So it’s been a few weeks since I have put fingers to keyboard and wrote a FETWW column. I had to get over the pain and misery of “that” game two weeks ago. I wasn’t actually hurting over it; it was more shock and amazement how with 10 minutes to go we could let in 3 goals. Now they are a good attacking team but come on. Also, while I have been away Carlos Tevez has been up to his old tricks and Titus Bramble has got one headline that nobody ever wants. Prior to lighting up the Manchester derby, mad Mario burnt his bathroom by setting off a firework. Mental! The thing that puts all this into perspective is the attitude of one, Billy Sharp. Nobody, including myself, knew who this lad was until Tuesday evening. Two days after his new born son died, the player told his manager he wanted to play and duly scored a goal that dreams are made off. A goal he dedicated to his son. I am sure this immense piece of courage has had players from all around the world sit up and take notice. Billy Sharp you are commended for your courage and spirit in the face of the worst loss possible. Now what was that Carlos?
This week’s honor roll goes to………..
Nile Ranger (Newcastle United) - This is the second time that Ranger has made the list. First off he poses with a gun and his hood up, thinking he is some sort of gangster. The kid has a chance of a lifetime and after that little incident you would think he would wise up. Not a chance. This month Ranger will be in court more times than he has played for Newcastle this season. The boy is only 20, and will face magistrates twice in two days. Ranger was arrested for assault leaving a man with a broken jaw and he was also cited for violence, driuk-driving and being drunk and disorderly. Prior to the season starting the forward was told to find a new club; you would think he would sort himself out. Of course not, he is an overpaid soccer player with a massive ego and now no one will touch him with a ten foot barge pole. Earns about $20,000 per weeks (saves $40,000).
FETWW Advice – Grow up son, there are plenty of kids dreaming of getting where you are now. Don’t throw it away.
Barry Bannan (Aston Villa) – Probably the most exciting thing to happen to Villas this season is Bannan’s crash. Of course over paid, big ego soccer players think they are above the law and decide to break it in a whim. Bannan, a scheming midfielder for the Villans and the Scottish National Team was involved in a car crash this past week. Correct, he was drink-driving or as Randy Lerner would say DUI. Bannan, like Ranger is young and dumb and getting paid a lot of money per week for something that he loves doing. If you get paid that much surely you could hire a driver to take you anywhere you wish. So Bannan joins his manager McLeish in the FETWW column. Earns $20,000 per week (saves $40,000).
FETWW Advice – You booze, you cruise, YOU LOSE.
Johnny Evans (Manchester United) – Now this kid has had enough chances to stake a claim for a starting spot in the United XI on numerous occasions. He just isn’t up to it. Now this may just be me picking on a player that hasn’t lived up to the high standards of what we Reds are accustomed to. Let there be no doubt there are others, but over the past few weeks he has been dire or what the Americans say “You suck”. He comes from the same geographical area as me. I call it North of Ireland, he calls its Northern Ireland but that doesn’t fuel my dislike of him (I would use hate, but Hugo always told me not to hate anyone, it’s too strong of a word). I have loved Big Norman, Gillespie (to an extent) and Georgie Best, so religion doesn’t come into. United is Religion. So Johnny next time you see Hugo Hamill in Belfast, thank him will you. Earns about $80,000 per week (saves $160,000).
FETWW Advice – Johnny on your bike lad, you just ain't United!
Blackburn Rovers – Now fans pay their way in to watch games and spend a lot of money on club merchandise. Rovers’ security staff has been instructed to remove any protest banners ahead of Blackburn v Chelsea at Ewood Park this weekend. An email sent to protesters stated that it was a health and safety issue. After Hillsborough, the safety issue has changed the landscape of English football and I understand the reasoning behind the decision. The fans are the lifeblood of the club and sometimes they are right, sometimes they are wrong. Blackburn is not a big team. They had one good season and that’s that. I think the fans should be able to voice their opinion but at the same time get and stay behind their club, because if they do get their wish of Steve Kean’s resignation, how long will it be before the next manager is rushed out of town. The best thing for fan’s to do, would be not to turn up to games and severely hurt the revenues and finances of the club, thus making a great statement to the board. Tough to gauge a fine on this one but lets just go for the board. If nobody goes to the games they would lose a lot, so let’s go with Earns $1,000,000 (saves $2,000,000).
FETWW advice – Just get on with it. Let them have their banners!
Much has been said about the way that Stoke City play, but it can’t be said that they don’t get the job done. United, Chelsea and Liverpool have gone to the Britannia Stadium and have failed to win. They don’t play beautiful football, but they do enough to get a result. As a result, Messrs Ferguson, Villa-Boas and Dalglish have all complained about the style of play, but it is getting Stoke points and in the case of Liverpool, 3 points. There has also been talk from some managers, that international friendlies are useless. I totally agree. International football kills the soccer calendar in Europe, but here in the States they let there international players go and carry on. Fair play to them. Another thing that annoyed me this week, was Colleen Rooney’s Twitter post on Friday night. Now I am an advocate of Twitter, but Colleen lets keep what you and Wazza are doing on a Friday night before a game between yourselves.
