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Kingfisher fish and chip shop review

Hello and greeting my Bearded Soldiers. I pray you’re well and looking after your beards. Here is my review of my favourite fish and chip shop in Greater Manchester!

It’s over and out and out from your Bearded Captain.

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Broad and Anderson the ultimate bromance

Sports like football and cricket, are beautiful sports for several reasons. Games can be decided and won through good teamwork or individual brilliance, yes that knock by Ben Stokes in the Ashes at Headingley comes to mind.

As important as those factors are for winning games, I want to talk about the need to build good partnerships in a duo, the bromance or the Romeo and Juliet pairings if you will. Let me elaborate.

Football fans, do you remember the Chris Sutton and Alan Shearer partnership for Blackburn Rovers, which helped the Lancashire side win the Premier League title in 1995.

Or what about the Teddy Sheringham and Alan Shearer partnership for England, or even the legendary pairings that both included Andy Cole, it’s fair to say someone is loved. First Cole and Peter Beardsley in the early ’90s, who combined to score more than 60 goals. If combining with Beardsley and scoring a sack load of goals wasn’t enough, it was when Andy Cole teamed up with Dwight Yorke at Manchester United that did an ultimate bromance develop.

In that 1998-99 season, as brilliant as Beckham and Giggs were, it was the deadly two upfront.

From the telepathic linkup play in the game against Barcelona or the semi-final win against Juventus in the 2nd leg, Cole and Yorke were brilliant, in fact so brilliant that then Blackburn manager Graeme Souness reunited the duo at Rovers.

In this blog, what I want to talk about are some of cricket’s deadly duo’s. Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, Alan Donald and Sean Pollock or Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee. In terms of the latter two players, they sound more like a solicitors firm rather than a potent Australian bowling attack.

In the example of every duo, that I have listed, one player seems to compliment the other, which I think can be said of the example I want to use now, the example of James Anderson and Stuart Broad.

With 1100 wickets between them, it’s obvious to see that despite Joffra Archer, Olly Stone, Sam and Tom Curran at their disposal and many more bowlers in the production line, England will revert to type and go to their two premier bowlers at any given opportunities, it’s with good reason.

Despite Broad being 34 and Anderson 38 respectively, these two are the men who seem most likely to answer the call of need for England.

The ongoing test between India and England seems to be proving my theory. This may be a bit harsh, but at the time of writing Archer and Ben Stokes combined have bowled eight overs between them and have conceded 43 runs.

Yes, the West Indies born pacer does have a wicket in the India innings, but compare that to the legendary duo of Anderson and Broad, they two have conceded just 31 runs in 15 overs. Both Stuart Broad and Anderson have been able to produce bits of brilliance on several occasions in their brilliant careers.

To be fair, the supporting cast have produced at times, but there’s an over-reliance on Broad and Anderson. With 1100 wickets between them, this thinking is natural. Until England area able to find this formula of winning games without Anderson (easier said than done) then England will remain stuck in the past.

India (Bumrah), South Africa (Rabada), Pakistan (Shaheen Afridi), New Zealand (Trent Boult) and Australia (Pat Cummins) have younger main strike bowlers than England. All I will say is, I don’t envy Joe Root’s dilemma, but until they find a formula I think England will be stuck in the past.

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This weeks Champions League preview

It seemed like it took a lifetime, but last week Champions League football returned after a roughly two month absence. Last week, we were treated to some good games. Sevilla were outscored by Borussia Dortmund who won 3-2 on the night and Barcelona were humbled by PSG 4-1. 

In the other set of matches Portuguese champions Porto comfortably beat Juventus 2-1. Although the scoreline may seem flattering to the Italians, make no mistake about Juve were well beaten. In the last game of the round of 16 fixtures saw six-time winners Liverpool comfortably beat Manchester United conquerors 2-0 in Hungary, the adopted home of the German side due to Covid19 travel restrictions. 

As for this week’s round of matches, tonight’s matches see defending champions Bayern Munich travel to last year’s Serie A surprise package Lazio. This tie on the face of it, seems to have a safe Bayern progression written all over it, but The Bavarians have been far from convincing this term and even more since they returned from the Club World Cup. 

