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HELLO there, everyone. I hope you’re all well.

I must admit, I’ve really struggled this week with the Reds not playing. To go completely against the grain, I’m not usually too fussed about the international break. Firstly, it saves me a significant bit of money, and it also allows me an opportunity to catch up on things I need to do, for example: writing coursework that makes up a significant portion of my final degree mark, spending time with mates who aren’t into football, or laying on the couch in my boxies watching old episodes of The Simpsons on Channel Four. All crucial.

But, for some reason, this one has got right on my tits. I think the Reds are now so good, so moreish, that I have developed withdrawal symptoms from not seeing them play. I’m sat here now in the office scratching my arms to bits and rocking back and forth in my desk chair. I feel hot and cold at the same time. I have vomited into Robbo’s waste paper bin seven times in an hour.

I just need one little fix; one Coutinho dummy, one Firmino finish, one high press. Please. I’ll do anything.

We Really, Really Like Him — Iago Aspas, Iago Aspas:

Well fuck me sideways.

Yes, this is the very same Iago Aspas Juncal who notched up a grand total of FUCK ALL during The Season We Nearly Won The League™, scoring what I believe the Spanish and football sex-cases call a ‘Golazo” against England at Wembley.

It is a boss goal, like. John Stones backs away from him like one of the tossers with the mops in the curling in the winter Olympics, but the way he sweeps in the finish afterwards is magnificent.

Both prior to and since that single year we all spent groaning whenever his name was read out as part of the line-up, he’s had a remarkably successful career with non-descript La Liga side Celta Vigo, being named the division’s Player Of The Month this October and subsequently earning his first call-up to the national team.

Now, I’m not saying we were all completely wrong about him based on the evidence of this goal alone, but, if he had started that Chelsea game he’d have scored four, Gerrard would have maintained his balance, and we’d have won the league. Simple as.

I’m quite happy for him that he’s now done something on an English football pitch more noteworthy than that bloody corner, which would have been more accurately delivered had it been Stephen Hawking trying to swing one into the box.

I’m not always convinced by the argument that many foreign players struggle with the physicality and pace of the Premier League, but I think it’s a valid point in Aspas’ case; the man has the physique of a 17-year-old girl. He had no chance of surviving being bounced everywhere by meatheads like Jonas Olsson and Ashley Williams.

It’s strange how often things seem to work out like this — a player hits an impervious run of form in his home country that warrants a move to a club of a higher level, but then plays like a fan who’s won a Make-A-Wish foundation competition to get a game.

Iago Aspas is the perfect example of this.

Dzeko’s Short Fuse:

Now, I’m not sure if any of you have noticed along the way, but it strikes me that this column has developed an undercurrent of latent homoeroticism recently. Over the past few weeks, we’ve had an analysis of Jimmy Bullard’s public masturbation tendencies, we’ve all gawped over a picture of a moist Xabi Alonso, and I professed genuine romantic feelings towards Mark Clattenburg.

But this week, we venture one step further, as former Manchester City forward Edin Dzeko engaged in on-field foreplay by sensuously removing the shorts of Greece’s Kyriakos Papadopoulos (swear to God I actually typed this name and didn’t CTRL C+V it) during a qualifier with the Bosnian national team.

Dzeko received a second yellow card and Papadopoulos was sent off by referee Jonas Eriksson for shoving in the bedlam which followed, before the Greeks scored a 95th minute winner. There’s been an awful lot of debate recently about whether gay footballers would be accepted by the sporting community if they came out, so I’m interpreting this a piece of performance art done to further that cause; Dzeko creates a scene here that he knows will be broadcast worldwide in order to demonstrate that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality taking an active role in football. It’s a crying shame that the referee deemed such a powerful critique of a cultural issue worthy of a sending off.

