Off the Post Archives for January 2012

Brendan Rogers to become new Liverpool manager, Anfield new home of Total Football

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Admittedly we somewhat jumped and pole-vaulted the gun last week, declaring Roberto Martinez a red hot favourite for the Anfield job after clocking him supping capuccinos with the Liverpool owner last week. Turns out no deal was made. On the contrary, a three-year deal is thought to have been signed, sealed and delivered between Swansea manager [.

The world’s best football celebrations just got even better

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For far too long special effects have been the preserve of ropey Hollywood blockbusters. Thankfully, the excess of computer generated explosions, fire-breathing and walking dinosaurs has made it's way to the football pitch. In what has to be one of the most head-shakingly brilliant video we have seen for some time, we see some classic [.

Euro 2012 Kitman: Poland

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Home: 'Hi, welcome to Poland. Make yourself at home. This is where we keep the logos.' It's a strange one, but it sort of works. They've let the logo overload do the work and kept it quite simple elsewhere. Away: It fits as the other half to the home kit, but as a standalone shirt [...]


Top 10 European Championship goals

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As soon as England are out of Euro 2012, all we want to see is some glorious goals. The top two are fairly predictable, but the rest cover chips, long range strike and a cheeky penalty from 1968 above. Pick your best and cross for your fingers for some more beauties: 10. Antonin Panenka, Czechoslovakia [.

Euro 2012 alternative team guide: Portugal

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OTP gives you the lowdown on all the Euro 2012 teams. 10 word description: Post-golden generation Iberians hugely dependent on golden boy Ronaldo. Coach: Paulo Bento The former Sporting Lisbon coach took over from Carlo Queiroz in October 2012 following a poor start to Euro 2012 qualifying. They eventually made it, albeit through the play-offs.

Euro 2012 Kitman: Greece

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Home: Cross my heart and hope to die. Greece are banking on anybody who get close enough to tackle their players catching sight of the dotty cross, suddenly feeling very dizzy and falling over. Away: A variation on a theme, although that theme probably works slightly better in this colour scheme.


Euro 2012 Kitman: Greece

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Home: Cross my heart and hope to die. Greece are banking on anybody who get close enough to tackle their players catching sight of the dotty cross, suddenly feeling very dizzy and falling over. Away: A variation on a theme, although that theme probably works slightly better in this colour scheme.


Euro 2012 alternative team guide: Germany

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OTP gives you the lowdown on all the Euro 2012 teams. 10 word description: Tournament specialists make familiar trip to Poland with exciting generation. Coach: Joachim Low Jogi stepped out of Jurgen Klinsmann's shadow in 2006 and has left most people in no doubt that he was always the footballing brain behind the operation.

Top 10 young players to watch at Euro 2012 – part two

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So after covering prospects from Greece, France, Germany, Croatia and Poland yesterday, today OTP showcases five more prospects to get you writing to the scouts of your beloved football club simply demanding answers. How did these slip through the net? 5. Christian Eriksen (aged 20) – Denmark Eriksen deserves his place on this list even [.

Euro 2012 Kitman: Germany

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Home: You probably haven't even looked at it yet. It's overshadowed in this post, unfortunately. There's nothing particularly wrong with it, but the Germans have had better home kits in recent years. Away: Amazing. It's just a shame they didn't but the old Adidas trefoil logo on this homage to Germany's 1972.

Euro 2012 alternative team guide: Denmark

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OTP gives you the lowdown on all the Euro 2012 teams. 10 word description: Good side find themselves made outsiders thanks to terrible draw. Coach: Morten Olsen Olsen is a true institution of Denmark's national setup. One of the greatest Danish players of all time, he's been in charge of the national team since 2000.

Euro 2012 Kitman: France

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Home: A stylish older brother to England's away kit. Same colour scheme, but done much better, and with a Nehru collar that would have done The Beatles nicely. Away: We loved the old Breton-style stripy away kit, so we sort of resent this shirt from the outset. Overwhelmingly white with a hint of darker colours [.

