Then Saturday Comes… the half decent football blog


England World Cup preparations hit snags
June 9, 2010, 7:09 am
Filed under: Mat Reville's Football Blog | Tags:

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I’m fresh off the boat from a scouting trip to the good old US of A ahead of the big World Cup kick off which is alarmingly just a few days away.

In my 10 days away England’s meticulous preparation for the tournament seems to have hit more roadblocks than a remake of a Dirty Harry chase scene set in Baghdad. This has thrown previous dreams of glory to more a realistic feeling of “this is going to go wrong in the quarters again, isn’t it?”.

Crufts got merked

The most obvious set-back may actually be a blessing. Skipper Rio Ferdinand has been forced to drop out of the squad with a knee injury, but some may suggest this was divine providence. The once-collossal defender has endured a stop-start season with a dodgy back.

The injury means he has to spend hours after each match in an ice bath, but more alarmingly makes him turn so slowly it looks like he is playing with an ice pick down the back of his pants.

Although those doubts remained, they do with his potential replacements also. His departure from the squad means that Ledley King or Jamie Carragher are likely to swagger into the starting 11, despite literally contributing nothing to the qualification. Michael Dawson is this year’s Micah Richards: decent season, no class, will make mistakes.

In addition to Rio’s injury, the biggest force to drum England out of the World Cup is once again the media.

I didn’t watch the game against the South African all stars but I understand that Wayne Rooney had a flare-up. A bit of petulance most probably, but the press have already gathered the torchwood for a potential lynching.

Rooney escaped blame for the 2006 World Cup exit because his petulance was forgotten once Christiano Ronaldo winked at his bench, suggesting he had masterminded the whole thing. However, should he again be sent off he will definitely be the folk devil in the press. All the press has been about ‘will Wayne keep his head’ – do you think Argentina do the same thing with Lionel Messi (who, let’s not forget, has been known to be sent off for head butting in his time.

This negative press surrounds Rooney despite the fact he has a not too awful disciplinary record for England (1 red, 8 yellows in 60 games), and to my knowledge has not done anything remotely head-mental since 2006.

The final stumbling point is a boringly repetitive one.

Don’t worry Emile, I feel the same way too.

Yet again, every football cretin has once again crawled out of the woodwork to lament Emile Heskey for apparently missing a couple of chances against some pub team. Despite the fact that without Heskey we lost to Croatia twice in the last qualification, but with him we won 9-2 on aggregate this time round, idiots still think the only quality of a footballer is their goals. Assists and team-play are insignificant to such idiots, so it’s not really worth discussing.

We’ve been through this so many times it’s redundant, but here it is once again.

If you drop Heskey you get Rooney playing with his back to goal. If I need to remind you, Rooney with back to goal resulted in no Euro 2008. Rooney running at defences with Emile holding the ball up meant we qualified for the World Cup with seven successive wins.

Still, it looks likely Fabio will succumb to the calls and play 4-5-1 for the first game. Testament to this is his apparent desire to recall Paul Scholes from four years in the wilderness. After all, a draw isn’t a bad result against America, sadly.

The eleven men that run out against America on Saturday resemble a skeleton of the settled starting XI that thrashed its way to qualification.

In addition to the sad demise of Lord David Beckham, Ledley King (RIP Rio Ferdinand), Aaron Lennon (RIP Theo Walcott) and Joe Cole (RIP Gareth Barry) are all likely to start.

Chances are I’ll make the bench, too.

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Star from Posh bets he won’t serve nosh
May 24, 2010, 6:34 pm
Filed under: Mat Reville's Football Blog | Tags:
Que?

Meeeeester Fry, que?

A WORLD Cup wager will put a Posh striker in hell’s kitchen unless England can cook up a Michelin star performance this summer.

The bet could see Peterborough United striker Craig Mackail Smith (26) swap balls for bills as he puts in shifts working at his favourite Italian restaurant.

Co-owner of Toscanini, Paolo Bianchi made an offer that if England progress further than his beloved Azzuri he will clean the frontman’s boots all next season.

However, should reigning champions Italy advance further, Craig will have to put in 10 shifts washing pots and cleaning tables at the restaurant in Peterborough Road, Eye.

Goal ace Craig said: “I don’t know what I’ve got myself into – I have left myself at Paolo’s discretion.

