Category Archives: Humour

The Tim Sherwood Story

“Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” crowed Tim Sherwood – for Timdays on end – in to the ear of chairman Daniel Levy, swapping the phrase “are we there yet” for “can I have the job”. Like any overworked parent, Daniel finally acquiesced, giving Tim the keys to the kingdom, keys he previously entrusted to a well-dressed Portuguese man with fluffy hair.

Daniel Levy“Now, Timothy,” he said sternly, peering over his fashion-friendly
glasses, “don’t fuck it up.”

As an ambitious tyke with full confidence in his own abilities, the 44-year old Tim immediately began stamping his own mark on the team, abandoning tactics and finding as many players as possible who the previous manager did not like.

“Hello, Ade? I’m going to put you in the team on Sunday. I Adebayorexpect a performance.”
“No problem, boss. You’ll get 100% from me. But no more than that, it should be noted.”
“That’s fine. Now you’re not going to score a couple in your first game and then disappear for the next three games, are you?”
“Noooo. No. Probably not.”

Tim was nothing if not wily. You don’t get to the position he was in without having full confidence in your abilities as well as saying and doing the right things at the right time. So with that in mind he immediately set about trying to win the fans over by doing opposite things to the previous bloke that they did not like.

“Right, lads,” he said to some lads who were nearby. “We’re going to shake things up a bit.”
“Great! The club needs some innovative ideas to get us out of this slump. What have you got in mind?”
“We’re going 4-4-2 with the emphasis on attack.” Eriksen
“That could work, Tim. This is great. How will Eriksen play in this 4-4-2? Will you play him wide like how Man City play their creative players sometimes?”
“No, in the center.”
“Ok…he’s not really got defensive qualities so you’ll probably play him with a solid defensive midfielder, yeah?”
“Well I thought Dembele given how he’s quite athletic and can run a lot.”
“Hmmm, well we’ll give you a pass on that one, barely. So, say he’s not available. Would you then put Capoue in?”
“Not at all. He’s not great at attacking. I only know one way to play. Attack. That’s the way to play the game. So I’d put Holtby in alongside Eriksen.”

With the players on board and the lack of tactics decided, Tim knew he had one more area to focus on – public relations. Although he had full confidence in his abilities, he knew he needed advice from a very smart manager. He flipped through his rolodex/contacts app and called up a very popular manager, a(n FA Cup) winner, a former Spurs hero, a man who had recently suffered relegation and won four out of his last twelve games.

“‘Ello ‘Arry.”
“Alright, mate! How’s it going? Heard about the gig. First smart decision Daniel has made since that time he allowed me to sign Ryan Nelsen and Louis Saha. Better off with those terrific, honest, top, top lads than your fancy dan Powlinos and Ceaușescus.”
“As you know ‘Arry I’m new to this. Can you give me a few tips on how to cope with the media?”
“Sure, sure. First of all, after a negative result, talk about how the lads gave you 100% – even Ade – and you couldn’t ask for anything more.  Then talk about the injuries. Throw in a “bare bones” reference and always have a list of unavailable players that you can rattle off. You can throw in a few extra names at the end like youth players or ‘Robbie’. No one’s going to try and figure out who you’re talking about.”
“Anything else?”
Arry in Car
“Make sure the electrics on your car are working good. You need to be able to roll the window down on 31st of January and talk about how there’s nothing doing out there and that you worked ever so hard to bring in players but ultimately clubs don’t want to let ’em go.”
“What about communicating the improvement I bring to the club?”
“Absolutely. Take whatever statistics you can and manipulate them in a bid to show how important you are to the club. For example, if you’re 8 points clear of the bottom three now but 12 points clear in three months, talk about how you’ve lifted the club away from the relegation zone. If you’re in eighth position now and no lower than that in May, you can tell everyone how Spurs were mid-table when you come in and you brought them in to contention. I’m not as stupid as I looks, Tim. Even though I can’t read very well and I writes like a child.”

Tim’s final stop was to see Franco Baldini, the man who became the new Damien Comolli, who was the new Frank Arnesen, who was the new David Pleat.

“Hello, Tim,” Baldini said, probably in an Italian accent.Baldini
“Don’t ‘hello, Tim’ me,” responded the indignant manager. “What we gonna do about all that tripe you bought in the summer?”
“Like who?”
“Chadli.”
“He’s good.”
“No he’s not. He’s good in Holland. And what about this Soldado chap? Bloody hell. He couldn’t hit a barndoor with a…ball”
“He’ll come good. He scored many times in the Spanish league,” insisted Franco.
“And Chiriches. It’s like a Ramon Vega tribute act,” Sherwood complained
“Anything else?”
“Lamela? He’s worth about a third of what Bale was.”
“Which is actually factually correct, Tim.”
“Look, all I’m saying is that these lads are no better than what we had.”
“And what do you propose?”
“We bring in Jamie Redknapp. As a coach.”

