ARSENAL V TOTTENHAM
MOST LIKELY – The stand out fixture of the weekend (mainly because everything else looks s***) finishing forth has never been so important. Spurs haven’t finished above Arsenal for fourteen years, which, if memory serves me correctly means that Vinny Samways and Stuart Nethercott were the backbone of their triumphant side…Did Arsenal just not take part that season or what?
BOLTON V CHELSEA
MOST LIKELY – Having watched his side get used as training cones during the midweek Carling Cup tie Gary Megson said he couldn’t wait to get Chelsea back to Bolton… Why exactly? What’s in Bolton that makes this fixture any less painful? Is Bolton some kind of parallel universe where Matt Taylor is considered the best player in the world and Gary Cahill is the office pin up? A football pitch is a football pitch and unless the Bolton six yard box is filled with bear traps expect another lesson.
BURNLEY V HULL
MOST LIKELY – I seem to ask this question every week but how on earth is this a premier league fixture? Oh how the mighty have fallen, and the small and insignificant teams seem to have snuck in and taken their place. Having said that his players are one million percent behind him (obviously a top mathematician is Phil Brown) it would not be surprising at all to see Hull completely destroyed by the might of Burnley. We all know this is Phil Brown’s last game, just be proud you made it to November.
EVERTON V ASTON VILLA
MOST LIKELY – This is like pitting two Mondeo estates against each other in a race. Both reliable, both distinctly average and both unable to compete with…better cars. Everton appear to be rocking a bit though, and Villa seem to have the edge here. David Moyes’ silent protest over fixture congestion seems to be working well doesn’t it? Oh wait, no one cares do they?
FULHAM V LIVERPOOL
MOST LIKELY – This fixture always seems to be incredibly dull so it’d be good if they both could just do the sensible thing and flick a coin to save everyone’s time. Fulham fans will be sure to throw beach balls onto the pitch and everyone will groan like they’re watching a s*** panto whilst sticking their nose up and saying ‘that was so last week.’ Seriously, it’s getting old now, and let’s face it, although funny that beach ball had serious repercussions. Darren Bent is about to be the Premier Leagues leading scorer…And that will mean an England call up….Who can see the next pizza hut ad?
MAN UTD V BLACKBURN
MOST LIKELY – Well, what could possibly make this fixture less even? The whole Blackburn squad having swine flu? Yeah that should do it. Apparently their centre halves all have to play with anchors strapped to their ankles as well. But Sir Alex will probably still complain about a 10th minute penalty that never was. Referees these days ey. They’re not even people really are they?
PORTSMOUTH V WIGAN
MOST LIKELY – You have to feel sorry for Paul Hart. He’s like that character in a film who says ‘everything’s going to be fine now’ before a massive explosion goes off in the back ground and engulfs the entire scene. Who is running Portsmouth? Is it a year five class project? That said, Roberto Martinez doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy who will enjoy Fratton Park and I think an upset could well be on the cards (cue mass explosion).
STOKE V WOLVES
MOST LIKELY – Not a lot to say about this really, Stoke are good at home, Wolves are pretty s***, so you can bet having said that, Saturday evening will see Wolves celebrating a 6-0 romp.
SUNDERLAND V WEST HAM
MOST LIKELY – Darren Bent needs to stop scoring, he’s beginning to make me look like an idiot (more of one). West Ham need to stop being rubbish, and a draw against Arsenal should help no end. All in all a draw would suit fine here, although maybe not for all the east Londoners who decide to make the trip all the way up to Sunderland. But that’s your own stupid fault now isn’t it?
BIRMINGHAM V MAN CITY
MOST LIKELY – Birmingham’s new owners will feel like they invested in Northern Rock after they sit next to the City top dogs in the executive box. ‘We’re putting 40 million into the club’…’Well we’re putting 40 million into comfortable bog roll, oh look I’ll just shat out another gold necklace, what are the odds!’ That would probably be a more entertaining match up than the game to be honest.
The DA’s Dan Green continues his journey of discovery, mystery and away trips to Barnsley.
