Rod Stewart to be Celtic goalkeeper to make Scottish football more interesting

Celtic have confirmed that they are to select Rod Stewart in goal for the rest of the season after the SFA demanded changes to make Scottish football more interesting.

Brendan Rodgers’ side are a gigantic 27 points ahead of the rest of the league with 14 matches remaining.

This has prompted SFA bosses to convene an emergency meeting due to fears that the Scottish top flight is in immediate danger of becoming a hugely predictable laughing stock.

The SFA then requested that Celtic play with a handicap or they will deny them the league title due to this being a piece of piss they could win with their eyes closed.

Forcing Celtic to pick 72-year-old rock star Stewart in goal was agreed ahead of a number of other options to level the playing field.

These included making Celtic’s starting XI each down a two-litre bottle of Irn-Bru on the pitch before kick-off, handcuffing Moussa Dembele to Scott Brown and – most drastically of all – forcing Celtic to rehire Ronny Deila as manager.

Stewart has already been hired by the SFA this season to make the Scottish Cup draw – a duty the star pulled off with great charm and professionalism, despite one too many Highland Spring mineral waters leading him to pinch the SFA president’s bottom.

Stewart appeared alongside Brendan Rodgers at a press conference yesterday and sang:

Wake up Scotland, I think I’ve got something you’ve got to hear.

By late September we really should never be 12 points clear.

You’re all just a bunch of jokes.

We’d beat you still with Anthony Stokes.

But what do I care if we win year after year?

Image courtesy of Tsutomu Takasu via Flickr

Three ways to lose money betting on football this weekend

The cash-burning, drama-packed, title-dream killing (sorry Liverpool and Arsenal fans) juggernaut of the Premier League continues to rumble along to another stop this weekend.

If you are contemplating a wager on the weekend’s action, why not read our handy guide on how best to lose some serious money:

Bet against red-hot Andy Carroll to strike

Once every eight years or so a rare interplanetary alignment gives the world the chance to see one of its most magnificent rare natural sights – an Andy Carroll goal glut.

Seeing this beast of a forward nod, smash, poke and bicycle kick goal after goal does make him seem at times like a force of nature that mere mortals have no hope of stopping.

Big Andy has bagged four goals in his last four matches and we expect him to continue his run in front of his own fans against West Brom this weekend.

If you are foolish enough to put your money against the unstoppable phenomenon in Claret and Blue, for instance by backing West Ham not to score v West Brom at 16/5, expect it to go straight into that black hole also known as the bookmakers’ profits.

Put your money on a Leicester revival

One natural phenomenon we all know the downside of is the passing of time. Many of us will have seen carefree youth slip slowly into stressed middle age.

Sometimes time’s punch in the face is more dramatic, and none more so than at the King Power Stadium this season.

The formidable attack that won Leicester the title last year has lost all of its threat, the steely defence has become a seepy statuelike pile of s**** and Claudio Ranieri has gone from being everyone’s ideal grandad to a poor helpless old man we all feel sorry for but nobody’s quite sure they can help.

A midweek cup win against Derby with a reserve team isn’t enough to suggest Leicester can claim their first away win of the season at in-form Swansea, who look superbly organised under Paul Clement.

You can back Claudio and the boys to win at 9/4 if you want to see your money go down the drain though.

Back anyone other than Chelsea for the title

Okay those pundits who start saying the title is sealed up before Christmas are annoying, but Chelsea’s comfortable win against Arsenal last weekend saw them cross a line.

Alongside that imaginary line, marked at regular intervals in bright yellow imaginary letters, were the words “they aren’t going to let it slip now” – copyright S Gerrard.

They’re really not though. Not with Arsenal and Liverpool in disarray, Man City hugely inconsistent and Tottenham impressive but still young and inexperienced.

You can get 14/1 on Man City to win the title and 16/1 on Tottenham, but you’d be a bit mad to.

Happy betting!

Image courtesy of Brian Minkoff-London Pixels via Wikimedia Commons

Headache for Sky as incompatible Lampard and Gerrard booked as pundits for same match

Sky face a headache in their coverage of Swansea v Leicester this Sunday having booked both Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard to be pundits before realising the two cannot be used together.