Jamie

And with that, Tim sauntered down to the training pitch to work on no tactics.

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Independence, Limited

More hate being directed Spurs way in recent days with the keyboard warriors taking to their weapon of choice to berate Spurs (in general) and Gareth Bale (in particular).

Bale’s crimes are to
(a) be a bit of a diver (true)
(b) look like a chimp (yeah, classy commentary there, ironically, from neanderthals)
(c) complain about Charlie Adam’s most recent foul and then have the audacity to not be injured
(d) not be playing in the Olympics

Taking the last point as the catalyst for this blog, it was collectively agreed at the time by Spurs and the FA that Gareth Bale would not play in the Olympics due to scan results showing evidence of a back injury. Bale made a “quicker than expected” recovery and has gone on to feature prominently in Spurs’ American tour. Now Bale is the target of taunts by OTF and even Sepp Blatter, the President of FIFA, who thinks he should be banned from playing for Spurs while the Olympic tournament is on.

No one knows the full truth of the situation except the medics and Bale himself. If Bale did have a niggling injury (which it seems pretty certain he did or else the FA medical team would have rejected Spurs’ claims) then why

would he be included? It’s not his fault that his body recovered earlier than expected. What should he do in these circumstances? Not prepare for the new season with Spurs? Sit it out at Spurs Lodge with Luka Modric, Steven Pienaar, and Goran Bunjevcevic?

But leaving all that aside, why should GB play for Team GB anyway? Why should any player be under an obligation to play for an Olympic team – or indeed any international team? And why would fans rebuke them for declaring no alleigance to the country they were born in?

I actually quite admire players who aren’t particularly bothered about playing for their country, refusing to be swayed by the ingrained concepts of “pride” and “patriotism”. Playing for your country is apparently “the greatest honour” (second only courtesy of the rent-a-quote merchants to “captaining your country”).

But why is that perceived to be the case?

A nation is made up of people who just happen to be born within that nation’s borders. They didn’t actually do anything to become “Danish”, “American” or “British”. It’s just an inherited birthright, not a conscious career decision. There’s no achievement in being a certain nationality. It’s where you are from, not who or what you are. We’re not talking about showing hostility towards the issuer of your passport or committing some treasonous act.  We’re just talking about indifference – a perfectly valid state of being that perhaps everyone should be tolerant of.

Independent has no flag. Because it is independent of identity. It is anational.

But let’s go one step further. Why should we be forced to represent the country of our birth? Why can’t we choose to be “Independent” – a term for players who wish to have no nationalistic affilitation, who want to play without borders.

You can vote independent rather than a major party in elections. If you don’t beleive in a supernatural deity you can be an atheist. You are asexual if you are not straight or gay. If you don’t like music you can listen to rap. There are examples everywhere.

A team of Independents could feature Stephen Ireland, Wes Brown, Ben Foster, Jason Koumas – and perhaps some good players too. They could determine when and where they play by consensus, not be dictated to by FIFA’s money-hungry agenda. They could appoint the manager, ensure that Kris Boyd would commit by not giving the job to George Burley. And with full independent control over their lack of national affiliation, they could do more important things during international weekends like spend time with their families and their children.

This guy had no nationality either.

If it was indifference rather than injury that stopped Gareth Bale playing for Great Britain this summer then the only crime he committed was not being up front with us. And, if he had, then the only thing he would have deserved was our understanding, not our vitriol.

O’Neill ready to stand up to Liverpool again

Martin O’Neill has said he will not take a Liverpool bid for his services lying down.  The Irishman was named as 6/4 favourite for the manager’s role at Anfield after Rafa Benitez left by mutual consent on Thursday.

But after rebuffing repeated attempts by Liverpool to sign his captain Gareth Barry in 2008 and 2009, O’Neill said he is once again ready to stand firm.

“I’ve heard the rumours but as of yet there has been no bid – and none will be welcomed either,” he said.  “I have a contract at this club and remain an important part of the management team.”

Barry eventually left for Manchester City in 2009 for a sum of £12m – £8m less than the £20m that Villa had held out for twelve months earlier.

“I haven’t spoken to myself about it yet as I’m currently on holidays.  But as soon as I manage to reach me I will be telling myself how much I am wanted at this club.”

Suggestive headlines

Keane drills Ipswich squad

Well he has form.

Driller Killer

Some transfer targets for ‘Arry

Hey ‘Arry, rather than chuck away £25m on Defoe and Palacios, why not bid for these guys?

