Tag Archive | "Arsene Wenger"

Beach Balls And Nightclubs



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leedsbeachball

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.

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Did I Do That?



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FAMILY MATTERS

Do you remember the early 90s sitcom Family Matters? You probably remember it as the Steve Urkel show. And you may remember his catch phrase ‘Did I do that?’ Well, that’s what’s the news is like today, a bunch of people making some bad decisions.

French club Rennes has been charged with poaching teenager Tongo Hamed Doumbia from Châteauroux, a Ligue 2 side. It wouldn’t be so funny if they hadn’t accused Manchester City of doing the same thing to them. Maybe someone needs to translate the old adage about people in glass houses into French.

It looks like there’s been a little bust-up at Aston Villa between manager Martin O’Neill and disgruntled midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker. Some reports say that Reo-Coker got physical and pushed and choked O’Neill. The manager denies Reo-Coker went all Latrell Spreewell, but he did give the hot-headed midfielder the weekend off.

Liverpool may be sitting in fifth place and seven points behind BPL leaders Chelsea, but that doesn’t worry Steven Gerrard. Captain Liverpool feels the club is starting to heat up and that the African Cup of Nations will work in the Reds favor. There’s nothing like back-to-back victories over powerhouses Burnley and Debrecen to fill up one’s cup of confidence.

Arsene Wenger might want to move on from ‘Manu-Gate,’ but it’s still fresh in Cesc Fabregas’ mind. The Arsenal captain claims the out-of-control Adebayor made a reckless tackle that left him with stud marks and a three inch gash on his shin. I don’t think this story will ever die—unfortunately.

On the subject of hot-heads, the real reason for Wayne Rooney’s temper tantrum after being substituted during Manchester United’s 1-0 win at Besiktas mid-week has been revealed. Apparently he was spat on by some Besiktas fans. It’s a good thing we’ve nipped this potential ‘Gate’ in the bud.

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Place Your Bets



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bettingwindow

Thank G*d! After weeks of the new season being dominated by the various ‘Gates’, we’ve got stories of all varieties today. People leaving, people throwing tantrums and some people’s deity status in decline. It’s like a great episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta or at least Real Housewives of Orange County.

Let’s start in Argentina where the national team and its legendary coach Diego Maradona are in more than crisis mode. Juan Sebastian Veron, he of the red card in last Wednesday’s loss to Paraguay, has sounded off against Maradona, blaming him for Argentina’s struggles. Meanwhile, it seems the stress is getting to the 1986 World Cup hero, reports have Maradona checking into a weight loss clinic in Italy. Why do I get the feeling that Maradona won’t be in charge of the Albicelestes for the last two qualifying matches?

Don’t expect Liverpool to go all Manchester City with their newfound shirt sponsor riches (surprising, eh?). Owner Tom Hicks claims that, financially, ‘they have never been stronger.’ He also calls City’s method of operation unsustainable. That might be true if they weren’t backed by an oil sheik, and I don’t see him running out of money any time soon. Unless, of course, everyone starts driving solar cars in the next ten years (sound of muffled laughter).

In other Liverpool news, UK betting house Paddy Power has scrapped a plan to place odds on which Reds’ house will be broken into next. Just in case you care (and I know you do), Jamie Carragher, Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres were the favorites at 12/1 odds.

It looks like Hull City’s in serious financial trouble. And it not just the cost of Phil Brown’s spray-on tan that’s to blame. Of course the club denies it. But we did see chairman Paul Duffen slipping into a Paddy Power and placing ten grand on Steven Gerrard.

On the subject of betting, German betting site mybet.de has released its Bundesliga managerial hot seat oddsFIVE WEEKS INTO THE SEASON! It wouldn’t be so sad and funny if two managers haven’t already left their clubs. Talk about results now.

I was beginning to think he had mellowed since moving to Italy, but Jose Mourinho is back (unfortunately Special 1 TV isn’t). The Special One has told England national team manager Fabio Capello he ‘knows nothing about football.’ If only we could see them fight it out in puppet form.

Let’s give the Harraby Athletic under-14 squad a big round of applause. The youngsters beat the Edenvale Hawks 3-2 to put an end to a small 90 game losing streak they’ve been on. No word if Alan Pardew was managing the club during the streak.

In some other feel good news, 24-year-old Danish footballer Christian Nielsen has quit football to travel the world and work in an orphanage. The life change came after witnessing teammate Jonathan Richter struck by lightning during a match in July. I wish him luck for such a bold move.

