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Member since: 25.06.2000

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      09.12.2000 17:33
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      It’s difficult what to make of this advert (one of the two latest Reebok adverts). When I first saw it I didn’t quite understand it (I wasn’t really paying attention), but the more I’ve seen it, the more it has grown on me. It makes me laugh and keeps my attention, and really that’s what you’re looking for in an advertisement. I’m pretty sure most of you will have seen this advert by now, but if you haven’t I’ll try and describe it. A man dressed in ‘Reebok’ sportswear is on his daily jog (that’s a guess by the way), however in pursuit is a giant beer belly. As the man runs faster, the beer belly only increases in speed. As the man negotiated obstacles the beer belly simply smashed straight through, and remains in constant pursuit. Even when the man runs through a shopping centre, the beer belly keeps up (at one point it’s squashed into a lift). Then when the man is beginning to think he’s lost the belly, it appears, on a motorbike! His only escape is to run to the top story of a nearby multi-story car park, when on the top level he jumps off the side, managing to hold onto the rail, whilst the motorbike and the beer belly rampages off the edge and plunges into the river below (a scene worthy of James Bond), then to end the advert there is a close up shot of the mans training shoe whilst he’d dangling from the building. The close up reveals the words ‘Loose the Beer Belly’. Throughout the advert some ‘Prodigy’ like music is played, with the words ‘Belly’s gunna get ya’ being screamed constantly – it really is a well worked advert. Well what can I say, it’s more like a mini-film. The advertising and marketing departments at Reebok have really earned their pay, this is a quality advert and is obviously targeting the ‘modern’ young man. No man really wants a beer belly and this advert ta
      ps into that – if you want to loose that beer belly then go out and buy some Reebok clothes, then you can exercise in style. I have to say it works so well. Not only is it fairly simple but I doubt it cost a bomb to make. It is a good example that advertising is not all about big budgets and stars, it’s about an innovative idea. For me it’s going to be a memorable advert, maybe to the extent of the ‘Wasssup’ Ad’s. Whether it will appeal to everyone, that’s not for me to say. However I’m sure it will bring smiles to the faces of many a viewer, and it certainly gets the message of the product across. Everything is right about this advert. It taps into a market with huge peer pressure (all men want that hunky six pack – probably a bit of a generalisation), it is well executed, it’s attractive (both the music and the visuals) and it’s snappy and doesn’t drag on like some adverts. I don’t think I can find a fault with it, much as I dislike the big ‘exploitative’ companies, they’ve come up trumps with this one!!!!

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      • Stand-up Show / TV Programme / 0 Readings / 31 Ratings
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        18.11.2000 18:10
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        I have to say I am huge fan of the Stand up Show, and watch it whenever it’s on. It’s important to me because I don’t subscribe to any digital or satellite packages so my choice of comedy is rather limited. Comedy shows are abundant on ‘terrestrial’ television, however these are usually the more ‘established’ comedians, and usually there isn’t much stand up, basically they are all sitcoms or comedy related drama, for example Friends or The Royle Family, which are great in their own right, but they are produced at the expense of ‘proper’ comedy i.e. making a crowd laugh, STAND UP. The Stand up Show is broadcast on BBC1 every Saturday night after Match of the Day, and lasts about half an hour, but it’s well worth staying up for. It’s introduced and hosted by some Irish bloke, who is meant to be funny but really isn’t, in fact he’s so disappointing that I can’t even remember his name, Tommy something I think. However that’s usually where the disappointment ends, and two or three ‘new’ or ‘established’ comedians are given about 6 or 7 minutes each to encapsulate the crowd. Now it has to be said, there are some amazingly abysmal comics out there, and as the Stand up Show is keen to encourage new talent it get its fair share. However it usually uncovers a gem or exposes me to a comedian that I’ve not seen before but really makes me chuckle. Basically the Stand up Show gives ‘young’ comics exposure and consequently they go on to become quite famous, like Ed Byrne. It’s well worth staying up for, especially if you haven’t got digital (there will probably be some good comedy shows on one of the many thousands of channels). Even if you don’t remember a names, at least on of the comedians on each show is likely to really make you chuckle. It’s also nice to see the interaction betwe
        en an audience and a comic, some of the improvisation is very funny. From loud acts through to peaceful intellectual humour there is usually a good mix on the Stand up Show, and after the programme they advertise for new comedians to come along (if you ever thought you could do better, why not try it?). If I was to some it up with one word it would be refreshing, it’s nice to see some new faces, though I wish they’d get rid of the leather trouser wearing, obnoxious, Irish presenter!!

