Ten weeping styes in the public eye.

HARRY REDKNAPP – Has a face like congealed pasta carbonara sliding slowly off a plate. ‘Honest’ ‘Arry has SSN on speed-dial and is only too willing to unleash a diarrhoea of opinions on any, and every, event in the footballing world. Usually it’s a situation occurring at another club that has precisely fuck all to do with him.

Why bother with those pesky agents and rules of the game when you can use a major sports channel as your mouthpiece and proclaim any player that isn’t contracted to Tottenham as being ‘triffic’ and brazenly state an interest in signing them, breaking the manager’s moral code of ethics time after time after time.

His highly dubious history of transfer dealings doesn’t stop at openly tapping up players via the television however. Allegations of tax fraud and dodgy back-handers have followed him around for some years now and, whilst it would not be prudent to state this with any true conviction, lets just say that his previous two clubs have both suffered the financial trauma of administration whilst the genial cockney himself resides in a £7 million mansion in Sandbanks, routinely regarded as the most prestigious chunk of land outside of Mayfair.

So how does he get away with such highly conspicuous behaviour? Well, entire media studies syllabuses should be given over to how ‘Lovable ol’ ‘Arry has managed to get every prominent sports journalist brown-nosing on his every utterance. They openly adore him and the tracts of fawning propaganda written about this potentially corrupt tosspot on a daily basis is truly sickening.

Bless the gullible hacks. They actually think he’s their mate.

NANI – You can imagine the conversation in Alex Ferguson’s office as he drops his kecks and addresses the little balding head sticking out of his arse.

Ferguson: ‘I just don’t feel we’re hated as much as we should be. People are even starting to compliment us on our attacking flair and adventure’

Mike Phelan: ‘Are you sure gaffer? We still get all the big refereeing decisions go our way, we bully the FA, have the media in our pockets, and….no offense like….but you still antagonise the public with your Machiavellian wind-ups in press conferences’

Ferguson: ‘I know, I know, and that’s still fun and pure evil….but *sighs wistfully* we used to be loathed Mike! Since Ronaldo left and Gary Nev’s become a geriatric cripple we don’t have a spleen-splattering cuntbag on the pitch anymore. A person so despicable Joe Public daydreams of punching him in the face repeatedly throughout the ninety minutes…with a claw hammer’.

Ferguson mournfully pulls up his pants and Phelan goes back to sleep, snug as a bug.

He turns on the television and by chance catches a bit of a Sporting Lisbon game.

He watches in wonder and admiration as a guy resembling Michael Jackson in Thriller gets tapped on the ankle and rolls around on the floor clutching his face as if shot through the eyeball.

He leans forward in excitement as the player then scores from the resulting ill-gotten free-kick and jogs towards the opposition fans, pulling his tongue fully out to taunt them.

‘Mike! Mike!’ he cries, unzipping hurriedly ‘We’ve found him! And he’s more loathsome than we ever have dreamed’.

STEPHEN HUNT – If the League of Gentlemen village of Royston Vasey had a Sunday League team then this vile, angry scrote would surely be the captain.

A man so grotesque he tests your gag-reflex merely by appearing on screen, half-deformed and snarling and snapping at the nearest Achilles heel or goalkeeper’s skull. Hunt could only be born from fictional stock. Quite frankly no human mother and father could ever produce such a freak and allow it to live. Scurrying about with his hair made of twigs like a Gremlin who’s downed a bottle of Bushmills after midnight.

Hunt won’t retire. He will be released back into the wild.

IAN WRIGHT – Enthusiasm is understandably a valuable commodity in television. Patronising executives routinely regard us all as docile cattle in need of a good electric prodding and so overwhelm the schedules with bouncy, shouty people.

But for it to translate through the screen and directly have an infectious effect upon the viewer it must be allied with personality. Enthusiasm alone, devoid of cognitive thought or charisma, amounts to Kriss Akabusi cackling loudly. Or Chico pointing to a big watch.

Wright is another who has recently been sussed out. Even Five – a channel whose viewers consist solely of those too infirm to reach the remote – have recently sussed him out.