The recently retired pair of legendary midfielders have both made their first moves into punditry.

While they are both huge stars in their own right, there are serious doubts as to whether they can share a studio.

Gerrard’s dull monotonous tones make picking an entertaining partner for him vital.

Lampard’s more listenable voice and intelligence have made him viewed with great potential by Sky bosses. The Chelsea legend’s lack of experience means he may not be able to step in though to finish Gerrard’s sentences for him when they meander into nothingness or otherwise peter out.

Sky are considering a number of options to resolve the problem, including placing Joe Cole in the studio and moving Gerrard out to operate a camera.

That is viewed as far from ideal, however, given Cole’s limits in oratory and Gerrard’s inexperience with operating machinery.

Another idea is to place an experienced pundit like Graeme Souness in between Gerrard and Lampard, which runs the risk of overcrowding the studio.

Sky Sport producer Sven Ericsen said: “We’re a bit surprised as we thought Stevie G and Lamps would be an ideal combination – they’re both such talented individuals.

“It’s a bit troubling to think their styles might clash. Maybe we can keep trying it though and see if it turns out okay?”

Image courtesy of Ross G Strachan via Flickr

Revealed: Nothing particularly big about Big Sam

An Inside The Far Post investigation has found that ordinary football fans have been using an inaccurate nickname for years, as there is nothing particularly big about Sam Allardyce.

The current Crystal Palace manager is 6 foot 3 inches tall, which is above average, but not an extraordinary enough height to warrant him being known as Big Sam by half the country.

His waistline, while also large, is not noticeably bigger than those of a lot of fans and smaller than the waistlines of some.

An analysis of Allardyce’s quotes also reveals a far from extensive vocabulary, as evidenced by him saying “all this tippy-tappy stuff is a load of b******s sometimes” when providing his views on tiki-taka football.

While Allardyce does have an impressive record of avoiding relegation, his failure to ever win a major trophy as manager – apart from League Two and the Irish second division – casts doubt as to whether his impact on the game has been truly big.

It can also be assumed that his bank balance, although probably large, is not big enough for his liking.

Otherwise Allardyce would not have agreed to accept £400,000 from undercover reporters to advise on transfer dealings during his brief spell as England manager.

One aspect of Allardyce’s life which is definitely big is his current salary.

Crystal Palace appointed him on a £2.5m per-year contract in December, which is very big considering they have won just won match since hiring Allardyce and have sunk down to 19th in the table.

Image courtesy of Egghead06 via Wikimedia Commons

John Terry ‘training trophy lifting like mad’ for 6 May appearance

Chelsea captain John Terry is undergoing intensive training to lift the Premier League trophy on his next appearance for the club in May.

The veteran defender is determined to continue his proud record of lifting trophies vigorously into the air.

With injury and the superb form of Chelsea’s younger first-choice defenders keeping him out of favour at the club, Terry has opted to train individually in the gym with a replica trophy.

A club insider said: “JT’s a true pro and it’s vital for him that he can be there to give that trophy a good lift.

“You see some captains lift trophies up slowly, in two or three movements, but JT isn’t going to have any of that. He’s going to smash it.”

The source says Terry is performing 200 trophy-lifting repetitions per day, many with 35kg in weights attached to the replica trophy.

Nathan Ake has been tasked with filming Terry on his phone to make sure he is happy with the way he hoists the trophy up.

The former England captain’s attention to detail in this regard is nothing new.

Terry raised eyebrows in 2012 by changing into a full Chelsea kit, including shinpads, to lift the Champions League trophy after watching the final from the stands in a suit due to a suspension.

36-year-old Terry has not started for the Blues in the league since September. He recently made two FA Cup appearances, one of which saw him sent off for bringing down a Peterborough forward who sprinted past him.

Image courtesy of Julian Mason via Wikimedia Commons

Garry Monk statue to be built in Leeds as he survives eight months as manager

Council bosses in Leeds say they plan to build a statue of Leeds United manager Garry Monk to mark his extraordinary longevity in the role.

Monk has now remained Leeds’ manager for eight months since his appointment back in June last year, making him the longest-serving boss in Massimo Cellino’s time as chairman of the club.

