Football Footnotes – Neville Really Likes Scholes, Robben’s Pretty Good, Jose Does Volcanos and Management Consultants Don’t Work… and more!

  1. Arjen Robben must be the strongest challenger to Messi for the man of the tournament for this year’s Champion’s League. Deciding goals in 3 different encounters, all 3 of them from the top drawer of great goals, and pretty much the reason why Bayern are edging the semis instead of being knocked out by Fiorentina in the early round.
  2. At the same time, kudos to Louis Van Gaal. When Robben remonstrated visibly after being subbed, Van Gaal stopped him on the sideline and gave him a talking to in no uncertain terms. Always good to see managers treat players on their own terms. Discipline and team ethic are like the 12th and 13th man on the pitch.
  3. Mark Schwarzer and Hodgson both addressed the German media in German. Now that’s unusual for English teams. But hey, its Continental Roy. What did you expect?
  4. The Gary Neville/ Paul Scholes kiss has had more airtime this week than probably any other single story. If Neville had an affair with a supermodel, it would not have drawn the same kind of attention. Common views: a) “Ewwww”! Its not homophobia but nobody wants to see Neville kiss anything! b) there’s a lingering tenderness and intensity in the kiss – which is actually quite heartwarming and a reaffirmation that footballers do care about things (nobody more than Neville about beating Man City)

    Kiss Of Life

    You Complete Me!

  5. The stupid award for the week goes to Charles “Insomnia” N’Zogbia – who tried to get somebody else to do his driving test. I understand if you’re a faceless man in the crowd. But a premiership footballer? Is he incredibly humble? Or does he have one defective brain cell?
  6. Mourinho on the volcano giving Inter an unfair advantage… “It’s a volcano, but you never know, maybe I have friends in the Volcano…maybe I’m responsible for this as well”
  7. An amazing season winds to a close. Across each of the 3 top leagues, just 1 point separates the top 2 with the same number of games to play. Could it get any more exciting? Roma lead Inter by a point. Barca are 1 point ahead of Madrid. Chelsea are a point ahead of Man United. Bring it on!
  8. Portsmouth’s debts have been laid bare this week, and among all the debts which add up to some £ 120 million, there’s £ 40 to pukka pies (Grant’s new guilty pleasure?) and (hold your breath) 20p to Qatar Airways. Is there something about discounted fares that Portsmouth know that the rest of us don’t?
  9. A plaintive voice at the Liverpool press conference: Masch explains that the long trip to Hamburg isn’t an issue. “whenever I go to play for my country, it’s 17 hours each way”. What he really means to say to his team mates: “shut the &%*$ up and stop behaving like wusses”
  10. Ian Dowie’s record at Hull now reads played 6, lost 4, drawn 1, won 1. Crucially, he has lost games to the only 2 teams below Hull – Portsmouth and Burnley! Dowie was given the bizarre title of “Football Management Consultant” while the club continues to pay Phil Brown! Bet the Hull Management team are laughing their way to the bank!
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