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).
What does the BP Oil Spill, the current economy in the US and the fall of AIG have in common? At some point Michael Carrick has been blamed with having some part in them all. Carrick has been the scapegoat for many United fans for the past few years, but in the past few weeks he has been immense (in my view) for United. So to nominate him would be harsh, instead for his “assist” on Toure’s goal I am just going to let it pass. This week has seen peaks and troughs for my team, but there was plenty of controversy and embarrassment in soccer this week. Have a gander at what I have to say and let me email@example.com know if you think I missed somebody or feel free to leave a comment below, need a bit of banter from our readers.
Bolton Wanderers – losing at Wembley is tough mentally and physically, but Bolton was embarrassed the other day. I like Owen Coyle, but his men just didn’t show up in their biggest game of the season. To lose 5-0 in a cup semi-final is a complete disgrace and they deserve every inch of this nomination. SO I am going to hazard a guess at the weekly wage of all Bolton players - $ 2million per week (saves $4million).
Paul Scholes – I assume Scholesy was thinking, “I have to do something memorable in my last Manchester derby, I wanna go out with a bang!” You would think the Ginger Prince would bang in a winning goal. No, our boy, who has Xavi and Fabregas drooling over the career the boy has had, decides to do what Scholesy doesn’t do best – tackle. A deserved red card and the fact that United had to play with ten men went some way to losing to ciddy.. (PS, it’s not time to take down the banner just yet!). The wee genius earns about $175,000 per week (saves $250,000).
Kuban Krasnodar – So this team in the topflight of the Russian League decided to go old school with terminating a player’s contract. I thought I was reading about Rocky v Ivan Drago in the old Soviet Republic. They literally beat the living daylights out of a Montenegro soccer player, Nikola Nikezic, so he would cancel his contract. Nikezic explained that he received a 20 minute beating by two men in the club’s offices. The Russian FA said there was no evidence of physical pressure but the contract was cancelled on the wrong terms. I bet Aiden McGeady is currently quaking in his boots! Fined $70,000 (saves $140,000).
Arsene Wenger – I don’t know how long Arsene has been in the game in England, but come on sir, you know it’s not over until the referee blows that final whistle. He then complains to Dogleash, who’s team has just conceded a penalty in the 8th minute of injury time, thus is elated at getting the reward of another penalty in the 100th minute. Dogleash then tells Wenger in no uncertain terms to “urinate off”. Now Arsene when things don’t go your way, you need to take it so o let Dogleash have his moment. I admit I’ve never been happier to see a dirty scouse goal! Arsene you get the final nomination for constantly moaning. Fined $100,000 (saves $200,000)
A good week for Fine ‘Em Two Weeks Wages as there has been plenty of controversy in the world of football. We all know that the English Football Association has made Wayne Rooney a scapegoat, so I don’t want to waste my time on an archaic organization that should be overhauled or maybe made extinct, after all the dinosaurs died millions of years ago! There is something for everyone this week but if you feel that I have missed anything out or feel that someone from your team deserves to be nominated (for example, I know a very ardent Aston Villa fan that hates Gerard Houllier and is always asking why I haven’t put him up for nomination), then post a comment below or drop me an email – Colm@soccerbanter.org
Peter Crouch – I think a lot of people will agree with me on this one. I was actually watching the Inter v Schalke game but I couldn’t believe what the big man got up to after 14 minutes. Now the big ‘goat’ isn’t a cynical player, but an idiot he is. So, your team is playing against Real Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Champions League at the Santiago Bernabeu and you have a chance of causing an upset. Just think about that for a minute…..okay so Crouchy decides to lunge in on Sergio Ramos (and Ramos is a bit of a girl anyway) but an obvious booking. He then decides to lunge in on Marcelo after the ball is gone. Second Yellow, followed by Red! Nothing like letting your team of 10 battle against one of the premier teams in world football in an hostile environment for 76 minutes. Way to go Crouchy lad, you deserve this nomination. Worth about $125,000 per week (saves $250,000).
Neymar/Eric Hassli – Now these two lads were trying to be smart but from the evidence one can’t afford to be. So both have already been booked up until the time they tried to be smarter than the referee. Nowadays referees are trying to get into the limelight but by the letter of the law both had to go. Neymar, the Brazilian forward with the “hybrid Mohawk mullet – mulhawk” if you like was playing for Santos against Colo Colo in the Copa Libertadores and was already 2-0 up. In the 51st minute, Neymar scores an excellent goal to make it 3-0. He then proceeds to take a mask from someone in the crowd and don it and referee books him for an illegal celebration. Eric Hassli of Vancouver Whitecaps (do Canadians play soccer?) scores a penalty against the NE Revs and then proceeds to the crowd and throws his jersey in (see YouTube clip below). Did he get it back? No he was smart enough to wear a replica jersey underneath but the referee decided he was due a yellow card for removing his jersey. Smart when you think about it, but who is the idiot now? Neymar worth about $50,000 per week (saves $100,000); Eric Hassli worth about $1,000 per week (saves $2,000).
