Archive for the ‘Guest Columns’ Category

Kenny Dalglish on better ways to squander £100 million

March 25, 2012 2 comments


Well? What do you think?


George Best had the right idea when he said, “I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.”

I guess I would say something like:


I spent a lot of money on Andy Carroll, Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing. Then the owners confiscated the chequebook.


In hindsight I could have wasted £10 million bringing back Djibril Cisse. He’s already scored three goals and been sent off twice in five matches, offering both a finishing touch and violent entertainment – which is what we all want to see really, isn’t it? Why else would I have bought Charlie Adam?

Actually, let’s not think about him. There’s another £8.5 million gone by the way.

"Did you keep the receipt, Kenny?"

I’ve heard “staycations” are very popular these days. I’m not really “down with the kids” so I’m not entirely sure what that means, but I think it’s got something to do with camping in your back garden instead of getting wasted in Ibiza for your holiday.

For £100 million, you could buy a pretty great camping experience. Would be more fun than an Anfield season ticket as well. You could get a big tent and enough marshmallows to toast to keep you fed until Liverpool next win the league.

That’s a lot of marshmallows.

To think in more charitable terms, a donation of £100 million would have tripled the money generated by Sport Relief this weekend. Ironically, I’m the one now in need of charity – as are most of my signings.

If you have political aspirations, £100 million would buy you an awful lot of access to David Cameron and George Osborne. According to Peter Cruddas £200K expenditure is “Premier League” which sounds like a bargain as Roberto Mancini isn’t going to get anywhere near after spending more than £200 million.

I’m tempted to suggest that my money could have bought Fulham a result at Old Trafford tomorrow night, but I get the feeling that’s more fanciful than hoping my English boys will come good.

In all honesty I’m not too bothered. Whatever happens to this club under my reign, the Liverpool supporters will blame the FA, the media or the weather anyway.

Kenny Dalglish is anticipating retirement notice as Senior Accessories Buyer for Liverpool Football Club.


Neil Warnock on his QPR retaliation strategy

January 22, 2012 4 comments

****! ****! These ******* ******** will never get away with it! And as for that Joey Barton

What did a nice guy like me ever do to deserve it, hey? Taking QPR into the Premier League, putting up with Barton and everyone else and then they go and sack me! I don’t know who this Twitter is but when I find the **** he’s going to wish he’d never spread rumours about me!

Twitter? Absolute Twit more like! With a capital ‘T’.

They say the table doesn’t lie but in this case it ******* well does. Got a bone to pick with it as well, come to think of it! Cheating ****.

*                                             *                                             *

Some time later and I think my wife slipped something into my tea coz all of a sudden I feel a blissful peace within me, with the beautiful music of Mozart in the background.

Now for a more calculated approach against the evil QPR plotters, and where better to start than this Twit thing that Barton uses? I’ll give him something to retweet!

Warnock gives as good as he gets exclusively for us

You can now keep up with my rants on Twitter by following @TouchlineTerrier.

Get on it, tweeps!

You ****s.

Michael Owen on the benefits of Twitter

November 27, 2011 Leave a comment

With my followers safe in the knowledge that they will be receiving my tweets on a regular basis until Christmas at least, (and probably till the end of the season if I’m honest) I wanted to venture into writing territory where messages can be longer than 140 characters, if only to communicate the joys that micro-blogging can bring.

Owen has become a reliable performer for Twitter

Having become as bored of golf as Tiger Woods’ ex-wife, and disillusioned with horse racing as it gave the media even more reasons to poke fun at me, I faced the trickiest of conundrums over how to fill my time away from the football pitch – and my goodness is that a lot of time.

I was looking mainly for something which would allow me to both keep tabs on Stephen Fry’s every move as well as to have ridiculous arguments with Piers Morgan, and a friend recommended social networking site Twitter.

Such was the joy and immersion that was to be found upon filling my timeline that even my wife was impressed – she had been getting a bit weary of having me in the house more than the children, but Twitter has kept me occupied for the vast majority of the periods stretching between meal times.

As my number of followers rapidly exceeded 500,000, I found there to be something intoxicating in the power I had in a mere ‘retweet’, and discovered an amount of support far superior to anything I had experienced even when I used to play more than once a year for Liverpool, all those decades ago.

Indeed, I have also found Twitter to be a quite excellent means of communication, as I find there to be more signs of intelligence omitted from Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney – or @rioferdy5 and @WayneRooney as I now know them – online than I ever saw when I joined them for those brief moments as part of the squad on the training ground. I hope to see more of Anderson now that he does not have actual matches to play to distract him.

Jones: promising English Tweeter

And Twitter seems to be becoming an effective way for the gaffer to gauge the progress of the next generation of England’s online sporting stars such as Phil Jones (@Ph1lJ0nes), allowing him to assess how they stand up to the international competition offered by the quality that the website’s squad now commands.

With the increasing dominance of the Internet in modern society, we could soon be seeing all sports played on websites like Twitter, especially considering next year’s Olympics, where I believe many would be improved as spectacles if we were able to see the athletes competing via truncated messages rather than whatever hastily-invented activities they seek to achieve gold in.

"I've got a direct message for Mike Jones!"

So, in my opinion, the Twitter revolution is in full swing, and I am delighted to be back playing a key role in this offensive on traditional civilisation.

If you wish to express your opinion on this article, you know where to find me.

Michael Owen is Twitter’s Manchester United correspondent, remunerated on a pay-per-tweet basis due to limited Internet connectivity which results in inconsistent online appearances.

