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Beach Balls And Nightclubs


While I’ve been recovering in my sick bed from my recent accident, people in the football world seem to be having, um, well, a ball. But it’s not just unnamed Liverpool supporters (who might want to follow my lead and drop out of sight for a while) who have embarrassed themselves, some of the games elder statesmen have also been found looking foolish. (And I’m not talking about you Rio Ferdinand.) So for those who have missed it, the Daily Thought rundown has returned.

I’m not going to get into the whole beach ball debate or make another ‘life’s a beach joke’ (besides I already did that on Twitter), but it seems the lads at Leeds United haven’t had enough of it. And I’m pretty sure Liverpool should be more than ready for a Beach Ball Blanket Bingo party at Anfield this Sunday.

On the subject of Club Crisis, Daniel Agger makes the ‘no-shit’ observation of the week by announcing that Liverpool isn’t the same side without Steven Gerrard. To quote Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler, I ask ‘Really?’ As if anyone who watched Sunderland completely outplay them without Stevie G didn’t notice that.

Last season after more than a few nightclub incidents involving his players, Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp issued a nightclub ban. I guess old Harry won’t be too happy to see these pictures of Peter Crouch and Jonathan Woodgate busting moves (if you can call it that) on the dance floor late last Saturday night.

At least those two young men were able to get into the club. After being denied entrance into a nightclub Cheltenham manager Martin Allen (on the job all of one month) decided to racially abuse the bouncer and challenge him to a fight. Not exactly a good way to endear yourselves to the club staff or your employers. The 44-year-old wannabe party boy has been suspended from his job until further notice.

Perhaps with his time off he can call up former English legend Paul Gasciogne. Gascoigne—who’s no stranger to drunken outbursts—has gotten himself into further trouble by head butting a bouncer at a Newcastle snooker club. (I assume that’s a fancy pool hall.) Maybe these two old timers should just take a cue from Crouchy and Woody and just learn to enjoy themselves on the dance floor.

Happy Birthday, Arsene Wenger. The Arsenal manager turns sixty on Thursday and claims he wants to be in football until he dies. And I’m sure you won’t see the football focused manager celebrating his special day at a nightclub. Actually, it’s a lot lamer than that. He plans on a dinner with the wife and exciting Europa League action. I’m sure the wife can’t wait. I can picture her calling Mad Dog and Gazza to see what they’re up to that night.

I’d like wish a fond farewell to Sweden and Celtic legend Henrik Larsson. The 38-year-old has decided to hang it up November 1. If only I could tell him how much I enjoyed his career in person.

It’s also the end for legend in name only Dean Windass. If only I could tell him in person how much I enjoyed making Windass jokes. nike air max blancas nike air max blancas

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The Ups And Downs Of Football

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Rafa Benitez
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One day you’re riding high, and the next you’re back to being a bum. Such is life in the world of football. Just ask Rafa Benitez and Jurgen Klinsmann. Leading up to the match, the ‘Fact Man’ was busy telling the press how terrified other teams were of his juggernaut Reds, and then they went out and got embarrassed at home by Chelsea. Meanwhile, Klinsy’s job status—never the most secure in Europe—took as serious hit as they played the Washington Generals to Barcelona’s Globetrotters. Football is a fickle game indeed.

Not only did Chelsea exercise their demons last night at Anfield, according to Frank Lampard, they’re now the team to beat. Not one to get carried away, is he? If you ask John Terry, Liverpool were getting carried away with the dirty tricks they were using to try and get him booked. Fortunately for the Blues, they have ‘supernatural’

Branislav Ivanovic on their side.

I’m not sure exactly what Ivanovic’s powers may be, but I wonder if he had anything to do with bringing Adriano back from the dead


Spanish relegation battlers Osasuna don’t need help from the dark side, all they need is a little pork. Two weeks ago a local pig breeder offered twelve suckling pigs if they beat fellow bottom feeders Espanyol, which they did 1-0. Then they followed that up with a 4-2 demolishing of Atlético Madrid at the Vicente Calderón—which earned them twelve more delicious piggies. Good news for everyone but Osasuna’s two Muslim players.

In case you really want to know, Kaka doesn’t want to go to England and wishes to stay at AC Milan. Maybe he’ll change his mind when he hears Craig Bellamy’s offer to clean his boots. No word on what other services the Welshman has offered.

Boot cleaning might not be enough to lure Kaka, but it might convince Zenit St. Petersburg striker Pavel Pogrebnyak to move to City. The Russian is keen on a move to England, as long as it’s not Blackburn. Can you really blame him?

It seems Lukas Podolski’s love slap isn’t going completely unpunished. The German police are now involved and investigating the incident. Good to see the German police have nothing better to do. I guess I better get my ‘Free Lukas’ t-shirt ready. cgparka cgparka

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Playing The Blame Game


When a massive club from a mammoth league gives up two away goals to a big club from a lesser league, then you know that the next day’s papers will report that the sky is falling and play the blame game.  In case you didn’t notice, that happened in yesterday’s Manchester United v. FC Porto Champions League quarter-final match. Of course there’s other news to report, but it’s not as sexy as a team in crisis. (Remember Arsenal earlier in the year, and Liverpool soon after?)

