Category Archives: Football

Save it for England John …

Jose Mourinho gets down and dirty to guide his Inter team to victory against Chelsea last week.

John terry has never been a good loser, this is probably part of the reason why he is so often an effective competitor on the field. However, he frequently also goes too far in protesting to officials when his team loses. This was ably demonstrated recently in his comments about the referee for Chelsea’s deciding Champions League match against Inter Milan last week.

Chelsea were out thought, out fought and out played at home, no amount of complaining about the man in black will make any difference to the result, Chelsea didn’t cope on the night. Leave aside for a few moments that until he scored the decisive goal, that Samuel Eto’o’s preferred position was on his back in an all too familiar stranded-bettle-position, rolling as if he was a small child meeting a grassy hillock for the first time, that Thiaggo Motta seemed intent on waving his hands in the faces of as many men in Blue as possible to provoke a reaction and that the team were primed to waste as much time as possible through disputing small inconsequential decisions.

As Ruud Gullit commentated afterwards, Inter played specifically to provoke Chelsea and make the game a stop start affair, with lots of mini boiling points. This is a predictable (if annoying) Italian strategy which worked to a tee and stopped Chelsea from playing the flowing football they are known for and that they are ineffective without. Without doubt this came from Mourinho, whose Porto side did much the same thing when they charged to their Champions League title a few years back.  Coincidentally this was also the strategy employed in Chelsea’s own successive wins over Barcelona in the same competition several years ago.

So while you are up in arms about the injustice of it all John, try and leave the histrionics at home and temper that obvious disappointment with a little reality. Because underneath the obvious needle, Inter played well with the ball, Wesley Snieder was easily the best player on the pitch at Stamford Bridge and Inter deserved their win. Allbeit, earned through a strategy which English sides don’t usually chose to employ ourselves.

At least the few English players that play for Chelsea (as well as my beloved Liverpool) won’t be distracted by playing Champions league football as the World Cup approaches.  Is it time to remind Chelsea how close they came to the finals in 2005? … I think so.

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Boo boys go home …

Ok, so I think these are 'mericans - but giving publicity to England's boo boys is beneath us.

Much has been said about John Terry’s recent mistakes, but if there is one thing we at webwurld’s sports desk hate it is people booing the national team at Wembley (or anywhere else for that matter).  We understand that club rivalries will always be more important to some football fans in the UK than loyalty to their national team, but is it really too much to expect that if people pay (rather a lot of) money and take the time to fight London traffic to come and watch (or even support) the England team, that they manage to show a little respect at the same time – and at least not make the players jobs any more difficult than the media and general madness surrounding the national side already does?

John Terry is a shoe in for a world cup start – he is a player for the big occasion, having proved himself big enough to rise above previous adversity. His commitment to the tackle, reading of the game and ability to score important goals, still make him the number one pick in defence for England – in the opinion of the crowds of us at webwurld’s sports desk.  I for one, whilst deploring his recent actions, want to put this in the past and allow him to learn from his mistakes – like anyone outside of the public eye would be allowed to do.

Hopefully boo boys don’t travel (at least as far as South Africa) and we will be better supported by the drunken English holiday makers, Africans that have managed to afford the inflated ticket prices and FIFA’s (far too) numerous invited ‘corporate guests’ – than some of the idiots at Wembley Wednesday night.

On the subject of football, well done Peter Crouch – get your size 12’s on the plane – extra leg room will be provided.

Battle of the Bridge …

Chelsea lose at home to a club outside of the ‘big 4’ for first time in 6 years.

John Terry scores away from home again …

JT, just having lost Champions league final after missing the decisive penalty

Personally, I hope Wayne Bridge chooses not to bother shaking the hand of his former ‘best mate’ John Terry at Manchester City’s visit to Chelsea this weekend.

The fact that John Terry couldn’t keep his snake in his trousers is not by itself unforgivable (or surprising given his history of extra marital recreation). That he would not make a serious effort to apologise to Wayne for his mistake, is difficult to justify. If he was man enough to betray his friend and his wife, he should absolutely be the first one to admit his mistakes and apologise to those who have been affected by it (hint : not just the pretty one John).  Not even losing the captaincy of his country has been enough to make him do the right thing apparently. Quite the opposite in fact, it seems he is far too busy throwing his money around silencing the rest of his former mistakes.

