Monday, 28 February 2011

England Expectorates

Another chocker weekend of sport and there's so much good stuff you could be talking about.

I could bang on about plucky Brum and their team of attractive and rational individuals like Barry Sneaky V-Sign Ferguson and Lee 'Leave Your Foot In' Bowyer. Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of lads.

What do them initials stand for I wonder...

This was one of them finals when I didn't want the outsiders to nick it. Trouble was Birmingham never really looked like outsiders, did they?

They have a lot of big lads. Arsenal have a couple of centre-backs with all the permanence of a sandcastle at high tide. I got a cool fifty quid putting not much on Zigic to score the first (and only, I hoped) goal.

You could stereotype the game as Beauty v The Beast. Except on this occasion you wouldn't have Penelope Cruz playing Arsenal, you'd have Kate Hudson or some other cute dimwit lightweight who's not as good as she thinks she is.

I still think Gooners could back off Wenger. Christ knows they get more entertainment at the Emirates Library in ninety minutes than most of us get in a season. But Arsene needs a bloody solid centre-back or three and, like it or not, a midfielder who treats tippy-tappers like so many kit-kat fingers. A Yaya Toure without the flagrant self-interest.

Still, well done Brum, you ugly buggers, you earned it... and bad luck Sczeszensczennyyyeny or whatever your name is. Twas a howler of such note that your UK passport must be a matter of days away.

One might also want to praise the tie between India and England. It was edge of your toilet seat stuff. And a great fillip for a tournament that has so far resembled a contest between a runaway Eurostar and an IKEA bookshelf.

Good stuff from Steve Davis, too, who has boldly announced his homosexuality to the cricketing world. Stand by for snorts of euphemistic guffawing next time someone catches him in the gully, pulls him over the boundary, or swings it both ways.

Seriously though, it's pretty close to not being much of a big deal which shows you how far we've come. (Steady innuendo-ists).

We might also congratulate European Golf on having the top four players in the world at the mo. Except that golf is not a sport but rather, as my mate Andy Smart insists, a paid holiday in Pringle.

We might also want to praise the continentally unpopular concrete-poured-into-pillow-cases that is the England Rugby Union Team. Apparently they beat France.

I didn't follow much of it. Since they brought in them tight-fitting T-shirts and God-knows what sort of dietary enhancements most of them rugby lads look like the sort of sun-lamped brawny tossers who twenty years back used to waddle into your local bar with muscles like a rockslide and a face like a jar of sultanas.

The rugby players I grew up watching - your Phil Bennetts and Gareth Edwards - well these blokes'd use them as ear-plugs.

But instead we're left to ponder that Regurgitatable Sign Of Our Times, the Errant England Footballer. If they're not elbowing you in the face, they're bringing an air rifle to work and shooting you. Allegedly.

First Rooney. He ran past James McCarthy and elbowed him in the face. The ball was somewhere in the next postal district at the time. God knows why. Has McCarthy been sneaking round to Colleen while Wazza's down the tobacconists?

Even John Hartson says it was indefensible. That's John Hartson, a man who had to go and find Eyal Berkovic's head in the nettles after a training-ground bust-up.

Let's look at what Sir Alex Ferfuckssakuson said about the incident: 'There was nothing in it'. Gaddafi-esque in its neglect of the truth.

'I don't think the boy touched McCarthy. They are all on drugs and working for Al Qaeda if you ask me'

The Govan Beetroot added: 'The press will raise a campaign to get him hung by Tuesday or electrocuted or something like that.' Erm, that's just a twat's thing to say. Maybe the country would've liked to see the recommended dose of three games off for the petulant hairy toddler. At the very least some calpol for the stroppy little bugger.

And this is what stirs up the ABU brigade. Clattenburg's said he's happy about what happened at the DW. Rooney gets clean away with it. No fine. No ban. No nowt. Just carry on as usual. Heck he could be a frigging merchant banker, couldn't he?

Carlo Ancelotti claims there's nowt wrong with discipline at Chelsea either after Ashley Cole SHOT someone. It's been dealt with apparently. Cole has apologised. For SHOOTING someone. Given their goal-shy form of late it's to see someone's bothering to shoot.

But can you believe it?! Really?! Well yes, it's Ashley Cole. Letting of an air-rifle is as pathetically schoolboy an error he could still be defending at Arsenal. What next, Cashley? Flicking gobs of chewed-up paper at John Obi-Mikel?

