Posts tagged ‘Chelsea’

April 12, 2010

England players: Terry’s tackle ‘out of control’

Billy Hack chief football correspondent

Fearful England players are calling for immediate action after John Terry’s tackle almost ended yet another team-mate’s hopes of going to the World Cup this summer.

The defender has received huge criticism for his challenge on England team-mate James Milner during Chelsea’s victory over Aston Villa in the FA Cup semi-final this weekend – just months after Terry’s tackle ruined Wayne Bridges hopes of playing in the World Cup.

Pictures of the incident relating to Bridge were deemed far too graphic for terrestrial television – but can be seen online for a premium fee. The ‘reckless’ challenge on Milner this weekend, though, was witnessed by thousands of fans.

And Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill said the young midfielder was fortunate to still have a career ahead of him.

“Right now the number one threat to taking a full squad to the World Cup is JT’s tackle,” an England insider told Sporting Balls.

“It’s out of control and it must be stopped.”

Terry has a reputation for an aggressive approach and leaving people writhing on the ground – occasionally taking assailants from behind.

England manager Fabio Capello denied Terry’s actions were part of any kind conspiracy or revenge mission after he was stripped of the captaincy.

But that has not stopped his international team-mates calling for ‘immediate and decisive action’ as the issue threatens to overshadow England’s World Cup efforts and create discord within the camp.

“I can’t sleep at night,” said another England insider. “I lie awake in fear, sweating and short of breathe, thinking to myself ‘will I be next?’

“Will John Terry’s tackle end my hopes of going to the World Cup?”

* This article was selected at random from a number of entirely fictitious accounts.

January 4, 2010

Big Freeze hits Big Four

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is the latest of the Big Four bosses to complain his side have been adversely affected by the arctic conditions that are crippling the country at present.

The Scot, who is accustomed to a chilly reception wherever he goes, watched on in disbelief as his side froze against Leeds in the FA Cup at the weekend.

“I was so shocked,” said Ferguson. “When they went onto the pitch they were fine. But when the game started they just froze, everyone one them in front of my eyes. It was like visiting Madame Tussauds at the North Pole.”

United defender Wes Brown was due to start on the sidelines but was a late call up to the starting XI and his lack of preparation and acclimatisation was immediately apparent.

By virtually Leeds’ first attack, the United defender had been turned into a statue and Jermaine Beckford blazed past him with ease to scored Leeds’ opener.

Ferguson desperately attempted to revive his team at half time with the famed hairdryer treatment. But the intense heat from his throbbing forehead and burning brow could not thaw United’s top performers. With time running out, Ferguson unleashed his verbal flamethrower, spitting ferociously in the face of his high-paid stars. But it was to no avail. He even lit a bomb under Dimitar Berbatov, but the Russian remained motionless and they all had to be wheeled out on for the second half on trolleys.

“Who needs banana skins when conditions are this precarious? We were all ways going to slip on our arse,” said Ferguson.

It is a problem the Big Four have been afflicted by in recent months with Arsenal and Chelsea also freezing at crucial moments this season. Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal have regularly come a cropper on the road.

But the saddest story of all is Liverpool. With many of their squad more accustomed to warmer climbs, Liverpool have been caught cold on numerous occadions this season.

Early season cold snaps did irreversible damage to the club, leaving severe trauma and internal complications beyond even the best match-winning surgeons. With Rafa ‘the brain’ Benitez not functioning effectively the club considered amputation, but with two American cowboys in charge they decided to hope for a miracle. Even cosmetic surgery was beyond the cash-strapped, frost-bitten club.

And despite desperate efforts to revive the famous club, Liverpool’s season was pronounced dead just before the holiday period began. They left thousands of grieving fans and several mediocre memories.