Advert of the Day: Coatgate Comes To An End.


Shame on you, Nike*. And massive, MASSIVE props to you, Puma.

*Just in case you need reminding of the struggle Wenger has had against his old Nike jacket…




Now that the zipper has been conquered, Arsene Wenger can now focus (almost all of) his brain power on conquering The Special One…

P.S. Who knew Wenger had a sense of humour? Although I bet he’s not laughing anymore after recently losing a 3-0 lead and ending up with a 3-3 draw vs Anderlecht in the Champions League (sorry, couldn’t resist)…


101 Random And (May Not Be) Obscure Football Trivia, Part 2.




I never expected the first part of this to be one of the most popular and most-viewed articles on my blog, and so without further ado, I shall give the public what they want–More football trivia to get your geek on:


Show-Offs and Bragging Right-Holders.

In Premier League history, the only player to have scored 3 perfect hat-tricks (1 header, 1 from right foot, 1 from left) is Robbie Fowler.

Players with the most number of hattricks in the Premier League: Alan Shearer (11); Robbie Fowler (9); Thierry Henry (8); Michael Owen (8); Wayne Rooney (6).

Liverpool’s Martin Skrtel holds the Premier League record of scoring the fastest brace by a defender (9 minutes and 28 seconds).

Dani Alves is currently the La Liga player with the most wins over Real Madrid: 13 (8 with Barcelona and 5 with Sevilla).

The partnership of Andy Cole and Peter Beardsley during the 1993-1994 season for Newcastle has produced the most number of goals at 55, followed by Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard for Chelsea (51 during 2009-2010) and Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton for Blackburn (49 during 1994-1995).

Four players who’ve all played in the Liverpool and Manchester Derbies, as well as Spain’s El Clasico: Nicolas Anelka, Mark Hughes, Steve McManaman and Michael Owen.

Both Nicolas Anelka and Michael Owen have scored goals in all of them too.

5 Goalkeepers who have scored a goal (or more) in the Premier League: Peter Schmeichel, Brad Friedel, Paul Robinson, Tim Howard and Asmir Begovic.

Ryan Giggs has won more trophies (34) since 1991 than the whole of Manchester City FC (14) since 1889.

Luis Suarez now holds the record for scoring the most goals in a Premier League season (excluding penalties).

Jari Litmanen was voted Finnish Footballer of the Year for seven consecutive years (1992-1998).

David Beckham has scored the most direct free kicks in the history of the English Premier League (15).

Belgian goalkeeper Simon Mignolet can speak 4 languages (English, French, German and Dutch) and has a degree in Political Science.



Bad Boys, Bad Boys… 

Joey Barton was made to serve 200 hours of community service in 2009 as punishment for beating up his teammate Ousmane Dabo during training.

Robin van Persie was accused of rape in 2005 and was held in jail for 14 days. These allegations have never been proven true and were dismissed.

On January 1991, then-Sheffield United player Vinnie Jones was booked within 5 seconds of play vs Manchester City. He beat his own record a year later, when as a Chelsea player, he was booked after 3 seconds, while the ball was still in the center circle.

Eric Cantona was banned from the French National Team in 1988 after he described his manager Henri Michel “a sack of shit”.



The Strange, the Curious and the WTF-worthy.

Michael Owen has taken 21 penalties in the Premier league, but has only converted 14 of them. So far, Wayne Rooney has the same record.

Technically, Juan Pablo Angel has the worst penalty conversion rate in the Premier League, having only scored 50% of the penalties he has taken.

Which team has been awarded the most number of penalties in Premier League history? Liverpool FC with 119 (as of January 2014).

Robert Lewandowski was supposed to fly to England for a £3 million move to Blackburn in 2008, but a volcanic ash cloud prevented him from completing the move in time.

Cristiano Ronaldo was once told by his school teacher to forget about football as there’s “no money to be made there”.

Famous chef Gordon Ramsay’s hopes of becoming a professional footballer was ended by a knee injury.

