Who Ate All the Pies Archives for January 2007

Julio Baptista scores spectacular overhead kick

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Former Arsenal flop Julio Baptista scored this great bicycle kick against Real Betis last night. Apparently his landing measured 6.8 on the Richter scale. [Via 101Greatgoals]

Sod-ov Usmanov t-shirt from TShirts365

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With Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov increasing his stake in Arsenal today (looks like his chef has been steadily increasing his steak for some time, by the way) this t-shirt is as timely as ever for Gooners. The Sod-ov Usmanov message is pretty clear to even the most aloof of foreign investors. Click here to buy it.

The Drugs Ban XI

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Pies puts together a team so pumped up with drugs that even a Glenn Roeder team-talk could get them motivated! Mark Bosnich The then Chelsea keeper was sacked in 2003 after testing postive for cocaine. He claimed that he had his drink spiked in a nightclub. He later admitted to being a coke addict but said he had not touched the drug until after his failed test.

Grey Ryan drops Hope Solo for Briana Scurry, sows seeds of USA's World Cup defeat

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When Greg Ryan, the MacGyveresque head coach of America's women, chose to 'bench' goalkeeper Hope Solo, who had kept three consecutive clean sheets, he sowed the seeds of his team's first defeat in three years. You just don't mess with success, and Ryan's crazy decision to drop the in-form Solo and bring in veteran Briana Scurry (pictured), was the perfect way to unsettle a settled team.

WAG of the Week: Nagore, Xabi Alonso's girlfriend

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Name Nagore Nationality Spanish WAG of... Liverpool pass master Xabi Alonso. The pair are childhood sweethearts and are expecting their first child. Fame ranking 1/10 Unlike some WAGs, and much like her modest boyfriend, Nagore is more than happy to stay out of the tabloid spotlight.

Classic Moment: Steven Gerrard slips during a BBC interview

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As he's being interviewed after a Liverpool FA Cup victory – was it that crazy game against Luton a couple of seasons ago? – Stevie G almost goes arse over tit. He holds it together though, much to the amusment of the interviewer and Ian Wright in the studio – if you listen closely, you can hear Wrighty let out one of his awesome trademark giggles.

Ian Holloway's Shit Lookalikes: Avram Grant and Toad of Toad Hall

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I can't tell you how chuffed I am to able to combine Hollowatch with a Shit Lookalike. In his latest online column for BBC Sport, Ian Holloway claims that Avram Grant looks like a famous character from Wind in the Willows (not Beatrix Potter, as the Beeb claims). Ian says: 'If we're talking lookalikes he's Toad of Toad Hall, isn't he? His eyebrows are so low down.

Are dodgy goals better than dodgy offsides?

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Reports are saying that our referees and assistants have been told to favour attacking teams on tight offside calls after being sent a directive that tells them: "Don't get stuck in a time warp. Gone are the days when we would prefer a 'dodgy offside' to a 'dodgy goal'." The directive comes as a result of a briefing from the referees' coach Paul Rejer, who told officials: "Think about it.

Arsene Wenger thinks English football is losing its soul

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Arsenal gaffer Arsene Wenger has serious fears for the future of English football, believing that the domestic game is in danger of being severely damaged by mass media coverage and new club ownership. "English football is losing his soul," Wenger told The Sun. "Fans are the keeper of our football. But the first signs of danger are there to see.

Goal of the Week: Marta, Brazil's Women v USA

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The girl's a bit special. Marta, the No.10 of Brazil's women's team, ran the show in her country's 4-0 demolition of the USA in their World Cup semi final yesterday, and scored this wonderful goal, her second of the night, to cap a woman-of-the-match performance. Ronaldinho would have been proud of the turn that sent her clear of the US defence:

Pedro Santana Lopes, former Prime Minister of Portugal, is interrupted by news of Jose Mourinho's return

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Dr Lopes is not happy when he's being interviewed for Portguguese TV and the interview is interrupted by footage of Jose Mourinho returning to his homeland. Lopes, who was Prime Minister of Portugal from 2004-2005, bemoans the fact that such news would be deemed more important than him, and ends the interview. Good old Jose, still managing to wind up people without even trying.

Shit Lookalikes - Alisher Usmanov and Harold Bishop

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As Alisher Usmanov draws ever closer to an Arsenal takeover, so does the sound of a distant Antipodean tuba. That's right... pudgy face... bad specs... receding hairline... it's Harold Bishop from Neighbours!

The Snapshot: Inter Milan 3-0 Sampdoria, Serie A

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The evergreen Luis Figo in action for Inter Milan, who went level at the top of Serie A (with Roma) after a 3-0 win against Sampdoria. Figo scored Inter's third goal, adding to a brace by Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Photo Getty Images

The Fiendish Friday Quiz

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It's that time of the week again, when Pies twists your brains into fiendish shapes... 1 Albacete Balompié, Real Zaragoza, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Valencia (current). Whose career path? 2 Which phantom-like Dutch star has the middle names 'Rudolphus' and 'Antonius'? 3 Picture round. Which Premier League defender? 4 In which country was Germany striker Miroslav Klose born?

Alisher Usmanov buys more Arsenal shares, moves closer to football's first hostile takeover?

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Perhaps ominously for Gooners who are quite content with the status quo, podgy Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has increased his stake in Arsenal to 23%, just a week after saying he wanted at least a 25% share in the club. If Usmanov, who frankly looks not very much like Harold Bishop from Neighbours, gets to 30%, he then has to make a takeover offer for Arsenal.

Chelsea are the Abramovich Family

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Jose Mourinho has been given the Guardian Gallery treatment this week. And with Special One hype at its peak there is a bumper load of entries, including the one below which paints Chelsea as the Addams Family. Click here to see them all.

French Football Friday: Marseille sack Albert Emon, Bordeaux begin to impress

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Marseille have sacked their manager Albert Emon (pictured). OM's poor start to the season sees them sitting just one-point off the relegation zone. The club has moved quickly to install former Galatasaray coach and Belgian international Eric Gerets as the new coach. Meanwhile, Bordeaux - with Laurent Blanc at the helm - are up to second after a 0-2 win at Paris St Germain.

FA charge Chelsea with misconduct – do they deserve it?

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It wasn't quite Pizza-gate but there were a few boiling points during Chelsea's match against Manchester United – and it's under-fire Chelsea that have been blamed. As if things couldn't get any worse for the Blues, the FA has charged the club with failure to control their players when Mikel was sent off. Terry got away with trying to grab the ref's card but there's an individual charge against Steve Clarke for having a go at the officials after the game.

Peter Cook's appearance as football manager Alan Latchley on Clive Anderson Talks Back

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'Motivation, motivation, motivation... the three Ms!' Great to see this fantastic old clip again on YouTube - Peter Cook couldn't be unfunny if he tried, even when he's walking the line like this, ad-libbing left, right and centre... Via Guardian Sport Blog

Women's World Cup semi final review: USA 0-4 Brazil

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A major shock in the second semi of the Women's World Cup, as the States were spanked by Brazil, in a scoreline you'd expect to see in the men's game. The US never had a chance once Shannon Boxx was sent off, for a second yellow card, in first-half injury time – it was, reportedly, a ridiculous decision, and one that Brazilian Christiane, who Boxx had fouled, celebrated as if she's just won the tournament.

Petr ÄŒech gives cameraman the money shot

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Again, whilst looking for something completely unrelated, I stumbled across this peculiar snap of Petr ÄŒech spread eagled in front of a camera man on the hollowed Wembley turf. What's being said here do you reckon? "Come on Pete... this is the money shot..." or what? Chuck your version of events in the comments as usual Pieheads.

Sacking me would harm Spurs claims Martin Jol

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Martin Jol, currently caretaker manager of Tottenham Hotspur, has had a tough time of it lately. The fans love him and don't want him to go, but boo him when he substitutes a player. Even though they went on to win the game. The chairman doesn't like him and keeps asking just about everyone in the world if they fancy being Spurs manager. Jol, it seems, is not a popular boy.

Horror Hair/Headgear: Stefan Wessels

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Everton keeper Stefan Wessels finished last night's Carling Cup victory over Sheffield Wednesday looking like a cross between Bjorn Borg and Mr Bump after a collision with former Toffee Francis Jeffers. Tim Howard's understudy made it to the end of the game without too many problems though. If his act of bravery has impressed you, why not visit his official site to download a digital autograph.

Ossie Ardiles sings "Tottingham!" with Chas and Dave

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Over on SpursPies, they're looking at which Spurs player would make a welcome return to the side as the club celebrate their 125th anniversary. Personally, I'd like to see Ossie Ardiles back around, just so I can hear him sing "Tottingham!" See below if you've no idea what I'm talking about.

Is Wenger clairvoyant? - Five reasons for Arsene to smile

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With his Zen-like calmness it's easy to dismiss Arsene Wenger's claims as pure optimism – but maybe we should start listening more. He was right when he said his team could go a full season without being beaten and that his youngsters would prove their European pedigree when they reached the Champions League final. And now his dubious forecast that Arsenal's transformed team will challenge for the Premier League is looking almost inevitable.

Club owner disrespecting you? Simply grab your genitals and release the anger trapped in your body

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Now we know where Jose Mourinho went wrong. When Roman Abramovich started giving him a bit of lip he should have simply paraded in front of the Chelsea fans holding his genitals and shouting insults in the billionaire's general direction. At least that would have been the advice of Colombian striker Leider Preciado. A public ticking off for his tardiness from Santa Fé owner Henry Cruz combined with the emotion of putting his side ahead against Real Cartagena in the 75th minute all got a bit much for Preciado.

Gazzetta all di Pies: Juventus thrash Roma 2-2

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No doubting the big game in Serie A this week. Table-topping Roma were held to a 2-2 draw by newly-promoted Juventus (that still sounds strange!). Roma still lead the way, but the chasing pack are now within two points. Juve manager Claudio Ranieri has been bigging his side up in the wake of the emphatic... draw. He said: "Our history demands that we win the scudetto.

Snapshot: Coventry beat Man United in Carling Cup – Fergie's failure or bigger fish to fry?

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Michael Misfud played the role of David as his brace provided a giant killing Carling Cup victory for Coventry against Manchester United last night. Fergie was once again left red faced (at least more than usual) in the League Cup as his cast of international understudies failed to live up to the performance of United's leading stars. It's the second season running that United have fallen to a club from the lower leagues.

Big-headed Curtis Davies changes his ways after Aston Villa debut

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Since West Brom were relegated from the Premier League, Pies has come to expect the occasional arrogant outburst from young centre-back Curtis Davies. The 22-year-old has been eager to tell all and sundry just how good he is - too good for the Championship and ready for the Premier League again. So after his disastrous debut in Aston Villa's Carling Cup exit last night, Pies could easily allow itself a little chuckle at Davies getting his comeuppance.

Steve Coppell doesn't know the 'ins and outs' of Leroy Lita's sex video

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Pies never had softly spoken and unassuming Reading boss Steve Coppell down as a comedy genius, but he has come out with a quote on par with some of Ian Holloway's best efforts. Upon hearing of reports that striker Leroy Lita had made a sex video on his mobile phone and distributed it among his team-mates, Coppell said he was not aware of the 'ins and outs of the situation'.

Chelsea: 'We don't want Marco Van Basten as our next manager' Everyone else: 'We don't believe you…'

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Just for the record, you know, to clear things up, Chelsea have NOT offered the manager's job to Marco Van Basten. And the Dutch FA says the same thing. Got that? Because I wouldn't want you to think otherwise... Avram Grant is going NOWHERE. You heard it here first (well, second or third). More on this and other Chelsea stories at Chelsea Pies

Carling Cup Wednesday: preview and predictions

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Quite a few more Carling Cup fixtures tonight. Here are my predictions for each one: Aston Villa v Leicester Martin O'Neill will see the Carling Cup as Villa's most winnable trophy, so I expect him to field a strong Villa team, with Curtis Davies expected to make his debut. Prediction Aston Villa 3-1 Leicester Blackburn v Birmingham Depends how much Steve Bruce wants this competition as a distraction.

Shit Lookalikes: Milan Mandaric and Rockbiter from The NeverEnding Story

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Crazy Chringle has sent me another inspired Shit Lookalike. I don't know what the hell he's smoking, but I'd like some too.

