Who Ate All the Pies Archives for January 2010

Football Corruption: FIFA Investigates Australian 2022 World Cup Bid Team Over ‘Gift’ Allegations

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By Ollie Irish

FIFA will investigate claims that Australia's bid team for the 2022 World Cup gave gifts of jewellery to its members' wives in order to try and influence votes. Further claims allege that the Aussies paid for the Trinidad and Tobago Under-20 team to fly to Cyprus, presumably to curry favour with Jack Warner.

Everton Launch New Home Kit For 2010-11 Season – It’s Blue, People

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By Ollie Irish

Too much like a training top? That seems to be the prevailing opinion on Everton's official site. I agree simple doesn't always mean stylish, as this proves. At least it's an improvement on the shocking pink away kit.

The goalkeeper's kit is rather better:

Thoughts?

World Cup Beards, Sexiest World Cup Stars, Cristiano Ronaldo iPhone App, The Vuvuzela Beer Bong

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By Ollie Irish

World Cup winning beards Sabotage Times

TOP LINK Another brilliant World Cup graphic Estadao

The Man Utd Lookalike XI Betfair

Top 20 sexiest World Cup players Goaly Moly

The future for English football, Ronglish style Danger Here

The 10 most exciting World Cup players The Spoiler

Englishman versus vuvuzela beer bong Busted Coverage

England's crapness: the blame game The Ball is Round

Nigeria's president suspends his nation's football team from competition for two years after World Cup failure Caught Offside

WAG Abbey Clancy shills for Matalan Kickette

Lionel Messi and his legacy Run of Play

Skills event in London postponed after Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard pull out Mirror Football

Annoying Use Of The Vuvuzela Throughout History Deadspin

Robin van Persie defends childish rant at Netherlands coach Sports Illustrated

There is a Cristiano Ronaldo iPhone App, of course Mashable

Coleen Rooney booked holiday for her and family two days before England went out.

World Cup Curses: If Nike Asks You To Write The Future, Just Don’t Do It

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By Ollie Irish

Much fanfare was made of Nike's big-budget 'Write The Future' ad campaign...

... And whilst it's clearly a superb piece of work, it appears to have done no favours for the majority of its stars:

Didier Drogba, Ivory Coast - Broke arm in pre-tournament friendly against Japan.

Model Larissa Riquelme: I’ll Strip Naked If Paraguay Win World Cup

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By Ollie Irish

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After watching Paraguay win a Round-of-16 penalty shootout against Japan on Tuesday, glamour model Larissa Riquelme watching the game with compatriots in Asuncion was asked if she would match Diego Maradona's promise to streak naked if her nation wins the World Cup.

The Stupendous Supermodel World Cup 2010: Brazil (Adriana Lima) v Japan (Jessica Michibata)

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By Herman Miller

Replacing football teams with ridonkulously hot women is one way of making the 2010 World Cup more fun. So in addition to our coverage of what happens on the pitch in South Africa, that's exactly what Pies is doing... You're welcome.

Today's match is a clash between Brazil and Japan.

World Cup Photos: Emile Heskey’s WAG Chantelle And Some Wild Animals In South Africa

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By Ollie Irish

Here is Emile Heskey's fiancee Chantelle Tagoe posing for pics with a snoozy cheetah, and other cute but dangerous animals, at The Cheetah Experience in Bloemfontein. Why? Â I have no forking idea.

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(There is of course a poor joke in here about Heskey and pace or a lack thereof.

Arsene Wenger: ‘England Were Killed By Their Own Impatience’

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By Chris Wright

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has offered his explanation as to why England performed so dismally against Germany in their World Cup second round tie last Sunday.

The 60-year-old, who has been moonlighting as a pundit for French television in South Africa, believes that Fabio Capello's side were 'killed' by their own lack of patience as they pressed in search of an equaliser and should have utilised their experience so as not to get continually caught out on the counter-attack as a result.

England’s World Cup 2010 Report Card

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By Ollie Irish

Pies grades England's squad, and its manager, after an abject World Cup campaign:

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David James - Replaced hapless Rob Green and looked much more solid.

World Cup Sh*t Lookalikes: Gerard Pique & Zangief From Street Fighter

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By Ollie Irish

Spotter's badge goes to... me. Go me!

Send your World Cup Shit Lookalikes to ollie@anorak.co.uk



World Cup Photos: Spain 1-0 Portugal – David Villa Soars, Ronaldo Flops

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By Ollie Irish

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A Spanish fan shows her support, in the stands prior to kick off

Portugal's tactics were very simple but very flawed: 1) Park the proverbial bus, 2) Stick Cristiano Ronaldo up front on his own. This didn't work, as Spain didn't let Portugal touch the ball.

Pies Chart: What Wayne Rooney Is Made Of

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By Ollie Irish

What constitutes one Wayne Rooney? We break it down in chart form:

Findings: He's mostly pink spam, then, held together an unhealthy amount of sweary rage. You can add in your own false hope and hype if you want, safe in the knowledge that Wazza will disappoint you.

Cristiano Ronaldo: ‘Spain Defeat Left Me A Broken Man’

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By Chris Wright

Portugal's egotistically miopic man-child Crisitano Ronaldo has spoken (a little too eloquently, if you'll excuse my suspicious mind) of his 'unimaginable sadness' after seeing his country crash out of the World Cup last night at the hands of their Iberian nieghbours Spain.

Man City Sign David Silva From Valencia

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By Chris Wright

After weeks of 'is-he?-isn't-he?' rumour-mongering, Pies can officially confirm that David Silva will be a Manchester City player next season.

In the last few minutes, City have posted the news on their official website that the Spanish international will move to Eastlands (subject to passing a routine medical) from Valencia after his involvement in the World Cup is over.

New Tottenham Home Shirt For 2010-11 Leaked (With Photos)

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By Ollie Irish

A couple of decent pics of what looks very much like Tottenham's next home shirt, made by Puma.

Recropped images via FSC

First thoughts? I really, really like it. There's something charmingly retro about it, whereas many of the other new 'retro' kits seem cynical somehow.

World Cup Video: Cristiano Ronaldo Spits In Direction Of Cameraman After Spain Defeat

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By Ollie Irish

Charming man.

Of course, we can't really say C-Ron spat directly at the cameraman because the Winker might get all legal about it, but it's fairly clear he spat in the cameraman's general direction.

Okay, I'm sure the last thing you want after a loss in supposedly one of the biggest games of your career not that C-Ron played like it; he was worse than terrible against Spain is a camera up in your face, but still, it's a crass and graceless thing to do.

Liverpool Set To Lose Milan Jovanovic To Inter Milan, Man City Keen To Sign Landon Donovan

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By Chris Wright

Where's the football men gone? Here's the round-up...

Rumour No. 1: Newly appointed Inter Milan manager Rafa Benitez is to risk incurring the wrath of his former employers by launching a bid to pinch Standard Liege striker Milan Jovanovic from under Liverpool's collective noses.

Gary Neville To Quit Man Utd, Join Sky Sports As Pundit?

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By Ollie Irish

"Kiss my badge you mothers."

Our good friends at football gossip site Goaly Moly (for which I also write, I should add) posted up this triffic exclusive yesterday:

"Gary Neville is set to announce his retirement from Man Utd and professional football and will immediately accept an offer from Sky Sports to grab a place on their pundit panel in time for the start of the season.

The Stupendous Supermodel World Cup 2010: Italy (Elisabetta Canalis) v Slovakia (Adriana Karembeu)

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By Herman Miller

Replacing football teams with ridonkulously hot women is one way of making the 2010 World Cup more fun. So in addition to our coverage of what happens on the pitch in South Africa, that's exactly what Pies is doing... You're welcome.

Here's our fixture in Group F, between Italy and Slovakia.

World Cup Skills: Juan Mata Bamboozles Raul Albiol In Training With Incredible Move

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By Ollie Irish

Ridiculous...

This move, which I christen the 'Mental Mata Meg' makes my head hurt. It would also make my feet hurt, if I had anything like enough skill to even consider pulling it off.

There's not one English player I can think of who could pull it off either.

World Cup Snapshot: Fabio Capello Wearing A Bra, Or A Women Wearing A Capello Mask

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By Ollie Irish

An England fan wearing a Fabio Capello mask, prior to the Germany debacle on Sunday. Disturbing? Yeah, very disturbing.



World Cup Ho News: Kaka Fronts Anti-Prostitute Campaign

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By Ollie Irish

He believes in Jesus. He doesn't believe in paying for sex. Which is nice. Wayne Rooney, of course, believes in both.

Is this for real? I damned well hope so. Despite the Photoshopped appearance, it seems to be kosher, at least according to Kickette.

LIVE World Cup Photo Blog: Paraguay v Japan, Round Of 16

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By Ollie Irish

Hit REFRESH to see the latest pics live from the Loftus Versfeld Stadium. Newest pics will appear at the top...



World Cup Photos: Brazil 3-0 Chile – Who Can Stop The Selecao?

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By Ollie Irish

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A fan of Brazil holds up a scarf in the stands.

Brazil always beat Chile so it was no shock that they won this match with something left in the tank. The blend of power, pace and guile in Dunga's squad really is a frightening prospect for opponents (Lucio and Maicon, both monsters, could play in a back two on their own), and I can only see Spain or Argentina beating them now.

World Cup Photos: Netherlands 2-1 Slovakia – Dutch Yet To Spark, Presumably Will Lose To Brazil Next

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By Ollie Irish

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A Netherlands fan in the stands

Goals by Arjen Robben and Wes Sneijder were enough to see the Netherlands make it into the last eight, where scary Brazil await. I'm far from convinced that the Dutch are good enough to beat Dunga's very strong side, but with mercurial players like Robben (especially), Sneijder and Robin van Persie (poor so far in South Africa, admittedly) in the Oranje ranks, you can't discount an upset in Port Elizabeth on 2 July.

World Cup Sh*t Lookalikes: Diego Lugano & Martin Short

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By Ollie Irish

Lugano is Uruguay's captain. Short is a badmeaninggood American actor. Triffic spot, just triffic (© Arry Redknapp).

Nick Chadwick

Thanks to Nick for a fine entry in the SLAL canon.

Got a Shit Lookalike for us?

Sepp Blatter Apologises To England For ‘Disallowed Goal’ Debacle

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By Chris Wright

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has apologised to both the English and Mexican Football Associations over the botched decisions to disallow Frank Lampard's goal against Germany and then allow Carlos Tevez's opening goal for Argentina against El Tri later that same day despite the Manchester City striker being offside by a country mile.

World Cup Photos: England Return Home, Do Walk Of Shame On Heathrow Tarmac

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By Ollie Irish

You can see that Stevie Gerrard and co. were delighted to still have to wear the Capello Three-Piece Suit of Shame for the duration of their long, miserable flight home from South Africa to Heathrow. Naughty schoolboys, the lot of 'em. Detention for a week, at least.

Barcelona Agree To Release Thierry Henry

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By Chris Wright

Hey Bobby, what's French for 'see ya then'?

Barcelona have confirmed that Thierry Henry will be free to leave the club this summer, after agreeing a compromised deal to pay up the remaining year of the French striker's contract at the club.

Tottenham Have £28m Bid For Palermo Pair Accepted, Blackburn Plan Ambitious Swoop For Raul

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By Chris Wright

Here's the round-up...

Rumour No. 1: Tottenham have had a mahoosive £28 million double-bid accepted for highly-rated Palermo pair Simon Kjaer and Edinson Cavani.

Palermo chairman Maurizio Zamparini told Sky Italia;

"Tottenham have bid €35million.

Wigan Athletic Sign Argentinian Striker Mauro Boselli

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By Chris Wright

Wigan have confirmed, via their official web site, the signing of Argentinian striker Mauro Boselli from Estudiantes.

The 25-year-old forward will join the Latics on a four-year deal for an undisclosed fee that is believed to be somewhere in the region of £6 million.

World Cup Video: David Pleat Says ‘Au Revoir’ To Italy – Yes, To Italy

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By Ollie Irish

Brilliant. A classic Pleatball! The brief pause as Pleat's tiny English brain struggles to conjure up the Italian for 'goodbye' ('ciao' or 'arrivederci' would have done the job, Dave) is probably my favourite part.

Ah, we breed our pundits like we breed our footballers ie.

Joe Cole Blames Chelsea Exit On ‘Politics’

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By Chris Wright

It seems the recent local elections (hung parliaments, coalition governments etc...) must have hit Joe Cole harder than most, as the England winger is citing 'politics' as the reason behind his decision to walk out of Chelsea this summer.

World Cup Video: England 4-1 Germany – The Benny Hill Reboot

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By Ollie Irish

That's more like it.



World Cup Photos: Argentina 3-1 Mexico – Tevez Stars, Still No Messi Goal

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By Ollie Irish

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A Brazil fan in the stands with a voodoo doll of Lionel Messi and a replica of the world cup trophy

Argentina were gifted a goal when Carlos Tevez was somehow not flagged for offside, but as with England v Germany, it wasn't a decision that would have changed the outcome of the game; Argentina are a very good side and always looked to have the beating of a decent but limited Mexico.

Michael Ballack To Become The ‘Ultimate Lead Figure’ At Bayer Leverkusen

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By Chris Wright

After his side confirmed the capture of former Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack last week, Bayer Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Völler has tipped the 33-year-old to become the German club's 'ultimate lead figure'.

Real Madrid Poised To Wrap Up Maicon Deal, Luis Fabiano Eyes ‘Attractive’ Man Utd Move

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By Chris Wright

Good to be back. Here's the round-up...