Spanish TV presenter Sara Carbonero, the girlfriend of Real Madrid’s Iker Casillas (as well as the baby momma of his son Martin), is an Atletico Madrid supporter.

Fernando Torres has his name tattooed in Tengwar, the script from Lord of the Rings.

India withdrew from the 1950 World Cup in protest at the rule that requires players to wear boots.

The 1981 FA Cup Final between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspurs ended in a 1-1 draw, with Man City’s Tom Hutchinson scoring both goals.

An England centre-forward during the 1890s called G.O. Smith had an unusual quirk for his position: he refused to head the ball. He believed that the ball should stay on the ground and that the forwards who needed to use their head were not playing the game correctly.

In the run-up to the 15th World Cup, held in USA in 1994, Macau played 6 games in the Asian group, lost all 6, scored zero goals and conceded 46.

Jose Mourinho is the first manager to lose in 4 UEFA Champions League Semifinals. He’s lost 6 in total.

Since the Premiership replaced the old First Division in 1992-1993, no English manager has succeeded in winning it.

Cesc Fabregas is afraid of mushrooms.

Kaka was a virgin when he got married.

David Batty was once sidelined for 3 weeks after his child ran over his ankle with a tricycle.



Quote Them On That

Dutch striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy once told Argentinian striker Gonzalo Higuain that “Goals are like ketchup, you keep hitting the bottle and eventually plenty comes out”!

Andrei Arshavin once said, “I started off playing checkers. When I realized that I won’t be able to become an International Grand Master, I had to leave it for football.”

“The natural state of the football fan is bitter disappointment, no matter what the score.” –Nick Hornby

“All I know for certain about the morality and the obligations of men is that I owe it to football.” –Albert Camus

“Ryan Giggs is one of those rare players who could play football in a phone box and find the door no matter how many players were in there with him.” –Carlos Queiroz

“I took a whack on my left ankle, but something told me it was my right.” –Lee Hendrie

“My wife often complains about my tactics. She tells me to stick with the players who won the last match.” –Pep Guardiola

“He’s a specialist in failure. I am not.” Jose Mourinho on Arsene Wenger.

“They taught us at school that family is the most important thing for a human. Roma is my family. Have you ever heard of someone who left his poor parents to live with rich strangers?” –Francesco Totti when asked why he refused to join Real Madrid back in 2006.



Milestones and History Lessons

The 700th goal scored in the Premier League was by Tomas Rosicky of Arsenal vs Sunderland (February 2014).

Lionel Messi became the youngest player ever to play 400 matches for FC Barcelona at 26 years and 7 months, beating his teammate Andres Iniesta’s record (he was 27 years and 11 months old at the time).

Statistically speaking, Arsene Wenger is more successful during his first 1000 matches with Arsenal compared to how Sir Alex Ferguson did during his first 1000 matches with Manchester United.

Fabrice (at 16 years and 98 days old) is currently the youngest player to score in La Liga history.

Ryan Giggs (at 40 years and 110 days old) currently holds the record for the oldest outfield player to play in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League.

The goal scored by Edin Dzeko (Manchester City) after just 44 seconds is the fastest goal scored by an away team at Old Trafford in Premier League history.

Fernando Torres became the youngest captain of Atletico Madrid at 19 years old.

Bryan Robson’s netted strike vs then-Yugoslavia (December 13, 1989) after 38 seconds was the fastest goal scored in Wembley.

The Hall of Fame was created at the National Football Museum in Preston in 2002, and 29 people who were deemed to have made an ‘outstanding and lasting contribution to English Football’ were inducted into the roll of honour.

The governing body of Football, the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA to you and me), was founded at the rear of the HQ of the Union Francaise de Sports Athletiques in Paris on May 21, 1904. The English Football Association—the oldest in the world—refused to join until April 1905.

Football was introduced into Moscow by an English mill owner, Clem Charnock, who showed the game to his Russian workers in 1887.



The First, The Last, The Everything…

Fernando Llorente is the first player from Athletic Bilbao to represent Spain when he was called up in 2002. He also plays the clarinet.