Lets see what happens – but the lack of a world class left back could be pivotal to England’s chances of progressing this summer – experimenting with Leighton Baines and Steven Warnock could be costly and Landon Donovan for one looks capable of taking advantage.

A proper apology costs nothing John, except perhaps your pride.

That he has made scant effort to do so is revealing indeed. It seems he places more value on protecting his own pride than assisting England in perhaps the last World cup he will ever play in.   John’s decisions over many years don’t look good when taken together, although, he has been forgiven previous indiscretions because of his quality on the pitch (and, presumably the money in his bank account).

We at webwurld are blues of the lighter variety this weekend – and also hope that Barcelona put John’s Chelsea team out of the Champions League (again) by the most unfair of circumstances (again).

Wake up John – be a man – and make it right. Thousands, maybe even millions, of England fans may not forgive you if you don’t. You have already lost the respect of webwurld’s sports desk (which is no doubt leaving you crying into your cornflakes) – and if todays press reports are to be believed, parts of your own Chelsea dressing room too.

If John expended half the energy he has committed to feathering his own nest and covering his tracks into doing the right thing, this issue would be in the past by now and England’s football team, our chances at this summers world cup and his own relationship with a former very good friend would be the richer for it.  Cleopuss, pass me the voodoo doll with the ‘I didn’t do it‘ expression and Webwurld’s biggest pin.

(Cleopuss would like to add – Ashley Cole, you dickhead)

Malcolm Glazer clones himself …

A cloning update from the science desk at ant n cleopuss towers tonight, and news from none other than Manchester Uniteds rather distinctive owner Malcolm Glazer. For generations the rich have tried to find ways to cheat death or extend their lives, often going to great lengths, using their considerable finances to try to extend their lifespans.

We can exclusively reveal today that Malcolm Glazer, using researchmaterial from the early US cloning experiments, has cloned himself! When his current body dies his genes will live on to run his companies in the form of his son – a genetically identical copy of himself!

The Glazers latest plan is to saddle Manchester United, (until a few years ago the richest club in the world), with ever increasing levels of debt to fund their scientifically advanced experiments.

Since becoming a PLC, United have invested carefully in their training facilities, stadium and squad, prudently building generators of increased income (much to the dismay of plastic scousers such as myself).  When the Glazers bought the club they purchased a business with extremely solid foundations, a large and expanding stadium and a world class facility for youth and team development at Carrington.

Since this time, and because of the way in which they purchased United (with debt – secured against the clubs many assets), the club is no longer profitable and is paying extraordinary amounts of interest on its many loans.  This season the only reason that the business was able to report a pre tax profit was due to the sale of (diving) Ronaldo to Real Madrid for a world record fee. Worse than this however, is the fact that the level of debt is growing, rather than being repaid. Currently Manchester United are over700 million in debt, not after investing madly in their squad as Real Madrid have done to develop their team and build future success, but simply to gain the benefit of having new owners.  Revenues have been maxed out in recent years too, winning successive league titles and having successive runs in the champions league have helped cover the interest on their loans. If we subtract this onfield success from the equation, webwurld feels strongly that the Glazers have made a largely negative impact on the club.

They might counter this with the assertion that turnover has increased since they have been steering the ship, and that their contacts have resulted in some pretty impressive sponsorship and associated revenues. This is true, however revenue would have increased anyway, and they have not acted responsibly in their financial stewardship of the club.  One example of this is the new 80 million pound shirt sponsorship deal with Aon which starts next season, a wonderful source of revenue for the club it is indeed. However the Glazers have already drawn down almost half of these payments, supposed to be split over the 4 years of the sponsorship deal which has yet to start. They are borrowing from tomorrow to pay for todays excesses, any owner of a credit card will tell you this is unsustainable in the longer term.

The latest brainwave from the Glazier clones is to sell the family silver to generate more income to pay off the clubs debt. They propose selling the Carrington training ground and even Old Trafford itself, then leasing them back to the club, providing another significant operating cost to the business – which will have long term impacts on the clubs profitability and future investment, but may help them reduce their debt mountain in the short to medium term.

