Armstrong hits the
back of Zanetti.
- Headline after Chris Armstring copies Javier Zanetti to score a clever free kick.
The Only Irish International
Who Doesn't Know Where Dublin Is.
- Manchester Evening News, after Shay Given fails to spot a lurking Dion Dublin
Malice in Sunderland.
- Sunday Tribune headline after Roy Keane is sent off at Sunderland
- The Times, after Newcastle duo Dyer and Bowyer are sentoff for fighting each other
Fulham Football Club
seeks a Manager / Genius.
- Newspaper article on Fulham's hunt for a manager 1991.
- Teletext headline after Iraq beat Portugal in the Olympics
11th November, 1997:
England have drawn with Italy in Rome, Man U have beaten Juventus. The
Premier League is clearly the best league in the World and England will
win the World Cup without breaking into a sweat.
18th March, 1998: England have been beaten by Chile, Man U are knocked out of the Champion's League by Monaco. English players have no skill and England will go out in the first round of the World Cup.
And all this in the space of just over 4 months. Amazing, really.
- A Study In Perspective...from rec.sport.soccer email@example.com (Paul Louis)
Like the theatre and
the novel, English football is constantly in decline, someone once wrote.
- Ian Ridley, "The Guardian", in a week when England's top 3 lose in Europe
can clinch the Scottish title at Parkhead today, but out of kindness and
security considerations, it would probably be better if they waited.
- Dion Fanning (Rangers won 3-0, 3 players were sent off, and the referee was attacked)
"I refereed Croatia
against Bosnia at a time when they were at war with each other and it was
an easier game to handle than the Old Firm."
- Hugh Dallas, Scottish referee
The Glaswegian definition
of an atheist: someone who goes to a Rangers-Celtic match to watch the
- Sandy Strang
It's a delusional world
we live in when you think that Celtic and Rangers fans can't get along.
At the very least, they have in common that they're perhaps the only portion
of society where words like 'traitor', 'bigot' and 'sectarian' are part
of the everyday vocabulary. The Old Firm's fans have more shared convictions
between each other than anyone else.
- Even Fanning, "The Irish Independent"
"70,000 people in Hampden
Park. Of course they're all Scottish. Because no one else goes there. The
English have an unwritten rule: they only go to places they might get back
- Billy Connolly
Transfer deadline day:
An institution which often appears to have been preserved to allow John
Burridge & Clive Allen to see more of the country, is upon us again.
- Remembering the days before Europe-wide transfer windows
Tony Cottee once played
in all four divisions in one season. Cottee started 2000-01 at Leicester
City, where he made a couple of Premiership appearances as a sub before
being released to Norwich, in what was then Division One. In November the
chance to be player-manager of Barnet came up and soon Cottee was playing
in Division Three, but alas it did not work out. By March he was again
looking for work and found it, with two sub appearances, at Millwall in
- Phillip Cornwall, with some trivia on "F365"
You can't win anything with kids.
"Have you eaten all
- West Ham fans taunt a lone (and large) Fulham fan, seen in "The Guardian"
To be honest, it would
have been better to watch it on Ceefax.
- Gary Lineker comments on a Wimbledon game
The BBC aren't interested
in buying Wimbledon, but maybe Ceefax would be?
- Lineker, several years later, after Sky tries to buy Manchester United
"I felt sorry for the
match ball – it came off the pitch crying".
- Johan Cruyff comments on the low technical standard of Deportivo v Juventus
"The score is Sunderland
nil, Leicester nil, the temperature is nil and the entertainment value
is not much above nil."
- BBC Radio 5 Live regrets covering Sunderland v Leicester
Bury 1 Watford 3:This
match had more excitement and chances than Bury fans expect in an entire
- Julie Stott, "The Sun"
This wasn't some lower-league
long-ball assault on a poor pitch that ousted Aston Villa from the League
Cup, this was League One mid-tablers Doncaster Rovers out-passing, out-playing
and out-tackling a truly rubbish Villa side.
- Sarah Winterburn, after Doncaster humble Aston Villa 3-0
If anyone thinks that
football is just a game between 22 players, they should have been at Selhurst
Park on Saturday. For 45 minutes, Crystal Palace ran their opponents ragged
and did everything but score. Adrian Boothroyd had seen enough. At half-time,
the Watford manager abandoned his 4-4-2 formation and replaced Darius Henderson
with Alhassan Bangura, an extra midfield player, to help them to hang on
for a draw. Three goals later, Watford had one foot in the play-offs final
in Cardiff on May 21. Game, set and match to Boothroyd.
- Kaveh Solhekol, "The Times"
It isn't a misprint,
Charlton are on top.
- The Daily Mail, after relegation favourites Charlton top the Premier League after 2 games
Coventry 2 Rest Of
The World (sorry, Chelsea) 1
- England's Express newspaper reports multi-nation side Chelsea's defeat
The Italian Job III:
Inter Blow Arsenal's Bloody Doors Off!
- Headline from The Daily Mirror after Arsenal lose 0-3 to Inter Milan
"In the Carling Cup:
Arsenal Schoolboys 3, Wigan 0."
- Leicester's Stadium announcer, with a results update
Faroes 1, Fairies 1.
- Headline in two Scottish newspapers after the Scots draw their Euro 2000 qualifier
David Attenborough talked louder than that when he was sat with them gorillas.
- F365 review of England's dire performance v Slovakia
Is it unprecedented
for two goalkeepers employed in a match comprising seven goals to be the
fixture’s most competent protagonists?
- Pete Gill, on "Football365", after Southampton beat Norwich 4-3
"I wouldn't trust Newcastle’s
back five to protect my garden gnomes from squirrels."
- Jonathan Pearce, as Newcastle are beaten in the FA Cup by Wolves 3-2
Bolton were technically
and morally slaughtered by Manchester United.
- David Miller, after a crushing defeat, "The Telegraph"
In the days before
the abolition of the maximum wage it was possible to influence results
by the strategic distribution of meat products to the opposition
- The Guardian in nostalgic mode
You're making him look
like Marc Overmars, and he's making you look like Jaap Stam!