Firstly, an apology – Just as I was finishing off last week’s blog the news broke that Alan Partridge, sorry I mean Gareth Southgate, had been sacked as Middlesbrough manager after a despicable 2-0 win over Derby County. Unfortunately, I had neither the time nor inclination to cover it. Thankfully, I have had a whole week in which to ponder one of the Championship’s most bizarre news stories since Neil Warnock recruited Bill Murray and the rest of the Ghostbusters to ward “ghost-goals” away from Selhurst Park. This week’s other “Hot Topics!!!” – Newcastle’s glorious return to the summit of the second tier of English football, the unfortunate sending off of the most violent Georgian to come to Newcastle since Temuri Ketsbaia and next Monday’s crucial game against struggling Sheffield United.
Right, our first port of call is Gareth Southgate…poor f*****. I think we all realise that Gareth was never really good enough to manage a successful Premiership team (just as the majority of Southgate’s squad weren’t good enough to play top flight football week in week out). However, based on his initial games of the Championship season, Middlesbrough will certainly be in contention for automatic promotion this year, regardless of how much it pains me to admit that. They currently lie in fourth position, just three points behind the Toon Army, and with our current consistency one bad game from us and they would be level. But alas, the much admired Middlesbrough board which has been commended so readily for their willingness to back Mr. Southgate after the club’s relegation, have decided that hiring an angry, much maligned Scot is the way to go. Strachan has said that he was attracted to the club’s ‘stability’, clearly choosing to overlook their recent relegation, the mass exodus of its top players and the shock dismissal of the last manager, who left the club three points off top of the league.
At least one North-East team had something to shout about this weekend (albeit, only just). That’s right, Kevin Nolan came up with the goods once again and proved how incredibly over-qualified he is for this league. Together with Alan Smith, Nolan has helped to forge the league’s most intimidating midfield partnership. Add to that midfield the names of Danny Guthrie, Joey Barton and Nicky Butt and you would be forgiven for choosing an afternoon testing shark repellent off the coast of Queensland, Australia over a 3pm Saturday appointment with pain, suffering and the liquidation of your internal organs. Fortunately for Doncaster, Nolan’s most significant contribution was his 92nd minute winner, which gave the Toon Army a barely-deserved victory, having seen Doncaster miss what could have been a match-winning penalty. The honour of “Violent Man of the Match” went to Zidane-lookalike Zurab Khizanishvili, sent off for wrestling Billy Sharp to the ground. However, Zurab still has a way to go if he is to top the maniacal antics of former Newcastle great and fellow Georgian Temuri Ketsbaia
Never has a man been so angry to score a winning goal…
So, time to wrap this up I feel, and with some BREAKING NEWS!!! (almost). Mike Ashley has just made public his desire to continue his Limpet-like, parasitic attachment to the club for the indefinite future. No more Barry ‘Billy Bass’ Moat (the local businessman having failed to find £80m down the back of his sofa)…no more Singaporean/South African interest…no more fan takeover (that’s probably for the best, although it would be funny to see Ant and Dec pick the team when their turn comes around). Ashley has also reportedly decided to invest £20m into the club in the next two weeks, which should just about cover the fortnightly wage bill. The good news is that Papa Hughton is now “officially” manager. He may not have masses of experience but he does have the player’s backing and has already gained praise after capturing the Coca Cola Championship Manager of the Month awards for August and September. His next test will be to conquer struggling Sheffield United on Monday. I can’t wait to see Mr. Ashley sporting his brand new ‘King Chris’ replica shirt…
Newcastle United chairman Mike Ashley today set out on a long standing pipe dream to become the worlds greatest super villan. Sporting a new eye patch whilst taking pot shots at small children Ashley announced he was taking Newcastle off the market and renaming the team ‘Sunderland reserves FC’. He is also set to rename the stadium ‘St Quinns Park’ in honour of long time north east legend Niall.
Asked if he would make any money available in the January transfer window Ashley smirked ‘only to fund the betting habits of my good friend Dennis Wise. He can have as much money as he wants. As for Sunderland reserves, I plan to sell any genuine football players we have left and replace them with broken mannequins handed down from my JJB stores.’
