03/03/2017 Issue 8

To begin, we would like to express our sadness in light of the passing of Celtic legend Tommy Gemmell. The news of his passing came on Thursday morning, after a long illness. Considering the 50-year anniversary celebrations set to take place this summer, in celebration of Celtic triumphant European Cup victory in 1967 it makes Gemmell’s passing that bit more sorrowful. Gemmell was integral to Celtic’s progression to the final in 67’, and his equalizer in the final will always be considered as one of, if not the most important goal in Celtic’s history. Celtic played four qualifying rounds before reaching the final in Lisbon. In their first game against Zurich the Scots won 2-0 at home, with Joe McBride and Tommy Gemmell scoring the goals. In the second leg in Switzerland Celtic won 3-0, Gemmell was on the score sheet once again, this time with a brace. The most important goal that Gemmell scored in his entire career was his equalizing goal in the 63rd minute, which cancelled out Sandro Mazolla’s first-half penalty. Stevie Chalmers scored the winner, as Celtic became the first British team to win the European Cup – not bad for a 15-man squad who were born within 10 miles of Celtic Park (bar one, Bobby Lennox born in Saltcoats). The left-back had a knack for scoring in European finals; Gemmell also scored in the 1970 European Cup final when Celtic lost 2-1 to Feyenoord. Gemmell was inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame in 2006. He was awarded 18 caps for his country, scored one goal from the penalty spot in a 8-0 win over Cyprus in 1970 and played in the famous 3-2 victory over England at Wembley in 1967. To the man who made my dreams come true long before I was born. God bless you Tommy Gemmell, may you rest in peace.  

Tommy’s captain, and friend Billy McNeil revealed his on-going battle with dementia this week. His story has been a catalyst for debate and has asked questions of football’s leading authorities who must look to investigate, prevent, and treat the disease. Many of football’s leading commentators have taken a dig at football associations around Britain for “neglecting” the problem and have accused leading football associations of avoiding the discussion surrounding the link between football, specifically heading the football, and the degenerative disease. McNeil’s personal account is part of a campaign to gain funding to be used for research into the cause and effect in regards to football and dementia. Football is falling behind the times in this regard, as research into head injuries in other sports such as Rugby and American Football have already been done.

German International Mario Gotze has been withdrawn from training with Borussia Dortmund after it was discovered that the World Cup winner has a metabolic disorder. Gotze has struggled with muscular injuries on and off over the past 6 months, and when club doctors did some digging they discovered that the underlying cause lies with the player’s metabolism. Gotze has made one appearance in 2017 and has only made 16 in total since returning to the club from Bayern Munich.

Manchester United were crowned EFL Cup winners on Sunday evening. The red devils ran out as 3-2 winners against a spirited Southampton at Wembley. The game was scuppered by some rather poor officiating on the linesman’s part. Southampton, the better side for most of the game, had a goal disallowed early in the first half and fell behind, undeservedly, by two goals scored by on form Ibrahimovic and Jesse Lingard. The Saints grabbed a goal just before the half through Manolo Gabbiadini as they looked to overturn their misfortunes. Gabbiadini was on target again, when he scored just 7’ minutes into the second half. Manchester United were woeful, Mourinho looked subdued and haunted throughout the 90 minutes as he watched his team sluggishly cross the finishing line. It maybe not fair to say United crossed the finish line, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that Zlatan hauled his team over the finish line, yet again. The self-proclaimed ‘God of Manchester’ worked his magic with his Midas touch which turns the most mediocre of performance into pure gold (well a silver trophy). His 26th goal of the season made the difference and robbed Southampton of picking up some silverware.

Despite Mourinho’s glum face, someone in the board room must have been in a good old mood as Manchester United announced they will pay for their travelling fans visa’s when the club fly to Russia to play against FC Rostov in the Europa League. The club will splash out £118.20 a head to cover the cost of the processing fee tied to the visa. This will help around 500 travelling supporters who will be making the 2000-mile trip across Europe. A very nice touch if you ask me!

Mark McGhee has been sacked from Motherwell FC after a poor run of results that has placed Well second from bottom fighting a relegation battle. Motherwell have won just two out of their last 13 league games. The final straw for the board and fan group ‘Well Society’, who had a say in the decision, was Motherwell’s 5-1 defeat at home to Dundee last Saturday.

Two goal keepers were at fault for two of the cheekiest goals scored in the SPFL this week. Moussa Dembelle scored his 30th goal of the season off the back of a Owan Fon Williams mistake on Wednesday night. The Hoops ran out as 4-0 winners against Inverness CT and Dembelle caused quite a stir. The Frenchman took advantage of the keeper’s shocking clearance merely 12 seconds into the second half. Dembelle collected the ball, flicked it over Williams head and tapped the ball into an empty net in front of his travelling support. Rory MacKenzie provided the other cheeky finish in this week’s round-up. His came off the back of a poor clearance from St Johnstone goal keeper, Zander Clark. A poor pass back from Steven Anderson put Clark under-pressure and when his clearance fell to Rory MacKenzie there was only one place that was going – the back of the net! 35-yeards out, 12 minutes into the game and Killie were in the lead. Conor Sammon scored the second and Killie won the game 2-0, they now sit in 8th place.

Mezut Ozil released his autobiography this week. Die Magie de Spiels, or the Magic of the Game, revealed tales of his former manager, Jose Mourinho. In his booked he has claimed that the Special One called him a “coward”. Th encounter between the two is written rather poetically, perhaps ever so slightly over emphasized and has most definitely been drawn up by a ghost writer.

Fernando Torres was stretchered of the pitch on Thursday evening against Deportivo la Coruna after a heavy fall chellenging in the air with Alex Bergantinos. The Atletico Madrid player was taken to hospital and has now been discharged after having tests on the head injury. The club have released an official statement saying that the scans have showed “no traumatic alterations or injuries”. El Nino shared his gratitude via his official Twitter account, and stated that the fall was just a scare. Great t see the medical teams in Spain act so swiftly.

The aid of others saved another life this week. Slovacko striker, Francis Kone saved the unconscious Berkovek who had collided with his team mate. Kone acted quickly reached into the goal keepers mouth to retrieve his tongue.  Both players were taken to hospital, including Berkovek team mate Daniel Krch. The announcer at the game shared the news that both players were well which prompted a round of applause from the stands.

The Bleacher Report has provided us with an idiots’ guide to choosing a Chinese Super League team, based on your English Premier League counterpart. Today marks the beginning of the 14th CSL season, and with all that money spent in January it may be worth a watch. Now I have a soft spot for Liverpool Football Club – you know me, love my history – so according to the Bleacher Report I shall be supporting, Liaoning Whowin, nicknamed the North-East Tigers. Mon the Tigers! Good to know that my team picked up a point today against Guizhou Hengfeng Zhicheng, who don’t appear to have an English Premier League equivalent – oh well! I’ll take a 1-1 draw away, especially when your down to 10-men. it’s going to be a good old season!