Rumour No. 1: Manchester City target Maicon is on the verge of joining former manager Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid, after agreeing a £25 million deal 'in principle' with the Spanish giants.

Video: Gabriel Heinze Bonked In Face By TV Camera

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By Ollie Irish

After the agony of England's mauling yesterday, how about some light relief, provided by Gabby Heinze's big Argie face...

Bonk!

Via our pals at The Spoiler



World Cup Photos: Brazil V Portugal Is Almost NSFW

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PORTUGAL V Brazil at the World Cup finals was prosaic and dull. World's third best team versus world's best with very little at stake meant self-preservation for the players. The real battle is to come. But there are, nonetheless, some great photos from the game. Look out for Lucio trying to brain Ronaldo with a ball, Lady GaGa's Brazilian aunty and Ronaldo trying to sit on Gilberto's head (or face).

World Cup Photos: Uruguay 2 – 1 South Korea

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WORLD Cup photos: Uruguay are the first team into the quarter-finals. Luis Suarez scored a brace the second a sublime strike. And Uruguay now face the winners of Ghana and the USA match. The dream is on...

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A Uruguay fan in the stands



World Cup Photos: Ghana 2 – 1 USA

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WORLD Cup photos Ghana march on and the USA trudge home... Let's bomb Ghanania!

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Ghana's Kevin-Prince Boateng (left) challenges USA's Maurice Edu (right).



World Cup Photos: Germany Destroy England 4-1

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Paul Sorene

ENGLAND are out of the World Cup. Germany thrashed England. Frank Lampard's goal was wrongly ruled out. But England let in 4 and scored 1. Okay. Okay. England scored 2. On a brighter note, England ARE better than Solvenia. And what they don't know about goat herding only the Albanians can teach them.

England’s Disallowed Goal v Germany Was NOT Over The Line (With Photo Evidence)

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By Ollie Irish

I would laugh, of course (it's only a game), but instead I'm weeping. Weeping for Andy Gray, for Sky Sports, for Sven, for Steve McClaren, for Martin Samuel, for The Sun, for Alan Shearer and Alan Hansen, for the FA, for 1966 and all the f**king bullsh*t that continues to contribute to England's inability to play this game we all love.

World Cup Photos: Germany Destroy England

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Paul Sorene

ENGLAND are out of the World Cup. Germany thrashed England. Frank Lampard's goal was wrongly ruled out. But England let in 4 and scored 1. Okay. Okay. England scored 2. On a brighter note, England ARE better than Solvenia. And what they don't know about goat herding only the Albanians can teach them.

World Cup Photos: Ghana 2 – 1 USA

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WORLD Cup photos Ghana march on and the USA trudge home... Let's bomb Ghanania!

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Ghana's Kevin-Prince Boateng (left) challenges USA's Maurice Edu (right).



World Cup Photos: Brazil V Portugal Is Almost NSFW

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PORTUGAL V Brazil at the World Cup finals was prosaic and dull. World's third best team versus world's best with very little at stake meant self-preservation for the players. The real battle is to come. But there are, nonetheless, some great photos from the game. Look out for Lucio trying to brain Ronaldo with a ball, Lady GaGa's Brazilian aunty and Ronaldo trying to sit on Gilberto's head (or face).

World Cup Photos: Uruguay 2 – 0 South Korea

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WORLD Cup photos: Uruguay are the first team into the quarter-finals. Luis Suarez scored a brace the second a sublime strike. And Uruguay now face the winners of Ghana and the USA match. The dream is on...

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A Uruguay fan in the stands



World cuip Photos: England Train For The Germany Match

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THE World Cup in photos England train for the Germany match in South Africa. And not a penalty kick in sight...

News round-up: England's World Cup War: Superior German Dummerweise (Pictures)

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England's John Terry during a training session at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Complex, Rustenburg, South Africa.

World Cup Vuvuzela: Thought Of The Day Video

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Paul Sorene

THE Vuvuzela. The last word. Because dogs know good music...

Vuvuzela – Greatest Pictures
In Pictures: Origins Of Vuvuzela Discovered (NSFW)



England V Germany: English Media Cranks Up War Machine

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Paul Sorene

TWO days to go until the Germans call on England in the World Cup und ve are gearing ups furhrer die contest... Gawd. It's contagious. But before we strafe the passersby with imaginary ack-ack fire and sing about ten German bombers with arms outstretched, the Sun announces on its front page:

"GERMANS WORST AT PENALTIES"

Inside and:

"Das boots is on the other foot"

News is that during practice England have a higher success rate in scoring penalties than the Germans:

England: 80.

World Cup Photos: Italy 2 -3 Slovakia

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Paul Sorene

WORLD Cup in Pictures: Italy are beaten by 2-3 by Slovakia. Italy, the holders of the World Cup, are out. Fabio Capello is the last Italian in the World Cup. And right now, according to our swingometer, he's 81% English...

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Slovakia's Martin Skrtel (center) celebrates on the pitch after the final whistle



Your Fabio Capello Mood Swingometer

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RIGHT now Fabio Capello is 81% English and FAB-io:



England V Germany In Pictures: A Story Of Hurt And Ecstasy

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Paul Sorene

GERMANY and England contested their first full international in May 1930 – the game ended 3-3. Germany would not beat England until 1968. Up to then England had won eight games on the bounce. 1968 was a watershed moment. Germany would go on to contest five World Cup finals (two wins) and 6 European Championships finals (three wins).

World Cup Photos: USA 1 – 0 Algeria

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IN the film of the match of the World Cup, Landon Donovan will be played by a young Mel Brooks. The US beat Team Algeria by one goal to nil and win their group. Will the US go on to win the World Cup? And if they do what will happen to it? Think big. Thing brash. Think full of Coca Cola and coated in cheese.

In Photos: England Beat Slovenia 1-0

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Paul Sorene

ENGLAND beats Slovenia 1-0 in World Cup photos: Did you enjoy that? England played with verve, skill, spirit and guile. Slovenia were average. And they fashioned a chance that had Fabio Capello reaching for the chain on his portable toilet. Who's up next?

World Cup Photos: Argentina’s Infectious Joy

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Paul Sorene

WORLD Cup photos from June 22 matches featuring a revolting France, a desperate South Africa, plucky South Korea, average Nigeria, soon-to-be-out Mexico, progressive Uruguay, moribund Greece and a joyous Argentina. Into the final 16 go Uruguay, South Korea, Mexico and Argentina.

England v Solvenia: Beckenbauer Backs England And A Curse Lifted

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Paul Sorene

ENGLAND V Slovenia in the 2010 World Cup is huge. The nation is talking. Here are the pick of the news and views: featuring a druid; a curse; Steven Gerrard's fear; FAB-io or CRAP-ello; Beckenbauer backs England; Wimbledon bans England; the WAG bag; and travel agents are traitors.

World Cup Photos: England Train For A Fight With Slovenia

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Paul Sorene

AFTER John Terry's grandstanding and divisive bid to be England's player–manager – picking the team on the availability of players' wives and girlfriends, allegedly? – another press conference. We looked on as England manager Fabio Capello and Steven Gerrard made their entrance during the press conference at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth.

Bolton Snap Up Martin Petrov On A Free Transfer

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By Chris Wright

Just a snippet to deliver the news that Bolton Wanderers have confirmed, via their official website, that Bulgarian winger Martin Petrov has agreed terms with Bolton Wanderers and will join the club as soon as his contract with Manchester City expires at the end of June.

This afternoon’s live blog – France Vs South Africa, Uruguay Vs Mexico

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2.15 Afternoon everyone. Pies first live blog of the tournament comes on the big day for group A. We have the ever hopeful hosts taking on France a team pulling itself apart. While at the same time the sub plot is provided Uruguay and Mexico who only need to draw to put both South Africa and France out.

World Cup Photos: Spain 2 – 0 Honduras

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Paul Sorene

SPAIN v Honduras proved that there are easy games in the World Cup – as if any further proof were needed after Portugal sent North Korea's valiant players back to the demarcation zone ‘Sea of Mines' with 7-0 thumping. England v Slovenia should be just as straightforward.

World Cup 2010 Fashion: Holland ‘Celebration’ T-shirts

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By Chris Wright

I am officially an idiot.

When I first saw this picture, do you know what my first thought was?

"Why would they put Wayne Rooney's face on the inside of a Dutch retro shirt?"

As I say, officially an idiot!

What Would You Give Up To See England Progress In World Cup?

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Paul Sorene

SO. WHAT would you give up to see England progress in the World Cup? John Terry gave up shagging his best mate's girlfriend, allegedly... What about you?

Click to make it bigger:



World Cup Photos: Portugal 7 – 0 North Korea

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Paul Sorene

TO the people of the DPRK we say hearty congratulations as the Portuguese anti-Japanese revolutionary martyrs score seven goals on the occasion of the 46th anniversary of General Secretary Kim Jong Il's start of work at the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea.

World Cup Photos: Australia 1 – Ghana 1

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Paul Sorene

WORLD Cup Photos: We have heard the clamour and here are the pictures from the Ghana v Australia game at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium. Harry Kewell was sent off for a first-half handball on the line. Usually when Kewell goes off in a big game, the side improves dramatically (Champions' League final and.

World Cup Rumours: Ghana To Send Sulley Muntari Home?

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By Chris Wright

According to reports in the German (?) press, the Ghanaian Football Association (GFA) have ejected Sulley Muntari (he of the almost perfectly spherical head) from the Black Stars' World Cup squad after insulting coach Milovan Rajevac.

The Best Vuvuzela Gallery Ever

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By Paul Sorene

THE Vuvuzela is the buzz. It buzzes like a pasty-faced Manchester Student union rep in the late 1980s. Only, without the charm. We've scoured the web and thanks to Anorak - produced the ultimate vuvuzela gallery. Enjoy:

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World Cup Photos: Brazil 3 – 1 Ivory Coast 1 (Now With Added Cheating)

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Paul Sorene

AH, the passion. Ivory Coast lose 1-3 to Brazil and the African team's manager erupts. The Ivory Coast manager is one Sven Goran Eriksson, and his face as his side got well beaten should remind England fans and John Terry what went before.

Pictures from this match, including Kader Keita's cheating to get Kaka red-carded.

Real Madrid Ask Liverpool To Drop Steven Gerrard’s Price, Man Utd Target Chile Winger Alexis Sanchez

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By Chris Wright

Here's what may prove to be both the first and last round up this week...

Rumour No. 1: Real Madrid have told Liverpool that they are unwilling to meet their £30 million valuation of Steven Gerrard, with the La Liga giants only willing to go as high as £20 million for the 30-year-old England midfielder.

World Cup Photos: Italy Hold New Zealand To Draw 1-1

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TO the Mbomela Stadium, Nelspruit, to see Italy draw 1-1 with the mighty New Zealand. There is no professional football league in New Zealand. In Italy there is. For the Kiwis, Shane Smeltz scored a goal, or "try" as his teammates call it. The Italians then opted for gamesmanship and moaning over flair.

World Cup Photos: Holland 1 – 0 Japan

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Paul Sorene

WORLD Cup Photos: The Netherlands (that's Holland to you) made it two wins in two matches with a 1-0 victory over Japan at the Durban Stadium. It was a tight match. But we think the Dutchman dressed a 1930s lift operator fascist Italy (picture 6) saw off the challenge of the three Japanese dressed as menstrual skittles (picture 3).

World Cup Sh*t Lookalikes: Bob Bradley & Major Erwin Konig (Sniper From ‘Enemy At The Gates’)

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By Chris Wright

Bob Bradley is the coach of the US side that were so cruelly robbed of an epic comeback against Slovenia yesterday.

Major Erwin König was a sniper in the German army during the battle of Stalingrad (played superbly in 'Enemy at the Gates' by American actor Ed Harris).

England v Algeria: Predict The Result…

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By Ollie Irish


England v Algeria: Predict The ResultMarket Research

I predicted a 3-1 England win not long ago and so I'm sticking with that.



The Best Vuvuzela Gallery Ever

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By Paul Sorene

THE Vuvuzela is the buzz. It buzzes like a pasty-faced Manchester Student union rep in the late 1980s. Only, without the charm. We've scoured the web and thanks to Anorak - produced the ultimate vuvuzela gallery. Enjoy:

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World Cup Photos: England 0-0 Algeria, Group C

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By Ollie Irish

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England's Jamie Carragher (left) and Algeria's Karim Matmour battle for the ball

First-half verdict: Abysmal, England played without any sense of fun, without any verve, and looked bloody knackered too.

World Cup Rumours: Four North Korean Players Reported Missing?

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By Chris Wright

FIFA have insisted they have no idea as to whether four members of the North Korea World Cup squad have gone missing, with reports starting to circulate within various South Africa-based media outlets.

Allegations have surfaced in the press that the players may have tried to defect after the official teamsheet for North Korea's 2-1 defeat by Brazil on Tuesday listed the players Kim Myong-Won, An Chol-Hyok, Kim Kyong-Il and Pak Sung-Hyok as absent.

World Cup Shots: ‘Fick Fufa’ Says South African Newspaper Headline

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By Ollie Irish

A South African newspaper headline reads 'Fick Fufa' on a post outside Ellis Park. The newspaper explains the thinking:

"That's the latest satirical dig at the world soccer body in a growing flood of impatience with Fifa's draconian branding rules and its mafia-like control of the country's public spaces.