Leeds remain in contention for promotion to the Premier League in fifth place.

Monk has clung onto the hotseat despite suffering ten defeats so far this season and also failing to finish his plate when invited to Cellino’s house for a pasta dinner.

Reports suggest Monk even failed to praise Cellino’s prized artwork in his mansion – focused around a collection of framed P45s in his hallway.

Such is his potential as a manager, this faux pas has been overlooked.

The club threw a celebration on Friday to mark the start of Monk’s ninth month in charge.

Veteran goalkeeper Rob Green presented a bouquet of flowers, while a representative of Cellino, who was unable to attend due to his ban from all football activities, gave a cake in the shape of a horse’s head.

Tom Wilson, head of outdoor sculptures at Leeds City Council says the design of the statue is not yet confirmed, but it may show Monk squaring up to enraged Huddersfield boss David Wagner yesterday.

Having commissioned the statue, the council will no doubt hope Monk stays around at Leeds for its unveiling.

Newspaper reports have linked Monk to moves to manage Leicester or Watford in the summer, while TV adventurer Bear Grylls is targeting Monk as his replacement in the Mission Survival TV show.

Image courtesy of Chris Robertshaw via Flickr

N’Golo Kanté makes Southern Rail train run on time just by sitting on it

Commuters on a Southern Rail train last week were shocked that it ran on time for the first occasion in seven years.

Remarkably, the train’s unexpected good performance appears to have been caused by N’Golo Kanté sitting in the corner of Carriage F by the luggage rack.

Chelsea midfielder Kanté took the 7:18 from Brighton to London after visiting friends on the south coast.

Tom Wilson, a 44-year-old solicitor who has taken this train almost every day for the past 15 years says:

“I have never known anything like it. The train was rumbling along, and I was thinking it was much quieter in the carriage than usual.

“I realised they hadn’t played any of the usual automated messages saying ‘We’re sorry to announce that this service is delayed'”.

The train arrived into London Bridge station 30 minutes ahead of schedule. Many of the commuters opted to take a break to drink a coffee in an unusually warm patch of sunshine that followed the train all the way from Brighton.

Kanté, who is on course to take his second Premier League title in a row with his new club Chelsea, has never in his life been on a train or plane that was late.

His ability to perform perfectly and make everything around him operate like clockwork appears to be the cause of this remarkable fact.

We asked Wilson, who is a Chelsea fan, what Kanté was like, as he booked the seat next to him:

“Huh? Kanté sat next to me on the train?

“I was on Facebook the whole time posting updates about my commute. Oh yeah, now you mention it there was this short guy to my right sitting there quietly.

“I didn’t really notice him to be honest.”

Image courtesy of Chelsea Debs via Wikimedia Commons

“We pick on you because you’re a moany git” FA tells Mourinho

The Football Association has admitted to Jose Mourinho that it does single him out for special disciplinary treatment, but only because he is such a moany git.

Mourinho angrily questioned the way he is dealt with by football’s authorities after Manchester United’s 0-0 draw at home to Hull on Wednesday.

The Portuguese manager was told to sit down by the fourth official during the second half when he wanted to instead stand up and loudly complain about something.

The FA yesterday issued a surprise response to Mourinho’s allegations of unfair treatment.

A post on the website of the FA disciplinary panel said:

“God, Jose, of course we pick on you. Only because every time we see your miserable face a flood of anger surges up inside us.

“Haven’t you ever heard that frowning strains your facial muscles more than smiling? We’ve only ever seen you smile for a total of seven seconds despite winning three league titles.

“Do you really think we’re going to treat a one-man random moan generator like we do Jokey Jurgen? Even the corners of Arsene Wenger’s mouth have been known to lift into a smiling position on occasions.

“As for Conte and Pochettino – they both seem like nice chaps to us. Pep? Okay we’re just a bit intimidated by him – as he’s so damn smart and intelligent.

“But really, Jose, lighten up! You’ve got a solid defence, plenty of exciting attackers and you’re well in contention still for the Champions League spots – things aren’t that bad when you look at them that way, are they?

“Take a chill pill, dude! What was all that the other week after losing in the league cup? ‘It’s a draw because their second goal was offside’.

