Do Not Adjust Your Sets

Phil Brown.  Enigma.  Samaritan.  Centre Circle Botherer.  Twat.  He’s not exactly the most popular bloke in football, but, in a similar vein to the recent article on Craig Bellamy, the Halftime Whistle misses Phil Brown.  Compared to the bland drawl from the likes of Mark Hughes, Steve Bruce, Sam Allardyce and Tony Pulis (HTW remembers that Pulis tried to nut Dave Kitson with only a towel draped around him and instantly crosses him off the list of bland managers), Brown was a breath of fresh air.

When he wasn’t imagining spitting incidents and forgetting handshakes, he was god-awfully singing karaoke, wearing Britney Spears-style headsets (not at the same time as the karaoke, sadly), sporting goatees the likes of which should be illegal and rescuing suicidal women from bridges.  Although the last one was bollocks.  Probably.

Bollocking players in the centre circle, complaining about Fabregas’ clothes (oh the irony) when entering the field of play after a match with Arsenal dressed in his civvies, and appearing on the edge of nervous breakdown/coming out with every Premier League game he managed.  No denying it, the man was entertaining.

It was with glee, therefore, that the HTW noted his appearance on Goals on Sunday last, erm, Sunday.  Sat next to Gary “Livin’ La Vida Loca” Megson he startled viewers with his choice of shirt.  Chest hair poking through his ever perma-tanned chest, he looked like a 1970s TV show drug carrier.  Truly frightening stuff.

Phil Brown: Gok Wan's Wet Dream

Phil Brown: Gok Wan's Wet Dream

How does this compare to previous appearances?  Let’s not forget the horror show on his last appearance on Goals on Sunday, which fucked up the hue and saturation on my £500 TV set.  Yeah, thanks a lot Phil.

Insert obvious Oompa Loompa gag here

Insert obvious Oompa Loompa gag here

Ignore the disturbing skin tone for a second.  Wtf is that draped around his shoulders?  Is that a salmon sweater?  Christ, either wear it or don’t wear it Phil.  Unless you’re going the whole hog and leaving a pair of socks tucked into your belt just in case it gets cold, either put the jumper on properly or leave it at home.

Hailed as a tactical genius for about three months of his Premier League career, before descending to an object of scorn for the rest of his tenure, Phil Brown will be remembered for dodgy goatees, horrific singing, and hanging over the precipice of madness.

Brown: About to come out

Brown: About to come out

We look forward to Phil Brown’s next job in management.

Posted in Domestic football, Not Serious | Leave a comment

Greed Rules

What a week it’s been for Blackpool FC.  Widely touted as probably the worst team to play in the Premier League, sentiments that were echoed by madcap-turned-serious-manager Ian Holloway who suggested his team would struggle to survive in the Championship, they turned over Wigan in impressive fashion.  A team of undervalued and, in most cases, undertalented players gelled together under the stewardship of the man who once said “I’m so unlucky if I fell into a barrel of tits I’d come out sucking my thumb” for a glorious result that sent Blackpool to the top of the Premier League for an hour and a half.

It’s been an incredible journey for Blackpool.  Touted as relegation favourites at the beginning of last season, the man who once said “Blackpool’s a bit like me, I’m better looking in the dark and so is Blackpool” led his team of journeymen and loanees to the play-off final and promotion.

Ian Holloway: Used to be mad

Ian Holloway: Used to be mad

As pointed out by the RealFACup in their recent article on Blackpool, the club are adopting an extremely pragmatic approach to their tenure in the Premier League.  Yes they might do a Derby and slip out with an embarassing level of points, but they’ll be doing their damnest (under-used word) to ensure they don’t do a Bradford and plummet through the divisions (Benito Carbone says “hi” by the way).  Their recent chairman Karl Oyston implemented a wage cap of £10,000 per week.  That’s a fairly restrictive wage budget for many Championship clubs, so can they survive in the Premier League?

Most neutrals will hope so, and I certainly hope so as well, but it will be difficult to them.  And it’s against the backdrop of fiscal promiscuity so rife in the Premier League (and Championship if you consider teams like Cardiff) that it was sad to hear Oyston voice his disgust with fellow Premier League chairmen and the agents that represent players vying for a move to the Greed Is Good League.

While the news that Oyston has resigned with immediate effect comes as no real surprise, it does highlight the spirit-crushing levels of greed so prevelant in the top tiers of English football (not that this is confined to the English game it must be said).  Holloway – who once said Our performance today would have been not the best looking bird but at least we got her in the taxi” – will have his work cut out to keep Blackpool in the Premier League, but he’s a good manager (no matter what Leicester City fans think) who’s at a club who are the perfect fit for him.

