Er…

Posted: January 7, 2015 by zechaplunga in Uncategorized

Noods… it’s me, Plech. I seem to have admin access to your blog. I’m in it, right now… I think? Or am I? I didn’t mean to log into it, I meant to log into WordPress. I have no idea what the fuck is going on.

I think I was once going to guest blog here? But I never did. I don’t think. Did I?

This is like being trapped in someone else’s brain.

Have you got an email address or something I can discuss this with you on, rather than talking to you from inside your own brain?

I’m on Zechaplunga@yahoo.co.uk.

OK then. Yes. Goodbye for now?

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The Guide to Being a Modern Essex Man

Posted: November 8, 2014 by newdless in Uncategorized

Health – Gym. It’s all about going to the gym, Everyday, without fail. The gym. Lift weights at the gym. Everyone needs to know you go to the gym. Including everyone else who’s already at the gym. Gym. Your arms are huge. Disproportionately huge. Look at how huge they are. Look again. Look at them some more. Not particularly strong, but HUGE. That’s what matters. Fitness isn’t important, strength, health and muscle balance isn’t important. Huge arms are important, and maybe a huge chest, but mainly the arms. Arms at the gym.

Diet must revolve mostly around the need for huge arms. Protein shakes. All the time. Fill your body with more protein than it will ever need. Don’t burn any of it off with cardio…Compensate by avoiding eating any actual food during the day, unless it’s a youghurt…a non fat youghurt. Basically give your body little of what it needs and a shit load of what it doesn’t really need nor particularly want, because arms. A healthy balanced diet without excess of protein is unnecessary because this would result in equally strong, but regular sized arms. Talk about wanting to do a marathon but never actually do one.

Social skills – Talk. Talk a lot. Never shut up. Run your mouth relentlessly and loudly…but never actually have anything to say. Know everything about nothing and nothing about anything, and be obnoxiously unashamed of this. Engage in “banter” with women, not conversation. Stand over or close to women in a slightly creepy way and then stare awkardly whilst insulting them, without humour…the key to “banter” is not humour. It’s an inherent lack of it. Actually use the term banter. View any woman who isn’t charmed by this as “uptight”…view any woman who takes an active dislike to it as a “feminist bitch/whore”. Talk to other men by encouraging them to do awful things to women, or their girlfriends…disregard that they may view their girlfriends or women in general as human beings. DO NOT TALK ABOUT FOOTBALL. Never give the impression that you’re being yourself or not forcing some kind of bizarre self fancying act. Pretend to be even stupider than you are. GET LOUDER FOR NO REASON. Basically, act like you’re a psychopathic rapist who’s just barely keeping it together.

Appearance – Spend more time styling your hair than any woman you know. Be unique by styling it the exact same way as all of your friends. Touch it a lot. Fancy your own hair more than anything. Use moisturiser. Wear fake tan…even at work. Fake tan exagerates huge arms. Dress up with extreme effort for important social occasions like hanging around in top shop with your mates, or posting selfies on snapchat. Wear clothes that are too small. Wear vests. Think that wearing vests is acceptable. Don’t smile. Pout all the time. Be the kid who’s emotionless expression got stuck because the wind changed when they WEREN’T pulling a face. Don’t find anything funny unless it’s not funny. Shave part of your face but then grow a tiny beard on the front of it, for some reason. Have tattoes but be unable to explain why. Look like what everyone tells you to look like. DO NOT have an original thought. Be a clone.

Lifestyle – Go to places or events to be seen or say you’ve been there, rather than because they’re interesting or something you enjoy. Go to gigs in order to talk and take selfies during the music. Go to shopping centres to “hang out”, not because you need to buy something from a shop. The shitter and louder the music, the more likely you are to be there. Make the most adventurous thing about your eating habbits the choice of whether or not to have rice with your nandos. When on holiday abroad, spend the whole time in clubs bantering it up…in other words, the exact same shit you’d be doing if you weren’t on holiday. Don’t watch the news. Don’t watch informative television (or at least don’t admit it). Don’t read anything that isn’t an autobiography or tabloid article. “enjoy” Big Brother, Made in Chelsea, and other programs about people pretending to be like the person you pretend to be. View people with actual interests that aren’t the gym as some kind of unapproachable alien species. Drink more than you can handle to prove you can handle it.

Life, career and ambitions – Have none of any of these. Have no goals in life other than gym and finding ways to fit even more gel on your hair. Have a job where 90% of your work colleagues hate you and the other 10% pity you. Proclaim that you like travelling when really site seeing to you is nothing more than an opportunity to take a picture of your face in a different place. Show your quest to expand your knowledge by asking questions like “Is Turkey in Europe”, when you’re 28 years old. Do not get yourself a girlfriend, unless it’s the type of girlfriend who is likely to be dragging you on to Jeremy Kyle in 12 months time. Involve yourself in pointless spats about who’s slept with who, even when they have nothing to do with you and even if they do, wouldn’t be considered important to any person with a normal functioning brain. Get fat very quickly when you’re older due to your obsession with protein powders and lack of being able to stick to an actual healthy diet. Gradually become bald and racist.

Premier League Review 2013/2014

Posted: May 11, 2014 by newdless in Uncategorized

Season review time. Mostly stinging and harsh because this season has caused me to hate everything.

 

20) Cardiff – I think my favourite part of Cardiff’s season was Vincent Tann giving that interview to the BBC in order to try and prove he wasn’t a nutcase. The same interview that convinced me beyond any doubt that he was, in fact, a nutcase. Meanwhile, about 90% of the criticism aimed at him came as a result of him sacking Mackay, for spending £15m of Vincent Tann’s money, without Vincent Tann’s permission. When you think about it, this actually makes it about the most non unfair sacking in the history of football management, and possibly employment in general. Mackay also bizarrely escapes without criticism for the laughably poor players he signed using this money, giving Solskjaer, and whoever replaces him, next to no chance of turning fortunes around. Tann now appears to be in some kind of spite bubble and will probably move Cardiff to Asia just to get back at the fans for daring to act like football fans. THe first of a number of clubs on this list that would probably accidentally run itself better if everyone involved went around deliberately trying to sabotage it.

Verdict – 3/10 Championship manager signs Championship players for Premiership fee, with non-existent money. Owner goes mad then claims everyone just thinks he’s mad because he wears bond villain glasses and thinks the team’s shirt colour harnesses some kind of mythical power.

 

19) Fulham – A team who started the season being managed by Mark Hughes…no wait, Martin Jol…no, er…Rene Muelestene? Anyway, now managed by soon to be sacked Felix Magath (who’s one of those guys you’ve heard of before but aren’t really sure why), Fulham have put in a feeble effort this season…Apart from that one game on Monday Night Football where they kept scoring wonder goals. Other than that, the main highlight was a draw at Old Trafford which was somehow even more embarrassing to witness than a crushing 6-0 defeat would have been. Their inevitable relegation will devastate their several fans almost as much as Nani taking his statue back did.

Verdict – 3/10 Attempted to stay up by bringing in a rejected coach from another club then letting him sign loads of rejected reserve players from the same club..then sacked him about 2 weeks later.

 

18) Norwich – The pitifulness of Norwich can perhaps be summed up by the performance that ultimately relegated them. A battling, deliberately achieved 0-0 draw against Chelsea, in a game they knew they needed to win in order to have any chance of staying up. After which their manager announced his pride at this achievement, as if it somehow wasn’t the dumbest performance any team had produced all season. Imagine the  enraged fury of watching your team play out for a draw in a game they needed at all costs to win, only to then announce they were pleased with the outcome. What on earth is going on? Norwich can also showcase a raft of players with exactly the same face. For example, Bradley Johnson, Robert Snodgrass, some guy I saw playing for their reserves, and some other players probably.

Verdict – 3/10 – They basically deliberately got themselves relegated.

 

17 ) West Brom – Marvel as one of the club’s biggest ever name signings, Nicholas Anelka, takes several months of sulking to score 1 goal, then celebrates it by acting like a Nazi sympathising racist and getting himself banned, and sacked. Watch as Pepe Mel fails to win a game for what seems like an eternity, while the board back him by publicly admitting that they think he might be a bit rubbish. Become gradually more confused as West Brom move slowly away from the relegation zone, despite the fact you can’t remember ever seeing them win a game. Then become even more confused when you try to remember how it was again that West Brom got into the premiership in the first place.

Verdict: 6/10 It’s West Brom. Anything that isn’t being soundly relegated is always going to have to rank as some level of achievement.

 

16) Hull – People have had a chance to witness as Steve Bruce not only defends, but actually finds a way to praise his players for things like spitting on people, and physically assaulting opposition managers. A team featuring one of the many trademarks of a Steve Bruce team…Steve Bruce’s son, who follows Steve Bruce around being allowed to play in the first team despite clearly not being good enough. Every Steve Bruce team seems to hover around the same level of not quite being rubbish enough to be at risk of being relegated…which usually results in significant praise for Steve Bruce…for about a year, and then after that he eventually gets sacked and the team promptly get dragged into a relegation battle.

Verdict: 7/10 Significant praise for Steve Bruce

 

15) Aston Villa – The team who’s only relevance on any season, ever, is in how their results affect other teams in the league, rather than themselves. For example, this year’s most memorable Aston Villa moment; ruining Chelsea’s title chances in order to gain absolutely nothing for themselves, at all. Lining up with sometimes good and sometimes completely useless Benteke, and sometimes good and sometimes replaced in the starting line up with someone you’ve never heard of, Adbonglahor. And Westwood, a player so unremarkably average, he’s destined to sign for Aston Villa, despite already playing for them. A team capable of bursting suddenly into life and running even good opponents into the ground, such as away against Liverpool. Also capable of being so passive, you wonder what the point is in them even being on the pitch, such as at home, against Liverpool.

Verdict: 5/10 At least they didn’t make a huge deal out of a League cup game against Bradford, and then lose it, this time around

 

14 ) Sunderland – In the absence of Wigan, someone needed to stay up by spending most of the season appearing to be completely shite, then suddenly revealing in the last two months that they merely couldn’t be arsed up until that point. Featuring, a raft of unpunished dives from Adam Johnson, useless fumbling around by Emile Hesk….Altidore, and how to get sent off more times than you actually play, with Wes Brown. Once Sunderland were released from the grip of their Nazi sympathising manager who hated all of the players and everything they stood for, they brought in the slightly less insane Gus Poyet and were able to flourish…eventually, sort of. Even managing to win a penalty shootout at Old Trafford, by missing nearly every single one of their penalties, which in a way fittingly sums up Sunderland’s succesful abject failure of a season.

Verdict – 5/10 Sudden, nonsensical transformation into a decent team is usually a bad sign in the long run.