Burnley FC First Team Squad

Burnley FC First Team Squad

Even this one would be an improvement.

Striiiiker!

Don’t worry if you can’t afford to buy the entire first team squad – we can always bargain with any old tat we have lying around.

Jumble sale - everything must go.

Jumble sale - everything must go.

TevezTubby is a bit of a Dipsy

TEVEZTUBBY IS A BIT OF A DIPSY
No one likes footballers, that’s for sure.  Bling, roastings, tinted windows – the list of reasons to loathe our heroes goes on and on.  But Carlos TevezTubby has thrown this perception on its head.  The man, who has been linked away from West Ham since the day he signed for them, has made a promise…

“Through my backers, I have given my word to Mr Ferguson. They have told him I will be at Manchester United next season and once I make a promise I don’t go back on it,” he said, ignoring the fact that a contract is a form of promise.

Meanwhile West Ham fans might be forgiven for feeling somewhat puzzled that the player is not directing his undivided loyalty to the management, fans and club a who pay his wages.

Realising that perhaps tens of thousands of local ‘Ammers may not be too enamoured (en-‘Ammered?) with his behaviour, he quickly rationalised how unreasonable such people would be: “I hope the fans understand. I had two very good offers from foreign clubs in January but I refused because I had unfinished business.  It would have been easy to move on, but I couldn’t leave the club and the fans in that predicament.”

Indeed Chubbs has shown an extreme level of loyalty when rumours of moves to Real Madrid (“I would like to play at Real Madrid”) and Inter (“There is a possibility that I will wear the Nerazzurri colours next season”) have surfaced.

“It will be an emotional and special day whenever I return to play them,” he said of West Ham while Paul Ince chuckled in the background.

BELLEND MAKES IT SEVEN-IN-SEVEN
Speaking of unlikeable footballers, Craig Bellamy and Nigel Reo-Coker have conned two mid-table sides in to shelling out for their high-on-ego, low-on-class talents.  Despite only nine goals in a disappointing season, Bellamy’s market value increased in the last twelve months while Reo-Coker sulked around the West Ham midfield with all the presence of a player who started to believe his own hype.

“I do believe I was made a scapegoat. If people are saying I’ve been obnoxious, arrogant, I do feel I’ve been hung out to dry,” he blubbed after his £7.5m move.  “I’m very focused in my ambitions. I know what I want to do,” he continued, unwittingly reminding us all of how he pouted last season after being denied a move to a top-four club.

Bellamy, who will play for his seventh club in seven years, has now accumulated transfer fees totalling £31m making John Hartson seem like a bargain.  However West Ham deny that the deal is finalised.

“The deal has been delayed due to a private contractual issue between Craig Bellamy and Liverpool,” a West Ham source said, indicating that Bellamy, already a multi-millionaire is looking for one of those loyalty bonuses for doing nothing other than packing a suitcase.  At least Reo-Coker had the decency to forego the half-mil he was due for the same task.

CARRA NO FAN OF DISNEYLAND

Jamie CarragherYou do have to feel somewhat sorry for Jamie “Carra” Carragher.  Carra – the Steve Bruce of Scouseland (i.e. he’s not really that good but somehow manages to play well all the time) – has struggled to get a game for England over the last decade due to an absence of Disney cartoon characters in the England squad.

“There are a number of reasons why I’ve been thinking about this,” he said to a local hack who had last nights kebab running down his shirt.  “Given my form for Liverpool, I genuinely thought [playing] was possible, but over the last 12 months players like Jonathan Woodgate and Ledley King have played there ahead of me. I can’t really argue with that because they’re top drawer players. It’s not as if they’re Mickey Mouse defenders.”

As Mickey Mouse stomped his feet indignantly, allowing Pluto and Donald Duck to play a neat one-two around him, Carra continued to bore with his rationale.  “It was particularly disappointing for me when Rio was out against Estonia and I wasn’t picked.  Like any player I thought I deserved to play, but not doing so made the situation crystal clear to me.”

Some players just aren’t England material and Carra – like Bruce before him – doesn’t have the athletic build that preferred international central defenders seem to.  Mind you with Richard Dunne and Paul McShane starring for Ireland, perhaps he should have done some research on his Irish roots a decade ago.  Begorrah!

+++ TIGHT SHORTS +++
To avoid the sack at Real Madrid, new coach Bernd Schuster will have to better the sacked Fabio Capello’s record of two league titles in two seasons.

Roy Keane must have grimaced particularly threatningly at George Burley as the Southampton manager has accepted his £3m offer for Chris Baird months after turning down Fulham’s “derisory” offer of £2.5m.