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        • Alan Smith / Discussion / 0 Readings / 20 Ratings
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          18.11.2000 00:18
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          If you had asked my opinion on Alan Smith a year ago, I would have said that he was more than a thug. However I’ve had to revise my opinion after the start of this season has seen him playing with discipline, rather than just being dirty. It’s always been quite apparent that this kid has talent, but I like many believed that his temper and dirtiness would prohibit him from becoming a truly world class player. Born on the 28th October 1980, Smith is still just 20 years old, yet I think he’s already good enough to be playing for the English national team, and he’s been a successful England U21 player for a couple of seasons. He’s spent his entire playing career at Leeds, and shows a lot of passion for the club, I expect him to be a loyal player, like Le Tissier at Southampton, and I actually think he’ll finish his career with Leeds, whether or not he’ll make a move or not I’m unsure, but he certainly has a lot of passion for Leeds/ He’s a very talented striker, and though he’s not particularly lanky or muscular, uses what strength he has very well. As I’ve discussed in previous opinions there is much more to a strikers game than simply scoring and this season has seen the best of Alan Smith, especially in the European matches. He uses his strength to maximum effect and holds up the ball ever so well. Lets not forgot his goalscoring, though. This season has seen him roar into the limelight. He’s scored some stunners but his real talent is tucking the easy goal away. He has excellent positional play and reads the game well (Note Closing down of Ziege in the 4-3 match), which means he’s always there to slot the ball home, an excellent striker all round. He’s got a lot of pace and is comfortable with the ball at his feet or in the air, all in all I can’t question his technique. However, as I’ve already mentioned, I have to question his tempe
          rament. It’s obvious that O’Leary has had a word with him over the summer because he seems to have harnessed his aggression to help him make the most of his technique, but even this season we’ve seen him get a little hot headed. Last season we saw him loosing his rag every game almost and it would be a tactical ploy to wind him up, and this season a couple of tackles that have been iffy and a couple of off the ball tussles. He really needs to keep his head, and I think O’Leary will help him do that. Smith is one of England’s brightest prospects, I’m sure he’ll be world class, just so long as he keeps his cool. He’s already formed a great partnership with Mark Viduka at Leeds and they’ll both bang in the goals in the coming seasons, I would imagine Smith will become one of England’s first choice strikers within 4 or 5 years, but only if he controls his temper!

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          • Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink / Discussion / 0 Readings / 16 Ratings
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            17.11.2000 00:17
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            At 28 Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is no spring chicken and only has 3 or 4 season left at the highest level, however in him, Chelsea have brought one of the most prolific and on form goalscorers to the English game. He cost Vialli (before he got the boot) a cool £15million at the start of the season, since which he has really taken the Premiership by storm, showing simply how good he is. It’s probably testament to the depth of the Dutch national team that he has only managed to chalk up 13 caps in the orange shirts of Holland. Jimmy Floyd, born in 1972, comes from a football family, though he is obviously the most famous, his brother Carlos had a brief spell at Carrow Road (Norwich) where he too showed some quality, though he demanded too high make it with the Canaries. Jimmy Floyd’s first club was Telstar, a little know Dutch club and for a few years he rattled around from club to club, the move that made him most famous was when he transferred from Boavista to Leeds, where he lit up the Yorkshire club. However it didn’t take him long to move on and has a profound season with Athletico Madrid, before moving on to Chelsea. In the Spanish league Jimmy was a revelation, netting nearly 80% of their goals (30 – I think), and all this with a team who got relegated. So far this season, in Jimmy, we’ve seen a striker at the peak of his game, showing a supreme talent, even though Chelsea haven’t been performing particularly well. Jimmy Floyd is a striker of the highest calibre, probably his chief asset being his the power in his shot. Whether he has a shot after running 50 yards or simply a shot from a standing position he gets tremendous purchase and more power than anyone else, notably however the shots are tremendously accurate, so if you give him even so much as a half chance within 30 yards he’ll put it away, and so can punish even the meanest of defences. He’ll run his socks off too, and will give 1
            00% no matter what. He’s got good positional play and knows where to be in order to make chances for himself and teamates. He’s not the greatest player in the air but he isn’t afraid of putting himself about and so wins his fair share of aerial balls, however he does seem to prefer balls into his feet, something he’ll get plenty of at the Bridge. However, for me, he’s not going to be a football legend (even though he’s a world class player). For me his temperament is not quite right. If I remember correctly he left Leeds under a cloud, I believe he was in search of high wages, and I have to question whether he is in the game for the his passion and love for it or whether he is greedy, however my main criticism on the pitch would be that fact that he’s easily provoked. So far we’ve seen it a couple of times this season, chiefly in the Charity Shield, i.e. the confrontation with Roy Keane. He seems to believe that he has the right to win ever ball, and when things weren’t going his way in the Shield match he got quite inflamed, and produced a horrible little stamp that provoked Keane. However I think this stems from his aggression, which can also be a definite advantage, he just needs to be careful he doesn’t loose his rag. In conclusion he’s a great player, though I still think £15million is a bit steep, look at Viduka who is nearly as good for £6million. I would expect Jimmy Floyd to bag about 25 goals this season and the next (if he stays), but will he stay if Chelsea fail to perform or a big club comes in and offer huge wages, I still have my reservations, hopefully he’ll turn out to be a real Premiership star.

