The Mangerial Malaise Of The Easily Annoyed

petulance

Indefensible. Incredulous. Insane. Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has been described in these terms for years, and then on Saturday he went above and beyond these words in a manner no-one really expected. Well, if you’d never seen him on the touchline. Or read an interview of his. Or seen him on TV. Or knew that he was Newcastle manager. Basically, it was coming, and anyone who didn’t spot the warning signs of his headbutt meltdown on a poor little Hull City Tigers Ltd (TIGERS! TIGERS! TIGERS!) player is more blinkered than a gimp running at Aintree.

Alan Pardew headbutted a player after little to no provocation. As if this season needed any more madness in the eyes of the press;  they were busy enough with the weird travails of most of the other clubs (more of which later) that kept us all amused and kept us tweeting rubbish bullshit to craphead twitterers that never read our shitty posts anyway. But always there,  overshadowed by the banner-headline-back-page-splash was Newcastle, just bubbling along with their normal amount of crazy shennanigans but hardly getting a sniff of comment.

And no headlines is bad for business. Since Mike Ashley (which sounds suspiciously like Machiavelli if you say it underwater) took over, Newcastle have had the run of the back pages every season. Proof? I give you Sam Allardyce’s 2 hours as manager, Mr Joe Kinnear and his infinite wit, Dennis Wise somehow being involved, renaming the gound after a tracksuit, Mr Joe Kinnear and his infinite contact book, consistently losing the derby and probably some other stuff that I can’t be bothered to research.

So maybe BigMan Alan wanted to be on the back pages again? He is Headline in his own mind, Hollywood in his own Folly Hood (shut up – you do better). He is an arch Narcissist, an egomaniac, a colossal prick being paid to be a colossal prick by one of the country’s most colossal pricks. The press this season are all about Man Utd’s spiralling nightmare, Cardiff City’s rent-a-villain owner, Fulham employing managers and hoping for a bulk discount, Hull City adding an animal to their name for no reason, Paolo di Canio, Arsenal continuing their world record attempt of not winning anything, anything Jose Mourinho says or thinks or eats or breathes or looks at, and far too many other cakes to bake. Pardew wants the attention, he craves it. He is the wailing baby who wants someone to come into the nursery because he’s bored.

But he thinks he’s tough – he’s got previous on the cosy touchline where he knows he’s not really going to come to any harm, like the weasly kid at school who picked on the fat kid because Mummy was watching and knew they’s be seperated before it got dangerous (I still hate that skinny bastard kid, and Facebook-stalked him recently to find that his life had completely fallen apart at the seams #I WIN MATTHEW SKINNER). He winds himself up to such a degree it’s a wonder sometimes that he doesn’t come up the tunnel attached to a Red Bull drip having sketches of his most private shames being used to give him papercuts between his toes.

But in defense of the man, look at where he is – Newcastle. Bloody Newcastle! The club where sense goes to die. They hired Mr Joe Kinnear. TWICE. Imagine if your boss was Mr Joe Kinnear; you’d headbutt old ladies on the way to work. Kinnear’s bizarre appointment as Director of Something-Or-Other, charged with making key signings and greasing the wheels of negotiation with Europe’s top clubs was probably a practical joke that got wildly out of control. He’s a man whose juju consisted of swearing and being a dick. So, Mr Joe Kinnear was a factor in Pardew’s momentary mindbent. And because of Mr Joe Kinnear’s utter incompetence, Pardew lost his best player for pennies to one of the richest clubs in the world. At the end of the transfer window. And he’s still got Shola Ameobi  in the squad, somehow. THANKS MR JOE KINNEAR.

When your season is already past its best and dwindling into mid-table mediocishitty for the umpteenth time, your owner is a peddler of slutchavrags, your team is shorn of its only talent, and you’re a maniac with a nice telephone voice but desperately want to be one of the lads, what would you do?

This wasn’t ‘Indefensible’, it wasn’t ‘Incredulous’ and it wasn’t ‘Insane’. This was Inevitable.