I expect Cole is the first on the team bus to shout 'The one who denied it supplied it.'

'Keep smiling darlin' I've got an air-rifle pointed at your back...'
What all this leads you to is two conclusions:

1. If you play for United you could rob a train in broad daylight without a mask on and Fergie would say it was nowt and the FA would agree.

2. There's not an England player in this country who has the remotest concept of reality. I mean we could take a fiver a week out of their pockets and build an NHS hospital in every town - and that way we'd have an A&E on standby should Rooney come drop in with a munk on.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

The Seeds of Destruction

Another mish-mashed FA Cup weekend which seems only to fuel the mean-spirited bleeders who reckon that the tournament is a busted flush and should be replaced by summat even more likely to allow some cash-wielding mercenaries to canter cheerily up the Wembley steps.

Well one set of greedy buggers were dumped out courtesy of the most unsympathetic of football weapons, the Boot of a Neville. Phil gathered himself, visualised the ball on the spot as the shinbone of Cristiano Ronaldo and smacked it home.

But there’ll still be those that argue in favour of the seeded draw. This they say would avoid the travesty of finals like Millwall-ManU (the only time when the New Den cries of ‘No one likes us, we don’t care’ must have rung pretty hollow to their opposition’s fans).

Well, I’ve seen more disappointing finals to be frank.

The Spice Boys circa 1996. The Old Spice Boys now, I suppose.

I seem to remember Liverpool v Man Utd in ’96 when Cantona saved the nation from extra time and spared us any more cack from Merseyside’s brigade of wanky white-suit wearing wallies. Apparently both sides were pretty major teams at the time.

Arsenal v United in 2005 wasn’t the best two and a half hours of my life either. Mind you them hours were spent in the back of a Ford Transit van on my 26th birthday. No, I won’t elaborate. I also remember Sunderland beating the Damned United, and Southampton – a ragtag of wandering veteran minstrels – somehow taking out Tommy Doc’s crop of vibrant men-in-waiting. Both these clubs were so unlikely to win that they were underbunnies – the ones the underdogs have for breakfast.

The idea persists amongst the pro-seeding lobby that what the FA Cup requires is a final between the two best clubs in the country. Why? Chances are that ManU will play the Arse in the last eight. Good. We might get the less than usual suspects at the final.

You might also want to bear in mind that the top (or tell you waht. let's make that the richest) use the Cup as a run-out for the sulky subs get to have a run-out, and that the manager spends the next ninety minutes with his fingers crossed hoping that the squad makeweights might muster a performance. Of course if it’s Arsenal you’re up against then you counter the meaningless tippy-tap with a big scary substitute and you’re laughing – though maybe not quite as much as Barry Hearn thinks.

"Lawks love a duck innit marvellous, etc!"

I mean I know that’s a cash cow and a half for Barry Hearn but the Matchroom Maestro has been milking it like an engorged wet nurse ever since. And the boys are off to Vegas. Been there – it’s shite. One night and I wanted to stick a neon bulb up the backside of every ivory-toothed croupier in the whole of the Goddamn city.

But any road, to me the whole point of the FA Cup is its randomness. You can have Chelsea-Arsenal in the third round. You can sneak a win at a Premier League ground and get rewarded with an away trip to Peterborough or somewhere a bit crap like that. It’s luck, is all it is.

Seeding would guarantee a Premier League club for some and yet by and large it would also prevent a club like Crawley from getting to Round 5. The hardheads’ll tell you that the minnows can then get a guaranteed pay-day. Them that value the Cup above its ability to pay the bills – like me – will tell you that every FA Cup year needs its story and if by the time of the last 32, there’s no collection of no-marks with a dream in their hearts and a Ronnie Radford rasper in their boots then you might as well consign the competition to the potty days of footy history.

‘Do you remember the Football Association Cup, Bert?’
‘Yes, ha ha! Laughable wasn’t it? D’you know back then people used to play football for the love of it?’
‘Ha Ha! The soft-minded paupers!’
‘Apart from Manchester City of course –‘

Now my only regrets about expressing this view is that (a) I’ve depicted meself as some sort of moist-eyed moron who’s bought into the romance of the Cup without applying his poor sentimental brain to the harsh realities of modern sport (partly because that is 80% true) and (b) I find myself agreeing with BBC Radio 5Live’s new Voice of Football Reason Robbie Savage.