Sergio Ramos is the first defender to score 2 goals in a UEFA Champions League semifinal.

Karim Benzema is not only the first Frenchman to score a brace vs FC Barcelona since Thierry Henry, he’s also the first to score a brace against them at the Bernabeu since Raul.

Scott Parker is the first player to be signed for 5 London clubs (Charlton, Chelsea, West Ham, Tottenham, and Fulham) in his Premier League career.

Borussia Dortmund were the first-ever German side to win a European trophy in 1966, beating Liverpool 2-1 after extra time in the final of the Cup Winners Cup.

Only 15 teams took part in the first-ever FA Cup, and 13 of them were from London. The other 2 were Donington School from Lincolnshire and Queen’s Park from Scotland.

Ian Rush is the last Liverpool player to score 30 goals in a season, setting that record in 1986-1987.

Kevin Phillips is the last Englishman to win the Premier League Golden Boot back in the 1999-2000 season.

Everton FC were the first football club to play in Anfield.

On April 23, 1927 (also known as St. George’s Day), the first radio commentary of a football match was broadcast in the United Kingdom. The commentator on the Arsenal-Cardiff City match was George Allinson, and his assistant was Derek McCulloch.

Blackpool first wore their distinctive tangerine strip in the 1923-24 season. The colour was suggested by a club director named Albert Hargreaves, who was inspired by the Dutch national team and thought that orange would help Blackpool stand out among fellow English clubs.

The first indoor arena used in a World Cup was the Pontiac Silverdrome in the United States city of Detroit, which was one of the venues for the 1994 World Cup.

The first recipient of the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year Award was Stanley Matthews of Blackpool in 1948.

In 1888, while still having the name Small Heath Alliance, Birmingham City was the first club to adopt limited liability. The share capital of the club was £650.

The first team to win the FA Cup three times in a row were the Wanderers. They won 3 finals from 1876-1878 beating Old Etonians, Oxford University and Royal Engineers.

The first player to be capped by England while playing for a foreign team was Gerry Hitchens. The former Aston Villa player played for Inter Milan and a number of Italian clubs between 1961-1970.

The first major football tournament won on penalties was the 1976 European Championship. Czechoslovakia beat West Germany.

The Mitropa Cup was the first major international cup for club teams. The name Mitropa is an abbreviation of Mitteleuropa which means Middle or Central Europe. The competition began in 1927 originally with 2 teams each from Hungary, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia.

Arthur Wharton was the first black professional footballer in Britain. Born in Ghana in 1865, he played in goal for a number of clubs including Preston North End and Sheffield United.

Cristiano Ronaldo is the first player to break the 15 goals-in-a-season tally in the UEFA Champions League during the 2013-2014 season.

Diego Godin of Atletico Madrid is the first Uruguayan to score in an UEFA Champions League Final (2014 vs Real Madrid).



I Didn’t Know That

4x Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel’s favourite team is Eintracht Frankfurt.

Football commentator Martin Tyler reportedly lives in a house called Squirrels Leap.

Jamie Carragher started his career with England as a striker.

Fernando Torres started playing football as a goalkeeper.

Gerard Pique’s girlfriend, famous popstar Shakira, is a MENSA member.

Aaron Ramsey was actually approached to play rugby when he was younger but was already signed to Cardiff City’s youth team.

John Terry started out as a Manchester United supporter.

Sergio “Kun” Aguero is Diego Maradonna’s son-in-law.

As a youngster, Michael Schumacher’s hero was Toni Schumacher (no relation), Cologne and West Germany’s goalkeeper.

The goal net was patented by J.A. Brodie of Liverpool in 1890.

Two-handed throw-ins were made mandatory in 1882.

What is The Acme Thunderer? It is a brand of whistle invented by Birmingham toolmaker Joseph Hudson in 1884, and is still used to this day in football.

It was only in 1891 that penalties were introduced.

A match that is brought to a halt before the end of the full 90 minutes is classified as “abandoned”.

