Wednesday, April 26, 2017

This is a small piece to explain why on Sunday afternoon, between 3pm and 5pm, my Twitter feed will be a mix of football, cursing, drinking, swearing and classic rock.

It’s that time of the year again! The last game of the football season, and my team (Gillingham) are in very real danger of being relegated from their current league (League 1) to the league below (League 2). At the moment we’re in 20th place – finishing 21st or below means we spend next season in a lesser league with lower quality, smaller attendances and less money from both league position and people watching. It’s not good.

Here’s the table as it stands:

As it’s three points for a win, and one for a draw, the only team below us who can overtake are Port Vale. Here’s how it could go.

If Gillingham win: it doesn’t matter what happens elsewhere, we finish the season on 52 points and we stay up. There’s a party at the game, much is drunk in celebration.

If Gillingham draw: we finish on 50 points. We stay up IF Port Vale don’t win (i.e. they draw or lose). Even if they do win, if Bury lose heavily then they get relegated instead. Not an ideal situation as our fate is in the hands of others.

If Gillingham lose: we stay on 49 points. If Port Vale also lose, we stay up, drink, be merry, have fun. If Port Vale draw then we also stay up, unless we lose by a difference of seven goals or more (a slim possibility, odds on Bet365 are currently 1680/1 on such an event) in which case we finish on the same points and get relegated due to having an inferior goal difference (Goals Scored over the season minus Goals Conceded over the season). If Port Vale win, we’re down.

So, all things considered, the best outcome is if Gillingham go for a win, so we have our fate in our own hands. But how likely is this? Well, in our last game (at home, to Fleetwood - remember that name) we took the lead twice, before contriving to lose 3-2. Our match before that we lost 3-0 away at local rivals Charlton, a game I went to but the team didn’t really turn up at. Before that we won at home to Bristol Rovers, a team at the top end of the table, with two late goals that were rather lucky. Form is not on our side.

But what about the team we’re playing? We’re away at Northampton. They’re a few places above us, safe from relegation and ideally already thinking about their holidays, so in theory shouldn’t be that motivated. However it’s the last home game of the season so they’ll want to send their fans off happily with a win. Not only that, their manager (Justin Edinburgh) used to manage Gillingham until halfway through this season when he was fired – rumours are that the players turned against him and stopped putting in any effort (although that malaise has been in the squad since January 2016 so honestly, how would we know?) and as it’s always nice to get one over your ex, there may be added motivation there.

Port Vale are playing Fleetwood, who have promotion to play for (and beat us on Saturday as well) so a Vale win is by no means guaranteed, although they won at Walsall on Tuesday night. 

You may be feeling a small sense of deja vu. Haven't you read about Gillingham trying to escape relegation on this very blog, seven or so years ago? You'd be right. Things didn't go our way that time, and because of this I'm shouting down the urges to spend my day travelling to the Midlands to cheer on my team. Instead I'll be sitting on the couch as my wife plays Stardew Valley, listening to radio commentary and refreshing Twitter while drinking in celebration or dismay. Come join me! It'll be fun.

Friday, November 23, 2012

App and Widget Recommendations

Have a list of app and widget recommendations for Android.


3g Watchdog: Very handy for keeping an eye on data usage. You can set the times (just in case your billing cycle doesn't start on the 1st of each month) and put a widget on your home screen so that you can easily see what percentage you've hit so far.

Addons Detector: Useful in case you're getting push advert notifications in your notification bar and want to know what app is causing it. Also, to make sure you've not got anything dodgy running.

Advanced Task Killer: Battery running low? This will kill all apps you tell it to. Comes with a handy widget you can put on your home screen to kill them with one touch.

Battery Widget Reborn: Love my widgets, I do. Shows what percentage of battery you have left - also looks good.

My Data Manager: Mobile internet usage going up and up? Want to know which apps are responsible? Boom.

Wifi Toggle Widget: Too lazy to keep faffing about in your settings to turn the wifi on and off? Use this, and one touch will toggle the wifi state. Another widget to add to your home screen.

Other Stuff

Airdroid: I keep my phone charger and cable in the bedroom. My laptop, with all my music, is in the living room. Because I'm lazy, this lets you connect phone to PC as long as both are on the same network. Handy for file transfers.

Chrome: If you use this on your PC you need it on your phone.

Fetchnotes: Good note writing application. I use it because I'm old and my memory's abysmal.

Google Reader: If you use this on your browser, this'll let you keep up with your RSS subscriptions on the go. If you don't, then start using it. Now.

IMDb: The most useful website ever now has a mobile application that learns your preferences and tailors your searches accordingly.