Carlton Cole – now a lot of players use social network sites such as Facebook & Twitter. Rio Ferdinand, Robbie Savage, Stuart Holden and Jack Wilshere to name but a few. The first three use it with a degree of sensibility, but little Wilshere uses it to rant at refs and does he get any bans? No. He is not the case of the nomination. Carlton Cole is or Carlton Michael Cole Okirie as he is known to his family. After a little research, I have found that Okirie is a Nigerian name, so pertaining from Africa. This kid who is African English started ‘tweeting’ racial slurs against Ghanaians. Now I don’t know if there is some sort of bad blood between fans of both nations but Carlton…Come On! You are a professional footballer that acts as a role model to young players everywhere (much the same as Wayne Rooney). You can’t go around ‘tweeting’ - "Immigration has surrounded the Wembley premises! I knew it was a trap! Hahahaha," He then proceeded to ‘tweet’ - "The only way to get out safely is to wear an England jersey and paint your face w/ the St. George's flag!” He tried to say it was a joke, but he wont be laughing when the two game ban that Rooney got comes trickling his way and how that could hurt West Ham. Worth about $100,000 per week (saves $200,000).
Sunderland Fan - This fan must be well and truly annoyed with his team right now. They are not playing well but to do what he/she is doing is totally absurd. To be honest with you, I thought this thing only happened in America. How times have changed. He/she has decided to sue the club for getting hit with a stray ball at an open training session. It was supposedly a wayward shot from Djibril Cisse (now at Panathinaikos) in 2008/09 that knocked the fan unconscious and the fan has now decided to sue. This can only start a precedent. I can imagine at Old Trafford every fan that gets hit with a Darron Gibson shot will be suing Manchester United (that will be a lot per game, not just per season!!!!) I think this legal action is worth about $300 per week (saves $600)
This week we had “real” football back and not that stuff they call football at international level. I would like to fine international football but I don’t have time for that. I watched the first half of the West Ham and Man Utd game before I had to leave for work. Only for the belief that my team would come back as the did a decade ago against Spurs (3-0 down at the half and won 5-3), they could have been an early candidate for the FETWW club.
If you think I have missed anything please add your banter below or you feel that something during the week catches your attention that deserves the FETWW treatment then email Colm@soccerbanter.org
THE FA – For many a year the ‘F’ word has been involved in this beautiful game and it’s not only in England but all over the world. It’s probably the only word apart from football (well apart from this great land, where we call it soccer) that everyone knows and it doesn’t even get translated. You see it and hear it week in week out. Wayne Rooney hasn’t had the best of seasons and on Saturday bangs in a hat-trick with aplomb and in the heat of the moment says ‘F’ not once, but twice…..oooooooooohhhh.
The lad immediately apologized, but now the FA take it one step further. Trevor Brooking, Director of the FA, I mean what other jobs can you do now Trev, you are boring and just because it was against your beloved club states "Tomorrow there will be a decision," he told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme. "It was a surprise, after scoring a hat-trick, to react that way. It is something we will have to look at." This is the world we live in, it’s not nice but I am sure we have all become accustomed to it. I hate Alan “One Medal” Shearer with a passion but have to agree with what he said on BBC’s Match of the Day. “The lad has apologized, let’s forget about it and move on”, mentioned Shearer. FA you deserve this nomination this week, so $500,000 per week (saves $1 million)
Mohammed Al Fayed – This man is a breathe of fresh of air to owners of football clubs. He used to own the world famous Harrods, he could have been the soon to be King of England’s step-grandfather and he just gets on with life. This nomination goes to Al Fayed because of the statue he erected outside Craven Cottage! You go to Old Trafford, you see the Holy Trinity of Best, Law and Charlton, you go to Anfield you see Bill Shankly, you got to Elland Road and you see Billy Bremner. You head down to Craven Cottage and you see Michael Jackson, yes Michael ‘bloody’ Jackson. What has he done for Fulham? Now people may know that I wasn’t a fan of Wacko Jacko but this defies logic. Mohammed Al Fayed said, “People who don’t like the statue can go to hell.” Nice! What’s next Justin Bieber at Stamford Bridge? Al Fayed welcome to FETWW - $250,000 (saves $500,000)
Mario Balotelli – So in a career so young, this lad has had his string of controversies. Balotelli is not all there. He was playing for Inter and was seen out numerous times in Milan wearing a AC jersey! He then decided to throw his Inter jersey to the floor as he was booed in a Champions League game against Barcelona. This week, much in the same vein as Ashley Cole and his air rifle incident Balotelli was trying to hit a youth player with darts. Darts? Yes darts, those pointy things that could pierce the skin. So for endangering the lives of youth players trying to make it where Balotelli is now, the ciddy strikers finds himself joining fellow Italian Fabio Capello on the FETWW role of honor - $160,000 ( saves $320,000).
Ajax Directors/ Johan Cruyff – I think the Ajax directors have just fined themselves two weeks wages after they resigned for not being able to come to agreement with Cruyff on certain issues on how the club should be run. At the same time no player and in this case ex-player is bigger than the club (well Eric Cantona may have a case). Cruyff is merely an advisor to the club and his status has unnerved the directors. I don’t really know which way to go on this one so both get nominated to the FETWW. I would say roughly $1million per week ($2million saved).