Archive for the ‘Football’ Category
I wrote a piece on Monday which contained some denigrating comments about Ortis Deley, the anchorman for Channel 4′s coverage of the World Athletics Championships. Yesterday there was no Ortis, relieved of his responsibilities. Today there was no athletics at all, although the internet says that it is a scheduled rest day.
In my own very optimistic understanding of cause and effect, my post effected the removal of the stricken presenter. An example of how public protest can peacefully bring about regime change.
With this in mind, my friend Wutton has uncovered another crime against humanity: Match of the Day 3. If watching this oddly smug shambles of a programme isn’t persuasive enough then read this article from the Surreal Football website, a far more coruscating polemic than I could manage.
Colin Murray, your day is numbered.
No pleasure should be derived from the news that Wales have slithered below the Faroe Islands in the latest FIFA rankings. Absolutely no gratification whatsoever should be gained from the fact that a nation boasting a PFA Player of the Year and its own Premier League club has dropped precipitously below a team representing a volcanic crag in the North Arctic populated exclusively by fisherfolk and guillemots. None.
What is quite amusing however is that this Welsh ignominy was apparently sealed by a punctilious Faroese student (it’s him and the fishermen and the guillemots) called Jakup who spotted an erroneous calculation in the original Fifa listings which had Wales above his motherland.
His sums were corroborated by a Romanian computer programmer. Edgar is his name. Edgar has his own website which works out FIFA rankings and UEFA co-efficients and all sorts of fun stuff. So you don’t have to.
I commend you to pay it a visit. It’s a sexy mathematical cocktail of bewildering statistical permutations and potential seeding information and, and, sprinkled with pithy quotes from the Bible.
You can e-mail Edgar in case you think your FIFA ranking is wrong. I might contact him. Just to say that I like printing boring stuff on the internet too.
West Ham didn’t slip away through the trapdoor into the Championship. Having scrounged a pair of points from a potential 24, they hurtled through it. They smashed it. There are splinters of trapdoor wood all over Wigan. And now it is time for West Ham fans to establish their coping mechanisms, to find the silver linings in the clouds of relegation.
There are more games to enjoy. More midweek ones too, so we don’t have to watch Holby City. We might actually win some. Or at least have the chance of winning some. We won’t wake up ahead of a trip to Stamford Bridge or Old Trafford or Anfield knowing that the best we can hope for is to avoid humiliation.
And we get to go to Ipswich. The home of the Ipswich Transport Museum. And Hollywoods nightclub. And the Regent, the largest theatre in East Anglia. We also have the opportunity to relive the moment that Bobby Zamora helped haul us out of the Championship in the first place.
There’ll be more of this. I promise.
Avram Grant is a depressing man with complexion of an ashtray and a wife who drinks piss for fun. He’s been shuffling around Upton Park attached to a saline drip of synthetic optimism pretending that all is happy in the house of Hammers. Which it is clearly not.
And now this three-game ultimatum. Which could potentially turn Grant’s final days at West Ham into a prime-time gameshow. If his team are still without a win before the third game against Everton then that fixture becomes a million-dollar question for the Israeli. Perhaps the operations team will play long orchestral version of the Countdown crescendo over the public address system as a lady in a sequined swimming costume parades the touchline with a copy of Grant’s P45. And then as the crowd look to a snowy sky, there is Sam Allardyce being lowered inexorably towards the dugout in a perspex box. Specially reinforced of course.
And so we’ve reached the conclusion of a multi-million dollar marathon bidding process that has plunged to a level at which blandishment and bribery are the acceptable tools of operation.
You’ve guessed it. The naming rights of the Oval have been sold. From now on it should be referred to as the Kia Oval.
In other news the FA failed in their attempt to host the World Cup. To soothe the hurt here’s a now-legendary clip of a member of the English delegation, the albino shambles that is Boris Johnson, showing the world how the game should really be played:
The most heartening aspect of England’s victory in Basle on Tuesday was the stoically sober celebration performed by Wayne Rooney. Less ‘if you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands’ and more ‘if you’re happy and you know it but you’re also feeling bad about cheating on your pregnant wife, just smirk and pump your fist sheepishly’. Its low-key execution was similar to those performed by players scoring against former clubs, perfected by the likes of Denis Law and Marlon Harewood. If you weren’t aware of the salacious mudslide that had landed on Rooney’s shoulders recently, then you might have surmised that he’d grown up playing for Switzerland before a big-money transfer to the English.
Craig Levein could learn a thing about understated celebrations from Rooney, having got so excited when Scotland finally polished off the giants of Liechtenstein that his glasses flew from his face. Watching hapless Scottish misadventures is usually quite enjoyable, but this was just harrowing. A man slipping on banana skin and falling on his face is funny. A man slipping on a banana skin and breaking his neck is not.
Have you ever watched an England game speeded up on Skyplus? I did last night. The shift in the international calendar caught me on the hop. I was eating falafel in a Lebanese restaurant in Marylebone as it was all kicking off up the Bakerloo line in Wembley.
You should try it. The Skyplus, not the falafel. It lends the whole proceedings a sort of slapstick Benny Hill quality, whilst also giving the vaguely nauseating effect of quickening up Gareth Barry to normal pace.
The only comparison I can dredge up is this seminal Spice Girls video. Just replace a Spice Girl for Barry and Manhattan for north-west London and you’ll get the picture.
Historians have revealed that in order to revive flagging spirits among his generals, Adolf Hitler once promised to shave off his moustache should Germany win the Second World War. It is claimed that the bet was made in the final days of the Third Reich as Hitler explained to his most trusted advisors that the missus didn’t like it that much anyway.
One of his inner circle is reported to have said: “team morale is important and growing a moustache is all part of the banter”, but adding that “although doing a Joey Barton impression whilst celebrating the surrender of France was beyond the pale, even for Adolf”.
I could understand Javier Hernandez insisting that ‘Chicharito’ was ironed across his shoulders when he signed for Manchester United if it was a name that struck dread into the hearts of opponents as line up in the tunnel. ‘Chicharito’ means little pea. He was named for his dad, who was ‘Chicaro’. Pea. Because he had eyes like peas. He was a odd-looking man.
If anyone should have wanted to advertise their epithet in such a manner, it’s Turkish international defender Servet Cetin, who amongst other things is known as ‘Ayibogan’. This roughly translates as ‘man who could choke a bear’. Here he is:
He looks like he could do more unspeakable things to a bear than merely to choke it. He’s been linked with both Tottenham and Arsenal recently, so he could be making short work of the little pea any time soon.