Archive for the ‘Schport’ Category

England ‘must win’ must-win match

June 23, 2010

England are looking to assert themselves this afternoon as they take on Slovenia, in a game they simply must win in order to stay in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

For England, this afternoon’s must-win game is a must-win game that England must win at all costs, because if they fail to win, they will almost certainly draw, or worse, lose this vital must-win fixture, which they must win in order to keep their World Cup dreams alive.

The consequences of not qualifying for the knockout stages of the World Cup are unthinkable, as England captain Steven Gerrard knows only too well: “We all know only too well that the consequences, should we fail to qualify, are absolutely unthinkable. It simply cannot happen, it’s as simple as that,” said the Liverpool hardman yesterday, “and the lads know that anything less than a win tomorrow just cannot happen.”

Should England lose this must-win fixture, they will become the first England team to exit a World Cup in the group stages for several years. Should they exit the tournament ignominiously at such an early stage, England’s footballers will become the first England side to draw their opening game of a World Cup campaign and NOT win the World Cup since 1966. Anything less than a win this afternoon will ensure England become only the 8th English side to exit a World Cup tournament without winning it, since Bobby Moore’s England side of 1966 lifted the Jules Rimmet trophy back in 1966. In fact, should England go out of the World Cup today, 1966 will become the only year England have won a major international tournament in living memory – at least since 1966, when England prevailed on a gloriously sunny afternoon against the old enemy, West Germany, back in 1966.

England’s players will be all too aware of the expectations and pressure from fans and the media alike – especially after winning the tournament just 44 years ago, back in 1966. Of course, back in 1966, many of the players and coaching staff were much better than their foreign counterparts, which culminated in them winning the World Cup on a glorious summer afternoon, back in 1966. This landmark victory created massive expectations on the nation’s footballers, which has since led to subsequent England line-ups being unable to recreate the glory shared by Bobby Moore’s 1966 side, back in 1966.

England must win this afternoon in order to stand any chance of recreating the spirit of their 1966 side, although a draw will at least ensure they end their campaign unbeaten – the first time they will have done so since 1966. And we all know what happened in 1966…

Alistair McGowan helps fill pre-Wimbledon party feature with new impressions

June 21, 2010

TV impressionist Alistair McGowan has helped an over-excited and content-free showbiz feature – by unveiling not one, but TWO new impressions!!!

The comedian, 43, decided to go topical by performing impersonations of both Steven Gerrard AND tennis ace Andy Murray, during the party, which was held at Kensington Roof Gardens in London.

Speaking to reporters, Mr. McGowan said yesterday: “Well, you know, Wimbledon’s always been a special place and, you know, and I’m sure the players would agree, especially Andy Murray … ah … ahhh … Ah’m Andy Mooreh and ah’m feelin’ confident aheed o’ the Wembledon Charmpionships, you know, mah form’s been consestant and ah’m enjowin mah tennis at tha morment. En farct, ah’d be desappointed wi’ only getting’ tae tha quarta fainals, so ah weed…

The funnyman, 42, had the assembled crowd in stitches as he unleashed his hilarious impression of England football captain Steven Gerrard: “I wonder what Steven Gerrard would make of Wimbledon – I mean, he’ll be back in time to see it at this rate … erm … airrrm, ar’eh mate, I’m Shtevie Geddard and I’m a shkowsha! Airrr, ah donnow the fairsht thing abow’ tennish, mate, you know? Ah’d prob’ly end op shteelin’ all the equipmint to shell to me maitsh, you know. Or I might conform to shum otheh lazshy shtereotype and turn op in a shellshuit an’ gow ‘Eh? Eh? Caam down, caam down’ whilsht altairnately raishing and lowerin’ me armsh in front of me body an’ tha’…

McGowan, who was dressed in a suit, went on to explain that the most difficult sporting impersonation he had ever attempted to perform was that of former UK number 2 seed Greg Rusedski: “I’ve not had much joy with Rusedski, to be honest. Every time I do my take on him people just think I’m doing a generic American accent, which is all well and good, apart from the fact he’s Canadian. I think I’ve got it licked now, though, as I now preface the main part of the impression with his name. So, for example, I’d say … Yo, ah’m Greg Rudenski, and ah lurve England, espeshilly Lundin and tha Royals. Ah think that arll English people speak like this: Oh gaw blimey, let’s all have a cup of tea. Jolly good show, what-what! In tha’s why ah lurve it over here, yer know. Y’all so quaint and stuff, with all yer quirky tradishins…”

The party was held in aid of Wimbledon tennis.

