Who Ate All the Pies Archives for January 2016

46-Year-Old Barry Richardson Comes Off Bench For Wycombe v Plymouth, Keeps Clean Sheet

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Bornin the summer of '69 (but nothing to do with Bryan Adams), 46-year-old Barry Richardson rolled back the years on Saturday, making a surprise appearance in League Two for Wycombe against Plymouth.

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The Chairboys' goalkeeping coach had only recently agreed to combine that job with the role of reserve 'keeper, after Matt Ingram moved on to QPR.

Greek Players Sit Down For Two Minutes In Protest Over Treatment Of Child Refugees (Video)

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The start of the Greek second tier game between AEL Larissa and Acharnaikos was halted for two minutes last night when both teams stopped playing and sat down on the pitch in recognition of the continued struggle of refugees, specificallychildren, trying to flee their war-torn homelands.

The show of solidarity was reportedly in reference to the 26 migrants who recently drowned when their boat sunk off the Greek island of Samos.

Official: Chelsea Snaffle Up Alexandre Pato On Low Risk Loan Deal (Photo)

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Just a quickie to confirm that Chelsea finally managed to push through the signing of Alexandre Pato shortly before close of play last night.

The 26-year-old striker had had one foot in the door at Stamford Bridge for several days but "bureaucratic paperwork" prevented the move from being officially sealed until yesterday evening.

FA Cup: Wayne Rooney Nets Curling Cracker As Man Utd Cruise Past Derby (Video)

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The pressure on Louis Van Gaal eased (just a tad) on Friday night after his Manchester United side cruisedpast Derby County to book their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup, with Wayne Rooney netting the goal of the game.

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The Red Devils were sharp from the first whistle and took the lead on 18 courtesy, courtesy of this stunning effort from Rooney.

Ex-Manchester United Tough Nut Nemanja Vidic Retires From Professional Football, Aged 34

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Former Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic has announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 34 after finally succumbing to the multiple injuries that have blighted his post-Old Trafford career.

After nine trophy-laden years with United, Vidic left for Inter Milan in March of 2014 but failed to make much if any impact in Serie A as the repeatedniggles gradually became all-consuming.

On This Day In 1965: Hibernian’s Famous Five, The Finest Forward Line In Scottish Football History, Play Together For Last Time

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Hibs' Famous Five (from left-right: Gordon Smith, Bobby Johnstone, Lawrie Reilly, Eddie Turnbull, Willie Ormond)

Before tiki-taka, before totaal voetbal, before push 'n' run, before catenaccio, before joga bonito, there was the Hibernian Famous Five.

Gordon Smith, Bobby Johnstone, Lawrie Reilly, Eddie Turnbull and Willie Ormond rose to prominence as a five-manforward line during Hibs' post-war glory years in the 1950s, when the Edinburgh club were the main challengers to Glasgow Rangers.

Ajax Answer Twitter SOS Call By Laying On Special Matchday Taxi Service For 80-Year-Old Fan

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You wait all year for a feelgood Ajax story and then two come along at once.

After featuring yesterday for rewardinga hardy band of 15 travelling Heracles supporterswith a cracking gesture, the Eredivisie giants have once again proved that they look after fans by agreeing to lay on special matchday travel for an elderly fan.

Aston Villa Wastrel Charles N’Zogbia Invites Angry Fan Out For Lunch After Being Called ‘Absolute Fraud’

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Charles N'Zogbia has made just two appearances for Aston Villa, amassing a grand total of 40 minutes of first-team football so far this season. In return for this great service he is paid more than £63,000-a-week a fact he is more than willing to publicly confirm.

Despite Villa's many and various attempts to get shot ofhim over the past few years, the French wastrel seems to be perfectly happy to wile away his massive five-year contract until it finally runs out this summer.

West Ham: Reece Oxford Sees Charlton Loan Cancelled Because New Boss Jose Riga Doesn’t Know Who He Is

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After shootingtothe fore with an impressive first-team debut against Arsenal on the opening day of the season, 17-year-old West Ham prodigy Reece Oxford has found his first-team opportunities decidedly limited sincethen,with Slaven Bilic opting for more experienced in the centre of his midfield.

Well-Travelled Welsh Striker Robert Earnshaw Retires From Football, Posts Superb Open Letter To Fans

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Vancouver Whitecaps striker Robert Earnshaw has penned a superb open letter to his fans on the day he announced his retirementfrom football at the ripe old age of 34.

#ThxEarnie @RobertEarnshaw announces his retirement in a heartfelt open letter: https://t.

Stuart Pearce Comes Out Of Retirement Aged 53 To Sign For ‘The Worst Non-League Team In England’ (Photos)

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It should be stated right up top that this is a massive publicity stunt for an insurance company (see if you can guess which one), but Stuart Pearce has come creaking out of retirement to sign for non-league Longford AFC, aka, the worst teamin English football.

Longfordhave lost all 18 of their games so far this season in the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League Division Two, conceding 179 goals (an average of almost 10 goals per game) and scoring just once.

Everton Captain Phil Jagielka Claims Referee Martin Atkinson Sarcastically Congratulated Him On His Defending During Man City Defeat (Audio)

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Everton were left feeling hard done by after being shunted out of the Capital One Cup last night by Man City, who took the upper hand in the semi-final thanks toa controversial Kevin De Bruyne goal.

The ball looked to have clearly crossed the line before Raheem Sterling cut a cross back for the Belgian to whack inCity's second goal of the night, but the goal was allowed to stand regardless.

Reports: Real Madrid Tried To Sign Lionel Messi From Barcelona On No Less Than Three Occasions

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The big wibble in the Spanish press today is the revelation that Real Madrid have reportedly attempted to coax Lionel Messi to the Bernabeu on no less than three occasions in the recent past.

The claims were made on the Cadena COPE radio station, specifically the 'El Partido de las Doce' show, that Messi has spurned Florentino Perez's advances thrice between 2011 and 2015bytelling the Real president "Thanks, but Barcelona is my club".

On This Day In 1961: Denis Law Scores Six Goals For Man City And Still Ends Up On The Losing Side!

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The young Denis Law lines up for Man City, 1960

When Man City played Luton Town in the FA Cup fourth round on this day in 1961, they were 6-2 up after 69 minuteswithDenis Law helping himself to all six of City's goals.

Sadly, it all went swiftly downhill from there for the youngScottish striker.

Football Art: Young Russian Artist Creates Stunning Pencil Drawings Of Football’s Great And Good (Photos)

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New pencil drawing of Arsenal hero and legend @officialdennisbergkamp. #DennisBergkamp #Bergkamp #Arsenal #AFC #ArsenalFC #COYG #VCC #gooners #gunners #EPL #drawing #art #arsenalskaya P.S.: Guys, please, tag him and @arsenal

A photo posted by Daria Isaeva (@arsenalskaya) on Jan 25, 2016 at 2:08am PST

What you're looking at here is the work of a Russian artist by the name of Daira Isaeva, who spends her free time sketching these amazing pencil drawingsof football's great and good.

Ajax Upgrade Travelling Heracles Supporters To VIP Box After Just 15 Fans Turn Up For Eredivisie Clash (Photo)

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Kudos are most definitely due to theAjax stadium management team, who saw fit to reward the hardy band of 15 Heracles supporters who made the two-hour drive to Amsterdam for Wednesday night's Eredivisie clash by upgrading them to their own personal VIP box.

As can be seen from the following photo, it certainly seemed as though Heracles' mini-horde enjoyed themselves while enjoying the 0-0 draw in the lap of luxury!

‘I Didn’t Realise He Was Badly Hurt’ – Everton ‘Keeper Joel Robles Apologises To Kevin De Bruyne For Reaction To Nasty Knee Injury

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Everton goalkeeper Joel Robles has publicly apologised to Kevin de Bruyne after his reaction to the Man City winger's injury during last night's Capital One Cup semi-final at the Etihad.

Joel stood over De Bruyne and chastised him for play-acting following a seemingly innocuous collision with Everton defender Ramiro Funes Mori in injury time.

Reports: Chelsea Consider Giving Leicester Supremo Claudio Ranieri A Second Go In The Stamford Bridge Hot-Seat

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Currently enjoying an incredible season with surprise table-toppers Leicester City, Claudio Ranieri is apparently once again in the sights of Chelsea, a club he managed between 2000 and 2004 at the very start of the Roman Abramovich era.

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The Telegraph reports that the affable Italian is on a list drawn up by the Blues' bigwigs, as they plan for life after interim boss Guus Hiddink exits at the end of the current season.

Capital One Cup: Dodgy Line Call Helps Man City To Wembley After Victory v Everton (Video)

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Manchester City will line out in their fourth major final in the last six seasons after beating Everton 4-3 on aggregate in their League Cup semi-final. The Citizens, who were 2-1 down after the first leg, saw the Toffees take lead on Wednesday night, courtesy of a superb Ross Barkley Goal. However, Fernandinho's quick reply set up a comeback from the hosts, with the second goal dripping in controversy.

Shit Lookalike: Leighton Baines & Eddison Tollett Of The Night’s Watch

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We sat through Everton's Capital One Cup semi-final against Man City trying desperately to thinkwho Leighton Baines and his frankly appalling new barnet reminded us of.

Then it clicked...

Come on Leighton, sort it out son.

Official: Andros Townsend Completes £12m Newcastle Move (Photo)

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Shades of Obertan (Image: NUFC via Chronicle)

The deal is done. Andros Townsend is officially a Newcastle United player, Tottenham receiving £12million for the pleasure.

According to the Newcastle club site, Townsend or 'Toonsend' as they seem intent on calling him has signed a five-and-a-half-year deal and will wear the No.

Reports: Gary Cahill At ‘Career Crossroads’, Mulling Chelsea Exit In Bid To Secure Euro 2016 Place

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The tittle-tattle emanating fromChelsea this afternoon is that Gary Cahill is seriously considering leaving the club in a bid to rescue his flagging chances of going to Euro 2016 with England.

Having made just 12 league appearances so far this season, the 30-year-old centre-back has found himself bumped down behind John Terry and Kurt Zouma in the pecking order at Stamford Bridge and is reportedly mulling overthe possibility of moving on.

FA Cup Pitch Invader Fined £200 For ‘Ridiculous’ Attempt To Win Back Ex-Girlfriend

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Look at the pitch invader at Eastleigh earlier...he nearly netted! (via @richrd31) pic.twitter.com/U6UeJg6hpX

— Coral (@Coral) January 9, 2016

The fan who momentarily interrupted the FA Cup clash between Eastleigh and Bolton at the weekend has been fined for his 'ridiculous' attempt to win back the affections of his ex-girlfriend.

Official: Ramires Leaves Chelsea To Join Jiangsu Suning In Bewildering £25m Deal

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'Tis the end of an era specifically the era in which Ramires played for Chelsea.

It's been officially announced this afternoon that the Brazilian midfielder, who is still only 28, has completed his move to the free-spending Chinese Super League by joining Jiangsu Suning in a reported £20-25million deal.

FA Cup Pitch Invader Fined £200 For ‘Ridiculous’ Attempt To Win Ex-Girlfriend Back

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Look at the pitch invader at Eastleigh earlier...he nearly netted! (via @richrd31) pic.twitter.com/U6UeJg6hpX

— Coral (@Coral) January 9, 2016

The fan who momentarily interrupted the FA Cup clash between Eastleigh and Bolton at the weekend has been fined for his 'ridiculous' attempt to win back the affections of his ex-girlfriend.

Scottish Cup: Linlithgow Rose Captain Misses Historic Victory After Being Unable To Book Time Off From Sausage Factory

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Kevin Kelbie celebrates his winner against Forfar(Photo via Sky Sports)

A firm doff of the cap isdefinitely due to Linlithgow Rose FC, who became the first ever junior team to reach the last 16 of the Scottish Cup on Tuesday evening.

Just to clarify, 'junior' football' in Scotland is a reference to the level, not the age of the players involved.

On This Day In 2002: Jamie Carragher Throws Coin Back Into Crowd As Red Mist Descends In Stormy FA Cup Clash Between Arsenal And Liverpool (Video)

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With 20 minutes of an incredibly bad-tempered FA Cup fourth round tie at Highbury remaining, Dennis Bergkamp found himself red-carded for a decidedly 'stampy' challengeonJamie Carragher out near the touchline.

Bergkamp's dismissal proved to be an instant flashpoint, with one particularly incensed Arsenal fan pelting a coin at Carragher.

Everton: Ross Barkley Narrates His Journey From Wavertree To Goodison In Cracking ‘Rags To Riches’ Advert (Video)

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Yes, it may be a rather long-winded advert for a credit card company, but Everton have produced a cracking little 'rags to riches' promo video centred around Ross Barkley's rise through the ranks at the club.