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            • Fredrik Ljungberg / Discussion / 0 Readings / 11 Ratings
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              16.11.2000 00:19
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              It’s testament to Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal squad that Freddy Ljunberg doesn’t command a regular first team place, though he’s once again got his chance as Pires is out for a couple of weeks. In my opinion Ljunberg is one of the best players at Arsenal and is at least as good as Robert Pires, who plays a similar role in the team. Fredrick Ljunberg was born on the 16th of April 1977 over in his native Sweden, and is still a young talent. However he spent 5 years at Halmstad before being spotted by Wenger around, and consequently signed back at the end of 1998, after he had shone in the Swedish national team. Freddy is now a quality player, who is probably one of the best attacking midfielders around. He’s two-footed and will player anywhere from the wings to the central slots. Notably though it’s not his creative flair that impresses me as much as his aggression, he certainly has flair but he is a hugely aggressive player, and although he can get a little hot headed. He is almost like two players rolled into one, the ball winner and the creative player, and this gives Arsenal another option. I’ve already mentioned his aggression, but Ljunberg has lot of other talents. His chief asset has to be his pace and ball control. As a winger he can easily skid past you and get a cross in from the by-line, but when he’s played in the centre he still has the confidence to take on defenders and consequently he gets in a lot of shots, probably why he scores so many club goals. He’s not the best in the air, but he always try, and this is great to see in a player, that hunger should never dwindle, I see far too many players being complacent which is tremendously annoying. Overall he’s a great player, and still very young and Arsenal will get some quality service from him. He’s also a very versatile midfielder, again very handy for Arsenal but a factor that will see him win numerous S
              wedish caps (He’s only got twenty or so at the moment). However I have to wonder whether he will hang around whilst Pires keeps him on the bench, but he must be patient and continue to improve and show his commitment. Perhaps his temperament will be a problem but I’m more worried about what hairstyle he will employ next!

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            • Mark Viduka / Discussion / 0 Readings / 12 Ratings
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              15.11.2000 00:11
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              David O’Leary has shown that he’s not just a tactical genius with the signing of Mark Viduka from Celtic during the pre-season for just £6million (bare in mind that in football terms this isn’t all that much – Figo £37million / Emile Heskey £11million). Already Viduka is paying dividends, not only by scoring goals at will in the Premier League, but also his magnificent performances in the Champions League, Mark Viduka had truly arrived on the football scene, having previously played in some of the less publicised leagues of Europe. Viduka is a 25 year-old Australian, born in Melbourne, however he is also qualified to play for Croatia (I believe his parents were from Croatia but don’t quote me). So far his success have come at club level, as at international level he has only scored 2 or 3 goals from 20 odd caps – though probably more to the players around him than the player himself. He started his football life playing for a Melbourne club but soon moved on to the football pastures of Europe, having two successful seasons at Dynamo Zagreb in Croatia. After which he made a £3million move to the Old Firm in Scotland, donning the green and white of Celtic. However this moved revealed, perhaps his only, flaw in Viduka. He didn’t seem to be able to handle the pressure of a big move and went AWOL for 3 weeks, however once he had sorted his ‘head’ out he shone, in the less than glistening Scottish Premier League. In one season he scored 25+ goals and won the Scottish Player of the Season Award, and has now arrived in Yorkshire, showing similar goalscoring form. He’s a lanky player and well built, almost the stereotypical English Striker, and is very impressive in the air. He’s not only got great vision as to when to leap but has a fantastic leap, almost like a basketball player, and manages to hang in the air, whilst his powerful neck muscles direct the ball, not only, wher
              e he wants it but also with some great power. But he’s not just a striker who thrives in the air, he is also one of the best players when the balls on the deck. He is actually very quick, almost deceptively so, but combined with the confidence and variety of tricks makes him very difficult to defend against and, of course, he has a powerful and accurate shot at the end of it, please not the four goals he got against Liverpool recently. However there is more to a striker’s game than simply scoring, but Viduka has everything. We’ve seen in the Premiership Viduka’s apparent ability to score goals at will, however in Europe he hasn’t scored as many, notably not because he didn’t play well (quite the contrary) but because his adaptability meant he could be employed in a different role, as someone to hold up the ball and supply chances for Smith or the midfield. Leeds have now progressed to the layer stages of the Champions League, and Viduka is probably one of the keys as to why this is. At times he was receiving the ball with two or three markers on him, but his sheer strength, determination and ability meant he could shield the ball and then have the intelligence and creative flair to play a killer ball. Quite frankly I am a huge fan of Mark. At £6million he has to be one of the bargains of the season, Celtic probably had the little AWOL incident in the back of their mind when transferring him. He fits into the Premiership so well and really adds something to the Leeds team, equally Alan Smith can only benefit from the partnership, indeed we’ve seen him bag a few goals. At 25 (will be 26 soon) Viduka has plenty of seasons left in him, and already the partnership between him and Smith is awesome, I really can’t wait until Harry Kewell is back – imagine Kewell, Smith and Viduka together – the defences of England should be quaking in their boots!

