Before we get started on our usual diet of football gossip, a look at some of the stories you might have missed during our long, not-very-hot summer…
BEST FUTURE BADGE-KISSER
French starlet Younes Kaboul joined Tottenham less than a year after an interview in which he said: “Arsenal are the club of my dreams”.
The 21-year-old, then at Auxerre, added: “I am young and ambitious. I want to play for another club. But my eyes aren’t bigger than my belly, I don’t want to join too big a club.”
Everton fans were surprised and delighted when their club’s official website announced the signing of Argentina superstar Juan Roman Riquelme. They were slightly less delighted – and probably not too surprised – when this apology appeared soon after: “Visitors to evertonfc.com on Monday morning may have noticed some erroneous text relating to the signing of a player.
“This article was completely untrue and appeared as a result of a technical error that occurred during some maintenance work on the site.
‘”Example data had been used during the testing process and this was unfortunately missed by our appointed web development company during the final upload.”‘
Not Rafa and Peter Kay as Max the bouncer, but this character from the new Grand Theft Auto game… who looks suspiciously like another steely-eyed charmer…
HERE’S ONE WE MADE EARLIER
Gabriel Heinze, in an interview quite possibly carried out much earlier in the summer, told a season preview magazine: “It’s Sir Alex Ferguson’s man-management that makes him stand out. He manages to keep a big squad happy.
“We have an excellent team spirit at Old Trafford.”
COMICAL ALI AWARD
After watching his Colombia thrashed 5-0 by Paraguay in the Copa America, coach Jorge Luis Pinto told reporters: “We dominated the game.”
SADDEST LOSS TO HOLLYWOOD
Talented Coleen McLoughlin confessed she’d love to star in a major motion picture but “we have to think about Wayne’s career at Manchester United.”
BEST FITNESS CAMPAIGN
Wayne Rooney was photographed emerging from his local shop with numerous bottles of mineral water – and a huge bag of Haribo Starmix, the kiddies’ favourite chewy sweets.
BEST A-LIST PHOTO OPPORTUNITY
Theo Walcott, accompanied by girlfriend Mel Slade and their pet dog Tyson, opened a waste recycling plant in Romsey, Hampshire.
Gary Neville’s #6million Bolton mansion is informally known as ‘Neville-Neville land’.
BEST MARKETING CAMPAIGN
Aston Villa spent #100,000 sending season ticket holders a box set commemorating the club’s 1982 European Cup triumph. Inside, hero Ken McNaught was referred to as ‘Ken McNaughton’.
BEST IDEA OF NORMALITY
Louise Redknapp claimed WAGs were just like ordinary working mums. “They’re picking Josh up from rugby, taking Millie to ballet… it’s normal family life,” she said.
Manchester United’s pre-season trip to Port Vale turned nasty when the home team’s DJ decided to play Liverpool anthem You’ll Never Walk Alone at half-time. Vile chanting about the Hillsborough disaster ensued and United fans threw seats and bottles onto the pitch before both sets of supporters traded blows at the final whistle. Nice.
MOST APT MUSICAL TASTE
Hans Backe, Sven Goran Eriksson’s new Manchester City No.2, is a fan of the American band Morningwood – a phenomenon it seems clear that his boss is also familar with.
DAFTEST QUOTES OF THE CLOSE-SEASON
“There’s a certain Englishness about the English game” – MIKE PARRY
“Unfortunately, we keep kicking ourselves in the foot” – RAY WILKINS
“Fabio Capello has been fired despite him leading Real Madrid to their first title after a four-year trout” – LISA O’SULLIVAN
“Barcelona will be a great team last season” – GIANFRANCO ZOLA
“He likes to receive it in tight positions, which I love to see young blokes do” – RAY WILKINS
BEST WELCOME TO THE USA (PART 1)
The party thrown for the Beckhams by Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes featured the best cuisine America could offer – “a giant tower of chocolate cupcakes, hamburgers, fries, chicken wings, pizza, mashed potatoes and salad.”
Added one guest: “There was even a shout out from the DJ booth, ‘Let’s hear it for Scientology!'”
LEAST EXCITING PASTIME
Celtic midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura revealed how he beat boredom on the club’s pre-season travels. “I’m bathing in lots of different Japanese hot spring minerals,” he said. “We’re in the hotel for long periods and it’s more fun getting in a bath with an interesting colour than plain water.”
BEST WELCOME TO THE USA (PART 2)
An underwhelmed Los Angeles paper ran this cartoon…
THE BEST ANTI-HOOLIGAN CAMPAIGN
Police in Aachen, Germany, organised a football match to promote peace between warring rival groups of fans. It was abandoned when players attacked a spectator, kicking and punching him to the ground and sparking a brawl between players and fans. There were five arrests. “It went against our purpose,” said a police spokesman.
MOST TELLING FASHION SENSE
At Chelsea’s swanky party at the Beverly Hills hotel, players and stars like Paris Hilton dressed to the nines in designer gear. As befits someone too rich to care, Roman Abramovich turned up in scruffy white shirt and blue jeans. So did the equally important Peter Kenyon.
- Singer Biju Narayanan's wife Sreelatha passes away
- US Still Wants Turkey to ‘Walk Away’ From S-400 Deal With Russia – Report
- Zayn Malik suffers family heartbreak as cousin Arshiya passes away
- 'I haven’t had an easier time because I look a certain way!' Home And Away's Pia Miller insists that her beauty never gave her an advantage in life... and claims that 'fame was never her objective'
- Chechen leader: No gays here -- but if there are, take them away
- Stepping out! Home and Away star Sam Frost reveals her toned legs in an edgy semi-sheer black ensemble and boots at Carla Zampatti's Fashion Week show in Sydney
- Euthanasia and art history: German entry 'Never Look Away' nominated for 2 Oscars
- Follow this couple... and be blown away
- Saxophone maestro Kadri Gopalnath passes away
- Blown Away documentary gives fresh look at night Cyclone Tracy struck
- Adorable dog refuses to let go of little girl's hand as she playfully tries to walk away
- Former Home And Away star Ben Steel explores mental illness in entertainment in new doco
- Buddy Franklin joins Bonnie Sveen's call to move national holiday as Home And Away's Pia Miller and Bachelor host Osher Günsberg lead celebrity protests against Australia Day
- Fear the Walking Dead: Charlie runs away from the camp and connects with a rabbi while Logan's crew tries a surprising tactic
- Start, Up and Away: Raw Pressery’s Anuj Rakyan on turning his passion into a flourishing business - Part 1
- Start, Up and Away: How Raw Pressery's Anuj Rakyan turned his passion into a business venture (Part 2)
- Start, Up and Away | Meet Rohan Mirchandani, the man who started a yogurt revolution in India
- Celebrity trainer behind Lincoln Lewis' 12-week transformation reveals EXACTLY how Home and Away star beat depression and comfort eating after being caught up in deadly catfishing scam
- Nigel Farage Warned of Becoming 'Man Who Threw Away Brexit' by Creating ‘Hung Parliament’
- 'He put on a brave face': The Bachelorette's Jackson Garlick 'receives heartbreaking news a friend passed away' during home visit week
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