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Early season banter: Mugs, déjà vu & Geniuses

‘Written by Marvin Willams’

So where a quarter-way through a new football season which us allows us to evaluate the events so far. In the first of three editions,‘Mugs, déjà vu and Geniusesprovides the results from thorough investigation on the collective ideas fans share on some of football’s most important issues, Yeah Right! It’s simply light hearted banter and if you’re over sensitive it’s likely to offend you at some point. Fan discretion is advised.


I’m sure there are several names that spring to mind on hearing the word mug. Just take the eleven ‘men’ whose hobbies include sharing wives, sleeping with prostitutes and letting the country down every four years. But I’m sure you don’t want another blog getting on Gareth Barry’s back, he’s slow enough already. So aside from the conventional names here are three other mugs in no particular order.

Man United fans who still believe in Santa Claus – You probably don’t remember the day you discovered Santa wasn’t real, as it was likely to have been several years ago. If you’re a united fan however you definitely won’t remember, as it appears you haven’t had that experience yet. United talk about their season changing after Xmas almost as if it’s a given every year. Forgot changes in personnel, fallouts and being financially impeded, Santa and his elves will sort it, mugs!

Alan Shearer for not knowing who that French guy was – We pay Shearer to do what we do for free every weekend, sit downand talk about football. I don’t believe pundits can teach us anything new about the game, as we’ve watched it for as many years as they have. But what they can do is set the agenda from the weekend’s events, and I bet Shearer didn’t want his ignorance to be at the forefront of it all. He cements his position as a mug for his revelation on Ben Arfa, after declaring ‘no one knows a good deal about him’. Is he having a laugh? The irony of the whole situation is what made it all so surreal. It wasn’t only him not knowing who many of us would consider a well known player. It was him not bothering to look up a Newcastle signing, who happens to be a striker, who also spoke of his admiration for Shearer on arrival.

The Soccer AM Producers – Now you’re probably thinking anyone who watched Soccer AM in the first place is a mug. Well fill me up with tea because I used to be a fan. So what ever happened? To use the old saying if it’s not broke then why fix it, and the Soccer AM producers made more changes than Benitez’s rotation system in full effect, ending up with the Lucas of broadcasting Max Rushden.  I’m obviously not alone in my thoughts, as the show has been reduced from three hours too two, it’s still two too long though

Déjà vu:

There are those events that rare their ugly head or are beginning to every year, and whose head’s uglier than Sam Allardyce’s. Expect his attempts at trying to make himself more relevant by fuelling tension with another Premier League manager this year. Here are three other things that fall under the déjà vu category.

Andy Gray complaining about refs – Everyone loves Andy because Andy loves everyone, and no it’s not a cheesy Betfair’s ad but it could be. Even Liverpool fans don’t mind the ex Evertonian, and that’s probably because he hasn’t got a bad word to say about anyone. That’s unless you’re a referee (or Theo Walcott) of course, where his criticism of them has almost become his mantra so expect it in some form this year. What I’ve interpreted from his evaluation is that ref’s are at a disadvantage because they haven’t played the game at that level. But then isn’t it hypocritical to say so when those who have played the game, like himself don’t go for their referring badges and instead opt for the comfort of the studio. Refereeing is as different to playing as it is to punditry, so Andy’s belief that ex pros would make better referees isn’t substantiated. The year is 2010 not 1910, where ex players mentality of ‘show them that you’re there’ and ‘as long as you get the ball’ is outdated. (Not to get all Arsene Wenger on you)

Liverpool: A new American but is he fit and proper? – The sale of Liverpool was met with a welcome relief with the Anfield faithful, after exchanging two yanks for one. American businessmen investing in soccer club hasn’t yet taken off, although Randy Lerner could probably make a case for himself (which Martin O Neil would probably counter). Although John Henry can’t be judged on his nationality, we remain wary of his intentions due to his fellow countrymen. We know as much about him as Shearer does about Ben Arfa (I know cheap shot), and that would have been alright if we could trust the body that facilitates the moves, ‘The Premier League fit and proper persons test’. Liverpool will be hoping that déjà vu doesn’t strike again in a sense that another one of these shady characters have been allowed to slip through customs via a very ‘improper’ test.

Sven Goran Erickson : Another day another dollar & euro, pound, yen… – Redundancy, recession, budget cuts? All words obviously not in the Swedish language, as Sven once again reinvents himself, this time at Leicester city. On his appointment it’s always humorous hearing chairmen and owners use phrases such as ‘long term plans’ and ‘his philosophy’. Sven doesn’t plan for the end of the week let alone 5years, and his philosophy is simply if there’s a job going and I’m not in management or you can get me out of my current contract, I’m there. He lays somewhere in-between the motto for job centre plus and the poster boy for a Nick Griffin’s campaign, on ‘them’ coming in and stealing all our jobs.


I’ve been wracking my brains for an entire week trying to disprove Rafa’s first riddle, and as soon as I make headway he throws another one out there. Well for your information Rafa white liquid in a bottle isn’t necessarily milk, ever heard of tipex? Keep throwing them mate and I’ll keep knocking them right out of the cage. Alongside myself here are three other geniuses.

Hughton, new contract, for what? – Now Mike Ashley has made a few bad decisions at Newcastle, but the one not to renew Hughton contract until the end of the season is a genius. If Newcastle have learnt anything in the past couple seasons, I hope it would be that football works better when logic rather than sentiment is applied.  So what if he got them promoted last season he could get them relegated this one.

Mr Blatter the Russians aren’t playing nice. – The genius moment of last week had to be the outcry over Sorokin’s (General Director of the Russian 2018 bid) claim that London has issues with crime and teen binge drinking. How dare he say something so absurd? Am I missing something because the last time I checked it did. He forgot to mention it’s also overcrowded, Bob Crow orders tube strikes at will and the Fire brigade service let houses burn on the busiest day of the year. The geniuses in charge of England’s 2018 bid need to make up their mind with what direction they’re going in, as it seems as if they plan to taddle-tail their way to victory. (Even though the complaint has now been withdrawn after Russia said sorry)

Jack Wilshere – If ever there’s been a debate on Wenger not bringing through enough English youngsters it probably still exists. But the production of Jack Wilshere goes a far way for making up for that. If someone can teach him how to tackle so in a few years so were not asking the questions we do of Scholes, and the value of monogamy which England players can’t seem to get their heads round, then he could be the greatest England player I’ve seen the development of in my life time.

So If I’ve failed to identify a genius, you’ve read the same article somewhere else, or you simply want to tell me I’m a mug.

Please feel free to comment.

Look out for mid and end of season banter



  1. nicky

    November 5, 2010 at 10:31 am

    re andy gray. Or “Thicko” as he is known around my circle. The guy who tries to make a simple game difficult in order to justify his undoubted inflated salary. Join us in turning down the sound whenever he talks.

  2. raph

    November 5, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    great blog surprised there is nothing on the whole rooney wage I wulda supported any argument against that lol.

  3. Fab4

    November 5, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    Great article mate!

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