All you regular readers of The Soccer Blog out there will know I am a subscriber and a big fan of a newsletter called The Fiver. It is published every afternoon and today’s edition has just popped into my ever bulging Inbox.
After reading The Fiver I sometimes like to publish some of the articles. The gist of the Newsletter is football / soccer with a slightly irreverent and comedic slant. Today’s edition was no different and it kind of followed on from the post I wrote a couple of days ago about the childish spat by Sir Alex Ferguson and Sam Allardyce directed at Rafa Benitez, who so far has for once managed to keep his own mouth shut for once, leaving instead to his assisant (and let’s not forget Allardyce’s former assistant) Sammy Lee, to reply on his behalf yesterday.
Anyway, here’s what The Fiver had to say about the whole situation, including tonight’s big Premier League clash between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield. Oh, and if you’re not from Britain, sorry the first bit about Keith Harris and Orville may not mean a whole lot to you, but I’m sure you’ll get the picture. Enjoy! And thanks to The Fiver.
The popular 1980s ventriloquist act Keith Harris and Orville was essentially a one-trick operation. Their performances would, without deviation, pan out like this: Orville, a useless fat lump of gristle, would get upset about something trivial and start to cry; Harris, the brains behind the act, would give him a cuddle; Harris would then sing Orville a song; the audience would start to cry. This fail-safe light-entertainment template was more or less borrowed wholesale last Friday, when it was given a run out by voice-thrower and puppeteer extraordinaire Alex ‘The Sir Without The Slur’ Ferguson, and Sensitive Sam Allardyce, fielding useless fat lump of gristle duties.
Sensitive Sam Allardyce: “Oh Mr Alex! The man moved his arms and made me sad, Mr Alex.”
Alex Ferguson: “Never mind, little Sam. I love you!”
Sensitive Sam Allardyce: “I love you too, Mr Alex.”
Alex Ferguson: “Yes. In fact, we all love you, don’t we childr … oh dear! Oh Sam!”
Sensitive Sam Allardyce: “There’s an egg in ma nappy, Mr Alex.”
Everyone thought the act highly amusing, until the penny dropped that Ferguson and Allardyce, who have a combined age of 121, were actually being serious. But as well as making the Fiver worry about the overall internal stability of the aged pair, Alex Ferguson & Sam’s turn has also caused problems today. Because as a result, Rafa Benitez hasn’t said a word ahead of tonight’s big game between Liverpool and Arsenal, rushing off instead to silently cavort atop the moral high ground. Look, there he is, up there, one hand behind his head, the other grabbing his crotch as he thrusts it manfully forward.
Luckily, his opposite number Arsene Wenger was only too happy to fill in for Benitez in his temporary absence, emitting a high-pitched whine about fixture congestion. “I would have liked a few days more to recover before Liverpool,” he said, one eye on Anfield, the other attempting to look ahead to Arsenal’s Big Cup visit to Old Trafford next Tuesday, and spinning and pulsing quite a lot as a result. “We play tonight then we play Sunday again – nobody knows why we do not play on Saturday but we have to deal with that.” A grand job of standing in for Benitez there, but the Fiver is convinced Wenger won’t be troubled again: Rafa is sure to have plenty enough to say for himself later this evening when his team let concedes that dream-puncturing last-minute equaliser.
End of Part 1.
When this bit of the Fiver read the opening section of the Fiver and learned that Rafa Benitez hadn’t said a word ahead of tonight’s big game between Liverpool and Arsenal, rushing off instead to silently cavort atop the moral high ground, we immediately shifted around in the gutter and peered in the direction of that moral high ground to see if really was standing there with one hand behind his head, the other grabbing his crotch as he thrusted it manfully forward.
He wasn’t, sadly, having taken time out to walk around ringing a bell in order to draw attention to the large sandwich board he’d donned.
“It’s always disappointing when Stevie isn’t in the team but we have won games without him and played well without him at times this season,” he’d scrawled on it, by way of silent response to questions about the adductor-twang that looks set to keep Stevie G Mbe out of action for another two weeks. “But we have quality in the squad and I am sure we can still play nice football, score goals and win games, whoever is in the team.”
Benitez may be the kind of crotch-thrusting, sandwich board-wearing, bell-ringing loon most right-thinking folk would cross the street to avoid, but he’s 100% correct in his assertion. Joking apart, despite Mbe’s talismanic status and countless big-game performances for his team, the fact of the matter is that Liverpool invariably fare better in the League when their captain is not in the team, as a cursory look at some interesting statistics uncovered by the Fiver reveals.
English league titles won by Liverpool with Stevie Mbe in the side: 0.
English league titles won by Liverpool without Stevie Mbe in the side: 18.
We’ve long suspected he was holding them back. The evidence doesn’t lie!
End of Part 2.