30 October, 2008

Gameweek 9 and 10 – Duplex

Ok, so apologies faithful readership for not giving this weekend’s action its own review, but with a full midweek program STT simply did not have the resources to cover both in anything approaching comprehensiveness. Anyway, in case you missed it, here is what happened Saturday and Sunday:

Chelsea finally lost their unbeaten home record of 86 games with a bit of a whimper to be honest, against a Liverpool side who played the game to perfection, with the midfield quartet particularly worthy of praise. Manchester United were on the receiving end of a last minute equaliser at Everton as they looked a little out of sorts in all honesty. Arsenal on the other hand strolled past West Ham in the end, but it was a tight game until Faubert deflected a cross into his own net for the opener with less than 20 minutes on the clock.

Hull toppled newly-promoted rivals West Brom comfortably, while the other fresh faces Stoke City were on the receiving end of a Robinho masterclass. To be fair though, the Brazilian maestro did cost about three-times as much as the entire Potters squad put together. Elsewhere Aston Villa were very good, as were Sunderland, winning their first Tyne-Wear derby for ages, and the teams I’ve forgotten to mention were clearly not that memorable!

So, to last night then, and following a Newcastle win on Tuesday over West Brom, a full set of fixtures. Dreamland inhabiters Hull were dramatically brought down to earth by a comfortable Chelsea team who barely broke sweat from the minute Lampard pinged a delightful chip into the top corner early on. Manchester United had a pretty easy ride against West Ham as well, with Ronaldo and Berbatov running the show while the Hammers players kind of just looked at one another. Liverpool were slightly less comfortable against a resilient Pompey side, but a late Steven Gerard penalty was enough to keep the league leaders top, and looking like genuine title contenders.

Wigan and Bolton both struggled once again near the bottom of the table, while Stoke hauled themselves out of the relegation zone with a hard-fought victory against a Sunderland outfit that clearly did not fancy the physical side of the game. Middlesbrough got a decent win over Manchester City, as once again the see-saw nature of the bottom half of the league continued.

So, after ten games, what can we say? Well, for the first time in decades it looks like a genuine three-horse-race for the title this year. Chelsea and Man United are starting to show signs of brilliance, and with their strength in depth, who would be brave enough to bet against one of them taking the crown again? Liverpool fans for one, who have seen their side impressively grind out a few tough results as well as play with real flair on occasion. Having dropped so many points already, have Arsenal got what it takes to stick with the top three? Personally, I don’t think so.

Villa and Manchester City look most likely to scrap it out for fifth, but as capable as they both are of the sublime, they both also have a somewhat dangerous tendency to self-destruct against some of the weaker teams.

Down at the bottom then it’s too tight to call at the moment, because realistically any three from about ten teams could find themselves dropping down a league come April. New boys Stoke and West Brom have got some good results and had some disasters, while Wigan and Spurs certainly have the talent to be finishing well into the top half. There are certainly also concerns about Newcastle, Bolton and Fulham, but the way they’re playing at the moment, the likes of Sunderland, West Ham and Middlesbrough should definitely not relax either. Finally then the $64,000 question: where will Hull finish? Could they really break into the top four? When will the bubble burst? Who’s to say, but let’s be honest, with 20 points on the board already, safety from relegation is almost certainly already secured…

Game of the Week – Arsenal vs Tottenham

I’m sure you’ve all heard about it by now, but it really was that exciting. Huge kudos to Spurs, and to Harry Redknapp for already appearing to be getting the most out of David Bentley and Luka Modric.

Player of the Week – Robinho

The standout member of a class outfit, who breezed past Stoke without really breaking sweat. With six goals already for Manchester City, Robinho looks to be finding his stride nicely, just proving that real ability doesn’t need a season to settle in the Premier League:

Goal of the Week – David Bentley

I cannot imagine how good it felt to do this against a club who treated him badly and he now hates.

Skill of the Week – Dimitar Berbatov

To set-up Ronaldo’s second yesterday Berbatov showed some simply incredible footwork. After a brief teething period, the grumpy Bulgarian looks like he’s enjoying himself playing with the big boys now.

ASBO of the Week – Phil Neville

Did anyone else see the less-attractive of the Neville brothers jump in two footed on Ronaldo while he was already rolling around on the floor? Sure we’ve all wanted to do it before, but come on.

Fan of the Week – This Spurs fan who’s almost certainly now banned for life.

