Who Ate All the Pies Archives for January 2007

Wembley to host play-offs

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The Football League has announced that the end-of-season play-offs will be held at the new Wembley Stadium. The announcement follows Brent council granting Wembley a safety certificate on Tuesday after two successful warm-up events at the £798m stadium. "This is the news which fans of League clubs have been waiting for," said League chairman Lord Mawhinney.

Two screamers from the Chile/Costa Rica friendly

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In the week, there was a friendly between Costa Rica and Chile. Normally, you wouldn't be that interested... but wait until you see the goals from this game! The first is an absolute screamer, and the equalising goal is a sublime bicycle kick. Watch 'em and shout GOOOOOL!

[Mof Gimmers]

Dive of the week: Steven Gerrard, Andorra v England

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Stevie G might have thought that Steve McClaren had deflected most of the flak away from him this week, but here at Pies we don't forget that easily. Here is England's hero tripping over the air between the keeper's feet... And a couple of other Gerrard dives after the jump. Winning a free-kick off Cristiano Ronaldo by diving. Very post-modern!

ITV grab FA Cup & England rights from the BBC

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The FA Cup is a special competition that means many things to many people. One of the few things it does not mean to anyone at present is staring at Andy Townsend's misshapen nose and waiting for the next advert break. That could all be about to change though. ITV are apparently close to securing the rights to both live FA Cup matches and England's home matches.

Lightning strikes during football match in Johannesburg, South Africa

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No one was seriously injured after lightning struck the field during this game, between Jomo Cosmos and Moroka Swallows in Johannesburg. Watch out for the plucky interviewer, who wastes no time in getting the lowdown from one of the injured players… [Via The Offside]

Quotes of the week

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'In English football you are called Prof if you have two GCSEs; no wonder we are outwitted on the pitch.' Boris Johnson. Yes, that Boris Johnson. 'Can Lampard and Gerrard play together? They can. They can. They can.' No, Steve McClaren, they can't, they can't, they can't. 'Why anyone would ever dream of wanting it I don't know.

***NEWS FLASH*** Ian Holloway tells us to 'swivel'

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We called for Ian Holloway to be installed as the new England manager, and now Ollie has responded to us, via his column for BBC Sport. On learning that Pies had campaigned for him to replace Steve McClaren, Ian said: 'Ha ha! Well that's very flattering but I think they'll have to go and swivel on that idea!' You don't know how proud that makes us, Ian!

Pies vs Lawro, Premiership predictions

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SATURDAYLiverpool v Arsenal Lawro: 2-1 Pies: 1-0 Bolton v Sheffield Utd Lawro: 2-1 Pies: 3-1 Charlton v Wigan Lawro: 1-1 Pies: 2-1 Fulham v Portsmouth Lawro: 2-2 Pies: 1-0 Manchester Utd v Blackburn Lawro: 2-0 Pies: 1-0 Newcastle v Man City Lawro: 2-1 Pies: 0-0 West Ham v Middlesbrough Lawro: 2-0 Pies: 3-1 Watford v Chelsea Lawro: take a guess… 0-2 Pies: 1-3 SUNDAY Tottenham v Reading Lawro: 2-0 Pies: 2-1 MONDAY Aston Villa v Everton Lawro: 2-0 Pies: 1-1 If you think you can do better (I know you can!

The Fiendish Friday Quiz

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1 Wimbledon, Tottenham, Charlton, West Brom (current). Whose career path? 2 Pierluigi Collina and Marco Materazzi both support which Serie A club? 3 Picture round: who's this? 4 Only one Middlesbrough player has featured in every one of their Premiership matches so far. Who? 5 Which 'keeper will set a new Premiership clean sheets record this weekend if he doesn't concede?

Classic Moment: Michael Thomas wins the league for Arsenal at Liverpool, 1989

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We did feature this Classic Moment on Pies many moons ago, but it is worth seeing again as Liverpool and Arsenal meet at Anfield tomorrow. Michael Thomas bundles his way through the Reds' defence to win the league for Arsenal in the most dramatic circumstances. "It's up for grabs now!" [Rob Parker]

John Terry gets shirty with Andorra

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England captain John Terry ripped a shirt out of the hands of his Andorra counterpart following Wednesday night's Euro 2008 qualifier. Terry waded in to retrieve Jermain Defoe's shirt from Oscar Sonjee. The Chelsea man was unhappy at Andorra's intimidation tactics and attempted to stop the England players swapping shirts in the tunnel. Sonjee moaned: "It was a really ugly moment.

Lee Honeyball's top five football bets

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The only way is down for Lee (our new betting wizard: ex-Observer Sport Monthly and Racing Post tipster) after his astonishing 150-1 debut, but here goes anyway: 7-1 LIVERPOOL TO BEAT ARSENAL 1-0 Arsenal have won their last four against Liverpool but, stats fans, have lost their last two Premiership visits to Anfield (both by one goal, including a 1-0 last time).

Lookalikes: David Beckham and Tintin

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David Beckham collected an Outstanding Contribution to British Sport award (there is a message of hope to all Real Madrid benchwarmers) at the Sports Industry Awards 2007 last night sporting his new haircut. There is definitely a touch of the Tintins about his new strawberry blond short-back-and-sides-avec-quiff. No murmurs about them both having a faithful dog as a companion if you please!

ITV to grab FA Cup rights from the BBC

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The FA Cup is a special competition that means many things to many people. One of the few things it does not mean to anyone at present is staring at Andy Townsend's misshapen nose and waiting for the next advert break. That could all be about to change though. ITV are apparently close to securing the rights to both live FA Cup matches and England's home matches.

Top five quotes from Frank Lampard's blog

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The always-excellent Kickette alerts us to the fact that Frank Lampard has his own blog, sponsored by Orange. It's generally very bland but it does occasionally reveal some mildly interesting stuff about the World's Second-best Player. Here are the top five pearls of wisdom from the pen of Super Frank (who incidentally is fit to play for Chelsea tomorrow - gasp, surely he wasn't dropped by Steve McClaren?

Tomas Rosicky and Czech team-mates spend the night in a hotel with six prostitutes. Back of the net!

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The entire Czech Republic squad has been stung with a £25,000 fine after Tomas Rosicky and five team-mates spent the night in a Prague hotel with six prostitutes, following the team's 2-1 home defeat to Germany in the Euro 08 qualifiers. All very rock 'n' roll, but you have to wonder what was going through Rosicky's head. Why would the Arsenal star do anything to jeopardise his relationship with stunning girlfriend Radka Kocurova (pictured).

Comically named Luxembourg defender collides with post

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This clip from last night's Euro 2008 qualifier between Luxembourg and Romania shows a Luxembourg defender having a bit of a Phil Babb moment. The unfortunate player to slide into the post groin first? Jerome Bigard! You can't make this stuff up. I'll leave the obvious puns to you, our faithful Pies readers. [Rob Parker]

Uefa come up with a plan to create more fixtures. Genius

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As some of Europe's top teams prepare to work through their mammoth fixture pile-ups, the top bods at Uefa have decided more matches is the way forward. They plan to make their all-consuming Champions League monster even flabbier by offering places to some of Europe's domestic cup winners. One or more Champions League places would be up for grabs under a play-off system (like the Intertoto Cup, but with even more prestige!

Blog of the week: Who Ate All the Cupcakes?

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Who Ate All the Cupcakes?, a brand new football blog run by a bunch of soccer-lovin' guys based in Atlanta, Georgia (home to REM, as I recall), has been set up in honour of Pies – that's what they told us anyway. Flattery will get you everywhere chaps. Think of Cupcakes as our American pen friend. If you're hungry for news & views on soccer Stateside, pay 'em a visit, and say that we sent you.

THE VOTE: Was this really England's 'worst win ever'?

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Football365, a site I check out regularly, is calling England's 3-0 defeat of Andorra 'England's worst win ever'. Help me out here, but I'm not sure how a 3-0 away win in a live qualifying match can be deemed our 'worst win ever' and a 'new low'? I'd argue that England were worse in defeating Ecuador and Paraguay at the World Cup last summer.

England mediocre, Andorra disgraceful

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There's been more than enough words penned on England's failure to break down 5-5-0 defences, but I think Andorra deserve some form of punishment for their shameful performance last night. I usually root for the plucky minnows, but Andorra's game plan seemed to consist of physical intimidation (the elbow being a favoured weapon), time-wasting and rolling around several times after the slightest contact.

Luca Toni deflowers Scotland (Italy 2:0 Scotland)

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Toni derails the Scottish bandwagon with two smart headers. See if you can make it to the end of this clip without falling asleep to the sound of Lee Dixon's voice…
Italy vs Scotland Goals
Uploaded by FootballHeaven

Cheeky David Nugent poaches a debut goal for England

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Preston North End striker David Nugent showed how lethal he can be from five centimetres as he scored on his England debut. The 21-year-old mugged Jermain Defoe for an international goal to do his bit to raise morale in the England camp! Look at the technique - that kind of poaching ability has been finely honed on the playground. [Rob Parker]

Five reasons why I'm scared I might have slipped into an international football parallel universe

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1 Andorra can hold England to a goalless first half. 2 Northern Ireland are top of a qualifying group for a major tournament (was I looking at it upside down?!). 3 And add to that the fact that David Healy - a player often the victim of squad rotation at the club bottom of the Championship - is the top scorer in the qualifiers.

Have the FA lined-up a morale-boosting friendly against a blind team for England?

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Sure looks that way according to the BBC Sport gossip column (at the time of writing at least)! I am not 100 per cent convinced England would beat FC Braile on current form, let alone Brazil (the intended opposition, I assume). [Rob Parker]

WAG of the week: Alex Curran

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In honour of England's man of the match… Name Alex Curran Nationality British WAG of… Liverpool captain/England saviour Steven Gerrard. The couple have two daughters and are set to marry this summer. Fame ranking 5/10 Regularly appears in the tabloids and gossip mags but hasn't gone out of her way to court celebrity, unlike some WAGs we could mention.

Northern Ireland's David Healy (who else) scores twice against Sweden

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Healy, the Jean-Pierre Papin of Northern Ireland, has now scored nine goals in the Euro 2008 qualifying campaign (in just six games), giving his country a very realistic chance of making it to the finals next year. Here's a vid of his brace against Sweden last night, which helped NI jump to the top of Group F.

Haiku Corner: Super Lawrie Sanchez

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This week in Haiku Corner, we try not to think too much about Steve McClaren and the England situation (it would only make us angry and f**k with our karma). Instead, we pay tribute to Super Lawrie Sanchez, Crazy Gang-member-for-life and bloody good international manager. He's transformed (transformed, Transformer… see what we've done there?

The 10 Greatest Football Books, part 2

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Here's the second part of our Ten Greatest Football Books list. You can read part one here.

My Father and Other Working-class Football Heroes, by Gary Imlach
Like Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch, My Father… is more of a memoir than a straight football book. Imlach, whose face you may know from his time presenting TV coverage of American football and the Tour de France, tells the story of his complex relationship with his footballer father, Stewart Imlach, a talented winger who represented Scotland at the 1958 World Cup.

