Monthly Archives: April 2014

Aldi value shames Tesco

Today we made a decision to give Aldi a try for our weekly shopping following a number of recent television adverts claiming they sell British Assured fresh meat. We are usually keen to shop by convenience and having a Tesco only ten minutes away by foot has always meant Tesco have been our preferred choice. Today we broke the mould and tried an alternative option.

Aldi is a smart conveniently laid out store and the fact it was busy confirmed that many others had already made the change. For this weekly shop comparison we have compared like for like and where necessary the price has been adjusted accordingly (15 fish fingers v 14 fish fingers as an example) to ensure a fair price comparison is used.

We were quite interested to see if there really is a difference and the results were quite simply staggering. Before going into the results, our Shopping List comprised of the following items:-

The Shopping List

CLEANING PRODUCTS
15 Large Floor Wipes
40 Surface Anti-Bacterial Wipes
Kitchen Rolls (120 Sheets per Roll)
Own Brand Toilet Cleaner (Adjusted)
FRUIT & VEGGIES
Broccoli Stalk
Peppers (3 Pack)
White Seedless Grapes (500g)
Carrots (1kg Bag)
Apples (Bag)
Rocket (Bag)
Classic Salad (Bag)
Frozen Garden Peas (1kg Bag)
MEAT
Smoked Back Bacon (14 Rashers)
Fish Cakes (Twin Pack)
Seasoned Medium Chicken (1.5kg)
Minced Meat (750g)
Chicken Thighs (Pack – Adjusted)
FROZEN FOOD
Brains Faggots (Pack of 4)
Breaded Cod (Pack of 4)
Fish Fingers (Own Brand – Adjusted)
TINNED PRODUCTS
Chickpeas (Tin)
Kidney Beans (Tin)
FRESH PRODUCTS
Milk Semi-Skimmed (4 Pints)
Large Eggs (10 Box)
Garlic Bread Baguette (1)
DRINKS
Hobgoblin Ale (2)
Hopping Hare Ale (2)
OTHER ITEMS
Small box of Freezer Bags (Adjusted)

The list above has been calculated to be completely comparable to ensure fairness is achieved. I was keen to understand how different the savings could be and set a bench mark of around 10% however the result was staggering.

Aldi were cheaper on all but 1 item out of the total of 28 items purchased on our shopping list, this was the Twin Pack of fish cakes. There was 1 item where both Aldi and Tesco were identical on price, this was the Kitchen Roll. All of the remaining 26 items were cheaper at Aldi.

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The Big Differences

A Pack of 40 Anti-Bacterial surface wipes cost 75p at Aldi compared to £1.25 at Tesco, a difference of 75%

A 500g pack of White Seedless Grapes cost £1.39 at Aldi compared to £2.00 at Tesco, a difference of around 40%

10 Large Eggs cost £1.15 at Aldi compared to £2.00 at Tesco, a difference of 85%

A 1kg Pack of Carrots cost 59p at Aldi compared to 99p at Tesco, a difference of nearly 70%

The packet of Classic Salad once adjusted to be compatible costs 79p at Aldi compared to £2.14 at Tesco (200g) which is a staggering 150% more!

A tin of Kidney Beans (400g) at Aldi cost 25p compared to 55p at Tesco, over twice the price.

A seasoned Medium 1.5kg Fresh Chicken cost £3.99 at Aldi compared to £6.00 at Tesco, which is 33% more.

Frozen Garden Peas (1kg) cost 99p at Aldi compared to £1.60 at Tesco, a difference of 60%

Frozen own brand Fish Fingers once adjusted cost nearly three times the price at Tesco which is shocking.

The bottled Ales were 25p cheaper per bottle despite Tesco having a 4 for £6 deal on.

The Overall Savings

Based on the total shopping list, Aldi came in at £38.40 v Tesco at £52.37. Aldi offered a saving of £13.97 which is the equivalent of 50p per item bought. This is an overall price difference of around a third, this is a huge saving.

In this exercise it shows that swapping to Aldi has made a big difference on this shop. It is worth saying that Tesco are cheaper for Cheese which we didn’t include.

