4
Feb

Meet the man who gave Chelsea’s team talk, Billy McCulloch

If Jose Mourinho is to be believed, the Portuguese manager shirked his usual pre-game team talk responsibility ahead of Chelsea’s impressive win against Manchester City on Monday.

Who stepped in, you ask? Apparently the team masseur, Billy McCulloch. We’re not sure what the Scottish assistant said, but apparently it worked for the Blues.

But McCulloch is more than just a Churchill-esque motivator. He’s also a wise-cracker.

Check the video above to see a compilation of McCulloch’s “gut-busting” jokes, some of which take more than a minute to get to the punchline. And let’s not ignore that maniacal laugh, which is probably funnier than half of his gags.

It’s wild to imagine Mourinho let a man seen sitting in a muddy trough, dressed in a baby bonnet(?), scarfing down crackers and getting smacked around by fish (6:34 in the video) give his team a pep talk before such an important game … but Mou works in mysterious ways.

(h/t Reddit)

13
Dec

Moyes keeping tabs on Porto defender Mangala

Manchester United manager David Moyes has Porto’s formidable Frenchman Eliaquim Mangala on his transfer wish-list, according to the British tabloids. The Man U boss went as far as to personally take in a Porto vs. Atletico Madrid game on Wednesday. Click here for this and more gossip from the UK press.

5
Aug

The Championship play-off final is sometimes referred to as the most valuable game in soccer for the windfall that teams enjoy once they make it to the Premier League. While that’s a justifiable perspective, it also overlooks the purity of what fans experience as they support their teams in the lowest dredges of the English soccer pyramid.

From the lowest of the lows, to grinding through the Championship, the path to the Premier League is a difficult one, and one that relies on a long-term commitment from a club’s supporters.

That experience can be difficult to explain to fans outside of English soccer, but this video, which chronicles last season’s Championship play-off final between Watford and Crystal Palace, makes a good attempt. From the pre-match nerves, to the stress that both fans and players alike feel in the stands during the match, to the simultaneous eruptions of joy and sorrow once the final whistle blows, this is the Championship experience.

It captures the drama of promotion like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

29
Jul

Usain Bolt to Prince Harry: Don’t Let Your Son Support Villa!

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Photo via the Birmingham Mail

Just a few days after the birth of the next Monarch in line for the British throne, Premier League club Aston Villa wasted little time sending out a care package to the newborn. While the PR stunt won the club a bit of attention in the English press, recent comments made by Jamaican Olympian Usain Bolt are bringing the club an entirely different sort of attention…

In a recent newspaper interview with the Birmingham Mail, Bolt had less than positive comments about the club: 

"I want to give all my best to the Prince and Duchess on their firstborn. I just hope he doesn’t follow in his daddy’s footsteps and become an Aston Villa fan. It isn’t fair to put a child through that - especially not a prince. When the prince is old enough, I’d love to take him to Old Trafford. It’s only fair he gets to support a winning team."

That’s definitely harsh, but is it really that far off? Of course, a real prince would just make sure that Villa won the Premier League every season, but it remains to be seen if Prince Georgie has a lot in common with a certain Joffrey Baratheon…

(Via: DirtyTackle)

29
Jul

Nike misspells Papiss Cisse’s name on pair of custom cleats

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Concerns about Newcastle’s new sponsor set aside, forward Papiss Cisse is back with the club and ready to hit the ground running, right? Well, not exactly.

Continuing a trend that first became apparent with an extra ‘W’ stitched onto the jersey of the United States’ Chris Wondolowski, and which was followed by an Everton goof during an official jersey unveiling, Papiss Cisse became the most recent victim of a summer of spelling mistakes this week.

Setting out for one of his first training sessions since rejoining the club, Cisse reached for a pair of personalized cleats from Nike when he noticed a slight error: the company had misspelled his last name!

In a world where Wikipedia is always only a few seconds away, you think someone would have double checked.

(H/T 101GG)

29
Jul

What a Difference a Few Years Make…

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With all the ongoing talk regarding Gareth Bale and a potential record breaking transfer to Real Madrid, one could be forgiven for assuming that Bale’s career has been permanently moving upwards. However, things weren’t always this bright for the young Welshman, evidenced by this photo making the rounds this morning. 

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Photo via: Football Babble

Way back in 2009, Gareth Bale was struggling. A persistent string of reoccurring injuries and an inability to break into Tottenham’s first team had many questioning whether he had much of a career at all. So bad were his first two years with Spurs, that many expected Bale to be shipped out during the Winter transfer window for a cut-rate price of £3m.

Fast forward just four years, and Bale is valued at around £86m.

How quickly things can change!

27
Jul

Liverpool Continue Asian Tour, Martin Kelly Receives A Marriage Proposal

You can add another unique highlight to Liverpool’s tour of the Asian continent. While Liverpool have been treated like rock stars no matter where they’ve traveled this summer, with the team being serenaded by tens of thousands of fans during practice sessions and Steven Gerrard regularly bringing fans to tears, this might be the oddest story yet.

While training in Bangkok, Liverpool defender Martin Kelly received a marriage proposal from a local fan. Now, Martin Kelly is a decent player, and according to a survey of the office, a pretty good-looking guy, but really? Martin Kelly? Of all the players on the Liverpool roster? 

Now, we’re not the sort to tear a player down, so here’s to Martin winning over fans in Asia, but to be honest, we’re not entirely convinced this isn’t some sort of Brendan Rodgers mind-game to build confidence in the young player. 

Either way, here’s to Liverpool’s newest teen heartthrob. 

27
Jul

Dzeko Follows Up Spectacular Volley with Atrocious Penalty

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It doesn’t matter how long they’ve trained, nor how long they’ve been professional athletes. Sometimes, even the best players in the world suffer from blunders in between their moments of brilliance — something that Manchester City star Edin Dzeko can attest to after his team’s recent Barclays Asia Trophy match against Sunderland. 

Battling for a starting position with new signings Stevan Jovetic and Alvaro Negredo joining the team, Dzeko started brightly with a stunning volley only a few minutes into the match. 

The goodwill that Dzeko had built up, however, might have evaporated with a horrific penalty he took in the second half.

For Edin’s sake, let’s just hope that new City manager Manuel Pellegrini dozed off after halftime.