 

13) West Ham – West Ham’s season has for some reason revolved around the questionable tactic of playing Andy Carroll up front on his own, hoofing the ball up to him, and then having him head it down to no one because he’s playing up front on his own. Strangely West Ham seemed to persist with the tactic of hoofing the ball to Andy Carroll, even when Andy Carroll was missing from the team with long-term injury. Less strangely, against Spurs it actually managed to work. Ravel Morrison stepped up to provide possibly the biggest highlight of West Ham’s season…an uncontested backheeled volley scored on the training ground…for England U21s. Morrison was shortly after shipped out by Sam Allardyce for, allegedly, not signing a contract with a specific agent, or more likely because he’s an unstable lunatic who doesn’t hoof the ball enough. Still playing games at their famous Bolyen ground (which is so famous everyone calls it Upton Park, and so state of the art, it’s literally been condemned as a dangerous structure), before their move into the oversized, unsuitable Olympic arena, which by becoming the home of West Ham, will ensure it has its legacy as both an Olympic, and football stadium, completely destroyed.

Verdict: 6/10 Wherever Sam Allardyce goes, he’s not really welcomed to stay, which is exactly why he should remain at West Ham.

 

12) Swansea – A team of such astonishing relevance, I literally had to go and look at the league table to see which team it was I’d left out of this review. With a manager whose name I also can’t remember, but who’s basically just some guy who used to hang around at training. Mysterious disappearing players such as Mitchu, and mysteriously appearing new players such as Wilfried Bony; the latest in the list of Premier League strikers who manage to become good players by essentially being useless at everything. A Welsh team who dress up like a bunch of sheep, and then often play like a bunch of sheep, but who sometimes though increasingly rarely turn into Barcelona. Now once again the only Welsh team playing in the English Premier League.

Verdict: 5/10 The curse of the Europa League. A competition so dull, it depresses teams who compete into ruining their entire season.

 

11) Crystal Palace – “Crystal Pulis!” lol…good one Martin Tyler.  A fantastic play on words. Well done. Arguably most notable this season for featuring some of the ugliest crowds ever televised (even the away fans seem to get noticeably more ugly when they visit Palace)…Presumably it turns out Ian Dowie’s face was the result of some infectious disease that spawned from that set of violently angry home fans by the far left cornerflag. Also however notable for forcing basically everyone to eat humble pie in regards to Tony Pulis, and for making Luis Suarez cry. A team who call themselves “The Eagles”, release eagles on to the pitch before every game, and have a man dressed as a giant eagle stand by the crowd cheerleading them, despite having no actual affiliation with eagles at all.

Verdict: 8/10 Relegation fodder turned into midtable stability by virtue of realising nearly every team in the league plays like a bunch of prematurely released clowns.

 

10) Newcastle – Newcastle have gone a bit boring this season. Spending the first part winning games by being dull and entirely unconvincing, and then the second part of the season losing games by doing exactly the same thing. Newcastle’s most entertaining player is now their manager,Alan Pardew, abuser of old men, headbutter of random Irishmen, and enemy of Newcastle. Despite this, fans have once again been enthralled by Newcastle’s easily most talented player, Hatem Ben Arfa, as he’s excitingly spent large chunks of the season…sitting around on the bench, or being banished to the stands by Alan Pardew for being an unreliable nutcase, where he can sit in the company of people like…Alan Pardew, who’s been banished to the stands by the FA for being an unreliable nutcase. Only Newcastle could somehow find a catastrophic looking way of being completely irrelevant and dull.

Verdict: 6/10 Alan Pardew is like the incredible Hulk except instead of turning green and invincible, nothing happens, and then he has to start apologising to everyone to avoid getting the crap kicked out of him.

 

9) Stoke -A new manager at the helm, which means Stoke fans have watched in bemusement as their team attempted to stop playing like Stoke and start playing like a real football team, only to realise they couldn’t and then revert back to trying to be Stoke again. Only to realise they couldn’t do that anymore either, but then realise that there’s so many awful teams in the league that it doesn’t really matter. Armed with the ability to play terribly, and then snatch barely deserved wins with ridiculous 30 yard shots. Boasting hideously deformed players such as Charlie Adam, and Dean Whitehead, whose face is so large, it’s probably looking at you, right now. A fan base that remains comprised of people who look like they were kicked out of the West Ham supporter’s club for overdoing it a bit. A ground famed for its harsh wind and weather conditions, yet when it did start raining against Manchester United, the game got stopped and all the players ran into the tunnel.

Verdict: 6/10 Stoke make me angry, and Pulis leaving has left me confused as to why, which makes me more angry.

 

8) Southampton – The Sunderland of the South. Boasting a team of players who nearly all look almost exactly the same as each other, and who all pass and move with the ball in almost exactly the same way as each other, and a 17-year-old left back who everyone seems to  have decided will one day be the best player in the world, despite the fact almost no one’s ever really watched him play more than a few times (move over phil Jones)…and, a manager who blatantly pretends he can’t speak or understand English, just so he doesn’t have to put up with Jeoff Shreeves. A team who’ve spent the season playing a more modern and attractive brand of football than the rest of the league, despite being from a part of the country where football has barely even been invented yet. The sort of team where big name misfits like Shinji Kagawa and Mezut Ozil could go, and actually look like good players. Literally the only team apart from Liverpool who can actually claim to be a better team than they were or should have been this time last year.

Verdict: 8/10 Having half a team of players being hyped above their actual ability level is a good sign that you’ve done well.

 

7) Manchester United – United fans have struck a strange kind of balance this year, in so much as that the reasonable middle ground is completely deserted while the two extremes balance off each other like two fat people sat on a seesaw. On the one hand, match going fans remained steadfast in their vocal support of David Moyes and his gang of hilariously underperforming players, regardless of the obvious shambles and stupidity unfolding in front of their eyes. While on the other, internet fans ignored the countless valid criticisms of David Moyes, in order to completely make up completely over the top criticisms to discredit him with. For example, claiming Moyes ruined United by getting rid of Phelan and Muelestene…two egotistical, resentful coaches who no one really knew anything about. One of whom has been sacked more times than David Moyes, since being sacked by David Moyes.

A club on a relentlessly determined mission to undo all of Sir Alex Ferguson’s good work in as little time as possible. Like a destructive kid set loose on a city made of lego. signing players for well above their contractual buyout clause, because they didn’t think the player was worth the buyout clause. Wasting an entire summer agreeing to sign players from Spanish teams, then not actually signing them, and employing a manager who

– Constantly admits he “doesn’t know” what to do about things

– Disregards good performances from players yet relies unshakably on those who repeatedly perform symbolically

– Signs a player for £42m, then admits within a week that he doesn’t know what position to play him in

– Makes  United so bad that it’s actually a surprise when they don’t lose a home game.

…only to then sack him at the exact point in the season it became mathematically too late for any other manager to retrieve anything.

United, a club that, against all the odds and sheer laws of chance/probability, has managed to go an entire year without getting a single thing right. The club’s brightest sparks this season are the goalkeeper and a teenage prodigy who is regularly dropped for Ashley Young.

Verdict – 2/10 Abject management. featuring a spine of players who play every week like they’re hung over and have been dragged to fulfill some form of community service, and a back up pool of players who play maybe every few weeks then disappear again for no explained reason.

 

6 ) Spurs – I was going to put something new, then realised what I wrote earlier  in the season is still exactly as applicable now and forever. So here it is: An identity crisis of a club. Splashing money and overspending on players with no second thought, but then whenever one of their players turns out to be better than the rest, selling them to a better team. Levy might dig his heels in until 1 minute before the transfer deadline, but the player always leaves. A selling club trying to buy their way to the top.

Every striker at the club is constantly marginalised to make room for the other strikers at the club…even when they only have two strikers. They play a high line with defenders who like to drop deep. They sign every available midfielder under the sun and then use as few as possible, or resort to using 18-year-old youth team players in central midfield. They specialise in pacey wingers who either can’t or refuse to cross the ball. They play a goalkeeper who goalkeeps by constantly running away from his own goal.

Sherwood is the confused befuddlement of a manager they’ve been waiting for. He’s like a fan, but not just any fan. One of those who becomes irrationally angry during games, who you can’t take to the pub with you, who loves supporting the team so much that he hates everything about it. He wants the team to show more guts. He wants players to be angry at things and each other. he wants everyone to care as much as he does….he trusts Adebayor more than any other attacking player. Presumably behind closed doors he strangles Adebayor with one hand whilst hugging him with the other.

He wants his team to wake up and believe they are good enough to beat the top sides, and he does this by publicly telling them that they’re shite and can’t be counted on. He’s everything Tottenham are in a nutshell.

Verdict: 5/10 The only plan is to relentlessly fight against the plan.

 

5) Everton – A half decent, barely improved team which has engulfed itself in a smug sense of self richousness that even Arsenal would struggle to rival. Everton can pass the ball now (because they never did that before apparently). They play, the “right” way. They are a real football team. They’ve awoken from the dark ages of the Moyes era. I mean jesus fecking christ are medals given out for this sort of self appreciating nonsense now or something?

They can also take on the top teams now we are told. As their string of hard thought battling defeats, draws and occasional home wins (i.e. exactly what they’ve been up to for years) proves. In truth, the sum total achievement of Everton’s revolution under Martinez, can be whittled down to them moving a whole one place up the league. An achievement which when you think about why, can in fact be almost entirely accredited to David Moyes.

Exciting times also lie ahead as Everton can look forward to two of their best players, and their most talented young player, all returning to their actual clubs having spent the season on loan.

Verdict – 8/10 Everton being Everton but looking slightly more like Wigan. I’m not convinced that this bodes well for the future.

 

4) Arsenal – Each Arsenal season is like watching last season back again. In fact, even if I say “even in a season where every team in the league bottled it, Arsenal still managed to bottle it by comparison” it’s still basically the same thing I said two years ago. Attempting to address their lack of bottle, by signing world-famous and known bottler Mezut Ozil…who then bafflingly received ALL of the blame when Arsenal bottled it. Hopes were high early on. Fans became arrogant and obnoxious. Piers Morgan resurfaced. Pundits foolishly talked of Arsenal as a genuine threat. Then they flexed their true title credentials, visiting their three main title rivals and only losing about 16-3 on aggregate, managing to concede 6 goals against a Chelsea side who were basically deliberately trying not to score, and cowering from the challenge like someone going without dinner because they’re too scared to answer the door to the pizza delivery man. It’s not even funny anymore. So predictable that even Paul Scholes, who never says anything, about anything, can appear on television and casually pick apart everything wrong with Arsenal, without so much as a stutter. Paul Scholes also accused Jack Wilshere of not improving at all since he first burst onto the scene, which if anything is slightly harsh on the younger Jack Wilshere, because at least no one had realised how much of a prick he is back then.