Oh just in case you though I’d missed it, the difference on a 4 pint carton of Semi Skimmed Milk was 5p in Aldi’s favour.

Next week we will compare the weekly shop to Waitrose.

DarcyB

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Blues Beaten with Relegation Consequences

Saturday saw me and my friend Chris visit St Andrews for the “2nd leg” between our teams. After the totally unexpected 4-0 win for Leeds back in October the season has seen both of our sides struggle for any type of consistency. If anything Leeds record of 2 wins in our last 3 suggested we would go into the fixture as the form side. Either way Birmingham who currently have a European record of having the worst home form this season needed to win. Precariously positioned just above the relegation zone before kick off, it was a time for Birmingham to show some belief and fight for a result that their season depended on. In a strange twist to previous Away days, I found myself sat in the Home End, so saw the games events from a different viewpoint to normal.

Birmingham find themselves in a position that Leeds fans are all too familiar with. They are in an ownership quandary with Carson Yeung currently in jail for money laundering and are trying their best to keep the club running until the seasons end. The squad is unbalanced and there are a handful of players who are either young and inexperienced within the ranks or those who have been injured with very little playing time behind them. The fans that turned up today were very vocal in their support and managed to keep the 3,000 traveling support from Leeds quiet during a disjointed first half.

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A half that was full of probing intent from Birmingham should of seen them score within the first 5 minutes, when put through on goal the young Adeyemi could only lift his shot over the frame of Butlands goal. That was a warning shot in the arm for Leeds and despite lengths of possession the home side couldn’t test former star Jack Butland in the visitors goal. Towards the end of the first half Leeds produced the first shot on target, when Michael Tonge tested Randalph with a low shot. As half time came around there was a positive feel amongst the Birmingham City support who had earlier displayed a flag showing their support for the club whilst venting frustration with the current regime.

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Whilst drinking Bovril at half time the conversations between surrounding home fans suggested that this was the best they had seen Birmingham play in a while. From a Leeds point of view, I could see how by hounding the players, they were preventing us from having any real possession which in turn created rushed and hurried plays resulting in lost causes. The second half couldn’t be any worse and the feeling was if we could make some chances that a goal wouldn’t be beyond us. Quite how the second half would turn out following my brave +3.5 goal prediction before the game was a surprise to all.

The sun was out following a period of gloomy rain and the same confident, assured Birmingham side had suddenly appeared to have lost their game plan. The chasing down the ball and clean tidy passing had stopped and Leeds soon realised that there was an opportunity to take advantage of this. The home support could see what was happening and with Leeds first real attacking move of the game, Michael Tonge crossed to Matt Smith who duly headed past the stranded Randalph in the home goal.

Before the crowd could take breath and assess what had just happened, Leeds went straight back up and a cross wasn’t dealt with properly and Danny Pugh who I had earlier lambasted for being inconsistent drove the ball home from just inside the area to make it 2-0. These two goals in two minutes suddenly transformed the once positive St Andrews crowd into a frenzied vocally discontent bunch. Fans got up and left as a familiar ringing of Leeds fans started chanting “We’ve only come, to send you down” echoed around the ground. It was at this point Blackpool scored at Wigan to confirm Birminghams slip into the bottom 3.

As I sat there trying to show my concerns and frustrations, Leeds put together a passing move that felt like an eternity to the Home fans. Each pass was greeted with an Olay and it was at this point it was over as a contest. Leeds made it 3-0 when a McCormack cross was turned into his own net by Caddis and a farce of substitutions by a desperate Lee Clark caused a further wave of disgruntled home fans to leave.

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It was at this point Macheda the most recognized striker who was brought on, scored a consolation with his first real touch. The frustrations were clear to see as Birmingham suddenly looked like a team who could play. A second goal nearly came, but as the game fizzled out after a nasty injury to Alex Mowatt (who required stretchering off) the game ended.

