Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Brazil - What Happenedinho?

1. Victor (Gremio)
2. Chris (Eintracht Frankfurt)
3. Cris (Lyon)
4. Gum (Fluminese)
5. Alan (SC Braga)
6. Willian (Shakhtar Donetsk)
7. Rodnei (Kaiserslautern)
8. Dill (Santa Cruz)
9. Jo (Man City)
10. Hulk (Porto)
11. Lenny (Palmeiras)

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Manchester Derby - Absolute Nightmare

Here's the live text from last week's game. It was NOT a classic.


Warm-Up - It's a cold night in Manchester for this, the most hotly-anticipated derby since the last one. All the talk in the stands is of the real reason for Wayne Rooney's American trip; most people seem to think he's getting into mixed-martial arts or Hollywood, or both. I drank a can of lager on the way here, one in the eye for Greater Manchester Police and their booze ban. Let's dance. The big screens are showing footage of derbies of the past, naturally only the ones where United got rinsed.
    Now that's not on..... Oh, ok. For a moment there I thought somebody had set fire to the away fans. Turns out it's just a continental-style flare. Let's hope that fire spreads onto the pitch, not literally.
    Wow, that was COOL - just before the teams emerge the lights go out around the stadium. Bold move. The lads come out and it's advantage United in the glove count. Excluding goalkeepers I make it three (Berbatov, Evra (who were both supposed to have the trotts) and Nani) to two (Kolo Toure, Tevez (I thought if the captain did everybody else had to?)). Of those only Toure is combining short sleeves and gloves. Could be crucial. Here we go..........

Kick-off - Pride in Bottle

KICK-OFF! - Time for the talking to stop and the walking to start; to see who's got the trousers to go with the mouth; who's got the chops to cash the cheques; who's a boot-licker and who's a moron. Tevez shimmies up the middle but gets his pocket picked.

10 mins - Nothing doing. City knocking it about in their own half a lot.

13 mins - The guy to my right's insult du jour seems to be "you absolute wanker". He's already produced it twice, once to James Milner (harsh) and once to the referee (also harsh).

22 mins - This is bit like being at Maine Road circa 1996. Richard Edgehill overhits a long pass to Uwe Rosler. Niall Quinn looks miffed.

30 mins - Yaya Toure is often referred to as a 'box-to-box' midfielder but so far he's doing a pretty good job of staying right in the middle. He's a big strapping lad though; I'm not sure I'd be up for arguing his yards-covered/pounds-earned ratio with him face to face.

42 mins - Boom! Scholes gets booked. Couldn't have seen that coming.

45 mins - Tevez and Rafael lively up themselves by playing stereotypes and getting their Fiery South American hats on. They face off with one calling the other a pretty boy and the other saying the other has a face only a madre could love, probs.

HALF-TIME - That was a stinker.

Second Half......

FULL-TIME - That was a stinker too. If I'd paid for a ticket I would be pi-issed off. I didn't though, and I do have Hart, Toure and Vidic in my fantasy football team so I'm delighted. Thanks negative Italian mentality!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Manchester Derby - It's On!

There's a spicy atmosphere in the city of Manchester, and that can mean only one thing - derby day! It seems everybody is keen to have their say on the game, from United boss Fergie threatening to "take the gobby wee shites tae the cleaners" to Rio Ferdinand tweeting "I have + would play computer games with chics... just not my missus, is that wrong?? Am I wrong for thinkin that??"
    Just to offer a heads-up that I'll be in attendance (for real) giving it the full live minute-by-minute big one so keep your internet browser window logged on to this URL and let's hope for an all-time classic!

Monday, 8 November 2010

Jamie's Footy Food Fight

"Zamora Tower Burger please...."
He's cooked up a storm around the world, played in a seminal Britpop band and taken on dinner ladies and the government. Now celebrated TV chef personality Jamie Oliver is two-footed tackling his toughest opponent yet - matchday cuisine. This week saw preliminary meetings between Oliver and catering staff at Fulham FC, with the aim of "de-nastifying" the food on sale at Craven Cottage, and hopefully bettering the half-time intake of football fans throughout the land.
    "It's a f**king disgrace", said the ex-naked chef, holding open a Cottage Quarter-Pounder, one of the most popular items on the matchday menu. "There's nothing wrong with a nice burger; beef, onion, herbs, seasoning, bish, bash, bosh. But this is a shiny shite." His greatest ire, however, was saved for when he was told that the pork content of a Fulham Footlong hotdog was a mere 14 percent. "That's not even half a banger, let alone a sausage" he said, and when asked to speculate on what made up the other 86 percent, replied, "eye'oles, ear'oles and arse'oles mate, rusk and all that bollocks. Rusk never sleeps, fake food."
    Helping Jamie in his latest crusade was Fulham's Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwartzer. "It's not on", said the 6ft 5in stopper, coming for and flapping at the point. "Why should the lads on the pitch have to eat Caesar Salad and tofu bangers and the fans get all the good stuff? I've let in goals because I've been put off by the delicious smell from the stands."
    Fulham's Head of Food, Gerry Garcia, added, "I think there's a popular misconception that terrace food has to be contained within some kind of holdable shell - burgers, pasties, hotdogs - but that doesn't have to be so." He then went on to outline plans for Fulham's caterers to follow the example of player-specific cuisine set by The Mixer snack van outside Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium in the 1990s, where the Gazza Burger (burger, donner meat, chilli sauce, garlic mayo, option to make it a meal deal by adding a pint of red wine) and the Juninho Burger (burger with salsa) were major sellers. Jamie-approved items proposed for the menu at Fulham include the Chicken Salcido (spicy burrito homage to the new Mexican left-back), the Clint D Double Dog (two 85% pork sausages in a bap), and Gera's Golden Goalash (Hungarian favourite, goulash) as well as the planned-to-be-everpresent Craven Cottage Pie. "Like the manager, we're going to have to rotate our players in order to keep them fresh", said Garcia. "We hope our fans will enjoy the fine Fulham food and we'll make loads of cash."