- From The Guardian, evidently someone is having a bad game...
You know, of course,
that this ( slagging off pre-season buys ) is deeply foolish because it
dooms you to being on the end of a hat-trick or a defensive display so
towering that the epic scale of it can only be appreciated when it is set
beside the Seattle Space Needle in a acomputer simulation.
- The Guardian, Season 98-99 Preview ( Jaap Stam & Stephane Guivarch are the players )
If the English have
a patent on hooliganism, then they should sue all those countries that
have copied their product. It would be a very lucrative stream of royalties.
- Colin Morris (firstname.lastname@example.org)
"Patsy Kensit has infuriated
her ex, Liam Gallagher, by bringing up their son Lennon as a Manchester
United fan. Gallagher is a fervent supporter of United's rivals, Manchester
- From gossip website Peoplenews.com.
"It'll be nice to know
that every gallon of petrol a Manchester United fan buys is going into
- Noel Gallagher, after Man City is bought by a UAE consortium
"Where the hell did
Sunderland get the unmitigated gall to call their new ground The Stadium
- Danny Kelly, 'Football's Great Imponderables', F365.Com
"I think the match
was a goal-less draw and on reflection an uneventful one, but it didn't
seem important. The football game was clearly just the excuse all these
thousands of people had for coming together. The real reasons they were
there was to have a laugh, to express their brilliant subconscious poetic
talents, share floppy hot dogs and to reinforce their view of the world
and, more importantly, of Barnsley. It was wonderful."
- John Nicholson, "Life at the Bottom", Football365.Com
12.00pm: 'Furious Ugo Ehiogu will demand a showdown with Steve McClaren
today after the Middlesbrough manager wrecked his move to West Brom' -
The Daily Mirror. Mediawatch once saw Ugo Ehiogu restrain four players
in a 'brawl' on the pitch. Steve McClaren should be worried.' F365, yesterday,
12.15pm: 'Middlesbrough boss Steve McClaren has avoided a potential showdown
with defender Ugo Ehiogu after belatedly sanctioning his move back to West
Brom'. A wise decision.
- Football365.Com's "Mediawatch" bulletin
Sky Sports News anchor
Simon 'Blue Peter Boy' Thomas announced with great fanfare this morning
that 'Sky Sports understands Scott Carson will play in goal'. For 'understands'
read 'saw it in the papers this morning'.
- Football 365 Mediawatch
"Baptista is also confident
that Schuster, who replaced title-winning coach Fabio Capello, will be
successful at the Bernabeu" - As claimed by Sky Sports. "I hope that he
is good for Real Madrid" - As spoken by Julio Baptista. Confidence And
Hope Are Not The Same Thing, Guys.
- Seen on Football 365's Mediawatch blog
According to the Daily
Star, Danny Simpson has 'diplomatically' moved to Ipswich on loan after
being linked with Emmerdale 'sex kitten' Roxanne Pallett. And there was
Mediawatch thinking he'd moved because he was a bit average and is currently
fourth-choice right-back at ManYoo. So when Fergie said: "It is good for
the lad. The boy needs games," what he actually meant was: "It's good for
the lad. The boy needs to get away from a sex kitten."
- F365 Mediawatch
The Sun reports this
morning that referee Mark Clattenburg has had his '£40,000 Porsche'
trashed by a bitter ex-girlfriend.
Anyone else think we've gone too far when a referee can afford a Porsche?
- F365 Mediawatch
"Considering the size
of their wages, you would have thought that Crespo, Campo and chums could
have afforded a mirror."
- Football365 choose hairbands as their worst fashion trend of 2004
"The reason women don't
play football is that 11 of them would never wear the same outfit in public."
- Phyllis Diller
"The period at the
start of the 2000/2001 season in which we bought Benito Carbone, Stan Collymore
and Dan Petrescu was six weeks of madness."
- Bradford Chairman Geoffrey Richmond reflects as the club runs out of money
The Northern Echo is
not the first newspaper to be banned by a local football club, but it may
have come up with the most ingenious response - instead of match photos
it published a Roy of the Rovers style cartoon. Now the Echo editor Peter
Barron is thinking about making the strip a regular feature, whether the
paper is welcomed back into Hartlepool United or not.
"We had such a positive reaction to it we are thinking about making it a weekly feature," said Barron. And because graphic artist Chris Moran created the strip while the game was going on, it was able to reflect things that actually happened in the match.
- Seen on the Guardian website
"With a packet of sweets
and a winning smile, Arsene Wenger's a paedophile."
- Man Utd fan chant to taunt the manager of rivals Arsenal
"One triple Vodka,
there's only one triple Vodka."
- Middlesboro fans taunt Tony Adams during his battle with booze
There's something to
offend everybody here — the mentally ill, HIV sufferers, gay people, women,
with an allusion to racist lynching thrown in for good measure.
- Simon Hattenstone, commenting on Spurs' fans obscene chants for Sol Campbell, "The Guardian"
"Sold To The USA."
- Arsenal chant (to tune of "Born in the USA") to Man Utd fans at 2005 FA Cup Final
"We've got Abramovich;
you've got a drunken b*tch."
- Chelsea fans taunt Norwich City fans over their 'tired and emotional' director Delia Smith
"You've lost Ndlovu
- Leeds fans taunt Coventry's to the tune of "You've lost that loving feeling"
"Giggs will tear you
- Man Utd fans' chant to the tune of 'Love will tear us apart'
94 percent of men won't
abandon their football teams no matter how badly they play, yet 52 per
cent of men would walk away from a relationship that's going wrong.
- From "The Metro"
"The wife bought me
and my son season tickets — and gave them to us for Christmas."
- An Arsenal fan explains why his seat has been empty, seen in "The Guardian"
"I prayed Jeff Eckhardt wouldn't score. That's a terrible name."
"Drink when you're
driving, you only drink when you're driving, drink when you're driving."
- West Ham fans taunt West Brom fans after striker Lee Hughes is arrested
"Paddy didn't incite
the Hull crowd. Anyway, we're going to report the 4500 people who called
him a fat b*****d."