Shit England manager week: David Beckham's Photoshop School

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'Hello, David Beckham here, writing this in my LA mansion. Welcome to my Photoshop School, where talented young Photoshoppers can come, for a small (well, large actually) fee and learn proper mad skills off me, innit. This week I done a poster wiv Sean Penn and that nasty man Steve McClaren, who's so stupid he won't ever pick me again. I also included a moody pic of Frankie Lampard, who's rubbish at dead balls, unlike me who's the best dead ball-kicker in the world, at least that's what adidas tell me to say, innit.

Andorra v England, player ratings

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Paul Robinson Stood around for 90 minutes watching his team-mates huff and puff in Andorra's half. 6/10 Micah Richards Not the most stylish player but enthusiastic and got forward when he could. Stuart Pearce will be gutted that he left the pitch on a stretcher. 6/10 John Terry Found himself in some advanced positions but couldn't offer much in attack.

Classic Moment: England 4-2 Croatia, Euro 2004

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Remember when Wayne Rooney used to score goals for England? Vaguely? Well, his last two competitive goals for England were this pair he scored against Croatia at Euro 2004. Check out some excitable commentary from John Motson, including the prophetic: "Is there nothing this boy can do!"

[Rob Parker]

David Beckham to live the Herbalife at LA Galaxy

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Health firm Herbalife are the latest business to buy into Brand Beckham after becoming the new shirt sponsors of LA Galaxy. The company flogs weight loss and nutritional products, despite a logo and name which make it seem like the friendly face of marijuana dealing!

Herbalife has signed a deal worth between $3.5 million and $5 million every season until 2011 with Beckham's new team, which should cover his wages for a couple of hours!

The 10 Greatest Football Books, part 2

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Here's the second part of our Ten Greatest Football Books list. You can read part one here.

My Father and Other Working-class Football Heroes, by Gary Imlach
Like Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch, My Father… is more of a memoir than a straight football book. Imlach, whose face you may know from his time presenting TV coverage of American football and the Tour de France, tells the story of his complex relationship with his footballer father, Stewart Imlach, a talented winger who represented Scotland at the 1958 World Cup.

Shit England manager week: Steve McClaren vs Garth Crooks

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Crooks tries to break Steve 'Dead Man Walking' McClaren's spirit but the Mac's got his game face on – you know, the one where he looks like a National Express driver emerging from his coach's toilet after a Glasgow-to-London long-haul journey.

Shit England manager week: David Beckham's Photoshop School

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'Hello, David Beckham here, writing this in my LA mansion. Welcome to my Photoshop School, where talented young Photoshoppers can come, for a small (well, large actually) fee and learn proper mad skills off me, innit. This week I done a poster wiv Sean Penn and that nasty man Steve McClaren, who's so stupid he won't ever pick me again. I also included a moody pic of Frankie Lampard, who's rubbish at dead balls, unlike me who's the best dead ball-kicker in the world, at least that's what adidas tell me to say, innit.

Pies moving house: crockery may get broken

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If you've been having any problems with Pies in the last 24 hours (I know I have!), it's almost certainly due to the fact that we're currently in the process of switching publishing platforms. We should be fully settled in to our new shiny new home very soon, and ready to push for automatic promotion. Thanks for your patience. Ollie, Pies Ed.

Benjani brawls with Peter Ndlovu

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It's a fight to strike fear into the heart of the most accomplished of boxing MCs: Benjani Mwaruwari v Peter Ndlovu. The two Zimbabwe internationals scrapped it out at their team hotel after rowing over an ex-girlfriend. Portsmouth striker Benjani and former Coventry City player Ndlovu smashed windows and tables at Harare's Crest Lodge Hotel.

Frank Lampard out of Andorra game with a broken wrist. Be still our beating heart

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Disaster strikes! Frank Lampard is out of the Andorra game after breaking his wrist during a training session - the country owes a debt of gratitude to Wayne Rooney, whose shot struck Lamps. What we need now is for Gerrard and Hargreaves to play a blinder in central midfield and for Steve McClaren to wake up to the fact that Gerrard and Lampard will never play well together, ever.

Burmese keepy-ups video

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This lot make Cristiano Ronaldo look like Gavin McCann.

Classic Moment (relatively speaking): England 5-0 Andorra

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It was a much simpler time. Steve McClaren's second game in charge of England and a comfortable 5-0 win. That made it nine goals in two games. Unfortunately since then England have managed just two goals in six games. You would hope they might get a couple this evening. [Rob Parker]

Steven Gerrard learns that he won't have to play alongside Frank Lampard tonight…

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(Summary is not available.)

Benjani brawls with Peter Ndlovu

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It's a fight to strike fear into the heart of the most accomplished of boxing MCs: Benjani Mwaruwari v Peter Ndlovu. The two Zimbabwe internationals scrapped it out at their team hotel after rowing over an ex-girlfriend. Portsmouth striker Benjani and former Coventry City player Ndlovu smashed windows and tables at Harare's Crest Lodge Hotel.

Frank Lampard out of Andorra game with a broken wrist. Be still our beating heart

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Disaster strikes! Frank Lampard is out of the Andorra game after breaking his wrist during a training session - the country owes a debt of gratitude to Wayne Rooney, whose shot struck Lamps. What we need now is for Gerrard and Hargreaves to play a blinder in central midfield and for Steve McClaren to wake up to the fact that Gerrard and Lampard will never play well together, ever.

Burmese keepy-ups video

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This lot make Cristiano Ronaldo look like Gavin McCann.

Classic Moment (relatively speaking): England 5-0 Andorra

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It was a much simpler time. Steve McClaren's second game in charge of England and a comfortable 5-0 win. That made it nine goals in two games. Unfortunately since then England have managed just two goals in six games. You would hope they might get a couple this evening. [Rob Parker]

Steven Gerrard learns that he won't have to play alongside Frank Lampard tonight…

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(Summary is not available.)

10 reasons why Ian Holloway should be appointed England manager

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1 He is not Steve McClaren.
2 Even after a dull 0-0 bore draw with Israel, Ollie would still entertain us with his post-match interview. Whereas McClaren...
3 Ian Holloway could motivate a stone (although whether this is a big a feat as motivating a bunch of overpaid egotists is up for debate!

Moritz Volz loves the English weather

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Fulham defender and unofficial English Tourist Board spokesman Moritz Volz has leapt to the defence of the English climate. The German told The Guardian's Small Talk [Cue Land of Hope and Glory in the background]: "It's not as bad as people say it is. England has to be one of the most beautiful countries in the world when the sun is out.

Is the England camp falling apart?

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England can't score. We've got a rubbish manager who can't help to stop negative play and it's all infuriatingly boring. For any Englishman, this isn't exactly news, but what is worrying about the current set-up is the lack of drive, willingness to perform and a dressing room that looks about as harmonious as George Best's relationship with his liver.

Lampard: Master thumb wrestler

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Ladies and gents. Pies can finally reveal something that Frank Lampard is great at (which many people have been wondering after yet another woeful performance in an England shirt). Yes folks, Lamps is great at beating Kalou in a thumb wrestling match whilst wearing a Mexican wrestling mask. Stops us looking at that face which he's stolen from KD Lang.

Hawar scores from his own half in UAE President's Cup

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If it had been David Beckham or Xabi Alonso we would have all been raving about, so why shouldn't we get excited about Hawar scoring from his own half for Al Ain against Al Shaab in the UAE President's Cup last month. This was the winning goal in a 3-2 victory. Not bad!

[Rob Parker]

Kit Parade: Newcastle United 2007-08 home shirt

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The release dates for the new kits seems to get earlier and earlier each season. Newcastle's home shirt for next season is already available for pre-order ahead a 2 May launch. Out go the traditional stripy sleeves in favour of an a much more black affair. Think more zebra than bar-code for the 2007-08 season! Click here to pre-order. [Rob Parker]

Classic Moment: England 4-2 Croatia, Euro 2004

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Remember when Wayne Rooney used to score goals for England? Vaguely? Well, his last two competitive goals for England were this pair he scored against Croatia at Euro 2004. Check out some excitable commentary from John Motson, including the prophetic: "Is there nothing this boy can do!"

[Rob Parker]

David Beckham to live the Herbalife at LA Galaxy

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Health firm Herbalife are the latest business to buy into Brand Beckham after becoming the new shirt sponsors of LA Galaxy. The company flogs weight loss and nutritional products, despite a logo and name which make it seem like the friendly face of marijuana dealing!

Herbalife has signed a deal worth between $3.5 million and $5 million every season until 2011 with Beckham's new team, which should cover his wages for a couple of hours!

News Balls: Steve McClaren and Terry Venables close to split and more juicy news balls

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El Tel and Smac - another showbiz divorce for Max Clifford to deal with? [Guardian]
Ronaldo pledges to stay at United [Mirror]
Mido to move out of the Dracula-shaped shadow of Dimitar Berbatov and to Manchester City [Mirror]
City will also be splashing the cash to keep Micah Richards away from Manchester United [MEN]
Steve Coppell can take his coat off after signing two-year deal at Reading [Football 365]

The 10 Greatest Football Books, part 2

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Here's the second part of our Ten Greatest Football Books list. You can read part one here.

My Father and Other Working-class Football Heroes, by Gary Imlach
Like Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch, My Father… is more of a memoir than a straight football book. Imlach, whose face you may know from his time presenting TV coverage of American football and the Tour de France, tells the story of his complex relationship with his footballer father, Stewart Imlach, a talented winger who represented Scotland at the 1958 World Cup.

Tremendously topical YouTube video: Ruud van Nistelrooy's goal celebration, Holland vs Andorra

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A random YouTube search for 'Andorra' threw up some Eurovision Song Contest bollocks and this memorable goal celebration by RVN. Having been taunted by Andorra's players for missing a penalty, Ruud gets his own back in his own special (ie. childish) way.

Shit England manager week: Steve McClaren vs Garth Crooks

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Crooks tries to break Steve 'Dead Man Walking' McClaren's spirit but the Mac's got his game face on – you know, the one where he looks like a National Express driver emerging from his coach's toilet after a Glasgow-to-London long-haul journey.

Shit England manager week: David Beckham's Photoshop School

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'Hello, David Beckham here, writing this in my LA mansion. Welcome to my Photoshop School, where talented young Photoshoppers can come, for a small (well, large actually) fee and learn proper mad skills off me, innit. This week I done a poster wiv Sean Penn and that nasty man Steve McClaren, who's so stupid he won't ever pick me again. I also included a moody pic of Frankie Lampard, who's rubbish at dead balls, unlike me who's the best dead ball-kicker in the world, at least that's what adidas tell me to say, innit.

Shit England manager week: Kevin Keegan thinks he abuses Jean

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Women of the world, wouldn't you love it, just LOVE IT, if you could go out with the hotness that is Kevin Keegan? Just watch how he carries his blouson/jacket over his shoulder, not to mention the exemplary way he treats his lovely wife Jean…

Pies moving house: crockery may get broken

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If you've been having any problems with Pies in the last 24 hours (I know I have!), it's almost certainly due to the fact that we're currently in the process of switching publishing platforms. We should be fully settled in to our new shiny new home very soon, and ready to push for automatic promotion. Thanks for your patience. Ollie, Pies Ed.

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Benjani brawls with Peter Ndlovu

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It's a fight to strike fear into the heart of the most accomplished of boxing MCs: Benjani Mwaruwari v Peter Ndlovu. The two Zimbabwe internationals scrapped it out at their team hotel after rowing over an ex-girlfriend. Portsmouth striker Benjani and former Coventry City player Ndlovu smashed windows and tables at Harare's Crest Lodge Hotel. Benjani - already eyeing up his next fight (with the missus) - said: "I don't fight about girlfriends.