Saturday, 6 November 2010


With most of the football world busy getting itself into a stink about Gareth Bale following Tottenham's two Champion's League games against Inter Milan, this little guy seems to have shuffled under the radar. Stylewise, with his tight curls, short shorts and shirt flowing untucked over them, he has Bale licked, and has already made a claim to be admitted to the elite group of players who have maxed out the limited potential of the footballer's on-pitch get-up: "I wish to be able express my personality in the same way as Socrates, Campos, Claridge," said the 18-year-old, allegedly. "Most players are margaritas; I want to be a calzone."

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Nutshell no.1

He is legend?
(Genuine exchange from the row behind, overheard at Maine Road (RIP) circa late 2002)

"Who's that over there?"
"Over there, wearing gloves.."
"Oh, that's Anelka"
"Anelka? He'll never be a legend wearing gloves......."

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

What's Up Media?

Donetsk - cheaper than London

A few weeks ago in a rare and brief moment of having nothing to do at work (haha) I decided to plan a trip based around attending an away Champion's League game. Shopping around I discovered that tickets to Arsenal's (and hopefully my) visit to Shaktar Donetsk tonight cost a mere £4. And that's through official channels, - imagine how little it might cost if you simply turned up in the Ukraine and asked "daite, pozhaluista, odin bilet" ("give me, please, one ticket").
    The idea then occured, what if you (I) were to attend home and away Champion's League fixtures, trying to gauge if the latter might indeed be cheaper than the former. Obviously I can't afford to do this, so I'm offering an appeal to any publication or television production company that would care to fund it. I'd be willing to take any means of transport available (hitching has obvious TV potential..) and hide in the toilets if necessary. I'd also wear an Arsenal shirt and/or one of those long managerial puffa coats for the full trip if the backer bought me one/both.
    The cheapest ticket for Arsenal's next home Champion's League game, against Partizan Belgrade next month, is £39, and I live in Manchester so would have to get there and back and spend the night somewhere. I have a fake young person's railcard but let's assume I don't, therefore a return train ticket is 66 quid and when you factor in one night in a central-ish hotel and ten pints at London prices then it all adds up to a fair whack. On the other hand the Comfy House Guesthouse in Donetsk has private rooms for €12 a night and free morning coffee. Sound good? I better get my skates on!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

All-Time Greats

English newspaper The Guardian was holding a poll last week, inviting people to vote for their all-time best XI. Their selection was as follows: Casillas, Cafu, Lucio, Beckenbauer, Lizarazu, Neeskens, Mackay, Matthaus, Tardelli, Maradona, Ronaldo. The reader's response went: Schmeichel, Cafu, Baresi, Beckenbauer, Maldini, Gerrard (no thanks), Maradona, Zidane, Cruyff, Pele, Ronaldo. Fair dos, but....... I've lined mine up in a big-small-big formation (with a big lug goller, obvs..) and only picked players from my lifetime:

GK: Schmeichel
CB: McGrath
CB: Desailly
free role: Zidane
MF: Matthaus
MF: Maradona
MF: Messi
MF: Kinkladze
MF: Juninho
CF: Le Tissier
CF: Ronaldo

I've put Zidane in a free role because he's too big for this team's midfield, but really there are seven free roles here. Bonus 'personality' points were awarded for idiosyncracies such as drinking, not being able to train and being the 'one man' in a one-man team. You might argue that the lads up front aren't all that big (big-small-fat?) but i was struggling for all-time great target men (it's a bit early to be talking about that guy Zigic in this context but, gosh, he's a big lad; if he keeps growing it's going to be hard to keep leaving him out). Why not mix up the formation facets for yours - you could go for a classic hard-hard-handsome, for instance, or a more outré and subjective sound-dead-overpriced.

Crunch pass dribble dribble pass dribble jink jink jink dink GOL!