Button joins McLaren

The other big sporting news this week has been Jenson Button moving to McLaren. Mercedes themselves have bought about 75% share in what was Brawn GP so it will next year be called something like Mercedes GP. From all the media coverage about you get different stories but it seems that Mercedes want 2 German drivers. One of those already signed is Rosberg. The other one could be Heidfeld but there is a rumour that it could be Schumacher! (according to Eddie Jordan) There are even reports that Ross Brawn and Schumacher met up which could have been a small part of the reason Jenson decided to leave.

Jenson himself has said its not about money and the challenge. The challenge to race in the same car as Lewis Hamilton – widely regarded to be the fastest out and out driver. Its going to be tough for Jenson since McLaren is almost like Lewis’ team since hes been there so long. Also with the different driving style its going to be tough for McLaren to set up effectively what will be 2 types of cars.

I hope Jenson will do really well! He is my favourite F1 driver so I would say that! As he has said it was a tough decision, staying with Brawn he would have been the main guy, would have the “main man” as his boss (Ross Brawn), he knows the whole team and with the Mercedes money they would have had a lot of money to further develop the car – which they had been rumoured to have started developing on months ago. However, the chance to race against Hamiton and drive for a team like McLaren, who arguably would have a better car next season is a great chance!

The deal Jenson was apparently offered by Brawn would have been equal if not better than what he has signed with McLaren so it looks like its not all about money. Heres an interview on the BBC where he talks about the challenge and how its not about the money – http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8369244.stm

I hope Schumacher drives in F1 next season. I still think hes got it in him. 2010 looks like its going to be a great season!! An all British team in McLaren, Alonso with Ferrari and Massa back, maybe Schumacher back, 4 new teams!!

One thing almost forgot to mention is Raikonnen. It looks like he wont be in F1 next season and will be taking part in WRC (Rallying). With his contract with Ferrari, the following year he will still get about £10m so the offers he was getting were not good enough for him. According to some reports he would have earned more sitting on his sofa doing nothing than signing for another team. Raikonnen was earning A LOT of money and not really getting the results – although not all his fault. I think hes a brilliant driver but I wont miss his interviews and press conferences!! YAWN!

The Hand of Henry

Well everyone seems to be talking about the France vRep. of Ireland game which happened on Wednesday but not about the actual match. It was all about Hnery handled the ball which directly led to France’s goal in extra time.

Here is the Hand of Henry:

There is no denying the Henry handled the ball. In fact he handled it twice. Henry himself has admitted it and said it was “instinctive”. Looking at the replays it looks like the 1st one may have been but the 2nd touch he seems to scoop the ball into the penalty area for Gallas to head to ball into the net. (Looking at replays there was properly an offside too).

Apparently Henry told the ref that he handled it but not clear if it was after the final whistle or the goal. Hand balls happen all the time in football whether deliberate or not but most of the time the ref or linesman spots it, stops play (or disallows goal), maybe gives a card and the game goes on. If the ref/linesman spotted this incident (not idea why the linesman didnt), then there wouldnt be this huge “controversy”.

So far Blatter and Platini (heads of FIFA and UEFA) have not commented on it. No surprise as they are generally hopeless. Who knows what would happen if it was the other way around and e.g. Robbie Keane handled the ball. Maybe this is time to finally have video replays/refs. I dont think it would work having it all the time as football is fast paced and we dont want lots of stopping in the action like other sports. However, having it for goal mouth incidents. To see if the ball went over the line or if there were any fouls etc in the penalty box leading up to a goal.

Its all to late now for Rep. of Ireland and the likely hood of a replay is very very slim. I think real sorry for Ireland. However, one way of looking at it is that they had 3 very good chances to score another goal and maybe should have cleared the ball before it even got to Henry. Also, they were awarded a penalty in the Georgia game in the qualifiers which was for absolutely nothing so maybe everything balances out?? I personally think if they was a replay it would open a huge can of worms. It would set a precident and mean all games in the future with controversal incidents could be replayed or teams would demand replays after games they had lost because of silly things. It would be madness!

It has to be said though that the reputation of Thierry Henry has certainly gone down for many people. He doesnt seem the type of player to “cheat”, maybe it all instinctive. Either way, he will have to do some very good PR to improve his reputation now – he may now be remembered not for a really really good player but for that hand ball.

