Thursday, 24 December 2015

Ho ho ho! It's Robbo's Christmas Presents!

Happy Christmas Christians! And to the other 67%of the UK population - and the rest of the world - I hope you're busy being merry in the best way you know how.

Traditionally I like to play Santa at this time of year, bestowing my largesse on the great and good and piss-poor of our sporting world. So here's your pressies, people.

To Sepp Blatter: a mirror. Take a long hard look in it. You feel 'sorry for football'? The one you've left behind is like a deflated flaking casey that's been kicked through playing fields strewn with dog shit. And you Platini. Don't think memories of your twinkle-toed derring-do is going to get you forgiveness. 

To Jose Mourinho: one of those NHS posters warning you not to abuse the staff in the hospital. With Dr Caneiro's face on it. And a few brochures for property in the Cheshire area, just in case. 

To David Moyes; a lovely Titleist three-wood - it's the only new club he's going to get for a while. 

To John Terry - a mobility scooter - it'll make him quicker off the mark and it's got a tighter turning circle than he has. 

To Jesus Navas - some hypnotherapy to help him over come his fear of open spaces. Just cos your name's Jesus doesn't need to mean you can't put over a good cross. 

To Leicester City - sleeping tablets, so you can keep on dreaming. I was quite excited when it looked like Liverpool might bag a Premier League a while back. If Leicester win it I might have to have a bonfire in the back garden and throw every piece of cynicism I have on to it. 

To Guus Hiddink - a rear-view mirror (always assuming he can't have surgery to insert eyes in the back of his head.) Chelsea can still win stuff when the manager does what he's told - Avram, Di Matteo, etc. But if you're thinking of laying down the law, well, let's just say there's thirty pieces of silver under every coat-peg in that dressing-room. 

To Wayne Rooney - a trichology operation to undo the criminal acts done to his scalp. He's a kind of reverse Samson, Wazza. Ever since he had that hair put in he's lost all of his power. 

To Louis Van Gaal - a big thank you for his defiance in the face of the media scrum. It may sound a tad hypocritical but me I just make jokes at the expense of these extremely well-paid dictators. The proper press, as LVG more or less said, get to almost sack someone themselves if they really put their minds to it. Louis, now you know how Jeremy Corbyn feels. 

To Daniel Sturridge, Sergio Aguero, Andy Carroll - a special gentleman's remedy to make you relax a little more. A kind of anti-Viagra which might stop you being pulled off early so often.

To Roy Hodgson - Stuart Lancaster's phone number. They can have a good chat about how to play Wales and Woy can do the bleedin' opposite. 

To Remi Garde - a new Villa, preferably one on the Algarve fecking miles away from Birmingham.

To Tyson Fury - a kettle, a teabag and an instruction manual, so he can get his poor Mrs sorted on Christmas morning. 

To Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy - a pair of headphones each with some happy-clappy music playing, and a block on the phone numbers of their respective agents. Yes, a footballer's career is short, the time to cash in on your success is even shorter (particularly in Vardy's case) but withering on a bench somewhere amongst the rich kids is no way to further a career. Stay put. There's plenty of time to review options in the summer.

To Lord Coe - a Teflon suit, probably the one Blatter wore for twenty years. There's going to be some shit flying around and it's only a matter of time before some sticks to you. 

To Chris Froome - a few buckets of faeces at the ready for the Tour de France. They throw piss, you throw poo. It's the only way to answer these critics. 

To Andy Murray - well he's something of a gift to the rest of us if I'm honest. If the Scots get independence we'd lose two things of major importance: North Sea Oil and Andy Murray. The rest, you can keep. But any road I'd buy Muzza a GB team shirt so he can delude himself into thinking he's still playing Davis Cup when he hits the inevitable Federer semi* and Djokovic final.

To Gary Neville - a foreign language dictionary. Not English-Spanish by the way - I'm sure he'll catch on to that soon enough - but an English-PhilNeville dictiionary. Much of what Phil says gets lost in translation and given it's the younger brother who talks to the players at Valencia I'm wondering how the hell Gary can possibly survive. It might well be, as Phil might put it 'a bit of a baptismal of flame in that sense'.

To the drug testers in Rio 2016: patience, and more patience. Analyse every last drop of that urine as if you;re life depended on it. In fact if the competitor is running beyond 800 metres and is Russian, stand on her bladder until every last trickle has been eased into the pot. And best of luck.

To the international footballers of Scotland - some very comfy cushions for the summer time. Enjoy your rest. Just imagine how much fitter you're going to feel in August without a busy summer of action knackering you out.

To all the readers of this sometimes sporadic blog - have a great Christmas, and may the roll of the ball and the blow of the whistle always favour you.

May the dive not deceive you, the shoot-out not shaft you, the vagaries of fortune take you to the very brink of success.

And may Leicester City, in an act reminiscent of Usain Bolt's unmanning of Justin Gatlin, lift the title and make the country believe in the beautiful game all over again.

And failing that, may Boro keep tonking promotion rivals 3-0 cos I'm not up for any more of that May Day play-off tosh.

Happy Christmas!

[*You're right - the phrase 'hitting a Federer semi' doesn't have a good ring to it.]

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Just say MO to Fury

Well it's nearly Christmas time and that must mean one thing: it's time for the old 'Sports Personality! That's a contradiction in terms!' joke. Done.