"I speak my mind, I do - which should take about 23 seconds max"

Now there was a time when no one had a good word to say about Savage – although I always thought tosspot was a very good word to say about him. What can you say about him? He gave 110%? He wasn’t completely shite? He’s got very shiny hair?

That’s about it. Other than that he was a needly little bleeder who used incitement and niggling as compensation for his lack of pace and talent. A kind of honorary Neville in a way.

So how come people keep telling him he’s a legend on phone-ins? I mean he’s not the worst pundit I’ve heard. He’s not the ironically named Mark Bright. Or Garth ‘just cos I use the occasional long word doesn’t mean I’m not talking shite’ Crooks. Or Andy ‘decent bloke but as empty as Space’ Townsend.

He can string a few words together I suppose although whether them words have owt to do with each other is anyone’s guess.

The only thing about Savage which I can sort of understand is that he’s one of them players that you loathe unless he’s wearing your team’s colours. That suddenly legitimises him. A bit of ankle-tapping – well, football’s a man’s game, eh Robbie? In the ear of the ref for ninety minutes – well he’s just using his experience...

It’s just that a bit of an attitude doesn’t make you an insightful pundit does it now? I mean you only have to listen to that arrogant plank Brian Moore on the rugby to realise that.

And if that’s the pot calling the kettle an ethnic minority then so be it.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Loony for Rooney?

St. Valentines Day. Bloody hate it.

It's one of them Christian-Capitalist conspiracies that blackmails you into chucking your wallet at naff poetry and furry fluffballs with embroidered hearts dotted all over them.

I once went out with a lass who was dead narked that I hadn't got her any make-up for Lovers Day. The poor mare had read somewhere about the St. Valentine's Day Mascara, she said. Any man foolish enough to fall for such a load of cods deserves to have his bank account reappropriated (unless he's a customer at Allied Irish in which case that's probably already happened).

If you've bought owt like this in the last couple of days you are a twat. Fact.

I mean if I want to be romantic with the missus then I'll do it on me own time not when Clintons Cards tells me to. She'll tell me it's nice to be presented with a thing of beauty on the 14th Feb so I took her down to the lounge and let her watch Rooney's winner v Man City over and over.

Although I have to confess, Wazza's moment of acrobatical wonder was his only contribution to the game. And it can't disguise the fact that the rampaging ogre-boy of 2004 is a distant memory for most of us.

United continue to blunder on to the title without ever looking convincing. One thing's happened in the Blue Bell, mind. For a few years now we've referred to a needless snippet of greenery on your food as a 'Nani'.

Sprig of parsley on your fish pie? That's a Nani. Mint leaf on your vanilla ice cream? A Nani. If Man United were a tasty dish, Nani was the unnecessary garnish. Not any more.

When they go forward, Portugal's Wacko Jacko Looky-Likey (during the Billie Jean years, before Michael started to want to look like a waxwork of Diana Ross) is now very much the chunky beef in the steak and ale pie. (With Vidic the hardy topcrust pastry you have to struggle hard to get through).

Nani's finish for United's first goal had the lazy ease of a Greaves. Indeed Wazza can count himself well bleeding lucky to be on the pitch given that The Languid Bulgar is in tiptop nick and Speedy Gonzales can't wait to get off the bench.

Javier Hernandez - another of them feckless fat Sombrero tossers for the Top Gear team to get their lazy hands on.

I'm not doing down the goal Rooney scored. My cliche accumulator tells me that it was: a Derby game. A Six-pointer. It deserved to win any game. But his every other touch was that of a man with kapok-covered boots.

So why the Sunday paper gush? (Apart from the opportunity to use 'Roo' in a dozen headlines. And that overhead kick saved his bacon otherwise I'm sure one of them would've come up with 'Roo-matic'.)

Could it be that the Man-Child that led England's Euro 2004 bid cannot be forgotten. That we're so desperate to revive that a kid so hirsute that he must be a genetic hair's breadth away from Richard Keys, we'll grab on to the first sign of that resurrection to prove that England's only world-class forward is back?

It's uncomfortably reminiscent of your Lawros and Hansens purring every time the creaking Michael Owen taps in a three-yarder. "'E's a goalscorer, Gary." Er, yeah. He's also got hamstrings with all the robustness of cheese straws thanks to the likes of Houllier running his little calves into the ground before he'd all growed up.