It’s Dr. Paul Morris, of the University of Portsmouth, to the rescue. The good doctor is an expert on the embodiment of emotions and intentions and claims to know when a foul is a foul and a dive is a dive. He calls the number one tell the ‘Archer’s Bow.’ Well now that that’s been settled, I’m sure we won’t see another dive in a competitive match.

And yes, we will end with the latest coming out of ‘Manu-Gate.’ Arsene Wenger continues to rip Mark Hughes for defending Adebayor. I find this hilarious considering the Frenchman has been known to vigorously defend his own players, sometimes even going as far as claiming temporary blindness.

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A Bolt Of Lightning Everywhere



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usainbolt

Well it’s the last day of the international break and let’s hope our favorite players don’t get Tevezed before they return to their clubs. While club football may have been on a break, conspiracy theories and over-inflated egos didn’t. Nor did we take a break (don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.)

The world’s fastest man and, apparently, the world’s number one celebrity football supporter, Usain Bolt, will be a guest of the English FA as England take on Croatia in a World Cup qualifier. Not that long after palling around with best mate Cristiano Ronaldo in Madrid last week, he’ll be at Wembley rooting on England. The Jamaican sprinter is such an England fan he even used the word ‘we’ when talking about today’s match.

He may not be as fast of foot as Bolt, but Didier Drogba is quick to pat himself on the back. The former want away striker, who has now declared himself Chelsea-for-life, claims that he’s an unselfish player who doesn’t, ‘look at my scoring statistics.’ I agree with him. The way he got himself red carded during the 2008 Champions League final so that John Terry could be forced to take a penalty was definitely soulless selfless.

Another man who doesn’t mind taking one for the team is Manchester United midfielder and Scottish captain Darren Fletcher. The hard-nosed player has encouraged his teammates to question their opposite number if they’re ‘up for a battle?’ He also goes on to say he’ll be ‘in your face and kicking at your ankles.’ I’m sure those are comforting words for Arsene Wenger after he questioned Fletcher‘s role on the pitch during the last Manchester United v. Arsenal match.

Wenger’s problems with the Scottish aren’t restricted to the playing field. He blames the Eduardo diving suspension on, ‘Scottish people working at UEFA.’ David Gold, former chief executive of the Scottish FA and current UEFA general secretary, has come out and explained that, ‘It’s not all pals together’ at UEFA. No word if he was having a glass of red wine with Sir Alex Ferguson at the time of the statement.

Old pal Juande Ramos has been tipped for a return to football. After resurrecting his reputation at Real Madrid after his Tottenham debacle, the Spaniard is rumored to replace Leonardo at AC Milan. Like Martin Jol (now at Ajax after a successful stint at Hamburg), Ramos is finding that being fired from White Hart Lane might be the best thing to happen to a manager.

And let’s end on a truly joyous note (for once). Liverpool fan Michael Shields, who was incarcerated four years for a crime he didn’t commit after Liverpool’s Champions League victory in Turkey in 2005, has been released from prison today. Congratulations Michael.

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Tell Us What You Really Think



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stefaneffenberg

As the old saying goes, opinions are like a**holes, everyone has one. Unlike a**holes, which are only shared on adult websites and magazines (does anyone read porno mags anymore?), footballers opinions make front page headlines around the world.

Stefan Effenberg has been out of football since 2004, but that didn’t stop German newspaper Bild from digging him up for an interview. The former Bayern München player accused David Beckham of being underhanded. It shouldn’t be huge news, but mention the name David Beckham and you’ll make headlines. Maybe he just doesn’t want England to host the 2018 World Cup.

What is it with frustrated Germans today? Recently fired Jurgen Klinsmann is unhappy by the way he was treated by Bayern München. He claims he was made a scapegoat for things he couldn’t control and he could’ve won the Bundesliga if given the chance. Maybe he could have, maybe he couldn’t have; but like a Tootsie-Roll Pop, the world will never know.

Lionel Messi has decided to offer his two cents on the Carlos Tevez saga. The Flea says to sign him up as he’s one of the best in the world. I have to admit it struck me as odd that he didn’t make a plea for him to come to Barcelona. Normally when players talk up their countrymen, they say how great they would be at their club. Just saying.

‘Facts’ Benitez loves to talk about his club’s inability to financially compete with the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea. So I wonder how he can explain his club’s £50m bid for Carlos Tevez. Especially considering he recently said how United can spend £40-50m on a player and he can’t. Rafa, you’ve got some ‘splaining to do.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has decided to stay at the Emirates and turn down the advances of Real Madrid. Considering his massive transfer budget this summer (which must make ‘Facts’ jealous), I have to take my hat off to the man for sticking by his club. Or as he probably knows, if he takes the Madrid position he’ll be out of a job within 3 months. I guess the march in support of the Professor isn’t necessary after all.