Shot in point-of-view style (not unlike Nike's ace 'Take It To The Next Level' advert from 2008, as directed by Guy Ritchie), the snappy video charts Barkley's ascension from the dog turd-strewn parks of Wavertree to playing under the floodlights at Goodison.

Jermain Defoe Doesn’t Turn On His Kitchen Taps Like A Regular Human Being (Video)

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In which Jermain Defoe demonstrates his zen-like mastery of the domestic footballsphere by turning on his kitchen tap with a cheeky little trickshot from across the room.

That said, whether we're looking at 'take one' here or not is questionable...

Just gonna put the tap on, get a drink #Jdtapchallenge

A video posted by Jermain Defoe (@iamjermaindefoe) on Jan 26, 2016 at 10:33am PST

Pies herebyhope the #JDTapChallenge takes off on Twitter.

New Sponsorship Deal Sees Top 10 Teams In Portugese Second Division Forced To Sign Chinese Players

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ByJoseph Viney

If the Against Modern Football movement doesn't have enough cause for complaint then today's news will leave them tearing their hair out.

From the start of the 2016/17 season, the top 10 teams in the Portuguese Segunda Liga (soon to be known as the Ledman Proliga) will be required to include at least one Chinese player in their squad after a new sponsorship deal with Ledman, the Chinese lighting manufacturer, was announced this afternoon.

La Liga: Gary Neville Gets Animated During Valencia Draw With Deportivo, Screams At Players In Spanish And English (Video)

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One of the better football pundits around, Gary Neville's shock move from the comforts of the Sky Sports studio to the pressure of the Valencia touchline has been one of the more eye-opening stories of the season. But despite enduring a difficult time in La Liga so far, the former England star looks to be getting to grips with the language (ish).

Capital One Cup: Liverpool Set For Wembley After Semi-Final Shoot-Out Drama v Stoke (Photos & Highlights)

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Jurgen Klopp's first season in the Anfield hot-seat will end in a Wembley final after Liverpool edged past Stoke at Anfield via a penalty shoot-out.

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Taking a 1-0 advantage into the second leg on Tuesday evening, the hosts conceded on the stroke of half-time, when Marko Arnautovic netted from close-range.

Arsenal: Egyptian Footballer Manga Names Newborn Son After Gunners’ String-Puller Mesut Özil

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After finally rediscovering his best, scheming form with Arsenal this season, assist-wizard MesutÖzil has risen to God-like status among fans of the Gunners.One Egyptian footballer,Ahmed Nabil Manga, who presumably is a fan of the north Londoners, has (along with his wife of course!) paid the German playmaker the ultimate compliment by naming his new son after him.

Dimitar Berbatov Conducts Slightly Weird Interview With Himself To Nix Rumours About Being Unhappy At PAOK

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Hard to imagine we know, but Dimitar Berbatov was shown his first red card in 13 years at the weekend after the silken PAOK striker was dismissed for giving an irksome rapscallion a closer look at his elbow.

The incident followed a fairly unsettled few weeks for Berbatov, who has found himself at the centre of a tabloid stramash in Greece over rumours he's looking to exit PAOK at the first available opportunity.

NAC Breda Fail Dismally With Attempt To Execute Laughably Complicated Set Piece Routine (Video)

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Spotted duringthe recentEerste Divisie game between NAC Breda and Jong Ajax, here's a cracking example of the perils of 'innovation'when it comes toset-piece routines.

NAC's convoluted plan appears to involve a couple of shuffling decoy walls but quickly devolves into an utter hash whereinit's impossible to work out what the hell anybody is supposing to be doing.

Official: Crystal Palace Sign Emmanuel Adebayor On Short Term, Clause-Laden Deal (Photo)

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Crystal Palace have announced that they've decided to take the plunge and sign Emmanuel Adebayor on ashort termdeal.

While it's being reported that Adebayor has signed an 18-month deal with Palace, the club themselves have announced that the former Arsenal, Man City and Tottenham striker has joined until the end of the season.

Mascot Mutilation: Queens Park FC Launch Desperate Appeal To Reunite Harry The Hippo With His Stolen Head

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Scottish side Queens Park have posted a desperate plea on Twitter after having their mascot brutally decapitated over the weekend.

The League Two outfit, nicknamed the Spiders, have asked fans to beextra vigilant after Harry the Hippo/Hoopo had hishead snatched from the club pavilion at some point.

Disgruntled Sheffield United Fans Send £7,200 Bill To Sky Sports For Moving Bank Holiday Fixture

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A group of disgruntled Sheffield United fans have clubbed together and hit Sky Sports with a bill of over £7,000 as they seek reimbursement for their fixture being rescheduled at the behest of the TV goliaths.

The Blades were originally supposed to be playing Southend at 3:00pm on Easter Monday, that was until Sky stuck their corporate oar in and had the game shunted to 19:45pm the following Wednesday nightto suit their live broadcast schedule.

Non-League Wimborne Town Facing Liquidation Just Two Weeks After Harry Redknapp’s Appointment As Director

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You may recall that not so very long ago we brought you news of Harry Redknapp's big return to football after the former Tottenham and QPR boss accepted a role on the director's board at non-league Wimborne Town FC.

Now, justa few days shy of a fortnight later, it's being reported that Wimborne are perilously close to being liquidated due to unpaid debts of £110,000 to HMRC.

Andros Townsend’s Gloomy Tottenham Limbo Almost Over As Newcastle Agree £12m Fee

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Andros finds himself out in the cold again

As confirmed by the Guardian among many other outlets, Newcastle have finally agreed a fee to take Andros Townsend off Tottenham's hands this morning.

It's understood that Daniel Levy was holding out for £14million after knocking back Newcastle's original £10million offer last week.

New Manchester United 2016/17 ‘Half And Half’ Adidas Home Kit Leaked (Photo)

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Back in November, the tireless chaps over at Footy Headlines stumbled on ateaser image (above) of the new Manchester United home kit for next season.

As we were able to glean at the time, it looked like Adidas were preparing to ring in the second season of their huge supply deal with United by creating a home strip inspired by the club's formative years specifically thehalf-and-half design of the very first Newton Heath kits.

Eric Dier Sparks Dele Alli Twitter War By Sharing Cringe-Inducing Video Of Tottenham Star Singing Along To Sandi Thom

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Dele Alli's embarrassing adolescent dabblings with social media continue to come back to haunt him, with Tottenham teammate Eric Dier playing an instrumental role in bringing the latest cringe-inducing flashback to the fore.

Having already been treated to his original Myspace profile picture and extensive footage of his driving lessons, the latest Alli nugget features the Spurs prodigy dressed in what looks like his school uniform and crooning along to Sandi Thom hit 'I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker (With Flowers In My Hair)'.

FC Cologne Lay On Brass Band And Mini-Soldiers As Part Of Matchday Karneval Celebrations (Photos & Video)

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With the entire city gearing up for Karneval, Cologne turned their Bundesliga game against Stuttgart at the weekend into a giant red celebration.

The players emerged from the tunnel wearing their lovely be-tasslednovelty kitand were escorted to the pitch by local children dressed up in the Red Spark guardsman uniforms that inspired it.

‘I Imagine She’s Full Of Mischief’ – Graeme Souness Reveals He Often Fantasises About Drinking Gin & Tonic With The Queen

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"Fancy a Gordons ma'am?"

In his current employas Sky Sports' resident stone-facedmiserablist, you'd be forgiven for thinking Graeme Souness utterly incapable of mirth or brevity.

However, the man has proved he is able to comprehenda world beyond slack zonal marking in a (relatively) light-hearted 'Who Am I?

Wesley Sneijder Puts Baby Son Inside Champions League Trophy… Just Because He Can (Video)

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Just as any new father with access to the Champions League trophy would do, Wesley Sneijder decided to plonk his sprog, Xess Xava Sneijder (XXS to his friends), inside the cup and grab a quick home video for posterity's sake.

That the kid is the spitting image of Arjen Robben is neither here nor there.

Tidy Little Profit: Chelsea Agree To Flog Ramires To Chinese Side Jiangsu Suning In Astonishing £25m Deal

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Chelsea look just about set to make a tidy little profit on Ramires with the out-of-favour midfielder on the verge of completing a frankly astonishing £25million move to Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning.

The Brazilian workhorse, who has featured just once for Chelsea since New Year, first moved to Stamford Bridge from Benfica for £18million in the summer of 2010.

Hannover 96 Desperately Try To Put Positive Slant On Being Bottom Of The Bundesliga

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Finding themselves slap, bang, bottom of the Bundesliga with half the season gone, Hannover 96 have been forced to get creative in their efforts to make themselves feel better about their perilous league position.

Indeed, the club stumbled across a quick and easy method to fire themselves to the top of the standings by adopting the"headstand method" of course.

Here’s Footage Of 17-Year-Old Riyad Mahrez Running Us Through His Repertoire Of Freestyle Skills (Video)

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Before he became a bona fide Premier League sensation with Leicester City, Riyad Mahrez came very close to not making the grade in French football as a youngster after a succession of bigger clubs passed on the nimble winger.

Before lower league side Quimper finally took the plunge in 2009, Mahrez spent several years plugging away with his hometown club, Sarcelles.

Nike Ousadia Alegria: Designed By Brazilian Artist Bruno Big, Neymar’s New Custom Boots Are Certainly Eye-Catching (Photos)

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It's been nearly a month so Nike have rolled out a brand new pair of custom boots for Neymar, and the latest pair of specially designed shoesiesare certainly what you might call 'eye-catching'.

Inspired by what we're told is Neymar's personal mantra, "Ousadia Alegria" ('Daring and joy'), the vibrant boots have been designed by renowned Brazilian artistBruno Carneiro Mosciaro, who goes by the professionalname Bruno Big.

On This Day In 1995: Kung Fu Cantona Reacts Badly To The Most Polite Heckle In Football History

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In one of the most explosive and defining incidents of the Premier League era, it was 21 years ago today (doesn't that make you feel old all of a sudden?) that Manchester UnitedforwardEric Cantona launched himself over the advertising hoardingsat a Palace fan who had heckling him from the terraces.

West Ham Chairman David Gold Retweets Message From Angry Fan Telling ‘W*nk’ Carl Jenkison To ‘F**k Off’

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Never far from a Twitter gaffe, West Ham chairman David Gold has once again managed to drop a sizeable clanger over on his official account.

Having previously favourited Tweets about sacking his manager, welcomed the arrival of one black player with a photo of another and evensupporteda 'missing persons' pleafor one of his own signings in the recent past, the Hammers chairman's latest clanger has seen him retweet an angrymessage from a fan calling for Carl Jenkinson to "f**k off".

Napoli’s Dries Mertens Celebrates Goal With Chelsea Loanee Nathaniel Chalobah, Whose Mother Passed Away Last Week (Video)

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During Napoli's 4-2 win against Sampdoria on Saturday, Belgian striker Dries Mertens madea rather lovely gesture after scoring for theSerie A table-toppers.

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Afternettinghis side's fourth goal, Mertens immediately made a bee-line for sub Nathaniel Chalobah. Only last week, the Chelsea loanee had returned to England after his mother passed away, and Mertens was sure to celebrate his goal with the England U21 midfielder, with the rest of the Napoli squad joining in.

Diego Costa Takes Cente Stage At Emirates As Gunners Title Hopes Take A Tumble (Photos & Video)

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Stand aside Didier Drogba, Arsenal have a new bogeyman and his name is Diego Costa. On Sunday at the Emirates, the Spanish international was once again at the centre of the drama, winning the foul which saw German giraffe Per Mertesacker sent off after just 18 minutes before netting the only goal of the game just five minutes later.

Red Alert: Five Players Sent Off As ‘Friendly’ Between Boca Juniors And River Plate Descends Into Anarchy (Video)

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As unlikely as it sounds, Saturday evening's pre-season 'friendly' between Boca Juniors and River Plate ended up a sparsely populated affair after no less than five players were dismissed before the final whistle.

Boca managed to add to the two players they had sent off during their midweek defeat against Racing Club by having a further three men dismissed against River, defensive trioJonathan Silva, Gino Peruzzi and Daniel Diaz all being red cardedat various intervals of the tumultuous Torneos de Verano fixture.

Reports: Ex-Chelsea Boss Jose Mourinho Pens Six-Page Come-And-Get-Me Plea To Man Utd

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In what is a rather juicy story, the Independent report that ex-Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is desperate for a go in the Old Trafford hot-seat, to the point that he's even written a six-page letter to Manchester United outlining why he is the right man to replace Louis van Gaal.

