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  1. Jesus wept, are Villa going to sign Messi now?
  2. I went to The Oval on Monday and was hugely impressed with the whole event. Staff were absolutely superb, service was pretty quick, atmosphere was great and the whole razzmatazz of proceedings was well done. Not too over the top although the sound system was poor which meant you couldn’t really hear the raving reporters when they went into the crowd or the band that played half way through. Minor quibble. Huge amount of kids and loads more women than you normally find in other formats.
  3. FFS. Appalling tackle, in a friendly as well. Every season we seem to start off with at least 2 of our back 4 seriously injured. Poor Little Wes; hope he has a speedy recovery.
  4. 22. The Mixer by Michael Cox. A reread. Football tactics officianado Cox tells the story of how football has changed through the Premier League's history and how the game has evolved beyond all recognition. Great insight on the developments in the game and the players and managers who helped this evolution. 23. Whose Game Is It Anyway by Michael Calvin. Another football book. Calvin has been writing about the game for over 40 years and his book is part autobiography and part polemic, directed at the heroes and villains of the modern game. It's clear that Calvin adores the game and that his life has bee shaped by the experiences and memories that football has given him. He sets his sights on the unrelenting largesse of the Premier League and how he feels that football has lost some of its soul. But its not an overly negative tome, he celebrates the importance of football in the community and its wonder. 24. Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig. Haig discusses how the modern world impacts on our mental wellbeing, detailing his own struggles with depression, stress and anxiety. He offers solutions and strategies for dealing with these issues, without being unrealistic, judgmental or condescending. His got a really genuine way of writing and comes across as a decent compassionate soul. 25. To be a Machine by Mark O'Connell. The writer meets with various members of the transhumanist community and looks at the various hacks that people are undertaking to cheat death. From implants to diets, he meets with a diverse group of supporters of the transhumanist community. He also addresses the morality of some of these advances and what it means to be human. I thought this was a bit of a mess from a structural POV and became more about the writer than the people he was interviewing.
  5. Is there anything quite so morbidly fascinating as watching England bat the first 10 overs of a test match?
  6. The Hundred has also been a welcome addition as well, even though it’s not been as explosive as many had thought, in terms of high scores. Think that will come with time though and will help breach that post season football gap.
  7. Kane also signed the deal when Spurs had Pochetino in charge as well. Whilst the benefit of a longer deal is the added security of a bumper wage for a greater period there is the risk of managerial changes, players changes etc. that can weaken your team’s chances. If he goes, Spurs are in a great position to rinse City for every penny they can.
  8. I was quite enjoying this but the awful UI, the dunder-headed map and the decision to only allow taxis to take you within a specific tier are just too much. I can’t remember the last time I played a game where some basic issues annoyed me so much. I got a knot in my stomach earlier with the utter frustration of traipsing around. I’m amazed that the developers didn’t sort these issues out.
  9. Think we might need to flog Vardy now.
  10. It’s hard to see how this will work out positively for Kane. His fee and annual ankle problems would put most clubs off him. If City get Grealish, then his chances of a move there become more remote. Even if City do pursue it, it would probably have to be a fee plus players, rather than the outright £100m+ that Levy would want. He’s stuck at a club that have illusions of being a heavyweight yet have an inability to win trophies. I’d like to see Nuno do well there though.
  11. This month's offerings went up late yesterday. Always a good idea to have an excuse for your tardiness. Not particularly exciting, a 99p spend on Romesh's Guardian columns for me. The Fifth Element by Terry Pratchett £1.99 Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett £1.99 Lanny by Max Porter £2.49 Nomad by Alan Partridge Coming Undone by Terri White £3.49 Capital by John Lanchester £2.89 The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro £2.99 A Thousand Moons by Sebastian Barry £3.49 Empire in Black and Gold by Adrian Tchaichovsky The Terror by Dan Simmons£1.99 As Good As It Gets: Lessons from a Reluctant Adult by Romesh Ranganathan Uncanny Valley: A Memoir by Anna Wiener Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall by Spike Milligan What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murukami £1.99 Confess by Rob Halford Robbo: Now You're Going to Believe Us by Andy Robertson The Pursuit of William Abbey by Claire North About a Boy by Nick Hornby Son of a Silverback by Russel Kane £1.99 Armada by Ernest Cline Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by JRR Tolkien £1.99 A Dream About Lightning Bugs by Ben Folds Gender Games by Juno Dawson Mother of Eden by Chris Beckett Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky The Children of Men by PD James £2.49 Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker by Rae Carson Dead Famous: An Unexpected History of Celebrity by Greg Jenner On Anarchism by Noam Chomsky The Post Office by Charles Bukowski The Martian Chronicles by Raymond Bradbury Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman Life in Pieces by Dawn O'Porter Sapiens. A Brief History of Mankind by Yuval Noah Harari £1.99 Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid Summerwater by Sarah Moss The Trouble With Peace by Joe Abercrombie Loose Head: Confessions of an (un) Professional Rugby Player by Joe Marler Lifespan: Why We Age and Why We Don't Have To by David Sinclair Conclave by Robert Harris
  12. I was the same earlier when the BBC decided to show at least an hour of round 3 of the golf. I want Water Polo, Fencing and Windsurfing not that most vanilla of sports.
  13. This is shaping up to get even more feisty in the second half. Eztebeth is consistently looking to wind the Lions up. Whichever team manages their emotions best will win this.
  14. Asher-Smith’s interview where she revealed she was carrying an injury is a real tearjerker. Came across as remarkably dignified; amazed she was so composed.
  15. Someone should employ Lutalo to do the voiceovers for sleep assistance apps. Such a calming presence. I know this is the type of event that the BBC excel at but they’ve done a pretty fine job with the experts they’ve had on so far. Chris Mears spoke really sensitively earlier about his struggles with mental health after Biles’ withdrawal. Muhammad just seems like the most calming and measured guy ever. Katherine Grainger is equal parts enthusiastic, knowledgable and realistic. They also got a guy in earlier talking about the swimming relay who analysis and talk over the individual splits was really engaging.
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