Having said that however, I expect the German giants to progress in this one 4-2 on aggregate. Ciro Immobile, will be a handful for the Rome side, but it’s the Lewandowski factor that will be the key for Bayern Munich.

 In the other game this evening, high flying Atletico who lead LaLiga by three points with a game in hand, host Chelsea.

Los Colchaneros who were in the same group as Bayern, have transformed into a brilliant attacking side.

Players like Louis Suarez, Joao Felix and Marcos Llorente of all people have been crucial for the the Spanish side.

Chelsea who recently appointed new manager Thomas Tuchel, have marginally improved since the German took over.

With talent such as Havertz and Ziyech at their disposal, The Blues will be no pushovers, but I can’t see past Atletico Madrid. My prediction for an aggregate score line or Atletico 3-1 Chelsea.

In tomorrow’s matches sees Manchester City come up against Borussia Monchengladbach. The Blues who have badly under achieved in this tournament, have been defensively brilliant this year with Stones and Diaz being key.

This tie seems City’s to lose, my prediction Man City 3-0 Borussia M. I am sure Marcus Thurman and co will be looking to do better than that over two legs.

The final game of the Champions League week sees Real Madrid and Atalanta go head to head.

Real as we know are the most successful team in the history of the tournament with 13 Champions League titles.

Atalanta on the other hand are relative new comers of the tournament and were dumped out last year in agonising fashion in the quarter-finals against PSG.

This year, the Italian side have been a shadow of that side who became everyone’s second team.

Papu Gomez, the captain of that side has left for Sevilla. Atalanta do still have Louis Demirel, Illicic and the bustling figure of Zupata too. They won’t be pushovers for sure.

Having said that, I still do fancy Real in this one. It won’t be an easy game, but this won’t be the nightmare game that Ajax was for Los Blancos. My prediction on aggregate Atalanta 1-4 Real Madrid.

So they were my predictions, but what do you think? Let me know in the comments.

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The end is nigh brothers!

Hello and good evening, it’s me your Bearded Captain, leader of all beards and flag bearer of all beards on digital media.I am that beard who tries to make people laugh and I am that beard who tries to make people smile. My brothers, I hope you’re well, looking after yourselves and more importantly your beard!

My brothers I want to talk about an important issue in the life of beard. As you are all aware, we are in a lockdown and in a lockdown, not only have the gyms, restaurants, bars and football stadiums to the fans have been closed, but the closing down of barbers has hit us beards hard!

I never think this would be the case, but a lot of us beards have grown the equivalent of afros, but it has been. This lockdown like the other lock down has been a challenge for all beards. Some beards have been better at it than other beards, the grooming of their bead. 

Brothers, I know some of you (me included) are working from home and the perceived need to maintain your beard is seen as not necessary. My Bearded beloved’s it is necessary as the beard is your pride and enjoy. These times of lockdown have been tough, but the end is nigh .. no more botched snipping of the beard (like a certain someone did, mentioning no names). 

Well brothers, the end is nigh! On April 12th, the barbershops will be reopening in the U.K. Form an orderly queue as The Bearded Captain exercises his right for being at the front of the line as I am The Bearded Leader. 

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The hangover

This season has been an unprecedented season for so many different reasons. As previously discussed in my blog post, which can be found here; https://ayyazmalik.com/2021/01/09/a-season-like-no-other/. This season has been an unusual one to put it mildly. In the English Premier League, there has been some normality that’s returned as Manchester City seem odds on to win their third title in four seasons.

Across Europe, Real Madrid/Barcelona neither of them are leading Laliga, it’s Atletico Madrid who seem to be running away it, but a surprise 2-0 home loss to Levante, means that the gap has closed at the top to just three points, but Diego Simeone’s side do have a game in hand.

In Germany although usual league leaders Bayern Munich are still top, ever since they returned for a successful and triumphant Club World Cup, The Bavarians have conceded 31 goals already this term, one less than they did in the entire 2019-2020 season. Their 2-1 defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt means that the Bundesliga is more competitive this year.