Being a Leeds United fan isn’t easy and this season has had far more downs than ups, but the world hasn’t stopped turning around. This was a great win and it’s when things like this happen, you truly appreciate the frustrations of other teams who are in similar situations. We are very very fortunate to have an amazing fan base and it is because of this that we finally appear to have attracted an owner with the financial clout to manage our demanding expectations.

I really hope Birmingham City avoid relegation and our 7-1 aggregate win can be challenged again next season in a rematch. Birmingham fans deserve better and their summer will be an important one, Wigan at home this Tuesday is also their cup final.

For us it’s been a solid end to a season of unfulfilled promise. A final day win at home to Derby next week would be an unlikely strong end leading into a Summer of excitement and change. I’ve seen 6 away games this season and was fortunate to see 3 wins at Charlton, Yeovil and this game at Birmingham. The defeats at Reading and Burnley were frustrating but the one beating we took at Watford was deserved.

Onto next season!!

MOT
DarcyB

Infamous

Sporting his new shaven head and less prominent pointy beard, Derren Brown is back for his 6th live show Infamous. I was treated to this show for my Christmas Present and it has to be said that it was worth the wait.

I am a massive Derren fan and have watched the majority of his TV shows. Zombie Apocalypse is still my favourite to date, however I am totally in awe of his memory and suggestive powers he possesses. This was the first time I’ve seen him live in the flesh and the seats been slightly off centre and at the front of the second slightly raised section were perfect.

Derren is keen to protect the content of the show whilst it is being performed live. Because of this I will not go into any specifics but I will give you a setting and flavour of what it contained. The stage was a cold dark deserted area with a wooden floor and single chair, the chair lit up by the eerie moonlight created through a small window.

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The frisbees were present with numerous attempts to get involved in the show. There was one moment where I was down to six people but sadly not chosen. Despite this disappointment our close proximity to the main events within the show made me feel like I was involved none the less.

Parts of the show were well written and presented and Derren ensures he covers all angles to prevent you from working out how he managed to solve the unknown. There are far too many variables within each piece he acts out and because of this the mind hurts.

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It is apparent that parts of Infamous were written a couple of years before it’s taken to the stage and this makes for some pretty jaw dropping spectacles. One part of the show involves a person from the audience picking a number between 1-52 whilst another selects a card from a face down deck. Without giving away exactly what happened, the fact that Derren successfully predicted this exact combination of number and card a couple of years previous in a sealed envelope with the letter he wrote back then is crazy.

Derren successfully studies the complete works of Shakespeare and is able to recite a passage from any page selected by random choice. The detail including paragraphs and punctuation shows how trained his brain is to photographically store all of this information. It is because of this that it is impossible to question or understand how what he does is anything but genuine.

The crowd involvement including somebody close to us being selected in a state of trance was amazing and the way the show moved along was smooth and flawless. Derren has every tool in his bag and where he claims he is not a mind reader or spiritually skilled he demonstrated ways of finding information from people without even asking them leading questions.

The shows finale involved randomly generated numbers obtained via 8 rolled dice and two ten digits written down by frisbee selected individuals combining to create a mobile number that matched a ladies in the crowd….. Simply impossible!!

I thoroughly enjoyed this show in Milton Keynes and would recommend it to anybody curious enough to want to see this live.

DarcyB

CSI Elland Road

In a week that started with more Tuesday night humiliation who could have predicted the way it would play out by Friday evening. Following his successful purchase of Leeds United, Massimo Cellino celebrated in the way most Yorkshire folk do, by hitting the local for a pint or two.

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In an alternative look at this weeks events we start at The Old Peacock. Massimo Cellino has just secured his purchase of Leeds United and in the process posed for a photo or two with some fans. Massimo quipped in a somewhat believable Yorkshire/Italian accent that “he was-a extremely excited, hey hey, a, bellisimo pleased to be-a in charge of ze greatest team in a England” he followed this by saying “hey up love, I’ll av another pint of 1919”

David “Devil” Haigh hits the local news by stating his intent to join Massimo as his Chief of stationery ordering, it’s at this point nobody questions his purchase of security equipment via his Staples online account. This turns out to come back and haunt him as the week draws to an end. David is politely told by Massimo to “join the devil and burn in hell” it’s still not clear who he means as last week Haigh was referred to as the devil by Massimo.