 

LISBON LIONS

Tommy Gemmell 1967 goal: https://twitter.com/PMFA_UTLR/status/837220745231142914

Tommy Gemmell 1970 goal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFz0hXtzQj4

Tommy Gemmell kicks Helmut Haller: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lnja51VticQ

Billy McNeil tribute: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuVhndjP5bE

Chris Sutton on Dementia: https://twitter.com/btsportfootball/status/836841139609174016

 

EFL CUP

Manchester Utd 3 – 2 Southampton: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omjkm17xXQ4

Gabbiadini offside decision, Le Tissier thoughts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hnUDpSpza4         

 

SPFL GOAL CRAZY

Inverness 0 – 4 Celtic: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/39048195

Saint Johnstone 0 – 2 Kilmarnock: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9RQoOLPqzs

 

FERNANDO TORRRES

Official Twitter statement: https://twitter.com/Torres/status/837448156929482752

 

LIFE SAVER

Francis Kone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tBg4fmoUU0

 

CHINSE SUPER LEAGUE

Liverpool 1 – 0 Southampton: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfzV7gT9fAc

24/02/2017 European Football Special Issue

If you thought Tuesday night offered some fantastic Champions League moments, Wednesday was just as tenacious and Thursday – well that was a wee beauty as well. There was a bit of everything this week; crazy goals, red cards, and record breakers. What more could we hope for!??

It was a cracking tie between Bayern Leverkusen and Atletico Madrid at the Bay Arena. Madrid took charge of the game with two away goals in the first half. Niguez opened the scoring with a stunning strike in the 17-minute; his curling effort sailed past keeper Bernd Leno and Antoine Griezmann doubled Atletico’s lead after finding himself unmarked in the Leverkusen box. Think it’s fair to say that was rather silly of the German defence – tut tut lads! Griezmann’s goal makes him Atletico’s all-time top scorer in European competition, surpassing Luis Aragones who held the previous record with 12 goals. There looked to be some hope for Leverkusen when Bellarabi scored an early goal after the restart however this promising start was ended when Gemiero scored from the spot in the 58th-minute and despite Savic scoring Leverkusen’s second goal of the evening, the tie was put out of reach when Torres scored Atletico’s fourth away goal in the 86th-minute with his cheeky, dinking header. Despite having 62% of the possession it is Atletico who look set for yet another Champions League quarter-final.

Manchester City v Monaco broke a very special goal scoring record; this game recorded the highest scoring first-leg in Champions League history – nae bad! And Radamel Falcao broke his own personal record, scoring more goals in Manchester on Tuesday night than he did in his entire career at Manchester United. LOL. It was the first-time Monaco had ever conceded 5 goals in European competition but not the first-time City had scored five, having beaten Russian opposition CSKA Moscow 5-2 in November 2013. It was an impressive start for City, when Raheem Sterling drew first blood in the 26th minute however the ever-present Falcao cancelled out Sterling’s early spark with a superb header. The Blues were denied a penalty before the break when Aguero was taken out by Monaco keeper, Subasic. French teenager Mbappe put the Ligue 1 side ahead before the half with a powerful driven effort. Monaco could have increased their lead after the break when a penalty was awarded against Otamendi but Falcao’s effort was saved by City shot stopper Caballero. City came out all guns blazing in the second half. Aguero scored an early goal to pull City level; he was gifted a goal from Subasic who made a shocking error. The equaliser did not go unanswered, and Radamel Falcao chipped a delightful ball over the head of, a defenseless, Caballero. Definitely one of the goals of the tournament, so far. The ongoing battle between Falcao and Aguero continued as the Argentine showed his own class with his second equaliser of the night with a superb volley in the Monaco box. Stones leaped higher than everyone to score from a De Bruyne cross to make it 4 – 3 City in the 77th minute. And Sane scored the fifth, to give City some breathing space going into the second-leg. He was set-up very unselfishly by Aguero, who was in for his hat-trick, to place the ball into an empty net. So it’s game on in Monaco in a few weeks’ time! Vive la Fitbaw!!

Leicester City salvaged some hope of progression. Jamie Vardy scored a crucial away goal to secure a narrow defeat at the hands of strong European opponents, Sevilla. It was a special moment for Jamie Vardy who marked his journey to become a Premier League Champions with another career highlight; namely, there have only been four years and 315 days between Vardy’s last non-league goal and his first Champions League one. However, despite Vardy’s fairytale finish it was Sevilla who brought some bite. Los Blanquirrojos had 73% possession, 22 shots on goal and banged one of the post, as well as scoring two goals of their own. Kasper Schmeichel was man of the match for Leicester, not only did he save a penalty given against Wes Morgan on the 13th minute but he showed excellent reflexes against the likes of Sergio Escudero and Correa who looked dangerous throughout the match. Despite the Danes valiant of efforts, he was unable to keep Pablo Sarabia and Joaquin Correa at bay as the Spaniards sinked their teeth into the foxes defence. Vardy’s goal only keeps Leicester’s Champions League dreams alive, which sets us up for a rather compelling second-leg tie at the King Power Stadium on 14th March.

Two legends met on Wednesday evening at the Estadio do Dragao in Portugal. Iker Casillas and Gianluigi Buffon swapped jerseys at the end of a rather feisty affair between FC Porto and Juventus. The tie looked all but gone for Porto when left-back Alex Telles seen red on the 27th-minute, after he committed two shocking tackles in the space of 3-minutes on Juan Cuadrado and Lichtsteiner. Calm doon pal! (Both shockers, have a look in the link below) German referee, Felix Brych had no choice but to send him off for reckless play. Following the defender’s sending off, it was Iker Cassilas who was put through his paces as he saved shot after shot as Juventus turned up the heat. The Spanish shot stopper made his 174th appearance in the competition on Wednesday night, equaling the record held by Paolo Maldini. Despite Juventus dominance, it took them until the 72nd-minute to break the deadlock through Pjaca, who scored his first goal in a Juve shirt. Super sub Alves may have sealed the tie for the Old Lady when he made it 2-0 on 74-minutes. It was unfortunate for Porto who looked like they may have held onto the draw despite Telles stupidity, alas it wasn’t to be and now they have a difficult away tie to look forward to in Turin.

Rostov, Lyon, Besiktas, Manchester United, Schalke and Roma all breezed past their opposition to book their place in the next-round of the Europa League. Rostov blew Sparta Prague away in the first-leg with a 4-nil win, and they finished the tie with an away goal in Prague where they progressed with a 1 – 5 aggregate. Lyon progressed with an impressive 11 – 2 aggregate score line. They bet Dutch opposition, Alkmaar 7 – 1 at their Parc Olympique Lyonaise stadium. Roma lost 0 – 1 at home to Villareal, however the Italians already leada the tie with four unanswered away goals from the first-leg. Mkhitaryan pilled more misery on St Etienne, he scored the only goal of the game which knocked the French side out of Europe after a four nothing trouncing!

Tottenham Hotspurs are out of the Europa League despite the fact they rid themselves of last week’s toothless performance. Spurs were lively and energetic and were rewarded with an early Erikson goal on 10 minutes, but they were sold by one of their own. The young Dele Alli stuck a career ending tackle on Genk midfielder Brecht Dejaegere; the England international was rightly sent for an early bath but left his team mates with a further uphill struggle. Before all this, Harry Kane put the ball in his own net putting Genk ahead on aggregate. Not good! However, Big Vic Wanyama gave Spurs some hope with his curler in the 61st minute but it wasn’t to be and Jeremy Perbet, who scored the winner in the first-leg, killed the dream with 10 minutes on the clock.

