Tuesday, 30 November 2010
We don’t enjoy all this ranting and raving, you know. Bushby’s already got notoriously high blood pressure. But sometimes it is absolutely necessary. It would have been really nice to write a celebration of Barcelona’s masterclass in El Clasico, or an excitable review of the FA Cup draw, which is sending York to Bolton in January. Unfortunately, though, Panorama broadcast a programme about corruption in FIFA, and the Sun shat itself.
Friday, 26 November 2010
*Honorary northerner and fellow York City fan Alex Moore makes his Magic Spongers debut with an impassioned support of the man with the whistle who may or may not be of dubious parentage.
The more I think about it, the more I love the idea of referees going on strike. They are like slaves, constantly belittled by their masters and endlessly derided in public. The ugly face of an otherwise beautiful game. Never respected, and NEVER given a voice of their own. Until now. So fuck you Neil Lennon. Fuck you Steve Bruce. And fuck you Tony Pulis.
"How many times do I have to say SORRY"
While all the talk before the United-Rangers game centred on speculation regarding the type of reception Wayne Rooney would get, was I the only one to doff my imaginary hat at the way Sir Alex Ferguson has dealt with this situation from start to finish? When Sir Alex persuaded the Glazers to put their hands deep into their moth-infested (and possibly empty) pockets to keep Rooney at Old Trafford, I would imagine he sold it to them thus: “I want him to rot in the reserves for his insolence if I’m to tell the truth. But I tell you what we’ll do. Offer him what Stretford wants. Give him the £250k a week. Give him a get-out clause.”
Wednesday, 24 November 2010
'No, I don't know what happened to that unicorn'
Well bugger me, it’s the Champions League this week. AGAIN. Where are we up to at the moment? Oh, it’s the penultimate group games. Well, that could be exciting – maybe Real haven’t qualified ye- oh no, never mind. Maybe United-Rangers will be a mouth-watering contest, as surely United need to go and get a win to be sure of- oh no, no they don’t. What about a real continental fixture? Maybe if Panathanaikos get something off Barcelona at home it’ll make things diffi-, oh no, Barca’s last game is at the Camp Nou against a team with no wins. Well they still want to win their group of cour- NO. NO THEY DON’T. NO ONE CARES.
Monday, 22 November 2010
As we all know, it doesn’t take a lot for Didier Drogba to prostrate himself on the turf in the penalty area, arms aloft, looking beseechingly at the referee like a dog that’s just shat in his kitchen and can’t work out why the newspaper’s being rolled up. On this occasion, midway through Chelsea’s game with Birmingham City, he hadn’t been shoved, kicked or pushed. He just couldn’t believe he hadn’t scored.
Friday, 19 November 2010
My attention has been drawn to the The Sun's latest back page offering and by jingo, it's a little belter. I'd just like to say The Sun gets it absolutely spot on yet again. Congratulations to Paul Jiggins for his hilarious riposte. Here's to The Sun. And here's to Paul Jiggins. The bastions of good sense and reasoned response. AMEN THE SUN. And Paul Jiggins. In your FACE Magic Spongers. Or should I say, Magic Shits. Mark Bright
Thursday, 18 November 2010
The FUTURE of England
We’re up on the Mount again, get ready for the sermon everyone. We wouldn’t have had to do this if Gareth bloody Southgate had kept his mouth shut at half time. But he didn’t, did he. Or if the Sun hadn’t thought it hilarious to lead on the back page today with ‘Prat in a hat’. But they did, didn’t they. It is with a beleaguering sense of déjà vu that we find ourselves taking issue with imbeciles who don’t understand the game. Or at least understand it in some utterly warped parallel universe kind of way where England are placed sixth in the Fifa world rankings. Oh shit, THEY ARE.
Tuesday, 16 November 2010
For the majority of the 2010-11 season, Chelsea have resembled a well-oiled machine – a well-oiled steamroller, to be precise. Opening with six straight league wins and 21 goals led most to predict that the title was already over and that we might as well go back to patronising Blackpool, slagging off the Premier League for being processional rather than professional, and not knowing quite what to make of the fact that Andy Carroll lives with Kevin Nolan.
Friday, 12 November 2010
"My squad is 'this' big. So FUCK OFF"
Magic Spongers doesn’t often identify with Premier League managers, but in Ian Holloway, we appear to have found a kindred spirit. Holloway has a particularly aesthetic football philosophy; we love to see football played the ‘right way’. Holloway has a thick regional accent; we are staunch Northerners. We both know, deep down, that we’re probably going to win more friends than matches. And most importantly, Holloway has been known to rail against the establishment like a bearded West Country Dixy Chick, and if there’s one thing we love, it’s a good rant (and we are more than a bit partial to the old Dixie Chicks too).
Tuesday, 9 November 2010
In the same week the front page of the News of the World screamed ‘COKE AND ORGY SHAME’, the back pages were heralding a new dawn for the English centre forward. Central to both these stories was the slightly controversial Newcastle striker Andy Carroll. That the NOTW article was a non-story will come as no surprise – ‘young, rich, single man has sex with young woman and denies taking cocaine,’ being the gist. But it isn’t this that concerns me. What concerns me is Joey Barton clambering onto the ‘Carroll for England’ bandwagon (and presumably furthering his own case, which is stronger) and urging Fabio Capello to dispense with his penchant for ‘goody two-shoes’ players. Would these ‘goody two-shoes’ be the likes of Wayne Rooney, Ashley Cole, Steven Gerrard, Rio Ferdinand and John Terry, Joey?
Times in Manchester, they are a-changing. Sir Alex Ferguson has never before had to entertain the fact that his neighbours are not only getting ideas above their station, but are capable of finishing the season there too. Manchester City were never supposed to have the resources for such heady achievement and the belief among their supporters, as increasingly ludicrous names and fees are bandied about each week, will only be boosted by the concern (financial and sporting) engulfing United’s. With three great spectacles and one dramatic Paul Scholes late show last season, we should anticipate another classic. Manchester derbies are back with a vengeance.
Friday, 5 November 2010
Here at Magic Spongers, we’ve never been ones to shirk the challenge of launching a stream of invective at anyone/thing we feel needs a dressing down, John Sitton-style. Well my attention was drawn to an article Mark Bright wrote for the Metro earlier in the week and the hair dryer is going to well and truly come out as a result.
Wednesday, 3 November 2010
Goodwill towards clubs tends to ebb and flow. The outpouring of cheer that greeted Portsmouth’s FA Cup triumph in 2008 and their fleeting European campaign was soon replaced with astonishment and incredulity over the club’s mismanagement and overstretching of its resources. Pompey have since been held up as an irresponsible example of club ownership, an exhibit of the trappings of trying to build on Premier League status, reckless proponents of spending beyond your means and ultimately, as they slid down the Premier League the following season, a bit of a joke.