Verdict: 7/10 At the start of the season Arsenal fans wanted Wenger out. Then he spent £40m on a player who ultimately turned out to be completely pointless, and Arsenal produced exactly the same sort of season they always do, and now they all love Wenger again.

 

3) Chelsea

The mighty Mourinho has returned. The man who insufferable football nerds and disgruntled United fans will hail as a managerial and charismatic god in the face of any evidence whatsoever to the contrary.

Witness as he dispels claims of him being boring with:

– Unecessarilly long post match interviews in which he recounts the entire game you’ve just watched, play by pay, for no reason

– Prolonged unexplained sulking

– 0-0 draws

– Especially uneventful and drab 0-0 draws, in games which both teams needed to win in order to mathematically keep their season alive

– Unprovoked, indirect digs at Arsene Wenger, which no one, including Arsene Wenger, could care less about

 

Gasp in awe at ingenious managerial tactics, such as:

– Falling out with his best player and selling him to a different club

– Falling out with his remaining best player and slagging him off in public

– Repeated telling everyone in public that his players are too shit to win the league

– Spending all summer trying to sign a player he had no chance of ever signing, then signing someone much less good at the last-minute, then getting caught slagging them off in public

– Stating he’s going to build his team around a particular player, then dropping them halfway through the season

Mourinho has Mourinho’d Chelsea so much, that they’ve become the best team in the world at stopping other teams from winning, to the point that it’s even extended to stopping themselves from winning. Chelsea also have so many of the same, vague type of attacking player, that they actually managed to name nearly an entire team of players against Manchester United who were playing in the same position…and yet still no one really knows exactly what that position is.

Thought: I wonder what Chelsea fans would think of their manager after this season if his name was Rafa Benitez?

Verdict: 6/10 – A trophyless season of boredom glossed over as apparently being a success because it’s what Mourinho said would happen, even though it was his job to make sure it didn’t.

 
2) Liverpool – No one will forget the galling, moving image of unapologetic racist Luis Suarez weeping uncontrollably, having failed to win a League title with the team he cares about so much, he spent all summer desperately trying to leave them. Liverpool have invented an interesting new concept this season. The concept of “deserving” to win a prize you’re competing for and which there is nothing stopping you from winning, but without actually having to win it. Presumably at the next Olympics, Usain Bolt can now just stand on the starting line in the 100m final, and wait for the gold medal he deserves to run up the track to him? Most baffling about this theory (which has been rammed repeatedly down everyone’s throats), is that Gerrard has been bestowed with this sense of entitlement more than anyone else…the man whose lack of non brainless leadership qualities and inability to keep his nerve, is one of the main reasons Liverpool didn’t win the league.

Another  thing that’s  been rammed repeatedly down everyone’s throats, is the constant claim from Liverpool supporting people that “all the neutrals” want Liverpool to win the league. If you look up the word neutral in the dictionary, it becomes clear this is akin to claiming the Nazis were neutral during the second world war. Furthermore, this claim actually pushed me from being relatively neutral, to actively wanting Liverpool not  to win it, because like most normal people, I don’t like being told what I’m allowed to think…especially not when it involves cheering for Luis Suarez.

Liverpool have scored 101 goals in the league this season. An actually remarkably impressive tally, matched only by the combined number of “Spanish” dives Sturridge and Suarez manage to conjure up between them, per game.

Suarez can however take some comfort in between balling into his pillow, in knowing Liverpool are one of about two teams in the entire league who have actually improved in any significant way at all since last season.

Food  for thought: Remember the time a title chasing Manchester United were awarded 3 (THREE) penalties at Anfield in one game, and cheated to get the Liverpool captain sent off, and received praise as a result instead of it initiating some mass conspiracy hysteria? No, neither do I.

Verdict: 9/10 “yeah but they didn’t have the Champions League to worry about”, “they got lucky with injuries”…blah blah blah. No one expected Liverpool to get into the top four, then no one expected them to stay there. Then no one expected them to be in the title race, then even when they were, no one expected them to stay there or win it, then when everyone finally started thinking they could, they immediately screwed it up. Still…

 

1) Manchester City – For the second time in three years, Manchester City win the league by completely bottling it like a bunch of fannies and throwing it away, only to have it handed back to them when their title rivals inexplicably do exactly the same thing. A team who could blow any side away at home…until opposition teams actually started turning up there at which point it turned out that they couldn’t. A team that extracted revenge for its shock FA cup final defeat by Wigan, by going out of the FA Cup, at home, to Wigan. A team criticised for being almost completely reliant on whom pundits claimed to be its one key player….Sergio Aguero…and David Silva…and Yaya Toure…and Joe Har…whatever. Other notable players include Demichellis. A man who spent most of the season taking the blame for Vincent Kompany’s constant mistakes, which would then somehow be used to praise Vincent Kompany…a man pundits claimed to be City’s one key player. Witness also as Manchester City drive home their dominant local support, by failing to sell out their stadium for key title deciding games, top-tier Champions League fixtures, and generally any game that takes place at any time. Mystery remains as to what Javi Garcia actually does, whether Dzecko is amazing or really terrible, and why Pellegrini always looks like he’s just stubbed cigarettes into both of his eyes.

Verdict – 7/10 Occasionally brilliant, often underwhelming, and mentally naive…but with Yaya Toure instead of Joe Allen/Mikel/injured Jack Wilshere.

 

 

 

Inaccurate statements:

“The closest title race in years” – You mean closer than the one two years ago, which was decided on goal difference, in injury time on the last day of the season?

All the neutrals want Liverpool to do it – ” 1) Neutral (adjective) – Not supporting or helping either side in a conflict, disagreement, etc.; impartial:” “2) (noun) An impartial or unbiased state or person:I attended the cup final as a neutral”‘ http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/neutral

“Ashley Young was signed to replace Ryan Giggs” – Sir Alex Ferguson 2014 (published)

“We do not let this fucking slip now” – Steven Gerrard/various pisstake Vine videos

 

Special features:

– Shocking and unexplained refereeing, most notably from world cup approved referee Howard Webb, and UEFA approved referee, Mark Clattenberg

– Pointless, smalltime plane banners

– Almost no competent defending whatsoever

– Unbiased Sky commentary/punditry, from Liverpool fan Jamie Carragher, Liverpool fan Jamie Redknapp, Liverpool fan Graeme Souness, and apparent Liverpool fan Martin Tyler

– Michael Owen proving he’s even more dull than you already thought he was, even though that shouldn’t technically be possible.

Moyes?

Posted: February 11, 2014 by newdless in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

So, I’m not going to jump straight on the Moyesout bandwagon here. Partly because there really is no room left to jump on. It would feel like trying to jump on a metro back into town after everyone else by walking up to Trafford Bar in order to avoid the queues. The person who tried to be clever and different, and just ends up arriving at the same place as everyone else, only later.

Instead, I thought I’d do an analysis of five key areas to Moyes’s tenure so far, and look into his methods and what they’ve accomplished. A sort of job review if you will, but with a positive spin. A defence of the seemingly indefensible. So here we are:

In game tactical changes – Moyes’s tactical changes and substitutions may seem complex and difficult to predict or analyze to the untrained eye, but they can be broken down somewhat using these two spinning “tactics wheels” pictured below. The first relating to tactical changes considered before the 80th minute mark:

moyeswheel80

and here tactical changes made on or after the 80th minute mark:

moyeswheel81

This variety of options allows Moyes to adapt his team to any scenario they might find themselves in. For example, if the team were to get to 80 minutes and there was a severe lack of Hernandez on the pitch, Moyes may resolve this by bringing on Hernandez. Alternatively, after 70 minutes the team might find themselves in desperate need of not bringing Hernandez on quite yet. Other options such as Zaha allow Moyes to maintain the element of surprise when, after 80 or more minutes, Hernandez is selected to come on ahead of them.

Starting line ups and playing style – The key purpose of Moyes’s starting line up,  is for it to be as different as possible in every way from any starting line up he’s chosen previously. It is especially important that if any player played well in the previous game, they are either removed from the team or played in a different position. Generally a minimum of six changes is required, with a further two positional changes.

Despite this however, there will still be some constants. For example, Moyes will generally select a back four, a midfield four, and two strikers. One of Young or Valencia will be selected to play out wide (whichever one didn’t play in the last game), while the other wing will generally be used to play someone who isn’t a winger out of position. The main purpose of this is to allow them to be subbed off for Hernandez. Both strikers will push up past each other, while the two midfielders will drop back as far as possible. This allows for the team to play slow, ineffective long balls out wide. One of Vidic or Rio Ferdinand will be played in the back four to further encourage this. Moyes in doing this has effectively solved United’s problem of not having a midfield, by simply removing the entire middle area of the pitch.

To explain, when in attack, the team will generally line up like so:

football

The aim of the furthest forward wide players (the fullbacks) is to cross the ball aimlessly, while everyone else’s job is to get the ball as wide as possible by passing sideways or diagonally. At no point is any pass played forwards at more than 45 degrees. As such, the need for a midfield is negated.

Defensively, this set up is prefered:

footballd

By focusing on the wide areas and leaving the middle of the pitch open, United can prevent the opposition from crossing any aimless balls into the box or middle of the pitch in the first place. Removing the need to worry about the middle of the pitch at all. This method, one can only assume, is highly effective when practiced in training against the above attacking method, with practice games frequently ending in a stalemate.

Mata transfer – Juan (one…lol) might assume that when a manager signs a player for nearly £40m (forty FECKING million pounds!…lol), that they have a plan or specific role in mind for that player. Perhaps even a vision to build a team around them. This would be the sort of move months of planning and scouting had been put into. Not so with Moyes. Ever the revolutionary, Moyes’s plan for Mata was made clear when following the Spaniard’s first game, he stated “I’m going to try him in some different positions”

This of course isn’t a plan. It’s the opposite of having a plan. It’s like buying a house in order to try living in some different places, but there in lies the genius. Mata is capable of playing equally ineffectively on either wing, or effectively in the middle of the pitch. By signing a player only capable of playing effectively in the middle of the pitch, Moyes has increased his ability to both play a non wide player out of position, and thus bring Hernandez on for them late on in games. What’s the best thing to do if you don’t want to buy a house? Buy a really expensive one that’s situated somewhere you never plan to live, obviously. £40m well spent.