With the example of Bayern, the Champions League winners have been far from flawless. In France last year’s Champions League beaten finalists PSG, have been suffering from indifferent from and they too aren’t have thing their own way in Ligue 1 as they trail league leaders Lille by four points. This is the same that could be said about Italian champions Juventus.

Juve, who have had a strangle hold on the Scudetto for a past best part of a decade, trail league leaders Inter by a massive 11 points, it must be noted that The Old lady have two games in hand over The Nerazzurri in Serie A. Regardless of this fact, even Juventus haven’t had things their own way.

This bug, shall we call it has travelled to Scotland too. Celtic who were looking to complete the ’10 in a row’, have been thwarted by a resurgent Rangers who are just seven points away from a first trophy in the Steven Gerrard reign. Covid, has affected us all and here’s to thinking that May can’t come quick enough.

But there’s some good things to have come out football being the way that is due to Covid, it’s not as boring and predictable as what it has been across Europe. That is a good thing, here’s to hoping that next season will be something similar, but I am not holding my breath.

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Liverpool vs Everton; the phobia of 20?

To say that Liverpool have had a tough season this year is some under statement. After accumulating over 190 points in the last two seasons, this season has been somewhat of a fall from grace for Jurgen Klopp’s side. Last year, the title was all but sealed before the lockdown, this year? The Reds are fighting for Champions League qualification.

After romping to their 19th title last season, the Anfield side were seen by many as favourites for this year’s Premier League. At the start of the season, what turned out to be an unpredictable season until Man City made an oath that they won’t lose a game. The fall from grace all started when Jordan Pickford forgot what sport he was competing in.

Jordan darling, it’s football. Former Sunderland goalkeeper in a challenge, that was more of a resemblance to a Connor McGregor move, put an end to star defender Virgil Van Dijk’s season. Initially, Jurgen and co, looked to have had the issue under control until 2021 began.

This year has been a disaster for the Merseysiders and that’s putting it mildly. Six defeats in this calendar year already was more than 2019 and 2020 put together. Many have written Liverpool off, this team is past it, this team is this, this team is that. Calm down guys!

Yes, this has been disappointing, but there have been many injuries. It was only last season that Premier League leader Manchester City had an equally disappointing title defence. Bad seasons happen, they have had some rotten luck this year with injuries whereas last year they were fine.

The defence hasn’t been the sole reason for this season panning out the way it has. The constant changing of centre backs doesn’t help, but playing you’re two most important players in midfield in defence has made them severely depleted. After the January window Kabak has been the player partnered with The Red’s captain Jordan Henderson, but they’ve been severely depleted with Henderson at the back.

Liverpool’s midfield is a well oiled machine and without Jordan Henderson, well it’s just getting rust on it. The game against Everton this evening summed up this seasons struggle in a nutshell. Is their a fear of getting to that 20th title? I don’t think so, but they obviously don’t like a number with 20 in it as they have lost for the first time in 21 years to Liverpool.

The Toffees’ last win against their rivals at Anfield was a 1-0 win in 1999. Don’t worry Reds fans, your team will be back, but the Liverpool board do back him, he’s earned it.

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James Anderson, the man who can do it on a ‘cold night in Stoke’

In cricketing terms, he should have retired a while ago, he’s arguably outstayed his welcome, but England fast bowler James Anderson is like fine wine, as they say, he gets better with age.

There are not many other sportsmen that this could be said about, giving this some thought and I would say Juventus forward Christiano Ronaldo is the only man who you can say this about. Jimmy is the other.

Born in Burnley, Jimmy Anderson has turned from a spiky-haired youngster who would have issues with injuries and his action, to a world-beater with the ball. Our Jimmy is no mug with the bat either.

Starring in an Ashes test with folk legend Monty Panesar in a stubborn last-wicket stand to thwart old enemy Australia and save the game on that occasion. An 81 against India, his highest in first-class cricket left the cricketing fraternity pondering on the thought of England having a new all-rounder in the making.

As the Burnley Brian Lara got older, and more greys appeared on the head, what else came abundantly clear was Jimmy was getting smarter with the way he bowled. In his heyday, he could run in at close to 90 mph more consistently. These days towards the mid-eighties is the norm.