Women's World Cup semi final review: Germany 3-0 Norway

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Just as England are perennial quarter finalists, so Germany are, depressingly, perennial finalists. Their women have just eased past Norway to reach the final of the 2007 Women's World Cup. Norway started well and should have been level at half-time, but they couldn't take their chances. Three-nil is a slightly unfair scoreline, but no one could argue that Germany don't deserve to be in the final, thanks to an own goal by Trine Rooning on 43 minutes, and second-half strikes by Kerstin Steegemann and Martina Mueller.

Is Roman Abramovich paranoid?

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Is it me or is Roman Abramovich getting a bit paranoid? When Chelsea face Hull City tonight, the Russian billionaire will be guarded by ten bodyguards this evening in the Directors' Box. Including himself, that makes a weird starting XI. Hull's chairman, Paul Duffen, told The Daily Mail: "His security people have been in touch for the past couple of weeks and 10 of the 24 tickets we offer visiting directors will be taken up by security.

Maradona returns for 'Hand of God' rematch – time to settle a score?

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For anyone that hasn't heard, Diego Maradona and his ‘Hand of God' are coming to England to replay that infamous World Cup game between England and Argentina in 1986. The exhibition game will feature the original teams from both sides and apparently the Argies have been training for two months in Mexico in preparation for the game at Villa Park, October 14.

Why would Man Utd oppose Avram Grant because he doesn't have a licence?

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It doesn't make much sense to me that Man Utd would complain about Avram Grant being granted dispensation to manage Chelsea without a Uefa pro licence, as reported by BBC Sport. If I was involved with Man Utd, I'd want Avram Grant to remain as Chelsea manager for as long as possible - rather that than they bring in a world-class manager like Guus Hiddink, surely?

Shoot magazine gets a revamp

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Remember buying copies of Shoot and Match and giddily flicking through to pore over new kits and footy news? Salivating over your League Ladder (as pictured) and proudly keeping it correct with every result? Well, as you grow up, you leave those mags behind in favour of... well... Pies and the like. With that in mind, you may be thrilled to learn that Shoot is still knocking about and is all ready for a relaunch with a new look and features.

Why Sven can't be the next Chelsea manager

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Does anyone else think that it's funny that the British press seemingly wants Sven Goran Eriksson as the new Chelsea boss? It seems a little more than ironic that the same press who dragged the Swede over the coals for his drab tactics and dour approach whilst at the helm of the England side, seemingly feel that he's the man to keep Roman Abramovich happy with beautiful free flowing football in the demise of Jose Mourinho's tenure.

Have Arsenal stealthily assembled the best team in the country again?

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For all their attractive football and their dominance of the 2004-05 season, you have been able to discount Arsenal as genuine title-contenders for the last couple of seasons. Thierry Henry 's exit this summer didn't look like improving things, and yet the Gunners are top-of-the-table with a game in hand. Cesc Fabregas has found yet another gear, Emmanuel Adebayor has grown in stature to fill the void left by Henry and Wenger's relatively low-profile signings seemed to have slotted in well.

Oranje Wednesday: Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord lead the way

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After the latest round of Eredivisie matches, Holland's big three are neck-and-neck at the top of the table. Ajax and PSV are level on 13 points, while Feyenoord are a point behind in third place. It was Feyenoord's thumping 4-0 defeat against PSV that has pushed them down the table. A brace from Kenneth Perez and goals from Edison Perez and Danny Koevermans gave Feyenoord an easy win.

Homoerotic moments in football

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With the Gay World Cup underway, Pies has become camper than the Village People sharing a tent with George Michael. To continue the theme here is a video showing what Baddiel and Skinner would call 'homoerotic moments in football'.

Samsunspor 7-5 Orduspor - crazy match from Turkey

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We don't feature Turkish football a lot here on Pies. In fact, our coverage of it is pretty much limited to the gratuitous violence of the occasional mass brawl. I'm not sure whether this video will make you wonder why we don't feature it more often or show you exactly the reasons we don't. This is the 7-5 thriller between Samsunspor and Orduspor.

Horror Hair: Silvia Neid, head coach, Germany's women

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This is a classic middle-aged German woman's haircut - bleached, slightly spiky, and, most importantly for this look, the hint of a mullet. I like it. For more entertaining stuff on women's football, check out sister site Kickster

Snapshot: Fernando Torres hits a hatrick in the Carling Cup – why is Benitez rotating him?

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Fernando Torres looked on fire while hitting a hatrick that helped Liverpool beat Reading 4-2 in the Carling Cup last night. But it's not exactly the stage we expected him to display his talents and Liverpool fans could be wondering why £26m worth of striker has started on the bench in the last two Premier League games – both draws. Is Rafa rotating in the right direction?

How special was Jose Mourinho?

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Now that the dust has settled after Jose's dramatic departure, there's been plenty of reflection over what the ‘Special One' actually achieved at Chelsea. As you would expect, the man himself hasn't lost any self-confidence, "I think I'm still special. I achieved good things and it was a fantastic period in my career. I'll try to forget the bad things and remember the good ones, which are endless," he told Portuguese newspaper Maisfutebol.

Classic Moment: Justin Fashanu scores on the turn against Liverpool, 1980

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It's Gay Week on Who Ate All The Pies, so here is a cracking goal (a goal of the season, no less) from the first openly gay famous footballer, Justin Fashanu. This excellent turn and shot was against Liverpool in Fashanu's Norwich days. Fashanu transferred to Nottingham Forest shortly afterwards, where he allegedly had the following exchange with Brian Clough: Cloughie: "Where do you go if you want a loaf of bread?

Premier League Bright Young Things XI

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He may only be just out of his teens but Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas has already been hailed as the best midfielder in the world. But, he's not the only young whippersnapper currently making a name for himself in the Premier League, which is fast becoming a creche for the world's emerging football talent. We've put together a first XI of the brightest young stars in the league – and no Mr.

Martin Jol agrees a Spurs pay off but stays in charge - how will they cope?

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It seems Martin Jol has finally had enough of Spurs' constant flirting with better looking managers and has agreed a severance sum of £4m to leave the club with a broken heart but some pride still in tact. The relationship has been in trouble since the start of the season. Despite spending like there was no tomorrow, results have been poor and that Champions League place already looks out of the club's reach.

Pies Player Power Rankings

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Every Tuesday throughout the season, Pies will publish its Player Power Rankings, a top 10 list of the hottest footballers in the Premier League, based on form, influence and subjective stuff like, er, how much we like their hair. Here's how the rankings table looks in its second week (with last week's position in brackets)... 1 Cesc Fabregas, Arsenal (1) Yep, Cesc Fabregas is still the most powerful player in the Premier League – and look how delighted he is to discover the news!

Shit Lookalike: Morph and Wes Brown

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I see your Gabriel Agbonlahor and raise you one Wes Brown...

Should Dean Ashton take Michael Owen's place in the England side?

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With the boy made from glass, Michael Owen, seeing a specialist about his brittle bones, the Newcastle United striker going to miss England's crucial Euro 2008 qualifiers against Estonia and Russia next month. It's a damn shame as he looked like he might be returning to form with some decent goals in recent weeks. So with Little Mickey out, and Emile William Ivanhoe Heskey out with a fractured foot, Steve McClaren is having to look elsewhere.

Video of the new Nou Camp

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Remember me telling you about the new Nou Camp (El nou Nou Camp?). Well, here it is in video form and looking mightily impressive. Like some weird Catalan snake wrapped around a stadium, this is going to match any stadium in the world.

Teutonic Tuesday: Bayern Munich and Werder Bremen record big wins

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The eye-catching results from the Bundersliga this week were Bayern Munich's 1-4 win over Karlsruhe and Werder Bremen's 4-1 victory against Stuttgart. Bayern are two points clear of Hertha Berlin at the top-of-the-table. Bremen are struggling in eighth but will be hoping they have now played themselves into some form. Some decent efforts in the Bundersliga this week, including this strike from Borussia Dortmund's Mladen Petric.

Please let the new Pro Evolution Soccer be a return to form for Konami. And help me choose a next-gen console to play it on…

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So the latest version of the godlike Pro Evolution Soccer, PES 2008, is coming out in a month's time (launched on 28 October, to be precise), and I for one am like a kid at Christmas. The last PES was a major letdown (on the Xbox 360, anyway; it wasn't so bad for the PS2), so I'm hoping that Konami has learned from its mistakes and created another game worthy of the rightly revered PES title – I can hardly live without PES in my life.

Singing Mohammed Al Fayed and dancing ball(s) boys

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Whilst looking for something entirely different, I stumbled across this image of Fulham chairman, Mohammed Al Fayed. Thing is... what the bloody hell is going on? Mo' seems to be singing and joined by a pair of dancing goons... namely, Gruey and that lad from The Football Factory. Closer inspection reveals that both lads are exposing their balls through their tights whilst dancing like monkeys filled with rat hormone.

HolloWatch: Ollie wasn't always this funny

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There is a great interview with Pies hero Ian Holloway in the October edition of FourFourTwo. Ollie reveals that he never set out to build a reputation as one of football's funniest managers, and that his hilarious rambling metaphors stem from repetitive interviews. He said: "Most of it comes from the fact that I get the same questions over again.

Shit Lookalikes: Gabriel Agbonlahor and Morph

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Pies reader Dave Sparks reckons Aston Villa's Gabriel Agbonlahor is a dead ringer for Tony Hart's plasticine assistant, Morph.

Spurs Pies Zoe talks Bolton, Martin Jol and the future

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Zoe finds reasons to be cheerful. After all Spurs might be third from bottom, broke after wasting shed loads of cash on underperforming strikers and very envious of the position of their North London rivals, but at least they aren't Chelsea.

The Snapshot: Denilson of FC Dallas in action against LA Galaxy

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Denilson of FC Dallas (yes, that Denilson, who was once the most expensive player in the world) casts a shadow during Dallas's MLS tie with LA Galaxy at the Home Depot Center on September 23, 2007. The Galaxy, minus you-know-who, defeated the Texas outfit 2-1. Photo Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Who's the most improved player in the Premier League?

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Not easy to come up with this shortlist, but it's all so subjective - in other words, if I've missed off a player you think should be on the list, add a furious comment. Anyway, I thought it would be interesting to poll you lovely people to see who you thought was the most-improved player in the Prem, based on what you've seen so far this season - I know it's early days, but still, we all love a good debate, no?

Meet the pub team with Kaka, Ronaldinho, Cannavaro, Thierry Henry and Steven Gerrard in their line-up…

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Great story this. The players of Lynam Athletic, who play in the Birmingham Coronation League Alliance Division 3 – and last season finished bottom – have all changed their names to those of world stars, and it seems to be having a positive effect. It's the brainchild of player-manager Cafu (aka Dan Branch, 29), dreamed up over a pint in their local pub, inevitably: 'We hope that the name change will give us a bit of inspiration to go on and improve this season and so far we haven't done too badly,' said Cafu/Branch.

Shit Lookalike: Greg Ryan, head coach of USA Women, and Richard Dean Anderson (of MacGyver and Stargate SG-1 fame)

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Yep, looks like MacGyver, the most resourceful action hero in TV history, is coaching the USA Women's team. With Mac on board, how can they fail?

Card-snatcher John Terry is not fit to captain England

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I always thought Steven Gerrard should have been made captain of England, and John Terry's increasingly shameful behaviour only reinforces that opinion. When JT tried to snatch the red card from ref Mike Dean's hand during Sunday's showdown between Man Utd and Chelsea at Old Trafford, he crossed the line. Terry deserves at least a three-match ban for this action, which was the tip of the iceberg as far as his bullying of refs goes.

The Sex Video XI

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Pies puts together a team of players who we have seen much more of than we ever wanted to! Stefan Postma When footballers sex videos make it into the public domain, embarassment is to be expected. But you unleash a whole new world of shame on yourself when said video contains footage of your girlfriend taking you from behind with the aid of a strap-on.

Porn star Leroy Lita enjoys making a bit of blue(tooth)

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Reading striker Leroy Lita is apparently entertaining footballers all over the country after a mobile phone sex video he recorded quickly spread around the clubs. The England under-21 striker recorded the one minute, 53 second video of himself having sex with an unknown brunette. At various points in the video, Lita allegedly turns the phone around to wink or pull faces at it.

THE VOTE: Who is the gayest-acting-but-straight Premier League footballer?

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It's Gay Week on Pies, to coincide with the Gay World Cup, which takes place in Argentina this week. Now, obviously there are NO gay footballers in the Premier League. I can't stress that enough – they are ALL, to a man, strapping heterosexuals with lovely Wives & Girlfriends. Especially Ashley Cole. But, ask yourself this hypothetical question: who is the gayest-acting-but-straight Premier League footballer?