The Unscrupulous Kidney

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Shankley. Paisley. Fagan. Kop legends all, these creators of destiny and dynasty; a triumvirate of towering football knowledge and manly manliness. And these three tsars would survey their kingdom from its very core, in the hidden-away but ultra-famous Anfield bootroom. A smelly little room deep in the bowels of the Kop, this is where tactics were thrashed out. A place away from the glare where potential talent could be mulled over. A private spot where men, real men, could talk nothing but football, football, football.

 

The place was never clean, rarely brushed, and rumour has it there were not even chairs; just old crates and boxes to sit on. If you were too nancy to stand, that is. You had to swat the testosterone out of the way to see where you were going- Lordy, it was manly in there.

 

Too manly. In a weird compound of progress and myth-making, this small, dirty, smelly, meta-masculine cell under the stands was boarded up by a new Board, a clean slate needed to rebuild and redress, the bootroom’s notoriety sealed up, and its secrets entombed forever; those three kings of the Kop were long gone, and the mentality of this revered cubbyhole was lost to a bygone era.

 

But by cynically and clinically sealing up this room, something has happened. Something horrible. Something that was an affront to God (not you, Fowler) himself. All that football talk and sweat and manwhiff and repressed sexual tension that the little pissdungeon held was concentrated acutely into some sort of bad energy borne of its sense of abandonment. This evil scream of otherworldliness undiscombobulated into a shard of pure hate and indecency, and grew into a devildart of putridity and terror, an arrowhead of the Antichrist formed in the wrong dimension. With hunger it sought a host; an organism that would be the perfect vessel to plague this world with offense and ugliness and injustice. And lo, it would find that the most perfect of specimens would be on its way too Anfield in but the blink of an all seeing eye… step forward Luis Suarez.

 

Before his arrival at Liverpool, Suarez already had quite the catalogue of   misdemeanours. He took his first European club Groningen to court to force a sale to Ajax. He bit an opponent while with Ajax. He broke the hearts of the entire African continent at the World Cup 2010 with his deliberate handball against Ghana, and then celebrating wildly when the penalty awarded for his infringement was fluffed.

 

It was obvious the malevolence in the bootroom had found its perfect human canoe. It just sat in wait, patiently ticking the tocks until this Damien arrived in the winter transfer window of the 2011-2012 season. And it was at the first photoshoot, standing with the manchild Andy Carroll, that the entity in the bootroom leapt into Suarez’s heart and blackened it into a gloom of the ages. From that moment Luis Suarez no longer really existed. He was never even really there. Cosmically, the moons of the universe had aligned form the entity’s inception and Suarez’s birth just to make this goofy Uruguayan available to it, for the ultimate price of a soul, and to Liverpool, for the club record price (at least for a few hours) of £22.8m.

 

It was from that moment that the darkness really began to shine with this awful Spirit/Suarez soulshare. Blessing him with unique skill with the ball at his feet, it nurtured the darker arts as well – the diving, the fouling etc. But this wasn’t enough for the dark force within. It went one better and verbally attacked the shy and meek Patrice Evra, using the most horrible racist language heard this side of The Den. Notoriety was coming thick and fast now; past crimes were being dug up and used as evidence of psychological imbalance in the player – if only they knew the truth! The toothy face of the being was on the front and back pages of the redtops. But as the furore of this was dying down, he refused to shake Evra’s hand in the return match, and the headlines went mental again. The evil ego was truly stroked.

 

After a few months of treading water, just kicking a ball about a bit, inspiration struck the now empty Suarez – an inspiration so cunning that no-one would be able to fathom anything about the man from thereon in. An act of supreme lunacy – but one that was completely unoriginal! All he needed was an opportunity, and a grisly shoulder.

 

That grisly shoulder came attached to the rest of Branislav Ivanovic, Chelsea’s marauding defender who not many people know is completely made of staplers. That’s why when Suarez bit into the Serb he looked so pained. His morsel of Ottman Bakkal back at Ajax was much tastier indeed, as would be expected of a well-seasoned Dutchman.