Back to this week’s award winners.
Alex Lawless (Luton Town) – Give me an I, a D, an I, an O a T, what does it spell. Yes you guessed it: Idiot. So Alex Lawless who plays for non-league Luton Town was so annoyed this past weekend during half-time of his team’s game against former team, York City, he did not re-appear for the second half. Why? I hear you ask. He broke his hand by punching a wall during the interval. I understand the passion that these players have, but to know that if you punch the wall hard enough, you will injure yourself. He has ruled himself out of contention for a place for a month or maybe more. Nice way to endear yourself to your fans, but not so your teammates. Earns about $10,000 per week (saves $20,000)
FETWW Advice: Look for something softer to hit next time.
Rafa Marquez (NY Red Bulls) – Never wash your dirty linen in public Senor Marquez. Rafa Marquez has been suspended by NY and rightly so because of public criticism of a teammate. Hans Backe took the extraordinary and rightful decision to suspend the Designated Player this week. Marquez publicly criticized, young US defender Tim Ream by stating, “Tim is still a young player with a lot to learn,” Márquez said. “He still has quite a lot to learn, and well, he has committed errors that are very infantile and cost us goals.” Nice way to help a young lad develop Rafa! Surely you were young once and made futile and infantile mistakes. Hans Backe & NY Red Bulls, I take my hat off to you making this decision. Earns $90,000 per week (saves $180,000).
FETWW Advice: Shut your trap, Rafa! FACT!
Breno (Bayern Munich) – Have you heard the one about the lad who set fire to his own house? Brazilian born Breno, who plies his trade in Germany, with Bayern joins his captain Phillip Lahm in the honor role. Authorities arrested the 21 year old, Breno last Wednesday as he was supposed to have caused nearly a million Euros worth of damage to his home. The young lad was alone in the house as his wife and three young children were not home. He managed to escape and went to the hospital to get treated for smoke inhalation. Poor lad must not be doing too well every week, getting paid a handsome figure from one of Europe’s top clubs. He has to go and get charged with suspected grave arson. Earns $50,000 per week ($100,000)
FETWW - Never let kids play with matches
Frank Lampard (Chelsea) – The 3rd Chelsea personnel to obtain FETWW accolades this season is none other than Frank Lampard. Villa- Boas complained about Stoke, Fernando missed a complete sitter against United and now Fat Frank spits his dummy out of the pram. So, late in the game against Swansea, AVB decides to put Josh MacEachern into the game with only 7 minutes remaining. Chelsea is leading 3-1 at the time and the game looks done and dusted. Lampard takes offence to AVB’s decision not to play him and decides to walk down the tunnel to the changing room. Talk about being professional Frank, there was certainly no evidence here. We know that your better days are behind you and that you are going to have to work hard for your spot on the team, but what a great way to show respect to your team, coach and fans. I think long gone are the days you used to kiss your badge. You could be kissing goodbye to Stamford Bridge very, very soon. Earns about $200,000 per week (saves $400,000).
FETWW Advice: You can always go and play for your Uncle Harry at Spurs
After a few weeks of self-imposed absence FETWW is BACK!!!!!! There have been a few “odd ones” happening all over this beautiful world of soccer over the last few weeks. But let’s just concentrate on this past week. There are still plenty of fans that are wanting the head of Arsene Wenger, even though he is not my favorite coach, I think Arsenal need to stick with him. I suppose Inter Milan gave their coach a little bit of time – 5 games, Moratti are you kidding me? Come on Man!!!!! Strange things can also happen in football, Real Madrid can be beaten by Levante, Arsenal can be beaten by Blackburn, whose manager is treading some very thin ice himself and somebody else can win the league in Scotland except Celtic or Rangers. Well the last one isn’t true! I figure you guessed that one. This week’s first nomination and addition to the FETWW role of honor is…………………
Alex McLeish ( Aston Villa Manager) – Big ‘Eck as he is formally know in the world of soccer, was probably the worst choice of manager Randy Lerner could have chosen to become their new manager (after all he comes from their biggest rival, Birmingham City). Okay so he hasn’t lost that much this season, but at the same time wins have been few and far between. My mate, who is probably Villa’s biggest fan (although he comes from Walsall) has been going at it for weeks now that McLeish should not be given another minute in the job. I am starting to sympathize with Villa and their fans because McLeish is not the answer, just like O’Leary wasn’t, Atkinson wasn’t Venglos wasn’t. The list is endless but the current boss is the first recipient of the FETWW award this week Earns about $50,000 per week (saves $100,000)
FETWW Advice: In the immortal words of Mr. Billiard – McLeish OUT!!!!