Bilbao won the battle but Apoel Nicosia won the war. They progressed as victors with a 2 – 0 win at the GSP stadium. The overturned a 3 – 2 Bilbao home win last Thursday to win their game on home soil. A terrific achievement for the Cypriot Champions – good luck to them in the next round. Game of the night goes to either: Fiorentina and Borussia Monchengladbach or Zenit St Petersberg v Anderlecht; both went down to the wire. After a 2-0 defeat in the first-leg, Zenit were forced to fight for their place in the competition and a first half goal from de Paula on 24 minutes gave them the hope they needed. Dzyuba scored in 72’ and de Paula scored his second in the 78th minute but in the dying seconds their hard work was cancelled out by Swedish striker, Issaac Kiese Thelin who scored a header in the final minute and Anderlecht progressed on away goals – cruel. After missing so many opportunities in front of goal last Thursday, Borussia Monchengladbach came out to create a storm! But not until the second half. Fiorentina took the lead early on, with a goal from Kalinic in the 15th minute. The Italians doubled their lead in the 28th with a goal from Spanish midfielder Valero Iglesias. However, Gladbach were not prepared to lie down and claimed a goal back with a spot kick goal from Stindl a minute before the half. Stindl scored his second of the night in the 55th minute and the tie was level. In the 60th minute a hero emerged in the form of Danish interntional, on loan from Chelsea, Andreas Christensen who scored the winning goal to take the Germans through to the last 16.

A vital away goal was scored by Krasnador in their away tie against Turkish opposition Fenerbache; they progressed with a 1 – 2 aggregate score line. Genk’s 1 – 0 home win gave them a narrow win to take them through to the last 16. Celta Vigo pulled off an impressive 0 – 2 away win to take them through to the next round; they overturned a 0 – 1 home defeat to Shaktar Donetsk last Thursday. Ajax scored the only goal over the two legs in their tie against Legia Warsaw to progress to the last 16.

 

RESULTS

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE – Round of 16  (First-leg)

 

Bayern Leverkusen         2              v              4              Atletico Madrid

Bellarabi (48)                                                                     Niguez (17)

Savic (67 og)                                                                      Griezmann (25)

                                                                                                Gameiro (58 pen)

                                                                                                Torres (86)

 

Man City                              5              v              3              Monaco

Sterling (26)                                                                        Falcao (32, 61)

Aguero (58, 71)                                                                 Mbappe (40)

Stones (77)

Sane (82)

 

FC Porto                               0              v              2              Juventus

Telles (red card 27)                                                          Pjaca (72)

Alves (74)

 

Sevilla                                   2              v              1              Leicester

Sarbia (25)                                                                           Vardy (73)

Correa (62)

 

 

EUROPA LEAGUE – Round of 32 (First-leg)

FK Krasnodar                     1              v              0              Fenerbache

2L: Fenerbache 1 v 1 Krasnador                 Agg (1 – 2)

 

Astra Giurgiu                      2              v              2              KRC Genk

2L: KRC Genk 1 v 0 Astra                Agg (3 – 2)

 

AZ Alkmaar                         1              v              4              Lyon

2L: Lyon 7 v 1 Alkmaar                   Agg (11 – 2)

 

Borussia M’gladback       0              v              1              Fiorentina

2L: Fiorentina 2 v 4 M’gladback                  Agg (3 – 4)

 

Celta Vigo                            0              v              1              Shaktar Donetsk

2L: Donetsk 0 v 2 Celta Vigo                         Agg (1 – 2)

 

FC Rostov                            4              v              0              Sparta Prague

2L: Sparta Prague 1 v 1 Rostov                    Agg (1 – 5)

 

KAA Gent                            1              v              0              Tottenham Hotspur

2L: Tottenham 2 – 2 KAA Gent                   Agg (2 – 3)

 

Ludogrets                            1              v              2              FC Copenhagen

2L: Copenhagen 0 v 0 Ludogrets                Agg (2 – 1)

 

Olympiakos                        0              v              0              Osmanlispor

2L: Osmanlispor                0 v 3 Olympiakos                                 Agg (0 – 3)

 

Athletic Bilbao                   3              v              2              Apoel Nicosia

2L: Apoel Nicosia 2 v 0 Athletic Bilbao      Agg (4 – 3)

 

Hapeol Be’er Sheva         1              v              3              Besiktas

2L: Besiktas 2 v  1 Hapeol Be’er Sheva     Agg (5 – 2)

 

Legia Warsaw                    0              v              0              Ajax

2L: Ajax 1 v 0 Legia Warsaw         Agg (1 – 0)

 

Manchester United         3              v              0              Saint-Etienne

St Etienne 1 v 1 Man Utd              Agg (0 – 4)

 

PAOK Salonika                   0              v              3              FC Schalke 04

2L: Schalke 1 v 1 PAOK                   Agg (4 – 1)

 

Anderlecht                         2              v              0              Zenit St Petersburg

2L: Zenit 3 v 1 Anderlecht             Agg (3 – 3, Anderlecht win on away goals)

 

Villareal                                0              v              4              Roma

2L: Roma 0 v 1 Villareal     Agg (4 – 1)

 

 

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Man City 5 – 3 Monaco: https://youtu.be/E_TtufK6joc

Bayern Leverkusen 2 – 4 Atletico Madrid: https://youtu.be/vFN4e8Bad50

Porto 0 – 2 Juventus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-YGIzqZyjI

Sevilla 2 – 1 Leicester: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1mtpCzLh7U

 

 

ONES TO WATCH

Falcao superb finish and other memorable Champions League chips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJDadmcX_oM

 

Telles loses the plot, shocking challenges: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85ZyhIDfPJU

 

From non-league to Champions League: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tP2FYYT4TnQ

24/02/2017 Issue 7

The magic of the FA Cup strikes again! Joey Barton showed us his vanishing act as Lincoln City knocked Premier League Burnley out of the competition, the shoe was on the other foot as the Lions caged the Champions and Wayne Shaw made a pie disappear!

Yes, non-league side Lincoln City progressed to the quarter-final after their 1-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor. The Imps have made history becoming the first non-league side in 103 years to reach the FA Cup QF with a dramatic last-minute winner scored by Sean Raggett. The centre back sent Lincoln’s 3,210 travelling support into delirium as they celebrated their club reaching the quarter-finals for the first time in their 133-year history. The ever-popular, Joey Barton was left on the floor after he stamped on the foot of Matt Rhead, figure that one out? The two locked horns throughout the 90-minutes and it made for a rather entertaining battle. The former-Rangers player also sparked a rammy in the box after he caught Hawkridge in the face on the 70th minute. It wasn’t the first-time Joey Barton experienced Twitter posts being dredged up from the past (see link below). Lincoln had the last laugh however, and it is the Imps who will go on to face Arsenal in the QF.

Arsenal made it to the competition beating other non-league side, Sutton United. Arsenal travelled to Gander Green Lane and avoided another red-face defeat with a hard-fought victory against a spirited Sutton. Goals from Perez and Walcott proved to be too much for Sutton, who had a couple of chances throughout the match that may have made for a more interesting tie had the burst the net. Sutton can proudly hold their heads high. This was a history day for the city and the tournament, and will forever live in the memory of fans, staff and players alike. The biggest laugh of the day, and week I guess, comes from reserve goalkeeper Wayne Shaw. The big man made many contributions throughout the day despite never making an appearance in the 90 minutes. Pre-match he hoovered the dug-out, at half-time he was in the stadium pub entertaining the masses and during the second half, knowing full well all the subs had been made, he was caught wrapping his gums around a pasty! Comedy gold, if you haven’t seen it there is a link below. It was all fun and game until Shaw was forced to leave the club following criticism which has prompted investigations by the Gambling Commission and the Football Association.

