What I know about football

I was very sorry to hear of the resignation of *checks hand* Arsène Wenger from *squints* Arsenal Football Club, a popular London soccer ensemble chaired by Mr Chips ever since his retirement from Brookfield. As I had, um, temporarily forgotten who Mr Wenger was, I decided to record everything I know about the moderately attractive game. As it turns out, quite a lot.

  1. One-nil to the Ar-sen-al. One-nil to the Ar-sen-al.
  2. Alex Ferguson: Scottish player and manager who gave it all up to run a football shirt wholesaler down Manchester way.
  3. Ooh aah Cantona, say ooh ahh Cantona.
  4. Blackburn Rovers are England’s most successful football team. (h/t Conor Pope)
  5. There was a man called Peter Crouch who played for England and did this robot dance move whenever he scored a goal. I know this because the Guardian printed a guide on how to do The Crouch in G2.
  6. I have actually been to a football ground. Not for football, mind. For work.
  7. Dundee has two football teams right next to each other. (h/t Danny Dyer)
  8. You can’t just kick the ball into any net, it has to be a specific one. I learned this the hard way during one P.E. lesson.
  9. Paolo Di Canio, Il Ducebag.
  10. There is more than one team called Rangers. There’s also Berwick Rangers and Queen of the South Rangers.
  11. Kilmarnock FC are called Killie. (h/t Scott McClymont)
  12. St Mirren are called the Plastic Saints. (h/t Andy Coyle)
  13. Blowing bubbles is a traditional pastime among supporters of Western Hamilton United.
  14. Hearts vs Hibs is like Rangers vs Celtic.
  15. Ryan, Ryan, Ryan, Ryan, Ryan, Ryan, Ryan Gowser. (h/t Jamie Borthwick)
  16. Maccabi > Hapoel.
  17. Apart from Hapoel Bik’at HaYarden, who are a great bunch of lads.
  18. Partick Thistle are the Jags. (h/t Rachel Watson)
  19. The Power Rangers were liquidated in 2012 and morphed into Sevco. It was all very complicated but can be explained with the following equation: RFC + EBT × HMRC − CVA ÷ SFA = −SPL. There was a man called Craig Whyte and no one seemed to like him then another man called Charles Green came along and they went off him too. Maybe because of his big hands. Imran Ahmad’s name came up a lot. Still not sure who he is. The big taxman and the wee taxman wanted their money and Rangers appointed Hilary Duff & Fred Phelps as administrators. Chris Graham, God love him, tried to explain all this to me more than once. #CommercialPartnership The Old Firm became the Glasgow Derby and Rangers ‘The Rangers’. (Nope, not a clue.) Celtic didn’t gloat about their rivals’ predicament; they just got on with eating their jelly and ice cream. They weren’t obsessed with Rangers and spent the next 12 months talking about nothing else to prove it. ‘Yer deid!’ ‘Naw, we’re no’!’ ‘Yer undeid? Zombies, ya bass!’ The saga was adapted for the silver screen the following year as Finding Nimmo. The big house stayed open.
  20. David Beckham was a bit of all right in his day.
  21. Freddie Ljungberg too.
  22. England won the World Cup in 1966 and never stops going on about it.
  23. Scotland didn’t win the World Cup in 1978 and never stops going on about it.
  24. Following 1995 talks at Camp David, both parties agreed to transfer control of Gazza from Stadio Olimpico to Ibrox, finally solving the Middle Field crisis.
  25. My R.E. teacher Willie Collum became a referee and this was a big deal at our school and, honest to God, while looking up Wikipedia to double-check the spelling of his surname, I just learned that my deputy headmaster, Mr Cushley, was a famous Celtic player before becoming a teacher and now a tonne of stuff I didn’t understand back then suddenly makes sense. This is why so many things were named after him, why loads of footballers would come to give talks at our school, why no one ever keyed his car. Learn something new every day.

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