Fernando Torres (Chelsea) – Now everyone has been handing the abuse out to El Nino these past few months and let me just say, its well deserved. He leaves a team that adores him (remember on his Atletico Madrid armband it said “You’ll Never Walk Alone”), a team that will have them in his folklore until BOOM, $80 millions transfer to Chelsea sends those dreams out the window. Let’s get back to modern day actions. He scores his first goal of the season (one I didn’t see because my bloody stream went down) against Man. United but the one he missed was shocking, probably a miss that will haunt him the rest of his life. I was all set to rip into our defense when suddenly El Nino slots it wide. Let off, I admit but the striker that is classed as one of the best in the world misses an easy chance that. Earns $200,000 per week (saves $400,000)
FETWW Advice: Enjoy the re-runs with Ronnie Rosenthal and Ryan Giggs sitters
Lukasz Piszczek (Borussia Dortmund) – Match fixing does not belong in any sport whatsoever. This lad was charged with match fixing that went on in 2006 while he was playing in Zagelbie Lubin. Thing is that the lad only got banned for a year from Polish football. He now plays in Germany. So that means he got away with it. He was ordered to pay $47,000 to a Polish orphanage for his misdemeanors. This message puts out that it’s okay to match fix and he will only be banned from the country he committed the crime in. Surely FIFA and UEFA need to get involved and get this boy banned around world football! Earns about $50,000 per week (saves about $100,000)
FETWW Advice: Throw the book at him UEFA
Charlie Adam (Liverpool) – This is the exact same reason why he was honored last season, while playing for Blackpool. Last season he wasn’t even booked for it, but after watching the replays, he should have walked after the tackle on Gareth Bale. This season it was the same opponents but with a different team. He went in very dangerously on Scott Parker and ran his cleats down Parker’s shin. Needless to say he received his second booking and was subsequently sent-off after only 28 minutes. Spurs then went on to thump Liverpool 4-0. The result made me happy, but not one of the other guys at Soccer Banter! Earns about $100,000 per week (saves $200,000)
FETWW Advice – Clean up your act ya dirty scouser
The last couple of weeks have seen many different players change clubs due to the imminent closing of the transfer window in England. Players move to clubs for one of two reasons…… money or trophies! Simple as that! Now you all know that I am a United fan and am not yet concerned with the players being brought in by the laser blues from the other side, but Samir Nasri is an odd one. I gave him praise when under immense speculation he played a decent game against Liverpool and then he ups and leaves to Ciddy and starts coming out with,” if United had have come in for me I would have went to City anyway.” One reason el Frenchie – the francs (well now the euros). Mancini said it too, “Chelsea and Man United know we can compete with them to bring in the best players.” One reason Roberto – cash, spondulicks, green, benjamins!!!!! Right that’s enough of the Ciddy bashing; let’s get on to some fining!!!
Luka Modric (Tottenham) – This one has been brewing all summer when obviously the player had his head turned by offers from Chelsea and the glorious amounts of money he could earn under Roman’s Regime. He didn’t play in the United game as Redknapp knew his ‘head wasn’t right.’ Fair play to Harry, but now it transpires that Modric asked not be played in the Ciddy game, at 11:30am on Sunday morning, a mere 3 and a half hours before kickoff, nonetheless. It’s not as if you are moving to another part of England, you are moving across London (about 60 mins in traffic). Please take a leaf from Nasri’s book. He played against Liverpool and told Wenger he wanted to play even though he knew he was a day away from signing for Ciddy! There is a little bit of loyalty there. Luka you may end up at Chelsea but you have to behave in the way that many footballers don’t these days. With RESPECT! Aretha Franklin sang a song about it. So you are our first nominee this week. Earns about $120,000 per week (saves $240,000) FETWW Advice: Get your head back in the game little man
FC Sion (Switzerland) – It gave me great pleasure last week to come back from work and check out the scores for the Europa Cup Qualifiers, both Celtic and Rangers were knocked out of Europe by top teams – FC Sion and Maribor, respectively. Yes teams that only a soccer freak would know of or people from Switzerland and Slovenia. I have family and friends that support both teams and I am really happy that they don’t have to endure a European season. Celtic fans you can follow Shamrocks Rovers (they have Hoops too). Rangers, its Chelsea for you men. Anyways, Celtic could get back in due to those idiots at FC Sion. Switzerland is a nice country with cheese, banks, knives and pleasantness. They don’t break the rules. Well apart from Sion. They fielded 5 players! Yes 5 players that in the eyes of FIFA were ineligible to play in the competition. I can see a little oversight in 1 player, but 5 that is taking the mickey. I am not saying Celtic deserves a spot in the group stages, but if a club breaks the rules then they deserved to be punished. Not only do you lose television money, but probably lose European football for a few years. Get used to staying in Switzerland. Club administration earns about $150,000 per week (saves $30,000) FETWW ADVICE: Let’s make sure players are eligible next time
Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich) – Now don’t get me wrong I think this lad is a fantastic player who can play at either fullback positions. The thing that has come out recently is that he has been mouthing off in a book of his life. How old are you lad? You are still only 27 and you are coming out with statements in your book – “The Subtle Difference – How to Become a Top Footballer Today,” is proper wrong. Did David Beckham ever say anything in his numerous books about the cleat in the head incident with Fergie? No! I know players bring out books throughout their careers to make money and have a little nest egg when they finally hang up their boots, but come on son. The name of the book appeals to young kids in Germany; after all you are the German National Team captain and a lot of German kids look up to you. So a young lad who adores you goes and buys the book thinking he will know how to become a top footballer. He will learn how to criticize coaches, attack other players and former players and coaches. Rudi Voeller and Jurgen Klinsmann are players that have won World Cups with Germany and are legends of the game in Germany and you have stained them because you didn’t like what they were doing. I don’t understand it. You play for the best team in Germany and National Team Captain, what other exposure do you need. Certainly not this! Welcome to the FETWW club. Earns $120,000 per week (saves $240,000). FETWW ADVICE – Let your feet do the talking, ya goat!