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              • Silvain Wiltford / Discussion / 0 Readings / 12 Ratings
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                14.11.2000 00:04
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                Sylvain Wiltord is yet another French import the Highbury, and cost Monsieur Wenger a cool £13milllion (I think/ My memory isn’t great). He joined the Gunners earlier this season after some good performances in Euro 2000. The Arsenal team is now looking very much like a French League side, and Sylvain has linked up with the likes of Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires. In my opinion Arsenal have made another quality signing, and although Wenger receives a lot of criticism about the build up of French players but the signings he has made are all excellent, we’ve all seen Henry and what he’s like at his best. Although Wiltord is a little older, he still has a lot of skill, but also plenty of potential too. Wiltord, 26 (won’t be long before his 27th birthday), has only played a handful of matches in an Arsenal shirt, most of these were as a substitute, so it’s difficult to conclusions at present. However the time that he has been at Highbury and throughout his career at French clubs, Bordeaux and Rennes, he has shown a lot of potential. In some ways he is very similar to Henry, probably due to similar coaching methods, but in other was he reminds me of Emile Heskey or the great Ian Wright. Wiltord is very, very quick and although he’s maybe a little slower than Henry he certainly has the pace to frighten Premiership defences. Perhaps his main asset is his strength. He’s not a tall lad but he’s not only bulky and strong but he has a good spring in his step, and so wins a good deal in the air, with Bordeaux he was often used to hold up the ball for Lillian Lasland (I can never spell the surname correctly, sorry), and Arsenal could well do the same. He’s got a brilliant shot, which is accurate and powerful, essential in a striker. He has good positional sense, he knows where to be if he’s going to get a sniff at goal and he’s got a good temperament, at least we haven&
                #8217;t seen him lash out at anyone yet. As I’ve said it’s difficult to form an opinion about Sylvain purely on the games he has played for Arsenal. I think he’s going to fit in very well, in the physical world of the Premier League, and am sure that once he gets a run in the team (Bergkamp won’t last much longer!) he’ll prove to the world just how good he is. If he can carry over the form he showed at Bordeaux he will become a real hit with the Arsenal faithful and once a bond between him and Henry has formed they will be very difficult to stop. I may be a little dubious about Wenger building up a French suburb in London, but Wiltord brings his experience (Bordeaux in Europe) and skills to a club that will be a real challenger for the title in the coming years.

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              • Celebrity / TV Programme / 0 Readings / 31 Ratings
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                12.11.2000 01:15
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                If I was to use one word to describe Celebrity it would be ‘tacky’. Celebrity is ITV’s new show that takes the place of Home and Away, shown at 1:30p.m and 5:00p.m each weekday. Now, for me, this show is incredibly tacky and looks rushed, almost as if it’s been plucked from some remote cable channel or something, however I find myself strangely drawn to it. It’s hosted by the wonderful Andi Peters and, the somewhat less charismatic, Penny Smith and is basically a daytime entertainment show that give you all the latest celebrity gossip, from who’s divorcing who to the latest plots in the soaps. Each shows not only has all the latest gossip but also has interview with some ‘proper’ stars like Michael Douglas. It also shows at least one music video per show, so really it has a bit of everything. However it is amazingly tacky and relaxed. It seems quite rushed, the news style layout to the studio is hardly original and doesn’t really work with the presenters. The depth of the programme isn’t great, dare I say that it’s aimed at the same kind of audience as The Sun. Although the show somehow manages to capture interviews with the major stars they never seem to ask all the questions you want and seem to tip toe around the stars. I’ve also seen selected interviews and reports shown more than once, probably because it’s the only way to fill half an hour of television. All in all it’s not an intellectual programme, it’s not even particularly good (admittedly better than You’ve Been Framed), but it’s a time filler and it’s the relaxed TV you want at lunch or once you’ve got home from work. It’s not challenging on the old brain but we all want to know a bit of gossip especially if it’s about the celebs, and there’s a music video at the end of each episode. It’s definitely a daytime TV show, but it’s
                better than what’s on other channels and at least it’s watchable!