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Apparently, while initially not wanting to offend van Gaal, who he worked under at Barcelona, Mourinho has now decided to throw caution to the wind and contact the Old Trafford big-wigs about a possible move.

‘LVG Has To Fall On His Sword’ – Irate Man Utd Fan Embarks On Top-Notch Rant After Defeat To Southampton (Video)

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We love a good old fashioned fan's rant around these parts, and with Manchester United enduring such an unspiring season, it comes as no surprise that angry Red Devils' fans have been providing some of the rantiest rants around. And courtesy of a dismal 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Southampton on Saturday night, dissenting and downright livid voices weren't hard to find on the streets of Manchester.

Spec-Tacular! Liverpool Boss Jurgen Klopp Breaks Glasses During Wild Celebrations After Late 5-4 Win v Norwich (Video)

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Jurgen Klopp's goal celebrations have been a welcome addition to the Premier League this season, and on Saturday at Carrow Road, the Liverpool boss was at it again, this time breaking his glasses in the melee which followed Adam Lallana's last-gasp winner against Norwich.

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In a game where both sides decided not to bother defending at all, the Reds had already come back from 3-1 down to find themselves 4-3 ahead as the clash moved into injury time.

Ligue 1: Man Utd Cast-Off Angel Di Maria Volleys Home Stunner For PSG v Angers (Video)

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On the same day that Manchester United produced yet another toothless display at Old Trafford, Red Devils' cast-off Angel Di Maria was helping PSG to a 5-1 mauling of Angers in the French capital, with one of his two goals in the game an absolute beaut.

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With the score at 3-1 to Laurent Blanc's Ligue 1 giants, Di Maria produced an outstanding volley from outside the box, which sailed over Anger 'keeperAlexandre Letellier and into the back of the net.

Tottenham: Dele Alli Scores Strong ‘Goal Of The Season’ Contender With Magnificent Volley Against Crystal Palace (Video)

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Free to enjoy while it lasts, here'sDele Alli's stupendous flicked volley that put Tottenham 2-1 up against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park...

Alternate version, just in case...

Superb. Subtle shades of Frank Worthington there.

Bloody hell, this kid is starting to look a bit special.

Robert Huth Lets Fly With Quite Possibly The Worst Free-Kick In Premier League History (Video)

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Quite why he was on set-piece duty is anybody's guess, but nevertheless Leicester City allowed Robert Huth to have a crack at goalwith a free-kick against Stoke this afternoon.

Sure enough, after approaching with trademark grace, the angular German centre-half proceeded to let fly with what must surely rank as one of the worst dead-ball attempts ever witnessedin the Premier League.

How Generous: Guangzhou Evergrande Sell Top Striker To Rival Club In Order To Help ‘Boost Their Chances Of Glory’

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Guangzhou Evergrande have agreed to sell one of their top talentsto a rival club in an effort to help them compete on the continental scene and bring glory to China in the process.

The Chinese Super League side have allowed Brazilian striker Elkeson to join Shanghai SIPG after the 26-year-old shot straight to second place in Evergrande's all-time goalscorer list by helping himself to 77 goals in three trophy-smattered seasons at The Tigers.

Cologne Officially Launch Latest ‘Karneval’ Novelty Kit, Complete With Tassels! (Photos)

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Photo: @fckoeln/Twitter

As first revealed back in October, FC Cologne have finally got round to launching their tremendousnew 'Karneval' novelty kit, complete with imitation tassels and a faux cummerbund.

The strip, an homageto the German city's famousRoten Funken (Red Sparks) guards, will be worn for the first time duringSaturday's Bundesliga clash with Stuttgart.

Official: Former Newcastle Stalwart Steve Harper Signs For Sunderland On Short-Term Deal (Photo)

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Photo: @SunderlandAFC/Twitter

Tis the day we thought we'd never live to see. Former Newcastle stalwart Steve Harper signing for Sunderland. We're keeping an eye out for three other signs of the apocalypse.

After calling time on his 20-year stay at St James' Park in 2013, Harper moved to Hull but has been without a club since leaving The Tigers when his contract expired last summer.

Chelsea Steward Sacked For Calling Ex-Arsenal Star Cesc Fabregas A ‘Snake’ (Video)

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Ahead of Chelsea's heavyweight clash with Arsenal on Sunday, the Blues have confirmed that one of their Stamford bridge stewards was sacked after a video emerged of the man calling ex-Gunner Cesc Fabregas a 'snake'.

The incident happened earlier in the season at Stamford bridge, with the incriminating video footage all over Twitter on Friday.

Man V Fat: Brilliant New Football League Is Exclusively For ‘Normal Blokes’ With BMI Over 30 (Video)

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Photo: Newsteam/via Daily Mail

Saints be praised! A new football league has been launched that caters solely to players of a stately and corpulent persuasion.

Indeed, the Man V Fat league is only open to beefy blokes with a body mass index of 30 or over. The idea is to encourage overweight men to get off the sofa and get some exercise in ashame-freeenvironment.

On This Day In 1920: England’s One And Only World Cup-Winning Manager Is Born

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On this very day in 1920, Alfred Earnest Ramsey was born in Dagenham, then a rural village 10 miles east of Central London.

Ramsey later reminisced that he "lived for the open air from the moment I could toddle", and so it's perhaps fitting that it was out in the open air that he not only made his name and living, but also left a peerless and indelible impression on the English sporting landscape.

Look Away Steven Gerrard: Joe Cole Finally Admits His Career Hasn’t Been Quite As Good As Lionel Messi’s

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It's a Steven Gerrard quote that almost instantaneously went down in football folklore:

Lionel Messi can do some amazing things, but anything he can do Joe can do as well, if not better.

He used to shock us in training by doing tricks with a golf ball that most players can't even do with a football.

Reports: Manchester United Deny Holding Super Secret Talks With Pep Guardiola

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Manchester United have denied reports that the club held secret talks with Pep Guardiola about replacing Louis van Gaal in Parisrecently.

Last we heard, Pep was all but set to take over at Man City in the summer, but L'Equipe recently reported that the Bayern Munich coach was whisked away to the French capital to meet with several United directors in an attempt to woo him to Old Trafford instead.

Man Utd Forgotten Man Victor Valdes Posts Farewell Message Ahead Of Expected Move To Standard Liege

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After a nightmare year at Old Trafford, Manchester United's forgotten man Victor Valdes looks set for a loan move to Belgian side Standard Liege.

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The former Barcelona 'keeper penned an 18-month contract when he joined the Red Devils back in January 2015. However, he made a grand total of just two appearances with the club and was ultimately frozen out of the first team's plans by Louis van Gaal after apparently refusing to line out for the United reserves.

Javier Mascherano Handed One Year Jail Sentence For Fraud, (Obviously) Unlikely To Serve A Second Of It (Video)

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Barcelona and Argentina midfielder/defender Javier Mascherano is hoping to avoid the one-year jail sentence dished out to the star on Thursday, which relates to a rather sizeable 1.5m euro (£1.1m) tax fraud.

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The 31-year-old had already admitted to two counts of fraud concerning his failure to declare his earnings in 2011 and 2012.

Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey Breaks World Record, Trolls Tottenham In Eventful ‘League Of Their Own’ Appearance (Video)

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After finding himself once again on the wrong end of fan abuse at Stoke's Britannia Stadium last weekend, Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey found himself in more welcoming environs this week. Appearing on Sky's banter-bonanza A League Of Their Own, the Welsh star managed to squeeze in a successful world record attempt and have a pop at Spurs.

Snapshot: ‘Scouse Cafu’ Jon Flanagan Returns For Liverpool vs Exeter After 619 Days Out Injured…

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619 days after his last appearance for Liverpool, the 'Scouse Cafu' Jon Flanagan returned to first team action on Wednesday night at Anfield, with the 23-year-old making a sub appearance in the Reds' comfortable 3-0 FA Cup win against Exeter.

The full-back, who was famously lauded by Brazilian legend Cafu, underwent not one but two operations on his knee since last playing for the Merseysiders back in May 2014.

FAIL: Saudi Arabia King’s Cup Clash Sees Right Royal Own-Goal Howler From Clueless ‘Keeper (Video)

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During Al Draih's painful 7-0 Saudi King's Cup defeat at the hands of Al Nassr on Wednesday, the losers' goalie conjured upone of the most awful/magnificent own-goals in recent memory.

Faced with a simple backpass, the poor 'keepermade a right dog's dinner of controlling the ball, somehow backheeling it into his own net in an act of pure rubbishness.

FAIL: Saudi Arabia King’s Cup Clash Sees Right Royal Own-Goal Howler From Clueless ‘Keeper (Video)

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During Al Draih's painful 7-0 Saudi King's Cup defeat at the hands of Al Nassr on Wednesday, the losers' goalie conjured upone of the most awful/magnificent own-goals in recent memory.

Faced with a simple backpass, the poor 'keepermade a right dog's dinner of controlling the ball, somehow backheeling it into his own net in an act of pure rubbishness.

Snapshot: ‘Scouse Cafu’ Jon Flanagan Returns For Liverpool vs Exeter After 619 Days Out Injured…

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619 days after his last appearance for Liverpool, the 'Scouse Cafu' Jon Flanagan returned to first team action on Wednesday night at Anfield, with the 23-year-old making a sub appearance in the Reds' comfortable 3-0 FA Cup win against Exeter.

The full-back, who was famously lauded by Brazilian legend Cafu, underwent not one but two operations on his knee since last playing for the Merseysiders back in May 2014.

Official: West Ham Pinch Dirty Flirt Sam Byram From Under Everton’s Noses (Photo)

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This time last week it seemed for all the world that he was heading to Everton, but West Ham have today completed the signing of Sam Byram from Leeds on a four-and-a-half-year deal.

The promising 22-year-old left-back had been flirting withEverton for several weeks until the Hammers stuck their oar in recently the promise of more regular first-team football apparently proving to the deciding factor.

Reports: Chelsea Reach ‘Verbal Agreement’ Over £12m Deal To Sign Alexandre Pato

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It would appear that there has been a bit of movement on the Alexandre Pato front with news today that Chelsea have informally shook on a deal to bring the Brazilian striker to Stamford Bridge this month.

ESPN Brazil, who are keeping tabs on the whole thing for us (not personally, you understand), are reporting that Chelsea have struck a "verbal agreement" with Corinthians over the transfer, thought to be worth around £12million.

‘To Leave Sunderland Is Superb’ – Painfully Goal Shy Striker Danny Graham Joins Blackburn On Loan

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Photo: @OneRovers/Twitter

Despite having started the last few games (albeit out on the left wing), Danny Graham has been allowed to leave Sunderland in order to join Blackburn Rovers on loan for the rest of the season.

That said, given thatGraham departs with a frankly abysmal record of just 1 goal in 44 appearances for the Black Cats, it's perhaps not hard to see why Sam Allardyce was perfectly happy to let him swan off.

Retro Football: Peter Shilton Gives The Worst Motivational Team Talk Of All Time, 1993 (Photo)

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It's fair to say that, for all his vast success as a player, Peter Shilton's short-lived foray into management was an absolute disaster of Exxon Valdez-esque proportions.

The veteran 42-year-old goalkeeper arrived at Plymouth in a player-manager capacity in Februaryof 1992. Two months later the club were relegated from the Second Division.

Official: Welsh Side Carmarthen Town Have The Coolest Club Shop In World Football (Photo)

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A moment of awed silence please as we acquaint you with what must surely rank as the coolest club shop in world football.

Sitting beside the pitch that belongs to Welsh Premier League sideCarmarthen Town is this outstanding example of modern retail architecture.

It's a Portakabin made to look like a tape deck, and it's bloody wonderful.

On This Day In 1996: Newcastle Go 12 Points Clear And Kevin Keegan Loves It, LOVES It!

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A crowd of 36,543 saw Newcastle United beat Bolton Wanderers 2-1 to go 12 points clear at the top of the Premier League on this day in 1996.

The Newcastle goalscorers on the night werePaul Kitson and Peter Beardsley, with Gudni Bergsson netting Bolton's consolation.

Under Kevin Keegan, Newcastle seemed to be swashbuckling their way to the title.

English Premier League 2016: Picks And Predictions

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By James Greenstone

English Premier League 2016 Picks and Predictions

The English Premier League (EPL) is easily one of the most popular soccer leagues on planet earth. It is also one of the most dynamic leagues in the world. In its present configuration, the EPL began in 1992.

Non-League: Bognor Regis Town FC Desperately Attempt To Thaw Frozen Pitch By Leaving Their Cars Running (Photo)

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All the fun of the non-leagues was laid bare at Bognor Regis Town FC down in theFA Trophylast night, with the club turning to desperate measures in a bid to thaw their frozen pitch ahead of a game against Altrincham FC.