Arsene Wenger (Arsenal) – Now I feel sorry for Arsene, he is too good a coach for his team to be humiliated last week (United thumped them 8-2 if you didn’t hear) and suggestions of him throwing in the towel are absurd. He has brought success to Arsenal since he became their coach. He has made them some money to invest in the club in the future. In years to come their will be Nasri’s and Fabregas’ in abundance that he will help the club find. He just made about $100 million on these two after buying them for next to nothing a good few years ago. As football is a huge business, great return on investment Arsene. That is not the reason you will be getting FETWW.
You got banned from the touchline last season after your defeat to Barcelona in the ECL after criticizing a very poor referee who didn’t deserve such a tie. Rules are rules and you broke them. You were accused of handing notes to your other coaches and this practice is not permitted when serving a touchline ban. You were informed by match delegates during half-time and thus had to abstain. Yet, UEFA decided to punish you more and give you a further two game ban. I am very surprised that you didn’t get away with that considering you are French and UEFA are run by a Frenchman, who lets his country away with cheating. You have been nominated to the FETWW role of honor. Earns about $80,000 per week (saves $160,000). FETWW ADVICE – Keep your head up son, would rather see you in the game than out of it
Well it’s been a long summer and a summer that I didn’t think would bring us any controversial incidents that could fill the pages of FETWW. Well how wrong could I be? During the summer of only one big competition there were plenty of people that could have been fined. Carlos Tevez was brilliant this summer, so funny. He said he didn’t like Manchester and they didn’t have any good restaurants. Liar! Babylon on Oxford Road offers pizza for 2 pounds, Allens’ Fried Chicken was always good after Royales and The Curry Mile is sublime! The failure of the US women’s team this summer, when the tournament was theirs to win after great quarterfinal and semi-final wins, to fall to an unfancied Japan. I think I could have written an entire article on that failure. I will probably get stick from the female readers, but I have to say it. I think Sundhage made some bad decisions and a team of experienced players couldn’t hold a lead – TWICE! I must say one bright spot was the further emergence of Alex Morgan…..need I say more.
The “will he/won’t he” scenario that is Cesc Fabregas is at an end, and I am sure we are all glad it’s over. I was almost on the phone to Newcastle United after they fined Joey Barton two weeks wages for his comments on Twitter. I should have trademarked it! No doubt Barton will figure prominently during this season. Mario Balotelli was at again over the summer. I am not a big fan of ciddy, but Roberto Mancini gained a lot of my respect when he pulled that joker off for trying to “showboat” in a pre-season game in the USA. I also want to add the fact that MLS picked a team of All-Stars that maybe could compete with Manchester United after last year’s humbling, as opposed to a team of players that have played excellent throughout the season. This was an utter shame. Same result humbled, embarrassed and outplayed and the oldest of them all stayed on the field the longest. Oh yeah, forgot to mention that he is a Red for Life! So here we go with the first edition of FETWW for the 2011/12 and guess who our first nomination is…………
Joey Barton (Newcastle) – The Scouse midfielder who everyone loves to hate, has given me a few laughs on his Twitter account but this weekend he really made me despise him and further fuel the fire and hate that everyone has against him. I know people hate divers and Gervinho needed to be taught a lesson, but Joey let the referee deal with that. I know he dived but your dive was pathetic. A little slap on the face and you go down like a sack of spuds (my da would say something different there)! Here I was thinking that you were a hard man from Liverpool. To boot you have a ridiculous New Romantic hair cut. So it was quite easy to fine you and then you said you were “not proud” of the altercation. That could be a double fine, but Newcastle have already find you two weeks, now it’s my turn - $100,000 per week saves $200,000.
FETWW – Stop all your scouse jibber jabber
Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy) – Oh my God, son what have you gone and done? You have at least 4 or 5 years left in you to play at a decent level in the EPL, but now you go and choose the warmer, more chilled out climate of LA. I wonder where your priorities lie, I would say in your bank account! One last payday mate? I know you are the captain of OUR country but come on son, you can do better than MLS. I understand the MLS has improved significantly over the past few years, but just look at the results in pre-season friendlies, did MLS at the height of their season win one? I am struggling to remember. So Robbie is going for the tail end of the MLS season and will probably be playing for someone on loan back in England come the end of the season. I am still perplexed by this and even when Lalas and Twellman present a good picture of the state of football here in America, it’s just not the same as the EPL every week. Winding down towards retirement Robbie? Maybe you can take the place of Keith Costigan when you retire! I don’t know how much you will be on at LA but we will find out very soon. I would say $70,000 per week – saves $140,000.