Shit England manager week: Kevin Keegan thinks he abuses Jean

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Women of the world, wouldn't you love it, just LOVE IT, if you could go out with the hotness that is Kevin Keegan? Just watch how he carries his blouson/jacket over his shoulder, not to mention the exemplary way he treats his lovely wife Jean…

The 10 Greatest Football Books, part 2

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Here's the second part of our Ten Greatest Football Books list. You can read part one here.

My Father and Other Working-class Football Heroes, by Gary Imlach
Like Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch, My Father… is more of a memoir than a straight football book. Imlach, whose face you may know from his time presenting TV coverage of American football and the Tour de France, tells the story of his complex relationship with his footballer father, Stewart Imlach, a talented winger who represented Scotland at the 1958 World Cup.

Tremendously topical YouTube video: Ruud van Nistelrooy's goal celebration, Holland vs Andorra

Who Ate All the Pies at related • 3 views

A random YouTube search for 'Andorra' threw up some Eurovision Song Contest bollocks and this memorable goal celebration by RVN. Having been taunted by Andorra's players for missing a penalty, Ruud gets his own back in his own special (ie. childish) way.

Shit England manager week: Steve McClaren vs Garth Crooks

Who Ate All the Pies at related • 1 view

Crooks tries to break Steve 'Dead Man Walking' McClaren's spirit but the Mac's got his game face on – you know, the one where he looks like a National Express driver emerging from his coach's toilet after a Glasgow-to-London long-haul journey.

Shit England manager week: Kevin Keegan thinks he abuses Jean

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Women of the world, wouldn't you love it, just LOVE IT, if you could go out with the hotness that is Kevin Keegan? Just watch how he carries his blouson/jacket over his shoulder, not to mention the exemplary way he treats his lovely wife Jean…

Kit Parade: Newcastle United 2007-08 home shirt

Who Ate All the Pies at related • 1 view

The release dates for the new kits seems to get earlier and earlier each season. Newcastle's home shirt for next season is already available for pre-order ahead a 2 May launch. Out go the traditional stripy sleeves in favour of an a much more black affair. Think more zebra than bar-code for the 2007-08 season! Click here to pre-order. [Rob Parker]

Classic Moment: England 4-2 Croatia, Euro 2004

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Remember when Wayne Rooney used to score goals for England? Vaguely? Well, his last two competitive goals for England were this pair he scored against Croatia at Euro 2004. Check out some excitable commentary from John Motson, including the prophetic: "Is there nothing this boy can do!"

[Rob Parker]

David Beckham to live the Herbalife at LA Galaxy

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Health firm Herbalife are the latest business to buy into Brand Beckham after becoming the new shirt sponsors of LA Galaxy. The company flogs weight loss and nutritional products, despite a logo and name which make it seem like the friendly face of marijuana dealing!

Herbalife has signed a deal worth between $3.5 million and $5 million every season until 2011 with Beckham's new team, which should cover his wages for a couple of hours!

News Balls: Steve McClaren and Terry Venables close to split and more juicy news balls

Who Ate All the Pies at related • 0 views

El Tel and Smac - another showbiz divorce for Max Clifford to deal with? [Guardian]
Ronaldo pledges to stay at United [Mirror]
Mido to move out of the Dracula-shaped shadow of Dimitar Berbatov and to Manchester City [Mirror]
City will also be splashing the cash to keep Micah Richards away from Manchester United [MEN]
Steve Coppell can take his coat off after signing two-year deal at Reading [Football 365]

Is the England camp falling apart?

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England can't score. We've got a rubbish manager who can't help to stop negative play and it's all infuriatingly boring. For any Englishman, this isn't exactly news, but what is worrying about the current set-up is the lack of drive, willingness to perform and a dressing room that looks about as harmonious as George Best's relationship with his liver.

Lampard: Master thumb wrestler

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Ladies and gents. Pies can finally reveal something that Frank Lampard is great at (which many people have been wondering after yet another woeful performance in an England shirt). Yes folks, Lamps is great at beating Kalou in a thumb wrestling match whilst wearing a Mexican wrestling mask. Stops us looking at that face which he's stolen from KD Lang.

Hawar scores from his own half in UAE President's Cup

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If it had been David Beckham or Xabi Alonso we would have all been raving about, so why shouldn't we get excited about Hawar scoring from his own half for Al Ain against Al Shaab in the UAE President's Cup last month. This was the winning goal in a 3-2 victory. Not bad!

[Rob Parker]

Moritz Volz loves the English weather

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Fulham defender and unofficial English Tourist Board spokesman Moritz Volz has leapt to the defence of the English climate. The German told The Guardian's Small Talk [Cue Land of Hope and Glory in the background]: "It's not as bad as people say it is. England has to be one of the most beautiful countries in the world when the sun is out.

10 reasons why Ian Holloway should be appointed England manager

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1 He is not Steve McClaren.
2 Even after a dull 0-0 bore draw with Israel, Ollie would still entertain us with his post-match interview. Whereas McClaren...
3 Ian Holloway could motivate a stone (although whether this is a big a feat as motivating a bunch of overpaid egotists is up for debate!

Classic Moments: 'Platttty!!!'

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Ah, I remember the days when England had a good manager…

Click below for another classic Turnip clip:

Les! Demand it!!

Japanese babe plays keepy-up (badly)

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At least she plays with a smile on her face. If we can dig up an English grandparent, perhaps she can be the solution to England's left-sided problem? She needs to work on her ball control though… [Via With Leather]

Pies' new tipster lands 150-1 fourway in first week – we're rich, I tells ya (evil laugh to fade)!

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Here's a picture of Ollie, Pies Ed. arriving at work in his new yacht this morning, having cleaned up at the bookies this weekend. Mad props to Lee Honeyball, our new tipster, who landed all four of his live bets in his debut column, adding up to around a 150-1 quadruple.

Mystic Lee correctly predicted that Germany would beat Czech Republic away (great shout), that Ireland would beat Wales at home (bit more obvious), that Chris Boyd would score first for Scotland v Georgia, and that the correct scoreline of Israel v England would be 0-0.

Landon 'Landycakes' Donovan, scores a hat-trick (USA vs Ecuador friendly)

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So whilst England failed abjectly to trouble the scorers against plucky Israel (and respect to the home side's stalwart defenders), the good 'ole US of America stood as one to applaud this hat-trick, scored by Landycakes for the national team against Ecuador. Watch out for his third goal - it's a cracker:

Israel v England, the real player ratings

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Paul Robinson Robbo (pictured, left) failed miserably to score the goals for which he was brought into the side. And he wore gloves when it wasn't even cold. 1/10
Phil Neville
His lopsided face only served to upset the balance in the team. Surely Gary/Phil's sister Tracey would be a better bet? One point for at least trying to sing the National Anthem (unlike comrade Gary, who never does).

Belgium fail to put Cristiano Ronaldo on a stretcher (oh, and he scored against them... twice!)

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Cristiano Ronaldo rammed Belgium goalkeeper Stijn Stijnen's threats of violence down his throat as he helped Portugal to a 4-0 victory on Saturday. And he scored two goals against the man who warned he would be leaving the pitch on a stretcher for good measure!

Good weekend, bad weekend

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Good weekend
Turkey A 1-4 away win in their grudge match against Greece.
David Healy The Northern Ireland striker scored his second hat-trick of the qualifiers against Liechtenstein.
Scotland Still sitting pretty on top of Group B after victory in Georgia.

Bad weekend

[Rob Parker]

Highlights from the England and Israel match

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[Mof Gimmers]

Top 10 Football fouls and fights

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Did you enjoy the brilliant Top 20 Comedy Football Moments (Vol. 2) t'other day? Well, the flip side of the footballing coin is the ugly bit of the game. This video features the recent spat between Inter and Valencia, but you'd have to look hard to top the horrendous Schumacher hip-tackle that saw Battiston breaking his jaw, losing teeth and very possibly an eye.

David Beckham's Photoshop School: Israel 0-0 England

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(Summary is not available.)

Fantasy Friday: week 29

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With FA Cup matches decimating the Premier League fixtures a fortnight ago, a Fantasy Friday last week would have been about as well-received as a bronze statue of Ted Bates that looks like Jimmy Krankie. But we're back this week with a vengeance. Click below to see the latest league table.

Fantasy Friday: week 29 continued

This week's league table:

1 Where Was Dean Ashton?

Top 20 Comedy Football Moments, Vol. 2

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We fricking love bloopers. This compilation is perfect for a lazy Friday afternoon (thanks to Pies reader rozkminiacz for the spot). Watch out for the horny Owls at No.2…

The Fiendish Friday Quiz

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1 Trelleborg, Juventus, Djurgarden, Stade Rennais, Manchester City (current). Whose career?
2 Only one nation has appeared in more European Championships than England. Which nation?
3 Picture round. Who he?

4 Who is currently club captain of Blackburn Rovers?

Top 10 Footballers who could play Bond villains

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No Mr Bond, I expect you to dive…

1 Franck Ribery
Born to play: ruthless scar-faced pyscopath with a bullet lodged in his brain and vengeance on his mind.
See: Robert Carlyle as Renard in The World Is Not Enough.


2 Nemanja Vidic

Born to play: Strong-but-silent SPECTRE heavy who never says a word but is more than capable of taking Bond in a fist fight.

NEW COLUMN Lee Honeyball's top five football bets

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Pies is delighted (look at our Steve McClarenesque grin) to welcome Lee Honeyball, former tipster for the Racing Post, Observer Sport Monthly and Guardian Unlimited, into its fold. Lee will be writing a betting column for Pies every Friday, laying out his top five tips for the weekend. Then, on Monday, we'll see how he got on.

THE VOTE The Steve McClaren Israel Situation

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How did England get themselves into yet another 'We've got a rubbish manager who we don't want' scenario? Anyway, no use moaning. Pies would like to suggest these two scenarios:

a) We scrape a result against Israel and then end up sneaking into Euro 2008, where we fail to get past the quarter finals because Stevie Mac is clueless.

French footballer sues his coach for 'calling his honour into question'

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A French footballer has launched a defamation lawsuit against his coach for allegedly claiming he was no longer good enough to play for the team. Troyes defender Jean-Louis Montero is suing his coach Jean-Marc Furlan in what is believed to be the first case of its kind.

Montero said: "This has nothing to do with the fact I'm no longer playing.

Classic Moment: Referee scores a goal in Brazil

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The referee's a poacher! In this clip from the 1980s, a Brazilian referee manages to get himself on the scoresheet as he deflects a shot into the back of the net. The man in black is goal-hanging on the back post and finds himself in the right place at the right time. The opposition are understandably not best pleased with this!

[Rob Parker]

One to watch: Nani, Sporting Lisbon

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Spurs have put themselves at the front of the queue for Portuguese youngster Nani. The 20-year-old is the latest sensation off the Sporting Lisbon production line and has been dubbed the new Cristiano Ronaldo - although the old one might have some life left in him yet. Manchester United are also known to be interested in the attacking midfielder, who is reported to have a £17 million buy-out clause in his contract.