Let’s jump right into it. Whose fault is it that United wet the bed against Porto? If you ask Sir Alex, it’s his fault. Edwin van der Sar blames the leaky defense. Darren Fletcher takes a different path and actually gives Porto credit for playing a good game. So obviously it must be all his fault.

Former crisis club, now best in the world, Liverpool could lose goal scoring machine Fernando Torres to Italy or, gasp, Germany. Not one to let anything go unremarked upon, ‘Facts’ Benitez is holding a press conference about it. Just kidding, but don’t be surprised if he does.

Remember Chelsea? Just last year they playned in the Champions League final and are currently just four points behind league leaders Manchester United. It seems nobody else does, considering the coverage Liverpool and United have been receiving this year. It might actually be a good thing, since captain John Terry revealed that he used to be scared of Anfield, but he’s not anymore. He’s also not scared of the boogie man or the monster in his closet anymore as well. Maybe he needs another pep talk from Avram Grant to help him out. Or just Jose Mourinho back.

Did Manchester City’s ear just perk up? It seems Kaka hasn’t completely ruled out a move to England. Which, of course, means he must be going to City?

In lesser, but more curious transfer news, Villarreal is reportedly interested in non-goal machine Bobby Zamora. If I were Jozy Altidore I would be so pissed right now considering in his last two matches he’s scored as many goals as Fulham’s non-striker has all season.

And in much lesser news, David Beckham’s AC Milan teammate Christian ‘Bobo’ Vieri wants to join him and play for the LA Galaxy.  And they said Becks isn’t helping MLS grow. canada goose frauen canada goose frauen

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Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)


As I was crying in my cup of PG Tips this morning over the news that Gisele has chosen Tom Brady over me, I was consoled by the fact that footballers’ dreams don’t always come true. Sometimes driving a new Ferrari every other month, and bedding models and actresses isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Sometimes you have other dreams that are unattainable–even for a highly paid athlete or billionaire club owner. Now I feel better and I just hope that Bar Rafaeli dumps Leo sometime soon.

He might not like England, but Roman Pavlyuchenko isn’t trying to leave anytime soon. He just wants to move north and play for Manchester United–like many a Spurs star before him. What loyalty. I mean he hasn’t even finished his first season at White Hart Lane and he wants to leave. And Tottenham supporters thought that Dimitar Berbatov was just using them as a rest stop on the way to a bigger club.

While that might be an attainable goal, Sheffield United is still dreaming of the Premiership money they lost out on when they were relegated due to West Ham’s illegal signing of Carlos Tevez. They claim they are owed £45.5m. That’s £15m more than they previously claimed they were owed. Who says that the pound has decreased in value?

The Sunderland board has told Rick Sbragia that he will be allowed to splash the cash this summer. But other reports say that due to the economic crisis, they won’t have the money to sign Djibril Cisse. If they can’t afford Cisse, one has to assume that ‘splashing the cash’ means Sbragia will have a crisp twenty to blow on players. That should bring in some quality.

In other news, Julien Faubert has been linked with a move to Sunderland.

Jose Mourinho has said all along that he would one day return to England. And it appears that if Tom Hicks and George Gillett have their way, he would be Liverpool’s next manager. Aerosmith put it best when they sang, ‘Dream On.’ If he couldn’t deal with a meddling owner who was willing to throw big money around, I’m sure that he would love dealing with two clueless meddling owners that don’t spend any cash.

There is one man whose dream has come true. Who would have thought that it was ‘fact’ man Benitez? Longtime nemesis Rick Parry has left the club, leaving Rafa as the top dog at Anfield. Now if only Hicks and Gillett sold the team, Ryan Babel left the squad and Rafa gave up his stupid rotation policy, Liverpool would be hoisting the Premiership trophy next year. Or the next year. Or the year after that. michael kors tasche michael kors tasche

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Time for Takeoff


I think that I’m suffering from motion sickness. And it’s not from being overserved on a much needed luxury cruise vacation. It’s from all the speculation about who’s going, who’s coming and how they’re getting there. Today’s headlines have more talk of arrivals and departures than a train station PA system.

Will he stay or is he leaving? No, we’re not talking about David Beckham, but Rafa Benitez. The ‘fact’ man’s contract saga continues to dominate the headlines, with the latest news having him leaving Anfield by the weekend. At least all the talk distracts everyone from talking about how Liverpool has blown yet another chance at the Premiership title.

Meanwhile, the Special One doesn’t have any troubles leaving the San Siro. Apparently the news of Jose snubbing Alex Ferguson after yesterday’s Champions League matchup was much ado about nothing. According to Mourinho, the San Siro dugout has a secret door that leads from the pitch to the dressing room. In other news, Rafa is asking for an ejection seat at Anfield.