WAG of the Week: Tzofit Grant (Avram Grant's wife)

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Name Tzofit Grant Nationality Israeli WAG of... New Chelsea boss Avram Grant. Fame ranking 7/10 She is very well-known in her native Israel, where she is an outspoken TV host – think Ruby Wax but with more exhibitionist tendencies. She once drank urine live on TV and bathed in melted chocolate.

Avram Grant's wife Tzofit drinks her own urine on Israeli TV. Mmm, tasty…

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Having just featured Tzofit Grant as a WAG of the Week, we mentioned the fact that she once drank her own wee-wee on TV, to see if there were health benefits or not. Well, here's a clip of said stunt, as well as the time she bathed in chocolate. She's a wild one...

Shit Lookalike: John Obi Mikel and Tracy Chapman

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Cheers to Chris Wright for this lookalike.

The 2007 Gay World Cup kicks off today: finally, a football tournament England can win!

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As we told you last week, the Gay World Cup is about to kick off later today in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The event is in its 17th year and is currently held by London side Stonewall FC, who are defending their crown. So, unlike the men's and women's World Cups, this is actually an event that England has a very good chance of winning – which is why Pies has taken it upon itself to be the Unofficial Blog of the Gay World Cup.

What was Marco van Basten doing at the Chelsea game?

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Chelsea rarely manage to do anything on the down low – be it clandestine meetings with prospective managers like Sven or not-so secret attempts at tapping up players like Cashley Cole. So, maybe the sight of Dutch legend, Marco van Basten, sat in the Chelsea directors box was just a way of cutting to the chase this time. Whether the Netherlands national coach was there as just a mere spectator or not, it can't have done new coach Avram Grant's confidence much good – while the final result against Man United will also have reduced his odds of potentially being the shortest serving manager in Premier League history.

Nou Camp to get facelift from British architect

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The Nou Camp is one of the most football stadiums in the world (should that read stadia?) and has seen some of the most wonderful footballers in history grace the pitch... Johan Cruyff, Ronaldinho, Diego Maradona, Luis Figo and... Steve Archibald. Now, Barcelona's Nou Camp is to get a new look with a redesign by the award-winning British architect Norman Foster.

Snapshot: Carols Tevez opens his account against Chelsea - more to come?

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This picture reveals a tale of two strikers with Man United's Carlos Tevez finally celebrating scoring his first goal for the club while a dejected Andriy Shevchenko fails to prove Jose wrong for underestimating his talents. Fergie hailed Tevez as ' lion', now that the Argentinian has shown his teeth is he ready to set the Premier League alight like he did at West Ham?

Women's World Cup quarter final review: USA 3-0 England

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Things looked good for England's women at half-time, when they were holding the world's number-one ranked team at 0-0. At that stage, we were dreaming of another inspired, backs-to-the-wall performance, in the same vein as the goalless draw with Germany earlier in the tournament. But our girls took their eye off the ball after half-time and allowed the USA to score in the 48th minute, thanks to an Abby Wambach header.

Shit Lookalike: Xabi Alonso and Marky Mark Wahlberg

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Pies regular Jess Malone has submitted the latest in our series of Shit Lookalikes. Do you think Marky Mark Wahlberg could adapt to life in Liverpool's midfield as easily as he made the transition from fresh-faced popster to haggard Oscar winner?

Stuart McCall angry at £5000 fine from Football League

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Bradford City gaffer (and world's best beer carrier) Stuart McCall claimed that he wouldn't "give a monkey's" if the Football League hit his side with a fine for fielding a weakened line-up in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. Guess what? He's now pleading with the Football League to let Bradford off a £5,000 fine. The League reckon the Bantams boss picked a weakened team for a recent Johnstone's Paint Trophy match at Doncaster - but McCall has dispatched a five-page dossier to state his case.

Premier League weekend, 22-23 Sept: Ten conclusions

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1 Fulham's Craven Cottage is the place to go if you want six-goal thrillers. First a 3-3 draw with Spurs, a couple of weekends ago, and then another six-goal fest against Sven's Man City this weekend. Thaksin Shinawatra and Mo Al-Fayed (pictured) seemed to enjoy it anyway. 2 Avram Grant won't be Chelsea manager come the end of the season. Although his team performed decently at Old Trafford, he already looks beleaguered.

Streaker beats goalie from 20 yards out

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I can't recall seeing this on Pies and furthermore I'm not sure it's real... but who cares? This is a great little video that sees a rather naked lady hitting a decent strike and beating the goalie from 20 yards out. Blinkin' marvelous!

HolloWatch: Ian Holloway has a book out!

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Great news, HolloWatch fans. Ian Holloway's autobiagraphy, Ollie, is in the shops now! A whole book full of the Plymouth boss' perculiar ramblings, mixed metaphors and wonderfully eccentric turn-of-phrase. The book apparently contains the chapter titles: 'Ollie and the Chocolate Factory', 'Double Ham & Eggs', 'Marvin Hagler's Eyes', 'Bring on Los Galacticos'.

The Snapshot Special: Premier League weekend, 22-23 September

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Arsenal 5-0 Derby Emmanuel Adebayor scored a hat-trick and Cesc Fabregas stole the show as the Gunners hit top gear. Fulham 3-3 Manchester City Danny Murphy's late goal secured a point for Fulham in this pulsating encounter. Liverpool 0-0 Birmingham City The Rafalution seems to have stalled a little as the Blues held the Red to a goalless draw.

La Liga Lunes: Lionel Messi tidies up for Barcelona against Sevilla.

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Two late goals from Lionel Messi got Barcelona out of a pickle and gave them a 2-1 victory over Sevilla. The Argentine scored a spectacular volley and a penalty to secure the win and blemish Sevilla's unbeaten record. Meanwhile, table-topping Real Madrid dropped their first points of the season against newly-promoted Real Valladolid. This long-range strike from Pedro Lopez gave Valladolid the lead.

Shit Lookalike: Chris Hutchings and Adolf Hitler

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We are not comparing Wigan boss Chris Hutchings to one of history's greatest monsters in any capacity other than this mildly amusing pose, although JJB Stadium regulars mights testify that the pair share a philosophy on torture!

VOTE: Who is the best central defender in the world?

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Lately, we've been asking Pies readers to vote for whom they think are the world's greatest players in their respective positions. Although the polls are still open, so far you've gone for Juninho as the world's best free-kick taker and Gianluigi Buffon as the greatest goalkeeper. Now it's the turn for the boys at the back. Central defenders don't often get the praise they deserve for putting their bodies where most fancy Dan forwards wouldn't dare.

USA v England, Women's World Cup quarter final: What the bloggers say

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'Coach Hope Powell, a veteran of the 1995 English World Cup squad who became the first full-time coach of the national team in 1998, reigns over a generation of unprecedented talent in England. Thanks to an improving women's club system, most notably at European power Arsenal (which shares nine players with the national team), English players have better access to top training and playing opportunities than ever before.

The best striker in the Premier League? It's John Carew, of course

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Who is the best striker in the Premier League at the moment? Well, according to the league's in-form defender it is none other than Aston Villa rent-a-tree John Carew. Manchester City and England starlet Micah Richards reckons the 6ft 5in Norwegian - worth exactly one Milan Baros - has been his toughest opponent so far this season. The possibly insane 19-year-old said: "Villa striker John Carew is one of the hardest opponents I have faced this season - it is impossible to dispossess him sometimes.

Horror Hair: Cristiano Ronaldo's Pro Evo quiff

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Cristiano Ronaldo is the face Pro Evo 2008 (due out next month), but we are more interested in his hair than his face. To be fair, that is exactly where your eyes will be drawn when you look at the picture on the game's box. His perfectly sculpted quiff defies gravity. Whether he fancies David Beckham's old Brylcreem contract we don't know, but some serious quantities of hair gel have gone into extending his forehead to that length.

Fantasy Friday, Matchday 5: Cesc Fabregas is the MAN

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Congratulations to US-based Liverpool fan ecko9er, whose Maui Reds team sits proudly atop the Pies SquadGod fantasy league after Matchday 5. Maui Reds can thank a captain's performance by Cesc Fabregas for its fine showing, with decent contributions by a couple of Merseysde defenders - Leighton Baines and Alvaro Arbeloa. Fabregas has been the most valuable player in the fantasy league so far, with a whopping 130 points to his name.

Spurs ball boy becomes cult hero for a night

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It seems they earn their spurs young at Tottenham. This fresh faced ball boy almost achieved cult status at the Lane last night when his over enthusiast throw to an opposition player was met by the appreciation of some full on chanting by the Spurs massive. Although, as the commentator remarked, "He certainly won't get a holiday in Cyprus".

Mourinho quits, Chelsea's English players get pissed in the pub

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The Sun today revealed that 'Chelsea stars spent a boozy session in a local pub just hours before [Jose] Mourinho left... Captain John Terry, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole, team staff and groundsmen crammed in to the Old Plough in Cobham, Surrey, near Chelsea's training ground.' The paper continues: 'They spent 4½ hours downing pints of lager and cider, racking up a £250 bar bill for food and drinks.

Will you be watching the England ladies' match tomorrow?

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Tomorrow afternoon... or evening if you're in Tianjin... England take on the No1 side in the world, USA, in the quarter-finals of the women's World Cup. At 12.40pm, the coverage starts on BBC1. Will you be tuning in? The fixture itself is important enough for the England girls. Going in as underdogs, they could cause a huge upset and gain a morale boosting win to take into the semis.

Pies v Lawro, Premier League predictions

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It's that time of the week where we pit our clairvoyant skills against those of the BBC's thatch haired pundit GAME OF THE WEEK Man Utd v Chelsea Lawro 0-0, Pies 2-0 Unless you're looking to win some cash on the pools, Lawro's no score draw prediction for Sunday's clash of the titans could disappoint most people.

Shit Lookalike: Hope Powell, coach of England's women, and Don Letts, punk/reggae film maker

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Apologies to the lovely Hope for comparing her to some old reggae film director/musician dude, but you can see the resemblance, right?

Peter Ridsdale offers to quit Cardiff chair

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Every time I see or hear 'Peter Ridsdale', I can't help but imagine Norman Wisdom saying it. The former Leeds chairman could do with a laugh at the moment as he is fed up with abuse from Cardiff supporters. This is has led him to offer his resignation should the fans want it. Ridsdale told BBC Wales that he feels he is being driven out by fans who he says want Sam Hammam back in charge of the club.

The Fiendish Friday Quiz

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1 From which club did Arsenal sign right-back Bakary Sagna? 2 During his time at Arsenal, Ashley Cole was loaned out to which other London club? 3 Picture round. Who's in close-up? 4 Before he became directly involved in football, Peter Kenyon was the chief executive of which sportswear firm? 5 LA Galaxy share their home stadium, the Home Depot Center, with which other MLS team?

Argentina to host Gay World Cup this weekend

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Latin America will host the gay football world cup for the first time in the tournament's 16-year history when the event kicks off this weekend in Buenos Aires. Twenty-eight teams, many representing cities in Europe, the United States, Australia and Latin America, as opposed to countries, will play in the International Gay and Lesbian Football Association's (IGLFA) competition.

Shit Lookalike: Avram Grant and Boss Nass from Star Wars

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Thanks to, er, me, for spotting this Shit Lookalike. New Chelski boss Avram and Boss Nass, who appeared in tragically rubbish Star Wars prequel, The Phantom Menace, could be long-lost brothers, no? Incidentally, Boss Nass was voiced by the great Brian Blessed, which is by far the most interesting thing about him. I've just noticed that Chelsea Pies has another inspired – and, weirdly, Star Wars-related – Avram lookalike

Why Andy Johnson should be called up to the England (rugby) squad

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Everton striker Andy Johnson might not be able to command a regular place in the England team, but his skills might be appreciated in the misfiring England rugby union team judging on his penalty of Chris Waddle proportions last night. Johnson, having already had a penalty saved, sent his spot-kick to row Z against Metalist Kharkiv in the Uefa Cup.

The BBC Sport website's Jose Mourinho leaves Chelsea coverage

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The BBC Sport website's Mourinho Leaves Chelsea section, which has relegated any other stories to Other Football News got me thinking: which other managers would command such domination of the website in the days following their departure? Fergie, probably. Arsene Wenger, maybe. But I doubt even that long-standing and successful duo would receive the same coverage as everyone's favourite cocky Portuguese.

Exodus – movement of Jose's people?

