It’s only a game
So it turns out Patrice Evra doesn’t always “love this game”, as we saw last week when he attempted to KICK A FAN IN THE HEAD… Yep, Patrice went straight-up old-skool Street Fighter on his own fans. In fact, in his next Instagram video he should change his catchphrase from “I love this game!” to “Hadouken!”
As a result Evra was shown a red card – no surprise there – and it got me thinking about the most shocking red card moments I’ve seen in my years as a football fan. So here’s my top 10, in reverse order:
10. Eden Hazard (vs Swansea, January 2013)
Remember when Hazard was sent off for kicking the ball from under the Swansea ball boy? – Although let’s be honest; that had to have been the oldest ball boy I’ve ever seen in my life. Man was nearly as big as Hazard! He looked like he had a wife and kid at home.
9. Steven Gerrard (vs Man Utd, March 2015)
He came, he stamped, he went off… That was how you could sum up Steven Gerrard’s game. If you were late to coming back to the 2nd half you would’ve missed it. He came and went in under a minute… Sort of like my sex life!
8. David Beckham (vs Argentina, June 1998)
This was the first BIG England red card I had seen… And man did Beckham suffer. I remember the papers giving him 0/10 and costing us the tournament… Yea, cos we all know had he stayed on we would’ve beaten Argentina and gone on to win the World Cup beating the likes of France and Brazil (eyes rolling).
7. Roy Keane (vs Man City, April 2001)
I couldn’t have a list of red cards and not include the captain of red cards himself! The man who somehow brought GBH to a football pitch. This dude purposely set out to injure Alfe Inge Haaland and even admitted it in his book… “I have many regrets in my life and he’s not one of them”… Roy Keane is so scary if he fouled me I’d just say thank you!
6. Paolo Di Canio (vs Arsenal, September 1998)
Ok this one was shocking at the time, as it was so random and never been seen before, but it wasn’t THAT bad… Yea he pushed the ref, which you can’t do, but at the same time that ref needed to hit the weights! He went down like he had just been dropkicked by The Undertaker!
5. Luis Suarez (vs Chelsea, April 2013)
The biter… Still can’t work out what possessed a grown man to bite like that. Is he half footballer, half vampire? And to make it worse he went and did it again at the World Cup! Dude bites so much even Mike Tyson would be like “You got a problem!”
4. Kieran Gibbs (vs Chelsea, March 2014)
Dear Andre Marriner, Black Lives Matter!!! So The Ox handles the ball on the line and the ref sends off Kieran Gibbs! What, do all light-skin bruddas look the same? The only how it could’ve been any worse was if in his little notebook Marriner wrote down ‘Walcot.’
3. Zidane (vs Italy, July 2006)
What a way for one of the greats to go out! In his last game and in the World Cup final, Zizu charged into Materazzi’s chest like a raging bull. What did Materazzi say to get him so riled up? I can only assume it was the most brutal ‘your mum’ cuss ever!
2. Lee Bowyer & Kieron Dyer (vs Aston Villa, April 2005)
I’m not gonna lie, there was a part of me that was hoping the ref would just let them fight – the winner got to play on and the loser had to leave. It was shocking at first and then awkward a few days later when they posed shaking hands for a photo.
1. Eric Cantona (vs Crystal Palace, January 1995)
The most insane red card moment for me… I would’ve only been 10 at the time and remember thinking “Are football players allowed to do that?” Turns out they aren’t! But Cantona wasn’t someone to live according to rules.
So what do you think? Are there any I’ve missed out? Who’d be in your top 10?
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I missed the game versus Slovakia on Sunday, although from what I hear it sounds like I didn’t miss much. But what I did hear from the game is that Wayne Rooney was playing deep in midfield, and then the next day I saw a quote from Sam Allardyce saying it’s not for him to tell Rooney where to play…
Really? Really Sam? It’s not your place to tell Rooney where to play? As the manager, I think it bloody is mate!
And this brings me on to my main gripe, as I feel like we’re going around and around in a constant never-ending loop when it comes to Rooney, regardless of the manager.
I’m not knocking Rooney. I think he’s a great player and when his career is done people will look back and think of him as a class player BUT he shouldn’t be shoehorned into the side, which at the moment is how it feels. It feels like the manager, be it Hodgson or now Allardyce, are scared to drop him if they can’t find a place in the team for him.
I’m not saying Wayne should be dropped. But if you play him, play him where he’s playing for his club, where’s he’s been so effective for over a decade, where he can do most damage to the opposition, as a number 10. If he doesn’t fit in there, then drop him. Don’t put him in a deeper midfield role where you’ve got players who are in much better form there like Danny Drinkwater and Delle Alli sitting on the bench.