Owen of course was a 17-year-old wunderkind too when he, for the first and last time, scored a goal having picked it up over ten yards away from goal. (It may sound like I'm sniping but that's still six yards further out than Lineker.)

But that golden boy is so far off the teenage terror that he's now a Fool's Golden Boy. And despite Rooney's latest terrific tonk I'm thinking he's in the same tarnished boat.

The Jesus pose by the corner-flag can't disguise the fact that not that long ago the Old Trafford saviour was more than shuffling his avaricious little pegs across Manchester with all the speed and grace of an Egyptian dictator skipping town.

WR: "At least we don't play for them no-marks across town." CT: "Yet!"

Given the aforementioned Chicharito and Berbatov, Fergie might well see the close season as his big chance to get shot of the Scouser and cash in. He doesn't normally faff about, does he?

Certainly Rooney's a long way off joining the really big names. Like Ronaldo. I mean the retired Brazilian one. (Although let's face it, the idea that the lardbucket only just retired is as laughable a notion as the idea that the Big Society has been thought through.)

Such is the preponderance of flesh about Ronaldo in recent times it's difficult to recall how lethal he was when on song. The two goals in the 2002 final when the bloke had his haircut the wrong way round will live in the memory for a while. (Not least cos a piss-poor German team somehow stumbled to the final to face them.)

Wearing that merkin on his scalp was said to prove how confident the lad was feeling during the tournament. Maybe. Nevertheless, history will not instantly recall the fleet-footed assassin of that final, nor will it trumpet his record of 16 goals in World Cup Finals (unsurpassable unless Blatter's ugly reign leads to a year-long tournament that involves 128 countries - and it coyld happen). Instead history may remember a truly great footballer as the fat bloke with the bad barnet who cried off in 1998.

Too much Ronaldo at McDonaldo's methinks

I pray that Rooney is remembered more fondly.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Can Chelsea Right The Cech?

Some people think your Teessider is a gruff mean-spirited bastard who dodges his rounds and breathes through a ventilator. Unfair, I reckon. Most of us get by with an inhaler. Plus, we have a footy team that never stops giving. Ask your average Palace fan.

Again, I had to rely on the Premier League to soften the blow.

The goal glut helped. 41 reminders on Saturday of what one of them elusive things looks like. And certainly the Chelsea-Liverpool game was a vintage bit of schadenfraude.

(I know! Get me! Tony Thompson introduced us to this word on Sunday - I thought it was that Austrian psychiatrist who thought that every time you dreamt it had summat to do with shagging your mother).

"No, Robbo, I am Sigmund, you must mean my brother Schaden."

Anyway, first off, didn't Torres look really weird in blue? The wife, a Nando groupie in waiting, reckoned it wasn't his colour. Ta, love. There are times when Andy Gray and Richard Keys make sense.

Secondly, on MOTD2 I heard Shearer (and by the way, Al, cuffs are for wiping your nose, son - they can't possibly be white) feeling a bit sorry for Torres. Yeah, me too. £170 grand a week, swanky pad in Chelsea if you want it, Drogba to play off... a right sodding burden, poor lamb.

Apparently it's hard being up against your old pals. Especially that Carragher, who was back to his best. You get the impression Jamie couldn't wait to get out there on the pitch and feel a number nine shirt in his clenched fist again. But Torres wasn't prepared to stick with them blokes cos he wanted to win trophies. After Sunday it just looks like Torres has chosen a different wind to piss into.

Ancelottery reckons it'll take the Spaniard a while to settle in. True enough. In which case, leave him on the bench for a bit. Lord knows it's taken the Queens of Strop Anelka and Drogba long enough to find some common ground. You don't need three mopers up there jostling with one another like three teenage lasses after the same fella.

King Kenny meanwhile goes from strength to strength. Of course the irony is that Dalglish's reds went into that game with a mindset that would've sat well happily with Roy Hodgson.

Little Clockwork Kuyt gives you a bit more energy than a narked Nando as the front man, and Meireles did well to support but essentially it was one of them team selections that began with the mantra 'It's 0-0. Let's hold what we've got.'

Having said that, Liverpool had the best chances.

Which begs questions about Chelsea's deficiencies. For a while now, their failings have started from the Number 1. Cech, headguard, notwithstanding, still plays like he's got a Stephen Hunt kneebone heading for his bonce.