I know Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough won’t be happy to see Manchester United field a reserve team against fellow relegation battlers Hull City this weekend. But I hope to G*d that they won’t actually sue the club if they do. Why is it everyone feels the need to sue when they go down? Can’t they just accept they’re shit? Or maybe, instead of suing somebody, they should use the Hull City method of motivation.

His girl might have left him and his team might have had a disappointing season, but, damn it, this is Frank Lampard’s best season ever—according to him. Maybe instead of Fat Frank, we should start calling him Old Silver Lining.

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Let The Games Begin



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tevezbinky

A weekend that saw Barcelona, Inter Milan and Manchester United all wrap up their domestic leagues wasn’t all confetti and fireworks. For some it was sour grapes and for others it was a kick out the door.

‘Facts’ Benitez has been in a war of words with Sir Alex Ferguson all season, so it should be as shocking as another female celebrity claiming to be bi-sexual that he wasn’t going to be the first to congratulate the Manchester United manager on the club’s BPL title. In fact he won’t congratulate him at all, instead he will just say ‘job well done.’ Stay classy Rafa.

In case anyone cares what he thinks, Liverpool’s sh*t midfielder Lucas can’t stand the sight of United winning the league as well.

Another shit midfielder, David Bentley has been shown the door by Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp. It seems Harry isn’t too impressed with Bentley’s return of two goals in thirty-four appearances for the club. At least the gaffer likes the young man, which can’t be said of Russian flop Roman Pavlyuchenko. After being subbed off this past weekend, he stormed right past the manager and straight down the tunnel. While Cristiano Ronaldo may be able to get away with such actions, a no-name Russian striker can’t. Too bad somebody didn’t tell him.

A bad attitude has cost striker Amr Zaki his place at Wigan. After a series of run-ins with manager Steve Bruce over the past season, Wigan has decided to not make his loan move permanent. Like Pavlyuchenko, it appears Zaki acts like he’s better than he is. Not a smart move for someone who hasn’t scored since December.

So long Carlos Tevez. The hard-working Manchester United player has made it pretty clear how he feels he’s been treated by the club. Claiming his new contract has nothing to do with money, but respect. This is shaping up to be an ugly breakup. Let the summer games begin.

On the subject of gamesmanship, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has dropped his strongest hint yet that he might be ready to leave the Emirates. Speaking on French TV, Wenger left the door open to a shocking move to Real Madrid. After Arsenal’s defensive play this season, he should feel right at home with the matador defense Madrid played this year.

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Egg On Your Face



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eggonface

You know how people say literally when they actually mean figuratively? Like when somebody says, ‘I literally just sh*t myself?’ Or when you embarrass yourself and you figuratively have egg on your face? Well Rangers defender Kirk Broadfoot actually ended up with egg on his face when some microwaved eggs exploded in his face. Just like those ‘This Is Your Brain On Drugs’ commercials tried to warn us, eggs are dangerous.

Cristiano Ronaldo figuratively ended up with egg on his face this past weekend when he threw a temper tantrum after being subbed off against Manchester City. After a stern talking to by teammates, the Ricky Martin fan issued an apology to the kitman he treated so rudely. I’m sure that’ll be the last time he’ll act like a spoiled child.

Perpetually egg-faced thug Joey Barton spent his week finishing up that pesky community service he was forced to serve for attacking former teammate Ousmane Dabo. I’m sure that’ll be the last time he’ll step out of line.

To keep his players from, well, getting egg on their faces, Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp issued a nightclub ban at the club. I’m sure that’s the last time we’ll see a Spur out at 3:45 am.

After yet another trophy-less year at Arsenal, Arsene Wenger decided to hit back at the fans and blame them for his team’s lack of success. Turning your fan base against you is always a good idea. Especially when you admit that they might be right.

Liverpool captain Steve Gerrard, another person who knows about coming up short declared 2010 will be the best year of his life. Captain Everything declared that he’ll win both the Premiership and World Cup next year. Bold predictions. I hope he doesn’t end up with egg on his face.

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The Beautiful Game



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meganfox

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And today’s headlines show how true that statement is. By the way I find Megan Fox very hot, and now she’s just become even hotter to me. Anyone have her number? I mean if Brian Austin Green is hitting it, why not me?

While Arsenal supporters may be blowing up the message boards demanding change, Arsene Wenger should be happy to know that chairman Ivan Gazidis is pleased with the job he’s been doing. He also believes that they’re headed in the right direction. If that direction is down the tables, then they’re definitely going the right way.

