score was a good old 1:0. Then in February of 1983 I was born. Life could not be any better. Over the years as a Villa fan I remember Dr Jozef Vengloš and what a balls up he made of things, beating Inter Milan at Villa Park, the emergence of Dwight Yorke, Dalian Atkinson’s wonder goal of the season, getting 
Milošević on the back of my shirt, the excitement of signing Juan Pablo Angel my Villa hero (and also happy 40th birthday), winning cup finals and also losing cup finals. 

So many great moments and the fact that Villa are one of a hand full of teams that have been in the Premier League since its inception leads me to wonder if our time is up. By the way the other teams are 





Manchester United 

Tottenham Hotspur 

Yeah I’m showing of now. So since Martin O’Neill went on his quest to bring Champions League football to Villa Park and never getting above 6th and walking away after Randy Lerner said he was not allowed his pocket money from the James Milner deal, we have been in free fall. Now I admit I complained about Deadly Doug not splashing his cash and all the rest of the stuff that gave him his reputation, and the nickname, but under Doug Villa were never in debt and at least we were a stable Premiership side. I know times change especially in the fast paced world of the EPL, but he did sail the good ship Villa into nice warm waters that players and fans alike could bask in. Then the sale came along. Deadly Doug was getting on a bit and got board of slaying mangers so in 2006 Randy Lerner was the new face of Aston Villa and with his estimated wealth of 1.1 Billion, us Villa fans got a tad carried away with thoughts of league titles and mega money signings. This never happened. O’Neill did his bit and left as previously stated. We all know he is a clever chap and must of had the foresight to see this coming. Then came the cost cutting exercise issued to Paul Lambert which was a challenge that poor Paul was never going to rise to and the whole Sherwood itch. Shortest spell in charge, of any permanent Villa manager, well his does like a good stat our Timmy.

Now we are up to date, we have a chairman/owner who does not want to play with his toy anymore, no manger, and a load of players that can’t even strike up a conversation without an interpreter. Insert Jose Mourinho jokes now.

So is the next phase of my love for Villa going to be a grey, dull, and painful affair? Well I think it might. The next appointment of a manager is key because if we have another puppet that panders to Lerner like Lambert and Sherwood, who both were just happy to have a job in the big time, then we are buggered. Now Lerner and his band of all American hotshots can save some of their dwindling reputations with the fans and give us a gaffer who has direction and will take no funny business and I bet the names that pop into your heads are the same as the ones in mine!! Then drop his price and get the club off his hands so then at least we have a slight chance of safety, because sometimes a business man has to take a loss to make himself a better business man. I think with the way it’s going this might be the best plan all round. I say this mainly because I had stick for being a Villa fan as a kid by my mates who were all Man United fans ( until Chelsea got their Russian ) and now my 8 year old son is giving me the banter. I have done my time as an over 30 something year old Villa fan, so as we wait for the new arrival and the next twist in the this soap opera of doom and gloom. Now I ask everyone cast your memory back to that one moment of Villa greatness you hold dear. Just so you have a little bit of happiness even if it’s just for a moment. Mine is JPA’s quarter final strike against Chelsea. 

Now basically we now have to hold on tight like Kate Winslet did in that film about the big boat and pray for a happy ending. So I guess I will see you all on the other side.


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Cleanpairofshorts – Ep91 – Solar Eclipse

The gang get stuck into the Sherwood sacking and poke there noses further into woes at Chelsea. There’s also the question of Sunderland’s redemption and are Bournemouth James Bond? All the big footballing questions answered. Get your fill here:


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Cleanpairofshorts Podcast – Ep 90 – Hoth vs Tatooine

This week the gang have a little look at Klopp and Big Sam’s first games in charge and also try to figure out how Newcastle managed to score so may goals. There’s Chelsea’s redemption and Villa’s woes, Star Wars puns, mild sexism and of course, goal of the week. get involved…

listen here:


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Ross Barkley, A new hope

The opening day of the 2013-14 season, Norwich vs Everton, the game finished with a respectable 2-2 draw. Some might say normal service for the Premier League on the opening weekend but something was different that day. That something was Ross Barkley who managed a goal and a Man of the Match display. Even though footballing insiders all knew about this young man from Everton, most of Britain did not know the talent that announced himself that afternoon.

Even Match of the Day, former England hot shot and house wives favourite Gary Linker, chipped in and quoted ‘he is a star in the making and a prodigious talent’, and the standard procedure of every man and their dog comparing him to Rooney.  Now as always, a young English man touches a football or shows a slight ounce of ability in the Premiership and the big white train of England international pulls into the station and silly people like me and other media bigwigs ( note I’m just silly and neither media big or a wig ) start writing things and comparing Mr Barkley to England legends such as Gazza, Platt, Robson, Hoddle and the rest, and then he is crowned the future of English football and we will win the World Cup!!!!!.

Now fast forward to the recent European qualifiers. England had to win two games to claim the 100% win record in their group. Please don’t be fooled, it was not the most taxing of groups but as my CPOS comrade Ollie said ‘you can only beat what’s in front of you’. The games were Estonia at home and Lithuania away and Barkley managed to score in one game and win Man of the Match in the other. Again the buzz started and all the big claims were made about the boy. Now I’m not writing this to say he is the chosen one or just another flash in the pan, what I am trying to say is, he is a different type of player that Everton and England have at their disposal. His 6ft frame makes him hard to handle for even the most accomplished Premier League player and he has two good feet (which is a good number to have I guess), vision, passing, shooting (and most likely quite good at golf), and the list can go on but what stands out for me with this young chap has nothing to do with a ball. It’s what he has between his ears. Now I’m not saying he has a PHD in Astro Physics but when he is on a football pitch he seems to be working at a different level than the norm. Which indeed on that note you can compare him to Gazza and his use of the ball and his running without it shows that he looks at the green landscape though the eyes of a more seasoned pro with 80 plus international caps. This is great news for our fearless leader Woy Hodgson with France round the corner or across the channel.

As I scribble on maybe we as England fans should by now have learnt a lesson. That we sometimes get these gems and we should support and offer the nurturing breast of the nation. If he has an average finals, or even completely buggers it up, not to vilify him as we and the good old press have done to the likes of Gazza, Beckham, Rooney and David Bentley. Yes, even he came unstuck after not accepting a request to turn out for the under 21’s, or even Ray Wilkins if you know who he is (England vs Morocco at Mexico 86 a silly red card). With all of this I am hopeful that his club manager, Roberto Martinez, has already drilled him and seems to be doing a fantastic job in moving his talent onwards and upwards. I think Everton is the perfect place for him grow and learn, and not the Man City bench like so many other wonder kids even to the point where if he does set Europe alight this coming summer, he should stay at Everton get more game time and help them crack the top 4 or 6 or whatever. If we the fans, the press, and Woy give Barkley some real support then we will have a player that will slide in at the back stick in the semi final against the Germans and score, or run up and smash the deciding penalty into the top bin in a quarter final shoot out against Portugal!!! So good people of Blighty, let’s wrap him up in cotton wool, get granny to spit on a hanky and clean his cheeks and give his undoubted talent the time it needs. Saying all this he will probably end breaking a Metatarsal on a cold night in Stoke and miss the whole bloody thing.


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