Oxford United gave Premier League Middlesbrough a scare in their fifth-round tie. It was Middlesbrough who took the lead through a Leadbitter penalty. Oxford came up with a quick reply, but the goal was disallowed for a push on centre back Bernarndo. Rudy Gestede turned up the heat with his magnificent over-head kick goal, his first goal for the Boro, which put the Premier League club two goals ahead but Oxford fought back in the second half. A Chris Maguire free-kick sailed past Boro keeper, Guzan. Oxford’s tails were well and truly up, and their relentless attack was awarded when Tony Martinez burst the net to pull Oxford United level with two goals in 2-minutes. However, it was Boro who nicked the winner. Christian Stuani saved Middlesbrough’s blushes, when he tapped the ball in 4-minutes from time. Middlesbrough will face Huddersfield or Manchester City in the quarter-final.

Huddersfield and Manchester City will play a replay after their fifth-round tie finished in a 0-0 draw. Don’t be fooled by the score line, this was a very entertaining 90-minutes of football. Both goal keeper’s were in fine form, record crowd in attendance at the John Smith’s stadium, there was a Huddersfield goal ruled out for off-side and there was an effort cleared off the line. This will be a good one to watch come the replay. 

The Lions knocked the Champions out of the FA Cup with a 1-0 victory at The Den. Their victory was made even sweeter by the fact they were down to 10-man for the final 40-minutes after defender Jake Cooper received his second yellow of the day.  Ten-men Millwall progressed to the QF through Shaun Cumming’s dramatic last minute winner. He struck low past Zieler, to set up a QF tie with city rivals Tottenham Hotspurs.

Spurs breezed past Fulham on Saturday afternoon, to progress to the next round. Harry Kane scored a hat-trick, and was supported well be team mates Erikson, Son, Alli, Trippier, Winks and co. Spurs appeared to put the disappointment of Gent behind them, and looked to put a spring in their step before the return Europa League leg on Thursday.

Chelsea were made to work for it against Wolves at Mollineux. The first half performance from the struggling Championship side was positive and rather testing for Conte’s side. It wasn’t until the second half that the Londoners went through the gears and upped the ante to produce the 2-0 win. Chelsea will face Manchester United in the QF, this fixture produced the big WOW moment in the studio during the FA Cup draw – its sure to be a tasty old tie!

Manchester United struggled to reach the QF as Blackburn Rovers out them through their paces. Zlatan Ibrahimovic made the difference on the day when he was subbed on in the 62nd minute for Anthony Martial to secure the victory for United. It was his goal in the 75th minute which ended Rovers cup win.

There was a new development for Blackburn Rovers this week, as it was announced that Tony Mowbray would be their new manager. He replaces Owen Coyle who left the club by mutual consent. It will be a tough job for the former Middlesbrough, Celtic, West Brom and Hibernian manager as Rovers continue to struggle at the bottom of the Championship battling against relegation. Rovers currently sit in 23rd place, three points from safety. As a Celtic fan, I am here to publicly warn the Rovers faithful that relegation may be imminent. See the link below.

Around the English Football League in 189 days! Ed Wood, has done something that many die-hards would struggle to muster. The Derby County fan has broken a Guinness World Record by travelling 22,000 miles over 189 days to visit every ground in the English Football League. He completed the mighty feet at Rochdale’s Crown Oil Arena. To keep things exciting his friends gave him challenges, such as get a selfie with a chairman and get yourself into the dressing room. He didn’t manage everyone, but he has completed the biggest challenge of them all – completing the 93.

Chan Yuen-Ting made history this week becoming the first female to manage a men’s football team in a continental competition. The head coach of Hong Kong’s Eastern Sport’s Club lead her team out against Guangzhou Evergreen in the Asian Champions League, if you can find a score I’ll be very impressed.

Former Newcastle United striker, Alan Shearer will present a BBC One documentary about the link between football and dementia. The programme titles, ‘Dementia: Football’s silent shame?’ will be aired in a bid to find out if footballers are at a greater risk than the general population. The match of the day regular will meet suffering footballers and their families before participating in various medical testing to discover more about the disease.

Hibernian knocked city rivals, Hearts out of the Scottish Cup at Easter Road to set up a quarter-final tie against Ayr United. Hibs ran Hearts ragged all over the park and thoroughly deserved their win. Jason Cummings and Grant Holt put the Hibees in the hot seat, Andrew Shinnie added the third before Goncalves grabbed a consolation goal for the travelling Jambos. The Hibs fans treated us to a rendition of their famous anthem, link in the list below.

On Sunday after noon the big question was answered, namely “Why did fat Ronaldo get that nasty haircut back in 2002?”. Well the Brazilian legend revealed that he was haunted by the media who were solely focused on his injured groin, so the striker plotted his own refuge from the media’s relentless gage on the negative and he went to the barbers to ask for “the worse one you’ve got in your locker” and as we all know the barber did not disappoint. Alas, the media moved away from the injured muscle and instead focused on the apparent injury to his hair. Go on Fat Ronnie!

Dundee recorded their first home league win over Rangers since 1992. The Dee’s pilled the misery on the Rangers supporters, who have suffered managerial confusion over the past weeks’, by winning 2 – 1 at Dens Park. O’Hara opened the scoring in the 13th minute after a rather Barcelona-esque build-up play from Dundee. Kevin Holt scored the second with his free-kick from the corner of the 18-yard box. Joe Gardner grabbed the consolation for Rangers. Interim manager Graeme Murty entertained us all by demonstrating his acrobatic moves on the touchline (link in list below – have a giggle).

Youth player Jordi Mboula put his name in the hat for Youth Goal of the Season in this year’s UEFA Youth League. The 17-year-old Spaniard scored a breathtaking solo effort against German opposition, Borussia Dortmund. Barcelona won the game 4 – 1. Have a look at the goal in the link in the list below.

Now we come to the worst news of the week. Claudio Ranieri has been sacked by Leicester City. I’m going to say this now, I hope you get relegated – it’s what you deserve and certainly what Ranieri did not. He lead the Foxes to an unprecedented Premier League title. Last year when they won, they were favourites to be relegated and now they have ripped the soul from the game. It was a classless decision and one which will haunt football for some time to come. #fearless #souless

Dear Claudio,

Thanks for the memories, you took the impossible and turned it into a Premier League winning season; you deserved better.

Thanks,

Football.

 

 

ONES TO WATCH

 

FA CUP RESULTS

Burnley 0 – 1 Lincoln: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/39016439

Sutton 0 – 2 Sutton: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/39033559

Middlebrough 2 – 3 Oxford: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/39017203

Hudderfield 0 – 0 Man City: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/39017199

Millwall 1 – 0 Leicester: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/39017207

Fulham 0 – 3 Tottenham: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/39018304

Wolves 0 – 2 Chelsea: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/39017228

Blackburn 1 – 2 Man Utd: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/39023089

 

JOEY BARTON

Fight breaks out in the FA Cup: https://youtu.be/OWbz_fd8Pz8

Be careful what you out on social media: https://twitter.com/Joey7Barton/status/298193429186371584

 

WAYNE SHAW

Who ate aww the pies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrN-ZhjNfTM

 

LINCOLN CITY

Scenes: https://twitter.com/winstano/status/832961380689047553

 

TONY MOWBRAY

Celtic’s embarrassment at the hands of the Buddies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=memlFN-DY_I

 

SCOTTISH CUP REPLAY

Hibs 3 – 1 Hearts: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/scotland/39066751

Sunshine on Leith: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/scotland/39066748                               

 

25 YEAR WAIT IS OVER

Dundee 2 – 1 Rangers: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/scotland/39023197

Gymnastics? At the fitbaw? Yes Jimmy: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/39034853

 

BARCELONA’S TEENAGE TALENT

Remember the name, Jordi Mboula: http://www.uefa.com/uefayouthleague/video/videoid=2444032.html?autoplay=true

 

DILLY DING DILLY DONG

That press conference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPNzhJQbzJ8

That moment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQQGiLWB-Zs

That journey: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LFzq-0csDY

That player: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ml3r21bJZfw

 

10/02/2017 Issue 5

Now we’ve got a lot to get through this week, so strap on your big boy pants and let’s go!!