Shopping Basket: adidas TUNiT 2 football boots

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These new TUNiTs are the most advanced footy boots adidas have ever made. They're fully customisable, depending on which surface you're playing on, and their dazzling whiteness will make you look a bit like Cristiano Ronaldo, if not play like him. The boot is now completely seamless which allows for a better touch, while the velcro cover for the laces gives a greater sweet-spot for striking the ball.

Shaun Wright Phillips and Frank Lampard take on the wibbly wobbly challenge

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Welcome to Jose Mourinho's 18-30 holiday camp. First up on today's activities is Frank Lampard and Shaun Wright Phillips on the wibbly wobbly challenge. This is quite possibly the cleanest strike of Lampard's career!

[Via The Offside, Rob Parker]

Haiku Corner: Steven Gerrard's MBE

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Welcome back to the tranquil haven that is Haiku Corner. Take off your shoes and let us sit a while, to contemplate the more spiritual side of the beautiful game. This week, our Zen-like focus is on Steven Gerrard, the bestest midfielder in the whole wide world ever, who collected his MBE medal on Wednesday.

God save Stevie G!

Blog of the week: Soccer Fiesta, making soccer wonderful again

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Soccer Fiesta proudly celebrates 'The Wonderful of Soccer', which is a beautiful sentiment – whether it's meant to be the 'Wonderful World of Soccer' or simply the 'Wonder of Soccer', we're not sure. Either way, we agree with them that, yes, soccer/football (delete where applicable) is bloody wonderful.

Like Pies, Fiesta features news, videos, scurrilous rumours and other cool stuff.

Top 10 goals scored by goalkeepers (with video evidence)

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'Tis the season for goalies to get their name on the scoresheet. Like these special chaps…

1 Anonymous dude with a foot like a traction engine
This incredible goal makes me grin like an idiot every time I watch it. Undoubtedly the best ever goal scored by a 'keeper.

2 José Luis Chilavert
The world's most famous scoring goalkeeper is one of the small band of No.

Dutch referee in trouble for celebrating an Ajax goal

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Dutch referee Eric Braamhaar is in trouble after appearing to celebrate Ajax's fifth goal in their 5-1 drubbing of PSV Eindhoven last weekend. The official - who oversaw Manchester United controversial 0-1 win against Lille in the Champions League last month - was spotted by TV cameras pumping his fist following Kenneth Perez's goal. The official claimed he was pleased at playing an advantage in the lead up to the goal.

The real Shaolin Soccer

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Karate kick, go! Ouch, that's gotta sting. As far as I can make it, it's a foul by Anthony Tieku on Leendert van Steensel, committed during a German league match between Koblenz and FC Jena.


Peter Shilton shows Zoo magazine around Wembley

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I presume Peter Shilton is working for the FA in some official capacity in helping to open the new Wembley, rather than just lurking in the stadium giving guided tours to anyone who will listen. Here he is showing Zoo magazine around.

[Rob Parker]

England's first training session at the new Wembley

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The England squad trained at the new Wembley stadium for the first yesterday. Coach Steve McClaren led his players in a training session ahead of their Euro 2008 qualifiers against Israel and Andorra. According to The Mirror, the pitch did not take very long to cut up with players regularly stamping divets back into the pitch. Groundsman Steve Welch was not too downhearted though.

Belgians threaten to put Cristiano Ronaldo on a stretcher

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Cristiano Ronaldo will have to leave the pitch on a stretcher after two minutes of Portugal's Euro 2008 qualifier against Belgium on Saturday. That is the claim made by Belgian keeper and Ronaldo's fellow professional footballer (ie someone else who relies on people not putting them on stretchers to make a living) Stijn Stijnen.

The Club Brugge goalie said: "After two minutes we will have massacred him so much he will have to leave the pitch on a stretcher.

Girl in stockings tries to make the Unibond League sound sexy. She fails

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Nothing with the word 'Unibond' in the title can ever be sexy – unless, say, I discovered that Scarlett Johansson's middle name was Unibond. [Via Deadspin]

Seven sulky French footballers

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1 Eric Cantona
The ultimate sulky French footballer, Cantona is so moody that he made it into our 10 Football bad boys list. With a temper to match his brilliance, Cantona's sulks cut short his international career and infamously led to him doing time for kung-fu kicking a Crystal Palace fan.
Sulk highlight: "When the seagulls.

Wayne Rooney's brother stars in a TJ Hughes advert

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Wayne Rooney's brother is the fairly familiar face of discount department store TJ Hughes. You see hiring Wayne's brother instead of the man himself saves money in much the same way that shopping at a discount departm... Wait a minute, I see where they are going with this!

[Rob Parker]

News Balls: Berbatov to stay at Spurs etc.

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Zinedine Zidane to un-retire himself? [Soccer Fiesta]
Dimitar Berbatov to stay at Spurs next season. Yay! [Soccer Fiesta]
Luke Young called up to England squad. [Addick's Prem Diary]
Rafa Benitez not going to Real Madrid, says his agent. [BBC]
Dean Ashton out for rest of season.

Southampton's Ted Bates statue fiasco

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This is our favourite story of the week, no question:

An 11-foot bronze statue of Southampton legend Ted Bates, erected last week outside St Mary's stadium will now be taken down after fans branded it a 'joke'. Saints' supporters are livid that the statue of Bates, who played for, coached and served on the board at Southampton between 1937 and 2003, was put up with legs the same length as its arms (see photo - it's true!

Dealing with rogue fans, the Keith Richards way

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A message to Frank Lampard and indeed any player who is physically threatened by a fan invading the pitch: take a leaf out of Keith Richards' rock 'n' roll tome and come out swinging…

Alex 'The Hairdryer' Ferguson told Geoff Shreeves to 'f**k off'. Knight that man again

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Fergie blasted Sky Sports' reporter Geoff Shreeves after Man Utd's 1-0 win against Boro in the FA Cup on Monday night. The Man Yoo boss reportedly called poor Geoff a 'f***ing bastard' and told him to 'f**k off' after the reporter questioned Cristiano Ronaldo over the incident that earned United the match-winning penalty.

Upon learning that Shreeves had asked Ronaldo whether there had been any contact before he fell under Jonathan Woodgate's challenge (there clearly was contact, Ed.

WAG of the week: Alessia Merz

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Name Alessia Merz
Nationality Italian
WAG of… Sampdoria star striker Fabio Bazzani. Alessia gave birth to their son last year.
Fame ranking 7/10 - Very famous in Italy, thanks to her work as a model, TV presenter and actress who prefers to hang around wearing not very many clothes.

Name all 72 Football League clubs in 10 minutes

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If there are any Pies readers out there who are not quite suicidal just yet, be prepared for the worst. This game is so infuriating its likely to make you want to kill yourself. You have to name all 72 Football League clubs in 10 minutes. If you name them all then you are a genius. If you are ready to do serious damage to your computer monitor because you can't think of any more teams then be warned that finding out the obvious ones you forgot at the end will not improve your mood!

Some funny football moments

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Every now and again we like to treat you to a little compilation of some humourous football moments. Here is a good one featuring some incidents you might have seen on Pies before, but many you haven't. Enjoy!

[Rob Parker]

Ex-footballer Steve Anthrobus fined £500 for having sex in a field

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Steve Anthrobus, a former striker who has played for Millwall, Wimbledon and Shrewsbury Town, has been fined for having alfresco sex on a picnic blanket in Brownhills, Staffordshire. At least he had the decency to do it on a blanket, like a proper gentleman. 'Saucy Striker Steve', as the tabloids will doubtless dub him, admitted the offence and now has to cough up £500.

Didier Drogba's brother Joel goes on trial at Leyton Orient

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Like Frank Lampard if that punch had connected last night, residents of London could soon be seeing two Drogbas. Didier's little brother, Joel, is on trial at Leyton Orient and is hoping to secure a permanent deal. The younger Drogba had an unsuccessful trial at Queen's Park Rangers last year.

The ex-Metz striker - pictured here with a rodent of some description wrapped around his neck - played in an afternoon reserve game against Norwich this afternoon, but was unable to make much of an impact in a goalless draw.

John Oster's guide to not getting an international call-up

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1 Tell the manager you might not play for him even if he does select you
"To be honest, I'm not sure whether I want to play under John Toshack anyway after everything that's happened."

2 Slag off all your potential squad mates if you were to get called up
"It's frustrating when you see players in the Wales team who wouldn't get into our reserves side at Reading.

The 10 Greatest Football Books, part 1

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Why waste your money on dull, cliché-ridden, ghost-written autobiographies by the likes of Fat Frank & Stevie G, when you could invest in a proper football book. Like this brilliant lot (in no particular order):

Fever Pitch, by Nick Hornby
I'm no Arsenal fan, but I still remember the first time I read Hornby's brilliant and powerful memoir.

James Morrison's hack/tackle on Cristiano Ronaldo

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As requested, here's James Morrison's cynical hack on Cronaldo, which rightly earned the Boro substitute a straight red card. And watch Ronaldo's post-match interview below: 'Of course it was a penalty…' His English is coming on nicely.

Dive of the day? Cristiano Ronaldo vs Jonathan Woodgate

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Boro seem to think that Ronaldo dived to win Man Utd's game-winning penalty, and no doubt Ronaldo-haters will think he went down to easily. Bollocks. It's not a dive and the ref was right to award a penalty. Woodgate clearly caught him, end of story. I also think there's an element of truth in Fergie's claim that Boro (and other teams) have a 'guilt complex' about Ronaldo.

Spurs fan runs on to pitch to attack Frank Lampard

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This moron ran on to the pitch at the end of last night's FA Cup quarter-final between Chelsea and Spurs to punch Frank Lampard (tempting as the idea might sound, it's pure stupidity to act on it). Having decided that lamping Lampard is the way forward, the tool in question manages to throw a huge air punch over Fat Frank's head before a group of stewards and Chelsea players join him in a game of playground pile-on.

Shevchenko's wonder goal, Spurs v Chelsea FA Cup replay

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Sheva's back! And he's wearing magic gloves…


55' [0 - 1]Â A. Shevchenko
Uploaded by tzonner

Great goal to help Chelsea reach the FA Cup semis - looks like the FA will get the Chelsea v Man Utd final they crave for the new Wembley.

David Beckham: 'England are too good not to qualify for Euro 2008' The rest of us: 'No, we're shit'

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David Beckham said recently of Stevie Mac's England: 'They will be fine, they have got too many good players to not qualify [for Euro '08] … I've spent a lot of time playing and training with these players and they are some of the best players in the world.'

Everyone else said recently: 'Carragher and Phil Neville at full-back? A 21-year-old Championship striker in the squad.

Top five Premiership goals of the weekend

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Not a vintage weekend for Prem goals. Here are the five best…

1 Wayne Rooney, Man Utd v Bolton Wanderers
Wonderful interplay between Messrs Ronaldo & Rooney, with a cheeky finish to boot.