- Sheff Utd manager Neil Warnock defends his 'keeper Paddy Kenny against incitement charges
"I know it sounds awful,
but it just hit me half-way through my stag night that I'd rather be going
to the match with the lads than marrying Nicola."
- Hereford fan, cancelling his wedding to watch FA Cup game v Aylsebury.
"When Rioch came to
Millwall we were depressed and miserable. He's done a brilliant job of
turning it all around. Now we're miserable and depressed."
- Danny Baker, Five Live, Millwall fan.
"If I wasn't praying
for City, just think where we might be."
- Manchester City chaplain Tony Porter in the club's official magazine, CITY.
"Don't go now"
"You'll miss the best bit."
"Booing them off the pitch"
- Reported exchange between two Nottm Forest fans.
"4-4-2! 4-4-2! 4-4-2!"
"Let's say I play 4-4-2 at home against Portsmouth and we lose 0-3. Do I then start booing the fans?"
- Fulham manager Chris Coleman sticks with his 4-5-1 formation despite fans' chants
Gary Megson was apparently
treated to a new chant of 'Ginger Mourinho' by the Leicester fans on Saturday.
They'll soon change their tune after a long winter of five-man defences
with full-backs in midfield.
- F365 Mediawatch
"When two peoples share
a common passion: they are capable of empathising with each other’s misery."
- Matthew Syed, "Polish Fans take pity on the lone Englishman", The Times.
"I can remember certain
Manchester United defeats the way most people remember family bereavements
or great political events. The four-nil drubbing by Barcelona, the failure
to score against West Ham, the New Year's Day calamity at home to Spurs,
the mauling by Middlesborough."
- Tom Dunne, "The Evening Herald"
"I want to believe
in Houllier's Liverpool. I want to detect a grand plan. I want to stop
shouting vulgarities at TV screens every time I spot Vladimir Smicer. Trouble
is, I can't do any of these things. I can't look at Djimi Traore without
seeing a new-born pony."
- Vincent Hogan, "The Irish Independent"
Napoli fans plotting
to sign Ronaldinho for as little as €2 million by meeting the hitherto
prohibitive €134 million buy-out clause in his Barcelona contract
by agreeing a deal with the Brazilian forward, and by putting all the aforementioned
on the 67/1 odds for Ronnie joining the Italian club.
- Napoli fans win Football 365's Cunning Plan of the Year award for 2007
"Is being a Manchester
United midfielder second only to suicide bomber in the list of dangerous
professions these days?"
- Football365 comments on the injury crisis affecting Manyoo's midfield
"Berwick Rangers v
Rangers : Live, 7pm on Sky Sports One. It's a crazy mixed-up world where
a club in England can play in the Scottish Cup against a Scottish club
who want to play in England. Why don't they just swap grounds?"
- Football365.Com TV Watch
"Burnley v Grimsby
: Live, 7.30pm on ITV Sport. More audience share hara-kiri from the folk
at Monkeyvision, putting a match with decidedly 'selective' appeal up against
Coronation Street, Eastenders, Buffy and Band Of Brothers."
- Football365.Com TV Watch
At 6.45pm the Millwall
supporters were taken under escort towards the stadium. As they passed
a public house, a group of 30-40 males came out and bottles and glasses
were thrown and pub windows smashed. After a short while it became apparent
that both groups were from Millwall and each thought the other were Bristol
- extract from a National Criminal Intelligence Service report
We politely ask the
barman if we can watch the England-USA game on the telly. England score,
I cheer. England score again. I cheer louder. Then someone kicks me under
the table. I look up. Several large gentlemen at the bar are staring in
our direction. I start to notice details that have previously escaped our
attention. Like the crossed shillelaghs over the Sinn Fein flag. And the
map of Ireland with the border Tippexed out. Oh. Bugger.
- Steven Wells recalls a visit to a New York sports bar for Football365
There are places to
this day where prejudice between Saxon and Celt dies hard, even if we can
occasionally laugh about it. I like the one about the man taken ill on
the train going up to Scotland. He gets out at Glasgow and asks a passer-by
the quickest way to the hospital. "See that bar yonder", says the fellow,
"Go in there and sing Danny Boy!"
- John Cornwell, "The Times"
"The Jacobite rebellion
was crushed by the English, but what we can't win in war we will win in
football. It's payback time."
- Scottish fan before a crunch England v Scotland game
If I have a single
image of what it means to be Scottish, I would base it on the tartan-clad
fans I met in Brussels four years ago. We had gathered for our ritual,
plucky-but-futile attempt to reach the World Cup finals. The Belgian police,
fearing a repeat of the Heysel stadium horrors of 1985, were out in strength,
grim and determined. The Scots were out for fun, however, and spotted a
particularly attractive young female officer, formed a circle round her
(and her baffled colleagues) and serenaded the young lass to a selection
of hits from The Sound of Music. Thus, dressed in knee-length kilts, climbing
boots and Loch Ness monster hats, the flowers of Scotland wooed the bemused
flower of Belgium's police while singing 'Doe, a deer, a female deer ...'.
Sights like that can do permanent mental damage.
- Robin McKie, "The Guardian"
A married Manchester
United fan drove 400 miles to begin an affair with a girl he had met on
Facebook, only to discover it had been a hoax set up by two rival Liverpool
supporters. Stuart Slann, 39, made the nine-hour trip from his home in
Sheffield to a remote farm in Scotland last month on the promise of meeting
the woman he had been swapping suggestive messages with for several weeks.
However, after arriving at the deserted house and waiting for a further three hours in his car for "Emma" to finish work and show up, the two pranksters called him to confess. To add to his humiliation, they recorded the conversation and put it onto Facebook, the social networking website, and video-sharing website YouTube, along with an embarrassing photograph. It was then that Mr Slann's wife Louise, 32, discovered the "affair". Their marriage is now over. Mr Slann said: "It was a cruel thing to do. I've been taken for a ride. They wound me up good and proper."