With a strip of turf freezing solid down the near touchline, the Bognor players and staff came up with an ingenious ploy to combat the icy conditions.

Scottish Prem: Celtic Score Five Goals in 34 Minutes vs Hamilton, Win 8-1 (Video)

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Without Rangers to give them a run for their money, Celtic's dominance of the Scottish top-flight makes for a rather uninteresting spectacle. However, on Tuesday night, the Bhoys gave their fans something to cheer about with an eight-goal thrashing of Hamilton Academical at Celtic Park.

Goals fromMikael Lustig, Nir Bitton and Tom Rogic put the hosts 3-0 up within the first 10 minutes, before a brace from Leigh Griffiths, on 22 and 34 minutes, gave the Hoops a 5-0 halftime lead.

‘Napoli Boss Maurizio Sarri Is A Racist’ – Inter Manager Roberto Mancini Angry After Coppa Italia Bust-Up

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Tuesday night's Coppa Italia quarter-final between Serie A giants Inter Milan and Napoli ended in a 2-0 vicotyr for the Nerazzurri. However, the real story of the night happened on the sidelines, with Inter boss Roberto Mancini accusing his counterpartMaurizio Sarri of spouting racist and homophobic abuse during the game.

Reports: Ashley Cole To Sign For LA Galaxy After Roma Contract Cancelled

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Ashley Cole looks headed for a lucrative move to the sunny west coast of America, with the former England star reported to be on his way to MLS heavyweights LA Galaxy.

Once considered the best left-back in the world. Ashley Cole has endured a rather horrid time since leaving Chelsea in 2014.

English Premier League 2016 – Picks and Predictions

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By James Greenstone.

English Premier League 2016 Picks and Predictions

The English Premier League (EPL) is easily one of the most popular soccer leagues on planet earth. It is also one of the most dynamic leagues in the world. In its present configuration, the EPL began in 1992.

Retro Football: Derby Groundsman Forced To Re-Paint Penalty Spot After Baseball Ground Mud Bath Claims First One, 1977 (Video)

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The hideous 'turf' at the Baseball Ground can be seen here in all itssplendouras Derby and Nott'm Forest do battle,1979

The famous grass shortage of April 1977 bit especially hard at the Baseball Ground, with Derby County's notoriouslylumpy pitch playing host to unprecedented scenes as a direct result.

Ashley Williams Admits He Had To Google Swansea’s New Manager Francesco Guidolin

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Sadly not blessed with an encyclopaedic knowledge of slightly obscure Italian coachesof the last 20 years, Swansea captain has admitted that he was forced to Google the name of the club's latest manager after Francesco Guidolin's arrival at the Liberty Stadium yesterday.

That said, the Welsh international wasted little time in introducing himself to his new boss, popping up to score the only goal of the game in Monday night's crucial 1-0 win over Watford.

Official: Jermaine Pennant Completes ‘Sexy’ Move To Singapore Club Tampines Rovers (Photo)

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As the January transfer window really begins to kick into full swing, Jermaine Pennant has sealed a move to Tampines Rovers, thus becoming the highest-paid player in the history of the Singapore S-League in the process.

Pennant had been on trial with Tampines for a couple of weeks and, after proving himself up to scratch, has spent the last few days locked in negotiations with the club's chairmanKrishna Ramachandra.

‘He’s Lost Humility And All Sense Of Perspective’ – Colombian Journalist Lays Into James Rodriguez Over Real Madrid Decline

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"Cristiano, the nasty man said nasty things to me again"

James Rodriguez is perilously close to attaining 'persona non grata' status at Real Madrid as things stands, with a complete collapse in the Colombian forward's formcoinciding with lurid tales of waning focus andexcess.

Indeed, having made just eight starts for Real so far this season, James recently hit the headlinesfor the first time in months after his idiotic arrest for leading police on a 200 km/h car chase that ended in the car park at the club's Valdebebas training complex.

On This Day In 1878: Herbert Chapman, The Man Who Moulded Arsenal, Is Born In Rotherham

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Arsenal manager Herbert Chapman (centre) chats with a key member of his team, Alex James (right), on the pitch at Wembley before the FA Cup final, April 1932

Born in Kiveton Park near Rotherham in Yorkshire, Herbert Chapman had afairly mediocre playing career before making his first major impression in English football as manager of Huddersfield Town in the early 1920s.

West Ham Striker Diafra Sakho Writes Off Lamborghini After Introducing It To Garden Wall (Photos)

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Photo: @sophengst/Twitter

As , you really can't claim to be a proper Premier League footballer until you've written off at least one hideously expensive supercar, and there were joyous scenes in Horncurch, Essex last night where West Ham striker Diafra Sakho officially joined the club.

Local resident Sophie Engstrom was simply ecstaticto find Sakho had selected her car and garden wall to ploughhis new £200,000 Lamborghini into.

Lionel Messi Finally Answers The Old ‘Rainy Night In Stoke’ Question

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He may have five Ballon d'Ors on his mantelpiece and a slew of obliterated records in his wake, but deep down Lionel Messi knowsthere is stillone benchmark of greatness he is yet to pass.

It's the question he's been systematically ducking for years and year, cowering at Barcelona instead of coming face to face with his destiny on a bleakweekday night in Stoke-on-Trent.

Full Kit W*nker: Arsenal Fan Gets Married In Full Football Strip With Shinpads And Boots (Photos)

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Photo: Bizzo Musicmad/Facebook

An Arsenal fan has shot to minor internet stardom this morning after photos of his wedding day did the social media rounds earlier.

Eschewing the traditional top and tails, groom Barry Jenkins decided to pay homage to his beloved football club by getting married in a full Arsenal home kit, complete with shinpads and football boots but only after seeking his bride's permission.

Official: Swansea Appoint Ex-Udinese Boss Francesco Guidolin As New Head Coach

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Photo: Swansea FC

It's official, relegation threatened Swansea are putting their faith in Francesco Guidolin as the man to deliver the club from relegation this season.

The experienced Italian coach, who gained something of a reputation for encouraging fast, free-flowing football at Udinese,will be working alongside interim manager Alan Curtis until the end of the season though it will be Guidolin who has final say over team selection, etc.

Portuguese Lower League Manager Accidentally Sent Off For Racism After Calling Player By His Surname

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A Portuguese coach from down in the lower leagues found himself ejected from a recent game after mistakenly being accused of racism.

The referee was swift to issue FC Lordelo managerJuvenal Brandao with his marching orders against Valadares after overhearing the 30-year-old coach bellow "get closer toblack", seemingly in the direction of the opposition's black striker.

Retro Football: Ruud Gullitt Bloody Loves His New Lancia, 1989 (Video)

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By Chris Wright

You may be labouring under the illusion think that footballers shilling for all-and-sundry is a relatively modern phenomenon. Well, we're here to tell you that it just ain't so, muchacho.

Indeed players suckling from the corporate teat goes back as far as we care to remember Stanley Matthews happily plugged several cigarette brands throughout the 1950's and here is another prime example of the medium.

Mathieu Debuchy: ‘I’ve Wasted Six Months, Arsenal Are Big Horrible Lying Sods And I Want To Leave’

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Regrettes, I've had beacoup...

Mathieu Debuchy has downed tools and proclaimed he can't possibly stay at Arsenal a moment longer as he watches his place at Euro 2016 continue to slide out of view.

The French right-back joined Arsenal in a £12million move from Newcastle some 18 months ago, but subsequently returned from a long-term injury to find he'd been usurped in the pecking order by Hector Bellerin.

AC Milan Taken To Court After ‘19-Year-Old’ Youth Player Yusupha Yaffa Turns Out To Be 28

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Age is but a number for Yusupha Yaffa

According to press reports in Italy, AC Milan are being taken to court for fraud after it emerged that a 19-year-old youth team player lied about his age.

Yusupha Yaffa, who hails from Gambia and claims to be 19, first signed for the Rossoneri in 2013and went straight into their academy set-up.

Arsenal Boss Arsene Wenger Politely Scolds Stoke Fans Over Hideous Chants Aimed At Aaron Ramsey

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has spoken out against the really rather vile reception Aaron Ramsey received in Stoke on Sunday afternoon, chiefly for having the temerity to have his leg broken in two places at the Britannia once upon time in 2010.

Stoke fans chanted in merry unison "He walks with a limp" in reference to the broken leg Ramsey suffered almost six years ago when Ryan Shawcross obliteratedthe Welshman's tib and fibwith an over-zealous lunge.

On This Day In 1964: Manchester United’s Holy Trinity – Best, Charlton And Law – Play Together For The First Time

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The Manchester United squad of 1964, including George Best (front row, third right), Denis Law (front, far right) and Bobby Charlton (front, far left)

When Manchester United visited West Brom on 15 January 1964, the three players who were to form the core of arguably the greatest United side ever found themselves on the pitchtogether for the very first time.

‘I Wanted Alexis Sanchez, We Ended Up With Balotelli And Lambert’ – Brendan Rodgers Full Of Praise For Liverpool’s Transfer Panel

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Football folklore is awash with stories of near misses when it comes to transfers that never came to fruition, with most managers able to list at least a handful of top talents they decided to pass on earlier in their careers. In fact, Arsene Wenger has amassed a healthy squadof nearly men over the years.

Introducing The ACE 16+: Adidas’ Weird New Boots Come In Martian Green And Don’t Have Any Laces (Photos)

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Following Nike's lead, Adidas have unleashed their take on the wholeankle-high 'NFL-style cleat' design fad with the new ACE 16+ Purecontrol.

Soon to be adorning the feet of the likes ofMesut Özil, Ivan Rakitic and Oscar, the ACE 16+ is a demure, understated neon green effort with an even brighter green metallic sole plate.

Phil Jones Celebrates With Away Fans At Anfield After Man Utd Victory (Photos & Video)

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It took a late strike from Croxteth's very own Wayne Rooney to give Manchester United a 1-0 win against Liverpool at Anfield, after a rather scrappy affair which was low on quality. And while Rooney celebrated with his fellow United players on the pitch, a few more famous faces enjoyed the victory right in the middle of the away fans.

‘Aaron Ramsey, He Walks With A Limp’ – Stoke Fans Revive Nasty Chant During Goalless Draw With Arsenal

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It's now almost six years since Aaron Ramsey broke his leg away to Stokeafter a horror challenge from Ryan Shawcross. However, the repercussions of the incident continued to echo around the Britannia Stadium on Sunday, with the home fans once again targeting the Welsh midfielder with some ridiculous abuse.

Serie A: Leonardo Pavoletti Nets Scissor-Kick Stunner As Genoa Hammer Palermo 4-0 (Video)

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In Sunday's early top-flight clash between Genoa and Palermo at the Luigi Ferraris, the hosts registered a resounding 4-0 win, with theRossoblu's fourth goal a thing of perfectly-executed beauty.

Leonardo Pavoletti had already got himself onto the scoresheet in the second-half when, late on, the striker bagged his second of the game, courtesy of a beautiful scissor-kicked volley which thundered into the back of the Palermo net.

Stats Boffins Opta Troll Tottenham Fans With Nifty Leicester Fact

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Despite failing to beat strugglers Aston Villa in the late game on Saturday at Villa Park, high-flying Leicester City still managed to regain their place atop the Premier League table, with the Foxes now a point ahead of Arsenal, who play on Sunday.

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The return of Claudio Ranieri's side to the top of the Premier League, courtesy of Robert Huth's goal (which was ultimately cancelled out by Rudy Gestede) prompted stats gurusOpta into Tweeting a rather superb fact which won't have made Tottenham fans very happy.

Cheeky Everton Fan Nicks Goal-Hero Funes Mori’s Headband During Stamford Bridge Goal Celebrations (Video)

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On Saturday afternoon, Stamford Bridge bore witness to a cracking gamebetween Chelsea and Evertonwhich produced six goals and lashings of late, late drama. And amidst all the action, oneToffees' fans even managed to nab himself a rather fine souvenir of the clash.

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With the game at 2-2 and well into injury time, Argentine defender Ramiro Funes Mori looked to have sealed a win for Everton courtesy of a superb finish from close-range.

Snapshot: Alan Shearer Bags Selfie With Superstar Troubador Ed Sheeran At St. James’ Park…

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Watching on as Newcastle United recorded a precious 2-1 home win against West Ham on Saturday afternoon were a a couple of superstars, in the contrasting forms of Toon Army legend Alan Shearer and superstar singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran...

The multi-million selling Sheeran was in Newcastle to perform at a charity ball for the Alan Shearer Foundation charity and even sported a Newcastle shirt for the game.

