Eddie's Football Blog

A bizarre look at the world of football, since 2008

Posts Tagged ‘Portsmouth FC’

Microsoft Paint Story Of The Week – The Invisible Handball

Posted by eddiev18 on November 27, 2009

Scharner: Dodgy hair, dodgy goal

Continuing the Microsoft Paint Stories Of The Week series (soon to be re-named ‘Baron-Watch’), this week we once again catch up with Baron Silas Greenback (aka Avram Grant), and it certainly appears that he’s been keeping himself busy of late.

Not only has the amphibious super-villain been officially appointed as Portsmouth manager (as predicted here on Eddie’s Football Blog), but there have also been one or two unexplained events in the past week, both of which I am fairly certain he had something to do with.

Now, as we all know from ‘Danger Mouse’ (the reality TV series in which Greenback featured heavily during the 1980s) The Baron has a history of going to great lengths to create the perfect ‘Kansas City Shuffle’ – a moment in which he makes us all look one way (via a distraction), whilst he sneakily steps in to take over the world. I have highlighted examples of this before

Stealing all of the world’s sign-posts. Sending tins of exploding custard to every household on the planet. Turning elephants into sugar cubes. Stuff like that. Ideas that could only conceivably be contrived by an evil toad.

Naturally therefore, when I stumbled across an article this afternoon citing ‘mysterious toilet blockages’ on an entire fleet of Cathay Pacific aeroplanes, my suspicions were raised. Perhaps the plan this time is to drain all of the world’s oceans? Think about it… the entire population of earth, all wildly flushing their porcelain thrones at once. The water usage would go off the chart.

Well, it’s either that, or he’s plotting a world-wide shortage of drain unblocking products. Just think of a world without drain unblocking products. All hell would break loose. Indian restaurants would fight and squabble over the remaining supplies and, worse of all, we’d all have to start using bidets due to the constant fear of clogging our own crappers. Yes, that’s right, we’d basically all become French.

I can see the fear on your face now. He must be stopped.

Talking of the French, and insanely long introductions out of the way, this leads me nicely on to the second of the unexplained phenomena that has occurred more than once in the past week. Namely, the act of scoring a goal in professional football, having blatantly committed a handball prior to putting the ball in the onion bag.

Both Thierry Henry (the goal that broke Irish hearts. Well, unless you’re Roy Keane), and Paul Scharner (the ‘1’ in Wigan’s 9-1 walloping at Tottenham) have scored goals of this ilk in the past week. Both have got away with it. My question is how?

Suspecting Greenback, I headed to his lair at Portsmouth’s Blue Reef aquarium earlier this week. Passing myself off as ‘Mr Grant’s Wart Removal Technician’ I gained entry, and this is what I discovered…

I think I know what’s been going on now.

Greenback has known all season that, at some point, he was going to be asked to replace Paul Hart as manager. It’s one of the worst kept secrets of all time. Right up there with Tom Cruise’s homosexuality. However, with this knowledge came responsibility. When he became manager, he was going to have to improve Pompey’s form.

Henry: Giving Greenback's invention the high-five

Knowing that his squad wasn’t anywhere near good enough to stay up on their own, and given that he is an super-villain with a lair, an evil crow assistant, and more than a few masterplans up his sleeve, Greenback got to work on a couple of ideas he’d had to improve his team’s performance. The first of these was injecting a ‘Striker’s Serum’ into Aruna Dindane, in the hope that the Ivorian would end up scoring a bucket load of goals. As you’ll remember, it started with a hat-trick, and ended with a threesome. It turned out that the ‘Scoring Serum’ wasn’t specific to football, and the Baron was forced to abandon Dindane’s regular injections after the goals dried up.

Now though, it looks as though Greenback has a new concept to use. A footballing aid called ‘The Invisible Handball’. Basically it is a specially designed synthetic forearm and hand combination that, when attached to a footballer, is completely invisible to the referee and his assistants. It means that a footballer can control, dribble, and even score a goal with their hand, and the officials will not see any offence.

The prototype was tested by Greenback’s father (Earl Greenback) during the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, on a certain young Argentinean by the name of Diego Maradona. It worked brilliantly during a match against England, but after Maradona refused to remove his new hand because he saw it as a good way to get cocaine past customs officials, Earl Greenback abandoned the experiment. Now, in the knowledge that he’ll be taking over such a poorly equipped Premier League team, Greenback Junior has resurrected it.

The product was tested last week on France Captain (and shaving enthusiast) Thierry Henry, and Wigan utility man (and Austrian style icon) Paul Scharner. On both occasions (as mentioned above) the protagonists used their new hand to score via an unfathomably dodgy handball. This obviously means that ‘The Invisible Handball’ passed its test with flying colours. There is, however, no word on either player having become a coke-mule for an underground gang of Colombians since their match. I’ll keep you posted though.

As ever, Baron Greenback looks on from his office as his evil crow henchman prepares to remove the hand from Scharner, in order to get it attached to Ivorian science experiment Dindane, and ready for this weekend’s visit of Manchester United. So, if you see a dodgy handball from young Aruna this Saturday, you’ll now know why the referee allowed play to continue.

It also seems that MI5 are also suspicious of Greenback’s activities (perhaps they read the blocked plane toilets atricle too), as they sent one of their agents into his lair on the day I was conducting my investigation. However, after failing to desguise himself, and following a cliché-filled chat in the Baron’s office, the vodka martini drinking agent ‘fell’ through a trap-door (that just happened to randomly open below his feet) and into a pool of sharks with freekin’ lazerrrs attached to them. He never stood a chance.

So, whether you’re worried about Portsmouth’s new ability to score goals, the possibility that you might have to cleanse your nether regions like a Frenchman in the near future, or just the concerned about the prospect of reading yet another article dedicated to a cartoon character lookalike, it is clear that this man must be stopped.

