01/12/2017 Issue 36

Celtic were awarded two penalties in a week and everyone went aff their nut!! Celtic will face Motherwell for the third time this week on Saturday at Celtic Park. The first in their trio of fixtures against the Steelmen came in the League Cup final at Hampden on Sunday. The Hoops went on to lift the cup with a 2-0 victory, their second coming from a Moussa Dembele penalty. Motherwell supporters, pundits and players all contested the justification of the penalty til they were blue in the face. So when the second fixture came around on Wednesday evening, and Celtic were awarded their second penalty of the week against the same opposition there was an uproar! Motherwell looked set to end Celtic’s run of 65 unbeaten domestic matches, the men in claret were leading by a goal up until the 88th minute when referee Willie Collum awarded Celtic midfielder Callum McGregor for what looks like a dive in the box. The game finished 1-1, and the Hoops march on to 66 undefeated domestic games. Should they draw or win on Saturday afternoon against the Well, they will have reached 67 undefeated domestic games. Should they be awarded another penalty, we may see folk emigrating to Canada (seriously the situation caused that much shock – drastic measures must be taken).

Gareth Bale is injured again! After returning for one game following his 2-month long injury, he’s been called back to the physio room for some repair work. The lads made of chocolate! The Welshman pulled his calf muscle during a 2-2 draw with Fuenlabrada. Ultimately he’s kept his team in the Copa del Rey; assisting the two goals which salvaged some pride at home against the team sitting top of the Segunda Division B.

Great credit goes to Fuenlabrada, who could definitely have bagged a couple more goals and perhaps have knocked out the great Real Madrid in the process. The first goal came from Luis Milla, and it was a cracker. His manager, looked on in shock and utter delight as the Indonesian player opened the scoring for the third division side at the Santiago Bernabeu. There was a bit of luck involved in the ball getting over the line, but he took the chance and put his side ahead. The second was scored from a counter attack, a move which picked Real Madrid apart all game. It was scored by Alvaro Portilla Suarez who won the ball in the midfield, passed it onto his winger, continue his run and finished with his second chance at the shot. The determination he showed will no doubt be remembered by every Fuenlabrada supporter for years to come.

Wayne Rooney scores a wonder goal at Goodison! In Everton’s 4-0 win over West Ham, Wazza scored a hat-trick and his third was quite simply a thing of beauty. A peach of a goal from the half way line, taken first time, graciously sailing over two West Ham heads and goalkeeper Joe Hart. Sublime!

Sam Allardyce has been handed the job at Everton.

Alan Pardew is the new manager of West Brom. Replacing Tony Pulis previously in charge of the Baggies for three season.

Carlos Pena was back on the Rangers score sheet with a 3-0 victory over Aberdeen at Ibrox. James Tavernier scored a brace and took his side into third place, closing the gap on the Dons to three points.

Hibernian Ladies lifted the Scottish Cup; the result means that they have now won the last four major cup finals. They beat Glasgow City Ladies 3-0 at Livingston’s Almondvale Stadium. The highlight of the match goes to Siobhan Hunters who scored an absolute screamer in the second half to double the Hibees lead.

England draw Belgium, Tunisia and Panama in the 2018 World Cup draw. I’ve never owned a Panama tap?

ONES TO WATCH

Motherwell 1 v 1 Celtic: https://youtu.be/dMjWF4RUqfo

Real Madrid 2 v 2 Fuenlabrada: https://youtu.be/VvQdHV6IPf0

Wayne Rooney: https://youtu.be/aHxHIPQJFNU

Rangers 3 v 0 Aberdeen: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/42075928

Hibernian Ladies 3 v 0 Glasgow City: http://scotwomensfootball.com/sse-sw-cup-final-city-v-hibs/

 

11/10/2017 Issue 32

Arjen Robben has retired from International football. His decision comes after Holland missed out on qualification for the 2018 World Cup. Making his debut in April 2003, Robben has won 96 caps and scored 37 times for his country. Robben narrowly missed out on World Cup glory in 2010 when the Dutch lost in the final by a goal to nil against Spain. Robben played his final game in the famous Oranje against Sweden. He scored 2 goals on the night but it wasn’t enough to take his country to Russia. (His second goal is a peach!)

