Archive for May, 2010

May 31, 2010

England players: We’d rather go on holiday

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Bill Hack Chief football correspondent

England boss Don Fabio Capello is facing a selection dilemma just 10 days before the World Cup with a number of players admitting they would rather go on holiday than work-over time this summer.

The England players, such as Tom Huddlestone, Darren Bent, Michael Carrick, Theo Walcott and Shaun Wright-Philips made their feelings abundantly clear from two lackluster performances against Mexico and Japan.

And now Don Fabio is facing an anxious wait to see if he can find enough players to make up his 23-man squad that will travel to South Africa.

Contingency plans are being drawn up with former players David Batty and even Emile Heskey touted for recalls.

“I don’t really fancy it to be honest,” said Huddlestone after the 2-1 win over Japan. “I’d rather go on holiday.

“The FA have promised us loads of fun trips and stuff, like safaris, fishing and even the chance to watch Brazil play.

“But its been a long and hard season and I just want to chill out and relax, not do more work for not much more money.

“And to be honest my family are planning to go to DisneyLand – the land where dreams come true. How can England’s trip to the World Cup compete with that? It can’t.”

The group of players informed Don Fabio of their decision after the game against Japan. Having showered and changed, they knocked on the managers door and sheepishly told the England boss of their intentions to fly to the Magic Kingdom without delay.

“Credit to Theo, he told the boss of our decision,” said Carrick. “Don Fabio took it very well – he said that he knew we’d wanted to go for sometime and to have fun.

“He said our minds never looked in the game – and we should go and enjoy it. There will always be other World Cups and career-defining moments.”

* This story was constructed from fiction.

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May 28, 2010

WAGs Wait On World Cup Squad

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June 2006 - WAGs gathered for World Cup announcement

Bill Hack Chief football correspondent 

WAGs from across the country will gather in Trafalgar Square this Sunday to hear England manager Don Fabio Capello announce their World Cup fate. 

The England boss will name his squad for the World Cup finals on a giant screen as WAGs, from c-z list, descend on the nation’s capital. 

The WAGs will then desperately negotiate with their football partners for a place on the plane to South Africa – with all types favours thought to be on the table. 

Competition for place this year will be especially fraught with Don Fabio attempting to usher in a new WORG era where players take ‘Wife Or Girlfriend’ rather than both

Don Fabio had hoped to inform the World Cup hopefuls face-to-face but that was deemed ‘unrealistic’ due to the ‘logistical issues of talking to thousands of hopefuls’. 

“It is hugely regrettable that we can’s speak to them on an individual basis,” said an FA spokesperson. “It is the biggest moment in their careers. 

“Success at the World Cup can transform a career. It can lift them from the gossip pages to front page, from Nuts to FHM, from the Daily Sport to the Sun. That’s what’s at stake here!” 

The WAGs – some with more dubious claims than others – are expected to ‘crawl out from everywhere’ and gather on Saturday night to ensure a place in the square. 

The police and security services have been preparing for the event for the past month and have promised to keep a ‘muscular and ruthless’ control of the situation. 

With ‘bitch battles’ rated as ‘unavoidable’, riot police and water cannons will set up a perimeter around square to ensure any such violence does not spread into the rest of central London and cause danger to the general public. 

“We don’t want a repeat of the 2006 riots,” said a suddering policeman. 

In 2006 all the big players made the cut with Beckham, Cole and Rooney all making the plane, but there could be a number of shocks this year. 

Cole and Beckham have already been ruled out, but their absence could create an opportunity for an up and coming WAG. 

Crucially, though, the ‘talismanic’ Rooney will travel as she carries the hopes and aspirations of the Chav nation. 

“Yes it is a blow to be without such experience,” said Don Fabio. “But there is now an opportunity for someone to make a name for themselves on the global stage and take South Africa by storm.” 

* This story is constructed almost entirely from fiction.

May 26, 2010

Red Cross Deployed Ahead Of ‘World Cup Carnage’

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Bill Hack Chief football correspondent

The Red Cross have deployed a fleet of vehicles across England in their ‘biggest humanitarian operation ever’ amid fears of World Cup carnage.