Euro 2012 alternative team guide: Netherlands

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OTP gives you the lowdown on all the Euro 2012 teams. 10 word description: World Cup finalists can call upon some big name stars. Coach: Bert van Marwijk Van Marwijk has been in charge since 2008. He doesn't exactly endorse free-flowing football, albeit he's got some skillful players who can do that for him.

Teddy Sherringham poleaxes Gordon Ramsay. A nation rejoices.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=16Ny0E5pRKU The annual Soccer Aid charity match took place at Old Trafford on Sunday (an intriguing combination of celebrities and world football legends) and it served up one of the sweetest tackles you are likely to see -  a crunching bolt from the blue from former England international Teddy Sherringham.

Top 10 young players to watch at Euro 2012 – part one

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Although major international tournaments aren't necessarily the best time to give your young guns a run out, some of the most fascinating prospects in European football will be in Ukraine and Poland this summer. OTP chooses the top ten players under 23 to keep your eye on. With a video to accompany each one, we [.

Euro 2012 Kitman: England

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Home: Farewell, trusty blue. It's red and white all the way for England's home kit this time. The most recent batch of Umbro home kits have been quite interesting: fairly stylish in the detail, pretty simple in the broader picture. This one's no exception. Away: OTP said when this kit was released that it reminded [.

Gareth Barry exits Euro 2012 early. Hammer blow or blessing in disguise?

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We've now had a couple of sleepless nights about Gareth Barry's groin. It's an experience we will not want to endure again anytime soon. Finally we know his fate he won't take a part in England's Euro 2012 campaign in Poland and Ukraine. But the truth is, we're not quite sure how to feel [...]


Adem Ljajic given the boot for not singing Serbian national anthem

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It's been a singing-heavy week for Off The Post in the last 48 hours. First Javier Zanetti pops up on Indonesia Idol and then we are privvy to a truly diabolical rendition of the Star Spangled Banner at the Scotland-USA friendly. Serbia is the source of the most remarkable story of the lot. Their international side lost to [.

Euro 2012 Kitman: Denmark

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Home: Not a million miles away from their successful Euro 92 kit, but this is the work of Adidas rather than Hummel. It's reminiscent of something you might have caught Bayern Munich wearing in the 1990s. Away: Much more 'football-kit-by-numbers' than the home shirt. Not much to report here.


Euro 2012 alternative team guide: Czech Republic

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OTP gives you the lowdown on all the Euro 2012 teams. 10 word description: Not quite the same force but still a decent side. Coach: Michel Bilek Not to be confused with his near-namesake German midfielder, Bilek has been managing for just over a decade after a playing career that included spells with Real Betis [.

USA national anthem crushed in Scotland friendly

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If you felt slightly sorry for Scotland after their sizeable 5-1 spanking at the hands of the USA over the weekend, spare a thought for another once proud institution the American national anthem. As is tradition across the pond, a young attractive girl was rolled out to sing the Star Spangled Banner at the [.

Inter Milan’s Javier Zanetti croons on Indonesia Idol

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If you had the misfortune of sitting through some ear-perforating performances on Saturday night, courtesy of the Eurovision Song Contest, you may want to give this late contender a miss. What do you give a man who has won everything in the club game? A crack at singing stardom on Indonesia Idol, that's what.

Euro 2012 alternative team guide: Russia

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OTP gives you the lowdown on all the Euro 2012 teams. 10 word description: Euro 2008 semi-finalist, Mother Russia, visits stepkids hoping for repeat. Coach: Dick Advocaat The vastly experienced former Rangers boss steps down after Euro 2012 to takeover at PSV Eindhoven. He'll be hoping to go out with a bang in his first [.

Top 10 conclusions: Norway 0-1 England

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1. ‘Absurd day light hours, attractive high cheekbones, anti-social vikings –  you boys took one hell of an unremarkable beating!' Never riveting but reliable, Hodgson displayed his trademark characteristics to bring England their first win in Norway for 32 years. 2. Brede Hangeland got sold a dummy more easily than an irate parent desperate to pacify [.

