Then Saturday Comes… the half decent football blog

Best Worst Decisions Of The Decade (In Football) Awards
December 28, 2009, 10:04 pm
Filed under: Mat Reville's Football Blog | Tags:

Decisions, decisionsAfter being let off my leash from work early this afternoon, I was presented with two options: go home and clean my house, or pile down to London Road and watch Peterborough play Cardiff City.

After weighing things up I decided that parting with the best part of £30 watching two teams I have little real interest over. Anyway, a match like ‘Peterborough versus Cardiff’ has a scrappy low-scoring bore draw written all over it.

Turns out I was very, very wrong.

It turned out to be the greatest game of football of all time. Cardiff raced to a 0-4 away advantage by half time (which was not too surprising in hindsight seeing that the Posh had somebody named Exodus Geohaghon playing as centre-back).

However, and aptly, the team with such an epicly named player staged a Biblical comeback. The Posh squeaked out the most unlikely of draws, pulling the score back to 4-4 thanks to two goals in injury time.

Although my living room and kitchen are now quite clean, I clearly made the wrong decision.

However, I would like to ideologically allign myself with Jonny Mercer and Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive out of this mother.

Therefore, I will bring to you the Best Worst Decisions Of The Decade (In Football) Awards. It’s a real treat for those who love oxymorons. And for those of you who do not enjoy self contradicting statements I still give the same advice: “”Le regarde… ici”;

Keith Gillespie, Frank Sinclair and Paul Dickov... oi oi!!


Nowhere better to start this propa nawty noughties retrospective than the club that lost it all for a boozy holiday.

Gearing up for the last stages of the 2003-04 season, Leicester City thought a trip to a sports resort in La Manga would be the ideal tonic to help with our glorious survival push.

However, in the end the boys decided to take “what goes on tour stays on tour” a little too far. The squad apparently got drunk for a week solid, before being accused of sexual assault on some self-confessed prostitutes.

Mickey Adams’ attempts to give the squad extra focus seemed to be by letting them off the leash. However, he forgot that professional athletes are incredibly self-centred morons, and with half the team gracing the front pages of the British tabloids, Leicester City faced a slightly harder task of reaching survival.

Inevitably, it didn’t happen. The Foxes got relegated by the slenderist of margins, and even after the three players charged with rape were acquitted, you have to wonder what they were doing fraternising with people like the girls who admitted lying to the police in the first place.

As a result of the club’s folly in La Manga, they got relegated, hit more financial woes, went through about 30 managers (including four who bizarrely managed internationally – Taylor, Worthington, Wilkinson, Levein).

Only in the last few months have Leicester City started to resemble a team that isn’t an atrocious shambles.

Give the boys a trip to Spain to celebrate, Milan!


Well there was really only one winner here wasn’t there.

Mike Ashley bowled into Newcastle United as a lethal mixture between a 13 year old boy who has finally bought Championship Manager after hearing his mates talk about it at school for years, and a 40 year old street cleaner who just won the lottery.

He smashed his way into Geordie hearts by wearing the football shirt while eating pies befoer games and guzzling pints with fans after them. The Newcastle faithful loved all of this at first.

Big MA then decided to unleash some of the most spectacular decisions ever seen. To write about each would be a disservice to the internet, which I’m sure must be getting pretty clogged up, but here’s a bullet-point list of some of my favourites;

– giving a job to King Kev

– giving a job to Dennis Wise

– giving a job to Joe Kinnear

– giving a job to anyone who has ever been employed by Spurs (except me)

– forcing King Kev back out the club

– buying people like Xisco while selling Charlie Insomnia

– making the club play in a urine-stained shirt

– changing the name of one of the world’s most famous football stadiums into an email address



Step forward Barry Ferguson. What better way to prove your maturity after being dropped for one game as national captain for being drunk than… sit on the bench and swear at the manager for the whole game.

This is one of those times when you have to agree that it is mental that a man like this can get paid more in a week than I get a year. Mental.



A shame to resort to a tie, but frankly any other result would be a disservice to fair and accurate reporting.

At around the same time I was sneaking into Soho Square looking for an internship at the FA, they were appointing Steve McLaren. The move prompted Massimo Maccarone to dusprove theories he was dead when he penned a 27 page rant about how the English FA had made the wrong decision.

Well Massimo, if I had been on that employment panel I would have “pulled a Simon Cowell” and  killed McLaren’s dreams there and then.

A talented coach, but nowhere near international level. As was proved by England laughably failing to qualify against Croatia while Steve hid under an umbrella sipping what I assume to be hot chocolate.

Alas, Stevie was not the only baffling appointment made by a footballing association.

At a similar time, Steve Staunton was unveiled to the media as the new Ireland manager. After realising it wasn’t April 1, most journalist presumably phoned up Roy Keane to apologise for any criticisms they made over the Manchester United legend saying the Irish FA were jokers.

Like McLaren, Staunton was swiftly sacked after an appalling qualification campaign that saw them sneak a draw with the Faroe Irelands, Macedonia Women and King’s Lynn Blind and Deaf Club (under 11s).

Fortunately, some good did come from the appointments. Two incredibly competent Italians took over, and England and Ireland not only look much stronger under Capello and Trapettoni, but it also confound the Daily Mail argument that “British Is BETTER” to the bin once and for all.



Chelsea under Mourinho:

2/3 Premiership Titles, 2/3 FA Cups, 1/3 League Cups

Chelsea without Mourinho

0/3 Premierships, 1/3 FA Cups, 0/3 League Cups






Alex Ferguson – despite all the trophies, here’s some pictoral evidence that from time to time he is as inept as even Big Joe Kinnear.


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I notice you have included a picture of Dennis Wise alongisde Mike Ashley. I met Mr Wise once at Selhurst Park whilst watching the club formerly known as Wimbledon FC. He was a very nice man.

Comment by Benjamin Saunders

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