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Friday 7 December 2012

Australian DJs Causing Suicides

Regular readers will know that I love it when people who are as mad as spoons start sending death threats to people in the media. However, in this case, it isn't the Liverpool supporters threatening to decapitate somebody and do a poo down their exposed gullet for saying the Hillsborough single (which is called "He Ain't Heavy", so is presumably not a ballad about Steven Gerrard) is fucking dreadful (I haven't heard it, but I feel fairly confident that I can say it's dreadful without actually listening to it - everybody knows charity records suck, though I suspect it might be intentional... If the songs were actually good people would download them illegally and they'd never raise any money).

This time, it is a bunch of other people who I can't seem to find a cohesive group name for other than just, you know, "nutters", threatening some Australian DJs because they made some poor woman top herself.

So this is the story. Aussie DJs Mel Grieg and Michael Christian (Mel Grieg is a lady Mel, like Mel C sort of is, ish, rather than a male Mel like Mel Gibson sort of is, ish) do one of those radio shows where they make the odd prank phone call for comedy purposes. They phoned up the King Edward VII hospital where Kate Middleton (oh, I know you're supposed to call her the Duchess of Cambridge but nobody fucking does, just like nobody calls the guy made of sewn together corpses Frankenstein's Monster) was being treated for, I don't know, the vapours or whatever, pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles.

Now, on account of how they are comedy DJs rather than insidious hardcore journalists, they didn't go to any real lengths to be convincing as the Queen and the Prince of Wales, instead going more for, well, comedy. They spoke with dodgy, comedy English Royalty style accents, and even had their mate (let's call him Bruce) barking in the background, pretending to be a corgi. Mel Grieg was not exactly giving it the full Helen Mirren as Her Maj, referring to Kate as her "granddaughter" (rather than as "K-Middy", which is what the real Queen would have called her). All in all it is quite clear that they were just planning to have a bit of a laugh until whoever answered twigged that it was a wind up and shouted at them. That being the usual format of that kind of bit.

Things didn't go to plan. The phone call was answered by a nurse called Jacintha Saldhana, who was on reception at the time. Rather than joining in the reindeer games and doing what Greig and Christian were probably expecting - getting comically irate at them for wasting her time - she treated the call as genuine and put it through to another nurse who was involved in treating Kate Middleton, who as we all know, is pregnant with the world's first human baby. This was kind of dumb, but fuck it, if I was a nurse working my arse off looking after posh women with a bit of morning sickness I doubt I'd be that bothered with playing gatekeeper, as if I was a corporate receptionist dealing with people wanting to sell my boss toner cartridges. Fuck all that, just bang them through.

At this point, Grieg and Christian must have been thinking "awesome, let's see how far we can go with this!" - these sorts of calls so rarely pay off with anything much but when they do it is often comedy gold. So they spoke to the nurse, who they also somehow duped, and who unexpectedly revealed all sorts of details about Kate's condition. Kate, apparently, was fine, by the way.

And that was that. All rather embarrassing for the hospital, and a bit worrying in terms of, well, if a couple of Australian clowns doing a bit on a radio show can get that kind of information, what could someone who was actually trying find out? In a world where journalists tap phones... But still, no harm, no foul.

Until Jacintha Saldhana was found dead, that is. Now, Saldhana was just the first person they spoke to who put them through to the Duchess' nurse. She didn't reveal anything she shouldn't have, and her role in the whole thing was relatively minor. But she committed suicide, we are told, and obviously this was because of the prank call and therefore Michael Christian and Mel Grieg are worse versions of Hitler and should be tarred and feathered.

Please people, let's think about this rationally. Would a mother of two off herself at Christmas time because she'd made a minor cock up at work that had lead to some personal but not very interesting or scandalous information about Kate bloody Middleton being revealed on Australian radio? This isn't Japan in the time of the Samurai, where people commit ritual suicide for bringing shame upon the hospital where they work or dishonoring the emporer's son's daughter in law. In reality, the tragic suicide of Jacintha Saldhana was probably the result of other, much more personal issues - perhaps the kind of issues that might distract a person and make them drop the ball a bit at work...

You can't blame Michael Christian and Mel Grieg, or the radio station they work for, for this turn of events.  They have been taken off the air for a while, which is probably for the best while this blows over, but any more serious repercussions than that don't make sense.