World Cup Photos: England Train For Crucial Algeria Game

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By Ollie Irish

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England goalkeepers Joe Hart and David James (right) during the training session at the Green Point Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa.

Still no word on who will start in goal for England. Who would you pick?

France 0-2 Mexico Aftermath: French Media Have A Field Day!

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By Chris Wright

As you may have picked up on already, the French did a bit of a lose against Mexico in the World Cup last night when they really should have done a win instead.

Ambivalent clown (and inexplicably France's longest-serving coach ever) Raymond Domenech looked on indifferently from the sidelines all night, as his side slumped to a 2-0 defeat against El Tri and their magical trio of substitutes.

LIVE World Cup Photo Blog: Slovenia 1-0 USA, Group C

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By Ollie Irish

Hit REFRESH to see the latest photos from PA. Newest pics at the top. Enjoy...



The Stupendous Supermodel World Cup 2010: Netherlands (Doutzen Kroes) v Denmark (Helena Christensen)

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By Herman Miller

Replacing football teams with ridonkulously hot women is one way of making the 2010 World Cup more fun. So in addition to our coverage of what happens on the pitch in South Africa, that's exactly what Pies is going to do over the coming weeks... You're welcome.

LIVE World Cup Photo Blog: Germany 0-1 Serbia, Group D

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By Ollie Irish

Hit REFRESH to see the latest photos from this match (newest pics will appear the top of the page)...

Joachim Low rocks the double v-neck, or doppel v-neck:

Their real hair? ...

Mad Jens working for Sky:



World Cup Rumours: Italy Midfielder Angelo Palombo To Be Used As Reserve ‘Keeper?

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By Chris Wright

Italy could be forced to employ defensive midfielder Angelo Palombo as an auxiliary goalkeeper should injuries befall both Federico Marchetti and Morgan De Sanctis the way it befell first-choice stopper Gianluigi Buffon.

The 20 Most Disappointing Players In The World Cup… So Far

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By Ollie Irish

Some players who have failed to live up to their billing thus far. NOTE: This list is based on the first round of group games.

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Steven Pienaar, South Africa

Photos: PA

Top 20 Players at the World Cup.

World Cup Photos: Greece 2-1 Nigeria – Kaita Red Card Costs Super Eagles

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By Ollie Irish

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A Nigerian fan shows his support in the stands

Nigeria were looking good for at least a draw when Sani Kaita kicked out at Vassilis Torosidis and was sent off. Stupid boy.

Greece are still mindnumbingly shit, mind, and hardly deserve to go through.

Video Classics: Diego Maradona Dances To ‘Live Is Life’ By Opus In Pre-Match Warm-Up

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By Ollie Irish

The most awesome football video you'll watch today...

A tip of my metaphorical hat I never wear hats to The Observer's excellent Amy Lawrence for alerting me to this brilliant vid. I can't watch it enough and now want Argentina to win this World Cup more than anything.

World Cup GIFs: Zidane v Materazzi, The 2010 Vuvuzela Version

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By Ollie Irish

Inevitable but amusing nonetheless.



Curtains For Hideous Lyon Third Kit

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By Ollie Irish

Yikes! Yet another enormous fail by Adidas, to add to the Jabulani World Cup ball debacle.

Via FSC



Manuel Pellegrini In Talks Over Liverpool Job, Roy Hodgson Still Favourite?

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By Chris Wright

The representative of former Real Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini has confirmed that his client is in talks with Liverpool over succeeding Rafa Benitez although the received wisdom is that Fulham manager Roy Hodgson is still favourite to take over at Anfield.

World Cup Shots: Green Point Stadium Interior, Cape Town

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By Ollie Irish

A fabulous wide shot of England training at the Green Point stadium in Cape Town. Stunning venue, and let's hope we see a stunning performance by Wayne Rooney and co.

Photo: PA / Owen Humphreys



Fabio Capello Has ‘Good Banter’ – Jermain Defoe

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By Ollie Irish

England striker Jermain Defoe claims Fabio Capello has "got good banter".

Does this look like a man who has good banter?

"I love a joke, me."

Defoe told FATV: "Obviously he is extremely disciplined but the manager is cool, he's got good banter.

Real Madrid Planning £15m Raid For Liverpool’s Glen Johnson, Yaya Toure Will Join Man City ‘Very Soon’

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By Chris Wright

The 'B' in 'BLT' stands for bread. Here's the round-up...

Rumour No. 1: Newly-appointed Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho is planning his first raid on the Premier League with a big-money move for a Liverpool star just not the one he was expected to be coveting.

Sunderland Closing In On Heiko Westermann, Tie Up Deal For Belgian U21 ‘Keeper

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Chris Wright


Just keeping you up to date after a wee bit of to-ing and fro-ing in the Premier League this afternoon...

Firstly, Sunderland are close to completing the £6 million signing of Schalke's German international defender Heiko Westermann.

Mail Football Hack Martin Samuel Injures Hand At World Cup, Wife Flies Out To The Rescue

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By Ollie Irish

Sorry ladies, he's taken.

Bloated Daily Mail hack Martin Samuel, the Jabba the Hutt of football writers, has injured his hand whilst covering the World Cup in South Africa. We're not sure how too much time spent watching the 'special' TV channels in his hotel room, perhaps?

George Burley Named New Crystal Palace Manager

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By Chris Wright

Former Scotland manager George Burley has been officially sworn in as the new manager of Championship side Crystal Palace.

The 54-year-old returns to club management for the first time in two years, since leaving Southampton to manager the Scottish national side in 2008.

World Cup Fails: Argentina Fan Steals Dutch Cheese In South Africa, Fined R200

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By Ollie Irish

World Cup crime update...

Argentine football fan Ernesto Soldati stole a slice of Gouda from a supermarket in Pretoria. The master criminal saved a massive R12.99 in doing so or he would have saved R12.99 if he had escaped capture. But alert security staff collared him and he ended up being hit with a R200 fine.

It’s Official: The Vuvuzela Is UBIQUITOUS

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By Ollie Irish

It cannot be stopped. The vuvuzela is EVERYWHERE.

Richard Williams made quite an useful point on a recent Guardian Football Weekly podcast. He reminded us that the vuvuzela is not a traditional African instrument, it's a relatively recent plastic phenomenon.

Top 20 World Cup Players In South Africa… So Far

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By Ollie Irish

The first round of group games is done and dusted. Who impressed us the most? Here's who...

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Siphiwe Tshabalala, South Africa

Agree/disagree?



World Cup Sh*t Lookalikes: Daniele De Rossi & Daniel Craig

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By Ollie Irish

Shit, as it should be. And doesn't De Rossi look very different with his beard. Witness:

Send your lookalikes to ollie@anorak.co.uk



World Cup Photo Blog: Argentina 4-1 South Korea, Group B

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By Ollie Irish

Click REFRESH to see the latest live pics from Argentina v South Korea...



Borussia Dortmund Outlaw ‘Horrid’ Vuvuzelas

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By Chris Wright


German side Borussia Dortmund have become the first football club to thwart the increasing threat of the vuvuzela making it's way into the domestic leagues next season by banning the monotonous South African trumpet from their home ground as of today.

The Stupendous Supermodel World Cup 2010: Germany (Heidi Klum) v Australia (Miranda Kerr)

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By Herman Miller

Replacing football teams with ridonkulously hot women is one way of making the 2010 World Cup more fun. So in addition to our coverage of what happens on the pitch in South Africa, that's exactly what Pies is going to do over the coming weeks... You're welcome.

Serbian TV Claim Tragic German Keeper Robert Enke To Be ‘Injured’

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By Chris Wright

Serbian television RTS upstaged their British counterparts ITV in the 'broadcasting cock-up' stakes (hard to believe I know) the other day by claiming that goalkeeper Robert Enke, who tragically took his own life in November of last year, wouldn't be featuring for Germany at the World Cup because he was 'injured'.

LIVE World Cup Photo Blog: Argentina 2-0 South Korea

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By Ollie Irish

Click REFRESH to see the latest live pics from Argentina v South Korea...



World Cup Photos: Spain 0-1 Switzerland – Yes, You Read That Right

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By Ollie Irish

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A Spanish fan shows her support, in the stands prior to kick off

Photos: PA

Um, this wasn't, er, supposed to happen. I'm still rather bemused as to how brilliant, shining Spain, packed with the best players in the world, could lose to a workmanlike Swiss side, but it happened even more shockingly, Switzerland deserved it.

World Cup Snapshot: Wayne Rooney Talks A Good Game

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By Ollie Irish

England forward Wayne Rooney (surrounded by Rooneys) talks in monosyllables about his side's forthcoming World Cup group match against Algeria, during a press conference at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Complex, Rustenburg.

Photo: PA / Owen Humphreys



World Cup Photos: Diego Forlan Breaks South Africa And Silences The Vuvuzela

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SOUTH Africa lose 3-0 to Uruguay and the world salutes Diego Forlan – pest control officer and eradicator of the vuvuzela. Well, maybe.

It's usually never good when the host nation gets knocked out early, and South Africa look doomed with one point from two games and a must-win match with the minnows of France to come.

Diego Maradona Finds Good Use For Vuvezela

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By Ollie Irish

I knew they were good for something.

Via Goaly Moly



Chelsea Back In For £20m Germany Starlet Mesut Özil, Juventus Offer Contract To William Gallas

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By Chris Wright

Spain, Spain, Spain...tut tut. Here's the round up...

Reminiscent of a young Peter Lorre?

Rumour No. 1: Chelsea are ready to re-join Arsenal and Manchester City in the race to sign German international star Mesut Özil from Werder Bremen.

Former Arsenal Star Robert Pires Considering Shock Leicester City Move

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By Chris Wright

Veteran French winger Robert Pires has revealed that a host of English clubs have been touting his wares since being released by Villarreal at the end of the season.

The 36-year-old also confirmed that both Birmingham and Leicester City have made formal enquiries as to his availability, with a move to the latter proving to be a tempting proposition for the former Arsenal star;

"There's a few big English teams chasing me.

Robbie Earle To Be Dropped As England 2018 Bid Ambassador

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By Chris Wright


Former ITV pundit Robbie Earle, who was sacked by the station yesterday for selling his complimentary press tickets to a Dutch marketing agency, now looks set to be stripped of his ambassadorial role in England's bid for the 2018 World Cup.

Bayern Munich Release Italian Striker Luca Toni

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By Chris Wright

Lovely fetlocks

As you can probably appreciate, this World Cup thing that everybody seems to be talking about is taking centre stage at the minute, therefore 'regular' footballing news is in fairly short supply at the moment please bear that in mind whilst reading the following article.

Darren Bent Gets New Tattoo To Ease World Cup Rejection Pain

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By Ollie Irish

DB dropped into a tattoo parlour in Los Angeles yesterday:

I really hope he's getting Steve Bruce's face.



Larissa Riquelme (NSFW)

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LARISSA Riquelme is Paraguay's Number One Fan and another way for TV cameramen their eye in.

World Cup Wonder Robbie Earle Made Head Of Budweiser Marketing?

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Real Madrid To Break The Bank For England Pair? And Offer Karim Benzema For Man Utd’s Nemanja Vidic?

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By Chris Wright

Sorry it's a smidge late today but here's the round-up...

Rumour No. 1: After frittering away bajillions on players last season (0ne of which they are already trying to flog see below), it is being rumoured that Real Madrid are willing to break the bank once again this summer in order to bring England pair Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard to the Bernabeu.

World Cup Photos: Brazil 2-1 Korea DPR – Did Maicon Mean It?

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By Ollie Irish

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Brazil fans cheer on their side in the stands prior to kick off

This was more like it not a great match but still a significant improvement on most of what's gone before. Robinho was absolutely brilliant for Brazil, so much so that any Man City fans watching must have been thinking, "Cheeky bastard, why didn't he play like that for us?

World Cup Classics: Martin O’Neill v Robbie Williams

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By Ollie Irish

"I thought you would struggle after Take That."

Yes, this World Cup is sorely missing the punditry of Mad Martin O'Neill.



World Cup Quotes: Henry Kissinger On German Tactics And World War I

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By Ollie Irish

Henry Kissinger, a brainy man but a man nonetheless (see above), gives his thoughts on the history of the World Cup to the NY Times:

"Brazil has played the most beautiful football, while Italy has specialised in breaking the hearts of its opponents, and for Germany everyone attacks in a way suggestive of Erich von Falkenhayn's huge flanking movements in World War I and everyone defends.

World Cup 2010 Gallery: All 32 Away Shirts

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By Ollie Irish

A handy guide to the away shirts being worn by each of the 32 World Cup nations in South Africa (I couldn't find a decent pic of Korea DPR):

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All 32 home shirts



World Cup Sh*t Lookalikes: Mesut Ozil & Young Peter Lorre

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By Ollie Irish

Germany's brilliant young playmaker is the very spit of a young Peter Lorre. Two words: bug eyes.

Mercuzo

Got a lookalike for Pies? Send it to ollie@anorak.co.uk



World Cup Photos: Ivory Coast 0-0 Portugal – Ronaldo & Drogba Fire Blanks

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By Ollie Irish

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Ivory Coast's Didier Drogba warms up prior to kick off

Yet another disappointing match. The first 15 minutes were quite lively but after that both teams seemed to lose ambition, no doubt afraid of losing a match when each has still to play group favourites Brazil.

ITV Sack Robbie Earle For Selling World Cup Press Tickets

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By Chris Wright

What a dingbat!