It’s a shame that Karl Oyston felt that he was a lone sane voice in an ocean of financial insanity and greed such that he had to resign, but I certainly hope that the club continue in the same vein and with the same ethos that they’ve approached this season.  They still have a massive battle for survival, and their squad is desperately poor, but it would be nice if the league table did more than simply show the richest clubs in descending order.

Posted in Domestic football, State of the Game | 5 Comments

Bellamy: An inspiration to all

The Half-time Whistle doesn’t mind admitting that we’re midly in love with Bellamy.  Not the eccentric much-loved botanist who, as far as we’re aware, has never swung a golf-club at Chris Packham’s legs, or called David Attenbrough “shit and useless”.  But Craig Bellamy has, albeit with John-Arne Riise and Fabio Cannavaro respectively.  We’re almost certain that Craig Bellamy hasn’t randomly attacked wildlife TV show hosts.

Craig Bellamy is a man who is never afraid to tell us what he thinks.  And in a world of bland personalities and media training, we bless him for that.  We think of him as the Anti-Michael Owen.  Or anti-Alan Shearer if you will.  We first realised how much we admired him when reports surfaced of his sledging of Fabio Cannavaro in the Wales v Italy qualifier which Wales won 2-1.  During the game Bellamy was said to have been taunting Cannavaro all game by saying “I heard you were supposed to be good, but you’re shit you are.  You’re useless”.  Brilliant.

And, given all of Bellamy’s troubles (assaulting women, rumours of a fight with a charity worker in Sierra Leone, etc) it takes a special someone to be character assassinated by Bellamy.  Step forward Brave John Terry.  Bellamy’s comments after the Battle of the Bridge last season were refreshingly honest and, let’s face it, what we all wanted to hear.  Text messages to Shearer, throwing chairs at coaches, this is the mark of a man who’s not afraid to ruffle a few feathers.

He’s partial to a sing-song as well, as John Arne Riise’s legs found out – via the medium of golf clubs – during a Liverpool FC karaoke session.

Bellamy: partial to golf and karaoke.  At the same time, presumably.

Bellamy: partial to golf and karaoke. At the same time, presumably.

But with all his strifes aside, Bellamy has done a decent thing and snubbed Premier League clubs such as Stoke to move to his hometown club Cardiff.  Make no mistake: this will be a difficult season for him.  The Championship is a competitive league with some good teams complete with well-organised defences.  It’s unlikely he’ll be scoring hattricks every week as some Cardiff fans seem to think will happen.

But we’d like to wish Mr Bellamy all the best.  It would be nice if this started a bit of a trend.  For what it’s worth, we’d also like to see Paul Scholes completing tidy passes at Oldham and Robert Green dropping clangers at Woking FC.  And if more of these transfers can cause chairmen to go batshit mental like Motherwell’s John Boyle, then so much the better.

Posted in Domestic football | 2 Comments


Ah, the MLS, so great they named it twice.  OK, it isn’t and they didn’t but this great league that superseded the even better NASL (OK, it wasn’t) is apparently taking off in America.  The HTW has almost finished its sell-out tour across America (by sell out tour we mean that we are sell outs and we are also touring across California on holiday) and has observed footballing matters across the pond.

Before you hit the back button on your browser, let us assure you that we do not intend to reference tedious differences between the language the British use when talking about football, and the language our American cousins use, such as referring to football as soccer, or referring to penalties as “PK”s, etc, etc.  On the whole calling football “soccer” matter, the HTW would like to point out that it was the English who coined the phrase, and it comes from the full name of our beloved sport, “aSOCciation football”.  Hence, “soccer”.  So the next time you hear someone trotting out that tired old cliche about the Yanks calling football “soccer”, hit them round the fact with THAT fact.

That said, we couldn’t help but laugh when we learned, via American news sources, that David Beckham was on the “disabled list” for the Galaxy, which seems a tad severe and, indeed, permanent.  Maybe Capello was right to call time on his career?

LA Times - Beckham Disabled

Reading the LA Times newspaper the other day, the HTW did as any man would and started at the sports section before working his way forward.  Searching through the 12 page sports section we eventually found the “soccer” section.  All ninety six words of it.  And eight of those words were either “David” or “Beckham”.  So maybe football isn’t important enough to warrant major news coverage.