FETWW – Started the retirement fund too early
Andre Villas-Boas (Chelsea) – Surely this young manager was given the run down on Sunday’s opponents from his staff and his players and even Roberto DiMatteo ( who coached at WBA last season). Surely he knew what to expect. Well it seems like he wasn’t. Stoke do what there good at, it’s all part of the game. They are physical and will kick you from 1st to 90th minute (I believe UMass Amherst Women’s Soccer adopt the same strategy). They can also play football at times too. Tony Pulis has kept Stoke in the EPL for the last few years and if he was to change his game plan, I don’ think they would last. Villa-Boas has got expect that. One of his predecessors coined the term “sexy football”, but Ruud Gullitt wasn’t talking about Stoke! Villas-Boas complained to the high heavens about the physical nature of Stoke’s play, but if that’s how to get a result against a team destined to challenge for honors, then so be it. The new Chelsea manager, commented, “ the pushing and pulling in the box is out of this world”, he then continued “I want to draw the referees attention to it as it seems they need help with it.” I am sure the Portuguese will find himself in hot water with the FA, wait no he is the manager of Chelsea, he will be fine. I would like to officially welcome AVB as he is referred to the role of honor for FETWW. I would say $75,000 per week – saves $150,000
FETWW advice – Stop complaining and get on with it!
Steve Kean (Blackburn Rovers) – Taxi for Kean. Well that will be the shout in the Blackburn Rovers players’ lounge for the next 18 months (provided he doesn’t get the sack). Last May, after Manchester United won their 19th title at Ewood Park, Kean was stopped by police. He was found to be twice the legal limit after a breathalyzer test. To try and lessen the punishment, Kean claimed that his drink was spiked. That would then have been Fergie celebrating with a glass of wine. He supposedly sped past police officers at 90mph as the officers were doing 50mph. So Steve not only are you not smart for drink driving, but to say your drink was spiked and not accept responsibility for what you have done is shocking. Yeah, there must be someone out there trying to get Steve Kean, manager of Blackburn Rovers drunk!!!! Do you not think they would go for more illustrious managers like SAF, Jose Mourinho, Arsene Wenger etc…..? I would say $50,000 per week – saves $100,000.
FETWW advice – Never, ever drink and drive and don’t say you got spiked
This week saw the most decorated league team in England crowned CHAMPIONS for the 19th time, Manchester United. What a day Sunday was. They called it Survival Sunday. Sky Sports always have a way of spicing things up, I wish ESPN and Fox did something similar; it would whet people’s appetite for the game over here. The last week of the regular season in the EPL, but MLS and the summer international matches will bring us more stories. Just watch this space.
Chris Mavinga (Genk) – you always see things on websites, saying this is one of the worst challenges ever. When you look at this one, you will wince and feel your face. I have watched it about 10 times and its gets worse everytime. (Watch Clip Below) Mavinga and Standard Liege’s Medhi Carcela were chasing for the ball and both were giving as good as they got. Carcela’s pace and desire got him ahead of Mavinga. Just as Carcela heads the ball past Mavinga, the Liege player gets an almighty kick in the face. Now this isn’t a normal kick in the face. This is what we called a blaster when we were young. You don’t do that. This was a shocking tackle. Carcela is currently sitting in a Liege hospital with a broken jaw and nose and a concussion. To top it all off Mavinga only received a yellow card for this horrendous challenge. Even worse Genk went on to win the Belgian League because of a 1-1 draw with Liege. Chris Mavinga welcome to the FETWW honor role. Earns about $20,000 (saves $40,000)
Roman Abramovich – Well we all know that if you are not doing well in your job then you are more than likely to see the exit door in the very near future. We all know that if a billionaire takes over your club then you have to deliver every year. Right? Well it happened to Chelsea again this week. Abramovich went to huge lengths to obtain Ancelotti’s resume. The Italian wins the double in his first year and doesn’t win anything in his second year – Result – FIRED! We all know that Abramovich wants to win the Champions League (yes United comfortably disposed of them this year) but to fire a manager of Ancelotti’s caliber is preposterous after only 2 years. He was undermined buying Torres and he has been embarrassed by being fired like Avram Grant – in the tunnel. Roman, I know you don’t care if you get the FETWW nomination but to let one man go as opposed to your aging squad probably tells the story. Saves about $20million
Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal) – now the lad was big enough to turn down his boyhood team last year and stay with Arsenal, he surely now has played his last game for the Gunners. On Sunday there was a picture on his twitter page of old Cesc at the Spanish Grand Prix. What happened to team spirit? You should have been at Craven Cottage for your sides last league game of the season. Shocking way to end your Arsenal career. Earns about $200,000 per week (saves $400,000).
Ante Sapina – This Croatian lad has just been found guilty of match fixing, something that does not belong in football. He was found guilty of fixing World Cup qualifying games and European League games. He was given a 5 ½ year sentence. He and his friends, Marijo Crvtak and Dragan Mihilec were guilty of fixing a meaningless World Cup qualifying game between Leichtenstein and Finland. They have also manipulated games including a Champions League qualifier between Debrecen of Hungary and Fiorentina of Italy and several Europa League matches, as well as games in domestic leagues in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Turkey, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia and Canada. A custodial sentence is a lot more than getting the FETWW treatment but nonetheless deserves a nomination. I just hope Sepp Blatter wasn’t involved!!!!!!! Or maybe I do!