I really want to meet this guy and shake his hand, he just loves it so much.

Back in the Game

Lovers of big-chested morons rejoice, because our old friend Danielle Lloyd is once again single, having finally got fed of dating a guy called DJ Ironik. As you can see from the photo of him, he may well be the one person on this planet that Lloyd can justly feel an intellectual superiority over though.

Anyway, to celebrate this regained freedom, Lloyd joined an army of other pointless glamour girls and ex-reality TV ‘stars’ at the Lipsy store launch at London's Crystal night club. The Scouse model had been dating the MOBO-nominated DJ for a couple of months and the couple were even rumoured to be getting engaged, but her spokesmen laid it out for us: “Danielle and DJ Ironik are still good friends but found it difficult to find time to see each other due to their busy schedules.”

Having amazingly got over Ironik in double-quick time, Lloyd was spotted exchanging whitticisms with former Blue singer Simon Webbe, if that means anything to anyone? They were a rubbish ‘urban’ pop band, and he was the token black guy apparently.

Former Big Brother alumni included Grace Adams-Short, who looked horrendously orange, and also Nikki Grahame, that small annoyingly posh one, who here seems to have found her station in life. Also trying to contain her cans in an insufficient top was Shipwrecked honey Naomi Millbank-Smith who, trust me, is hotter than fishgrease.

29 October, 2008

Great Timing

I don’t think there are many football fans out there who don’t have a soft spot for Harry Redknapp, but just days after leaving former club Portsmouth for Premier League prop-uppers Tottenham, Redknapp has somewhat inappropriately been granted the Freedom of the City of Portsmouth. Understandably, a couple of vexed Pompey fans rocked up at the ceremony and rained down heckles on their ex-Messiah. Not just heckles though, but some very naughty boys even hurled eggs and coins at his passing car; thankfully the British sports education system is such that all missles missed their not-exactly-svelte target.

Redknapp said: “The people who shouted abuse are just idiots — 99 per cent of the people who turned up today have been fantastic.” Portsmouth City Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson honored ‘Arry by saying: “I was thinking what do I call him. Mr Redknapp, or Mr Harry Redknapp, but no, to everyone in Portsmouth he is just Harry.” At this point, one supporter in the audience quite amusingly yelled: “Call him Judas!” This echoes several banners which were seen around Fratton Park this past Sunday bearing the slogan: Once Forgiven. Twice Forgotten. Judas.

The Judas comments come just weeks after a certain Pompey boss pledged his future to the club with these (apparently empty) words:

“Any unfulfilled dreams I have left in football can be achieved here. I turned down two exceptional offers in the last 12 months and that was a clear indication of where my heart and mind was. It wouldn’t make an ounce of difference who came in for me now. This is where I belong and this is where I want to finish. It would have been easy to walk away in the past year and I don’t think anyone would have had any real complaints. But, as tempting as the offers were, I couldn’t have lived with myself. There would have been a massive sense of betrayal.”

28 October, 2008

Will the Real Ronaldo Please Stand Up?

Now this story is just brilliant. You might remember that earlier this year we ran a little feature advertising the fantastic plethora of football look-a-likes available for hire through Fake Faces for, you know, parties and sex tapes. We drew particular attention to this cheeky chappy, Jaime Wright, saying (and I quote): “Sorry to burst your bubble mate but just because you have a United shirt on, a shit fake-tan and wank haircut does not make you look anything like Ronaldo. In fact you’re quite obviously just a complete tool.”

Despite this cutting criticism, Jaime has kept the show on the road, posing out and about in Manchester whenever possible, in the hope that some girl will get drunk enough to mistake him for the real thing. Amazingly, not just one girl took the bait, but apparently five! According to that reputable rag The People, Jaime has been exposed faking a Portuguese accent, chatting to braindead girls about “old mates” like David Beckham, and even whisking them off to posh hotels that Ronaldo himself has previously stayed in.

When confronted, Jaime claimed to “always tell the truth in the morning,” shattering the dreams of many a kiss-and-tell floozey in the process. He seems to think this is acceptable, and “a laugh,” but imagine the indignation when you discover that instead of being degraded and used by a footballing megastar, you’ve just been routinely pearl necklaced by some dickhead from Eastbourne, who has nothing better to do with his time than learn how to say “can I change at Baker Street?” in Portuguese.

