Ballet Of The Masses

"Football is the ballet of the masses."
- Dmitri Shostakovich
Why not?

Why not?

After The Great Debate on yeah, yeah… THAT Zlatan goal many of the man’s spectacular efforts did the rounds. Most of them were in an effort to disprove the myth that the outrageous bicycle kick he attampted and pulled off against England wasn’t even Ibra’s best goal, let alone the best goal ever scored. I’m one of those annoying dickheads who believes one man’s brilliance in a team game shouldn’t take the title of ‘Bestest Goal What Was Ever Scored’ but as I said, I am on of those guys. However, when I saw the above video I almost changed that opinion. Showing a balletic grace spliced with a driving determination, Zlatan (because we only use his first name, he’s that good) basically just decides he is going to score a really brilliant goal regardless of how many opposition players try to stop him. The thing I really love most about it is how he has at least two opportunities to finish but clearly thinks he’ll just make it a bit more brilliant. And why not? Zlatan sums up how and why he does these things with a football in the dedication of his absurdist memoir: “I also want to dedicate it to all the kids out there, those who feel different and don’t fit in. Those who are seen for the wrong reasons. It’s OK to be different. Continue being yourself. It worked out for me.”

Euro Preview (LONG POST)

Sometimes when me and Tipper are talking about football, our conversations make as much sense as the picture above. So, now the Euros have come round I feel that we should share our predictions with you all, just so the thoughts don’t ferment and ruin our brains any further. This is a few texts we sent to each other a few days ago. I think you’ll find it is the most concise, efficient and all-encompassing preview of the tournament you’ll read. I know the Euros have now officially started and it is a little late but to be honest, all these early Euro 2012 previews are kinda’ square. I bet Johnny Cash never started playing his songs a few hours before a gig, he just rolled on half an hour late, high on amphetamines and blew the mind of every motherfucker in the room. I’ve stopped thinking about what I’m typing now so just see below for further details:

JR: I might back the UAE to win the Euros.

JT: I’ve put £13,526 each on Belgium and the Malta u-18 squad.

JR: Decent shouts actually. I’ve had a tickle on Temuri Ketsbaia to be top scorer and as player of the tournament I’ve put a few sheckles on Taribo West.

JT: What is this fresh lunacy? I’m backing prolific marksman Mark Hateley to take the golden boot, with the promising youngster Taffarel as player of the tournament.

JR: Sure, Taffarel has potential but I don’t think he’ll ever cut it. Maybe one or two caps in friendlies but I don’t think he’ll ever play in another major tournament. Hateley on the other hand, he is a special player. I’d put him up there with Seth Johnson and dare I say it, Christian Bassedas.

JT & JR Comms Part II

Me and JT text each other everyday. This is the second installment of the ‘Comms’ series whereby I can claim I’ve written another blog post but really I’ve just transcribed a text conversation. We meander a bit. We always do…

JT: A few years back a couple of councillors, the Turtons, moved to rural Wales midway through their terms. To open an alpaca farm.
P.S. That is true.

JR: That’s one of my favourite political vignettes I’ve ever heard. Are you tuning into the Fulham-Arsenal match? What a loveable game this is. I’m so pleased Wolves dramatic comeback was turned into a damp squib by premier mallethead/dickhead Frank Lampard Jr.

JT: Yeah, I’m about to switch over. I’d like to not sleep for 3 days, watch Boyz n the Hood on Blu Ray, eat a sack of raw pasta shells then shank Lampard into viscera in a carbohydrate haze.

JR: Ha, ha! Superb. The posh, chubby faced presenter in the studio just said to Gary Neville “The tunnel at Craven Cottage is an odd one isn’t it?” to which Neville replied “It’s not a tunnel.” Sublime. Did you see Hodgson’s latest self-mutilation?

JT: I fully lol-ed at it. To me his weird reverse headbutt seemed like one of those times when you lash out in frustration in the expectation it won’t hurt much - slamming your hand onto a table, for example - and then it really does.

