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This is the archive for September 2008

Newcastle Goes Nigerian

So Newcastle United have found someone interested in buying the club. The party in question is a consortium of Nigerian businessmen, who are willing to put in the £450 million that the current owner, Mike Ashley, is asking for. They promise that if they get they club, they'll try to get Kevin Keegan back as manager. Good news, eh? All Ashley has to do is pay a £50,000 deposit to the consortium and they'll transfer the funds within a week. They'll also be requiring his bank details and his mother's maiden name, but I'm sure that's standard practice in this kind of deal.

When's a miss not a miss?

Possibly the worst refereeing decision ever. Even Graham 'Three Yellows' Poll is jealous of this one:

Something about David Beckham

When David Beckham first moved to the US, both fans and 'experts' alike predicted the end of his England career would soon follow. After all, what is the MLS, if not one big retirement home? However, it wasn't long before the national selectors started knocking on his door again, as it became very apparent that while Beckham was past his best, we really didn't have any better alternatives.

For a while, Shaun Wright-Phillips was touted as his successor, but his transfer to Chelsea, and a subsequent lack of first team opportunities, has substantially damaged his international career. Tottenham’s, David Bentley was also mentioned briefly, but didn’t do enough with his chances to really secure a place in the England team.

Then the manager, Fabio Cappello, selected Theo Walcott to play on the right of midfield – Beckham’s position. Walcott was previously known best as the shock selection for the 2006 World Cup squad, being chosen instead of more experienced strikers. He’d barely played a game for his club, and was far from ready for international football. Unsurprisingly, he finished the tournament without making a single appearance.

Anyway, all that is now forgotten, thanks to a superb hat-trick against Croatia last week. Considering that Beckham probably never scored a hat-trick in his life, apart from in his back garden against his kids, it’s probably safe to say those three goals signalled the end of his days as an international footballer. He might still make it to the squad, but I can’t see him starting any more matches.

Obviously, he’ll still be playing for LA Galaxy for a few years to come. But without regular England appearances, he’ll need to keep his profile up in order to remain an asset to his club, because, let’s face it, the main reason anyone buys Beckham is the publicity and interest he attracts.

So what’s he going to do with his time now? The modelling stuff is fine, but he’s 33, and his looks will fade. And if he’s not good-looking anymore, he might not get invited to those A-list parties and events.

Perhaps he could use some his Hollywood contacts to launch an acting career. There have certainly been rumours about it already. Of course, that won’t come to anything, due to the fact he sounds very much like a castrato when he speaks. Any attempts to become a singer would be hindered too by this affliction. Even if he did manage it, his wife would no doubt wish to impart her own wisdom upon him regarding the music biz. Failure would surely follow.

With music and film out of the equation, Beckham is left with few high-profile occupations to choose from. He’s probably too old to try a new sport, apart from golf, and in Tiger Woods, it already has its poster boy.

Things are starting to look desperate for David now. A downwards slide into alcoholism, gambling and drug abuse seems imminent, unless he can find a way to stay in the public eye. Fortunately, America offers a place where aging stars can go once their light begins to fade. It’s called politics. It worked for Arnie, Ronald Reagan and Sonny Bono. Even Jesse Ventura did it. Surely, with his apparent lack of intelligence or understanding of politics, combined with his perfect teeth and much publicised marital infidelity, David Beckham is the perfect candidate to be a State Governor. He’d get my vote. Obviously, because I’m not American, I wouldn’t have to live with the consequences, but if you ever wanted to know what a political campaign speech would sound like when delivered by a seven-year-old girl, this has to be the way forward.

"My first political... thingy, will be to make... like good stuff happen and that"

King Kev Quits Again

Right now, I almost feel like crying. Once again, Kevin Keegan, the messiah of my beloved Newcastle United, has thrown in the towel. This time, he was pissed with the club's upper management for interfering with player transfers, giving him players he didn't want, and selling those that he did. To make matters worse, the club's owner, Mike Ashley thought it wise to employ Dennis Wise as the 'Executive Director of Football', whatever that means. As well as no doubt meddling in affairs that shouldn't concern him, Wise is also a first-class dickhead, and I respect Keegan's desire not to work with him.

Anyway, what's done is done, and the absence of the King now leaves Newcastle looking for a successor. But who would want the job? David Moyes has been put forward as a possible, but I can't see him ever wanting to leave Everton, where he's built a very good squad and has the support of the fans. Didier Deschamps has also been mentioned. This is certainly a more likely suggestion, but I don't think he'd do a particularly good job in English football. However, looking for a continental manager certainly seems like a good idea, and I'd like to put forward the name of a new guy on the scene who's currently making big waves in Holland. Step forward Mr Steve McClaren.

Well, maybe not. Whoever they do get for the job, though, is going to have a hard time pleasing both the board and the fans, and I predict another year of struggling for the Toon, after which there'll no doubt be an exodus of the club's best players, followed by possible relegation.

Okay, now I really am crying.

A man who used to work for Newcastle United