‘Ruddy Hell’ – England keeper breaks finger, painfully waves goodbye to Euro 2012 dream

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Yesterday Norwich keeper John Ruddy gave us the crucial opportunity to wheel out a tired pun on his name and slightly more importantly, rue the fact that a broken finger sees the promising human octopus ruled out of Euro 2012. Truth be told, we are rather gutted by this twist of fate for the likeable [.

‘One Wigan manager to go’ – Liverpool owner pictured grabbing a caffè latte with Roberto Martinez

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According to Wigan chief Dave Whelan yesterday, Roberto Martinez has had an offer to take up the Anfield hot-seat dangled in front of him. A considerable feat considering the Latics suffered a eight game losing streak before Christmas. Amongst mutterings about what a phenomenally talented man Martinez is, Whelan said: "He had a meeting on [.

Spoof: Euro 2012 cancelled. Championships now up for grabs at Eurovison 2012

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Late last night a solemn Michel Platini made the shock announcement that Euro 2012 has been cancelled. The UEFA President has yet to officially state why the Championships have stalled. Complaints about Ukraine's human rights record appear to be the likely answer, although Platini a closet Norwich fan was overheard weeping upon the discovery of [.

Euro 2012 Kitman: Czech Republic

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Home: It looks like Puma took a fairly decent, basic, retro t-shirt and then decided to stick some blue insulation tape on it. Away: Similar story really. It's the same basic t-shirt in reverse colours. This time the insulation tape is wrapped very neatly around the arms rather than slapped on the shoulder.

Euro 2012 alternative team guide: Greece

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OTP gives you the lowdown on all the Euro 2012 teams. 10 word description: Worst ever Euro winners back again with bags of experience. Coach: Fernando Santos Greece won Euro 2004 with a homophobic German at the helm. Now they've gone for a Portuguese renowned for telling PAOK fans that they were "mistaking sardines for [.

The world is watching. A huge weekend for…

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Huddersfield Town When you have been the bridesmaid so often, it simply makes wedding day that much more difficult. For the third season in a row the Terriers have made the playoffs, but after a 3-0 thrashing to Peterborough in last season's final at Wembley, nerves will be jangling again. Huddersfield are the slight underdogs, [.

Euro 2012 Kitman: Croatia

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Home: Everybody's favourite psychedelic chessboard is back... and it's looking rather good. The squares are quite big and the red collar in contrast to the usual blue and white gives a bold look. Away: You sneaky devils, Croatia. Isn't your chessboard home kit enough? You have to sneak it onto your away it [.

Euro 2012 alternative team guide: Poland

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OTP gives you the lowdown on all the Euro 2012 teams. 10 word description: Lowly hosts banking on home advantage and a decent draw. Coach: Franciszek Smuda The 63-year-old veteran has been in the post since 2009. He's coached in Germany's lower leagues and if you're a Polish club and he hasn't managed you, you're [.

Marbella brings you sun, sea and the softest penalty ever

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Using the word ‘ever' in a headline always risks taking hyperbole too far, but this example from Marbella in Spain seems thoroughly justifiable. The famous holiday destination – synonymous with celebrity yachts, tasteful English breakfast joints and drinking holidays disguised as football tours should now only be remembered for one thing: a satin soft [.

Marbella brings you sun, sea and the softest penalty ever

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Using the word ‘ever' in a headline always risks taking hyperbole too far, but this example from Marbella in Spain seems thoroughly justifiable. The famous holiday destination – synonymous with celebrity yachts, tasteful English breakfast joints and drinking holidays disguised as football tours should now only be remembered for one thing: a satin soft [.

England ‘worse than Arsenal… and Shakhtar Donetsk’

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It has been a blinding season for the imaginary leagues, with Sunderland flying high in the European spots in the ‘Since Martin O'Neill Took Over' table. And who can forget the ‘Since Fabio Capello Resigned' rankings which temporarily saw Tottenham floundering at the foot of the Premier League. If you are a fan of fundamentally [.