Bargain: Charlie Austin Completes Southampton Medical And Agrees Terms Ahead Of £4m Move

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Looks like Southampton are within spitting distance of tying up the bargain of the window so far with the snaffling of Charlie Austin.

It's all over Twitter that Austin willalmost definitely be a Southamptonplayer by close of play today after the Premier League side agreed a £4million fee with QPR for the striker, who has subsequently passed a medical this morning.

A Suspicious Amount Of Manchester United Players Can’t Wait To See ‘The Revenant’ Movie

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Having been nominatedfor 12 Oscars, there is real hype surrounding Leo Di Caprio's latest cinematic offering The Revenant, a lengthy tale of betrayal and revenge set in the freezing wilds of Montana and South Dakota.

In fact, the epicentre of the buzz appears to be somewhere in the heart of the Manchester United dressing room, with a slew of players all taking to Twitter recently to voice their excitement at seeing the movie, all in suspiciously similar form.

Skill Zone: Newcastle Cast-Off Hatem Ben Arfa Gets All Fancy While Dancing Through Angers’ Defence (Video)

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It may have gone pear-shaped for him in the Premier League, but former Newcastle and Hull City wastrel Hatem Ben Arfa is making a decent fist of rebuilding his reputation at Nice this season.

Indeed, the temperamental winger scored twice (both from the penalty spot) in his side's 2-1 win over high-flying Angers in Ligue 1 on Friday evening, but it was his mercurial dribbling skills that once again caught the eye of the wider world.

Newcastle: Luckless Siem De Jong Out For Two Weeks After Being Poked In The Eye During Training

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Newcastle forward Siem de Jong has suffered yet another in a long line of injury setbacks after doing himself a bit of a mischief in training on Wednesday.

The Dutchman was rushed to hospital after being poked in the eye during the session. There were genuine fears he may lose his sight, but it would seem that the injury wasn't quite as bad as first thought.

Joey Barton Bags Cracking Free-Kick As Burnley Beat Brentford (Video)

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Joey Barton has often made the headlines for what's come out of his mouth rather than what he's done on the football pitch,but on Friday night, the veteran midfielder let his feet do the talking and nabbed a superb free-kick.

With Burnley already a goal up away to Brentford, Barton stepped up to fire home a superbly judged free-kick to doubled the Clarets' advantage.

Tottenham Fans And Indie Darlings Mystery Jets Perform Harry Kane Chant Live On BT Sport (Video)

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Appearing on the Football Tonight show on BT Sport, perennial indie favourites Mystery Jets clubbed together to perform a harmonised version of their favourite Tottenhamchant 'When The Spurs Go Marching In'.

A little ramshackle maybe, but itwas allreally rather charming nonetheless...

Corinthians Coach Reveals Alexandre Pato Is ‘Two Or Three Days’ Away From Joining Chelsea

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It would appear for all the world that Chelsea are on the cuspof tying up a £10million deal to sign Alexandre Pato from Corinthians.

ESPN Brazil reported on Thursdaythat Chelsea are "close to a positive outcome" and that the probability of the former (massively injured) Milan prodigymoving to Stamford Bridge before the end of the month is "good".

Goo Goo G’Joob: Liverpool Boss Jurgen Klopp Calls Sir Alex Ferguson The ‘John Lennon Of Football’ (Video)

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Sir Alex was the walrus

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is definitely quick with a joke and a light of your smoke, and he's never shy to throwan easily digestible quip or colloquialism in there either.

Ahead ofhis first ever game against Manchester United, Klopp was askedabout the spectre of Sir Alex Ferguson that continues to haunt Old Trafford.

Arsenal’s Mister Assister Mesut Özil Named Germany’s 2015 Player Of The Year

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Currently wowing the Premier League (and silencing the critics) with his silky skills, Arsenal playmaker Mesut Özil has been rewarded for his national team performances by picking up Germany's Player of the Year award for 2015.

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The award is voted for by fans of the national team, with Özil picking up 51,000 votes (45.

What ‘Arry Did Next: Redknapp Makes Shock Return To Football As Director Of Non-League Wimborne Town

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After spending almost an entire yearout of the game since leaving QPR on medical grounds last February, Harry Redknapp has made a shock return to football after accepting a director's role at non-league minnows Wimborne Town.

The move hasn't come entirely out of the blue, as Redknapp has been a patron of Wimborne for quite some time and regularly pitches up to watch his local amateur side play in the Evo-Stik Division One South & Southwest League the seventh tier of the English football pyramid.

Reports: Mexican Drug Lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman Wanted To Buy Chelsea

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"Come on you Blues"

As you may be aware, Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman has been in the news a fair bit recently after the Mexican drug lord was recaptured by security forces following his audacious jail break six months ago.

Sean Penn's bezzie mate is now safely back under lock and key (for the moment, anyway) but the kingpin continues to make headlines the world over one of the more curious examples coming from Spanish daily newspaper Sport.

Newcastle Fans Take Offence As Club Attempt Naff Sports Direct Jacket Giveaway On Twitter

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You try to do something nice...

Scores ofNewcastle fans have taken umbrage after the club attempted to foist £2.4million's worth of Sports Direct tat on them as part of a 'Twitter giveaway'.

Out of the kindness of his heart, owner Mike Ashley has selected a bulk stock of cheapo Everlast jackets to be given away to Newcastle fans who 'like' the Sports Direct Facebook page.

Harry Kane: ‘Mauricio Pochettino Still Hates Talking About That 2002 World Cup Michael Owen Penalty’

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While his English has come on leaps and bounds since his arrival in the Premier League a couple of years ago, there is one thing Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino still refuses to discuss in any language.

Harry Kane has revealed that his manager will happily chat about any subject bar one: *that* tangle with Michael Owen at the 2002 World Cup.

Arsenal: Mohamed Elneny’s Old Apartment Used To Overlook The Basel Stadium (Photo)

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Photo: Arsenal FC

With Mohamed Elneny signing for Arsenal earlier this afternoon, we thought it only right that we learn a little about the Premier League's newestEgyptian import.

Among all the facts, figures and statistics came an interesting snippet from a Guardian profile, which revealed that during his time in Basel, Elneny lived in a tall resedential tower building that was part of the stadium complex at St Jakob-Park.

FAIL: Former Everton Striker Apostolos Vellios Provides Your Open-Goal Horror Miss Of The Week (Video)

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Yeah, we don't know how you missed from there either, son

Putting Olivier Giroud's shanked sitter against Liverpool to shame, here's former Everton striker Apostolos Vellios providing us with the horror miss of the week (so far).

It came during Wednesday afternoon's Greek Cup tie wherein Iraklis managed to beat Veria 1-0 despite the best efforts of Vellios to keep the game goalless.

Double Whammy: FIFA Impose Transfer Bans On Both Real Madrid And Atletico Madrid For Two Consecutive Windows

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The breaking news this afternoon is that FIFA have slapped both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid with one-year transfer bans.

Just like Barcelona before them, both Real and Atletico have beenfound to have breachedseveral rules pertaining to the registration of players under the age of 18.

Randy Lerner Knows Exactly What Aston Villa Need And That’s Additional Reach Within Quasi-Government Organisations

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With pressure mounting, fans baying for bloodand the team circling the Premier League drain, Randy Lerner shrewd businessman that he is recognised thatit was high time for a change in the way Aston Villa is run.

As such, Villa's American owner has shuffled his boardroom today in a desperate attempt to provide some much-needed stability, bringing inSteven Hollis as his new chairman.

Official: Arsenal Complete £5m Signing Of Tireless Egyptian Scrapper Mohamed Elneny

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Photo: Arsenal FC

Arsene Wenger all but confirmed the deal had gone throughdirectly after last night's 3-3 draw against Liverpool, but today Arsenal have formally announced that Mohamed Elneny has joined the club from Basel for a fee of somewhere around £5million.

According to the official Arsenal site, the 23-year-old Egyptian international's move is still subjectto the "completion of regulatory processes" but given that they've already pumped these photos out, it surely can't be anything more than formalities left now.

On This Day In 1999: Armani Suits Burnt To Cinders As John Hartson Receives Standard Crazy Gang Welcome

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When Wimbledon paid £7.5million for John Hartson in 1999, the Welsh target man took the mantle of the South Londonclub's record signing.

The hefty fee also instantly made him a target for hisnew teammates, who wasted little time in introducingHartson to the wild ways of the Crazy Gang.

‘It’s Not Often It Comes In Useful’ – Robert Huth Thanks His Square Skull After Powerful Header Sinks Tottenham

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Leicester City squeaked their way to a first win in five games last night, thanks to a narrow 1-0 win over Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

The match was decided by a single Roberth Huth goal the stout German defender planting his feet, winding back his iron neck and nailing a header past Hugo Lloris in the 84th minute.

Ban This Filth: Gary Lineker Made A Joke About Masturbation On Match Of The Day (Video)

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While discussing the finer points of Newcastle defender Chancel Mbemba's handball against Manchester United on Match of the Day last night, Gary Lineker slipped a cheeky little masturbation joke into the post-game analysis.

After Alan Shearer remarked that Mbemba 'tried to make himself bigger with his hands', Lineker's eyes lit up as he immediately sensed the opportunity for mischief.

Ref Ricket During PSG v Lyon Clash Highlights Pointlessness Of Fourth Official (Video)

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No thatPSG need any help in their procession to total domestic domination in 2015/16, however on Wednesday night the all-conquering Parisians got a helping hand from the officials during their Coupe de la Ligue quarter-final clash with Lyon.

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Adrien Rabiot's scrappy opening goal was hardly a thing of beauty.

‘I Told Him To Calm Down’ – Arsene Wenger Explains Sideline Tête à Tête With Jurgen Klopp During 3-3 Anfield Cracker (Video)

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After Tuesday's top notch top-tier entertainment, Wednesday's Premier League action gave us another evening of superb football, with Liverpool's 3-3 draw with Arsenal at Anfield the pick of the bunch. During the game, Gunners' boss Arsene Wenger exchanged words with his Liverpool counterpart on the sidelines, as the game opened in crazy fashion with a Robert Firmino brace and goals from Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud making it 2-2 within the first 25 minutes.

An Irate Louis Van Gaal Has Pop At “Fat Man” Journalist After 3-3 Draw With Newcaslte (Video)

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While Monday night's 3-3 draw at St. James' Park was a fine spectacle for the neutral, for Manchester United boss Louis Van Gaal it was another frustrating (if at least goal-filled) night. And in the post-match press conference, the Red Devil's manager got particularly irked by more questions about his side's man of the match Wayne Rooney, singling out one of the journalists present in spiky fashion.

Adidas Celebrate Lionel Messi’s Fifth Ballon d’Or By Furnishing Him With Special ‘Platinum’ Boots (Photos)

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It'll start getting tricky when he reaches 11

To celebrate the wee manpicking up hisfifth Ballon d'Or earlier in the week, Adidas have furnished Lionel Messi with a brand new pair of limited edition boots.

The Adidas Messi 15 Platinum Edition is a special version of Messi's own eponymous signature boot, and comes in metallicwhite with aneye-catching pearlescent shimmer.

Newcastle Pay Tribute To Pavel Srnicek With Classy Retro Programme Cover (Photo)

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Lovely touch from Newcastle United, who used their official match programme for Tuesday night's Premier League clash with Manchester United to pay tribute to their former goalkeeper Pavel Srnicek, who passed away at the tragically young age of 47 shortly before New Year.

With a memorial service set to take place in Newcastle the following day, the club produced a brilliant 1990s-style programme cover for the game which featured Srnicek draped in that famous 'Tyne skyline' kit he wore so well during his 150 appearances for the Toon.

Toulouse Provide Fans With ‘Official’ Sick Note To Watch Pesky Weekday Afternoon Cup Match

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Image: Toulouse FC

With their Coupe de la Ligue quarter-final against Marseille kicking-off at 5pm tonight, many Toulouse fans are being forced to skipthe game due to itsmassively inconvenient weekday afternoon scheduling.

However, the Ligue 1 side have devised a plan. Indeed, they have produced an 'official' (read: totally unofficial) sick note to allow their supporters to duck out of work or school early in time to watch the game.

On This Day In 2004: Arsenal Goalkeeping Legend David Seaman Retires, Aged 40

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The Divinest Ponytail

It was a recurring shoulder injury that finally persuaded David Seaman to call it a day in football at the grand old age of 40 his announcement bringing to an end an illustrious career that had spanned 23 years, six clubs and 75 England caps.

Born in Rotherham, Seaman started his career at Leeds United in 1981, the club he supported as a boy.

Football Art: Dele Alli’s Superb Tottenham Form Captured In Gorgeous Richard Swarbrick Animation (Video)

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Safe to say that things are going pretty well for Dele Alli at the moment, having broken straight into the Tottenham and England team this season and winding up with a bumper new five-and-a-half-year contract to show for it.