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The Square Ball threw their opinions out into the open and the most creative cover seen in a long time confirmed what we’d all feared. Poor old Brian has been controlled by Haigh, Patel and Narooooodin. Sadly for us it’s become apparent that despite the harmony we were led to believe, Brian has been pulled in all directions. It’s still a mystery as to who controlled his hand that threw his little notepad in the dug out. The said notepad was last seen in the Vicarage Road turf as Wootton and Lees gave Watford a 3rd goal.

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Friday saw the most bizarre twist yet as Cellino opened up an Order Confirmation addressed to the Chief of Stationery ordering. Nobody knows the exact date of this document but it confirmed the purchase of some not so discreet security cameras. Some think it could date back to the purchase of Gold Fish in the Quidsdale days, however if this is the case then he negotiated some pretty damn good repayment terms which makes it highly unlikely, ruling him out.

Once Massimo called in the CSI Leeds crime lab to carry out a thorough sweep of Elland Road, Haigh quickly departed grasping his belongings including the shiny Leeds scarf he wore for his photos at the club. Now whilst the timing of his resignation is purely coincidental the further discovery of cameras in the toilets has done little to help his defense.

Fin

MOT
DarcyB

A new era starts at Vicarage Road

As I sit down completing my usual Away prematch ritual, I find myself slightly more excited than normal. The drive down today was pleasant and parking the car a minimal exercise. I’ve had a lovely burger and ale at Mollonys along the High Street and the wander to the ground was not only paved by the golden shirts worn by tonight’s hosts.

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The sunshine is out on a pleasantly warm Spring Evening and the buzz amongst the Leeds United faithful brings back similar memories of that Summer night Semi Final playoff at Elland Road against Preston. It’s been one amazing story since the news broke out on Saturday afternoon that Cellino won his appeal against the Football League.

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Tonight as I headed towards Vicarage Road the news broke that Massimo Cellino had officially taken control, the promise this takeover brings is unknown but for one thing it’s come at the ideal time. Reports of the club declaring debts of £9.5m a handful of months before the Football Leagues fair play rules come into play confirms once again that this was needed to not only compete but to survive.

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As I sit soaking up the inevitable vocal support that we bring to every ground we visit, I wonder what the future brings. Vicarage Road is a ground currently going through some development and the new stand being built to my left is a visual state of intent from the Pozza family keen to get Watford up to the promised land.

Since 2006 and that horrible memory at Cardiff it’s clear to see that whilst Watford enjoyed a year in the Premiership, Leeds United via League One are now competing on a level playing field. Tonight sees Leeds v Watford, Cagliari v Udinese, Cellino v Pozza, it’s Italy v The Football League.

So as kick off approaches let’s enjoy this moment a little longer. It’s fun being a Leeds fan!

MOT
DarcyB

Cellino finally takes control at Leeds United

As I sat in the pub convincing myself that the tip I had for the Grand National would come good, something better happened. Rewind back a couple of hours and Leeds United were extremely unlucky going down to another defeat at Wigan. A Jack Butland mistake was the difference between a side firmly in the play offs and a Leeds side playing for the Summer.

Now going back to the better thing that happened, the news broke that Massimo Cellino had won his appeal against the football league. I had to pinch myself at first, not because of the news but because of the timing of it. For once it couldn’t have happened at a better time, as the players were left to think through another defeat, a lift of positive proportions was presented to the club.

I am still a little bit uncertain as to what this will bring but I do now know that anything can be expected. One of the first thoughts in my head was about our manager, how long will he last? The interview that hit social media last week was pretty damning but frankly honest. It is safe to say that those fans who hounded Cellino away from Elland Road on the night of the January transfer window ending are the same ones phoning McDermott and giving him abuse.