Except this year there's one candidate who, for reasons best known to himself, is very much a 'personality'. Chris Froome. I jest. Chris Froome looks like a face found on a EU-banned potato, but has less charisma. I meant, of course, Max Whitlock. He's a gymnast, but not the one who did the dancing competition on the telly. I'm sure he's got a terrific personality but I wouldn't know as I'm still not quite sure who he is. 

No the real lively folk are Lucy Bronze and Lizzie Armitstead. Lucy was like a left-back who scored a top-notch goal and then that other lass scored that quirky own-goal and English football confirmed what it always knew about itself - heroic, noble, unsuccessful.

Lizzie is good at riding a bike. And is full of personality. Then there's Greg and Mo and Jess, the 2012 triptych revisited. All lovely. The real problem is the big beardie boxer bloke with the preposterous name. Tyson Fury. A colourful character, isn't he? He could have his own comic strip, couldn't he?

And as with many men who have built a career on punching people in the face, a man who rarely engages his brain before he speaks. Which is not to say he doesn't think before he fists someone's nose. Indeed the way he masterminded the defeat of the untopplable Klitschko was impressive stuff. But this isn't about whether he's got ringcraft. It's whether a homophobe and misogynist should be on the list in the first place.

Now this is a tricky one. First of all, he does talk bollocks. That is without question. His mouth opens and it's like a bin being emptied into a dustcart. My biggest hope is that Klitschko wins the rematch by a knock-out, announces he's gay and then snarls at Fury's stricken body "The best place for an intolerant bastard is on his back."

Of course, since the issue has caused much fence-sitting at the BBC and condemnation from right-minded folk everywhere, Tyson has sought to clarify his remarks about womankind and the oft-noted link between Satanism and homosexuality. His first attempt was:"Tyson Fury loves everyone, Tyson Fury doesn't hate anyone". And Robbo Robson hates anyone who uses the third person when talking about themselves.

The second effort saw an eerie glint come across his eyes as he sought to enlighten folks as to the attractions of Jesus Christ. Now I'm no expert but I don't remember the parts of the New Testament where Jesus says "Shalt it not be okay to twatteth another in the mush for money?" Or the part where Christ beseeches Mary Magdalene to leave his feet alone get on her back but not before the slapper's made a decent brew.

Of course there is that bit when poor Jesus is in the wilderness and the Devil appears unto him and tempts him into sinfulness by introducing him to a lithe and well-toned Nubian homosexual named Maurice.

But I digress. The question is: Should Tyson Fury be on the list? And the answer to that is 'yes'. Should he be allowed to say stupid things? Yes. It's called Freedom Of Speech. People have fought very hard over the years to be permitted to say what they like; many of those striving for such opportunities have been and still are gay and/or female.

We should not tolerate his bilious garbage, we should challenge it, preferably during SPOTY. I'd love to see Clare Balding having a right old pop at him. "Sorry for being here Tyson, but I've been resting up for this conversation - on my back - while Satan cooed sweet nothings in my ear."

Ban him and he just dribbles off back under that bridge and where them stupid goats trip-trap over the river. And spout even more cack whenever he is moved to speak publicly.

My SPOTY would be Mo Farah. Unless the Salazar allegations get in the way, he's a shoo-in. My overseas personality of the year would be Louis Van Gaal. Now there's a bloke with charisma, personality and a great sense of humour. This week he surpassed himself with:

"We are better than last year."

Well maybe, but that's like saying a firm turd is better than a runny one. It's still, at the end of the day, shit. Now obviously being 4th and getting beaten by the might Boro in the League Cup is no great shame, unless it's cost you a quarter of a billion quid to get there. LVG resembles one of them dopey toffs on Grand Designs who has to dolefully admit that everything is costing way more than he ever thought possible, and that's just for the foundations.

He added: 'It was a tough group."

Really? PSV, Wolfsburg, CSKA. Well now you mention there's an almost overwhelming European pedigree amongst that lot isn't there? Every one of them awash with modern greats of the game like the Polish winger Ooji-watzhit and the Ghanaian wonderboy Thimgummi. I mean, puh-lease, Louise. That's a cushy first six games, mate.

And if it was a tricky group and they are a bit better than they were, Manchester United are certainly, more than anything else, as dull as this font. I've been more entertained by the movement of the hour hand on the town clock in Yarm. 

There are mutterings that Van Gaal might be coaxed towards the exit door while Carlo Ancelotti does his regular successful two-year stint and gets ditched with his dignity intact. What's for certain is that United need to get a bit more bloody lively. Failure's bad enough. Turgid failure's unforgiveable. 

Arsenal's failure didn't come to pass, of course. In fact underneath all that po-faced sobriety Arsene had just a twinkle of smugness. And Giroud, a man maligned for appearing to be Bendtner Mk II when he's far from it, took his chances well. 

Pellegrini had a smile on his face too, which is hard to tae when normally, even in victory, the bloke looks like he's just witnessed a fatal car-crash. And Mourinho was all humility and diffidence. Yeah, whatever. I'm sure there's some myopic match officials just waiting to undermine him on Monday night. 

Citeh and Arsenal should still be smiling by then. Villa can't possibly stop a team so burgeoning with confidence and Swansea, without a manager, could have an easier away-day than the Etihad. 

By then we should also have learnt that either Mo Farah has won SPOTY or an entire fraternity of British sportsmen are wandering around the streets of Belfast urging women to take Jesus into their hearts and fall on their backs with. 

Just say MO, people.