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Friday, 21 December 2012

Twelve Days Of A Magic Spongers Christmas

"I was asking YOU if you thought I'D said merry Christmas to YOU!"

With (probably) our last post of 2012, we couldn't help but get in the festive spirit so in time-honoured Spongers fashion, we start off with a rant. Here's our now semi-regular (and brilliant) contributor Dan Forman with his take on 'Twelve Days of Christmas'.

Truly it's been what a Viz version of the Queen's speech might call an anus horribilis for the Premier League. In no particular order other than it features Chelsea quite a lot (which kind of tells its own story) we have had:

  • John Terry abusing Anton Ferdinand (and Chelsea's handling thereof); 
  • Luis Suarez refusing to shake Patrice Evra’s hand a few months after allegedly abusing him (and Liverpool's handling thereof); 
  • The Mark Clattenberg affair (and Chelsea's handling thereof); 
  • Roberto Mancini having to back down and pick a player who refused to warm up; 
  • John Terry lifting the European Cup; 
  • Newcastle's sponsorship deal with Wonga; 
  • Ashley Cole defending John Terry in court;
  • Arsenal putting their ticket prices up to the highest in the world, only to then not sign one of the best players in the world, but actually sell one;
  • Roman Abramovich stripping out the last remaining layer of Chelsea's soul with the sacking of Roberto di Matteo;

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Passing In The Wind

Andres Iniesta's cameo performance in The Illusionist

Throwing the decent journalism rulebook out of the window (because when has that ever encumbered any of Magic Spongers’ output over the past two-and-a-half years?), we’ll begin with a question. Is passing a tactic? We’ll seek to answer this in the next few paragraphs, but let’s continue with a second question. Is pressing a tactic? We ask because passing and pressing were up there in the dominant themes section of Jonathan Wilson’s ‘The Football Tactical Trends of 2012’ article in the Guardian.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Disciples XI

 Nazareth FC Christmas Party, 36AD

Looking back at the all-conquering Nazareth FC

Goalkeeper – Peter. A safe pair of hands, Peter was the first name on the teamsheet both literally and figuratively, though he would vehemently and sometimes repeatedly deny his importance to the team in interviews. Nicknamed ‘The Rock’ by the Nazarene faithful, this was not thought to stem from any physical likeness to former WWF wrestlers/cum actors, of which there weren't any, but instead referred to the keeper’s reliability. He was rewarded for his non-flashy yet consistently high level of performance with the vice captaincy. Famously, Jesus said of his keeper: "On this rock, I will build my team, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it." The ‘Hell’ reference was a nod to a particularly spiky match away at Stoke, where Peter had thrice been bundled into his own net following long throw-ins.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

12 ways in which Fulham are ace

Fulham fans in Firdos Square, Baghdad

Another day, another debutant. A warm welcome please for Max Grieve. 

1. They’re not Chelsea. They’re not Arsenal, either. I’m pretty sure Fulham aren’t either of the two Manchester clubs, and I’m damn sure that they’re not Liverpool. Also, Fulham aren’t QPR. Or Stoke. The best thing about Fulham is that they’re not awful. Hitler and people who didn’t like Hitler didn’t see eye to eye on much, but they both liked Fulham – read more on how Hitler loved pints, Tower Bridge and, more than likely, Fulham Football Club here.

Friday, 30 November 2012

If It Looks Like A Duck And Quacks Like A Duck, It's Probably A Philosophy

Nietzsche watching Macclesfield Town

It’s no secret, when you’re in the market for a new manager (as most clubs seem to find themselves at some point over a 12-month cycle) that certain employees come complete with stereotype and style. Or, as it’s sometimes more politely put, identity. OR, as it tends to be put when owners want to convince fans of shit teams that things can only get better, a ‘philosophy’.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Sod's Law

"I just scored a perfectly legitimate goal."

In yet another big-money coup, Magic Spongers snap up the ever-excellent John Dobson, who explains why UEFA need to play by their own rules. Or not.

It's not cricket.