ManUtd_Bolton_2-0_768K_Stream
Uploaded by zamalektv

2 Paul Robinson, Spurs v Watford
As seen earlier today on Pies.

Pies vs Lawro, Premiership predictions: THE RESULT

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SATURDAY
Man Utd v Bolton
Lawro: 2-0
Pies: 1-1
Actual: 4-1

Chelsea v Sheffield Utd
Lawro: 2-0
Pies: 3-0
Actual: 3-0

Middlesbrough v Man City
Lawro: 1-1
Pies: 1-0
Actual: 0-2

Reading v Portsmouth
Lawro: 2-1
Pies: 3-2
Actual: 0-0

Tottenham v Watford
Lawro: 2-1
Pies: 2-1
Actual: 3-1

Wigan v Fulham
Lawro: 1-0
Pies: 1-1
Actual: 0-0

Blackburn v West Ham
Lawro: 2-0
Pies: 2-1
Actual: 1-2

SUNDAY
Charlton v Newcastle

Lawro: 2-0
Pies: 1-1
Actual: 2-0

Aston Villa v Liverpool
Lawro: 1-1
Pies: 1-2
Actual: 0-0

Everton v Arsenal
Lawro: 1-1
Pies: 0-1
Actual: 1-0

THE RESULT: Lawro scores seven, Pies scores five.

THE VOTE Were Blackburn Rovers' fans wrong to boo Lucas Neill?

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West Ham defender Lucas Neill has complained about the 'disgusting' treatment he received on his return to Ewood Park:

'Five-and-a-half years at the club, 100 per cent commitment, I've never gone to the papers, never complained about anything and then, when I want to further myself for my own personal benefit, whether it be backwards, sideways or forward, I get the reception I get… I think it's disgusting because people have come here and been here only six months to a year, not worked hard, walked away with a pay-off, and here's me trying my heart out for five years and this is the reception I get.

Jose Mourinho: The 'Shaddup your face' song

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'Dot Cotton have more chance score than Shevchenko…' Top-quality Jose impression…

Good weekend, bad weekend

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Good weekend
Charlton Victory against Newcastle means the Addicks are now breathing down Sheffield United's necks in the battle to avoid the drop.
Paul Robinson The Spurs keeper scored a goal. And it was against Ben Foster, his main rival for the England keeper's jersey.
Stuart Pearce Reportedly saved his job with victory at Middlesbrough.

Spurs keeper Paul Robinson scores against Watford

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It was the turn of Paul Robinson to be the benefactor rather than the victim of a fluke goal as he scored against Watford on Saturday. His 80-yard free kick bounced over the head of England rival Ben Foster. He might not be on Rogerio Ceni's level just yet, but it was his second goal. You can watch his goal against Watford below, and see the goal he scored for Leeds against Swindon after the jump.

The IT Crowd: 'Can we have our ball back?' clip

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Every footballphobic geek's worst nightmare…

Distin unhappy with Dunne slur

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All is evidently not well at Manchester City. Despite getting a decent result at the weekend, trouble is still brewing. The latest in the Citeh saga is surrounding the contraversial attack by Richard Dunne on his team mates last week. Now, former skipper Sylvain Distin has revealed the depth of discontent within the Blues camp over Richard Dunne's comments.

Sneijder scores a cracker as Ajax thump PSV 5-1

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In one of the biggest shocks of the weekend, Ajax cut PSV's lead at the top of the Eredivisie to five points after battering them 5-1 away from home. With five games remaining, things look to be hotting up. Pick of the goals from the game is this ripsnorter for Sneijder. Pick that out!


Goal Sneijder
Uploaded by Sjiro

Goalline technology in place by 2008

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The Premier League plans to use goalline technology to settle disputes over whether balls have crossed the line from the 2008-09 season. England's top 20 clubs are expected to have their system of goalline sensors, a version of the HawkEye technology already used in tennis and cricket, in place by then at a cost per club of £50,000 a season for five years.

One to watch: Muhammad Demirci - Barcelona's £2 million 12-year-old

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If you thought Arsene Wenger took a gamble when he splashed the cash on Theo Walcott, then imagine spending £2 million to bring a 12-year-old to your club. That is exactly what Barcelona have done to secure the services of Turkish wonderkid Muhammad Demirci. The Besiktas youngster is set to pocket £1,500-a-month in wages - which beats your average paper round - when he moves to the Nou Camp in September.

Daivid Beckham's half-time thank-you speech at Old Trafford

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Hard… to type… through… the tears… (sniff)… his hair is so lovely…

Chelsea ban celery (and urge fans to shop their vegetable-wielding mates!)

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Chelsea have banned celery from Stamford Bridge after two referees mentioned in their match reports that the vegetable had been thrown onto the pitch. Blues fans traditionally take the offending item to their matches in honour of their chant Celery.

But fans have now been warned that they may be refused entry to matches if they attempt to take celery into the ground, and face arrest if they are caught throwing it.

Top 5 quotes of the week

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1 'Taking me from behind is something that is not worthy behaviour of a man.' Inter Milan's Nicolas Burdisso after having his nose busted by David Navarro of Valencia.

2 'I don't like Ben Foster because he's just ended my dream.' Ian Holloway on Man Utd's on-loan keeper, who performed heroics for Watford against Plymouth in the last eight of the FA Cup.

Uefa Cup draw: Tottenham face Sevilla in quarter-finals

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Quarter-final draw
AZ Alkmaar v Werder Bremen
Bayer Leverkusen v Osasuna
Sevilla v TOTTENHAM
Espanyol v Benfica
(Ties to be played on 5 and 12 April)

Semi-final draw
Espanyol or Benfica v AZ Alkmaar or Werder Bremen
Bayer Leverkusen or Osasuna v Sevilla or TOTTENHAM
(Ties to be played 26 April and 3 May)

Robbie Savage taunted by darts fans

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'Who are ya?!' Fair play to Savage for standing up and taking the joke. I don't know why the darts players had to stop for the noise - they spend their whole lives playing in pubs! [As spotted on The Offside]

The Fiendish Friday Quiz

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1 Crewe Alexandra, Birmingham City, Crystal Palace, Coventry City (current). Whose career?
2 I was born on 31 Dec 1960. I started my career as a midfielder, before moving into defence. My first professional club was Gillingham. I once scored 19 goals in a season for Man Utd. Who am I?
3 Picture round.

Walter Smith rips into Scottish reporter Chick Young

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I'm not too sure what it is that Walter Smith finds so offensive about Chick Young's question, but he definitely takes a disliking to it. The reporter receives a four-lettered rant for his troubles from Smith during his first spell at Rangers.

[Rob Parker]

Instead of watching Newcastle roll over you should have Toon-ed in to Shakhtar Donetsk v Sevilla

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While Newcastle were busy securing yet another trophy-less season by going out of the Uefa Cup with the wimpiest of whimpers against AZ Alkmaar last night, the tie of the round was being played out in Ukraine. Here are the goals from the match between Shakhtar Donetsk and Sevilla. Watch out for a scorpion goal from Metuzalem - which is nearly as good as this one - and the injury-time equaliser from Sevilla goalkeeper Palop.

Cult Hero: Roberto Mancini

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I used to love Mancini, with his feathery hair and casual brilliance – he made scoring goals look so damn easy. The team I support in Italy is Sampdoria, purely because Mancini played for them in the Eighties and Nineties.

Pies vs Lawro, Premiership predictions

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SATURDAY
Man Utd v Bolton
Lawro: 2-0
Pies: 1-1

Chelsea v Sheffield Utd
Lawro: 2-0 (oh do f**k off Lawro)
Pies: 3-0

Middlesbrough v Man City
Lawro: 1-1
Pies: 1-0

Reading v Portsmouth
Lawro: 2-1
Pies: 3-2

Tottenham v Watford
Lawro: 2-1
Pies: 2-1

Wigan v Fulham
Lawro: 1-0
Pies: 1-1

Blackburn v West Ham
Lawro: 2-0
Pies: 2-1

SUNDAY
Charlton v Newcastle

Lawro: 2-0
Pies: 1-1

Aston Villa v Liverpool
Lawro: 1-1
Pies: 1-2

Everton v Arsenal
Lawro: 1-1
Pies: 0-1

Moritz Volz 'Danger Volz' t-shirt from TShirts365

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A Pies legend we haven't heard much about from a while is Mr Moritz Volz. Well, the eccentric Fulham utility-man is back on our radars thanks to this t-shirt from TShirt365. This Danger Volz t-shirt is available for £14.99 by clicking here. Volzy's excellent website is always worth a visit, particularly to keep up to date with the life of Moritz through his diary.

THE VOTE Is it a good idea to get rid of draws & decide league matches with a penalty shoot-out?

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Managers and chairmen have predictably ridiculed Football League proposals to decide drawn games with a penalty shoot-out, for which a bonus point would be awarded to the winning team. This radical idea, a brainstorm of Football League chairman Lord Mawhinney, would supposedly make games more exciting. Personally, I think it's a barmy idea - as Arsene Wenger has said, draws are a part of football culture and it makes no sense to do away with them.

Classic Moment: John Barnes scores against Brazil in the Maracana, 1984

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Isotonic John, no doubt fuelled to the tits on energy drinks, shows the Brazilians how to do it:

Blog of the week: Beckham is Coming 2 America

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That's right, there is an entire blog dedicated to one football transfer, namely David Beckham's move to the LA Galaxy. At the moment it's essentially a Beckham news blog, but it does give you an idea of just how excited some Americans are at the prospect of Becks coming to play in their country:

'The Colorado Rapids will offer a new ticket package, the "Becks Flex Pack", which will include tickets to the Aug.

Football Haiku: The Magic of Dimitar Berbatov

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Weclome to Haiku Corner, a serene spot where Pies can sit, meditate and then come up with stunningly brilliant football-related haiku. This week we focus on the magician that is Tottenham's Dimitar Berbatov.


All in white this knight
brightens the Lane with shining goals.
But Mido is shit.

Cristiano Ronaldo gets mesmerised by his own skills

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Cristiano Ronaldo's stepovers often leave defenders on their backsides, so it is a pleasure to see him bamboozling himself for once. And he still can't resist rolling over a couple of times (force of habit, obviously)!

[Rob Parker]

THE VOTE Is David Nugent ready for an England call-up?

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Many of this morning's newspapers are reporting that Preston North End striker David Nugent is to be called up to the England squad to face Israel and Andorra later this month. The 21-year-old has been named in the under-21 squad to face Italy at Wembley, but he is expected to be promoted to the senior squad when Steve McClaren announces his squad tomorrow.

Is Diaby's goal the flukiest ever?

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Is this the jammiest goal ever scored in the history of the Premier League? Diaby is one lucky lucky sod.


Diaby 0-1 AstonVilla-Arsenal
Uploaded by Tyfoon-Gunners

Football League to scrap draws?

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The Football League board is to consider a proposal to scrap draws and decide matches by penalty shoot-outs according to the BBC. Obviously they've gone completely mental. The idea will be discussed by Football League chairmen and chief executives at a board meeting on Thursday. There is no indication as to when this could happen if it ever gets the green light.

David Navarro gets seven month ban (and Benny Hill treatment)

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With Valencia's David Navarro being handed a seven month ban after battering Nicolas Burdisso, it's only fair to make him look even more stupid by showing his fracas again. However, this time it's soundtracked by the Benny Hill theme.

Mutu branded a "gypsy"

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Italian football is making me sick at the moment. Match fixing, rioting than lead to the death of a policeman, the debacle that followed when the San Siro was opened without proper security, and now, Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini refusing to apologise after making derogatory comments about Fiorentina's Romanian striker Adrian Mutu.

Zamparini was furious after Mutu fired home with a Palermo player lying injured and in need of treatment in Sunday's 1-1 draw at Stadio Renzo Barbera.

