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Steven Gerrard learns that he won't have to play alongside Frank Lampard tonight…

March 28, 2007 in International football | Permalink | Comments (0)

Frank Lampard out of Andorra game with broken wrist. Be still our beating heart

Disaster strikes! Frank Lampard is out of the Andorra game after breaking his wrist during a training session - the country owes a debt of gratitude to Wayne Rooney, whose shot struck Lamps.

What we need now is for Gerrard and Hargreaves to play a blinder in central midfield and for Steve McClaren to wake up to the fact that Gerrard and Lampard will never play well together, ever. Oh, that's cheered me up no end.

PS Still getting to grips with our new publishing platform, so apologies for the lack of posts today. Will be back to normal tomorrow, we promise.

March 28, 2007 in International football | Permalink | Comments (0)

Burmese keepy-ups video

This lot make Cristiano Ronaldo look like Gavin McCann.

March 28, 2007 in Video clips | Permalink | Comments (0)

Pies moving house, crockery may get broken

If you've been having any problems with Pies in the last 24 hours (I know I have!), it's almost certainly due to the fact that we're currently in the process of switching publishing platforms. We should be fully settled in to our new shiny new home very soon, and ready to push for automatic promotion. Thanks for your patience. Ollie, Pies Ed.

March 28, 2007 in News balls | Permalink | Comments (0)

Benjani brawls with Peter Ndlovu

Zimbabwe It's a fight to strike fear into the heart of the most accomplished of boxing MCs: Benjani Mwaruwari v Peter Ndlovu. The two Zimbabwe internationals scrapped it out at their team hotel after rowing over an ex-girlfriend. Portsmouth striker Benjani and former Coventry City player Ndlovu smashed windows and tables at Harare's Crest Lodge Hotel. Benjani - already eyeing up his next fight (with the missus) - said: "I don't fight about girlfriends. I have a lot of them, and I am married." [Via Mirror, Rob Parker]

March 27, 2007 in International football | Permalink | Comments (0)

Shit England manager week: Kevin Keegan thinks he abuses Jean

Women of the world, wouldn't you love it, just LOVE IT, if you could go out with the hotness that is Kevin Keegan? Just watch how he carries his blouson/jacket over his shoulder, not to mention the exemplary way he treats his lovely wife Jean…

March 27, 2007 in Funny old game, Video clips | Permalink | Comments (0)

Shit England manager week: David Beckham's Photoshop School

Dead_man_walking 'Hello, David Beckham here, writing this in my LA mansion. Welcome to my Photoshop School, where talented young Photoshoppers can come, for a small (well, large actually) fee and learn proper mad skills off me, innit. This week I done a poster wiv Sean Penn and that nasty man Steve McClaren, who's so stupid he won't ever pick me again. I also included a moody pic of Frankie Lampard, who's rubbish at dead balls, unlike me who's the best dead ball-kicker in the world, at least that's what adidas tell me to say, innit. Gotta go now, the phone's going… Victoria… VICTORIA! That little Scientology fella's on the phone again…'

March 27, 2007 in Funny old game | Permalink | Comments (0)

Shit England manager week: Steve McClaren vs Garth Crooks

Crooks tries to break Steve 'Dead Man Walking' McClaren's spirit but the Mac's got his game face on – you know, the one where he looks like a National Express driver emerging from his coach's toilet after a Glasgow-to-London long-haul journey.

March 27, 2007 in International football, Video clips | Permalink | Comments (2)

Tremendously topical YouTube video: Ruud van Nistelrooy's goal celebration, Holland vs Andorra

A random YouTube search for 'Andorra' threw up some Eurovision Song Contest bollocks and this memorable goal celebration by RVN. Having been taunted by Andorra's players for missing a penalty, Ruud gets his own back in his own special (ie. childish) way.

March 27, 2007 in Funny old game, International football, Video clips | Permalink | Comments (2)

The 10 Greatest Football Books, part 2

0224072676Here's the second part of our Ten Greatest Football Books list. You can read part one here.

My Father and Other Working-class Football Heroes, by Gary Imlach
Like Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch, My Father… is more of a memoir than a straight football book. Imlach, whose face you may know from his time presenting TV coverage of American football and the Tour de France, tells the story of his complex relationship with his footballer father, Stewart Imlach, a talented winger who represented Scotland at the 1958 World Cup. When Imlach Snr died, the author realised that he never really knew his father as a man, but merely in terms of his achievements on a football pitch. This touching book won William Hill's 2005 Sports Book of the Year and deservedly so – like most good sports books, this is about so much more than a game. BUY IT

Futebol_1 Futebol: The Brazilian Way of Life, by Alex Bellos
What does football mean to Brazil and vice versa? Many of the answers can be found in Bellos's rigorous study of the beautiful game and its inextricable relationship with the mythical yellow shirt. Although there is a whiff of the dissertation about Futebol… Bellos is a good enough writer to ensure that the book's tone reflects the gloriously colourful subject matter – if this is a history lesson, then you won't want the end-of-lesson bell to ring. BUY IT

02923279_b003 Stamping Grounds: Liechtenstein's Quest for the World Cup, by Charlie Connelly
Football is a great subject for a standard travelogue, Liechtenstein less so, you might think. However, put the two together and Bang! you have literary dynamite, or something like that. Stamping Grounds is the classic tale of the underdog. It follows Liechtenstein's attempt to qualify for the 2002 World Cup; Connelly travels to all of its qualifying matches… hang on, this isn't really selling it, is it? Suffice it to say, this is a very funny, well-written book about a very quirky little country. Perfect holiday reading material. BUY IT

7135849_2 The Ball Is Round: A Global History of Football, by David Goldblatt
If Alan Partridge were reviewing this book, he'd say something along the lines of 'Oof, big book isn't it? Wouldn't want to drop it on my foot!' And it is a big, big book – almost 1,000 pages long. It covers the brilliant careers of Pele, Maradona and Best, the great teams in history (Brazil 1970, Hungary in the 1950s) and generally aims to explain how football has developed since its conception into a global monster. That Goldblatt can take this bewildering mass of material and transform it into a coherent whole is admirable. Every football fan should find the time to read it; 990 pages and you'll still want more. BUY IT

000716291x02lzzzzzzz Soccer in Sun and Shadow, by Eduardo Galeano
The lyrical title says it all. This is a book written from the heart and as such it's infused with a joyful admiration of the game. Like the songs of The Beatles, we know the major football histories and characters so well that it's difficult to find new ways to describe them. But Galeano, a distinguished Uruguayan journalist and author, succeeds. The English translation captures beautifully the poetry and passion in Galeano's writing. BUY IT

So what did we miss? If you feel that we got it wrong or left out one of your favourites, let us know…

March 27, 2007 in Gear & games, Lists | Permalink | Comments (8)