Tuesday 30 October 2012

Referees with Ideas Above Their Station

If you're a supporter in any of the world's big football leagues, chances are you can name a few refs from current or recent seasons, and have a strong opinion on whether you would want them officiating when your team plays. In a job where the key criteria for success are being balanced, fair, observant, calm and competent, why are the personalities and behaviours of referees becoming more and more of a matter of attention?

If you pay any attention to the Premiership whatsoever and haven't spent the last few days in "the hole" in prison (and I'm not sure if prisons really have those or if I just got the idea that they do from something that happened on basically every episode of Oz), chances are you have read, heard or spoken about Mark Clattenburg quite recently. If I myself had spent the last 24 hours in "the hole" I'd probably have spent a fair bit of that time thinking about him, and I mean that very much not in a dirty way before you get confused.

The controversy around Clattenburg would probably have stayed in Chelsea circles and blown over as these things always do if it had just been about the questionable sending off of Lady Diana Torres and the fact Man United's winning goal was a bit on the offside side. That sort of thing happens, Chelsea weren't the only team to suffer from inaccurate decisions this week and at the end of the day unless decisions like this knock you out of an important cup on their own, you just have to grumble about it but move on, or you sound like a whiny little bitch and people start singing "Always the Victims" at you.

Certainly you can notice patterns with certain refs and their treatment of given players and teams that are evident of something far more sinister, and biases like that can seriously cost teams, but losing one game a season over something like this as an isolated incident is usually just an unfortunate part of this or any other sport - nobody can get it right every time. Well, unless they have technology to help them (and make it possible to verify they're not just, you know, lying about what they saw), but that's a rant for another day.

Instead, the story took a bizarre twist when after the game, Chelsea alleged that Clattenburg had racially abused Mikel, calling him a "monkey" and not in the way you might call a mischievous nephew one, I'd wager... Or even Gareth Bale, who does, you have to admit, sort of look like one. No, in the racist way - the way that only seems to exist in football. You never hear of someone who's up for racially aggravated assault doing it - they tend to favour different horrible racist slurs. It's always some cock at a football match.

He also apparently called Juan Mata a "Spanish twat". This brings up the question of slurs involving nationality and whether they should be treated as the same thing as those based on colour. They should, really, because of the way they are intended. Poor little Juan Mata probably felt bad for being called a Spanish twat even though being Spanish is about the coolest thing to be in football at the moment and certainly something Mata is quite proud of, so therefore a shit insult, if you think about it.

Obviously some might say nobody should be calling anybody a twat, a cunt or a bell end of any sort because it's mean, but when it comes to the players, then you're getting into the sort of territory where everyone will have to wear bras and hug like in South Park's Sarcastaball NFL episode (which like all episodes that feature my hero Randy Marsh was very good). Good sportsmanship is all very admirable and the ideal, but at the end of the day it's a physical sport and people get angry and have "heated exchanges" - people piss and whine that they get paid a lot and should be professional and saintly at all times as a thank you for all that money nobody is forced to pay them, but I don't think I could not call someone a big diseased dog scrotum if they tackled me dangerously or disallowed my blatant goal, and I'm probably a lot less hot tempered than the average Mario Balotelli (note - there isn't really any such thing as an "average Mario Balotelli"). It's when it crosses the line from run of the mill handbags to something intensely offensive or genuinely threatening it needs to be punished, and that's the referee's fucking JOB. You can't command respect from players and tell them not to be behaving in certain ways and expect any good to come of it if you are calling them twats, Spanish or otherwise.

It hasn't been proven whether Clattenburg said either of these things, but it is a very strange thing this story exists. In breaking news as I write this the Met Police have been called in to investigate. Given the current constant coverage of various stories big and small and usually somehow involving Rio bloody Ferdinand about racism in the game, why would anyone want to invite any more of it, even if you were a massive arsehole and really in the mood for a spot of racially abusing someone? Do you want the police and the courts and the FA on your ass right now? Especially at a match between Chelsea and Man Utd, two of the teams involved (albeit in different ways) in some of the biggest racism stories, as well as one of the most attention grabbing fixtures anyway?

It's no secret that I love Chelsea, and I think RDM is too classy to merely be trying to discredit a referee who cost him a game, especially when the media almost unanimously agreed that Chelsea were wronged in the game itself, damaging Clattenburg's credibility anyway. I therefore can only hope Chelsea are telling the truth, even though it just seems like such an insane thing for Clattenburg to do. The only possible motivation I can think of is fame and an overblown ego - and this wouldn't be the only time recently that a referee has seemed motivated by these factors in his actions, although it may well be the most controversial.

