31 July, 2008

Public Enemy No. 1

So finally we have a few interesting transfers to talk about. Yay! Robbie Keane going to Liverpool was perhaps unexpected, but I think a good bit of business for both clubs. With Torres, Keane could form a lethal partnership, offering the kind of interplay that people expected between the sublime Spaniard and Dirk Kuyt last year. For Spurs though, £19million is an incredible amount of money for a player in his late-20s, and if they secure the services of ace Russian pair Roman Pavlyuchenko and Andrei Arshavin, the former North London hero will probably not be missed.

Definitely joining Ramos’ reinvented Tottenham though is ex-Arsenal midfielder David Bentley, a man who appeared in most sports writers’ team of the season last year. Amusingly the press has warned him that he is “risking the wrath of all Gunners fans” (The Sun) by becoming just the fifth player to cross the divide to Tottenham. Have these reporters ever actually met an Arsenal fan? I hardly think some foreign businessman with a direct-debit lifetime debenture will either know where Tottenham is or ultimately give a shit, but hey ho. One of Bentley’s closest pals Rohan Ricketts, who also made the switch across the battlelines in 2002, said: “Of course, Arsenal fans won’t like it at all and I’m sure that when he goes back to the Emirates they’ll give him a really rough time. I remember when I first went back to Arsenal with Spurs. The fans booed me every time I touched the ball and I copped some really bad flak because the clubs are such rivals.” Well that’s a start I guess Arsenal fans; booing is the first step towards singing, and you never know, one day you might actually have an atmosphere at The New Library.

Ricketts continued: “But at the end of the day, the club didn’t want him so I’m sure he won’t care. Now he’s good enough to play for Arsenal but it’s their own fault for letting him go. It’s a great move for him because Spurs is a club with a bit more potential than Blackburn. They will be pushing for a Champions League spot, which is what a player like David Bentley needs.” Arsenal fans however are consoling themselves with a considerable chunk of change from the deal in the form of a sell-on clause, meaning they will pocket £7m of the fee from Blackburn. Some moron that Sky Sports dug out of the woodwork dropped this delightfully blinkered lie: “The truth is they have signed a bland player with no chance of improving and Tottenham have effectively paid for Aaron Ramsey. Thanks very much.” Just a note for Gunners fans here: it’s because of comments like this that everyone hates you.

Anyway, enough Arsenal-baiting. We thought it might be interesting at this time to give all you lovely people a little rundown of some of the other players over the years that have crossed the North London divide. History books at the ready folks…

The previous four guys who played for Arsenal before moving to Tottenham:

Jimmy Brain

Arsenal 1924-32 (Apps 232, Goals 139)
Tottenham 1931-35 (Apps 34, Goals 10)
Brain was a prolific striker throughout his career, and was Arsenal’s top scorer four seasons in a row, from 1924-25 to 1928-29. The highlight of this golden period was 39 goals in the 1925-26 season, which spectacularly included four hat tricks. Brain was the first Gunner to score 100 goals for the club, and still lies joint-fifth in the all-time Arsenal goal-scorers list.

Laurie Brown

Arsenal 1961-64 (Apps 109, Goals 2)
Tottenham 1964-66 (Apps 65, Goals 3)
Initially beginning his career as a centre-forward, Brown found his true calling as a central defender after signing for Arsenal from Northampton Town. He was a regular for two seasons at Arsenal before making the switch directly to Spurs and subsequently becoming a bit rubbish.

David Jenkins

Arsenal 1966-68 (Apps 25, Goals 9)
Tottenham 1968-70 (Apps 17, Goals 2)
Jenkins was a teenage prodigy who came up through the ranks at Highbury as a highly-promising striker before proving himself to actually be quite underwhelming, and ultimately moving to Spurs in exchange for Jimmy Robertson.

Rohan Ricketts

Arsenal 2001-02 (Apps 1, Goals 0)
Tottenham 2002-05 (Apps 36, Goals 2)
Ricketts came up through the youth ranks at Highbury, winning the FA Youth Cup alongside Bentley in 2000 and 2001, before moving to White Hart Lane in 2002. He has since proven himself to be really quite anonymous and now ‘stars’ over the pond for Toronto FC.

And the nine who played for Tottenham before moving to Arsenal:

George Hunt

Tottenham 1930-37 (Apps 198, Goals 137)
Arsenal 1937-38 (Apps 21, Goals 3)
Hunt was a ball-playing centre-forward whose exciting solo runs made him a popular player, but also attracted rough treatment from opposing defenders. As the first man to move from Spurs to Arsenal, Hunt failed to recapture his excellent form at Tottenham before the Second World War inconveniently got in the way.

