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Had to post this...
at 21:35 27 Jun 2024

Just saw it on twitter... and it made me feel good!

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The EFL officially highest attended European league after Premier League.
at 23:16 11 Jun 2024

"Last season saw the highest overall attendance at Championship matches since records began more than 130 years ago.

More than 12 million people purchased tickets to second-tier games in 2023-24 - an increase of 22% on the previous season, the English Football League said.

The figure is higher than Germany's Bundesliga, Spain's La Liga and Italy's Serie A, making the Championship the second highest-attended league in Europe, behind the Premier League."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/articles/c2ll8jdknzeo



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D-Day
at 20:01 5 Jun 2024

I'm sure like me, many of you have relatives who were involved in some way with D-Day.

My Uncle John was a sub-lieutenant in the Royal Navy, in command of Motor Launch ML 205 that landed on Juno beach on D-Day. Sadly he died four years ago, he would have been 101 this year. He was awarded the Legion D'honneur for his role. I feel very proud of him, and all those who served, to give us the freedom that we enjoy today.

Edit: I've just found an email from him where he explains his role more fully:

"I was on the bridge directing one of the columns towards its allocated beach. Our MLs were known as Directional Leaders as we had been fitted with very secret radars which could pin-point our position in the English Channel very precisely.

A couple of weeks after the landings I was ordered back to UK to begin extensive training for what was then a record distance for such small boats - over 8000 miles for the invasion of Rangoon, Burma then in the hands of the Japanese. We had to have extra fuel tanks bolted to the upper deck, which then had to removed when we got to the nearest Indian port not in the hands of the enemy."

[Post edited 5 Jun 20:37]
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No VAR in Swedish football.... because of the fans
at 15:47 15 May 2024

Really interesting and refreshing. I had no idea about the fan ownership element of Swedish football.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/videos/c6pyp32n198o
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Enjoy the holidays
at 10:23 6 May 2024

Nice touch by the club:

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Who is your player of the season?
at 21:23 21 Apr 2024

Who is your player of the season?


Your Vote:

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Ohhhh Viennnaaaaaa
at 14:17 12 Apr 2024

I saw that Chris Cross, the Ultravox guitarist who wrote their massive hit 'Vienna' died in March. Which is a clunky segue into the fact that I will be visiting this fair city in a couple of weeks.

I've never been before, so I thought I'd ask the incredibly knowledgable LFW collective for any recommendations as to places to visit and things to do..... Less obvious, quirky ideas and tips are welcome!!

Thanks in advance.



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Germany planning to invoke 1898 rule to prevent Kane playing Euros
at 10:29 1 Apr 2024

"Under the Foreign Nationals (Football) Act, passed by the Bundestag, players can only represent the country in which they are resident.."

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2024/04/01/germany-invoke-rule-stop-harry-kane-

...


.

;-)





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Is this, unexpectedly, a season to be savoured after all?
at 10:32 7 Feb 2024

Don't you think this has been a fascinating season so far, indeed, perhaps the most fascinating for many years?

When it started, I imagine most of you, like me, were relying on a huge amount of hope. Because that was all we had really, versus the cold hard reality of a manager who was not only clearly completely out of his depth, but actively undermining the group psyche of the entire squad.

What I mean is that his core strategy seemed to be a bizarre Haka-style bravado, in place of anything resembling tactical analysis, positional awareness, or how to get the best out of a bunch of underperforming and dispirited players. Not long into the season, my impression was that the players pretty much downed tools in exasperation at what was going on. Indiscipline became rife, injuries multiplied. And as each game went by, we looked worse and worse and were soon teetering over the abyss.

Nevertheless, the fans kept turning up, hoping perhaps that their sheer collective will would lift the team above the level of being utterly dire. Surely the board would act? But when we went into the first international break and the manager was still in place we looked doomed. A large proportion of fans were crying out for that patron saint of teams in trouble: St. Colin of Warnock. For who else could save us? Who else would even come, for that matter? The list of alternative names of potential managers who might be crazy enough to take over did not look pretty.