No it's not, it's football. One of the unique things about cricket is that the concept of 'the spirit of the game' is enshrined in it's laws - also note the use of the word 'laws' as opposed to 'rules'. The nature of the game lends itself to this as you're in the field for five days at a stretch with the same people. This is not the case in a fast-paced hour and a half and while the nebulous concept of 'fair play' is rewarded to an extent, it's not mentioned in the rules.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Die Another (Match of the) Day


An open letter to the new Director General of the BBC by Mr Daniel Forman.

Dear George,

Congratulations on your appointment and hope you've enjoyed your first few weeks in the job. You don't strike me as much of a football fan and you don't seem to have had much to do with sport in your long career at the BBC but I hope I'm wrong about that as I have something quite important to tell you: Match of the Day is about to die.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Is Anybody NOT Enjoying This?


Good news everyone! We don’t have to go and watch rugby! Football’s ok again!

That was fun, wasn’t it? After two nights madder than a box of frogs, it was confirmed to us all that actually, when you take out any semblance of relevance, egos, analysis, defending, care and fitness, football might not actually be the dreadful shitbag it was declared to be on these fair pages not four days ago. Well done, us.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Is Anybody Still Enjoying This?

'[Insert bad things here].'
The darker side of football has been rearing its ugly head for so long now that its neck must be in real trouble. Diving? ‘Rar!’, football roars. Incorrect and costly offside decisions? Rarrrrr! Dubious red cards and insulting language from the officials? Raarrrrrrrrr! Pelting players with coins? RAAARRRRRRRRRRRRR!

The problem with this weekend was that it felt like one omnishambles (see also: ‘clusterfuck’) too far. Firstly, a procession of all things wryly considered to be the worst and most controversial aspects of the game occurred in front of our very eyes, as usual, and secondly, Ed Chamberlin’s eyes lit up like a fat lad at a hog roast as yet another chance arose to eschew analysing the actual football in favour of ‘great talking points’. As usual. And thirdly, an increasingly irrelevant Match of the Day 2 barely gave any analysis of anything. AS USUAL. A great advert for the Premier League, indeed. Well done, everyone.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Enough is Enough

Whenever we’ve found ourselves ‘compelled’ to write something on this blog in the past, it’s usually been at the revocation of decorum and very much at the behest of some semblance of sanctimony. Wrighty and Brighty have copped it a fair few times for crimes against punditry and speaking/writing. Adrian Chiles, too, may have been labelled by us, variously ‘a potato that a child of below average intelligence has drawn a face on’ and ‘the peawet on a fish supper: only popular in one pocket of the country and reviled everywhere else. Green, disgusting and irrelevant. THAT’S YOU ADRIAN’.
And even England’s bravest man was never immune either from the abuse of two washed-up, semi-alcoholic, northern bloggers.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012


"I used to be Joe Cole."

When Brendan Rodgers was appointed manager of Liverpool, one member of the Magic Spongers fraternity (population: two) – a full-time York City fan, part-time Liverpool fan – was pretty happy. ‘Just think’, he crowed, like a crow that had just won a £30 accumulator despite not having arms, opposable thumbs or a brain big enough to put one on in the first place; ‘Just think of Joe Cole in a Brendan Rodgers team. It’ll be f*****g class’.

‘You c**t’, he added, for good measure.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Farewell to England's Bravest Man


Goodbye England’s rose,
May you ever grow in our hearts,
You turned offending everyone
Into a noble art.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

The Real Meaning of Respect

In an era where the empty gesture is deemed eminently newsworthy in the absence of anything of note actually occurring, perhaps the most vacuous of the lot is the pre-match football handshake. Presumably cooked up by a coven of hacks to lighten their workload, how they must rub their hands together greedily (and ironically, last weekend, given the dearth of hand-to-hand contact) every time Chelsea play QPR or Liverpool and Manchester United reactivate rivalries.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Going For A Burton

Nice, isn't it? NOW GET RUNNING

An important moment in English football came and went this week. A day when the FA finally attempted to throw off the shackles of their abbreviation connoting ‘Fucking Arseholes’ and pushed forward into a brave new dawn of ‘Fingers out of Arses’. A day when incessant, ceaseless ranting on these fair pages – here, here, here, here and here… you get the picture – finally appears to have come to fruition. A day when the national game’s powers that be finally believe they have an answer to the age-old, 10-word conundrum, comprising in no particular order the words:

‘What, the, Fuck, happened, to, root, and, branch, review, the?’.


Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The Men Who Stare At Scapegoats

'And what have you ever won?' 

There's nothing like the red tops for shedding a bit of a perspective on a situation. We welcome back Dan Clark who is adamant that two games without a win doesn't make AVB a shit manager.

Two games is a long time in football isn’t it. I mean come on, it’s 180, maybe 187 minutes, including stoppages, of time just passing by. It’s a back-to-back Super Sunday session sat on the sofa. Back in the real world, it’s an unproductive morning in the office spent trawling the web and flicking back to actual work stuff when the shadow of the boss looms.

Friday, 17 August 2012


Only half this problem has been solved

If you’re in the bath with the door open, not only are you getting cold, but there’s a chance people might see your balls and start laughing. So, do you pour in more Radox and hot water, in order to create even more bubbles, cover up your balls and keep yourself warm – even though this wastes your resources and threatens the composition of your bath (which was fine before), or do you just get up and shut the door so no one can see your fucking balls?

Depending on how much Radox and hot water you’ve got, there’s no right answer. But let us say right now that Sir Alex Ferguson has got some pretty soapy balls (and an overflowing bath) at the moment and he’d better hope for a fair wind this season to help him close the proverbial bathroom door or he could end up getting very chilly indeed.

Friday, 27 July 2012

De Only Way Is Errors (DOWIE)

Aw, look at his mercurial face

During the long summer months, it’s not unusual for a fan to seek solace in highlights packages and totally subjective countdowns of greatest goals, players, madheads, misses or donkeys. Interspersed with footage of Kanu scooping a chance over the bar and David Bentley attempting a rabona are typically rare gems of insight from… and here we go again… ‘experts’. And it’s from within these throwaway opinions, amid these throwaway pieces of programming, that it’s possible to learn not only precisely fuck all, but actually to get even stupider.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

A Very British Olympics


Now that the Euros are behind us and England’s performances are disappearing from memory as quickly as the ball from their stewardship, it’s almost time for everyone to focus on the next group of unfortunates chosen to carry the expectations of a public starved of success, but renowned for lapping up any opportunity to overhype a sports match to within an inch of its life (and sometimes beyond). The Olympics are coming! Yay!

Friday, 29 June 2012

From Russia With Little Love Lost

"I am quite good... HONESTLY."

We welcome back Dan Forman (follow him ) as he explains how, once upon a time, Andrei Arshavin could have been 'the one'. 

The first time you see them some players you just notice straight away and think wow, they can really, well, for want of a better word, play. The first time I saw Andrei Arshavin was one such experience.

It was at Wembley in September 2007 in a short-lived period when things finally, remarkably, seemed to be going quite well for Steve McClaren's England team. England ran out 3-0 winners and put their qualification campaign for Euro 2008 briefly back on track and Emile Heskey's stock as an international striker back from unpalatable to unplayable (these were strange days indeed).

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Greece Lightning Strikes Twice

"I'm not saying Italy are shit, but..."

The national football team of Greece’s collective theme seems to be that of a slow, squeaky fart. Not a smelly fart, mind you. There’s nothing noxious about the Greeks. But there is something vaguely entertaining, comedic even about their ability to collectively take on the mannerisms of a long fart for huge swathes of matches, ultimately rendering themselves likeable, non-threatening and surprisingly reliable. Greece. As reliable as a fart. They should stick that on the posters.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Sliding Doors (Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love England)

Lest we forget, yeah?

Emerging from the hinterland of no expectations, Roy’s England squad appear somehow different from what we’d all come to expect. Unbeaten? Check. Likeable? Apart from John Terry (Ashley we’ll let you off because you are brilliant) - check. Unbeaten and likeable after two games eh? It’s like Euro ’96 all over again isn’t it? Although it’s not, really, is it. Now before you knock us here at Spongers HQ for being Peter Pessimists or Kenneth Killjoys, please let us try and explain why we are more from the Paul Pragmatist school of thought.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Chiles Play


Hello there, I’m Adrian Chiles and not, as has been widely reported, a thumb, knee, foot, pair of bollocks or any other bodily appendage wearing a suit. Welcome to the Euros on ITV.