The international humanitarian organisation has commandeered thousands of civilian vehicles across the country to patrol the streets and offer emergency medical aid to England fans.

They fear excess drinking, extreme violence and the inevitable, yet sudden, evaporation of hope and crushing of transient dreams could cause devastation and lead to one of the ‘greatest humanitarian disasters’ ever.

Thousands of cars are now flying the famous red and white flag after charitable people donated their vehicles to the cause – and hundreds of white van men have even trained as nurses to provide on the spot care.

“We are indebted to all those generous and compassionate people who this morning are flying the flag of humanity,” offered one volunteer.

“It is the greatest operation we have ever under taken and one of utmost importance.”

“The hundreds of people wandering the streets after being kicked out of their temporary accommodation at the Swann and Duck, the tears, the blood, the BO – and that is only after the Group stage.

“If we reach the semi-final and penalties- then God help us. It just does not bare thinking about, but we have to.”

The Red Cross were called in after the Football Association’s plan to immunise the country against unrealistic expectations backfired with Fulham’s European heartache causing despair across the country.

The organisation, who specialise in the prevention and clear-up of disaster, will continue the recruitment drive in the coming weeks.

Wayne the white van man said: “It truly is an honour to serve.

“The thought of all those grief stricken people pouring out of pubs, drunk and with nowhere to go is enough to move anyone one to tears.

“Those poor delluded fools. If we can do anything to help them, it truly is a beautiful thing.”

 

* This story is constructed from 100% fiction

May 24, 2010

Mourinho’s Dilemma As Barnet Make Offer

Mourinho's dilemma

Bill Hack Chief football correspondent

Jose Mourinho’s proposed move to Real Madrid is in serious doubt tonight after Barnet FC offered the Inter Milan manager the chance to lead them out of the fourth tier of English football.

The former Chelsea and Porto manager has indicated his desire to leave Inter after winning the European Champions League final on Saturday night – completing an epic treble for the Italian club.

He was widely tipped to join Real Madrid in a £40milion deal but the English League Two are thought to have come in with an 11th hour offer leaving Mourinho with an agonising dilemma.

The position of Barnet manager has become available after the dismissal of previous manager Ian Hendon.

“Jose has a lot of thinking to do,” a bloke told SprtingBalls.

Rich in history and adorned in prestige, Barnet FC would be the obvious choice for the aspiring manager.

But Mourinho would seek to be guaranteed full control over team affairs,  which could cause tension between him and director of football Paul Fairclough.

And Mourinho may be unwilling to return to English football so soon after leading Shrewsbury Town to promotion.

* Disappointingly this story is not true.

May 24, 2010

Frantic Search For Famous Ex-Blackpool Players Begins

Armfield: Blackpool's last decent player

Bill Hack Chief football correspondent

The media have begun a frantic search for famous ex-Blackpool players to act as pundits next season amid fears pensioner Jimmy Armfield could be worked into the grave.

Blackpool were promoted to the Premier League after beating Cardiff in the Championship play-off finals on Saturday.

But, on account of Blackpool being rubbish for the last years, the media are desperately short of famous ex-players to spout drivel and fill time on countless televisions and radio shows.

“It is a major concern,” said a source at Sky Sports. “I can’t lie. The results so far are not good.

“We’ve been searching the country for anyone with football authority and any relationship with Blackpool, however tenuous, but nothing.

“If we cant find anyone we’ll just have to use Jamie Redknapp or Graeme Souness – and no one wants that.

“Rest assured, though, we will pour all our resources in to this and we will not rest. If such a person exists we will find them.”

Search continues

So far the search has turned up just Armfield, a dead Stanley Matthews and Alan Wright, who is primarily known as a former Aston Villa player.

Armfield has been the personality of choice so far, but media outlets fear their reliance on the 74-year-old is ‘unsustainable’ with whispered doubts he will not last the full season.