JR: Exactly. When he does these things it’s almost as if he is doing them because he thinks he has to show some form of ‘passion’ but being a learned, bookish fellow he can’t quite pull it off, unlike other ‘jock’ managers like Mark Hughes. For example, Roy Keane would have thrown off his coat in rage, pissed on it, set it alight and sacrificed a ball boy to Mars, God of War whereas Hodgson threw his coat to the ground, only to retrieve it thirty seconds later because he had a shiver.

JT: Its good, or at least amusing, that we have a multilingual manager who expounds on his favourite books in his programme notes isnt it? For all his tactical conservatism and his bizarre touchiness about his record, I think he’s a transparently decent man too.

JR: Oh yeah, I reckon he would love a pint of Old Empire down The George. He’s a man for all classes and creeds. He also looks like Virgil, the wise owl guardian from the animated series ‘Mighty Max’ and I respect that.

JT: In my darkest hours Hodgson usually appears in my bedroom mirror, dressed in snappy 1920s garb, and croons ‘Paper Moon’ to me.

JR: A giant, floating image of his face appears to me, shrouded in a pale-green mist at difficult junctures in my life. He usually makes a reference to a 17th century farce and then hands the vision over to Clint ‘Deuce’ Dempsey who simplifies what Hodgson had said into bite-size, urban chunks, often backed by some grimy Detroit beats. I wake up with an erection.

JT: You are a sick, sick man.

JR: I consider myself blessed.

JT: I won’t truly consider my left well lived until I’ve buried my head in Katy Perry’s tits.

JR: I just want to sit her and Zooey Deschanel in a room and point at them repeatedly asking them whether they know that they look alike. The moment they made a sighing noise (they must get it all the time) I would pull out a WWII Luger and fire it at the ceiling. I would leave the room without saying a word. They would be so hot for me they would (probably) just start being lesbians and when I re-entered the room wearing my 2009/10 Hertha Berlin home shirt they would be all over me like middling Premier League clubs around Steve Sidwell on a free transfer.

JT: I just want Emma Stone to smoke a luxury pack of Camels then speak at me all night.

JR: Mate, I would film that and then spend three weeks editing you out and super-imposing images of Kat Dennings in your place.

JT: You’d have wanked yourself to death by then. Any man of woman born would.

JR: We should actively seek out timeslips and show that video to people like King Herod, Stalin etc. and change the course of history via Dennings-Stone girl on girl chat action.

JT: We could solve all poverty and war if it ended with Dennings faux orgasm from Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist.

I’m certainly not the first, I certainly won’t be the last but recently I was victorious in my efforts to acquire a duo of Merlin Premier League sticker albums (‘96 and ‘98) and so I thought I would post a few images from them that I find particularly powerful. I hope you enjoy them.
Here is Blackburn’s assistant manager back in 1996. I refuse to believe there ever was or ever will be a man with the preposterous surname: ‘Fazackerley’.

I’m certainly not the first, I certainly won’t be the last but recently I was victorious in my efforts to acquire a duo of Merlin Premier League sticker albums (‘96 and ‘98) and so I thought I would post a few images from them that I find particularly powerful. I hope you enjoy them.

Here is Blackburn’s assistant manager back in 1996. I refuse to believe there ever was or ever will be a man with the preposterous surname: ‘Fazackerley’.

Well, I’m on a ginormous Éric Cantona tip at the minute having recently finished Phillipe Auclair’s tremendous biography on The Man ’Cantona: The Rebel Who Would Be King’.

He’s a man, who represents the antithesis of a modern footballer’s excess, with his passion for art, theatre and philosophy while representing the first wave of footballer’s exploiting their image for financial gain. Whatever you think of the man off the pitch, when he popped the collar on his number 7 shirt he was a beast. A consistently influential player for his club sides and for Les Bleus, when Cantona performed to anywhere near the best of his ability his side almost invariably won the game.

Technique, power, vision, aggression and versatility - he was adept as a deep-lying playmaker, in the hole or as a centre-forward.

