Saturday, December 27, 2008

Should Tamarillo be cloned?

Tamarillo is a famous 3-Day event horse who has won various titles including the Badminton and Burghley horse trials. Recently his breeders (at Biddesden stud in Hampshire UK) Mr and Mrs Finn Guinness expressed their desire to clone their champion steed. This may seem like a touch of vanity per say, but on closer inspection their could be a greater vision at work in their wishes.

Regular horse racing over the flat is generally contested between 3 year old male and female throughbred horses, and the blood lines are carefully preserved owing to the fact that the male horses are never castrated. For almost all other types of horse competition the horses that obtain the highest level are geldings (castrated males). The reasons for this are unclear, but it seems that perhaps stallions stop trying so hard when they reach maturity or perhaps they have a a greater sense of self preservation, or perhaps even the testosterone stops the brain from discipline! Either way, one they are castrated they can never be bred from.

Mr and Mrs Finn Guinness are interested in cloning Tamarillo with the specific aim to not castrate him (cited in horse and hound). With race horses the better and more succesful horses are the ones that tend to have better progeny. Whole generations of the greatest horse lines are therefore lost. No one can claim to ride a horse who's forefather has won Badminton as they have never been Stallions.

The idea of playing God has in someways been meddled with many century ago, afterall the thoroughbred horse itself was selectively bred by man by racing Arabian horses across the Salisbury plain. It is ironic as this is not many miles from where Tamaillo was himself origionally bred. there have been offers for this to happen but it is not free. I say we help out and make donations to the Clone Tamarillo fund.

see also -

As always



Monday, December 15, 2008


If Manchester United are having trouble scoring goals recently, why would they have no substitutes that are strikers? And perhaps Scholes should have come on, but not in place of Tevez!?!
Scholes and Giggs for Fletcher and Park, and Manucho for O'Shea


Monday, December 8, 2008

Who is the best defender in England?

The best defender is clearly from on of the Big 4 as they are always the clubs who concede the fewest goals. So who is the best?

For Liverpool- Carragher is a little small, Agger a little inconsistent, Skrtel seems to be good but needs more time.

For Arsenal - Toure is strong, but Gallas is sometimes prone to lack of concentration.

For Chelsea - Terry can be a little slow, but Carvalho is intelligent.

For Manchester - Vidic and Ferdinand make a good partnership

My personal opinion is that

1. Vidic
2. Carvalho
3. Toure
4. Ferdinand
5. Skrtel


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Whats happened to Blackburn of late?

They didnt get off to too bad of a start in the English Premier League however they have seriously fallen off the pace. Obviously their manager has moved on to greener pastures, Santa Cruz was injured and they lost Bentley.

My personal opinion though is that vis a vis my article on which countries produce good player - they lost Friedel. Everyone needs a great keeper and they have Paul Robinson who hardly inspires confidence.

Look at what has happene to Aston Villa since the American moved to their club - they are probably (quote me on that) going to finish in the top 4!

have a good saturday


Friday, December 5, 2008

I met someone recently who told me...

He worked in a Manchester park. Ryan Giggs house overlooked this park. When people would wave at him as he looked out the through his glass walled balcony, he would stick his middle finger up at them.

This could give you an insight

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A position of Nationality? Which countries specialise in which soccer positions

Styles of soccer vary greatly between different countries. Nothing is either right or wrong, no one country wins the world cup every time. However it does seem that some countries seem to produce more world class players in one position rather than another. For example noone would ever accuse Nigeria of being a conveyor belt of reliable defenders, but their attacking players are powerful and skillful. In this article I am trying to identify which country produces the best players for each position.

The world is riddled with great American goalkeepers. Hanhemann, Friedel, Keller, Howard - to name but a few. Other countries specialise in this position as well such as Italy, and it is a close call. The American goalkeepers are not only numerous but also extrememly good consistently. The reasons behind this is that US sports in general suit the mentality of a goalkeeper. American football involves catching footballs, basketball is soccer with the hands. These sports provide the perfect lessons for a budding goalkeeper


Appologies for lumping in all eastern european countries into one, but the mentality is perfect for this role. Vidic has changed Manchester United, as Skrtel did liverpool and Ivanovic is great for Chelsea. These defenders bring a no nonsense approach and keep the ball away from the goal. What sets these defenders apart is their fearlessness, to look at the nose of Vidic is to know he is not scared of putting his head in the way, a moments hesitation and all is lost

To not award this to France shows how good Brazilian full backs are. Cafu, Roberto Carlos, Maicon to name just three. The idea that Dani Alves of Barcelona is not a starter for his country is testament to the abundance of talent that Brazil have in this position. Fabio and Rafael of Manchester United are some of the most exciting players that have come through the ranks recently. What sets Brazilian full backs apart is their attacking mentality, they are fast, great at crossing, can score and are fantastic defenders.


To be honest this was the hardest to award, wingers are mavericks and they can come from anywhere. Portugal have a great tradition of wingers with Eusebio being the most celebrated, there is huge competition for a starting berth on the wing with Nani, Quaresma and Simao, but with Ronaldo having just won the Ballon d'Or from the wing, perhaps they are worth their value.


Not awarding this to France is surprising once again. Great midfielders have to be great leaders and organisers. Even though traditionally associated with the 'long ball' technique, Englands most famous players have ofter been midfielders since Bobby Charlton through to Bryan Robson, and little has change today with Gerrard, Lampard, Barry, Hargreaves, Carrick all offering something a little different and they are all extrememly important players for their clubs in a very competitive league.


Fabio Capello has coached nearly every famous player of the modern era, he thinks Van Basten is the greatest he has worked with. Van Basten is definitely not the only great Dutch striker, they currently have Kuyt, Van Nistelrooy, Huntelaar, Babel, Van Persie and many others. These are all great players and all competing for two places. Finishing requires a cool head and for some reason or another the Dutch seem to be able to deal with all situations.

Although a few eyebrows may be raised by the absence of a mention of Italy, Argentina and Germany, this is because their teams seem to be more well balanced, they are strong in every position which explains their great success over the years.