Where the hell is Danger Mouse when you need him, eh? Let’s hope that he has suffered the same fate as this little chap

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Premier League Predictions – 21st November

Posted by eddiev18 on November 21, 2009

Meg: Predicts a good lie-in for us all on Sunday

Ding ding, round two! So with four out of six outcomes correctly predicted so far, let’s see how I get on with Sunday’s fixtures:

Blackburn vs Bolton

This week, Sky’s two course ‘Super-Sunday’ is more of a quick bite down the greasy spoon than dinner at the Savoy, and if I’m to continue the analogy, I guess this fixture is the starter. A rubbish prawn cocktail if you like.

It’s likely to be a proper mud-slinger of a match, with more aerial balls than a game of American football. I also expect the commentator to frequently remind us that [insert attacking team’s name here] are ‘a threat from set pieces’, because that’s generally all they can get excited about when two teams with no interest in playing any football come up against each other.

Sleeping is almost certainly going to be more interesting than this one, so why not treat yourself to a lie-in? Just think, you may even have a dream about Megan Fox*… and do you really want to miss out on that for the sake of Blackburn vs Bolton?!

Verdict: 0-0

Stoke City vs Portsmouth

If this game is the main course, then think of it as the disappointing roast dinner you at at that pub you’ve never been back to. Cold, hard roast potatoes, slimy Yorkshire puddings, and fatty slices of cheap beef.

Mind you, unlike your starter, there will be one or two edible things on the plate to keep it from being a total disappointment. Expect Kevin Prince-Boateng and Jamie O’Hara to be the honey roasted parsnips and minted peas of this affair.

I don’t think that will be enough to save this ‘dish’ though. With a doubt surrounding medical experiment and Ivory Coast forward Aruna Dindane, Pompey will struggle to break down a resolute Stoke defence. As a result, The Potters will be in no rush to break away from their horribly unattractive and defensive style of play, and the game will suffer due to very little open football.

Verdict: 1-0

Tottenham vs Wigan

Re-scheduled to 3pm on Sunday due to Steve Bruce’s penchant for bringing South Americans to the Premier League a few years back, Sky will be kicking themselves that they aren’t serving this one up to their viewers. In stark contrast to the Boltons, Blackburns and Stokes of this world, both these teams play attractive, open football.

‘Appy ‘Arry Redknapp will be pleased to see his t’riffic winger Aaron Lennon returning to the Spurs side after a spell on the sidelines, as this should add an extra bit of zip to the right hand side. In Lennon’s absence, David Bentley demonstrated that he’s probably more interested in signing up bands for his bar on the Costa Del Sol than playing football. Oh well, England will just have to find itself another new ‘DB7’.

Wigan’s ability to deal with Lennon will be the deciding factor in this match. If they do, then they have the likes of Rodallega and N’Zogbia to exploit the space that Tottenham always leave for their opposition.

However, after a game on Wednesday and a long flight back from Honduras, Maynor Figueroa has his work cut out to contain Lennon. As so often is the case at White Hart Lane, Spurs will attempt to harness their home support and come flying out of the blocks, looking to put the game to bed before the opposition have a chance to impose themselves.

I can see this happening tomorrow.

Verdict: 4-1

* See what I did there?! After my Transformers-heavy MS Paint Story Of The Week the other day, I just thought I’d tell you what the most popular Robots-In-Disguise-based search term used to get to my site has been. And the winner is… ‘Megan Fox Naked’.

Who says the internet isn’t primarily for porn, eh?

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Premier League Predictions – 19th November

Posted by eddiev18 on November 20, 2009

Meg: Busy casting a spell on Thierry Henry

Poor old Ireland eh? Thierry Henry’s left hand on Wednesday night put an end to the Green Army’s dream of following their national team to the World Cup, and condemned them to yet another summer of drinking bottles of cider in picturesque countryside taverns that border acres of beautiful apple orchards. Or so Magners would have us believe…

Oh well, at least they can turn their attentions back to the Premier League this weekend, where their most cherished top flight English team will continue their fine unbeaten ru… oh… right… that’s Liverpool isn’t it? Never mind then.

I’m not really doing a very good job at cheering the Irish up, so I’ll get on with my predictions. Same form as usual. Beat me and you win a tenner*.

Birmingham vs Fulham

I was happy to see that I predicted yet another correct outcome involving Liverpool in the last round of Premier League fixtures. I haven’t got anything against Liverpool, but I saw Birmingham going to Anfield, defending for their lives (as they have done all season), and getting something. However, my prediction was probably more based on Liverpool not having a clue this season, and the fact that they still have Lucas in their midfield.

What I didn’t see coming though was The Blues scoring two goals, and Alicia Keys lookalike Cameron Jerome pinging one in from 30 yards. However, I can live with that because Jose Reina didn’t see it coming either, and I guess it was more important for him to be ready for Jerome’s strike than me.

Apart from their dancing badger, there’s not much you can say about Fulham. Whilst I was waiting for my breakfast last Sunday I was given a complimentary paper to read (presumably whilst the pub’s manager attempted to get the Gap year student to stop going for fag breaks and actually cook the full English I had ordered – he failed), and I stumbled across a quote from Roy Hodgson saying that he hoped Fulham fans realise that there is a ceiling on what the club can achieve.

Whilst he is 100% correct about that, it sort of highlights the problem with reviewing them. Yes, they’ll have a game every week. Yes, I’ll have to think of something to say. However with no ambition, there’s no real excitement. Just a freak season once in a while where they’ll either have a relegation dog fight, or they’ll break into the top seven and get a place in a competition that noone cares about, (even if it earns them a few extra quid, offers their fans a few European city breaks).

