Back-up goalkeepers

September 16, 2013 § Leave a comment

Last week, I asked Twitter to nominate their favourite back-up goalkeepers. Here are the complete results:

  • Raimond van der Gouw (15 votes)
  • Pegguy Arphexad (13)
  • Stuart Taylor (9)
  • Alex Manninger (6)
  • Carlo Nash (5)
  • Hilario
  • Steve Harper (4)
  • Carlo Cudicini
  • Jose Manuel Pinto (3)
  • Mike Harper
  • Nigel Spink
  • Rami Shaaban
  • Ross Turnbull
  • Iker Casillas
  • Tony Warner
  • Ruud Boffin (2)
  • Espen Baardsen
  • Mark Beeney
  • Jeroen Verhoeven
  • Mike Pollitt
  • Brad Jones
  • John O’Shea
  • Vince Bartram
  • Bobby Mimms (1)
  • Mark Schwarzer
  • Roy Carroll
  • Aidan Davidson
  • David Stockdale
  • Dmitri Kharine
  • Mark Bosnich
  • Ricardo
  • Michael Oakes
  • Tommy Wright
  • Ian Andrews
  • John Smuelders
  • Barry Roche
  • Chris Woods
  • Nicolas Douchez
  • Steve Ogrizovic
  • Tony Warner
  • Dave Beasant
  • Tomasz Kuszczak
  • Brad Friedel
  • John Burridge
  • Les Sealey
  • Mark Bunn
  • Ian Walker
  • Tim Flowers
  • Lenny Pidgeley
  • Michael Stensgaard
  • Jason Kearton
  • Ben Roberts
  • Kevin Poole
  • Brad Guzan
  • Phil Jagielka
  • Charles Itandje
  • Paul Heald
  • Chris Adamson
  • Clive Barker
  • Jurgen Macho
  • Morten Hyldgaard
  • Karl Pilkington
  • Heurelho Gomes
  • Luca Marchegiani
  • Kevin Hitchcock
  • John Lukic
  • Bob Bolder
  • Gary Peyton
  • Anders Lindegaard
  • Boaz Myhill
  • Steve Simonson
  • Thomas Myhre

Note: I haven’t yet checked that these are all real goalkeepers.

Joe Kinnear: Fact-checking

June 18, 2013 § 3 Comments

[Transcript nicked from the Guardian]

Talksport: Good evening Joe Kinnear. How are you?

JK: Yeah, I’m fine.

[discussion of delay in signing contract]

Talksport: […] Reaction has been negative from the fans. Has that been a surprise?

JK: Yeah but it’s only a certain section. It was exactly the same when I got there. […] But the trouble is that there are a lot of Geordies up there who are influenced and upset and the fact is that because I stood up to about 100 journalists that night – you know, it was the night we beat Tottenham 2-1 and I suppose the journalists always had it in it.

Precise attendance figures for post-match press conferences are sadly unavailable (though will doubtless be rising soon). However, and while I’m happy to be corrected, “about 100” seems a lot. Also, as Simon Bird points out the Mirror, if this is a reference to the notorious “You’re a cunt” rant, then that happened on a Thursday night. Newcastle had lost the previous weekend. « Read the rest of this entry »

BREAKING: Rafa Benitez to take over at Liverpool, Chelsea

May 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

In a move that will shake the foundations of English football to the very … er, foundations, Liverpool and Chelsea have announced that next season they will both be coached by Rafael Benitez. « Read the rest of this entry »

Then he clanks around like a euphemism

May 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

A friend recently pointed me toward the Bonsai Story Tree Generator, a widget for turning coherent text into nonsense, or near-nonsense. It’s quite fun. Anyway, said friend fed in a few of the profiles I’ve been writing for Football 365, and the machine spat out the following:


It was enough to pronounce Toni Kroos’s surname.

The first, Mr Anthony Pulis, is a man of hidden and shiny shoes, makes jokes with that last sounds an English Yaya Toure!

He’s got round to say that he is given ample opportunity to keep him some good, but joyous, which I’m largely indifferent, just so when the time Such is Bramble’s tragicomedy.