ITV have confirmed that they have terminated Robbie Earle's contract 'with immediate effect' after discovering that the pundit had sold World Cup press tickets to a third party.

Juan Roman Riquelme Close To West Ham Deal

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By Chris Wright


Argentinian midfielder (and star of commentator Ray Hudson's liquid dreams) Juan Roman Riquelme would appear to be on the verge of sealing a shock move to the Premier League with West Ham, if the player's agent Barry McIntosh is to be believed.

The Stupendous Supermodel World Cup 2010: Serbia (Milla Jovovich) v Ghana (Belinda Baidoo), Group D

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By Herman Miller

Replacing football teams with ridonkulously hot women is one way of making the 2010 World Cup more fun. So in addition to our coverage of what happens on the pitch in South Africa, that's exactly what Pies is going to do over the coming weeks... You're welcome.

World Cup 2010 Fashion Watch: It’s All About The Big Comedy Specs

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By Ollie Irish

The best thing so far about this underwhelming World Cup? It's the oversized comedy spectacles, of course...

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Much more satisfying than vuvuzelas.



England Forget USA Draw With Nice Round Of Golf – Rooney Wees On A Rock, Rob Green Too Happy

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By Ollie Irish

Rob Green doesn't look contrite enough. That seems to be the tabloid view how dare Rob Green smile the day after that blunder!? The cheek.

Come on, give the guy a break. A break called golf. Why do footballers love golf so much?

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England's Robert Green on the Lost City Golf Course at Sun City, South Africa.

New Barcelona President Determined To Sign Fernando Torres, Man Utd Target Juventus’ Giorgio Chiellini

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By Chris Wright

Here's the round-up...

Rumour No. 1: Newly-elected Barcelona president Sandro Rosell is determined to bring £70-million-rated Liverpool striker Fernando Torres to the Camp Nou.

Rosell, a former Nike executive, is reported to have a close relationship with Torres which may prove to be crucial if the Catalan club have to fight off interest from Chelsea and Manchester City in the race to sign the Spanish hitman.

Soccer Is Gay, Apparently

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By Ollie Irish

Soccer Officially Announces It Is Gay

Via The Onion

You know what's really gay? Baseball. Yeah, that's right. Baseball. Massively gay.



Franz Beckenbauer Blasts England’s ‘Kick And Rush’ Football

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By Chris Wright

German legend Franz Beckenbauer has heavily criticised England's style of play after witnessing their opening World Cup game against America on Saturday evening.

England more-or-less farted their way to a 1-1 draw with the USA in their first Group C encounter, a performance that Beckenbauer found far from impressive.

World Cup Photos: Holland 2-0 Denmark

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WORLD Cup in pictures: Group E Netherlands v Denmark at the Soccer City Stadium – the one with the orange seating. The Danes never stood a chance. Things weren't helped by an own goal from Liverpool's Daniel Agger. And then Dirk Kuyt made it 2-10. Who needs Torres, eh? (Picture 9 is of note.

The Vuvuzela Is Coming To The Premier League – And How To Stop It

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CAN the vuvuzela make it to the Premier League? Yes. A Premier League spokesman tells us:

"Nothing in our rules specifically prohibits musical instruments from being brought into grounds as these matters are dealt with at a club level. It will be down to stadium managers, in consultation with supporters groups, to determine what is appropriate.

World Cup Photos: Italy 1-1 Paraguay, Group F – Mamma Meh

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By Ollie Irish

Hit REFRESH to see the latest photos from Italy v Paraguay. I may throw in a few words too!

• Doesn't look like a game full of goals.



BigSoccer Tells Me To F**k Myself

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By Ollie Irish

This was deleted by BigSoccer almost immediately, so I have reposted it on Pies...

Breaking-up news! I just got an email from BigSoccer founder Jesse Hertzberg, the man who was good enough to give me a platform on BigSoc (I posted there as well as on Pies and a couple other places).

World Cup Sh*t Lookalikes: Rigobert Song & Billy Ocean

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By Chris Wright

It doesn't get much better than that!

Got a World Cup-tinged lookalike? Send it to ollie@anorak.co.uk



LIVE World Cup Photo Blog: Italy v Paraguay, Group E

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By Ollie Irish

Hit REFRESH to see the latest photos from Italy v Paraguay. I may throw in a few words too!

• Doesn't look like a game full of goals.



Liverpool’s Yossi Benayoun Agrees Chelsea Deal?

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By Chris Wright

Reports are coming out of Israel that Liverpool's murine midfielder Yossi Benayoun has agreed terms on a four-year deal with Chelsea.

According to the rumours, Benayoun will undergo a medical at Stamford Bridge during the next couple of days before completing a £6 million switch shortly after as a direct replacement for out-bound winger Joe Cole.

The Vuvuzela Is Coming To The Premier League – And How To Stop It

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CAN the vuvuzela make it to the Premier League? Yes. A Premier League spokesman tells us:

"Nothing in our rules specifically prohibits musical instruments from being brought into grounds as these matters are dealt with at a club level. It will be down to stadium managers, in consultation with supporters groups, to determine what is appropriate.

World Cup Videos: Emmanuel Adebayor Poos Himself When His Phone Rings On Live TV

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By Chris Wright

Well, this is certainly one of my favourite World Cup highlights so far, made all the more enjoyable by Alan Shearer's Oscar Wilde-esque lampoonery.



World Cup Photos: Holland 2 – 0 Demark

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WORLD Cup in pictures: Group E Netherlands v Denmark at the Soccer City Stadium – the one with the orange seating. The Danes never stood a chance. Things weren't helped by an own goal from Liverpool's Daniel Agger. And then Dirk Kuyt made it 2-10. Who needs Torres, eh? (Picture 9 is of note.

Paul Gascoigne In Hospital After Car Crash

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By Chris Wright


Former England midfielder Paul Gascoigne is in a serious, but not critical condition in hospital today after being involved in a car crash in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne on Sunday evening.

The car, in which Gascoigne was a passenger, veered off the road and hit a signpost in the Sandhill area of the city's quayside.

Pies Classics: Bundesliga Fashion Video

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By Ollie Irish

Can't remember when we first posted this, but it was a long time ago, so it's definitely due a reheat...

Das ist some groovy dancing, ja!



World Cup GIFs: How ITV Might Have Covered The 1966 World Cup Final

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By Ollie Irish

As you may have seen, ITV's HD coverage of the World Cup came in for a serious amount of stick this weekend after it mistakenly screened a Hyundai ad during Steven Gerrard's fourth-minute goal v the USA. Hence this (admittedly amusing) GIF that imagines how ITV might have covered the '66 final:

Auntie Beeb and other heavyweight media outlets have had a field day with the blunder.

Adrian Mutu Ordered To Pay Chelsea €17m Compensation

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By Chris Wright

Should've talked to Frank

The Swiss Federal Court has dismissed Adrian Mutu's appeal and upheld the Court Of Arbitration For Sport's (CAS) decision that the Romanian forward is to pay Chelsea the €17.

World Cup Snapshot: Rob Green Stays Alert

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By Ollie Irish

You have to laugh...

Cruel irony is a fickle mistress, or so I once read in Viz magazine.

Via @simonbreakell



New York Post Hails USA 1-1 ‘Win’

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By Ollie Irish

The hordes of internet mongs who populate most web forums read this headline as a massive typo, when of course it's a purposeful and witty appreciation of a result that is somewhat better for the States than England. Good work, NY Post eds.

Message to the aforementioned hordes of internet mongs (you don't know who you are): drop by dictionary corner and check out the definition of irony.

World Cup Photos: Argentina 1-0 Nigeria – Messi Runs The Show

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By Ollie Irish

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An Angentina fan in the stands.

As I suspected, after a dreary and unconvincing qualification campaign, Maradona's Argentina came to life in South Africa. El Diego is clearly not cut out for the long grind of qualifying, but he is cut out for the big show I've never seen so many cameras trained on one manager at a World Cup, and he loved it.

World Cup Photos: England 1-1 USA – Green Doesn’t Save The Day

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By Ollie Irish

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England Fan Kirsy McDonald in Rustenberg, South Africa.

It's a familiar story: England go into major tournament with big loaded gun, England shoot hole in own foot with big loaded gun. The media then slates its own national team without mercy, even though the media is part of the problem why players who look great in the Premier League then freeze with the Three Lions on their chest.

Man Utd To Gamble On Real Madrid Veteran Raul? Arsenal Chasing Ajax Defensive Duo?

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By Chris Wright

Go-go gadget round-up...

Rumour No. 1: Manchester United have been linked with a surprise Bosman move for Real Madrid veteran Raul, should the long-serving striker be released by the Spanish giants during the summer.

World Cup Photos: South Korea 2–0 Greece – A Walk In The Park

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SOUTH Korea 2 – Greece 0. Or as they say in North Korea: "Ah, Mr Kim, tell us about the time Greece beat the South Korean entity 25 – 0 and dedicated the victory to your esteemed wonder." There were goals by Lee and Park – the Manchester Untied player. We love Park. Why do we love Park?

It’s Not Easy Being Green

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By Ollie Irish

Poor Rob Green. I mean that. I mean, how forking annoying that England should shoot themselves in the foot in a World Cup, AGAIN, but for Green to make such a rookie blunder in front of more than a billion people... well, I feel for him he's a decent bloke and a decent keeper.

World Cup Photos: South Korea 2–0 Greece – A Walk In The Park

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SOUTH Korea 2 – Greece 0. Or as they say in North Korea: "Ah, Mr Kim, tell us about the time Greece beat the South Korean entity 25 – 0 and dedicated the victory to your esteemed wonder." There were goals by Lee and Park – the Manchester Untied player. We love Park. Why do we love Park?

World Cup Photos: Uruguay 0-0 France – Group A Is For Awful

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By Ollie Irish

Words hardly do this abject game justice, so you're better off looking at some photos instead...

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Uruguay fans in the stands

The French can only get better.



In Photos: Rio Ferdinand’s England Training Session

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RIO Ferdinand is all set to have the most depressing holiday album since Old Mr Anorak (our patron) went on the Digitas Wet Weekend tour of Swiss banks. We spotted Rio sat alone amid the plastic seats as his teammates trained at the Bafokeng Stadium. It's the USA tomorrow. The chants are ready – you can pick up the new lyrics here.

Photos: USA Train For England World Cup Showdown

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By Ollie Irish

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USA's Landon Donovan (centre) with teammates during a training session at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenberg, South Africa.

The States look relaxed and confident. I am officially concerned.

In Photos: Rio Ferdinand’s England Training Session

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RIO Ferdinand is all set to have the most depressing holiday album since Old Mr Anorak (our patron) went on the Digitas Wet Weekend tour of Swiss banks. We spotted Rio sat alone amid the plastic seats as his teammates trained at the Bafokeng Stadium. It's the USA tomorrow. The chants are ready – you can pick up the new lyrics here.

LIVE World Cup Photo Blog: South Africa 0-0 Mexico, Group A

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By Ollie Irish

Welcome to our live photo blog of South Africa v Mexico, the opening game of the 2010 World Cup. Annoyed by the vuvuzelas yet?

Click refresh to see the latest photos. Newest pics will be at the top of the page. I may occasionally throw in some words too.

West Ham Still Chasing Joe Cole And Thierry Henry

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By Chris Wright

West Ham co-owner David Gold has revealed that he hasn't given up on signing Joe Cole and Thierry Henry despite increasing speculation linking the pair to moves elsewhere.

Since taking over at Upton Park in January, both Gold and his fellow David Sullivan, have promised to bring in a 'marquee' name in a bid to boost the stature and the commercial backing of the club.

World Cup Songs: ‘Goal! England’ By We Are Scientists

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By Ollie Irish

Tis a great shame I saw this too late to put it in our England World Cup Song Contest, as it's ace:

Told you: ACE.

Learn more about We Are Scientists



World Cup 2010 Gallery: All 32 Home Shirts

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By Ollie Irish

A handy guide to the home shirts being worn by each of the 32 World Cup nations in South Africa (in alphabetical order):

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Algeria

Your favourite? Germany's is undeniably classy and I'm growing to like the French one too, even with its red slashes.

The World Cup Years: Hungary Captain Ferenc Puskas Shoots Against West Germany, 1954 World Cup Final

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By Ollie Irish

Hungary's Galloping Major, the great Ferenc Puskas (left), lashes a shot at goal during the 1954 World Cup final. West Germany's Werner Liebrich, who had injured Puskas with a fierce tackle when the two teams met in the group stage, attempts to block it.

Football Bloggers Predict The 2010 World Cup Winner

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By Ollie Irish

Pies polled a stack of top football bloggers to find out who the hell is going to win the 2010 World Cup. Because if they don't know, who does? Not me, that's fo' sure. And lo, the bloggers have spoken...

The following picked SPAIN:

Arseblog • Run of Play • The Cannon • World Cup Blog • Sport Matters • Aston Villa Central • A Cultured Left Foot • Ghost Goal • Left Back In The Changing Room • Three and in • TEAMtalk • All Sorts Of Awesome • Le Grove • Gary Andrews • Ginge Talks The Footy

The following picked BRAZIL:

Danger Here • Deuce of Davenport • du Nord • The Offside • Avoiding The Drop • Caught Offside • EPL Talk • Gunnerblog • Unprofessional Foul • Two Footed Tackle • Man Utd Dugout

The following picked ARGENTINA:

The Spoiler • Football Corner • Goal • Rovers Return • 24th minute

The following picked ENGLAND:

Soccerlens • Real Madrid Talk • Football Barbie

The following picked NETHERLANDS:

The Beautiful Groan • Talking Sports

The following picked GHANA:

Deadspin

It's a neat six-horse race then, with Spain (15 votes) the clear favourites ahead of Brazil (11), Argentina (5), England (3), Netherlands (2) and, er, Ghana (1).