This season they’ll finish comfortably in mid-table again, which means that their recent success needs to be balanced up with a defeat this weekend. So that’s what I’ve gone for.

Verdict: 2-1

Burnley vs Aston Villa

Burnley are a Championship side punching above their weight in the Premier League. Them’s the fact ladies and gents. If they didn’t have the support of all those blokey-looking women in the home crowd scaring the opposition’s wide players, they’d be relegated already and wiping the tears away with their bingo-wings.

Anyway, they DO have that support, and their home form is why they are still afloat (although if Turf Moor was flooded, the players be able to stay afloat just by grabbing one of the massive buoyancy aids sitting in the stands).

This game therefore should be made all the more interesting by that fact. However, in spite of Villa’s pretty indifferent form of late, I think they’ll win this one easily. The wingers are the reason, and they have two of them in Ashley Young and James Milner who are bang on form right now. If they can avoid the Medusan-like effect of looking directly at the female Burnley fans whilst hugging their touchlines, then I fully expect them to tear The Clarets apart.

Verdict: 1-3

Chelsea vs Wolves

If there was ever a home-win to put your house on, this is it**.

The only way Wolves can win is if they, as previously mooted on Eddies Football Blog, put out a team of real wolves that end up killing and feasting on the entire Chelsea team. However, even if they did that they’d be more than likely to still only get a draw, as I don’t think packs of wolves care much for scoring goals.

Verdict: 3-0

Hull vs West Ham

Last week I must have sent good karma out to Phil Brown with my emotional appeal to keep him in his job at Hull. Not only did they win their game against Stoke, but the man who popped up with the winner may well have inadvertently boosted the Geordie crooner’s transfer budget for the January window.

That’s right; sales of replica shirts with Jan Vennegoor Of Hesselink printed on the back have soared following his injury time strike and, at £1 per letter, that’ll be a nice tidy sum come the end of 2009. Enough to buy Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker from Borussia Monchengladbach perhaps.

It’s a novel approach, but then so is having your half-time team-talk in the middle of the pitch. He’s a pioneer, that Brownie.

By contrast, West Ham ‘ave gone and found themselves a spot of bovva. Tree-trunk legged striker Dean Ashton is expected to retire from football imminently, which is a real shame for the club, the player, and English football in general. The person who will benefit from Ashton’s retirement is World Cup hopeful Carlton Cole, but he must be getting tired of having to do it all on his own.

As a result, The Hammers will have to get Cole to form a partnership with their suggestible Italian Allessandro Diamanti, and will therefore be hoping that the Hull fans don’t all learn the Italian for ‘miss!’ by tomorrow afternoon. Expect an entertaining dogfight though, but obviously without any real dogs (unless a plucky Hammer manages to smuggle his Staffy into the ground, and it ends up getting into a scuffle with Stephen Hunt).

Verdict: 2-2

Liverpool vs Man City

What did I say when I started this whole Premier League predictions thing? Well, I gave you all certain rules to abide by, didn’t I? Certain criteria for aiding you in your conquest, if you will. However, I also said that if you are Mark Lawrenson you must, at all costs, write an indescribably biased prediction in favour of Liverpool.

The Reds go into this weekend with the following form in the last 9 games (in all competitions) – LLLLWLLDD. Despite Gerrard’s return, they are without key striker Fernando Torres, and play a Man City side who have only lost one game in all competitions all season (against Man Utd), and sitting nicely above them in the league. This is why i find the following from ‘Lawro’ the most hilarious piece of biased piffle I have seen in a long time…

“The good news for Liverpool is that it looks like Steven Gerrard has got himself fit, although I’m not sure that Fernando Torres will make this one. Manchester City had four players starting for England last week so it’s not as if they’ve had a rest and that could be a factor.

I think Manchester City now have players capable of taking the game to Liverpool and that might suit the home side as a lot of teams go to Anfield and shut up shop. But this could be an open game and Liverpool will like that. “

So, not only has he turned the potent threat of Man City’s attacking options into an advantage for Liverpool (when, in reality, they will have haunted Jamie Carragher’s dreams this week), but he is also claiming that City’s top-class athletes will need more rest after a game they played 7 bloody days earlier!

This, my friends, is exactly what I was on about. It’s safe to say that I don’t agree with him in the slightest.

Verdict: 1-2

Man Utd vs Everton

This is traditionally a big game, and a game in which Everton I’m sure would want to give a good account of themselves. However, with 11 of their first team players either with knocks or long term injuries, it has turned into a fixture in which David Moyes’ men will just defend in numbers and hope for a point.

With captain Phil Neville absent, a player all too used to winning games at Old Trafford, Everton’s midfield will be outclassed and I can see a United getting three points. Not an easy three points. Or a pretty three points. But three points nonetheless. As Ian Holloway once put it, in gentlemen’s terms, it’ll be like going out and pulling a bird who isn’t the prettiest but, sod it, you’ll still take her home.

Verdict: 2-0

Sunderland vs Arsenal

A really interesting match-up.

Sunderland got mugged last time out against Spurs. Plain and simple. They should have won that game, but for the first time this season they showed their wastefulness in front of goal. They also missed the battering-ram presence of Kenwyne Jones.

If you were to fault Arsenal this season, you could justifiably point a finger at their inability to deal with aerial balls into the box, so they will be relieved to hear that the somersaulting powerhouse is still serving a suspension. However, it is still a weakness that Bruce will target.

That said, Cesc ‘Harry Potter’ Fabregas is in the form of his life, and he will have been rubbing his hands in anticipation after viewing the amount of space that Tom Huddlestone was allowed at White Hart Lane by Sunderland’s midfield. Expect Mackems captain Lorik Cana to return with typical hatchet-man style to remedy that, and make things difficult for the Spaniard (unless, of course, he’s still drunk, and staggering around in his pants somewhere in Algeria).