“I have got a lot of confidence that England will do the business though. We have a great manager and a brilliant squad and I think we could go all the way.

“I have never worked in a restaurant before but I have known Paolo for years so I have been behind the bar and I’m sure I could pull a pint or two.”

The pair have also agreed that if the two teams are knocked out at the same stage they will both take their forfeits like good sports.

The pair have been friends for three years but Paolo said he is not going to give Craig any preferential treatment if he works at Toscanini.

He said: “I will make sure that the glasses pile up 25 metres high and put him on washing up duty. In a perfect world Italy will beat England in the final, then Craig can clean up while we celebrate.”

Paolo was born and bred in Peterborough and despite the bet he is still hoping England do well in South Africa.

He said: “Since we opened in 1995 we always have both flags up during football tournaments.

“My parents came over to Peterborough in the 1950s but my partner (Nety Cole) is English and my children Jessica and Isabella were raised as both nationalities.”

Paolo runs the restaurant with his sister Rosanna Lester, who is seeing the bet as a win-win situation.

Rosanna said: “My brother would hate having to clean Craig’s boots for a whole season so that would be hilarious. But it would also be great being able to order a footballer around, so I can’t really lose.”

http://www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk/news/posh_star_mackail_smith_s_world_cup_gamble_1_637492



Business limericks

Seeing as I’ve been slack with updates during the business end of the season, here are 10 lovely limericks to remember the biggest moments of the run-in.

Enjoy my verse; I am the 21st century Betjeman.

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1. Spurs get into the European Champions League

Spurs travlled away to Manchester City,
Knowing that anything but a win would be shitty,
Then Crouchy scrambled a goal,
‘Arry has made diamonds from coal,
But they’ll still go out in August to Dynamo Tblisi.

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2. Hull, Burnley, Portsmouth are relegated

It was over before the last day of the season,
The three teams relegated went with good reason,
Awful boardroom decisions,
Now no more Premier visions,
To say any will be back soon is tantamount to treason.

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3. Chelsea win the Premiership despite long term injuries to Essien, both Coles and the African Nations Cup

The race at the top had a lot more steam,
Chelsea are clearly the league’s best regime,
Despite a huge injury list,
Their wasn’t a last minute twist,
Now Man U ‘fans’ wish they picked a different team.

4. Drogba bags the Golden Boot despite last day paddy about a penalty

The golden boot he wanted to nick,
So Drogba tried to steal a spot kick,
Lampard wouldn’t let him,
But he scored three on a whim,
So despite the prize Drofba still looked like a dick.

5. Schteve McLaren wins the Dutch league

A rare success abroad for an English boss,
McLaren crusaded without a Jerusalem cross,
Going to Holland a great decision
He won their top division,
Now he can finally forget that Croatia loss.

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6. Fulham lose the Europa League final

Fulham took on all comers from the Alps to the Fjord,
Getting to the Europa Cup final was there big reward,
They went on to lose,
But don’t get the blues,
Because at least Woy got his manager of the year award.

7. Leicester miss out on Play Off final due to a mental French striker


Leicester battled to an aggregate draw in the Valleys,
To come from two down was one of the greatest rallies,
Then with his spot kick,
Yann Kermagont was a dick,
Now he can never walk alone down any Leicestershire alleys.

8. England squad announced – old boys Ledley King & Jamie Carragher recalled

Fabio announced his provisional squad,
Some of the 30 names were rather odd,
Dad’s Army agree to enlist,
Old men back from the abyss,
To win it now may need intervention from God.

9. Chelsea complete the double after winning the FA Cup against Portsmouth

Ancelotti wrapped up a great first year,
Pompey went empty handed back to the pier,
Drogba’s goal won it,
The double is legit,
And the ghost of Mourinho may now disappear.

10. Lord Trieseman resigns as Head of the FA after being filmed making mental allegations against rival World Cup bidders

England’s World Cup bid is in tatters,
We’ve offended everyone who matters,
Triesman stupidly talked,
So now he has walked,
And our reputation is worse than Sepp Blatter’s.



Woy’s Adventures In Volcanoland
April 22, 2010, 10:44 am
Filed under: Mat Reville's Football Blog

Roy Hodgson spitting lava

Chapter one: volca-no fly zone
In a marble floored hallway in West London a weathered gentleman waits patiently to be called into his boss’ boardroom.