As I have said there has been many comments from players and managers but one of the most vocal is Roy Keane. Now as a United fan I think Roy Keane is a United legend. However, that is as a player and not as a person/manager. He certainly has seem issues with the FAI (Football Association of Ireland)! He said that they (Rep. of Ireland team) should get over it. I am sure if it was his team he wouldnt let it drop. Although a different type of situation, he certainly didnt forgot about it back in around 2001 when he basically tried to break Haland’s leg with a knee high “challenge”. This was after an incident in around 1998 when Keane tried to tackle Haland and suffered a cruciate ligaments injury.

You can see the Keane press conference where he talks about the Henry incident – http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/8370497.stm

(Reading in news this morning that Eric Cantona said about the Henry incident. “What shocks me the most is that this player, at the end of the game, in front of the TV cameras, went to sit down next to an Ireland player to comfort him – when he had just screwed him,”. “If I had been an Irishman, he wouldn’t have lasted three seconds.”).

X Factor

So everyone is talking about X Factor this year and especially now after the shocking decision by Simon Cowell. Now I know he was not the one who voted her out. She got the least number of votes so thats why shes out – which I cant understand as she sings well and seems really nice and lovely. (And how can Lloyd not be in the bottom 2. I think X Factor should ban teenage girls and grans from voting!!)

Anyway, Simon Cowell now known as Simon Coward had the chance on Sunday to send “Jedward” home by voting to save Lucie. He has gone on for weeks saying how terrible Jedward are and if they win he will leave the country. He also said he would base his decision in the sing-off between Lucie and Jedward – who were in the bottom 2.

If he was just basing it on the singoff then surely Lucie goes through in the “singing” competition?? Jedward may be “entertaining” (to some people) but they cant sing. Simon did the same last week when “basing it on singoff performance” he sent home Rachel – who is a much better singer than Lloyd.

Simon also mentioned, after someone said something about it effecting Lucie’s future career (or something to that effect) and he said its not life and death and people should calm down ….. At the end of the day, X Factor is not life or death so maybe we should stop it?? He wont get more £millions!

Another thing which annoyed me was on Saturday he said he liked Lucie – a good performance etc but then Sunday it all seemed to change. He keeps going on about it being a singing competition but it clearly isnt now and he has just kept Jedward in because he knows more people will watch. This years X Factor has been the biggest rating and arguably thats because of Jedward. They have been getting a lot of press coverage and this will properly continue. Simon knows people will talk about it, it will be in all the newspapers, people will watch the show and vote (on premium rate lines), lining the pockets of Simon and ITV.

This is the 1st year I have watched all the live shows (since the 1st series) and I will properly stop watching now. As well as this “controversy” Louis Walsh is really doing my head in. So annoying!! Always going on about the same things, going on about  its about the singing and then he has Jedward. He had a go at Simon for choosing a song in the “movie week” which wasnt in a movie. Simon told him the movie it was in – maybe not the bigggest movie in the world but it was in a movie. He kept going on about it – it seems if Louis Walsh hasnt heard of a movie it doesnt exist!!

I think next week Jedward will properly be in the bottom 2 but will (hopefully) be up against Lloyd. Jedward will properly be saved again.

UPDATE – Apparently, Simon Coward talked to the executive producer in the ad break before the sing off and “seemed to be discussing what to do”. This story was in the Sun so take it with a pinch of salt.

UPDATE2 – 3000 people complained to ITV and 50 to OFCOM. If only people were this bothered/concerned/interested in the General Election!!

Formula 1

Well the Formula 1 season has finished now and its been a great season. My favourite driver Jenson Button wins the championship, Rubens is back winning again – great to see him win again; a real top guy. Also great to see Mark Webber win his 1st (and others) race.

As well as the actual racing there was all the controversy. Renault’s crashgate, McLaren’s lying about Hamilton overtaking etc and some other stuff I cant remember.

There was also the disturbing incident with the Massa crash. It just shows how dangerous F1 still is – thanking he is well on the way to recovery and will be back next season.

The coverage on the BBC has been brilliant. Straight away they are at an advantage with no ad breaks. F1 just didnt really work with ad breaks – while we watch adverts the race was still going on!! The BBC coverage has been great with the analysis, different graphics to show whats happening, the great Formula 1 forum they have after the race, the commentary team with legend Martin Brundle and the banter between David Coulthard and Eddie Jordan was great. Jake Humphrey did an excellent job. The only bad thing in my opinion was John Legard – I just dont hes that good and suited for radio.