- seen on F365 Mediawatch
"I believe in a Methuselah, Frankenstein, alien beings, flying saucers and the hand of God. But most of all, I believe in on-loan goalkeepers from Swindon who score goals in the dying seconds"
"I liken the current
situation to that of the Starship Enterprise. The shields are up and the
Klingons are shooting at us and every time they land a punch they are sapping
- Rupert Lowe, Southampton Chairman, on the club's situation (what's going on over there???)
Not all breeds of genetically-engineered
athletes were accepted. For the 2224 World Cup, Scotland fielded a goalkeeper
who was a human oblong of flesh, twenty four foot by eight, that filled
the entire goal. Somehow they still failed to qualify for the second round.
- Grant Naylor,"Better than Life"
"Can anybody tell me
the name of the person whose life we celebrate today? Gary Neville — the
inventor of artificial gravity. He came up with the idea at halftime during
the 2004 FA Cup semi final."
- Commander Mike Henderson, "Hyperdrive"
In the year 2011, if
man is still alive, the England football team will be managed by Sam Allardyce.
The former Bolton boss and his number two John Beck - known to one and
all as 'The Guru' - play an uncompromising 5-4-1 formation, with Kevin
Davies a lone battering ram up front. Qualification for the four-team Home
Nations championship remains a real possibility if Big Sam's men can cause
an upset by beating Cornwall in a two-leg play-off. Despite his recent
transfer to Barcelona — where he is keeping latest Brazilian scoring sensation
Ronaldinhissimo out of the team — Big Sam remains unconvinced of Theo Walcott's
England credentials. "Until that lad can deliver a proper long throw right
into the area for Big Kev, he's no use to me," says England's tactical
- Alan Tyers, with a prediction from early 2006, "Football 365"
There are further questions
asked about the "fit and proper person to run a football club" debate when
Reading are bought by Osama Bin Laden.
- F365 preview the 2007 football season
A fit and proper person,
according to the Premier League, means roughly that he can't be immediately
indicted for genocide and large-scale fraud.
- James Lawton, as the disgraced former Thai PM ends up at Manchester City
Ronaldo is being lined up to star in a multi-million dollar remake of the
epic TV series Roots. Producers say the star's treatment at the hands of
Manchester United make him the perfect choice to portray the young African
slave who is beaten by his brutal masters. The Portuguese winger said he
had been traumatised by 'outrageous' demands that he honour the £125,000
a week, legally-binding contract, which has brought him only, misery, adulation
and Gemma Atkinson.
Speaking from the titanium gazebo in the rose garden of his 31-room mansion, Ronaldo said: "I feel I can relate to the suffering of African slaves. "If anything, it is worse, because footballers cannot sing while we work, whereas they had time to develop gospel music during their 16-hours shifts before dropping dead from exhaustion."
In the series a young African boy is dragged from his homeland and shipped to America where he is forced to work in the fields by a cruel and violent plantation owner. "The similarities are uncanny, though admittedly, the Lear Jet that flew me from Lisbon to Manchester wasn't packed with 150 other players sleeping head-to-toe."
- Seen on The Daily Mash
Spurs striker Roman
Pavlyuchenko last night hit out at England's lack of beetroot sandwiches
and ugly, toothless old hags. The £14m signing has revealed how he
misses walking down a street and being accosted by dozens of bearded old
women wrapped in shawls. Pavlyuchenko said: "They cackle, they shake baby
in face. In London, is not so much. Except maybe on underground. "I come
to England in hope of better life. But where is brutalist architecture,
apart from Coventry? When will wind chill reach minus 40? And how I find
man who poke dancing bear with sharp wooden stick?"
...Pavyluchenko said settling into the English way of life had been difficult, particularly as he has been forced to spend much of his spare time teaching Andy Gray and Mark Lawrenson how to pronounce his name. Spurs boss Harry Redknapp admitted many of his new signings were finding it difficult to acclimatise, adding: "We have to keep stealing things from Robbie Keane and then selling them back to him in the pub. "And since moving from Man Utd Fraizer Campbell has found it very difficult to get used to that whole 'being in a team that could get relegated' thing."
- Seen on "The Daily Mash"
Sir Alex Ferguson last
night continued his policy of ruining the ends of things by revealing the
conclusion to hit US drama series The Wire. Interviewed after Manchester
United's last-gasp winner again Aston Villa, Ferguson destroyed the hopes
and dreams of the thousands of viewers who have just started watching it
on BBC2. Speaking to the Shopping Channel, the last remaining media outlet
he is willing to talk to, the United coach praised the referee for allowing
26 minutes of stoppage time before bellowing out then endings to a series
of popular films and TV shows. He has also been banned from all libraries
and bookshops in then Greater Manchester area for tearing out the last
page of crime novels and then sellotaping it inside the front cover. Meanwhile
in a horrifying conclusion to yesterday's game, United's winner was scored
by debutant Federico Macheda, recently grown from a petri dish in the clubs
Youth Laboratory. Ferguson said: "There are millions like him in test tubes
and beakers just waiting to be released. Eventually I will make one that
can fly." The result led to widespread disturbances across Liverpool where
local police said that lootings were almost 1% higher than a typical Sunday
- Seen on The Daily Mash
Manchester Utd's Argentine
star Carlos Tevez has signalled his desire to leave at the end of the season.
Ferguson has restricted Tevez's appearances in recent months, claiming
that whenever he sees him charging down the wing, 'it's like one of those
dirty great Orcs from Lord of the Rings coming at you in 3D'.
- Seen on The Daily Mash
Sir Alex Ferguson's
plan to reign over English football for one thousand terrible years continues
apace as Manchester United won their 18th league title. Receiving the Premier
League trophy in the club's Palace of Victories, the manager announced
that the youth academy, scouting system and wage structure will 'secure
United's dominion over all mankind for 500 glorious generations of noble
blood'... But Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez continued to insist that United
were not the best team in England, adding: "They got more points than us.
And they have a stronger squad. And a larger stadium. A bigger fan base?
Certainly. But let me ask you this — do they have Ngog? No, they do not."
