Hoping for England

Being a die-hard England fan is no walk in the park. The vastly underwhelming past decade or so of football has well and truly conditioned us to be deadly-efficient at sucking the tiny fragments and molecules of positivity from any situation, no matter how mortally depressing. We are in a sense much like the cacti in the desert that are able to somehow make a living in the most torrid of desert conditions. Sucking moisture from the dry sand.

Beneath the surface of habitual pessimism and the perennial ‘England are useless’ cliche, we have great hope that our national side might one day get its shit together.

A lot of this hope comes from the youth. There’s always some new kid on the block who bursts on the scene and sets the Premier League ablaze. Players like Sterling, Rashford, Ali, Stones, they seem to come around quite frequently.

Of course, we know that even if these players do develop into greats, it doesn’t mean they will do it for England. Look at Wayne Rooney, the bloke is the all time leading goalscorer, having scored more than Sir Bobby, but he’s done next to nothing in major tournaments, most of his goals coming from penalties against San Marino. He couldn’t hack it. But still, the arrival of the Messiah is always round the corner. A certain Harry Kane is stepping into those shoes nicely at the moment. He is proving to be unstoppable, and surely it won’t be long before he gets scooped up by the Galácticos and scales Alan Shearer-like heights.

But behind him and the new Tottenham wizz kids, we’ve got crop full of world beaters waiting to take their chance. Our under 17s just won the World Cup, and just about every other team below the 21s have excelled on the world stage this year. Let’s hope to God this Phil Foden lad and all of his mates get given the leg up they need. The potential is undeniably there. The signs are good. Let’s hope we don’t find a way fuck it up for them.

Every five years or so England managers are disgraced, and resign before being burned at the stake, and replaced with a whole new manager with a different ‘philosophy’ altogether. And with every new manager promises a complete squad overhaul and team revamp. This is of course a good thing.  It’s happened so many times now that one of these times the gamble has surely got to pay off. It has to happen eventually, that’s basic science. One day, the cogs will simple slide into place, and England will become a lethal footballing machine…

So we’ve been alternating between states of total, bone-crushing disenfranchisement, and latent bursts of flickering optimism. Now is certainly a period for the latter to dominate. Last night a diminished England team full of youngsters took on the world champions Germany and held them to a goalless draw at Wembley. We played pretty well in defence and attack and could easily have won the game, had we taken a few simple chances. The likes of Harry Maguire, Trippier, Abraham, Gomez and Ruben Loftus-Cheek rose to the occasion ( Ruben Loftus-Cheek. What the hell kind of name is that? It’s probably the wackiest name I’ve ever heard in my life, no word of a lie). Eric Dier is looking like everything we need in midfield right now,  John Stones is soon to become the most solid centre half in the Premier League. Vardy is a menace. Pickford has the makings of an excellent keeper. Despite the fact all of these didn’t look out of place on the night, we can’t help but think if we had super Harry last night the net would have bulged.

Watching Lingard miss that half volley inside the six yard box in the 93rd minute was typically exasperating. You’re watching it while it happens in real time and you just know it’s not going to go in. So you go up to the bar, and order a nice big pint of ale that you can’t really afford and you’re back in the real world with the rest of the shitmunchers.

Things can only get better from here and sooner or later we’re going to smash a chance like that into the roof of the net. We have the coolest manager on the planet, the best young talent, and are home to the finest league in the world. We even created this stupid game in the first place. We can’t keep letting the Germans have all the fun. It’s time for them to fuck off. They’ll surely get bored of it all soon anyway, and then it will be England’s time to take over the world…

That’s right, we always say it my fellow cacti, but there are some serious positives to suck from this England team, so get behind the lads because the good times are coming, you’d better believe it.

Gareth Southgate: The Cool Cat

When everyone’s having a hard time… when things are going bad… when the citizens have lost faith in their leadership… when Godzilla comes to town every two years and tears the place to pieces and you reconstruct the towers over and over again, only for them to be destroyed in that same fashion… an inescapable cycle… that’s right… when right in front of your eyes your dreams are pecked out of you like the very liver of Prometheus; left to suffer on the side of a mountain for eternity, his liver constantly regenerating, only to be ravished again and again by the vultures… a nation afflicted by an indomitable curse…you begin to question why you even bother anymore…

And then all of a sudden, a cool cat suits up, puts on his cufflinks and comes to the rescue.