With Van Persie out for Arsenal, this one is very nicely balanced. I’ll go for a high-scoring draw.

Verdict: 2-2

* N.B. You won’t actually win a tenner. I lied in order to get you involved. I’m sorry. Here’s a tenner to compensat… Balls. I’m at it again. I better stop now before I offer you the keys to my house.

** N.B. If Chelsea don’t win, and you did end up taking my off the cuff remark as actual advice, then you’re an idiot. However, if you need to crash on my sofa for a couple of days whilst you find somewhere new to live, then fine. Just don’t try to sue me. Or drink the beer in my fridge.

Check back tomorrow for my predictions for Sunday’s games (including the weekly 0-0, if you were wondering where it was!)

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Microsoft Paint Stories Of The Week – Aruna Dindane’s Transformation

Posted by eddiev18 on November 8, 2009

dindane

Pimp my striker: Aruna Dindane

As I have mentioned before, the wonderful blogging software I use to tap out the sort of rambling nonsense that you are about to put yourself through also offers me the ability to see ‘behind the scenes’. Unlike the extras on your ‘Transformers’ DVD though, this unfortunately does not allow me to see Megan Fox in her smalls, rolling around on a beach in the South Pacific. However, what it does allow me to do is to monitor the search terms that people use to get to my wonderous site of footballing irreverency.

This being the case, if you have seen my article’s title in your search results, and arrived here today expecting to read a peice dedicated to a new member of Optimus Prime’s robot gang, then I’m afraid that Google has let down in your quest this time. If however, you just wanted a picture of Megan Fox draped over a motorcycle, then feast your eyes on these apples!

Anyway, let’s have a bit of fun, and ensure that I get a regular stream of Transformers fans arriving here in disappointment. You see, I am told that Google Search works by making a note of keywords in the title and body of any given article, bumping your entry up the results list if you’ve mentioned the searched terms more than other sites have mentioned them. Considering this, and the fact that (including the title) there have already been six Transformers-related references (now there are seven) in the first three paragraphs of this article, I wonder what will happen if I do this…

Transformers! Revenge Of The Fallen! Optimus Prime! Robots hitting each other! Shia La Beouf is constantly in a panicked state! Michael Bay makes rubbish movies! Transformers! Robots in disguise!

Let’s see how that pans out then…

Anyway, those are the finer points out of the way, let’s move on to the main course of this banquet of insight. As I mentioned in my Premier League Predictions, last week I booked a train ticket for Eddie’s Football Blog‘s chief reporter to go down to Portsmouth and investigate why Pompey striker Aruna Dindane has suddenly become a player able to score a Premier League hat-trick.

You see, after the player’s frankly comical display against Spurs a few weeks back, where he showcased an array of finishing that would shock even Chris Iwelumo, I smelt a rat. You don’t just transform (see, I used that word again!) over night. What had happened to the Ivorian? Why had he suddenly started to find the back of the net instead of the car park?

As ever, our reporter was without any form of camera, so has had to resort to the pixel-perfect imagery that can only be offered by Microsoft Paint, in order to depict what he saw in Portsmouth that day. Below we can see his findings and the truth, I’m sure you’ll agree, really is shocking…

MSPaintStoryOfThe Week_arunadindane

You might need a minute to take all of that in. I know I certainly did. Deep breaths…

As you can see, our reporter must have tailed Dindane to the secret lair of Pompey Director Of Football Avram Grant (aka Baron Silas Greenback), which (as we previously discovered) he has set up in the city’s Blue Reef Aquarium. Since that discovery, it appears that (alongside plans to develop the club’s academy) he has also developed a concept he once saw in an Austin Powers movie a few years ago – namely, sharks with freakin’ lazers attached. What this means for mankind, I can only speculate. However, given that it has nothing to do with the Ivorian’s form, we better leave that to MI5 (or MI6. If i’m honest, I never really know which one is which).

So, why is little Aruna visiting the den of his evil super-villain boss? The truth is that Greenback has also devloped what he calls a ‘Striker’s Serum’. Initially he developed the serum to help him ‘score’ with women, as it became apparent that evil toad looking villains cannot pull girls, even on a night out in Portsmouth. However, upon testing his potion, it came to light that not only can it help a man score with women, but it can also help with scoring in every other sense of the word. The serum can make an individual become an expert at keeping a tally during darts matches in the pub, composing music and, most importantly in this case, hitting the onion bag on the football pitch.

It all makes sense now. Greenback, in a desperate attempt to keep Pompey up, has started injecting the Ivorian with a scientific concoction that is guaranteed to get him scoring goals. Like Big Sam’s masterplan, The Baron’s scheme surely cannot fail.

The picture shows club doctor Nigel Sellars readying Dindane for his latest shot of the good stuff. Greenback (who is watching on, cackling in delight, and sporting a grey suit he borrowed from his friend Dr. Evil) had hoped not to get any of the staff involved in the experiment, but ended up having to draft Sellars in after it emerged that his evil crow henchman was unable to administer an injection due to having a pair of wings and no opposable thumbs. It would have been a total mess, with needles and feathers everywhere. Plus, he’d done a bit of sight-seeing earlier in the week, and got stuck at the Tower of London after he was told that the building would fall down if he dared leave.

As ever with the masterplans of Baron Silas Greenback though, there is a problem. The serum doesn’t appear to be quite right. Having scored a hat-trick after his first dose, Dindane failed to hit the target during Saturday’s loss to Blackburn. However, he did end up waking up on Sunday morning with three Swedish underwear models in his bed. Technically then, he ‘scored’ successfully, but it just wasn’t the right type of scoring.