Nemanja Vidic’s Man Utd Future In Fresh Doubt? Inter Want Carlos Tevez As Well As Javier Mascherano?

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By Chris Wright

World Cup? First I've heard. Here's the round up...

"I'm caught in a trap, I can't walk out..."

Rumour No. 1: Manchester United centre-back Nemanja Vidic's future at Old Trafford has been plunged into fresh doubt after his agent, Paolo Fabbri, refused to confirm that the Serbian defender will be at the club next season.

The World Cup Years: England Penalty Failures (Pearce, Waddle, Southgate) Shed Dignity For Pizza Hut

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By Ollie Irish

Ah, the proud work of a nation that loves losers.

Cashing in on failure how exceedingly British! And what a shame to see three excellent England players resort to this.

Pedants out there might be keen to point out that Gareth Southgate missed his big penalty at Euro 96, not in a World Cup.

Daily Mail Reader: Keep The World Cup English, Screw Bong Bongoland

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By Paul Sorene

Spotted in the letters section of the good old Daily Mail:

Or: Wouldn't it be great if... Yeovil was used exclusively to house jingoistic bigots? Just an idea.

Via Anorak



Video: World Cup Legends, Drawn & Animated

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By Ollie Irish

Very cool, even if I wouldn't quite put Bob Baggio in there with all-time greats like Pele, Maradona, Cruyff and Zidane.

Via Guardian



Bayer Leverkusen Keen To Re-Sign Michael Ballack

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By Chris Wright

Bayer Leverkusen have confirmed that they are interested in re-signing Michael Ballack after the German midfielder was released by Chelsea earlier in the week.

Although the Bundesliga club are keen to bring Ballack back to the BayArena, the club's sporting director Rudi Voller has admitted that his side will have to remain pragmatic about their chances;

"I don't want to make it a secret when a player like Michael Ballack with his history with us, is on the market, then we think about him.

Chelsea Starlet Miroslav Stoch Joins Fenerbahce

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By Chris Wright

Fenerbache have signed promising Chelsea winger Miroslav Stoch for an undisclosed fee.

The 20-year-old Slovakian international, who spent a highly-impressive spell (10 goals in 32 games) on-loan at Eredivisie champions FC Twente last season, has put pen to paper on a four-year deal with the Turkish giants.

Former Sampdoria Striker Francesco Flachi Banned For Twelve Years!

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By Chris Wright

Former Sampdoria and Brescia striker Francesco Flachi has been handed a twelve-year ban after testing positive for cocaine for the second time in three seasons.

Flachi, who first tested positive for the drug in 2007, again returned a positive sample following Brescia's Serie B clash with Modena in December of last year.

Rafa Benitez Confirmed As New Inter Milan Coach

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By Chris Wright


FACT!

Former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has been confirmed as the new Inter Milan manager after signing a two-year, £5-million-per-annum contract with the Nerazzurri this afternoon.

The Spaniard will be unveiled to the media at a press confrence in Milan next Tuesday.

The World Cup Years: Sweden 2-5 Brazil, 1958 World Cup Final

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By Ollie Irish

Sweden winger Lennart 'Nacka' Skoglund (right) crosses the ball past Brazil midfielder Zito, during the 1950 World Cup final. Brazil won 5-2, with 17-year-old Pele scoring twice.

Photo: S&G / S&G and Barratts/ EMPICS Sport



Juliano Belletti Offered Marseille Lifeline

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By Chris Wright

After being released by Chelsea yesterday, Brazilian defender Juliano Belletti has reportedly already received an offer to join Ligue 1 champions Olympique de Marseille.

According to La Provence, L'OM are eager to aquire the 33-year-old utility man as a replacement for their 'troublesome' incumbent right-back Laurent Bonnart.

1966 + 4: The World-Conquering England We Never Saw

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By Ed Barrett

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The two teams line up before the match: (l-r) West Germany's Horst-Dieter Hottges, Wolfgang Overath, Siggi Held, Helmut Haller, Wolfgang Weber, Lothar Emmerich, Willi Schulz, Franz Beckenbauer, Karl-Heinz Schnellinger, Hans Tilkowski and Uwe Seeler, linesman Tofik Bakhramov, referee Gottfried Dienst, linesman Karol Galba, England's Bobby Moore, George Cohen, Alan Ball, Gordon Banks, Roger Hunt, Ray Wilson, Nobby Stiles, Bobby Charlton, Geoff Hurst, Martin Peters, Jack Charlton

* * * * *

Public opinion is fickle at the best of times, and never more so that where the national football team is concerned.

The Big Question: Which Team Do YOU Predict Will Win The 2010 World Cup?

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By Ollie Irish

"My precioussss..."

Pies has a simple question, but a rather BIG question, for all you lovely people on the eve of the 2010 World Cup. And here it is:

Which team will win the tournament?

That's it. Easy, huh.

The Stupendous Supermodel World Cup 2010 – Algeria (Amina Kaddur) v Slovenia (Sandra Marinovic), Group C

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By Herman Miller

Replacing football teams with ridonkulously hot women is one way of making the 2010 World Cup more fun. So in addition to our coverage of what happens on the pitch in South Africa, that's exactly what Pies is going to do over the coming weeks... You're welcome.

Top 25 Hard Men At The 2010 World Cup

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By Ollie Irish

I would not mess with any of this lot...

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Rigobert Song, Cameroon - Could become the first man to be sent off at three different World Cups

Anyone I missed?

Photos: PA

Currys – Check out the latest offers and watch the World Cup in style with our wide selection of HD Televisions



The World Cup Years: Zinedine Zidane Gives Virtuoso Display v Brazil, 2006

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By Ollie Irish

1 July 2006, Brazil v France in the World Cup quarter final...

The most complete individual display in World Cup history? Yeah, I think so. Zidane was almost untouchable that day, and that's how I choose to remember him, rather than for the headbutt two games later.

2010 World Cup Rumours: FIFA Deny F**king ‘Swear List’

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By Chris Wright

"Whereas I believe your decision to be misguided, I commend your integrity"

The Brazilian officials that are to take charge of England's opening World Cup game against the USA have taken a crash course in English profanity, so they can identify when both sets of players are verbally abusing them and punish them accordingly.

World Cup Snapshot: Cape Town’s Green Point Stadium Is Stunning

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By Ollie Irish

An aerial view of the Green Point Stadium in Cape Town, South Africa. The photo was taken this morning, one day before the World Cup kicks off.

What a beautiful setting for a stunning new stadium. I feel very, very privileged that I will get the chance to watch England play Algeria there next week.

World Cup Snapshot: Dancers Rehearse For 2010 Opening Ceremony

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By Ollie Irish

African dancers pose outside The Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg, during rehearsals for the 2010 World Cup opening ceremony.

Photo: Martin Rickett / PA



Inter Boss Rafa Benitez To Raid Liverpool For Dirk Kuyt And Javier Mascherano, Wolfsburg Chase Michael Ballack

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By Chris Wright

Oh, Caroline no. Here's the round up...

Rumour No. 1: Inter Milan-bound manager Rafa Benitez has submitted his list of summer transfer targets to the Nerazzurri board, which is reported to include a £33 million double raid on former club Liverpool for the hard-grafting duo of Javier Mascherano and Dirk Kuyt.

World Cup Sh*t Lookalikes: Xavi & Josh Radnor (Star Of ‘How I Met Your Mother’)

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By Ollie Irish

Spotted by me. Go me!

Got a World Cup-flavoured lookalike? Send it to ollie@anorak.co.uk



Man City Make £19m Bid For Palermo Forward Edinson Cavani

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By Chris Wright

According to Sky Sports Italia, Manchester City have lodged a £19 million bid for Palermo striker Edinson Cavani.

Rosanero president Maurizio Zamparini confirmed yesterday that City (as well as their Premier League rivals Tottenham) were sniffing around the Uruguayan star, telling Rete Rete 24;

"I can see Cavani as doing really well in England.

Pixie Lott Wears Frank Lampard No.8 England Shirt (With Photos)

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By Ollie Irish

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Not-unattractive pop starlet Pixie Lott, who claims to be a West Ham fan (hmmm), was papped at Heathrow wearing an England shirt with Frank Lampard's name on the back. Surely she knows that West Ham fans despise Lamps?

Zidane Headbutt Ads Banned, World Cup Boredom, Journalist Robbed At Gunpoint In South Africa, Roy Hodgson For Liverpool

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By Ollie Irish

Links!!!

Zidane headbutt ads banned in Austria BigSoccer

James Corden's football column for the Times is a lot better than you might think The Times

Cristiano Ronaldo waxwork unveiled at Madame Tussauds. Scary Goaly Moly

Portuguese photographer victim of armed mugging in South Africa, two more robbed Sports Illustrated

Top 10 World Cup 2010 football blogs Metro

North Korea's 'Wayne Rooney' is overconfident Dirty Tackle

TOP LINK: Target Anxiety: great piece about the penalty shootout Norman Einstein's

100 hottest female soccer fans Manofest

Chris Kamara changes his name in bid to inspire England at the World Cup The Spoiler

Martin Keown lifts the lid on a player's life at a World Cup finals Mail

The 5 hottest USA World Cup players Kickette

Sports Illustrated soccer guy Grant Wahl gives his verdict on the England v USA match Sports Illustrated

Roy Hodgson will be Liverpool's next manager Goaly Moly

Top 5 World Cup dark horse bets Caught Offside

Glazers shocked as Man Utd season ticket renewals plummet Mirror

Robbie Savage killed the radio star Threeandin

Measuring your life in World Cup milestones WSC

* * * * *

Join our FREE World Cup fantasy league, with cash prizes

Win £100 worth of South African Rand

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CSKA Moscow Winger Milos Krasic Nearing Juventus Switch

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By Chris Wright

Highly-rated CSKA Moscow winger Milo Krasic, who has been heavily linked with Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal over the past few months, has admitted that he is on the verge of completing a move to Juventus.

The Serbian flyer was rumoured to have been close to joining Manchester United during the January transfer window, after impressing Sir Alex Ferguson during both of CSKA's Champions League group stage fixtures against United earlier this season.

USA Vice-Captain Landon Donovan: ‘England Have No Weaknesses’

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By Chris Wright

USA star Landon Donovan is seemingly under the illusion that the current England World Cup squad has no discernable weaknesses maybe he's just being polite.

Anywho, the LA Galaxy forward does believe that the time he spent on-loan at Everton last season will provide him with valuable insight into the English style of play, insight that he may be able to put to good use when the two countries meet on Saturday in Group C's opening game.

Top 25 Players At The 2010 World Cup

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By Ollie Irish

The cream of the crop, will rise to the top, I never eat a pig because a pig is a cop etc. Here you go the best 25 players at this year's World Cup finals, in reverse order:

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25. Ashley Cole - England's best defender and one of their very few world-class players

So, not a sign of Stevie G or Super Frank Lampard.

Chelsea Confirm Juliano Belletti Has Left The Club

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By Chris Wright


Chelsea have confirmed, again via their official website, that they are to release their third player of the day, with Brazilian utility man Juliano Belletti also set to leave the club when his contract expires at the end of June.

World Cup Competition: Win £100 Worth Of South African Rand!

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By Ollie Irish

Who Ate All The Pies is delighted to offer a Limited Edition Travelex Travelex Cash Passport loaded with £100 worth of South African Rand (ZAR) as a competition prize to readers.

To enter, simply answer the following question:

In which city will the 2010 World Cup final be played?

In Pictures: Neil Lennon Unveiled As Celtic Manager

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By Ollie Irish

Yep, pretty much what the headline says...

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New Celtic manager Neil Lennon following a press conference at Celtic Park, Glasgow.

Good for Lennon. After what he did for the Hoops last season, he totally deserves this shot.

Barcelona’s Yaya Toure On The Verge Of Man City Move?

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By Chris Wright

It would appear that any speculation linking Barcelona midfielder Yaya Toure to Arsenal (as a makeweight in any prospective deal for Cesc Fabregas) has been wide of the mark as, according to reports in Spain, the Ivorian is on the verge of completing a €30 million move to Manchester City.

Top 10 Goals Of The Season, No.1 – Maicon, Juventus v INTER, Serie A

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By Ollie Irish

As regular Pies readers will know, in the past couple of weeks we've been counting down our top 10 goals of the season. This is the daddy of them all...

Maicon is a right-back. That's the same position as Lee Dixon and Danny Mills. Incredible.

Is Joe Cole Going To Arsenal Or Tottenham?

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By Ollie Irish

So Joe Cole has been booted out of Chelsea (along with Michael Ballack). Carlo Ancelotti just didn't fancy him.

From everything I've heard, it looks like a straight fight between Arsenal and Tottenham to sign Cole before the start of next season, with Man City and Man Utd also interested parties though I understand Cole would like to remain in London.

New Liverpool Away Shirt Is White & Pinstriped (With Leaked Photos)

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By Ollie Irish

Yes, this works for me. And it looks like Stevie G is staying at Liverpool if you can deduce anything from the players used in promo shoots for new kits.

Hit or shit?


New Liverpool Pinstriped Away Kit: Hit Or Sh*t?