Shared disappointment among cobbled-together celebrities

June 16, 2010

The England football team’s lacklustre performance in their opening game of the World Cup has left several famous faces disappointed, according to several famous faces yesterday.

England unexpectedly drew 1-1 with their US counterparts at the weekend after a rudimentary goalkeeping error from Rob Green allowed Clint Dempsey to level the scores just before half-time – all against the unerring backdrop of the now-famous “vuvuzela” [plastic trumpets] carried by South African supporters.

Famous spawn Jack Osbourne, who watched the game, said yesterday: “Man, I was like, so disappointed and all that. I really thought the England guys were gonna win this one. Luckily, I’ve got an American accent, so it didn’t bother me too much that we, sorry, THEY equalised. And those trumpets, man, what’s the deal with those? I mean, Jeez, you know? Shut up already…”

ITV2 mainstay Holly Willoughby was also disappointed with England’s opening game: “We were really looking forward to seeing England do the business for their country – I went down the local pub to watch the game with a group of friends, and the atmosphere was amazing, absolutely amazing. Everyone had England hats, England capes, England facepaints and there were England flags and bunting everywhere. We were gutted when Rob Green let that goal in, absolutely gutted. Fearne Cotton was there and she was gutted too. The whole pub just went, like, completely silent and everything, it was really weird. I still think the lads can do it, though, and you’ve got to feel for the goalie – mistakes happen, at the end of the day. I think we could all do without those vuvu-whatsits, though – what a racket!”

Ex-Eastenders actor Dean Gaffney, who hosted a barbecue for Saturday’s game, said: “Gutted, mate. Can’t believe it. What can you do, eh? What can you do? Everything seemed to happen in slow motion when they equalised. It was like NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Rob Green, what are you doing? We couldn’t believe it – it was unbelievable! Paul Danan was asleep in a bush and even he couldn’t believe it. I tell you what, though – those trumpets are like a swarm of bees. They really need to sort that out.”

Former Radio 1 hosts JK and Joel were shocked by the result: “Everyone was expecting England to win this one. There was never any doubt, isn’t that right JK?”, “Certainly is, Joel. We were like, YEEEAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!! COME ONNNNNNN!!!! when Gerrard scored, but then they equalised and we were like, NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!, weren’t we Joel?”, “Yeah, it was unbelievable, Jakes, unbelievable. How we mustered the will to go into Radio Stoke the next day I’ll never know…”, “Nah, me neither…”, “Gutted”, “Absolutely, fella”, “And what about those horns? Talk about noise pollution!”, “Yeah, mate, tell me about it. Hang on, which one am I again?”, “Here’s Sally with the traffic and travel…”

England “devastated” by World Cup ball

June 2, 2010

England’s footballers have suffered a massive setback ahead of the World Cup, after discovering that the official adidas ball used in the competition has been modified not to work when kicked using English feet.

Players and coaches alike are said to be “devastated” by the news that the new ball will travel no further than 3 metres aerially for any English player, scuppering the team’s world-famous “3D Football” approach and forcing many to resort to passing along the ground – a method at which England teams are traditionally renowned to be weaker.

A source close to the England team revealed: “This has thrown everyone into panic and no-one’s quite sure of a way to counter the difficulty posed by the new ball. I had a look at both the French and Brazilian teams, who were training nearby a few days back, and the exact same ball seemed to move effortlessly from player to player as they weaved around one another with the grace of a gazelle. When our lads got to use the thing, its behaviour changed dramatically, sailing metres over the crossbar one minute, then dipping almost immediately afterwards. If I didn’t know any better, I would say it had been rigged to make our players look stupid. Especially given the way it kept slipping between David James’s hands all the time.”

