Headlines

  • Monday, 29 November 2010

    Vidiprinter

    Superceded method of informing punters of final scores, as seen on erstwhile BBC flagship Grandstand. You know your team had copped a right gubbing if the vidiprinter spelled out the number of goals you'd conceded, e.g. Amazing Rovers 7 (SEVEN), Shitbox Town 0.

    Xavi

    Spanish midfielder who, it is rumoured, once misplaced a pass. Unfortunately, no documentary evidence for this exists, so we must conclude that it never happened.

    Valdes, Victor

    Spanish flap merchant. Plays for Barcelona where he has the accolade of being the best paid football spectator in the world.

    Sherwood, Tim

    Former Blackburn and Spurs midfielder about whom nobody has (to date) made a film.

    Sunday, 28 November 2010

    Eredivisie

    Dutch top flight. Hegemony. Since it's formation in 1956, Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV have won all bar three championships (to end of 2010). AZ won it in 1981 and 2009, FC Twente in 2010.

    Athletic Bilbao

    Basque club that still adheres to a Basques-only policy, even if it has been watered down to the point where they'll bus in promising youngsters at an early age and claim they're Basque on residency grounds. Basically, the more hardcore footballing version of Yorkshire CCC. One overseas player* has played for the club, French Basque Bixente Lizarazu. They were one of the few clubs to eschew shirt sponsorship until financial pressures led to them taking €2m in 2008 for a three-year deal from an oil company. One of only three clubs never relegated from the Spanish top flight (see also Barcelona and Real Madrid).
    Forced to change the name to Atlético under Franco as non-Spanish language was suppressed, but now only referred to as that by idiots.

    * - Athletic changed what they meant by Basque in the early 2000s and so long as you lived in the area from a young age, that was deemed OK. Hence they bussed in decent talent to the San Mamés academy from all around and they now have Venezuelan centre-half Fernando Amorebieta on the books.

    Zidane, Zinedine

    Ridiculously talented Frenchman. Scored twice in the 1998 World Cup final, once in the 2006 final in which he was also sent off for headbutting Marco Materazzi. Hey, we've all wanted to do it.
    Roy Hodgson wanted to sign a young Zidane for Blackburn, but was turned down by his chairman Jack Walker with the excuse "we've got Tim Sherwood". Tim Sherwood never had a film made of him. Zidane has.

    Naive

    Lazy punditry term descriptive of all African defenders and goalkeepers.

    Wednesday, 24 November 2010

    Orange

    1. Colour of the ball to be used in snowy conditions. Experiment to use an orange ball throughout the 2010/11 FA Cup was abandoned in the first round replays after it was clear that, unless it was snowing, orange balls are incredibly hard to see.

    2. Colour of the Dutch national team's shirts, hence the nickname 'Oranje'. Fans are also easily identifiable by a proliferation of orange outerwear, whether it's snowing or not.

    3. Traditional foodstuff taken on board at half-time, hence the interval also being known as 'oranges'. Rodney Marsh's England career was (allegedly) cut short when Alf Ramsay told him to give his all for 45 minutes 'because I'm going to pull you off at half time'. Marsh's fateful response: 'Fucking hell boss. All we get at [Manchester] City is a cup of tea and an orange'.

    Moreton-in-the-Marsh

    Town in which Newport County were forced to play home games by the FAW after reforming. Moreton is a mere 80 miles from Newport.

    Ipswich Town

    Former East Anglian powerhouse who rose to prominence under the stewardship of Bobby Robson. Now known as Sunderland Reserves.

    Wales

    Principality whose elite footballing talent all suddenly get colds when they hear the words 'international friendly'. See also Giggs, Ryan.

    Sunday, 21 November 2010

    Total Football

    The reason people love the Dutch. Invented by Rinus Michels and played by the likes of Johan Cruyff, Jan Neeskens, Johnny Rep, Ruud Krol, the van de Kerkhof brothers, Total Football is the sort of liberal, hippy nonsense only 1970s Holland could have produced. 'Position' was merely the place you found yourself in at any given time rather than your exact role in life and players moved freely around the field, confusing the bejaysus out of the opposition. Jeez, they were good and archive footage will still get football purists salivating, but they never translated this revolutionary style of play - with markers utterly clueless as to whom to pick up - into trophies, losing both the 1974 and '78 World Cup finals.