Another one bites the dust! Philipp Lahm retires from football. Yes, the Magic Dwarf gave us all a bit of a shock on Tuesday afternoon, none more so than his beloved Bayern Munich. The timing of his decision was a little surprising, but who would grudge one of Germany’s most decorated footballers. The 33-year-old full back was pivotal to Germany’s World Cup success in 2014 and as Germany’s youngest ever captain, taking on the role at the age of 26 in 2010, he has been awarded with 113 caps and 5 goals for Die Mannschaft. Lahm, who will play out the rest of the season, will be retiring after 13 seasons at Bayern Munich. There he has won 7 Bundesliga titles, 6 German cups and even lifted the Champions League in that memorable all German final at Wembley in 2013. Former manager, Pep Guardiola, regards Lahm as the “most intelligent footballer he ever coached” and with over 500 appearances for Germany’s most successful team I don’t think anyone would ever doubt him.

All the best Philipp!

David Beckham made a big HOO HA this week because the Queen never stuck a knife in his neck! Indeed, England’s biggest brand spat the dummy out all because he isn’t getting a knighthood. The ‘Beckileaks’ – I never made that shit up, that’s what the mainstream are calling it – revealed MR. Beckham’s frustration at being left out of the honours list. MR. Beckham referred to the members of the Knighthood Committee as “unappreciative cunts” whilst also throwing shade at other celebrities who had indeed made the cut *cough* Katherine Jenkins *cough*. Now Beckham’s motives with regards to his charity work have been called into question. Alas, I really don’t care much for the story. In my opinion Beckham has given his money and visited a multitude of locations over the years selling the UNICEF brand and bringing attention to global issues; he’s fair game in my book. Crying over the knighthood however, slightly pretentious especially given the successful career he has had, and all the perks that come with it. Just be grateful you got back in the England team after Argentina 1998. #neverforget

In other news, a football made it into orbit this week! A ball, recovered from the ill-fated 1986 Challenger shuttle, was pictured by NASA astronaut, Shane Kimbrough, the commander of the station’s Expedition 50 crew. Kimbrough posted the picture on his personal Twitter less than a week after the anniversary of the Challenger tragedy. The ball had been taken aboard the Challenger shuttle by Ellison Onizuka, whose daughter was a soccer player at Clear Lake High School. The ball was signed by CLHS players and carried aboard the shuttle as a memento. The picture has since been shared 711 times and received 1,500+ likes and serves as a fitting remembrance to the lives lost some 30 years ago.

There was a goal of the season contender this week after Juan Cuadrado smashed the back of the net against Inter Milan last Sunday evening. The ref had to check for a hole in the net after the Juventus number 7, on loan from Chelsea, launched an attack on Inter goalie, Samir Handanovic. His 25-yard first time strike made the difference in the victory over on form Inter. Juventus currently sit top of Seria A with 57 points, 7 points ahead of closest challengers Roma. There was some bad news for the Old Lady this week though as she lost Brazilian International, Hernanes, to the Chinese Super League. He has made a move to Hebei China Fortuna for €8.5 million. However, their spirits were certainly lifted with a 2-0 away win over Crotone on Wednesday night. Gonzalo Higuain scored his 16th goal of the season to help send Juventus seven points clear at the top of the Italian league. Should Juve pick up the trophy this season it will be their sixth successive league win. Nae bad!

While on the subject of Juve, some dedicated fan attempted to watch their mid-week fixture against Crotone by getting himself admitted to hospital!!! Apparently, the view from the San Giovanni de Dio hospital window offers a perfect view of the Stadio Ezio Scida. Crotone’s home stadium only holds a capacity of 16,000 and was sold out, forcing the rather devoted Juve supporter to fake illness – if you ask me I think he was being very reasonable. Unfortunately, the fan won’t be winning any Oscar’s soon and was sent on his way! On a positive note, he can be pretty happy with the result.

Alaves reached their first Copa del Rey final! They overcame Celta Vigo with a 1-0 aggregate score line to reach the final against Barcelona in May. This is Alaves second major final in their 96-year history. They lost their first major final against Liverpool at the 2001 UEFA Cup final in Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion. It was a spectacular last 10 minutes’ effort by Alaves; substitute Edgar Mendez cut through on goal, and played a beautiful chip over goalkeeper Sergio Alvarez in the 83rd minute.

*Highlights from the game are in the list below – well worth a watch*

Their opponents Barcelona knocked rivals Atletico Madrid out of the competition with a 3-2 aggregate score line. There was much controversy in the second-leg which witnessed three players being shown the red card by referee Jesus Gil Manzano. Luis Suarez was amongst one of the three sent for an early bath, he received two yellow cards in the final three minutes of the match and was give the red. Barcelona have stated that they will challenge the decision which could leave the talisman out of the final. Suarez, himself, got on the scoresheet on the 43rd minute, as nine-man Barcelona held on to reach the final. And held on they did. Antoine Griezmann scored a goal that was wrongly disallowed and Gamiero missed a penalty, striking the ball off the top of the crossbar in the second half. Funny old game football. So, it’s Alaves and Barcelona who will meet in the final in May. Alaves have beaten Luis Enrique’s side before, earlier this season they won 2-1 at the Nou Camp which will give them hope for the final. However, should Barcelona triumph it will be their third successive Copa del Rey.

To the African Cup of Nations, where Cameroon won their first AFCON title in 15 years! Les Lions Indomitable came back from 1-0 down against Egypt to lift the AFCON trophy with a 2-1 win. A late goal from Vincent Aboubakar, on loan at Turkish side Besiktas, in the 88th minute sealed the victory and gave Cameroon their fifth AFCON title.

Well, there it is! Your weekly fitbaw round-up!

There are a number of stories that didn’t quite make the cut, for more information on them please visit our Facebook page @fitbawweekly.

Also, you can follow our Instagram page @fitbawweekly.

 

 

 

ONES TO WATCH

 

LAHM RETIRES

2006 World Cup v Costa Rica (first goal of tournament): https://youtu.be/MBvFjnMRiEw

Tribute: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Q84OBGF1gs

 

NO KNIGHTHOOD FOR BECKS

David Beckham sent off v Argentina 1998: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWsEuczNj48

For good measure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGuccP0SlnE

 

NASA REMEMBERS

Space ball found in Orbit: https://twitter.com/astro_kimbrough/status/827576335715430402

 

CUADRADO BURSTS THE NET

Juventus 1 – 0 Inter: http://streamable.com/8xdrv

 

COPA DEL REY

Alaves make it to their second major final: https://youtu.be/wMYrCqiHewU

A classic semi-final between Barca and Atleti: https://youtu.be/MBvFjnMRiEw

 

AFRICAN CUP OF NATIONS

Cameroon 2 – 1 Egypt: https://whatahowler.com/cameroon-claim-first-afcon-title-in-15-years-with-brilliant-late-winner-8c8c90dddbd0#.b57x9x6n2

03/02/2017 Issue 4

A lot has happened in a week. This is less of a wee 1-2, and more of a one on one with the keeper, keeper fouls, ref blows the whistle, penalty given, goalkeeper saves it, crowd goes wild, penalty taker gets subbed off, replacement runs through on goal, plays the 1-2 and…..GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLL!!!

