Thursday, 28 May 2009

United get in a right Mess(i)

Last night, somewhat dreamily, in my living room, I perchanced upon little hispanic men, smiling, floating around, dodging tackles, leaping, playing keep-ball, riding challenges.

But enough about my housemates and the sick depths they go to for pleasure, weren't Barcelona fantastic last night. Just unbelievably good.

On Wednesday morning, Sky Sports News (so shoot me, I'm unemployed) persisted on interviewing United fans in Rome, each belligerently and oafishly predicting a comfortable win for their team. Most of them, interestingly, were Irish. All of them, predictably, were wrong.

Such is my unfortunate fascination with hyperbole, I think that what I saw last night might be diluted by words. If anyone's reading them in the first place. The absolute ease with which Barca swatted Manchester United aside last night was just beautiful, and a fantastic slap in the face to the jingoistic press in this country, who predicted a comfortable win against weak opposition.

That a side so utterly trounced the comfortable winners of the 'Best League In The World'™ felt brilliant, and really put a lid on the self-congratulatory cack that spouts constantly from the marketing department at Sky Sports. Daily, the Premier League is referred to as the world's best , and hourly we are reminded of that fact by sycophantic TV presenters and booming commercials (in front of a backdrop of explosions, littered with gladiatorial copy).

To see Iniesta, Xavi, Messi, Toure, Eto'o take a gun to that empirical smugness, if only for a fleeting moment, felt like a brilliant time to be alive.

Real Madrid '58, Ajax '72, Liverpool '84, Bayern '75, Milan '89, Barcelona '94. These are all wonderful teams I've read about (far too much, really), and it feels good that I can say that I've watched a team that can hold a candle to them.

Monday, 11 May 2009

'Deadly' Ledley - THE TRUTH (in a way)

That smile could harm no-one

It wasn't 'assault'.

Of course not, 'twas merely a precautionary measure. Police saw a man in his late 20's, with a severe limp, on the dark streets of Laahnlan in the early hours of Sunday morning. He was eating a banana and gently moaning. Concerned for his wellbeing, they approached him as to his health. His knee was swollen, he complained, from slavishly carrying rounds of drinks to his thankless friends.

Officers later compared his left leg to the tail of a balloon poodle.

The man began to cry. Embarrassed for the clearly downtrodden male, officers were left with a conundrum; cruelly abandon this charming but luckless male to the sick whims of his obnoxious pals, or take him back to the guest room at the station.

4 of the 5 policeman agreed this was the only humane thing to do. The fifth, a slightly eccentric part-timer named Arsene, argued feverishly to leave the man sobbing on the pavement, but was outvoted.

As the officers helped the bedraggled man into their van, a Russian bouncer came running from a nearby Nightclub, shouting something about corrupt Norwegian referees. As he approached the van, his foot chanced upon the banana skin discarded by the distressed male minutes earlier. The bouncer fell heavily, such was his build, grazing his knee and jarring his wrist.

Livid, the bouncer shook his fist, and spoke of the recriminations that were to come when the authorities saw the video technology.

Thinking the man was still referring to UEFA, the officers helped the man up, and drove away from the scene to the station, tucking their new-found friend up for the night, unaware of the media-storm on the horizon.

Monday, 4 May 2009

A very happy May-day to you

May-day is usually a beacon of hope, an absolute point of pre-summer purity, a toxic hint at the vitality on offer throughout the summer months. Not to mention the prospect of 3 months of wearing shorts. This day last year I finished my dissertation, left Uni, after which I sat in a beer garden for many hours, where I turned redder (definitely a word) than a Soviet state.

Quite depressingly though, not this year. With nothing to do this May-day, May-day is just another day in May. Ho Hum.

On a brighter note, you may have heard of swine flu. It's sweeping the nation like a really really massive person with a really really massive broom. Maybe you saw Carlos Vela in Gatwick Airport last week and now you have it. Either way, a man called Mac Millings created a Global Pandemic World XI the other day, and sent it into Scott Murray as he was covering Barcelona's complete obliteration of Real Madrid. I cannot wait for them to rip Chelsea apart, but something sick says in the back of my mind that they will not. Urgh.

But here it is. Mac Millings, I envy and admire you.

Global Pandemic XI

Edwin van der SARS
Jamie Carrier
Boudeswine Zenden
Javier Facemascherano
Sneezin' Gerrard
Avian Duff
Santibody Cazorla
Quarantine Zidane
Tore Andre Flu
Gianfranco Ebola
Plague Bellamy