- Seen on The Daily Mash
Premier League clubs
should stop keeping score so that everyone can just enjoy a nice game of
football, the culture secretary Andy Burnham said today. The minister has
also called on England's richest clubs to 'share their wealth' as the government
attempts to impose its namby-pamby, socialist bulls**t on professional
sport. Mr Burnham said: "It should not be about one team being better,
or having more fans and therefore more money than the others; it should
be about fresh air and making friends. It's only fair that the rich clubs
should give half their money to the poor clubs. After all, it is the rich
clubs' fault that they are so much better at what they do."
- Seen on The Daily Mash
The statistics John
Wesson has compiled in "The Science of Soccer" show that Premiership football
players are vastly more likely to have been born in the first half of the
school year. These were the biggest boys in the class and were thus selected
for the school team. How fair is that?
- Daniel Finkelstein, "The Times"
36% of Chelsea's Premiership
goals in the 2005-6 season came from corners or free kicks.
- Statistic from "The Irish Independent"
"I would be much more
annoyed if we hadn’t won the game. As a manager, you have to see the positives
and I think Pires has a vaccine for the rest of his life."
- Arsene Wenger, after Robert Pires's failed attempt to pass a penalty
So, Arsenal have signed Arsene Wenger because his name sounds a bit like the club. How long before Man Utd sign Stefan Kuntz?
Stockport manager Jim
Gannon has had a 9-month customer relations battle with Sky over his defective
Sky box — so he refuses to speak to them before their League 2 play-off
final against Rochdale.
League 2 side Barnet adopt a policy of only allowing their captain to talk to the ref. Since late August the club receives just three yellow cards for dissent. Port Vale plan to follow the route next season.
- John Ley, picking the quirky stories of the 2007-08 season, "The Telegraph"
"Robbie Savage, Dennis
Wise, A Sex Toy, A Teddy Bear, A Players' Bust-Up. It Could Only Be Leicester
City’s Xmas Bash!"
- The Mirror.
Team of the Season-
Chelsea: Not just for John Terry urinating on a dancefloor and parking
in a disabled bay, or Ashley Cole's idea of a good night out. But also
for the PR department which OK'd Avram Grant's monosyllabic press conferences,
insisted all mentions of Jose Mourinho were excised from the Carling Cup
final programme. And, banned its own TV station in October because 'the
director of communications is unhappy with the tone of some interviews.'
- The Daily Mirror hand out a 3pm Emmy award (2008)
If teammates whacking
each other with golf clubs after a night out isn't absurd enough, consider
the reason for the fight — they were arguing about a karaoke competition.
- AP's report on a bustup between Liverpool's Craig Bellamy and John Arne Risse
Arthur Smith, who co-wrote
An Evening With Gary Lineker and My Summer With Des but died on his ass
last time Media Watch saw him doing stand-up, has streaked down Balham
High Street singing the Moldovan national anthem after losing a bet that
fellow comedian Tony Hawks could not beat the entire Moldovan national
football team at tennis. It took Hawks, a former Equity tennis champion,
nearly 18 months to complete the feat.
- The Daily Telegraph.
"A Manchester United
soccer fan donated cells so his brother could have a life-saving transplant:
on condition his sibling switched his support from arch rivals Manchester
At one stage, I was involved in a discussion which centered on a flight plan around cruise missile attack paths. They seemed to know where the missiles were coming from.
"I'm not a Catholic."
"The famine is over,
why don't you go home?"
- Chorus from "The Famine Song", recently sung by Rangers fans to taunt Celtic fans
"Cannon and Ball are
shagging your wife!"
- Man City fans to Harry Kewell after his wife appears on "I'm A Celebrity..."
Off to an absolute
flier, Kenny Dalglish’s Rovers took the newly launched Premiership by storm
just weeks after they needed a penalty, courtesy of David Speedie being
hit by a sniper in the twin towers, to scrape past Leicester in the play-offs.
- Football 365 looks back
"Edgar was named as
one of the players involved, but he was in my room, discussing religious
subjects with me."
- George Boateng provides Edgar Davids with a clear alibi in the Dutch sex scandal
O’Neill has been dealt a cruel below in his latest comeback campaign. The
Coventry winger broke his hand on a punchbag at the training ground while
recovering from a foot injury.
- The Sun
"In 2001 Steve Staunton
became the record cap holder for which country?"
- Anne Robinson & "Weakest Link" contestant
"I can't beleive they
gave Giggs a yellow in the box!"
- Homer, watching a Man Utd game in England, "The Simpsons"
Barney Davidson has
quit managing Gretna Ladies – currently fourth in the same division as
Manchester United, Liverpool and Blackburn ladies - because of lesbian
rows. He said:"Two girls were having a relationship but one of them went
off with another girl. This caused huge problems within the team. Women’s
football is rife with this problem. It is very cliquey and is destroying
the game. Sir Alex Ferguson has no idea what I have had to go through."
- The Daily Star
According to Bild,
the former German international and Mönchengladbach coach Holger Fach
found himself in the middle of a bisexual love triangle with two members
of the women's national team. Fach began dating Inga Grings soon after
she had broken up with her Duisburg and Germany team-mate Linda Bresonik.
"He has made Inga like men," reported Bild, before Fach added: "She is
a great girl. Apart from that I'm saying nothing." Within a matter of weeks,
however, Bild was back on the case, claiming Grings and Bresonik had got
back together. "This is the greatest love story in German football," deadpanned
the paper, before Bresonik declared: "Inka was my first love and I will
fight for her. The pain in my soul overwhelms. Fach came between us: now
Inka must decide." A final twist in the tale appears to have taken place
since. "It gets better," writes one reader, ein-Toaster. "Grings and Fach
split up and Fach ended up with, you've guessed it, Bresonik."
- Seen in the Guardian's "The Knowledge" column
Darth Vader links up
with Exeter City
- Headline from Ananova.Com when actor David Prowse becomes an honorary director at Exeter
Matthew The Netherlands.
- The spellchecker does its job on Charlton's Matt Holland in "The Independent"
Having not had a chance
to review the tape and obviously not been in the tunnel, I will take the
Wenger amendment on this one for now.
- Philip Cornwall, reviewing the England-Turkey game for Football365
No soup or pizza allowed
inside for safety reasons.
