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Monday, 28 February 2011

Ruling Nothing Out

Not for the first time on a Monday morning – if you take out the obligatory ‘is this a dream?’ moment upon reading the headline ‘Ashley Cole shoots youth with rifle’ – ill-discipline and FA/Premier League sanctioning (or lack of) are the order of the day. Wayne Rooney, certainly, should have been punished. Gary Caldwell, too, committed a dreadful tackle on Patrice Evra for which he was lucky to escape the referee’s attentions. Neither were particularly necessary challenges, but at least Caldwell was in the vicinity of a player with the ball. Rooney’s elbow on James McCarthy bordered on assault.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Championship? You're Having A Laugh

Premier League? Piece of piss

Three of the more unexpected stars of this Premier League season so far, at least at Magic Spongers HQ, have been Blackpool’s Charlie Adam, Newcastle’s Andy Carroll and begrudgingly, his teammate Joey Barton. More remarkable than the fact they have held their own against Gerrard, Lampard, Drogba and Fabregas et al this season is that all three were Championship players less than a year ago.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Strength In Reserve

"What the HELL was I watching on YouTube?"

We awake this morning to a brave new world. A new order is established comrades, as it has emerged that Manchester United and Arsenal have dreadfully weak squads, that behind their first elevens they can only muster players of a lower-league standard and they had better have a bloody good think about that before having the temerity to beat Barcelona or win any league titles in future.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Podcast Episode One: Gennaro Gatusso's Lollipop

Apples and onions

Literally Corner... LIVE

A Gennaro Gatusso role play in which Rob impersonates a lady (poorly). It can only be our attempt at a podcast. Click this beautiful Caravaggio to listen.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Another Fine Messi

Overratedness and its bedfellow hype are everywhere in football. Their prevalence makes finding their antonym very satisfying. Whisper it, but Lionel Messi might just be a tad underrated. Bear with me.

We are bombarded by images, from billboards and Sky Sports to You Tube via Facebook and back. It is this infiltration of the everyday by the image, maximised by the omnipotent presence of the internet, that takes away the most romantic notion of mystery. What was once mystery then takes the form of myth. Cardiff City fans telling you Robin Friday was the best player they ever saw (and you never saw). The delicious and possibly apocryphal anecdote from Roker Park, May 9 1973, centring on Stan Bowles being egged on by his teammates to knock the FA Cup off a trestle table by the side of the pitch, triggering chaos on Wearside. Alfredo Di Stefano amusing his Real Madrid teammates by juggling a bar of soap in the changing room.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

FA Needs Futsal Up Arse

“How did players such as Luis Figo, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Robinho and Roberto Carlos develop skills that set them apart from other players?” the English FA’s website asks plaintively (and not unreasonably). “What did they do as youngsters that provided them with the basis to becoming some of the world’s best players?” it continues. Holy shit, I thought. The FA have cracked it. They’ve put two and two together and got four, rather than three or five or Prince William. The future of the nation’s youth development is finally upon us.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Making Football More Appealing

8.1, 9.2, 8.5, 9.1. He'll be happy with that

We all hate diving. But what to do about it? Ladies and Gentleman, welcome to Magic Spongers Mr Ben Wall.

There are countless sides to every argument in football, divergence on the most basic principles and downright disbelief at some of the decisions we see on a Saturday (by players, managers and referees alike). This isn’t going to change.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Great Expectations By Charles Dickheads

“Fifty million quid means that you are not entitled to much in the way of allowances,” asserted the Guardian’s Richard Williams, a day after the £50m Fernando Torres made a debut to forget. And he’s right. But after one game – 66 minutes to be precise – Williams likened Torres to Chris Sutton. Specifically, the Chelsea-brand Chris Sutton. The one Premier League goal in 29 appearances Chris Sutton. Still, he’s not entitled to much in the way of allowances, eh Mr Williams?

To Hull And Back

Not even the sagest of scribes could have predicted Blackpool’s sensational 2010. Unless you’ve been on the moon, you know that the Seasiders went from relegation fodder in the Championship to the best thing to happen to Premier League football since a beach ball scored a goal against Liverpool. Their direct impact on people actually enjoying watching the league this season is rivalled perhaps only by Sian Massey.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Reassuringly Irrelevant


Fresh from guaranteeing that the world’s elite footballers will all boil to death on the surface of Qatar in 2022, current governing body FIFA has decided to preoccupy itself with how best to keep body temperatures high until the W-oil-d Cup in the Middle East. The International Football Association Board (IFAB) – the game’s lawmaker, made up of FIFA, the FA and the three other home nations – will host its Annual General Meeting on March 5 at Celtic Manor in Wales. TAKE THAT FA. Not even fit to host your own admin meetings.

FIFA submits a report to the IFAB in preparation for the meeting. On the agenda, which presumably doesn’t include the whole ‘rooting out corruption’ thingy, are snoods. Fucking hell. SNOODS.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Crawley's Cup Runneth Over

"Never you mind how much we're on a week"

With all the batshit mentalism flying around in the Premier League on transfer deadline day, I’ve decided not to dignify it with a response. Aside from an unintelligible ‘URGH?!?!’. No doubt the Sky Sports Newsroom resembled some sort of binge-driven party aftermath this morning, as Jim White stumbled around mumbling something about helicopters and Iain Dowie’s face, and Bryan Swanson beats the shit out of what was LITERALLY his transfer window, screaming something about being a proper journalist and not a glorified gameshow assistant.