Freddie Cox

Tottenham 1938-49 (Apps 105, Goals 18)
Arsenal 1949-53 (Apps 94, Goals 16)
Signed by Spurs at the age of just 18, Cox was a tricky right-winger who particularly excelled for the Gunners in the FA Cup, most notably scoring the winner against Chelsea in the 1949 Semi Final replay.

Vic Groves

Tottenham 1952-53 (Apps 4, Goals 3)
Arsenal 1955-64 (Apps 201, Goals 37)
Groves hailed from Leytonstone, close to my manor (sorry), and joined Arsenal as an inside-forward before switching to the position of wing-half. His career at Highbury was plagued by knee and back injuries but he captained the side for several years and formed a good attacking partnership with David Herd.

Jimmy Robertson

Tottenham 1964-68 (Apps 181, Goals 31)
Arsenal 1968-70 (Apps 59, Goals 8)
Robertson was a leggy Scottish winger who could operate on both flanks and moved to Highbury in a swap deal with David Jenkins in 1968. Despite some excellent form for Spurs, he quickly became a largely forgotten man at Arsenal, with then Arsenal boss Bertie Mee preferring George Armstrong on the right wing.

Steve Walford

Tottenham 1975-77 (Apps 1, Goals 1)
Arsenal 1977-81 (Apps 98, Goals 4)
A former England youth international, Walford was a tall central defender who pocketed an FA Cup Winners' medal with Arsenal in 1979. Interestingly he is a good pal of Martin O’Neill, and is the first-team coach at Aston Villa these days.

Willie Young

Tottenham 1975-77 (Apps 64, Goals 4)
Arsenal 1977-81 (Apps 237, Goals 19)
Willie was a uncompromising Scottish defender who played in three consecutive FA Cup Finals for Arsenal from 1978. Since retiring in 1984 he has owned a pub and also a greyhound kennels. Not sure why you’d want to know that but there it is.

Pat Jennings

Tottenham 1964-77 (Apps 590, Goals 0)
Arsenal 1977-85 (Apps 327, Goals 0)
A former Football Writers' Association and PFA Player of the Year, Jennings is widely regarded as one of the finest goalkeepers of all time, and is probably the most famous man to have played for both North London rivals. His international career spanned a miraculous 22 years, and in total he played over 1000 professional games, even bagging a goal in the 1967 Charity Shield.

Kevin Stead
Tottenham 1976-78 (Apps 14, Goals 0)
Arsenal 1978-79 (Apps 2, Goals 0)
Stead boasts the record of the fewest number of cumulative games for the two North London clubs, making 14 appearances for Tottenham before making the switch to play just two games for the Gunners. Er, that’s about all there is to say about him. He doesn’t even have a Wiki page, the poor guy.

Sol Campbell

Tottenham 1992-2001 (Apps 315, Goals 15)
Arsenal 2001- 2006 (Apps 197, Goals 11)
Campbell came up through the ranks at White Hart Lane before moving to Arsenal in 2001 and won two Premiership titles and two FA Cups in his time at Highbury. His return to Spurs for the first time was hostile to say the least, and to this date he is known as nothing but ‘Judas’ on the white side of North London.

Your Favourite Team’s Favourite Team (part 3)

As we pushed through the bustling crowd that had gathered at Mile End Stadium, I think some of the Boafista stars were feeling the pressure a bit. We all knew what was required of us: one win out of the two remaining games would earn us promotion to the Premier League, with both our closest promotion rivals, Southwark Lions and the formidable Fidel, standing in the way. Temperatures were once again soaring, and a difficult hour-long period of supposed relaxation after work wasn’t what we needed to ease the nerves. Seeing the legions of fans that had made the trip up from Hackney to cheer, and occasionally flash the opposition, showed us what we were playing for though, and going through the standard warm-up regime of stretches and cigarettes, we started to get fired up.

The first match was against a Southwark Lions team that had come on leaps and bounds since the timid foursome we played in the season opener. And by that I mean that they’d drafted in a Portuguese ringer who was probably the best individual player (besides myself obviously) in the Wednesday night Power League. Identifying the threat though, the self-appointed tactical expert Alaninho suggested we just sit on that guy man-for-man for the whole game to stop them playing, and you know what, it worked. We bossed the pace of the game, spraying it around at the back with aplomb, while further up the pitch a rejuvenated Lloydinho caused problem after problem with his movement and physical presence.