In all fairness, though, it is all a bit forceful from Dzeko. I mean, we’ve all got our likes and dislikes, our dos and do nots; there’s stuff you’d say “yeah go on then” to, but also many things you’d answer with “absolutely fucking not, you weird twat”. So I’m not trying to kink shame here, but I mean, at least give the lad a warning, Edin. You can’t just grab someone you fancy by the calf and start ripping bits of clothing off. Buy him a drink and take it slow for Christ’s sake.

The ironic thing, with this being a qualifier for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, is that if such a romantic display were to take place when the tournament itself kicks off, Vladimir Putin would almost certainly have Dzeko arrested and put on trial for spreading homosexual propaganda.

Tim Sher-Would Like to be a Manager Again:

That’s right, Tactics Timmy is back and he’s got the same boyish disregard for authority he always had.

Sherwood, appointed Director of Football at Swindon last week amongst reports of a takeover by Red Bull, just couldn’t help himself when he watched his side go 1-0 down to lowly Eastleigh in an FA Cup 1st round replay.

Having begun the match sitting in the stands, he entered the dugout in the second-half and relegated manager Luke Williams to the role of an additional coach. He called the players over to the technical area and began to bark out instructions, no doubt with the same juvenile cockney cadence that made him such a laughing stock early in his managerial career.

Get on this photo of him in the second-half:

https://twitter.com/Ankaman616/status/798654391771275265

First of all — the posture. He’s sat there, legs stretched out, hands in pockets, like a schoolboy with absolutely no interest in Mr. Jenkins’ PowerPoint presentation about the build up of sedimentary rock in sub-saharan Africa. I have a theory that Tim Sherwood’s cognitive development halted around the age of 13, possibly due to a biological defect or some sort of traumatic event, thus explaining the fact that he speaks and behaves like an adolescent.

Secondly — what in the name of the baby Jesus is that coat he’s wearing? The absolute kip of it. It looks like he’s bought it from St. John’s market for fuck’s sake.

This season’s football has been extremely enjoyable for many reasons, most notably the success of the Reds, but also the folly of the laugh-riot that is Davey Moyes, United being dogshit, and Jamie Vardy being completely found out. The one thing top-level soccer is missing at the moment, however, is Tim Sherwood in a Premier League managerial role.

He needs to be appointed head coach by a mediocre Premier League club with little else interesting about them. The potential for even more sizzling banter is astronomical, and would nicely round off what is already becoming one of the GOAT seasons.

So come on, Hull City, take the plunge. It’s for the greater good.

Stokes is All Shook Up:

I know what you’re thinking. You’re expecting me to fabricate the details of this story and litter it with Elvis puns. Do you really think I’d be so low, so base, so predictable, as to do that? Because if so, you’re absolutely spot on.

First and foremost, I’m a big fan of the wording of this tweet; the BBC seems to be implying that ‘assaulting an Elvis impersonator’ is its own special crime, distinct from plain-old regular assault. GBH might get you a few months inside, but assaulting an Elvis impersonator? Life, mate.

Apparently Stokes, staying at the Heartbreak Hotel in his native Northern Ireland, approached Anthony Bradley outside the Bossa Nova Baby nightclub, located In The Ghetto, and Paralyzed the victim with a punch to the head while shouting “Surrender!”

Stokes told the court this week: “I Feel So Bad. I Got Stung by a bee and it Hurt, I was so angry. I Beg Of You, please Treat Me Nice.”

The defendant pleaded for a quick decision from the jury, demanding: “A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action. This man is the Devil In Disguise.”

In summing up, the judge said: “It is my belief that Mr. Stokes is nothing but a Hound Dog.” Fans of Stokes have been tweeting in support to the former Celtic striker, with one writing “Don’t Cry, Daddy.”

For Stokes, It’s Now Or Never; he’ll be sentenced on December 20th, and the former Arsenal man could very well be sent on his Way Down to Jailhouse Rock. He’ll certainly be very Lonesome Tonight in his cell come Christmas Eve.

If you’ve actually managed to make it to the end of this section without ripping your eyeballs out, well in. See you next week.

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