 

Now the press didn’t know what the huff to do – was Suarez a maniac, or a lunatic? A madman, or an idiot? Do something weird once, fine, you’re a weirdo, get over yourself. Do it twice – err… I’m not going anywhere the fella. Don’t make eye contact! Just keep walking.

 

He had to use his own daughter as a human shield when walking around the pitch on the opening day of this season, for fear of Kopite reprisals or media flashbulbs (which would show his true form). I fear not only for his daughter’s safety, but for the very souls of us all.  Pray that Suarez, or whatever is left of the man after the darkness has ravaged him so can fight back against the evil within and banish back to the bootroom, or to Hell, or to whichever horrordimension from which it was originally spawn. An evil like this will grow and grow until it has complete dominion over the entire human race, when it will eat history and uncaringly guff our future.

We must all pray to whichever Gods we have time for that something beyond us can help us. We must all be vigilant while Suarez is on the scene. And if he signs for a Champions League club next summer, may God have mercy upon us all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHAMEBUCKET APOSTLES

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“There’s a lady who’s sure/All that glitters is gold/And she’s buying a Stairway To Heaven” – I forget what song this comes from, but it’s relevant more than ever after Arsenal’s 3-1 reverse at home yesterday.

Wenger sent  out the same team as the one that played the final game of last season at St James’s Park (or BJ Sportswear Stadium or whatever it’s called now). The selection was one that he quite rightly stated should’ve won the match, but again there was no marquee summer signing to inspire the fans or spearhead the attack. Giroud was a fair acquisition, but doesn’t look a Prem winner. Gervinho has taken his massive forehead to Italy. Podolski has the legs of a steamed fishfinger.

After a couple of injuries, a sending off and some comical defending, Arsenal flummoxed their way to a humiliating opening day defeat, the fans turned their anger from the ref to Wenger, and Wenger got a  bit uppity in the press conference afterwards when asked about the lack of stellar signings.

It’s all Wenger’s own fault though, as much as he would like to blame ANYONE else but himself. They never refuted a figure of £80m to be fingered into the transfer market to get Arsenal back where they think they belong. They had Higuain in the bag at one point; he was licking the tip of his pen ready too sign. But Arsenal got a whiff of a release clause in Luis Suarez’s contract, and offered to match it, plus £1. How very clever! Higuain stomped off to Napoli, to a team that made it clear they actually wanted him, not just test the waters of the market by keeping him hanging on for a week or two. Liverpool countered that Suarez’s stats for the season, when compared to £81m-rated Gareth Bale, were in fact more productive than the Welshman’s, so why should he be less than half the value? Negotitaions stalled after that. Rooney has been desperate to get out of Manchester at least since the end of last season, and Utd don’t want to sell to Chelsea (a threat) but would be willing to talk to Arsenal (so far from a threat it’s laughable). Any movement on that  one? Of course not.

There is an explanation of course. There have been no major signings, or trophies won, or anything really special happening at Arsenal for nearly a decade, because… because… it’s all a lie. All of it. The Emirates Stadium has  never been more than half built. Using an elaborate set of large convex mirrors and psychic monsters invading our collective mindframes, the arena actually only holds a couple of thousand supporters. That’s why there is such a waiting list for season tickets. There is no money coming in, and the £80m ‘war-chest’ spoken of at the start of the summer was actually part of an imagined poem by Jack Wilshere after a lemon juice binge. The lie goes much further though. Do you honestly believe that names such as Sir Chips Keswick, Ivan Gazidis and Lord Harris of Peckham are real? These are composite characters of a madman’s imagination, now running a company that ceased to exist when Highbury was abandoned. It’s all a sham, one that we all buy into, and we should  all be ashamed. The FA, the Premier League, FIFA, UEFA, Sky and other vested interests have to perpetuate the lie to maintain an unenviable Status Quo. Even Spurs know about all this, but like the challenge of finishing the season below an imaginary team. We all swallow this medicine, just so that someone else’s club is on the back pages for the wrong reasons, and not our club. Unless you’re Newcastle.

