MIXED BAG
Metaphorically speaking

Steve Bates saved on water charges:
“Don’t throw the baby out with the dishwater.”

Ups and downs with Andy Reid:
“The sky is the limit for Jamie Paterson as long as we keep his feet on the ground.”

It’s easy to tell Gilesy is a city boy:
“You can’t put the horse before the cart.”

Contortions with Stuart McCall:
“Our Achilles heel came back to bite us.”

Glenn Hoddle threw his spikes in the ring:
“Everton are now hitting the ropes running.”

Adrian Chiles has been given a fair bite of the whip:
“Not many players get three cracks of the cherry.”

Ray Parlour cut the engines:
“They’re not flying on all cylinders.”

Clarke Carlisle won’t be made choose between carrot and stick:
“There’s such a huge carrot at the end of the stick.”

Once the can’s open Alan Brazil can’t resist:
“I don’t want to stir up a can of worms.”

Andy Townsend ran aground:
“Arsenal have the wind in their sails and they need to put their foot to the floor.”

Phil Neville bakes his way out of a tight spot:
“They lack the cherry on the cake to unlock the door.”

Plumber turned gambler Mick Martin:
“You’d have put your kitchen sink on Hernandez to score there.”

**

DICTIONARY CORNER
It’s only words

With Kenny Cunningham:
“Ozil is almost balleric in his movement.”

Rob Palmer: “All kinds of calamatory in the Forest defence.”

Big Sam rebuked Jose Mourinho:
“He can’t take it because we’ve out-tacticed him.”

Gary Monk was impressed:
“The way the boys have applicated themselves at training…”

Danny Higginbotham admired brains and brawn:
“Swansea are defending very astoutly.”

**

IFS AND BUTS
What might have been

Stevenage manager Graham Westley saw an empty glass overflowing:
“I don’t think if you saw the game on chances and took their goal away, you would think it was an away win.”

Paul Merson speculated:
“If it wasn’t for Hart’s save, the goal would have counted.”

Steven Taylor wasn’t worried about the little details:
“We dealt with everything they threw at us, apart from the three goals we conceded.”

Andy Townsend, after Chile beat Australia 3-1:
“If Australia had scored a couple more, it would have been a very different result.”

**

A WAY WITH WORDS
Smooth talkers

Danny Murphy dazzled:
“Ward has to score… put his name in headlights.”

One’s a crowd for Michael Gray:
“Nasri nutmegged his French contingent, Gouffran.”

Steve McManaman wondered about Louis van Gaal’s recipe:
“United need to start garnishing some points.”

Mickey Quinn lost the head:
“I went through a decapitated West ham squad.”

If Paul Merson was a town planner:
“It’s got a massive attachment area, Newcastle.”

Neil Mellor was sick as a parrot:
“A highly contagious decision.”

Ian Rush’s four-legged friend:
“Luis Suarez uses both sets of feet.”

Bobby Gould looked after his affairs:
“I was born and bred in Coventry. I played for the club as well, so that’s where my liaisons lie.”

Pat Nevin pulled the plug on Liverpool:
“Their spark has run out of a little bit of steam.”

Lawro summed up Old Trafford divisions:
“Are there fractions in the Manchester United dressing room?”

Neil Lennon didn’t give the keeper a ghost of a chance:
“It goes in like an exorcist.”

Mike Phelan on changes at Fulham:
“It’s all happened in one foul swoop.”

Andy Townsend wasn’t up to speed:
“The players are always greeted with such velocity here at Old Trafford.”

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe was on song:
“You need the harmony in the dressing room to be pointing the same way.”

Michael Owen buys his impetus by the dozen:
“Pellegrini will speak to them and City will come out with a fresh set of impetus.”


**

LET’S TALK ABOUT FACTS
The inside track

John Keith admired precision timing at Anfield:
“The half-time whistle came right on the stroke of half time.”

Nigel Winterburn knew where to look:
“Arsenal have no width out wide.”

Alan Pardew faced facts:
“I’m aging by the day.”

Darren Gough looked into Mario Balotelli’s future:
“He’s still young, but he’s getting older every year.”

Lee Dixon got to the heart of the matter:
“A penalty shootout can be a hit and miss affair.”

**

BACK TO THE FUTURE
Time just won’t stand still

Steve McManaman got ahead of himself:
“You want your team to be better than they were the following year.”

Dan Walker crammed it in:
“I once remember the old Bayern Munich manager taking a two-hour session for 90 minutes.”

What’s another year for John Hartson:
“Wenger and Mourinho were acting like a couple of teenage 12-year-olds.”

The John Barnes gap year:
“I would be a much quicker and harsher judge of Raheem Sterling in five years’ time when he has had four more years’ experience.”

Gilesy won’t take any chances:
“I think one day the African teams will win it. I don’t know when, but it’ll be in the future…”

**


RUNNING A SURPLUS
Losing the numbers game

Count on Andy Gray:
“Three words… Yaya Toure.”

Steve McManaman was out of his depth at Anfield:
“Is it offside? We’re talking millilitres.”

Joe Hart couldn’t settle on a measurement system:
“It’s missed my forearm by a millimetre but it’s a game of inches.”

Trevor Steven worried about the Netherlands’…
“…inexperienced back-three pairing.”

Phil Thompson was kind to Jason Puncheon:
“He hits it first time with his second touch.”

Sky Sports News massaged the figures:
“Our poll has been unanimous so far: 81% of you think Loic Remy should go to Arsenal ahead of Chelsea.”

So did Bury’s Tom Kennedy:
“I would say it was fifty-fifty… six times out of 10 they’re probably given.”

Graham Little on Northern Ireland’s nearly man:
“Steve Davis has been ever-present under O’Neill. He’s played 19 of the 20 games.”

