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Pompous Sunday League footballer explains why he should play in midfield (to most of London!)

A Sunday League footballer has become the laughing stock of London after an in-depth email outlining why he should not be played on the right of midfield was emailed to thousands of addresses. Mike Rolt, who plays for Radley College old boys team, responded to a short email from the team manager with an essay staking his claim for a midfield role.

This Is London reports that Rolt, aged 26, compared himself to Steven Gerrard in the email, and bemoaned the lack of a Xabi Alonso and Momo Sissoko to allow him to play a 'free-role'! Click below to read a fantastic extract from the email. [Via The Offside]

"I've thought about this quite hard and I just think that it's a waste of our fittest player. I know I'm quick and it would be useful out wide but unless George Mac or Tim were playing in midfield, I wouldn't be very involved. Also pace is very effective in the centre as well - for intercepting passes/covering tackles/catching them on the break etc. I am also one of the better tacklers and headers of the ball and am also probably the most vocal. Sticking me out on the wing would lose us these attributes. I wouldn't have much running to do and, although I'll beat my man three or four times, the play will get over congested down the left or in the middle and I'll end up starved. In an ideal world, with everybody fit and available, I would play on the right or even up front where I played with some success at Uni. Steven Gerrard has a good role at Liverpool on the right but with the freedom to roam. That ONLY works, however, because they have Sissoko and Alonso in the middle - two holding midfielders - one of which can spray the ball around. Unfortunately, we don't have the players for this, although Tommy Hodge and Tim would be fantastic. Mark and Han in the middle just doesn't work because they aren't positionally aware enough, get caught forward and distribution suffers - the best example of which is Brentwood last season. We sucked."

October 31, 2006 in Funny old game, Non League | Permalink | Comments (0)

Classic Moments - Michael Thomas wins Arsenal the title in the dying seconds

"...Thomas charging through the midfield... Thomas... it's up for grabs nooooow  THOMAAASSS!!!"  Surely these words are tatoo'ed on every single Arsenal fans minds? Has there ever been a better close to a season? Liverpool all set to win the league on goal difference if they could keep the score at Anfield 1-0 to the gunners... then... in the dying seconds someone came charging through the midfield. If you're an Arsenal fan, and you were there... well... you jammy jammy sod.

[Mof Gimmers]

October 31, 2006 in Arsenal, Classic Moments, Cult Heroes, Liverpool, Video clips | Permalink | Comments (2)

One to watch: Lee Hendrie

HendrieLee Hendrie is on fire at the minute. The Aston Villa misfit has almost single-handedly turned Stoke City's season around since joining them on loan. Hendrie was talked into joining the Potters by his dad, who is friends with Stoke boss Tony Pulis.

Since joining the club at the end of September, Hendrie has bagged three goals in five games and has pretty much been the heartbeat of the team. Expect a few Premiership clubs to make a move in January if Hendrie doesn't extend his stay at the Britannia Stadium.

[Rob Parker]

October 31, 2006 in Aston Villa, Players to watch, The Championship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Football or soccer? Andriy Shevchenko and a guy from ESPN discuss

Andriy Shevchenko - in his AC Milan days (when he used to score) - is pitched an idea for renaming American football in this advert for ESPN SportsCenter.

[Rob Parker]

October 31, 2006 in Funny old game, Video clips | Permalink | Comments (0)

Newcastle the latest club to be threatened with Sven Goran Eriksson

Sven_11 With Alan Pardew having alleviated some of the pressure on him with victory over Blackburn, the attention of the tabloids has now turned to Newcastle's Glenn Roeder. The in vogue insult to any manager's credentials is, of course, to have Sven Goran Eriksson linked with you job.

The Sun reports that Sven has 'targeted' Newcastle as the place to resume his managerial career - a claim Sven has denied. Surely Sven would not be so sneaky as to plot to take another manager's job (cough, Fake Sheikh).