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There's talk of a mutiny aboard the Bridge now that Jose has been forced to walk the plank, with several of Mourinho's signings and closest players remaining loyal to their former manager. Drogba was said to be in tears, Carvalho thought that Mourinho's farewell text was a joke and latest signing, Florence Malouda, insisted he only joined Chelsea because of the ‘special one'.

French Football Friday: Lyon find domestic form (just don't mention Europe)

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Reigning Ligue 1 champions Lyon are well into their stride as they aim to defend their title. A 1-5 thrashing of Metz last weekend put Lyon within a point of leaders Nancy. A subsequent 3-0 defeat and poor performance against Barcelona in the Champions League this week exposed the frailties of the French league though. Among the five goals they rattled in against Metz, Lyon did score one of the best goals of the week.

Snapshot: Defoe scores European brace – but will he be Jermaine man come Sunday?

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Spurs finally found their shooting boots with a 6-1 victory over Cypriot minnows, A. Famagusta, in their opening Uefa Cup game last night. Jermaine Defoe still hasn't started a game this season but made his point by coming on to score a brace in the second half – the first a delicate chip and the second scored in stoppage time. But, with a feud developing with Martin Jol over the delayed signing of a new contract, will Defoe's goals be enough for a starting place at the weekend?

Ronaldinho's yoghurt commercial

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If I have been conspicuous in my absence for the last couple of weeks, it is because I have been on holiday in sunny Spain. But work never really stops for a Pies writer. Not only were there an endless supply of possible Shit Lookalikes (including Diego Maradona the bus driver and Carlos Queiroz the bar man), but flicking through the foreign TV channels - as you do - I spotted this plausible explanation for Ronaldinho's expanding waistline.

The shock managerial exit XI

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Kevin Keegan King Kev had delivered the most exciting brand of football and nearest glimpses of silverware that Newcastle United fans had known for decades. His surprise resignation in January 1997 sparked scenes bordering on bereavment on Tyneside. Brian Clough Old Big 'Ead might have worked miracles with Derby and later Nottingham Forest, but having arrived at Leeds United promising the Earth and the reputation of being one of the best in the business he left Elland Road after just 44 days.

VOTE: Who is Barcelona's best forward?

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Barcelona's ‘Fantastic Four' collection of forwards, featuring Theirry Henry, Ronaldinho, Lionel Messi and Samuel E'to, are the envy of every club in the world. But which one is the real super hero? Henry may have opened his account against Lyon last night but we thought it was Lionel ‘the new Maradona™' Messi who stole the show with his invention and a goal to call his own.

Shit lookalike: Louis Saha and Mr. Glass

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"They call me Mr. Glass," said Samuel L. Jackson's brittle boned character, Elijah Price, in the film Unbreakable. And that would be a fitting nickname for fragile Frenchman, Louis Saha, who has spent most of his Manchester United stay in the treatment room.

Morrissey photographed wearing a CD Chivas USA shirt. Who knew he was an MLS fan?

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Your eyes do not deceive you – that is indeed the very same Steven Patrick Morrissey who once stuffed his pockets with gladioli and fronted The Smiths. Moz has a big Mexican fanbase and Chivas are primarily supported by fans of a Mexican/Hispanic background, so it could be a shrewd move to shift a few more albums – either that or he just loves the colour scheme.

Possible reasons for Mourinho's departure from Chelsea

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"Chelsea Football Club and José Mourinho have agreed to part company today (Thursday) by mutual consent" There it is. Chelsea official statement on the departure of their talismanic manager José Mourinho. Get the feeling it took them by surprise as much as it did to us? Normally, a football club wheels out the slickest PR machine to give a lengthy statement wishing everyone the best of luck and all that.

Scolari gets a 4 match ban and fine after scuffle on the pitch

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I don't know how this one slipped under my radar, but Luiz Felipe Scolari has been given a four-match ban by UEFA for 'improper conduct' after he seemingly punched (I say seemingly for legal reasons) Serbian defender, Ivica Dragutinovic after the final whistle in Portugal's 1-1 draw. Big Phil has also been fined 12,120 Euros (£8,479) for his part in the scuffle.

FA charge Poyet over attack on Andy D'Urso

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You can't touch referees. Slap them, and they'll slap you back twice as hard. Gus Poyet has found this out after the FA charged him for comments made towards Andy D'Urso following Leeds United's Carling Cup defeat against Portsmouth. The Leeds assistant manager accused the referee of a personal vendetta against himself and the head coach, Dennis Wise, dating back to their playing days after the 3-0 defeat in the second-round tie at Fratton Park in August.

Gazzetta all di Pies: Udinese shock Juventus

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Juve's brief return to the top of Serie A is over after their defeat to Udinese, despite having recently appointed God on earth (or something like that), Alex Del Piero, in their ranks. The result had some of the Italian press sniffing a rat, or at least another match-fixing scandal. It is Roma who now top the Italian league. Debutant centre-back Juan opened the scoring in their 2-0 win over Reggina by deciding he is, in fact, the new Gianfranco Zola.

Louis van Gaal loses it during interview

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This video features AZ Alkmaar boss Louis van Gaal flipping out during a television interview. The end result is the crazed Dutchman doing a little dance by himself before bear-hugging the reporter!

Top 10 things we love about Jose Mourinho

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1 The Shaddap Your Face song Just a great impression from Gift Grub. Always makes me smile. 2 The Special One arrives... For having the cojones to turn up in the country that invented football and announce 'I am a Special One'. From that moment on, every football writer and fan alike knew that everything Mourinho did and said would be worth paying attention to.

Champions League review: Arsenal 3-0 Sevilla

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A surprisingly comfortable win for Arsenal against one of Europe's most dangerous sides. The real Sevilla never really showed up, and they had no answer for the guile of Cesc Fabregas and the power of Emmanuel Adebayor. Fabregas was lucky to open the scoring with a deflected shot, but overall the Spanish team didn't deserve anything from the game.

Jose Mourinho quits: What the bloggers say

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'What a shocking end of an era. Who would have thought that the words "mutual consent" would ever cause heartbreak? And the timing couldn't have been worse... Abramovich wanted fantasy football, but Jose was never going to fit into that mould. Trophies weren't enough for the big boss.' Chelsea Pies 'You win the league twice and you get in the shit for not winning with exciting enough football.

Avram Grant to take over at Chelsea?

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Now that Jose is no Mour at Chelsea, it looks like Roman's mate Avram Grant is going to take on the hottest seat in West London. It's not been confirmed yet but sources at Chelsea said it would be a surprise if former Israel coach wasn't next in line. Grant's appointment was another nail in Mourinho's coffin when he was brought in at Abramovich's request at the start of the season.

The Snapshot: Thierry Henry scores for Barcelona against Lyon

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The emotionless expression and arrogant finger pointing can only mean one thing – Thierry Henry is celebrating scoring a goal. The former Arsenal icon broke his duck for Barcelona by scoring the final goal in the club's 3-0 Champions League win over Lyon last night. It wasn't one for his overcrowded collector's album – a tap into an empty net after Geovani's shot was parried – but he'll be more pleased than he looks to get the first one out of the way.

Shit Lookalikes: Jose Mourinho then and now

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Granted he may have been at that age when his looks would start to go a bit when he took over as Chelsea manager, but Jose Mourino's one-man crusades against referees, opposition managers and, well, pretty much anyone daft enough to get in his way have certainly accelerated the ageing process. The focused man-of-action on the left promising to tap into a new Match of the Day viewing audience of middle-aged women when he swanned into the Chelsea job in July 2004.

Champions League review: Sporting Lisbon 0-1 Manchester United – no one likes a smart arse

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Don't want to say we told you so but anyone gambling on our 1-0 match prediction yesterday would have made themselves a nice little earner. That's how it worked for me when a friendly wager with the Pies editor saw a crisp blue note find its way into my pocket. There's nothing like spending other people's money, especially the bosses – better luck next time Olly.

Jose Mourinho leaves Chelsea. Was he pushed?

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So Jose Mourinho has left Chelsea by mutual consent. Wow, what a bombshell! I'm genuinely stunned that the man who took Chelsea to two consecutive league titles in his first two seasons is suddenly jobless. The BBC reports that Mourinho texted senior players with the news, but it's unclear if he resigned or was pushed by Roman Abramovich. Certainly Chelsea's disappointing 1-1 draw at home against Rosenborg didn't help Jose's situation, but I'm still shocked that he's gone.

Stephen Ireland makes Internet rant – is he alright to play?

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It seems poor Stephen Ireland only ever opens his mouth when he wants to make space for another foot. This time he's used cyberspace for as his medium for an ill-considered outburst. The Man City midfielder posted a statement on the Bebo social networking site under the name ‘Daddy Dick', which claimed ‘football is shit' and asked ‘why did I get stuck doing it?

Join our fantastic new community and WIN an iPod Nano!

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If you didn't know, Pies now has its own community, a place where you, dear readers, can hang out, make friends (in a Facebook stylee), upload videos and discuss football until you're blue/red (delete where applicable) in the face. See the 'Community' tab at the top of this page? Click it, sign up, create a profile and away you go! The Community is currently in its (*web 2.

Kerlon's seal dribble

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When Atletico Mineiro took on Cruzeiro (with Cruzeiro winning 4-3) in the Brazilian league (or the Campeonato Brasileiro if you prefer) the finest... and ugliest... part of the match was Kerlon's seal dribble. How do you stop a seal dribble? With a shoulder barge it seems.

What The Bloggers Say - Sammy Lee's P45

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As a Bolton fan, my worst fears about Sammy Lee are coming true. Pre-season saw me, as usual, worried about relegation (mixed with wild optimism). It would seem that I'm not alone in my pain as Bolton Wanderers languish at the foot of the Premier League without a decent performance to their name. Read over for the thoughts of the fans. Over at The Wanderer, they opine "In the world of the warrior, seppuku was a deed of bravery that was admirable in a samurai who knew he was defeated, disgraced, or mortally wounded.

The Daily Pies: Why doesn't the media ever criticise Steven Gerrard? Plus Didier Drogba and Michael Essien's music debut

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Why doesn't the media ever criticise Steven Gerrard? Liverpool Pies Top 10 managers linked with the Tottenham job Spurs Pies Didier Drogba and Michael Essien's music debut should come with a health warning Chelsea Pies The great Champions League beer drought at the Emirates Stadium Arsenal Pies Sporting Lisbon v Man Utd: all the pub trivia you'll ever need Man Utd Pies The US Women's 'soccer' team is the greatest team you've never heard of Kickster

VOTE: Who is the best goalkeeper in the world?

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There was a massive response from Pies' readers when we asked who was the best free-kick taker in the world so we've decided to turn our attention to between the sticks. Rafa named his Spanish shot stopper, Pepe Reina, as the best in the business recently. Chelsea's Petr Cech has kept his protected head above most and Gianluigi Buffon is still resting on his World Cup laurels.

Alex Ferguson not best pleased with referee (again)

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Ah. Bless Sir Alex Ferguson. He's ranting about referees again. He really doesn't like 'em does he? Maybe it was a ref' who was chopping at his ankles the other day? Anyway, Sir Alex has expressed displeasure about the appointment of the German referee Herbert Fandel for the return of Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani to Sporting Lisbon tonight. Fandel, a trained pianist, has twisted Fergie's melon on several occasions in the past few seasons and the Manchester United manager put his head in his hands, sighing melodramatically, when he was asked about UEFA's choice of officials.

Tomas Repka attacks cameraman. Surprised?

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Easy on the camera Tomas - that's an expensive piece of kit. Lovely chap, Mr Repka. Via The Offside

Champions League preview: Sporting Lisbon vs Manchester United

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Sporting Lisbon vs Manchester United, Wed 19 Sept (ko 7.45pm BST) It's a return to his former club for Christiano Ronaldo – who wil be hoping for a better reception than the one that normally greets him when he makes an appearance back home. If Wayne Rooney is as ready to start as he claims then this could be the first time ever that United get to see the goal threatening threesome of Rooney, Ronaldo and Tevez play together.

Man United could wave goodbye to Carlos Queiroz – anyone bothered?

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It seems all is not well behind the closed doors at Old Trafford with assistant manager, Carlos Queiroz, suggesting his Man United days may be numbered. The Portuguese tactician is apparently growing frustrated at the lack of opportunities under Fergie and could decide to leave the club in the next couple of months. It's not the first time Queiroz has upped sticks as he spent an unsuccessful season as manager of Real Madrid before taking shelter back under Fergie's shadow.