At the behest of the chaps over at theSpurred Onfan channel, Alli's prodigious rise has been given the artistic treatment it so richly deserves courtesy of animator Richard Swarbrick (@RikkiLeaks).

Heroic 83-Year-Old Sunday League Referee Steps In To Save Non-League Match

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The KT Stadium, home of Croydon Athletic (Photo: The Ball Is Square)

When one of thelinesman pulled up injured during therecent Southern Counties East League match between Croydon Athletic and Sevenoaks FC, it looked as though the entire game would have to be postponed.

Thankfully, there was a hero in the midst on that fateful afternoonat the Keith Tuckey Stadium.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Hometown Statue Vandalised With Lionel Messi’s Name And Number (Photo)

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Cristiano Ronaldo has had his statue in his hometown defaced by vandals who painted Lionel Messi's name and number on the back.

The urchins responsible smeared the infamously 'anatomically generous' statue in Fuchal on the Portuguese island of Madeira in red paint on Tuesday evening, the day after Messi pipped Ronaldo to the Ballon d'Or.

Charlton’s Johnnie Jackson Promises Fans Ticket Reimbursement After 5-0 Away Battering By Huddersfield

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Following Charlton's 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Huddersfield at the John Smith's Stadium on Tuesday night, the Championship strugglers have vowed to reimburse the Addicks' faithful who made the long and ultimately fruitless trip to Yorkshire on a damp January evening.

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Veteran midfielder Johnnie Jackson, once of Tottenham, broke the news on twitter after the defeat which sees the south Londoners continue to languish in the relegation zone, three points from safety.

Snapshot: Aston Villa Taste Top-Flight Victory For First Time Since August – The Comeback Starts Here!

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It may have come via a right balls up from Crystal Palace ‘keeper Wayne Hennessey, but Remi Garde finally tasted victory. Joleon Lescott headed straight at Hennessey from a corner, only for the Eagles' glovesman to produce the mother of all fumbles and gift the Premier League strugglers a vital goal.

Liverpool Apply To Trademark ‘The Normal One’ In Order To Capitalise On Kloppmania

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Keen to cash in on the mildoutbreak of Kloppmania on Merseyside, Liverpool have made an official application to copyright one of their manager's more prominent catchphrases.

The club are seeking to trademark 'The Normal One' under European law in order to slap it on t-shirts, scarves, toilet paper, tampons and the like.

Official: Newcastle Splurge £12m On Swansea Surplus Jonjo Shelvey (Photo)

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It's official, Newcastle have forked over £12million to Swansea in exchange for the services of Jonjo Shelvey.

The 23-year-old midfielder moves after passing his medical and signing a five-and-a-half-year contractat St James' Park...

CONFIRMED: Newcastle United have signed England midfielder Jonjo Shelvey https://t.

Official: Liverpool Bring In Steven ‘Defensive Cover’ Caulker On Loan For The Rest Of The Season

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There was definitely a point when it looked like he ,might be on the verge of becoming an England regular, but it seems all that Steven Caulker does these days is get brought in as hired defensive cover, Liverpool being his latest clients.

The Reds have officially announced that the 24-year-old centre-back has joined them on loan from QPR until the end of the season to help smooth over their recent defensive injury spate.

Premier League To Cull Lion From Their Logo As Part Of New Re-Branding Exercise

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So long, Premier League lion. We hardly knew ye.

Yep. The Premier League have announced that they plan to take their lion out back and give it the Old Yeller treatment as part of an imminent corporate re-brand.

According to the Daily Mail, a creative agency have been appointed to link all of the Premier League board's work under one unified brand, which means that the lion (which was originally included in the logo as a nod tothe PL's originalwith the FA) is going to be sacrificed.

On This Day In 2008: Nicolas Anelka Makes Chelsea Debut, His Eighth Club In 14 Years

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Nicolas Anelka had already been around the block a few times by the time he made his Chelsea debut as a 58th minute substitute against Tottenham on this very day back in 2008.

The Blues had paid £15million for the forward who had previously declared, after he left Arsenal in a huff in 1999, that he was finished with English football.

Dele Alli Signs New Five-Year Tottenham Contract With £10,000 Wage Bump

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It's all very un-Tottenham, but the club have been smart and swiftin producing a new contract offer for Dele Alli after the young midfielder's rise to prominence this season.

The new deal, which was confirmed by the club this morning, sees the 19-year-old talentlocked in until 2021 with a reported £10,000 wage bump chucked in for good measure.

Even Louis Van Gaal Admits He Gets Bored Watching Manchester United

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All is not rosy in the Manchester United garden, with fans growing increasingly irritated by Louis van Gaal's passive, possession-obsessed tactics.

Indeed, with his United team having failed to score a single first-half goal in their last 10 home games, the players were booed off the pitchat half-time during Saturday's dull FA Cup tieagainst Sheffield United, with thousands of fans leaving early before Wayne Rooney settled thingswith a 93th-minute penalty.

‘Basically, No Mourinho’ – Kazakhstan Football Federation Ask Fans To Vote Online For New National Team Coach

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Kazakhstan's long wait to qualify for their firstmajor international tournament is going to go onfor a least another year after they managed to win just one of their ten Euro 2016qualifiers by signing off their campaign with a 1-0 dead rubber win over Latvia.

Prior to saidLatvia victory, The Hawks had won just two of their previous 20 games both being friendlies against fellow central Asian footballing super powersTajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Lionel Messi Is Your 2015 Ballon d’Or Winner (Photos)

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Just as the prophecy foretold, Lionel Messi has just been crowned as the 2015 Ballon d'Or winner at the glitzy (and painfully bloated) award ceremony in Zurich.

#Messi has won the FIFA Ballon d'Or #BallondOr https://t.

Lionel Messi Is Your 2015 Ballon d’Or Winner

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Just as the prophecy foretold, Lionel Messi has just been crowned as the 2015 Ballon d'Or winner at the glitzy (and painfully bloated) award ceremony in Zurich.

#Messi has won the FIFA Ballon d'Or #BallondOr https://t.co/XA2rmWKNGF pic.

Walking Wall: Japanese High School Team Successfully Pull Off Weird And Wonderful Set Piece Routine (Video)

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You're about to seeJapanese high school teamEast Fukuoka successfully execute a truly baffling set-piece routine.

Fukuoka'singenious (?) plan was to baffle their opponents by having a second wall link arms and mosey backwards in a weird reverse Monkees-style walk while their free-kick taker blasted the ball past the confused goalkeeper.

Fact Attack: Ruud Gullit Is The Only Player With Dreadlocks Or A Moustache To Win The Ballon d’Or

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Having won the trophy himself the previous year, Gullit poses alongside 1988 Ballon d'Or winner Marco van Basten. Milan players dominated the podium, finishing first, second (Gullit) and third (Rijkaard)

With the Ballon d'Or ceremony scheduled to get cracking in Zurich at some point this evening, the BBC have concerned themselves with examining the genetic make-up of every single winner from the past 59 years to ascertain the'perfect' Ballon d'Or candidate.

Reports: Newcastle Lodge £10m Bid For Swansea Scrapper Jonjo Shelvey

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According to the Daily Telegraph, Newcastle are serious about taking Jonjo Shelvey off Swansea's hands. £10million serious.

It's being reported that Steve McClaren is closing in on a deal for Shelvey, who is "desperate" to leave the Swans after falling out of favour. Crystal Palace are also said to be interested.

PSG Threaten Legal Action After M.I.A Wears Doctored Replica Jersey In Her ‘Borders’ Music Video

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Paris Saint-Germain have written a letter to M.I.A. after the pop artiste wore an altered version of the club's shirt in one of her music videos.

The song in question is 'Borders', which criticises the treatment ofrefugees. In the accompanying video, M.I.A. can be seen wearing a PSG replica shirt with the sponsor changed from 'Fly Emirates' on the front to 'Fly Pirates'.

On This Day In 2007: David Beckham Announces Intentions To Move To A New Galaxy

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Beckham finally arrives in a new Galaxy, July 2007

Having seemingly fallen out of favour at Real Madrid under Fabio Capello, David Beckham raised more than a few eyebrows when he announced he'd signed a deal to move to MLS and see out his days at Los Angeles Galaxy in January of 2007.

Shortly after Beckham announced his intentions to swan off to America, Real president Ramon Calderon was publicly dismissive, intimatingthat the England midfielder was a busted flush and would be nothing more than an "average cinema actor living in Hollywood".

‘Let’s Play For Real!’ – US International Alejandro Bedoya Hacks Down Girlfriend During Park Kick-About (Video)

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US international winger Alejandro Bedoya decided to test his girlfriend's mettle when she requested that the pair "play for real" during a recent kick-around on their local park.

Bedoya then trotted down to the pitchwith his significant other, Swedish national team physio Bea Hilland, and wasted no time in getting stuck in.

Utter Chaos At Palermo (Again) As Head Coach Refuses To Talk To Players After Falling Out With Captain

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Here today, gone tomorrow (quite literally): Palermo coach Davide Ballardini

Palermo are an absolute nightmare at the best of times, but Serie A's most dysfunctional club (and that's saying something!) have really outdone themselves over the weekend with a bout of full-on madness.

Indeed, as things stand, head coach Davide Ballardini is refusing to speak to his players after falling out with club captain Stefano Sorrentino shortly before Sunday's trip to Hellas Verona.

Arsenal Fan Includes Mesut Ozil In Wedding Toast, Gets Complimentary Assist From The Man Himself (Video)

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An Arsenal fan who took the brave decision to slide a reference to his beloved football team into his wedding speech saw his gamble pay off when he received a personal response from Mesut Ozil himself.

The groom personally thanked Ozil during his toast for making him feel all warm and gooey inside and after the video went viral, the Arsenal forward stepped into provide yet another assist by inviting the fan to an upcoming game as his guest.

Mark Lawrenson Endures Gaff-Tastic Saturday After Pointless And Match of the Day Howlers (Videos)

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Ex-Liverpool and Republic of Ireland legend (and sneery pundit) Mark Lawrenson has always fancied himself as a clever cookie. However, on Saturday, the ex-Match of the Day pundit made not one, but two gaffs in his own personal 'weekendhorribilis'.

Firstly, appearing on a special FA Cup edition of Pointless on BBC, 'Lawro' gave 'Alaska' as an answer when asked to name an obscure country beginning with the letter 'A'.

FA Cup – The Best Bits: Tottenham 2-2 Leicester (Photos & Highlights)

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Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 Leicester City FA Cup 3rd Round 10th January 2016

A late, late Harry Kane penalty denied high-flying Leicester a win at White Hart Lane in an entertaining all-top-flight 3rd round clash.

Both Manuel Pellegrini and Claudio Ranieri put out mix-and-match teams, but it was the Lilywhites who struck first, courtesy of a strike from Christian Eriksen on eight minutes after 'keeper Kasper Schmeichel had savedNacer Chadli's shot.

FA Cup – The Best Bits: Chelsea 2-0 Scunthorpe (Photos & Highlights)

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Chelsea 2-0 Scunthorpe United FA Cup 3rd Round 10th January 2016

Chelsea produced an impressive display at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, with the Blues side-stepping a banana skin in the shape of League One side Scunthorpe to take their place in the draw for the fourth round of the FA Cup.

With the FA Cup the Blues best chance of a trophy this season, manager Guus Hiddink put out a strong side and it took just 13 minutes for Diego Costa to fire home an opener from close-range.

‘He Reminds Me Of A Young Cecil The Lion’ – Everton Boss Roberto Martinez Reserves High Praise For Goodison Cat

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Joining the great pantheon of footballing animal interlopers, a black and white cat temporarily brought a halt to Everton's FA Cup third round tie against Dagenham & Redbridge yesterday when it took up residence in the Goodison penalty area.

Despite several attempts made by Toffees 'keeper Joel Robles to snarethe feline, Goodison cat managed to evade his would-be captor with an impressive turn of pace.

FA Cup – The Best Bits: Man Utd 1-0 Sheffield Utd (Photos & Highlights)

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Manchester United 1-0 Sheffield United FA Cup 3rd Round 9th January 2016

It took an injury-time Wayne Rooney penalty to see Manchester United through a dull FA Cup clash with Sheffield United at Old Trafford.

After enjoying improved displays against both Chelsea and Swansea, the United faithful would have been expecting a comfortable, goal-filled afternoon against the Blades.

FA Cup – The Best Bits: Norwich 0-3 Man City (Photos & Highlights)

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Norwich City 0-3 Manchester City FA Cup 3rd Round 9th January 2016

Sergio Aguero was back to his very best as Manchester City eased past Norwich at Carrow Road on Saturday to take their place in the 4th round draw.