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                • More +
                  01.11.2000 00:27
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                  Championship Manger 00/01 is the latest in a series of football management simulations indeed it’s probably the best series in the football management simulation world and Champ Man 00/01 is probably the best football management game ever! Possibly even a contender for the best PC game ever. It really is that good. However I’m writing this opinion from the point of view of an avid football fan and although it easily holds my attentions, if you don’t love football maybe it won’t make such a lasting impression upon you. Although the game does provide the player with a ‘buzz’ it isn’t quite the same as fragging an opponent on Quake so if you’re only into the fast action of a first person shooter than perhaps again it’s not for you. However the game should and does appeal to a huge audience and the series has captivated that audience. I won’t go into detail about the series but I will take a look at the game for you. It’s easily the most detailed management simulation, and I couldn’t possibly give you all the detail. The basic concept is to ‘manage’ i.e. through tactics, transfers and ideas etc. a football team. Be it Manchester United or Leyton Orient the targets that your management should achieve are different. Ok so the concept is nothing new, we’ve seen Premier Manger, another management sim like it. But Champ Man 01/01 takes it into new depths. The game itself based on the Championship Manger 3 engine and is more or less an update of Champ Man 99/00 but with a few additions, either way it’s a fabulous game. There are no fancy graphics so you won’t need a rock of a computer to run it either. Although if you want to run multiple leagues then you will probably need a lot of RAM, with 128mb I get away with running 10 leagues but even this can get a little slow. Basically it’s just a system of databases and spreads
                  heets, each player has a list of statistics which give you an idea of where the player is best suited and what part of the game he will perform in. The statistics are out of 20 (20 = excellent), Although it sounds simple there are simply loads so the possibilities are endless. The basic premise is to win matches, be it division 3 or Premiership whatever. To do this you need to spend hours designing your tactics and searching for players with the statistics you need. For example if you’re going to play a counter attack game get some quick forwards with good positional play. I won’t go into anymore detail but it’s tremendous. I’m not going to say much more about how to play, I’d be here all day, but the thing that’s most appealing is it does actually feel like you are managing a team, you can do everything including training. It keeps you hooked and because it’s so deep and you have to concentrate the buzz is all the better when it comes to getting a ‘result’. I can’t think of any other game that recreates the cup atmosphere like this, I just long for the FA Cup draw to be made. It does all this without even a graphic and no notable sound. Anyone who has read my Champ Man 99/00 opinion will be able to tell that so far my opinion has been very similar, however there are some excellent additions to this new game. Notably the depth (that I thought was almost unbeatable in 99/00) has been extended to such a point that I sent 4 hours the other night without even clicking continue (don’t brand me sad but I sorted my tactics out and I spent ages looking for suitable players). This is mainly due to the fact that the databases have been expanded, indeed now there are 55,000 players in the normal database and 85,000 in the maximum one – chuff me I hear you say. Not only this but you can now take control of teams in any of 26 divisions (99/00 only had 16), from the R
                  16;normal’ one like England to Croatia, Wales or even Finland. This depth has to be the games best aspect and will keep me away from a social life for months to come. Now as you’d expect, all the data has been updated, to be in line with the start of the season, and SI has already issued an update that has all the latest transfers like Stan the man to Bradford (www.cm3.com), however I will come onto the update later. There have been a number of other tweaks, such as the match engine has been adapted to show the 10yard dissent rule, and it certainly isn’t as easy to win matches, the computer AI has been greatly improved. During a match you can view a ‘live’ league table, allowing you to plot your clubs position changes (be warned this slows down the game a bit). The staff options have been improved. In the previous version coaches and the like had ratings that didn’t fall in line with their ability but now what you see is what you get. You can also ask for reports on players which is great. There are many tweaks around the game but you’ll have to play about a bit. There are another two notable features, firstly interactive media involvement. Yes you now have to interact with the media, so if you have a bad run you will be criticised, or if you approach the FA about a referee then this will likely make the news, and one final addition is that this game comes with an Editor, which allows you to update the data as things happen in ‘real’ life. However much as I love the game there a many flaws I am afraid. Firstly the editor. The game is tremendously user friendly however the editor is not, and is quite difficult to work out and easy to make mistakes, also you can’t add injuries using it, quite disappointing. The media interaction is wonderful, but if you’re in a lower league you’ll see very little of it. I know this is true to life, especially concerning national pres
                  ses, however I would love to see a message saying that a regional paper has criticised my management, whatever. However I’m more than a little disappointed with a couple of areas. The first concerning the data, the update and the bugs. The game is horribly riddled with bugs especially the version you buy (3.81), you can have a game where not one pass is made, or see Kevin Keegan get appointed manger of England and there are many players missing or at the wrong clubs, notably this is after the patch. The patch updates the game to 3.84 and is found on the cm3 website (above) and is 11MB in size. Now most bugs are fixed and it also updates the data like Stan at Bradford and Freedman at Palace, however it seems to have concentrated on the top leagues, and many players at lower sides, have either moved or have injuries or whatever. Once I had installed the patch the game ran well, however my star players had been removed from the entire game – ug). Last night they added a new patch v3.86, a massive 13mb, but it's definately worth it, lots of bugs are finished and the data has been updated. I'm pleased SI have fixed most of the problems, but would it not have been better to fix them before the game was released? My final little annoyance is that the manual that comes with the game is quite frankly rotten. Now it does cover the key features which will help newbies get into the game, however it spends no time on the new features like the media, it doesn’t cover any rules for individual leagues and overall is not really much help. However this aside, it’s a wonderful game – the best ever, and a new patch will be made soon to fix these remaining problem (I hope), I know I’ve written a lot here but it’s not nearly half of it, the Colleyer brothers have made another wonderful game.