I have always sat on the side of the team and where sometimes I’ve expressed my disappointment, I’ve always understood the reasons as to why we are in this situation. The manager is the right person to lead Leeds United forward, it just seems that we need to see what Cellino wants. He was quoted as saying he wants a coach, not a manager, let’s see if this is still the case once he settles in at Elland Road.

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One of the other questions on people’s lips is will Cellino still team up with Farnam and his Together Leeds consortium? I’m not too sure about this one, part of me thinks that now he is in control, he doesn’t need to go off course to his own plans. This guy is a self made multi millionaire who likes to make his own decisions. The one fact that remains is that we suddenly have the financial clout to compete.

So as we head into the new week we will see the way that things go. One thing for certain is David Haigh will still be at Elland Road. Personally I think he has been very true and loyal to the club, through these hard times he has still been there to face it front on. I think his role is important as we look to move onwards into the new dawn.

Let’s enjoy this news for what it is and hope we finally get to see some positive changes that we all crave. I’m excited to be at Vicarage Road on Tuesday night to see the first game under our new owners. Oh going back to the Grand National, my horse didn’t even finish, let alone win.
DarcyB
MOT;

From 15th to Bottom without McCormacks Goals

It’s safe to say that frustration reached boiling point after our home defeat to Charlton. It was so much that even our loyal Captain received his fair share of criticism following his 94th minute penalty miss that denied Leeds a much needed point. The debate amongst fans of the club and supporters across the country is where would Leeds United be without Roscos goals? The findings make pretty disturbing reading, even though 2014 has been a terrible year for Leeds.

It’s at this point that I understand we simply wouldn’t have played minus Ross McCormack. This is based on taking his goals away from our tally. Assume for the point of this post that we have Noel Hunt playing in his place. In fairness this would be pretty accurate! 😉 It is also worth reiterating that when I say with or without Ross I mean with or without his goals scored.

Leeds first league win?
With Ross in the side, Leeds United secured a last minute 2-1 victory against Brighton on the opening day at Elland Road. Without Ross we would have to wait until the first game of September where a 1-0 win away at Bolton was achieved courtesy of a Luke Varney 6th minute strike.

Longest Unbeaten Run?
With Ross in the team, an unbeaten run of 5 matches in December propelled Leeds towards the play off places. Without Ross in this Leeds team would see the side manage a season best 3 match unbeaten run (1 win & 2 draws) during the same month.

Longest winless run?
With Ross in the side the longest we have had to wait for a victory is 7 matches stretching over the Christmas period and the whole of January. Without Ross it is the last 11 matches we haven’t won in.

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Victories that were lost?
That memorable 4-2 victory at The Valley that included a delayed kick off and a 4 goal masterpiece from Ross would have turned into a miserable 2-0 defeat. The impressive 2-0 home victory against promotion chasing Wigan (our best performance all season) would’ve been a 0-0 affair. Beating Yeovil 2-0 at Elland Road once again would’ve been a 0-0 draw without Ross and our last victory against Millwall would have ended in a 1-1 draw.

League Position?
With Ross McCormack and his league goals we find ourselves sat in 15th position comfortably ahead of the Relegation Zone with 7 games remaining. Without Ross not only would we be rock bottom in 24th position but we would be 10 points behind 23rd place Yeovil with the worst goal difference in the league on 24 points and minus 35.

The scary fact is that without Ross McCormack we would have only won 4 matches this season whilst scoring 23 goals. The even more disturbing fact is the slump we find ourselves in with him in the side. Since the turn of the year we have only won 12 points from 16 matches, without Ross we would only have 6 points in 2014.

The Stats?

With Ross McCormacks Goal

P W D L F A G/D PTS Position
39. 13. 8. 18. 52. 58 -6. 47. 15th

Without Ross McCormacks Goals

P W D L F A G/D PTS Position
39. 4. 12. 23.23. 58 -35. 24. 24th

I think we need to make sure his contribution is recognized in what has been a challenging season. The 2013/14 season needs to be quickly put to bed. Once the future of our club is decided one thing is for sure, their will be a big overhaul in the Summer. The biggest decision is will it be under the leadership of Brian McDermott or not?

MOT
DarcyB
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