    The memory of those much-loved Dutch sides has now been crapped all over by the antics of Mark van Bommel and Nigel de Jong.

    van Basten, Marco

    Prolific Dutch striker whose career was cut short by serious knee injury. Essentially finished by the age of 24, but will at least be forever remembered for that volley in the 1988 European Championship final. Oh what might have been.

    van Bommel, Mark

    The most cynical, fouling git the world has ever seen. When not booting opponents in the air, raking his studs down their thighs or having little digs off the ball, he spends his time trying to referee the game.

    The antithesis of Dutch football.

    Newcastle United

    Club based in north-eastern England that hasn't won anything since God was a lad. There's a contractual obligation that says whenever they're on TV, there has to be at least five close-ups of shirtless fat bloke with NUFC tattoos about his person.

    Sky

    1. Place where ball spends most of the time when Blackburn are playing.

    2. English football's paymaster general. Broadcaster which propagates the myth that football began in 1992 and that Wimbledon and Milton Keynes are the same football club.

    Shearer, Alan

    One-time prolific goal scorer turned unfeasibly dull pundit. Famously celebrated Premiership win with Blackburn by creosoting a fence. Doesn't know who Hatem Ben Arfa is.

    X-rated

    Tabloidese for a horror tackle. See also Henry, Karl.

    Saturday, 13 November 2010

    Headbutt

    The best way to end your involvement in a World Cup final and, indeed, professional football as a whole. See also Zidane, Zinedine.

    Wolf, Wolfgang

    German manager and former Kaiserslautern defender who, in a classic case of nominative determinism, had his best spell in management with Wolfsburg.

    Linesman

    Match official who runs the line, more latterly known as assistant referee. The high point of a linesman's weekend is picking up his £50 plus expenses after being covered in phlegm by players on six-figure sums per week who bawl at the merry flag waver as they reckon they should have had a throw-in.

    Own goal

    The act of putting the ball into your own net. See also Sinclair, Frank and Traore, Djimi.

    Young Boys

    Sniggersome Berne-based side who used to play in the equally amusing Wankdorf stadium. Sadly, that ground has now been redeveloped into the Stade de Suisse, but the completion of works did lead to the immortal headline 'Young Boys in Wankdorf erection relief'. Tee hee hee indeed.

    Winger

    Player who operates in wide areas. The term is seemingly impossible to use without the prefix 'tricky'.

    Quiet word

    What referees have with big name players when they really ought to be booking them.

    Chamakh, Marouane

    Moroccan striker who would be an absolute world beater if he scored as many goals as come-and-get-me pleas he issues.

    Bendtner, Nicklas

    Goal-shy Danish striker. Neither as good nor as indispensable as he thinks he is.

    Forlan, Diego

    Prolific Uruguayan striker who has scored an absolute truckload of goals wherever he's been. That is excepting an unhappy spell at Manchester United which leads the mainstream British media to conclude that he's rubbish. They are wrong.

    Sunday, 7 November 2010

    World Cup

    Quadrennial jamboree of rigged elections, ticket touting, displacement of natives, suspect building contracts, white elephant stadia with a footballing theme.

    Uruguay

    Small, South American nation sandwiched between Argentina and Brazil capable of combining sublime football with extreme violence. Won two of the first four World Cups, the last of those in 1950. Don't keep crapping on about it like the English though.

    England

    Won something once, not that anyone keeps harping on about it some 40-odd years later.

    Juventus

    Turin-based Serie A side reliant on OAPs (see also del Piero, Alessandro) and floppy, blonde haired Eastern Europeans (see also Nedved, Pavel and Krasic, Milos).
    Owned by Fiat and about as reliable. Nicknamed the Old Lady. Big massive cheats (see also Calciopoli)

    Possibly the most mispronounced football club name in history (see also Keegan, Kevin)

    Middlesbrough

    Experiment to see just how well the Old Firm would do if accepted into the English leagues.

    ASBO

    Pre-requisite for any player wishing to join Newcastle United.

    Since superceded by a French passport.

    Attackers

    Players deployed with the specific intention of putting the round, bally thing in the back of the white, netty thing. Opinion is divided on whether such players are, strictly speaking, necessary: Craig Levein and Alain Casanova think they're not, everyone else thinks they are.