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                  • Kevin Keegan / Discussion / 0 Readings / 21 Ratings
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                    08.10.2000 01:28
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                    Oh my Kevin Keegan has resigned. Well I’m not really sure what to say now. Undoubtedly, whether you’re a football fan or not, you’ll have heard that England have just lost to Germany at home, since which time Keegan has resigned, and I have points to raise towards the end of my opinion about this. For those that don’t know, Keegan is the emotional man who transformed Newcastle back in the early 90’s and was appointed as England manager during the Euro Champ’s qualifiers. He managed to get England to Euro 2000 but we went out at the first hurdle and since which England have not become the force we want. Keegan’s had his critics for a while now, but I have always supported him, for one he has the same passion for the game I do. He is a supreme motivator and is entirely honest. He wears his heart on his sleeve and will do anything he can for his country, a major quality that I like to see. However has been criticised for his inept tactical decisions. Apart from an away match against France he has not produced on the tactics front. Today he played a diamond formation in midfield taking a big gamble with Gareth Southgate in midfield, then again there are plenty of people in the England camp who could give a little advice. I think much more of the blame for recent result lies with the players and their arrogance to the team game and the state of English football in general, we simply don’t have the touch, confidence and we are lagging behind our counterparts in Europe. He’s left at a most annoying time. After Euro 2000 I praised him, not a great championship but he wanted to take England further into the World Cup of 2002. However I’ve lost a little respect, if he had had doubts he should have resigned after Euro 2000, if not he should have seen us out. Thinking about it though who have we got to replace him, Terry Venables? I think not, he just doesn’
                    t motivate. Howard Wilkinson? Don’t make me laugh. We either need a duo at the helm or a man who can motivate, use tactics and promote teamwork as far too many players are trying to be too individual. For me it’s one of two men, Peter Taylor (Leicester), who probably won’t because the way the FA treated him at U21 level or Bobby Robson (Newcastle) who seems to be the complete package but maybe too old. I don’t care if he’s foreign or English, known or unknown, just please bring back England, for we are not watching a national team anymore we are watching a team individuals. We have the players now, we have some good youths and if we win against Finland we still have an excellent chance or World Cup 2002, I have one statement left and is directed at Lancaster Gate – GET IT SORTED. Perhaps Keegan has taken the easy way out, we need some stability.