Fabio Capello Loses His Cool, Rants At Photographers

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By Ollie Irish

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England manager Fabio Capello appears frustrated with the media during a training session at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Complex, Rustenberg, South Africa.

England gaffer Fabio Capello lost it with a small group of photographers before this morning's World Cup training session (of which there are a few pics above).

World Cup Snapshot: Argentina Fans Unfurl Maradona Banner At Johannesburg Airport

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By Ollie Irish

Argentinian fans unfurl a banner featuring the head of Diego Maradona in Jo'burg's Tambo Airport as thousands of fans begin to arrive for the 2010 World Cup.

Gosh and darn, I am VERY excited about all of this. So close now, I can taste it... and it tastes of biltong.

Spain Thrash Poland, Look Like World Cup Winners (With Video Evidence)

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By Ollie Irish

The World Cup favourites, Spain, demolished Poland 6-0 in a friendly yesterday. People who say Spain don't have what it takes to win in South Africa and a surprising number of pundits seem to be saying it should watch this David Silva goal (Spain's second) and think again.

Chelsea Release Joe Cole And Michael Ballack, With Bastian Schweisteiger In As A Replacement?

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By Chris Wright

Lovely weather for ducks. Here's the round up...

Rumour No. 1: Chelsea are set to release both Joe Cole and Michael Ballack on free transfers after reaching a stalemate with both players, following weeks of contract wrangling.

World Cup Sh*t Lookalikes: Joe Hart & James Van Der Beek (The Dawson’s Creek Guy)

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By Ollie Irish

Hmm, when I thought of this yesterday, I had hoped it wouldn't be quite as shit as this. It almost works. Almost. But hey, you win some etc etc.

Got a better lookalike for Pies? Send it to ollie@anorak.co.uk



World Cup Video: Diego Maradona Puts Argentina Players In Firing Line

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By Ollie Irish

For a laff in training, Diego Maradona ordered half of his Argentina squad, including Kun Aguero and Walter Samuel, to line up in goal and ordered the rest to kick footballs at them very hard. Why? Because the 'victims' had just lost a training game to the firing squad.

Barcelona Insert Anti-Racism Clause Into David Villa’s Contract

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By Chris Wright

Anti-racism charity Kick It Out have revealed that the contract David Villa signed when he joined Barcelona last month included a ground-breaking 'anti-discrimination' clause, that the organisation hope will now be included in every future deal made within professional football.

The World Cup Years: USA Team Photo, v England At 1950 World Cup

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By Ollie Irish

USA team group before the famous 1-0 win against England in 1950: (back row, l-r) manager Chubby Lyons, Joe Maca, Charlie Colombo, Frank Borghi, Harry Keogh, Walter Bahr, coach Bill Jeffrey; (front row, l-r) Frank Wallace, Ed McIlvenny, Gino Pariani, Joe Gaetjens, John Souza, Ed Souza

Photo: EMPICS (click to enlarge)



Pies Official World Cup ‘George Orwell 84′ T-shirts On Sale Now!

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By George I think we've won it The George (Orwell) for England Pies World Cup shirts are on sale now.

Perfect for anyone who loves football (and a bit of literature too) is the George for England World Cup shirt. This fantastic quality cotton T-shirt has England's favourite George (Orwell) on the front and the numbers 84 (of course) on the back.

Fulham Sign Arsenal Outcast Phillipe Senderos

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By Chris Wright

Fulham have confirmed that they have signed Arsenal defender Phillipe Senderos on a free transfer.

The 25-year-old defender, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Everton, will join the Cottagers on a three-year contract after the World Cup.

Arsenal Target Jimmy Briand To Join Lyon

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By Chris Wright

Rennes striker, and one-time Arsenal target, Jimmy Briand is to join Lyon next Tuesday if Les Gones club president Jean-Michel Aulas is to believed.

Aulas told French press;

"We can say without reservation that Jimmy Briand is coming to Lyon on June 15th to pass the medical examination.

The Stupendous Supermodel World Cup 2010 – England (Kelly Brook) v USA (Marissa Miller), Group C

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By Herman Miller

Replacing football teams with ridonkulously hot women is one way of making the 2010 World Cup more fun. So in addition to our coverage of what happens on the pitch in South Africa, that's exactly what Pies is going to do over the coming weeks... You're welcome.

Snow Patrol Launch New Northern Ireland Shirt, Premier League Wages On The Rise, Top 10 World Cup Goals On YouTube, Rooney’s Foul Mouth

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By Ollie Irish

Links!!! Loads of em...

A Macy Gray World Cup-themed vid, with extra skinny models 101GreatGoals

Snow Patrol launch new Umbro Northern Ireland kit during gig (as Kasabian did in Paris with the England away kit) Umbro

Anyone But England?

Top 10 Goals Of The Season, No.2 – Nicky Maynard, QPR v BRISTOL CITY, Championship

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By Ollie Irish

1-2-3!!! Three insanely good touches by Maynard, who has a habit of scoring wonder goals. I heart this goal with all my, er, heart.

No.1 will be published tomorrow.

Previously...

No.3 Maynor Figueroa, Stoke v WIGAN, Premier League

No.

Man City Release Trio Of Fringe Players

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By Chris Wright

Seamless...

Just a quick one to say that Manchester City have confirmed, via their offical website, that Martin Petrov, Benjani Mwaruwari and Sylvinho will all be allowed to leave the club over the coming summer.

Portugal Winger Nani Ruled Out Of The World Cup

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By Chris Wright

Nanicompoop

Portugal winger Nani has seen his World Cup dream ended this morning after suffering an injury to his left shoulder whilst attempting 'an acrobatic shot' during a training match last week.

The Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) issued the following statement to confirm the news;

"After tests we conclude [Nani] is unfit to participate in the World Cup.

In Pictures: England World Cup Training Session – Wayne Rooney Wears Crucifix!

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By Ollie Irish

Watch out for the flattering pic of Stuart Psycho Pearce...

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England's Wayne Rooney during a training session at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Complex, Rustenberg, South Africa.

Photos: Owen Humphreys / PA

Wayne Rooney wearing a big ole crucifix!

Miss Wiltshire Rocks England World Cup Hat For Royal Ascot

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By Ollie Irish

Miss Wiltshire, aka Megan Bowyer, 21, from Easterton near Devizes, models an England hat designed for Royal Ascot with the World Cup in mind.

Megan will progress into the Miss England competition later this year. Hmm. Hmmmm. Really? Dubious.

Which England Goalkeeper Would You Play Versus The USA?

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By Ollie Irish

Harty, Greeny or Jamo? There can be only one. Me, I'd go for Hart simply because he is our most talented goalkeeper by far (world-class, potentially) he has proved as much in training in South Africa, so I hear, and deserves his chance against the US on Saturday.

Top 15 Showboaters At The 2010 World Cup

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By Ollie Irish

Let them entertain you...

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Samuel Eto'o, Cameroon - Knows he is Cameroon's main man and so tends to showboat much more in internationals

We miss anyone?



Photos: Platinum Stars 0-3 England, World Cup Warm-Up

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By Ollie Irish

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Football fans gather outside the stadium, prior to the training match at Moruleng Stadium, Moruleng, South Africa.

Photos: Owen Humphreys / PA

(Great pics, Owen, by the way)

The main thing for England was to survive this run-out without picking up any fresh injuries.

‘Loyal’ Harry Redknapp Snubs Liverpool Interest

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By Chris Wright


Tottenham boss Harry Rednapp has insisted he is 'loyal to Spurs' in the wake of increasing speculation linking the the 63-year-old to the vacant manager's job at Liverpool.

Redknapp has been receiving a multitude of plaudits of late after guiding Spurs to a fourth place finish in the Premier League last term, thus securing a place in next season's Champions League and has recently emerged as one of the favourites to succeed Rafa Benitez at the Anfield helm.

Yaya Toure Once Again On The Verge Of Arsenal Move? Man City To Trade Wasters With Barca?

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By Chris Wright

'Ere's ya raaahnd-ap...ALWIGHT?

Rumour No.1: According to reports in Spain, Barcelona are still intent on wrapping up a deal for Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas before the World Cup and will send a delegation (headed up by the club's technical secretary Txiki Begiristain) to London later this week to begin face-to-face negotiations.

World Cup Spot The Baller: 8 June, 2010

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By Ollie Irish

Who the hell is the strange man with the football head? Answers please...

Previous answer: David Beckham



Video: Frog Mascot Removed On Stretcher (Only In Japan)

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By Ollie Irish

Don't ask me what's going on. It looks like a mascot faking an injury, that's as much as I know. Made me chuckle though.

[Via 101GreatGoals]



The World Cup Years: Portugal Team Doctor Examines Eusebio, 1966 World Cup

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By Ollie Irish

Portugal star Eusebio has an injured eyebrow examined by team doctor Dr Silva Rocha, at the 1966 World Cup in England. Eusebio picked up the knock in his side's 3-1 win against Hungary at Old Trafford.

Photo: PA



2010 World Cup Rumours: Leo Messi Snores Like A Wildebeest

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By Chris Wright

It seems that Lionel Messi has a big (or more precisely 'loud') problem if recent quotes made by his international room mate Juan Sebastian Veron are anything to go by.

When asked if there was any disharmony within the Argentinian World Cup camp this year, Veron told reporters that the only issue threatening to disrupt the peace was that of L'il Leo's nocturnal sinus congestion.

Arsenal Preparing Third Offer For Laurent Koscielny – But Who The Devil Is He?

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By Chris Wright

I have to come clean.

Until I came across Lorient defender Laurent Koscielny's name whilst compiling the transfer round-up a week or so ago, I'd never heard of him and I imagine I wasn't altogether alone on that front.

Classic World Cup Moments – Baddiel And Skinner Recreate 1950 England v USA Shock

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By Ollie Irish

Just don't lose baby...

Ah, I miss Fantasy Football (stares out of window, puts Morrissey on hi-fi). Soccer AM is not fit to clean its boots.



Paul Scholes – I Would Probably Have Said Yes To England Comeback

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By Ollie Irish

Paul Scholes has admitted he would have returned to the England team, but only if he had been given more time to consider Fabio Capello's offer.

"It's a big decision and I wasn't really given enough time to think about it, so I decided not to take up the offer," the Ginger Ninja told the Oldham Evening Chronicle.

The Stupendous Supermodel World Cup 2010 – Argentina (Yesica Toscanini) v Nigeria (Oluchi Onweagba), Group B

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By Herman Miller

Replacing football teams with ridonkulously hot women is one way of making the 2010 World Cup more fun. So in addition to our coverage of what happens on the pitch in South Africa, that's exactly what Pies is going to do over the coming weeks... You're welcome.

Leaked Pics – New Everton Home Shirt Is Very Blue (No Pink Trim!)

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By Ollie Irish

A couple of pics of the new Everton home shirt, via footballshirtculture.com:

So the white v-neck is gone, replaced by nothing much. It's a very, very simple blue shirt, which I'm sure will divide Everton fans down the middle.

I appreciate the simplicity, but it does look a bit too much like a training top.

Manchester United Money Crisis – Glazers £1.1 Billion In Debt

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By Ollie Irish

Manchester United's owners are a stunning £1.1billion in debt, way more than anyone suspected, according to an investigation by the BBC's Panorama.

The programme claims the Glazers have borrowed £388million against their shopping mall business in the USA, and a further £66million against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the NFL side they own.

Top 10 Goals Of The Season, No.3 – Maynor Figueroa, Stoke City v WIGAN ATHLETIC, Premier League

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By Ollie Irish

For the bronze...

Anyone who has ever played football will know how difficult it is merely to strike the ball this far (and so low!), let alone with any degree of accuracy. So as amazing as Marvellous Maynor's goal looks, I think in technical terms it's even more amazing than that 99% of footballers, including many professionals, couldn't hope to pull this off.

World Cup Sh*t Lookalikes: Mauro Camoranesi & Francesca Schiavone

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By Ollie Irish

One is a mannish, clay-kissing tennis player from Italy who just won the (women's) French Open. The other is a footballer from Italy with a heinous ponytail.

Jan Plees

Great spot Jan! Send your lookalikes to ollie@anorak.

Photos: Soccer Aid 2010 – Robbie Williams’ England Lose On Penalties

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By Ollie Irish

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Robbie Williams (left) and Gary Barlow (right) on the pitch together prior to the 2010 Socceraid match at Old Trafford.

Photos: Rui Vieira / PA Wire

To sum up: England lost on penalties, of course.

Arsenal Tell Barcelona To Double Their Bid For Cesc Fabregas, Real Madrid Fans Want Steven Gerrard

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By Chris Wright

Hot smoke and sassafras. Here's the round up...

Rumour No. 1: Arsenal have told Barcelona that they will have to double their initial £30 million offer if they are to stand any chance of signing Cesc Fabregas.

Gratuitous Pictures Of Footballers Being Hit In The Face

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By Paul Sorene

The World Cup looms large and with it the prospect of injuries (we've seen that already, and not a ball has been kicked). Before our gallery of balls in the face – and it must hurt – a glance at the Daily Mirror, which comes up with the ludicrous 'Curse of the Prem'.

Rafa Benitez Set To Open Talks With Inter Milan

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By Chris Wright

Former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez is, shock of all shocks, poised to open talks with Champions League winners Inter Milan in the 'next few days' over becoming Jose Mourinho's successor at the Guiseppe Meazza.

West Ham Sign Thomas Hitzlsperger On A Free Transfer

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By Chris Wright


West Ham have announced the free transfer signing of Thomas Hitzlsperger on a three-year deal.