As a result, it looks like poor old Avram will have to go back to the drawing board, otherwise he might find that Dindane turns up to Pompey’s next match having composed a beautiful piano concerto, but is still unable to hit a cow’s backside with a banjo.

(Transformers, Robots In Disguise!)

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Premier League Predictions – 6th November

Posted by eddiev18 on November 5, 2009

Meg: Back from Burnley's 'Ladies Day' unscathed

Out of the ten fixtures that banged on my door last week, demanding to be predicted, seven were sent home happy. Ok, I didn’t get the final score right for any of them, but that’s not important. Even with a badger equipped with a wide range of hip-hop dance moves backing them up, I don’t think many people saw Fulham putting three past Liverpool. So, I’ve excused myself.

Having said that, if I get a couple of final scores right this week, but not many correct outcomes, there’s a good chance i’ll introduce next week’s predictions with a paragraph professing the skill involved in predicting correct final scores. You see, much like Robbie Keane and his assessment of the current Spurs squad, I sometimes find myself sugar-coating my opinions.

I’ve set the bar with 7 correct outcomes. Can you beat me?!? Actually, I’m sure you can. I’m just doing that ‘challenge their ego’ thing to try to get you involved in a prediction contest.

Are you ready?!? I’m doing it again. Sorry, I’ll stop. There’s actually no need to be particularly ready. It’s not as if you’re about to go for a sky-dive (unless you are. In which case, I’d advise you start concentrating on that instead, because you’re about to throw yourself out of a bloody plane. You mentalist!).

Ok, I’m getting nowhere with this introduction. Predictions hooooooo! (Thundercats style)

Aston Villa vs Bolton

In the last few weeks Aston Villa have dressed in black, hid in the shadows, and snuck their way silently up the table. This is made all the more weird by the fact that, at the time of writing this, their form for the last 6 games reads LDWDDL – translating as 6 points from a possible 18, which isn’t hugely impressive. However, they’ve still managed to join the chasing pack just below the top four which, considering the aforementioned form, is mighty impressive.

This phenomena can be explained either by Martin O’Neill having trained the club in the art of the Ninja, or by the fact that the top four have performed a little more inconsistently this season.

Either way, Bolton should watch out for the crane kick to the gonads this weekend, which I feel is undoubtedly coming their way.

Verdict: 2-1

Blackburn vs Portsmouth

I hold my hands up. Aruna Dindane last weekend took my snide, mocking words and shoved them firmly back down my embarassed throat. He was majestic, and took his hat-trick well.

However, did anyone else find this sudden change in the Ivorian’s form all a little too dramatic? I certainly did. This is why I sent my chief reporter in the field to Fratton Park this week to find out what was going on. His findings will be reported in this week’s Microsoft Paint Story Of the Week, so watch this space. It is truly shocking. Can you handle the truth?! (Sorry I really must stop treating you as if you’re a cinema audience watching trailers to the summer blockbusters).

Expect a shaven headed Morten Gamst Pedersen to take to the field for Blackburn Rovers, and a scintillating 1-1 draw to follow.

Verdict: 1-1

Man City vs Burnley

Those of you who watched Match Of The Day 2 last weekend would have witnessed a quite frightening report from Kevin Day (a man created by combining bits of Madness front-man Suggs, with a zombie from Shaun Of The Dead) on Burnley’s ‘ladies day’.

If you didn’t get a chance to see it, try thinking of an episode of ‘Booze Britain’, but dedicated entirely to women, and set in a bleak northern town. I can only assume that the male Burnley fans had decided to spend Saturday afternoon shopping for their halloween costumes (although they could have got a fair few pointers from some of the scary old bags at the stadium, that’s for sure).

This week against Manchester City, expect the Burnley fans travelling to Eastlands to revert back to form, with plenty of drunk men cosigning their Halloween masks to the back of the cupboard in order to roar their team to their fifth away defeat of the season.

Expect Carlos Tevez to still be wearing his halloween mask.

Verdict: 3-0

Tottenham vs Sunderland

Low on confidence, and missing key players, ‘Arry’s fragile Spurs troops would have wanted an easier fixture than Sunderland following a derby-day drubbing by an Arsenal team with a point to prove. Even though pocket goal-machine and glamour model afficionado Jermain Defoe is back from his suspension to give his club a boost, The Mackems team is loaded with ex-Tottenham players, all looking to prove Spurs wrong for flogging them.

Darren Bent will want to prove that he really is better than Redknapp’s wife, Andy Reid will desperately want to prove to the Spurs fans that he’s not the ‘pie muncher’ they’ve always said he is (it’s pretty obvious that he knows where the nearest Greggs is though), and Steed Malbranque will want to reinforce the question that most Spurs fans have been asking since he left… “Levy, why the hell did you sell him?!”.

Teemu Tainio will just want to angrily kick people. That’s what Teemu Tainio does. However, in the absence of Kasier Soze and Lee Cattermole, he’ll be the ex-Spurs player with arguably the most important job of all.

Verdict: 2-2

Wolves vs Arsenal

Arsenal can be compared very easily to Hogwarts, the wizard’s school attended by Harry Potter and his chums. Like Hogwarts, Arsenal have a Dumbledore professor figure at the helm attempting to teach all the young minds that walk into the youth system the way of mastering the wizadry of football.

He has many good students at the club, who have all clearly practiced their skills on a regular basis. However, they have one shining Harry Potter style light at the centre of it all, in the shape of Cesc Fabregas. Like the character, Fabregas can perform acts of brilliance that everyone else at the club can only admire with bewildered amazement. Let us not also forget that he often has to carry the weaker students through difficult times (at this point I should probably compare Niclas Bentner to Ron Weasley, and Emanuel Eboue to the little girl).

