By Kevin Henning. Warning: The following article may contain traces of sarcasm…..
1. Arsenal might not play a brand of beautiful yet ultimately pointless football. Theo Walcott won’t give an exclusive interview to the Sun saying that he feels this team has really come of age and are determined to pay back the loyal fans of Arsenal with a trophy or two. There is a strong possibility that Arsenal won’t go into February seven points clear at the top of the Premier League, through to the last 16 of the Champions League with a tie against Shaktar Donestsk and with an F.A.Cup 5th round tie at home to Bournemouth. Even more unlikely is the idea that by April, the Gunners will be 6 points behind Chelsea, talking of how good a game they gave to Barcelona and rueing Everton’s rough-house tactics after the infamous “Battle of Goodison Park” where the Toffees had 2 men yellow carded. Arsene Wenger probably won’t tell us all that his team will be ready to peak during the 2012-13 season.
2. There is no chance that Harry Redknapp will spend the second half of the season advising Fabio Capello how the England team should line up during the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine. He certainly won’t question the motivation of the Three Lions squad nor will he say that “They’re a triffic bunch of lads who just need an arm around their shoulders and to be told how good they are.” He will not be joined in the pages of the Beano by Terry Venebles calling for a return to English management for the national squad. The very thought that the Cockernee Mafia will organise a concerted effort to send Fabio to the funny farm, just in time for “Good ‘ol ‘Arry” to ride to the rescue on a white charger is too far fetched for anyone who has read Mr.Redknapp’s insightful and poetic columns.
3. The tabloid press will make every attempt to refrain from interviewing Steve McClaren on the eve of the Championship play-offs. However, should public demand force their collective arms, there will be no sign of an article informing us that the former Boro boss has turned a corner and has picked up a lot of knowledge from his travels around the continent. They won’t mention Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest era within the article nor excite Forest fans with a hint of a return to the glory days. The article shall not be accompanied by a picture of Steve McClaren under his red and blue umbrella at a rain soaked Wembley with an added caption of “Brolley Well Done Forest!”
Jamie Carragher drags an Everton player to the floor in a full-nelson from an in swinging corner, completely ignored by the officials.
4. It is appearing increasingly unlikely that Mario Balotelli will be hounded by all football folk every time he steps foot onto a pitch, tries out a new tyre track haircut or glances at a referee. There is little chance of him being booked for raising an arm in a way that’s seen as aggressive by a referee who’s just completely ignored an assault on the Italian by a 6 foot 7 centre half.
5. I can’t see Jamie Redknapp refusing to hear a bad word spoken about any of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Jamie Carragher, John Terry, Tottenham Hotspur as a collective, nor Danny Murphy. ‘Arry’s lad certainly won’t describe Stevie G as a “top, top player” after a match decided by the Scouse thespian’s pre-empting of a tackle. Louise’s other half probably won’t sit nodding like a Churchill Dog when accompanied on the Sky panel by Graeme Souness, Ray Wilkins and Ruud Gullit during the channels Champions League coverage.
6. All of the following have a chance of being avoided before, during and after the Merseyside derby :
a) Everton go into it ahead of Liverpool and promising that victory will show everyone that they can match the Reds.
b) Marouane Fellaini launches into a studs up challenge on Jordan Henderson, receives a red card and is watched leaving the pitch by David Moyes who wears a shocked, bug-eyed look on his Gollum like face.
c) Jamie Carragher drags an Everton player to the floor in a full-nelson from an in swinging corner, completely ignored by the officials.
d) Liverpool win the game through a controversial penalty ‘won’ by captain Stevie Starfish and despatched by Charlie Adam who is then the subject of a campaign by the Merseysiders to award an MBE to the Scottish midfield terrier.
e) Kenny Dalglish wears a manager’s coat that is ever so slightly too big for him and stands clapping like a demented seal upon hearing the final whistle just as Tim Cahill nods a would-be equalizer into the net from an injury-time corner.
Between the dates of Saturday 13th August 2011 and Sunday 13th May 2012, Mike Ashley will not make a single decision that annoys fans of Newcastle United.
7. The Venky family are surely not going to realise that they’ve been keeping a low profile for a while during October with Blackburn Rovers sitting in a respectable 9th place in the Premier League. This will not lead to the dismissal of Steve Kean who will then avoid displaying a threatening tone when asked whether he was ever truly cut out for the demanding role of a Premier League manager.
8. Between the dates of Saturday 13th August 2011 and Sunday 13th May 2012, Mike Ashley will not make a single decision that annoys fans of Newcastle United.
9. I don’t imagine any player at Wigan Athletic will catch the eye of the scouts from Old Trafford which is just as well because the last thing Latics boss Dave Whelan would want to do is release a statement along the lines of “We can’t stand in the way of the lad when Sir Alex comes calling. Any player would want to play for the fantastic establishment that is Manchester United. The boy dreamt of playing for the Red Devils when he was a boy on the streets of Nuestra Senora de La Paz.”
10. Alex Ferguson will refuse to speak to any of the employees of the BBC due to a self imposed ban following the Panorama documentary investigating his and his sons’ completely honest and transparent dealings within the world of football transfers.
Forget that last one, it’s too ridiculous to even contemplate!