As the clock ticked down though, the still-goalless scoreline was a cause for concern, as a poached goal from them and we were in all sorts of problems. A huge effort from the ‘Fisters in the final quarter however, driven by a whole-hearted desire to not have to play poor Paul Hasting two more times this summer, proved too much for the toothless Lions, and with around seven minutes to go a deflected shot from Alaninho landed at my feet about 12 yards out. There was no pass on and no pressure on the ball, so looking up I picked my spot and drew that famously insured right leg back to unleash hell. My touch however unusually let me down, and instead of a drive of Roberto Carlos-esque venom, I topped the shot and watched it trickle embarrassingly towards their normally-solid keeper. Thankfully though he had an absolute mare, and somehow contrived to let the ball bumble through his legs for the game’s only goal. We played keep ball as the seconds ticked away, and when the ref blew for full time, the amassed crowd went chicken oriental to celebrate our glorious promotion into the big time.

Spirits were obviously high going into the final game against league winners Fidel. Since both teams were already promoted, they was little to play for, but we were definitely motivated by Fidel’s cock-ish habit of always wearing assorted Arsenal kit. Such was the energy expenditure in that first game however, we were honestly pretty rubbish, and to be fair to Fidel they can all play a bit. Jakinho, Jiminho and Jackinho all put themselves about, but the movement of Fidel was causing problems on the break. Only hardman enforcer Robinho and returning super-keeper Deaninho kept our clean sheet as the first-half rolled on at a high tempo. Bragging rights were clearly in both teams’ minds, and as the game got physical, tempers started to flair. Lloydinho was subject to some truly shocking illegal slide tackles, while Desmondinho also found himself getting a bit of treatment after throwing a few elbows about. The game descended into essentially a fight, with one of their players getting red carded in the dying minutes, but still, the final 0 – 3 scoreline was disappointing. We definitely look forward to playing them two more times in the big boys league over the next couple of months, and hopefully getting some revenge, while four new opponents in the Premier League will offer another new challenge.

So at the halfway point in the season our record is six wins, three losses and a draw. Big up to everyone who’s played so far and start getting psyched up for next week in the top flight! Oh also I finally took some photos this week so I hope you have enjoyed them. We are the ones in yellow by the way.

30 July, 2008


Cheerleaders are the best, but unfortunately the closest most of us can ever hope to get to a real-life one is dressing our girlfriend up in a cheap outfit against her will. With this in mind, just imagine if you were in this magical room surrounded by more than 500 lithe young American ladies all auditioning to make the cut for the LA Lakers 2008-2009 cheerleader squad.

You see in the States, wearing a cheerleader outfit can actually be a serious job, not just a sordid sex fantasy, and young girls really aspire to be pom-pom shakers when they grow up. Many of the honeys who auditioned here have been training as dancers since they were as young as five, and apparently it takes an incredible amount of talent and personality to wear a slutty short skirt and shake what they momma gave them (sorry).

It makes me quite sad sitting in an office to think that some lucky guy’s job is genuinely just to watch cheerleaders prance around in essentially bikinis, while he gives them marks out of ten. If there’s a god (my money’s on it being Thor) I pray that I will be reincarnated as one of these hot girls’ leotards. I’ll sacrifice someone to you if that’s what it takes, oh mighty One…

Thanks to The Spoiler for the heads up here, and please, do yourself a favour and follow this link to see more of these beauties showing how flexible they are.

29 July, 2008

Watch Out Minorities, He’s Back on the Streets

Ok I’ll admit it up front that it’s gonna be hard to write this piece without it descending into a rant about the current state of British ‘justice’ and the moral bankruptcy of football, but I shall try my best. You see, STT anti-Christ Joey Barton was yesterday released from jail after serving less than half of his prescribed sentence, and guess who’s prepared to welcome him back to Premier League football with open arms? Yes, professional penis Kevin Keegan apparently sees no problem in handing the brain-dead thug another chance to prove he isn’t just a complete shit.

To show just how, I guess ‘unfair’ is the right word, life is, The Sun have dug up Jaime Tandy, the ex-Man City youth-team player who had a cigar delightfully put out in his eye by the heinous little prick at a club party four years ago. He was then sensitively booted out of the club by then-boss Keegan months after the incident, and drifted into non-league football. Now 23, Jaime supplements his modest pay from Bradford Park Avenue by working as an industrial window cleaner. Now also a dad of two, he offered this sob-story: “I couldn’t believe it when I heard what Keegan had come out with. He says he’s going to give Barton another chance – but how many chances does he need? Keegan didn’t give me another chance. I was out the door at City the first chance he got. Yet he’s prepared to bend over backwards for Barton.”