Fulham chairman Mohammed al Fayed has asked the club’s manager Roy Hodgson to sit outside the office while news comes through from UEFA. A week before the pair have appealed to miserabilist Michel Platini to postpone their Europa League semi final tie with SV Hamburg due to the earth’s crust exploding.

Minutes feel like hours as Hodgson awaits the call of his manager.

The volcano in Iceland has ushered in a total black-out of flights all over Europe, meaning the Cottagers and their fans face an arduous 600 mile trip to Germany before playing the biggest club in the club’s history.

Minutes feel like hours.

He knows he has already performed miracles to get Fulham this far. The team he inherited from village idiot Lawrie Sanchez was doomed for relegation: two years later the same players were beating giants like Juventus and Zenit St Petersburg.

Minutes like hours.

A crash and a bellow come from Al Fayed’s office. Hodgson winced.

“Allāhu Akbar”, the chairman screamed.

Hodgson edged to the door. He could see his boss’ sillouette darting around the office with a brevity that defied his age.

Hodgson opened the door. Al Fayed turned to face him. As their eyes met, no words were needed. The pair nodded, and Hodgson knew the tie was going ahead.

Hodgson winced.

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Chapter two: Of mice and men

Hodgson headed for the player’s lounge.

Bobby Zamora was trying to teach Tinie Tempah dance moves to the rest of the squad; they all watched intensely. Apart from Chris Baird, who sat patting his pet mouse “Sanchez”. Baird always plays with that mouse, the only remnant of his former mentor Lawrie Sanchez.

Hodgson grabbed a chair, span it around and sat in a backwards fashion made popular by AC Slater in the ’80s.

“Listen up”, Hodgson said. “We can’t fly. We can’t postpone. So we have to drive to the match.”

Baird’s ears pricked up. Still though his eyes remained transfixed on his pet. “But boss, that’s 600 miles away. We’ll be shattered”, he whimpered.

Hodgson stared at his ugly right back. “It is our only option.”

Baird carried on petting the mouse, and tutted.

Hodgson calmly rose and dragged his weary, battered body over to his outspoken defender’s chair. He stood over his player, and taking deep breaths, slowly removed his sunglasses.

The room fell silent. Even Zamora stopped dancing.

Hodgson grabbed the mouse; Baird shreaked.

Hodgson flung the mouse into the wall, and the squad recoiled as its splattered carcus dripped slowly to the floor.

Hodgson casually walked to the most identifiable piece of Sanchez’s corpse. He nonchelantly picked it up by what was minutes before its tail, and flicked it to the nearest bin.

“There will be no alfalfa patch. Any more objections?”, the boss asked.

Damien Duff looked at his feet.

Nobody said a word. They all got to their feet and made for the door. It was time to board the bus and go to Germany.

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The face that launched a thousand Cottagers

Chapter three: the Eastern commute
The coach arrived into Poznan, Poland. The route had become distorted because Zoltan Gera couldn’t get to England for the drive over, due to the no-fly zone.

Instead, the Fulham team vowed to meet with their Hungarian maestro near to the Polish-German border.

As experienced as Hodgson was on continental driving, he had no idea where to find the place his Eastern European playmaker had organised as the liason location. They drove around for hours asking for help, but nobody had heard of the mysterious “Szaboville”.

Baird, still sulking about the loss of Sanchez, turned to Chris Smalling, who had been forced to travel with him after signing for corporate bores Manchester United months before.

“We don’t know where we’re going, we may as well forget this”, Baird said.

Though they were loathe to agree with him, the rest of the squad felt the same way.

However, Hodgson said he knew of a source. Remembering scouting trips for hidden gems in Eastern Europe, he headed for the closest tent shop.

Hodgson knew that the most talented people from these parts live in shanty communities, and after the introduction of Reville’s Law he knew there may be many more of these campsites.

The coach pulled into “Poznan Tent Imporium”, and Hodgson descended from the coach and waltzed into the shop.

The shopkeeper nodded saguely at the mention of the mysterious Szaboville.

“I know it, it is where they go after Reville’s Law prevented dreams from coming true.” He then pointed to his map, and Hodgson skipped back to his van. He knew where to go.

