The Year of the Goatee

FCT manager at the auction

Bearded: The FCT manager’s public image suffered in 2012

DESPITE Luis Suarez and Sergio Aguero notching them up like John Terry’s bedpost, Sporting Lesbian go into the New Year with only a slender lead over the reigning champions.

FC Testiculadew shaved a point from the gap since Boxing Day morning with goals from Jonny Evans, Steven Pienaar and Dimitar Berbatov.

FCT enjoyed the added advantage of Danny Simpson missing Saturday evening’s game, while Lesbian Davide Santon had seven knocked past him and got booked.

Much maligned for the heinous crime of tactical Brambling during May’s Euros auction, the FCT boss hopes to regenerate his public profile in the New Year, as well as becoming the first manager to defend the league title.

“For some reason I’ve earned a bad reputation, but I hope that everyone can leave that unfortunate, summer misunderstanding in 2012 and see that behind the sinister facial hair I’m just a stand-up guy who can get the best from his team in all competitions,” said cad and bounder the FCT manager, while counting out 11 bullets into envelopes addressed to the Sporting Lesbian first team.

At the bottom, Bala Rinas climb out of the drop zone thanks to Gareth Bale and Daniel Agger. Wandsworth Window Lickers sink down most likely because their top scorer this week was Gabriel Obertan.

Looking into 2013, managers’ immediate focus will be on the cup ahead of this week’s fixtures, with every team in with a chance of progressing to the knockout stages.

League table

Week 18 - 31 December 2012

Week 18 – 31 December 2012

Weekly scores

Manager Points Goals
1 Pikey Scum Jack 75 6
2 Still Don’t Know Yet Pete 59 6
3 PSV Mornington El Pons 59 4
4 FC Testicluadew James N 50 3
5 Sporting Lesbian Ben M 49 3
6 Bala Rinas Lewis 48 4
7 Dynamo Charlton Alex 48 2
8 Vasco De Beauvoir Stix 48 2
9 Just put Carles Carles 45 1
10 Lokomotiv Leeds Ben S 44 4
11 Piedmonte Phil 43 4
12 Northern Monkeys Hugo 43 3
13 Hairy Fadjeetas Aiden 43 1
14 Judean Peoples’ Front Sholto 37 0
15 Newington Reds Dudley 36 0
16 Spartak Mogadishu Abdi 33 1
17 Headless Chickens John N 30 1
18 Greendale Rockets Stu 25 1
19 Wandsworth Window Lickers Will 22 1
20 Woking Mike 11 0
Points Player
Player of the week 23 Walcott, T – ARS – MID
Club Pikey Scum
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A Christmas Carroll

Mince pies

Pie in the sky: Andy Carroll has pledged to his manager to score more goals

A KNOCK at the door announced the manager’s two o’clock meeting. Brief fumbling at the knob was followed by the entrance of the team’s star striker.

“Hello, Andy. Please take a seat. Have a mince pie,” said the Headless Chickens manager from behind his desk.

The lofty striker approached the chair eyeing the plate of Mr Kipling’s on the desk. Sitting down, he picked up one of the pies, sniffed it gingerly and wolfed it down.

“Andy, I’ve asked you in today to talk about your performances,” said the manager. “Remember at the start of the season…”

“Andy did a goal!” Interrupted the striker, banging his fists on the arm rests, wild excitement in his eyes.

“Yes, back at the start of the season Andy ‘did a goal'” conceded the Chickens manager. “But the problem is that Andy hasn’t scored many goals since then.”

The striker looked at the floor with sorrowful eyes and then meekly up at his manager.

“Well, we’re really here about a serious matter but…oh, alright then, but only because it’s Christmas,” the manager produced a banana from a drawer and threw it at the striker, who greedily unpeeled and ate it. The procedure demeaned them both, but the Chickens target man was always calmed by the yellow fruit and the manager had just had new carpets fitted.

“Now, Andy, remember those days when you first played in the Kenna?” said the manager.

“Andy did a goal! Andy did a goal! Andy did a goal!” Screamed the striker over and over again, jumping up and down on the chair and beating his fists on his chest.

After congratulating himself for not offering the glass of sherry the season’s custom had supplied his other visitors that day, the manager stood and tried to calm his player down, as always having to fall back on the usual ultimatum: “Look Andy, if you don’t stop this now, you’ll have to stay at Uncle Kevin’s house again!”

The effect was immediate. Andy stopped dry humping the cocktail cabinet and returned to his seat.

“Now Andy, unless you start producing the goods (no, put that away!) I’ve got no alternative than to put you on the transfer list for February’s window, and you know what that means.”