Barton served just 74 days for beating up a teenager outside a Liverpool diner, but was also given a four-month term, suspended for two years, for attacking ex-City teammate Ousmane Dabo. He is expected back at Newcastle’s training ground this week, but how many more chances is he going to get in this strangely charmed life he punches and spits his way through? Surely other people can see that he is literally the lowest of the low, and just isn’t even that decent a player! Can someone please just hit him with their car? Thanks, that’d be great.

28 July, 2008

The Million Dollar Man, well, Million Pound Man actually

There are very few more obvious statements you can make about football these days than ‘the players get paid too much.’ When painfully average Championship level bench-warmers get paid more in a month than 90% of the population earn in a year, you know something is wrong with the country. Anyway, soap-boxing aside, according to The Observer we are on the brink of passing yet another wage mile-stone, with reports leaking out of West London that Chelsea are prepared to offer Brazilian divinity Kaka’ the princely sum of £1million-a-month to join them from AC Milan.

Just when you thought the saga was over, press speculation has picked up again over the weekend, after last week reports of a €100m offer for the midfielder were laughed off by Stamford Bridge insiders. So-called ‘transfer guru’ Adriano Galliani confirmed that he and Milan had rejected a “conspicuous” offer from Chelsea but wouldn’t reveal a figure, before adding that Kaka was not for sale at any price. However, chatter persisted, and rumours of a €150m and then a €200m offer further circulated mysteriously, while both Galliani and Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon denied all knowledge.

If this £1m-a-month offer is to believed then this would make the 26-year-old the first player in footballing history to earn this amount, topping his current salary which is already the highest in the world at the moment. “Kaka's contract gives him €9million in its first season, and rises by a million euros for each of its five years,” a Milan source explained. “To better that, Chelsea will have to begin at more than £200,000 a week.” It seems then that the speculation surrounding Chelsea and Kaka just will not go away, but is there any way this mess can get cleared up in the next three weeks before the season starts?

If insider conjecture is to be believed then Kaka’ has fallen out with new toast-of-the-town Ronaldinho, but would he ever leave Milan and want to ply his art in this country? And that’s the point I think; the way Kaka’ plays is as close to art as football can get, gliding mercurially around and making it just look like the easiest thing in the world. Would he ever want to risk essentially his whole career by lining up against the limited-skill defences of the Premier League, where certainly outside the top 6 or so, the mantra is very much pure physical intimidation?

So is he worth it? Would Chelsea finally be able to capture the Champions League crown with him in their side? Are we being too harsh on Premier League defenders? Tell us what you think in the handy comments box below…

Cristiano the Ladykiller

One of STT’s main online influences when we started up was the awesome What Would Tyler Durden Do? so it fills me with great pride to say that we are now finally stealing an article from them. And what else but Cristiano Ronaldo’s seed-spreading tour of LA would they be commenting on? Kudos to Cristiano actually for registering on their radar, that’s another notch on the metaphorical bed-post, eh C. Ron?

Anyway, a little while ago you might remember a charming little piece we did about Norwich bench-warmer Jason Shackell, who really fancies himself as an actor-slash-model-slash-tosser. Well he shot to, er, ‘fame’ by guest-appearing in underwhelming MTV fake-drama The Hills and trying to throw a shot into a very tidy piece of spoilt Californian ass known as Lauren Conrad. While he apparently offered to eviscerate his own mother for a chance to pearl necklace her, it seems that Mr Ronaldo has slightly more discerning tastes.

You see, while rubbing shoulders with the likes of the main guy from Entourage at trendy hot-spot Kress, the ridiculously-bright-orange Ronaldo refused to pose for a photo with the devastated Conrad. A fellow party-goer gushed to the Daily Facist: “Cristiano was in with his friends, enjoying the music and chilling out in the corner of the club. Lauren approached him and asked for a picture of them to be taken. But he just blew her off and refused.” Cristiano apparently then turned to his friend and said in his breathlessly sexy Portuguese accent: “Who is this woman?” The nameless source continued: “Lauren was mortified. She told her friends she couldn't believe he'd talk to her like that. Worse still, she couldn't believe he didn't know who she is. She walked away in a really bad mood.”

Bitch got served! Seriously though, Lauren is pretty hot, but clearly lacks that eye-twinkle of seedy experience that signals to Cristiano that he can just tie himself up and wait for the g-force.