He is not much to get moved out of the consistency to see the country. « Read the rest of this entry »

Spain: Utterly Amazing; Nothing Much To Say

August 10, 2012 § 6 Comments

First published on SB NATION, 2 July 2012

This is not a piece about whether Spain are boring. There’s plenty of those around, all attempting to answer an unanswerable and largely incoherent question that’s more about personal taste and emotional reaction than it is about any fundamental truth. If you think Spain are boring, then they are; if you don’t, they’re not. And if somebody thinks they are, then saying “but they’re really good and they win loads and you’re a moron with no understanding of football and you suffer from a deluded sense of entitlement” isn’t suddenly going to make them interesting. Nor is it going to make you any friends. « Read the rest of this entry »

England Expected … What, Exactly?

August 10, 2012 § 1 Comment

First published on SB NATION, 26 June 2012

As England tournament exits go, this must be among the calmest in recent memory. The 2010 World Cup was a bitter departure, footballing humiliation laced with snipe, recrimination, and mutterings about goalline technology. 2006 was perhaps less embarrassing on the pitch, but Wayne Rooney’s decision to indulge in a moment of incautious studbanter inRicardo Carvalho’s personal space, andCristiano Ronaldo’s subsequent, heinous wink, ensured that a suitably hysterical tone accompanied England on their way. Even Euro 2004, which was at least a hopeful exit after Rooney’s terrifying emergence onto the national stage, had its own serving of ensuing nuttiness, as the British tabloids decided that the best way of dealing with Sol Campbell’s disallowed winner was to publish the personal details of referee Urs Meier. Death threats and police protection duly followed. « Read the rest of this entry »

Ireland’s Thrashing By Spain: A Depressing Vision Of The Future

August 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

First published on SB NATION, 15 June 2012

Poor boys in green. Watching Ireland quail and crumple at the sight of Spain’s delicate and smothering carousel was the one genuinely depressing moment of football that Euro 2012 has so far served up. According to a stereotype-happy El Mundo “the Irish potatoes rushed into the bag laid out by the Spanish team.”; according to every single wit on Twitter, it was “Murder on Gdansk floor”; according to Shay Given, who had as good a view as anybody, Ireland were “ripped apart”. « Read the rest of this entry »

A deal he couldn’t wheel

August 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

First published on ESPN, 14 June 2012

It wasn’t meant to be like this.

Had everything gone to plan, Harry Redknapp would currently be relaxing at the end of another day’s training with the England squad, full of good spirit and looking forward to Friday’s game against Sweden. Instead, he’s clearing his desk, saying his goodbyes, and pulling out of his White Hart Lane parking space for the last time. Perhaps we’ll be given one last interview out of the car window, for old times’ sake, before he’s off to spend more time with Jamie and the Wii. It has been, even by the vertiginous standards of modern football, one hell of a fall.  « Read the rest of this entry »

John Terry: Public Enemy #1

August 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

First published on SB NATION, 7 June 2012

Euro 2012 is coming, and along with it looms another England failure. Optimism is at an all-time low, and the usual hype-fuelling simpletons have had to resort to suggesting, a touch desperately, that lowered expectations might — just might! — catapult England further than anybody dare hope. While this isn’t totally illogical — if we accept that over-burdening a team with expectation can depress their chances, then not doing so should avoid the same — no amount of modesty is going to make England’s squad anything other than what it is: thin, and liberally garnished with mediocrity. But, while the specifics of this inevitable failure are for the future to reveal, one thing is certain. John Terry will be getting a fair chunk of the blame. « Read the rest of this entry »

Chelsea: On Defending, Winning, and Buses

August 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

First published on SB NATION, 25 May 2012

In the interests of full disclosure, let me begin by saying that I have absolutely no personal experience to support the point I’m about to make. I’ve never tried it, never even really thought about trying it, and so could be completely wrong.

But it strikes me that parking a bus might be quite difficult. Buses are big, unwieldy things, and while perhaps gliding one to a stop into an empty car park wouldn’t pose too much of a problem, as soon as any amount of intricate manoeuvring is required — beep, beep, beep — then it appears to be a task well beyond the ken of most drivers. « Read the rest of this entry »