Instagram: Because screw you, it got me taking pictures again.

Lampshade: TV Tropes on the go. Useful if you have time to kill.

Pocket: I used this when I was commuting - using the Chrome plugin, if I found interesting articles on the web, one click would download them to my phone and I could read them at any time, regardless of data connection or not.

Songpop: Because you don't play it enough.

SoundHound: Incredibly useful. Hear a song playing and can't identify it? Hit this app, and it'll look it up. Another thing I have on my home screen - one tap of the widget and it starts listening.

Stupid Zombies: Great point and shoot game to pass the time.

1. WiFi toggle widget

2. Advanced Task Killer widget

3. WiFi hotspot widget

4. Battery widget

5. 3g watchdog widget

6. SoundHound widget

The clock is One More Clock and shows the weather, temperature and remaining battery life as well as the time.

The launcher is Circle Launcher and has helped tidy things up. The launcher normally has a more obvious button to start it, but I've made the background transparent and the black wallpaper helps to hide the black text (it's visible if you look really hard). The launcher gives shortcuts to my most frequently used apps - games, maps, social networks.

The four widgets along the bottom I've covered before, but briefly (L-R) they're a Wifi toggle, task killer, mobile data usage and Soundhound to identify the song playing.

Wallpaper is from

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thursday, December 02, 2010

What's the most bizarre drink you've ever drunk? Nil points for Becherovka.

What's the most bizarre drink you've ever drunk? Nil points for Becherovka.

Answer here

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Boxer or briefs?

Boxer or briefs?

Answer here

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Relegation situation

On Saturday it's the last proper game of the football season. (Don't worry, we've still got the World Cup.) After battling to win promotion last year Gillingham find themselves in danger of being relegated back down to that division at the end of this. Luckily, there are two teams below us who are in worse shape.

The dashed line between 20th (Exeter) and 21st (Tranmere) denotes the relegation spots - stay above the line and we're safe, drop below it and we're screwed. It'd be nice if we could stop the season one game early, but we can't. (It'd be even nicer if we could've stopped the season 45 games early after we beat Swindon 5-0 and went second in the table after one game, but still.)

On Saturday afternoon things all come to a head. We're away at Wycombe Wanderers (23rd). Tranmere have Stockport at home (24th) and Exeter host Huddersfield (6th).

Form guide

A lot of you might look at the table and think "oh, Wycombe are relegated, they have nothing to play for". Well, the same thing was said about Wrexham* ten years ago and look what happened. Also, out of 22 away games this season in the league we have got six draws and amassed 14 defeats. (That's no wins, if you think dolphins are gay sharks.) That includes a loss at Southend (relegated), Tranmere (could be relegated) and Exeter (could be relegated). Don't count on anything. Tranmere have (on paper) a fairly easy home game against the worst team in the league. Exeter's opponents, however, are gunning for a win and a good spot in the promotion shake up.


If Gillingham win: it doesn't matter what Exeter and Tranmere do, we're safe and one of the others go down.

If Gillingham draw: we're probably safe, as long as Tranmere don't win by 16 goals or more. (For the record, their biggest league win ever was 13-4, so they'd have to break that record.) Even so if Exeter only lose or draw they'd go down instead, not us.

If Gillingham lose: and Tranmere and Exeter both fail to win (i.e. draw or lose) then we stay up. It'll be a shitty end to the season, but we'll survive. If we lose and only one of Tranmere or Exeter wins (the other drawing or losing) then the other will go down before us.

If Gillingham lose: and Tranmere and Exeter both win, then we're back in League 2 next season and James has a grumpy evening.

So that's it. Keep an eye out here for the Live Text link on Saturday afternoon if you're so inclined. I'm spending £33 on tickets and travel, plus extra on food, drink, booze etc so I hope it's all worth it. I've never seen Gillingham win an away game before though, so I'm not sure...

*Ten years ago we were in the same league but fighting to leave it the other way, through promotion, to the league above, which we'd never done before. With one game left all we had to do was win away at Wrexham and we'd be promoted automatically. We lost. Luckily we managed to get promotion via the playoffs and a last-minute-of-extra-time winner at Wembley, but still. Mention the word "Wrexham" to a Gills fan and watch him come out in cold sweats.

Postscript: Typical Gillingham, we went and lost 3-0. It was an uninspiring performance, only two players actually looked interested, and our "star striker" managed to miss an open goal from a yard out at 1-0. We got relegated, and said striker moved to Norwich, where he scored the goal that took them into the Premiership. Such is life.

Monday, March 29, 2010