This weekend Fabregas and his wizard pals visit the den of a pack of bloodthirsty Wolves. Now, we all know that wolves like to prey on the weaknesses of small children, and I expect this pack to do exactly that on Saturday – snarling and snapping at the heels of the frightened youngsters. However with a wizard at the height of his powers at their core, mere Wolves will be no match for Wenger’s young magicians.

Verdict: 0-3

Chelsea vs Man Utd

It has been noted in certain places that Sky tend to make a bit of a song and a dance about a live game pitting two of the ‘Big Four’ teams up against each other. Flashy lights swooshing across the screen, dramatic music, and immense over-exaggeration over the importance of the seventh day of the week (i.e. ‘Mega-Super Amazing Sunday’ or something else just as ludicrous). Prior to the game, the tiny studio is packed with the brilliant minds of Jamie Redknapp, Richard Keys, and Andy Gray, and the viewer is ‘entertained’ (for what seems like an eternity) by three grown men drawing arrows on a virtual pitch, and talking incoherently about the brilliance of the two teams (who both, funnily enough, have made their employer one of the richest companies in the world).

The trouble is, with all the hype, these games are often a complete snore-fest. The recent Chelsea vs Liverpool game was so boring that I ended up being distracted by a repeat of Deal Or No Deal on our other telly (a fat man from Wolverhampton was sent home with 50p after he was ‘convinced’ big money was in a particular box, and thought that 5k ‘wasn’t a fair offer’. Riveting stuff).

This time though, I actually think that we have a really good game on our hands. Two teams playing good attacking football, and they are definitely the two teams who will be contesting the title this year, so there’s the added spice right there.

If Didier Drogba stays on his feet long enough to perform as he has been recently, I’m backing Chelsea for this one.

Verdict: 3-1

Hull vs Stoke

I like Hull’s manager Phil Brown. He’s an eccentric, and we don’t get many of them in Premier League nowadays.

So what if it was their start to the 08/09 season that kept them up last year? Does that really matter? No. What matters is that this earpiece loving, karaoke singing, half time team-talk on the pitch conducting Sam Allardyce prodige got Hull City promoted to the Premier League and then kept them there. That should be enough for the Hull board, fans, and players to show him a little respect in the tough time they’re having at the moment. The dreaded vote of confidence is always an ominous sign though.

This is one of those games that I wouldn’t normally give a damn about. But for Phil Brown’s sake I hope Hull can overcome the bus that Stoke park in front of their goal.

Verdict: 2-1

West Ham vs Everton

West Ham’s new striker Alessandro Diamanti has a bit of the Paulo Di Canio about him. Great touch, good finisher, and also a bit of a nutter. After a bit of gentle ribbing from his new team-mates for being the only member of the Hammers squad to use a hairdryer, the Italian reacted not by returning the banter, but by getting a grade 1 all over. This begs the question though, if Diamanti really is that suggestable, what else can his team-mates make him do?! Ideas below.

After a win in midweek, West Ham are unbeaten in three. Everton, by contrast have just suffered another injury set-back to midfield string-puller Mikel Arteta, which won’t improve the spirits of a team who last won a Premier League game back on September 26th.

It’ll be a hardfought encou… Stop! Hammertime.

Verdict: 2-1

Wigan vs Fulham

As I noted in my introduction above, I was pretty pleased with myself for predicting Fulham’s win over Liverpool last week. However, that was all soured by Wigan, the Premier League’s most unpredictable team, living up to their tagline.

That being the case, I am tempted to predict a Fulham win (because secretly I think that Wigan will win). However, now i’ve revealed my strategy on the world wide web, I’m sure that Wigan’s unpredictability radar will spot it and then force the team to carry out exactly the opposite.

Therefore, I am going to just go with my gut instinct. Wigan have had some big results at home this season, and Fulham are playing away in the Uefa League (or whatever the Uefa Cup is now called) on Thursday, so may be a bit sleepy when it comes to dealing with my man Rodallega (by that I mean he has been in my fantasy team this season. I transferred him out though, so technically it should be ‘my ex-man Rodallega’. However, that sounds a bit gay).

Marlon King is sidelined.

Verdict: 3-1

Liverpool vs Birmingham

Liverpool fans. I’m sorry, but this one’s the nil nil. And you can’t quote form to deny my assertions either. Playing without Gerrard, and pairing a half-fit Torres with a hapless Voronin in attack, these are some dark times.

Birmingham will be organised and hard to break down, just like they were against City. Don’t get me wrong, McLeish’s men are still an awful team to watch, but now is the perfect time for anyone to play the Scousers. They look lost.

Verdict: 0-0

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Premier League Predictions – 16th October

Posted by eddiev18 on October 16, 2009

Sunderland three, Liverpool twoooooo

Meg Predicts: "Sunderland three, Liverpool twoooooo"

Seeing as Mr.T has not yet driven his tank through my garden wall, and as I have not yet spotted any Snickers bars scattered around on my lawn, I can only assume that the mowhawked one approved of my report this week on what referee Alan Wiley has been up to during the international break.

This has put me in a good mood. As a result though, I am presented with a problem. You see, I had planned to write a bit of a tirade about Premier League scuffle-addict, and Dennis The Menace wannabe, Joey Barton. I was going to have a little rant, rate his face using the Lee Bowyer Smackablomator, and then enjoy the endorphins that my brain always kindly releases after a good old character assasination of an annoying footballer. In my current mood though, there is no way that I could do the man justice, so I’ve had to find something else to occupy myself.