One man who didn’t miss out on World Cup glory, but who has also chosen to retire from football all together is the one and only Andrew Pirlo. A World Cup winner in 2006, Champions League winner in 2003 & 2007 and a six time Seria A winner; he is considered one of the greatest in the game. The Italian, currently with New York City FC, confirmed on Sunday that he will end his career at the end of the MLS season at the ripe old age of 38. Yet, he still hasn’t ruled out a move to Chelsea with fellow Italian Conte. What a move that would be.

We’re losing a lot of our great legends all at once, and now even the magnifficent Kaka is talking about retirement. But we’ll get over it quick; the magnifficent Paul Merson is to make a comeback for Welsh fourth-tier team Caerau – subject to international clearance of course.

Scotland miss out on another major finals. A draw with Slovenia was not enough to see us through, and our manager made the whole bloody situation worse with reckless and senseless post-game comments. Gordon Strachan, who has left his post as Scotland boss, blamed “genetics” on yet another Scottish failure, claiming that our boys are not tall enough to win headers in the box. The comments were made in reaction to conceding two goals from set pieces. Strachan continued to dig a bigger grave for himself suggesting that we look to selective breeding in order to increase our chances of qualification. I think Olympic gold medalists Katherine Granger, Andy Murray and Sir Chris Hoy would have something to say about that. A poor excuse for a poor campaign riddled with very questionable team selections, impacted by bad decision making and substandard choices of substitutions.

Lionel Messi may have single-handedly taken Argentina to the World Cup Finals in Russia. The Flea’s 44th career hat-trick against Ecuador ensured Argentina finished within the top-four qualification spots. Prior to the game Argentina were sitting in 6th place. The had a terrible start, conceding inside 38 seconds but the G.O.A.T had other ideas and lead his team to a 3-1 victory and a third place finish, sending them to Moscow next summer. Always under scrutiny from people claiming that he doesn’t do it for the national team where silenced over the course of 90 minutes as a doom and gloom situation was turned on it’s head by one magical man.

Panama qualified for their first World Cup with 2-1 win over Costa Rica in the final game.

The USA missed out for the first time since 1986, they lost 2-1 to Trinidad & Tobago.

Syria’s fairy-tale qualification ends in Australia. Ex-Everton striker Tim Cahill scored a brace, Syria had a man sent off and Australia progressed with a 3-2 aggregate to set-up a play-off against Honduras.

The Republic of Ireland have booked their tickets to Russia after James McLean scores the only goal of the night to beat Wales 1-0 in Cardiff.

QUEUE THE THUNDER CLAP as Iceland become the smallest nation to qualify for a World Cup. Remember when this little nation knocked England out of the last 16 of the Euro’s? I certainly do! It’s all us Scots have to live for. Well they’ve found football success again as they become the only country to qualify for a World Cup with a population fewer than one million (335,000). I didn’t buy one for Euro 2016 but I think Iceland blue will do well for me in Russia 2018.

I bet Dennis van Duinen wished someone forgot to press record on the Harkemase Boys TV. The Dutch amateur produced one of the worst open-goal misses you will ever see in your lifetime. Dennis charges through onto an empty goal and still manages to blast the ball over the bar from 10 yards out. At the time his team were 2-0 up, they finished the game in defeat. VW Capelle came away as 3-2 winners. Something tells me he might be dropped for next week’s game.

News of the Week comes from Norway where the Norway Football Association has agreed a deal to pay male and female international footballers equally. It’s the first country in the world to do so. The men’s national team will take a pay cut, while the women’s pay will almost double to ensure both teams are paid equally to represent their country on the international stage.

In other news, Mane is out for 6 weeks and my fantasy fitbaw team is fucked!!

 

ONES TO WATCH/READ

Arjen Robben v Sweden: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3nw518DTrg

World Cup 2018, all you need to know: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/0/world-cup-2018-has-qualified-russia-close-could-argentina-actually/

Messi Magic: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/41580450

Syria’s fairy-tale ends in Australia: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/41580450

Wales 0 – 1 Ireland: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wJbhaN5u9Y

Miss of the season: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/41558174