The coach raced to the spot, and after parking up the squad left the coach and stretched their legs through the woodland where they hoped Gera was resting.

After forcing their way through foliage so treacherous it left Damien Duff in tears, they found the camp.

Hundreds of Eastern Europeans ditched their swan carcusses and gazed at the footballers. When they recognised the badge they all pointed to a tree-house: Hodgson immediately knew that was where Gera was.

After scaling the makeshift ladder, Hodgson knocked thrice on the sheet of metal being used as a door.

The squad, who had stayed on the muddy floor, exploded into joyous celebration when Gera opened the door.

“Come, Zoltan, we have a match to win”, Hodgson excitedly clamoured.

However, Gera had a shaken look on his face.

The Hungarian gulped, shook his head and spoke.

“But boss, it is Friday and the match was yesterday. We lost 3-0 by default, like that Scotland match in the 1990s.”

Hodgson hung his head as it dawned that the squad should have left a day earlier.

The end… or is it?

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Matty Revs’ Posh Day Out

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In a flagrant disregard for copyright laws, this latest blog entry is going to be nothing more than my latest Peterborough Evening Telegraph exclusive. And yes, that includes any photos taken by Bob Davis’ boy.

Sadly for fans of immigrants living in sheds, it is actually my debut in the paper’s sport section. Inevitably, it focused around Leicester Casuals coming to town.


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CURRENT FORM

Since moving to Peterborough six months ago I have enjoyed a refreshingly critical reaction to people hearing I am a Leicester City fan.

Usually the response is apathetic. We are that kind of a middle of the road team that is patronisingly called a “nice family club” when we’re wheeled out for our customary 2-0 FA Cup Third Round defeat to Blackburn Rovers.

However, in Peterborough there is a special disdain for The Foxes.

The LCFC flask I bring down to Powerleagues on a Tuesday night has been greeted with a number of cynical jabs and my retro 1980s Leicester scarf has garnered many a dirty look while I saunter through Cathedral Square.

I hate to tell Posh fans this but the hatred is one sided. We were actually pulling for you to keep up with us last year – anything to keep Leeds United in League One!

On paper this was a great chance for an away scalp. Leicester are overachieving fantastically in our return to the Championship and heading for a top six finish, while Posh finally sealed their increasingly inevitable relegation last weekend at Barnsley.

That said, I had little confidence we would get anything from the game. “New manager syndrome” for Gary Johnson’s first game combined with the bizarre phenomenon of already relegated teams gaining title-winning form gave me a sense of caution during the office banter before the match.

PRE MATCH

Being one of our closest away games it wasn’t hard to get a bunch of mates together to join me in the away end.

12 of us got tickets and we started the day by piling into Charters’ heaving beer garden, which seemed to be populated by half of Leicester.

After a couple of pints we headed for the ground. Despite some over-zealous stewarding that made Jack Bauer’s interrogation techniques look timid, we made our way to the terrace.

The terrace was a major pull in getting people to come along. Compared to the soulless Walkers Stadium (aka identikit Championship ground #23), it was great to be able to stand for a whole fame in a proper football stadium.

/
HALF TIME

As we seem to always do against Posh, Leicester didn’t get started for the first half an hour.

However, the fans’ growing resentment subsided when big Stevie Howard rolled back the years by beating Ryan Bennett and coasting a low shot in off Joe Lewis’ far post.

The match really didn’t look like a professional football game – it was the most ugly performance of the season – and I don’t just say that because it was the first time I’ve seen Jay Spearing in the flesh – truly a face that only a mother could love.

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For more wonderful witticisms visit http://scotlandonabike.wordpress.com

FULL TIME

Despite Posh rallying to get an equaliser, Leicester’s resolve was too strong. Two minutes after getting level some appalling defending gave Andy King the chance to bundle in the winning goal.

I won’t get too bogged down in Posh’s post-match post-mortum – I’ll leave that in Swanny’s capable hands.

All I’ll say is that the team Gary Johnson will mould over the summer would thrash the sorry outfit he put out on Saturday.

As for Leicester, we did what we have done for the last two years. We rolled our sleeves up and ground out a victory. A lot of teams must play Leicester and think “how did we lose that?”