- Sign at away dressing room when Arsenal visited Man City after the 'Battle of the Buffet'
Wanchope holding back
Costa Rica years. I'm simply red for the season: Mills. Money's not too
tight to mention: Moyes. "Cisse can be a new flame for Reds: Roux
- Teamtalk's headliners reveal themselves as Simply Red fans
Only The Sheikh And
Strach Can Put The Freshness Back
- Headline from Squarefootball
When You're Ndlovu
With A Beautiful Woman.
- Headline after Peter Ndlovu is in a bust-up with a team-mate over his girlfriend
Do You Know The Way
To Score Jose?
- The Daily Mirror after Jose Reyes' first goal in England. At the wrong end.
Done Up Like A Skipper.
- The Daily Record headline after Craig Moore is stripped of his captaincy by Rangers
Liverpool Looking For
End To The World.
– The Daily Mirror on Liverpool's attempts to skip the World Club Championship
The Haves and Havants.
- Headline before Liverpool v Havant & Waterlooville FA Cup tie
Basel 2, Faulty 0
- The Sun, after Basel beat Middlesboro 2-0
- The Daily Sport, after Lomana Lua Lua injures himself celebrating with a flip
Gone For A Burton.
- The Daily Mirror Burton O'Brien's goal for Sheff Wed relegates three clubs
The Great Wayne Robbery.
- The Sun, after Wayne Rooney is burgled
ZZ Stop After World
- Sportinglife's headline announcing Zinedine Zidane's retirement
Sick As A Marriott.
- Headline after the Spurs team are downed by illness following a stay in a Marriott hotel
Doyle's Head Helps
Take Stan's Neck Off The Block.
- Dublin's Evening Herald, after a headed Kevin Doyle goal gives Ireland a narrow victory
Dawson Up The Creek.
- The Independent, on Michael Dawson of Spurs
Keegan Fills Schmeichel's
Gap With Seaman.
- Sky Sports headline after Mcn City get a new 'keeper(!)
Blind: Never Saw It
- Football 365, after Ajax coach Danny Blind departs
This Smells Like Team
- The Daily Express
Jose Mourinho's oversight
in not having cover for every position came back to haunt Chelsea last
night when they revealed Stamford the Lion mascot had been kidnapped.
- The Daily Mirror (Aug'05)
"The linesman flagged
initially because he thought I was an Oldham player. Fair enough, I did
have a replica shirt on — but I also have a big furry head."
- Kevin Williams, aka Oldham mascot Chaddy the Owl, given offside in a game
( Over the sound of
"Everything I Do - I Do It For You" )
"This is Bryan Adams...he's Canadian...and this Tuesday...it's payback time."
- Irish station TV3 runs ads for its coverage of Ireland v Canada
"Let the women play
in more feminine clothes like they do in volleyball. They could, for example,
have tighter shorts. Female players are pretty, if you excuse me for saying
so, and they already have some different rules to men - such as playing
with a lighter ball. That decision was taken to create a more female aesthetic,
so why not do it in fashion?"
- Sepp Blatter, FIFA Chief and unreconstructed male
"As a footballer’s
wife, I take great exception to the way we are portrayed in Footballers’
- Karren Brady, CEO of Birmingham City and wife of footballer Paul Peschisolido
"You see, me and Minty,
we're a West Ham. We've had a few rough seasons but we're still capable
of scoring against an Arsenal or Chelsea. But long term, we need to find
ourselves a West Ham or even a Fulham. Now you're more like a Leyton Orient,
and Honey, well, she's quality. Just think of yourself and Honey as a glorious
- Gary, explaining the concept of 'out of your league' to Billy, "Eastenders"
"There is something
about the existential predicament of the 'keeper, those long periods of
boredom interspersed with moments of terror, which can drive a man up there,
where he can hear the strange music. Often the goalkeeper is a more complex
individual than the outfield players. The idea of being both an observer
and a participant seems to attract artists and intellectuals such as Patrick
Kavanagh and Albert Camus.
We demand that they be dependable, even if we know that like the former Wolves 'keeper John Burridge, they are given to watching Match Of The Day in full kit and gloves. In Latin America, where every second 'keeper seems to be dubbed El Loco, they have perhaps given up the illusion that they will ever get any sense out of such men."
- Declan Lynch, "The Loneliness of the Long-Term Goalie", "Irish Independent"
"Somewhere in there
the grace of a ballet dancer joins with the strength of an SAS squaddie,
the dignity of an ancient kind, the nerve of a bomb disposal officer..."
- Eamon Dunphy, on the art of goalkeeping
"The final true artform
in what we're talking about is the goal itself. And for us to try and stop
that from happening, we're kind of the anti-art."
- Kasey Keller, on the role of goalkeepers, "John Cleese and the Art of Football"
When the new Nike ball
was designed with the latest in aerodynamics, naturally it was the talk
of the goalkeeping table. The ball, it was said, had a new inner tube so,
when hit, it would reach the goalkeeper 1,000th of a second earlier. If
hit in a certain place, it would move up and down as well as left and right.
Goalkeepers work in milliseconds so there was some eagerness on their part
to get a look at the new ball. A Nike delegation arrived from America with
the ball's inventor, a middle-aged man with thick glasses, on hand for
any problems. "It was quite a windy day," Gerry Peyton recalls. "I started
striking balls at Jens and they were moving all over the place. One hit
him on the back of the head, the next bounced off the post and hit him
on the arm." Jens Lehmann became increasingly angry and nobody could persuade
him it was not in his interest to lose his temper. He ran towards the boffin.
"Did you invent this ball?" he asked. On answering "yes", the boffin was
placed in the goal and Lehmann half-volleyed the ball straight at him,
hitting him on the chest before Peyton advised him to make a run for it.
- Dion Fanning, profiling Arsenal 'keeper Lehmann, "Irish Independent"
Jose Mourinho resembles
one of those Glasgow Rangers fans who could never come to terms with Mo
Johnston's arrival at Ibrox. Famously, these men would refer to a 2-0 victory
in which Johnston had scored as a narrow 1-0 win. If Johnston scored the
decisive goal, they didn't celebrate the win, but talked of a draw and,
if he scored the equaliser, they were left despondent at a rare defeat.