England striker Emile Heskey summed up the team’s worry when he said yesterday: “That ball is crazy – it comes off my feet twice as fast and swerves almost perpendicular to where I intend to hit it. I think a lot of us are going to have to make some major adjustments, which is easier said than done on the eve of the biggest competition of your entire life. It’s strange, though, because Ronaldo was down here the day before yesterday and we were doing spot-kicks. He planted one straight into the top-corner with no problems whatsoever, then hit a beauty into the opposite corner straight after. Yet when I struck the EXACT same ball from the EXACT same position towards EXACTLY the same goal, it sailed almost out of the ground and bounced off four rows of seats before hitting our physio square in the face, causing his nose to bleed which, due to the altitude, took four and a half hours to subside. I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions on that one…”

World Cup set to upset gullible fans via ticket scams

May 28, 2010

Gullible World Cup fans across the country could suffer the ultimate heartache over the course of the World Cup, with many set to miss England missing penalties as a result.

Unintentional buyers of bogus tickets could face further humiliation over the next month in the form of articles attempting to use terrible football-style humour in order to highlight their plight to others. This could leave many England fans experiencing an all-too-familiar heartache and the kind of disappointment associated with losing to Germany on penalties.

Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling, an expert in steering any subject back towards that of football, says of the scam: “I think the sale of bogus tickets through the internet is dodgy, really dodgy. It reminds me of the financial irregularities that occurred under Terry Venables all those years ago. What a disgrace that was. He was lucky not to go to prison. Of course, he can have a laugh about it over a beer or two nowadays. Old El Tel, eh? What a character.

“Of course a bogus ticket is no laughing matter at the end of the day. It’s like Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle side of the 1996-97 season in that it looks like the real deal, but ultimately it’ll leave you ranting incoherently like Keegan did, back in January 1997. Remember that? He was incandescent wasn’t he?  A lot of the crew at the time were terrified, although he could have a laugh about it over a beer or two afterwards. Good old Kev, eh? Top guy.”

Stelling, who brings his wealth of footballing knowledge to Channel 4’s flagship words and numbers quiz Countdown each weekday afternoon, sounded a warning to potential ticket-buyers looking to buy World Cup packages online: “Always look for the official FIFA logo when purchasing tickets on your computers, folks. Or better still don’t buy online at all. Remember, online isn’t OVER the line, like that goal which was disallowed at Everton some time back. Of course, Walter Smith was fuming immediately after the match, but he could have a laugh about it over a beer or two once he’d calmed down.

“Even if you did manage to get to the World Cup on a false ticket, you wouldn’t enjoy it quite as much, I’d wager. You’d probably feel somewhat out-of-place throughout – just like one of Paul Merson’s front teeth, which fell out during an extraordinary 6-hour live episode of Sky Live Super Soccer Saturday. The irony is that the show’s actually sponsored by Gillette razorblades, which is a bathroom item, much like toothpaste, which is, you could speculate, something Paul could have used a bit more regularly. You could say his upper set was down to 10 men that day. Goodness knows how he finished with such a massive gap up-front – any midfielder worth their salt, such as Matt Le Tissier, would capitalise on that, but somehow he held on until the final whistle. Of course, after extensive dental reconstruction he could have a laugh about it over a beer or two. Good old Paul…”

Britain sicking up for World Cup

May 21, 2010

The UK is set to go into further financial meltdown as thousands of workers across the country are planning to go workshy-crazy over the next few weeks as part of the “Sick Up For The World Cup” campaign.

The campaign is the brainchild of Peter Ian, who by day is involved in the manufacture of sellotape, but outside the confines of his workplace is – like millions of others across Britain – a rabid England football supporter.

Speaking yesterday, Mr. Ian declared: “This is shaping up to be the best World Cup yet and no-one in their right mind wants to miss a single second. This campaign is about everyone putting work to one side for a few weeks and really getting behind the England boys. I mean, who wants to be stuck inside some sweaty office when they could be at home watching England take on France in the quarter finals?

“Now we’re not actively encouraging people to skive off work, as that would be deceitful and unreasonable. What we’re saying is that if, by chance, you happen to get sick over the next few weeks, then you may want to make your workplace aware of this so they can organise cover. For example, if you were to unwittingly eat some out-of-date dips which have been in the cupboard for some time, you may feel fairly ill after doing so. The correct and sensible course of action in this instance would be to give as much notice of this as possible to your place of work and inform them that you will return as soon as you are able. Then you can crack open the beers without guilt, sit back and watch the lads bring it home.”

Mr. Ian believes the campaign’s idea of “assisted sickness” will help many England fans overcome the anxiety of missing crucial fixtures due to work and that it operates entirely within Employment Law: “SUFTWC is not a case of ‘Cross Your Fingers’, it’s more a case of ramming those fingers down the back of your throat as accidentally as possible in order to create the opportunity to watch people who earn more in a week than you do in 3 years losing on penalties in the quarter finals yet again. Whilst wearing a St. George’s flag like a cape, of course.”