“Are you Donald Trump’s cousin or something? Next you’ll be walking around saying ‘we’re top of the league really as someone hid a giant super magnet at the top of the Stretford End to attract the ball and make all our shots miss the target’.

Image courtesy of Aleksandr Osipov via Wikimedia Commons

Three ways to lose money betting on football this weekend

With the Premier League barely having the chance to catch its breath after a dramatic set of midweek fixtures, it is already time to scrub those boots and lift those moods – we’re talking to you Jose Mourinho and Arsenal fans – ahead of a big weekend.

If you enjoy throwing money away at the bookies with as much relish as a Chinese Super League club investing in aging South Americans, why not try our three sure-fire tips to lose cash betting on football this weekend:

Invest in Arsenal’s mental strength at Chelsea

Arsene Wenger wheeled out his much-heard “we weren’t mentally prepared” excuse – amazingly without blushing – after Arsenal’s embarrassing 1-2 home defeat to Watford on Tuesday.

Well, we could go on for a while, but let’s just say if Arsenal aren’t up for a must-win home match as the season heads into the final few months, are they really going to hit top gear again a few days later at leaders Chelsea?

We don’t think so.

But if you’ve got money to burn, you can back Arsenal to win at Chelsea at odds of 10/3

Back West Brom to keep Stoke out

Aha – many a punter might say, sturdy West Brom at home to unexciting Stoke, the hosts are sure to keep a clean sheet, no?

Wrong, wrong, wrong! The Baggies, with their slightly more appealing football this year, have slacked up a little at the back – something that has gone largely unnoticed in their good season so far.

Numbers don’t lie, and West Brom’s 14 goals conceded at home in 11 games is more than leaky Leicester have let in.

Stoke for their part are in a rich run of form – unbeaten in four matches – inspired by big Peter Crouch’s return to the starting line-up.

Crouch, can you believe, now has four goals in six games, while a certain Saido Berahino must be gagging to grab his first Stoke goal at the home of the former employers he hates.

West Brom are 13/8 to keep a clean sheet if you have a few quid to waste

Bet on Burnley to beat their away blues at Watford

As tough and spirited a bunch Burnley are at home, it just won’t happen for them on the road.

Sean Dyche’s men have a pathetic one point to show for their ten away trips so far, having scored just four goals.

They’re due an away win, you say? Perhaps, but don’t count on that to happen at a Watford side who must be on a huge, unexpected high after their midweek win at Arsenal.

Burnley are 3/1 to win at Watford if you want to lodge more of that hard-earned cash with your favourite bookmaker

Don’t blame us if we’re wrong – like all tipsters we have no idea what we’re talking about!

Image courtesy of davidhc via Flickr

Real fans win World’s Most Fickle Fans award after Ronaldo boos

Real Madrid fans have been named the 2017 winners of the World’s Most Fickle Fans Award after Cristiano Ronaldo faced jeers this week in the club’s 3-0 win over Malaga.

The Real supporters appeared to be annoyed that their side were not winning after 20 minutes of the midweek clash and jeered the Ballon d’Or winner after he gave the ball away.

Ronaldo then responded by assisting Mateo Kovacic to put Real ahead and making it 2-0 himself with a delightful chip – an action that even the most disgruntled supporters at the Bernabeu cheered.

Some supporters at Real Madrid have become unhappy at the team seeing their 40-match unbeaten run end earlier in the month.

As Barcelona are now four points behind and Real have just one game in hand, it is still a remote possibility that Real do not win the La Liga title, making the followers nervous.

These fans say next time the club should go 400 matches unbeaten, and they should always be at least 2-0 ahead after 15 minutes of play.

FIFA has responded by ending its search for the year’s most fickle fans at the start of February.

Despite some competition from a handful of Liverpool fans who have been calling radio stations in the past week to demand Jurgen Klopp is sacked, the World’s Most Fickle Fans award is to be presented to the angry Real fans.

Miniature trophies are to be fixed to the seats at the Bernabeu of everyone who booed Ronaldo, to give them the choice to shove it up their backside or stop going to matches.

Image courtesy of Goatling via Flickr