The Italian system of play called catenaccio literally means “door bolt” and describes the defensive wall approach used in Italy. The system involves 4 markers at the back with a player (a sweeper) behind them—a door bolt.

Peter Corr, an ex-Ireland and Everton player, is the paternal uncle of the Irish siblings/musicians The Corrs.

There has never been a knockout tie in the UEFA Champions League that has ended on 0-0 aggregate.

The Mexico vs Bulgaria match during the 1994 World Cup was held up for 15 minutes due to one of the goals collapsing.

The full and formal name of FC Barcelona’s home stadium is El Nou Estadi del Futbol Club Barcelona.



What’s In A Name?

Manchester United’s original name was Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Newton Heath. It was then shortened to Newton Heath before becoming Manchester United FC in 1902.

There are 20 top-flight British clubs that have the word ‘United’ in their name: Sheffield United, Newcastle United, Scunthorpe United, West Ham United, Manchester United, Carlisle United, Southend United, Hartlepool United, Ayr United, Leeds United, Dundee United, Torquay United, Hereford United, Rotheram United, Boston United, Peterborough United, Colchester United, Cambridge United, Oxford United, Airdrie United.

Founded in 1891, the Uruguayan club of Peñarol was then known as The Central Uruguay Railway Cricket Club.

The Czech club Sparta Prague was originally called King’s Vineyard when it was founded in 1893.

Manchester City’s first name was West Gordon St. Marks when they were founded in 1880. It changed to Ardwick FC in 1887 before becoming Manchester City in 1894.

81 The Finnish team FC Jazz was founded in 1934 under the name Porin Pallo-Toveritand. Their current name comes from the fact that they are based in Pori, the home to an annual jazz festival.

The Mexican club Atlante once called themselves U-53 in honour of a German U-boat.



Until the next installment! Stay bouncebackable!


Haiku no. 20: Let’s Not Call It An Anticlimax.


Opening weekend:
Top teams stutter, minnows pounced.
Keep calm. It’s Game On!


You Can’t Win The Title In August: My English Premier League 2011-2012 Season Predictions Poem.


The Lion has returned and it’s ready to Roar.

It’s that time of the year
That I hold so very dear
It’s the Return of the English Premier League.
I’m too lazy to write an essay
So I am choosing to relay
My predictions in the form of a poem.

This I say without a trace of glee
But the champs will still be MUFC
How it’ll hurt to see them win number 20.
Their runners-up will be Chelsea
Lately have been quiet but still deadly
Especially with AVB as the new gaffer.

My Liverpool will take the 3rd spot
And be led by King Kenny, the great Scot
To a triumphant return to Europe.
4th is a bit tough to figure out
Man City may give Arsenal a big clout
Knock them off the Big 4 perch they’ve been hogging.

As for the much-coveted fifth
Tottenham Hotspurs will be swift
And continue their progress under ‘Arry.
The Golden Boot’s also tricky
So many strikers who are quality
But I’ve a feeling young Chicharito will nick it.

Now on to the Relegation Fight,
The test of each club’s collective might
And the desire to slug it out with the Big Fish.
The unlucky clubs which I predict
To have a sad end-of-season verdict
Are QPR, Norwich and Swansea (Sorry, lads!).

Now, these are my thoughts only
Struggling to be expressed ably
Then again, in football, does sense really matter?
So let’s see by the mid-of-May
If I shall wince or laugh away
At how the ball bounced on this crazy old game.

If You Can’t Beat Them, Tweet Them: Footballers on Twitter.


Image via

From the famous to the infamous to the downright inconspicuous (on and off the pitch), the Twitterverse has now been invaded by football players of all colors, shapes and sizes. They are here to stay, so go on, and don’t fight the urge to send them your best bit of banter/adulation in the space of 140 characters.

Why did I compile their accounts? So you didn’t have to.