Vidic/captaincy/leadership – As club captain of Manchester United, Vidic has been awarded some kind of general immunity from having any responsibilities whatsoever. Free from the shackles of requirements such as passing the ball to team mates from time to time, marking opposition players, or demonstrating any kind of leadership qualities whatsoever, Vidic has been able to thrive this season in his new role of being utterly useless in every way. Without this immunity, Vidic would also have been unable to perform such tasks as selfishly getting himself sent off, or announcing midway through the season that he’s going to fuck off because he has no desire left to play for the club anymore. Importantly, Moyes has come out in support of these actions, clarifying his approval of them and desire that it wont effect Vidic’s role in the team at all. Otherwise there would be a danger of Vidic feeling some kind of self responsibility, which if left unchecked could lead to him accidentally improving part of his game and playing slightly less terribly.

Luck  and dealing with the press – A chief tactic of Moyes is to blame everything that goes wrong on luck, again enabling the team and himself to be absorbed of any sense of responsibility or blame, and thus avoiding any danger of them not making similar mistakes in the future.  The other team score a deflected goal? …luck. United lose 7 out of 8 games in succession? bad luck is to blame. A goal is conceded with ease every time an opposition team runs up the pitch? Terrible luck. Simple fixes to recurring problems must be ignored at all costs in order to enable this pattern to continue.

Another favoured quote of Moyes is the “I don’t know” prefix. For example “I don’t know what I have to do to win a game”, “I don’t know what more we could have done”, “I don’t know how much more we could have done to try and score a goal” etc. There are two reasons for this, the first is to ensure that a lack of confidence and belief in the club remains instilled throughout the players, supporters and media. The second is to ensure supporters that no matter how bad things get, there is no danger of them getting any better next time. This is because if there is anything that could make things better, Moyes “doesn’t know” what it is, or how to do it. Fans can therefore feel secure in the team’s ability to continue to fail miserably at any task.

“And this button here also prompts Tom Cleverley to play a hospital pass”

…So, what’s the honest verdict? In truth I feel sorry for Moyes. I don’t dislike him in any way. I still feel pity and will for him to succeed as opposed to any real anger…but I have also, like most, slowly lost faith in him. He’s like a man who’s been happily living and ruling inside his tiny cardboard box for the last 30 years, and suddenly the box has opened to reveal the rest of the universe, and he doesn’t know what to do with it. He just, does things, and then does some different things, and then seems bewildered by any consequence.

Imagine taking someone who’s mastered the art of operating a forklift, sitting them alone in the cockpit of a Concorde, and then saying “fly this plane”…well that’s kind of what’s happened. The vision being that the rest of the crew already in place would help manage the load, except the previous pilot Ferguson took his co-pilot Gill with him, and in their absence the rest of the crew have revealed themselves to be a babbling hoard of useless cretins, either causing more damage than they’re fixing, or grabbing the nearest parachute and making a beeline for the nearest escape hatch.

I like Moyes and really want him to succeed, but over half a season in, and he’s still just pressing random buttons in the hope one of them will do something useful. Confidence in him has turned to general panic. The fuel must be starting to run low, and even those looking in from the outside have gone from finding the whole scenario amusing, to just being bemused and slightly horrified by it all. Chelsea fans now rant at ME about why United aren’t doing better, and the saddest fact is that everything written in sarcasm above, is based on what’s actually happening. It may as well be filed as United’s realistic strategic plan for the season.

Gone is any of my reason, conviction or any real belief in attempts to defend the idea of Moyes turning things around. Whether it’s his fault or not (and the staff and particularly players have hardly done anything to make his job any easier) it becomes more painfully clear with each week that it just isn’t working. The plane isn’t steadying, it’s nosediving in a spiral with two stalled engines. Barring a minor miracle, we’ve already reached a point of the next person’s first job being to limit the amount of wreckage and then start cleaning it up, before we can even think about re-building or “transition”. It’s become increasingly hard not to believe that the sooner this process starts isn’t the better.

The fact is there are a lot of people who aren’t helping Moyes, but it’s almost as if Moyes needs to be shown where the door is himself before he’ll usher anyone else through it.

Things I would do to improve the world

Posted: December 15, 2012 by newdless in Uncategorized

I’m stuck bored on a train again, trying to pretend not to be slightly irritated by the sheer amount of people who seem unable to just sit in their seats instead of wandering up and down the carriages for no apparent reason. So as is customary, I’ve got my laptop out to whinge about stuff on the internet. This time though, instead of writing a load of gibberish, or trying to be funny about football, I’ve thought of some ways to improve all of our lives drastically, forever…and because I’ so kind I’m sharing them with all of you (hello Michael). Read them, spread the word, demand action from the government, and make it become reality!

 

Old people day – There’s a rule about getting old, that states “as you get older, you get better at wasting time”. Not merely your own time though, everyone else’s time. This is achieved by wondering down to the local supermarket to stand around in the most obstructive place possible, paying for everything with 1p and 2p coins, writing complaints into the BBC about the moral quality of their programming, driving too slowly, or getting the bus into town en mass during busy hours, just because you can. It’s estimated that the average person wastes 372 hours of their youth waiting for old people to get out of the way, before then extracting revenge on the next younger generation when they themselves go grey of the hair. So how to remove this menace on society? …Many hairdressers have already jumped the gun, by assigning a day of the week on which old people are allowed to get their hair cut. I propose the same concept…old people day, during which old people, and only old people, are allowed to do their shopping, mither around at the post office, bore the till assistant at their local bank branch with their astonishingly uninteresting life story, and do whatever else they see fit. Supermarket shelves would be stocked with additional amounts of rich tea biscuits and Werther’s Originals, while buses would be equipped with both the standard “Stop” and additional “Slow Down” button next to each seat. This day would obviously have to be a Thursday, since this is invariably the day of the week when everyone else is at the end of their tether and would rather just sit indoors feeling miserable about themselves anyway. During non Thursday days, anti old people patrols would monitor the streets, gathering up anyone caught being old, or taking too long to do things, and taking them to the bingo.

 

Make it possible for people to buy normal looking shirts – As a relatively sane person who likes the clothes he wears not to make him look like some kind of complete cunt, I find it impossible to buy new shirts. There are four main categories of shirt; 1) Shirts with idiotic pictures or slogans on them. These are mostly worn by insecure sociapaths…the exact kind of people I try to avoid talking to at parties, 2) Shirts with strange shaped collars which seem to expose half of your chest in this weird v-shape. I don’t know who wears these. I imagine mostly ugly posing teenage boys with greasy hair 3) Smart looking shirts which are ruined by having a weird looking pocket, logo, or shoulder pad type deal going on, rendering them unacceptable to be worn by anyone except murderers and Adolf Hitler, 4) Shirts that look exactly the same as the one I’m already wearing, and on closer inspection, are the same as the one I’m already wearing. I propose that the third category of these is simply adapted, with the offending shoulder pads/pocket areas/other daft items removed, allowing enough normal looking shirts for everyone to easily acquire them as and when required, whilst the weirdos would still remain easily identifiable by being allowed to go around sporting their “chicks love the shaggin wagon” top.

 

No more ties – What is a tie? What does it actually do? If someone bought you a scarf that was too thin to keep you warm, you’d toss it in the bin. If they tell you instead that it’s a tie, you keep it and sling it around you like some kind of neck penis when you want to look important. People are morons. Try to figure out what’s worse, the person who invented the idea of a tie, or the fact that people actually listened to them and decided it wasn’t a stupid idea.

 

Shoe shops – This is a relatively simple improvement. From now on, shops selling shoes (in particular running or sports footwear) will be required to actually stock footwear in the sizes people are likely to want to buy it in, as opposed to just stocking everything in size 2 and 17 and then putting normal sized shoes on display to waste everyone’s f*cking time. Shoes are not suitable to be purchased on the internet, as it is reasonable for a person to want to check whether a shoe is going to destroy their foot before deciding whether they want to wear it every single day.

 

Things to actually mean what they say – Remember when the UN imposed that “no fly zone” over Lybia, and then it turned out that what “no fly zone” actually meant, was that every single UN or American owned warplane in existence would immediately travel out to Lybia and fly around there dropping bombs on things, constantly? Well, no more of this. From now on this would be called a “warzone” or “vastly increased amounts of flying zone”. Similarly, struggling or greedy companies would no longer be able to “grow” their business by cutting half their staff and kettling the remainder into a single dilapidated office outside Wickford. Politicians basically wouldn’t be allowed to say anything. Salespeople would be forced to tell you what they’re actually selling, rather than pretend they’re not trying to sell it, which would be helpful. Relationship problems with your girlfriend would become infinitely easier to resolve. Most importantly though,  British Telecom’s advertising campaign would be reduced to them sporting a single two-word slogan “we’re shit”, avoiding the need for any more of those socially awkward television adverts with the weird student kids.

 

Stupidity tickets – It’s long since been a grievance of mine that there are rules of society  in place and enforced to protect people from their own destructive behaviour towards each other, but fewer (if any) rules in place to protect people from something much more dangerous…their own idiocy. For example, a person with a reserved seat on a train may still rush across the station in some kind of panic striken stupor the second their platform is announced, people wear body warmers and then complain about their arms being too cold, the local Council recently spent £30,000 of publicly donated money erecting a broken glow in the dark boat mast onto a pier…which no member of the public is allowed access to be able to look at. All of these acts have potential consequences; a hurried person in a train station is liable to run over my foot with their travel case, a person with cold arms may become ill and die, someone at the Local Council will have plenty of time to not be able to look at the new boat mast next year when they’re laid off due to lack of available funding. These crimes against evolution are out of control in their endlessness. They should be preventable or failing that, at least punishable. Under my watch an organisation of “stupidity police” would patrol idiot hotspots (train stations, car parks, most of Dagenham, etc.), dishing out fines to anyone caught being an idiot. The severity of the fine would depend on the level of stupidity encountered. For example, parking your car in a way that blocks other cars would result in a lesser fine than being caught purchasing a bag of ice. A fine would be dished out by simply slapping a ticket onto a person’s forehead and then walking off. These police would be self funded and may through their likely profit even solve the current government financial crisis as well as poverty the world over.

 

Piers Morgan made illegal – This one is fairly self-explanatory. Basically Piers Morgan isn’t allowed. Anywhere. Ever. It would not only be legal to murder him on site, it’d be illegal not to.

 

I realise a lot of these are to do with clothes. I find buying clothing to be the single biggest problem in my life. I haven’t even started on coats that don’t keep you warm, or the obsession with suit designers to turn every single suit into a collection of pockets knitted together into some kind of giant sleeved wallet. There will likely be a part 2….

Football terminology

Posted: October 24, 2012 by newdless in Football

A

Ad-break – Something that occurs on ITV when the team you support is about to score.

Away! – command that has to be shouted at the defending team whenever a corner is taken. Otherwise they become confused and attempt to head the ball into their own goal.

 

B

Baleism – To adopt all of the negative traits of Cristiano Ronaldo (posing, diving, tantrums, selfishness, unjustified Messi comparisons, greasy hair…), but without acquiring any of the positive traits of Cristiano Ronaldo (scoring 50+ goals a season, winning trophies and stuff, not playing for Tottenham, etc.)