Anderson has now almost turned wizard-like with ball. When Ronaldo takes a free-kick in football, no one else can make the football talk like he does. In cricket, the same can almost be said of James Anderson.

Reverse-swing and making the old ball talk was only a skill that many thought Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis could do, but Anderson has mastered the reverse-swing art too. It must be a Lancashire bowler thing.

As impressive as that is for the now 38-year old Lancastrian, the challenge is if he can do it on a dry spinning pitch? The football equivalent of doing it on a cold night in Stoke. With 600 wickets to his name (the most by any fast bowler in world cricket), one would come to a resounding conclusion, yes he can!

In fact, in the ongoing series with India, James Anderson now holds more records. In the previous test series against Sri Lanka, the 38-year old became the oldest man to take a five-wicket haul and has the distinct record of being the man who has taken the most wickets in test cricket after reaching 30.

For a player who changed and remodelled his action, only to go back to it in the process, this is some achievement. James Anderson, you are a legend of the English game, no the world game.

There won’t be a fast bowler who can quite do it in all conditions as you have. World cricket salutes you, it won’t be long till her Majesty will be calling for a Royal Visit. Sir James Michael Anderson arise!

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When you know it’s winter (satire)

Hello and good evening my Bearded Soldiers, it’s me your Bearded Captain, leader of all beards and flag bearer of all beards on digital and digital broadcasting media. I am that beard who tries to make people laugh and I am that beard who tries to make people smile.

My Bearded Beloved’s I pray you’re well, looking after yourselves and your beards. Brothers, I want to talk about an important issue. My Soldiers, I spoke about when you know it’s summer in my previous blog post, in this blog post I want to share with you some signs when it’s winter.

Stating the obvious, it’s when your heating in your house in on full blast almost constantly. Yeah, that’s an obvious, but what about when you have to put those three quarter shorts to the bottom of the clothes pile and the-shirts too. The long Johns that weren’t mentioned in the summer, they’re on the tips of everyone’s lips.

With the case of the long Johns, you can say the only John that get’s mentioned in summer is our Pappa John, the pizza place. Are you coffee or a tea lover? Well, you will know it’s winter better than most, because you will crave that warm beverage even more. In the summer and when it’s hot you will not really feel the need to have coffee that many times in the day, if not at all.

Keeping it consumption based, what you feel with teas and coffee in the summer, you will tend to feel the same in winter too. When it’s cold all you want is hot food and when it’s summer you don’t.

I am not sure if this next example is just me, but you will know when winter is here when you wear a t-shirt you will feel a cold sensation not like freezing freezing cold but a cold you will only realise was there when you put your jumper on. In the summer, you will struggle to sleep due to hot and humid weather.

You will toss, turn and wrestle with the duvet, not being able to sleep with it off your body, but not being able to sleep with it on. In the winter? No such worries, initially there will be a period where your feet and part of your body will be like snow block almost, but when you sleep you sleep like a baby.

In the summer, where people are happy glowing and beaming, people are the opposite in winter maybe because it’s freezing and sunsets in the mid afternoon! I remember this with me. I went to work in darkness and came back home … in darkness! That’s enough to break a man.

Do you remember we mentioned about the ice cream man? Well the only ice cream man you get in winter is a male shrieking in a high voice (yeah that’s a dad joke). In the summer and with the weather being hot, you just want to sit in the shower days on end to cool down, in the winter?

Once you shake off the reluctance to go into to the shower due to it being freezing …. you don’t want to get out as you’re under a nice warm shower. I guess nothing changes there then. Last but not least in my opinion, when you know it’s winter time is when you see more men with beards, which is obviously to keep their face warm.

On that note, it’s over and out from The Bearded Captain.

To help keep wonderful content coming through and help maintain project Bearded Captain , you can help fund me here;

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The signs of the summer (satire)

Hello and good afternoon, it’s me your Bearded Captain, leader of all beards and flag bear of beards on digital and broadcasting media.

I am that beard who tries to make people laugh and I am that beard who tries to make people smile.

My Bearded Brothers, I pray you’re well and I pray you’re looking after your beards! My bearded beloved’s, I want to talk about an important issue, the issue of when you know it’s summer.