Snapshot: Rosenburg take the lead against Chelsea

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This goal wasn't in the script, but Rosenburg's Koppinen unleashed an unstoppable volley to take a surprise lead against Chelsea in their opening Champions League game last night. Shevchenko also broke his duck for the season with a headed equaliser but, despite trying desperately for a winner, the Blues couldn't prevent the game ending in a stalemate.

Champions League review: Porto 1-1 Liverpool, video highlights

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Not a vintage Liverpool display by any means, but a point away at Porto is a perfectly decent start to their CL campaign. After going behind early when Jose Reina gave away a penalty, Rafa's boys did well to come back, via a Dirk Kuyt header from close range. For the hosts, Ricardo Quaresma looked shit hot, and no doubt added a couple of million to his market value.

Champions League review: Chelsea 1-1 Rosenborg, video highlights

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Is that the sound of wheels coming off at Stamford Bridge? Not exactly, but I really expected Chelsea to win this game with relative ease. Ironically, but somehow predictably, it was misfit Andriy Shevchenko who saved face, with an equaliser early in the second half. If we learned one thing from last night's game, it's that Chelsea are half the team without Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard.

Champions League Tuesday: Five conclusions

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1 Marseille's European home kit (see photo, above) is horrific. On the positive side, Djibril Cisse, who scored in the French side's win over Besiktas, is looking good... until he next snaps one of his rubber legs, that is. Photo Getty Images 2 Andrea Pirlo takes a mean free-kick, as we saw last night, when he scored this pearler against Benfica.

Shit Lookalike: Keisha from Sugababes and Eniola Aluka, of Chelsea and England Women

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Spotter's badge for Pies reader Colm Finn, who has noticed, with his eagle eyes, that Keisha from Sugababes looks quite a lot like England Women's star Eniola Aluka. (Keisha is the one on the left, by the way.)

Champions League preview: Arsenal vs Sevilla

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Arsenal vs Sevilla, Wed 19 Sept (ko 7.45pm BST) These two clubs have never met in Europe, but they both play attractive, progressive football, so this could be a cracker for the neutral to watch. Sevilla are still recovering from the shocking death of Antonio Puerta, but they have notched two wins from two in the Primera Liga, so it seems Puerta's death has, if anything, galvanised the club.

Why are Chelsea's fans so crap?

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Last night saw Chelsea's first Champions League game of the season at Stamford Bridge (capacity: 42,055). Worryingly for Roman Abramovich, Jose Mourinho and all concerned, just 24, 973 fans attended the 1-1 draw with Rosenborg, a frankly pathetic turn-out for a club that claims to be one of the biggest in Europe. Fans of Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal must be laughing at Chelsea's inability to fill their ground for their first big European night of the season.

Missing African XI – should clubs let players leave more gracefully?

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Premier League managers are already bemoaning losing players to the African Nations Cup come the New Year. The tournament is Africa's version of our European Championships and takes place every two years – with this year's venue in Ghana. But the January date is a constant gripe with clubs bleating about losing players during the middle of the season.

Champions League preview and prediction: Group B, Chelsea vs Rosenborg

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Chelsea vs Rosenborg, Tues 18 Sept (ko 7.45pm BST) With no Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard in the team, you have to wonder where the goals will come from for Chelski. Andriy Shevchenko has scored 46 times in the Champions League, but only three of those goals have been in a blue Chelsea shirt. Jose Mourinho doesn't seem to trust Sheva, but he may have little choice and could start with the Ukrainian legend tonight.

Didier Drogba to croon Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend

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When we told you that Didier Drogba was to sing a song on the big stage, it got you Pies readers thinking. Pies regular, Chringle thought that he might 'Live and Let Dive', 'Fall At Your Feet', 'Going Down In A Blaze Of Glory' or 'Get Up, Stand Up' (much funnier than anything we could come up with). Well, now The Drogs has revealed that he'll be crooning a version of 'Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend' at the HIV/AIDS charity concert.

VOTE: Which British team will go furthest in the Champions League?

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We can almost hear the opening notes of that spine tingling anthem as the Champions League proper starts tonight. With an English team appearing in all of the last three finals, Britain is back as a European force to be reckoned with. But which one of our six teams taking part will reach the furthest? Click through for a run down and vote Chelsea kick off against lowly Rosenburg tonight in a group that also includes Schalke and Valencia.

Hot Football Babes video

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The title tells you all you need to know really. A little eye candy to warm you up on this autumnal Tuesday...

Champions League preview and prediction: Group A, Porto vs Liverpool

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Porto vs Liverpool, Tues 18 Sept (ko 7.45pm BST) Rafa Benitez, the Incredible Rotating Manager, rested star men Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres for Liverpool's league clash with Portsmouth at the weekend, with this tricky fixture in mind - it's probably Liverpool's toughest group match in the Champions League. I expect Benitez will replace 'B' strike force Andriy Voronin and Peter Crouch with Torres and Dirk Kuyt tonight, and of course Gerrard will return in midfield.

Sam Allardyce takes a swipe at Liverpool – hit or miss?

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Big Sam has never been one to shy away from voicing his opinions and it's Liverpool that are his latest sounding board. In an interview with Zoo magazine, the Newcastle manager slammed the Scousers for concentrating their efforts on Europe at the expense of a sustained bid for the Premier League. "Being a foreigner, Rafa doesn't understand it's supposed to be Premier League first and Champions League second," he said.

The Pies Player Power Rankings

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Every Tuesday throughout the season, Pies will feature its Player Power Rankings, a top 10 list of the hottest footballers in the Premier League, based on form, influence and, you know, how much we like 'em. So without further ado, here goes with the inaugural Player Power Rankings: 1 Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal) Fabregas is the main reason why Arsenal currently sit on top of the Premier League, and few would dispute that he has been the player of the season so far.

The Snapshot: Derby beat Newcastle for first win of the season

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New signing Kenny Miller upstages Michael Owen as he scores the goal that gives Derby their first win of the season. Bookies have already paid out bets on Derby going down this season but last night's win against Big Sam takes the club above Little Sammy's Bolton at the bottom of the league. Could the Rams surprise everyone by staying up?

Star in your own personalised Spurs adventure!

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This 24-page children's book has to be the ideal gift for any self-respecting Tottenham fan: 'Become the star of this fantastic story, play for Spurs and score the winning goal in the cup final.' My favourite part has to be the personalisation options, which include 'Name, Skin tone, Hairstyle and colour, Tottenham colours and strip, Two Favourite players and Martin Jol'.

Shit Lookalike: Peter Kenyon and Uncle Fester from The Addams Family

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Thanks to Stacy S for sending in this top quality Shit Lookalike. One's a bald-headed goon who is part of a dysfunctional family... and the other – you've guessed it – is Uncle Fester (groan).

Video highlights: England 6-1 Argentina, Women's World Cup

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Cracking own goal by the Argies to get England going, followed up by some decidedly dodgy keeping. Well done ladeez, you be representing England up in the place.

Shit Lookalike: Jermaine Pennant and Lionel Richie

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"Hello. Is it me you're looking for?" Words that could easily come from both the mouths of 80s crooner, Lionel Richie, or football bad boy, Jermaine Pennant – when greeting a member of the constabulary.

Mourinho moans about eggs-tremely frustrating injury problems

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We haven't heard anything this strange since the ‘seagulls followed the trawler'. But, in a Cantona-esque analogy, Jose Mourinho has likened Chelsea's missing players to cooking with eggs...or something. It was no yolk as Mourinho declared, 'The style of how we play is very important. But it is omelettes and eggs. No eggs - no omelettes! It depends on the quality of the eggs.

The Snapshot Special: England 6-1 Argentina, Women's World Cup in China

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Pies presents a Snapshot special to celebrate England's 6-1 thrashing of Argentina in the Women's World Cup. Our plucky girls have yet to taste defeat in the tournament – today's win against Argentina followed draws with Japan and favourites Germany – but they face a very tough quarter-final showdown against the winners of Group B, which will almost certainly be the United States.

Stephen Ireland – what have footballers got against grandmothers?

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Manchester City's Stephen Ireland has finally come clean over a catalogue of deceit that came after killing off no less than three of his grandmothers. It all started when the player was away on international duty with the Republic of Ireland. Having suffered an unfortunate miscarriage, his girlfriend asked Ireland to return home – regretfully using the excuse that his maternal grandmother had died.

The Daily Pies: Arsenal are rich, Chelsea release documentary, Riise out of Porto clash, England qualify for quarter finals of Women's World Cup

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Here's the first of our daily round-ups of some of the best posts on our excellent array of club sites dedicated to the big five (don't laugh, but the big five does include Spurs), as well as Kickster, our new blog devoted to women's football: Gunners rolling in cash (not unlike Demi Moore in Indecent Proposal), thanks to shrewd balancing of books Arsenal Pies Chelsea: The Movie - watch a sneak preview of Blue Revolution, the new documentary that takes a behind-the-scenes look at England's oil-richest club Chelsea Pies Jon Arne Riise to miss Porto Champions League test.

Defoe told to sign or rot in reserves

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It's all fun at White Hart Lane at the moment isn't it? At the start of the season Tottenham's dreams of the top 4 were at the fore... now? It's all gone a bit awry. Now, a spat between Martin Jol and Jermaine Defoe seems to have reached boiling point. Apparently, Jol has told Jermain Defoe to sign a new contract, or rot in the reserves. Defoe was left out of the Spurs squad for Saturday's 3-1 North London derby defeat to Arsenal on Saturday, and The Sun claims that the Dutchman unleashed an 'explosive tirade' against the England striker after the game.

Huge brawl breaks out in Panama - Venezuela friendly

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Ah. South America. You gave the world excitable commentators, footballing flair... and huge brawls on the pitch. The one-all draw between Venezuela and Panama (which, ironically was a friendly) descended into a classic South American brawl which was started when the Panama goalkeeper started knocking seven bells out of a Venezuelan player after he conceded a penalty.

Still perky - Spurs Pies Zoe on why it is still great to be a Tottenham fan

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Spirit of the Blitz stuff from the Hot Spur. There are more Zoe vids on the Spurs Pies blog.

Random prediction - Martin Jol to be next Bolton manager

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Poor old Martin Jol. A defeat to Arsenal sees his job (allegedly) dangling by a spindly thread. A poor start to the season and a battered Spurs cheque book has seen the big Dutchman coming under severe scrutiny from certain quarters. Even though there is no better option for Tottenham at the moment and Jol clearly doesn't deserve the boot, it looks like his days could be numbered.

Shit Lookalike: Wayne Rooney and Chad Barrett of Chicago Fire

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Thanks to Pies reader Natasha Stephan for emailing in this shit lookalike. Like Rooney, Barrett is a young (22), pugnacious striker. Okay, Rooney has a slightly higher profile, but Chad is no schmuck and has already played for the US at junior level.

Goal of the week: Riccardo Zampagna, Fiorentina vs Atalanta

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A magical piece of improvisation by Zampagna to snatch a point for 10-man Atalanta – the Fiorentina keeper was caught totally off guard. Via 101GreatGoals

Shit save of the week: Marcin Cabaj (Cracovia Krakow)

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Props to Pies reader Piotr for sending this our way. This vid is apparently taken from a Polish league match between Górnik Zabrze and Cracovia Kraków. Marcin Cabaj, the goalkeeper for Cracovia makes himself look, in the words of Piotr, 'like some random crack junkie put between the posts'. Quite...

Shit Lookalike: El DeBarge and Arsenal's Eduardo da Silva

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This has to be one of my favourite Shit Lookalikes for a while, so many thanks to Dave Harris (who edits his own fine Fulham blog, The Hammy End Chronicle) for sending it in. For younger readers, DeBarge is an RnB singer who was big in the 80s. If DeBarge played football, he'd also be a shoo-in for his own Horror Hair entry. For more Arsenal news and views, check out Arsenal Pies

Why doesn't Mark Hughes understand the offside law?

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Against Blackburn at the weekend, Chelsea forward Salomon Kalou had a perfectly fair goal disallowed by a linesman (Peter Kirkup) who didn't realise you can't be offside if you are behind the ball. Rovers boss Mark Hughes apparently doesn't understand the law either, because he also seemed to think that Kalou was in an illegal position: 'The goal was offside.

Are Manchester United the new Chelsea?

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Manchester United continued their early season impression of Chelsea with another dour 1-0 victory over Everton, which took them top of the table for the best part of an hour at the weekend. Unattractive games decided by late set piece goals are usually the hallmarks of a certain team wearing blue – but this was United's third unimpressive 1-0 win in succession.

Who is the best free-kick taker in the world?