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The Citizens dominated from the first whistle and took the lead on 16 minutes, with Aguero waltzing his away through the Canaries' backline before firing past John Ruddy in what was a superb individual goal.

FA Cup – The Best Bits: Arsenal 3-1 Sunderland (Photos & Highlights)

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Arsenal 3-1 Sunderland FA Cup 3rd Round 9th January 2016

Holders Arsenal kept alive their hopes of a third FA Cup glory in a row, courtesy of a 3-1 comeback victory at the Emirates against Sunderland.

With the likes of Mesut Ozil rested completely, Arsene Wenger handed Nigerian forward Alex Iwobi a rare start, with Calum Chambers in central midfield alongside Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

“We’re Trying” – Aston Villa Captain Micah Richards Tries To Placate Angry Fans After 1-1 Draw With Wycombe (Video)

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A hard-fought 1-1 FA Cup draw away to League Two side Wycombe Wanderers leaves managerRemi Garde still yet to taste victory with Aston Villa, with the Villans' fans' patience all but evaporated, as exemplified by a heated discussion with captain Micah Richards.

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The Villa faithful who made the journey to Adams Park made were quick to make their ill feelings clear,singing "You're not fit to wear the shirt" in the direction of the under-performing players and "You don't know what you're doing" to manager Remi Garde.

Textbook Professional Foul: PSG’s Marco Verratti Brings Down His Man By Attempting To Steal His Clothes (Video)

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There was nothing particularly untoward about PSG beating Bastia 2-0 in Ligue 1 on Friday evening, save for a truly exquisite professional foul from Marco Verratti.

The Italian midfielder sprintedsome 30 yards to stop a counter-attack, stopping his opponent in his tracks by using an unorthodox technique usually reserved for lionesses bringing down gazelles on the plains of Africa.

FA Cup – The Best Bits: Exeter 2-2 Liverpool (Photos & Highlights)

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Exeter City Liverpool FA Cup 3rd Round 8th December 2016

Jurgen Klopp's hamstrung Liverpool escaped a shock defeat at St. James Park on Friday night, with the youthful visitors battling to a hard-fought 2-2 draw against League Two side Exeter.

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Exeter started brightly and took the lead after just nine minutes, when Tom Nichols netted from close-range.

Yaya Toure Thinks His 2015 African Player Of The Year Snub ‘Brings Shame’ To An Entire Continent

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As you may have heard, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has today been named African Footballer of the Year, thus bringing to an end Yaya Toure's run of four successive awards.

Unsurprisingly given his long history of blubbering petulant tantrums, Toure took Aubameyang's victory with all the grace and dignity of a gigantic spoiled man-toddler.

‘I Wear A Silk Scarf, I Feel The Bollocks’ – Exeter City Boss Paul Tisdale Shares His Thoughts On Looking Stylish In The Dugout

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Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale is oftcited as the most stylish man in the Football League, steadfastly eschewing the traditional tracksuit in favour of a gentleman's cravat, a jaunty tweed blazeror a knowingly cocked pork pie hat in the dugout.

Interesting, while Tisdale prepares his matchday wardrobe foran FA Cup third round tie against Liverpool,the Daily Mail have unearthed a fantastic batch of quotes from the Grecians boss in which he reveals just why he's so devoted to looking sharp.

On This Day In 2011: Return Of The King As Kenny Dalglish Receives Second Liverpool Coronation

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With the team floundering, morale lowand players in revolt, Liverpool decided to sack manager Roy Hodgson on 8th January 2011 and turn once again to club legend Kenny Dalglish.

Dalglish had been one of the finest creative forwardsin the game for Liverpool between 1977 and 1990, and served as player manager for the last five years of that spell.

‘This Is Not A Joke’ – Will Ferrell Joins Vincent Tan As Co-Owner Of New MLS Franchise Los Angeles FC

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Image: ESPN FC

As unlikely as it may seem, Will Ferrell and Vincent Tan are to buddy up and collaborate in the running of the latest MLS franchise, Los Angeles FC.

Ferrell and Tan are numbered among26 co-owners, who includethe first lady of US women's soccer, Mia Hamm, as well as former NBA star Magic Johnson.

Thrilling Footage Of 17-Year-Old Dele Alli Learning To Drive Surfaces On Youtube (Video)

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That feeling when you nail parallel parking for the first time

Hold onto your butts, Pies fans, because an extensive amount of footage of a young(er) Dele Alli learning to drive has surfaced over on Youtube.

As you can probably guess, it's truly thrilling stuff.

Watch as our 17-year-old hero (who was playing for MK Dons at the time) limbers up to take his second practical test having already failed his first attempt at an earlier juncture.

FA Cup: Wycombe Wanderers Name 46-Year-Old ‘Keeper (Who Hasn’t Played For 10 Years) On Bench Against Aston Villa

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Wycombe Wanderers have been forced to rotate their goalkeepers for tomorrow's FA Cup third round tie against Aston Villa after first choice stopperMatt Ingram managed to get himself sent off against Morecambe last weekend.

As such, Ingram's20-year-old understudyAlex Lynch will start against Villa, meaning that Wycombe have had to bring their 46-year-old goalkeeping coach out of retirement to fill the youngster's spot on the bench.

€60m Arsenal Target Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Bags African Player Of The Year Gong

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Following an incredible goal-filled start to the 2015/16 Bundesliga campaign, Borussia Dortmund'sPierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been namedConfederation of African Football's player of the year.

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Voted for by African national team managers, the Gabonese hitman racked up 143 points, seven more than runner-up Yaya Touré.

German Fourth Tier Minnows Rot Weiss Ahlen Offer To Take Adnan Januzaj On Loan For Rest Of Season

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So this is what it's come to, eh?

With Borussia Dortmund prematurely dumping him back on Manchester United's doorstepjust five dismal months into a season-long loan, it's probably safe to suggest that Adnan Januzaj is in something of a rut at the moment.

Having failed to make a single league start for Dortmund, the 20-year-old Belgian winger's stock at an all-time low though we're happy to report that he has been offered a career-saving lifeline from theRegionalliga West, i.

Let’s Hear It For Gareth Barry, One Of The Greatest English Players Of All Time

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You can stick your Bobby Charlton up your arse

As he continues to chughis way toward his 600th Premier League appearance, it would appear that the time is right for a critical reappraisal of all things Gareth Barry.

Considered by many as a solid/mediocre defensive midfielder, Barry found himself being lauded as one of the greatest ever English players by Everton manager Roberto Martinez after last night's 2-1 first leg win over Man City in the Capital One Cup semis.

Only The Loanly: Man Utd Recall Adnan Januzaj From Dortmund After Winger Fails To Make Single League Start

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Manchester United have confirmed that Adnan Januzaj has been recalled from his season-long loan at Borussia Dortmund after the spindly winger failed to make any sort of concerted impact at the Bundesliga club.

Januzaj was recently informedby coach Thomas Tuchel that he would be surplus to requirements for the second half of the season after makinga paltry total of six appearances for Dortmund (including a grand total of zero league starts) and spending just 165 minutes on the pitch in hisfirst five months at Signal Iduna Park.

Jermaine Jenas Officially Announces Retirement From Football (About Two Years After Everybody Thought He Already Had)

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There were emotional scenes this morning when Jermaine Jenas appeared on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme to formally announced his retirement from football.

However, the most prevalent emotion on display among football fans was definitely confusion, with most people assuming the 32-year-old had already called it quits at least a couple of years ago.

Capital One Cup – The Best Bits: Everton 2-1 Man City (Photos & Highlights)

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Everton 2-1 Manchester City Capital One Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg 6th January 2016

Romelu Lukaku once again proved to be the match-winner for Everton as the Toffees' secured a dramatic 2-1 victory over Man City at Goodison Park.

The Toffees were impressive throughout, with Gareth Barry dictating play from the centre of the park and overshadowing a quiet Yaya Touré.

On This Day In 2013: Lionel Messi Loses Bet With His Stylist Before Winning Fourth Consecutive Ballon d’Or

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When arguably the best player ever to grace a football pitch wins an award that itself betters anything that has gone before, you'll have to excuse us here at Pies for taking our gaze off the domestic game for just a moment to take heed.

When BarcelonavirtuosoLionel Messi lifted the Ballon d'Or for a fourth consecutive season in January of 2013, it all but cemented his status as a legend that's if his status as a legend needed further cementing at that point.

They’re Just Like Us: Arsenal ‘Keeper Petr Cech Spotted Taking Busy Commuter Train Like A Common Peasant (Photo)

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Piesalways enjoy the seismic tremor of disbelief that circulates each and every time a professional football is spotted engaging in anything close to approximating 'normal behaviour'.

To that end, here's Petr Cech slumming it amidst the peons aboard a busy London commuter train the other day.

Romelu Lukaku Reveals His Mum Convinced Him To Sign For Everton

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Currently knee-deep in a rich vein of form that has seen him stick away 12 goals in his last 12 games, Romelu Lukaku has become a pivotal presence in the Everton front line since returning to the club a couple of summers back.

Having made just one Premier League start in three years at Chelsea, Lukaku eventually rejoined the Toffees on a permanent basis having spent a successful stint on loan at Goodison for the2013/14 season.

Kolo Toure Optimistically Puts His Name Forward As Real Madrid’s Next Galactico Signing

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Perhaps a little optimistically, Kolo Toure has thrown his own name into the ring to become Real Madrid's latest galactico signing.

Toure is out of contract at the end of the season and beginning to assess his options. Whereas he'd prefer to stay in the Premier League, the Liverpooldefenderopenly admitted that he isn't averse to moving to the Bernabeu either.

Ballon D’oh: FIFA Website Appears To Accidentally Leak 2015 Ballon d’Or Winners

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Not that it's a massive spoiler, but it would appear that the official FIFA website have accidentally leaked the 2015 Ballon d'Or winners almost a weekprior to the glitzy award gala in Zurich on 11 January.

An article briefly appeared on FIFA.com that named Lionel Messi as the winner of the 2015 Ballon d'or and Germany striker Celia Sasic as the winner of the women's equivalent.

Football Manager Director Reveals He Apologised To Harry Kane For Making His Stats So Rubbish

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The man behind the Football Manager game franchise has revealed he once felt the need to apologise to Harry Kane for saddling the Tottenham striker with less-than-stellar stats in previous editions of the ever-popular managerial sim.

Miles Jacobson, sports director of Sports Interactive (the company that develop Football Manager) revealed in an interview with the Daily Mirror that he personally apologised to Kane for misjudging his potential after being approached by the Spurs man at an awards bash.

Official: Liverpool Seal £5m Marko Grujic Deal, Send Him Straight Back To Red Star Belgrade

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Photo: Getty Images/Liverpool FC

Liverpool have completed the signing of Serbian youngster Marko Grujic, who joins from Red Star Belgrade for the princely sum of £5.1million.

As part of the fine print, the 19-year-old attacking midfielder (everybody's an attacking midfielder these days) will return to Red Star on loan for the rest of the season.

Football Tat: Ever Wanted To Own A Watch Inspired By Birmingham City’s Hideous 1992 ‘Triton’ Away Kit?

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Finally, shit football kit afficianados everywhere will be able to get their grubby paws on a stunning timepiece inspired by one of the shittest of them all: Birmingham's nausea-inducing away kit from 1992-93.

For a limited time only, online Birmingham City merchandise store KRO Clothing are flogging what they describe as a "shocker" of a watch that commemorates the Blues' infamously gaudy 'Triton' strip.

On This Day In 2009: Harry Redknapp Signs Jermain Defoe Again As Striker Returns To Tottenham Less Than 12 Months After Leaving

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The first (2004) and second (2009) comingof Defoe

For a while, Tottenham resembled a revolving player exchange rather than a football club, with players passing through the club faster than a high-fibre breakfast.

Chuckwheeler dealerHarry Redknapp into the mix and a never-ending precession of eyebrow-raising cut price dealsis a nigh-on certainty.

Manchester United: 11-Year-Old Fan Once Wrote To Sir Alex To Criticise His Tactics Only To Receive Reply From The Man Himself (Photos)

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Back in 2005, a young football fan by the name of Paul Golah-Ebue was tasked with writing a letter to a famous person for a school project.

Being a devout Manchester United fan, the 11-year-old chose to write his letter to Sir Alex Ferguson.

However, rather than the usual 'i love you and i think your grate' schoolboy fare, Paul decided this was his chance to air a few of the grievances he'd been harbouring over Fergie's flawed 4-3-3 tactical system, his misuse of Wayne Rooney and the weak links in his backroom staff.