[Rob Parker]

October 31, 2006 in Newcastle United | Permalink | Comments (1)

Arsene warns against arrogance


Arsene Wenger has warned his Arsenal boys against displaying the 'arrogance' they showed when they played against CSKA Moscow in the Champions League. The arrogance which he speaks of is the result of a 1-0 defeat by the Russians, and the players thinking 'Don't worry, we will do it'.

On the back of a decidedly average performance against Everton which saw Wenger pining about 'boring football', Arsenal will again face the tricky Russians on Wednesday night at Ashburton Grove; a game they can't afford to lose. Wenger says "I was very positive going to Moscow, but as a team, we were too confident of taking the points. We were warned by Porto that CSKA were a difficult side to beat. We were not giving 100 percent in every tackle, we were not fighting for the ball enough. It was an arrogant way of not being urgent. It was as though we were thinking, 'Don't worry, we will do it'. Basically, expect a thrashing from The Gunners tomorrow.

[Mof Gimmers]

October 31, 2006 in Arsenal, European football, News balls | Permalink | Comments (1)

Celtic lose Benfica match over coin toss

The last time Celtic travelled to Portugal to take on Benfica in the European Cup, the game was decided in the strangest a manners. Celtic took an impressive 3-0 victory with them, but a Eusebio inspired side saw Benfica win the return fixture by the same score. With penalty shoot outs not on the agenda, the Glasgow Celtic players went home losers by calling the wrong toss. Let's look back at that strange and dramatic day, and know full well that tomorrow's game won't be half as dramatic (or will it?)

[Mof Gimmers]

CLICK HERE to read an interview with Billy McNeill who played in the game.

October 31, 2006 in Classic Moments, European football, Scotland, Video clips | Permalink | Comments (1)

100 Greatest Premiership Players, 40-31

30_copy_10Down down, deeper and down we go in our search to find the 100 Greatest Premiership Players. Previous instalments can be found here: 100-51 and 50-41.

Today it's the turn of Nos. 40-31. And still no sign of Brian Deane…

100 Greatest Premiership Players, 40-31 continued…

(Arsenal 1997-2000, Chelsea 2001-04)
Petit3 Manu Petit's midfield pairing with Patrick Vieira is one of the greatest in Premiership history. Petit won the Double in his first season at Arsenal – no coincidence – and also scored in the 1998 World Cup final, for France against Brazil. Shame about his My Little Ponytail.

(Tottenham Hotspur 1994-95 & 1998)
Jurgenklinsmann Jurgen the German didn't hang around for long in England (and he should never have returned to White Hart Lane), but he managed to convince a nation that he was actually a decent chap, thanks to his ability to score world-class goals and the witty goal celebration which mocked his own reputation as a diver. Here's a clip of his top five goals for Spurs, which, handily, features said goal celebration:

(Chelsea 1998-)
Jterry Terry is the archetypal English central defender, continuing in the muddy footsteps of Terry Butcher and Tony Adams. He can bring the ball out of defence or pick a pass, he scores goals and he's probably the best defender of aerial balls in the world. He's already lifted two Premiership trophies, he's now the captain of his country and he's still only 25. Legendary status awaits, provided Roman Abramovich continues to bankroll Chelsea.

(Leeds Utd 1997-99, Chelsea 2000-04, Middlesbrough 2004-06, Charlton Athletic 2006-)
Jhasselbaink1Jimmy doesn't hang aound for long. Charlton Athletic is his ninth professional club and we wouldn't be surprised if he made it to ten before he retires. If the Dutchman has a reputation as something of a footballing mercenary, then it's only fair that we point to his reputation as a powerful goal scorer with one of the fiercest shots in football. He scored 23 goals in all competitions in his first Premiership season, with Leeds in 1997, so it didn't exactly take him long to get used to English football.

(Man Utd 1992-1998, Middlesbrough 1998-2001)
_41357852_pallister203 It took Pally a season or two to start repaying the record £2.3m (for a defender) that Alex Ferguson spent on bringing him to Old Trafford. But once he had established himself at the heart of United's defence, there was no shifting him. During his time at United he won four Premiership titles, three FA Cups, one UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and one League Cup. A classy defender who deserved to win more than 22 England caps.