However, when 90,000 fans descend upon the Rose Bowl stadium to watch a friendly match-up between Beckham’s LA Galaxy and Real Madrid it’s difficult to say that football is still a minority sport in America.  That said, it’s easy for fans to turn up to a big match like this with a rare opportunity to watch stars like Ronaldo, Kaka and Xabi Alonso; but in the league where the only opportunity is to watch players like, er, Freddie Ljungberg – who, frankly, was past it when he was at West Ham – it’s a different matter.  20,000 turned up for LA Galaxy v Ljungberg’s Chicago Fire FC, and that’s about average for the Galaxy this season.  So not bad, it’s perhaps as well supported as many clubs in the Championship in England.

Walking through different cities in California, the HTW was somewhat pleased to see a number of different football jerseys being worn – and not just by the Mexican contingent.  We saw a number of Man United, Arsenal, AC Milan, Real Madrid and Barcelona shirts worn by Americans.  We saw two LA Galaxy shirts being worn and a NY Red Bulls shirt as well.  We also saw a Hartlepool United shirts and were shocked when the accent didn’t have a North Eastern twang but a Southern Californian one.  Maybe they watch Gillette Soccer Saturday and are converted to supporting this proud team?

Football is much more in the public consciousness in America than it’s ever been before.  It doesn’t seem to be the preserve of white middle class families with “soccer moms” driving their kids to and from soccer practice.  It seems to have broader appeal across the nation and that’s a good thing for the sport.

Given the amount of money America tends to invest in its sports, if football ever does really take off here, it’s a scary thought.  With more than a quarter of a billion people who live here, heavy investment could truly turn America into a world force in the next 10 to 20 years.  The HTW has come over all Pele – wait, that’s not good phrasing – has decided to do a Pele – wait, that’s not right either – has decided to join Pele in trotting out bad prediction after bad prediction.  We reckon that the good ole USA will win the World Cup by the turn of the Century.  When Pele said the same of an African team, he said it with only three World Cups to go.  We’ve got about fifteen World Cups to see our prediction come true, and the very real likelihood that we’ll be dead by the time this prediction doesn’t come to fruition.

Nevertheless, we are confident that the USA will win a match-up on the world’s biggest stage (edit – removed tiresome joke about the American “world series” featuring only two countries).

Posted in Foreign Football, MLS | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Seasonal Anticipation

The Half-time whistle is back, following a short hiatus.  The season, according to continuous Sky Sports ads, is almost upon us.  Almost?  Actually, provided you don’t think the Premier League is the Genesis of football, then it’s already started in the UK.

The Npower leagues kicked off last weekend, providing some thrilling results, such as Millwall’s impressive 3-0 humping of David James, Ipswich reminding Steve Gibson of the hilarity of sacking Gareth Southgate (position at the time: 2nd) for Gordon Strachan (final position: 11th) as they won 3-1 at the Riverside.  Shrewsbury looked the team to beat in League Two while Peterborough got off to a fine start in League One.  Meanwhile, in the Carling Cup, Gillingham kept up their impressive away record, losing 4-1 away to Norwich (they haven’t won away since the 2008/09 season) while Charlton took a 3 goal lead before just giving up and losing 4-3 to Shrewsbury.  Yes folks, football’s back.

And if you follow our friends at The Real FA Cup the season started even earlier with the FA Cup’s Extra Preliminary rounds, featuring teams that mostly people haven’t heard of (but trust me, it’s great).

But none of this matters according to Sky Sports and its OVER SENSATIONALISM of DRAMATIC football MATCH-UPS!!!  The season begins and ends with the Barclays Premier League and the UEFA Champions League.  Does anything else matter according to Sky Sports?  Hell no.  And, as the HTW correctly predicted on the Real FA Cup podcast, Sky Sports became irrelevant during the World Cup.

But after a summer of watching Alan Hansen take the piss out out of Dixon for actually daring to know the name of a player appearing for one of the teams they were covering, and Edgar Davids rivalling Alan Shearer for the least interesting/insightful pundit, we are actually CRAVING Andy Gray and his magic box of dots, arrows and circles.  Jeff Stelling and Chris Kamara will be a welcome sight for sore eyes after Andy Townsend and Adrian Chiles’ terrible renditions on ITV.