The point I’m trying to make is that there was a hell of a lot of stories this week, but they were all worth a write up. So, there’s a bit of extra reading but it’s all worth it in the end. Promise!

So, in the last issue (issue 3) we told you that Celtic had equaled a record set by Jock Stein’s Lisbon Lions. Well this week, after a 4-0 thrashing of Hearts, Celtic have broken that 50-year-old record. A Callum McGregor opener, Scott Sinclair brace and Paddy Roberts finish dispatched a some-what underachieving Hearts side to take their unbeaten run to 27 games (28 including their Aberdeen win mid-week). Brendan Rodgers side have only dropped 2 points in the entire league campaign, so far, and have fans wondering if they will ever be beaten. The 18th September 2016 was the last time Celtic dropped points; drawing 2-2 with Inverness Caley Thistle. Since then, Celtic have won 17 on the bounce. In fact, make that 18 on the bounce after their 1-0 win against Aberdeen on Wednesday night. Dedryck Boyata came up with the goods yet again, a header in the 57th minute. Celtic now sit at the top of the Scottish Premier League with 67 points, 25 points ahead of their closest challengers Rangers. (The same points difference between 2nd place and last) UNBELIEVABLE. UNDEFEATED.

Hearts handed out their own drubbing of Rangers Football Club on Wednesday night. The Jambo’s demolished the Ibrox side 4-1 at Tynecastle. Aberdeen are now only two points adrift of second place, Rangers, and the Dons have a game in hand. Ian Cathro’s side sit 4th in the league table, 6 points behind Aberdeen and 8 points behind Rangers. Aberdeen meet Rangers on 9th April at Pittodrie.

In other Scottish football news, Kilmarnock striker Kris Boyd also broke a record by scoring the fastest Premiership goal. The striker took only 10.4 seconds to break the deadlock against Ross County at Rugby Park. The SPL’s highest goal scorer admits that he doesn’t remember much about the incident, and was sure he was offside.  His side recorded a 3-2 home win against Ross County. Make sure you check out the highlights below – cracking game of fitbaw!

Also for your amusement, there is a rather hilarious video circling the YouTube of former Celtic player and all round good guy, Chris Sutton, attempting to re-create Kris Boyd’s historical goal. Fellow pundit, Terry Butcher, is having none of it and absolutely cements Sutton who charges in on goal. Great watch!

The FA Cup draw has set up a mammoth David v Goliath tie in the fifth-round. Sutton United will face Premier League top 4 regulars, Arsenal, at home. The 12-time winners are in for a bit of a shock at the Gander Green Lane stadium. Sutton’s home ground host’s a 5,000-capacity crowd, a changing room you could barely swing a cat in and a 45-year-old reserve goalkeeper. Arsenal are, of course, the favorites to win the tie but Sutton have knocked out superior competition before. The question is, can David strike again? Bearing in mind Goliath packs a pretty good punch in Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott, Petr Cech, Per Mertesacker, the Ox, Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck and even manager, Arsene Wenger, packs a good punch *coughs* push himself. Apart from that, I reckon David’s got a very decent chance. C’mon United! (The game will be shown live on the BBC on Monday 20th February, kick off at 7:55pm)

Football returned to Aleppo for the first time in 5 years. After many years of conflict Aleppo experienced a degree of normality during a 90-minute game of football between local rivals, Al Ittihad and Horiyah. The game was played in an actual bomb-site, in the Ri’ayat al-Shabab stadium. Football in Aleppo has been disbanded over the past 5 years, as the city became a battleground between rebel forces, pro-government forces, Russian airstrikes, and British airstrikes. Al-Ittihad won the game 2-1, in front of a packed stadium. More than 30,000 people have been killed in the Battle for Aleppo, perhaps the return of football will come to signify unity, strength, safety and peace in the region. It will hopefully work to gain some level of normality in the Syrian people’s lives.

Barcelona took one step closer to the Copa del Rey final on Wednesday night, after beating rivals Atletico Madrid 2-1 at the Vicente Calderon. Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi scored before the half, but French international Antoine Griezmann clinched an important goal before the end, giving his side some hope for the second leg to be played next Tuesday 7th February at the Nou Camp.

The other semi-final tie ended in a 0-0 draw between Celta Vigo and Alaves. The second leg will be played at the Mendizorrotza next Wednesday (kick off 8pm).  

Last week it was Arsene, this week it’s his old pal Jose.

Yes, the Special One has lost it! He hates EVERYONE! Referees, fourth officials, journalists, and the BBC. After a 0-0 draw with Hull City on Wednesday night, Mr. Mourinho stormed out of an interview with the BBC. The Special One ended the conversation telling interviewer, Martin Fisher:

“If you don’t know football, you shouldn’t have a microphone.”

The Manchester United manager also raged over the vast difference in treatment he receives from the match officials. Mourinho has been keen to point out an incident between fourth official, Neil Swarbrick, and Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp, during Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool on Tuesday evening. An angry Klopp apologized to Swarbrick who received an ear-full from the German during the second half. Swarbrick response sparked Mourinho’s outrage. The fourth official replied, “No problem, I like your passion.” The Special One isn’t happy, and insists, that for him – everything is different. A big tough titty to you!

Peter Crouch scored his 100th Premier League goal, as Stoke drew 1-1 with Everton. He pulled out ye old Robot celebration, made famous at the 2006 World Cup.

The transfer window has come to an end, and there isn’t much to report really. Payet left, and some West Ham fans were seething, but he has Thierry Henry’s backing so it’s all Va Va Voom. Berahinho made a move away from West Brom, and Stoke City signed a neat little striker for a rather decent £12million fee. Manchester City brought in Gabriel Jesus, who has already made a great impression on the City faithful. West Ham brought in Snoddy and Fonte, which looks like a tasty wee deal, and may take some of the sting from Payet’s departure. You can check out your team’s signing in the link below (JANUARY TRANSFER WINDOW – England, how did your club do?).

In Scotland, Stephen Pearson returns to Motherwell for his third spell. Kilmarnock have brought in former striker Conor Sammon on loan and former Celtic player, Kristoffer Ajer, who has made a big impression on the Killie fans already. Ryan Christie has moved to Aberdeen on loan until the end of the season. Celtic have brought in midfielder Eboue Kouassi (leave some vowels for the rest of us big man). Henrik Ojamaa is back in Scotland, and will feature in Paul Hartley’s Dundee side. Niall Keown, son of Martin, has signed a loan deal with Partick Thistle. You can check out your team’s signing in the link below (JANUARY TRANSFER WINDOW – Scotland, how did your club do?)

