Top 10 Goal Celebrations

October 30, 2013 in Features, Funny Stuff, International, Premier League by George Curtis

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At a time when Daniel Sturridge’s funky dance has gone global, and Gareth Bale’s trademark heart is starting to be replicated by others, goal celebrations are becoming more unusual, more original and more practiced than ever before. In this run-down of the top ten celebrations to catch the eye in recent times, I marry cohesive team performances, sassy individual renditions, and plain ridiculous auditions for the best goal celebration knocking about.

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Football’s Lucky Mascot

October 26, 2013 in Features, Funny Stuff by Emma Lucy Whitney

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Those of you who satiate your podcast fix by listening to This American Life whilst waiting for the next Ballsy Banter pod to be recorded (I’m sure you do this, our one listener) may have found the recent episode about secret identities, which included a piece about sports mascots, rather interesting. The story of a teenage American girl’s obsession with becoming a high school football team mascot (and yep, we’re talking the wrong sort of football here) reminded me of the shocking news that Bobby the Badger, Stafford Rangers’ esteemed mascot, might be for the chop. Stuart Maun, the commercial manager for the Evo-stik Northern Premier League outfit, admits that Bobby is well-loved, but wonders whether it’s ‘time for a change’. Such talk and stories about mascots got me thinking; where did they come from? Did the beautiful game have them first, or did football nick ‘em from another sport?

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Top Five Suave Managers

October 15, 2013 in Bundesliga, Championship, Funny Stuff, International, Premier League by George Curtis

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Football managers are judged on three things; style of play, success rate and dress sense. Needless to say, 90% of managers are floating round at the bottom of the barrel of hopelessness, each defined by their own lack of fashion sense, whether it be the Tony Pulis baseball cap or the Arsene Wenger overcoat.

But for a select few, Gok Wan would be raising a glass and toasting to that neatly pressed suit or beautifully paired cashmere jumper and trousers. Every football fan wishes they could be a manager, but what would you wear?

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Five Things we Learnt from the England Match

October 14, 2013 in Funny Stuff, International by Matt Harrison

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1)      Score on your debut and the press will hail you as the second coming of Beckham

Andros Townsend had a good game and scored a great goal, sure. But remember kids: Shaun Wright-Phillips also scored a great goal on his debut. England careers are a marathon not a sprint (unless your name is Kevin Davies) and Townsend has many challenges ahead of him this season. Firstly, keeping his place in Spurs team ahead of Nacer Chadli, Erik Lamela and possibly Aaron Lennon. However should he do so he’ll probably find himself on the plane to Brazil and SWP will be cursing his luck. Let’s not get carried away like Clive “He was born in the same hospital as Beckham” Tyldesley.

2)      Danny Welbeck is not a left winger

Look Hodgson, I get it. Since the mid 90’s, being a Man United player has pretty much guaranteed you a place in the England squad no matter how incredibly mediocre you are or, in the case of future Sunderland Captain Tom Cleverley, how incredibly shit you are. Danny Welbeck is barely a striker so to play him on the left wing instead is a case of #headsgone. In the same way that Chris Smalling isn’t a right back and Phil Jones – well I’m not really sure what Phil Jones is. Makes funny faces though.

3)      Daniel Sturridge looks like England’s best striking option for a long time

It’s sometimes hard to like Daniel Sturridge but since his move to Liverpool he has been outstanding. Even better is how good he looks playing with Luis Suarez. This has turned him into looking like England’s best striker in years, perhaps since Rooney first burst onto the scene in 2003. Since then, Crouch, Defoe, Heskey, Vassell and Kevin Davies (lol) have all come and gone. Sturridge looks like the most dangerous, confident and assured striker we’ve had for a long time. If he can keep up his form this season we could go into Brazil with a genuine goal treat (should we qualify).

4)      We don’t need to worry if Ashley Cole is injured

Despite challenging since Terry and Ferdinand left the England set up, the “biggest prick in the England Team” gong has been up for grabs. Many would give it to Ashley Cole but despite his personal life it’s hard to argue against him being one of the few world class players England have had over the last five years. When he won his 100th cap the applause from the crowd was genuine and appreciative of the effort he has always put into the national team. However, last week it was announced that he would be unfit for the Montenegro game yet there was no cries of desperation as Leighton Baines was able to more than adequately fill Cole’s place. It is one of the few positions where we are actually spoilt for choice. Should we go to the World Cup next year we may see Cole retire afterwards thus allowing Baines a good few years at left back in the team.

5)      Lampard and Gerrard still can’t play together

No explanation needed here.

Football Failblog: England, Cardiff and Lothar Matthaus

October 11, 2013 in Funny Stuff, International, Premier League by Joseph Kingsley-Nyinah

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With hours before the national side inevitably disappoints an entire country, when better for a Football Failblog? Because almost certainly, misery loves company, or as I prefer to put it: schadenfreude soothes all ailments, all the time.


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