England fan Tony Mick said yesterday: “It’s going to be mental – the whole country’s going to come to a standstill during the next few weeks, as literally EVERYONE will be following the fortunes of Rooney and the lads in South Africa. I’ve got my flags, my England shirt and a fridge full of beers ready for action and I can’t wait! I’ll be there, along with everyone else across Britain, on the evening of June 9th with my head down the toilet bowl and tears streaming down my cheeks, forcing myself to vomit with pride. Come on, England!”

Robbie Williams called up for World Cup anthem

May 14, 2010

Singer Robbie Williams has finally achieved a lifelong dream after being called up to perform on the upcoming World Cup anthem – another reworking of the 1996 hit Three Lions.

This will be the first time that Williams, 35, has ever sung on a football track and the former Take That star is said to be “nervous, but excited” by the challenge ahead. It is thought he has spent the past fifteen years pretending to like football to such an extent that he achieved a level of proficiency which merited several call-ups to play Celebrity Football alongside stars such as MC Harvey and Ralf Little.

A spokesperson for the Advertising Space singer said yesterday: “Robbie is thrilled with the news, especially given the amount of practice he has put into singing terribly for the last five years. I always thought he had it in him to feature on a football song at some point, especially after his performance on the X-Factor at the end of last year. He was every bit the karaoke-style vocalist this kind of record requires – especially when he had his arm round Olly Murs and the pair of them were simply jumping up and down, shouting out lyrics and generally having fun, which is what these terrace anthems are all about.

“The training has been intense, no doubt about it. Robbie’s really thrown himself into the new regime, which consists mostly of drinking heavily, sweating and shouting ‘Get in!!!’ for up to 3 hours every evening. Honestly, I’ve never seen anyone with such hunger. He wants this so badly he’s been eating up to 4 or 5 Ginsters every lunchtime. Slowly, but surely, he is becoming more and more bloated and obnoxious by the day. It’s been incredible to witness his remarkable transformation over the past few months. He is now more than man enough to feature on a football record – plus his best days are way behind him, which also helps.”

Mr. Williams told reporters yesterday: “Get in!!! I’m well made-up, mate. At the end of the day it’s about the fans at the end of the day, mate. Tell you what, mate, Gerrard, yeah? Yeah? Lampard, mate, that’s what it’s all about, mate. Get stuck in, mate, work the ball around, movement, that’s what you need to do. Get in!!! Lampard’s bird, though, mate…you would, wouldn’t you? Eh? Phwoooaaarrr!!! You know what I’m talking about, mate. You fuckin’ would, mate, just to disguise your latent homo…oh…uh, listen, mate, at the end of the day, football’s gonna be the winner when all’s said and done, mate. I’m gonna be wearing the Three Lions with pride until we lose in the quarter-finals on penalties – at which point I’ll probably get drunk and shag loads of birds – get in!!!”

Chelsea thrash Wigan £76million-£0.5million to win Premier League title

May 10, 2010

Heroic Chelsea £ootballers thrashed their Wigan counterparts by an incredible £75.5million margin to claim the English Premier League title on Sunday.

Realistically, lowly northern club Wigan didn’t stand a chance over 90 minutes when confronted by the imposing finances of Chelsea’s unstoppable dream-team, who scooped the title in some considerable style yesterday. Chelsea’s overall value yesterday proved too much even for their closest rivals Manchester United, who, despite comfortably out-earning Stoke City at Old Trafford, only managed to finish the season on £75.9million, meaning Chelsea clinched the title by a mere £100,000 – enough to buy Luton Town outright.

Chelsea fan Peter Ian said yesterday: “At the end of the day, the lads played a high-value game worth millions – just like they’ve been doing all season. Put it this way – when you’ve got players like Drogba, who’s worth nearly as much as the whole of Aston Villa, you’re going to win titles, it’s as simple as that. At the end of the day, it’s the right result and the richest team won at the end of the day.