England ‘worse than Arsenal… and Shakhtar Donetsk’

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It has been a blinding season for the imaginary leagues, with Sunderland flying high in the European spots in the ‘Since Martin O'Neill Took Over' table. And who can forget the ‘Since Fabio Capello Resigned' rankings which temporarily saw Tottenham floundering at the foot of the Premier League. If you are a fan of fundamentally [.

Video: Sent-off Chilean player channels Temuri Ketsbaia to demolish a billboard

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There are many ways to show your disgust at being subbed off. A mock clap and thumbs up seems quite popular of late, especially if you want a smack in the chops from your boss. But that infantile reaction was spectacularly topped at the weekend in a relegation tussle in Chile. With just 36 minutes [.

Video: Sent-off Chilean player channels Temuri Ketsbaia to demolish a billboard

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There are many ways to show your disgust at being subbed off. A mock clap and thumbs up seems quite popular of late, especially if you want a smack in the chops from your boss. But that infantile reaction was spectacularly topped at the weekend in a relegation tussle in Chile. With just 36 minutes [.

ITV imagine England dominating the footballing world

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ITV have created an advert which imagines if instead of England flobbing up every international tournament going (if we even qualified) we actually dominated international football for a period of almost fifty years. It is entitled It's Good To Dream, and it immortalises all of the England captains through the years with statues outside Wembley [.

France coach Laurent Blanc’s scouting network doesn’t extend to Everton

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Laurent Blanc, coach of England's Euro 2012 opponents France, reckons he's got the lowdown on all of Roy Hodgson's men except Leighton Baines, who he doesn't even know by name. The French scouts have been keeping a close eye on the Three Lions' players, unless they happen to play for Everton. Blanc says he [.

Top 10 longest Premier League bans

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OTP brings you the Premier League bad boys who have picked up the longest bans (minus drugs bans). 1. Eric Cantona nine months The powers-that-be determined that a kung-fu kick on a supporter was to be frowned upon, no matter how to despicable the individual in question happened to be. Cantona effectively lost a [.

Malaysian player in worst ever showboating attempt?

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Kelantan FA player Mohamed Ghaddar clearly thinks that he has some skills. So when he ran the ball towards the corner, rather than getting the ball into the box, he instead started a display of his dancing disco feet, dummying to kick the ball four or five times whilst his opponents simply watched him without [.

Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny pushes for a Poland starting place… as a playmaker

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Wojciech Szczesny has set out his stall to be handed a place in the starting line-up for Euro 2012 as an outfield player. Unaware he was being filmed, the Arsenal goalkeeper showed off his skills on the training pitch. After a ball juggling routine, Szczesny curled the ball into the top corner. Worth a [.

OTP Podcast: Episode 39 – Oh Didier!

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Ep. 39 Oh Didier! by Off The Post on Mixcloud David Cameron getting one over Angela Merkel at the G8 Summit. David Luiz conducting an interview for Italian TV half-cut. Michael Essien and Salomon Kalou making the female physio the filling in their grind sandwich. John Terry wearing shin pads even though he took no [.

Why Norwich keeper John Ruddy can rebuild the nation’s goodwill towards England

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When the England squad was announced last week, there was a tangible sense of indifference as the the whole country shrugged their shoulders. This is partly because there are a lot of familiar faces in the squad a generation that have proved more muddy copper than golden and also because the majority of [.

Wojciech Szczesny says Arsenal players use ‘John Terry’ as slang for ugly girls

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Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny is renowned for his confidence. And he's shown considerable self-confidence in judging that his latest revelation to the media wouldn't annoy his Arsenal team-mates or Chelsea captain John Terry. The Poland international has spilled the beans in an interview with the Polish edition of Playboy magazine, revealing that John Terry is [.

