Tag Archive | "Guus Hiddink"

A Shameful Night At The Bridge

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Regardless of how you feel about the performance of referee Tom Henning Ovrebo in last night’s Champions League semi-final, there is no defense for the actions of John Terry, Michael Ballack and Didier Drogba. Ballack’s chase and grab of the referee should have resulted in an immediate red card. And Drogba’s shameful tirade should result in a massive ban. Instead of acting like professionals and accepting defeat, they instead added fuel to the fire that has resulted in fans posting death threats against the referee.

I also put Guus Hiddink to task for defending the actions of these spoiled sore losers. I know it’s the job of a manager to defend his players, but it’s also the manager’s duty to set an example of behavior that his players should follow. Instead of congratulating Andres Iniesta for a wonderful strike, or taking blame for not being able to put away a squad that was down to ten men, they have decided to harp on penalties that they thought they should have received.

In the end it wasn’t Chelsea who lost, but football. In an age when bloated salaries have resulted in bloated egos and a sense of entitlement in players, Drogba and Ballack’s actions have furthered the image of the out of touch, out of control footballer. The club released a statement condemning their fans’ threats against the referee, but felt no need to address the actions of their players. If Chelsea wishes to be one of the greatest clubs in the world, they could have used this moment to set an example to the rest of the footballing world that these actions will not be tolerated. Instead they just enabled the next player who decides to make a mockery of the sport.

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Difference Of Opinion

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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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Life Outside The Champions League

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Believe it or not, there’s actually football news that isn’t about the Champions League semi-final matches. You may not care but it’s there and you can’t just sit there and ignore it. Ok, maybe you can.

Phil Brown once declared he would one day be the English national team manager. Before that happens he better hope he can keep Hull City in the Premiership. But things don’t seem to be going his way. First he’s told last season’s playoff hero Dean Windass to stay away from the club for the rest of the season. And now, his son’s been arrested for possession of cocaine. It looks to me like Phil might be hitting the slopes they way he gyrates on the touchline during matches.

Bye-Bye Jurgen Klinsmann. We hardly knew ya. But now is the time to talk about his replacement. And wouldn’t you know it, Guus Hiddink tops Bayern München’s list. I don’t think he would turn down Chelsea’s billions for Bayern’s millions, but isn’t he supposed to return to Russian anyway. The way teams are fawning over him, you think he lead Russia to victory in the last World Cup.

Recently named PFA Player of the Year Ryan Giggs is being touted for knighthood by a group of online supporters. And while the classy Welshman deserves consideration, he still might have one more shirtless goal celebration in him.

Too bad things aren’t going so smoothly for his future replacement Nani. It doesn’t seem as if the Portugueser will be at Old Trafford much longer.

Just because you haven’t heard it for a while: AC Milan wants to make David Beckham’s deal permanent when he returns next fall. Groundhog Day type stuff here kids.

Now how about that Champions League?

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Love And Happiness

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‘You be good to me, I’ll be good to you…Walk away with victory.’ Al Green sang those lyrics in his classic song ‘Love and Happiness.’ If I didn’t know he was talking about loving his lady, I’d think he’s singing about footballers. How many times do we hear players talk about being happy at their clubs or how they can feel the love from the fans? Then more often than not they take the money and leave.

Alan Shearer is known for his willingness to speak his mind, and he wasn’t shy in sharing his displeasure with Obafemi Martins’ last minute withdrawal for Saurdurday’s match against Stoke. While some are reporting it to be the end of Martins’ career at Newcastle, others are saying it’s no big deal.

Over at Old Trafford, we won’t have to worry about wunderkind Federico Macheda becoming too big for his britches. It seems everyone from captain Gary Neville to backup goalkeeper Ben Foster will make sure he knows his place. And if that doesn’t work, he’s always free to feel the wrath of Fergie. But he’ll have to wait in line as Cristiano Ronaldo is the latest to displease the boss man. And he’s attempting to piss off Porto as well.

While much is being made about the future of Roman Pavlyuchenko at Tottenham, apparently all he has to do to make Harry Redknapp happy is learn English. After seven months in England, the Russian hasn’t learned any English at all. I don’t understand all the fuss, a lack of English hasn’t kept Harry Redknapp from a successful English career.

Looks like Franck Ribery is Barcelona bound. At least that’s according to Bayern München teammate Mark van Bommel. And I’m sure that’s the last we’ll hear about Ribery leaving Bayern this summer. I wonder if Franck’s getting as upset at all the transfer gossip as David Silva?

Good for John Terry. While he might never get over missing that penalty kick in Moscow, he says he and the rest of Chelsea have finally gotten over Jose Mourinho. It’s all about Guus Hiddink at the west London club these days and they want him to stay. And it looks like Mother Guus doesn’t have much choice in the matter.

What would a derby day in Rome be without a little butt slashing? I think those Ultras definitely could use some love and happiness.