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Our American buddies at The Offside filled me in on the Free Kick Masters, a special tournament featuring some of the world's best 'free-kickers' competing against some of the world's best goalkeepers in a free-kick shootout. The event takes place on 22nd December at the Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. It's a bit like the NBA's dunk contest, I guess.

Why is Robbie Savage so scared of this football?

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There was a lot to frighten a football fan at Stamford Bridge this weekend. Flying boots leaving players hospitalised? Check! Ranting Portugueser? Check! Shocking linesman? Check! Shevchenko playing like a Rushden & Diamonds part timer? Check check check! All frightening, but what the hell spooked Robbie Savage here? Let us know what you think, and we'll post some kind of answer just as soon as Mr Savage's agent picks up his phone.

Pies Vs Lawro: The results

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Tottenham v Arsenal 3-1 , Lawro 1-1, Pies 1-1 Birmingham v Bolton 1-0, Lawro 1-1, Pies 2-1 Chelsea v Blackburn 0-0, Lawro 2-0, Pies 2-1 Everton v Man Utd 0-1, Lawro 1-2, Pies 1-2 Portsmouth v Liverpool 0-0 Lawro 1-1, Pies 0-2 Sunderland v Reading 2-1, Lawro 2-0, Pies 1-1 West Ham v Middlesbrough 3-0, Lawro 2-0, Pies 1-0 Wigan v Fulham 1-1, Lawro 1-0, Pies 1-1 Man City v Aston Villa 1-0, Lawro 0-2, Pies 2-0 The result: Its a poor week for the pundit with a thatched roof head.

VOTE: Can Arsenal win anything with kids?

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This was supposed to be the season that Spurs' big spending snatched a Champions League spot away from Arsenal's inexperienced youngsters. But Saturday's game between the two teams proved that there's only one club from North London likely to challenge. Arsenal's 3-1 comeback was their best performance of the season and takes them top of the table – with only Lehman's butter fingers denying them five wins out of five.

Site of the week: Kickster

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Kickster is Shiny Media's new blog dedicated to women's football. With the women's World Cup in full swing (and England set to play Argentina in a crunch group match later today, at 1pm), Kickster brings you all the latest news, plus match reports and gossip. After the World Cup has finished, it'll be back to the English domestic season, dominated last year by Arsenal Ladies.

The Snapshot: Women's World Cup in China – Denmark 2-0 New Zealand

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Maia Jackman (centre) of New Zealand cries, Gazza-like, after they lost 2-0 against Denmark in their Group D Women's World Cup match at the Wuhan Sports Center in Wuhan, China - the big girl's blouse. The result effectively ended New Zealand's chances of reaching the knockout stages. For more on the Women's World Cup, check out sister site Kickster Photo Guang Niu/Getty Images

Premier League weekend 15/16 Sept: 10 conclusions

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1 Cesc Fabregas (pictured after scoring against Spurs at the weekend) is so good it scares me. Two assists and one goal in the North London derby, and, as Arseblog points out, it wasn't even his best performance of the season. Is there a more valuable player in the Premier League right now? (Answer: no, there isn't) 2 I'm no West Ham fan, but it was great to see Dean Ashton score his first goal since the 2006 FA Cup final.

The 10 ways "in form" Michael Owen will probably get injured before he can play for Newcastle...

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Poor Michael Owen has suffered more cruel injuries than a nymphomaniac hedgehog in recent times. So his electric form for England must have brought a smile to every face in Newcastle, who have still yet to see him at his best in a stripy shirt. But is a fit Owen really too good to be true Geordies? Tragically there's still three whole days to get through before your game against Derby, click "continue reading" to read what we think will probably go wrong in that time.

Pete Doherty playing football...

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Yesterday we broke the news that drugs fan Peter Doherty is to manage his own football team. Eek. Well in illustrating that piece we unearthed a crusty old photo of the QPR crooner having a kick about. It got us thinking, just what kind of a player can someone that messed up make? Technically we always think we play 10% better with a hangover.

Fiendish Friday Quiz

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1) At which club did Didier Drogba and Florent Malouda play for together, before Chelsea 2) Which club has this (pictured) beast as its mascot? (He's not a KKK klansman we promise.) 3) Which 72 year old wrinkly FA cup winner is assistant manager at Watford? 4) How many different clubs has Steve Coppell managed? 5) Which Blackburn player fronts a boy band called The Players?

Terry warns that England stars will have to fight for their place

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John Terry has warned the players that have missed the last two England games that there are "no guarantees" they will regain their places in the side when the squad reunites for next month's Euro 2008 qualifiers. Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney, David Beckham and Owen Hargreaves were expected to start in the matches had they not been recovering from injury.

Ronaldo nearly quit (but finds himself 'striking')

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Apparently, Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo nearly quit football as a youngster because he was taunted over his accent. In an interview with Champions magazine, Ronaldo, (who left his native Madeira for the Portuguese mainland at the age of 12) said used to cry down the phone to his mum after being bullied at Sporting Lisbon's academy.

Gimnastic beat Barca in Catalan Cup final

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You would have thought that Barcelona were the kings of Catalonia? Well you'd be wrong. Gimnastic beat Barca 2-1 in the Catalan Cup Final for some richly deserved bragging rites 'round the Catalonian pubs!

Join Pies In The Community and win an iPod Nano

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Greetings Pies folk! This post is directed directly at you, directly. Not that all the usual posts aren't, but, er, anyway - WE HAVE A WHO ATE ALL THE PIES COMMUNITY, is what I'm trying to say. See that "Community" tab at the top of the page? That's the link you want. Click it, sign up, create a profile, add your profile pic, upload videos, comment on discussions.

Shit lookalike: Mick McCarthy and Sam from The Muppets

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Life was a daily struggle for poor Sam The Eagle on The Muppet Show. The miserable feathered censor would be the constant figure of hatred as he tried to make a bunch of muppets put on a good show. Sounds a bit like poor Mick's job at Wolves really...

Pies Vs Lawro: Premier League predictions

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Only yesterday on Pies, we discussed Robin Friday being sent off after defecating in Lawro's kitbag and then headbutting the poor Beeb pundit who used to have a smashing lip tickler. Today, it's not the binge drinking cult legend Friday going toe to toe with Lawro, its us. But fear not, our bowels will not be unleashing any of last night's balti onto Lawro's gym kit, we'll merely be seeing how we compare to him predicting this week's Premier League games.

Ivory Coast's exploited young footballers

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As shown on Al Jazeera TV, here's a sad but interesting report on Ivory Coast's young exploited footballers

Didier Drogba to sing his little socks off on stage

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Sometimes you hear a bit of news and actually snot and chortle. What am I talking about? Chelsea hitman Didier Drogba is to perform at the Royal Albert Hall and sing! Sing! SING! The Ivory Coast goal bagger will be singing as part of the Football Reaching Out For Africa concert, which is aiming to raise awareness of the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa.

Northern Ireland players indulge in fisticuffs on plane home

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Yesterday, the Norn Iron players were looking forward to taking on Iceland in the hope of getting three points. A 2-1 defeat later and long faces could be seen. Then, to make matters worse, Northern Ireland players Keith Gillespie and George McCartney got into a fight on the airplane before it flew the team from Iceland to London.

Why Steve McClaren must learn from the Russia and Israel matches

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It's not often you get to be quite pleased with yourself as an England fan. On the back of two convincing victories, we have seen that, when we get our act together, we can be a decent team. The main thing is to focus on the team. For too long, England have looked to individuals to win a game, when, looking over the years, the best England performances have come from sides that have the best unit as opposed to the greatest number of individuals.

The managed by Pete Doherty XI

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BRRRRRRRREAKING NEWS! Slightly smelly super hoops fan Pete Doherty apparently wants to become a football manager. According to a report on NME.com today, the singer who once said "QPR is the only thing he prefers to narcotics", is being lined up to manage a team suitable named Doherty FC. The team will then face celebrity opposition (Ralph Little and friends) on telly.

Does Sir Steve McLaren MBE have balls of steel?

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Okay, okay, we'll be the first to admit it, we doubted Saint Steve's capabilities at an international level. Yes, yes, we compared Lord McLaren to an artichoke (God's worst vegetable) and laughed at his rubbish goldeny hair (well, what's left of it). But we'll also be first to admit that thanks to some of his wild decisions, England cruised to a much needed six points out of six.

Scotland's 10 finest football moments...

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Och! We'd already typed up our response for plucky Scotland's brave performance against a rampant France last night. The brave jocks battled hard for 60 minutes at which point the Frenchers stepped things up a gear and ground out a 2-0 victory. That's what should have happened, but the wee lassy AKA Lady Fate hate different things in mind. Her plan was for Scotland to win?

The snapshot: Owen's second roars into the net

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Spare a moment's thought for Viacheslav Malafeev. Not only is he called Viacheslav Malafeev, he played in goal for Russia last night. There was nothing he could do to stop Owen's absolute screecher, as brilliantly captured here. And how nice was it to see Michael back in the kind of form? Newcastle fans must be simply gagging to see what kind of damage he's going to cause against poor Derby on Monday.

Horror hair: Sue Smith's bleached mullet with pigtails

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Laughing at Germans has always been fun. With their love of the sausage, massive moustaches, and fondness of invading France, they're not only easy targets, they haven't a clue at why you're chortling at them due to the fact most German's lack laughing genes. Which is why we took such pride in poking gentle fun at their lady football star's terrible mullet earlier in the week.

Guess tomorrow's back pages...

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In mere hours time Wembley's corporate boxes will be full of football fans stuffing their faces with lobster while their seats sit empty and England play Russia. Whatever the result tomorrow, one thing we can guarantee is that our red top Fleet Street friends at The Sun, Star and Mirror will come up with some glorious Soviet based headline puns.

Why is it so frustrating being English?

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Here we see Kelly Smith celebrating a well taken goal in England's opening game against Japan in the Women's World Cup. The match ended 2-2 and was quite entertaining. However, like watching the blokes team, it was ultimately a frustrating affair with the ladies conceding a last gasp goal from a dodgy refereeing decision. Thus posing the question; Why is it so frustrating watching any English side play in any tournament?

Alex Ferguson attacked in London

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Sir Alex Ferguson has suffered minor injuries after he was apparently attacked at a London railway station. Seeing as it says 'minor', I shan't take it seriously at all and poke fun at the whole thing. Reports say that the Manchester United manager was on his way to a function when he was attacked by a man at Euston station on Monday afternoon leaving Fergie suffering leg injuries.

McClaren looks to Heskey in favour of Crouch

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Emile William Ivanhoe Heskey is reportedly about to retain his place up top for England in tonight's Euro 2008 qualifier against Russia. The Wigan striker (and first ever Wigan player to grace on England side) turned out a decent performance with Little Mickey Owen in the 3-0 win over Israel on Saturday... and seemingly well enough to keep Peter Crouch, available after suspension, out.

What was Ian Porterfield's greatest achievement?

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It was with much sadness that the yellow breaking news Sky Sports scrolly thing delivered us the news that Ian Porterfield had died last night. The double-hard Scotsman was probably best known for his time as a player at Sunderland, but he was also an international and Premier League manager. Here, then as a mini tribute to the chap, are his top 10 sporting achievements as we see it.

Why are the Tartan Army singing The Sound of Music in Paris?

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BREAKING NEWS! According to reports on TalkSport the famous tartan army have just reached the Eiffel Tower... in their thousands. Apparently up to 15,000 jocks are converging on the giant froggy hunk of steel for a bit of a party and a sing song. That's all fine, until you find out what they're singing. "Do-a-deer-a-female-deer!" from The Sound of Music.

Do you know who this devilishly handsome brute is?

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If you're shouting names at your computer screen now, there's a new football quiz that might be right up your street. It's called Who The Chicken Hell Are You? (clever) and it's thanks to the betting info folk at Chicken Dinner. Frankly some of the chickeny quizes are easier than pulling a chav in KFC. We got 12 out of 12 in the "When We Were Young Category" where you are supposed to guess who the player is from their youth team mug shot.

Can sex and football ever mix?

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Our dear friends over at one of the interpipe's finest portals of football (Fanbanta) have posted an interesting piece today on an Italian naughty nudie channel opting to show football instead of naked ladies and / or men and / or dare we say those who fall into both the male and female category. The crux of this story is that Italian hardcore smut channel ContoTV (pronounce this right!

Who would be in your British XI tomorrow night?

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Imagine we were one country. Men from Stoke could proudly walk through Paris wearing a tartan dress, the people of Wales would know what victory felt like, and England's goalkeeping "crisis" (though that's technically a bit of a strong word for poor Robbo) would be solved in a jiffy. So if we were just one nation battling for qualification together, who would you pick in your starting eleven tomorrow night (injuries taken into account, so no Rooney or Healy I'm afraid).