25 July, 2008

Truly Terrifying

The thing about amateur porn is that normally if your eyes stray from the, er, main attraction, you tend to see stuff in the background that sort of ruins the mood. You know what I’m talking about. You’re watching some guy’s behind-the-scenes cheerleader trials home movie when all of a sudden something catches your eye and it’s game over. From what I hear from my friends, this tends to be mouldy food, an animal carcass, or some pretty sinister drug-injecting paraphernalia. Other times though, it’s just the sheer depravity of the location, and its low budget implications, that feed the rising tide of guilt and make you actually worry if the girls you’re watching are ok and not just being exploited for crystal meth. As I’m sure you’ll all agree, these kind of thoughts have no place in a man’s head.

Personal inflection aside, what’s the point of this you might justly wonder. Well, The Spoiler has uncovered some truly breath-taking amateur porn(ish) photos of Czech defender Tomas Ujfalusi and his wife Katerina, where they are posing amongst tattered cardboard boxes and a rather fetching old fence.

Mystery shrouds these shots, but what is clear is that after the football dries up for Tomas, a prosperous career with his wife as a serial killer couple surely awaits.

Bayern Munich 2008 Jersey : Das Musikal

What’s the best way to unveil your kit for a new season? Obviously you get your most high profile players to just chuck the shirts on and do keepie-uppies while the press take photos, right? BUZZ, wrong. The correct answer is actually get a load of female models on stage in full kit to prance around doing what I’m reliably informed is called ‘interpretative dance’ while people around just look baffled. This is the approach that the Bayern Munich staff misguidedly took, and as you can see below, the results are bizarre to say the least. It all starts to get good about 1:25 in as a couple of the girls really start spazzing out, but unfortunately it doesn’t end, as it probably should, with any kind of strip-show…

24 July, 2008

Your Favourite Team’s Favourite Team (part 2)

You might or might not have noticed that after a delightfully modest rundown of our opening week fortunes, the last fortnight has been somewhat devoid of Boafista updates. While I have realised just how much you good people will be fiending to know how my 5-a-side team has been doing (thanks for the threatening e-mails), we’ve, er, not really performed too well so I’ve kind of glossed over the follow-up reports. Now however, with just one week to go before the crucial promotion/relegation halfway point in the season, we are sitting pretty, second in the league with 5 wins out of 8!

Following our 100% start in the league’s opening round, week two was unfortunately a complete disaster, and we snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in both games. Admittedly the conditions were horrendous (it was the day where an inch of rain fell in about two hours) but that doesn’t excuse the manner of the play. The first loss was 1 – 6 to the highly rated Fidel side who currently sit atop the league overall, but honestly that score-line flattered them; we never really got going after taking an early lead, and they got three of those goals in the last couple of minutes. In the second game we initially bounced back well to take a quick 2 – 0 lead against unknown quantities Joslin Rovers, only to then switch off completely and somehow lose 3 – 2 against a pretty shite team who’s only value is an amusing wanking gag in their name.

We dusted ourselves off however for week three of the competition, and with the sun back out, were confident that we could recover a bit of form. Lacking crucial players, the opening game against Paul Hastings was a tense affair, with shots raining down on the opposition’s goal. To be fair to him, Paul put himself about a bit after we took the lead, chasing down everything even though the poor guy looked absolutely knackered after five minutes. The victory looked sealed after 15 minutes of textbook keep-ball ran Mr Hastings into the ground, but a lucky free-kick and an even luckier deflection gifted Paul his undeserved equaliser. Spirits were low despite a decent team performance, but buoyancy was restored when our second match opposition failed to turn up, gifting us a much-needed three points.

So week four then; soaring temperatures coupled with a serious desire to skip the football and head straight to a pub beer garden was our major obstacle on the walk to the stadium. Like the aspiring professionals we are though, we manned up, and sauntered onto the court to face plucky old Paul Hastings once again, eager to get the three points we deserved the previous week. Vindication is a dish best served hot and in a cheese-topped bap. By that I mean, we trounced Paul easily 5 – 2, with a quickfire brace from myself the obvious highlight. With a crocked super-striker deputising in goal, there were concerns that we might be vulnerable at the back, but Paul really struggled to get in the game as slick passing and the odd flair nutmeg demoralised him into submission.