Barton – (applying to managers, chairmen) When you are the bigger idiot for ever thinking it was going to behave itself for more than a few weeks in the first place.

Being Liverpool – 1) Uninteresting documentary program on Channel 5

2) (applying to football clubs) To commit an act of supreme PR stupidity, sign a player for five or more times their realistic value, or to constantly find a way to make things worse when it doesn’t any longer seem possible to do so.

Benitez why? – The technical name for the process where a manager begins subbing off all of his best players with 30 minutes to go, even though the score is 1-1 and a win is desperately required.

Big Dunc – To play a game of football by only using your elbows

Bottling – A technique specialised by north London football clubs where in defeat will be snatched from the jaws of victory.

C

Carrickfergus – Town just north of Belfast with a stupid name that makes it sound like it was founded by a drunk Manchester United fan (which it probably was).

Carrolled (Roy) – To be accused of cheating because you didn’t run half the length of the pitch to inform the referee that he just missed the opposition scoring a goal.

Carrolled (Andy) – To be praised at length for an act of complete uselessness. e.g. heading the ball out of play for a throw in, being marked at a free kick, almost passing the ball to a team-mate, etc.

Chelsea Football Club – A symbolic reference of everything that’s wrong with football and the world in general.

Childs –  (applying to pundits, TV presenters) 1) To childs, or in other words, to be thoroughly dislikable and annoying despite being completely inoffensive.

2) To slightly resemble a pumpkin, whilst also being no more informative than one.

Cup final day – The day when everyone used to care that the FA Cup final was on. Now just an annoying day when all the league fixtures get moved or cancelled.

D

Dalmat – A Dalmat is one of those players you’ve never heard of who suddenly turns up at Tottenham Hotspur a month into the season, having been signed from Inter Milan (or somewhere similar) at some point during the summer apparently.

Drog walk – type of limpish walk a player does when he’s not injured at all but wants everyone to think he is anyway.

Double Troll-in – The same as a Troll-in, except the player you give the ball to then does exactly the same thing.

E

Egg Basket – When a team with loads of money inexplicably signs a bunch of shit players on the cheap

Continental style – Phrase used by English commentators to describe a team or player who actually knows how to pass a football.

F

False nine – A position on a football pitch which no one understands what it is.

Face-time – Cunning trick employed by the devil and ITV camera directors where by a close up of a player or manager’s face will be shown at needless length to the watching TV audience, whilst the game is going on.

Fan-time – Almost identical to Face time, except the camera may cut to a clip of a fan or multiple fans instead.

Fergie-time – 1) Fictional myth theorising that Sir Alex Ferguson is able to dictate the amount of time added on to the end of games by pointing relentlessly at his watch.

2) The team line ups have been announced and no one can understand why Frederico Macheda is playing on the left-wing again.

3) (31 minutes) Measurement for the minimum amount of time during a televised United home game for which Sir Alex Ferguson’s face must fall victim to Face-time.

Fletcheritis – A severe weight loss disease contracted because an unidentified Brazilian team-mate keeps eating all of your meals when you’re not looking.

Fury-time – The process of double barreling a Face-time into a Fan-time, or vice versa, causing the television audience to miss a significant chunk of live play and contemplate putting their foot through the television.

G

Gerrard pass – A sort of passive aggressive version of a 1-2, where in the ball will be passed to a team mate with such ferocity, they have no choice but to helplessly deflect it back into the path of your run.

Gervinho – (skill) the ability to uncreate a clear goal scoring opportunity

Gibson – a shot taken from 30 or more yards out whilst off-balance and on your weaker foot, justified to yourself because you scored a goal in the reserves once.

Goalscorn – Term once coined by my mum, believed to have been used to enquire as to the latest score in the football upon returning home drunk from a friend’s house (“hyiya!! So, sssthere been an goalscorn?”, “huh?”, “Goalscorn!!?!”, “er, it’s 2-0”)

H

Hargreaving – To spend the entirety of your playing career getting injured recovering from the injury you picked up whilst recovering from the injury you picked up before that.

He is human – Tiresome saying muttered by commentators whenever Lionel Messi is tackled or on the increasingly frequent occasions when Paul Scholes passes the ball to someone on the other team.

Hernandez – (verb, to do) 1) To score against Chelsea

2) To be caught Inzaghi in open play five or more times during a single half of football

Heskeyed – The process by which a player becomes so useless, they end up becoming undroppable due to being repeatedly Carrolled (Andy) out of pity by managers, fans and pundits alike.

I

inho – Suffix applied to the end of a player or manager’s name, used to indicate that they are not only very talented, but also an insufferable cheating twat.

Invincibles – Name for an undefeatable team who are defeated a number of times throughout the course of the season.

Inzaghi – 1) (rule, association football) A player is Inzaghi when he is nearer to the opposition goal than both the ball and second last opponent at the moment the ball is played.

2) Sound made when you get a question wrong on Shooting Stars

J

Ji Sung – To constantly be falling over when in possession of the ball, regardless of the proximity or contact of opposition players

K

Kalouda – When you can’t be bothered to acknowledge that Kalou and Malouda aren’t the same person anymore

Kewell-over – (skill) A slower, robotic looking version of the step-over which Harry Kewell started to perform against Manchester United back on the 20th September 2004, and is still to this day in the process of completing

Krulling – turning up at opposition grounds and then taking goal kicks in your own time, despite the protestations and increasing threats of violence from those sat in the stand behind the goal. Krulling has generally been successfully achieved to maximum effect once opposition players begin placing the ball on the six yard line at each goal kick for you.

L

Long-range pass – Where in rather than aimlessly hoofing it out of play, a player will carefully look up and measure the ball and its intended target, before booting it up the pitch and directly off for a goal kick. See also zonal passing.

M

Machedaaaaaaa! – When the highlight of your first team career, and your entire first team career, end up being exactly the same thing.

Maldini – A curious unwritten football rule, where in only the fullbacks on either side of the pitch are allowed to take throw-ins during a game. There are no exceptions to this rule…even if the fullback is a full 50 yards away, while another player stands with the ball readily in his hands, and the fullback taking the throw would leave him dangerously exposed positionally, he is still required to take it.

Mexican wave – 1) Arm waving thing the crowd start doing after about 20 minutes of any world cup game, causing the commentators to remark that it proves how uneventful the game has been thus far, even if it’s already 4-3.

2) That weird thing that happens the season after a world cup where a wave of players from a certain country all turn up playing in the Premier League, even though most of them are quite obviously a bit crap.

Miller – Mythological creature who the elders prophesise will one day replace Roy Keane

Milnered – You’ve been put in the starting line up yet again and even you’re not sure why.

Moral Victory – The act of winning a game of football by losing a game of football. The game is proclaimed as being a “moral victory” in spite of defeat for one of the following reasons: a) during the course of the game, the referee correctly sends off one of your players, b) You played well in one half of the game meaning the half in which you were so terrible you still ended up losing anyway doesn’t actually count, c) You were the 3rd most played with team on EA Sports FIFA 2012 according to an independent survey.

N

Naninjury – The type of injury sustained by cocky, over exuberant wingers which involves them lying completely pointlessly on the floor while the opposition attack down their exposed side of the pitch, only for them to make a miraculous full recovery once the ball goes out of play/into the back of their own net.

O

Obertan syndrome – A previously unknown player appears on the pitch who resembles something that isn’t actually human at all.

O’Sheadery – to make a career for yourself at a top-level football club by being equally useless in every single position on the pitch. Although you are invariably more useless than any player who plays in an actual position, you are slightly less useless than someone who doesn’t play in that position. You therefore end up starting 20+ games a year since your club relies on the fitness of players like Owen Hargreaves and Luis Saha. See also Utility player

P

Palacios! – To find a member of the opposition team with a pass, when it seemed impossible to do so

Parker – To make yourself look heroic by running around doing everything except for the actual job you’ve been put in the team to do. Can also be used to describe someone who spends the entire game constantly trying to get back into position, but never quite actually getting there.

Playing it safe – The act of over precautiously playing it out for a throw, in a situation where the throw itself presents a more dangerous situation than the one you had the ball in when deciding to play it out for a throw.

Pulising – The process of complaining furiously about other team’s players diving when they have the ball at their feet, whilst at the same time instructing your players to dive if someone challenges them for a ball that’s in the air.

pulling a Barthez – To pull a Barthez is to commit a goalkeeping error so basic or inexplicably stupid, that at least half the people watching are now convinced you did it on purpose and have just received a large deposit in your bank account courtesy of some bored South American drug lord.

R

Rafael – To defend by attacking everything

Rafail – Your wife TOLD you not to take that list you wrote to the press conference with you.

S

Saha – Didier Drogba if he actually was injured all the time, instead of just pretending to be.

Silvestre – One who’s head is shaped even more like a kidney than an actual kidney. Can also be used to describe a doomed diagonal ball across the pitch, or what Gabriel Obertan used to look like before he was subjected to that torture where two horses pull you in either direction.

Small-timery – The act of proving you’re not really a real football club because you don’t know how to act like one. For example: Claiming the reason you lost 4-0 at Old Trafford was because “you never get those at the Stretford End”; “Song 2” by Blur plays whenever you score during a home game; Majority of home fans only turn up when they’re interested in watching the away team; You are Wigan Athletic, etc.

Smiling – Something that apparently Mario Balotelli, and only Mario Balotelli, doesn’t do enough

Step-over – (skill) Pointless manouvre performed by stupid footballers where in they’ll step over the ball repeatedly while the defender stands there watching them and then takes the ball away. See also Kewell-over

Step-on – (skill) Like a step-over, except instead of stepping over the ball, Steven Gerrard steps on to your leg.

Su’agaol – A goal either scored, or being described by Frank Lampard

The Suarez – to racially abuse an opposition player, and then claim you only did it to let him know that he’s your mate.

The Svengland – The name for a traditional international football fixture. At least once in every football calendar year, England must play against Sweden. This game should almost invariably have no actual point or meaning, and nearly always end in a draw. The only known purpose of the game is to allow Andy Townsend to spend its entirety questioning the abilities of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, whilst simultaneously praising Zlatan’s useless, English half-brother, Andy Carroll.

Svenning- The method by which a smart, experienced and eloquent manager instantly becomes a fumbling, useless, nervous wreck the second he takes charge of the England football team. This is achieved by the FA strapping him to a chair and then extracting his brain in order to replace it with Howard Wilkinson’s.

T

The Terry – To racially abuse an opposition player, and then claim you were only racially abusing him to tell him that you weren’t racially abusing him.