Premier League predicitions aren’t that hard to write. Ask Mark Lawrenson. The basic rule is that if it’s a game between two teams quite evenly matched, it’ll either be a 2-1 win to the home side or some form of relatively low-scoring draw (e.g. 1-1. Although I imagine that providing you with an example of a low-scoring draw is fairly unnecessary). If you have a strong side against a weak side, it’s 3 or 4-0 if the strong side is at home, and 0-2 if they are playing away on a cart-track of a pitch in Wigan. Throw in one nil-nil bore each week, and you’re done.

Oh. Wait. The only other rule is that, if you’re Mark Lawrenson (if, on looking in the mirror, this does appear to be the case, please seek medical attention), you MUST at all costs write an undescribably biased prediction in favour of Liverpool.

Right, so the rules out of the way with, let’s have a look at what we’ve got in store for us this weekend:


Arsenal vs Birmingham

In their last game, Arsenal gave Blackburn the sort of beating that may potentially have forced Big Sam into reconsidering the ‘play a centre-half up front, and lump it long’ approach. That can only be good for the Premier League. Birmingham should expect to endure the same treatment from The Gunners this weekend too.

Paddy Power are already taking bets on the exact minute that Alex McLeish loses his voice from shouting at his players too much. You can also put a wager on the exact shade of red produced by the capillaries on the face of the hapless Scotsman, as he flails his arms about in his technical area in an attempt to get Barry Ferguson to track Cesc Fabregas, instead of making rude gestures behind the referee’s back.

Verdict: 4-0

Aston Villa vs Chelsea

Carlo Ancelotti this week did two things. He got a lap dance on Italian television, and then he compared John Terry to Paulo Maldini. I can see what he means. Both are loyal to their clubs, both are fighters on the pitch, both are defenders, and both are captains (or have been). That’s where Ancelotti’s comparison stops though.

You see, where Maldini has the quintessential character of the Italian footballer – intelligent, softly spoken, stylish, and good looking, Terry, by contrast, is guts-and-glory, loud, stupid, and has a face that wouldn’t be out of place in a Wheterspoons on a Saturday night. Surely I haven’t just described the quintessential English footballer? Oh… right.

Maybe Ancelotti had a point after all. All I know is that, come Saturday, points are not what Villa will be getting.

Verdict: 0-2


Everton vs Wolves

The thing is, Everton vs Wolves is not a very interesting game to talk about. If Everton were going to play against a pack of 11 wolves, all dressed up in football kits and little boots for their paws, then trust me I’d be all over the review of this game like beans on toast. The reality of it all though is that there will be no wolves. No stopping to bay at the moon. No targeting of the smallest Everton player and feasting on him at half time. Nothing.

All there will be is 11 men in gold shirts playing 11 men in blue shirts. The men in blue shirts will procede to score three goals, with the men in gold scoring none. Barring a mild attack of tourettes from Toffees goalkeeper Tim Howard, nothing exciting will happen. However if, like me, you would like English football to be as speicies-diverse as it is ethnically diverse, then how about we all write a stern letter to the Premier League? Word on the street is that Sheffield Wednesday are also interested in the idea.

Verdict: 3-0

Manchester United vs Bolton

He’s just like Dom Joly, that Fergie, isn’t he? Dom Joly, just without the oversized props.

Not content with angering the referee’s governing body last week, with his comments about podgy lard-ass Alan Wiley, professional prankster Sir Alex Ferguson has used the international break to try to wind-up Belgian club Standard Liege. Whilst everyone else’s postman was down the pub enjoying a good old strike, it seems that the United manager’s postie crossed the picket line, because Belgian wonderkid Steven Defour recieved a letter from the Scot this week.

At the letter’s heart Sir Alex expressed his best wishes to the injured playmaker, and reminded the boy that he was in his thoughts. I’m not sure how i’d feel if an old Scottish man wrote me a letter to tell me that I was ‘in his thoughts’, but Defour was supposedly delighted. Whether his club feel the same is another thing.

Verdict: 3-0


Portsmouth vs Tottenham

It’s impossible to write this one without asking the following question. Why did Harry Redknapp conduct a football-based interview in an aquarium on Wednesday afternoon? I think I have the answer.

As we all know, Baron Silas Greenback is now in one of the comfy boardroom chairs at Portsmouth. Greenback would clearly like to start his career as Pompey Director of Football with a win, so what does he do? Instead of sending exploding custard to every single one of the Tottenham players on the morning of the game, he decides to invite the manager of the opposition (rumoured to be partial to a backhander) into his secret evil lair. All secret evil lairs are based in locations largely covered by water, that’s just a fact, so what better place to conduct your business than a secret room in Portsmouth’s famous Blue Reef aquarium. Did Harry take the bung though?

Funnily enough, he did seem to talk awfully highly of his old club in the interview…

Verdict: 2-1

Stoke vs West Ham

This one’s the nil-nil.

Verdict: 0-0

Sunderland vs Liverpool

Sunderland gave Manchester United a real scare last time out. In fact it was Ben Foster who probably gave United the bigger scare, but I digress. The Mackems are on good form and, for Darren Bent, comparisons with Harry Redknapp’s wife Sandra have well and truly been consigned to his Twitter history. One problem I still have with Bent though, and I’ve mentioned this before, is the following… why does he have to wear headphones all the time, even when he’s being interviewed post-match? My only assumption is that he must be learning a language. If so, good luck to you Darren. Sorry, I mean ‘buena suerte’ (if in fact you are learning Spanish, or even reading this at all).

Liverpool have lost their last couple of games, and now have an injury to Steven Gerrard to cope with. Yossi Benayoun will feature for the reds, but is unlikely to have become any easier on the eye during the international break.