Obviously I am pretty jealous of Jaime’s exploits, so here are some nice little anecdotes he had to share. I apologise in advance for their sheer vacancy however: “I was in a club in Manchester and these three girls just came up and said 'You are Ronaldo'. I didn't say that I was and I didn't say that I wasn't. We went back to a hotel and had a great night.” Son of a bitch!

He continued smugly: “I tell girls they are very beautiful in Portuguese and I sometimes put the accent on as well. But often girls don't really think about it as they are so convinced I'm him by the way I look. When they ask me questions as if I am Ronaldo it is always easy things like 'When did you come to Manchester?' or 'Were you there when David Beckham was there?'” Girls are so stupid aren’t they Jaime?

Finally, his eyes glazed over as he gushed: “They also tell me what they want to do to me sexually.” Unfortunately we have no photos or anything of these lucky ladies, but we really hope they all don’t look like the one on the left here, because that’s just too depressing…

Get Your Tits Out for Carew!

Anyone who spends much time around ‘Browns’ in East London will know that I’m down there most lunchtimes and every evening. You see, sipping flat lager surrounded by Eastern European strippers is just what happens to motivate me, and ensures I produce the best work possible. I seem to have found a kindred spirit in enormous Norwegian striker John Carew, who last week decided to warm up for Villa’s huge UEFA Cup tie with Ajax by visiting a lap dancing club hours before kick-off. He clearly knows as well as I do the serenity that comes from staring through the soulless openings that these girls call eyes, and who, in a moment of stress, hasn’t engaged in a bit of light-hearted thonging?

Well, apparently Martin O’Neill, because the Villa gaffer saw fit to fine Carew £100,000 after the incident. Carew did however prove his critics wrong, by returning to the side this weekend to bag a goal in his team’s demolition of Wigan at the JJB. This begs the question: should footballers be able to do whatever they want in their spare time so long as they perform on the pitch? I mean, short of shooting smack and knocking hookers about anyway.

Villa skipper, and STT favourite, Martin Laursen said: “He should not take one step inside that (lap-dancing) club because that was wrong and not what we do the day before a game. I was surprised he behaved like that, but I think he has realised that and I don't think he will ever do it again. I don't think he was there after midnight from what he has said. But he knew that he should have been with us at the hotel. It has nothing to do with his dedication to Aston Villa. He is a very serious footballer and he wants to do well. We don't want to be without him - not at all. He is so important to us. When he didn't play, the fans were singing for him. They love him and he is forgiven.”

Midfielder Stiliyan Petrov has a slightly different opinion though: “I think we should let him go out every night if he plays like that! We all motivate ourselves in different ways and maybe that is his way - he should go lap-dancing more often! We don't worry about each other's private lives - it is what is done on the pitch that matters.” Amen Stiliyan, amen… just try explaining that to my boss though. And girlfriend.

24 October, 2008

Wipe-Clean Cover Included

Anyone who knows me knows that I like girls dressed up as cheerleaders, especially when I’m throwing a shot in them, but also just generally in everyday life too. Unfortunately I am currently facing a civil action suit about my attempt to encourage this kind of uniform in the office, but when I get home, I now have an outlet for my perfectly normal and reasonable obsession.

You see, Nintendo often get slammed by so-called serious gamers (i.e. professional masturbators) for pandering to kids, but with a product like Allstar Cheerleader now out on the market, how can these accusations stand? What’s more ‘adult’ than having essentially a Wii-enabled porn movie? To quote from the actual developer’s website, the game uses “the Wii Remote and Nunchuk to perform dozens of real-world cheer and dance moves…(and) also supports the Wii Balance Board so you can get your entire body involved in the game.” Basically the way this works in my head is that the final showdown involves a cheerleader strutting around on screen and she goads you that you’ll never be able sleep with a girl as hot as her. Then, using the Wii motion-sensors, you prove to her that you’re up to the challenge of satisfying her, by treading water for a few minutes while she strips. If you shoot your load, you lose and have to start back at beginning and go through essentially the same exercise, only with a huge fat trannie, or a man or something. If you succeed, then somehow she climbs out of the TV and is programmed to do exactly what you say, and only open her mouth if…well, you get the picture.

Ok, so weird computerised sex conjecture aside, there is a reason why we’re covering this decidedly non-football-related topic, and that’s because the NFL is coming to LONDON, ENGERLAND this weekend for your viewing pleasure. And by that I mean, if you’re lucky to enough to have bagged tickets, you have the chance to get up close and personal with some actual cheerleaders at Wembley. Don’t let the big men in armour charging about on the field distract you, because it’s very rare to genuinely find girls in cheerleader outfits in real-life, so savour the moment fellows.

