Prepare the champagne!
It’s never anything less than a total and utter joy to hear from a member of the growing Interestment family, and today we welcome back Eliot – a magnificent football writer with a busy, whirring mind. He had this to say about the looming Premier League season…
The new season. All that sweat and hard labour for busy footballers who really don’t have the time for it all. The cost to supporters of nine months travel up and down the country. All those Saturday night television hours that could be put to better use with shows such as Hole in the Wall. They might as well call the whole thing off – we here at Interestment know how it will finish anyway.
League Table 2010 (in 10 words)
The best team last year will have learnt from mistakes.
Arshavin Arshavin Arshavin Arshavin. You get the idea with that.
3. Manchester United
16 single-goal wins last season. 18 goals lost to Real.
Mourinho only Premiership winner on debut. Ancelotti not as special.
Moyes’s twelve month audition for the Utd job. Added incentive.
6. Manchester City
How many of the newbies would start for Manchester United?
7. Aston Villa
Captain retired. Vice-captain gone too. Best chance in the cups.
8. Tottenham Hostpur
Huntelaar, Young, Vieira all targeted. Sheffield United players arrived instead.
Thin squad may suffer from a lengthy Europa League run.
10. Blackburn Rovers
1.3 point average under Allardyce in 08/09. Enough for mid-table.
11. Bolton Wanderers
If Elmander settles, Bolton’s frontmen will ensure another decent season.
12. West Ham United
Defend well unlike many teams around them. Clarke’s influence critical.
Darren Bent scores goals wherever he goes. Money well spent.
Strong Cup showings last season against Premiership opposition bodes well.
15. Birmingham City
Will benefit from one of the weakest Premier Leagues ever.
16. Stoke City
Second season syndrome a factor but should still have enough.
17. Wigan Athletic
Lost many good players. Martinez should just keep them up.
Disarray defined as Portsmouth in the Oxford Dictionary. 09/10’s Toon.
19. Wolverhampton Wanderers
No Premiership experience. Experience of Premiership relegation doesn’t really count.
20. Hull City
The surprise factor well and truly departed. Down by Easter.
Not this kind of window, silly, the Transfer Window!
As ever, it’s with total glee that we welcome the words of Eliot – an excellent sharp minded football writer – to the Interestment fold. Today he’s talking about Chelsea…
What they need
Had Petr Cech played the entire season in a mask (to match his helmet) with a different name on the back of his shirt, general opinion would be that Chelsea’s new keeper had produced a decent debut season. Yet Cech was the best goalkeeper in the world before he had his head punctured, and as such, is judged to higher standards. Nagging doubts persist and Ancelotti’s first task could be to find a new numero uno.
Who they don’t need
With Deco on the way out, that still leaves Michael Ballack collecting money for jam, and whose most energetic performance of the season was conserved for harrassing a referee. Ballack at Chelsea remains the opposite of irreplaceable.
Man City. In the good old days, they used to close the sweet shop to the general public when Roman entered. Abramovic could pick and choose players as he wished. Yet a new man has since moved in, wealtheir than Roman, and Chelsea are now left with the baffling proposition, that they can only sign those players who Manchester City don’t fancy,
Inevitably linked with
Ageing Italians. David Beckham (from December onwards). International superstars (not good enough for Man City.)
Any other business
With Ronaldo gone, the stiff contest for Premier League‘s leading irritating foreigners will be led by Didier Drogba. His last major contribution of the season was a classic header in the Cup Final, his contribution before that however was the flip-flop tantrum versus Barca. Its the former that makes Blues fans put up with the latter – his first three months may set the tone for the entire Ancelotti era.
Somehow, no place for this guy…
It’s always a pleasure to bring another keen, lively mind into the Interestment family, so give new boy Eliot a fashionable welcome – paying particular attention to his fizzing wit and football brain. He will be talking through his team of the weekend every single Monday from now until the end of time. Or, indeed, the end of the season. His first eleven looks like this:
Goalkeeper, Shaquille O’Neal
Basketball. One team goes up the school hall and the tall chap places the ball over-aggressively in a hoop. The opposing team does the same. Repeat until adverts. US sports are so tiresome, hence it’s no surprise that Shaq O’Neal celebrates his rather perfunctory penalty save in a manner more befitting Gordon Banks tipping Pele’s header over the bar. Well done Shaq – have a biscuit.
Right Back, Elvis Alves Pereira
Like finding out that not all Frenchmen are great lovers and not all Scousers claim dole, here is a Brazilian shattering some lazy stereotypes by being rubbish at football.
Left Back, Hrvoje Čale
In line with other leagues in Europe which don’t have Manchester United in them, the Turkish league is being led by an unfancied side, the “Black Sea Storm” themselves, Trabzonspor. As part of their all-conquering antics, a different player dances at the end of their side’s league victories, and this week, it was the turn of the young Croatian left-back to lead the way. Ah, that fun-loving Turkish football culture.
Centre-Back, Julien Feret
Here’s the Nancy defender pulling a goal back against PSG. John Terry probably can’t do this. Bloody English clogger defenders put to shame once more by sophisticated ball-playing continental counterparts. Where to guv?
