Eddie's Football Blog

A bizarre look at the world of football, since 2008

Posts Tagged ‘Newcastle United’

Great Football Speeches, digitally remastered by Darth Vader

Posted by eddiev18 on October 19, 2011

#1 Kevin Keegan would ‘love it’

The decision to run a series of great football speeches digitally remastered by Darth Vader was a pretty easy one. However, deciding which speech should be the Dark Lord of the Sith’s first assignment was even easier.

Everyone remembers this explosion by Kevin Keegan. He was so angry that he actually made less sense than the plot to Hollyoaks. I mean, what does ‘when you do things like that about a man like Stuart Pearce’ actually mean?

Take it away Darth…


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Microsoft Paint Stories Of The Week – The One With Mike Ashley

Posted by eddiev18 on November 16, 2009


Thinking Big: Mike 'Pies' Ashley

I’ve ripped the title for this week’s Microsoft Paint Story Of The Week straight off the DVD covers of popular US sitcom Friends. That is to say I’ve copied the style of the show’s episode titles. I am obviously not insinuating that there is an episode out there in which the tubby Newcastle United owner moves in to share with Joey, resulting in an initial mutual appreciation for each other’s appetites, but spiralling out of control when Ashley decides to turn Central Perk into New York’s biggest Sports Direct store. No, sadly that episode doesn’t exist. It probably should though.

However, there is every chance that your local coffee shop is being turned into a Sports Direct as we speak, such is the expansion of Ashley’s no frills empire. Newcastle fans can relate to that. A week or so ago, the tat-peddler announced that their famous football stadium would no longer be called ‘St. James’ Park, but ‘Sports Direct.com @ St.James’ Park Stadium’. Yes, that’s right, it’s the first time in the history of football that a stadium has been given an email address instead of a name.

The Newcastle fans don’t like it, but this name change got me thinking last week. Where next for The Magpies? I mean, clearly this man has the shell of an armadillo. He sits through thousands of people abusing him every week, accusing him of not leaving them any of the pies (in a roundabout way), and has turned a tiny sports shop in Maidenhead into one of the planet’s most recognised sports retail outlets.

With that in mind, would you put it past the portly magnate to turn up the heat even further on this branding exercise? Well, this week I sent my finest reporter in the field to have a little snoop around Ashley’s office for clues. Successfully gaining access to the building by posing as the Krispy Kreme delivery man, our reporter found the following sketch tucked away under a Dominoes menu in Ashley’s drawer. As not to raise suspicion, he left Big Mike’s blueprints where they were, and instead decided to reproduce them with his typical flair in Microsoft Paint.

MSPaintStoryOfThe Week_SportsDirect

Yes, that’s right, Newcastle fans. Not only has Mike Ashley decided to name your stadium after his chavtastic sports emporium, but it also now looks as though he is going to use the Newcastle United playing staff to flaunt his tat. He’s obviously given it some thought though, as he appears to have picked exactly the right players to model each of his brands.

You will see that Joey Barton is now the new face of Kangol and Lonsdale. Well I say ‘face’, but given that the target market for those two brands is the UK’s world-famous ‘Hoodie’ population, then it is unlikely that you’ll be seeing much of Joey Barton’s mug from now on. It’s now more likely to feature on a grainy, pixelated image taken from a shopping mall CCTV recording, and played back on Crimewatch. Not that Joey will have to familiarise himself with that of course.

The image depicts Barton, clad in Kangol and Lonsdale gear (or perhaps ‘clobber’, I’m not really sure what a Hoodie would call it) nonchalantly kicking a coke can across the pitch, whilst texting his mates to organise the ambush of a pensioner after the game. You get me blud?

Meanwhile, as a striker who decided to move into midfield to look for a few more fights, Alan Smith is perfect to promote Sports Direct’s main boxing brand, Everlast (although I’m sure that Ashley will be kicking himself that the club let Lee Bowyer go). As you can see, he’s doing a smashing job, and has even started to get into character by calling himself ‘The Smudger’. Expect Smith to continue his transformation by starting to hold pre-match press conferences, in which he trash talks the opposition’s midfield players, calls their wives ugly, and frequently refers to himself in the third person.

Acquiring the Dunlop tennis brand was also a major coup for Ashley, and he must be over the moon to have at the club a ready-made model for his tennis gear in Jonas Gutierrez. Offering the sort of long haired, dark-skinned, Latin flair that is a relative pre-requisite for becoming any good at tennis (apparently the LTA are still unsure how Andy Murray got through their ‘fit and proper person’s test’, which involves being a tennis coach for 6 months and sleeping with at least 6 rich housewives), Gutierrez can be seen here going for a cross field passing shot into the path of the ambling Joey Barton. In contrast to Smith, expect Gutierrez to hold his press conferences post match, in which he will speak mono-syllabically, refer to ‘my game’ in every sentence uttered, and show no sign of a personality whatsoever.