Having done some extensive research, our allegiance is firmly with the San Diego Chargers, because to be honest, about half of the Saints’ Saintsations are a bit (whisper it) ugly actually, but kudos to the photographer for insisting on cleavage shots. The Charger Girls on the other hand are all pretty fantastic, and I shall be concentrating all my energy on Sunday on breaking into their locker room and kidnapping one them for, you know, sex stuff.

Back to School

The Portsmouth football team might (restrainedly) be referred to as multi-cultural, and with team-mates as diverse as John Utaka and Jermain Defoe it’s little wonder than sometimes the cohesion on the pitch suffers. However, rather than just fall in line with British convention and let them all bond over 8 Stellas and a strip-club, ‘Arry Redknapp has sent 16 members of his foreign legion for English lessons. Yes, that’s 16 out of the 28 first-team squad apparently need to learn what is conservatively referred to as ‘football talk.’

Polyglot Solutions, a laugh-a-minute language school based in Southsea, has been working with Pompey to ensure players can communicate with each other amid the pressure of a match, using that childhood stalwart of Subbuteo as a descriptor. The centre is run by cunning linguist Dr Jay Kettle-Williams, and his wealth of experience predicts just eleven hours as the average time it takes to educate from ‘zero English’ to competent enough to be able to function on the field. Subbuteo is used to re-enact a whole game, so the relevant phrases come to life; he could’ve used Pro Evo, but apparently second generation games consoles are yet to reach the south coast. Dr Kettle-Williams explains, in case you’re still struggling: “We work in the target language, and make sure what they're learning fits their specific purposes.”

He continued, somewhat smugly: “There's no point in teaching them to say ‘my uncle's pen is in your auntie's bureau,’ or how to buy a first class train ticket. We need it to be real, so they can function on the field. There's no time there for hesitation, or stopping to think ‘what do they mean?’ We teach them these phrases and then, in the next game, they are alert and switched on, understanding instructions from the sidelines and playing better.” As such, the familiar expressions they shall be concentrating on are favourites like: “don’t let him turn you,” “man on,” and “you are fucking blind you bald-headed cunt.”

23 October, 2008

Esta Es Inglaterra!

Every six months or so this old chestnut rears its ugly head so I guess it’s probably time we gave it a bit of coverage. If you are a football fan with ears you have undoubtedly heard the conjecture that Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta and Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia are considering switching their international allegiance from Spain to England, after being repeatedly ignored by the national set-up over there in sunny Espana. Maybe because the Spanish have literally hundreds of better options in both positions, but more likely because the Premier League stars lack the shiny swimming shorts and long, lady-like hair required to make the cut.

Anyway, Arteta will be eligible to play for England in January 2010, after having lived in the UK for the necessary five years required to apply for residency, but the 26-year-old claims he still harbours hope of pulling on the shirt of his home nation: “At the moment the idea of playing for England hasn't even crossed my mind,” Arteta told Spanish sports daily Marca last week. “I have the desire to play with Spain’s senior side. The truth is that it is an idea that has come about through the fans here,” he concluded, referring to the petition cobbled together by some of Everton’s more drunk fans last season.

Yesterday newspapers however seem to think that the wheels might be more in motion now, quoting the Toffees’ midfielder as saying: “I've been here four years so that possibility (to play for England) will exist… I appreciate a lot the affection they (the Everton fans) are giving me and the campaign they are doing for me to play for England.” Not exactly conclusive, but a bit more positive I guess.

So how do we feel about this then? On the one hand, I find it hard to imagine anyone being prepared to represent a different country to their native one, especially at something as passionate as football, but I guess if they’ve been overlooked by their country and want to play for their adopted home, why not? Both are clearly decent players, who would bring something a bit different to the England set-up, so why wouldn’t the fans embrace them? And it isn’t like this kind of thing is unheard either. Think of the various famous players who have repatriated in recent memory: Zinedine Zidane, Deco, Patrick Viera, Bojan Krkic, Shaun Goater, Colin Kazim-Richards…

African Football in non-Violence / Corruption / Death-related Story Shock

Firstly, thanks to the boys over at Unprofessional Foul for the tip-off on this one, as the mystery as to what Benjani Mwaruwaru has been up to since leaving Portsmouth gets cleared up a touch. You see, rather than get bogged down in the routine of playing football, he’s decided instead to cook up a nice little sex scandal, by coupling with the Zimbabwe Head of Soccer. Think not of some bearded posh man though, because THIS IS AFRICA, and as such, they appoint people like shapely Henrietta Rushwaya to posts of authority like this.