We’ll be back after this short break.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Dead and Buried


Every tournament has one, but just how deadly is ‘death’? The original ‘grupo de la muerte’ described Group Three at the 1970 World Cup and was coined by remarkably morbid/sensationalist Mexican journalists. That group contained the fatal mix of reigning champions England, ‘Best team everTM’ Brazil, the runners up in ’62 Czechoslovakia and Romania. Trumping that was probably Spain ‘82’s offering of Brazil, Italy and Argentina. Three apples of death and not an onion in sight. However, this is meant to be a piece about the Euros, apparently, and so to the Euros we must go.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Euro 2012 - We Only Went And Did Some PREDICTIONS

Jedward in Polish/Swedish nationality shocker

The Danish physicist Niels Bohr once said: "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." After we had stopped LMAOing, we decided to pay no heed to his pithy comment, and put our money where our mouth is. £1 to be exact. So here is our first brace of Euro predictions brought to you by Adam Bushby - feel free to add yours in the comments bit as we attempt to do our bit for Dave's Big Society.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Land of Home Advantage

In Semaphore, this roughly translates as "Enjoy sitting on the bench. Twat'"

Makers of tiny British flags rejoiced into their Pimms this weekend as it became abundantly clear that patriotism was alive and well, and living vicariously through the blind acceptance of fictional entitlement. And as England arrived in Krakow, there they were again, the tiny flags, only this time adorned with the cross of St. George as some local schoolchildren, presumably in detention, formed a ‘welcome party’ for the squad at the airport.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

The Euros - It's A Numbers Game

"Park your bus on THIS"

We welcome back the ever-excellent Rich Hall to kick off our Euro 2012 coverage. Expect cagey affairs and fewer bulls than bears, which could spell the end for Spain's reign.

What began at Wembley in the summer when football came home will end in Kiev in three weeks’ time.

Poland and Ukraine will host the fifth and final 16-team European Championship. Four years from now, 24 teams will contest Euro 2016 in France. UEFA president Michel Platini wooed voters from national associations with the promise of an expanded tournament, and therefore a greater chance of participation – and of cashing in on the financial rewards that qualification brings.

Monday, 28 May 2012

A (Sort Of) Brave (Sort Of) New Dawn

David Bernstein kicks a ball at a child (presumably), yesterday

As half of the universe was hanging on the future of potentially the most significant export to come out of Belgium since waffles, waffle makers and confusing instances at Magic Spongers HQ when realising the difference between ‘Belgian’ and ‘Birds Eye’, something else was going on in the bowels of England’s national stadium.

The FA announced yesterday that the ‘shareholders’ (the county football associations) had voted to bring in “a new player pathway for football” with an 87% majority. After doubtless asking ‘what?’, the likelihood is that you’ve joined our initial response on these fair pages which was – quite reasonably – to ask the FA what the FUCK took so long?

Thursday, 24 May 2012

They'll Do What They Want


What better way to prepare for a return to the blogging arena by opening with a piece written by someone else? No better way, that's what. Particularly when said piece includes two of our favourite things: made-up quotes and a jibe at Adam Bushby's physical attractiveness. Here's the brilliant Dan Forman (go follow):

As I write, I don't know if Roberto Di Matteo is still Chelsea manager or will be at the start of next season. But I am pretty sure of one thing: If Arjen Robben had kept his composure and Chelsea had lost the Champions League final he wouldn't be.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Shedloads of Money, Shedloads of Problems

So now we know. A player CAN be bigger than the manager in Manchester. Sir Alex Ferguson has spent the best part of a quarter of a century arguing to the contrary, shipping off your David Beckhams, your Jaap Stams and your Roy Keanes at the faintest sign of dissent, but Roberto Mancini, hand forced or not, last night flew in the face of such folly, swapping a principled stand for a pragmatic one. That Carlos Tevez would have a huge hand in the winning goal with a delightful slide rule assist to Samir Nasri was almost a given; the scriptwriters have been in fine form at Eastlands this season.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Winning At A Cantera

"We're not bad, us"

Athletic Bilbao are a delight. ATHLETIC Bilbao, lest we forget. Seeds sown in the shipyards of Sunderland were reaped in the Basque country; a cantera policy that places the onus squarely on grass roots development within the reinforced framework of local identity. Though darlings of the anti-federalists, Athletic Bilbao were also set apart from their peers due to a proud adherence to la manera Inglesa (the English way), which became a sort of euphemism for a suspicion of flair, best evidenced under the stewardship of Javier Clemente. An altogether different proposition from the likes of Real Madrid then, this.