Manchester United 4-3 European XI: Cristiano Ronaldo's swervetastic free-kick goal

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Commentator Martin Tyler doesn't seem to realise that's it's gone in (either that or the audio is out of sync). A wonderful strike to light up a pretty pointless friendly.

Valencia and Inter to find out fate after brawl

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Today Valencia and Inter Milan will find out if they are to be punished by Uefa for the huge fisticuffs that ensued after their Champions League tie. Valencia duo Carlos Marchena and David Navarro and Inter's Nicolas Burdisso, Ivan Cordoba and Maicon were also charged with gross unsporting conduct. Uefa's Control and Disciplinary Body will decide any punishments, with a decision expected at about three this afternoon.

Goals from ManYoo versus European XI

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For those of you haven't seen the goals from the Man United versus Europe XI game last night, here they are... check out Cristiano Ronaldo's freekick. It's a pearl!

WAG of the week: Cheryl Tweedy

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Name Cheryl Tweedy
Nationality British
WAG of… Chelski and England left-back Ashley Cole. And here is OK magazine to prove their love is for real, honest it is.
Fame ranking 9/10 - every teenage boy and his right hand knows about Girls Aloud.
Babe ranking 7/10 - some may consider her a bit chavtastic for their taste, but you can't deny that she's been hit with a pretty stick on several occasions.

Top 20 most slappable Premiership players

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Some players have faces that are crying out to be hit with a fierce jab-cross-uppercut combination, rather than the usual girly slaps dished out on the pitch. Here is our list of Premiership players who we'd like to slap down.

1 El-Hadji Diouf
Bolton's spitting striker is truly the king of slappable (is that even a word?

Stan Lazaridis faces hairy wait over drugs ban

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Former West Ham and Birmingham winger Stan Lazaridis has tested positive for a banned substance used to combat baldness. The 34-year-old - now playing in his native Australia with Perth Glory - is reported to have tested positive for the drug finasteride.

Although most commonly associated with hair loss treament and in no way performance-enhancing, the drug is banned because it can be used as a masking agent.

Scottish football fan parodies Sportscene adverts

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The creator of this YouTube video seems to need a little convincing that the matches available to him on BBC Scotland's Sportscene programme are the top-level football they claim to be!

[Rob Parker]

Jose Mourinho off to Real Madrid, with Frank Lampard in his luggage?

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As reported in The Sun, Jose Mourinho will join Real Madrid as head coach this summer, but only if Frank Lampard comes too. The paper claims The Special One is resigned to leaving Chelsea this summer - he has already declared an interest in managing Madrid some day – and wants to build a Real side (Galacticos 2.

High-school goalkeeper scores miracle goal in dying seconds

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The pitch: high-school soccer team is losing 2-1 with less than five seconds to play. The goalie (the one in orange) rushes out to help his team-mates snatch an equaliser and bangs in a wonder volley from 30 yards just as the clock reaches zero. Only in America baby!

Top 10 one-club players

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We live in an era of Baby Bentleys, getting merk'd by Jar Jar Binks and WAGs, so it's nice to know that there are players out there who value loyalty above cold cash. Ah, you say, but these players all play for big clubs, so why would they want to move? Fair point, but most of the stars in this list will have had big offers from other clubs, and yet they chose to stay, so 'nuff respect to them all.

Henry luvs Arsenal 4eva

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He may have made his stomach fall to bits by playing whilst injured, but contrary to reports, Thierry Henry insists that he hasn't played his last game for Arsenal. The Gunners captain has said that he will stay with the club "for life".

Henry, now out for the season after he buggered up his groin and stomach muscles in the Champions League defeat to PSV Eindhoven was subject to a lot of speculation regarding his future.

Joey Barton arrested on suspicion of assault & criminal damage

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Joey Barton's making headlines again, and again for the wrong reasons. The Man City midfielder/serial troublemaker has reportedly been arrested on suspicion of assault and criminal damage. Barton was questioned by police over an alleged argument with a taxi driver in Liverpool, that took place earlier this month. Merseyside Police confirmed that a 24-year-old Widnes man had been arrested and released on bail pending further inquiries in May.

Football heartbreaks video

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Most British football fans are on very good terms with disappointment, shattered dreams, false hope and heartache. As this poignant video shows, every loser wins (in a weird way). So Nick Berry was right. Btw, how much fun is it to laugh at big Carsten Jancker's tears? Answer: Lots of fun. Thanks to our German friends for inventing schadenfreude…

Wembley tickets sell-out

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The first competitive match to be held at the new Wembley sold-out within hours of the tickets going on sale. All 60,000 tickets for an under-21 match between England and Italy on 24 March were snapped up yesterday. The fixture will have the highest even attendance for an under 21 match.

If the restricted capacity match passes without too much bother, the stadium could be given the safety certificate required to host the FA Cup final at full 90,000 capacity.

Goran Ivanisevic goal

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I don't quite know why Tennis behemoth Goran Ivanisevic is playing for Croatia. One can only assume that it's some kind of charity match. Anyway, for a big lug like him, it's a half decent finish from the big man... albeit with the help from some shoddy goalkeeping.

Staurt McCall back to Bantams?

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Rumour has it that Bradford are keen on taking Stuart McCall back to the Bantams in a managerial role. Let's hope he performs better on the touchline than he does when he's seen wobbling around and falling off cars. Still, not a drop spilled. A legend.

Mourinho escapes FA action after calling Mike Riley's mum a "whore"

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Only Jose Mourinho could escape a fine after calling Mike Riley a "filho da puta" ("son of a whore") during yesterday's FA Cup quarter-final tie against Tottenham.

The Chelsea manager was caught by television cameras using the phrase towards the referee at half-time, but Riley did not mention any incident in his report and told the FA there was nothing to pursue further.

LIVE FA Cup semi-final draw

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They should really rename this the Premiership Cup, shouldn't they? When is a non-Prem team going to reach the last four again, let alone the final? Anyway, this is how this season's semi-final draw shapes up:

Blackburn Rovers v Chelsea/Tottenham

Watford v Middlesbrough/Man Utd

Well, Chelsea/Spurs and Man Utd have been kept apart, which is a shame.

The Googly cricket blog: their balls are smaller and redder, but we do not mock them

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If you're one of the many football fans who also likes a bit of hot leather-on-willow action, then Pies has just the site for you: The Googly is Shiny Media's sparkling new (well, revamped) cricket blog. It's like Pies only with smaller balls ? not that we like to boast about the size of our balls or anything. Head over there now for the latest news, views and features on the Cricket World Cup, about to begin in the West Indies.

Top Five Goals of the Weekend

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1 Ugo Ehiogu, Celtic v Rangers
Is that really Ugo Ehiogu? If so, where did he find the skill to manage this finish? Most out of character.

2 Ronaldo, Inter Milan v AC Milan
Fatty's goal in the Milan derby was a lovely finish, but all for nothing, as Inter went on to win 2-1 and complete the double over their city rivals for the first time since 1981.

Good weekend, bad weekend

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Good weekend
Chelsea Superb fightback against Spurs to keep their FA Cup hopes alive.
Rangers Victory in the Old Firm thanks to an Ugo Ehiogu goal.
Birmingham Moved top of the Championship with victory over promotion rivals Derby.

Bad weekend
Ian Holloway Plymouth boss saw his hopes of going to Wembley dashed by Watford.

Classic Moment: Lee Dixon's greatest ever goal

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This is undoubtedly the best goal Lee Dixon ever scored. Unfortunately for the Arsenal right-back turned BBC pundit it was an own goal against David Seaman. A sublime chip from 25 yards leaving the keeper with no chance!

[Rob Parker]

Lionel Messi 3-3 Real Madrid

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Spurs v Chelsea wasn't the only thrilling 3-3 draw this weekend. Spain's big grudge match also came out even, thanks to the magic of the marvellous Mr Messi. This excellent video shows Messi's every touch in that game, including his memorable hat-trick:

David Beckham photographed with unfashionable walking stick (and we don't mean Victoria)

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Big designer sunglasses: check. Chunky scarf, tied around the neck: check. Obligatory LA baseball cap: check. Size 0 pop-star wife: check. Crappy NHS walking stick: ch? hang on a minute, shouldn't Becks really be wielding a pimp-style Versace cane, rather than this wholly unfashionable support? OK, he's buggered up his knee ligaments, but that doesn't mean he has to lose all sense of style.

Pies vs Lawro, FA Cup predictions: THE RESULT

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SATURDAY
Middlesbrough v Man Utd
Lawro: 1-1
Pies: 2-1
Actual: 2-2

SUNDAY
Chelsea v Tottenham
Lawro: 2-1
Pies: 0-1
Actual: 3-3

Blackburn v Man City
Lawro: 2-0
Pies: 2-1
Actual: 2-0

Plymouth v Watford
Lawro: 2-2
Pies: 1-0
Actual: 0-1

RESULT: Four points for Lawro (one correct scoreline, one correct result) and a miserable one point for Pies, thanks to Spurs not being able to hang on to a 3-1 lead.

Sticker Sunday

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After that pulsating FA Cup tie between Chelsea and Tottenham, it's time to really get the blood pumping. Take a deep breath and click below. It's Sticker Sunday! Hooray!

PACK 1
Stephen Ireland (Manchester City) 20-year-old midfielder with the hairline of a 50-year-old!

Top 20 goal celebrations

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Bouba Diop's Senegalese shirt dance has to be my favourite, but all of them are worth watching (some inspired music choices in there too)?

'Soccer Practice' music video, by Gay Pimp

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I'd like to see Craig Bellamy & John Arne-Riise perform this camp classic at a karaoke night, preferably with both dressed in sailor outfits. It would be good for the game. Football/soccer needs more shameless gayness.

The Fiendish Friday Quiz

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What time is it? It's Fiendish Time! (Answers after the click)

1 Bristol Rovers, Wigan Athletic, West Bromwich Albion (current). Whose career path?
2 Which Englishman has scored the most Champions League goals this season?
3 Picture round. Who 'dis?

4 Which club won the last ever European Cup Winner's Cup?

Umbro advert shows why you should always swap shirts on the pitch

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More funny footy adverts

[Rob Parker]

Pies vs Lawro, FA Cup predictions

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SATURDAY
Middlesbrough v Man Utd
Lawro: 1-1
Pies: 2-1

SUNDAY
Chelsea v Tottenham
Lawro: 2-1
Pies: 0-1

Blackburn v Man City
Lawro: 2-0
Pies: 2-1

Plymouth v Watford
Lawro: 2-2
Pies: 1-0

Bring it on, fellow predictors?

Champions League quarter-final draw: Liverpool, Chelsea & Man Utd avoid each other

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AC Milan v Bayern Munich
PSV Eindhoven v LIVERPOOL
Roma v MANCHESTER UNITED
CHELSEA v Valencia

Click below for the Pies verdict.

Champions League quarter-final draw continued

So much for Sepp Blatter conspiracy theories!

Liverpool v Barcelona, the Spanish view (with 'You'll Never Walk Alone' karaoke)

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Even if you don't speak Spanish, you get a great idea of how Spanish TV saw the game. Watch out for the awesome karaoke version of 'You'll Never Walk Alone' at the beginning of the video.

HolloWatch: Go green for Ollie

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Plymouth boss Ian Holloway - Pies favourite football manager in the whole world, ever - is urging the nation to go green. No, Ollie's not jumped on the climate change bandwagon, he just wants everyone to wear green to support his side in the FA Cup this weekend.