Ms Rushwaya allegedly overruled a long-standing team policy of a pre-match curfew for the players, so that she could bed the star striker, just hours before Zimbabwe were dumped out of World Cup qualifying in the first round. She is apparently in the habit of sanctioning such trysts, meeting Benjani anywhere and any time just to get some loving: “When (Benjani) comes home, especially on a siesta from his overseas club, he camps at Rushwaya’s residence where they live literary [sic] like husband and wife… Rushwaya herself is known for being generous with her body and numerous scribes have had a go. She is a very kind boss whose generosity has won her friends especially in the media as most of her scandals are deliberately swept under the carpet,” said the surprisingly Sun-esque anonymous tipster.

In a previous life, i.e. last year, Rushwaya was arrested and subsequently appeared in court on allegations of theft involving $2400. Dammit; so close to writing a whole article about African football without tarring it with the brush of criminality.

21 October, 2008

Gameweek 8 – ‘Nothing but a Big Butt and a Smile’

Happy Tuesday folks and apologies for the lack of review last week. Events conspired against us, and to be fair it’s a miracle we haven’t missed a gameweek wrap-up before then. Anyway, Sunday morning saw the top-4 in place in the league table for the first time this season, and you could almost feel collective eyes roll around the country as things seem destined to never change. However, by the end of the day this order had already been disrupted, as one little team from Yorkshire dared to play with the big boys. Yes that’s right, Hull are third in the Premier League, above Arsenal and above European Champions Manchester United. Pinch yourselves chaps, because this is all too real.

Starting at the top then, and in the lunchtime kick-off on Saturday, Chelsea were pretty sublime despite missing 7 regular first-team starters, blowing Middlesbrough off the park without really breaking a sweat. You know something’s not right when Malouda and Kalou actually look decent, but pulling the strings in the middle, Belletti and Lampard proved a decent partnership. The only positive for Boro is that they can’t possibly be this bad again.

To keep pace, Manchester United needed a victory against a West Brom side who are enjoying their best ever start to a Premier League season. After an ominous (but goalless) first-half, United shifted effortlessly through the gears as Wayne Rooney continued his superb recent form. Him, Berbatov and Ronaldo eased through the Baggies defence as the second-half went on, each netting goals, before little Nani came on to finish off the rout in the 90th minute. Never fear Baggies fans though, you don’t have to face teams of this quality every week. On a personal note, I like how Ronaldo just doesn’t even celebrate or even break stride when he scores these days; if anything, he just looks a bit upset with himself.

Arsenal were able to stay in touch too, with a decent victory against an Everton side who seem completely clueless at the moment. Despite going behind early to an Osman poach, Arsenal were able to rally together and pushed on in the second-half to what was ultimately quite a comfortable victory. Robin van Persie still being fit is a good sign, verging on the miraculous given his glass-legged past, and Woolcott is clearly enjoying his football at the moment, but in the long run you have to wonder about the little hiccoughs the Gunners have already suffered.

There were three other games on Saturday, not including our ‘Game of the Week,’ and guess what: there wasn’t a single goal between them. As such (ever the professional), I didn’t bother watching the proper highlights, so not sure if anything exciting happened, but have pulled out a couple of discussion points below for your enjoyment.

Sunday then, and a chance for Hull to continue there incredible start to the season, hosting West Ham in what was a very winnable game for the Tigers. The Hammers started well in truth, with Carlton Cole and Herita Ilunga both missing decent chances to open the scoring, before the latter even put the ball in the net, albeit in a somewhat controversial manner. Hull bagged the only goal of the game just after the break, Turner heading home Dawson’s corner, but still West Ham threatened as Carlton Cole saw a great close-range effort rattle the bar.

And to the Britannia, for the so-called Super Sunday clash between the league’s bottom two. With two red cards, two penalties, numerous chances and eleven minutes added time, this game had basically everything. Stoke will be over the moon to have recorded their second win of the season, even if by the end the score-line flattered Tottenham somewhat. The Potters dominated much of the first-half, going ahead from the penalty spot after Gareth Bale chopped down Tom Soares, and saw red for his indiscretion. But after that, City eased off and allowed Spurs to play, standing static as Darren Bent ghosted in for the equalizer. Second half though belonged to Stoke, as Soares, Sidibe and substitute Ricardo Fuller shone in attack. In the dying minutes, Fuller hit both posts with his penalty after Soares was dragged down again, before second goal-scorer Rory Delap rattled the crossbar with the rebound.