In other delusional news, Sam Allardyce is trying to lure Barcelona wunderkind Bojan Krkic to Blackburn. I’m sure leaving sunny Spain and free flowing football for dreary Blackburn and Big Sam’s longball tactics is sure to appeal to the teenager.

It seems Cristiano Ronaldo’s actions this weekend weren’t too appealing to some of Manchester United’s veteran players. It’s also been said that his leaving so soon after the match was out of embarrassment and not to catch a plane to Madrid.

Cheers to FC United. The club, which was founded by Manchester United fans in protest over the Glazer family takeover of the club, is offering a ‘your season ticket, your choice’ policy for next season. While I would like it to work out for them, ask Radiohead how much money they made on ‘In Rainbows.’

Farewell Steve Coppell. After failing to guide Reading back to the BPL this season, he’s resigned as manager. While his players aren’t going to be playing in the top flight next season, I have a sneaking suspicion we might be seeing Mr. Coppell there.

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You’re My Obsession



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championsleaguetrophy

It’s do or die time for the four teams left in the Champions League. I think these two remaining semi-final matches should be classics. And while some players are obsessed with on the field glory, some are obsessed with becoming the biggest a**hole they can be.

If you guessed that the person hell bent on kicking himself out of football is Joey Barton, step right up and collect your can of baked beans. After getting kicked out of last weekend’s clash with Liverpool for a horrendous tackle on Xabi Alonso, he followed that up with a dressing room bust-up with Newcastle manager Alan Shearer. Stay classy Joey.

Alex Ferguson may have won the Champions League twice during his time at Manchester United, but it doesn’t mean he’s satisfied. And it’s been revealed that the club isn’t satisfied with having the largest stadium in the BPL. It’s been reported that United plan on expanding their ground and make it bigger than Wembley. Let’s just hope they don’t emulate Wembley and ruin the pitch while they’re at it.

While Fergie may be obsessed with winning trophies, his counterpart at Arsenal doesn’t feel the same need. Content with his fourth place finishes and teenage fan club of a squad, Arsene Wenger says he doesn’t need to win to justify his time in charge of the club. And not only are the Arsenal supporters ok with this, it seems wannabe Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is also a fan of Wenger.

Arsenal and Manchester United have battled many times over the years, but Sir Alex claims this is the biggest clash yet. Luckily he knows ‘everything’ about Arsenal. I wonder if he knows that football owes Arsenal a Champions League title.

Cristiano Ronaldo might not know everything about Arsenal but he knows to expect a cascade of boos at the Emirates this evening. Luckily he has the smooth sounds of Phil Collins and George Michael to help him deal with it. Why is it so unsettling to me to think of Ronaldo at home alone listening to George Michael?

Arsenal and Manchester United might be dominating today’s headlines, but this quote by Barcelona quote Luis Enrique has me ready to tomorrow’s match. He says that Chelsea will be overwhelmed by Barcelona’s ‘footballing orgasm.’ No word if he was listening to George Michael when he said it.

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Difference Of Opinion



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different

They say there are two sides to every story, and the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Or in the case of most things that are reported in the football world, there’s no truth at all. But that’s what makes it fun. Unlike watching Guus Hiddink’s Chelsea warriors ‘stifle’ Barcelona.

Are they or aren’t they going to be the biggest club in the Championship? That’s the question hanging over Newcastle’s heads these days. If you ask Legend #2 Alan Shearer, the answer is that they’re not going down. But Michael Owen isn’t so sure. The Premiership will miss you Toon Army.

Martin O’Neill doesn’t mind a little competition. Unlike many in England, the Aston Villa boss thinks that Celtic and Rangers joining the Premiership is a good thing. After finding out how hard it is to crack the top four, you think he wouldn’t want to add to the degree of difficulty.

Speaking of difficult, it must be hell to be Andrei Arshavin. First, he has to convince his wife to live in that terrible city of London, while making millions of pounds in the process. And now he finds out that his Arsenal teammates are jealous of him. I guess it’s hard being the king. And for Mikael Silvestre, it’s hard letting go of the past. At least they should be safe from bird flu.

What’s with the love fest between Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger? Through the years the two have had a less than warm relationship, but now they can’t say enough nice things about each other. At least Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has some harsh words for the Professor of the Emirates.

Mea culpas all around at Tottenham. Not that it should make Jermaine Jenas any happier, but referee Howard Webb has admitted he was wrong to award Manchester United a penalty over the weekend. And Harry Redknapp has apologized for pretty much calling Darren Bent a woman earlier this season. Better late than never, eh Darren?

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