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Now I was delighted when I discovered that Big Sam had become the manager. I thought he was the man for the job. I thought we could do with a bit of rigour, a bit of Big Sam-like ferocity. And what’s sad is, he wanted it more than anything. His whole career was leading up to that job and when he finally earned it, he was too stupid and too greedy to keep it. We became a managerless laughing stock. Candidates for the full time managerial position were a motley crew of rising and decaying stars, nobody striking as truly worth the cataclysmic investment needed for an official appointment- no Messianic figure was waiting in the wings. It was simply a case of; Gareth, you’re up.

Step up a charming young gentleman with greater experience than many might give him credit for. A vicious old school British centre half, reviled by some for his penalty miss, and revered by others (Villa and Boro supporters) for his inspirational captaincy, winning two League Cups and leading two small time clubs into the UEFA Cup. Some think that Gareth is a tame, docile beast, but some are wrong. Others know better, like Roy Keane for example, who still claims that the belligerent centre half attempted to break his legs, before stamping on him. You only need to look Gareth’s hair from those days to realise that that is the hair of a fucking nutcase.

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When then high-flying Boro manager, Steve Mclaren was called to take the England job, Gareth was called upon to manage the side at the age of thirty six — and seized the challenge with both hands– passing with flying colours for three seasons. Following this he took a break to relax, drink lager and think tactics. Three years later, he took control of the U21 side, gaining a vast knowledge of the youth of English football in a successful three year stint.

With 2016 came the biggest hurdle of all, the footballing job of everybody’s nightmares. Like us, Gareth has seen England managers come and go and ebb and flow and rise and fall to their deaths. They have a habit of signing off in the most ignominious of circumstances, desperately clutching an umbrella, resignation speech prepared pre-match, or negotiating a needless trip to the Middle East with a fictional agency in an upmarket boozer.

But Gareth was not daunted by the liquid of the poisoned chalice. The country called for Gareth, and Gareth did what was right. With a truly Gareth-esque swagger he grew a beard and took responsibility. To accept all of the aforementioned positions inherently implies inborn leadership skills, but more importantly; the man is ice cold in the face of a challenge, and not afraid to lay down his life for the cause.

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Even contemplating Gareth is enough to get me thinking up a bunch of words I associate with him that I’d never normally get to use – Gareth is saviur faire in the way he conducts himself in interviews, he appears suave in his risky, debonair waistcoat, Gareth is aplomb in the way he carries his body as he walks up to the touchline, Gareth oozes sangfroid from his pores. He is cooler than the proverbial cucumber.

The curse may not withdraw. We may go down like we always have, the doomed nation, shackled to disappointment. But I say if we are going to go down, we might as well go down under the leadership of a cool cat. And as we’ve agreed, that is certainly what we’re dealing with here.

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Manchester United players know nothing about philosophy

After being whisked straight over from Brazil to Old Trafford for the 2014 season, Van Gaal came to the club with a specific set of philosophical ideas in mind, bringing a dilapidated Manchester United side a new, innovative, philosophical approach to football that got everyone talking. However it hasn’t all been sunshine and daisies since then, and two years later in 2016, after having failed qualify for the Champion’s League, Louis Van Gaal’s ‘philosophy’ has become the subject of heavy scrutiny.

After having reassured the media and his players no less than 573 times since becoming Manchester United coach that he has a clear ‘philosophy’ that he believes is suitable for the football club, it was all of a sudden revealed by a number of players after a 3-2 loss to West Ham United in midweek that they ‘know absolutely nothing’ about the subject.

When Catholic team captain and striker Wayne Rooney was asked what he thought about the usefulness of Saint Thomas Aquinas’ primary and secondary precepts to 21st Century Western society he responded irritably with “who the fuck is that?” and wheel-spinned off in his Bentley.

When we asked midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger what he thought of the validity of German philosopher Immanuel Kant’s moral argument he responded with “oh so you’re one of those funny ones are you?”

We then caught up with left winger Ashley Young and asked him what philosophers he and the team admired and inspired their football and he looked perplexed and responded with “Philosophers aren’t actual things are they? I only know the one in Harry Potter and I didn’t even like those films”.