Has this over-excitable goon ever, even accidentally, uttered an interesting, insightful or original comment? Has he ever, just once, extended his limited repertoire beyond collapsing in laughter at precisely nothing and simply being Ian Wright?

And yet, incredibly, he was once given his own chat show!

Wright now contents himself with being a gimp mouth-piece for The Sun and when he isn’t using his weekly column to jeopardise his son’s career (by regularly making little Shaun’s contract dispute public and creating ill-feeling between the club and player) he meekly complies with any agenda the paper may have, even when he doesn’t believe a word of what he writes.

Recently The Sun went over-board in their criticism of Nigel De Jong following his challenge on Ben Arfa that resulted in the latter breaking his leg. Manchester City threatened legal action against the paper.

A week later Wright – a man not exactly known for his gentlemanly conduct as a player – savaged De Jong in a diatribe of  quite outstanding proportions.

Spewing moral outrage at the tackle he ended his prolonged rant with this nugget of pure madness – ‘I know people will think back to my challenge on Schmeichel. But at least that was personal.’

That makes it worse you preposterous spunk-bubble!

PETER DRURY – Whilst suffering through his never-ending stream of corny, pre-written, one-liners how we yearn for Coleman simply stating ‘one-nil’.

No matter how hard he tries – and boy does he try! – he will never have the easy fluency of Tyldesley who at least gives the impression that such smart-alec word-play is improvised.

Drury’s contrived turn-of-phrase, or cultural reference, is crow-barred in with such clunky determination that the viewer’s teeth physically itch in irritation and distracts from the football. If Liverpool, for example, bag a late goal after making heavy work of supposedly easy European opposition, let’s say Sparta Prague, out will pour a Tourettian torrent of nonsensical punnery that never seems to end – ‘Dirk Kuyt scores!! The Dutch master has painted them into the next round. It’s been a hard day’s night but now they’re high as a Kuyt. The Kop have been singing their famous anthem all night long, and now – finally – Roy Hodgson’s men have decided to join them on their stroll….into the quarter-finals. Through the wind and rain on this chilly December night Anfield’s dreams are no longer tossed and blown. They can see the golden sky. And now it’s the Kop that’s bouncing, not the Czechs. Kuyt embraces his captain and says ‘Love me do’…….’

Drury, shut the fuck up. The game’s restarted and Sparta have a corner.

JOHN TERRY – For the past decade most true England fans have been secretly glad that the national side have floundered so spectacularly  in the major tournaments. The very thought of this reptilian self-proclaimed leader of men recreating the famous Bobby Moore pose, holding a trophy aloft bedecked in the Three Lions, is simply too unbearable an image to contemplate for any reasonable man.

One half Terry Butcher, the other half that bin man who won the Lotto, Terry derives from supremely chav stock. To the amusement, and general glee, of supporters throughout the country his father is a drug dealer whilst his mum nicks Pedigree Chum and flip-flops from Tesco.

In a parallel universe, minus the ability to climb all over centre forwards, Terry would be festooned in Kappa, hand-braking doughnuts in a souped-up RS2 around McDonalds’ car-parks after dark. And occasionally handling stolen electrical goods.

Vastly over-rated as a player (even before injuries ravaged his thighs he turned like an oil tanker with a broken helm) his behaviour throughout recent times have proven the adage that fruit does not fall far from rotten trees. His misdemeanours are grubby and extensive, and tick every box on the modern-day footballer’s charge sheet.

He is, in effect, the uber-twat.

Dalliances with team-mate’s girlfriends, and numerous other reported affairs, are inevitably followed with shots of him somewhere exotic papped (complicitly of course) splashing about in a luxury swimming pool with his wife and children, projecting a family man image that fools precisely no-one. Interestingly it’s the same hapless publicity tactic also once employed by that other ‘Mr Chelsea’ David Mellor.

Meanwhile, while he recovers from his latest ankle twinge and tops up his tan, his beloved Chelsea and England are busy grinding out precious results.

At the last World Cup an astonishing, and humiliating, attempt at mutiny revealed the sheer level of hubris and delusion this rat-faced whopper has in his own importance. It probably stems from all the inspirational bullshit Mourinho fed him, a man Terry idolised then ultimately stabbed in the back.

