New characters set for grimy, northern soap opera

Adam RickittThe long-running soap opera Newcastle United FC may have been ignored once again at the recent British Soap Awards but major storyline twists could see it finally in the shake-up next season.  Gruff northener Big Sam has taken on day-to-day management of the football club while flash American Mike Ashley has bought 41.6% of the club for £55m.

Former owner and life President Sir John Hall sounded the death knell for over-confident and unlikeable character Chairman Freddie Shepherd and his son, deputy Chairman Douglas Hall, when he admitted that the current stweardship had “probably run out of ideas”.

Viewing figures were up last week as Hall Snr praised Ashley for his determination.  “”He’s a very, very hard worker. He has built (his) businesses from a small room in his house when he was in his early twenties,” Hall Snr said as the camera cut to Shepherd and Hall Jnr binging on champagne and huge pyramids of Ferrero Rocher.

One new cast member at Newcastle United FC could be famous half-American actor David Beckham who is a target for producers when the current season of American drama LA Galaxy ends in January.  In that scenario a best actor gong would be a shoo-in for the half-American equivalent of Adam Rickett.

It seems to be all about Liverpool these days given how they finished third in the Premiership and won no trophies.  Every hack is writing stories about the new American owners and the huge cheques they will be writing for Rafa Benitez, one of which will be the purchase of an industrial-sized brush from B&Q.

“We have a deal nearly completed for Gonzalez and I have told Bolo that he can talk to other clubs,” Rafa puffed as he nudged their heels with the Weiler 44590 Contractor Broom.

While Jermaine Pennant seems to have been granted a stay of execution after continually comparing himself favourably to Jimmy Carter, one arse batted through the door will be Welsh dragon, Craig Bellamy.  But with all Premiership managers having Sky subscriptions and fully aware of his inconspicuous form, Rafa will have to lower his £12m valuation

As labouring, crab-like midfielder Neil Lennon trudged off after 66 minutes of a typically plodding and ineffective performance in the Scottish cup final against relegated Dunfermline Athletic, the Celtic fans booed their manager and chanted the name of their former captain.  But Gordon Strachan was proved right as central defender Gary Caldwell slotted in to midfield and did precisely very little to ensure Celtic won with a fortunate toe-poke five minutes from time from Jean-Joel Perrier Doumbe.

But, as he lined up desperate managers of Premiership also-rans to set his agent on, Lennon held no grudges.  “The manager just wanted some fresh legs on, I think,” he drawled as he edged sideways for no reason.

For Strachan it was another insipid performance that brings the number of consecutive insipid performances to 139.  “We’re a good side with a great squad of people,” Strachan insisted, possibly confusing the word “good” with the words “desperately inadequate and poorly managed”.

“I’m not a gambling man but I’d put money on Dunfermline coming straight back up next season,” he continued.  And to be quite honest with you the Celtic manager might find himself replaced by his Dunfermline counterpart Stephen Kenny in the next few seasons.  Kenny (35) only played four games in his League of Ireland career but has been managing for eight years bringing success to Longford Town, Bohemians and Derry City and was unlucky not to ressurect a dead-and-buried Dunfermline where he only took over in November.

Strachan is quite simply a dolt.

Some hack thinks that legendary Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs would consider sullying his legacy by nuzzling the hefty bosom of Martin Jol at Tottenham.

Rafa Benitez is chasing those top class players that he made such a fuss about by bidding £5m for Portsmouth ring-kisser, Matthew Taylor.  He kisses his wedding ring after scoring, you see.  And by scoring we mean on the football pitch.  And we mean scoring a goal.

Mediocre Aston Villa want to spend £8m on mediocre Nigel Reo-Coker.  West Ham will be delighted.

You’d think Tottenham would have learnt their lesson after the Mido and Ghaly debacles yet now they want Egyptian striker Mohamed Zidan.

Like when Julia Roberts replaced Kiefer Sutherland with Lyle Lovett, Sammy Lee wants to replace Kevin Nolan with Michael Brown.

“The pistol was knocked out of his mouth just as he drew it.  Something like that anyway.”  It’s not so much that Sky Sports Rob Palmer used an unncessary analogy to describe a tackle on Mahamadou Diarra that prevented him firing a shot at goal, it’s just that it makes no sense and is in desperately bad taste.


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