When he turns out the light at night, this is what the big Czech sees.

It's understandable. I'm sure we've all had nightmares about Stephen Hunt (and there is summat instinctively really bloody annoying about the hairy little tick - he looks for all the world like some manic gnome who gets two hours off the toadstool a week and intends to make the most of it) but you can't have a keeper who's afraid to get hurt.

A good keeper is, by definition, fearless. In a successful club, it's the goalie who takes on the extra chillies at the Tex Mex; it's the goalie who helps you get back into your house at two in the morning by climbing in through the skylight - without the aid of a ladder; it's the goalie who puts it all on 17 black when everyone else is ready to go home.

Cech (has he put on weight or does he just look like a Heavy Petter?) has lost that recklessness. He keeps making that cardinal sin of keepers and engaging his brain - and Chelsea look flakier than the shoulders of a Geography teacher because of it.

By eck thouh it was a brilliant goalfest was Saturday. Not least the peanlty count - all of which barring a supposed push by Rosicky on Williamson, seemed pretty justified. (Honestly Rosicky couldn't push open a serving hatch in a doll's house).

The Geordies epic comeback was utterly marvellous, mind. The only downside was Wenger's uncharacteristically meek post-match interview. Of course it included the usual dose of myopia (Specsavers must have an option on him as their poster boy when he retires) he was relatively sanguine about the disastrous draw).

If he could avoid saying things like 'Don't listen to that Moyes boy - ooooh, he's a little liar he is!' then we might even be looking at a new Arsene.

Add to that the tardy end to Man U's inexplicable unbeaten run at the top division's David to the Goliaths, then it was a grand weekend all round. Incidentally has anyone else noticed that when United score Fergie stands up and applauds in a way that's reminiscent of either (a) a surprisingly camp Taggart or (b) Leonid Brehnev at a Mayday Parade.

"I want you to kill the soldier who yelled 'Look at the tits on that!' immediately!"

Wolves fans may be smiling ruefully at their boys inability to beat the teams around them but I've one word of warning for 'em: Middlesbrough.

Aye we were pretty topnotch when the moneybags rolled in through the smog but we bollocksed it up against everyone else and still went down. At least you know that Big Bluff Mick McCarthy will still be there by the end of the season.

Unlike Roberto di Matteo, who made the mistake of getting his team off to a good start. Faced with a poor string of results the Baggies Board have thumbed through the Official Guide to Running A Football Club and acted on the one solitary sentence in the manual that states: 'If in doubt, sack the manager.'

If I was the chairman I'd be telling the club shop to buy a job-lot of WBA yo-yos for next year. Before Di Matteo went I still had the Baggies as the best of the woeful W's that prop up the tight bottom.

If you had to pick one to avoid the drop now it'd be Wigan. However given that Tangerines haven't fallen so rapidly since the last Spanish harvest, and Blackpool are looking the likeliest candidates for the drop.

In a perfect world, you'd lose the grinders - your Brums and Blackburns - and keep your grass-is-for-passing outfits like West Brom and Blackpool.

But reality states that them that can Stoke it up will climb clear. So for me it'll be Blackpool, Wests Brom and Ham. And you'll all be welcome at the Riverside. (I hope! But God it's hard trying to write a blog with your crossed fingers grasping on to horseshoes, rabbit's feet and lucky heather while simultaneously clutching at straws!)

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Andy n Nandy Are Coming to Play!

It’s transfer deadline day. The window closes at midnight and the football world is agog for the last-minute defenestrators.

Down the Blue Bell speculation is rife: we’ve had several dead certs that have appeared in the Teesside area in the last 24 hours.

Yesterday morning, David Beckham was definitely walking a dog down Linthorpe Road at half-eight (he’d had a severe haircut and grown a droopy tache but it was 'definitely him');

at lunchtime, a cabbie dropped off Jamie Carragher at a branch of Bairstow Eves Estate Agents and he was definitely eyeing up the bigger properties;

and in the late afternoon Richard Keys was apparently thrown out of a mixed doubles tennis match for shouting 'Smash it!' every time his opponents threw up a defensive lob.

"Call that a smash? Do me a favour, love"

As it turns out, none of it was flamin’ true. Instead, Middlesbrough plunged into the black and white film archives and come up with some bloke from Casablanca. I was hoping it was Paul Henreid, but it turns out it’s some Charlie called Marouane Zemmama.