Game two yesterday then was a grudge return match against an arrogant Joslin Rovers side, who were thinking they were in line to snatch our second-place promotion spot in the league. A nervy start saw them take an early 3 – 0 lead, with long-range pot-shots somehow always seeming to find the back of the net. A slightly homoerotic huddle followed but sometimes that’s all it takes to refocus tired minds. Superstar ringer Andrewinho then decided enough was enough, gliding through two tackles to get our names on the scoresheet. A dodgy penalty then got heads believing the great escape could be on, before the to-date goalless enforcer Robinho unleashed a wonderstrike to level the scores with five minutes to go. Alaninho then gave us the lead before the wondrous Andrewinho turned the screw once again to put victory beyond doubt and complete another 100% week for the Fisters. Their keeper complained a lot, and some short guy kept trying to break our ankles, but no matter, we prevailed, and now march into the league’s final week with a first-place finish solely centred in our collective minds.

As things stand we face league leaders Fidel first up next week, followed by the fearsome Southwark Lions second, who currently are the only team that can stop us attaining the mid-season promotion we so clearly deserve. Tune in next Wednesday then folks around 8:00 up at Mile End stadium where two teams from three will ride high into the Premier League, and one side will be crushed with the mediocre thought of having to play poor old Paul Hastings two more times in the next month.

Swamp Thing

Anyone who watches Sky Sports News in the mornings will be all too aware that pre-season friendlies are well underway now, but genuinely, does anyone really care if their youth team is playing Carlisle or whatever? Exactly. So while writing reports chronicling how my fantastic 5-a-side team is doing in the East London Wednesday Power League was good for a while (well, a week) it’s time to look elsewhere I think, to a considerably better style of football. No, not Beach Football, although that is fun, but something much more entertaining: Swamp Soccer!
Currently ongoing in Finland, the Swamp Soccer World Championships is an international event which 340 teams have entered for this year and more than 10,000 people are expected to attend as spectators. “Playing football in the swamp is like a slow-motion movie coming to a halt every time a player sinks in a hole,” veteran Tuula Brocke vividly told Reuters.Your opponent snatches the ball right in front of your nose, but you are stuck in the mass of dung and cannot move at all!” Sounds just like playing at the JJB last season. The swamp is apparently much cleaner though than last year when it was still full of tree stumps and branches, but don’t worry there are still plenty of natural dangers. Drinking the swamp water, for example, is quite worryingly the mistake most participants make.

Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Russia were among the growing number of foreign teams, while the location is a huge natural swamp outside the Northern town of Hyrynsalmi which is converted into 22 individual arenas separated just by yellow tape. The scene is more like an abandoned farm than Old Trafford, but afficiandos claim that this is the sport in its purest form. Each team apparently has their own tactic to move the ball forward in this chaotic and completely uncontrolled game: “We have been training how to walk in the swamp on our fours and to kick from the side - that's the only way we could move it when the ground got this soft,” Brocke continued, adding that it was guts and luck that tended to decide the better team.

The sport was first conceived bizarrely by Finnish cross-country skiers looking for a way to train during the snowless summer months, and Portuguese Olympic cross-country skier Danny Silva has actually joined one of the teams this year looking for exactly that kind of exercise. “You can't run normally, and the swamp makes your legs very heavy - that boosts your heart rate and it pumps your upper leg strength,” he enthused. “Athletes get way too serious when they train - this is bizarre, but makes training so much more fun!” It’ll be interesting to see how well Mr. Silva does in the Olympics; if this is all the training he’s doing then my money is on ‘not well.’

So there you have it: Swamp Soccer; is anybody tempted? No, I didn’t think so.

As you can see from below though, the Women’s World Cup is a little bit more relaxed, and proves strangely more popular as a spectator sport…

Let’s All Laugh at Ronaldo

He doesn’t help himself does he? When he’s not posturing on the field and tripping himself up with step-overs, Cristiano Ronaldo likes to spend a lot of money on clothes. Money however, as the saying goes, cannot buy you taste. Less than a week after wearing a fully white suit to some pointless awards ceremony in LA, Cristiano has decided to up the stakes and show just how ridiculous a man can actually look. Insanely tanned legs? Check. Tiny metallic shorts? Check. Pink ‘vintage’ t-shirt that probably says something ‘esoteric’ in a foreign language? You better believe it. Shoes so white they blind anyone who looks directly at them? Never leaves home without them!