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Drunken Picks

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I don’t remember my picks record. (I’m sure some of you more industrious types will decide to look it up and let me know.) Regardless of what it stands at, I know I’m good. I know I’m good because my bookie won’t call me back. And if he’s not looking for me, that means he doesn’t want me to take anymore money from him. So here we go with picks on a rather unexciting Champions League Tuesday.

Rejuvenated Chelsea goes to Italy to finish off a Juventus team that still hasn’t fully recovered from their match-fixing punishment of a couple of years ago. Didier Drogba is happy because Guus Hiddink is ignoring him, but playing him. I can understand. It’s exactly what I wanted from my ex-wife–no conversation but plenty of action. He gets another goal today.
The pick: Chelski 1 – Juv-got-no-chance 0

The question in the Real Madrid v. Liverpool match isn’t who’s advancing, it’s whether or not Liverpool will do anything besides sit back and defend. We know Madrid has no pace or creativity to break down a defense, so expect a snoozer.
The pick: No Respect Rafas 0 – Maybe Next Year Madrid 0

Villarreal v. Panathinaikos will actually be the only entertaining affair of the day. Expect plenty of fireworks on the pitch and more fire in the stands. Villarreal seems to have more talent available, but Pana is the Drunk’s team of destiny.
The pick: Opas 2 – El Submarino Amarillo 1

And of course I’m not giving a pick for Bayern München v. Sporting. It was 5-0 in the opening leg. As Sporting coach Paulo Bento honestly put it, “The outcome of this round is already certain.”

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Fight Night

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Who doesn’t love a quality night out with some friends? After a long work week there are few things better than some friendly banter over a couple of cocktails. It’s only when people have had a few too many and an innocent comment made in passing turns into one of those, “What’s that supposed to mean?” moments that a night out can turn ugly.

More specifically, I’m talking about Oldham player Lee Hughes getting into a fight with manager John Sheridan after a day of team bonding at the dog track and then the pub. Discussion of the Latics recent poor form turned into a brawl as not only Hughes and Sheridan squared off, but two other unnamed teammates fought earlier in the evening. At least they came together by the end of the night as the team got into a confrontation with staff and other customers. Not one to let a few ugly incidents ruin the night, chief executive Alan Hardy branded the night as “successful.”

If anyone can understand what the Oldham team is going through its Ashley Cole. Still experiencing fallout from last week’s nightclub incident, Cole is now facing the axe from Chelsea as new manager Guus Hiddink is appalled at his actions and wants to sell him. Oldham might not be able to meet his wage demands, but I think Cashley might have found a club that understands him.

Up in Manchester, Darren Fletcher doesn’t have those problems as he doesn’t drink alcohol. That’s right, a non-drinking Scotsman. Now that you’re all completely shocked, we can continue with the column.

In other shocking news–if only because of its absurdity–AC Milan wants to buy Manchester United defensive duo Nemanja Vidic and Jonny Evans for £35m. Somehow I don’t think Sir Alex is going to sell his defensive backbone of the future for what they paid for Dimitar Berbatov alone. It’s so far-fetched Darren Fletcher has asked for a white wine spritzer.

Enough of this talk of drinking. Let’s talk about cooperation. It seems Cristiano Ronaldo and Usain Bolt have a mutual admiration for each other and Bolt has offered to help Ronaldo run faster. Upon hearing of their friendship, Real Madrid are attempting to bring Bolt to the Bernabeu.

I’m going to have a drink and try to make it through a dreary Monday. Don’t forget to tip your bartender. And stay out of my way.

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Visions of Greatness

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While it’s no secret that players often overestimate their skills and mangers build up their teams a little too much, today’s headlines are overflowing with self-confidence. Maybe it’s the start of the knockout phase of the Champions League that has clouded the thoughts of some, or for others, it could be the disappointment of a season gown awry. Whatever the reasons, today’s headlines are full of bluster. It’s good to be confident, but some of these people are just plain delusional.

Apparently, making a string of goalkeeping blunders and being dropped to number two hasn’t dampened Heurelho Gomes’ confidence. The bumbling Brazilian says that he isn’t concerned about Spurs purchasing Carlo Cudicini and that Harry Redknapp must play him or let him go. The former seeming to be the way Harry was leaning in the first place.

On the other side of London, Petr Cech sees no divisions in the Chelsea dressing room. Apparently the numerous media reports of players ripping ex-coach Phil Scolari and the indifferent form on the pitch were the rest of us just seeing things. Or, maybe, he was pointing out that the entire team was united against Big Phil. Stay tuned for clarification.

Rafa’s back at it. On the heels of Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Manchester City, Benitez has declared that Liverpool’s title chances aren’t over. In other news that proves the jellybean has lost the plot, he also apparently turned down a fourth draft of his contract. He must be banking on the fact that another BPL title collapse and decent Champions League run will prove how invaluable he really his.

No one’s ever accused Jose Mourinho of undervaluing himself. While we all give him credit for leading Chelsea to back-to-back BPL trophies, apparently his most impressive job was turning Manchester United around. And people are impressed by Guus Hiddink coaching two teams at once.