Verdict: 3-2

Blackburn vs Burnley

One game. Every weekend in the Premier League we get one of these. The sort of game that is less of a game, and more of an example of how to have a fight within the rules of football. So, lots of shoulder charging, slide tackling, clashes of heads, that sort of thing. There won’t be any football played. It’ll be an absolutely horrible spectacle. However, after 8 pints this game is the footballing equivalent of the girl accross the bar that suddenly got attractive, even though she definitely wasn’t when you sat down five hours ago.

Abnormaly appealing.

Verdict: 1-1

Wigan vs Man City

Alan Wiley is back and, as revealed on Eddie’s Football Blog, has spent the international break punching dead cow carcasses, running up steps, doing push-ups in the snow, and generally finding obscure ‘Rocky’ influenced techniques to get himself into top conditon in the limited timeframe he had at his disposal between Premier League fixtures. Will he now be able to out-sprint Craig Bellamy though? Probably not.

In fact, I don’t think anyone can out-sprint Craig Bellamy at the moment. In the sort of form the Welshman is in, I can see his pace being the difference between the two sides. His unique ability to get on everyone’s nerves will be another difference between the two sides.

Verdict: 1-2

Fulham vs Hull

Family club vs Family club, taking place in the only stadium in the Premier League to have a section for ‘neutral fans’. There are probably still some tickets available, why not buy a couple? Take the kids. Buy some candy floss. Play poo-sticks on Putney Bridge, and have a jolly nice Monday evening. The football won’t be great, but a giant badger wearing a Fulham shirt will do something funny at half time. The kids will like that.

Verdict: 1-1

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Microsoft Paint Stories Of The Week – Harry Redknapp

Posted by eddiev18 on October 5, 2009

Redknapp: T'riffic bet for the chop

Redknapp: T'riffic bet for the chop

In this week’s unerringly irreverent and complicatedly far fetched take on a story from the last seven days in the world of football, we look at old Twitcher ‘imself – ‘Appy ‘Arry.

Two things. Firstly, I promise that the next ‘episode’ will not be another Spurs-based adventure into the depths of my imagination (I’m sorry but this story was too good not to feature). Secondly, I promise that not every word beginning with ‘H’ will be abbreviated as if the ‘Droopy’ lookalike was writing this himself. Most will though.

Anyway, if you are a betting man you would’ve noticed some strange goings on last week. As all football fans know, the annual ‘Managerial Sack Race’ this season ‘as been firmly between ‘Yougottafeelsorryforhim’ Pompey manager Paul Hart, and Sam Allardyce prodigé (and bluetooth headset afficionado) Phil Brown of ‘ull City.

For the benefit of those reading this article (mainly my girlfriend) who are now trying to picture two grown men at a charity sports day ‘opping along in an old potato sack, I’m sorry to ruin the wonderful image you’ve mustered up there, but i’m talking more along the lines of P45 forms.

That being the case then, Paddy Power bookmakers were mystified last week as, due to a sudden increase in the amount of punters backing ‘arry Redknapp to be the first managerial casualty in the Premier League, they found themselves slashing ‘is odds for the chop. People still kept on throwing their money at the bet though, so much so that by lunchtime on Friday all bets were off. Old droopy chops had leapt ahead of ‘art and Brown, and was starting to think of the egg and spoon race at 3pm.

Why all the money on old Redders though?

Well, the gossip-hounds on the internet suddenly all became experts on Friday, claiming to know all about it. With screennames like ‘LoverLover6969’, they queued up to spread the juicy gossip they had undoubtedly just got from the man himself. They cited tax reasons. The Inland Revenue were onto Sandra’s Swiss Bank account, they claimed. A rambler in the Himalayas had perhaps found one of ‘arry’s brown paper bags of Romanian notes from the Florin Raducioiu deal, ‘idden in a yeti’s cave. Then they ‘revealed’ that the police and all the associated press were all on their way to White Hart Lane, where Redknapp was to be cuffed and jailed.

Blimey. With such trustworthy experts on the pulse of the story, what would ‘appen next? What would the Tottenham manager do? In an exclusive to Eddie’s Football Blog, the story of the week is seen in a new light below.

MSPaintSOTW_Redknapp

As you can see, where ‘arrison Ford has gone before ‘im, ‘Arry has gone on the run from the law. He’s done well too, and despite his conspicious choice of vehicle (the yellow Robin Reliant that he lent to the set of Only Fools And Horses all those years ago), he has made it over the Atlantic to the States.

Unfortunately for old Twitcher though, Darren Bent and Lord Triesman are ‘ot on his ‘eels. Both men want to bring our hero to justice – Triesman on a mission to rid the world of corruption (in football), and Bent seeking vengeance for his wife (Redknapp’s wife that is, and the comment he made about her being a better striker than the Sunderland ‘itman). They will stop at nothing.

You’ll see that the image captures a crucial moment. The Robin Reliant ‘as chirped its last breath of fuel only miles from the Mexican border, with salvation (and perhaps another opportunity to keep Giovani Dos Santos on the bench, as Mexican national team coach) within reach.

With Triesman and Bent gaining on him, ‘arry has no option but to pull out the trump card (from the boot) – man mountain Tom ‘uddlestone, who simply lifts the three wheeler off the ground and dashes (ok, slowly ambles, the concept of Thudd ‘dashing’ anywhere is just silly) for the border.

Will ‘arry make it? Will Triesman stamp out corruption in football? Will Darren Bent wear headphones in his next television interview? Will Tom Huddlestone find the McDonalds in Mexico City?

Comments below!

If you want to get involved and do your own Microsoft Paint Story Of The Week, then draw it in Paint, and send it to me at eddiesfootballblog@hotmail.co.uk. If it is funny it doesn’t matter how crap the drawing is (the crapper the better actually!), and it will make it on the site! No Photoshop! 🙂

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