Active Players:


Mehdi Abeid-

Charlie Adam-

Freddy Adu-

Sergio Aguero-

Marc Albrighton-

Paco Alcacer-

Thiago Alcantara-

Diego Alonso-

Marcus Alonso-

Mikel Alonso-

Xabi Alonso-

Dani Alves-

Fernando Amorebieta-

Bruno Andrade-

Nicolas Anelka-

Juan Pablo Angel-

Nadine Angerer-

Cesar Arzo-

Alvaro Arbeloa-

Gai Asulin-

Peter Aylmer-



Ryan Babel-

Edgar Badia-

Javier Balboa-

Ever Banega-

Elyaniv Barda-

Karen Bardsley-

Joey Barton-

Sebastien Bassong-

James Beattie-

Alejandro Bedoya-

Yossi Benyaoun-

Darren Bent-

Ryan Bertrand-

Diniyar Bilyaletdinov-

Dexter Blackstock-

Carlos Bocanegra-

Veronica Boquete-

Aly Borromeo-

John Bostock-

Bobby Boswell-

Reece Brown-

Titus Bramble-

Alex Bruno-

Edson Buddle-

Nacho Buenache-

Diego Buonanotte-

Maor Buzaglo-



Yohan Cabaye-

Tim Cahill-

Sergio Canales-

Fabio Cannavaro-

Joaquin Cañas-

Nacho Cases-

Joan Capdevilla-

Juan Carlos-

Roberto Carlos-

Jose Maria Cases-

Andre Castro-

Julio Cesar-

Giorgio Chiellini-

Simon Church-

Tom Cleverley-

Billy Clifford-

Jordi Codina-

Carlton Cole-

Tino Costa-

Lee Croft-

Carlos Cuellar-

Ivan Cuellar-



Stephen Darby-

Jesse Darko-

Charlie Davies-

Curtis Davies-

Kevin Davies-

Scott Davies-

David Davis-

Jermaine Defoe-

David De Gea-

Alessandro Del Piero-


Lisa Devanna-

Sylvain Distin-

Dwayne De Rosario-

Alejandro Dominguez-

Alvaro Dominguez-

Maribel Dominguez-

Ryan Donk-

Landon Donovan-

Michael Doughty-

Shane Duffy-

Ed Dzeko-



Robert Earnshaw-

Emmanuel Eboue-

Nathan Eccleston-

Maurice Edu-

Neil Etheridge-

Jose Enrique-

Jonny Evans-

Patrice Evra-



Luis Fabiano-

Cesc Fabregas-

Ibrahim Farah-

Anton Ferdinand-

Rio Ferdinand-

Suso Fernandez-

Jon Flanagan-

Steven Fletcher-

Andreu Fontas-

Diego Forlan-

Jake Forster-Caskey-

Robbie Fowler-

Ryan Fredericks-

Emmanuel Frimpong-



Daniel Leon Gabbidon-

Sam Gainford-

Jorge Garcia Torre-

Gary Gardner-

Shay Given-

Diego Godin-

Henok Goitom-

Daniel Gomez-

Hercules Gomez-

Jonas Gonçalves-


Esteban Granero-

John Guidetti-

Chris Gunter-


Brad Guzan-



John Heitinga-

Marcel Henry-Francis-

Pablo Hernandez-

Ander Herrera-

Gonzalo Higuain-

Scott Hircombe-

Stuart Holden-

Matt Holland-

Aaron Holloway-

Tom Huddlestone-

Nacho Huertas-

David Hunt-



Andres Iniesta-

Emiliano Insua-



Jordan Jackson-

Nathaniel Jarvis-

Frankie Jay-

Jermaine Jenas-

Raul Jimenez-

Miles John-

Adam Johnson-

Gethin Jones-

Glen Johnson-

Brad Jones-

Jake Jones-

Rafa Jorda-

Bojan Jorgacevic-



Tasha Kai-


Kei Kamara-

Dekel Keinan-

Martin Kelly-

Harry Kewell-

Joshua King-

Sacha Kljestan-

Vincent Kompany-

Leon Knight-

Bojan Krkic-

Dirk Kuyt-



Eric Lamela-

Lucas Leiva-

Aaron Lennon-