Now to sate the obvious, you know it’s summer when you look outside, see the sun in the sky and there’s no need to wear a coat.

In the winter, the woolly hats and neck warmers are dusted off but when summer comes, back to the bottom of the draw it goes.

My dear brothers, I want to talk about some subtle signs of when you know it’s summer time.

The first thing that comes to mind for me, is when you hear the melody tune coming from far far away, that sound usually means one thing … an ice cream van! In the winter, they seem like they go into hibernation.

When you sense the temperature outside reaches double figures, rest assured you will hear the melody tune and an engine roaring in the sunset coming into the sun, you will know it’s an ice cream van looking for kids who want ice cream.

I am not talking about, in the back of the van stuff there, just thought I would clarify.

Other signs of the summer is you will see people more happy. Obviously when it’s Christmas time, everyone is beaming on the outside and in, but when it’s summer time .. the happiness is different, it just is.

Men, will be walking around with their t-shirts off and bare chested, sorry let me correct that comment, it usually tends to be the boys who go topless when the temperature reaches double figures.

The men from Newcastle, aren’t afraid to take their shirt off even when it’s minus temperature!

Stating the obvious, with this next example, but people tend to dust off the sunglasses in the summer time.

There’s only one person, who truly rocks the sunglasses and that’s the Phons in Happy Days. No one and I mean no one makes sunglasses look good quite like he does, Hey! *in Phonsy voice*

True story, I realised the wife of a TV presenter, came to my dad’s shop and in the winter I saw her and he daughter with sunglasses on and yes it looked really weird. Summer won’t be summer, if you don’t bring out the shorts from the bottom depths of the wardrobe.

In the winter, legs are locked up till lunch! In the summer, those bad boys are whipped out for the world to see.

Fellas, just make sure those legs aren’t crusty or even skinny! If you’re bringing those legs out of the wilderness, no one wants to see crusty legs or skinny ones.

Images like those scar the average man for years on end. My sister, my God haver mercy on her soul, would tease my by saying I had ‘lady legs’.

Fellas, if your leg game isn’t up to it, hit the gym and don’t skip leg day! Not chicken leg day, no I mean the quads, hamstrings, calves and quads need working.

Last but not least, in my opinion one of the signs that tells you it’s summer time is when fizzy drinks go in the freezer.

Brothers, don’t do what I did and leave it in the freezer for too long, because you would be greeted with an ice explosion and burst plastic bottle with unprecedented amount of ice everywhere.

Entering that scene, you would have thought it was part of the Antarctic, but no it was just my kitchen!

On that note brothers, there is a list of the signs of when you know it’s summer time. It’s over and out from The Bearded Captain.

To help keep wonderful content coming through and help maintain project Bearded Captain , you can help fund me here;

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Just don’t be one of those people

Hello and good evening, it’s me your Bearded Captain, leader of all beards and flag-bearer of all beards on digital media. I am that beard who tries to make you laugh and I am that beard who tries to make you smile. Brothers, I want to talk about an important issue, it’s the topic of not being one of those people.

There’s always one, the odd one out. People who don’t spell their name right. “Hanna’, I am talking to you here and ‘Stephen’, yeah this is aimed at you. But brothers, what I am referring to here is the people who wear shorts in -2 degrees temperature or in any weather for that matter.

Dude, what’s wrong with you? Do you want Pneumonia? I am sorry, but I am gonna be blunt here, that’s like one of the hookers on a cold night. No matter the weather, she will always have the short skirt on, which is just weird, don’t be one of those people. Other people you shouldn’t be like are those who wear socks and sandals.

Are you a Geography teacher? No, didn’t think so …. but the people who do this (wear socks and sandals) well, let’s just say like Wethers Originals (you know what I mean). So more example of people that you shouldn’t be like are those who wear leather-strapped gentleman watches with a tracksuit.

Brothers, it just looks odd. This post borders on, my previous post of signs of a psychopath, which can be found here; https://ayyazmalik.com/2020/08/24/signs-of-psycho-satire/

My Bearded Soldiers, I am back after a little break, and that’s your list for now. It’s over and out from your Bearded Captain.

To help keep wonderful content coming through and help maintain project Bearded Captain , you can help fund me here;

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