Tag Archive | "Rafa Benitez"

Don’t Talk Smack About Nikoleta Lozanova



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She's good, fellas.

She's good, fellas.

It’s been a bad year for footballers and their Ferraris. But it wasn’t careless driving that led to this sport car’s demise—it was its driver’s motor mouth. Nikoleta Lozanova, Bulgaria’s ‘Playmate of the Year’ in 2006 is currently seeing Bulgarian mob boss Georgi ‘The Head’ Stoilov and is the former girlfriend of Liverpool reserve team keeper Nikolay Mihailov. It seems that Nikolay offended ‘The Head’ by joking to local Bulgarian media that his new girlfriend was a Ferrari and Lozanova was a broke down hoopty. Three days later, his Ferrari suffered an acid attack and the keeper went into hiding. Mihailov, currently on loan at FC Twente, must have picked up a few things from ‘Facts’ Benitez during his time at Liverpool—how to put your foot in your mouth.

Posted in Jason Parker, WAG BizComments (1)

What’s This Shirt Worth?



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schalke04shirt2Now that Manchester United has secured the richest shirt sponsorship known to mankind, we thought that we would give you the most lucrative shirt sponsorships in the world. There aren’t many surprises, but we thought it was interesting nonetheless.

Second on the rich list is recent title holder, Bayern München.  They receive £17m a year from telecom giant T-Home, but apparently it’s still not enough to keep Franck Ribery.

Next up is Spanish runners-up Real Madrid. They’re deal is with Bwin. The Austrian-based gaming company shells out £15m a year for the right to be shown during a Champions League quarter-final loss.

Bwin is also the shirt sponsor of AC Milan. But the company apparently thinks their shirts aren’t worth as much as Madrid’s and only pays Milan £10.22m. Of course if David Beckham plays all of next season, who knows how much more Milan could squeeze out of them.

Lord knows they don’t need the money, but Chelsea is next on the list with a £10m deal with Korean electronics giant Samsung. If any club should donate their shirt space to charity, don’t you think it should be Chelsea?

Who knows why or how it happened but next on the rich list is Schalke 04. Finishing in eight-place in the Bundesliga this year isn’t stopping them from making £10m from Russian natural gas company Gazprom.

It’s a fact that Liverpool collects £8m from long time sponsor Carlsberg. Yet another reason why, I’m sure Rafa Benitez will tell you, that Liverpool can’t monetarily compete with the other ‘big four’ of the BPL.

Another team that doesn’t need the sponsorship money, Manchester City, just signed an £8m deal with Abu Dhabi-based airline Etihad. I’m sure their billionaire sheik owner had nothing to do with this deal.

And finally, a shout out to newly crowned European champions Barcelona. Not only does the club wear children’s charity UNICEF on their chest, they pay UNICEF £1.5m a year to do so. Now that’s a fantastic shirt deal.

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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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Rumors And Excuses



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no-excuses

Who’s going where and what went wrong? At this time of year, players who suffered disappointing years are trying to find homes for next season, while managers whose clubs didn’t quite finish where they wanted are making excuses as to why. If the beginning of the season is like the start of your freshman year of college when you had plans of a 4.0, then this is like the end of freshman year when you’re explaining to your parents why you’re on probation and you should be allowed to go back for your sophomore year.

He hasn’t been mentioned on this site in a while, but no one makes more excuses than ‘Facts’ Benitez. Last week he said he couldn’t win the league because he doesn’t have the transfer funds of the other members of the ‘Big Four.’ Well this week the reason they’re finishing runner-up is that Fernando Torres was injured most of the season. If excuses where titles he’d be up to his double chin in them. And be sure you don’t call Liverpool a defensive club.

Maybe the ‘Fact Man’ should take a note out of his cross town rival’s book. Everton’s David Moyes has probably one-eighth of the transfer budget of Liverpool, but that hasn’t stopped him from competing for the FA Cup trophy this season. According to Moyes, it comes down to his private investigator tactics when scouting players. Can’t you just see him sitting outside a player’s house with a pack of smokes, thermos of coffee and a pair of binoculars?

Too bad he didn’t use his powers of investigation to see that Louis Saha would spend more time in the trainer’s room than on the pitch this season. But the black Michael Owen claims he has more to give next season. And he’s not talking about hamstring injuries.

Yesterday we wished a fond farewell to Steve Coppell who resigned as Reading manager saying he needed a break. We speculated that he wouldn’t be out of football for long and reports today are saying that he has been offered the job of Premier League Head of Youth. See, sometimes we are on the right path.

Who says you can’t go home? AC Milan don’t want him and Chelsea refuse to take him back, but Dynamo Kiev are ready to welcome Andriy Shevchenko home.

At least Andriy has a suitor. His fellow AC Milan flop Ronaldinho’s agent has admitted that he’ll be looking for a new club this summer. Insisting that his client wishes to remain in Europe, I can’t imagine any big time club taking a change on the former World’s Greatest Player. Two years ago who would have thought that these two former heavyweights would be begging for work? At least they’re still good on EA Sports FIFA ’09.

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A Football Mash-Up



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keaneviera

Have you ever been to one of those all-you-can-eat buffet restaurants? Those places where they serve everything from deviled eggs to Swedish meatballs to Jello salad? And you only get one plate, so you take your one plate and just load up a mess of completely unrelated dishes until they all blend together in one big pile of food. That’s what today’s news review is: One big buffet pile of random news and strange information. Dig in and enjoy.

