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.

Wimbledon through my eyes

You know when for no real reason and without knowing much about the subject you just decide that you don’t like it almost sub consciously for the sake of it and then realise after a bit of time that it’s actually extremely good? I’ve had this with many things throughout the many years of my life; Nightmares on Wax, Detroit Swindle, Gorillaz, Arctic Monkeys (although that was Humbug’s fault, being generally such an annoying album), Robert Browning, Harry Potter, crack and now Tennis! A sport which I previously slagged off as the annoying cousin of Squash. So I’m just going to go through a few of my thoughts at this stage of Wimbledon 2015 having watched it for the first time this year. Discovering tennis has made some kind of impression on me.

I’ll begin with the positives. Tennis is very aesthetically pleasing to watch, especially when the sun begins to set. The bright yellow balls, the aces, chiselled calves, the head bands, the wrist bands…

I also love the POCK, POCK, POCK of the tennis balls. The speed of serve impresses me very much and how that much power is achieved through a relatively simple motion. Then perhaps more impressive is how players return them so often. I can only imagine what it feels like to smash an aggressive across- court forehand with another aggressive across-court forehand with a racket as high quality as the professionals’ inevitably are and on a surface like that. Good probably.

I love how much people back the under dog. And there was perhaps the biggest giant killing of the tournament through the slaying of Rafael Nadal thanks to the intricate and determined racket work of a certain Dusty; of whom we can all agree is a fantastic character for the sport. I was extremely entertained when he decided to skin up in between a set and spark up a large spliff during the match. Only joking, this would have been illegal.

Dustin Brown playing for Germany at Wimbledon 2013 Baked, obviously

I was impressed by K Anderson this tournament. Going two sets up against the world number one. I watched him at Queens also and he strikes me as a peculiar character and an almost inhuman one. I’ve not really seen him express him any emotion or personality but he’s a perfectly good sportsman. I heard that he resides in LA now, despite his South African heritage. He’s just moved to LA to do tennis, play tennis and to become a tennis machine. He basically is just a big old tennis machine. And good on you Kevin. Better luck next year.

Kevin-Anderson Computing…computing… tennis… tennis.. computing… tennis…

And like all sports tennis is full of characters not all so wholesome as figures like Kevin (above). I watched Kyrgios and he struck me as a very talented young player, although very irritating purely because of the amount of attention he draws upon himself. Walking onto court with his pink beats in his ears and playing matches in those massive diamond rocks in his ears Smashing rackets during the game and what have you. He’s only twenty though; I’m sure he’ll grow up a bit soon. He’s just trying to create a persona for himself, athletes who do that rarely ever actually fulfil them and ‘tennis player’ doesn’t seem to correspond to the persona that he is trying to create. The press have given him an absolute battering it seems and perhaps unfairly. He also attracted some very irritating Australian supporters who were loudly chanting absolute dross throughout the match which I was surprised was allowed to continue. “Hey Micky you’re so fine” all that kind of crap. You don’t get that shit at the crucible.

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Oh yes and I absolutely can’t stand the ball boys. The tradition is so hideously archaic and drives seemingly innocent children to behave in a peculiarly robotic and servile way.  I mean I know they probably enjoy it and want to and everything but Hell Jesus are they irritating to watch. What a childish and obfuscated perception of the world they must have. What are they thinking when they do this crap? Weird ball boy shit probably. Blame the parents I say. Bloody ball boys.

I don’t know if you are a tennis fan but I was watching Karlovic play Dolgopolov in a match which went on for an extremely long time due to a combination of Dolgopolov’s refusing to lay down and Karlovic’s evil service game. Karlovic and Dolgopolov were deep into a rally, playing to two clear points in the final set and Karlovic slips over and loses the point. He then decides to take 0.00001 seconds to gather his thoughts and relax for a moment and placing his racket inches to his side before a very irritating child appears holding the racket in front of him, paused like a statue. This super efficient racket service served Karlovic only as a means of rushing Karlovic to get to his feet. I found this weird and unnecessary. This isn’t the kind of child I would have been likely to have hung out with when I was a young boy.

I mean, I agree with preserving traditions but what I don’t agree with is the downright lionising of celebrities, royals and athletes. They are just humans, they don’t need our sycophantic cuddles to massage their already impenetrable egos. Parliament, the Monarchy, private education, all these hideously outdated tools of hierarchy construction must either adapt to the modern world or be abolished. And Wimbledon too must adapt and change the ball boy system, it’s doing the world no good. It’s an irritating facade. Get machines or prisoners to do that kind of work, don’t take advantage of children for the purposes of collecting your redundant balls when they are no longer needed.

_48092561_ball-boys Two moderately pixelated enthusiastic ball boys

Speaking of this lionisation of human beings who don’t do anything particularly admirable in order to obtain their position… Andrew Castle comes across as an utter moron in the way he commentates. He seems like all he wants to do is jump into a warm bath of tennis with Murray which is fine in a homoerotic sense but all he seems to talk about is how good he is at tennis and in such a grandiose and excessive way. Over and over again. It makes me think; What do you want Castle? Come on Castle, just tell us what you want!

Every shot Murray pulls off is described as ‘sensational’ regardless of whether it goes in or wins a point or not. The opponent is very rarely given praise for their play even if they win a miraculous point or break their opponent. All we get is commentary talking about how Murray has ‘dropped off’ or whatever. Expect a very long, very gay biography to be written by Castle called The Angelic Scotsman; On and Off Centre Court or something like that.

139262_1 What do you want Castle? Just tell us what you want!

Andy-Murray Andy Murray, 23 years old, 14 times Wimbledon champion, First ever Welsh tennis player

With regards to Murray I think he’s reasonably likeable in many senses despite the aggro he may get from certain people although I wouldn’t get behind him any more than any other tennis playing Joe, from any other country. He’s perfectly nice on camera but I heard that whilst she was a waitress he asked my old science teacher to ‘feed her his desert’. But I’m not going to hold it against him now. He’s a bloody good tennis player and that’s the only time I’m ever interested in the man- when he’s on court. (I’ll be eagerly watching him play Federa today, which I predict Andy will lose) I bet he’s probably actually very dull and uninspiring in real life like most athletes almost categorically are. We always tend to see them through fantastical eyes and create attributes and personality traits that only exist through our own dubious perceptions. Murray’s just a bloke who plays tennis- I think we are all happy to leave it at that.

The women’s tennis I confess I haven’t watched that much. Although I really hate it for the noises a few of them make and it spoils it for me really and takes my mind away from the tennis that is being played. Azarenka really got on my nerves and Sharapova as well. When you’re a woman tennis player and you go up against Serena you might as well go home. Whatever you do don’t actually play the match and groan all the way through like a fox in the night. That would be a bad thing to do.

Despite all these annoying things I think I would review the tournament positively over all and I’ll being watching the rest of it keenly like a falcon through a sniper scope. It’s no wonder it attracts the likes of Becks, Jose, Bear Grylls, Lallana, Jon Snow and many others to get down there and watch. But still, even like football; it’s just a sport. Sometimes full of greatness and awe but also human error and therefore irritation and disappointment.  Not to be taken too seriously.