Finally there’s manager Chris Hughton. Acutely aware that Hughton doesn’t sit very high in the estimations of many of the Toon Army, Ashley has decided to go all Tyra Banks on his gaffer’s ass (girlfriend) and give him a new look. Having spent hours mulling over the shop’s extensive range of tracksuits, trainers, and cheap socks, Ashley had his lightbulb moment – he would attract more young Geordies to the club by turning his manager into a skater.

Dressed from head to toe in ‘No Fear’ clothing, Hughton appears pleased with his new look, and clutches his board as he barks out orders from his technical area. In a few months time, when he’s honed his skills and learnt from the 14 year olds at the local skate park, Ashley plans to ask his manager to jump a Sports Direct logo during the half-time of each home fixture, with the logo increasing in size as the season progresses. This being the case, expect words like ‘gnarly’ and ‘epic’ to gradually start creeping into Hughton’s press conference terminology, and for him to be ‘stoked’ after each Newcastle victory.

So, Newcastle fans, it sounds like it’s going to get worse before it gets better then. However, with a free pair of Donnay socks with every beer you buy, it’s not all doom and gloom now is it? You’ll be drunk, have warm feet, AND you’ll be able to watch a grown man crash a skateboard into a giant logo! Sounds like a good afternoon out to me.

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A Face I’d Like To Smack – Joey Barton

Posted by eddiev18 on October 19, 2009

Barton: Coward

Barton: Nasty piece of work

Resisting the temptation to write a ‘humourous’ quip about a beach ball, and how everyone in Liverpool is looking for a young man with a blurred-out face, I have instead decided to share with you my dislike for Premier League (now Championship) ‘bad-boy’ Joey Barton.

The thing is, I don’t actually have a problem with the idea of the ‘bad-boy’ footballer. Players such as Cantona, Ince, Keane, Vieira and co. were always towing the line between what is acceptable on the field, and what is not. And when they occasionally did cross the line, they were punished for it.

However, with the exception of Keane’s horror-tackle on Alf Inge Haaland, Vieira’s penchant for gobbing, and Cantona’s kung-fu kick (which I bloody loved!) these were the guys that set the example for the rest of the team to look up to. They were characters. Hated losing. Their motto appeared to be ‘Win at all costs, and if you get the odd red card along the way, that’s just a sacrifice you have to make’.

Like I said, I’m fine with that. I think the main problem Joey Barton has is that he desperately wants people to respect him in the same way that the aforementioned players were respected, but he appears to have missed the crucial point. Those players were all fantastic footballers first, and ‘hardman’ characters second. Joey Barton just wants to be a hardman.

He isn’t hard though. Earlier I read through all of the incidents that he has been involved in during his career, and they all read like a rap sheet of a scared little boy – stabbing a cigar out in someone’s face at a party, kicking a team-mate in the head in training, attacking a 16 year old boy whilst on tour with Man City, and then viciously attacking another 16 year old boy on a night out in Liverpool.

Add to that his complete disrespect for the majority of authority figures at his various clubs, and basically you have just one aggressive and very nasty overgrown brat. The attack on the Liverpool teenager, that earned him a six month jail sentence, can be seen below. It’s so incredibly mindless, it may as well have been lifted from depressing satellite TV show ‘Booze Britain’.

I don’t buy into the sob stories either, the people that say ‘oh, but he came from a rough council estate in Liverpool’. So did Wayne Rooney. However, Rooney learned very quickly from the advice given to him by his manager that he could channel all that aggression to his boots, and just look where that has got him. Rage channelled into his boots is certainly behind the best goal of his Manchester United career. Barton’s problem is that he just doesn’t want to listen. He’s convinced himself that everyone else is wrong, and he is right. The world is against him, and he’s going to fight it.

It’s pathetic. He’s had the chance that thousands of kids with similar backgrounds would love. An opportunity that can positively change your life, and the lives of everyone else around you. At this point I’d say that he needs to grow up and start smelling reality. However, the reality is that he needed to grow up three years ago. Now, he’s like the boy who cried wolf, no-one believes that he wants to change his ways. He’s made the claim far too many times.

I don’t think anyone out there can argue that Barton needs a big smack around his pea-brained little head. In fact, I’m abandoning the Lee Bowyer Smackablomator this week, and have instead rated his smackability myself. This is for Jamie Tandy, Ousmane Dabo, Dickson Etuhu, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Alan Shearer, the two boys he assaulted, and pretty much everyone else he’s attacked or offended in such a heinously cowardly fashion over the years.


Joey Barton. Please take your smacking, and go away. For good.

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