The Tartan Army further prove they're the world's best football fans...

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We'll be honest we very rarely read the Glasgow Evening Times, due to (a) Pies HQ being 500 miles from Glasgee, and (b) us being HUGE fans of the Glasgow Evening Echo. But yesterday we read the future deep-fried pizza wrapper, whilst researching a feature about head-butting we're trying to cobble together for some posh magazine. Anyway (or "anyhoo!

Shit Lookalikes - Hope Powell and Don Letts

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Leafing through some records last night, I came across a compilation of vintage Trojan reggae put together by legendary DJ Don Letts. Or was it Hope Powell? Or Dope Powetts?

Which Premier League manager is most likely to get the boot next week?

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The weekend after an international break is always a popular time for a chairman to boot out his manager. You've had a couple of weeks to argue with your unwanted employee without the hassle of training interfering with ruck time, plus there's plenty of spare time for a little light tapping up of a replacement. So who's most likely to get the hoof after even the sniff of a bad result next weekend.

Who the hell is Aleksandr Kerzhakov?

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He's the Sevilla striker who might cause England a few headaches on Wednesday that's who. Alexandr Kerzhakov or Александра Кержакова as the Russians call him has never lost a game in which he's faced Paul Robinson (and he scored past him too in Sevilla's UEFA cup victory over Spurs). So should John Terry, Steve McCarrot and Paul Robinson fear the vodka guzzler?

Robinson - The weakest link in the England side?

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Russia captain, Andrei Arshavin, thinks that Paul Robinson (pictured right) is the weak link in the England team. Shit. There's me hoping that they hadn't noticed. The Zenit forward says that his side will look to target the Spurs keeper in the Euro 2008 qualifier at Wembley on tomorrow night... presumably with loads of low driven shots, crosses and other things that Robbo flaps at.

Gary Lineker sells you finance

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Gary Lineker is a man with many strings to his bow. He was in Roy of the Rovers. He can speak Japanese and Spanish (as well as a bit of English). He's a pundit, the host of MOTD, once a great striker... and the salesman of finance.

Ken Bates Vs Freddy Shepherd

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With talk of ex Newcastle bloke Sir Fred buying poor Leeds from Sir Ken, which of these two elderly evils would you prefer in charge of your club? Let's compare the two... Fred Vs Ken... 1) Personal loves: Fred: Taking the piss out of Michael Owen to passing Scousers Ken: Tax dodging (from only owning cows, to living in Monaco, Kenny doesn't like paying tax)Fred wins this round!

Will hooliganism ruin Wednesday's game versus Russia?

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Punch Russian football into the interweb, you'll get about ten sites offering near naked Russian foxes booting balls about, about 1000 sites yapping on about Roman Abramovich, a little about kids kicking balls on ice, and a truck load of grown men kicking lumps out of each other. The featured video, is an organised Moscow soccer brawl which reminds us of that newscaster brawl on the brilliant Will Ferrell movie Anchorman.

Horror hair: Melanie Behringer's slightly ginger mullet

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Just because you're a talented female footballer, and the Women's World Cup is currently rocking China, doesn't mean you escape the clutches of Who Ate All The Pies Horror Hair shaming. Look at the state of the mullet of Germany star Melanie Behringer. At a guess we'd rate it at 15% ginger, but all of it is ill advised. Could this be the worst hair cut in female football?

SFA furious at Lithuania dive

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SFA chief exec', Gordon Smith, has hit out at Saulius Mikoliunas after a dive in the Scotland/Lithuania game which saw the player winning a dubious penalty in Scotland's 3-1 victory. Mikoliunas, who plays for Hearts, tumbled over the outstretched leg of Darren Fletcher despite no contact being made. The Times even referred to the dive as "shocking".

Mexico match called off due to torrential downpour

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We Brits have grumbled all summer about the rubbish weather... dreaming of far away places with glorious sunny climates... maybe South America?! Well, in Mexico, they've had it pretty bad too with horrendous rain hitting their match against Panama. The rain got so bad that the game was called off. Watch this video for some decidedly soggy action.

The snapshot: Wembley pays tribute to Pavorotti

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Brilliant crooning ex AC Milan keeper (he was on the books but never played) Luciano Pavorotti has his giant bearded face beamed onto the Wembley scoreboard prior to the Euro 2008 qualifier between England and Israel. Photo Ryan Pierse / Getty Images

Fans rib Kasper Schmeichel in Guardian Gallery

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It seems there's a bit of battle going on over Manchester City's Kasper Schmeichel. Steve McClaren wants him to play for England and presumably pappy Peter wants him to turn out for The Danes. Well, in The Guardian's fan Gallery, there are some frankly disturbing pictorial depictions of the young 'keeper, including this one from Dave Ellis.

The XI best players booed for England...

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It was almost quite heart warming to hear Bentley booed by England fans at the weekend. With so many empty seats as corporate goons stuffed their faces with Wembley frois graux and prawn sangers, the rings of boos every time the Blackburn winger touched the ball, let the world know real England fans were also in the ground. Fans who were (rightly!

Fiendish Friday Quiz

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1. Who was the first black player to score a hat-trick for England? 2. Who is in the photo? 3. Which Premier League goal keeper keeps a bottle of Holy water in the back of his goal at every game? 4. True or false. Edgar Davids was completely blind until the age of five. 5. What six clubs did Dennis Wise play for? 6. What the hell does Mickey Adams do these days?

Scott Parker Vs Steve McLaren... FIGHT!!!

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Now we know Scotty Parker has been out of the England scene for a long while now, but we had no idea he felt so strongly about his lack of inclusion in the England team. Here he can seen having a massive punch up with poor Steve McCarrot. Umm, what do you mean they're ice hockey players who just happen to have the same names. Parker's wearing the stripes of Newcastle!

Steve McClaren - "No excuses"

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Ahead of what feels like the biggest make-or-break England match since the days of Graham Taylor, Steve McClaren admits that he cannot make excuses if they fail to beat Israel in Saturday's Euro 2008 qualifier at Wembley. Stating the obvious, McClaren mewed; "I've said no excuses because we have good enough players and a good enough team to win.

Learn how to freestyle with Billy Wingrove

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Billy Wingrove is a bit good when it comes to showboating with a football. Well, Billy, being the giving sort, has released a DVD to teach you how to juggle the ball and impress the ladies. Although, in saying that, the ladies will have forgotten you exist with the time spent hidden away practising. Maybe your mates will be into it. To buy the DVD and inevitably do yourself an injury, click here.

World Cup winners medal on eBay...

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The 1950 World Cup in Brazil was when a cheeky li'l nipper named Edson Arantes do Nascimento (AKA Pele) clutched onto a radio and decided he wanted to become a football God. The goal machine who now helps out men who can't get erections, was only nine, knee high to a goose, but deeply moved by Uruguay's shock defeat of Brazil in the final. So after the final whistle went, legend has it he went out and built a ball out of socks, and started training day in day out so he could win the trophy back for Brazil.

XI reasons why football is better than rugby

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Today sees the start of the Rugby World Cup in France and everyone is getting rather giddy at the prospect of seeing some blokes running around with the wrong shaped ball. Rugby, as admirable as it is, ain't a patch on football, and here are XI reasons why. 1. Football is often derided by rugger fans for being too effete. "Oh! Footballers are overpaid and roll around clutching their knees at the slightest contact!

Pies V Lawro, International predictions

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GAME OF THE WEEK England V Israel Lawro 2-0, Pies 3-0 Lawro is claiming width will be the key, and we have to agree with him here. Joe Cole should get his chance to show Jose Mourinho exactly what he's made of, and why he shouldn't be stuck on the bench for Chelsea. An early goal is key, if Wembley turn on England, this could go belly up very quickly, but at the end of day, it is Israel we're playing not Argentina.

French Football Friday: Nancy might actually be this good, Caen ponder: horse, Viking or poet?

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Nancy's early season form is looking less like fluke with each match. They are two points clear at the top-of-the-table with a game in hand following their 2-0 victory over St Etienne. Carlos Kim (the guy upside down in the picture above) and Marc-Antoine Fortune were on the scoresheet. The pick of the week's goals came from Rennes' Étienne Didot.

XI Things we miss about Sven Goran Eriksson's reign as England manager (even though we hated it at the time and still wouldn't take him back)

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1 Waiting with baited breath for the Sunday tabloids to come out to see what trouble he had got himself into this week. 2 The fact that he seemed to be at every Premier League ground every Saturday. 3 Errrr, well, er, impersonating his, er, post-match interviews, of course. 4 Taking sweepstakes on how many defensive midfielders would be on the pitch within 10 minutes of scoring a goal.

What kind of vegetable is Steve McLaren?

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Former drunk Tony Adams has come out in the press today to compare Steve McLaren with turnips Graham Taylor. The Sun even dare call poor Steve a McTurnip. There are of course two minor problems with this theory. Firstly, Steve McShinyteeth lacks the tactical knowledge of Taylor, secondly the turnip has already been taken in England manager folklore.

Women's World Cup: She's a bit like... Jermaine Pennant (Rachel Yankey)

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The latest of our slightly reductive attempts to explain the skill of England's women by comparing them to blokes they sort of play a bit like. Twenty-six-year-old Arsenal winger Rachel Yankey played like Pennant-on-a-good-day before Pennant ever did – she's been bringing a bit of sparkle to the world of women's football since the age of 16.

Pavarotti - RIP

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It's not often classical music provides the soundtrack to football, but when it does, jesus it's good. Let's pay tribute to the recently passed away Pavarotti and his belting version of Nessun Dorma... or that song that you know from Italia '90.

Which is your favourite World Cup?

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The World Cup, like no other event, captures the attention of the entire world. The Olympics don't even get close. I'd rather watched Cameroon beating Argentina on the opening day of Italia '90 than watching someone run a marathon or swing around on some bars. The only thing that we all tend to disagree on is which FIFA World Cup is best? For me, there's nothing can match the might of Mexico '86.

Five reasons why Emile Heskey should partner Owen for England

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According to his Wigan teammate, Chris Kirkland – Emile Heskey is ‘England's Didier Drogba'. And that doesn't mean he's a big man who spends more time on the floor than on the ball. Heskey has been an easy scapegoat in the past but real football fans recognise that there's more to his game than just scoring goals – a third of you voted for him to start for England in our recent poll.

Which set of fans are living in a fantasy world?

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Some football fans constantly have their heads in the clouds. Dreaming of European glory and talking up the team when all else can quite clearly see, their side are distinctly average. We all know 'em, but some sides are more guilty than others. Now, for pub ammo and abuse, we have some proof! Littlewoods Football Pools (www.footballpools.com) has just produced the new ‘Football Fan-tasy' report which reveals which football fans live in the biggest world of fantasy.

Women's World Cup: She's a bit like... Cristiano Ronaldo (Karen Carney)

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Another in our series of handy educational posts introducing England ladies. Meet Karen Carney. When Carney burst onto the scene at a preposterously young age, showing up the rest of the team and using language that could strip paint, she was instantly compared to Wayne Rooney. But she's far more like his Manchester United team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo or even a young David Beckham (think back.

Women's World Cup: She's a bit like... Wayne Rooney (Kelly Smith)

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Another of the Pies cut-out-and-keep guides to England's women (note: if cutting out and keeping ensure you cut the printed version, not your monitor). Smith, who plays for Arsenal, is England's best - at least, most influential - player by a country mile, with the ability to change a game in the time it takes her to drop her shoulder. She's tough, fast and goes in looking like she'd break your leg if it got her the ball.

Shit Lookalike: Emile Heskey and Michael Clarke Duncan

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A tale of two faces – is Michael Clarke Duncan, star of The Green Mile, just a happier version of Emile Heskey? The two men are known for playing bit-part roles and, despite being built like proverbial outhouses, are often considered gentle giants. Let's hope Heskey is beaming after Saturday

Women's World Cup: She's a bit like... Tony Adams (Faye White)

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This is the first in a series of posts aimed at familiarising you with some of the England ladies. Let me just state for the sake of my conscience that I have a problem with comparing female athletes to men, for all sorts of ranty feminist reasons that I won't bore you with now. But it's a simple way to find out a bit more about the girls who're out in China, and gives me an opportunity to poke fun at the likes of Tony Adams, so everyone's a winner.