Tevez – 1) To carry on playing for your club side despite being visibly too fat and out of shape to be playing top flight football

2) To carry on playing for your club side despite any number of extremely valid reasons why you should definitely not be allowed to play for them ever again (fucking off home to South America in the middle of a season; inability to show basic respect to management; manager stating repeatedly that you’ll never play for club side again; publicly refusing to play for your club side ever again, etc.)

Troll-in – The process of picking the ball up as if to take a throw in, and then instead of taking it, twirling the ball behind the back of your head, then dummying to take it, then twirling the ball behind your head a bit more, then giving it to someone else to take the throw in instead, thus infuriating everyone in the entire ground (see also Maldini, Double troll-in).

U

Utility player – A player who removes themselves from having a position they can play, in order to prevent their club from being able to sell them to another team. See also O’Sheadery

V

Violent conduct – To push someone harmlessly, slap them gently, or push your head or chest towards them in a very slightly aggressive way.

Z

Zonal passing – To pass the ball to an area of the pitch in the hope a team-mate might be there, instead of passing the ball directly to a team-mate. e.g. “great ball from Gerrard there, unlucky”

Numbers

2-0 – The score at which Manchester United either stop or start bothering to play football in most games.

+4 – Standard amount of time added on to the end of any game where one team is winning by a single goal, regardless of the amount of time the ball has actually been in play. Upon the fourth official holding up the board to indicate the +4 minutes, commentators will often act surprised, as if this is an unprecedented amount of time to be added on to the end of a game. A surging roar will also be heard from the crowd for some reason.

More of the most impossible tasks in the world

Posted: October 22, 2012 by newdless in Uncategorized

So, I’m bored. I’m half awake, and I’m sitting on a train in the middle of nowhere at some unreasonable time in the morning, listening to a man opposite me have a unenjoyably serious phone conversation with his other half (his contribution seems to be limited to the word “sorry”). I’ve decided in this moment of infinite wisdom to start keeping a log of all the things that make my and everyone elses life an endless struggle against the impossible. When I die this log will be passed on to my siblings as a warning of what’s to come. Here’s a convenient list of 10 things to get started with (again):

 

 

Giving eligible, coherent and correct directions to a passing motorist – There are three different methods of responding to a request from a lost motorist to tell them how to get to somewhere. The first is to simply claim that you “don’t know” or have “never heard of it”. This can either be the truth or a complete lie, and in either case is the safest and most cowardly option. The second is to try to explain the directions to them. Upon doing this, you’ll realise shortly into your explanation that even though you know exactly where the place in question is, you actually have no idea how to explain where it is. This results in you passing on a confuddled blurb of instructions and unrelated arm movements that leaves the motorist slightly scared and wishing they’d never encountered you in the first place. You then watch as they drive off and turn the wrong way at the roundabout. The third option is to just make some directions up. This is similar to the second option, but avoids the gradual and painful deterioration of self-confidence and tricks the motorist into thinking you know exactly what you’re on about. You then watch as they drive off and turn the wrong way at the roundabout (and change your walking route in case they realise what you’ve done and come back).

 

Getting the answer to a question right when watching University Challenge – Most game shows provide vague levels of entertainment when bored, as you can sit there, occasionally getting an obvious question right and then unjustifiably acting all smug about it (this effect is amplified when you successfully work out one of the easier maths puzzles on Countdown). University Challenge however ups the game. With University Challenge, the achievement is to understand what the fucking hell the question is even on about in the first place (e.g. Who was the first horse shoe-whistler of the 18th century to accompany Sir Arthur Lowdwich on his journey to Dorset?). By the time you’ve decided not to even bother, some weird faced student has already answered and been subsequently patronised by Jeremy Paxman, despite getting the answer right.

 

Winning a round of “Barrier Risk” – The unavoidable cat and mouse game played on a daily basis with the train barriers outside Grays train station. Upon discovering the barriers to be closed, you must decide whether to a) start walking up the stair bridge, only for the barriers to mysteriously open when you’re half way across, despite no train having passed, in the process making you look a complete retard, or b) wait patiently for the barriers to open, only for them to remain closed for a full 10 minutes, at which point you may consider reverting to method a. To win the game is to find a third option which doesn’t revert back to option b (and ultimately option a), or turn you into the reason those adverts come on telling people not to fuck around with train barriers. As yet no one has achieved this.

 

Knowing when’s appropriate to put an x at the end of a text to a girl – A problem only encountered by men, and usually only reaching a level of conscious concern when encountered with girls who they sort of fancy, but don’t quite fancy enough (or appropriately enough) for it to be known or “open” that they fancy them. This results in a form of mild panic or brain confusion when sending or replying to a text, as removing the x can leave the text resembling a cold, blunt wall of unemotional rudeness, whilst leaving it in looks far too endearing and somehow slightly pervy. My current personal method is to mix things up by sometimes substituting the x for a unnecesarry and grammatically inappropriate explanation mark, or a smiley face. This maintains the sense of friendliness, however if overdone can exceed friendliness and instead make it too obvious that I’m a bit of a nutter. The x sometimes therefore still needs to be deployed. This is also a work-around method as opposed to an actual solution, designed merely to leave the girl too confused as to whether I’m a nutter or just fancy her to safely presume either.

 

Avoiding pre-Mavis Enderby Syndrome (reference “The Meaning of Liff”; Douglas Adams, John Lloyd) – This is a phenomenon I’ve only recently discovered, where in a current girlfriend or female acquaintance who may harbour some interest in you, develops a strange, borderline psychopathic tendency to repeatedly enquire as to the situation between you and an ex-girlfriend of yours. Specifically, the ex-girlfriend who you went out with about three times, haven’t spoken to since, whose number you’ve since lost, and in certain cases whose name you’re not even sure how to correctly pronounce. Once this process has been initiated, it is impossible to escape from. For example, responding to inquisitions as to you and her’s situation with “I don’t speak to her anymore” will only result in the follow-up line of questioning…”have you spoken to your ex yet?” Responding to this with “which one?” is also a very unwise move. Responding with “not yet” only results in repeated questioning, while “no” results in badgering, and “yes” is the most unwise answer of all.

 

Finding a seat on the central line – It had long been a suspicion of mine that Transport for London secretly employ people to just sit around occupying all the seats on every central line train. Then around 18 months ago, my suspicion was confirmed, when TFL finally admitted they’d been paying people money to sit on Underground trains and tell them what it was like (link: http://www.standard.co.uk/news/1m-bill-for-fake-passengers-to-tell-tube-chiefs-about-service-6561473.html)…presumably none of the actual passengers could tell them, due to never being able to get a bloody seat. The current wave of modern “artistic” design engulfing London will also soon result in all central line trains being equipped with seats dangling upside down from the ceiling, whilst wearing sunglasses. As a result Piers Morgan will be the only person in the world able to sit down on the Central Line, due to his head and his arse being the same thing.

 

Changing the lightbulb in my bathroom – Not only is this task impossible, but it’s impossible for any number of reasons, most of which I shall now list

– The casing around the light is circular shaped and held in place by three separate, tightly sealed screws. These screws have no indent on them, meaning no screwdriver or carefully angled knife can possibly hope to ever unscrew them.

– The size of the light and casing itself doesn’t exist at any known bathroom light selling store, warehouse, or dodgy corner shop. There is a light casing at QD’s vaguely resembling it, but this comes without the bulb, rendering it little use to me as anything other than a make shift cereal bowl or anti mind reading hat.

– Curiously, I have nothing in my flat to stand on which allows me to even reach where the light is positioned

– The only time I actually remember I need to change the lightbulb in my bathroom, is when I try to turn it on due to it being too dark to see. I then can’t attempt to change it due to it being too dark to see.

– Fear that if I put the new bulb in, it’ll turn out the switch is already on and my hands will be momentarily and mildly burnt.

 

 

Filling out a Debt Recovery claim form at work – Things start to go downhill upon noticing the first question on the form is “have you filled out this form correctly?” Aside from the rather obvious conundrum of you not having actually filled out the form at all yet, this question only allows for a yes or no answer, missing out the correct third option which would read something like “I believe so, but will be told otherwise when you return it to me in three weeks time because I didn’t include my exact time of birth in the life history section”. Things progress from confusion to unquenchable fury from this point onwards, as you’re asked to supply cost codes, VAT exemption certificates, back up statements from third parties, and all manner of personal information that you yourself forgot many years ago…before realising some months later that it was a different form you needed to fill out in the first place.

 

Booking a window seat on Virgin trains and actually being given a seat with a window next to it – In Virgin train language, “window seat” actually translates as “that one seat in the entire carriage with a bit of wall next to it where the window should be”. It must also, always be directly adjacent to the noisiest, most drunk group of people on the entire train.

 

Replicating  overstonishment – the trait of a peculiar breed of bald-headed old man (who seem to exist everywhere) who have been be stilled with the ability to become visibly astounded by entirely unastounding things. For example, the time on their watch, or a bus arriving at a bus stop. It has become a curious ploy of mine to try to copy this amusing but ultimately entirely pointless habit, by acting overly confused and shocked at things that merely slightly puzzle me. However, I’ve discovered that no matter how shocked and utterly befuddled you try to make yourself look, you never achieve anything beyond the half convincing look of regular bemusement or dumbfoundedness, which instead of making you look “overstonished”, just makes you look like a moron.

Weekend review – Who needs strikers though, right?

Posted: September 3, 2012 by newdless in Uncategorized

A week filled with transfer lunacy, whining scousers, and shocking haircuts. Can you ask for much more?

 

Deadline Day – The one day of the year (even though it happens twice) when football clubs everywhere attempt to prove that they’re run by complete fucking idiots. Players careers bundled around carelessly like trading cards as owners and managers compete to try to complete the most bafflingly pointless transfer of the day. People who you didn’t even know (let alone care ) existed  allegedly turning up for their medical at Stoke, as Sky Sports News attempt to pretend this is relevant somehow to your day. Random unfounded Kaka rumours involving every single club except the one he plays (doesn’t play) for. Why are there so many fans who become embroiled in or even seem to enjoy this tedious fiasco? There was one man stood outside QPR’s ground who had an umbrella as a face. Is it possible to find a more pathetic way to spend an evening, than putting an umbrella on your face in order to just stand about for hours outside QPR HQ,  in the hope Portsmouth defender Sam Magri turns up so you can cheer at him as he walks past?