We have got a hard spine to the team (Wayne Brown, Richie Wellens and Steve Howard through the middle) that make few mistakes. Drop in a few flair players (Paul Gallagher and Andy King) that can always pop up with a goal and we have a formula for gritty victories.

This wasn’t a memorable game but it was a thoroughly rewarding one for the Leicester faithful.

With play off rivals Blackpool, Swansea and Doncaster all losing, this ugly win firmly entrenches us in the top six and cautiously dreaming of the Premiership.

OVERALL MATCH RATING: 4. OUR FANS: 8, THEIR FANS: 5

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And to prove I’m not delusional here’s the article as it was published: notice how the editor got a swipe at Leicester as the headline!

CURRENT FORM

Since moving to Peterborough six months ago I have enjoyed a refreshingly critical reaction to people hearing I am a Leicester City fan.Usually the response is apathetic. We are that kind of a middle of the road team that is patronisingly called a “nice family club” when we’re wheeled out for our customary 2-0 FA Cup Third Round defeat to Blackburn Rovers.

However, in Peterborough there is a special disdain for The Foxes.

The LCFC flask I bring down to Powerleagues on a Tuesday night has been greeted with a number of cynical jabs and my retro 1980s Leicester scarf has garnered many a dirty look while I saunter through Cathedral Square.

I hate to tell Posh fans this but the hatred is one sided. We were actually pulling for you to keep up with us last year – anything to keep Leeds United in League One!

On paper this was a great chance for an away scalp. Leicester are overachieving fantastically in our return to the Championship and heading for a top six finish, while Posh finally sealed their increasingly inevitable relegation last weekend at Barnsley.

That said, I had little confidence we would get anything from the game. “New manager syndrome” for Gary Johnson’s first game combined with the bizarre phenomenon of already relegated teams gaining title-winning form gave me a sense of caution during the office banter before the match.

PRE MATCH

Being one of our closest away games it wasn’t hard to get a bunch of mates together to join me in the away end.

12 of us got tickets and we started the day by piling into Charters’ heaving beer garden, which seemed to be populated by half of Leicester.

After a couple of pints we headed for the ground. Despite some over-zealous stewarding that made Jack Bauer’s interrogation techniques look timid, we made our way to the terrace.

The terrace was a major pull in getting people to come along. Compared to the soulless Walkers Stadium (aka identikit Championship ground #23), it was great to be able to stand for a whole fame in a proper football stadium.

HALF TIME

As we seem to always do against Posh, Leicester didn’t get started for the first half an hour.

However, the fans’ growing resentment subsided when big Stevie Howard rolled back the years by beating Ryan Bennett and coasting a low shot in off Joe Lewis’ far post.

The match really didn’t look like a professional football game – it was the most ugly performance of the season – and I don’t just say that because it was the first time I’ve seen Jay Spearing in the flesh – truly a face that only a mother could love.

FULL TIME

Despite Posh rallying to get an equaliser, Leicester’s resolve was too strong. Two minutes after getting level some appalling defending gave Andy King the chance to bundle in the winning goal.

I won’t get too bogged down in Posh’s post-match post-mortum – I’ll leave that in Swanny’s capable hands.

All I’ll say is that the team Gary Johnson will mould over the summer would thrash the sorry outfit he put out on Saturday.

As for Leicester, we did what we have done for the last two years. We rolled our sleeves up and ground out a victory. A lot of teams must play Leicester and think “how did we lose that?”

We have got a hard spine to the team (Wayne Brown, Richie Wellens and Steve Howard through the middle) that make few mistakes. Drop in a few flair players (Paul Gallagher and Andy King) that can always pop up with a goal and we have a formula for gritty victories.

This wasn’t a memorable game but it was a thoroughly rewarding one for the Leicester faithful.

With play off rivals Blackpool, Swansea and Doncaster all losing, this ugly win firmly entrenches us in the top six and cautiously dreaming of the Premiership.