Crazy squad number XI

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Pies looks at eleven players who made a mockery of tradtional XI with their crazy, mind-bending shirt numbers. At least it proves some footballers can count about 11! 99 Vitor Baia The Portuguese keeper donned the number 99 shirt for the first time for Porto's European Cup victory in 2004. 88 Gianluigi Buffon Buffon was accused of being a fascist after requesting the number 88 while at Parma.

Have Chelsea kicked Michael in the Ballacks?

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He's gone from being one of the so-called ‘Untouchables' to virtually an unmentionable at Stamford Bridge this season – is there any way back for Michael Ballack? His honeymoon period with Mourinho is well and truly over and, somewhere between cold stares and sleeping in different rooms, a final separation seems inevitable. It all started when Ballack went behind the club's back by traveling to Germany for an illicit operation, which meant he missed the end of last season.

Gazzetta all di Pies: Juventus top Serie A, Delvecchio tops Zauri

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The biggest story in Serie A this week was not Gennaro Delvecchio, of Sampdoria, doing whatever he is doing to Inter's Luciano Zauri, for some reason. No, the big news is that Juventus are top of the table. Juve beat Cagliari 2-3 to pip Roma to top-spot after two games. Juve's winner was headed home by defender Giorgio Chiellini. Gazzetta doesn't set out to have a weekly Adrian Mutu drugs gag, but this one was staring us in the face, literally.

A bluffer’s guide to the Women’s World Cup courtesy of Kickster.tv

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The women's World Cup starts in five days and chances are you know bugger all about it, which simply won't do. I know they're girls and that, but they're pretty good, and since most of the games are on BBCi / Eurosport you might as well give it a try. Plus this quick guide to the basics will transform you into a eulogising armchair expert in no time.

Arsenal take the crossbar challenge

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You know the drill – one kick to hit the bar from the centre circle while you're teammates goad you from behind, especially if they're William Gallas. Arsenal aren't used to launching long balls...and it shows. There are near misses by a couple of players but Senderos comes closer to the corner flag. Eventually there's a winner, but you'll never guess who.

VOTE: Should McLaren risk Steven Gerrard?

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It's a club vs. country fight that's been simmering all week as England waits to see if Liverpool's Stevie G will be ready for our decisive Euro qualifiers. In the red corner is Rafa Benitez who insists that his club captain needs more time to recover from a fractured toe and is adamant that he shouldn't be forced to play with a pain killing injection – despite handing him a hypodermic when Gerrard last played for the ‘Pool against Chelsea.

Oranje Wednesdays: Feyenoord enjoy love-in after three from three

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Ajax's goalscoring exploits might have grabbed the headlines early-on this season, but Feyenoord have been quietly going about their business. A 2-0 victory over Willem II at the weekend was enough to send them to the top of the Eredivisie. The goals came from Luigi Bruins and Roy Makaay. Ajax dropped points for the first time this season as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Groningen.

Shit Lookalikes - Sol Campbell and Jermaine Liburd

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Here's a terrible lookalike for you. Sol Campbell and 'star' of Channel 4 show, Dumped, Jermaine Liburd. What makes this lookalike even worse is that the semi-pro footballer actually tries to get work by looking like the Pompey defender. Click here if you don't believe me.

Refs targeted Crouch in World Cup - Is it fair?

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Graham Poll has said that officials at last summer's World Cup were encouraged by FIFA to "look out for" England striker Peter Crouch. Crouch is banned for the Euro 2008 qualifier against Israel on Saturday and Poll says that that it comes as no surprise. Is Crouch given a rough ride due to his stature? Poll told BBC 5live: "FIFA's head of refereeing said, 'look at Crouch, he's a pain and he gets away with a lot.

Toffs LA Aztecs retro shirt as worn by George Best

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With half of America falling over themselves at the arrival of David Beckham, it's worth noting that Goldenballs wasn't the first ManYoo star to play in LA. In the late seventies, George Best whipped up a stink playing for the now defunct LA Aztecs. Best enjoyed the anonymity America afforded him (something Beckham can't afford) after England and was a success on the field, too, scoring 15 goals in 24 games in his first season with the Aztecs.

Ronaldinho takes the crossbar challenge

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We know a certain amount of CGI was no doubt used to assist Ronaldinho's take on Soccer AM's Crossbar Challenge - but it'll still take your breath away. The buck-toothed Brazilian takes delivery of a new pair of boots and tests them out on the training pitch with spectacular accuracy.

The Players With Country Names XI

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Here is an XI so multicultural that even Arsene Wenger couldn't have dreamt it up! George Poland A war-time Welsh goalkeeper who went on to play for Liverpool. Alan Oman The ex-Northampton Town full-back provides a bit of Middle Eastern variety to our predominantly -land centric team. Mike England Former Blackburn, Tottenham, Cardiff and Wales centre-back.

Is Louis Saha the striker that Manchester United have been missing?

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For the past few weeks we've been musing over Manchester United's shortage of strikers, wondering if they would spend again and who would be the ideal signing. Groans could be heard from Manchester when the transfer window closed without a new front man posing for pictures holding a No.9 shirt. But, could it be that they had their man all along?

Hull City to unveil their greatest ever signing - Jay Jay Okocha

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Hull City fans must be pinching themselves as they prepare themselves for the delights of Jay Jay Okocha. Okocha, still only 34, watched Hull's defeat at Blackpool and has agreed a two-year deal with the Tigers according to BBCSport. "I think he is the sort of player who will give us the creativity we need in midfield," said manager Phil Brown.

Should Scott Carson be England's number one?

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It's no secret to anyone, but the England side are having a bit of a goalkeeper crisis at the moment. Paul Robinson's shortcomings have been all too evident of late, and let us be honest here, sometimes the Spurs 'keeper resembles a falling tree when balls are hot hard and low. David James has always been a liability... so should Scott Carson make the step-up?

Are Arsenal hypocrites? Robbie Savage thinks so

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Blackburn Rovers midfielder and all-round Goldilocks Robbie Savage has accused Arsenal of being 'hypocrites' for attacking Rovers' 'physical' play. Gunners striker Robin Van Persie attacked Mark Hughes' side claiming that a Rovers player had stood on Cesc Fabregas' neck, and that Blackburn players had 'crossed the border' of acceptability in their play.

The Snapshot: England's women prepare for World Cup in China

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Casey Telford of England in action during an England training session ahead of the FIFA 2007 World Cup in China at Shanghai Songjiang Stadium on September 4, 2007 in Shanghai, China. Photo Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Horror Hair: Alan Hansen's beard

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Call this a little fluff piece, but has everyone seen Alan Hansen's foray into facial hair on last weekend's Match of the Day? At first we mistook it an early sign of a mid-life crisis but apparently the straight-talking pundit had an accident with a candle that left a mark – so he's decided to cover it up with another accident! We couldn't find any pictures of football's latest fashion disaster – but let us know if you've come across any

Sevilla beat AEK Athens to qualify for Champions League

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Sevilla secured a fitting tribute to Antonio Puerta by qualifying for the Champions with a comfortable 4-1 victory over AEK Athens. A brace from Luis Fabiano and goals from Seydou Keita and Alexander Kerzhakov secured a 6-1 aggregate win. The Spanish side will now line-up in Group H with Arsenal, Slavia Prague and Steaua Bucharest.

Tuck into a Nicolas Anelka burger from Quick

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French fast-food chain Quick has launched its Anelka burger in honour of Bolton's sulky striker Nicolas. The burger comes with a hint of pepper, apparently. If it is anything like its patron, you would imagine the burger fills a gap at first but leaves you with a sour taste in your mouth and a lot of bellyache.

Teutonic Tuesday: Why face up to defeat when you can blame the opposition's sponsor

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Jose Mourinho gives us the occasional chuckle with the excuses he finds for Chelsea's failings, but Wolfsburg manager Felix Magath has trumped even the Special One's most special of cop-outs. With his side languishing in 14th place in the Bundesliga, Magath blamed his side's poor showing in a 2-1 defeat to Hertha Berlin on they delayed rail service provided by Hertha's sponsor, Deutsche Bahn, on Friday afternoon.

Horror Hair: Dean Ashton

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Last time we saw Dean Ashton he was going bald gracefully, but things change. He has returned from his long injury lay-off with this bleached blond barnet (because a healthy dose of peroxide was just what his dying hairs needed). All of this means the West Ham striker has been left looking like a born-again monk who gave up his life on the early 1990s rave scene to spend his days in the monastery.

Stripfoot - They have to take their clothes off, to have a good time

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It seems our French friends will come up with any excuse to get their kit off – welcome to ‘stripfoot'. It's a new craze from across the channel that's based on a TV game show and simply involves playing keepy-uppy while carefully removing your clothes. Sounds strange but possible – although from the looks of this clip the tricky part obviously comes when you get to the trousers

Lawrie Sanchez is a Bond villain

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"It's like a James Bond film where you think, why doesn't the villain kill him? - and then eventually he comes back to bite them." Northern Ireland FC (aka Fulham) manager Lawrie Sanchez compares Spurs to a James Bond after sneaking a 3-3 draw against them.

Cesc Fabregas stars again - is he the future king of Highbury?

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Cesc Fabregas starred again for Arsenal in their 3-1 win over Portsmouth on Sunday. He's only 20 but the young Spaniard is showing the sort of match-winning maturity that could see his dream of one day captaining the side come true. By netting his fourth goal he's already equaled last season's scoring record and it was his cunning plan that put Rosicky through for the Gooner's decisive goal.

Liverpool are top of the league - will this be Rafa's year?

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Liverpool are sitting at the head of the Premier League table for the first time in five years – and only a ‘ghost' penalty against Chelsea has prevented them from claiming maximum points from their first four games. It's just the sort of start that Rafa was banging on about before the season started. His new signings have impressed, especially Torres and Babel, and the depth of the Scouse squad means they haven't even missed their traditional talismen, Stevie G and Jay.

The Snapshot: QPR players' shirt tribute to Ray Jones

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QPR players wear the name of team-mate Ray Jones, who died in a car crash last weekend, on their shirts during the Championship match against Southampton at Loftus Road on Saturday. Photo Clive Rose/Getty Images

Shit Lookalike: Gianfranco Zola and some random kid in a Bonnie Tyler video

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This is a little scary! This appears to be Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola starring in the video to Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse of the Heart (click here if you want to put yourself through the entire video). What's the Italian for Turn around, Bright Eyes?! [Via FourFourTwo]

The Snapshot Special: Premier League, 1-2 September

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Bolton 1-2 Everton Wanderers look increasingly like they might be heading for a post-Allardyce fall from grace, while the Toffees go from strength-to-strength. Yakuba bagged a debut goal. Fulham 3-3 Tottenham Spurs some how let a 1-3 lead slip to draw with a Fulham side they had outclassed for most of the game.

La Liga Lunes: Raul rocks on as Real go top

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Real thrashed Villareal 0-5 to go top of La Liga after two games. Raul, Wesley Sneijder (two), Ruud van Nistelrooy and Guti were all on target for the champions. Coach Bernd Schuster was remarkably calm at his side's early season form considering winning the league normally gets you sacked at Real. He said: "I am more happy with the play and the results than the league table.

VOTE: Who should partner Michael Owen up front for England?

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It's been a long time coming but Michael Owen rediscovered his shooting skills with his first league goal for two years as Newcastle beat Wigan at the weekend. Although he missed at least four chances before claiming the late winner, the fact he eventually found the net is good news for England's approaching Euro qualifiers against Israel and Russia.

Horror Hair: Jose Mourinho

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When he arrived, Jose Mourinho was seen as the king of Continental cool – the sharp suits, trademark Armani overcoat, and perfectly coiffured hair all made him look more like a matinee idols than a Premier League manager. But a few years over here seem to have affected his sense of style. First there was the ill-advised crew cut that made him look like a stubbled peanut and now another follicule-related faux pas was revealed at the weekend.

Transfer Deadline Day XI

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A pretty dull end to the summer transfer window in the end. Pies puts together an XI featuring the pick of the purchases. Not many goalkeepers to choose from, but Senegalese aplenty! David Knight Not a great deal of goalkeeper transfer action on Friday, so Middlesbrough's young keeper Knight is in the XI following his switch to Swansea.

XI Conclusions from the weekend's Premier League action

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1 Martin Jol is going to get sacked very, very soon. 2 Sammy Lee is going to get sacked shortly afterwards. 3 The Premier League is more competitive than it has been for a few years, which is great news for neutrals and anyone who doesn't support Manchester United or Chelsea. 4 Dressing up like a team of Highways Agency employees doesn't win football matches.