Stairway to Heaven! That’s what it’s called. Silly old me.

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JUICING ON THE SEAFRONT

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These things will definitely happen this season, if they haven’t already…

Aston Villa: Lambert’s programme notes consist of nothing but Alanis Morrisette lyrics, but not ‘Ironic’, as he disagrees with the accuracy of the metaphor.

Arsenal: Wenger takes matters into his own hands and launches a winter break for his team. Deducted 20pts but still finish ahead of Spurs.

Cardiff: Malky Mackay challenges everyone in the world to a bare-chested, winner-stays-on arm wrestling competition. Nobody comes forward and he declares himself Master of The  Universe.

Chelsea: All players go blackface after a couple of seasons being completely misunderstood about their attitude towards racism. JT spends his time crying, making monkey noises at himself, and falling through a looking glass of self doubt and diminishing identity.

Crystal Palace: Holloway quits after completing his PhD in Medieval Politics and Media Studies.

Everton: Martinez builds a robot to replace the definitely departing Fellaini; the robot instantly turns on Kone and Baines after a misplaced pass, ruling both out for the rest of the season. Martinez retires to his shed to try and build a time machine to warn himself, about himself.

Fulham: As one of the promises made in the takeover from Al-Fayed, the Michael Jackson statue replaces Berbatov at half time vs Swansea. Opta stats show increased work rate value.

Hull: Steve Bruce invokes the spirit of Loki for disastrous team talks  that end with a pretend blood sacrifice.

Liverpool: As punishment for his latest inevitable infringement on human decency, Luis Suarez spends six weeks adrift in international waters on a raft made of teeth.

Man City: Pellegrini stares himself into another dimension, those sparkling blue eyes seeing dreamy landscapes and impossible vistas that we mere mortals dare not even contemplate.

Man Utd: Moyes can’t believe his luck at getting the job in the first place, realises he’s on a hiding to nothing, and just puts out any old team each week and refuses to get involved with anything at any time. Retain title.

Newcastle: Sack Pardew, replace him with Kinnear. Sack Kinnear, replace him with Curbishley. Sack Curbishley, replace him with Reid. Sack Reid, replace him with McCarthy. Qualify for Europe.

Norwich: Hughton sacked after arriving late for training; his excuses of fighting werewolves at a Hellmouth in the city centre the previous night hold no truck with the directors, all of whom have curiously marked their calendars for the next full moon.

Southampton: Nothing.

Stoke: Hughes’ steampunk slaveshipbicycle gets haunted by the ghost of Robbie Williams’ success, and remains uninhabitable.

Sunderland: Players and coaching staff are badly injured when Di Canio releases a Lion into the dressing room after a disappointing first half at home to Fulham. Lion is subdued by a visiting Bill Turnbull.

Swansea: Martin Laudrup sets a passing Lego meatbus alight with pyrotelekenesis.

Tottenham Hotspur: AVB utilises only 10 players each match after refusing to replace Gareth Bale. Remaining players are told to play into the space Bale would have been in, and hope his lingering spirit can beat a man, cut inside, and score a screamer.

WBA: Steve Clarke lives as Barbara Streisand for the season; it’s  a complete success.

West Ham: Forty Spanish police are injured when Allardyce tries to instigate a one-man coup at the Nou Camp, telling anyone that will listen that he’s good enough for Barca.

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Bellowing From The Edge

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Bastards with mediabents and tellybytes troll each other when the latest slutmed reports of ‘Experiment J-W’ land on their impossibly empty desks. It’s the daily update, delivered at 9am sharp, by a crankquacks dreamquashed assistant. Todays report is a snapshot of the progress being made by the subject, after a worrying reaction to the GAB virus, introvenously fed to said subject, for the last seven moons.  Subject is back to a normalised and stable condition.

