Week in Guff: Ronnie Whelan gets to bottom of Riise power
Football Focus on Saturday provided the clearest evidence yet what damage a lifetime of heading the ball can do to the brain. According to Martin Keown, this is… “… the strongest Everton squad you can ever remember.” Tell that to Big Nev.
WAG THE TAIL
Jeff Stelling’s contribution to WAG Week:
“Who influenced your career more, Charlie – your wife or your girlfriend?”
HE’S TRAPPED THAT FURTHER THAN I GO ON HOLIDAY
For several years now, those chirpy scousers have been melodically enquiring in their inimitable high-pitched fashion as to how John Arne Riise scored “that goal”.
At last, after Riise’s “touch” when one-on-one with Petr Cech, it seems Ronnie Whelan has come up with some answers, revealing for the first time the Norwegian’s ownership of a bionic foot.
“It’s like trapping a bag of cement – it bounces off him a mile away.”
Ronnie also had some welcome good news on a bad weekend for Lawrie Sanchez. It all looked a bit much for Lawrie last week, believing as he did that the season ran to fully 37 matches. Not in Ron’s world:
“It’s too early. There’s another 33 games or something.”
DO YOU REALLY JAMIE?
“I think they could get something out of the game. I really do.”
“I like him. I really do.”
“I think he’s a triffic player. I really do.”
“I think that’s his best position. I really do.”
STICK A PONY IN ME POCKET
Not a hint of a fish anywhere, but the Merse and Harry Redknapp still produced a magic Del Boy and Rodders double-act on Goals on Sunday. Harry was full of tales of his woes with them foreign players including a superb telling of how Paolo Futre refused point blank to wear the number 16 shirt for West Ham. “Futre 16 no. Futre 10. Pele, Maradona, Futre 10,” recounted \’Arry, in fluent foreign, remembering there was no talking Paolo round and he was soon hailing a taxi to bring him back to Heathrow.
The Merse, for his part, was simply his usual eloquent self:
“That’s the difference between the top players and…. the not so top players.”
Good news for King’s Road ladies. Jose has confiscated JT’s Lynx.
“Chelsea is playing a different way. A different football. A different smell.”
WORTH A FEW GRAND OF ANYONE’S MONEY
Thommo sticks he neck – and nose – on the line again:
“It’s like a lot of players, they will score goals, the question is how many.”
Seems Liam Brady’s been too long down the League of Nations Arsenal, hailing the performance on Saturday of Spurs’
READING THE GAME
Who said footballers were stupid? As Alan Hansen spotted on MOTD, the only accusation you could lay at Carlos Bocanegra’s door is that he perhaps shouldn’t be attempting to indulge his literary bent while Middlesbrough are on the attack. Even if it’s only Jeremie Aliadiare.
“He’s writing a book there called How Not to Defend.”
Meanwhile Jimmy Magee was full of admiration for the wisdom showed by Gabriel Agbonlahor when bundling his way through a couple of hapless challenges, ignoring a teammate better placed beside him and screwing horribly wide:
“And he deserved something there for persistence, pace and …. knowledge.”
By that token, on Monday Jimmy will present Jens Lehman with a Know Your Sport umbrella.
THE AGELESS KANU
The ongoing mystery over the true age of Nwankwo Kanu rumbles on. Officially 31 (which makes him a 30 game a season man at 15 but who are we to doubt the big lad?), Jamie Redknapp seemed to let the cat out of the bag on Saturday:
“He’s an important player for Pompey even though he is 36 or 37.”
But his oul lad was quick to put him right on Goals On Sunday, sort of:
“Oi, you said Kanu was 38 yesterday. He says he is 24.”