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                    • More +
                      07.10.2000 00:59
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                      The Dr. Martens/ Capitol Records Music Sampler – you what? I hear you cry. Well last year I bought a pair of chunky Doc Marten’s (Boots to normal ppl). Anyway I opened up my box and found this neat, free CD’s inside. I was entirely sure was to what it was so I tried it out and have been very impressed. The CD has two uses, one as a CD-ROM with videos of the songs and whatever but basically it’s an advert disk for Doc’s and for Capitol records, it’s also a music CD, and it’s the music I want to focus on. It has to be said I wasn’t expecting much in the way of quality, after all it’s free, but wow, take a look at the playlist: 1. New Way Home (Foo Fighters) 2. Late in the Day (Supergrass) 3. New Song (Ben Lee) 4. Sugar in your Gas Tank (Less than Jake) 5. Minnesoter (Dandy Warhols) 6. Monster Truck (Plastilina Mosh) 7. I Love N.Y (1000 Clowns) 8. All Mine (Dance Hall Crashers) 9. Save Tonight (Eagle-Eye Cherry) 10. El Distorto De Melodica (Everclear) 11. Purple (Fat Amy) 12. Jumpin Jack (Big Bad Voodoo Daddy) 13. Punch in the face (Frenzal Bob) Now call me musically uncultured but I’d only hear half of half of these band so I really as contemplating just binning the CD but I listened, and to my amazement I loved all the tracks apart from Monster Truck which is too loud and rap like form me. In general it’s excellent, and I may even have spent money on it. I love Late in the Day and Save Tonight that not only convey emotion and passion but don’t overwhelm you. This CD introduced me to 1000 Clowns who are excellent, they had another song out not so long ago and also the Dance Hall Crashers. I’m very impressed all round at this album. It’s probably best described as rock/pop but there is a little rap in there. I didn’t think it would appeal to me but the artists all have a real talent fore
                      xpression and I found myself moved by some of the tunes. The first time I heard Jumpin Jack I got up and started dancing (very rare for me) and his so so so catchy you wouldn’t believe. I was very impressed at this, and the whole idea of advertising your artists on a free CD is grand. It’s certainly worked because If I hadn’t been given this CD I would not know of the talents of ‘Fat Amy’. I’m surprised we don’t see more free CD’s about actually. Any way I’m not really sure where you’d be able to get this now, maybe try capitol records because I’m not sure Doc’s still bundle them with their boots. Either way this sampler got me buying music and more boots, a genius marketing move!

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                    • World In Union Anthems / Music Album / 0 Readings / 10 Ratings
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                      04.10.2000 01:06
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                      I’m writing this because it’s a nice CD. I’m talking about ‘World in Union’, the ITV album made for the Rugby World Cup of 1991. I think you’ll find they do a similar CD for each World Cup but I’ve only got this one. Ok I’ll sum it up by saying that it’s not really everyone’s taste. It’s near enough classical music, you now lots of orchestral work no much in the way of catchy tunes. Saying that I love my rock and pop, this CD just seems to strike a chord. The playlist: 1. World in Union (Kiri Te Kanawa) 2. Pavane (Union) 3. Emerald Eyes (Union) 4. Italiana (Union) 5. Land of My Father (Llanelli Male Choir) 6. Emotion in Motion (Union) 7. Swing Low (England Squad) 8. Jupiter 9. Flower of Scotland (Union) 10. Australiana (Union) 11. Game of Hearts (Hal Lindes) 12. New World Haka 13. World in Union As you can no doubt see it’s got a song for each of the country’s to enter, and so there’s a degree of emotion in the occasional song like Flower of Scotland (I’m not Scottish it just moves me to hear songs like that). There is no tune here that’s loud or pop like but even the slow tunes like emotion in motion conjures plenty of emotion, partly because I like rugby and the tunes can work well with the rugby game. I personally enjoy every track even though I’m not really a fan of classical music. Mind you I suppose that the songs are between classical and ‘popular’ music, and it’s nice and easy to listen to. Unfortunately I haven’t seen it on sale since 1991, however I’m sure if you look hard you’ll find it. I would advise that you get the most recent addition instead, I think they brought one out during 1999, so it’s worth looking into, if you want a change from the somewhat ‘dance like’ tunes of recent months. Do
                      n’t discount it, but you might want to listen to it before you buy just to make sure. Oh yes it’s got the Haka on it, so you can dress up in your all blacks and dance around the living room going ‘ommmmph a’.