After suspicions that the entirety of the Manchester United dressing room don’t even know the basics of Philosophy, Van Gaal was questioned about the level of philosophical knowledge his team possessed and he responded with “no comment”.

One thing is for sure, if Manchester United are going to return to the form of their past glories, the team has two options- get rid of Louid Van Gaal and change to a more easily comprehensible series of ideas, like sociology or home economics, or get studying.

Whack List #02

All right then men, women and children who are also interested in football. It’s getting towards the final weeks of the season so I thought I would update the whack list for you. If you aren’t familiar with the whack list, then do check out the previous one from earlier on in the season and help yourself to a slice of context.

Now what a fucked up season it’s been. And do you know why? Because this season has drank an entire 1000ml bottle of grey goose, 2 cans of Oranjeboom lager (8.5%) dropped 3 blue ghosts, 2 red audis, snorted 4 slugs of ketamine, injected 2 and a half ounces of liquid smack, banged 900 micro grams of Lysergic acid diethylamide and vacuumed 7 hits of extra strong tropical-skunk-lettuce to wash it all down with.

And that’s just how we like it.

I have to admit at the start of the season I probably didn’t have Leicester City Foxes down to win the league (a tenner or maybe a monkey but that’s about it). I take my hat off to them and then give it to them for free even though it’s Carhartt and makes me look dead cool at matches. I do worry that by achieving the unachievable they’ve kind of ruined it for everyone else now. If anyone else who’s not meant to be all that great does something decent then everyone will just be like ok hold on, it’s still got nothing on what Leicester did in the infamously smacked up 15/16 season. So ‘calm down’, they’ll say. I think football should probably end after this, I mean it’s got to end at some point when all the really bad things start happening in the world. Why not call it a day now, quit while we’re ahead?

Only joking. We love and value soccer here at http://www.lordofthereeves.com

Oh and we don’t like being incendiary towards whack soccer teams here either (even though it’s what we do for a living) so we’ve decided to show mercy upon teams suffering from chronic whackness by not repeating teams from the previous whack list in the top 4 entries. We have this ethos here at http://www.lordofthereeves.com because we acknowledge that footballing whackness is a serious disease that should be taken seriously by the government and not be oversimplified by David Cameron to something along the lines of ‘a self inflicted disease’ or something similar (although we acknowledge that this is the case with Chelsea, who we do not need to remind you, are perhaps the whackest of the whack these days).

So now all the housekeeping is done. Let’s get right to it shall we. Who are the whackest teams in soccer at the minute?

Newcastle United

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When anyone ever hears of anything that’s associated with Newcastle, Brown Ale, The Jets, The Angel of The Motorway, Alan Shearer or Cheryll Crow, they can’t help but stop what they’re doing, tell their boss they’re gonna be a few minutes and then go off on a walk round the block crying to themselves. It still remains a mystery as to how Steve Mclaren got appointed as head coach, presumably he put a gun to Mike Ashley’s head and said

“Make me coach, or I’ll get the mafia on you.”

“But please Steve, I can’t do that. The club will be destroyed!”

“Mike. Meet my friend, Frankie the Wop, he does bad things to people.”

“Okay steve you can be coach! It’s fine!”

It looks like the cartoons have been stamped first class and are off to the championship for a bit, and all thanks to Big Mike and SportsDirect.com.

Arsenal

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Arsenal are absolutely useless but all of the evangelical maniacs and religious gundamentalists who have faith in Wenger just because he’s a cool guy need to get over themselves and read some Richard Dawkins. Arsenal haven’t achieved anything apart from one FA cup in 9 years! Wigan have done that. They are a disappointment every single season, without fail. Much like the famous Pavlovian experiment with those dogs, just hearing the word ‘Arsenal’ or ‘cannon’ makes us unleash an almighty yawn and we suck all of the dust out of the air into our mouths like whale sharks suck up plankton (only much less enthusiastically). Arsene says that getting a champions league spot every year is an achievement enough. No it isn’t and if you think it is, then you’re probably an undercover spurs fan and you should probably get into snooker instead (definitely one of the greatest sports going at the minute, keep an eye out an Judd Trump, he’s not very good).