In other Champions League news, Kolo Toure was booked for coming on the pitch without permission at the start of the second half against Roma. It seems Toure has a superstition that he must be the last one on the pitch. He also revealed that he plays with ten rabbit’s feet in his boots.

Over at the Riverside, Gareth Southgate is trying to go back to a time when Middlesbrough weren’t so crappy. Or at least a time when they could at least score goals. In an attempt to boast his club’s confidence, he has compiled a video of his players scoring goals. The good thing is that the video didn’t get in the way of training as it only lasted three minutes.

At least it’s heart warming to know that Nicklas Bendtner doesn’t need any confidence boosting. After flubbing a half dozen chances yesterday against Roma, the every minute man was still able to feel good about his performance. The note in his lunch box from his mother also confirmed that assessment. michaelhandtasche michaelhandtasche

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It’s About Time


There’s only one thing on my mind today. Champions League. After waiting what seemed nine years for the knockout stage, it’s finally back. And what fun it brings. Italy vs. England. Sir Alex vs. The Special One. Arsene’s young boys vs. the aging non-wonders of Roma. Oh, and Lyon get to lose to Barcelona. And on some obscure network, Atlético Madrid take on Porto. Without further ado, let’s get to the rundown.

Darren Fletcher’s European trip isn’t off to the greatest of starts. Shortly after departing for Milan, his girlfriend and her mother were robbed at knifepoint by burglars who broke into his home. I guess that all the Liverpool players were at home that night.

While that may be an unfortunate incident, it isn’t getting in the way of the war of words between the managers. In yesterday’s well attended press conference, Jose Mourinho claimed that United’s tactics aren’t up to par with the Italian league. He then reiterated his desire to return to England so that his tactic of relying on a Drogba dive for a penalty can be successful again.

Arsenal’s trophy cabinet hasn’t been added to in some time, but top man Arsene Wenger fully believes that glory isn’t that far off. Of course, he seems only to be saying it to convince Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie to stay. Now seriously, what will it take to get you in this Hyundai today Mr. Fabregas?

But Arsene shouldn’t worry if he loses all of his best players before they can shave. Natural Hat Trick has found a replacement player that should fit in his budget. And now, there’s just that matter of our finder’s fee Mr. Wenger.

And what would delusional visions of grandeur be without an update from Anfield? This time, it’s Dirk Kuyt turn to serve up the Liverpool Kool-Aid. The Dutch anti-hitman believes that a win over Real Madrid can jumpstart the Reds dying BPL title hopes. And he still leaves teeth under his pillow.

Of course, some hallucinations can be both weird and comical. In a recent tell-all interview, Paul Gascoigne admitted to talking to and going out for drinks with fake parrots. He didn’t say if he met them at a Jimmy Buffet concert.

For what it’s worth: Gary Lineker thinks his ears stick out.

For what it’s worth, part two: David Beckham thinks his move to Milan is close to being completed.

For what it’s worth, part three: Both of these things are of little interest to me. nike air max 90 damen nike air max 90 damen

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Rafa Knows Best

Rafa and Keane not to be.

Rafa and Keane not to be.

The dust has settled from the Robbie Keane debacle and once again Rafa Benitez ends up with egg on his face. Granted, Keane returning to Tottenham confirms that he is a second rate striker who can only score goals when the bright lights aren’t on. But for Rafa, this is just business as usual at rocky Anfield. Instead of discussing whether Sunday’s victory over Chelsea is a turning point for the slumping club, the man in charge of As the Pool Turns is defending his lack of striking support for the wonderful, yet fragile Fernando Torres.

Luckily for himself, Rafa sees no problem. Explaining the Keane move, Benetiz says that, “I have to analyze things and try to look at the bigger picture and this means thinking of the club and the team and what is best for them.” I guess pinning your title hopes on Dirk Kuyt or Ryan Babel stepping up if and when Torres suffers yet another injury is doing what best in Rafa’s world. Selling a proven, yet unsettled, goal scorer, without bringing in another forward to replace him is what’s best? Is his retirement savings plan lottery tickets?

For Keane, a move that began with talk of the fulfillment of a childhood dream had turned into an ugly reality of few goals and dwindling appearances. His dream move was unofficially over when he was left out of the squad entirely for unknown David N’Gog for their FA Cup match against Everton. And now, Keane gets to return home to a club where he’s comfortable. A place where Keane says, “Everything is set up for me to walk right back into.” There’s even discussion of making him captain. He can move on, help Spurs fight relegation, and act as if six dreadful months at Liverpool never happened. He’s the lucky one in all of this.

Benetiz must know he has just increased the pressure on himself, and it seems to me that he must enjoy being on the hot seat. Why else would he spend an entire press conference reading a written list of complaints (or facts, as he called them) against your biggest rival? Why would you publicly demand to have full control over player procurement, when you’ve brought in the likes of Dirk Kuyt? In Rafa’s mind, Rafa knows best. He just doesn’t realize the rest of us don’t think so. nike air max weiß nike air max weiß

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