OVERALL MATCH RATING: 4. OUR FANS: 8, THEIR FANS: 5



An ode to Europe’s finest mind (apart from Roy Hodgson)

Rafa knows

Red Devils, Chelsea and l’Arse all out by May
Anfield still to host European big days
Fools all wrote off the Liverpool boss
Although I doubt he gave much of a toss

Kopites thought their season was done
Now they realise how right it’s gone
Opportunity to win some Europa gold
When they thought they were in the cold
Should have known Rafa’s values were bold

Because dropping out in the first round
Enlarged his chances of becoming crowned
Sure it’s not as good as the Champion’s League
To win the Europa would still strengthen his creed

So now we see his wonderful plan
Of getting knocked out as fast as you can

None of the other managers in the Prem
Even Fergie, Ancelotti or Arsene
Verge on Rafa’s chance for success
Europa winner would have a nice stress
Regardless of whether Riera thinks you’re a mess

Daggers were out for the fat Spanish man
Over the elimination he lost many a fan
Until tonight when we all understood
Because now you can see through all of the mud
To understand his plan while Fergie’s turned to crud

Happy days for the scousers are here once more
I‘m sure many trophies will come to their door
Man U, Arsenal + Chelsea in Europe? Jamais retour

..

I do hope you enjoyed my little poem about Rafa Benitez.

If you are a fan of Liverpool, Chelsea or Manchester United don’t worry, you can follow the other TV soaps – they carry on after the Champion’s League TV finishes.

For the record I still think Rafa is rubbish, but for tonight: “Vamos Rafael, vamos!”

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You can keep your Champion’s League football, I’m sorted for E’s and Whizz
April 2, 2010, 3:30 pm
Filed under: Mat Reville's Football Blog | Tags:

Sky Sports cameras outside the Premiership’s top grounds have shown us two things; how homogenous each Top Four team’s fans are, and how devoid of enjoyment they seem to be. With Chelsea morons joining Manchester United prats at Old Trafford this weekend, it is a fine opportunity to delve into the common psyche of each team’s glory hunters.

Join me on a delightful look into each of the idiots that literally choose to ‘support’ one of the big teams, simply because they see them on the tellybox more than the team that play in their city.

Somebody who makes such an obtuse decision cannot be trusted: they are the people who would rather read a text message because it’s more accessible than go to a library to read a book.

Picking a team to support because they have a high media profile is like thinking you’re in love with a celebrity. For this reason, Manchester United fans are essentially all Barry George.

This may appear to be a bitter lament from a perennial Football League fan, but that isn’t my intention. Rather, it is a celebration of the 87 other fine sets of soccerball supporters. Of course, the other set of fans that cannot be lumped into the group of sane fans are Derby County morons (who are the worst of the lot).

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MANCHESTER UNITED

The most common of the glory hunting crew. Also the ugliest.

The Manchester United glory hunter is an increasingly dopy person, easily identifiable by the unusually large space between their eyes and swinging the latest piece of merchandise from their closest Manchester United megastore.

Aged between 18-28, they chose to pitch their mast to the Red Devils because they were winning titles in the 1990s. As Sky hit its pomp so did Manchester United, and the frequency of them being transmitted into the living rooms indoctrinated the weak minded masses who know call themselves Man U fans.

After two decades of domniance, Manchester United plastics have started to go a bit mental. They look on with envy at other fans enjoying the decadent rollercoaster experience of good and bad patches, while they plod to two trophies a season.

This has manifested itself into the bizarre gold and green ‘protest’. Quite what wearing colours of a club that died over a hundred years ago achieves is beyond me. All I know is they do it to protest against the Glazers – that’s right, the same Glazers that have bankrolled Ferguson from 3rd place finishes to three successive titles.

It’s no co-incidence that their eyes are so wide.

They are consistently treated to the finest football in England yet they do not support their team. Every goal is greeted with mocking the other team’s fans/players, rather than celebrating their own – the number of V signs from the Man U fans every time a goal is scored sums the club up.

While every other club sings songs about their players, Man United sing songs only about celebrating Argentina (for opposing England) or their hatred of one of their many ‘rivals’ (Arsenal, Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea etc). They live their life through negativity because, frankly, they are spoiled brats. The only sense of achievement is by others failing, compared to their side’s own continued excellence.

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CHELSEA

Chelsea fans are more wallies than wankers.

Unlike Manchester United, they do not govern themselves on hatred but rather on being overly happy with their team. They extol every player as being the “best in the world in their position”.

While this is true of midfield beast Michael Essien, it certainly is not of Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard, Petr Cech and, most certainly, John Terry.