I asked if I could just write 19 for this weeks FETWW wages, but was rebuffed. So to our scouse supporting Founder, I would like to ask him – whats the ground feel like now that you are off your perch? Yes Manchester United is Champion of England for the 19th time and it feels good. Rangers won the league in Scotland, now you always have two to choose from there. Still with all the jubilation of knocking the scousers off that perch they talked about in 1994, there was still enough time to get some FETWW nominations.
David Gold and David Sullivan (West Ham owners) – Now I am not the biggest fan of West Ham and I am glad that they have been relegated but the way they told Avram Grant that he was no longer required at West Ham was a pure and utter disgrace. Stories are emanating that Grant was fired in the tunnel or in the changing room. They have been relegated and they could have at least given the man the dignity of taking the team for the last time next weekend. David Gold and the David Sullivan formerly of Birmingham need to be dragged over the coals for this. Grant is supposedly one of the nicest managers in the EPL and the way he has been treated is like the way Obama has been treated trying to clean up Bush’s mess! Messrs Gold and Sullivan you deserve this nomination. Earn about $2million a week each (saves $8million).
Nile Ranger (Newcastle United) – So this kid is not a big name in world football but he plays Premier League football and I am sure the Toon Army has an eye on him to make a big name in Bar Code Land. The Geordies love their football and their players, but all the young kids hopefully won’t have Ranger as a role model. The Londoner was pictured wearing a hoody with a silver replica gun in front of his face. This is not the first time the kid has been in trouble. When he was 15, he spent nearly three months in a young offender’s institution for street robbery. So for being an irresponsible role model, you are our newest member. Earns about $20,000 (saves $40,000).
Martin Stekelenburg (Ajax) – Okay so Sergio Ramos got a nomination a few weeks back and you wouldn’t think anyone else would join him, but he got a buddy this weekend. One of the top goalkeepers in the world and a possible replacement for Edwin Van Der Sar at Old Trafford, Martin Stekelenburg take a bow. Yes, a goalkeeper drops the Eredivisie trophy. Not a very good addition to your resume to show Sir Alex. Martin, I am sorry you should have a safe pair of hands! Welcome to the FETWW club. Earns about $50,000 (saves $100,000).
West Ham Players – So if you just were relegated from the Premier League, what would you do? How about going home and contemplating playing in the Championship next year. No!!! West Ham decides to throw a party at a top London Hotel. Then Demba Ba was asked for an autograph and declined as he said he was too tired, which sparked a brawl, with the boys in blue called to intervene. Nice way to honor your fans for their service this season. Not! Have a good season in the Championship lads. Saves about $7.5 million.
This week I was eagerly anticipating the big game on Sunday, no not the Catalan Derby but the game at M16 ORA. So I wasn’t really paying much attention to any of the football that was going on during the week. Okay, so all the talk about Chelsea wanting to get rid of Ancelotti in my mind is ridiculous. How ballsy was Ancelotti when he took David “Sideshow Bob” Luiz off at halftime. The Italian showed who was boss by shepherd’s hooking him at half time for talking back to him. I had a coach when I was younger pulled you straight off if you talked back to him and he didn’t’ like it, Luiz lasted until the break. Surely Roman won’t have liked this. Ancelotti won the double in his first year but because he didn’t win anything this year means that Roman is fed up already. Can anyone win with an owner who can bank roll a team to win the league…. Mancini? Ancelotti maybe that job wasn’t so attractive after all? Give a coach time, like Liverpool did this season with Roy Hodgson! During this week of great results for United, I did find a few things that deserved nominations. Banter below and I'll be sure to respond!
Charlie Adam (Blackpool) – mate, you are a very good footballer and probably too good to be playing for Blackpool but there were two things that made my blood boil this week and make you get nominated. You will be more than likely playing for Liverpool or Spurs next season, (wouldn’t mind seeing you at OT!) so why when you score against your potential employers this past weekend do you run to your fans and kiss your badge and point to your captain’s armband. You are leaving son, and fans don’t take to badge kissing by players who they know will not be fighting for them next year. Fans are fickle Charlie but like elephants, never forget. Also you say that you were not being malicious hitting Gareth Bale. I beg to differ. You come in with your studs showing with intent to injure a fellow professional, which has ended the kid’s season albeit, 3 games. Earns about $50,000 per week (saves $100,000).
Mark Schwarzer (Fulham) – Well G’day you big dingbat! How pants were you against Liverpool? Are you a special agent from Merseydive helping them think they are world beaters and better than they really are? You were shocking, that’s the long and the short of it. The first goal was your fault, trying to clear the ball with your feet. Second goal you stood behind the post when Rodriguez scored from an acute angle. Lost Boy Alex Winter aka Dirk Kuyt scores the weakest goal of the season (well I think Heurelho Gomes may dispute that). So you gifted them three goals and more or less guaranteed them a spot in a big European Competition – yes the Europa League, which is just behind MLS in importance in world football. Schwarzer welcome to the gang, earns about $75,000 per week (saves $150,000).