The German international will officially move to Upton Park when his current contract at Lazio expires on July 1st.

The World Cup Years: Adi Dassler Restuds The Boots Of Goalkeeper Hans Tilkowski

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By Ollie Irish

West Germany goalkeeper Hans Tilkowski watches as Adi Dassler (founder of Adidas) restuds a pair of  his boots, during the 1966 World Cup in England.

Photo: PA



Prince William Chats With England World Cup Squad, Epic Awkwardness Follows

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By Ollie Irish

Capello: "And oo is thees balding young man with horse face?"

Stevie G: "That's Prince William, gaffer."

Capello: "Ah... ee ees a clown."

I'd like to think that HRH Wills, the acceptable horse-face of the British Royal Family, finds these chats as excruciating and stilted as everyone else.

Photos: England’s Third Training Session In South Africa – Woe Is Rio

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By Ollie Irish

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England's Rio Ferdinand hobbles down the stairs during a training session at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Complex, Rustenberg, South Africa.

Poor Rio.



Photos: England’s Second World Cup Training Session – Michael Dawson Joins In, Upson Sits Out

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By Ollie Irish

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England's Fabio Capello greets Michael Dawson (right) after he joins the team to replace injured Rio Ferdinand during a training session at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Complex, Rustenberg, South Africa.

Photos: Owen Humphreys / PA

Less than 24 hours after Michael Dawson received the phone call summoning him to South Africa to replace crocked Rio Ferdinand, Dawson was taking part in England's second training session at their Royal Bafokeng camp.

World Cup Video: USA 3-1 Australia, Friendly – Aka The Buddle Double

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By Ollie Irish

In-form Edson Buddle put two hands up for a starting spot against England with a brace of goals in a lively display against Australia on this evidence Jozy Altidore may struggle to regain his place as Bob Bradley's first-choice striker.

With Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey both in confident mood, the US looked sharp in attack but all over the place at the back.

Snapshot: Michael Dawson Flies To South Africa To Replace Rio Ferdinand

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By Ollie Irish

Tottenham defender Michael Dawson at Heathrow before boarding a flight to Johannesburg. Dawson has been called up to replace crocked Rio Ferdinand in England's World Cup squad.

Get in there Daws!



Video: David Beckham Stars As Han Solo In Adidas Originals ‘Star Wars’ Ad

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By Ollie Irish

And the World Cup vids keep on coming...

Call me pedantic, but isn't ripping off a movie so exactly the direct opposite of celebrating originality?



Snapshot: Rio Ferdinand Leaves Rustenburg Hospital On Crutches

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By Ollie Irish

England captain Rio Ferdinand leaves the Netcare Ferncrest hospital in Rustenburg on crutches after injuring his knee in training. According to an FA source, it's "not looking good" for Rio.

Photo: Owen Humphreys / PA



Michael Essien Signs Contract Extension At Chelsea

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By Chris Wright


A little snippet of good news for Chelsea supporters this afternoon, with the news that Michael Essien has signed a two-year contract extension.

The new deal will see the 27-year-old midfield machine tied to the club until 2015.

Bordeaux Deny Arsenal Close To Yoann Gourcuff Deal

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By Chris Wright

Girondins De Bordeaux have distanced themselves from claims that Arsenal are on the verge of completing a move for their highly-rated midfielder Yoann Gourcuff.

The 23-year-old French international has been widely tipped as the man Arsene Wenger wants to bring in as a replacement for Cesc Fabregas should the Spaniard depart for Barcelona this summer, however, Bordeaux president Jean-Louis Triaud told L'Equipe magazine that he refuses to be drawn into such speculation;

"I'm not going to comment on anything from the English newspapers.

Breaking News: Didier Drogba Out Of World Cup With Fractured Elbow?

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By Ollie Irish

"It's a f**king disgrace."

Breaking news indeed (ho ho): reports claims Ivory Coast spearhead Didier Drogba fractured his right elbow in their recent friendly against Japan. if confirmed, the injury means he will miss the whole World Cup and possibly the start of the Premier League season.

The Stupendous Supermodel World Cup 2010 – South Korea (Lee Hyori) v Greece (Julia Alexandratou), Group B

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By Herman Miller

Replacing football teams with ridonkulously hot women is one way of making the 2010 World Cup more fun. So in addition to our coverage of what happens on the pitch in South Africa, that's exactly what Pies is going to do over the coming weeks... You're welcome.

Video: Japan’s Brazilian Defender Takes Out Didier Drogba – Deliberate Or Accidental?

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By Ollie Irish

Conspiracy theorists, start your blogs...

At the start of the video you see Japan defender Marcus Tulio Tanaka collide with Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba. This is the tackle that is set to keep Drogba out of the World Cup.

Considering it was supposed to be a friendly, it appears that Tanaka went in with reckless abandon.

Spartak Moscow Make €10m Move For Celtic’s Aiden McGeady

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By Chris Wright

According to Sky Sports, Spartak Moscow have made a bid of €10 million (£8.3 million) for Celtic's Aiden McGeady.

A flock of representatives from the Russian club reportedly flew in to Glasgow last week in the hope of discussing a move for McGeady and have now, after positive initial discussions, made a firm offer for the Irish winger.

World Cup Photos: England’s First Training Session In South Africa – Gareth Barry Takes Part

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By Ollie Irish

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England's David James during England's first training session at the Royal Bafokeng sports Complex, Rustenberg, South Africa.

Photos: Owen Humphreys / PA

Some pics from England's first training session in South Africa.

England Captain Rio Ferdinand Injures Knee, Out Of World Cup

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By Ollie Irish

Uh-oh. England captain Rio Ferdinand has suffered an injury setback during the squad's first training session in South Africa. Not good.

The centre-back suffered a knee injury in the final minutes of this morning's session and went immediately to hospital to undergo a scan.

Video: Football Wizard Remi Gaillard Puts It Where He Wants

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By Ollie Irish

French street-football magician Remi Gaillard has featured on Pies before and he's back with another brilliant video, which you can watch... wait for it... NOW!

Awesome. No doubt some of them require several takes to get right, but at least it all looks real.

Join Our World Cup Fantasy League, £200 In Cash Prizes!

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By Ollie Irish

Want to play a little fantasy football during the World Cup? Want to win cold hard cash? Here's what you do...

1. Go to http://fantasyfootball.metro.co.uk/worldcup

2. Register. It's FREE!

3.

Photos: Liverpool Fans Burn US Flag In Protest Over Hicks & Gillett Regime

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By Ollie Irish

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Good morning you beautiful people. First up, a few pics of angry Liverpool fans at Anfield, burning the US flag in protest over the co-ownership of Tom 'Boss Hogg' Hicks and George 'Deputy Enos Strate' Gillett.

Yaya Toure Coming To The Premier League, But Where? Tottenham Fancy £20m Diego Forlan

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By Chris Wright

Here's the round up...

Rumour No. 1: According to his agent Dimitri Seluk, Barcelona anchor man Yaya Toure is almost definitely going to be playing his club football in England next year.

Viral Video: The Steven Gerrard Bullet Shot

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By Ollie Irish

If Red Bull gives you wings, Lucozade Sport gives you, er, rocket-powered feet.

Generally I'd prefer wings. But in football terms, give me the rocket feet any day.



Viral Video: James Milner Is Not Ronaldinho

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By Ollie Irish

Milner is good. He's not this good...

More fake than Didier Drogba's weave.

Camp Drog says:

"Oooh, you bitch! It's all my own hair, darling."



Alan Hansen: ‘Rafa Is Leaving Liverpool In Their Worst State For 50 Years’

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By Chris Wright

Liverpool legend Alan Hansen has stuck the boot in to the club's recently-departed manager Rafa Benitez, claiming that the Spaniard has left the squad in the worst state it's been in for half a century.

Top 10 Goals Of The Season, No.4 – Chris Cohen, Blackpool v NOTTM FOREST, Championship

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By Ollie Irish

Some goals are all about the beauty of trajectory and nothing else. Like this...

In essence, this is a long-ball goal, but Cohen's extraordinary finish, 100% intentional, elevates it to the level of balls-out wonder goal. Imagine the fuss if Messi or Rooney had scored it.

Sh*t Lookalikes: Dean Leacock & Damon Wyans

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By Ollie Irish

Dean 'Deano' Leacock plays for Derby County. Damon Wyans is a bad actor.

Anmol Mancunian

Great spot Anmol. Send your Shit Lookalikes to ollie@anorak.co.uk



Wolves Sign Steven Fletcher From Burnley

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By Chris Wright

Wolves have completed the signing of Steven Fletcher from Burnley for an undisclosed fee believed to be in the region of £7 million.

Fletcher has signed a four-year contract at Molineux, with the option of a further year.

Liverpool Confirm Manager Rafa Benitez Has Left The Club

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By Chris Wright


Liverpool have released a statement via their official website to announce that manager Rafael Benitez has officially left the club by mutual consent.

The statement reads;

"Mr Benitez relinquishes his position as team manager after six years and the Board of Directors would like to place on record their grateful thanks for his services and wish him all the best in his future career.

In Pictures: New Everton Pink Away Shirt (It’s Very PINK!)

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By Ollie Irish

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Everton launch their new pink away shirt for the 2010/11 season

Holy eyesores Batman, that is even more pink than it looked in the leaked photo. At least last season's away kit was only a little bit pink, and mostly black.

Photos: England Arrive At Team Hotel In South Africa, Welcomed With Traditional Dancing

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By Ollie Irish

Some hot new pics of England being welcomed to their SA hotel, at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Campus. WARNING: Includes young men standing around in three-piece suits, awkwardly watching half-naked young men dancing...

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England's (left to right) Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard, John Terry and Steven Gerrard watch local dancers as they arrive at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Campus in Rustenburg, South Africa.

15 Brilliant Young Players To Watch At The World Cup

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By Ollie Irish

In the interests of being interesting, we've gone for some of the lesser-known youngsters so no room for superstars like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney...

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SEYDOU DOUMBIA, IVORY COAST, 22 - Doumbia excelled at Young Boys of Bern, scoring for fun.

Ta Rafa La – Liverpool Fans Say Goodbye To Benitez

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By Ollie Irish

A poster on the gates at Anfield aimed at departing manager Rafa Benitez. 'Ta Rafa La' is Scouse for 'Thanks Rafa mate'.

Photo: Peter Byrne / PA



Al-Ahli Now Planning To Tempt Alessandro Del Piero To Dubai

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By Chris Wright

Looks like somebody stopped in at Adrian Mutu's place on the way to the game

Dubai club Al-Ahli are trying to follow up their signing of Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro yesterday with a move for veteran Juventus striker Alessandro Del Piero.

World Cup Video: James Corden Shows Wayne Rooney How To Celebrate

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By Ollie Irish

The World Cup vids keep on coming. It's a corporate clustercuss...

James Corden: Funny or Die?


James Corden: Funny Or Die?customer surveys

(I think I can guess which way this vote will go.)



North Korea Name Striker As Third-Choice Goalkeeper – FIFA Says He Can Only Play In Goal

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By Ollie Irish

North Korea can fork with South Korea as much as they want (and they do want), but it seems they can't get the better of mighty FIFA.

The North Koreans have been told by FIFA that Kim Myong-Won will only be able to play as a goalkeeper in the World Cup and not in his usual role as a striker.

Photos: England Depart For 2010 World Cup, Rooney Has Lucky Pillow

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By Ollie Irish

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Wayne Rooney prepares to board the plane to depart for South Africa at Heathrow Airport, London.

England touched down in Joburg this morning, after the long haul from London. We don't have pics of that yet (our pals at Goaly Moly do), but we do have some pics of Fabio and co.

England World Cup Squad Given Shirt Numbers – David James No.1, Peter Crouch No.9, Joe Cole No.11

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By Ollie Irish

England's players now know which shirt number they have for South Africa 2010:

1 David James;Â 2 Glen Johnson;Â 3 Ashley Cole;Â 4 Steven Gerrard;Â 5 Rio Ferdinand;Â 6 John Terry;Â 7 Aaron Lennon;Â 8 Frank Lampard;Â 9 Peter Crouch;Â 10 Wayne Rooney;Â 11 Joe Cole;Â 12 Robert Green;Â 13 Stephen Warnock;Â 14 Gareth Barry;Â 15 Matthew Upson;Â 16 James Milner;Â 17Shaun Wright-Phillips;Â 18 Jamie Carragher;Â 19 Jermain Defoe;Â 20Ledley King;Â 21 Emile Heskey;Â 22 Michael Carrick;Â 23 Joe Hart.

Maicon – I Want To Join Real Madrid, Not Man City

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By Ollie Irish

Inter full-back Maicon wants to follow former coach Jose Mourinho to Real Madrid. You don't say. This is a more predictable transfer than any this summer.

The 28-year-old Brazilian told Spanish daily AS: "What I want is to play at Madrid and for me it would be an honour to be able to do that because I've already said it would be a great opportunity in my career.

First Rafa, Then Steven Gerrard? Real Madrid Target Liverpool Captain, Arsenal Planning Robert Green Move

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By Chris Wright

Here's the round up...

Rumour No. 1: Things may be about to go from bad to worse for Liverpool. With manager Rafa Benitez being presented with his exit route yesterday, it seems the club may now be facing a battle to hold on to their captain Steven Gerrard.

Photos: Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney & Ashley Cole Talk At Nike ‘No More Talk’ Event

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By Ollie Irish

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England captain Rio Ferdinand (centre) with players Wayne Rooney and Ashley Cole at Nike Town in central London ahead of the England team flying out to South Africa for the World Cup.