He is already double-booked until February 2011, when the referee is set to step in and stop their ‘brave but futile fight against relegation’. Thankfully there will be no European trips required.

Sky Sports News and BBC Five Live are said to be in dispute over ‘exclusive rights’ to the pensioner – a matter that could be resolved in court.

Cloning

One solution mooted by Sky Sports is to clone the former Blackpool and England right-back as has successfully been achieved with ubiquitous ‘media personalities’ such as Colin Murray and Adrian Chiles.

With hours of dead air and column inches to be filled with inane comment and tedious banter, the media are becoming increasingly anxious.

Sky Sports are understood to have hired private detectives to hunt down anyone with links to Blackpool and footballing credibility. While the BBC are set to air an emergency appeal during prime time as they look to harness the full power of their organisation.

Do you know a famous Blackpool player? Are you a famous Blackpool player? If so please contact Sky Sports or BBC.

* This story is forged from some of the weakest fiction.

May 21, 2010

Capello: Wives OR Girlfriends not both

Bill Hack Chief football correspondent

England manager Don Fabio Capello has laid down the law ahead of the World Cup by insisting the players only take their wife or their girlfriend to South Africa and not both.

In a dramatic break from tradition, Don Fabio is demanding an end to the WAG culture, in which players have been permitted to take their wives as well as their girlfriends and fiances on tour.

The Italian fears the presence of numerous partners could distract the players from their primary objective of winning the World Cup.

Don Fabio said: “The England players must take either their wife or their girlfriend. Not both!

“I know this is asking a lot of the players but it is essential if we are to win the World Cup.

“I appreciate the sacrifice they will be making.”

During Sven Goran Eriksson’s time in charge of the national team, WAGs were positively encouraged as the Swede preached a policy of ‘the more the merrier’.

Eriksson was eager to incorprate them into the camp and would invite them to join late-night discussions and video analysis sessions, sometimes even forgetting to tell the players.

But Capello, known for his draconian rules and hardline stance, is adamant that ‘bitch fights’ and ‘petty jealousies’ should not distract the players.

Some within the England camp, however, have reacted with dismay.

“It’s simply unreasonable,” said one England insider. “You can bet the Italians will be allowed as many partners as they like, and just think of the Brazilians.

“We are being treated like children… ‘no you’re only allowed one girlfriend’. Its like when I was six. I’m not a child, I should be able sleep with as many women as I like without any consequences whatsoever.

“It is a breach of our civil liberties.”

* This story is constructed from fiction.

May 19, 2010

Fabregas fallout could ‘block out sun for months’

Bill Hack Chief football correspondent

Scientists fear the dark cloud of transfer speculation currently hanging over North London could ‘block out the sun for the next three months and pose a substantial threat to the sanity of the human race’.

The hot air linking Cesc Fabregas with a move to Barcelona has been spewing out of the Nou Camp since Monday and is now lingering ominously over North London.

Not only are Arsenal fans likely to remain grounded for the immediate future, but scientists are warning the choking speculation could match the toxic levels of the Berbatov saga of two years ago.

The media’s role in running about screaming and prophesising the downfall of the Emirates Empire is increasingly coming under scrutiny for heightening the sense of panic.

“The situation is very serious,” one scientist told SportingBalls.

“Joan Laporta is known for spewing out an enormous amount of rubbish – particularly in the summer – but at the moment the prevailing winds are blowing onto English shores.

“If something isn’t done, then within a few days people will be choking on it. It gets everywhere and soon people will be passing it on to others involuntary.

“The fear is that it could exceed the lethal levels seen during the Berbatov transfer to Manchester United, which lasted for months and drove many people to depression and insanity.

“Ultimately it could block out the sun for the next three months and pose a substantial threat to the sanity of the human race.”

*This story is constructed of 90% fiction.

May 17, 2010

Triesman: I never intended to be taken seriously

Bill Hack Chief football correspondent

A rueful and emotional Lord Triesman bid an emotional farewell to the FA yesterday after insisting it was never his intention to be taken seriously in the role of FA chairman or 2018 bid chairman.