‘Oh and just so you know, season ticket prices are going up, The pie stands will now only be serving salad and the new home shirt is going to be a mixture of bright pink and vomit. Mwahahaha mwahahahahaha, mwahahahahahahahahaha!
Medical experts are warning of a ‘c*** football’ outbreak after it was revealed Blackburn Rovers squad members are passing on their skills in a highly contagious virus. ‘Shite flu’, a new strand of the illness is threatening to wipe out passing as we know it and looks set to increase row z clearances by 70%.
Top clubs are on high alert but scientists are warning there is very little they can do to stop the pandemic. Dr Jacob Lovell from Edinburgh University said ‘once you’ve been into direct contact with someone as s*** as Chris Samba there is little to no hope. You have been exposed to what we call unbearable levels of s***ness. Basically the levels of s*** are so high that even the smallest collision would be the equivalent of a two flush job.’
Players are being told to monitor early signs of the illness carefully with symptoms including an ability to miss a tap in from a yard, the urge to kick another player’s shins really hard and a sudden aspiration to one day be Robbie Savage.
So a patient comes to see me last week and says ‘Doctor, I’ve got a strawberry growing out of my head’ and I say, ‘I can bloody see that, here let me give you some cream for it’. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA yet another one of my hillarious doctor anecdotes…or should I say antidotes…I’m on a role! Anyway, this week, I’ve broken one of my many personal rules and decided to help a Scotsman, just for giggles. Read on:
I am Scots, and also a bit of an a******, therefore I enjoy cursing as a regular past time. Being a Sir, I find everyone to be far inferior to me so my cursing is often increased by putting people in their place and being as patronising as humanly possible. For example, if I do something wrong, say pick the wrong team or make the wrong substitution at the wrong time, I quite rightly take it out on a lesser being, ie a referee.
Unfortunately the powers that be have decided I shouldn’t really be allowed to do this anymore (political correctness gone mad!) yet I find myself increasingly wanting to call something a ‘f***** useless f***** w*****. To be honest, I rarely speak to any press people anymore because they’re all a bunch of f***** useless f***** w******s but I’m still struggling to keep my rather over sized mouth at bay. Can you think of any solutions?
Great question Sir a******,
there’s always a solution and 90% of the time it involves hot naked women and a whole heap of mud. Unfortunately your solution falls into the 10% category. Swearing can be fun, especially if your shouting at old, defenceless people but clearly your past times are not being considered (what ever happened to free f***** speech I tell you!). Try using code to curb your foul mouth.
For example f**** would become the word ‘cuddly’ and w***** could transform to something like ‘puppy’. Translated, the sentence ‘f***** useless f***** w*****’ which you previously referenced would become ‘cuddly useless cuddly puppy.’ Whilst secretly you’d know what you meant, the general public would be distracted by the thought of a cuddly puppy and everyone would go home happy. This may not feel quite as rewarding but it’ll certainly work in a similar vein to a nicotine patch (other than the fact that they don’t actually work and in fact are complete placebos…shhhhh don’t tell anyone!)
Happy cursing you f***** f***face.
A shocking survey has revealed that 65% of all professional footballers are able to type enough words to maintain a Twitter feed without too many problems whilst 90% are ‘fairly sure’ they know what a sentence is.
The revelation comes after Hull City playwright Jozy Altidore managed to construct an entire line of letters understandable as an apology to his team mates for being late to a game. The update read ‘I iz 50 sory 4 bing lat 4 Sater day innit boyz – plz 4give me stewpid t.’ Scientists are calling it a landmark case in the continuing search to find a brain cell located in the outer depths of the Premier League.
Head of research and director of the survey David Radley said ‘Of course, this is not the first time a Premier league player has constructed a sentence. Darren Bent managed one in the summer but our investigations show Harry Redknapp helped him with grammar considerably in order to get him out of Tottenham. And most of the words were really just curse words which most forms of life can hazard a guess at.’
The DA rounds up the weekend’s action by checking up on some the star’s Facebook statuses:
Sir Alex Ferguson is blowing up the last few.
Michael Owen can’t wait to reveal it was an undercover mission all along.
Harry Redknapp did not see that coming…
Carlo Ancelotti realizes there is a certain amount of irony to calling Joe Cole a genius.
