Tag Archive | "Newcastle"

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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Thank God That’s Over



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jonhheitinga

Everton's big signing?

In a rather unexciting end to the summer transfer season (Johnny Heitinga to Everton!) it only seems proper that today’s news is a little lacking in excitement as well. But it’s the news roundup and it’s what we do at Natural Hat Trick. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter to get more of our wonderful ramblings.

In the great diving case of 2009, Arsenal vow to appeal striker Eduardo’s two match Champions League ban. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering they’ve spent the better part of a week saying that they would. The real shocker here is that Scotland and Sunderland keeper Craig Gordon says diving is worth it if it can advance you in a major tournament. Maybe Arsene Wenger should take Gordon with him to the UEFA offices when they go for their appeal. And I’m sure Mr. Gordon has endeared himself to his fellow keepers with those remarks.

On the subject of goalkeepers, David James, the only decent Portsmouth player not allowed to leave the club, is worried that playing for relegation fodder Pompey will hurt his chances of being England’s number one keeper in South Africa. In a move that I can only believe will make James feel worse, chief executive Peter Storrie has told James that instead of worrying about England, there’s plenty of competition at Pompey he has to worry about. I’ll bet that James won’t take it too kindly that the competition he should be worried about is Asmir Begovic, Antti Niemi and Jamie Ashdown. I can see David shaking in his boots as we speak.

One Portsmouth player who did manage to escape the sinking ship, Niko Kranjcar, has announced he is not at Tottenham to replace the injured Luka Modric. That’s strange since no one mentioned him going to Spurs until after Modric broke his leg.

In other overconfident news, newly acquired Sylvinho has announced that Manchester City teammate Robinho is one of the five best players in the world. He claims that City’s summer signings have surrounded the striker with better players that will help him shine. Funny, I thought the Real Madrid team that Robinho was forced out of had some fairly decent players.

And we end with some ‘where are they now’ news. Former Paris-Saint-Germain and Newcastle star David Ginola has been charged with being a deadbeat father in France. He’s facing hefty fines and a two year prison sentence. He, of course, denies the allegations. Looks like he better hope they make a Finding Nemo 2 so he can make a little extra cash.

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£100m Or Best Offer



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Mike just can't get rid of Newcastle.

Mike just can't get rid of Newcastle.

After treating the club like a beat-up Ford Taurus, Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is attempting to sell it like one. Confirming that the club is for sale on its official website, there is also an e-mail address for interested parties to use. What’s next, an ad on Craigslist?

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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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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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Class Is In Session



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classroom

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.

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Managerial Tales



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arsenealex

Football managers are special people. One moment they’re defending a completely shitty striker, the next they’re complaining how the schedule is unfair to their club. Basically they’ll say whatever’s necessary to deflect criticism from themselves and their teams. And with this being a Champions League week and the announcement of the PFA awards in England, mangers are double-talking out of both sides of their mouths at a furious rate.

Arsene Wenger is so adept at finding slights around every corner, he should really become a professor and teach a class on the subject. After hearing that five out of the six finalists for the PFA Player of the Year are from Manchester United, the Arsenal gaffer believes that the voting comes too early in the season.  He claims it only rewards those that play well early in the season, and not down the stretch when it matters. That must be the reason why his astonishing young Gooners weren’t nominated for anything. But the old guy isn’t done. He also demands that Arsenal supporters get off their duffs and make the Emirates a fortress. A man can dream can’t he?

Longtime nemesis Alex Ferguson doesn’t necessarily disagree with the Professor’s assertion that the PFA voting may come a tad early. But that doesn’t prevent him from naming Nemanja Vidic his choice for the award and taking a shot at the Frenchman. But Arsene shouldn’t be upset at the dig, Fergie also dished out a little friendly reminder to Cristiano Ronaldo to play better.

What’s that? That’s the sound of another old man from Real Madrid claiming that a secret deal is completed to bring Ronaldo to the Bernabéu. I may not be Spanish but I thought a secret is when not everyone knows something and you don’t hold a press conference to announce it. But that’s just me.

What isn’t a secret is that Newcastle’s nightmare of Championship football is closer to becoming a reality. Ex-Newcastle goalkeeper Shay Given thinks that Alan Shearer’s the man to keep them up, but fears he won’t have enough time to save them. I’m sure that the fans are happy to hear that you’re rooting for them after you ran away to Manchester City.

Whatever happens in Newcastle won’t affect Shearer’s legend status. Too bad Bayern München manager Jurgen Klinsmann isn’t getting the same support in Germany.

It you can’t beat ‘em, have ‘em overturn the result. Realizing that they’re probably never going to play in Europe again, Leeds United are asking UEFA to overturn their 1973 European Cup Winners’ Cup final loss to AC Milan. Leeds claims the match was fixed. There’s only one thing to say to that: Get over it, you sad bastards.

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Love And Happiness



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algreen2

‘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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They’re Back



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poltergeist

Now that the pesky business of qualifying for the big dance has been put on hold for a couple of months, we’re back to league football. But the memories and injuries of the past ten days are still fresh in our minds—and in the sports pages.

One story that has carried on far too long is Frank Lampard’s assertion that today’s younger players are too pampered. And while his cousin Jamie Redknapp agrees with him, PFA chief Gordon Taylor and England U-21 captain Nedum Onuoha most certainly don’t. Can’t we reach a compromise and conclude that everyone who plays football professionally is overly compensated and cleaning a few boots isn’t going to change anything.

In another story that perhaps you might have heard about, Mr. Newcastle, Messiah #2, Alan Shearer is returning to save Newcastle. But like most deities, his stay is only for a short time. That’s not good news for Michael Owen, who said he would definitely stay at the club if the Great One (#2) returned as manager.

Poor Mark Hughes. It seems the only time he or Manchester City make the headlines something bad has happened. And this time isn’t any different. England’s most expensive signing Robinho was injured during Brazil’s 3-0 win over Peru yesterday. I’m sure he’ll probably have to stay in Brazil a little while longer for some beach therapy.

Former Manchester United teammate Steve Bruce can feel his pain. His two Egyptian internationals, Mido and Amr Zaki return to Wigan in full health, but with unhealthy feelings about each other. It seems while away Mido accused Zaki of spreading rumors about him. Hopefully it doesn’t carry over onto the pitch, unlike certain German internationals.

In case anyone cares, ‘Facts’ Benitez was going to quit Liverpool before signing his new contract. But then he got his way and a bag full of money, and he gets to remain comedic fodder for this website.

Just because. Indian conglomerate Tata has denied interest in becoming Manchester United’s shirt sponsor. Maybe they want be splashed across the chest of one of the new Women’s Professional Soccer teams. Seriously folks, I’ll be here all week.

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