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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.