 

Spur of the moment – It was at least good to see Tottenham once again looking to address their annual shortfall of strikers by spending the entire of deadline day attempting to sign more midfielders. It’s impressive how in spite of this yearly event, Jermaine Defoe manages to remain the fourth choice striker at the club, even when he’s one of only two strikers still there, and scores every time he’s on the pitch…and is apparently constantly on the verge of leaving, yet never actually does (and then even when he does, comes back). On a related note, one thing I don’t get about this new “special partnership” with Real Madrid and Spurs over the Modric sale is, if it’s such a “special” partnership, and Spurs were so desperate to sign a midfielder or ten with Modric leaving, why did Real Madrid force Sahin to join Liverpool? Or is it more a special partnership in the same way David Haye might enjoy a special partnership with the punching bag at his gym?

 

The legacy of Spain – Speaking of strikers, what have Spain done to football? Their mastery in pointless passing during the summer seems to have convinced several premiership teams who aren’t Tottenham Hotspur to also engage in the curious act of deciding people who score goals are no longer important. Arsenal have replaced Van Persie with Giroud, the only man on earth who if he was presented with that Torres chance at Old Trafford last season, you’d be surprised if it did go in. Presumably Liverpool’s plan is to win a string of penalties in every game by having Suarez run towards the linesman pointing furiously at his arm. While Chelsea have stacked their squad with players who play in that position you put midfielders who are too lazy to be actual midfielders in. Maybe they’re all going to share Daniel Sturridge around so no one team has to put up with him on a permanent basis?

 

Falsified Andy Carroll praise – Possibly the most sickening example of match commentary in the history of televised sport on Saturday lunch time, as Sky went to great and unnecessary lengths to point out just how well Andy Carroll was playing, roughly every two seconds. This started reasonably enough, with Carroll’s routine contribution in the build up to West Ham’s first goal being only slightly exaggerated into an earth shattering moment of brilliance. Soon, things began wear a bit thin as attempts to pretend he’d been fouled and was “being a handful” were muted while he repeated surrendered possession. By the end of the game, this desperate ploy had degenerated into showing the same replay over and over of Andy Carroll standing still and not even challenging for the ball from a set piece, while Ray Wilkings mused that this constituted him “causing havoc” in the Fulham penalty area. Andy Carroll has become a bit like the problem child at school who’s constantly awarded gold stars ahead of better students, just because he goes five minutes without throwing a tantrum and hurling his chair across the room, or nearly spells his name right. In short, he’s officially the new Emile Heskey. Meanwhile, Peter Crouch (formerly the new Emile Heskey) managed to set up and scored a goal for Stoke, by standing around and being quite tall. It comes to something when Andy Carroll is hailed as an unparalled genius for being Andy Carroll, on a day when he wasn’t even the best player in the league at being Andy Carroll.

 

Brendan Rodgers pointless lie watch – According to my Liverpool supporting mate, Brendan Rodgers has a habit of “just saying things because it sounds like the right thing to say”, but then doing the opposite. In order to prove or disprove this theory, the obvious and not in any way obsessive thing to do is start keeping a log of every single thing Brendan Rodgers says, and then list anything that turns out to be a lie. So, at the moment:

1) Brendan Rodgers gives his word that he wont attempt to sign players from Swansea. Immediately afterwards, Brendan Rodgers attempts to sign Sigurdson from Swansea, and then signs Joe Allen from Swansea.

1) Brendan Rodgers claims he’d be mad to let Andy Carroll leave without a replacement being brought in. Days later, Andy Carroll leaves despite a replacement not being brought in

 

Wigan fans chanting “your support is fucking shit” – Unless my ears deceived me, I’m sure I heard the Wigan fans briefly chanting this at Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night. If ever there were ever proof needed that football fans are completely devoid of self-awareness, this is it. The twenty or so Wigan fans who bother going to away games, accusing another team’s set of fans of being “shit”? The same Wigan where for every one of their home games, each stand apart from the away end looks like a completed game of Minesweeper on the easiest setting. The only exception being when Wigan play Manchester United, when the home stands are full of Manchester United fans.

 

The defence rests – Keen believers in all that is good about football, like myself, will have enjoyed seeing Chelsea reduced to a whimpering self apologising wreck in the Super Cup on Friday. This was after they mistakenly deployed tactics against competent opposition that involved them actually coming out of their own half. The problem with Chelsea advancing up the pitch and relying on their defenders to defend (as opposed to their entire team), is that none of their defenders can actually defend. Cahill is the newest master of the Scott Parker/Jamie Carragher art of spending games running to that part of the pitch he should have been stood in to begin with. David Luiz can usually be seen running away from said part of the pitch. Ashley Cole’s idea of defending these days involves either cowering behind a team-mate, or sitting in a courtroom telling the jury that John Terry isn’t a racist. John Terry gets caught by his own offside trap whenever he advances further up the pitch than Peter Cech, while Ivanovic can’t even brush his teeth without cynically bringing down the opposing winger and getting himself booked. Hopefully this will become a theme this season, as Chelsea’s army of slightly pointless not quite midfielders stand in the opposition half giving the ball away, and then being caught on the counter attack as they barely bother attempting to get back.

 

Has anyone else noticed that the right side of Mark Hughes’s head is going bald, while he left side of it isn’t? It’s beginning to look like he’s stolen half of David Platt’s forehead.
Looking like things, with Harry Redknapp – Harry Redknapp seems to have abandoned football management in order to pursue a career in looking like as many things as possible. Starting with his face’s gradual de-generation into a real life version of Droopy the Dog, Harry then spent a considerable amount of time looking gradually more and more like my aunt, before recently appearing in a television advert with a pet dog sporting the exact same face as him. The other night on Match of the Day, Redknapp added Jabba The Hut to his look-a-like repertoire. Sat motionless in his chair, unable to lift his own arms as his stomach consumed half of the BBC studio. Next week, Harry attempts to pass as a cross between Diego Maradona and an omlett.

 

 

Awards and stuff!

 

Non alcoholic drinking game

– Insightful and intelligent piece of punditry from Andy Townsend (down a pint)

– Jordan Henderson makes his presence felt (down a pint)

– More than two strikers spotted on the pitch in a game between Chelsea and Liverpool (down a pint)

– Mancini infers that he is completely happy with his squad (down a pint)

– Sensible England team selected (down a pint)

– David Moyes caught smiling (kill yourself by alcohol poisoning)

 

 

Randomly remembered player: Rob Styles – unlike most randomly remembered players in this section, Rob Styles wasn’t a player, he was a referee. Famed for his general uselessness (particularly during games involving Tottenham) and ability to get decisions wrong even when there was no decision to be made in the first place, Styles endured a horrid several year-long tenure as a Premier League referee, ruining football matches on a weekly basis. Rob’s most notable achievements included awarding a penalty to Chelsea at Anfield for reasons unknown to anyone other than himself, in the process costing Liverpool the game (a decision so terrible, he was later forced to publicly apologise), and awarding a penalty to Manchester United against Bolton following a tackle that was so obviously not a foul, even Christiano Ronaldo didn’t try to pretend it was (a decision so terrible, Styles was later forced to publicly apologise). Styles last act as a professional referee was to send off Paul Robinson of West Wrom, for being tackled by Ji Sung Park, causing West Brom to lose the game 5-1.

 

Second week in and already we’ve had great goals, dodgy defending, and Gary Neville’s scarily untached face. In order not to dwell on that though, let’s get straight to it then:

 

 

The legacy of John O’Shea – Manchester United have developed a trick in recent years where in they are no longer shackled by needing to play players in positions they can actually play in. Instead, being able to just slot any player in anywhere they like, and then blaming the subsequent defeat that would usually follow on tiredness, or the referee being too fat. This radical new way of thinking can be attributed mainly to the discovery of John O’Shea, a man born with the unique ability to be equally incapable of playing well in every single position on the pitch. Now, many years on, and even with John O’Shea departed, United have continued with the traditions he inspired.

On Monday night, Michael Carrick, the midfielder, played at centreback. This in fairness could be attributed to there being no actual fit centreback to play there instead of him. Meanwhile however, Antonio Valencia (the winger) played at fullback, while Danny Welbeck (the striker) played on the left-wing. Rafael Da Silva (the fullback) and Ashley Young (the left-sided winger) were deemed surplus to requirements on the evening.

Now, in line with this trailblazing new way of thinking, if one of the wheels on my car developed a flat tyre, and I had a spare tyre in the boot, would I become an innovative tactical genius if instead of using the spare tyre, I attached the steering wheel to the side of the car and then drove home using the handbreak as a make shift turning mechanism? Or would this just make me some kind of complete fucking moron?

 

 

Nani corners – In this day and age, players have every single aspect and detail of every single game or training session  they participate in analysed, in order to enhance performance in every smallest way possible and try to make that slight bit of difference to the team as a whole. Clubs spend endless hours preparing for every possible detail for every single game.  Entire teams of dweeby nerds are employed  to monitor and computerize endless pages of stats and figures. Tirelessly working to leave no stone, pebble or grain of sand unturned. Yet despite all this, in five years, no one at Manchester United has bothered to tell Nani he’s shit at taking corners?

 

 

Football management, with QPR – Here’s how the running of QPR football club seems to work:

– concede more than 3 goals in 1 game = buy more defending type players

– Score less than 2 goals in any 1 game = buy more attacking type players.

…and that’s it. The quality of any potential signings is then gauged purely on whether or not they used to play for a big team. For example, a player who once played for Chelsea would be deemed better than a player of much younger age and better ability currently playing for West Brom. As a result QPR now have a squad of outcasted reject players who are too old, and either defend or attack a lot,  with some people randomly stuck in the middle of the pitch who don’t really know which of the two they’re supposed to be doing, since QPR’s squad management method doesn’t take into account the middle third of the pitch actually existing. This is in reality the needlessly expensive method of buying a ticket on the relegation train, while pundits spend all season remarking that you’re “too good to be relegated” (then changing their mind to “no one’s too good to be relegated” around March time). The only surprise is that neither Teddy Sheringham or Sol Campbell have cropped up at Loftus Road yet.

 

 

Goalkeeping tutorial

Good news for any aspiring young goalkeepers this week, as some of the world’s top shotstoppers have taken time out to provide demonstrative coaching techniques, completely free of charge, and available to a worldwide audience:

Dealing with dangerous freekicks, with Peter Cech – First, position your wall in line with the near post, making sure it is not weak or disjointed. Then, position yourself in relation to the wall to gain as clear a view as possible and cover any part of the goal a shot might realistically be able to reach. When the shot comes in, sprawl across and make the save, crumple to the floor and simply scoop the ball haplessly into your own net. For added dramatic effect, glance around in amazement as if god himself couldn’t have prevented this from happening.

Dealing with simple backpasses, with Victor Valdes – First, make sure you are a clear distance from any opposing player, and that there is also no opposing player in a position to intercept any would be pass to you from your defender. Then, make yourself available to receive a simple ball into feet. Once you receive the pass, stand completely still and do nothing at all until an opposing player runs in and tries to tackle you. At this point, spin around in a circle and fall over whilst flailing your arms as if having some kind of fit, allowing the opposing player to tap the ball into an empty net. Make sure you do this feebly enough for the referee not to accidentally think you’ve been fouled.