Ex-Chelsea, West Ham, Manchester City, England and New York City player Frank Lampard has retired. On Thursday morning, he broke the news bringing an end to a football career spanning 21 years. Lampard won many honors in this time; lifting the English Premier League title on three occasions (Chelsea 2004-05, 2005-06, 2009-10); 4 FA Cups; 2 League Cups; 2 FA Community Shields; 1 Champions League trophy (2012) and 1 Europa League trophy (2013). Frank Lampard was awarded 106 caps for England, and appeared at his first major international tournament at the European Champions in 2004. Lampard represented his country at the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cup Finals. He scored 29 goals for his country and is 1 of only 8 players to have earned 100 England caps.

Egypt will meet Cameroon in the final of the African Cup of Nations this Sunday 5th February (kick off 7pm).

And there you have it; your weekly round-up!  

 

 ONES TO WATCH

RECORD BREAKERS

Celtic 4 – 0 Hearts: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38709176

Archie MacPherson comments: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38774708  

 

HEARTS DEMOLISH RANGERS

Match highlights: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38740392

 

KRIS BOYD BREAKS ANOTHER GOAL SCORING RECORD

Fastest goal in Premiership history: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/scotland/38791562

Kilmarnock 3 – 2 Ross County: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/scotland/38784067

 

THE BATTLE FOR ALEPPO

The first football game in five years: https://www.rt.com/sport/375682-aleppo-first-football-match/

 

MOURINHO HATES EVERYONE

That BBC interview (or lack of): http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38835923

 

CENTENARY BOY

Peter Crouch gets his 100th PL goal: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38836342

The Robot: https://youtu.be/Htmj309y4sw

 

JANUARY TRANFER WINDOW

England, how did your club do?: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/feb/01/transfer-window-premier-league-club-by-club

Scotland, how did your club do?: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38799105

 

FRANK LAMPARD

Stats and juicy tit bits: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/37985587

A look back at his career: https://youtu.be/NX6Z6PtCh3s

Disallowed goal v Germany at 2010 World Cup: https://youtu.be/o5QlBHF6ib8

Chelsea Tribute: https://youtu.be/6xhUslfEL3Q

20/01/2017 Issue 2

What a week it’s been!

Pep Guardiola suffered his heaviest ever League defeat as a manager at the hands of Ronald Koeman’s Everton. It was a great day for the Toffees who thrashed Man City 4-0 at Goodison Park. Teenagers Tom Davies, 18, and Ademola Lookman, 19, both got on the scoresheet. The pair grabbed the Monday morning headlines and appear to have a bright future ahead of them. Their mature and clinical performances led to Man City’s 5th league defeat of the season and forced manager, Pep Guardiola, to concede that the Citizens title race was over. Oh dear! Looks like someone might be heading home soon.

Next up! Paul Pogba’s dab earned Liverpool a penalty. The £89 million player entertained the Theater of Dreams with some rather odd dance moves whilst attempting to defend a corner kick, forcing the referee to give a penalty for a hand ball. James Milner scored from the spot, making it a 100% PK record for him (7/7 scored). Prior to the game, Paul Pogba released his own custom made emoji; it’s fair to say he had an absolute nightmare from the first whistle to the last. There’s certainly a few emoji’s I can think of that would describe the Frenchman’s performance. His team however, did manage to salvage a point. Swedish striker, and all round ego maniac, Zlatan Ibrahimovic popped up with a goal late into the second half. The self-proclaimed “God of Manchester”, step aside Liam Gallagher, has now scored 14 goals in 20 league games taking his total to 19. This has come as a bit of a surprise to the Manchester faithful who endured Ibra’s 5-week goal scoring drought earlier in the season.  So after all the blood and thunder of derby day, Liverpool sit 3rd merely 7 points adrift of leaders Chelsea whilst United sit in 6th place, 12 points off the league leaders.

Oh, I should mention that while all this went on Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte, stole some poor journalist’s cake.

Louis van Gall has retired. Yes, ex-Ajax, Barcelona, Netherlands, AZ, Bayern Munich, and Manchester United manager has retired from coaching, at the age of 65, after a career that spans 26 years. The Dutchman was sacked by Man Utd in May only hours after lifting the FA Cup, and has been unemployed ever since. The announcement came shortly after receiving a rather prestigious lifetime achievement award from the Dutch government. Van Gaal, has had a successful career in football, winning two European finals with Ajax, notably lifting the Champions League with the Dutch side in 1995 and wining the UEFA cup in 1992. His time in England was met with much criticism, and his stint as the Holland manager didn’t do his career many favours either. Van Gaal was at the helm of the Dutch national side when the team failed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup; it was the first time they had missed the tournament in 16 years. Alas, with two La Liga titles and one Bundesliga title to his name, Van Gaal, will be remembered fondly by some. Sadly, not all.

Juventus dropped a new logo this week, it’s awful!

Done. Next story.

China v The World. This week the Chinese Super League sent pundits, mangers, players, and fans into mass uproar, confusion and terror. As the January transfer window unfolds a new super power has emerged, and it would seem as though it looks to threaten the allure of some of the biggest leagues in world football. The CSL has hit English Premier League teams hard. This year Oscar made a move away from Chelsea to Shanghai SIPG for £52 million. He wasn’t the only one, Ramirez was purchased, Hulk was purchased, Axel Witsel, Teves, Alex Teixeira, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Paulinho and more are being pursued. Diego Costa is the next big target, and this week Yaya Toure reportedly rejected a £520,000-a-week deal from Jiangsu Suning!! Madness. Shockingly, it was also reported this week that Borussia Dortmund had been offered a sickening 135 million for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. It’s simply crazy money, and time will tell if it is something that can be sustained. But for now, there are many; players, manager, owners, and Association officials alike, whose heads are being turned by the Chinese purse.

FA Cup upsets; well there were plenty of those this week. Lincoln City FC and Sutton United, both from the fifth tier of English Football, went through to the Fourth Round of the FA Cup beating Ipswich Town (Championship – 14th place) and Wimbledon AFC (League One – 12th place) respectively. Lincoln City, who currently sit top of the National League, scored in injury time to seal a 1-0 victory. This is the first time in 41 years that the Imps have made it to the fourth round, they will face Brighton in the next game. Sutton United stunned 10-man Wimbledon; they scored 3 goals in the 75th, 90th and 96th minute. Their victory set up an FA Cup home tie against Championship side, Leeds United.

Anna Signeul has revealed that she will be stepping down as the Scotland manger after the European Championship in Holland this summer. It is a position Signeul has held for 12 years, and is a role in which she has excelled. The Swede has led Scotland’s women to their first major competition, while spearheading the growth and development of women’s football. Signeul introduced a real professionalism to the women’s game, and her methods have revolutionised the elite development of Scottish women’s football. #pioneer

Now we come to indeed the best and funniest story of the week. To the Eredivisie!

Unhappy with his team’s first half performance, the Heracles Almelo groundskeeper decided to vent his frustrations by leaving a giant snow penis on the pitch!! His side had suffered a disastrous first half against Groningen, conceding 3 goals in 9 minutes. The half time art work did not inspire a second half comeback, rather the visitors pilled on the misery scoring a 4th goal in the second half. The game finished 4-1, with Heracles picking up a consolation goal in the 89th minute. What a huge cock up!