Fabio Capello on the dilemma of selecting a morally-acceptable England captain

November 20, 2011 3 comments

Upon reading this you might think that I have finally learned English, but the truth is that this was actually written by a professional ghost-writer at a cost in the thousands of pounds. I have sent the bill in the post to the FA and put it under expenses.

Most seem to have already forgotten about our two friendly victories earlier this week (goodness knows I have) – one against world champions Spain of course, but few consider just how difficult it is to be England manager over the winter when the only options you have are over which Premier League matches to attend. This weekend the FA advised me to go to see West Brom against Bolton.

Thanks for that.

Anyway, the only thing harder than sitting through a domestic English football match is finding a captain who does not embarrass himself and me within five minutes of my giving him the bloody phone call.

Let me tell you that, during this particular winter break, I have to force myself to choose between two pieces of classic artwork to add to my world-class collection. One is by Picasso and one by Monet. Unfortunately my salary is too stingy to allow me to buy both.

Anyway, the point is that, as hard and full of subjective dilemmas the above predicament is, it is still going to be far easier than finding an English male under the age of 35 who is not a complete pillock.

Terry and Ferdinand have been the two most likely over the last couple of years but both are apparently determined to avoid the national derision which comes with the armband by indulging in numerous adulterous episodes and much, much more. Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard used to be other options but I have no idea what those two are up to these days – they certainly do not appear to be playing much football anymore.

The only other player anywhere near an acceptable standard is Wayne Rooney and quite often have I considered asking him to stop chasing the birds so that I can assess his suitability personally, but when it came to deciding who to lead the nation to the Euros, all he had to offer was a nasty mark on the back of some poor Macedonian bloke’s leg.

That was probably for the best however – at least for me. Imagine yourself having to be personally responsible for Wayne Rooney for six weeks in a foreign country without anything to do. (That is assuming England somehow makes it past the group stage though.)

My well-compensated backroom staff tell me that I even get a lot of stick for the way I approach the issues above, and especially for the fact that I am Italian. Many supposedly are angry that I am paid around £6 million per year, but they do not have to accept criticism from “football people” like Robbie Savage and Steve Claridge.

This makes me wonder about the way that my compatriot and close friend Silvio Berlusconi is mocked by many in the UK, who think it is amusing that the man in a very lucrative position with a lot of time on his hands prefers to organise bunga bunga parties than sort out the overwhelming problems which threaten to throw an entire nation into the depths of despair.

As a man in an identical role, I would argue that bunga bunga parties are immensely enjoyable and any sane man would go to as many as he could, especially when compared to having to run training sessions in chilly London with only a bunch of English youths for company.

On that note I have to take my leave because things have got quite a lot ‘busier’ since Silvio was finally booted out the other day. Not that it bothers him or me, mind you.

Looking ahead to the restart of the international fixtures next year, they are composed of a series of further completely pointless friendly matches that will have to  be endured before the even more pointless European Championships (pointless for the English I mean). I hope you are all looking forward to them, because I most certainly am not.

Fabio Capello holds the role of Boardroom Decorations Purchaser for the English FA.

Arsene Wenger on the success of failure

November 13, 2011 1 comment

Sitting here in my office during yet another international break, I cannot help but ponder on the greater philosophical meaning of winning silverware, and why on earth Arsenal supporters keep making such a fuss about our failure to do so.

I beg you to join me at the Emirates stadium one time, to observe and appreciate the extraordinary grandeur, the truly unimaginable magnificence of the place, and you will finally understand why the board could not care less whether we finish third or fourth in the league this season. Especially whilst the people in the stands are paying such astronomical ticket prices.

As I wait by the phone, expecting at any moment the call from the Dutch medical staff with the news that Robin Van Persie has picked up an injury and will be out till the new year, the words of Bob Dylan come to my unfathomable mind: “There’s no success like failure, and failure’s no success at all”.

The footballing world mocks me and my Arsenal legacy almost as much as it mocks the English national team, yet what could be more successful than a thriving, financially-sustainable club built by a lone visionary amidst a league of teams bankrolled by bored billionaires? The perilous balance of my cash flow does provide for some edgy moments at excruciating points each season, but at least I can rest in the comfort of knowing that Van Persie’s left foot is by itself a far more effective bailout system than the entire Eurozone put together.

Manchester City now draws the praise and respect – oh, excuse me whilst I chuckle at a reply of Theo Walcott trying to cross the ball… City now have the players to realistically compete for every trophy, yet we must remember that if their owners conducted business the same way in any other industry, the banks would take one look at their balance sheet and repossess their enormous, air-conditioned Arabian villas and leave them coughing in the desert without so much as a glass of water to chuck at Carlos Tevez’s face.

Such ‘success’ can only lead to failure, as Dylan indicated. At this moment, City supporters cannot believe their luck at having won the Premier League lottery, but their castle of overpaid and overrated footballing misadventure is built on sand and doomed to crumble, whereas my beloved Arsenal has deep foundations of economic sustainability within the firm base of what probably used to be some sort of factory in north London.

With those musings, dear subjects, I bid you farewell. It will not be long before you see me again, for only next week the nation’s cameras will be zooming-in on my sulky touchline expression, on the tortured way my hand brushes through my hair whenever Alex Song gets on the ball, and on the nonchalant shrug of my shoulders when I get sent off by the referee and ordered to watch the match from the stands amongst a horde of incomprehensible English morons branding me a paedophile.

Ironically, I am the only person who could ever face punishment and national humiliation in that situation. But this, we must remind ourselves, is Britain.

Arsene Wenger currently serves as Glorified Events Manager at Arsenal Football Club.

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