JESUS, the Reds are absolutely flying aren’t they? By far and away the most impressive team in the Premier League so far, through to the latter stages of the League Cup (stop re-naming it, it will always be the League Cup) and both the first team players, and the younger ones coming through under Jürgen Klopp, are doing brilliantly. I’m not sure I’ve ever enjoyed the beginning of a season to this extent before, and the prospect of having another 29 league games and a couple of cup runs to add is making me drool.
Anyway, here’s a menial distraction before Pards’ Palace put five past us from set-pieces on Saturday.
Knowing Me, Knowing Mou, AHA!
— ITV Granada Reports (@GranadaReports) October 26, 2016
Jose Mourinho sits alone in his 10×10-foot room at the Lowry Hotel in Manchester. He reclines onto his bed, the mattress squelching beneath his back as years’ worth of sodden old ejaculate seeps deeper and deeper into its fabric. His Corby Trouser Press is in pieces beside the window sill and he knows the hotel staff have been laughing behind his back ever since the derby defeat in the league.
Jose has been living here for months now, ever since Chelsea refused to give him a second season after everything went sour following the league title win. His wife isn’t answering his phone calls and his son Fernando was sent away to boarding school long ago.
He doesn’t have to be at Carrington for a couple of hours still, so he flicks through the television channels. Not much on. The news, Bundesliga highlights, something about the Ladyboys that he cycles quickly past. Stifled by the unbearable tedium, he attempts to ignite his own creativity.
He rummages around in the pile of clothes at the foot of the bed and digs out his trusty dictaphone. “Idea for a new formation…,” he says, “Four centre-backs and four full-backs with Pogba and Ibrahimovic somewhere in front of them.”
The hotel markets itself as luxury, but life inside is anything but for Jose. In the Gents, a couple of weeks ago, he saw someone had drawn a lady’s part. Quite detailed. The guy obviously had talent.
After ordering his shopping from Tesco to be delivered to the hotel, comprising Wagon Wheels and a few pipes of Pringles, the club car finally arrives to take him to the training ground and the adoring paparazzi surround the entrance. Jose adopts his best unruffled stare and takes long strides toward the passenger door the driver has opened for him already. As he gets closer he sees the vehicle has been daubed in something or other…and then he reads it. “Shitcoat Mourinho” in graffiti all over the side.
Seriously, though, just buy a house with the millions in your bank account you fucking wet wipe. In his interview with Sky Sports this week he told them: “Buy a house? I don’t know… I don’t know.” It’s not a fucking riddle. You’re not on The Crystal Maze.
If the Lowry Hotel really is the Guantanamo Bay equivalent Mourinho seems to suggest it is, why doesn’t he get off? He complains about not being able to walk around in privacy or cook for himself as if he’s homeless. Get a grip, dickhead.
Some of my uni mates in Manchester have a spare room in their student gaff if he fancies it. The damp’s so bad there’s slugs in the shower, like, but there’s an oven at least.
Clattenburg – The Man For Me:
Seriously, someone get this man on the West End.#CelebrityRefs
— Celebrity Refs (@CelebrityRefs) October 24, 2016
I am head over heels in love with Mark Clattenburg and will fight any bastard who dares speak ill of him.
Just watch that booking, there. Firstly, note the poise. Legs together, shoulders wide and chest puffed out. He oozes authority. The reach for the card is dynamite — in and out, no fuss. And the pause, my God, the pause.
He knows the fury with which Jordy Clasie is approaching him but maintains an impervious gaze into the distance that will be disturbed by no man but himself. It feels like a lifetime between the pulling out of the card and the rigid arm-raise. The pout of indignation he offers in between is an unbelievable demonstration of self-assured confidence and power, akin to meatheads in the gym showing off how much they can lift in front of women.
He remains completely unruffled as Southampton players surround him, painting his posture and facial expression with the kind of cool-under-pressure attitude that makes a truly indomitable world leader.
You simply can’t teach that.
What a privilege to be alive at the same time as a genius at the peak of his powers. Think of those legendary figures ingrained in human culture who are long dead and none of us had the joy of existing alongside side. None of us saw Jesus Christ perform miracles. None of us heard Mozart perform his works. Future generations will be jealous that we have the unmitigated pleasure of watching Mark Clattenburg referee games of football.
If anybody ever tells you that La Liga is now of a higher quality than the Premier League, show them this. Explain to them that it’s not all about the players, the goals, and the trophies. It’s about the drama. The needle. The absolute chagrin with which Mark Clattenburg dominates the football landscape in this country.
Mike Dean, the master of the eye-roll and purveyor of the no-look red card, a man who signifies the award of a penalty with the grace, elegance, and magnetism of a ballet dancer performing in Swan Lake, runs him damn close for top spot in the Box Office stakes, but unfortunately he is a bad wool from the Wirral and thus is not permitted to officiate games involving Liverpool.
For that, too, is part of the reason why Mark Clattenburg is the first person I think of when I wake up in the morning and the last thing that occupies my mind as I drift off to sleep at night. The man absolutely fucking adores Liverpool Football Club. He is a fully paid-up member of Spirit of Shankly, 100%. He has had a TAW Player subscription since the day the service went live. He knows every verse to the Gary Mac song.