In case you haven’t heard, Roy Keane is the new manager of Ipswich Town. Football’s most famous dog walker wasted no time laying out his plans for the club and laying into former teammates. He isn’t too fond of former Republic of Ireland teammate Tony Cascarino in particular.

Yesterday Frank Lampard’s baby mama Elen Rives sounded off on the fat boy, calling him a ‘heartless bastard.’ Well today, Frank got to give his side of the story on BBC Radio. Good to see they’re keeping their break-up private.

In the latest round of Fergie vs. ‘Facts’, Sir Alex responds to Benitez’ claim that he has the better team. Of course if the rumor that Liverpool are in the hunt to sign Carlos Tevez (United’s forgotten man this season) is true, you have to wonder if ‘Facts’ really believes he has the better team.  I’m sure we’ll get our answer at a press conference in a few hours time.

In lighter news, much much lighter news, Rio Ferdinand has become friends with Michael Jackson. Apparently The Strange One called to congratulate Rio on his new website. Maybe it was Rio’s choice of cover girl that piqued Jacko’s interest. Could that mean Michael’s over the little boys and actually likes women? OK, quit laughing now.

I’ve got another joke for you. Actually it’s just a new quote from Arsenal’s Nicklas Bendtner. The misfiring Dane is ready to take over for the injured Robin van Persie and show his quality. I’ll give you a minute to wipe your eyes.

He should be more like Ryan Babel. After doing nothing at Liverpool for two years Babel has realized it’s either put up or shut up time. It’s heartwarming when a young man can look himself in the mirror and realize he’s crap.

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A Phone Worth More Than Dirk Kuyt



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Don't lose this phone.

Don't lose this phone.

Just what a recession hit football fan needs, a £14,490 mobile phone. But it’s only for Liverpool supporters and they’re only making 250 of them. It’s going to take a whole lot of home invasions to pay for that puppy. Maybe Rafa can use it to call and taunt Fergie.

Posted in Jason ParkerComments Off

Blah, Blah, Blah



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blah

Sorry that we’ve been away for a few days. An illness crept over the Natural Hat Trick offices and we were forced to take a few days off. But we’re back to discuss the news of the football world. And boy is there a lot of talking going on. The usual suspects are involved, as well as some surprising newcomers. And we hoped that you missed us a little bit.

No stranger to the headlines, Alex Ferguson has some things on his mind and he’s going to share them with everyone. Most of the explaining has to do with Manchester United’s dreadful showing in the FA Cup. The supporters are holding Dimitar Berbatov responsible, but Fergie says not so fast. He’s feels the Wembley pitch was more to blame for United’s inept play, and old foe Arsene Wenger agrees with him. What is the world coming to?

The Professor doesn’t agree with Sir Alex’s war of words with Rafa Benitez. The Frenchman believes it should stop and they both need to be quiet. Isn’t that ironic? The pot never seems to tire of calling the kettle black.

Speaking of things that remind me of pots, ‘Facts’ Benitez made headlines this week for not going to a press conference. They truly have become must-see-TV. Luckily for quote starved reporters, assistant Sammy Lee was able to fill in most ably.

If one is to believe The Sun, Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate has called out Alan Shearer. I’ve read the quote, and it seems as if The Sun has made something out of nothing. Shocking I know.

It appears that Fulham’s strong season has gone to Chairman Mohamed Al-Fayed’s head. It seems the only thing keeping the Cottagers from becoming the ‘Manchester United of the South’ has been the ‘donkeys’ running the FA. He does invite them to Harrods for lunch so he can serve them for some homegrown stag’s testicles. Now who could refuse that offer?

Joey Barton’s in trouble? Nobody’s favorite bad boy was ticketed recently for not paying his train fare. What a donkey.

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When Ya Gotta Go…



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robinho

The best thing about the football season is that there’s never a dull moment. There’s the optimism that comes with the start of a new season. The bittersweet middle when good teams separate themselves from the squads whose seasons haven’t gone as planned. And then there’s the end, perhaps the most exciting time of them all. Either your team is fighting for glory (hopefully) or trying to stay up (d’oh), either way it’s a non-stop roller coaster ride. The end of the season also brings talk of the upcoming transfer season. When bums can be shipped out, and better ones brought in. Or if you’re Middlesbrough, you fend off other clubs who are trying to poach your best players.

There’s no club in the world that loves transfer talk like Real Madrid. And while their courtship of Cristiano Ronaldo continues unashamedly, ex-coach Bernd Schuster wasn’t in favor of the decision to bring the wainker to the Bernabéu. He thought Madrid needed more than one player, and it seems Iker Casillas more than agrees with him. Actually, the keeper is calling for a ‘complete overhaul.’ That should help team unity down the stretch.

Ex-Real Madrid player and current Manchester City bust Robinho has not only pissed off Mark Hughes, it’s been reported that his teammates are also fed up with his attitude. I couldn’t see this coming when they signed a player Pele called ‘crazy’ and literally cried his way out of Madrid. At least Mark Hughes shouldn’t be around next season to deal with him.

It looks like Daniel Agger is out at Liverpool. A day after admitting that his trust issues with ‘Facts’ Benitez have stalled his contract negotiations, Barcelona is said to be interested. Who knew he was any good?  I mean, he lost his starting place to Martin Skrtel.

Take that Emmanuel Adebayor.  Others may have been impressed by last week’s wonder strike, but Villarreal midfielder Marcos Senna isn’t one of them. Not only is he not impressed, he goes on to basically say that Adebayor can’t even sniff Thierry Henry’s jock strap. So there.

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Zen And The Art Of Football



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zen2

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.

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