If anyone really believed that the clones had the best interests of the club at heart, or were real football supporters, this is disproved by the recent revelations that together the clones and their father have taken over 22.9 million pounds out of the club in loans and professional fees since their takeover.

It is increasingly clear that the Glazier clones are simply out to make a fast buck. The major reason behind their ‘purchase’ of one of our countries most famous clubs, is that they hope that the current revenue sharing agreement which guarantees lower clubs in the premier league a certain proportion of revenue generated through TV deals will be ripped up, leaving United free to sell their own commercial rights internationally  in much the same way that Real Madrid and Barcelona currently do. They would then be able to finance the debt they have created much more easily and sell the club on at a healthy profit, after using it to pay themselves enormous fees in the meantime.

Ask yourself honestly – what expertise do they really bring to United that wasn’t there already in 2005 when they went ahead with their mad scheme? Are they really worth over 700 million pounds?

And what of Michel Platini’s assertion that Chelsea and Man City could be barred from future Champions League competitions because of their debt? He does this as he says the stability of football clubs is important – they must be here tomorrow. Unfortunately the (intellectually challenged) Platini happens be complaining about the two clubs where an annual debt of 100 m is sustainable!  In the process he has strategically ignored the situation at Man United, Liverpool, Real Madrid and others who have mush riskier business models. He also makes a monkey out of himself as he continues to show his distaste for the manager in the premier league who is concerned with managing his club properly and actually making an annual profit – arsene Wenger . Although, as the Spoiler accurately states, this dislike is probably more about poor Michel feeling threatened by Arsene’s ability to do a better job than himself as head of UEFA when he finally leaves Arsenal. Cleopuss and I believe Arsene is more likely to look first at the French Managers job, where he may win something significant, putting more of Mr Platini’s successes in the shade.

Gary Neville shows Carlos the bird …

The Neviller's recent actions show he's losing it (if he ever had it in the first place)

What an enjoyable Manchester derby the League cup semi-final turned out to be in the end. Disregard the penalty that wasn’t and the fact that City seemed to be happy with simply being there and giving United the ball for the first 45 minutes and I thought Mancini’s men did a good job and deserve the slender advantage they hold going into the second leg at Old Trafford next week.

Most enjoyable moment for me was Carlos Tevez’s response to Gary’s latest attempt at sign language, and his subsequent explanation of the repeat of his ears cupped goal celebrations for United at the end of last season – which he says was an impression of popular Argentinian cartoon Character Topo Gigio. It was of course an accident that he ran half the length of the pitch to perform this impression facing the United bench.

This unlikely incident reminds me of Robbie Fowlers goal celebration at Everton many years ago when he snorted a line from the white line marking the penalty area in protest at Everton fans false accusations of drug use against him. Our nice guy manager at the time, Gerrard Houllier, was on hand to explain that despite appearances, fellow red Rigobert Song had taught his teammate an African grass-eating celebration!

Lets all moo for Gary …

The axeman cometh once more ….

Florentino Perez gives us an idea of the size of Real Madrid's bank overdraft ...

Florentino Perez gives us an idea of the size of Real Madrids bank overdraft ...

Today we’re thinking about serial managerial axeman Florentino Perez and his latest attempt to bankrupt several of Madrids leading banks.

As we write Cristiano is still not fit to play, the vodoo curse still sapping his energy (pass me another pin please cleopuss..) and shock horror, Florentino’s side has lost a game in the Spanish cup to a league B team.  His usual reaction is to sack the manager, by my reckoning Pellegrini has one game to save himself, the midweek return match against AC Milan, after Milan won their first meeting at the Burniboo.

Florentino has quite a record of impatience with his clubs many managers, by my count he has sacked 8 managers in the 6 years he has been president so far, Pellegrini will be number 9, its just a matter of when.

Thankfully Arsene Wenger wasn’t mad enough to be his first choice of manager to start this season, what a loss to the premier league that would have been – much more of a loss than (diving) Ronaldo.

Just for fun cleopuss has mocked up a picture of what it would have been like to be in Florentino’s recent meeting with Michel Platini, Head of UEFA …

Florentino-Perez kissing michel platinis arse

Florentinos Perez kissing Michel Platini's hairy arse ...