Aaron Lescott-

Fernando Llorente-

Angel Lopez-

David Lopez-

Alberto Lora-

Lee Lucas-

David Luiz-

Jordan Lussey-



Shaun MacDonald-

Michel Macedo-

Florent Malouda-

Ivan Marcano-

Eric Martin-

Javier Martinez-

Sergio Martinez-

Juan Mata-

Chris Mavinga-

Jay McEveley-

Steven McGarry-

John Meades-

Neil Mellor-

Felipe Melo-

Alvaro Morata-

Adam Morgan- https//

Bryn Morris-

Fabrice Muamba-

Iker Muniain-




Samir Nasri-

Louisa Necib-

Gary Neville-

Phil Neville-

Lee Nguyen-

Nacho Novo-



Marvin Ogunjimi-

Jamie O’Hara-

Alberto Olmedo-

Oguchi Onyewu-

Tommy O’Sullivan-

Michael Owen-



Dani Pacheco-

Fernando Pacheco-

Dani Parejo-

Jamie Paterson-

Marc Pelosi-

Kris Penny-

Kristoffer Peterson-

Steven Pienaar-

Kevin Pietersen-

Gerard Pique-

Robert Pires-

Lukas Podolski-

Chris Pontius-

James Poole-

Darren Purse-

Carles Puyol-





Sergio Ramos-

Aaron Ramsey-

Pepe Reina-

Koke Resurreccion-

Jose Antonio Reyes-

Micah Richards-

Rohan Ricketts-

Ali Riley-

John Arne Riise-

Hector Rodas-

Jadson Rodrigues-

Alejandro Rodriguez-

Pedro Rodriguez-

Toni Rodriguez-

Jack Rodwell-


Cristiano Ronaldo-

Wayne Rooney-

Manuel Rosales-

Danny Rose-

Tomas Rosicky-

Giuseppe Rossi-




Louis Saha-

Bruno Saltor-

Toto Salvio-

Jordan Santiago-

CJ Sapong-

Jonathan dos Santos-

Robbie Savage-

Lotta Schelin-

Kasper Schmeichel-

Alex Scott-

Caroline Seger-

Gilverto Silva-

Danny Simpson-

Bradley Simmonds-

Christine Sinclair-

Kelly Smith-

Wesley Sneijder-

Kike Sola-

Roberto Soldado-

Raheem Sterling-

Jordan Stewart-

Wojciech Szczesny-

Luis Suarez-



Kevin Thomson-

Fernando Torres-

Miguel Torres-

Roger Torres-

Sean Tse-

Matt Tubbs-

Blair Turgott-





Victor Valdes-

Antonio Valencia-

Rafael Van der Vaart-

Gregory Van der Wiel-

Ruud Van Nistelroy-

Robin Van Persie-

James Vaughan-

Alvaro Vazquez-

Frederic Veseli-

Thomas Vermaelen-

David Villa-



Reece Wabara-

Stephen Warnock-

Vladimir Weiss-

John Welsh-

Theo Wharton-

Ellen White-

Faye White-

Alex Whittle-

Ashley Williams-

Jack Wilshere-

Michael Wilson-

Luke Woodland-





Josh Yorwerth-

James Younghusband-

Phil Younghusband-



Pablo Zabaleta-



Retired Players:

John Aldridge-

Mark Bosnich-

Mark Bright-

Santiago Cañizares-

Stan Collymore-

Kenny Dalglish-

Paul Dalglish-

Lee Dixon-

Iain Dowie-

Jason Euell-!/jasoneuell

John Hartson-!/JohnHartson10

Shaka Hislop-

Chris Kamara-

Nigel Martyn-

Neil Mellor-

Pedro Nieto-

Richie Partridge-


Mick Rathbone-

Jamie Redknapp-

Mark Robinson-


Peter Schmeichel-

David Seaman-

Gareth Southgate-

Ian Taylor-

Phil Thompson-



Did I miss anyone? Leave a comment and I’ll update the list as soon as possible. Thanks!