And this is where I come to the point of today's rant. Referees in the modern game have in too many cases developed ideas, or at least publicity and notoriety above their station, and seem to want to command as much media attention as the players. This is wrong. We shouldn't be talking about Mark fucking Clattenburg. In the MLS, I don't know how much time I've spent talking about Ricardo Salazar, but it's too much. Howard Webb and Graham Poll shouldn't have endless jokes about them. We shouldn't need to know or care who these people are. Sure, in special cases where a referee is especially good and well respected they deserve to be known about and appreciated (the obvious case being Pierluigi Collina, who was famous before all of this weirdness started and who I would say deserved that car commercial, bless him), but when you're just famous for being biased, incompetent or even racist, and people are talking about you because you have a negative impact on the game, you deserve nothing but the sack.

Referees do an important job, but it's one that can only be done well if you take your own ego out of it and act in a fair and unassuming way. Controlling the game, commanding respect and making difficult calls is only possible if you are doing it because it's right, rather than because having a sense of power over a bunch of rich, famous guys and the outcome of one of the most watched sports fixtures in the world gives you the horn. You are part of the football world but only in the same way other vital supporting roles are - and you don't see the physiotherapists all clamouring to make the headlines or deliberately fucking up Suarez's leg just because they work with footballers and think this makes them Jack the fucking Biscuit. We don't have time to look at you because we're watching the game, and we don't want to have to worry about you doing something wacky to ruin our day - that's the other team's job. You earn 70k a year, not a week. You don't drive a Maserati, you drive a fucking Honda. What the hell makes you think you have the right to act like a prima donna when you're supposed to be the one keeping the people we actually came to watch in check and making sure we get the good, fair game we are all hoping for?

Wednesday 11 July 2012

The John Terry Trial

A few points before I get into the meat of this article about the John Terry trial:

Firstly, to the various people moaning that he will "get off more lightly than Suarez" - i.e. Liverpool supporters - not for the first time, you are being preposterous. He lost the England captaincy, and is facing criminal charges. I'm sure he would have preferred a simple ban, even a record breakingly large one (which I thought was excessive in Suarez's case too - possible verbal racial slurs are bad and deserving of punishment, but surely not the worst thing any footballer ever has done) to standing trial. I know I would. Oh, I guess people in Liverpool are so used to going to court it no longer seems like a big deal to them...

Seriously, a ban would have been more palatable to just about everyone, even if JT is innocent (which Suarez may also have been in some sort of a way), because at least that would have been keeping the whole thing within the FA and the sport where it belongs. And, indeed, where it would have stayed, had whatever hoopy earringed slapper Anton was banging at the time and Rio stayed out of it, and had Ferdinand's PR man not supposedly put pressure on the police to make a big deal of it under threat of going to the media and saying the cops are all racist too and a "white man's word means more than a black man's"... Don't say the cops are racist, it leads to people breaking windows and stealing TVs out of William Hill. Evra obviously doesn't have a cunty PR man who'd do something so obviously provocative, so the Suarez business was dealt with within the sport.

Secondly, to the newspapers whining that people tweeting about court cases could be deemed to be in contempt of court, because tweets could sway jurors, and how it is unfair people can tweet about stuff they can't write about - the solution to this is obvious. You can ban jurors from using the internet during the trial. This is easier than trying to deal with a contempt of court situation every time someone tweets about a trial by jury. It is easier to prevent jurors from logging in to their social media accounts than to prevent them from accidentally seeing a newspaper headline. Of course, the John Terry trial is in a magistrates court and therefore has no jury, so it is unlikely anything will be done about Rio's tweets because honestly, I don't think magistrates would be swayed by the barely literate crap he tweets. Speaking of which, I think that Liar, Liar tweet had nothing to do with the John Terry trial, it's just that Liar, Liar is Rio Ferdinand's favourite movie. Not because he's a liar, I mean, but because he's thick and that movie has a very simple plot...

Now then, onto the main event. The John Terry trial is underway, and despite how entertaining following the few hilarious bits, like the exchange where Terry had to explain different footballer insults on a scale of "handbags" to "unacceptable", and the bit where when told he was a supreme athlete JT said "I used to be" has been, I hope it ends very soon with the whole damp sqib being kicked out for lack of evidence. And you can replace "lack of" with "no" there.