They may be evil conglomerate whorish bastards, but Sky Sports do provide great coverage of football when compared to the best of what BBC and ITV could conjure up in their best piss-riddled dreams for the World Cup this summer.  So, with its Sky Sports HD subscription paid for, the Half-Time Whistle looks forward to almost a whole season of the Money Talks league: The Best League In The World, where, inevitably, Man Utd or Chelsea will win it, Man City will finish second, Arsenal will finish fourth, Tottenham or Liverpool will finish fifth, no-one will give a rat’s arse about the remaining positions and West Brom will be relegated for a change.  By about April, the HTW fully expects to be utterly bored of football and will take another hiatus.

The HTW is a different breed of football fan, though.  Taking a healthy look at all the professional leagues in England, and following people like The Real FA Cup, European Football Weekends, and so on, we hope for an interesting season of football to come.  And Alan Hansen and the rest of the Match of the Day Team can fuck off.  We’re sticking with Goals on Sunday, and Komedy Kamara – more entertaining, more insightful.  But as the HTW generally hates football, there should be plenty of material to add to the ever burgeoning “rants” section.

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Unseen Footage

Well it turns out we were wrong.  Robert Green actually saved Clint Dempsey’s shot in the recent England v USA match, before it even crossed the line!  The video below reveals all – it works better with sound on so you can hear the commentary.

We have to say, hats off to BUMBLECLART (great username), his editing skills are pretty damn impressive.  Not so impressive, however, that he can make Wayne Rooney look like he’s had a good World Cup.  Or make France look like they haven’t been a car crash this tournament (no offence Ribery).

Posted in Not Serious, World Cup | Leave a comment

Jamie Carragher: Superstar

The Half-time Whistle may be relatively new, but it has already set up a theme of Jamie Carragher-bashing.  Much maligned, and a figure of fun for his sweaty appearances so far for England in the World Cup, we’ve mocked whenever presented with the opportunity.  Which has been every time he’s played.

But we were wrong.  Jamie Carragher – or Jesus Christ as we shall now call him – is a football genius, and nailed on (geddit? – nailed on) to get the Golden Ball for best player at this year’s World Cup.  And this is despite him playing only a game and a half so far, picking up two bookings ruling him out of the third group, and England’s dismal performances meaning that a fourth game in the tournament is far from likely.

Perusing through FIFA’s stats on their website, we noted that JC has an impressive collection of passing statistics.  In his two games, JC has made 87 passes of which 72 have been completed (83%).  At first we put this down to him playing in defence and passing frequently to John Terry or, if he was feeling particularly ambitious, Glen Johnson.  But as it turns out he has completed 9 of 11 long passes (82%) and 53 of 64 medium passes (83%).  His short passing is also at 83%.

This is better than Italy’s classy defender Fabio Cannavaro (overall: 81%) who has a pathetic 36% completion rate from his 11 long passes.  He’s on a par with France’s petulant William Gallas although Gallas can only boast a 58% completion rate from his 12 long passes.

The closest thing I could get to Jamie Carragher in a Jesus pose

It gets more ridiculous: JC has a better pass completion rate than Kaka (before the Ivory Coast game), Xavi, Rooney, Ribery (overall: a woeful 62%) Cristiano Ronaldo (an even worse 60%) and Sneijder.

We’ll now be praying to a God we barely believe in to ensure that England get through to the next round so that JC can continue dazzling the world stage with his impressive range of passing.  Perhaps Xavi could learn a thing or two from JC?

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Chicken Jabulani

A month or two ago I thought a vuvuzela was a nasty STI infection.  And a Jabulani?  Thought it was a chicken dish, possibly served with sausage, rice and peas.  I hate buzz words and I generally hate trending topics – it’s too easy to get sick of particular subjects when everyone talks about them.  It is with some trepidation, therefore, that this blog is about the Jabulani – the ball that everyone is talking about.  Bear with us however, the Half-time Whistle has decided the reason why the tournament has had a poor start in terms of goals, chances and shots.  Still, it’s good to see Jamie Redknapp as accurate as ever.

Jamie Redknapp Wrong

Jamie Redknapp – Wrong

As I think we’re all aware by now, the Jabulani is the roundest ball ever used in a tournament according to manufacturers Adidas.  Of course it is much better than the triangular ball used in France 98, or the disk shaped ball used in Italia 90.  And as for use of the egg-chasers’ ball in Mexico 86, well it was a disaster wasn’t it?  I think we can all agree that round is best.

We probably have to say that, contrary to popular belief, this ball is not the lightest ball ever.  FIFA regulations state that a match ball should be between 420-450g, and the Jabulani weighs in at 440g, comfortably towards the James Corden end of the scale.  So why is there such controversy over the ball?