Marcelo Bielsa, though, is no aficionado of the anti-flair brigade. A different beast altogether, the Argentine might be known as El Loco, but in his madness there is ample method. At times last night during the Europa League win at Old Trafford, we were watching an old-fashioned schooling. A shoeing. A 3-2 thrashing.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Why England’s Brave John Terry Is The Perfect Man For The Chelsea Job Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love SEO

Says it all really doesn't it

Not since the abbreviation LOL was created by a tosser have three consecutive letters riled me as much as A, followed by V, ended by B. Towards the end of his reign, more people were actually laughing out loud when saying “AVB” than “LOL”. In fact, Andre Villas-Boas himself was busy LOLing by the end as he sat back, moaned, thought of the severance package he was about to get his hands on, and then moaned some more.

With Villas-Boas consigned to the Abramovich scrap heap of Big Names that can’t win Big Cups, the search is now on for someone to buck the trend. But, of course, when winning the club a league title for the first time in 50 years isn’t enough (Jose Mourinho), indeed, winning the domestic double isn’t either (Carlo Ancelotti), you’d need to be either a mercenary (Sven-Goran Eriksson), or have been out of England so long you’d forgotten what people are actually like (Rafa Benitez), to want the Chelsea job. Or maybe you’d need to be something else entirely...

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Pearce. And Quiet

"How the hell did they find out about 'Bevington's Bollock Cabinet'?"

At the moment, the English national football team has no manager, no (full-time) captain and no Wayne Rooney. And the FA, thus far – perhaps wary of capacity issues in the ‘Bevington Bollock Cabinet’, the cupboard in Adrian Bevington’s office where all the previously dropped bollocks have been stored since sweeping them under the carpet got impractical and not a little messy – has offered no resolution.

Without the governing body to harangue, attention has turned largely to dismissing Stuart Pearce’s tenure as England manager as temporary, like some kind of Fabio Capello residue that needs a quick power-hosing off after this prearranged commitment at Wembley. Inevitable though it seems that he will be stripped of the job, the wilful carte blanche being applied to England’s performance at Euro 2012 could endanger Capello’s permanent successor as much as the perceived lack of pressure (relatively, of course) could benefit the squad’s performance.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Fair Play At A Price

Since time immemorial, Uefa’s financial fair play rules have been skulking around in the shadows of polite chat in football circles. It was Arsenal’s Herbert Chapman who first busied himself snaffling the brightest and best from across the country – Alex James, Cliff Bastin, Eddie Hapgood, Herbie Roberts and David Jack – in the late 1920s in a bid to thwart Michel Platini jr jr jr and the other suits at Europe’s governing body as he pre-empted said regulations*. From Chapman to latter day incarnations, managers have always attempted to prize as much filthy lucre from their chairman’s cold hands as possible. And after a quiet January transfer window for once, following the batshit mentalness of last year, bracing oneself for an equally capricious summer of transfer activity would be a sound idea.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Great (And Ridiculous) Expectations

Watching the final of the African Cup of Nations*, one thing struck me above all else. It was the patent dichotomy in attitudes between the two sides lining up. In one corner you had the Zambians – all singing, all dancing, carefree, riding the crest of Herve Renard’s incessant wave of “Mayukaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaas!” from the touchline. In the other corner stood the Ivory Coast – introverted; nervy, despite the all-star squad and crippled by the overwhelming fear of failure. We all love a good football story and there are, by and large, a distinct lack of such narratives. Which is a good thing because it makes the really good ones all the more wonderful. Apologies to fans of the Ivory Coast, but I was supporting Zambia, of course. Most were. Singing as you walk up to take a penalty in the FINAL? The immaculately coiffured manager carrying the injured Joseph Musonda to join in his side’s celebrations? Keeper Mweene’s ridiculously cheeky spot kick? Brilliant. Heartwarming. Brilliant.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Pod Almighty

The pod returns on Transfer Deadline Day - will Bushby stay at Magic Spongers despite various indiscretions? Will Rob be sent out on loan to gain some much-needed experience? Will Jonny get 'Wilman's Big Headers' - HIS OWN FEATURE - right this week?