However, the fandom is not like a lower league fan rejoicing ironically: Chelsea supporters are truly deluded that their players are the best a man can get. Unless he’s George Gillette, and then he’s scrambling after Spanish no marks. Does that work? I’m not sure.

Anyway, Chelsea fans don’t really care about football. The club have installed computer games into the back of the seats in the family stand, but to be honest such diversions would be warmly welcomed in every seat in Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea fans aren’t football fans; they’re Chelsea fans. They don’t look at life beyond their club and they certainly don’t care about it.

The weirdest thing is that when the club have an entrenched manager like Mourinho or Hiddink, that is actually quite a likeable trait.

But without such a talisman they are exposed for what they are: spoilt brats that will switch back to rugby the next time England win a World Cup.

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ARSENAL

Arsenal fans are probably the ones you would least like to be stuck in a lift with.

Much like Arsene Wenger, they have deluded themselves that they are a cut above everyone else they meet. There is an unquestionable arrogance about everything to do with Arsenal, and it is an arrogance that is becoming more and more misplaced with every passing season without a trophy.

An Arsenal glory hunter would think they innately more about football than a fan of Crewe Athletic, simply because they have chosen a team that passes the ball on the floor. They are miserable fools.

However, the most annoying thing about Arsenal fans is their sense of hyperbole whenever anything goes slightly against their team.

A dodgy penalty becomes a bribe and an injury becomes a murder. They wear black armbands if a player breaks a bone.

Like Manchester United fans, I believe this is a form of escapism. Like a bored housewife blowing up over a contretemps over a spilt cup of tea, Arsenal fans are bored of the status quo and look for bizarre small details to lose their rag over.

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TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

I would put Liverpool here but there fans are all either scousers (fair enough), plastic scousers (don’t have an identity so piggyback onto Liverpool’s) or second generation immigrants (their glory hunting dad passes it onto them).

Frankly Liverpool supporters are just a bit dull. They are all together a less interesting bunch of glory hunters than Tottenham Hotspur’s, who are essentially the geeks of the football world.

Spurs fans are mainly overweight and hairy, yet believe they are suave and sophisticated. They believe the kebab on their way back through Seven Sisters is a nod back to their Grecian heritage, rather than being an acknowledgment of their depraved current nature.

As a club, Spurs are the equivalent of Welsh people – they don’t have so much a chip on their shoulder but a whole bag of potatoes.

To compensate for not being as good historically as Arsenal, as good contemporaneously as Chelsea or as rich in tradition as West Ham, Spurs fans resort to learning obscure facts and bringing them out at any opportunity.

Much like that other great Jewish stereotype of lawyers, arguing with a Spurs fan is redundant.

They have learnt every small bit of detail so that, no matter what you say, they can prove Spurs did something a little bit better under Bill Nicolson in 1961. There will be some obscure statistic that Spurs have the highest percentage of fans born south of the River Thames, and believe that constitutes them being the biggest club in the country.

The other most annoying trait of Spurs fans is their massively misplaced feeling of importance.

Tottenham Hotspur are a mid-table Premiership team, yet they harp on about themselves being a bastion of the sport. They think having Ossie Ardiles in the 1970s makes them a big deal, without acknowledging that Manchester City have got Carlos Tevez in the 2010s.

And they like Harry Redknapp and he’s a scoundrel.

Something was needed to break up the text from the conclusion, and I think this dragon does a bang-up job

Anyway, keep an eye out for these four horrible, horrible people. They turn up thousands of times in stadiums every weekend, and millions of times in pubs where they noisily jeer the opposition team, while barely noticing their own players.

With big games coming thick and fast for the top four, there’s increasingly little to talk about between each match. Sure there have been a couple of top knacks this week (Wayne Rooney and Cesc Fabregas), but there’s only so much Richard Keys can discuss a nobbled ankle.

Instead, Sky Sports cameras are resorting to pointing their cameras at the great unwashed that lazily support (and I do use that term sparingly) the Premiership’s top sides.

I should clarify that I use the term support is being used sparingly, not lazily or unwashed – which I pronounce proudly and confidently.

The fans who follow their home town clubs have much more a sense of humour about things, while supporters of the top four teams seem so myopic about the smallest details that they forget that they are there for two purposes: to help their team’s players, and to be entertained.