The Special One’s counterpart in Tuesday night’s Champions League showdown, Alex Ferguson, is another manager who isn’t afraid to speak his mind. While United may be facing Inter Milan, Fergie has offered his take on Real Madrid. Claiming that Madrid lack pace and are too slow to win the Champions League, Sir Alex just can’t seem to resist a dig at his least favorite club in the world. In other news, Fergie seems to have some other tricks up his sleeve.

We end today’s column with a rare moment of honesty from Mr. Paranoia himself, Arsene Wenger. On the heels of this weekend’s 0-0 home draw against Sunderland, Wenger admitted that his team is a little nervous. Of course that rare moment of introspection was brief at best as he accused Ricky Sbragia’s side of ‘not playing football.’ Well, you just have to take those moments of honesty from the floundering Frenchman when the chance presents itself.

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The Drunk’s Jackpot Winners

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These picks are money in the bank.

These picks are money in the bank.

Another week of picks and another week of winners. As one who loves to toot his own horn, The Drunk is proud to announce that he is now five for six with his picks. And for those who pay attention to this sort of thing, I also correctly predicted the goal differential of each match. Not one to rest on my laurels though, I put my sterling reputation on the line as I give you three more winners. Don’t thank me, just buy me a whiskey.

Down in south-west Germany, Stuttgart has long been the dominant club of the region, but new boys Hoffenheim are looking to change that. Leaders at the winter break, Hoffenheim have lost leading scorer Vedad Ibisevic for the season due to injury and now sit in second place. Stuttgart started the season slowly, but has come on strong since the appointment of new coach Markus Babbel, going unbeaten since November. This will be a barn-burner, and we know Jens Lehmann will be fired up.
The pick: The Hoffs 2 – Mercedes Men 1

The heat will be on both teams when Sevilla host Atletico Madrid. Sevilla may sit in third place, but the fans and the press haven’t been too happy as they’ve lost three out of their last four. Meanwhile, new coach Abel Resino has seemed to revitalize los colchoneros. Atletico has drawn and won since his arrival, putting them back in contention for a Champions League spot. Only five points separate these two, with the loser staring at a long, question-filled week.    The pick: Anxious Andalucían’s 3 – The Capital’s Other Team 2

We end the weekend with a battle of two teams who find themselves in unfamiliar positions. Aston Villa is flying high, sitting in third place, and are within touching distance of the Champions League. Chelsea is fourth and slipping. New coach Guus Hiddink hopes to work some of his Dutch black magic on a squad that seems a shell of its former self. A win for Villa will put them five points in front of Chelsea, while a loss in Hiddink’s debut could be the final nail in the Blues’ coffin.
The pick: Chelski 3 – Everyone’s New Favorite Team 1

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Love Is All You Need

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It might not yet be spring, but it appears that love is in the air. All around the land of football, people have been paying compliments to their rivals, professing their love of their club and, in some special cases, expressing their love for former employers. Of course, there’s that flip side of love. Hate. There’s also been plenty of that this week. But I don’t like to think of it as hate. I like to think of it as hyperlove. You know, just like how Klansmen don’t hate black people, they just really love white people.

I have to give credit where credit is due. I fully believe it was Arsene Wegner that started this whole love thing when he complimented longtime nemesis Sir Alex and Manchester United. Not only did the French fawner concede the league to Fergie’s boys, he also branded them ‘untouchable.’ And I don’t think he meant it in an Indian caste system kind of way.

What kind of love fest would it be without that randy Swede, Sven-Goren Eriksson? While he amazingly still holds on to his job in Mexico, he still wonders what went wrong at Manchester City. At least he has fond memories of former chairman Thaksin Shinawatra.

Of course love can also come in the form of biting criticism−just like mom used to give. Ajax manager and ex-AC Milan great, Marco van Basten has such great memories of his time there that seeing his former club in the UEFA Cup fills him with great sadness. But hey, he’s just being honest because he cares too much.

Add Harry Redknapp to the list of those that aren’t enjoying Europe’s second-tier competition. Seems old Harry isn’t none too pleased to be making the ‘short’ trip to Ukraine in midweek, especially considering that it will be the first of three matches in ten days for Tottenham. If only UEFA would follow Rafa’s suggestion that Alex Ferguson be in charge of scheduling.

But let’s get back to the love, shall we? LA Galaxy fans love their club so much they wanted to show David Beckham just how much. I hope David remembers that people wouldn’t burn him in effigy if they didn’t love him.

Juande Ramos may not have been in charge of Real Madrid for long, but he is already fully in love. Continuing to add fuel to the fire started by Rafael van der Vaart in the buildup to the matchup of the two most successful, history-laden clubs in Europe, the world, and all known galaxies, Ramos let’s Liverpool know they ain’t got no history.

If only people could enjoy the simple joys in life like Guus Hiddink does. He recently spoke of his childhood on the farm and his love of animals. He loves animals so much that he wishes he would have chosen another profession just a little less foul than the situation he finds himself in at Stamford Bridge.

All of this talk of love has me feeling all warm and tingly. Just like the time I got tasered by that girl I was ‘dating.’ Apparently no really does mean no. And tasers really hurt.

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