Joe Cole’s been called a few things following his debut red card. Unfortunate, clumsy... but if I had to describe it I’d call it Scholesian. The shaven-headed urchin must’ve been looking forward to a bit of regular action – and I don’t mean in the off-season late-night post-club back-of-a-cab sort of way. Now he looks likely to be warming a sofa somewhere for a couple of weeks. The numpty.
Liverpool-Arsenal was one of them games you call ‘incident-packed’. In other words, lots of stuff went on but not much of it was particularly good footy. Liverpool looked half-decent and well-organised, as you’d expect from Woy, and it looks spookily like Hodgy has Bobby Zamorified Ngog into a goalscorer. That’s not grey flecks in the gaffer’s barnet, that there’s blinking fairy dust.
Talking of fairies, Arsenal still looked like a bunch of delicate sprites busily building a passing movement out of gossamer thread, and wilting as the likes of Carragher pulled it down. Shorn of the Joy of Cesc, and Hobblin Van Persie, the Wenger boys continue to be a tad powder-puff.
Ahhh!! A playful moment during Arsenal's pre-season training
Meanwhile West Brom returned to the Premier League and the Throstle was throttled by a brutal Chelsea team. When Chelsea play like this I just hear that Mr. Blond from Reservoir Dogs muttering ‘Torture you... that’s good... that’s a good idea...’
The Baggies defending of free kicks was abject. Pink Floyd fan Scott Carson was left fuming about the need for Another Prick in the Wall.
It wasn’t a great start for goalies generally.
Tim Howard’s clanger at Ewood Park was top of the drops – even in slow motion it’s hard to see how his sturdy Yank arms transformed from bank vault to basketball hoop in the blink of an eye. Reina’s was more glaring after his team had battled so hard. And of course the thank you cards have been winging their way across Lancashire for Chris Kirkland who looked so wooden every time he’d dived for another Harewood piledriver I shouted ‘Timber!’
But well done little old Blackpool and their charming yokel manager Jethro Holloway! Ah bless ‘em. And they only met each other this morning. And how funny they look in their Tango tops!! Charming! If I could sidestep the stream of patronising pap that’s been sent their way, it was an utterly brilliant result. My favourite man on the pitch was Gary Taylor-Fletcher who may well be a vibrant young lad but looks like your generic bloke-down-the-pub somehow.
Actually, the only downside of Blackpool’s thumping of Wigan was the post-match interview by Olly in which he did his best to look like a decision had been made to cull the Pleasure Beach donkeys. He made Avram Grant look like Timmy Mallet.
This donkey has been saved by Wigan Athletic, who see him as the natural replacement for Titus Bramble
Come on, Olly, play the game! Apart from anything else all this straight faced sobriety doesn’t fool anyone. It’s like when Gazza tried becoming a serious football pundit. You were just waiting for him to shout ‘Nah, only kidding!’ and get the plastic tits oot for the lads. Holloway knows what’s expected of him and he better start delivering.
‘Course we can’t talk keepers without mentioning Joe Hart, who saved Mancini’s bacon at WHL with some tip-top stops. Otherwise Citeh played like unthinking one-paced strangers, which when you think about it is what they are.
There’s this new film out starring Stallone, Schwarzenegger n all. It’s about a bunch of mercenaries on a steroid/botox diet. (In fact I saw Mickey Rourke on Wossy’s last Beeb show and if that bloke wanted to rob a bank he could do worse that hide his plastic mask beneath a real face.) Any road this film is called The Expendables. And I think Craig Bellamy’s in it. Just a bit part, but that’s more than Mancini’s ever really given him.
Now I know Bellamy’s a narky little toerag at times, but frankly he was the best thing at Eastlands last year if we ignore Tevez. So maybe, just this once, he has cause to be hacked off. Shay Given was the next best thing in sky blue and you can’t see him sticking being one of the expensive scatter-cushions in the Citeh dug-out for long. Although maybe Steve Harper will be texting him to tell to bloody well put up with it like he did.
I tell you Mancini's got his hands full there.
In the meantime at the comically-named Whistling Straits - just up the road from Screaming Queens I think - golf continues to throw up examples of why it’s such a bloody absurd game. Today’s question for you check-trousered chumps is ‘When is a bunker not a bunker?’ Dustin...?
‘Well, sir, when it’s a patch of sand that’s been trampled under the weight of many thousands of the weightiest creatures in Middle America since dinosaurs strode the earth?’
‘No Dustin, didn’t you read the quirky rulebook we gave ya?’
‘No sir. Like most golfers I don’t actually read.’
Now while it’s true to say that the poor sap had to have two shots deducted, you have to ask why a course would be so quirkily set up. Then again, golf is bloody mental. When Bubba – and for Christ’s sake man get a proper name you sound like some monstrous friendly fur-covered C-Beebies troll – Watson hit into water on the last play-off hole 5Live’s Jay ‘Hindsight is 20-20’ Townsend revealed he had five options as to what to do with the ball. FIVE!!!
Surprisingly one of them wasn’t bending down and putting your head on a tee-peg while people who had money on him took turns to see if they could chip the dozy lunk’s snitch onto the putting surface. (Harsh maybe but Bubba cost me twenty fucking quid). Golf makes about as much sense as a pink away kit.
Still, looking forward to the return of Newcastle to the top flight tonight. And I reckon they’ll do allreet. Don’t be surprised at a 1-1, especially if Man U’s ginger ninja is preaching what his little East End disciple is practising.
'And this is Tackle No.6 - the De Jong'
Up the Boro and - pretend you never read this - Ha'way the lads!