Why is the manager so scared to drop him if need be? What do they think will happen? Do you know what happened the last time an England side played without Wayne Rooney? They came from 2-0 down to beat Germany on their own patch! We’ve got the players to form a very good team. But at the moment it seems like one player is prioritised over the team.
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I was listening to the radio the other day and the various presenters/guests/pundits were going through who they’d pick for their England squad for the Euros if they were Roy Hodgson. Now I’m normally quite a cool and calm person but within ten minutes of listening I was screaming at the radio such things as “How the hell can you take him?!”… “But he’s been shit this season!”… “Why you being a bellend for?!” So I thought I’d share my 23-man England squad for the Euros if I were Hodgson (minus the space monkey jokes)… What do you think?:
*ONLY if Jack Wilshere is fit. If not replace him with Fabian Delph or James Milner.
**ONLY if Wayne Rooney is fit. Otherwise replaced with Andy Carroll or Troy Deeney.
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So last week there was lots of gossip on Twitter (which means it’s definitely true right? I mean Twitter and Wikipedia are the most reliable sources on the web) that Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge was going to retire, at the tender age of 26.
Obviously I don’t believe it, and I wish Sturridge a speedy recovery from this injury nightmare that’s been so bad even Darren Anderton and Owen Hargreaves would go “Dyam!!!” On his day, a fit Daniel Sturridge I believe is the best No.9 Roy Hodgson has at his disposal – yep, that’s right I said it. Better than Kane, Rooney, Vardy. Even better than the greatest England No.9 in football history… Michael Ricketts.
But I was thinking, what IF Sturridge were to retire? Then what? What would he do? What would be his next career move? I’ve come up with a few ideas…
- Sturridge becomes a judge on Strictly Come Dancing.
- Sturridge releases a series of Keep Fit videos… Can you imagine, “How To Keep Fit with Daniel Sturridge”? The irony!
- He’s brought back out of retirement… By Manchester United!
- He becomes the face of the Children’s books Where’s Wally?, which are appropriately renamed ‘Where’s Danny?’
- Sturridge decides he wants to pursue acting… His first role is a part on Casualty.
Any other suggestions?
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No, the above title is not a sarcastic quip, but a genuine question. Is Pep Guardiola really all that? Don’t get it twisted, I’d love to have him at Brentford FC (Anytime you like Pep. You’ll enjoy the West London lifestyle). His achievements since swapping the playing boots for a manager’s blazer should definitely be admired and appreciated, which they are. But how good is Guardiola really? How good a manager is he? In my personal opinion, I don’t think we really know yet.
Yes, he’s got his teams playing lovely beautiful football on the way to trophy after trophy, but let’s look at the teams he’s managed and the environment they’ve been in…
Barcelona in La Liga; In the Spanish top flight you have Barcelona and Real Madrid (with Atletico in the last few years) dominating proceedings, steamrolling teams week in, week out. La Liga is so predictable it makes the Scottish Premier League look like the English Championship! Then, look at the players he had at his disposal at the Camp Nou. A team consisting of Carlos Puyol, Xavi, Iniesta, Eto’o, Henry, Messi… How much managing do those guys really need? I’m sure my grandma could be in charge of them and still get them to into the Champions League. I can just imagine her pre-match team talks…
“Alright people, listen up! Dis is mi tactics for today’s game. You in goal, chuck de ball to de bwoy with de shaggy hair. Wha you name is? Pu-what? Puyol? Ok. Chuck de ball to de Puyol bwoy. Den you pass it to either Xavier or X, whatever you name is. Or pass it to Ini-essay. Den you bwoys pass it to de men by de goal. Dats de Messi bwoy, de Va-Va-Voom one or de African bwoy. Ok? You all understand? If you nah follow mi tactics me coming on de pitch with mi belt and lashing you in front of all de fans! No go and play!”
There’s been a similar situation at Bayern. Guardiola took over a team who had just won the treble. He took over a team who had been dominating the league (along with Dortmund) for time! And again, look at his players; Lahm, Neuer, Alonso, Robben, Ribery, Muller…
It can’t be too difficult to be successful when you’ve got such talented players to work with – although Louis Van Gaal is doing his best to disprove this theory.
Now Pep is saying that he wants a fresh challenge in England with Manchester City looking like the likely destination. Another club littered with talent, competing at the top. It’s like he’s playing career mode on FIFA with all the cheats. If he really wants a “challenge” head to the Midlands and take over at Aston Villa. Then we’ll find out how good Pep Guardiola really is.