The striker nodded slowly. Everyone knew what it meant but the manager wanted to make his point.

“It means you’ll end up playing for some relegation-doomed outfit like Woking or Vasco De Beauvoir when everyone’s scratching around for players at the end of the transfer night. And do you think the managers there will give you bananas? So, you’re going to start ‘doing’ goals and you’re going to start ‘doing’ goals good.

“Now onto brighter things. It’s the club Christmas party tonight. By the way, what was your last club’s Christmas party like?”

The striker grinned: “Andy did a hole!”

League table

Week 17 - 25 December 2012

Week 17 – 25 December 2012

Weekly scores

Manager Points Goals
1 FC Testicluadew James N 41 2
2 Pikey Scum Jack 40 1
3 Dynamo Charlton Alex 38 2
4 Sporting Lesbian Ben M 36 2
5 Newington Reds Dudley 35 2
6 Piedmonte Phil 35 1
7 Spartak Mogadishu Abdi 30 3
8 Greendale Rockets Stu 28 1
9 Still Don’t Know Yet Pete 26 1
10 Vasco De Beauvoir Stix 25 2
11 Just put Carles Carles 25 1
12 Judean Peoples’ Front Sholto 25 0
13 PSV Mornington El Pons 21 0
14 Hairy Fadjeetas Aiden 19 1
15 Bala Rinas Lewis 18 0
16 Headless Chickens John N 18 0
17 Lokomotiv Leeds Ben S 14 1
18 Wandsworth Window Lickers Will 14 0
19 Woking Mike 12 0
20 Northern Monkeys Hugo 10 0
Points Player
Player of the week 13 Gerrard, S – LIV – MID
Club Still Don’t Know Yet

Camisas de futbol

20121211-212432.jpg

In the grand scheme of things, $45US may seem like a drop in the ocean, but as the starting price for a counterfeit Mexican club football top it was high. Too damned high.

It was a Chivas shirt, red and white stripes with ‘Toyota’ across the shoulders and the irresistible logo of mass bakers ‘Bimbo’ on the front.

There was neither name nor number on the back, and in this regard it failed in any attempts to become a prized asset. An opening offer could be reckless, and introduced itself at five bucks.

Taking it as the usual jest of a holidaymaker haemorrhaging cash on Playa del Carmen’s main drag, the vender dropped to 42. When his customer stuck to five, the pidgin pleasantries ended.

“I don’t give these away for free! Especially to a cheapskate like you!” was, one thought, in poor taste considering the trifling wages of underage sweatshop workers I’d just pointed out.

For the casual reader wondering why the hell one would take such a bearding as this for a fake piece of polyester, it’s difficult to explain just how integral a part these tops are to the game’s culture.

Latin America’s landscape is just as much characterised by rich, tropical vegetation, breathtaking mountain panoramas and faded beer marketing as it is by a weatherbeaten campesino wearing a number 10 Carlos Valderama shirt.

Parallels with some tattooed chancer in Chelsea ‘home’ sounding off in a Surrey pub are soon forgotten in the heat, tinny salsa music and desperately-cheap rum cocktails.

Many tourists buy wooden masks or moody silver trinkets, but to take home a mid-90s Campos, a Club América Blanco or a River Plate Ariel Ortega is to have a much more tangible slice of a country’s aspirations, reverence and achievement. Advertising is also a lot more unrestrained and a lot less ethical than European counterparts.

Back in the tat shop on the Caribbean coast things were turning nasty.

“This shirt is professional. It’s good quality, not like this cheap crap that you wear,” said the Mexican sales assistant tugging at my t-shirt to a generous offer of $15US.

I forgave the slight to French Connection and soldiered on. I’d already been ejected from one shop in similar circumstances, but I couldn’t help feeling sorry for these guys. They wouldn’t last 10 minutes in Marrakech.

I tried to pick up the bits of good will smashed on the floor by going to twenty, just to give him a chance, but the train of overweight gringos thronging along Avenida Quinta had irrecoverably altered market conditions. I wouldn’t be held to ransom.

From Rome to Cartagena the equivalent of £15 was the most these things would ever be worth, and no one in their right mind would give even half of that for this Chivas disaster. I always thought there’d be plenty of other chances.

However, that was a week ago and despite having visited a good many more places on the Yucatán peninsula since there’s been a hearty lack of football shirts for sale.

Just two full days remain and it feels more and more unlikely that an opportunity will present itself on the current schedule, and as sure as eggs is eggs I’m sure not stooping to a Manchester United Chicharito effort.