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Facing the Chels? - best let the Sidewinder-upper sleep


Dorset

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Has anyone noticed that this season’s Premiership run-in has seen a sea change of epic proportions - and I’m not talking about the closeness of the finish? No, what I’m on about is the slow, but sure, humiliation of the windup merchant’s trade at the highest level in our game, as evidenced in recent weeks by the number of calamitous attempts, all aimed at CFC, that have seen the perpetrators make complete and very public prats of themselves. Not surprisingly, and thankfully for those of us who like ‘avin a larf, these so called exponents of the Mind Game are not a patch on Jose, have not got up our noses, but instead only succeeded in going down in the estimation of the general public, hence the sea change a-coming. Need convincing? Well, here are my contenders for the…

Blindingly Obvious Bull-****ter of the Year Award (with appropriate citations) and the ever popular...

P(oor) F(****ing) A(ttempt) Team Award

1. Arsene Wenger - nominated in the ‘Can’t Let It Rest’ category, following defeat at the hands of the Chels last month that saw his team plummet like a dead parrot from its Premiership perch. Still bitter several weeks later and not helped by Flamini’s departure, he manages(?) a steady climb to the moral high ground to deliver an attack on our club’s morality, loosely based on the fact that we are able to attract better players to swell our ranks than the Gunners can in their current circumstances. Perhaps the restrictive cost of a £400m stadium has something to do with it, but, be that as it may, our morals are brought into question and not those of their neighbours at 3 Point Lane, even though they too can outbid bid them and presumably did so to get Modric to sign up for an out-of-Big-Four experience.

No mention either, in all this moralistic nonsense, of Newcastle being a second choice for the midfielder, thereby pushing the deceased parrot further down the pecking order, and one can only assume that a recent Wenger behind-the-scenes attempt to bolster a rapidly diminishing midfield (Hleb or Fabregas anyone?) must have come undone somewhere due to our immoral dealings with someone somewhere and that this has yet to come to light. Let’s face it, Arsene, if you pay peanuts you get nobody that’s any good these days, so don’t blame us if the point is rammed down your throat by Juande Ramos - it’s just plain silly to rope us in and leads to an award nomination like this one.

2. Rafa Benitez - nominated under the ‘What’s This [A Wasps Nest] Let’s Give It A Poke’ category and with specific reference to the second leg of the CL Semi-final. Classic, traditional windup of main opposition player combined with less than friendly fire at officialdom. Talk about a spectacular failure! Will this guy ever learn? Let’s hope not, where we are concerned, because the sight of Didier sliding towards the Benitez bunker will live long in the memory and more than made up for the if-we-win-again-we-own-you jibes from his moronic followers. Backing Benny at the present time is a bit like watching an overweight tightrope walker - you kinda know he is treading a fine line, you cant trust Tom Hicks to keep the wire taut, and there’s bound to be one helluva bump when he hits the deck.

Scuttling back to Spain remains an option, but in the meantime another yearly dose of £50m will keep him contented [if not in contention] and keep the rest of us chuckling at the duplicity of only going for one competition every season, winning nothing, yet still getting away with it. For this reason alone [okay, the beard as well] he has to be regarded as the joker in any windup pack and the longer he stays at Anfield the more chance they’ll be for him to win the award (nothing much else) or be found out.

3. Alan Curbishley - nominated under the ’Sycophantically Suits You, Sir!’ category with special regard to the sheer audacity of prejudging an unsettled issue, involving two managerial colleagues, prior to vicariously rolling over and having your tummy tickled by one of the parties concerned. You may think that this all sounds pretty unsavoury [and you’d be right], but bonus points [probably in the form of goals conceded even when playing with an extra man] should be awarded to this character for finding a novel way of winding up a rival London club whilst simultaneously ingratiating himself with a knight of the realm - no mean feat when you’re struggling to prove to your own fans that you are a proper manager in charge of a proper football team and risk having your cover well and truly blown before the end of the season. Still, Curbs is nothing if not a trier for this award, if not in the Premiership against Sir Alex last week, and I wouldn’t rule him out just because his approach is different from the rest. As that famous moralist Arsene Wenger might say - they cant touch you for it.

4. [Assorted members of] the ManU Warm Down Team - Realistically, this group of wind up merchants should be handed the award without further ado, but ado there will be because the FA insist on presenting something at sometime to somebody as an add-on to my PFA award. I’m guessing this will be after the Champions League Final, but only just before Hell freezes over, thereby causing a delay in presentation. In the meantime, for those with short memories, it does no harm to recount the circumstances leading to nomination - players warming down, mowers mowing, time elapsing, penalty boxes [should be] emptying, ‘We‘ll ****ing run where we want to-ing’, followed by fighting. Has to be a major contender windup-wise in anybody’s book and you cant expect the whole sorry mess to be swept under the green carpet, however much you try to mow over it.

At this stage Evra and his crew are way ahead in the voting, if only on the basis of an allegedly hilarious submission to the FA by United that includes the allegation of a racist remark aimed at Patrice, even though he has said that he was not aware of any such comment being made. Looks like once United get into windup mode they find it difficult to stop and, allowed to go unchecked, we should expect a Fergie rant anytime now, feigning disbelief at the lengths some ground staff will go to get into the newspapers, followed by a massive Media friendly advance on Moscow.

Usually the man himself is up for this type of award year on year, but somehow he has always avoided being the recipient, what with venerability being at a premium in football and vulnerability being something his Red Devils are never, ever, accused of, or admit to. The next two games are going to test Media resolve in this department to the full, so let us hope that our late season displays of understated excellence continue while the cracks appearing elsewhere become too obvious to ignore.

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I think Fergie has learned that he can't wind us up. This week he attacked Bolton, suggesting that a party their players attended 6 days before the game accounted to a rolling over at Chelsea. Result:Bolton fight very hard at the Bridge and snatch a late equalizer to rub salt into the wound.

Clever Bugger.

at least he can't wind up other clubs for the CL final. His attempts in the media will be fascinating in their impotence. Grant is great at stonewalling media wind ups. His response to Fergies Bolton rant was hilarious, "I think he(Sir Alex) works for Mossad. But I can't say" Brilliant.

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