And then a whole series of unexpected things happened. It seemed our owners finally awoke from their long stupor and realised that they could actually generate cash through naming rights. This was the start of a domino effect of events: Ainsworth was sacked, Amit resigned, Hoos became chairman and temporary CEO and, then, most incredible of all, a manager with genuine pedigree arrived. A foreign manager who spoke impeccable English: intelligent, eloquent, articulate, with fresh ideas, genuine experience, including, incredibly, a stint working with Millwall. How was this possible????

From the moment he arrived, the gloom lifted. The players were clearly revitalised. Players who had been resigned to the shadows came back into the light and started to shine: Willock in particular. A talisman in past seasons. Everything began to improve. And after a couple of creditable draws and a narrow defeat, we won three games on the spin. Amazing!

But this was a Herculean task, and inevitably the energy required to achieve escape velocity from the League 1 black hole seemed too much, even for a man of Marti Cifuentes' abilities, and we began to falter. But the remarkable events hadn't finished. A brand new CEO arrived, again, seemingly out of nowhere, young, with bright ideas, untarnished by the moldering Rangers legacy of old. But even he told us: there's no money for new players.

So we went into January with low expectations, and yet still the hope that our new coach could perform a minor miracle and turn things round. But with no injection of new players, how could this under-performing bunch survive? The end of January approached... Clearly there was no one coming in.

And then.... boom: Michi Frey (Who the f...?), well, better than nothing.... but no, there was more: Isaac Hayden - wow - a classy midfielder... WTF? But no, there was more: Joe Hodge, and young Ireland international from Wolves, a genuine talent.... WOW!

Suddenly things looked very different. Yet still we headed up to Ewood with our record there of no wins since 1999 glaring at us. Maybe a draw would do. No, we won!

And then, Lucas Andersen signed on as well.

So, here we are, with a completely different mindset from three months ago: comparing performance tables with, not just a modicum of genuine hope, but also admiration.

And this is why supporting a team like QPR is such a niche experience; something appreciated only by true connoisseurs of the beautiful game. Something mainstream armchair fans simply cannot understand. To stick to a belief in something as arbitrary as a 'football team', and not only that, but one that apparently rarely delivers the vicarious hit so craved on a weekly basis by the mainstream addicts, would appear, on the surface, to be some kind of perverse madness. But to those ITK (i.e. all of us who follow Rangers), this is why we do it. Because we are - whether by luck or judgement, it does not matter - football aficionados. And seasons like this are our pay-off. To be savoured like a fine wine, with all its unexpected depths and flavours and nuances.

Of course the season could still end up with the massive downer of relegation. But I don't think it will. I think we will survive, and then in years to come, we may even look back at this season as a remarkable turning point in the strange, chequered yet beautiful  history of Queens Park Rangers.
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Eze to Man Utd? Palace asking £77 mill
at 11:51 24 Jan 2024

Sorry if a Spackman, but this could be incredible for us if it comes off...

https://www.football365.com/news/77m-rated-prem-star-greenlights-man-utd-move-do
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Sorry to change the subject...
at 22:12 14 Jan 2024

...but that was a fabulous Masters snooker final tonight. I know it's fashionable for some to dislike Ronnie O'Sullivan, but boy oh boy, he's the Paganini of the cue. Incredible sportsman.

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Keef is 80
at 12:58 22 Dec 2023

The old strolling bones keep on strolling.... incredible.

“I am my own drinking partner. Intoxication? I’m polytoxic."

Ok-ish article in the Standard:

https://www.standard.co.uk/culture/music/keith-richards-80-birthday-rolling-ston
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It just gets better and better...
at 18:38 2 Nov 2023

...already in love with this bloke, but in this lovely little interview, he reveals that his very first ever game in this country was watching Rangers at Loftus Road. It was meant to be!! Vamos URRRRsss!

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Two incredible goals
at 07:43 29 Oct 2023

from English players abroad yesterday...