Everton

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Everton had us all thinking that they were decent for a while, but this season they’ve gone down with some serious whack disease and it’s showing inside and outside the Goodison Park Superdrome. They’re nearly as whack as Palace! They have some magnificent players though, Mirallas, Steven Gerrard, Delofeu, Barkley, Darren Coleman and Seamus Gibson. And Lukaku is probably the most natural born goalscorer in the entire ultra-league. If Everton don’t find an antidote for their whack disease soon then he’s bound to go to a club that’s not whack, like Atletico Madrid or Middlesbrough, for example.

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9 wins all season Evertown! Something just isn’t clicking at the minute and not even Roberto Martinez knows what. We all know they’re a family though the toffee eaters so sooner or later they’ll come together eventually and crack down on the whackness.

Palace

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Palace, Palace, Palace.

What Palace is this then Alan? Because it seems like your run-of-the-mill garden shed to me, you can live inside it if you’ve brought a sleeping bag with you but don’t think you can get the Queen in there with you

Damn these guys were kicking about some real good soccer last season now they’ve forgotten how to do it. With 39 points, 8 away from Norwich City Zulus they’ve survived being sucked off by the relegation black hole in extremely lucky circumstances. Signing Adebayor was a joke that nobody got. Jedinak sells goats illegally. Dwight Gayle is a funny looking creature. No but we shouldn’t really be laying into these guys here because like the toffee suckers they are a really good club and it’s great to have them in the All-Stars super league. But just a word to the wise Palace, if you’re subscription to the whack rejuvenation centre ends then you will be at risk of dropping down into the whack division of UK Soccer in the 2016/17 UK Soccer division season. And that’s not nice. It really isn’t. Teams who play soccer in that abyss don’t even make the whack list! I mean, look what happened to the real Crystal Palace when it burned to cinders in London Colchester 1936. It’s a whack omen, that’s for sure.

There’s one thing we will say here; God works in mysterious ways Palace. Keep hold of your Bibles and your Qurans folks.

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Obviously Aston Villa deserve a mention but it would be almost unsporting like to kick them when they’re down. Besides, we said we wouldn’t repeat teams that featured in the previous whack list in this whack list so we’re not going to mention how monumentally disappointing Aston Villa have been this season. So we thought a summarising image would suffice.

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So that’s the whack list as it stands guys as we approach premier league hot-time. Thank you for reading this article that you’ve decided to read and then subsequently read on this day. Good luck to the Leicester City Foxes and badgers. Hopefully next season you can do the impossible and do it all over again. But more importantly for the Foxes who have been invited to Jamie Vardy’s party, it’s scheduled to be a big one so don’t forget to bring your coke.

See you next season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why I actually quite like Trump

Now I know how controversial this is, but I actually think that Trump has got what it takes to make it at the top. And when you’ve got a monstrous ability to use the deep screw shot and side that John Parrot could only ever have dreamed of, then you’re definitely in with a chance of winning the World Snooker Championships at the Crucible (even if you are currently trailing Liang Wenbo, currently 15 ranks below Trump in the World Snooker Rankings, in the first round of the competition).

 

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Now I’ll make no mistakes about it, we’re all friends here- Judd is a good looking man. Any of us would dream of looking like him, let alone cueing like him. Many a night have I spent down the snooker club in my waist coat, envisaging myself as Judd while I step up to the table to make that all too crucial finish on the right hand side of the blue, or that long plant to put myself 34 points ahead with only 29 remaining.

Now I know he’s not quite so good as say, Neil Robertson perhaps, but give this guy a break. And what a break builder he is as well! And don’t get me started on his safety game. We all know that Judd on his day is as safe as it gets.

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He’s got tremendous ability and he’s certainly one to watch for the future too. You can also rest assured that he will take a mature approach to conversation with the media and avoid controversy where possible. The last thing we expect is post match racism from this guy! Which is an absolutely marvelous thing for the game, and for us snooker fanatics as well!

And yes, he might be filthy rich, but as a professional snooker player he’s earned every penny. It’s not like he brags about it or anything either.

So let’s get behind Trump, and get off his back for once, yeah?

American Football

American football is horrible.

American football is primordial but with an obtrusively horrible American tinge.

American football is shit.

American football is not football, in any way, shape or form whatsoever.