Plymouth face Watford on Sunday, and you won't be surprised to find out that Ollie is up for the occasion.

Fantasy Friday: week 27 review

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Some slightly depressing news this week, Pies Fantasy Football fans. While scouring the teams to see who's had a good week and who's had a bad week, I noticed that Tommy (that's Tommy our champion elect, fantasy football manager extraordinaire, the man everyone is trying - and failing miserably - to catch up) is sitting in 809th place in the overall game.

Newcastle versus AZ Alkmaar goals video

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Backheels, superlative flicks, diving heads, jinking runs, six goals... prior, you wouldn't have thought that we were talking about a Newcastle match would you? Well, for those of you who missed last nights UEFA Cup match between the Magpies and AZ Alkmaar, have (most of) the goals here.


Newcastle V AZ Alkmaar first half goals
Uploaded by fredFiftyFour

Can anyone tell us what the hell Ronaldo is doing?

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Look at Ronaldo. What's he up to? Is he being a great ambassador for the Brazilian national team? It doesn't look like it does it? In fact, you could argue that he's being very crass indeed. Anyone care to explain what he's up to? [Mof Gimmers]

Thanks to Sammy for alerting me to the wrongness...

Monterrubio lob for Lens

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In the Lens - Leverkusen match, Monterrubio scored this peach of a lob to kick start the French sides victory in the UEFA Cup. What strikes me about this goal is that no-one seems to try these anymore, with strikers preferring to try and drill it under the 'keepers body. So Monterrubio, we salute you for your old fashioned goal!


Lens - Leverkusen | 1-0 Monterrubio
Uploaded by ChrissyUnited

[Mof Gimmers]

"There's only one Jimmie Krankie" and other ace chants

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There is nothing like a funny chant at a ground to make you realise how wonderful football can really be. Sometimes chants become famous in their own right... just like "There's only two Andy Gorams!" after he was diagnosed with schizophrenia or the brilliant "You're not as good as Christmas" sung at Jermaine Easter recently.

Steve Morrow goes wrong in celebration

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Steve Morrow. Remembered for only one thing. Being unceremoniously dumped on his head after scoring the winner in a cup final for Arsenal and nearly perishing. So, what better way to relive the moment than with Baddiel and Skinner taking the piss out it?

[Mof Gimmers]

Manchester United are going to hell

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Manchester United are a Satan-worshipping football club heading for hell, according to one Christian Group. Scottish Christian Party leader George Hargreaves has called for the Red Devils to repent and change their club crest.

He said: "We will urge Wayne Rooney not to honour the devil by wearing this shirt nor kiss this badge.

Cristiano 'C-Ro' Ronaldo in US Vogue: by God, he is the new Beckham (only much better)

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Here's a snap of Cristiano Ronaldo impressing Canadian supermodel Daria Werbowy with his ball control/sharp suit. She is laughing at how much gel he has in his hair, and probably saying to him, 'Do that dive that you always do?'

It's taken from a shoot in the latest issue of US Vogue, no less. Maybe Cristiano, or C-Ro as I will now name him (you heard it here first) will crack the States before David Beckham even kicks a ball in anger out there.

Classic Moments: Stretcher bearers make sure Pierre Issa's shoulder is sufficiently broken

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Former Watford defender Pierre Issa must have known his luck was out after dislocating his shoulder in this fairly innocuous trip against Birmingham. But even he couldn't have predicted the stretcher bearers would then slam the same shoulder into the turf as he was being carried away. The moral of the story? Stretcher bearers should never borrow Rafa Benitez's shoes!

Dive of the week part 2: Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United v Lille

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We had already awarded Dive of the week to Arjen Robben yesterday for this effort, but Pies could not let this attempt from Cristiano Ronaldo slide. I thought Robben's dive was terrible, but having watched Ronaldo's latest antics I'd be tempted to award a penalty to Chelsea!

The Portuguese winger's booking for simulation is questionable under the Trades Description Act.

THE VOTE Do Arsenal get the results they deserve?

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The Carling Cup final and now this? I know loads of non-Arsenal fans who will have chuckled out loud when PSV equalised at the Emirates last night. You want to shake Thierry Henry and his talented chums and shout: 'For God's sake, we know you're all brilliant players, but just stick the ball in the bloody net!'

With Arsenal right now it's a case of too many flashing blades but no cutting-edge.

Sportsnight theme

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Cast your mind back to a time when England used to play well in friendlies, and when your folks would let you stay up late to watch the highlights on the Beeb. Well, if that was you in the early nineties, then you'll recall the marvellous Sportsnight that would feature things like Tony Dorigo's England debut, as well as a round up of weightlifting and heron lobbing (or summat).

Headline of the day: 'Wanke beat off stiff bribe penalty'

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You couldn't make this up (see screenshot): As seen on ESPN, this glorious Carry On-style headline details alleged bribery by the Slovak FA's acting Secretary General, one Vladimir Wanke (tee-hee).

The story itself is roughly 98% less interesting than the headline, which is a work of genius.

Liverpool, Man Utd & Chelsea through, Celtic & Arsenal out: a few Champions League reflections

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1 Why is it Ballack & Shevchenko can do it against Europe's finest, but not against the likes of Wigan and Charlton? Must be very frustrating for Chelski fans.
2 It's never a good idea to headbutt the pitch. Just ask poor Mikael Silvestre.
3 Celtic have got some very talented kids who should be proud of their gutsy performance in the San Siro.

Roy Makaay scores fastest goal in Champions League history, for Bayern Munich against Real Madrid

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Munich didn't muck about, did they? Less than 11 seconds after Madrid kicked off and the ball was in the back of their net, thanks to a cool Roy Makaay finish ? that, my Pie-eating friends, is a Champions League record. Watch out for the impressive powers of concentration shown by Roberto Carlos. Nice one Bobby?


Makaay (1-0) vs Real Madrid 07-03-2007
Uploaded by CatrachoMillonario

"Gerrard... found out... a nothing player"

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Liverpool must be buzzing today. They've just beaten Barcelona! The European champions for crying out loud! Well, whilst the players smile away, any neutral who watched the game must be wondering why they bothered. With most of the press being, shall we say, kind to Rafa & Co, the same can't be said for the marvellous Eamon Dunphy and chums over on Irish telly.

Wembley keys to be handed over on Friday?

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Start rubbing your disbelieving eyeballs. There is some incredible news. Builders of Wembley Stadium, Multiplex, could hand over the keys to the new Wembley Stadium as early as Friday, according to BBC Sport.

BBC Sports News Correspondent James Pearce says building work is almost complete and the FA Cup final is almost certain to be at Wembley on 19 May.

Amantino Mancini dancing feet blitz Lyon

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You thought that Cristiano Ronaldo was the player most likely to set a record for the amount of step-overs? Think again. Check out Amantino Mancini's million step-overs before rifling the ball home for Roma as they swept past Lyon in the Champions League last night.

Dive of the week: Arjen Robben, Chelsea v Porto

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Chelsea winger Arjen Robben did his bit to shake off his reputation as a diver by throwing himself to the floor in the penalty area against Porto last night. The technique was textbook: try and wait around long enough to be clipped by the defender's leg and a Klinsmann swallow dive to the deck.

Valencia and Inter Milan brawl at final whistle

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It all got a bit out of hand at the final whistle in last night's Champions League match between Valencia and Inter Milan. Valencia's Carlos Marchena aimed a kick at Carlos Marchena kicked out at Inter's Nicolas Burdisso sparking a brawl which continued into the tunnel.

Particularly worth watching out for are grey tracksuit-clad Valencia substitute David Navarro (who runs on to the pitch, allegedly breaks Burdisso's nose and then seems to believe he is involved in a game of kiss-chase) and two Japanese fans whose faces signal the start of the fight.

Dress up David Beckham (you've got to be able to do a better job than him!)

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Who said celebrity and fashion was now a bigger part of football than the game itself? Well, Stardoll is giving you the chance to play doll with your favourite footballers by virtually dressing them. David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Freddie Ljungberg are all available for the Stardoll treatment. A wide wardrobe is available so you can dress your footballer for any occasion!

West Sham to be investigated by the police

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West Ham United's season goes from bad to worse after it was revealed that the police are set to make investigations into the club. Before you start, it won't be for criminal defending, but something rather more serious.

From shambles to shameful, the Hammers season hit a new low on Sunday when large groups of supporters were filmed chanting racist and anti-semitic slogans at half-time of the club's 4-3 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.

Steve Marlet wonder goal

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Attention football fans. It would seem that there is a Steve Marlet imposter knocking around. Do you remember him? Used to play for Fulham? Well, this bloke in the video looks like him, and indeed, there was a Steve Marlet who played for both Fulham and Lyon (who this goal was scored for)... but this goal is incredible... so it surely can't be him can it?

Kit Parade - Ronaldinho Barcelona Shirt

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With Liverpool taking on the mighty Barcelona in tonights Champions League grudge match, it's worth showcasing the Catalonians tangerine away kit.

For the first time ever, the Barca shirt features a sponsor, but rather than sully their kit with a McDonalds golden arches or somesuch, they got a nice charity adorning the front. Well, KitBag are selling the Barca shirt, complete with first ever sponsor and Ronaldinho name/number printed on the back, for ?49.

THE VOTE Can Barcelona come back against Liverpool?

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"The danger for Liverpool is if they think they have already done the hard work by winning in Spain? We are the defending European champions and we will not relinquish the trophy without a fight." Ronaldinho

As much as I dislike some of Barca's stars, I would never write off a team containing Ronaldinho, Eto'o (the key), Messi and Deco.

WAG of the week: Ilary Blasi

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Name Ilary Blasi
Nationality Italian
WAG of? Serie A superstar Francesco Totti. She married Totti in 2005. The couple have one son, with a second child due this April.
Fame ranking 6/10 - Very famous in her native Italy, thanks to her work as a model and TV presenter.

Top 50 'soccer goals' YouTube video

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I love 'soccer goals', especially when they are as good as this 50. A great way to kill 22 minutes of your lunch hour?

Sexy Argentine football cheerleaders YouTube video

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If you think that headline seems like a shameless attempt to boost Pies' standing in the Google search rankings, then you have a point. However, the headline holds true. Here, as promised, is a very, er, 'cheeky' YouTube vid of cheerleaders at a football match in Argentina, as spotted on The Offside and With Leather, among other places. Why can't British football be more like this?

Funny football commentary

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"Rooney, Rooney, Rooney-Rooney-Rooney. Wayne Rooney, yeah! Happy Birthday.Happy Birthday, Wayne Rooney."

[Rob Parker]

Gilberto Silva, Julio Baptista and Denilson bring the samba rhythm to north London

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This video shows Arsenal's Brazilian connection of Gilberto Silva, Julio Baptista and Denilson playing mandolin, singing, dancing and generally being Brazilian. Denilson seems to be a bit shy, but that is before he gets up to do a little jig towards the end of the video!

FOR SALE: Football team, East London area, buyer to collect. Contact Curbs for more details

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Any Championship side looking for a half-decent team, or any budding entrepreneur looking to set up his own football club, might like to have a browse around the West Ham sales. Alan Curbishley is apparently preparing for summer clearout (aka "we're already resigned to relegation") and wants to move on 16 players.

