The news branch of the Back of the Net wiki.

Sunday, 31 May 2009

Chelsea Experience Brief Flicker Of Satisfaction After Winning FA Cup Once More

Chelsea players today spoke of their mild pleasure at winning one of the lesser trophies on their agenda for the umpteenth time, after a 2-1 win triumph yesterday over likeable losers Everton.

Goal hero Frank Lampard, whose second-half strike was greeted with approving applause from the small number of Chelsea fans who hadn't left to beat the traffic, said: 'It's hard to describe what it feels like to win this trophy.' After consideration, he added: 'Well, actually it's fairly easy: it's pretty much the same as when we won it two years ago. But still, it's magical to run out at Wembley. Mind you, thinking about it, we're here a lot.'

Asked what was going through his head as he struck the winner past despairing Yankee Tim Howard, Lampard confessed: 'I was mostly thinking what a nice day it was, the weather and that.'

'Very warm for May,' Lampard added. 'I know it's the tail-end of May but even so.'

Winning captain John Terry told the press that it was 'pretty nice' to win the famous trophy, which last headed to Stamford Bridge back in 2007. 'Yeah, no, I'm definitely quite happy about it,' said Terry. 'I mean, more happy than if we'd lost, anyway. You know. If you're going to be there, you might as well win.' Terry went on to reveal that the players had not undergone the traditional FA Cup celebration of drinking champagne from the cup because it 'seemed like a lot of effort' and 'two or three of the lads wasn't really thirsty, in all honesty'.

Manager Guus Hiddink ranked the victory over David Moyes's workmanlike side as 'up there in the top sixty, maybe sixty-five things in my career'.

Club officials confirmed that there would not be an open-top bus ride to honour the 2007 and 2009 FA Cup winners, but informed fans that 'if anyone wants to see the cup, Alex and Ricardo (Carvalho) are thinking of going for a bit of a drive with it tomorrow'.

Friday, 29 May 2009

Moyes forced to field kid

A 12-year-old boy will have the chance to captain Everton in Saturday’s FA Cup final after winning tournament sponsors E.On’s ‘Star for a day’ competition.

It promises to be an afternoon to remember for Ryan Carr of Milton Keynes after he was selected from thousands of entrants hoping to lead Everton out at Wembley.

“I’m not really an Everton fan,” the lucky winner confessed before meeting his new teammates.

“The key for me is just giving a good account of myself and then I’ll sit down with my agent and we’ll see what happens in the summer.”

Toffees manager David Moyes is expected to substitute Carr early on but didn’t seem too frustrated that E.On had interfered with his team selection.

“In truth I’d rather have started with Phil Neville,” the Scottish boss said.

“However, I’m always keen to give youngsters a chance and this will be sink or swim for the lad.

“I can understand that Phil is angry, but he knows that E.On come first.” 

The news comes at a bad time for the Everton skipper as he missed out on the Neville Family Player of the Year award for the 15th consecutive season last week.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Eto'o 'Very Disappointed' With Celebration

Last night's convincing win at the Stadio Olimpico made Barcelona the undisputed kings of European football and in most observers' eyes the greatest club side in the world today. But while his teammates woke up to huge acclaim from the global soccer community, goalscorer Samuel Eto'o admitted he was 'gutted' after marking his 10th minute strike with a weird celebration where he kept tapping his arm like some sort of smackhead.

Eto'o has a good track record of successfully running away pointing to his chest after scoring in major tournaments (left), but admitted that the occasion got to him as he faced up to one of the biggest celebrations of his career.

'I never really expected it to go in,' said the Cameroonian predator, speaking through an interpreter. 'I thought he (gangly stopper Van der Sar) would save it. But once he (Van der Sar) had let it in, I was like, shit, how do I celebrate?'

'My mind just went blank. Obviously later I thought back to all the things we worked on in training - touching the badge, looking up to heaven, maybe even that thing when you point to your ear - but in the heat of the moment I just couldn't seem to do any of it. 

'For a few seconds I was literally just running in a straight line without doing anything at all. Then I heard (Lionel) Messi shouting what sounded l 'touch your arm, touch your arm' and I just went for it. Once I'd done it, I had to commit to it, and I ended up whacking it over and over again. I had no idea why I was doing it.'

'I looked like a right prat,' added a gloomy Eto'o.

