Monday, 31 August 2009
Sunday, 30 August 2009
Friday, 28 August 2009
Everton have suffered a less than ideal start to the season and are rueing the loss of money-loving, best-of-a-bad-bunch defender Jolean Lescott.
The Toffees have invested a chunk of the £22.5m Manchester City paid for Lescott in Russian midfielder Bilyaletdinov, who arrived in Liverpool with very little fanfare, possibly due to his unpronouncable name, unremarkable career to date and indistinct face.
But while the supporters may take some convincing, Moyes was full of praise for the new boy, who played a small part for a Russia side that made an impact on the international stage for the first time since the Cold War.
"I think I saw him playing for Russia in Euro 2008," the Scottish boss stammered.
"Yes, I'm pretty sure it was him. They did all look alike mind, they were all in red with young, boyish, slightly flushed faces and floppy, ungroomed hair. But I'm confident he's one of them, yeah..."
Speaking through a translator, Bilyaletdinov declared that he was 'honoured' to have signed for Everton.
However, the mood changed when Diniyar was asked whether he feared people would have trouble with his name, as the new recruit would only mutter: "I have a lot of people who will take care of me here. They will see that my enemies will disappear into the shadows."
Thursday, 27 August 2009
Wednesday, 26 August 2009
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
Monday, 24 August 2009
Friday, 21 August 2009
Aston Villa midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker has become fixated on The Time Traveler’s Wife, the 2003 novel by Audrey Niffenegger, sources close to the club reported last night.
With last week’s release of the film version starring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams, Reo-Coker’s enthusiasm for the bestselling romance novel, a present from his sister last Christmas, has reached an all-time high.
"Nigel asked me again if I’d finished it", team-mate Nicky Shorey told reporters. “I think he was a bit disappointed I hadn’t. He lent it to me about six months ago. I’ve read the first twenty pages two or three times, but to be honest I don’t get what he sees in it.”
"I actually think the one he lent me was brand new", added Shorey, fuelling speculation that the hard-running Reo-Coker may possess multiple copies of the escapist fantasy. "I know he’s lent it to Luke [Young] and Brad [Guzan], and I think Zat Knight still had a copy when he went to Bolton."
New signing Habib Beye shared a room with Reo-Coker as Villa travelled to Austria for a Europa League play-off against Rapid Vienna.
"The other lads seemed very keen to avoid Nigel", said the ex-Newcastle full-back. "He kept talking about how amazing it would be if during a match you travelled back in time and arrived in another match, like, ten years ago. I didn’t want to be rude so I let him talk and talk. I agreed to go and see the film with him tomorrow evening just so he'd shut up about it."
This is not the first time Reo-Coker has become obsessed with an emotionally-charged potboiler about life, love and human relationships. When he left West Ham in 2007 it was widely reported that his incessant praise for The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafòn had contributed significantly to the breakdown of his relationship with manager Alan Curbishley.
Thursday, 20 August 2009
Wednesday, 19 August 2009
Tuesday, 18 August 2009
Sunday, 16 August 2009
Thursday, 13 August 2009
Wednesday, 12 August 2009
Monday, 10 August 2009
Sunday, 9 August 2009
Friday, 7 August 2009
As demanded by FA Guideline 29b: 'at all times we will try and make the rich clubs richer and the poor clubs poorer', English football's governing body has made concerted efforts to cripple any team suffering from financial problems.
Last season, Luton Town and AFC Bournemouth were dealt heavy points penalties. While Luton dropped out of League Two, the Cherries heroically amassed the 105 points needed to survive, much to the chagrin of stony-faced grey-suited FA officials, who packed into the away end of the Fitness First Stadium for every Bournemouth home game.
Chester are the latest side to anger the FA with their poverty and the newly-relegated outfit will start their Football Conference campaign on -25 points.
Furthermore, the Deva Stadium side will be forced to wear a brown and pink kit, they will have to travel to away games by horse and cart and manager Mick Wadsworth must field at least one member of the Hollyoaks cast per game.
"We got 'em good!" FA chief executive Ian Watmore whooped. "I wanted to make it 100 points but let's see how they do with 10 professionals and a vacuous simpleton from a second-rate soap.
"It's so important that we show clubs you can't get away with being poor. I can't understand the charity culture these days, a few meaty fines would sort the developing world out in no time."
Wednesday, 5 August 2009
A spokesman from the National Union of Journalists has bemoaned 'a dark day for the profession' as Liverpool finally agree to sell Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid.
When Alonso made it clear at the end of last season that he intended to join defence-phobic underachievers Real, it unleashed a devastating torrent of formulaic transfer stories.
However, reports this morning suggest that the deal is finally complete - news that will bring relief to a public still reeling from an Alonso overdose but which has plunged the nation's journalists into crisis.
"If Alonso has joined Real then it is a black day for all sports journalists," National Union of Journalists general secretary Jeremy Dear lamented. "We all feared this day would arrive.
"Over the last two months, lazy hack journalists have been assured of filling their 500-word quotas with an Alonso-related headline and a few paragraphs of unsubstantiated, rehashed dirge.
"But these wonderful days are over and I genuinely don't know how the column inches will be filled."
The nation's papers are yet to officially respond to the situation, but an insider at The Sun informed us that "we'll throw something together involving tits."
Tuesday, 4 August 2009
Still awaiting a faceless Arab backer, Pompey were forced to hold an 'Everything Must Go' sale this summer. Despite pocketing huge sums for all-mouth-no-trousers England nearlyman Glen Johnson and goal-scoring fountain pen Peter Crouch, the only arrivals were Aaron Makoena and Steve Finnan.
While the club have banned the word 'crisis', dour manager Paul Hart's face was nearly 80 per cent wrinkles as he found a squad of three men waiting for him at his first pre-season training session.
"It wasn't exactly what I had in mind," Hart admitted. "But the new lads had a decent game of headers and volleys with David (James). They seemed to get on pretty well before David (James) realised he was late for his hair appointment.
"Of course I'd welcome some new recruits, but there's no problem finding a parking space these days. And besides everybody knows it's harder to play against nine men, so just imagine how tough we'll be with three."
Monday, 3 August 2009
There has been a unique feel to the 2009-10 pre-season as cash-rich, prestige-poor mid-table mainstays Manchester City have embarked on an insane signing bender at the expense of every other Premier League side.
While City boss Mark Hughes is struggling to accomodate a squad of nearly 6,000 players and has complained about having to conduct team meetings in the Manchester Evening News Arena, Wenger has a very different problem after a lean summer in the market.
Arsenal's sole new recruit of the summer is forgettably faced left-back Thomas Vermaelen, signed as part of the EU's 'Interesting Jobs for Belgians Initiative', so the departures of Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor have left fans fearing another trophyless campaign.
And with time running out before the transfer window snaps shut, Arsenal boss Wenger has taken the unorthodox step of launching a campaign of ruthless colonisation.
"Arsenal Football Club have used every effort to add to their squad using peaceful means this summer, but these attempts have proven unsuccessful," a club statement reads.
"In these times of great hardship, difficult decisions must be made and that is why we will be leading an expedition of conquest to the Ivory Coast. May God protect our men and allow us to pick up at least a couple of squad players."
Wenger has named a strong squad for the away day in Abidjan but Jack Wilshere (thigh) and Alexandre Song (objection to the brutal subjegation of his fellow Africans) are doubts.