Commanding your area from crosses, with David De Gea – Position yourself at the near post. When the cross comes in, carefully judge the flight of the ball, paying attention to the position of your defenders and any opposing players. Then, somehow hurl yourself away from your own goal area in order to leave an unguarded net, whilst simultaneously jumping directly in front of your defender in order to put him off, and managing to miss the ball entirely. Make sure you land in a crumpled heap at least a metre wide of the goal mouth, so that in the event your defender still does manage to temporarily clear the ball, any opposition player can simply tap it into an empty net. Glare accusingly at your defender whilst sporting a shit looking haircut.

 

 

Defending tutorial:

How to defend, with Rafael Da Silva – Attack everything!

 

 

The voice of ultimate depression – I guarantee that the guy who works as the stadium announcer at Anfield has absolutely no living relatives or friends. This is because he’ll have driven them all to suicide by talking to them in his dull, toneless voice once too often (once). Computer nerds familiar with the original Team Fortress series will recognise him as the “Blue team, has captured, the flag” guy. He’s also sometimes employed at Liverpool Lime Street to announce train departure times when the powers that be become worried that the morning commuters don’t seem quite miserable or fed up with their lives enough. Manchester City’s lifeless performance on Sunday also came about after he spent the half hour before the game sat outside their dressing room, announcing their line up to them repeatedly.

 

 

– Why, every single week it’s broadcast, do the BBC advertise when Match of the Day is going to be on, on the channel it’s going to be on, immediately before it actually starts, and two minutes after it’s already supposed to have started?

– How do you know you’re a shit pundit? – When Gary Linekar dismisses your one and only point on the game you’ve just analysed by saying “I don’t think so somehow”, then immediately changes the subject before you can respond.

 

 

Rule change watch:

– Patrice Evra was bicycle kicked in the face in the build up to Fulham hitting the bar on Saturday. Apparently booting an opposition player in the face is no longer considered a foul or dangerous play, even when it leads directly to the offending player being unmarked to have a shot on goal

– Being or looking like Luis Suarez is however now apparently a bookable offence in all Premier League fixtures

 

 

Awards!

Steven Gerrard award – Martin Skrtel, James Collins

Randomly remembered player award – David Seaman. Every generation of England team has to contain at least one player whose hair has been stolen from the Second World War. David Seaman was that player for his generation. Notable for his goalkeeping heroics for both Arsenal and England, and for his starring role as a British Army general in motion picture “A Bridge Too Far”, Seaman can also be remembered for all to often sporting goalkeeping jerseys that made it look like he was playing a game of tetris on his chest. Dave enjoyed a long and succesful career for both club and country, until one day he allowed Ronaldinho to cross the ball into the back of the England net from about 500 yards out, whilst being distracted by the lack of those useful L shaped purple brick things on the front of his shirt. Before he knew it he was languishing at Manchester City with pirate hair and was soon after forced to retire.

World’s strongest man award – Dembele. Staking his claim by not only figuratively carrying Fulham’s entire midfield on his back, but also spending much of the game literally carrying Manchester United’s entire midfield on his back. Occasionally sending limbs and bodies flying off into the gasping crowd.

The newdless fantasy football selection curse of death award – Sergio Aguero, Wayne Rooney, Luis Nani

Weekend Review – Olympic spirit?

Posted: August 19, 2012 by newdless in Football, Weekend Review

So, after a summer of enduring the tennis, people lying about how much more enjoyable than football the Olympics have been, and Sky’s constant replaying of Martin Tyler shouting “AGUERRRROOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!” at both the start and end of EVERY advert break, the football is finally back! Naturally then, it’s time to start complaining about it:

What Shield? – I didn’t think it was possible, but somehow hosting the Community Shield at Villa Park created a kind of double rebound effect which managed to make both seem even less relevant than usual. It became so unimportant that most people didn’t even bother to check what time it kicked off until about half an hour before it finished…presumably including half the people who were supposed to be at the stadium watching it.”James Milner must feel right at home here” was by far the most apt comment made to sum up the whole affair.

On the plus side, there’s nothing like the sight of Carlos Tevez celebrating a goal to make you remember why you’re fed up with football and didn’t actually want it to come back. Although worse was the sight of Daniel Sturridge celebrating himself being subbed onto the pitch. At least Tevez waits until he’s made a scene of himself before trying to make a scene of himself.

Along with Sturridge’s increased self gratifying involvement, the addition of @Hazard to Chelsea’s line up will make this year’s “spot the person playing for Chelsea who isn’t an insufferable twatbag” contest even more difficult. Jill (29, from Hull) won last year after she found an old clip of Gianfranco Zola scoring against Norwich on Youtube (the clip has since been forcibly removed on copyright grounds, despite the fact it’ll probably never be show anywhere else, ever again)

Olympic spirit – There’s been much talk about the dignified behaviour of athletes during the olympics and how footballers should learn a thing or two from this. Leaving aside the various complexities and hypocrisy of this argument, I have one question: Did anyone actually bother to watch the football at the Olympics? Craig Bellamy spent the grand total of about 5 seconds not abusing the match officials, Brazil engaged in their own personal “how many opposition players can we cheat to get sent off” contest, Daniel Sturridge (yes, him again) wanted Team GB’s last kick of the ball in extra time to be all about himself, then fluffed it, then missed his penalty, then threw a huge strop and stormed off the pitch on his own, refusing to acknowledge the existence of his team mates. Luis Suarez was allowed to participate. Football couldn’t even behave itself at the Olympics, so why on earth would it behave itself because of the Olympics?
RVP – The summer’s big  irritating transfer saga finally came to an end this week as Robin Van Persie stabbed loyal Arsenal fans in the back by joining major local city rivals…Manchester United. Unusually for a player of such proven pedigree, there’s been a fair degree of scepticism surrounding the transfer, much of which I can only be dismissive of:

Van Persie is too old…not really. He’s 29. Does anyone even remember when Ryan Giggs was 29?

He’s only had one full season without injury in the last 8 years…This actually makes him the second least likely to be injured player in the United squad, behind only Patrice Evra, who possesses the ability to self-heal.

It’s too much money…This is a fair point, but after missing out on the comparative bargains of Fernando Torres and Andy Carroll, Sir Alex Ferguson’s hand may have been forced deeper into his wallet than he’d have liked.

He’s been disloyal to Arsenal fans…nobody cares. Niall Quinn also claimed the “way” in which Van Persie joined United was wrong, but then couldn’t explain what this “way” was or what was particularly wrong about it. Maybe he displayed a lack of Olympian spirit by not being delivered to Old Trafford in a speedboat driven by David Beckham?

So, since all the negativism is either stupid or both stupid and irrelevant, he’ll be a big success, right? …wrong, and here’s why; Of the 132 goals Van Persie scored for Arsenal, roughly 110 of them were against Blackburn Rovers, who he can’t play against anymore because they’ve been relegated. In fact curiously, Van Persie has actually scored more goals in total against Blackburn than his entire career tally, since Blackburn are so bad at defending against RVP, they even manage to concede against him when he’s not playing.

One thing about this I am slightly confused by is what exactly Sir Alex Ferguson meant when he said United’s transfer people were “working very hard to bring players into the club”. It seems Arsenal asked for £24m for Van Persie, and United then spent the entire summer painstakingly negotiating this down to…£24m. And then the transfer happened because Sir Alex Ferguson phoned Arsene Wenger for a chat one evening.

Park Ranger – Why have QPR signed Ji Sung Park just to play him in a position he can’t play in? Was their squad so desperately short of players who can’t play in midfield that they felt the need to buy some more? Because if so Liverpool have plenty going spare. Are they challenging themselves to lose 5-0 every single week?

Wigan Pathetic – If Wigan were an Olympic competitor, they’d be disqualified after the opening day nearly every year for “Not giving one’s best efforts to win the game”. There are a number of games during any season which are so one-sided and uncompetitive, watching or trying to measure anything from them becomes completely pointless…like trying to figure out how good Roger Federer is at tennis by pitting him against a disoriented pensioner holding a golf club. I’ve yet to see any such game that didn’t involve Wigan Athletic in the pensioner/golf club role. At one point today, Wigan were so bad Eden Hazard actually managed to pass the ball across the pitch…to himself. Only Chelsea’s own inability to continue being bothered prevented Wigan getting in early with chalking up one of their numerous 5-0 spankings…and what was that disgusting whistling music playing at half time? I mean, for feck sake, stop deliberately turning yourselves into a joke.

What’s a tell-tale sign you’ve spent too long hanging around with the Spanish national team? …when you go to take a penalty and suddenly feel compelled and overcome by the urge to pass it as accurately as possible to the feet of the goalkeeper, rather than just have a shot.
Some things that have amused me:

– Newcastle have signed a player called “Good”

– The fact that Ravel Morrison, one of the most talented young footballers in the country, has gone from Manchester United to West Ham…a team managed by the world’s most notorious anti football man, Sam Allardyce, and then via there to Birmingham…possibly the only team who are too Sam Allardyce for Sam Allardyce. Expect Ravel to turn up playing centreback for Stoke half way through the season.

– Brendan Rodgers promising not to sign any of Swansea’s players, and then immediately trying and failing to sign one of Swansea’s players, and then signing another one of Swansea’s players after that. Would anyone have really cared if he simply hadn’t promised anything in the first place?

– Robin Van Persie/Cesc Fabregas refuse to sign new contracts at Arsenal…months of mass panic ensue. Theo Walcott refuses to sign a new contract at Arsenal…nobody cares.

– Liverpool

– That Sky fantasy football advert with Harry Redknapp and the dog, where you can’t quite tell if they’ve deliberately chosen a dog with almost the exact same face as Harry Redknapp, or whether it’s just a weird coincidence.

Awards:

Most pointless transfer of the summer – Alex Song leaves Arsenal to join Barcelona…possibly the only team in the world whose midfield he wont improve

Stupidist non transfer of the summer – Dimitar Berbatov’s non return to strikerless Tottenham Hotspur

Randomly remembered player award – Former Bolton man Michael Ricketts. Ricketts fired Bolton into the Premier League with a string of goals in 2001. This ruthless new talent, this unstoppable beast of a striker, continued to score freely following Bolton’s promotion. Notably putting United to the sword at Old Trafford, and netting 15 further goals in less than half a season. This led to an inevitable and deserved call up to the England team. Ricketts would earn a place in the starting 11 on his first international call up…he was subsequently taken off at half time due to being awful, and proceeded to never score another goal again, ever. His international career is rated as only slightly more succesful than Emile Heskey’s