Centre-Back, John Terry
Whats that you say? John Terry volleying in from 25 yards on Saturday? Better than Feret you say? Ah…
Right Midfield, Cristiano Ronaldo
Old Ronnie is a regular in these sort of weekly elevens, and has seen trinklets rain down on him for all manner of ways in which he gets a ball from A to B, despite a wall (let’s call it C) being cunningly placed in his way. But not this week. We at Interestment dont know if Aesop’s Fables ever managed to crack the tough children’s literature market in Portugal but it’s safe to say copies were not so prevalent in the Ronaldo family.
Having spent the best part of six years diving to win penalties, and generally being a wily cheat, Ronaldo’s first ever genuine shout for a spot-kick was waved away on Sunday afternoon by Chris Hoy, who only heard the word “Wolf” whilst around him United players cried “Penalty!!!” As Aesop had already forewarned us all – “Even when liars tell the truth, they are never believed. The liar will lie once, twice, but then perish when he tells the truth.” In other words, Ronaldo should count himself lucky he only got a yellow card.
Centre Midfield, Ricardo Gardner
Gardner would be in Garth Crooks’ team of the week for scoring a lovely winner with only his second touch against Newcastle. He’s in our team of the week for releasing a reggae track under the name “Bibi”. Because, kids, that’s how we roll.
Centre Midfield, El-Hadji Diouf
If you’ve ever wanted to hear a man who has scored in the world cup say, “If I’m not a footballer, I shag your mum every fucking single day,” step this way. That’s all of you then.
Left Midfield, Francis Lee
Thanks to Barry Davies, this man was the first to make the beautiful game interesting.
Striker, Giuseppe Mascara
When the world of online football eventually begins to run out of ideas, websites will produce comedy elevens, such as teams composed of players called Fred, and teams of players who didnt quite make the grade at Portsmouth. Well here’s one for the team of players whose name sounds like make-up, he being Giuseppe Mascara, captured here scoring a screamer for Catania at the weekend. Football365 circa 2011, you can thank us later.
Striker, Gary Hunter
You’re a Morecambe fan who has shlepped to Grimsby, it’s 2-2 on a freezing Tuesday night by the sea. It smells of fish, the people around you smell of fish, you probably smell of fish by now. The wife has left dinner in the oven, which only goes to confirm those suspicions you had about her playing away. But then this happens, and one is reminded why we bother with the fickle mistress that is football. Twiss with the corner, Hunter does the rest.
Hey, haven’t we seen you somewhere before?
It’s nothing new for footballers to look to style icons in search of their vibe. Becksie famously plunders through his wife’s wardrobe to find nice sparkly frocks to make him feel special, and anyone who hasn’t seen Lampsie, JT, Drog Drog and the Cole Sisters skipping through Top Man merrily pretending that items of clothing are gymnastic ribbons obviously hasn’t ever been to Top Shop. Honestly, go on Friday – they’ll be there. Which leads us convieniently to Tottenham Hotspur’s prodigal child, Jermain Defoe. Ignoring his fellow player’s lust for silks, last night he fashioned his look on one of soul musics most beloved icons, Donny Hathaway. By which we mean that he wore a hat.
Some classic Hathaway AND classic Defoe after the jump…
You won’t find no Beckhams or Lampsies, girls…
It’s so hard to support football nowadays, because the players are so impossible to like. Look at Chelsea – they’ve got Lampsie, JT, Drog Drog, The Cole Sisters. All would make for appalling dinner party guests. They’re not much better at Liverpool and Arsenal either, Gerrard would be sitting at the end of the table, moodily glaring into the distance, while Fabregas wouldn’t eat anything on offer unless it was skinned and de-boned in advance. At Man United Rooney and Ronaldo have awful table manners, and we can only assume that Tevez guzzles his food wolf-style from a bowl. And yet, it wasn’t always this way. Here are four footballers we’d be more than happy to feed and water:
1. Matt Le Tissier
What a marvelous footballer, Le Tissier stayed at Southampton from 1986 until 2002, even though Spurs, Chelsea and AC Milan all came knocking during that time. What marked him out from the rest was that he looked fat, lazy, and unbelievably gifted. The best player ever.
Where’s the next Freddie coming from?
Ever since Freddie Ljungberg decided to hang up his boots and plunge conkers first into full time underpants modeling, it’s been difficult to see who might pick up the greasy fashion baton left behind by him and Becksie.
At first it looked like Chelsea boys Lampsie and JT might start experimenting with dangerous new looks, but those hopes have been all but dashed. Bentley at Spurs has the look of a man who might yet dazzle the punters with some bold style statements, but his profile is still too small.
Footballers, Interestment’s big fashion eye is watching you. Props this weekend should really go to Agbonlahor, Lennon, Ashley Young, Berbsie, Anelka and Jimmy Bullard for adhering to the fashionable code of glove season. And an extra big slap on the back goes to Arsenal’s Mr Serious, Cesc Fabregas, for experimenting with a full-torso understocking.