Which begs the question is 'Who’s Zemmama?' Huh? Well here’s what it says on Wikipedia:

« Marouane Zemmama est un footballeur marocain né le 7 octobre 1983 à Salé et évoluant actuellement au sein du club d' Hibernian FC. » Well sacre bloody bleu.

Nevertheless a stack of bollocks rumours from a bunch of long lunchtime lager specialists makes more sense than what actually happened yesterday.

Liverpool and Chelsea are the culprits.

You remember Liverpool? Unbuilt stadium, temporary Messiah in charge, rest home for the expensive liabilility. So obviously it’ll be a home from home for the big rumbling Geordie with a piss-poor ponytail.

But 35 million quid? I mean I even heard a couple of hedge-fund managers saying that was ridiculous and they treat money like bog-roll. The best you can say about Andy Carroll is that he’s promising. He was also one of them local boys made good, Newcastle through and through, a lad who couldn’t get out of bed of a morning without blowing Blaydon Races across the top of an empty Bottle o’ Dog.

Turns out he’s a Geordie Rooney. A magpie, yes, but a dirty thieving one. Unless you believe that the lad had no choice in the matter. Blaming Ashley will suit the Gallowgate, so I fully expect that to be the case. But it’s way too much, man. There’s not been a more stupid purchase of Tyneside talent since my Missus bought Jimmy Nail’s cack album Crocodile Shoes.

Carroll’s now officially worth more than Balotelli, Tevez, Ferdinand, Rooney. I mean crikey the lad’s good. But is he worth getting on for 100 Kenny Millers? Carroll’s fitness record is a tad ropy n all. Then again, if Chelsea are going to splash the cash for hamstrung pretty-boy Nando Torres for £50 million. It’s a kind of horse-trade in Sicknotes.

While the dartboards of Gateshead might not all be wearing a newspaper cutting of Andy Carroll’s face, chances are that an effigy of young Torres might be adorning the top of this year’s Croxteth bonfire.
"Burn 'im, he's a Cockney!"

Torres, much like the shambling bucket of greed that is Darren Bent, has spent most of the season playing like a lazy shiftless pillock. Or, if you will, Nicolas Anelka (at his worst). Of course it appears that there are reasons for this and those reasons are that he should’ve left in the summer.

Torres’s strike rate for ‘Pool is undeniable. He’s a cracking player, true enough. But even one as gifted as that lad finds it hard to really compete when his finger is permanently wedged up his arse.

At least Koppites can content themselves with the knowledge that in Carroll and Suarez they’ve got a couple of lads who will really put a shift in. Plus with Suarez, Dalglish has got himself some decent back-up to Beppe Reina between the sticks.

Of course the staggering thing about the amounts of money changing hands yesterday is that it takes place in straitened times.

I was under the illusion that football might just get affected by the enforced penury that the Eton Debating Society are about to slide us in to.

If there’s one thing that really makes you choke on your meat pie n peas it’s having some family-moneyed chinless pillock telling you how we’ve got to hold our frigging noses and swallow some bitter pills.

(It’s like having Eamonn Holmes telling you to eat more salad. Or the Taleban advising you on the best schools for girls.) I mean what the fuck would they know? The only belt-tightening they’ve ever experienced is probably just some part of a fag's initiation ritual.

"I say George, are you tightening my belt?"

We were told that Chelsea’s days of big spending were over; that Liverpool’s debts were so astronomical that they were a FSA judgement away from bankruptcy. Now they’re spending money like they’re Real Madrid after a wink from the Spanish Government.

I dunno about the rest of you decent souls out there but me, I just hope these deals go tits up. I don’t wish the individuals ill – in fact to be honest I think Carroll is potentially the number nine England have been lacking – but a club that gets into grief and just unfurls a wad of blinking tsunami of wonga to redress the imbalance makes me despair.

And what’s more this transfer window business seems to have created a world where financial power is simply heightened. All day yesterday all I can think of was ‘Arry Redknapp with six phone son the go desperate to snap up anyone.

Apparently he nearly got Charlie Adam. Yeah, cos you’re well short of midfielders aren’t you mate?

I tell you next year just put everyone who’s available in a big fuck-off pen in the O2 arena and all the chairmen and managers can play Cash in the Bastard Attic with them.

Fair Play Rules? To quote one of the most twatty of current phrases 'Bring It On!'