Game of the Week – Liverpool vs Wigan

Finally then, Liverpool's impressive win against Wigan, coming from a goal down, takes this weekend’s crown. Rafa Benitez’s men continue to show that finally this season they might just have what it takes to genuinely contend the league title, twice coming from behind to seal the points at Anfield. Zaki put the visitors ahead early on, capitalizing on a stupid error from Daniel Agger, but the Dane made up for his mistake by driving forward almost straight after the restart to feed Kuyt for the equalizer. A quite magnificent volley from Zaki put Steve Bruce’s men ahead once again in the second-half, but as Liverpool poured forward a new-found resolve seemed to emanate from the men in red. Albert Reira’s netted his team’s second after a delightful dummy from Gerrard, before in the dying minutes Kuyt latched onto a Pennant cross to steal the game. Bruce will moan that Antonio Valencia’s suspect sending off ruined the game, and he has a point, but still kudos have to go to Liverpool.

Player of the Week – Wayne Rooney

There were a few contenders for this award this week, but Rooney's tireless work-rate and sheer talent drove his side forward as he was involved in everything his team created. His deadlock-breaking goal was pure class, but he looked dangerous all match, linking up nicely with Berbatov and causing fear in all the Baggies defenders. Best form of his career? Who am I to argue with that.

Goal of the Weekend – Amr Zaki

Any other weekend, Juliano Belletti’s long-range wonderstrike at the Riverside would take the biscuit, but Zaki’s second at Anfield was a quite sublime piece of execution and timing, precisely firing a scissors-kick into the bottom corner of Reina’s goal with the ball seemingly behind him. Can Wigan hold on to him? That remains to be seen…

Gypsy Curse(s) of the Week – Forwards wearing red and white stripes

Between them, Ricardo Fuller and Kieran Richardson hit the woodwork 6 times and had a goal disallowed. Richardson’s freekick struck the posts 3 times itself, which has to be some kind of record, while Fuller saw a penalty ricochet off both posts and out, before a beautifully curled long-range effort rattled the bar. Someone out there can clearly cast force-fields. If you’re reading Mr Jedi, can you cast one that keeps my boss trapped in his office all day so I can sack off work and just go down the pub?

Miss of the Week – Some angry Villa fan

While everyone else seems to be getting bent out of shape about linesman Phil Sharp being hit by a coin, someone has to take action against the Villa fan who threw the coin for not being able to hit a target as big as Harry Redknapp from all of ten yeards. What do they teach kids in schools these days? It’s all la-di-da rubbish like ‘French’ instead of good old-fashioned situational street fighting. I despair.

Job Vacancy of the Week – Spurs

It’s easy to take a pop at Spurs, and it’s even easier to take a pop at Juande Ramos. However, as much as I hate seeing managers fired off the back of a poor run of form and reactionary journalism, something is clearly wrong at White Hart Lane. This is their worst start to a season since the Titanic sank, and with difficult games up next against Bolton, Arsenal and Liverpool, Spurs could conceivably find themselves still without a win after more than ten games. Based on their performance yesterday at the Britannia, there is serious work to be done in literally every department, with actual football at the bottom of the list below professionalism, discipline, determination, confidence and teamwork.

Round the Bend

Looking at Marcus Bent, I find it hard to shake the feeling that it’s a miracle he doesn’t just fall over more often. He couldn’t really look more vacant if he tried, and if you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to see him interviewed, it’s like watching someone break their arm in slow motion. Anyway, he clearly does something right, because he’s moving in with busty girlfriend Gemma Atkinson this week. She was even quoted as saying: “I’d be more than happy to be with him forever.” Not bad for someone who can’t chew gum and walk in a straight line.

Having previously enjoyed the dubious honour of being plowed by Cristiano Ronaldo, Atkinson has clearly settled for mediocrity, despite being recently ranked number 6 in COED Magazine Online's 50 Sexiest WAGs of World Football. That’s got to count for something, even though I have no idea what COED Magazine is.