Desperate Newcastle Fan Attempts To Entice Jamie Vardy By Throwing Toon Shirt Over His Garden Wall (Photo)

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We've said it before and we'll no doubt say it again.Football fans are a bloomin' curious subspecies.

With his beloved team desperately short on fire power so far this season, one Newcastle fan hatched a fiendish masterplan in a desperate attempt to entice Leicester City goal-machine Jamie Vardy to St James' Parkin the transfer window.

Northern Ireland Fan Fined £750 And Given Stadium Ban For Performing ‘The Birdie Song’ During Match

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Whatever you do lads, don't flap your arms like a chicken

One Northern Ireland fan has felt the full force of justice after being fined and banned for the heinous crime of performing The Birdie Song during a friendly win over Latvia back in November.

Appearing atBelfast Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, fanJames Burnsadmitted unlawfully going on to an area where football spectators are not allowed.

Capital One Cup – The Best Bits: Stoke 0-1 Liverpool (Photos & Highlights)

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Stoke City 0-1 Liverpool Capital One Cup Semi Final 1st Leg 5th December 2016

Liverpool bounced back from their disappointing defeat to West Ham at the weekend to deservedly beat Stoke 1-0 at the Britannia on Tuesday night.

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The Reds were back to their all-action, energetic selves from the off, with the Potters struggling to match their opponents' work-rate.

No Fuchs Given: Leicester City Defenders Bond By Thumping Footballs At Each Other’s Arses (Video)

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"Im Christian Fuchs and welcome to Red-ass"

Withcamaraderie riding high at Leicester City at the moment, teammates Christian Fuchs and Robert Huth decided to stay behind after training and bolster their morale by engagingin a bit of male bonding.

Of course, being big burly defenders, this involved thumping footballs at each other's backsides for fun.

Pep Guardiola Confirms What We Already Know – ‘I’m Leaving Bayern Munich To Manage In The Premier League’

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It had been the worst kept secret in football, but today Pep Guardiola has used an official press conference to confirm what we all kind of already know: he's leaving Bayern Munich at the end of the season to take up a managerial post in the Premier League.

Guardiola previously announced that he wouldn't be extending his contract with Bayern, which dwindles to nothing at the end of the current season.

Journalist Claims He Was Asked By Real Madrid Not To Mention Gareth Bale’s World Record Fee For Fear Of Upsetting Cristiano Ronaldo

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In revelations that are certain to rock you to the core, Sunday Timesjournalist Jonathan Northcroft has told how he was once asked not to mention Gareth Bale's world record transfer free whileinterviewing the Welshman for fear of upsetting Cristiano Ronaldo.

Northcroft claimed that he was pointedly instructed by Real Madrid not to refer to Bale's £85million fee as it representeda bone of contention with Ronaldoforeclipsing his own paltry £80million fee.

Wayne Rooney Named England Player Of The Year For The Fourth Time

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Wayne Rooney has been named as the England Player of the Year for the second successive year after coming out on top in the annualsupporters' poll once again.

The Manchester United forwardnabbed 37% of the vote conducted by members of the England Supporters Club after trundling his way to overtaking Sir Bobby Charlton as the country's record international goalscorer in 2015.

On This Day In 1963: Big Freeze Kicks Off Longest FA Cup Third Round In History, Plays Havoc With The Pools

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Christmas of 1962 was celebrated in the midst of freezing conditions across Britain. By FA Cup third round weekend in January 1963, the icy conditions were still so bad that only three of the ties scheduled to take place went ahead.

In fact, it took another 13 weeks before the round was completed, which still a record that stands to this day.

Non-League Side Colne FC Suffer Bizarre Break-In After Thief Grills Burgers Then Leaves Thank-You Note (Photo)

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Non-league side Colne FC suffered a strange old break-in over the weekend when burglars forced theirway into the club house, rustled themselvesup a burger or two and then left a thank-you note scrawled on the kitchen wall.

As BBC Lancashire report, the thieves broke into Colne's XLCR Stadium between 7pm on Saturday and 10am on Sunday and made away with 12 bottles of spirits.

Mainz Coach Forces Players To Camp Overnight On Mountain As Part Of Team-Building Excursion (Photo)

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With the Bundesliga powering down over the winter, Mainz 05 coach Martin Schmidt has gone to great lengths or should that be great heights? to keep his players fighting fit over the mid-season break.

Indeed, a matter of days before the entire squad flies out to Marbella for their warm-weather training camp, Schmidt decided to expose his team to the other end of the spectrum by treating them to a campingexcursion inthe mountainous canton of Valais in his native Switzerland.

Iker Casillas Offered Sensational Real Madrid Return By (Prank Caller Posing As) Zinedine Zidane

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Almost immediately after Zinedine Zidane replaced Rafa Benitez as Real Madrid coach yesterday, the Spanish press was awash with rumours that the Frenchman's first order of business was to contact Iker Casillas and ask the once-exiled 'keeper to return to the Bernabeu at the first available juncture.

Official: Zinedine Zidane Replaces Rafa Benitez As New Real Madrid Coach

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As expected, the axe fallen on Rafa Benitez at the Bernabeu, with the Real Madrid manager given the chop after just half a season in the hot-seat, to be replaced by ex-Galactico Zinedine Zidane.

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Finding themselves (only) four points behind La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid, and only two behind rivals Barcelona, trigger-happy club presidentFlorentino Perez and the Real board showed their trademark lack of patience in giving former Liverpool boss Benitez the chop.

Real Madrid Set To Sack Rafa Benitez Because Nothing Is Ever Good Enough For Them

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It's not quite officially official yet but the writing is most definitely on the wall for Rafa the Gaffer, with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez calling an 'emergency meeting' with his soon-to-be latest ex-coach this afternoon.That usually only means one thing.

The Spanish press is awash with speculation that Benitez is in the process of being canned withReal lollopingway down in third in La Liga, level on points with Barcelona and only three points behind league leaders Atletico Madrid.

Defying The Odds: 10 Footballers Who Succeeded Despite Having No Neck

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In which, for no reason other than because we can, Pies pay humble tribute to those professional footballers who simply refused to let a distinct lack of neck hold them back in their ascent to greatness/mediocrity.

Without further ado, let's dig in...

Carlos Tevez

Famously lost his Adam's apple in a wheat threshing accident as a child.

On This Day In 1992: Mickey Thomas’ Powerful Freekick Slays FA Cup Giant As Wrexham Oust Arsenal (Video)

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Wrexham heroes Steve Watkins (left) and Mickey Thomas

With FA Cup third round weekend almost upon us, what better time to reminisceabout one of the biggest cup upsets of all time?

This particular third round meeting on January 4, 1992, matched the previous season's First Divisionchampions, Arsenal, with the side that had finished bottom of all the 92 professional clubs, Wrexham.

Reports: David De Gea Announces Plans To Leave Manchester United With Brazen New Facebook Profile Photo

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Image: DavidDeGeaOficial/Facebook

That there is David De Gea's new Facebook profile photo, which, coincidentally, is being used as a launchpad to kick off the annual mid-season transfer rumour crapalanche. It does say January on the calendar after all.

Indeed, the Telegraph are taking De Gea's updated avatar as a sure sign that the spindly goalkeeper is preparing to up and leave Manchester United for pastures new at the first available juncture, thus causing "mild panic" to spread among the club's supporters mild panic like this for example.

Espanyol Kit Providers Issue Pithy Tweet After Javier Mascherano Escapes Nailed-On Penalty Shout

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Espanyol tussled their way to an impressive goalless draw against neighbours Barcelona on Saturday afternoon, and while Luis Enrique's mob were denied by the woodwork on several occasions, they also rode their own luck at times too.

Case in point being a penalty shout in the first half when Javier Mascherano grabbeda fistful of Alvaro Soberon's jersey and attempted to tear it clean off.

Monaco Striker Lacina Traore Manages To Score Four Goals And Get Sent Off At Half-Time In French Cup Game (Video)

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It proved to be a funny old weekend for Monaco striker Lacina Traore, who experiencedsomething of a 'mixed bag' type of outing in the French Cup on Sunday afternoon.

Traorehelped himself to four goals in the first 45 minutesof Monaco's 10-2 win overamateursideSt Jean Beaulieu in the Coup de France round of 64 before getting himself sent off before the start of the second half.

FAIL: Barnet Defender Gavin Hoyte Channels Zaire ’74 While Facing Freekick Against Northampton (Video)

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Spotted during Saturday's League Two game between Northampton and Barnet: a stunning and heartfelt tribute to legendary Zaire defender Mwepu Ilunga, as performed by Barnet defender Gavin Hoyte...

Touching,truly touching and on the eight-month anniversary of Ilunga's passing too. Beautiful stuff.

The Best Bits: Crystal Palace 0-3 Chelsea (Photos)

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Crystal Palace 0-3 Chelsea Premier League 3rd December 2015

Channeling their title-winning selves, Chelsea produced a superb display to start the new year with a welcome victory and send Crystal Palace to a 3-0 home defeat.

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Diego Costa, so often well off the pace this season, was back to his potent best at Selhurst Park, setting up Oscar to score the opener on 29 minutes.

Sky Sports Host Jeff Stelling Receives Cold Call Live On Air…From Sky’s Broadband Department (Video)

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Image: Sky Sports

Given that it took an absolute age for anyteamin the Premier League and Championship to open the scoring yesterday, the Soccer Saturday panel over on Sky Sports were left twiddling their collective thumbs for the first half-an-hour of 'action'.

However, just as the goals began rolling in, host Jeff Stelling suffered the ignominy of having his mobile phone go off while live on air.

West Ham Captain Mark Noble Struggles To Contain Joy After Finding Novel Way To Dodge 5p Carrier Bag Tax (Photo)

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"Bag, bag, bag, mine, mine, mine!"

West Ham captainMark Noble was struggling to contain his pride on Twitter shortly after Saturday's 2-0 victory over Liverpool.

However, it wasn't the impressive home victory that had Noble beaming, oh no.

In fact the frugal Hammers midfielder seemed to be more proud of the 5p he'd managed to save by scooping up a stray plastic bag from the pitch and stuffing it down his pants.

West Ham Hardnut Dimitri Payet Gets Frightened By A Bubble (Video)

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Here's West Ham forward Dimitri Payet flinching at the sight of a bubble floating menacingly into his peripheral vision at Upton Park yesterday...

Footballers these days, eh? Bloody wimps.

The Best Bits: Watford 1-2 Man City (Photos)

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Watford 1-2 Manchester City Premier League 2nd January 2016

Manchester City secured a dramatic late comeback win at Vicarage Road, a victory which sees them keep the pressure on league leaders Arsenal.

Watford have been one of the surprise packages of the season, and they once again produced an energetic display, with forwards Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo a constant threat.

The Best Bits: Man Utd 2-1 Swansea (Photos)

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Manchester United 2-1 Swansea City Premier League 2nd January 2016

Wayne Rooney emerged from his recent malaise to net a cracking winner against Swansea at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Rooney's goal, on 77 minutes, came courtesy of a superb back-heeled flick from an Anthony Martial cross.

The Best Bits: Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle (Photos)

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Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle United Premier League 2nd January 2016

Arsenal increased their lead at the top of the table to two points after a hard-fought 1-0 win against an impressive Newcastle side.

Embed from Getty Images

After a bright opening from the Gunners, the visitors took charge and created a number of superb chances.

The Best Bits: West Ham 2-0 Liverpool (Photos)

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West Ham United 2-0 Liverpool Premier League 2nd January 2016

Liverpool's hopes of securing a European berth in May took another blow as they were deservedly beaten by West Ham at the Boleyn Ground.

After just 10 minutes of play, Michail Antonio bagged the first goal of the new year, with the former Nottingham Forest winger heading home an Enner Valencia centre.

‘No Way He Meant It!’ – Charlie Adam Piddles All Over Xherdan Shaqiri’s Goal Of The Season Contender

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Admittedly, Piesthought we'd witnessed astone cold pearler watching the game in real time, but it would appear that Xherdan Shaqiri's exquisite first-time lob scoredduring Stoke's 4-3 Christmasding-dong withEverton wasn't quite as sublime as the man himself would have us believe.

Speaking to the Stoke Sentinel after the game, Shaqiri appeared to dispel any talk of the goal being a fluke by claiming he knew exactly what he was going for all along:

The finish was really good.

On This Day In 1965: Arise Sir Stanley Matthews, Professional Football’s First All-Action Knight

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When Stanley Matthews was named a knight of the realm in the 1965 New Year's Honours List, he made history.

Sir Stanley became the first professional footballer to achieve a knighthood while still playing, and to this day remains the only player ever to have done so.

Matthews was playing for Stoke City at the time, aged 49, and the knighthood came just before the end of his playing career.