Adidas Jambalaya: Perfectly Round

Adidas Jambalaya: Perfectly Round

Adidas say that the ball offers the “truest” flight ever due to its perfectly spherical shape.  But that’s not what the players say – and let’s not forget they are the ones who count.  It seems that the ball is perfectly fine for short passes, the ball seems to zip along the ground at a nice pace and short passes seem to have a fairly high completion rate.  The problem is when the ball is in the air for any period of time.  Switching the play seems to be a much more onerous task.  Watching the ball in one of the ubiquitous super sloooooow motion replays and you can see the ball vibrating side-to-side as it hurtles through the thin South African air.  It is harder for the players to judge the trajectory of the ball, either when making or receiving a long pass.  With long balls rendered more useless usual, could this be some sort of sinister plot to ensure that England don’t make it far in the group stages?  Has Der Kaiser got something to do with this heinous plan?  He probably has, the bastard.  Interestingly, Luis Fabiano commented on the flight of the ball, calling it “supernatural”. Complaints also from outfield players and managers – including Capello and Maradona – although the Adidas sponsored players (Cech, Ballack, Kaka, et al) have been much more positive.  Strange that.

Kaka: biased

Kaka: biased

Shooting has obviously been affected, we have seen so many shots from distance fly miles over the bar.  Until Diego Forlan’s goal against South Africa, no player had scored from a shot outside the box.  Except for Clint Dempsey and, well, let’s not count that one, eh?  We did see Spain’s Xavi Alonso thunder a shot against the bar in their shock 1-0 defeat to Switzerland, so it may be the case that the players are getting more used to the ball.

As I pondered in my recent blog imploring for more goals, altitude may be playing a part and the thought occurred to me: could the balls be being inflated at ground level before being transported to all the grounds, including those at altitude, because that could massively affect the way the ball moves.  Either way, at altitude the air is thinner and therefore offers less resistance to a ball in flight.  The net result being that the ball will travel further than if you kicked it with the same force at ground level.  Of course we can factor in the fact that some players are just getting knackered too quickly.

Jamie Carrager: Fucked

It really beggars belief that a new ball that has only been used in a few leagues for a few month is introduced at a major new tournament.  Often, the only people to complain are the goalkeepers, whilst those who can truly thwack a good ball are generally happy.  FIFA are happy too as it means potentially more goals.  But it’s backfired in 2010, with far fewer goals than at similar stages in previous tournaments.  If FIFA wants to ensure there are more goals, why not widen the goals?  Or ban the offside rule?  Or make all goalkeepers illegal on a field of play?  All are as ludicrous as changing the most important element of football – the, er, football – just before a major tournament.

It’s not all doom and gloom, however.  As the tournament progresses I think we’ll see that more players will be more used to the ball and its conditions.  Hopefully we’ll see more long passes reaching their target, more plays successfully switched and more long range strikes hitting the back of the net.  Basically, I’m hoping that every player at the World Cup magically turns into Xavi Alonso.

Posted in World Cup | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

They come over here, stealing our football…

This blog has not started as I intended.  Instead of offering an interesting view on some of the less-well commented upon incidents at the World Cup, it seems instead to have transmogrified into an extended version of Media Watch, the popular section from the Real World Cup podcast.  The problem is that the media keep giving me too much ammunition.

ITV have come in for the most criticism of course, and it’s easy to see why.  Now they’ve sacked Robbie Earle for basically doing what Jack Warner did but on a much smaller scale and with much fitter women.  I’m still struggling to work out whether the quality of ITV’s punditry will go up or down as a result.  If pushed, I’d say it will go down, and that’s a shame because they are crying out for some decent pundits who aren’t complete wazzocks.  Frankly, given the low attendances, I’m not sure what he did was a bad thing.  Plus, did I mention how hot the women were?

Hot Dutch Women - that's not Robbie Earle in the middle

But what really caught my attention this week was Alan Green.  It’s a shame, because Radio 5 is a great station, and I thoroughly recommend downloading their excellent Football Daily / World Cup Daily podcast, but Alan Green is a commentator who’s been past his best for some time now.

Yesterday on 5 Live they were discussing how poor the competition had been so far in their opinion.  Alan Green was asked why he thought the games had been lacking in quality and goals, and he replied that he thought that the World Cup should be reduced back down to 16 teams.  He said:

There are too many countries here just for the hell of it.  With due respect to New Zealand, there are too many countries here just for the privilege of being here.  And a World Cup really never properly takes off until you get to the knock-out stages.