Real leaders of men don’t do that. To the best of my knowledge Bobby Moore didn’t play hide the salami with George Cohen’s missus. And Henry V never urinated on a nightclub floor before savagely beating up a hotel receptionist.

ROBINHO – Chosen to represent the hundreds of supremely gifted footballers who take their God-given abilities wholly for granted. It seemingly bores them as if being blessed with such magical feet is a curse they have to reluctantly endure for past sins. In lieu of showcasing their amazing talents on a regular basis (talents that the rest of us would gladly sacrifice both testicles to possess) they instead drip-feed a trick here, the occasional blasé turn there, all entirely dependant upon their fickle mood that day.

It’s akin to Michelangelo doodling a cock and balls.

GEOFF HURST – Churchill had to defeat a vast army of Nazis for his name to become synonymous with a time when England actually won things. All Hurst had to do was kick a ball three times. Perhaps that’s being slightly disingenuous. He was, after all, a fine centre-forward and 180 goals in 411 West Ham appearances attests to that.

Yet there is no doubt that Hurst was in the right place at the right time on that June day in 1966 and fortune smiled very favourably upon him. He wasn’t even supposed to be playing; an injury to Hunt afforded him a lifetime of basking in glory and a personal fortune relentlessly amassed from the ’66 cash cow. A knighthood followed too.

So you would think that Hurst would show some humility about being placed in such extraordinary high – and largely undeserved – regard based upon merely ninety minutes of football? Not a bit of it. He is a grumpy curmudgeon who regularly displays arrogance and disdain during public speaking. He has swallowed wholesale the half century of hype heaped upon him by sycophantic interviewers and shaven-headed, BNP-voting cabbies.

It should have been Jimmy Greaves playing that day anyway. Everyone but Ramsey knew he was by far the superior replacement for Hunt and, being arguably the greatest marksman we’ve ever produced, he would have cleanly drilled home the second sparing us fifty years of goal-line debates .

Sir Greaves sounds a lot better too and the lovable, sozzled cockney would have, no doubt, given a cheeky wink to Her Madge as the sword descended.

Hurst probably knelt stock-still, thinking this honour was the very least he deserved.

DAVID PLEAT – If any budding impressionist wishes to ‘do’ Pleat here’s some handy tips.

Firstly, mimic the universal voice used to denote a ‘nerd’ – say something clever-sounding like ‘I think you’ll find that A multiplied by B is the natural circumference of C’ if that helps. Then imagine that the nerd in question grew up to be a market trader with a sex-dungeon in his cellar.

Mix the nasally twang of nerd, the earthy undertone of a working class upbringing, and the creepy timbre of an old man who would sneakily leer at your teenage daughter all together and you’re nearly done.

Finally mispronounce every name, particularly the foreign ones, in a bid to sound more cultured and knowledgeable than the commentator sitting beside you.

There. You have him.

We all remember when he ran maniacally across the Maine Road turf after seeing his Luton side avoid relegation in the early 80s. Wearing a suit borrowed from a best man at a pikey wedding his delighted dance and skip was reminiscent of someone who’s discovered the lifeless prostitute in his car isn’t dead after all.

MICHEL PLATINI – To subvert the old footballing cliché Platini is a man of two halves.

As a player he displayed every positive trait attributed to his countrymen; Gallic insouciance coupled with lashings of style, always executed with an unshaven panache. As he weaved through Europe’s best defences, his shirt always out, the only thing absent from the mise en scene was a full-strength Gitanes hanging dolefully from his bottom lip.

He was quite simply a truly outstanding footballer.

Since retirement however he has climbed the greasy poles of power to become UEFA President. And now he routinely displays every negative stereotype aimed towards his homeland. Insular petulance, truculent aloofness, and an almost napoleonic hatred of the English. Platini has harmed Anglo-French relations more than an entire herd of mad cows wandering around Calais. Where once his nickname was Le Roi (‘the king’) now he is closer to Chaplin’s bumbling Great Dictator.