Bordeaux Fans – Now this is downright, bang out of order. Jean Tigana who was a great soccer player for Bordeaux and France comes back to manage the club after Larry White takes the French National Team job. He loses 4-0 to Sochaux at the weekend and the fans all start verbally abusing his daughter. For goodness sake, the girl is 16 years of age and has nothing to do with her dad’s tactics. Bringing spouses and especially children into songs is disgusting. I am glad Tigana said he has had enough as he is a decent man. Why would anyone subject their family members to the dire verbal abuse that is dished out every week? First the race row, now verbal abuse of a minor. French football what have you become? These idiot fans probably don’t make the money that footballers make in a lifetime, so I wont hazard a guess how much these mindless, senseless idiots earn.
Luke Rodgers (NY Red Bulls) – First of all, I had to look long and hard to find you… So Who Are Ya? I found out that you are a little English man that many people call Verne Troyer. Now lambasting a national hero like Landon Donovan is not allowed, especially in this great country! Donovan is a national figure and will probably be remembered as one of the pioneers that catapulted the game over here onto a national scene. You said he gets respect in MLS, yes because he deserves it. Tell me you haven’t heard any player swear on the field to another player. Donovan gets away with running the length of the field to call for an offside or to call when you kick the keeper, because he is US Soccer. I understand that swearing is a part of the game, but you of all people shouldn’t be complaining about it. Weren’t you the one who was charged with assault on a Hartlepool player after a game, when you confronted him in the car park? Community service of 100 hours for hitting a 16-year old girl with a firework. What a great role model you are. With your record how did you happen to get a visa to work here and at the same time abuse Sir Landon Donovan, who will probably be President one day. Earns about $10,000 per week (saves $20,000)
Last week we viewed what was supposed to be the two premier semi-finals in world football. El Clasico Part III didn’t live up to the hype due to the shocking display of one of the teams (who actually played at home!!!) and in the other game the great German side looked more like a mid-table team (oh wait that is where they are in the Bundesliga). On Saturday there was controversy at Stamford Bridge and I am not going to go ballistic at the linesman as my team United get those decisions now and again…. Cast your mind back a few years and Pedro Mendes and Roy Carroll! Then on Sunday the linesman blatantly failed to spot two penalties. When did Serbia start playing volleyball and when has Michael Owen never won a penalty (if it was Steven Gerrard, Fat Frank or John “I sleep with teammates wives” Terry than it would have been a different story). So let’s see our nominations. If you feel I have left someone out then please make your comments below or let me know – email@example.com
Real Madrid – To enter into an El Clasico and act the way you do… DISGRACE! This should have been the showpiece of the season. Should have maybe been a final, thank goodness it wasn’t. You have a plethora of talent including Casillas, Marcello, Ozil and Ronaldo to name but a few and you roll on the ground, feign injury and generally cry to the referee on every challenge. Now you weren’t alone on this one. Barcelona was as guilty but you took the proverbial biscuit. Jose Mourinho is one of the best managers in the world and will probably become United manager one day, but please keep your negative tactics away from the Theatre of Dreams. Worth about $10 million (saves $20 million).
Francois Blaquart – Who said racism was a thing of the past? Well the technical director of the French Football Federation doesn’t think so. The academy at Clairefontaine has produced players of the caliber of Henry, Trezeguet, Ben Arfa, Saha, Gallas. All are French internationals and have brought some great success to France, including a World Cup. Blaquart this week was accused of limiting black and Arab players in national training programs. The players I have mentioned are all black players and without them France wouldn’t have been as successful (even with Henry’s handball). Zinedine Zidane is of Arab descent and is surely the best player France has ever produced. Surely if this was the benchmark for a player in 2000’s then why change? Well someone decided that there wasn’t enough racism in soccer, so he decided to add a little more. I think this boy will ultimately lose his job but I am sure there are people in cahoots with him and he is the scapegoat. Monsieur Blaquart welcome to the FETWW Hall of Fame (Shame in your case) – Worth $150,000 (saves $300,000).
VVV Venlo – Now this may be a publicity stunt of the highest order, but signing an 18 month old boy, has to be ridiculous. I know Scott Parker was in a McDonalds advertisement doing keep ups in his back yard. Since then he has had to work hard to get where he is but this is shocking. Okay, clubs are always looking for young talent, but surely this contravenes FIFA rules. Now this is the first time I have heard of this club and probably will be the last time. VVV Venlo, I think is our fourth nomination for Dutch football, not bad for a country that produced Cryuff, Neeskens, Van Basten, Gullit and Johnny Metgod!!!!! Worth about $1million a week (saves $2million).