These moneyheads waddle to Meeting Room A2 in Sky Towers to discuss the next course of action now that the experiment is back on track. The only agenda item: Rolling the frail old bugger out for the audience, Sunday, 7.30pm. It’s a risk; expose the body too early and it could applecrumble under the studio lights and the pressure of a million-strong viewership. But (Transfer) Deadline Day is skulking like a patient assassin, and needs are to be met.

The Bastards (who it is well known are made entirely of oil and earthworms) inspect the subject in its hyperoxygen tank in the bowels of Sky Towers, on Sub-Level Beta, Lab44.  The subject (referred to by its carers as ‘Jim’) is tiny now, starved of nourishment and  contact. The retroviruses and petroblood lines pierce all the main arteries of the poor ‘Jim’ and it’s obvious he has been clawing at the glass again in a sorry attempt at escape. Dried tears around his eyes are not from sadness but the bleak frustration of his own condition, and the crusted blood under the toenails has a mysterious story that only the most diligent of his doctors care to whisper about.

‘Jim’ is a pathetic glob of a man, reduced by chemicals, castration and incarceration to a savage shell of drips, engorged genitalia and fury. A weedy newby Bastard cautiously approches the tank, slowly extending an open palm, there-is-no-threat-from-me, like. ‘Jim’ takes no heed and thrashes about his glass prison, screaming into himself, ripping the wires from his veins. “NO!” a bearded doctor shouts at Jim as he thwacks the tank with a kosh. “DOWN!” he shouts, as he thwacks it again. The little ‘Jim’ cowers in the corner, sobbing and snotting from nose to mouth.

The doctor explains that too much attention now will distress the subject, there may be too much damage already from previous years exposures, and that he recommends that although it (barely) passes the physical rigours, the emotional toll of an audience this soon will strain the psyche out of known measures. There is the safety of the other performers to consider.

“Fuck that, Specs” gnarled the Chairman of the Bastards. “Sunday. Every Sunday. I want that ready for Deadline Day.” And with that, he took a final scowl at Jim, and lead his minions out of the lab. Beardy doctor knew that the word of God was absolute; it had to be ready on Sunday, every Sunday, until Deadline Day – the Main Event.

The exercise equipment was bought out and Jim was put through his paces – laziness got the better of him and he just didn’t bother getting any psych work done. As the doctor had already said, Jim was physically acceptable, but emotically cracked. His expert mind deduced this by the way Jim nearly scratched his own cheek off after doing nine miles on the bouncy ball. Improvements were not made during weight-training, as four orderlies had to hold him down as he tried to insert a dumbell into his rectum. He tried to eat the air and ended up burping his PIN code, to which he fell about laughing and vomitting. He tore a hole in his eyelid to see a secret arsegod.

Could they really give this man airtime? Time is running out, forever out, especially if you happen to believe that time only goes in one direction.

And so to now: The Sunday Transfer Show is on screens now, and itseems to be him practising and learning the boundaries of decency. Like he’s unaware he’s being filmed, but just trying to reintegrate into sofa society.

But the real test will be Deadline Day. A day long monotony of deals happening and collapsing, a day of Harry Redknapp hanging around in car parks babbling cockney twatticisms, and the omnibollocks yellow Transfer Ticker line, relentlessly reminding Jim of his own insignificance. Sky’s public stance on Experiment JW is that he’s a great personality and a valued team member, leading from the front on one of the most frantic nights of the SSN calendar. They hype his very arrival at the studios, and the viewers know they will get an enthusiastic and excited performance from one of the best in the business. He’s the posterboy of SSN. His gaudy yellow tie has been put in the National Football Museum, ferchristsakes.

But don’t believe a word. They are using this poor broken maniac as a puppet, just winding him up and taunting him with the hope that his own personal Hell will one day be over. But it won’t. They will keep this git alive forever, and release him into our collective conciousness once a year, like a Christmas Tree or an Easter Egg. Shit that can be put away and forgotten about. Feel sorry for Jim White. And be afraid for his colleagues’ safety.