 

ONES TO WATCH  

THE TOFFEES

Everton v Manchester City (post-match interview): https://youtu.be/IS7AQHHlM0A

 

MANCHETER UNITED V LIVERPOOL

Paul Pogba hits the dab: https://youtu.be/BvnhZNR49Wg

 

CONTE TAKES THE CAKE

“I taste a bit?”: https://youtu.be/DU3NE3MidUo

 

LOUIS VAN GAAL RETIRES

That Dive v Arsenal: https://youtu.be/zBmVLpzFhtY

 

JUVENTUS

Black and White and More: https://youtu.be/s26jlK8bUSY

 

CHINESE SUPER LEAGUE

From Chelsea to China: https://youtu.be/Y0qwtr5NIXQ

Why CSL?: https://youtu.be/G3t8SYuF1bE  

 

FA CUP UPSETS

Deacon scores and Sutton equalises: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38658274

Fitchett goal seals Sutton victory: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38659079

 

ANNA SIGNEUL

Scotland Qualify for Euro 2017: https://youtu.be/9ePkd1zEi2I

 

HERACLES ALMELO

Groundskeeper leaves giant snow penis on the pitch: https://youtu.be/Bi2VfekdlYM

13/01/2017 – Issue 1

Who said the winter breaks boring eh?

Barcelona stunned Atletico Bilbao in their Copa del Rey round of 16 clash. Lionel Messi scored his 3rd free kick of 2017, eclipsing Los Blancos rival Cristiano Ronaldo who would have to watch the Flea miss his next 241 free kicks before he could equal the same free kick to goal ratio (Ronaldo 6.87%; Messi 8.02%). The excellent display of Messi, soon to be Barcelona’s best free kick taker of all time, sent the Catalonian Giants into the quarter finals of the Kings Cup. That’s three games in a row the Argentinian has scored from the dead ball, one more from him and he will have established himself as Barcelona’s best free kick taker of all time, surpassing the Dutch Ronald Koeman. The Everton manager shared his congratulations on Twitter (@RonaldKoeman), perhaps he’ll have much to celebrate come Sunday evening when his Everton side take on the mighty Manchester City. We will have to wait in anticipation.

Messi wasn’t the only player in incredible form. Luis Suarez scored his 100th Barcelona goal in no less than 120 matches. The Uruguayan striker reached the impressive milestone with a first half volley to open the scoring. It took Messi 188 games to achieve the same feat. Neymar also got himself on the score sheet, marking the 300th goal accumulated collectively by the formidable three, putting the case forward for MSN as the greatest attacking trio of all time. I think so.

Moving on.

Kelly Smith, former Arsenal and England legend, retired this week after over 20 years in the game. She leaves behind a footballing legacy like no other before her. In fact, there wasn’t much before she came along. As the first British professional female footballer she paved the way for female footballers and was the foundation on which the FA Woman’s Super League was built. A pioneer in women’s professional sport, she was awarded 117 caps for England scoring 46 goals in that time, making her England’s all time record goal scorer. Former team mate and national manager, Hope Powell, compared Kelly to the games greatest legends, and she’s spot on!

“Kelly is one of those players who come along only once or twice in a lifetime. In the men’s game you’d think of Diego Maradona or Messi, players with a unique talent, and that’s what Kelly has.”

Thank you, Kelly, for everything you have done for the game, we wish you all the best and hope that there will be others like you who will bring the women’s game to the forefront of football.

In other news, football fans were sent into a tizzy this week as we were sent the World Cup expansion pack. As a proud Scot I am elated but also scared shitless that, even with the promise of 12 more World Cup slots, we’ll still manage to fuck it up.

Gianni Infantino announced his plans last year when he ran for FIFA presidency, and he will see his proposal brought to life in 2026. The strategy has been met with some criticism, the biggest being that some feel it is all a money grabbing scheme, while others believe the expansion will introduce some much-needed inclusion to our beautiful game. Many have suggested that the inclusion of, perceived, lesser footballing nations could lead to a diminished tournament. But as many a fan will tell you, you can only beat what’s in front of you and if we look back to the Euro’s in France you will find the story of many a lesser nation taking on the big boys, and winning! *Queue the Thunderclap* #montheiceland

Speaking of England, Payet isn’t happy there anymore. Well at least he isn’t happy with the club in which one of England’s greatest son’s plied his trade. Yes, the home of Sir Bobby Moore is no longer fit for the Frenchman. Hammers manger, Slaven Bilic announced this week that:

“We have said we don’t want to sell our best players but Payet does not want to play for us”

He later stated that West Ham are not going to sell the Frenchman. So it looks like the PFA nominated Payet will have to hang tight in the capital, and change his attitude if he wants to play and keep his team out of the relegation zone, of which they are only 7 points adrift.

Henrik Larsson wins Pointless. This weeks headline came as a shocker to many, but for those tuned into Pointless on Wednesday afternoon I believe you watched “one of the great endings to an episode of Pointless that we have ever had”, according to host Richard Osman. The Swedish international offered a Pointless answer to the question “name a footballer who scored in Euro 2000?”, and the victors walked away with the £2,250 jackpot.

From one football legend to another.

Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid have just completed a 40 game unbeaten run, setting a new Spanish record. Simply remarkable! Karim Benzema saved the day in the 93rd minute to salvage a 3-3 draw against Sevilla in the Copa del Rey sending them into the quarter finals. Los Blancos were last beaten in April 2016 by German opposition, Wolfsburg, in the Champions League Quarter Final first – leg. Madrid ultimately won the tie 3-2 overall, and went on to lift the trophy that year, beating local rivals Atletico in the final. 31 wins, 9 draws and 0 defeats. Zizou, as always, showing everyone how it’s done.

Now we come to the most tragic news of the week.

Sadly, we learned of the passing of ex-England and Watford manger Graham Taylor. At 72 years of age, the well-liked and successful Taylor, passed away unexpectedly from a suspected heart attack. Taylor took Premier League side Watford from the depths of the 4th Division to the glistening glamour of the Premier Division after just 6 seasons in charge. Within that time he led the club to the 1984 FA Cup final against Everton, which the Hornets unfortunately lost 2 – 0. He spent time at Wolves and Aston Villa, and also had a stint as the England manger between 1990 – 1993.

As a player, manager, pundit, and Chairman of Watford Football Club he will be remembered fondly by football fans around the world.

RIP Graham Taylor.

 

 

WORTH A WATCH

 

Messi’s Trio

05/01/2017 v Athletico Bilbao (Cope del Rey – First Leg): https://youtu.be/x9fQXXFxjBY

08/01/2017 v Villareal (La Liga): https://youtu.be/BCj07Ljvk6c

11/01/2017 v Athletico Bilbao (Cope del Rey – Second Leg): https://youtu.be/DbFwnoS0aJI

 

Kelly Smith

FATV meets Kelly Smith: https://youtu.be/IIrkTBUvCUQ

2014 FA Cup Final v Everton: https://youtu.be/Ibckj_h2cf0

 

The last time Scotland featured in the World Cup

USA 1998 v Brazil: https://youtu.be/9hqVTbQXA7Y

Thunderclap: https://youtu.be/f_qfFhNLX-Q

That famous Icelandic commentary: https://youtu.be/DReai4ORYaY

 

Dimitri Payet

Showing his own dead ball prowess: https://youtu.be/WA88eZxS4Ck

 

Henrik Larsson answer wins Pointless

The greatest ending to a Pointless episode, or an episode of Pointless I should say: https://youtu.be/j4rJxms2ZyQ

 

Real Madrid

12/01/2017 v Sevilla (Cope del Rey – Second Leg): https://youtu.be/q7XoYzJOS70

Zidane’s stunner in the 2002 Champions League Final: https://youtu.be/rFfomw-Z4uE