This edition of FETWW begins with a rant that explains what should not be involved in football. FULL STOP or PERIOD as they say over here. This week’s nominations include a lowlife, a druggie, butterfingers and an African with a great left foot and a crazy mind. Two players were very close to getting on the list. Anyone heard of the boy bought for $75 million and couldn’t score. Well he eventually did against the worst team in the league (you know the team at the bottom of the league). His name translates to English as Fred Tower. But I spared his big Spanish blushes. The other was nominated a few weeks back and it wasn’t because he celebrated in front of United fans at Wembley. The young Italian who can’t put a bib (piney in the US) on, can’t seem to park his car in the right place. His car has been impounded 27 times since he arrived in Manchester at a cost of $17,500. But there are some other deserved nominees. If you disagree with my selections or feel there is something I have missed, add a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rangers Idiot – What happened this week has no place in football. And I mean no place. I am a Catholic from Belfast, Northern Ireland and I am not a fan of Celtic. What happened in Scotland this week is disgusting. Reports were rife a few weeks back that one Catholic ex-player now Celtic manager, Neil Lennon, who has represented Northern Ireland and two of his current club players Niall McGinn and Paddy McCourt (who currently represent Northern Ireland) received bullets in the mail. Strange that someone who probably supports these two young lads at Windsor Park and not at Celtic Park was involved in this disgusting act. Recently, the Celtic manager, Neil Lennon had a letter bomb posted to him. This is the man who quit playing for “his country” due to sectarian abuse. All this is a result of people who have no intention of enjoying this beautiful game and just wanting to maim and potentially kill. What place does sectarian abuse and death threats have in soccer. Now I know some Rangers fans and although some of them would love to have been where Ally McCoist was a few weeks ago (and go one step further and hit Lennon) but surely these fans would not have wanted to put a death threat on someone very passionate about his team. I am sure Lennon (Steve Davis, David Healy, Kyle Lafferty currently at Rangers also) is as guilty as any Catholic or Protestant from Northern Ireland by singing Republican or Loyalist songs that are very sectarian, because if they deny it they are complete and utter liars! I understand people are passionate about their team but some small minded individual went way over the top. To threaten someone’s life is the lowest of the low. I am sure the person who sent the letter bomb is probably unemployed and claiming off the government. He or she is the scum of the earth. So it’s very had to fine somebody who gets nothing but let’s guess – fined $50 (saves $100).
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) – Okay so it’s the first trophy that Real Madrid has won under Jose Mourinho. So what do you not want to do? Drop it from an open top bus! Correct but Senor Ramos did just that. After beating Barcelona 1-0 in the Copa Del Rey Final, thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal, the Los Merengues decided to do what you usually do when you win a trophy (Man City please take note its been 35 years!!!) – Go on an open top bus journey around Madrid. Sergio Ramos made Iker Casillas feel safe in goal, when he dropped the Copa Del Rey on the ground from the height of an open top bus (24 feet anyone?) and to make matters worse the bus ran over the old trophy and destroyed it. Sergio you just got the dreaded vote of confidence from the FETWW board. Welcome to the club…. You idiot! Fined $125,000 (saved $250,000). I just hope Stoke win the FA Cup next month, as certain young Italian may make a second appearance on FETWW.
Gino Coutinho (ADO Den Haag) – This is the second nomination for the Eredivise club. Lex Immers made the second ever list of nominees. Now his team mate, Coutinho has joined him. Not happy with earning a living playing soccer, good old Gino decides to, wait for it…..create his own cannabis factory. BRILLIANT. Now there are young kids everywhere who have not made the grade because they have suffered a serious injury are fuming with this boy. He has it made as a professional soccer player, getting paid for what we would all have loved to have done in our lifetime and he decides that he wants to make more money by producing money. As Mase said, Mo Money, Mo Problems! It wasn’t a small cannabis factory it was a major factory that Coutinho had created. The 28-year-old denied his involvement despite being on the scene, with his partner, when officers raided and he continued to maintain that stance even after it was discovered to be registered in his name. The story gets better Coutinho’s dad was arrested in March for large-scale hemp cultivation. Now fining him two weeks wages pails into insignificance with his 12 month jail term and his potential loss of career. Welcome to the club. Saves $50,000 ($100,000).
Taye Taiwo (Marseille) – Now I liked this kid when I saw him in the Olympics a few years back playing for Nigeria. He was able to get up and down the field and had a great left peg on him. People were calling him the African Roberto Carlos. He went to Marseille and hasn’t really hit the headlines until he went crazy last week. Now Marseille and Paris Saint Germain are huge rivals and are probably two of the biggest names in French Football. They are like Liverpool & Man Utd, Glentoran & Linfield, Fenerbache & Galatasaray, Benfica & Sporting, okay so you get my drift. Taiwo playing and scoring the winner in the French Cup Final against Montpellier made his feelings well and truly felt in an expletive-laden blast at the boys from the French capital. He later apologized saying that he was euphoric in victory and was overcome with elation by singing with the fans. Let’s think of this Marseille & PSG have had to play their games behind closed doors this season due to fan disturbances. Do you think Taiwo helped this situation? Of course not! Not only did Taiwo get a two game ban, but he has been officially nominated to the FETWW honor list. Fined $75,000 (saves $150,000).