Southgate Signs Off, AVB Living The Dream And Plastic Adidas Kits - Football, Bloody Football | The Anfield Wrap


WELL, well, well. We all now live in a world plunging deeper and deeper into the hellscape we knew it would one day become. An unstable moron, a blatant racist, sexist, and homophobe, is now the most powerful man on Earth, and the wave of fascism spreading across the globe is washing over us at a truly horrifying speed. Logic and reason have been defeated as concepts and the prospect of every single one of us dying in an apocalyptic event of our own making sometime this century is exponentially more plausible than it was mere days ago.

The league title we have all awaited for so long will have to be won pre-January if we have any hope of celebrating it, before hate and war ravages the planet to such an extent that what is left shortly after is but a speck of dust in the vast expanse of the cosmos.

Within the space of a week, Donald Trump has been elected President of the United States, and Sunderland have won a game of football. Is anything real anymore?

Here’s some stupid shit that happened this week.

Southgate To Become Permanent Dead Man Walking:

There you have it, then; all the oddballs who dress up in chainmail, take trumpets to Wembley, and throw garden furniture around on trips to the continent, will be pinning their hopes on Gareth Southgate to lead the English national team to glory in Russia in a little under two years’ time.

Southgate, a man with the aesthetic of a wet-behind-the-ears ICT supply teacher being relentlessly bullied at a state comprehensive defined by Ofsted as ‘Unsatisfactory’, appears to have stumbled into the most powerful position in English football by virtue of his predecessor’s sheer lack of competence and penchant for pints of Echo Falls white, and the fact that any football manager of sound reputation seems to have told the Football Association to politely get fucked.

The man’s only other role in senior management, with Middlesbrough, ended in failure, and his penalty miss at Euro ’96 is widely regarded as one of the most disappointing and embarrassing moments in English sporting history.

The undeniable shitshow that is England shows no sign of getting its act together and I for one am willing to deal with the tedium of international breaks, safe in the knowledge that we are only two summers away from another country-wide meltdown where ‘Leave’ voters lambast footballers for being overpaid bottlers who aren’t fit to polish the boots of our *BRAVE* soldiers.

I am extremely confident that England will never win a pot in my lifetime. The regular pre-tournament belief that takes over this country, when plenty kid themselves that the country’s footballers are talented and have the chance to go all the way, is absolutely staggering — the national team has come nowhere near any modicum of success for 50 years, because of the fact that its players and coaches are simply sub-standard.

People wonder why young English players barely get a chance to play in the Premier League, and the unfortunate truth is that the vast majority are fucking dog shit.

Get on the absolute kip of this:

That is a frankly disgusting set of footballers with which to attempt to make a successful team. I’m not entirely sure who Michael Keane and Jordan Pickford are. How is Phil Jagielka one of the 23 most talented kickers of football when the country has a population of over 60,000,000 people? I mean, there’s a lad from Warrington in there for fuck’s sake. If this group of men were a club side, they’d be mid-table in the Championship at best.

So let’s all sit back, watch, and enjoy the next two years, while Gareth Southgate becomes the latest martyr to die upon the cross for this nation’s sins, as him and his team are knocked out of a round-of-16 game in Vladivostok by Paraguay.

Villas-Boas Living The Dream:

They say football management is quite a stressful profession, but I’m starting to believe that’s not really the case.

Andre Villas-Boas, laughed out of London on two separate occasions by his billionaire employers and the media, has come up trumps (didn’t mean this, sorry for reminding you of it) once again, landing himself yet another massive payout, following his signing of a contract with Chinese Super League Side Shanghai SIPG worth a staggering €30million over two years.

Now, there’ll be those that tell you Villas-Boas is a sell-out, an inferior Xabi Alonso lookalike who has failed in his career and has taken the money because deep down he knows that he is incapable of finding success with a legitimate football team. Those people are not wrong, in a way.

But I actually rate him. His Porto side were absolutely brilliant, and I think both Chelsea and Spurs were hasty in sacking him — neither of his replacements there lasted very long at all — and he won a league and cup in his two seasons at Zenit. He also did it all with a sense of dress and beard-game that Pep Guardiola could only dream of living up to.