Victorious manager Pep Guardiola admitted that the striker's poor celebration had 'kind of spoiled the victory for him. 'We play brilliant tonight,' he told reporters, 'but people will not say, Barcelona play brilliant. They will say, Eto'o, why does he do this with his arm? Why he doesn't pull shirt over head like other players?'

Vowing to bounce back from his setback, Eto'o announced that he was 'lining up a really great celebration' for the next time he scores. Although no further details were supplied, a report from an insider in the Barca camp suggested that Eto'o had spent much of the flight home 'running up and down the aisles like a crazy man, twirling his shorts around his little finger'.

Holy fucking shit, United lose!

Barcelona 2-0 Manchester United
Barcelona are the champions of Europe after inflicting Manchester United's first defeat in over 100 years.

The Catalan giants ended the Red Devils' reign of terror with a deserved 2-0 victory at Rome's Stadio Olimpico, leaving Sir Alex Ferguson's men shell-shocked.

The result came as such a jolt to United's previously invincible stars that Rio Ferdinand hoisted the trophy aloft anyway before UEFA officials politely pointed out his mistake.

Amongst the 75,000 fans in the Eternal City was the world's oldest man Alfie Greene, a veteran of United's last defeat - an 8-4 loss to the Royal Engineers in 1903 - who admitted that he didn't think this day would come.

"I've never liked United, so it has been a tough 106 years for me," he murmured. "The 1990s were especially hard as the bastards won every game with a 94th minute goal."

Dour Scotsman Ferguson was left to wonder what might have been on an evening that saw no fewer than four shots on target for his side.

"We were completely dominant for the first 300 seconds," he lamented. "Granted we didn't really have the ball after that, but we should have put the game away."

United's devastated players must now pick themselves up for the serious business of a meandering merchandise-oriented pre-season tour aimed at milking the developing world dry.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Hodgson caught selling UEFA place

FIFA have promised a "full investigation" after it emerged that Fulham manager Roy Hodgson is trying to sell the Cottagers' UEFA Cup place on Gumtree.

The West London minnows exceeded expectations this term and finished in seventh place, earning them a spot in the inaugural Europa League.

The rebranded UEFA Cup is the brainchild of Michel Platini, who has promised that the competition will be "an endless stream of flaccid contests between former Soviet bloc makeweights and teams like Everton".

Platini hopes that teams will take the once-great tournament more seriously after several top sides fielded a mixture of youth players, coaching staff and inanimate objects in the 2007-08 edition.

However, the UEFA President will be hurt by the news that Fulham have tried to sell their place in next year's Europa League using online classified site Gumtree. 

"We never really meant to qualify," manager Hodgson sniffed. "We even lost to Everton on the last day, but Spurs had seen the danger and didn't bite. We don't mean any disrespect to anyone but who the fuck wants to travel to Lech Poznan on a Thursday night?"

Hodgson, who has been bravely battling a cold for the last 40 years, confirmed that he had been contacted by several interested parties, including ITV presenters Ant and Dec.

"There's been a bid from Ant and Dec," Hodgson confirmed. "They feel it's that time in their careers when they should be in a European football competition."

While Ant and Dec would be rank outsiders for Europa League glory, they could draw inspiration from fellow TV star Les Dennis who stunned Latvians FK Riga in the first round in 1999.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Vidic is 'ready to kill'

Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic has stirred controversy ahead of Wednesday's Champions League Final by declaring that he is ready to maim and kill a number of Barcelona players in order to lift the trophy.

The climax of Europe's premier club competition in Rome is a mouth-watering prospect with pundits and bookmakers alike split over the expected outcome.

But Serbian defender Vidic, noted for his ruthless approach to the game, believes his ruthless attitude could make the difference.

"Occasions don't come any bigger than this and I think I speak for all my teammates when I say that I am ready to kill for this Cup," Vidic told shocked reporters.

"That's not just a phrase - I will slaughter men in cold blood for the silverware. Barcelona are a great side with so many quality players, but how will they adapt to seeing their teammates' guts strewn around the park? I'm going to turn Iniesta into a blancmange."

Sir Alex Ferguson moved to calm the media backlash by describing Vidic as "a little overexcited" as the 27-year-old was led away by security yelling that he would "put Lionel Messi in the ground."