The day same day he was also snapped rocking this interesting little look, accompanied by a guy who just looks like a slighter fatter and gayer version of himself. I guess it’s good for the old ego to constantly walk around with someone who looks the same as you but worse; you’re bound to look good in comparison! Check out today’s copy of The Sun for a truly embarrassing re-write of WHAM classic Club Tropicana by the way, with lyrics changed in a ‘humorous’ way to reflect the fact that they clearly think the pair look very similar to George Michael and Andrew whatshisname, circa 1980. A swing and a miss there guys.

In other news, an internet search of literally 7 seconds will deliver you plenty of new pictures of his former missus, Nereida Gallardo, with her spectacular cans out on a Spanish beach. In girls’ terms, getting photographed so blatantly frolicking means: “you’ll never get to motorboat these again bitch-boy.”

23 July, 2008

Not a Nice Man

A week or so back we posted a few comments from Sunderland keeper Craig Gordon describing how the Black Cats players enjoy the chance to kick Roy Keane when he gets involved in 5-a-side. They might’ve thought Keano was a hard coach, but even the great leg-breaker has nothing on this fearsome chap. He is in fact our number one football bastard, a man who was quite literally a lawless, inhumane tyrant.

Yes, Uday Hussein was Saddam’s son, but his official title was Head of the Iraqi Olympic Committee, meaning that he oversaw all sports development in the country for a good few years, distributing what he saw as reasonable punishment to athletes whenever their performances failed to meet his somewhat lofty expectations. According to widespread reports, he had a team of torturers who beat and caned the soles of footballers’ feet with electrical cable while they did press-ups. Sitting up in the stands, Uday reportedly kept scorecards with written instructions on how many times each player should be lashed after a poor performance. All of sudden Frank Lampard’s decision to turn down an offer to switch allegiance to Iraq becomes all the clearer.

One defector further reports that jailed soccer players were forced to repeatedly just kick a concrete ball after failing to reach the 1994 World Cup finals, while another claims that underwhelming forwards who failed to score were dragged through a gravel pit and subsequently immersed in, ahem, bodily fluids to infect their wounds! Iraq's captain at the time, Habib Jaffar, has recently described an additional bizarre punishment: he said that he was once made to climb a 20-foot ladder and leap into a vat of sewage over and over again in front of Hussein; now bear in mind that’s after he’d already been imprisoned and had the feet-whipping thing. If all that provided insufficient motivation for the players, Hussein also was known to give obscenely threat-laden half-time team talks through a speaker phone wired into the dressing room. Can you imagine that? You’re a goal down but on the offensive, getting fired up before the second-half, when all of a sudden a disembodied voice just booms out:“if you don’t win this game I will burn your children alive in front of you.” Not ideal.

For completeness’ sake then, other non-football-related allegations leveled at Hussein during his time in office include:

  • The regular kidnapping and raping of young Iraqi girls, often in front of their husbands before killing them both

  • Pretty selfish stock-piling in an era of widespread privation. When troops captured his mansion in Baghdad, they genuinely found a personal zoo (stocked to the brim with lions and cheetahs), an underground garage full of more than a thousand luxury cars, paintings glorifying him and his mother with Saddam, Cuban cigars inscribed with his name, and finally millions of dollars worth of fine wines, imported liquor and heroin

  • The use of an iron maiden on persons who irritated him just for his own personal amusement i.e. he’d lock them in a cabinet and cut them, not just play them noisy 80s rock

  • Actually driving a pink Rolls-Royce

You’ll be pleased to hear that Hussein was (perhaps justly) murdered horribly a few years ago when futuristic US helicopters and 200 ultra-hard Marines raided his palace armed with rocket launchers and 50-cal machine guns. To be fair to him though, the standard of the Iraq national team has dropped significantly since he stopped keeping them in jail infected with hepatitis…

The Crooked Spirite

In case you haven’t connected the dots yet, today’s theme is, put simply, bastards. Cristiano Ronaldo is an annoyingly good footballer but at heart you can tell that he’s just a real abnoxious prick; Calum Best, well, I think I’ve said all there is say on that matter already; and we shall finish the day on a relatively tenuous footballing link, but I think when you’ve read that piece there will be no doubt that the man in question is in fact the sport’s biggest bastard. In between then we have quite a long-winded tale of white collar bastardness, but one which is so cynical and exploitative that I think you’ll find it’s worth the read…

This story is a few years old now but since I only actually heard about it today, and let’s face it there’s nothing else to talk about, I thought I’d give you lucky people a bit of a rundown on a man called Darren Brown. No, not the recently-homosexual brain-washer with the goatee, but a businessman who took over the boardroom reigns at sleeping giants Chesterfield in 2000. Promising to make the team part of his so-called “sporting empire,” Brown then proceeded to empty the club almost entirely of cash within a matter of months, and almost force the 134-year-old institution to disband for good through his selfish spider’s web of deceit.