    Plea, Come and get me

    Announcement issued by agent of a player agitating for a move away from his current club. See also Chamakh, Marouane.

    Ridsdale, Peter

    Inventor of a new branch of economics, Ridsdalian Economic Theory, which involves selling your windows in order to pay the window cleaner.

    Barry, Gareth

    Formerly decent midfielder now morphed into England's answer to Mark van Bommel.

    Knees

    1. Important joints which are generally considered vital for players of the beautiful game but lack of which never hindered Andy Booth or John Carew. Owen Hargreaves has knees made of biscuits.

    2. What Mark van Bommel will thump in the back of your thigh early doors to 'let you know he's there'.

    Redknapp, Harry

    1. Britain's leading Droopy impersonator.

    2. Man seen as some to be the answer to all of English football's woes, those people mainly being his son and his nephew.

    3. Serial wrecker of football clubs. One could be counted as unfortunate. Two, unlucky. But four? See also AFC Bournemouth, West Ham, Portsmouth, Southampton.

    Webb, Howard

    Referee, policeman, Yorkshireman. Only referee in the world that thinks kicking someone in the heart warrants only a caution. See de Jong, Nigel.

    Gil, Jésus

    Late president of Atlético Madrid. Sacked more managers than you've had hot breakfasts. As you can't defame the dead, it's safe here to call him a money laundering crook with an ego the size of a large central African republic.

    Tactics Truck

    The natural habitat of crap pundits like Andy Townsend.

    Flap merchant

    Term descriptive of goalkeepers who like to wave at crosses as they sail over their head. Formerly the reserve of South Americans, but now largely applicable to Eastern Europeans. See also Gomes, Heurelho; Kuszczak, Tomas.

    Wenger, Arsene

    Successful manager of Arsenal FC, who suffers from a debilitating blindness during matches, particularly if one of his players dives to win a penalty or gets sent off for a two-footed lunge. Frequently accuses teams that beat him of being overly physical, to which everyone else's response is 'just bloody deal with it then'

    Mido

    Athletic and skillful, Egyptian striker Mido should be a top player. And he is, when he fancies it. Unfortunately he is also the owner of a colossal ego, which at least partly explains the reason why, at age 27, he is back for his second spell at Ajax, his breakthrough club nine years ago, and his tenth different club overall. Has fallen out with practically every club he's ever worked with - destined to enter the lexicon as a bigheaded prima donna: "Oh no Arsene, I wouldn't go near him - he's a bit Mido"

    Ibrahimovic, Zlatan

    Tall Swedish striker currently on loan at AC Milan from Barcelona, who has a propensity to talk out of turn and fall out with coaches. Moved to Barcelona from Internazionale in the summer of 2009 in a deal with took Samuel Eto'o (and forty million quid) in the opposite direction, and then promptly decided his Big Break wasn't worth the effort and agitated for a move back to Italy. Clearly not as highly thought of by the top coaches (Guardiola, Capello, Mourinho) as he clearly is by himself, he appears destined to stand out as a player who never quite delivered on his potential, particularly in big games. Also one of the laziest bastards ever to step onto a football pitch.

    Domenech, Raymond

    Clueless ex-coach of the France national side, whose reign was characterised by bitter infighting within the team and culminated in the squad effectively going on strike during the 2010 World Cup, led by captain Patrice Evra. Unsurprisingly he left soon afterwards, and his combination of eccentric behaviour, baffling team selections and awful quality of football means most right-thinking club boards would sooner employ Geert Wilders as their next manager before him.

    Zamparini, Mauricio

    Barmy owner of Serie A team Palermo, who goes through managers like pairs of primark trainers (although recently has curtailed this habit, perhaps he's on some sort of anti-depressant) and also once threatened to cut off his players' testicles and serve it to them as a salad garnish if they failed to win a match. Has frequently been accused of mafia links although no proof has ever been produced. Nevertheless, appears to have brought the best out of the Sicilian club which has one of the better scouting networks in the league, particularly in South America.

    De Jong, Nigel

    Dutch black belt in Karate and part-time Manchester City footballer. Enjoys kicking people. In the heart.