American football is horrible.

American football is less enjoyable and less stimulating to watch than Steve Davis either playing snooker or talking about snooker.

American football is shit.

American football is all 7 of the deadly sins in one pointless, soul-destroying package.

American football is horrible.

American football is a serious challenge to any ideas about the possibility of evolutionary-theory.

American football is shit.

American football is capitalism – smack bang, eyes wide open, trying to rub your shoulder and make you sign up for shit car insurance -smack you in the face- offers you a chilled glass bottle of red coke on a yacht in the mediterranean with your name on the side- gives you a hug and then asks about your mobile phone tariff- Apple tattoo on your bollocks- capitalism.

American football is horrible.

 

The Whackest Teams in Pl Soccer

Don’t sweat guys, we may be approaching the final days of 2015 but there’s still plenty of PL soccer to be played across the country. And damn we English love the PL here in the United Kingdom because it’s the best league in the world, right? No. Think again, the BPL is proving to be one of the whackest leagues in the world right now. Here are four of the whackest soccer teams playing in it right now…

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West Ham United- Damn everyone thought this team was all right at the start of the season when they were top of the super league for a few days, but then the Leicester City Foxes rightfully stole the show, outclassing them on and off the soccer pitch. This West Ham team is so whack that it’s drawn it’s last 5 games, scoring only 4 goals in their last 8 soccer matches! Coach Slaven Briddic (who is famous for hating soccer) has taught this team to become masters of anti-soccer, a strange Serbian method of soccer in which the team refuses to play football, whilst also managing to completely prevent the other team from playing soccer also. During the most recent 1-1 draw with Aston Villa, a record breaking 7 fans threw themselves off the stands and fell to their deaths due to soccer induced depression. Whatever you do this festive period, don’t let one of your pals make you watch this team or their footballing whackness will most likely leave you hating soccer and just about everything else also.

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Aston Villa FC- Now everyone who knows anything about soccer knows that this team has always been right at the nucleus of whackness since the first soccer ball was ever kicked by the English and the Germans in the WW1 trenches. But this team always manage to stay in the PL due to charity funding from the prime minister who feels sorry for them because they’re so whack. Gotta feel that the whackness will get the better of this team this time round, and they’ll get relegated this season with the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea. This team will certainly end up in league one in a couple of seasons time and grind out draws with teams like Yeovil, who are obviously so whack that no one ever talks about them, ever. Sorry Villa fans, not every story has a happy ending.

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Manchester United- So I was gobsmacked when in a news conference with ESPN, LVG referred to his team as ‘Whack United’, which can’t have been good for morale. But this team has been wavering on the brink of utter whackness ever since Alex Van Ferguson stormed out of the club in 2006. They’ve been playing too much soccer and forgotten how to score goals. This United side have now not won a match in 7 soccer fixtures. I blame Louis Van Whack, who’s fault it obviously is for being more interested in philosophy than good soccer. Rumour has it the guy’s already got a one way ticket back to Deutschland, with captain Wayne Rooney set to take the managerial post during the January transfer window. Expect there to be an explosion of whackness when this side clashes with the whackest team in the whole of England and Wales right now – Chelsea. Live on Fox tonight at 15.00 UK time.

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Chelsea FC-  More like Chelsea WC. Now I don’t need to be a medic to understand that this is a team suffering from chronic whack-disease right now. Under the presumably whack management of Jose Mourinho they fell to 15th in the EPL table, and damn that must be tough going for a title winning soccer team. They got one of the best strikers in the entire league on the bench (Loic Remy) just waiting to come on and score a hat full of goals every match. But they play 39 year old hormonal female Diego Costa in stead. Yeah great plan guys (idiots). Only Chelsea will understand this whirlwind story of good-gone-whack, but one thing’s for sure, money can’t buy you soccer.

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Liverpool are also really whack so deserve a mentioning. But now they have acquired the signature of Jurgen Klopp, who is a German who has admitted in several interviews how much he loves house and techno–being pals with the likes of Sidney Charles and Ben Klock– things might finally be looking up for Liverpool.

That’s it from me for 2015 guys. Have a great new year and most importantly enjoy the soccer. But whatever you do don’t watch any of these whack excuses of teams play, it really isn’t worth it.