The deaf people serving as lip reading experts at the trial have said that it is impossible to conclude from the video (which we've all seen) whether the exchange took place as Anton Ferdinand's corner says it did, with JT straight out calling him a "fucking black cunt", or as John Terry says it did, with him responding to an initial accusation from Ferdinand that he had called him that with something along the lines of  [in disbelief] "did I call you a fucking black cunt? You fucking knobhead...". So, that video evidence is basically worthless.

The only other evidence would be that of the witnesses. Anton Ferdinand himself and QPR football club on the whole supposedly didn't want much to do with the trial, and apparently were not at all cooperative with the police during the initial inquiries. That doesn't make Ferdinand sound like the best witness in the world...

In fact, from what I can surmise from various reports I've seen, Ferdinand and Terry had had the discussion about whether or not Anton had thought John had called him a "fucking black cunt" immediately after the game, and Anton had said no, and they'd both sort of left it on good terms. Then Anton Ferdinand's "girlfriend at the time" as she keeps being referred to, supposedly showed him the video on YouTube on her Blackberry. So she's a fucking Blackberry cunt then (duh-dum tssssh!)... Nah, really, I hate those bloody things - who has a Blackberry unless it is a work phone you are made to carry around until you lose the plot and throw it out of the window of a commuter train? Anyway, I digress...

It really sounds like Anton Ferdinand's reasons for getting into a court case situation may not be entirely clear cut. I don't like the bit about the PR guy and the cops, that to me sounds very sinister. Is this case just a big performance to show the Met takes racism seriously?

I think we can safely say that John Terry is not fundamentally racist. If he was, I think it would have come up long before now. He has had a lot of good relationships with a lot of black players over the course of his career, and he also notably (and he raised this in the case) has done charity work in Africa for Marcelle Desailly and Didier Drogba's charities. While the whole "I'm not racist, I've got loads of black friends" thing is a cliche everybody pretty much tries to avoid these days, in this case I think it is a valid point.

JT says he is horrified that anyone would think he was a racist, and sadly for him, now a hell of a lot of people do. This case needs to be thrown out so we can move on, but I fear there could be permanent damage to JT's reputation, and the harm of him losing his England armband and the ensuing Capello debacle cannot be undone even if there is some kind of Cheryl Cole style mass hypnosis thing where everyone forgets there ever was a racism controversy associated with him.

I know a lot of people aren't fans of John Terry, but if you're reading this, please, read the facts about the trial and tell me honestly whether you think, from a legal perspective, there could be any excuse for finding him guilty in this whole farce.

Anyway, I kind of agree with what he indisputably did say that day - Anton Ferdinand is a "fucking knobhead".