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                      • Operation Good Guys / TV Programme / 0 Readings / 15 Ratings
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                        02.10.2000 03:23
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                        Operation Good Guys is another comedy that you either love or hate, I don’ think there’s a middle ground. It was screened on BBC2 at 10pm (I think on Friday nights), however I believe that series 2 has finished now, so if you’ve never watched it you’ll have to wait a little. I personally find it very funny but I love comedy where as my husband doesn’t like it, he’s a more serious fellow. Essentially it’s a spoof of the Bill. Its episodes revolve around the day to day life of a police station and the officers in it. (The Bill thing is quite apparent especially as one of the officers is called ‘Beach’ and the set is quite similar.) But this is where seriousness ends and insanity and comedy takes over. Each week the, power hungry, ‘guv’ sets his team of policemen to do some ridiculous stuff. One week they could be planning a pantomime the next they are preparing for a ‘royal’ visit. However I wouldn’t say it’s the plots that make it so funny, it’s the characters. Apart from the megalomaniac ‘guv’, you’ve got the policeman that always seems to be there right behind him (A polite way of saying sucking up). You’ve got the unconfident copper who has bits of his anatomy enlarged. There are plenty more, sometimes even a special guest that helps add to it. Each show though is also backed up by some very funny background work and more spoof work. The other week I tuned in to the start of an episode and they were being recalled from ‘school work’, basically they got dressed up into ridiculous costumes to try and teach children some road safety – it was stupid but most of us know that the police force does actually take part in such things. Well I’ll try and some up. I personally think it’s excellent even though it’s obviously got a low budget. However I would not bracket it
                        as a great comedy show. Firstly there have been plenty of spoofs before, and I’m sure there will be more (film spoof = Scary Movie). Spoofs don’t always appear to everyone, and some of the jokes are a little out of place. It’s not often easy to pick up on the sarcasm either, however I’m probably nit picked, it’s worth watching even if just to say it’s not you’re cup of tea.

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                      • A Touch of Frost / TV Programme / 0 Readings / 20 Ratings
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                        01.10.2000 21:52
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                        Well I’m impressed that ITV can produce quite so many quality ‘crime’ dramas when generally I think the station is quite poor. I’ll start by saying that I have actually seen everyone so far, mainly due to the fact ITV keeps repeating them, but for me they haven’t lost anything. I also hope that some new episodes will be appearing on our screen soon because I really rate it as one David Jason’s best roles. For those that don’t know David Jason plays an off the cuff detective in the town of ‘Denton’ – his character being ‘Jack’ Frost. Each episode he tracks down the culprit of a murder or some other crime, usually succeeding but with twists and turns along the way. David Jason is superb in playing Frost, who is a most loveable policeman with his eccentric filing system and his interplay with his lady friends. But there are plenty of other things going on each episode. There is always plenty of interaction between Frost and Inspector Mullet (Chief person of the particular police station), who isn’t incompetent but who is seemingly naive to the practice of crime fighting, there are plenty of episodes where he’s on Frost’s back to get crime figures etc. but deep down you know they like each other really. Also Frost seems to get a new D.I to help him out each week, which adds for a bit of variation. The plots are simple, there’s a murder or crime that needs to be solved and the ITV production team go to great depths to show all possibilities and all characters in their own light, so the viewer really gets involved. The plots usually plenty of twists as they draw to a close and keep you guessing who’s the guilty party. However I can think of at least one episode where the murderer was obvious from the start. You see Frost keeps you guessing, is it the obvious suspect or someone else, I simply can’t get up until the adverts start.
                        The acting is excellent, the depths of character and plot is excellent and the sets etc are great. I’m going to say that this is probably the best ‘crime’ drama other than Morse. It’s a worthy two-hour watching and keeps you pegged from start to finish, I simply can’t fault it, although it does get repeated a lot.

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                        • Budweiser - Wassssup / Archive TV / 1 Reading / 47 Ratings
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                          01.10.2000 01:15
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                          Well I’m going to say that this advert is another Budweiser funny. I didn’t think that we would see an advert nearly as good as the Louis the Lizard ones but ‘Wasssssuuup’ comes close. I guess it’s an advert you either love or hate. I personally like it but my hubby though it was just plain silly. Ok so if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s basically a mick take of silly Americans ringing each other up whilst watching a baseball/football game going Wasssssup loudly. I know it sounds silly but it is quite funny. It’s also disturbing because I do know people who just ring up and have simple conversations ending in ‘Watching the game, having a bud’. I probably like it so much because it’s taking the mick out of Americans rather than because it’s a quality advert. I can imagine that after seeing it 10+ times it would start getting annoying. It’s certainly not as good as Louis the Lizard but it is still nice, and although I don’t like Budweiser gets me thinking about alcoholic beverages of some form. Also at the risk of plagiarism, as someone else has already picked up on it, could the Wassssuuuup be Weeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiser (Weiser) – could this be a clever form of almost subliminal advertising, I don’t know, but it could be a clever ways of getting your product out there. Overall I would say it’s one of those adverts that has a distinct novelty value when first seen but also one that may become annoying after a while.

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