No more talk, right.

Joe Cole To Arsenal On Free Transfer

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By Herman Miller

Word on Rumour Street is that Joe Cole has agreed to play for Arsenal next season. Reports claim the Chelsea midfielder met with Gunner people earlier this week, and that he is set to move to north London on a free transfer after the World Cup, with a three-year contract tucked into his shorts.

Avram Grant Confirmed As New West Ham Manager

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By Chris Wright

West Ham have confirmed that they have installed Avram Grant as their new manager.

Grant has signed a four-year contract to become Gianfranco Zola's successor at Upton Park, after the Italian was dismissed 23 days ago following the Hammer's season-long flirtation with relegation from the Premier League last season.

Rafa Benitez Offered £3m To Leave Liverpool Immediately

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By Chris Wright

According to the BBC Sport website, the Liverpool board have offered manager Rafa Benitez a £3 million severance deal that would see him leave the club with immediate effect.

It has been reported that it would cost Liverpool upwards of £16 million to fully buy-out the remainder of Benitez' contract if they were to sack him, and so it would appear the Anfield board are trying to negotiate a compromised pay-off that would allow both parties to start afresh.

World Cup Merch: England v USA 1950 T-Shirt

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By Ollie Irish

We are liking this limited edition T-shirt, emblazoned with a black-and-white photo from the USA's 1-0 win against England at the 1950 World Cup (aka the Miracle on Grass).

You can buy it online from Bumpy Pitch for $36 as far as I can tell, they do ship outside the States.

Jerome Boateng Confirms €12.5m Man City Switch

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By Chris Wright


German international centre-back Jerome Boateng has confirmed that he is set to become a Manchester City player within the next few days, by completing a €12.5 million move from Bundesliga side Hamburger SV before the World Cup gets underway next week.

Cristiano Ronaldo Supports Gay Marriage, Pique Laughs Off Zlatan Rumours

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By Ollie Irish

The newest cast member of Jersey Shore, avec man bag

There are no gay professional footballers, of course. Not one. That's a fact.

Still, the very heterosexual Cristiano Ronaldo (see photo) is fully behind Portugal's decision to allow same-sex couples to get married.

The Stupendous Supermodel World Cup 2010 – Uruguay (Barbara Mori) v France (Laetitia Casta), Group A

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By Herman Miller

Replacing football teams with ridonkulously hot women is one way of making the 2010 World Cup more fun. So in addition to our coverage of what happens on the pitch in South Africa, that's exactly what Pies is going to do over the coming weeks... You're welcome.

The Internet Explodes With World Cup Searches… Not Literally

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By Ollie Irish

"The internet has literally exploded, Richard... Yes, I do mean literally."

According to Hitwise, some sort of boffins who are paid to analyse the web, at least 20% of all online searches in the UK last week contained the words "world cup", with no less than 25,000 different individual search terms.

Pies Classics: Top Seven Scariest World Cup Groups Of Death

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By Ollie Irish

Seven of the most chilling GoDs in World Cup history:

1. ARGENTINA, BRAZIL, ITALY -Â Group C, Second Phase, 1982 World Cup

Who made it out alive? Italy defeated both the South American superpowers, in two classic encounters (they beat Argentina 2-1 and Brazil 3-2, the latter being one of the World Cup's greatest ever matches), to escape this particularly fatal little threesome.

Italy Captain Fabio Cannavaro Signs With Al-Ahli Dubai

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By Chris Wright

Al-Ahli have announced the signing of Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro who, I'm sure, has joined the cash-rich Dubai-based club for purely footballing reasons.

Cannavaro, a former World Player of the Year, looked set to be heading into the upcoming World Cup as a free-agent after failing to agree upon a new contract with Juventus.

Photos: Matt Le Tisser And Blonde Models Shill For Binocular Football Game

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By Ollie Irish

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Glamour Model Rhian Sugden and Big Brother Winner Sophie Reade launch binocular football in London.

Aye, tis a fairly slow news day here on Planet Football, so we are left with some rather trashy pics (though not too trashy to publish, ahem) of Matt Le Tissier and a couple of bimbos one of whom is an ex-Big Brother 'star' plugging a binocular football match for cable TV channel Viva.

The Internet Explodes With Word Cup Searches… Not Literally

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By Ollie Irish

"The internet has literally exploded, Richard... Yes, I do mean literally."

According to Hitwise, some sort of boffins who are paid to analyse the web, at least 20% of all online searches in the UK last week contained the words "world cup", with no less than 25,000 different individual search terms.

Steven Gerrard Should Partner Wayne Rooney Up Front In World Cup – Sir Geoff Hurst

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By Ollie Irish

"They do though, don't they though?"

Sir Geoff Hurst, who emerges from hibernation every four years, would like to see England manager Fabio Capello pair Wayne Rooney & Steven Gerrard up front in South Africa, albeit in a 4-5-1 formation.

World Cup Video: Australia’s Optus Secret Training Camp Ad Is Seriously Impressive

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By Ollie Irish

Wow! That is one exceptionally well-produced video. More impressive than the Nike 'Write The Future' ad though? Very difficult to say this is more daring and original though. We like.



Top 10 Complaints About The Adidas Jabulani World Cup Match Ball

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By Ollie Irish

The evil Jabulani

Well, they say there's no such thing as bad publicity, but a host of World Cup stars are doing their best to deflate the Adidas Jabulani official match ball...

"The ball is dreadful. It's horrible, but it's horrible for everyone.

World Cup Snapshot: Pen Pics Of The 23-Man England Squad

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By Ollie Irish

Salute your brave lads (click image to enlarge)...

With a squad like that Warnock! Heskey! Carrick! SWP! how can England fail? In the quarter-finals again, on penalties, that's how.

Goalkeepers (top row from left): David James, Robert Green, Joe Hart

Defenders (second row from left): Stephen Warnock, Ashley Cole, John Terry, Jaime Carragher, Glen Johnson, Rio Ferdinand, Ledley King, Matthew Upson

Midfielders (third row from left): Gareth Barry, Joe Cole, Aaron Lennon, Frank Lampard, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Steven Gerrard, Michael Carrick, James Milner

Forwards (bottom row from left): Jermain Defoe, Emile Heskey, Wayne Rooney, Peter Crouch



Barcelona Submit Offer For Cesc Fabregas – Arsenal Tell Them What To Do With It

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By Chris Wright


Barcelona claim to have entered 'official' talks with Arsenal over the transfer of Cesc Fabregas.

Quotes on the Barcelona website seem to confirm that talks have begun between the two clubs;

"An informal conversation with Arsenal became formal on 1 June and now an official approach has been made to the club"

Arsenal are yet to comment.

Tottenham Boss Harry Redknapp: ‘Joe Cole Has Already Signed For Someone Else’

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By Chris Wright

Tottenham manager and master sh*t-stirrer Harry Redknapp has admitted that would be interested in signing Chelsea contract rebel Joe Cole, but he believes the England winger has already agreed a deal with another club.

Barcelona Have A Cunning Plan To Lower Cesc Fabregas’ Price, Man City Closing In On Edin Dzeko

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By Chris Wright

Here's the round up...

'Chygrynskiy' shirt sales are low, primarily because they cost over £100 to print

Rumour No. 1: Barcelona are preparing to offer Arsenal their Ukrainian centre-back Dmytro Chygryskiy on a twelve-month loan deal in an attempt to lower the price the Gunners are asking for Cesc Fabregas who, you may have heard, has been the subject of some pretty heavy interest from the Barca camp of late.

Crystal Palace Survive Thanks To Last-Minute Deal

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By Ollie Irish

Crystal Palace fans outside the offices of the Lloyds Banking Group wait to hear their club's fate

Put away those 'RIP Crystal Palace' signs. At the eleventh hour, the CPFC 2010 consortium agreed a deal in principle to buy the club and Selhurst Park.

The Stupendously Hot Women World Cup 2010 – South Africa (Candice Swanepoel) v Mexico (Daniela De Jesus Cosio), Group A

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By Herman Miller

Replacing football teams with ridonkulously hot women is one way of making the 2010 World Cup more fun. So in addition to our coverage of what happens on the pitch in South Africa, that's exactly what Pies is going to do over the coming weeks... You're welcome.

Top 10 Goals Of The Season, No.5: Arjen Robben, Man Utd v BAYERN MUNICH, Champions League

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By Ollie Irish

Astonishing technique and composure shown by Robben. The margin for error here was minute.

Previously...

Top 10 Goals Of The Season, No.6 Karim Benzema, Deportivo v REAL MADRID, La Liga

Top 10 Goals Of The Season, No.7 Lionel Messi, Barcelona V Real Zaragoza, La Liga

Top 10 Goals Of The Season, No.

England 23-Man World Cup Squad Confirmed! – Walcott, Dawson, Huddlestone, Parker, Bent, Baines And Adam Johnson OUT

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By Ollie Irish

England go from 30 to 23

With some reservations (no official announcement at time of writing), we think we know the names of 23 proud Englishmen who will go into battle for Fabio Capello at the 2010 World Cup finals:

GKs Joe Hart, David James, Rob Green

DFs – Jamie Carragher, Ashley Cole, Michael Dawson, Rio Ferdinand, Glen Johnson, John Terry, Matthew Upson, Stephen Warnock

MFs Gareth Barry, Michael Carrick, Joe Cole, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Aaron Lennon, James Milner, Shaun Wright-Phillips

FWDs Peter Crouch, Jermain Defoe, Emile Heskey, Wayne Rooney

Which means this lot can now book their summer holidays:

AXED Darren Bent, Leighton Baines, Theo Walcott, Adam Johnson, Tom Huddlestone, Ledley King, Scott Parker

The headlines: No Theo Walcott, no Ledley King; I thought both would survive the cut.

Theo Walcott Axed By Capello, Told The Bad News Whilst Playing Golf

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By Ollie Irish

I'd like to post up the final 23-man England squad in one article, but thanks to the shambolic FA, there's nowt but a painful drip drip drip of news and rumours. Just announce the bloody squad already!

Anyway, the biggest story so far, by far, is the news that Arsenal winger Theo Walcott is NOT on the plane to South Africa.

John Terry’s Father Spared Jail Time

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By Chris Wright


The father of Chelsea and England defender John Terry has been spared a jail sentence following his arrest for directly supplying cocaine to a journalist posing as a chauffeur.

Edward Terry of Chafford Hundred, Essex, admitted supplying 3.

In Pictures: X-Factor & N-Dubz Win Soccer Six Celeb Tournament

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By Ollie Irish

Some celebs I have never heard of turned up to compete in the annual Soccer Six charity tournament this weekend. The blokes' competition was won by an X-Factor team, with the women's title going to N-Dubz, whatever N-Dubz is.

Anyway, if you like Heat magazine and all that jazz, I imagine you will enjoy these photos of the event.

Craig Bellamy Hints At Cardiff City Switch

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By Chris Wright


Manchester City striker Craig Bellamy has dropped a ma-hoo-sive hint that he may be about to join Championship side Cardiff City.

Bellamy is widely expected to be on his merry way out of Eastlands this summer after reportedly growing tired of manager Roberto Mancini's coaching methods, and the Welshman is said to have been attracting interest from a number of potential suitors including Tottenham, Celtic and Wolfsburg to name but three.

The World Cup Years: Mussolini Poses With Victorious Italy, 1938 World Cup Winners

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By Ollie Irish

The Italy team pose with dictator Benito Mussolini (back row, centre, in pale jacket) to celebrate their victory in the 1938 FIFA World Cup, held in France.

Italy beat Hungary 4-2 in the final to claim their second world title in a row.

Photo: EMPICS



Arsenal Had ‘Pitiful’ Season – Arshavin

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By Ollie Irish

Andrey Arshavin has branded Arsenal's season as "pitiful". A bit harsh, Arsh.

The Meerkat told The Sun: "There was nothing special last season for me to think back about. The season was normal even pitiful."

The Gunners won the same amount of trophies as Stoke and Blackburn, admittedly, but it was hardly a pitiful campaign.

Barcelona Remain Confident Of Signing Cesc Fabregas, Arsenal Target Yoann Gourcuff As His Replacement

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By Chris Wright

What about Bontcho Guentchev? Here's the round up...

Rumour No. 1: Barcelona president Joan Laporta has admitted that the Catalan club still have high hopes of signing Cesc Fabregas despite Arsenal's attempts to hold on to their prized captain.

‘Overweight’ Benni McCarthy Axed From South Africa World Cup Squad – What A Waste

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By Ollie Irish

Big Benni should have laid off the cakes

"He is overweight, with high body fat percentage and a lower physical state than the rest of the team."

That was the expert opinion of South Africa fitness coach Francisco Gonzalez, when asked about striker Benni McCarthy a couple of weeks ago.

Vote: Which Seven Players Would You Axe From England’s 30?

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By Ollie Irish

You ARE Capello. Click on the seven players you would discard. Simples...


Choose Seven England Players To Axeonline surveys

My choices: Leighton Baines, Michael Dawson, Matthew Upson, Tom Huddlestone, Scott Parker, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Emile Heskey



The Who Ate All The Pies England World Cup Song Contest

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By Ollie Irish

Pies needs an official England World Cup song, and we want YOU to choose it for us.

We've got a shortlist of ten songs for you to vote for. Vote, then leave a comment with the reason behind your choice the best comment will win this smashing table football game!