Sunday 15 April 2012

Alan Davies' Liverpool Death Threats

Hillsborough 1989. This was Liverpool FC's 9/11. Except unlike 9/11, which was ten years ago, it is too soon to make any form of joke about anything even vaguely related to it.
Today, Chelsea played Tottenham in the FA Cup semi final. Prior to the game there was scheduled to be a minute's silence, no, not for the Italian player who died during a match yesterday, but for the 23rd anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. 
Around 2000 Chelsea fans reportedly brought this to an early end with distasteful chants of "murderers". Now, by anyone's standards that is bad behaviour, but I've seen a number of reactions to this that are just plain ridiculous, claiming that Tottenham should have won by default because a minority of Chelsea fans (that's fans, not players) were disrespectful and also because of a dodgy goal being allowed (by the referee, you know, the bloke who awards the goals, not by Didier Drogba or anyone else in a blue shirt. If Chelsea players could just allow themselves goals, we wouldn't be fighting to finish in fourth). So, for things that were not within the players', manager's or overall club's control then? Yeah, that sounds sporting.
I'm sorry, but sometimes goals that aren't goals are allowed. Sometimes, this gets Liverpool into the final of the Champions League and allows them to win something they can then bang on about for the rest of time. Other times, it just makes a game end 5-1 instead of 4-1. In the latter case, who really gives the tiniest part of a tiny rat's ass?
And just as referees will quite royally fuck things up, supporters will make distasteful chants about teams they hate. Here are some examples:
People screaming, are you listening?/Fences rattling, bodies clattering/Oh what a wonderful sight/We're so happy tonight/Walking in a Hillsborough wonderland
That charming little ditty is attributed to some Manchester United fans. Poor Liverpool. Here's another one:
1 Scouse 2 Scouse 3 Scouse 4, all got crushed on a Sheffield floor/96 dead bastards was the final score/But we're still not happy 'cos we all wanted more
Awwwwww. Horrible, isn't it. Another one?
Who's that choking on their vomit/Who's that turning fucking blue/It's a scouser and his mate/Crushed behind the Hillsborough gates/And they won't be singing Munich anymore.
Those Man United people are out of control beasts, relentlessly going on about Liverpool's 9/11. But wait, what was that last line? They won't be singing Munich anymore? What does that mean? Er...
An M, a U, an N. An I, a C, an H/There was an air disaster in 1958!/They went to Red Star Belgrade and crashed the fucking plane/And when they play in Europe I hope they crash again!
What? The Scousers were singing about Munich? But that was the Mancs' 9/11! Does nobody respect anyone else's 9/11 here? 
I'm a football supporter. If you're reading this, chances are you are too. A lot of us are total bastards with quite remarkably sick senses of humour. It's part of the culture. A fun part, really, in a dark way, and as long as we all just keep responding to any other team's supporters' attempts to bait us by going on about our 9/11 distastefully by going on about their 9/11 distastefully, or, if they don't have a 9/11, by saying their wives have massive vaginas (for some reason, Chrome's spellcheck is telling me "vaginas" isn't a real word, and now I'm actually questioning whether it is or not. Maybe it should be "vagini"? No...) everything will balance itself out, and we'll all be equally bad people and none of us will be hypocrites.
So, if that's the tacit arrangement between football supporters, what is it that makes Hillsborough the one taboo? Why is it the only one of the many horrible things that have happened in the history of the sport that can't be touched, even nearly a quarter of a century later? This is where we come to the Alan Davies situation.
It turns out Jonathan Creek there is a big Arsenal fan, and talking on his football podcast The Tuesday Club he had a bit of a rant about Liverpool FC's annual refusal to play on April 15th. Here is what he said:
'Liverpool and the 15th - that gets on my tits, that shit. What are you talking about "We won’t play on the day"? Why can’t they?'
'Do they play on the date of the Heysel Stadium disaster? How many dates do they not play on?'

'Do Man United play on the date of Munich? Do Rangers play on the date when all their fans died in that disaster whatever year that was - 1971?'
Weird, I thought Rangers' 9/11 was, well, this season. But anyway, in response to the above, Alan Davies received death threats from Liverpool supporters. Seriously. 
He wasn't joking about the disaster. He wasn't joking about the victims, or saying anything that was particularly offensive in terms of Hillsborough itself. All he did was express annoyance that due to Liverpool's insistence that they won't play on the anniversary, an insistence which is unique to the club compared with other clubs who have tragedies associated with them, Chelsea were forced to play their match on the Sunday, leaving less recovery time before the Champion's League semi-final against Barcelona on Wednesday. That's an Arsenal fan worrying that something isn't fair on Chelsea right there, which is pretty bizarre, but not worthy of death threats.
Still, surprised by how offended people were, as you bloody shouldn't be if you are suddenly vilified by the quite alarmingly sensitive Scouse, Alan Davies offered a 1000 pound donation to the Hillsborough Justice Campaign by way of an apology. They told him (figuratively, not literally - don't sue me) to shove it up his arse, saying they would rather he "genuinely tried to understand why the decision never to play on the anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster is so important.". He does understand. He thinks it's bullshit. It's just that that isn't a view you're allowed to have, evidently.
It seems this isn't even the first time Liverpool supporters have got their panties in a bunch about a mention of Hillsborough that is anything other than simpering. In the list of controversial Hillsborough related incidents, there was an issue of Australian FHM pulled, a Liverpool player dropped, some unpleasantness involving Jeremy Hunt, and an apology from the BBC because of, of all things, a line Minty Peterson said on Eastenders. Come on, really? Minty? The most lovable of all the Eastenders characters? Even he can't mention it? There weren't any death threats for Minty, happily, though whether that is because people were scared Phil Mitchell might come to Minty's aid in a fight or because, you know, he isn't real, we can't know.
Look for any similar controversies relating to Munich, or just about any other tragedy you can think of, even those which happened a lot less than 23 years ago, and you will find them few. Come on, Liverpool - do you really want to be seen as the only team that will dish it out but won't take it back?
Please post your death threats below.

Monday 5 March 2012

Andre Villas Boas

Well, he's finally been sacked, so let's take some time to look at what a colossal douchebag Andre Villas Boas truly was at Chelsea.