Phil Brown just opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate the 0-0 home draw against Portsmouth…Can things get much more humiliating?
BIRMINGHAM V SUNDERLAND
MOST LIKELY – Steve Bruce is officially the first man to be annoyed at being forced out of Birmingham. Since when has anyone been forced out of Birmingham? People celebrate leaving Birmingham, people throw parties when they leave Birmingham, people thanks the lord for letting them escape when they leave Birmingham…Oh Birmingham will win by the way.
BURNLEY V WIGAN
MOST LIKELY – Burnley can’t stop winning at home, which is why yours truly has gone for the draw…(never back the horse I back, I implore you). Wigan appear to be on somewhat of a role and are playing some really good football. What is weird though is this; Would anyone raise a Roger Moore eyebrow if this was a league two fixture? This once would probably have been less important than Bradford V Northampton.
CHELSEA V BLACKBURN
MOST LIKELY – “Oh Blackburn have scored first, maybe this could be an upset. Oh no wait, false alarm Chelsea have done that thing they do where they ruin everyone’s fun”. This is the script for Saturday’s commentator who incidentally has already prerecorded this so he can go shopping and do other interesting things.
HULL V PORTSMOUTH
MOST LIKELY – This will be a good warm up for the Championship playoff final next year so both teams are likely to experiment a bit. Can Phil Brown cling onto his high tech headphones and big important manager jacket for another week? He’s probably being saved by the fact that the only other man willing to manage Hull City is Iain Dowie. And when you’re the only man standing between a football club and Iain Dowie you are in a pretty strong position.
TOTTENHAM V STOKE
MOST LIKELY – It was great to see Crouchy out on the town last week, I really hope the robot was used to pull women. The guy’s a genius. Rory Delap may have a big throw but what he doesn’t have is a step ladder, and neither do the Stoke back four. So expect them to just miss out here.
WOLVERHAMPTON V ASTON VILLA
MOST LIKELY – Why did Blackburn Burnley get all that hype when Wolves Villa hasn’t even been mentioned? This is for Midland’s pride! Hmmm maybe that’s why.
KEVIN DAVIES V EVERTON
MOST LIKELY – Everton got a little bit embarrassed this week so the last thing they’ll want to do is lose to Bolton because let’s face it, if you were already on the brink of killing yourself, a defeat to Bolton would put the final nail in the coffin. It won’t be pretty, it won’t be pleasant, but at some point there will unfortunately be a close up of Gary Megson.
LIVERPOOL V MAN UTD
MOST LIKELY – This is the first match ever in danger of being called off because of an invasion of beach balls. Manchester United fans have taken the joke so far that rumours are circulating that some have ordered in 30 tonnes of sand and 200 deck chairs just to get the point across. It’s great to see Utd fans taking interest in football as ever, but it is a long trip from London so they might as well have fun I suppose.
MAN CITY V FULHAM
MOST LIKELY – …Fulham nearly beat Roma. In fact, that’s so fantastic that I’m going to pretend the last 3 minutes didn’t happen… Fulham beat Roma! That’s enough excitement for one week though Fulham, consider this a write off.
WEST HAM V ARSENAL
MOST LIKELY – Will Sam Kroenke just hurry up and buy Arsenal already? You don’t go into HMV and pay for a DVD in steady installments do you? You don’t buy part of the box in separate pieces and queue up patiently everytime to give a little bit more money to the cashier do you? Just buy the sodding thing, take it home and do whatever you want.
England’s 2018 bid team have rejected claims that they’re a bunch of a*** kissing sleaze bags after buying the wives of top FIFA executives handbags with the hope they’d say ‘honey, I want to go buy lots of nice things in London in 2018.’
A spokesmen for the group said ‘we strongly refute allegations that we are trying to bribe the decision makers and would very much like to know if this shiny new plasma screen in my hand will stop you writing such preposterous things?’
Meanwhile, the 50 strong England Ambassador sqaud for the bid has been announced with some surprise recalls for David Seaman, Peter Beardsley and Brian Deane. Michael Owen was forced to pull out injured so Gary Lineker has agreed to travel. Rumours are circulating that Fabio Capello is so impressed with the line up that he may just use the same list for next year’s World Cup and take a couple of months off to enjoy his millions and millions of pounds.