But yes, he has certainly given up on being taken seriously in football. And who can blame him? Look at his face in those pictures. Look at it right now. Stare into his eyes. Let his rugged lusitanic looks overwhelm you. Do it.

This is the joyous face of a man to whom money has brought a distinct ease of life, a car and house some would kill for, a handsome woman with which to make Shakespeare’s beast with two backs, and all without the pressure of a rabid support-base and pervasive media watching his every move.

His plan, apparently, is to retire in just a few years, in his early 40s, to compete in the Dakar rally. What. A. Man.

If you’re telling me you’d rather manage Villarreal or some such shite instead of turning up to Shanghai SIPG training once a week, half-cut having necked a bottle of champagne at breakfast, being paid an obscene amount of money with which you can act out any rich lunatic fantasy you wish to, then you’re a fucking liar.

Adidas x Environmental Consciousness Collection A/W ’16:

Yes, Adidas, having been founded by a man who cooperated with the Nazi party in 1930s Germany (hopefully less references to right-wing hate groups next week, folks), have grown a social conscience in recent years, and are now making kits out of bits of plastic waste from the ocean in an effort to aid the environment.

Both Bayern Munich and Real Madrid sported the sea-found attire in matches this weekend, and they’re both fairly smart. I’m a big fan of how old-school they look, and the diminished visibility of the sponsors is a plus.

Of course, if this wasn’t a mere publicity stunt, and if they really cared about their social and environmental impact as a company, they would make every kit they produce out of these waste materials, they wouldn’t use sweat-shop labour, and they wouldn’t have designed some shoes with slave shackles on them in 2012. Still, Predators were bloody great, weren’t they?

To be honest, I only wanted to write this section so you could all look at that picture of a wet Xabi. Phwoar.

ALF Is Back — And Not Just In Pog Form:

I might start buying match programmes again if they’ve got mad shit like this in every week.

Now, unfortunately, I’m a little too young to be completely familiar with ALF (Alien Life Form), but I have been reading his wikipedia page ever since I saw this story, and thus can completely sympathise with Olivier Giroud’s childhood fear of him, which is by no means irrational.

Firstly, and I’m going to need you stick with me on this, ALF’s face, with its skin gradually rippling forwards from the base into its tip, looks a bit like a massive, mole-ridden, uncircumcised foreskin, with two nostrils replacing the traditional human urethra at the top of the bellend. Seriously, even if you think you remember precisely what ALF looks like, even if you were a big fan and had a plush toy of him as a child, have a look at his face. It looks exactly like this.

Another point — the weird bastard eats cats. The second autofill suggestion on Google Images when you search for ALF is ‘Alf Cats’, and he’s just sat there in the kitchen squashing a kitten into the space between two massive pieces of bread. I’ve seen and heard some horrifying things over the past couple of days, some of which have made me wonder whether human beings are innately bad and only out for themselves, but this is by far the worst. Whoever wrote this character is off their tits.

Now, growing up when Live and Kicking was big in the ‘90s, I was big fan of Mr. Blobby, but when one of my aunties dressed up as him for my third birthday party in a local function room, and I saw those huge, bulging and grotesque pink hands approaching me, I ran away and cried my eyes out, petrified. The creators of these monstrosities simply do not seem to realise that giant distorted mutants have the potential to scar children for life — a plague which continues to haunt both me and Olivier Giroud to this day.

If Arsenal become a serious threat to our title challenge as the season progresses, and if you’re all happy to fund the kickstarter so we can buy an ALF costume, I’m happy to throw it on and go and stand outside Arsenal’s training ground for a month or so in the hope of having Giroud sectioned.


So, that’s all for now, and possibly forever. This time next week I’ll either see you back here for another instalment, or I’ll be trying to steal the canned food and medicine from the shopping trolley that contains all your earthly possessions, as you and your family attempt to push it all the way to the Scottish Highlands in the faint hope of avoiding the nuclear radiation engulfing the landscape.

Good luck.

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