Robbie Savage may have been over-selling himself all these years:
“Six inches that’s a yard isn’t it?”

**

 

FAMOUS FOOTBALLING SEANFHOCAIL
Taking the proverbial

Steve Claridge: “It’s the old adage; if Lansbury’s anywhere else on the pitch, he’s probably not going to fall.”

John Giles: “There’s an old saying and it applies to rugby as well: ‘A fit player with less ability is better than an unfit player with lots of ability’.”

Michael Owen: “It’s that old adage where you score a goal and concede one soon after.”

Alan Brazil: “Don’t do your dirty laundry out where we can all read.”

Martin Tyler: “As the old football saying goes; if you’re on top in a game you have to embroider it with a goal.”

**

THE BIG CALLS
Neck on the block

Owen Hargreaves investigated: “I spoke to Rene before the game; he said conceding goals and scoring goals are the most important thing in the Premier League.”

Gary McAllister backed him up:
“I think goals are important this season.”

Paul Merson offered consultancy:
“You need to win football matches. If you don’t win, get a point.”

In partnership with Martin Keown:
“It’s very important to win the must-win games.”

Steve Claridge drove the Tactics Truck:
“The only way to beat Liverpool is to score more goals than them.”

Interpreting results with Phil Thompson:
“West Brom have won a few late points… do those points help or hinder them… I think they help them.”

Lawro concentrated on the bigger picture:
“Everyone who wants to win it has to finish above Chelsea, for me.”

**

OOH MATRON
Nurse, the screens

Iain Dowie was impressed with Nemanja Matic:
“He opens his legs and he’s a big, big man.”

Alan Brazil put his feelings out there:
“I’d love to be inside Arsene Wenger.”

As did Alan Green:
“There’s a drum here and I’d like to bang the guy who’s banging it.”

David O’Leary has moved past wishful thinking:
“Mata… I’m a lover of his.”

Phil Neville eyed up Luke Shaw:
“He reminds me of Gareth Bale when he opens his legs.”

Darren Fletcher speculated:
“Januzaj is only 18. How tempted do you think David Moyes will be to ride him for the rest of the season?”

David Ginola fondly recalled the Villa glory days:
“You’ve got women working in the kitchen every day for the entire season, giving you pleasure.”

**

ON TOP OF THEIR BRIEF
Earning their corn

Steve Bower offered modest reward:
“A match-winning save by the Hereford keeper – that could earn his team a point.”

Glenn Hoddle gave us the heads-up:
“That’s the first header Walcott has scored with his head.”

Michael Owen and his trusty abacus:
“He’s already made two changes, so he hasn’t got many left.”

Chris Waddle unveiled a new theory:
“I’ve always said; good teams tend to get results.”

Alan Smith kept us informed:
“All square apart from the scoreline.”

Don Goodman backed both horses:
“It was a naive, cynical penalty.”

Andy Gray doesn’t make allowances:
“I know they’ve lost their best striker and best defender, but Brazil are a team full of internationals.”

**

SIXTH SENSE
A funny feeling

Steve Claridge on Chris Dagnall:
“He’s small and has got a low sense of trajectory.”

Balanced thinking with Robbie Savage:
“Gnabry’s got a stocky build and a low sense of gravity.”

**

 

CLEAREST CLARIFICATIONS
Setting the record straight


What Danny Kelly gives with one hand…
“Up next, we’ve a tribute to the immortal Eusebio. When I say he’s immortal, he’s obviously no longer with us.”

Stan Collymore made things crystal clear about his spell at Fulham:
“I was there for a little while as a Cottager… that’s as a player.”

**

 

THE GUFF PARADE
Pure guff

RTE Sport confirmed Giggsy would rely on experience:
“Ryan Giggs will assume responsibility for first-team affairs at Man United.”

Bryan Swanson couldn’t believe his ears:
“There was total silence from Old Trafford, which means the alarm bells were ringing.”

Keith Andrews split hairs.
“Stirling didn’t hesitate, he just waited for the challenge…”

Andy Brassell unveiled transfer makeweights in deal that took Karim Benzema to Real Madrid:
“He lived with his mum up until the day he was sold for 40 million and four older sisters.”

Malky Mackay on Niko Kovac mixing business with pleasure:
“And in the other dugout, the Croatia manager looks like he’s just stepped off a catwalk model.

Chris Kamara recalled unusual Steve Bruce nuptials:
“He’s 32 years married tomorrow, Jeff. He was playing for Gillingham versus Newport at the time.

Steve Cotterill convinced himself:
“I don’t know whether we deserved to win, but we deserved the win.”

Ruthless Graeme Souness:
“My ex-father was a Man City supporter.”

Paul Merson paid tribute to Neil Adams:
“You cut him open, he’s probably yellow.”

Roy Hodgson brought a psychologist to Brazil, to counsel his psychologist:
“I don’t think you should put too much pressure on psychologists.”

Chris Waddle’s split decision:
“It’s an end-to-end game, but I have to say it’s all Southampton.”

Michael Owen didn’t think this through:
“If you cut me in half, I’m a footballer.”

The one and only John Barnes:
“Danny Welbeck is unique. He reminds me very much of Darius Vassell.”

Liam McLeod crowned new Twister champion:
“Joachim Low just stood on the sidelines, arms folded and hands in his pockets.”

Owen Coyle split hairs on Harry Kane:
“He’s always been a goalscorer but not a scorer of goals.”

Alan Green praised Mourinho’s realism:
“Chelsea are content to attack when they have the ball.”

Staying alive with Danny Mills:
“Their never-say-die attitude is so admirable. I mean, some of those lads are dying on their feet.”

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