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Nigel Bannister’s Temporary Mindwarp

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It’s Vicarage Road. Yes it is. It’s 20th September 2008. Yes it is. It’s 3:13pm. Yes it is.

Stephen Hunt swings in a corner, which hits Eustace on the thighs. Noel Hunt scampers after the loose ball, attempting, unsuccessfully, to cut it back from the byline before it bobbles out of play, wide of the goal.  Miss.

Nigel Bannister, linesman for the day, sees the ball go wide. It’s definitely a miss. He raises his flag to alert the referee (a babyfaced and babybodied Stuart Atwell). But the raising of said flag causes brainweirdness in the usually astute and dependable Bannister. As the flag climbs higher and higher into the air, the weirder the strangeness within becomes for our proto-protag. The brainelectricals and synaptic overflow-chutes clog and cloudburst together, all sizzle and snap. Frazzling and popping. A thought tumbles out of a crescendo of cranial carnage. A lone thought. A brave thought. A terrible thought.

“What if”. Unknowingly within our man, Bannister has a “What if”. Id and superego unaware, this lonely insane spew stretches beyond known reason in this collapsing thoughtuniverse created by a hopeful toepoke. “What if”, Bannisters mind selfmelts, “that which was never a goal, was a goal?”

This momentary insanity folds upon itself again and again, existential and stretched to mobius nonexistence. That which is not, is. The event that did  not occur, therefore was never witnessed. None can deny it was not a goal..but what of the impossiblility of witnessing a non-event? Zero is death. Infinite events multiplied by no events equals nothing. So it stands to drowned gasping reason that an event that did not occur in this dimension cannot have occurred if infinity is possible. For zero, there is infinity. For God, the devil. For Stuart Atwell, Nigel Bannister. Goal given. Chaos.

Skip forward nearly five years – Atwell is berated and abused for not overuling his linesman, disbelieving his own eyes – a young mans career forever smeared by parallel universes created and destroyed in a flicker of time in a fellow official’s usually  trustworthy skullgoo. Bannister today is out of the limelight.

But that ‘Phantom Goal’ (TM every journo who covered it) seeped like a bastard malevolence into the game, the already shouty calls for video technology or radar systems, the development of microchipped balls, or trapping the saddest souls of long dead refs jailed within the side netting, these stupidities become louder and louder with further fervour and bullishment, a tidalcack of bent ideas has now finally broken ashore. Hawkeye is here.

This coming season, a series of aluminium matchstalker robots will prod the ref when the ball crosses the line, avoiding the crapchute fallout of the Bannister Breakdown, the Mendes Mindfuck and other recent embarrasments. Cameras with infrared tech and scant regard for humanity, art or history will ring the division bell and rob fans of debatable goal-line eyeburps. The ball crosses the line to a millimetrically precise measure, and those silvery boxes wil instantly signal the ref  on his wireless and tasteless watch – goal. If the ball thunders past the left upright in such a way that Zeus can tell it’s not in the net – no goal.

These metal monsters will idly perch, waiting, watching. It’s worked in tennis and cricket. Hawkeye is slowly eating our sports of interest and intrigue. Some may say Hawkeye is slowly placating the most combustible elements in society: excited sports fans. People who pledge allegiance and loyally stick with said nail-in-the-post ideals. Quiten these elements, sedate them with clinical fact and cold science, and a societal gap perforates unseen. Those fans, those sometimes aggresive peoples, can be robbed of their passion and oomph. And this will obviously and inevitably lead to a riseofthemachinesendofdaysapocalypse scenario, when these Hawkeye automatons will be easily able to rule us from on high, these steel gods will judge and wipe us out, straggling bands of survivors will scrabble about eeking out their final hours desperately trying to switch off the power, and every one of us will be infrared-lasered out of this world and it’s history. The end of the game. The final whistle. An early bath for humans.

Thanks Nigel. Thanks a bunch.

robot army