Just click the cheeky Caravaggio below to find out.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right

"Why always me?"

Over the past 10 days or so, the Premier League and its orbiting media bodies have seen fit to dispense with perspective like a grown man discarding some raggedy old fleece he used to have as a student, and concern themselves with as little football as possible. This has been a great shame, because there was a lot of football over the past 10 days or so and some of it was very good indeed.

But more than ever we were treated to delirium in the stands and in the press as Mario Balotelli stamped on Scott Parker’s head before scoring an injury-time penalty winner. Two new rules were also invented by some angry people; namely the ‘Vincent Kompany rule’ (fictitious) and the ‘Glenn Johnson rule’ (believe it or not, also fictitious), which conveniently can be used to either excuse a dangerous course of action that was punished, or justify a dangerous course of action that wasn't.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

English Jobs for English Workers

'What competition?'

Handing you over to a man who has obviously read the Magic Spongers blueprint - filing a piece months late - here is the ever-excellent Dan Forman on a still pertinent issue

In October last year (for it has taken me this long to get round to writing this piece) those of you without access to the Times website (or unwilling to pay a pound for the paper) may have had the misfortune to miss this fine, considered piece of sportswriting from Mike Atherton.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Podcast Episode 4 - Wayne Bridge is SO selfish

The podcast is back! And just like it's never been away, this week features a brief catch up, corruption at FIFA, Wayne Bridge, 'Wilman's Big Headers' and... just some other stuff too.

Just click the arty picture. Lovely.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Don't You Know Who He Is?

'How long left? 88 minutes?!'

In true Spongers style, we celebrate the return of the Premier League by looking back at some FA Cup stuff from about six days ago. Sort of.

Here’s a little joke for you. There are these three pieces of string, right, and they’re trying to get into a club which doesn’t allow pieces of string inside. They’ve tried every combination, they’ve swapped jumpers, they’ve been round the block and come back twice. One gets fed up, so he’s going, ‘Leave this to me lads, I’ve got an idea’. So he ruffles up his hair, right, and swans up to the door with his arms folded. And the bouncers go, ‘Here, aren’t you a piece of string?’. And he goes, ‘No, I’m afraid not’.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

The Road to Contrition

Disappointed by this, Dan Forman imagined this [pours on fuel, lights match, stands back...]:

Having had the appropriate time to consider the FA's full report into Luis Suarez, Liverpool FC would like to make the following statement:

We accept the FA's findings in full and also accept the suspension from football given to Luis which we will not appeal. While we would legitimately have had the opportunity to further consider our response and delay the suspension, we think it is only right that to avoid any impression of 'playing' the system that the ban should begin with immediate effect.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Bobby Zamora, Gambling and the Light at the End of the Tunnel

"No admiral hats for you two LOL!"

It was with not only itchy feet, but a heavy heart that I watched Arsenal succumb to their very special brand of spontaneous combustion at Craven Cottage. The Bobby Zamora 90+2 minute winner cost me £2,000.

Ok, it didn’t cost me £2,000 in the literal sense of the word. But it did mean that, down to the final 33 in Paddy Power’s Last Man Standing competition (no we aren’t getting any money for the advertising), I needed an Arsenal win or the draw to progress, more than likely to the final dozen or so. Now I know that even our most hardened of fans will care not - or will even take some perverse joy from this misfortune - but I had promised to buy myself and Rob admiral hats if I won. A pair of beautiful admiral hats. Because that’s how we do things at Magic Spongers; with a bit of panache. And Bobby Zamora, which wasn’t what I called him last night by the way, doesn’t even know that he shat all over two grown mens’ dreams last night.