He has always been there for us. Whether it was awarding us two penalties at Goodison, before waving away the one in front of the Gwladys Street when Jamie Carragher supplexed Joleon Lescott, or pointing to the spot *THREE* times at Old Trafford in the Reds’ favour, he always make damn sure Liverpool are alright in the end.
My top five all-time LFC heroes, in no particular order — Benitez, Gerrard, Suarez, Kuyt, Clattenburg. All love the Reds. All boil so much opposition piss.
Fan TV Goes Sinister:
Just discovered MK Dons Fan TV. Fair to say it's exceeded all expectations. pic.twitter.com/3n6Jr1SHsf
— Andy Ha (@_AndyHa) October 24, 2016
Ladies and gentleman, I present to you the future of The Anfield Wrap. We’re knocking the website and the podcasts on the head and just doing interviews outside the ground with very, very unstable football supporters. I’ve already ordered some t-shirts in Comic Sans font for all of us to wear, and I’m sure Neil’s got a fedora somewhere in his wardrobe so that’s that boxed off as well.
What a fantastic piece of moving visual media this is. The first feller is wearing what appears to be a secondary school blazer he’s bought in Laser on London Road and the force with which he grips that match program with his podgy right-hand throughout is absolutely harrowing. Ever wanted to see a man slowly succumb to his own wrath and experience a full breakdown because the mediocre football franchise he follows has been beaten? This is the video for you.
He delivers a monologue with the kind of fervour and gumption only matched by the foremost Shakespearean actors in the business. The turn to camera as he addresses the referee and stares the down lens is unnerving beyond belief. If I was Christopher Kavanagh, I would be terrified that this feller was hiding in my bushes.
The emergence of Fan TV in the past three years or so has been fascinating to watch. The vast majority of Premier League clubs, and apparently some much lower down the chain, have dedicated firms of fans armed with microphones and lighting equipment ready to film immediate reactions. Kind of like The Pink we do, only with far more replica shirts and cold street corners by the ground instead of karaoke bars.
The absolute pinnacle, obviously, is ArsenalFanTV. There’s very little I look forward to more than weekends where the Gunners lose or drop points to lesser teams, because their YouTube channel makes for unmissable viewing afterwards. The regular cast of stars, comprising Claude, Moh, and Bully among others, regularly mull over the club’s net spend and Arsene Wenger’s future while surrounded by children and teenagers desperate to get their face on the air somehow, like Hollyoaks extras. The discussion regularly descends into absolute farce as contributors screech transfer fees from years ago over one another and shout down the host with vitriol about the manager before he can even finish asking the question.
An absolute joy to behold with a can on a Sunday evening.
Player Pulls Out By Dropping Guts in Manager’s Face:
Reports suggesting that former Bournemouth player Tokelo Rantie was dropped from the South Africa national team for farting at the coach. pic.twitter.com/S6kMU7lL4p
— Coral (@Coral) October 21, 2016
Well, erm…yeah. Not really sure what to add to this, to be honest.
In possibly the most novel way to avoid tedious international friendlies ever, miles better than faking a groin injury, South Africa striker Tokelo Rantie managed to miss out on his country’s games with Burkina Faso and Ghana this week by dropping his kecks, bending over, and squeezing out a fart right into manager Ephraim Mashaba’s face, according to local journalist Mninawa Ntloko.
Now, there are some facts which I feel need clarifying here but I fear we will never know the exact details. Here are some questions which plague me about the incident in question:
- How far away from Mashaba’s face was Rantie’s hole at the time of launch? It isn’t really certain to what extent the odour will have impacted with Mashaba’s face without knowing the mechanics of the situation – distance, wind-speed, angle of aiming etc. Did Rantie attempt to find the perfect position in order to let rip or was it more a symbol of his displeasure with little care for the precise particularities?
- This brings me onto another point – was this gaseous assault planned carefully or did Rantie suddenly feel a fart building up inside him and spotted his chance to strike in a frenzied fit of rage?
- What had Rantie eaten beforehand? Obviously no scent would be pleasurable in this instance (although to be fair, I’m sure someone somewhere is into it, let’s not kink shame) but I do feel that the specifics are integral in order to truly empathise with the manager, here. Was it a squeaky one, mainly just air? Or was it a meaty fart? You know what I mean, when you’ve had sausages or a burrito or something a few hours earlier and then a wave of gas billows from your sphincter towards the escape hatch, before a rippling rush of heat bursts through, permeating the air and staining every nostril hair within a mile radius, stinging your skin like acid rain. These are the type of farts someone by me in The Kop does every single week, and they are the worst.
- What trauma befell Tokelo Rantie at some point in his life which made him believe that farting in his boss’s face was acceptable etiquette? Who hurt you, Tokelo? What did they do to you?
Thus, without full CCTV of the incident, we will never know the complete story behind Tokelo Rantie’s withdrawal from international duty, nor the full extent of the impact of the fart in question. What we can be certain of, though, is that him and his rancid arse have ensured he will never again play for South Africa.
With that in mind — anyone else reckon this was why Mamadou Sakho got sent home from the American tour?