Utter nonsense.  Let’s break this down.  First, he can’t argue that some of the smaller nations are taking their place at the World Cup at the expense of bigger nations.  A look around at big(ish) teams who are missing reveals a whole host of European teams, such as Czech Republic, Croatia, Russia, Ukraine, Norway.  Is that really what the tournament needs? More European teams?  No.  And I don’t think that was Green’s point either.  But he can’t argue that the smaller nations are impacting on the quality the big teams provide, because the big teams are all here.

This is a World Cup, and I like the fact that so many continents are represented in such a way.  This year, there are 6 African teams, 5 Asian/Oceanic teams, 5 South American teams, 3 from North America and the remaining 13 from Europe.  As Jimmy Armfield said in 2006, the World Cup has a truly international feel to it.  Given that European football is a powerhouse in the world game, it’s hard to imagine they would be happy to let too many places go in the event the World Cup was downsized to 16 teams.  Which would mean fewer places for African, Asian, and North American teams.  New Zealand in the World Cup?  Forget it.  And why shouldn’t they be here?

Winston Reid celebrates his goal against Slovakia

The problem with Green is that he, presumably, only wants to see the biggest teams in the World Cup, whereas I believe that a World Cup should involve countries from as many corners of the globe as possible.  Thanks to the World Cup, I now know more about the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea than I thought possible (and I still know bugger all).  Whilst I can impress my pals with facts about the Spain team, or the USA team, or even South Africa, I’m sure we all enjoy the unknown of a World Cup.  I know very little about Chile, for example, who are playing Honduras as I speak.  It’s a great opportunity to learn about other countries and their national teams and, unfortunately Green doesn’t see that.

His attitude smacks of someone who doesn’t like the unknown, who only wants to see the “biggest and best” on the world stage.  In the age of the Premier League and Champions League, Super Sundays, and WAGS and slags, sometimes it’s nice to forget about the commercial appeal of the bigger nations, and concentrate on the football.  I for one, welcome the smaller teams in this tournament and, frankly, DPR Korea provided far more entertaining and attacking verve than, say, France, Ivory Coast, or even Italy.

The thing that grates the most is Green’s notion that the smaller nations have joined the World Cup when they have no right to.  That notion is such utter nonsense, and it’s a shame that a man with such a platform from which to broadcast his views holds such backwards and outdated opinions on smaller nations.

Posted in Rants, World Cup | 3 Comments

Cold Turkey

Five minutes into the second half of England’s 1-1 draw with the USA and one man was sweating profusely.  England’s Jamie Carragher (time on pitch: five minutes) was doing his best impression of a Lee Evans concert (you know, the ones where you wouldn’t want front row tickets) with the temperature hovering at around the 13 degrees centigrade mark.

Jamie Carragher - 5 minutes in

Jamie Carragher after 5 minutes

Looking like he was on a major comedown from crack, ‘Carra’ lumbered, oafed, and capitulated his way through 45 minutes of action.

Jamie Carragher 15 mins in

After a full 15 minutes of game time

Outpaced, out-witted, out-played, out-footballed, out his depth, and (God willing) out of the side.  Hopefully waking up with a horse’s head in his bed, courtesy of Don Capello, Carragher demonstrated why his rat-faced-crap-moustachioed nemasis Gary Neville, the less shit Neville brother, should have been called up as an emergency right back instead.  Able to cross the halfway line without getting a nosebleed, and keep pacy players such as Bellamy in check, Rat Boy surely would have been a better option than Carragher?

I dread to think what Fernando Torres does to him every day in training, but the far less pacy Adam Johnson ripped him to shreds before being culled from the squad for, erm, Shaun Blind-Alley-Wright-Phillips.  Seemingly a dead cert to concede a penalty against the USA, Carragher nevertheless managed to provide plenty of comdey in his 45 minute cameo appearance.  A full thirty minutes in and Carragher looked absolutely shagged, bringing down Buddle and getting skinned by Altidore.

Jamie Carragher shagged

A full 30 minutes in for heroin addict Jamie Carragher

With Ledley King in desperate need of a new body, will we have to rely on a man who looks like Lee Evans on a comedown from a three-day smack and crack binge?  Calamity Green?  England have far more pressing worries.

@ lawyers – Jamie Carragher has probably never touched heroin in his life.

Posted in Not Serious, World Cup | 1 Comment