“At the end of the day, right … wait a minute, I know what you’re planning. I can see it in your eyes. You’re going to append everything I say with the phrases like ‘at the end of the day’, ‘put it this way’ and ‘simple as that’. Don’t make out like you’re not, because at the end of the day, that’s what you’re going to do – simple as that. Put it this way, I’ve got a corporate box – do you think, at the end of the day, I’m the sort of person who would spout that sort of rubbish? I’m actually far more articulate than that at the end of the day. Put it this way, when I go to watch the Blues, I’m normally wearing a suit and viewing the match through a window – do you think that’s typical of Premier League supporters? OK, maybe it is, but put it this way – I wouldn’t be saying ‘at the end of the day’ all the time, simple as that.”

Financially-prudent Arsenal finished 3rd with £73million while their bitter North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur ended the season just behind, after a late revenue surge took them to an unexpected 4th place finish. All four teams now qualify for the opportunity to lose to less financially viable European clubs in next season’s Champions League.

Snooker players aroused suspicion over ‘broken match’

April 16, 2010

Snooker players Stephen Maguire and Jamie Burnett have been referred to prosecutors after a series of unusual occurrences in a game between the two 17 months ago aroused suspicion among bookmakers,

Cautious scot Maguire, 29, and wily journeyman Burnett, 34, were locked at 2-2 in the UK Championship first round at Telford in December 2008 after two-and-a-half hours of nondescript matchplay, whereupon it is understood that the two players met up in Maguire’s dressing room for a brief chat during the mid-session interval.

Burnett, still 34, was then said to have expressed concern over being able to light a cigarette, as his last match had broken in half. Understandably, the player was reluctant to attempt to light the match, since there was a good chance it would burn his finger as it burst into flame. Maguire was understood to have offered to fix the match in order to avoid this happening. Both players then agreed that fixing the broken match would be the best course of action, and formed a bond in order to achieve this.

The players then returned to the arena, where they were later overheard chatting by an audience member sat behind them. Peter Ian, 41, who was in the Telford crowd, revealed yesterday: “Stephen was telling Jamie about his new yacht, called ‘The Score’ and how he was experiencing trouble fastening the mast. Jamie replied that he would be more than happy to help rig ‘The Score’, telling Stephen not to worry, and that he would do ‘whatever it takes to fix things up good and proper’.

“Later on, Jamie remarked to Stephen about how he had been re-decorating his house over the last few weeks and that, during the clearout, he came across an antique picture frame, which had previously belonged to his great aunt. Unfortunately, due to it having become mouldy, he regrettably had to chuck the frame, and, although he initially felt a degree of guilt over doing this, ultimately realised that chucking the frame was the best thing to do. Stephen replied that he chucked several frames himself the year before due to woodworm, although he reckoned that no-one would have lost out, as there wasn’t much money in them anyway. It was all perfectly innocuous stuff, really, and actually fairly boring, if truth be told. In fact, the only interesting thing to happen in the entire match was when Burnett missed that really easy shot on the black…”

FA appoints mystery man as acting Chief

March 24, 2010

The Football Association has broken tradition following the departure of former Chief Executive Ian Watmore and appointed a man of mystery as his replacement.

Very little is known about Watmore’s successor, although rumour has it he is his early-to-mid forties, of average height and can only be seen in the periphery as a faceless silhouette.

A spokesman for the FA said yesterday: “The board are excited to announce the official appointment of a man of mystery to the role of Chief Executive of the Football Association. We fully believe his lack of any discernable fingerprint, coupled with his ability to move throughout the world’s major cities completely undetected will stand him in good stead over the next nine months.

“We were so impressed with how quickly he operates and how briefly he lingers in the memory that we offered him the job on the spot. Well, not quite. We had to deliver the contract in a plain envelope to an unspecified location in the middle of the night. I think it might have been a disused warehouse or something, but I barely have any memory of it now. When I woke up the next morning, the contract was on my bedside table signed with a solitary ‘X’. Plus the window was open, which was strange, as we live on the fifth floor and I had definitely locked it the previous evening. Also, my wife had a glow about her and was unusually chipper for that time of the morning. Maybe she felt some relief at last, as she’d been as tense as I was over the last week or so.”

The mystery man, known only as “the shadow”, is thought to share the FA board members’ voracious appetite for extra-marital sex and reportedly celebrated his appointment by seducing a string of high profile women, including the wife of a current Premier League football manager. He will continue in the role until December – when the FA is due to find out if it has won the right to stage the World Cup in 2018 or 2022 – or until he is apprehended at an airport and forced to reveal his identity to authorities.