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Drunk’s Champions League Picks: Day Two

Who knew APOEL was good?

Who knew APOEL was good?

So what? I stand by yesterday’s picks. I went a respectable 4-4. It’s not like you lost money (not that we support gambling—Ed.) So I’m back today to give you a remarkable EIGHT winners. Read the full story

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Edenvale Hawks
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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. pandorasalida pandorasalida

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The Special One Scores A Special Goal

Nice tackle and goal scoring run by Jose Mourinho. But it seems the Inter Milan manager doesn’t have much stamina.

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Class Is In Session

Alan Shearer
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Class is a relative phrase when it comes to footballers. For some we speak of their class on the pitch, for others we speak about their lack of it in society. We also say how some clubs aren’t in the same class as others. So it should come as no surprise that today’s news is filled with talk about it. Pepe losing his gourd in yesterday’s Real Madrid vs. Getafe match—in a class of its own.

No one can dispute that Paul Scholes is pure class on the pitch, and he should be congratulated on reaching 600 appearances with Manchester United. But United legend Sir Bobby Charlton perhaps goes a little too far when he says that Scholes is the greatest Red Devil of all time.

While Scholes may have class in abundance, Fernando Torres doesn’t rate Manchester United in the same league as Barcelona, and feels they have ‘much more quality’ than United. He should know what he’s talking about, considering he plays with the likes of Dirk Kuyt and Lucas week in and week out.

Speaking of class (hey it’s the column topic), Andrei Arshavin’s four goal performance against Liverpool yesterday was full of it. And so was Arsene Wenger when he called the Russian one of the ‘great’ players of the era. He also managed to work in an extra jibe at the Wembley pitch as well. What a crafty guy that Wenger.

Michael Owen is a man who isn’t a stranger to receiving undeserved plaudits. He hasn’t scored this year, but that isn’t stopping Alan Shearer and Iain Dowie from counting on him to save Newcastle from relegation. If that’s their plan to save the club from the disaster of going down to the Championship, get ready for Swansea City Toon Army.

Stay classy Luca Toni. The season isn’t over and Bayern München still has a chance to win the Bundesliga, but he’s already stated his preference for next season’s manager. But what do you expect from a guy whose website looks like this.

Confusing and controversial Jose Mourinho says that the insults aimed at his Inter Milan teenage star Mario Balotelli by Juventus supporters last weekend weren’t racist. He claims they were just ‘ignorant.’ I didn’t know that there was intelligent racism. I learn something new every day. canada goose online shop canada goose online shop

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Love And Happiness


‘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. air max schwarz air max schwarz

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Zen And The Art Of Football


Psychiatrist and influential thinker Carl Jung once said to a patient, ‘Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.’ Don’t mean to be all Zen, but it’s a rare moment when a young, unbelievably wealthy football player takes a moment of self-reflection. Of course we know that’s not what going on in the papers today. They’re just talking the time to speak highly about themselves and poorly about others. But you have to admit, it’s a good quote.

One man who could use a good psychiatrist is Adriano. After issuing a statement yesterday that he was, in fact, very much alive, he’s now decided to take a break from football. According to his Brazilian doctor, the situation has been on ‘knife-edge’ for some time. I’m sure the nightclubs of Brazil are the perfect place to clear one’s head.

At least Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t have any worries about keeping his head on straight. That’s because he has ‘honest’ Alex Ferguson to keep him in line. Speaking about his retirement the old straight shooter also admitted that Jose Mourinho or, can you believe it, Arsene Wenger would be a good choice to succeed him. And no, he didn’t mention ‘Facts’ Benitez as a possible successor.

I don’t think Lassana Diarra would agree with Sir Alex that Arsene Wenger would make a good replacement. Lass claims that Wenger taught him nothing and that he has blacked out his time with the Gooners. That’s good, because most of the Arsenal fans have tried to do the same.

I guess it’s that outspoken confidence that Harry Redknapp liked about Lass at Portsmouth. The Spurs boss claims that chunky Tom Huddlestone could be the next Glenn Hoddle, but he needs to be louder on the pitch. Let’s just hope that as he finds his voice he doesn’t become too much like Hoddle.

This can’t be a good sign. Messiah #2 Alan Shearer is finding out that life as a manager is a very time consuming job. And they thought he had the managerial acumen to keep them from relegation. There’s nothing like placing your hopes in the hands of someone learning on the fly to ensure disappointment. Wow, that was almost Jungian. michael kors tasche sale michael kors tasche sale

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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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Come And Get It


Not much news after a weekend of ho-hum international action, so today’s column is a hodge-podge of random bits of news. You can call it our bubble and squeak piece.

Surprise, Surprise, Jose Mourinho would consider the Manchester United job if Sir Alex retires. Not that we haven’t heard that before, and then have it hastily retracted, only for him to bring it up again. His desire for the job is more obvious than my third grade crush on Ms. Gandee.

Sad to see it go away. Peter Crouch has officially retired the robot dance. First the robot guy from Chappell’s Show is gone, and now Crouch has put his version to bed. I think we’re suffering from a lack of people doing the robot.