In other news, Ms Atkinson has a calender coming out soon and presumably she gets her cans out in it. Peep the shots for yourself here, before it’s too late and Marcus Bent bans her from appearing in public without his name tattooed on her face…or worse yet, her chest.

Fishing for Men

Demonstrating a miraculous level of insight into exactly what will successfully lure punters into a half-full stadium, Bolton Wanderers are to offer FREE BEER this weekend to the first 1,000 supporters through their doors. Not just that though, because also half-time food and drink costs will be heavily subsidised, with prices tumbling to £1.75 for beer or cider. If only other clubs would catch on and realise that these are the kind of things that will tempt fans back to live football, not criminally under-age cheerleaders or live performances from X-Factor rejects.

Bolton have apparently already taken measures to tempt back absent fans, after crowds plummeted by 11% last season, what with a relegation battle on their hands and all. As such, ticket prices behind both goals have been slashed to £15; youngsters can buy a season ticket for £49; and fans are being encouraged to bring banners and flags to the ground’s newly designated “singing end.” It seems like we are all so far down the road to corporate ruin to comment that these kind of ‘radical new measures’ should be the standard, but I guess kudos are still in order for bothering to actually doing something about it.

While I see no problem with attempting to bolster attendances by offering free beer, apparently some kill-joys have already starting kicking off about it. These crusaders are called anti-alcohol campaigners, people have are so genetically opposed to fun in any way that they stay up every night watching Robin Williams marathons just to ensure they are permanently in a shit mood. True story.

19 October, 2008

Kop that Shit

Apparently this has been doing the rounds for ages, but having only just seen it for myself on The Spoiler I felt the need to share the wealth with you good folks too. There’s no real point mincing words because I don’t know the back story to this, it’s just simply Ryan Babel wrecking the M.I.C with a hot freestyle for Dutch radio over classic Clipse beat Virginia.

Now obviously I don’t speak Dutch, so am only able to speculate about the actual lyrical content here, but honestly I don’t think this is too bad! A few English phrases did seep through though, including: “rapping is my hobby”; “premier league”; “representing”; “beef”; “dope”; “check it”; and of course the glue that holds any good rap song together, “motherfucker.”

If any of you cats out there speak Dutch, please please please let us know exactly what he’s saying, and confirm/deny suggestion that it’s in fact an update of N.W.A’s misogynist classic She Swallowed It.

Resistable Talent

Danielle Lloyd has led a great life: she’s slept with Jermain Defoe, which, for a woman, is about as good as it can really get. Anyway, a quick scan over her biography tells me that it hasn’t always been high-flying decadence for Ms Lloyd, she truly started from the bottom; Liverpool specifically. At the age of 16, she began modeling, and upon finishing school, she decided to pursue that dream dual career of modeling and beautician-ing, obviously specializing in massage. As she built up her modeling reputation (read: had implants), she also became a qualified nail technician. Now it’s not quite clear whether this is nails as in fingernails, or nails as in those-things-you-hit-with-a-hammer, but I like to assume it’s the latter.

Construction work found itself permanently on the back-burner in 2004 when Lloyd was crowned Miss England, with the Miss Great Britain title following just two years later after she systematically ‘eliminated’ Miss Wales and Miss Ireland (Miss Scotland was deflatingly considered “no competition”). Controversy reared its fire-damaged face shortly after the award however, when it came to light that nude pictures of her in a recent Playboy might’ve tipped the balance in her favour. Obviously this was outrageous; as far as I’m concerned Lloyd showed initiative, and the only thing holding the other contestants back from doing the same was something pathetic called ‘integrity.’ Amusingly there was another twist in the tale, when it was revealed that Lloyd had also had an affair with one of the pageant judges. You’ll never guess who that was though: Teddy Sheringham! Ridiculous isn’t it!

Completing her abridged biography, is a memorable appearance on the BBC’s Test the Nation, where she was asked “Who was Winston Churchill - a rapper, the US President, the Prime Minister or the King?” Lloyd, quite brilliantly dead-panned: “Wasn't he the first black president of America? There's a statue of him near me - that's black.” Sometimes I really despair.

Anway, snap to the present, because today Lloyd has launched her own modeling agency, snappily titled Irresistable Talent. To publicise this moment of history, Lloyd played it safe and just got all the crew together for a nice old fashioned lingerie shoot. As you’d expect, most of the girls are pretty busty but not-so-great from the neck up. Familiarise yourself with them now though, and expect to see em all hanging off the arm of an average footballer very, very soon…