It's not charted how they arrived at an end of season table, but presumably
they had their own table, a sort of Old Testament version of the Scottish
Premier League with less tolerane of sinners and where Rangers were always
engaged in a battle with the forces of darkness, unaided, as they were,
by the few extra points provided by the Catholic.
- Dion Fanning, in a week when Mourinho refuses to acknowledge a result, "Irish Independent"
A serious downturn
in fortune for Lee Sharpe on 'Celebrity Love Island': in a cruel twist,
the public voted to pack him off for 48 hours to a five-star, fully catered,
Fijian beach-side apartment, complete with Jacuzzi, private pool and en-suite
bathroom with sea views, and in the exclusive company of a 33-year-old
Playboy model called, almost inevitably, Nikki. Sharpe’s reaction? "It’s
killing me. It’s boring the arse off me, to be fair. This has been garbage".
So, as George Best was legendarily asked, in not entirely dissimilar circumstances,
where did it all go wrong? There isn’t a single subscriber to Playboy who
wouldn’t have given his right hand to change places with Sharpe when the
result of the voting was announced. And yet the former Manchester United
star wanted out immediately and found himself, in his words, "shocked and
stunned and a little bit gutted". Just to recap: this is a footballer being
sent to hotel accommodation with a blonde model and describing the assignation
as an onerous burden on his time and a general sap to his spirits. You
can imagine Best shaking his bruised head in wonderment. Truly, it’s a
different game these days. The players throw their hands up at even the
merest hint of physical contact.
- Giles Smith, on the fate of ex-Man Utd star Lee Sharpe, "The Times"
"You won three Premiership
titles, two FA Cups and a European Cup Winners’ Cup at Manchester United
but you’re more famous now because you’re dating Abi Titmuss. What does
that tell you about the world and the power of television?"
"It tells me that the power of television is huge, and that you don’t have to be that talented to be famous these days."
- Paul Kimmage, interviewing Lee Sharpe in "The Times" after his return
>> Read Quotes from "My Idea of Fun" by Lee Sharpe
Who would have imagined that the Crazy Gang would yield a Hollywood film
star (Vinny Jones), a British television ever-present (John Fashanu) and
now a televised African dance champion?
- Giles Smith, after ex-Don Robbie Earle wins "Strictly African Dancing", "The Times"
Thirteen years after
Basic Instinct, Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone) is now in London, and
is going out with a footballer played by Stan Collymore, of all people.
On the rebound from John Motson, perhaps. It is difficult to convey just
how uproariously awful this movie is, all of the time.
- Peter Bradshaw, reviewing "Basic Instinct 2" in "The Guardian"
World Cup Stories (BBC2)
made me (stupidly) unhappy, because we were dragged back to the England
v Germany quarter-final in the 1990 world cup - Chrissie Waddle spooning
it over, accompanied by Pavarotti singing Nessun Dorma. I don't know how
many times I've seen it, but it still gets me. One day it's going to go
in, and the past 16 years will all have been a terrible dream.
- Sam Wollaston, "The Guardian"
Ray Winstone's Frankie
was a memorable monster, all pitbull aggro expressed in an expletive-strewn
patois of Cockney rhyming slang and misogynistic metaphors; if this had
been shown before 9pm, Frankie would have sounded like one long Morse code
message. Winstone embodied the part as if he were always about to burst
a blood vessel. He may have looked like Terry Venables but he had the air
of Tony Soprano, someone more likely to kick heads than a ball.
- Ian Johns, reviewing football drama "All in the Game" in "The Times"
My favourite hero has
to be Niki, who develops superhuman strength when she gets cross. Then,
when she comes back to her senses, whoever it was she was cross with has
been torn to pieces. I wish Arsenal's Emmanuel Adebayor possessed this
superpower, and had used it on Sunday at the Carling Cup final. There would
have been a big heap of Chelsea player's limbs, torsos and heads in the
middle of the pitch at the final whistle — with Jose's smug mug grinning
on the top of the pile.
- Sam Wollaston, reviewing superhero series "Heroes", "The Guardian" (Feb'07)
Polls are now even
more meaningless than ever... there was the case of Ronnie O'Brien, the
young footballer who incredibly found himself at Juventus, and even more
incredibly found himself in the running to win an internet poll of the
great club's greatest ever player. The curse ironically struck O'Brien
a second time when he was at one point leading Time magazine's list of
the Greatest People Of The 20th Century. The error in the polling was soon
rectified and O'Brien, happily, is leading a highly successful career playing
pro-football with FC Dallas in the American soccer league.
- Ian O'Doherty, "The Irish Independent"
"I know almost every
player by name already. I play a lot of Championship Manager and Gareth
Barry is always a good buy. Hopefully he is just as good in real life."
- Aston Villa's Icelandic signing Joey Gudjonsson in the Daily Mail
Andy King may make
more mistakes than a 10 year old does on Championship Manager but not as
many as Steve McMahon does in real life.
- Seen on "This is Swindon Town" fan forum
For Peter Taylor’s
only match in charge of England, in November 2000, he picked an experimental
side that bemused Giovanni Trapattoni, the Italy manager. “There was Trapattoni
on the coach looking at the England squad, going, ‘I’ve never heard of
any of these players,’ ” Miles Jacobson said. “So Demetri Albertini (the
midfield player) gets out his laptop, boots up the game and starts going
through the players to show Trapattoni what they were like. We’ve even
been cited in a few divorce cases. We read in Men’s Health magazine that
there were 35 in one year.”
- Miles Jacobson, MD of Sports Interactive (producers of Championship Manager), "The Times"
Two Chelsea Academy
players received a surprise call-up for the Philippines Under-23 team for
the South East Asian Games after a young fan sitting in front of his PlayStation
game console discovered that the Ashford-born brothers were eligible for
selection because of their mother. James Younghusband, 19, and his brother,
Philip, 18, were on the list of Chelsea players in the Fifa football game
and an anonymous e-mail alerted the Philippines Football Federation to
their availability. “One young kid was playing the game on his PlayStation,
and found the Chelsea reserve list,” Jose Ariston Caslib. the Philippines
coach said. “There were two players eligible to play for the Philippines.”