[Post edited 29 Oct 2023 7:45]
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I know it's only San Marino
at 14:46 14 Oct 2023

but it's good to see Paul Smyth tearing it up: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/live/football/67054952
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Bacon sandwich
at 11:01 2 Oct 2023

Medium sliced white, loads of butter, crispy bacon, brown sauce.

Toasted? Lettuce? Don't be silly. And don't talk to me about ketchup.

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One of our old boys still scoring...
at 17:57 21 Sep 2023

Wszolek just scored for Legia Warsaw V Villa in the Europa Conference. Still looks good - why did we get rid of him, can't remember.
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Fans forum 7pm tonight
at 18:13 18 Sep 2023

live feed:
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iphone or android - thoughts?
at 07:53 10 Sep 2023

I've had an android phone for years now and it's time to upgrade (to a sim-free phone). As I have a macbook air, it probably makes sense to get an iphone, and looking around I think the best one I can get in terms of value and performance is the iphone 11. But that's £439 or thereabouts, whereas I can get an apparently high-performing long battery life android for under a £100 (like this https://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/B0C27KQRJN).

What do the good people on here think, I'd be grateful for your opinions.
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It's the news we've all been waiting for...
at 09:14 4 Sep 2023

Well, some of us, anyway: beer is officially good for your health.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/nutrition/diet/healthy-beers-good-for

"Guinness is Good for You is one of the most famous advertising campaigns in history, but away from the slogans and billboards, it appears there could have been a grain of truth in the suggestion that everyone’s favourite stout does something positive for the body.

In recent years, researchers have been accumulating evidence to suggest that certain beers could help improve the diversity of species in the gut microbiome, something which tends to be associated with health benefits. Last year, a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry followed 22 men who drank a little more than half a pint of beer every day for four weeks and found that they subsequently had better markers of intestinal health.

Now, a review of experiments published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition has concluded that the various ingredients within beer may have a positive impact on the immune system, when broken down and fermented within the gut.

According to Megan Rossi, a nutrition researcher at King’s College London and founder of The Gut Health Doctor, this is due to plant chemicals known as polyphenols which are found in certain beers, which are known to be useful foods for the bacteria in the gut. “Bacteria have been shown to digest about 90 per cent of polyphenols and turn them into chemicals, which can have anti-inflammatory effects,” she says.

However Belgian professor Jeroen Raes, who has examined the possible effects of beer on the microbiome as part of the Flemish Gut Flora Project, cautions that we still know relatively little and that the alcohol within beer may cancel out any positive findings.

“My feeling is that if beer has an effect on the gut, the effect size will be relatively limited,” he says. “And I’m not certain that it’s by definition, a beneficial one.”

But scientists believe that the emerging research points to some beers being potentially better for you than others. Here are some gut-friendly recommendations, and some to maybe leave behind the bar.
Gut-friendly beers
1. Guinness

From the 1920s to the 1960s, marketing taglines such as My Goodness, My Guinness and Guinness for Strength firmly established the brand as arguably the world’s most popular stout.

But while there are no suggestions Guinness adds muscle mass, it is thought to be rich in certain plant chemicals. “Some polyphenols are particularly high in Guinness,” says Rossi. “We talk about diversity (being good for the gut), and that’s the case for drinks as well. So, if you drank a little bit of Guinness one night, and then a little red wine another time, while keeping within the alcohol limit, that’s probably going to get you a wider range of these polyphenols.”
2. Newcastle Brown Ale

“It’s not a health drink, but some of these ales will contain more of these useful chemicals as well as yeast strains left in the beer,” says Federica Amati, a medical scientist at Imperial College London. “They’re probably not going to be alive, but there’s a vein of thought that they still have some sort of beneficial impact on our immune system when they reach the gut.”
3. Hoegaarden

Unlike most beers, Belgian brands such as Hoegaarden, Westmalle Tripel and Echt Kriekenbier are fermented twice, initially in the brewery and again in the bottle. This second fermentation uses a different strain from the traditional brewer’s yeast, which increases the strength of the beer, but also means that it contains more potentially useful microbes.