Triesman resigned after being caught on tape boasting to a young woman about the world of espionage and political manoeuvring in which he is involved and the enormity of his task in securing the 2018 World Cup.

But the woman, unaware of Lord Triesman’s bungling and clown-like reputation, took the FA chairman seriously.

“It is with deep regret that I leave my position of chief clown of the FA,” he said. “As is clear from my conduct over the past few years, I have never attempted to be taken seriously.

“Unfortunately some people in this life insist on taking senior public figures at their word and believe they are being honest and true. That is most disturbing and something that we must look at as a society.”

* This story is untrue

May 17, 2010

Beckham ‘speechless’ at England comms role

Bill Hack Chief football correspondent

David Beckham admits he was ‘speechless’ after being asked by Don Fabio Capello to be England’s communications director at the World Cup in South Africa.

The former England captain’s hopes of going to the World Cup were shattered when he ruptured ankle ligaments whilst playing for AC Milan.

But the England manager has asked him to travel with the squad as his right-hand man and chief communicator and conduit between the players and the Italian management.

“Yeh…er…em…er… I’m speechless,” Beckham confirmed.

Beckham’s famed mastery of the written and spoken word, with his succinct and pithy style, made him the ideal candidate for the job.

And Don Fabio believes his ability to decipher the cliché-ridden mumblings of professional footballers as well as deliver rousing Churchillian speeches prior to kick off will make him an invaluable asset in South Africa.

Since becoming a part-time footballer after the World Cup in 2002, Beckham’s communication skills have been in high demand with no notable successes.

He recently received high praise from politicians and commentators for his role as chief negotiator in securing the new Conservative-Liberal coalition government, and is being caught by Barrack Obama, who wants him as his primary speechwriter.

“Yeh, its good ’n nat. I’m gonna go to World Cup. It’ll be good ‘n nat,” said Beckham after returning from Columbia, where he secured the release of 30 English and Spanish hostages.

“My Italini is getting good and is nearly as best as my English.

“Hostage negotiating is easy. It’s like Chinese whispers – only in English,”

Asked about his partnership with Don Fabio, Beckham said: “Me and Don Fabio are in common much. He likes Opera, I like X-factor. He likes Italian food, and I’m a massive fan of pizza hut. It’s good.”

While Don Fabio confirmed Beckham will fulfil exactly the same role as he was earmarked for prior to his injury, a non-playing squad member, the Italian also suggested the former captain’s remit would stretch to be in charge of tictacs.

* This story is constructed from the purest fiction

May 14, 2010

World Cup immunisation goes ‘tragically wrong’

"Pain will be deeper than first feared"

Bill Hack Chief football correspondent

The Football Association have confirmed their programme to immunise the country from World Cup heartbreak went ‘tragically wrong’ after Fulham’s Europa Cup final defeat only increased the appetite for rueful despair.

The FA have revealed that Fulham’s extra-time Europa Cup defeat was a ploy to remind England fans of what is to come in the World Cup this summer and arm them against the inevitable tragic semi-final elimination.

But they now fear the project may have increased fans’ addiction to cliched hard-luck stories of fallen heroes and gallant losers.

“We gave football fans a strong dose of reality, a shot of the pain and anguish that will come from the World Cup campaign,” said an FA spokesperson.

“But we may have got the dose wrong. We think they are hooked.

“We didn’t even involve penalties in it, and still the fans were showering in self-pity, reveling in nauseating comparisons to warriors and hovering up hyperbole.

“We’d hoped to temper the tide of World Cup fever. But this shows that it has taken hold and the heartbreak we will all feel later in the summer will be deeper and more painful than we’d anticipated.”

The FA have reported their disturbing findings to the new coalition government, and Prime Minister David Cameron has said that Britain must now braces itself for the inevitable consequences.

Supermarkets are now stock-piling melancholic indie music (including the acoustic version of Three Lions), while pubs are buying in more empty pint glasses to stare into and business are preparing for the ‘inevitable hangover’.