I’ve never been a great fan of Steve McClaren, but it’s wholly unfair to place the blame for the death of English football at the feet of one hapless individual. Personally, I hold Frank Lampard solely responsible.
The great and the good of the world of punditry, and David Platt, have all been quick to defend the tubby midfielder, claiming that criticism is unjustified.
These washed-up has-beens have obviously forgotten his poor recent performances, his demand for respect rather than throwing his hands up, Frank TV, protracted contract negotiations, the 9/11 bevvy-up, the ‘these are my people’ line, the undignified Hammer-bashing, the ‘Super Goals’ advert and the Jamie Redknapp connection.
The woeful national anthem is also a contributory factor to our demise. I don’t really understand why we need to pay homage to Ashley Cole.
Looking forward, we should introduce a more upbeat tune that will help keep Frank Lampard’s feet on the ground. ‘Lip up Fatty’ fits the bill perfectly. I can’t keep quiet about the 11/4 for a draw between Middlesbrough and Chelsea.
After a dreadful start to the season with Bolton, little Sammy Lee is now searching for a new career. I suppose he could always become a jockey, like Ashley Cole. I’m not horsing around with the 2/9 for an Arsenal win over Bolton.
Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez are not a striking partnership, in more ways than one. Aston Villa are an absolute beast in front of their own supporters, they look overpriced at 4/1 to land the shock.
The Royals really enjoyed their trip to Blackburn last season; it was probably funded by the tax-payer. Rovers have definitely improved since then, while Reading have gone backwards like a drunken crab. I’ll happily take 8/11 about a Blackburn side on the up.
Fulham are a lot like Princess Diana. They looked good for a while, but they’ve hit a wall. After six games without a win, a home match against Derby will reverse their fortunes at 3/4.
It’s not been a good week for Ashley Cole. The controversial defender faces a prolonged spell out of the game, as his cushions no longer match his drapes. A defeat for Tottenham at Newcastle will spell curtains for Martin Jol; a hard earned point may be enough to prolong the agony at 23/10.
Steve Bruce has demanded face-to-face talks with Carson Yeung. The billionaire is no mug though; he’s bringing a couple of paper bags with him. There’s no disguising the fact that Manchester City are a lock at 3/5 at home to Birmingham.
Benjani has now added goals to his repertoire: it now consists of goals. The 8/5 for a Pompey win over Wigan is everything you ever wanted in a football bet, and a little bit more.
I’m not sure if I buy this new cuddly easy-going persona of Roy Keane. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Sunderland manager was seen holding a hammer on the touchline, preferably Craig Bellamy. West Ham can send Keano closer to the edge at 10/11.
The Merseyside derby is probably the toughest nut to crack on the weekend coupon. I honestly don’t know which set of supporters will be bragging at work on Monday morning; probably because the question is fundamentally flawed. I can’t pick a hole in the 9/4 for a draw between Everton and Liverpool.
I only wish that footballers could follow the example of their rugby playing counterparts. Although in fairness, Ashley Cole is doing his bit. The English rugby team are shoo-ins at even money with a nine point start against South Africa in the World Cup final.
Lewis Hamilton has the world at his feet, unlike Frank Lampard, who has to rely on updates from helpful associates. The 2/5 for young Lewis clinching the drivers’ championship is more than fair.
I think it’s time for the Frank Lampard bashing to cease. Nobody likes to see a fat kid get continually bullied, unless it has comedy value. Arsenal, Blackburn, Fulham, Man City and West Ham form a 10/1 weekend accer whose worth is beyond question.
Copyright (c) Gerry McDonnell & soccerphile.com