Did anyone think Roy Keane would fade quietly into the night when he left Sunderland? It seems over the weekend that old Roy boy got into an altercation with his neighbor over his misbehaving pooch. Not that Keano’s one to turn a molehill into a mountain.

Speaking of people with an anger management problem, Joey Barton’s first attack victim, Jamie Tandy, is soon to be awarded £300,000 from the manic midfielder. Three cheers for that.

Liverpool’s squad is up to 62 men. That’s 16 more than Chelsea and a whopping 35 more than Bolton. And yet, Dirk Kuyt still manages to start.

Unsurprisingly, Djibril Cisse owns a clothing store. And it’s as flashy as he is. canada goose jacke damen canada goose jacke damen

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Perhaps Oscar Wilde was correct when he said, “The man who sees both sides of a question is a man who sees absolutely nothing at all.” That’s how I felt as I read today’s football news. Is the manager a clueless madman or a mad scientist? Will he or won’t he be sacked? And everyone has a different opinion. Maybe I need to stop reading so many papers. Trying to make sense of it all has left me as blind as Lionel Richie in the Hello video.

Cristiano Ronaldo is certainly a player that brings out extreme emotions in people. Is he the world’s greatest player or a diving cheat? It seems that all the excess fouling and lack of protection from the referees is driving the non-womanizing mama’s boy out of England. (Cue cheers from the streets of Madrid.) While some have argued that the refs in England are the worst in the world, the statistics show that he is one of the most fouled in the BPL. So either he getting kicked every time he touches the ball and the referees don’t see it, or he’s a whiny bitch orchestrating a summer move to his ‘dream’ club Real Madrid. And I couldn’t see a moral character such as Ronaldo doing such a thing.

Or maybe there’s a worldwide conspiracy against great players. Bayern Munchen’s Franck Ribery is also complaining about the lack of protection he is receiving from Bundesliga referees. Or maybe both of these pansies should realize that as the best player on the pitch the other team will be trying to take them out. I think Franck and Cristiano would like it if they got to wear different colored shirts from the other less skilled players, so that the refs can watch them, and only them, at all times. I’m thinking pink would be a fine color for these special shirts, how about you?

A day after calling his fellow Serie A managers puppets of their chairmen, Jose Mourinho has been called pathetic by Cagliari manager Massimiliano Allegri. But it seems as if the not-so-special one didn’t hear him as he was too busy talking about Manchester United and Chelsea. For all the talking he does about his former club and league, you might begin to wonder if he’s now the voyeur.

‘Facts’ Benitez may be a favorite target of this column as we perceive him to be a clueless jellybean with a goatee, but he’s apparently a ‘revolutionary’ genius that has turned Liverpool from a team that hadn’t won a league title in fourteen years to one that hasn’t won a league title in eighteen years. Even a blind man couldn’t see that improvement. At least he’s learned to keep his rants to himself, which we all can agree is a good thing.

What’s a good thing that’s not really such a good thing? Ye olde dreaded vote of confidence. And the latest manager to receive one is embattled Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate. We will miss you when you get canned after the season. Of course Stewart Downing is using the tried, true and predictable method of imploring the supporters to get behind the team. All Boro needs is a little fan support to keep them safe from the drop. That would help, and so would a few goals and a couple of clean sheets. Now that’s the kind of comforting football predictability that helps get a sightless man from the living room to the bathroom without a guide dog. michael kors tasche blau michael kors tasche blau

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Running On Fumes


Momentum. The Big MO. Whatever you call it; it’s apparently what you want on your side at this time of year. Or at least that what it seems as one peruses today’s newspapers after the seismic (at least in the Northwest of England) events that took place this weekend.

In case you were locked up all weekend or didn’t care to notice, Liverpool is only one point behind Manchester United in the BPL title race. And of course all the talk is how Liverpool now has the momentum and Manchester United are losing steam. And the theories abound as to how this happened. Some are interesting, and some are just plain ridiculous. But I do love it when an unpredictable title race forces the same predictable quotes that we football fans have become used to.

Makes me wonder where have you gone Jose Mourinho? In times like these we need a quote machine like you. Oh, I forgot, you’re busy winning the Scudetto with Inter Milan and infuriating your fellow managers. Even though you say that you’re staying in Italy next season, I don’t think anyone believes you.

Aston Villa, everyone’s mid-season favorite club, are finding it difficult to keep the momentum going in their quest for fourth place. Seems the team’s sudden drop in form has confused manager Martin O’Neill. He apparently has conceded the final Champions League spot to Arsenal, but hasn’t really given up hope of finishing in fourth place. Football can not only humble a man, but it can also make him a little delusional.

Did someone say delusional? Wacky French manager Arsene Wenger is at it again. His squad’s recent drubbings of powerhouses Newcastle and Blackburn has the Voyeur dreaming of winning the BPL. All it’s going to take is a combination of 1,973 unlikely occurrences. Keep hope alive. Keep hope alive. canada goose parka damen canada goose parka damen

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