Before Brown's arrival, Chesterfield's history was pretty unspectacular to say the least. Despite being the fourth oldest League club in the country, the only incident really of note was an FA Cup semi-final in 1997 against Middlesbrough, when 23,000 people emptied the town completely and headed over to Old Trafford. I’m not quite sure where Chesterfield actually is, but presumably the four or five inhabitants that didn’t make the trek had the run of the town for the day, comprehensively stealing and fencing anything that wasn’t nailed down.

Anyway, in 2000 the Spirites endured relegation, and chairman Norton Lea started to take quite a lot of stick from the frustrated fans. In May of that year he decided enough was enough and finally sold the club to a sharp young entrepreneur named Darren Brown, who already owned the Sheffield Steelers ice hockey club and the Sheffield Sharks basketball team. Brown inserted Chesterfield into his fancy UK Sports Group conglomerate, and the club suddenly started to spend big, signing goalkeeper Mike Pollitt, striker Luke Beckett, and most importantly, returning the fans’ cult hero from 1997, David Reeves, back where he belonged.

By January 2001 the Spirites were sitting pretty atop the Third Division, and the fans were living the life of riley. There was however a slight hitch when, towards the end of the month, the FA’s compliance officer Graham Bean suddenly burst through Saltergate's front door, and launched an ominous inquiry into “certain incidents regarding Chesterfield's financial arrangements.” A week later, three directors who had resigned revealed some unusual details to a packed fans’ meeting at the County Hotel: Norton Lea had left the club with plenty of money in the bank, but for some reason cheques for players’ December wages had been bouncing and bailiffs were at the door. Most strange…

They continued to tell the fans that Lea had agreed to sell Brown the club for £1.2m, payable in installments. Brown had made a £384,000 down-payment, but bizarrely £399,000 had also gone out of the club’s accounts to Brown’s company, UK Sports Group. Not all of Chesterfield's fans believed this unlikely tale however, and the meeting turned into an ugly witch-hunt, with two of the humble directors eventually bundled into a car by friends and driven off at speed for their own safety. “It was like a bad film,” Dean Newman grimly recalls. “We were life-long fans of the club, wanting only to protect it. Maybe now people can understand that.”

Following an FA investigation, and subsequently a Football League tribunal into contractual irregularities, Chesterfield were fined £20,000 and deducted nine points, which left them still certain to be promoted, but surrounded in suspicion. In March 2001, realising his elaborate rag doll of lies was becoming quickly unraveled, Brown transferred all his Chesterfield shares to an associate, Andrew Cooke, who then offered the now insolvent club to the supporters’ trust. They bought it, only to discover that the ground had been leveraged to guarantee a personal loan and that there were debts of more than £2 million, including £439,000 paid out as a loan to the infamous UK Sports Group.

Police began to investigate following the Football League’s tip-off and discovered the depth of Brown’s shady dealing: Brown pleaded guilty to two charges of fraudulent trading, having taken £800,000 out of Chesterfield for his own purposes (to repay people who had lent him the money for the first instalment to Lea and to pay the Steelers' debts), and also to live in style. He had also used club money to pay a £55,000 deposit on a mansion, ordered a Mercedes, Land Rover and BMW for his personal use, and spent, among other extravagances, £2,500 on a lawnmower. The Serious Fraud Office took over the investigation, leading to nearly twenty charges in total including false accounting, furnishing false information, and theft. Brown pleaded not guilty to three charges, and 14 have been left to remain on file.

To nobody's great surprise now, it turns out that Brown had literally no money when he first talked his way into Chesterfield. He had worked in British Gas showrooms for three years, sold photocopiers, then set up a small print-broking business. The Sheffield Steelers, who were going bust, owed him money, so he took the ice hockey club over, and he bought the Sharks from receivers. After he strolled into Chesterfield with borrowed money, he emptied the club of its cash to repay his own creditors, and keep his whole self-reinvention on the rails.

Chesterfield's loyal core of supporters have since dragged the club towards a more wholesome future, but this whole affair forced the Football League to re-evaluate how football clubs were to be run at boardroom level. Admittedly Brown didn’t get away with his little ruse for long, but those short months were still long enough to filter out almost a million pounds to splash out on cars and presumably hookers. Let that be a lesson to all club chief executives around the country: never trust anyone that claims to own an ice hockey team.