HOSTAGE SITUATION

Just what kind of regime does Paul Merson think Roberto Mancini is running?

“If you have that many top drawer players at your mercy, you cannot lose four games on the trot.”

NURSED BACK TO FITNESS

On the contrary, Phil Thompson thinks its time Mancini stopped treating his players like babies:

“There are average footballers there. It’s up to the manager to wean them out.”

WELL ORGAN-ISED

If Spurs’ man of the moment is to be prised away from White Hart Lane, Jamie Redknapp feels the likes of Barca and Real Madrid could face stiff competition from the World Health Organisation:

“Gareth Bale literally has three lungs.”

ALL CREDIT

David Pleat is also quite taken with Bale, but has strange ideas about how heavy spending affects your balance sheet:

“What would clubs in debt do to have him? He could get them out of it in one fell swoop.”

BARGAIN BIN

More financial calamity in the Championship, where QPR will regret inviting John Salako to take charge of player valuations:

“Adel Taarabt is worth the admission fee alone.”

HEAD TO TOE

As a player Andy Gray literally had three feet:

“That header was a good idea from Matt Taylor but he doesn’t have his finishing boots on.”

BIRDBRAIN

Never mind the pigeons, Alan Brazil is more concerned about his luggage:

“He’s put the cat among the bags there.”
BACK TO THE FUTURE

The Merse is chasing his tail again:

“Come what yesterday…”

THE LAST WORD

One down at home, seconds left, fans streaming out, the Pleat verdict is ready:

“This won’t be a good result for Arsenal.”

WATCHING BRIEF

Tame performance from the Turkish champions against Man United midweek. Kevin Moran had an idea why:

“It must be embarrassing if you’re a Bursaspor player watching this.”

LOAVES AND FISHES

On MOTD, Alan Shearer squeezes every drop out of his experience:

“As I’ve often said on a couple of occasions…”

OUT OF CHARACTER?

Some familiar theatrics from Ronaldo in Milan had Richard Keys scratching his head:

“Maybe it’s something he’s picked up since leaving the Premier League.”

MISSED OPPORTUNITY
It’s not often the chaps in charge during the heyday of the British Empire are accused of lacking ambition but Tommy Smith’s answer to a quiz question in the QPR match programme suggests he felt there was more in the tank:

Q: Which country won the most medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games?
A: Germany

PRONUNCIATION OF THE WEEK

In David Pleat’s world, “San Siro” rhymes with “biro.”

THE NEW GEORGE HAMILTON

With Villa hanging on for three points at Craven Cottage, Chris  Kamara took charge:

“Absolutely no chance of a Fulham goal…”

UNRUFFLED

Iain Dowie gets his coat:

“He’s feathered his ruffles.”

TWEET FINISH

Big Al was lording it during Spurs-Inter, but perhaps one of his apprentices can break it to him that aggregate scores aren’t yet in operation in the Champions League:

@Lord_Sugar: Oh yes 1 nil stays like this we have won

QUICK ONE-TWOS

Rafa collars Woy:

“Some people cannot see a priest on a mountain of sugar.”

New Liverpool owner John Henry has rousing words for the fans:

“I know so little it’s hard for me to make assurances of any kind on almost any subject.”

Steve Bruce believes what he sees:

“Everything that did go wrong, could go wrong.”

Jeff Stelling’s boys hit the skids:

“Vauxhall Motors played in cavalier fashion at Hartlepool.”

Robbie Savage commentates from his imagination:

“Open goal! Well, if the ‘keeper wasn’t there.”

So does Stephen Alkin:

“And here he is at the highest level, almost scoring for Everton.”

Kenny Cunningham applauds Seamus Coleman’s ability to get others do his errands:

“He sends Crainey for a bag of sugar.”

Ray Hudson keeps it tasteful in Madrid:

“Agüero pounces like Jack the Ripper.”

Spotter’s badges to bootsybah, james_eastham, Gadget_79, shanebreslin, set_square

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