(Man City 1995-96, Derby County 2000-02)
Kinkladze Kinky was one of the greatest players to ever wear the sky blue jersey and in many ways he's the definitive Premiership cult hero – in other words, he didn't win anything (in fact, he couldn't prevent a poor City side being relegated in his first season) but that didn't matter because he played the game in a thrilling, wildly inconsistent manner which endeared him to all football fans. For every player with a cabinet full of trophies (Arsenal and Man Yoo's stars, mainly), there's a Giorgi Kinkladze. This is what he was capable of:

(Leeds Utd 1995-97)
Yeboah Like Kinkladze, Yeboah won sweet FA in England, but we still remember him fondly, Leeds fans particularly. If you wanted spectacular, 'Goal of the Season' screamers, Tony was your man. He didn't do tap-ins. It seemed like he was only capable of scoring from 35 yards out. A bit like these…

(Arsenal 1992-2000, West Ham Utd 2000-03)
_38124676_srwinterburn150 Adams, Dixon, Bould/Keown, Winterburn. And the greatest of these is… well, not Winterburn, although you have to admire his resoluteness, longevity and tenacity. His legacy as one quarter of English football's meanest back four is assured. Btw, Wikipedia (not the most reliable of sources) seems to think that Arsenal fans nicknamed him 'Psycho Squirrel' – is this true?

01027822843200 32 DAVID GINOLA
(Newcastle Utd 1995-97, Tottenham Hotspur 1997-2000, Aston Villa 2001-02, Everton 2002)
Ginola was a scarily talented winger (on his day, he was as good as compatriot Eric Cantona), but football fans never took him seriously, because of the 'L'Oreal shampoo ad' side of his character. Ginola seemed too vain and, frankly, too damn good-looking to be a great footballer. If he looked more like Peter Beardsley, perhaps we'd think more highly of him.

(Arsenal 1998-)
Freddie_ljungberg Freddie scored on his Arsenal debut, against Man Utd, assuring him of instant hero status among Gunners fans. Since then he's given the Arse many seasons of reliable service. He's a difficult player to categorise, because he's so versatile. The best way we can describe him is to say that he's somehow much, much greater than the sum of his parts. He's also Arsenal's current longest-serving player.

Tune in tomorrow for Nos 30-21

October 31, 2006 in Lists | Permalink | Comments (1)

10 Conclusions from this weekend's Premiership matches

Sheringham_teddy_whfc_profile_20061 When you are as good as Wayne Rooney, you don't just lose the ability to score goals overnight.
2 Sometimes a couple of underrated Englishmen are better than two superstar Argentinians. Step forward Teddy Sheringham and Hayden Mullins.
3 Sticking nine men in your penalty area and defending for dear life can be an effective method of getting a point at Arsenal.

10 Conclusions from this weekend's Premiership matches continued

4 Kanu will stop scoring the minute I put him in my Fantasy Football team.
5 Contrary to the opinions of Villa fans so far this season, their club CAN do some wrong under Martin O'Neill.
6 It is possible to score against Bolton at the Reebok Stadium.
7 Watford are so unlucky. You get the impression they just need one win to get them on their way, but it will have to come soon.
8 Chelsea are going to win the title again. They are on such a run of bad luck, but they still grind out the result as they always do.
9 It doesn't matter how many they sign, Newcastle always need a new centre-back and a new striker.
10 Blackburn need a result before their good start goes to waste.

[Rob Parker]

October 30, 2006 in Lists | Permalink | Comments (3)

Funny referee video clips compilation

After Neil Warnock's excellent rant last week, Jose Mourinho has (you may not be surprised to hear) been criticising referees this week. The Special One blasted referee Martin Atkinson for awarding Sheffield United a penalty during Saturday's match. This video ought to remind us what a difficult job match officals have to do!

[Rob Parker]

October 30, 2006 in Funny old game, Video clips | Permalink | Comments (0)