Nicolas Anekla claims he won’t be continuing his vagabond professional career by agreeing to stay at Bolton for another year.  Arsenal obviously weren’t interested then.

Chelsea might be signing up Florent Malouda but Arjen Robben still fancies the Spanishness of Real Madrid.

Steve McClaren will try to convince Jamie “Carra” Carragher that 3 minutes at left back away to Armenia is well worth the four hour flight.

+++ TWAT OF THE DAY +++
“There is no agreement with West Ham United for Carlos Tevez to leave the club and we expect him to return in time for next season’s preparations.  No decision on his future can be reached without the agreement of West Ham United.”  West Ham owner Eggert Magnusson still thinks that physically tearing up a contract is akin to mutually cancelling it.  Tevez’ “owner” Kia Joorabchain tends to disagree.  Head in the sand, Eggert?

To Hull and Back

TO HULL AND BACK
As the flood waters rose and then disappeared down the drains again, they left behind a little surprise package in Hull – none other than former Middlesbrough legend, Juninho.

“Juninho was very impressed … and it’s obvious that Hull are gearing up to get into the Premier League,” bleated his agent Jonathan Hassall side-stepping any mention of “drains”, “Celtic” and “career” in the same sentence.

With the little Brazilian having played in the grimy north-east already, Hull chairman Paul Duffen didn’t believe he had to overwhelm him too much with spin. “Paul was saying that it’s the seventh biggest city in England,” the easily-impressed Hassall remarked while at the same time being wowed by a man’s ability to put on a hat.

Juninho – who signed three times for Middlesbrough – joined world class talents like Emerson and Fabrizio Ravanelli at the Riverside. This time he’ll be lining up with Bryan Hughes and Richard Garcia. But at least he’ll be doing it in the seventh biggest city in England.

BOREDOM REIGNS AT CHELZZZZZEA
Alex Ferguson’s transfer policy – which seemingly involves using the search filter on Football Manager to list any players whose transfer value is £20m and over – has dominated the summer back pages, leaving Jose Mourinho with little to do than play gin rummy with his free transfer signings Tal Ben Haim, Claudio Pizarro and Steve Sidwell and look forward to the arrival of (free transfer) Alex.

But now it looks like they will finally spend some money on Lyon winger Florent Malouda. About £14m of it on a player who is probably marginally better than Luis Boa Morte.

“We’ve been in dialogue with Lyon and it would be nice to conclude a deal before going to Los Angeles next week,” the likeable Peter Kenyon waffled, sounding almost as bored as Roman Abramovich clearly is.

Even Jose sounds bored. “Nobody from the board has said ‘Jose, you have to only bring in players on a Bosmans because we have no money to spend’,” he told reporters after a fitful snooze in front of a bank of microphones.

On Sidwell: “He is a player I like. He is a player with the mentality which is very welcome in our dressing room and our philosophy. He is an English player with English mentality completely adapted to the Prem…zzzzzzzzz”

MANCHESTER CITY RENOVATION PLAN
 Sven Goran-My-Son Eriksson If you thought there was a lackadaisical air at Stamford Bridge then throw a duvet over Eastlands. Sven Goran-My-Son Eriksson took charge of his first Manchester City training session before he even got the managers job. Having seen what was on offer he subsequently asked potential new owner Thaksin Shinawatra to buy him a whole new team.

Having sent Nicky Weaver packing to the Championship and seen the Facetious Four of Corradi, Samaras, Vassell and Dickov in action, the excitable Eriksson must be wondering why he’s set himself up for another fall. It sounds like it’s going to be a disaster.

But fear not!

In a repeat of the classic Graham Taylor/Phil “Yes, boss” Neal partnership, Tord Grip is back! Expect classic quotes like “we’re working on Plan B now – but just how that plan looks, I don’t really know.”

Thank God.

+++ TIGHT SHORTS +++
Xavi Alonso’s brother Mikel is to have a trial with relegation candidates Bolton.

Chris Sutton has suspiciously announced his retirement after suffering blurred vision. It sounds a bit like a player who announces his international retirement five minutes after a manager has left him out of a squad.

Self-professed West Ham legend Nigel Reo-Coker is worth £8.5m to Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill probably in the same way that Stilian Petrov was worth £6.5m.

Chris Coleman is the manager of Real Sociedad. We know it happened days ago but it still seems a bit mental.

Wigan Athletic Donkey Paddock is ready to take in two further mules in the form of West Ham’s Marlon Harewood and Fulham pacifist Michael Brown.

+++ TWAT OF THE DAY +++
“I’ve never played in Spain and never will. This is my last contract.” Self-important, sulking tosser Thierry Henry predicts the future with 0% accuracy last summer.