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The World Turned Upside Down?

You may have noticed there’s a rather large and important football competition taking place at the moment. (A swift glance at TV schedules would be enough to tell you that.)

Four years ago I expressed my fear that a period of Germanic hegemony was upon us. Notwithstanding Portugal’s efforts at the last European Championships the young German side which triumphed at last year’s Confederations Cup boded well (or ill, according to view) for that prospect.

It seems that hegemony is not to be. In three performances of stunning inadequacy Germany have been so poor as to finish bottom of their group, only a moment of individual brilliance on the part of Toni Kroos yielding them a solitary win over Sweden.

It’s been a topsy-turvy sort of tournament what with England playing well (so far) and Argentina, like the Germans, struggling badly – but still managing to reach the second round.

I’ve not been overly impressed by anyone – though I thought Colombia looked good against Poland. But that may have been because the Poles were totally ineffective.

Brazil seem unbalanced to me; too much in thrall to their star player, Neymar, who doesn’t look fully fit. Belgium may be dark horses but haven’t played anybody of standing yet.

Judgement must be reserved till the knockout games. Too often before, a good showing in the group has unravelled at the next step.

But… Could this be Uruguay’s year again? They’re the only side yet to concede a goal.

(Cue a Portugal win on Saturday.)

De Peppel Sports Park

When visiting Drachten in May 2017 (see previous posts) I found a parking space right by a sports complex. This turned out to be the De Peppel Sports Park, home of V V Drachten.

The club plays in the third Sunday class of the KNVB Noord, the sixth amateur level.

View of stadium from road:-

De Peppel Sports Park, Drachten

View of pitch from inside entrance:-

De Peppel Sports Park 2

View of pitch and stand:-

De Peppel Sports Park 3

View of stand:-

De Peppel Sports Park 4

The “It Ketting” Sports Field

Home of VV Surhuisterveen which plays in the “Fourth Sunday” of the KNVB district Noord after promotion from the fifth amateur level in 2015.

I couldn’t see an easy way to get close to the ground so had to photograph it from a distance. It looks a tidy wee ground.

Football Ground, Surhuisterveen

From the link it looks like VV Surhuisterveen play in Sons colours!

For previous posts about Surhuisterveen see here and the links within.

Bakkeveen Sports Park

You may remember I mentioned the home ground of Dutch football team V V Bakkeveen (among others) three and a half years ago.

The plant growth had been too profuse in Sep 2014 when I was there.

Just over a year ago we visited Bakkeveen again. It being spring the trees were less in evidence and the ground eminently visible.

Football Ground, Bakkeveen, The Netherlands

Dutch Football Ground 2

Dutch Football Ground 3

Abe Lenstra Stadium, Heerenveen

When visiting Belgium and The Netherlands in May last year I took a wrong exit and ended up heading north on a slightly different motorway from the one I intended. (Btw Dutch motorways are brilliant I have to say.)

As a result we passed directly beside the Abe Lenstra Stadium, home of SC Heerenveen, who play in the top level of Dutch football, the Eredivisie. I note that the team plays in the colours of the flag of Friesland.

The stadium is named after Abe Lenstra, the club’s most famous player, even though the era in which he played was not the club’s most successful.

The pictures were snatched (not by the driver) as we drove past.

Abe Lenstra Stadium Heerenveen

Heerenveen's Abe Lenstra Stadium

Steven Gerrard

One response to his getting the job at Rangers is, “You’re having a laugh.”

Appointing a totally untried manager when you’re in a position of catch-up? That really went well for Celtic when they gave the post to John Barnes.

On the other hand he might just give them the gee-up they are obviously looking for.

Gary McAllister as assistant could be a decent move, though even if as a full boss he hasn’t quite set the heather on fire.

New Dundas Park

At the risk of giving Sons fans even more kittens than they have already this season here are some photos of New Dundas Park, home of Bonnyrigg Rose F C, which I took in November 2016.

It’s a lovely old-fashioned place, with an earth mound for a terrace on the side opposite the entrance and you can walk all the way round.

It’s approached up a small lane:-

New Dundas Park Entrance Lane

There was a queue to get in that day:-

New Dundas Park 2

The entrance gates are finely wrought:-

New Dundas Park Gates

South terracing and goal from west terracing:-

New Dundas Park 4

View from southwest corner:-

New Dundas Park 5

From southeast corner looking west:-

New Dundas Park 6

From southeast corner looking northwest:-

New Dundas Park 7

North terracing and goal from east terracing:-

New Dundas Park 8

South terracing and goal from east terracing:-

New Dundas Park 9

North terracing and goal from east terracing (north):-

New Dundas Park 10

South and west terracing from north-east corner:-

New Dundas Park 11

Tannadice Park, Dundee (ii)

Eddie Thompson Stand with Jerry Kerr Stand to right:-

Eddie Thompson Stand,Tannadice Park, Dundee

George Fox Stand:-

George Fox Stand, Tannadice Park, Dundee

West Stand:-

West Stand, Tannadice Park, Dundee

Main Stand, (Jim McLean Fair Play Stand?):-

Main Stand, Tannadice Park, Dundee

Arsène Wenger

So farewell then, Arsène.

It’s definitely the end of an era. I doubt anyone in the future will ever come close to spending over twenty years as manager of the one club.

You probably hung on two or three years too long but you did give Arsenal their Invincibles and changed the face of English football

Yet I do wonder if, in a year or so’s time, Arsenal fans will be thinking that they should have been careful what they wished for.

Tannadice Park, Dundee (i)

Tannadice Park is the home of Dundee United F C.

The ground sits between Tannadice and Sandeman Streets.

Main Stand from Tannadice Street (west):-

Tannadice Park, Dundee

George Fox and Jim Mclean Fair Play Stands with west stand (lower in profile) between them. From Sandeman Street:-

Tannadice Park, Dundee From north-west

The George Fox Stand from west:-

The George Fox Stand, Tannadice Park, Dundee

The George Fox Stand from east with Eddie Thompson Stand to left:-

Tannadice Park, Dundee, George Fox Stand

Eddie Thompson Stand (and side of George Fox Stand,) from Arklay Street:-

Eddie Thompson Stand, Tannadice Park, Dundee

Stadium from Tannadice Street east. Jerry Kerr Stand. Dens Park* in background. Art Deco roofline on Superstore and Ticket Centre to left:-

Tannadice Park, Dundee from Tannadice Street

Jerry Kerr and Eddie Thompson Stands:-

Stands at Tannadice Park, Dundee

Dens Park from Tannadice Park:-

Dens Park, Dundee, from Tannadice Park

*The two stadiums are the closest grounds to each other in senior British football. See some of my photos of Dens Park here.

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