The DA’s Dan Green continues his journey of discovery, mystery and away trips to Barnsley.
So, after two weeks of boredom and a vacuum of Newcastle-related news, the ‘International Break’ is finally over…hurray! Stephen Merchant’s ugly brother Mr. Crouch has once again staked his claim to the seat-with-the-extra-leg-room on the South African-bound England team plane, leading many to re-use the same old hackneyed Crouch line: “Well, he does give England something different going forward…”. Well, if we’re going for “different”, why don’t we push the boat out a bit? Why choose a footballer to lead the line? How about placing one of London Zoo’s Giraffes up top, with Rooney slotting in just behind in the ‘hole’? If we’re going for height, let’s do it properly. Well, maybe not. My point is, ‘different’ is not a synonym of ‘better’. However, Crouch seems to have sealed his own England (and Spurs) fate this week by poking his inebriated face out of a car’s sun-roof at 3am in the morning. What is perhaps more shocking is that the country’s media seem to relish documenting such antics on both the front and back pages of the UK’s leading papers. It’s almost as if footballers are viewed as high profile public figures, representing both club and country. Who knew?
Right then, ‘Crouch-rant’ over. Thankfully, the Coca Cola Championship freak-show has rolled back into action this week, shambling on from town to town as the smaller teams fight for Championship survival and the bigger teams…well…lose to the smaller teams. You’ve probably already prepared yourselves for the tirade of abuse, ‘Effing ‘n’ Jeffing’ and general displeasure at Newcastle United’s last two fixtures. However, to be truthful, that’s not going to happen. Yes, I am disappointed with losing two ‘winnable’ games on the trot. Yes, I am concerned that we haven’t tasted victory in our last four games. And yes, I do own the new FIFA 10 videogame, spending most of my spare time with my head in the ‘virtual’ clouds, battering Barcelona with the same Newcastle team that capitulated in front of the Scunthorpe United faithful. However, as David ‘The Broken Record’ Pleat has probably stated 5 trillion times, “Form is temporary, class is permanent.”
Now, I’m not inferring that Newcastle United are by any means a ‘class act’ at this point in the season, however, the club still remains level on points with league leaders West Brom who have themselves suffered a recent dip in form. What is more encouraging is that none of the other likely promotion contenders (Cardiff, Middlesbrough etc) have been able to produce the consistency required to overtake the top two. In terms of tightness, the Barclay’s Premier League is like Ebenezer Scrooge at a pre-Christmas fundraiser for disadvantaged orphans. On the other hand, the Coca Cola Championship is more like my Dad – he fancies himself as a bit of a miser and can be heard constantly retorting about the ‘value of money, however, the second the old TV starts playing up he’s down to nearest electrical store queuing at the checkouts with a brand new flat screen in hand.
Nottingham Forest (always a difficult opposition as I pointed out at the end of my last blog) ran out as deserved 1-0 winners, capitalising on a good first half display through Dexter Blackstock’s adequate finish. And yes, the loss to Scunthorpe United, self-proclaimed owners of the league’s smallest fan base and budget (as well as the most amusing derogatory nickname for their home town/city – “Scumthorpe”), was obviously an unwelcome surprise for many conscripts of the Toon Army. However, as Papa Hughton correctly pointed out, Newcastle are coveted as the league’s ‘Prize-Scalp’, a fantastic morale boost for smaller teams looking to cement their place in the second tier of English Football or with aspirations for top-flight football.
Saturday’s game at home to Doncaster will be a huge test for Mr Hughton, a man with very clear aspirations to become the permanent manager at Newcastle United. Based on his Championship campaign so far, it is hard to form a case against him – he has already won both Manager of the Month awards and has managed to keep his squad relatively intact, whilst making some very intelligent loan signings. And perhaps most importantly, Chris seems genuinely excited by managerial life in the lower leagues – it’s hard to imagine a certain Mr. Shearer relishing the likely prospect of a 0-0 home draw with Doncaster when he could be curled up on the Match of the Day sofa spooning Lee Dixon.