I, like so many English football fans before me, fell head over heels for this barrel-chested emperor.


With the scintilating and terrifying news that Christian Vieri will be a contestant (most likely the winner) on ‘Ballando Con Le Stelle’ a.k.a. ‘Dancing With The Stars’, I thought it time that we paid a little bit of homage to the man who is, as well know, “more of a man” than all of the men in the world sellotaped together.

Ladies and gentlemen I present to you the only £32million international striker who would genuinely have rather played cricket than football…

A Virtual Conversation Part I

When we both have better things to do, myself and JT often get caught up in textual repartee, and it can lead us down some preeeetty dark avenues.

JT: In my head I’m watching a fantasy clash between Spain and the early 90s Wimbledon team. Jon Goodman has just splintered Xavi’s jaw, and the Crazy Gang have taken a 3-0 lead as they loop long balls over the dying and wounded. Also, Shakira’s a latin and a she-wolf, she knows what to do with boys

JR: Hah! Fucking great. That is a monumental piece of imagery you’ve conjured there.

JT: Spain won 5-3 in the end, due to an own goal hat-trick from Kenny Cunningham and two from David Villa (the decisive goal saw him skip past the entire Wimbledon team, a flabby buttocked streaker and several bemused stewards). As the final whistle blows Joe Kinnear is led away to the Hague to stand trial for crimes against common decency.

JR: A fitting end. Joe Kinnear would be led away, screaming the place down, firing C-Bombs all over the place.

JT: Cesc Fabregas was rushed to the Madrid Royal Infirmary, but died on the way. Shellshocked medics say he was ‘more bruise than man’.

JR: Carlos Puyol was left, sitting in the showers, rocking back and forth, ruffling his hair furiously with his hands and making unintelligible grunts. Fears were put aside when it was later confirmed by Gerard Pique that this is what he does most of the day anyway.

JR: Also, Dario Gradi has stepped down at Crewe. Let’s see if our prophecy on the end of the world fulfils itself.

JT: A crow just landed on me and coughed up a tiny beating heart.

JR: Two of my teeth have fallen out and my Bic biro just ran out. Hashtag: Omens.

JT: My ham sandwich just mysteriously burned to the ground and my dad is crying tears upwards.

JR: A soldier from the Korean War just showed up at my office asking to use our vacuum cleaner.

JT: Actor John Hurt just tried to sell me a rare jazz LP for a very reasonable price, and an onion became Pope.

JR: I just realised horses aren’t real and that David Duchovny raised me from birth.

JT: I just went into Iceland, but it wasn’t Iceland, it was the set of Wayne’s World 2.

JR: I began humming ‘Greensleeves’, I turned round and there was a Finnish ambassador, hung by the neck in the corner of the room. A pig squeals, a mime soils itself, a baguette sighs in a listless manner.

JT: Constantinople was just sacked by the Visigoths and I can’t get comfortable in my chair. Tell Doris I never loved her.

Ballet Strikes Back

 Well, it’s been a while and I’m not going to lie it was purely down to laziness. Well, I say laziness but what I really mean is lack of time and content. Even the miniscule video posts I was making were a real effort.

However after a small break and a rethink on what content I could include here, apart from the video posts of my favourite players, we’re back. I say we because I’ve brought along my buddy JT. Not, THAT JT, this JT is a much better JT, both in terms of humanity and decency but also in terms of being able to stand up long enough/not fall on his backside to form a cohesive sentence.

Basically we’ll be posting as and when we feel like it with ANYTHING that springs forth from our alcohol riddled brains.



The quote from Gary Neville in this video, beautifully mistranslated sums up Del Piero’s ability and the respect he was held in, from within the game.

"He is the greatest player I have ever played against, he twisted me incredibly." - Gary Neville.

He was a player who did both the simple and the sublime with the same consumate ease. Alessandro Del Piero is a rarity, a one club man, club captain, club legend and a player who is enjoyed by football fans, not only in Turin, but anyone who has ever seen the man playing the game.