If you read my column on excellent sports blog Dodgy Knees and Dirty Balls at the start of the season, you may remember that I had quite high hopes for AVB. I had no idea that rather than the Special One, we'd got ourselves a Special Needs One. I know that's quite a cheap shot, but seriously, while he managed to deliver the worst record since Glen Hoddle, he was also quite obviously trying to compete with Hoddle on the "being completely mental" front too.

It seems that prior to AVB getting fired, he was displaying some very odd behaviour. On Saturday night, prior to the "ludicrous display" against, oh, who was it, West Brom or somebody, somebody terrible anyway, AVB slept at the training ground in a "Japanese style pod". What the tits is a Japanese style pod, for a start? Is that just a way of trying to make the fact he was curled up in the foetal position, rocking inside one of those little tents you see those guys who hate their families hiding out in on riverbanks, ostensibly fishing, sound glamorous? Did he have anyone there to protect him from the countless people who undoubtedly wanted to rape him like he raped our team? Because if I'd known about it, I'd have been first in line with the piece of rusty lead pipe.

He'd also become obsessed with what time the players turned up for training. This is the classic behaviour of a boss in trouble. If you don't know what you're doing, one way to look like you're in control is to start getting really anal about that sort of shit. "Oh yeah, I can't make a 4-3-3 work, but I can make Ashley Cole pull the Nokia out of his ass and get to work five minutes early. I'm good."

He would watch out of the window of his office, making a note of what time everyone showed up. He was the first to arrive and the last to leave, working at least 12 hours, every single day. Seriously, would you be spending that much time away from your wife if John Terry was in the vicinity? I don't actually know if he has a wife, but still, if he does, I bet he can't satisfy her sexually. Sorry, another cheap shot. I am very, very angry with him.

The stress wasn't just taking its toll on him mentally. The last person I remember aging as quickly as Andre Villas Boas apparently was had been poisoned with polonium, and I know Abramovich probably has the contacts but I don't think he'd go that far. The person before that was Tony Blair. Thinking about it, Tony Blair was the AVB of politics. Young, initially popular, turned out to be shit and ruined everything...

There were other things that were annoying about him. The way sports announcers couldn't say his name without sounding drunk. That stupid fucking coat. But the worst thing, even worse than trying to play tactics that quite blatantly were never going to work with the players he had, was how much of a dick he was to the players. Apparently when Anelka and Alex were on their way out, he wouldn't let them in the first team facilities, and Anelka wasn't even allowed to come to the annual team Christmas dinner. I know having a giant sulking Frenchman at the table doesn't really scream "festive fun", but the guy had been a huge part of the team and deserved better. I'd have given him the bloody leg if he'd wanted it.

Imagine it, all of the Chelsea squad sitting down for their Christmas din-dins together, with AVB at the head of the table, his paper hat askew, telling Bosingwa off for trying to play with his new Lego TARDIS playset at the table while Mereiles sharpens the knives he was given when he completed his training as a Spetznaz assassin (seriously, doesn't he look like some kind of soviet special forces guy?) ready to carve the bird, when little Juan Mata pipes up "Daddy, where's uncle Nicolas?". AVB launches a bowl of sprouts at little Juan Mata's head. "I will not have that name mentioned in this house!"... Fernando Torres begins to sob quietly, he can't bear to see his one true love little Juan Mata attacked in this way. Daniel Sturridge stares mutinously at AVB - he's missing the Eastenders Christmas special for this and he's not happy, and he's supposed to be meeting Gareth Bale on XBox Live for a game of Mortal Kombat in ten minutes, and he's just learnt Sonya Blade's fatality. Everyone sneaks a look at John Terry, wondering if he's going to do anything, but he's ignoring everyone, tapping away at his iPhone, texting Jose Mourinho - "CAN WE COME AND LIVE WITH YOU AND MUM? DAD'S DRINKING AGAIN." It's powerful fucking stuff, right?

Why did he show such a lack of respect for the senior players? Was he just confused? "If Drogba's too old, and I'm too young, how does that work?" he would mutter to himself, staring at the back pages of the Daily Mail in bewilderment.

Still, with AVB sacked, at least we can revive that old chant from the nineties, where you go "D. I. Matteo" to the tune of D.I.S.C.O. - that was always a good time. But after that, can we please, please just stop the silliness and reinstate Jose Mourinho? What the hell is this nonsense about fat Spanish hotel keyboard player Rafa Benitez in line for the job? There is only one man who can fill the hole and teach Fernando Torres to love again, and it's Jose. Abramovich - make it so.