- Jack Young, "The Times"
Your style of play
is a crucial component of a winning game plan. If you are Liverpool and
by divine right have a squad full of talented players, then the passing
style is the only one for you. Take on a smaller club where flair players
are likely to be thin on the ground and you might find that a more brutal
direct or long ball approach is a quicker route to success than pretty
much everything else. The more continentally minded among you might wish
to take over a club like Lincoln and, as if on some evangelical mission,
impose a passing regime on it. Good luck, it's not easy to pass your way
out of the lower Divisions, but the critics will love you and it can be
good preparation for when you eventually make the big time and have to
compete against the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United... Different
managers will each have their preferred formations, probably as a result
of some childhood incident.
- David Eurenius, reviewing Championship Manager 2
Q: "While watching
Brazilian league football, it appeared that once the referee had set the
wall for a free-kick, he took out an aerosol and sprayed a line on the
pitch, presumably so that the defending team could not cross it until the
kick had been taken," writes Billy Stewart. "Can anyone confirm this is
A: We can, Billy. It transpires that Brazilian football fan and chemist Heine Allemagne is to thank for inventing a high-tech spray in 2000. The referees carry a small aerosol can - or one is brought out to them - so that whenever a defensive wall needs to be formed near the penalty area, they can spray the foam and mark out the 10 yards that players must retreat. As if by magic, the dye evaporates from the grass within 60 seconds, because, as Rio resident José Sette explains, "it is a white water-based foam that is non-toxic, odourless, and does not affect the ozone layer." Phew! And what's more "it is composed of mineralised water, coconut by-products, additives and a propellent gas." It was first used in the São Paulo State Championship in 2001, with the Brazilian Football Confederation and state federations then extending its usage around the country. But despite proving a highly effective tool in upholding the rules of the game, Fifa remains unconvinced as to its necessity and is yet to take the idea worldwide.
- From The Guardian's "The Knowledge"
The [Hundred Years]
war began again with a dangerous accession of naval strength against England.
The English response to these new and formidable naval threats was to impose
compulsory archery practice and ban football; an admirable measure, but
no substitute for a navy. In September 1369, soon after the war restarted,
French raiders burnt Portsmouth.
- NAM Rodger, in his naval history of Britain, "The Safeguard of the Sea"
A disorderly football
match took place in Dorchester on August 18, 1642, on the eve of the English
Civil War. It is uncertain how many players were involved, which formations
were used or even how long the game lasted, but contemporary records of
the occasion clearly reveal that when religious conviction and passion
for the beautiful game become indistinguishable, the result is unutterably
ugly. What made the Dorchester game so ghastly was the way in which international
religious conflict and national fears for the safety of the Church of England
under Charles I were being played out at a local level: with a ball that
was actually the decapitated head of the fugitive Roman Catholic priest
- Marcus Nevitt, "The Telegraph"
Join the Royal Air
- Billboard ad displayed during England v Argentina friendly in Switzerland
Thailand is dishing
out free cable television in its restive Muslim south in the hope that
sports coverage such as English Premiership soccer will calm tensions in
a region plagued by violence.
Complete: Rooney 97%; Keane 83%; Chomsky 65%.
- Some alternative Premiership statistics from BBC's "Broken News"
"Number three, the
Iraqi Sunnis — they're going to face Number 18, the Irish Catholics."
- "Have I Got News For You" imagine the UN running the FA Cup Draw
Congo : Lightning strikes during a football match in the Democratic Republic of Congo, killing all 11 members of one team whilst leaving the opposing team untouched, leading to accusations of witchcraft.
# THE UNITED WAY
I understand the intensity
of the supporters. I wonder how they could turn up for work on Monday morning
after we lost 5-1 to Manchester City.
- Alex Ferguson, looking back in 1993
Winning the Championship
is like taking a 26-year ball and chain from around our legs. Now we can
go forward, and hopefully dominate English football for the next 10 years,
like Liverpool did.
- Bryan Robson (1993)
People say I'm hard,
I'm Mr Angry. I'm this, I'm that. I just want to win matches. There's no
point going out there and being Mr Nice Guy. We get 55,000 at Old Trafford
and I don't think they want fellas going out there and thinking: "Ah, if
we lose, so what?"
- Roy Keane, on living at Old Trafford in 1996
was the most exciting debut I've ever seen. There have been a few players
described as 'The New George Best' over the years, but this is the first
time it's been a compliment to me.
- George Best (2003)
You have to put all
the criticism of this club down to jealousy. United have produced more
players who have played for their country, more world-class players and
more players who have won European Footballer of the Year than any other
team in this country, so we must be doing something right.
- Alex Ferguson
Q: Has Green Bay Packers
coach, Vince Lombardi, been an influence on your career? Do you share any
A: He hasn't been an influence on my career, as I only read a book about him for the first time about 10 years ago. But I was inspired by him when I read it (When Pride Still Mattered by David Maraniss), because I thought I was reading about myself! Everything he did, where he started from, it all had echoes in my life.
When I began in management, people said: "What the hell are you going to East Stirling for?" At the time I said: You've got to start somewhere." I asked Ally McLeod, my manager at Ayr the time for advice, and he said: "You only need to be out of this game for two minutes and you're forgotten. Don't let yourself be forgotten. When a job comes along, take it."
Vince Lombardi was driving up to become coach of the Green Bay Packers. There were 4ft-long icicles along the road, and it was that cold, and his wife said to him: "What the hell are we doing going up here?" Nobody had heard of the Packers, but they went on to win two Superbowls under him... When you read what some of his former players wrote about him, you realise how special he was.
- Alex Ferguson, interviewed for "Inside Manchester United"
>> Quotes from Pundits & Analysis moved to a new page
>> Quotes from "22
Foreigners in Funny Shorts" by Pete Davies
from "All Played Out" by Pete Davies
from "Perfect Pitch" edited by Simon Kuper
from "The Miracle of Castel di Sangro" by Joe McGinnis
from "Footballing Against The Enemy" by Simon Kuper
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