Craig Bellamy School of Golf t-shirt

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The wags at T-shirts365 don't miss a trick. In this case, the trick is producing a t-shirt called 'The Craig Bellamy School of Golf', just days after Bellamy showed the world his swing. Ouch, it's zeitgeisty! Available in green, red or white, for the princely sum of ?14.99. BUY IT

Huge HolloWatch - oh yeah!

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We are not easily excited here at Pies... OK so we are a bunch of over-exciteable football fanatics who take great pleasure in doing battle with Mark Lawrenson every week (without his knowledge), still collect football stickers (despite being far too old to be taking part in such activities) and need a sit down and a cup of tea at the thought of our lovely readers voting for us in the Brit Blog Awards.

Brit Blog Awards 2007: A vote for Pies is a vote for justice, truth and the beautiful game

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Apologies for the repost, and ignore it if you've seen it before, but otherwise read on… Please, please, pretty please with a cherry on top, find the time to vote for us in the sport category of the Ask.com Best of Brit Blog Awards 2007. You have to register to vote, but it only takes a minute (girl), and we'd really appreciate it. No, really, we would.

Stockport County keep ninth straight clean sheet, with Wolves' fourth-choice goalkeeper

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In beating Swindon 3-0 at the weekend, Stockport County notched up a ninth consecutive victory. A very impressive run, but all the more impressive because in those nine games they have conceded no goals. Not one! Zip, nada, nicht, zilch, nil points etc. That's a Football League record, so big congrats to everyone at the club.

The man between the sticks for Stockport during this astonishing run has been 19-year-old Welsh 'keeper Wayne Hennessey, currently on loan from Wolves.

Good weekend, bad weekend

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Good weekend
Manchester United Victory over rivals Liverpool and seemingly edging nearer to the title.
Wigan A priceless away win at Manchester City makes their position look much healthier.
Arsenal Must now be favourites to take third-spot as they sit one point behind Liverpool with two games in hand.

David Beckham and Lionel Messi gets arty for Adidas

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David Beckham is just one of a host of athletes to to show off their artistic skills as part of a new advertising campaign. This is one of a series of new adverts for Adidas' Impossible Is Nothing promotion. The artwork produced is set to become part of an exhibition which is likely to tour the country.

David Beckham and Lionel Messi gets arty for Adidas continued

Barcelona wonderkid Lionel Messi is also involved in the campaign.

David Beckham injures right knee playing for Real Madrid

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Definition of irony, no.98648: David Beckham injures his right knee after colliding with advertising hoardings.

The incident happened during Real Madrid's 1-1 draw with Getafe at the weekend. Becks miscued a cross near the goal line and ran into hoardings behind the goal. Doh. He will undergo a knee scan today, but looks 99% certain to miss Real's vital Champions League return leg against Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

THE VOTE If you were Paul Konchesky, would you have fouled Jermain Defoe?

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Why didn't Paul Konchesky commit a professional foul on Jermain Defoe and stop a likely winning goal for Spurs (see video)? Yes, he would have been sent off, but he would have probably earned a precious point for his club. Gary Neville sure as hell wouldn't have let Defoe run that far and take a shot, particularly not with several Spurs players rushing into the box.

Pies vs Lawro, Premiership predictions: THE RESULT

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SATURDAY
Liverpool v Man Utd
Lawro: 1-1
Pies: 1-2
Actual: 0-1

Arsenal v Reading
Lawro: 2-0
Pies: 5-1
Actual: 2-1

Fulham v Aston Villa
Lawro: 1-2
Pies: 2-2
Actual: 1-1

Man City v Wigan
Lawro: 1-1
Pies: 1-1
Actual: 0-1

Newcastle v Middlesbrough
Lawro: 2-0
Pies: 3-1
Actual: 0-0

Sheffield Utd v Everton
Lawro: 1-2
Pies: 0-1
Actual: 1-1

Watford v Charlton
Lawro: 1-1
Pies: 1-1
Actual: 2-2

Portsmouth v Chelsea
Lawro: 0-2
Pies: 1-1
Actual: 0-2

SUNDAY
Bolton v Blackburn
Lawro: 2-0
Pies: 1-1
Actual: 1-2

West Ham v Tottenham
Lawro: 0-2
Pies: 2-1
Actual: 3-4

RESULT: A rather rubbish four points for Pies (four correct results predicted).

Top five Premiership goals of the weekend

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1 Dimitar Berbatov, West Ham v Spurs
A lovely, lovely free-kick from one of the Prem's most stylish forwards. Even Paul 'Kryten' Konchesky couldn't use his massive Skeletor head to keep it out of the net.

2 Teemu Tainio, West Ham v Spurs
Beautiful cushioned flick from Aaron Lennon to set up Tainio.

Sticker Sunday

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IT'S STICKER SUNDAY!

Get your weekly installment of sticker fun courtesy of your favourite football blog after the jump.

PACK 1
Mark Viduka (Middlesbrough) Big-boned musical muse.
Ledley King (Tottenham) Constantly crocked club captain.
Eric Djemba-Djemba (Aston Villa) Flop
Brian McBride (Fulham) USA striker.

Alex Ferguson tells Jose Mourinho to shut the hell up. Aka 'tedious mind games' part 3768

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Yawn. Do you even care that Fergie has told Jose to 'button his lip'? The newspapers and main football sites seem to think it's a big story, but to be honest, it bores the pants off me. Is there anything less interesting and more predictable than two football managers engaging in so-called mind games?

The garbled garbage that comes out of managers' mouths is rarely worth reporting, unless it comes from the golden mouth of Ian Holloway.

Fantasy Friday: week 26 review

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The big controversy in the Pies Fantasy Football League this week is the news that Abney Park Rangers will not be thrown out of the league as had been reported. Ashley Norris' bottom-of-the-table side had been charged by the Pies FA amid rumours that some or all of their players might not have been eligible to score points.

Premiership stars support nurses pay campaign

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That's not a headline I thought I'd ever write. As reported in the Guardian, several football stars have signed up to the Mayday for Nurses campaign and agreed to donate their wages for 13th May to help nurses in financial difficulty.

Nigel Medicore Reo Coker, Paul Robinson, Ryan Giggs, Gary 'shop steward' Neville and Micah Richards are among the players who have already pledged their supprt (btw, you can pledge too, by clicking the link above).

World Cup bloopers video

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I love me some bloopers, especially when they're taken from the biggest football tournament in the world â€" much more poignant.

Pies vs Lawro, Premiership predictions

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SATURDAY
Liverpool v Man Utd
Lawro: 1-1
Pies: 1-2

Arsenal v Reading
Lawro: 2-0
Pies: 5-1 (Gooner backlash, anyone?)

Fulham v Aston Villa
Lawro: 1-2
Pies: 2-2

Man City v Wigan
Lawro: 1-1
Pies: 1-1

Newcastle v MiddlesbroughÂ
Lawro: 2-0
Pies: 3-1

Sheffield Utd v EvertonÂ
Lawro: 1-2
Pies: 0-1

Watford v Charlton
Lawro: 1-1
Pies: 1-1

Portsmouth v Chelsea
Lawro: 0-2
Pies: 1-1

SUNDAY
Bolton v Blackburn
Lawro: 2-0
Pies: 1-1

West Ham v TottenhamÂ
Lawro: 0-2
Pies: 2-1

Bring the motherf**king ruckus Lawro (and Pies readers too)!

The Fiendish Friday Quiz

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1 QPR, Nottm Forest, Portsmouth, Southampton, WBA, West Ham (current). Which journeyman's career?
2 Who scored the opening goal for Man Utd when they beat Liverpool at Old Trafford earlier this season?
3 Picture round. Who's this?

4 Which English league team did serial killer Harold Shipman support in his youth?

West Ham could be relegated (even sooner than you expected)

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West Ham could be thrown out of the Premier League or docked points over the always-a-little-too-murky transfers of Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano to Upton Park. This footballing equivalent of putting down a lame horse relates to an investigation into whether the Argentine duo are correctly registered because of the well-documented third-party ownership of Media Sports Investment which was central to the deal.

THE VOTE Who do you want to get relegated?

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Around this time of the season I like to adopt one or two second teams to support in their relegation dogfights. I never like to see the three that get promoted go straight back down - and Reading have made sure that is not the case this season - but then you have to lose an established Premiership side. So who do you want to get relegated? Click below to see the candidates and choose who you would like to see in the Championship next season.

LA Galaxy get the services of another Brit

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Rumour has it that Ipswich Town's Darren Currie has secured a two-week trial with LA Galaxy, and should he stay, he'll of course by playing with a certain Mr Beckham. Looking at this compilation video, the kid looks a bit good...

New home of Gunners helps burglars do runners!

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Police have revealed that Arsenal's new Emirates Stadium is responsible for a sudden increase in crime. Residents of the Highbury Hill area have been told that burglaries in the area have almost doubled in the six months since the Gunners moved to their new home.

Two bridges built near the stadium to allow fans to cross a railway line to access the ground are being used as a handy escape route by thieving scumbags.

Lampard didn't get a smack from Adebayor

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Emmanuel 'Evander Holyfield' Adebayor apparently DIDN'T punch Frank 'Looks a bit like KD Lang' Lampard. Pity. After Arsene Wenger started spouting off and shouting "THE LINESMAN IS A BIG FAT LIAR!" to just about anyone who would listen, and then called for Fat Frank to come forward and save his striker.

Lampard's agent Steve Kutner told LiteSport on Thursday: "I've spoken to Frank and he told me he hadn't been hit by anybody.

Bicycle kick bonanza!

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Bicycle kicks? Lots of 'em? Yes please!

Bulgarian fan tries to legally change name to 'Manchester United'

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For the past two years, Bulgarian Man Yoo fan Marin Levidzhev (that's not him) has been fighting in his country's courts to have his name legally changed to 'Manchester United'. Magistrates in Bulgaria have just ruled that he can call himself Manchester Levidzhev but not Manchester United. Which kind of defeats the object. Can he call himself Marin United though?

Classic Moment: Wales 2, Italy 1 (Euro 2004 qualifier)

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To celebrate St David's Day, here is a YouTube vid of one of the greatest moments in Welsh football history. Bellamy's second-half winner at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium gave Wales a famous victory against Italy in the Euro 2004 qualifying campaign; they still didn't qualify for the finals though. Doh.

Sevilla coach stretchered off after being hit by bottle

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Sevilla coach Juande Ramos was knocked unconscious by a bottle thrown from the crowd during a Copa del Rey tie with Real Betis last night. The match was abandoned on 60 minutes after Ramos was carried away on a stretcher.

Ramos was unconscious for 11 minutes after the plastic bottle hit the back of his head as he celebrating Fredi Kanoute's goal.

Alan Shearer has a penalty shootout against Brian Clough

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There's a headline I didn't expect to be writing this morning! What with Big Al now retired and Old Big 'Ead now sadly departed, you probably thought the chances of a penalty shootout between the pair was fairly unlikely. And you would be right!

The other Brian Clough is the pie-loving goalkeeper of West Jesmond AFC, BBC Sport's adopted part-timers.

Robbie Fowler to line-up a move to USA (just as soon as he's got his ducks in a row)

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Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler is rumoured to be heading to the USA in the summer to join former team-mate Steve Nicol at New England Revolution. And former Liverpool centre-back Nicol - coach of the MLS side - is so excited at the prospect he has been throwing idioms around like he is Ian Holloway.