“We know that even dead yeasts could have an effect on the composition of the microbiota, and it could also have an effect on transit times,” says Raes. “You see that if you pour the beer at the end, the final pour is a bit more opaque and that’s actually your yeast. My grandmother would also say, ‘I’ll drink that because it’s good for my transit,’ and there’s probably some effect on motility, although it’s not super clear.”
4. London Porter Dark Ale

It’s not just Belgian beers that contain some gut-boosting yeast at the bottom. Amati says that you can often spot this with craft or artisan beers, as well as the darker ales.

“If you look in the actual bottle and there’s a little bit of sediment on the bottom, that’s always a good sign,” she says.
5. Stella Artois Unfiltered

If you are going to opt for a lager, the rule is to try and find an unfiltered version. Many drinkers prefer this as it allows for a more complex flavour and aroma, but the lack of processing also means that there are more potentially useful chemicals left in the drinks.

“If you drink a fairly long fermented and traditionally made beer, so not one that’s super filtered, you will get some of those polyphenols and yeast strains left in the beer,” says Amati.

The vast majority of beers sold in UK supermarkets are heavily filtered, but some brands such as Stella Artois have begun to launch unfiltered ranges.
6. Doom Bar Zero Alcohol Free Amber Ale

Drinking alcohol-free beers could offer all the benefits to your gut, without the disadvantages of the actual alcohol content. This particular brand is a good example of a darker, non-alcoholic ale which is more likely to contain helpful plant chemicals.

“If anything, the studies suggesting that beer could have benefits for the microbiome could be quite a nice boost for the low alcohol beer market,” says Amati. “Once again though, you’re looking for those darker coloured and more artisan ales.”
Beers to avoid
1. Heineken

Heavily filtered and carbonated lagers are going to contain less beneficial nutrients for the gut.
2. Budweiser Lager

Another filtered beer, this will have less polyphenols than ale.
3. San Miguel

This popular lager is likely to contain fewer microbes than the twice-fermented Belgian beers.
4. Peroni

Like the other filtered lagers this beer is likely light on gut-friendly plant chemicals.
5. Stella Artois normal lagers

If you’re looking for a gut-friendly version opt for their unfiltered lager.
6. Heineken Alcohol-Free Lager

Just like the alcoholic versions, alcohol-free lagers are less likely to have any real benefits for your gut.
It’s not just beer – cider can be good too

According to Amati, there is some evidence that artisan cider brands – for example Old Rosie Scrumpy Cider and Henry Westons Vintage Cider – can have benefits for the gut microbiome.

“They tend to have some of the actual fruit left in the drink, meaning that fermentation carries on for longer,” she says. “The cloudier ciders are better as these are sugars known as polysaccharides which float in the cider and they’re good prebiotics to feed the gut bugs.”

Other drinks, which hark back to medieval times, such as mead which has seen a recent resurgence in London, are also thought to be beneficial for the gut. “All this ancient stuff made back in the day tends to use quite a lot of the fibre from the fruit in making it, which is why they could have some benefits,” says Amati.
But, as always, moderation is key

However, all gut experts are keen to emphasise that alcoholic drinks do not equate to health drinks and in many cases, any benefits for the gut are likely to be cancelled out by the impact of alcohol on the body.

“I’m very keen to pass on the message that we have to drink very moderately,” says Amati. “Have at least three days with no alcohol in your week, and no more than one drink when you do drink.”

NHS guidelines recommend no more than 14 units of alcohol per week – equivalent to eight cans of average strength (four per cent) beer – warning that alcohol raises the risk of multiple cancers as well as heart and liver disease.

Rossi also advocates drinking no more than one or two alcoholic drinks at a time. “When we’re talking about any anti-inflammatory benefits for the gut from these darker beers, that becomes pro-inflammatory after about two drinks,” she explains. “That’s because the alcohol starts to make the gut a little bit leaky, allowing things to move from our gut into the bloodstream that wouldn’t normally be there, and causing low-grade inflammation.”






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