England stars must wear official underpants throughout Euro 2012

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There are many great perks to representing your country – the chance to play football in magnificent stadiums, the prospect of testing your skills against the best in the world and, of course, the opportunity to have St George's chainmail and WWII helmets photoshopped on to you by The Sun newspaper.

Now a psychic pig and elephant jump on the match prediction bandwagon for Euro 2012

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A pig and an elephant with a PR-savvy penchant for predicting football matches will be putting their skills to the test during Euro 2012. Following in the footsteps of the late, great Paul the Octopus and last week's match-predicting llama, both host nations will be able to avail of the services of psychic animals to [.

Kitman: Barcelona reveal hideous orange and yellow sunset away strip for 2012/13

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Barcelona have finally given up on their tiki-taka football and will now force teams into submission through the medium of football kit torture. The Catalan giants have developed an away kit that is so gaudy that opponents will be rendered unable to look directly at it. The sunset-coloured strip has an orange to yellow gradient [.

Random 1990s Footballer Tuesday: #33 Stephane Guivarc’h

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Name: Stephane Guivarc'h In his 1990s prime for: Newcastle United Lowdown: A footballer that deserves his place in this column despite only ever making four Premier League appearances, and in no way is that a compliment. The striker regularly features in lists of the worst Premier League players in history.

Spoof: Alton Towers to launch new ‘Managerial Merry-Go-Round’ ride

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Alton Towers the UK's largest theme park today announced their new ride for the summer of 2012. After much anticipation of a colossal rollercoaster that would test the laws of physics, the park's chief went for something much more low-key and unorthodox: a merry-go-round where ‘at least 50 per cent' of the allotted [.

‘Do Are Ya? Montpellier’s president Louis Nicollin celebrates title with orange and blue mohawk

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Take note, Roman Abromovich. If winning the Champions League really meant so much to you then it's time to whip out the hair dye. That was the approach taken by Montpellier president Louis Nicollin after his side wrapped up the French title. The 68-year-old turned 16-year-old opted for a mohawk in the club's orange and [.

Video: Cameroon goalkeeper shows off his flip throw clearance

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A goalkeeper with good distribution is a key part of the modern game, but that doesn't mean he has to be good with his feet. Cameroon's goalkeeper deployed his flip throw clearance to get the ball upfield quickly during a friendly against Egypt. Little sidenote: Brighton defender Adam El Abd, who was born in East [.

Arsenal’s Emmanuel Frimpong “buzzing” that Spurs miss out on Champions League, angry that Chelsea won

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It's difficult to know precisely what Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong was envisaging as being his ideal scenario ahead of the Champions League final. Whatever it was, he was setting himself up for disappointment. Frimpong told Sky Sports News that he was "buzzing" that North London rivals Tottenham had failed to qualify for the Champions League.

‘Do Are Ya? Mario Balotelli tries out a variety of famous footballing haircuts

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Mario Balotelli is the star of this new viral from Nike. The Manchester City striker visits a barber shop for a pre-Euro 2012 trim. Rather than requesting a short back and sides or just a bit of a trim, the Italian asks "to be remembered". The barber tries out some very familiar haircuts on Mario [..

Do Arsenal artificially enhance the Emirates Stadium atmosphere?

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As well as their sub-Saharan trophy drought, Arsenal also face regular jibes about their notoriously mute stadium atmosphere. ‘Highbury library' and all that. Well, an OTP exclusive suggests the acoustic atrocity could be much worse than first feared. We took in a youth tournament at at the Emirates last week.

Top five unusual Euro 2012 bets

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How do you fancy betting on something different at Euro 2012? We all know the usual bets that can be placed when a major tournament such as Euro 2012 is on. Overall winner, top goalscorer and specific results from matches are among the most popular markets. But reeling off those for you would be a [.

Top 10 Champions League final conclusions: Bayern Munich 1-1 Chelsea (3-4 on penalties)

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1. What a match. In the words of Gary Neville: "FIFA, UEFA stop footbaaaaaall." 2. All the money Roman Abramovich has thrown at the manager's job to fulfil his Champions League dream, and all he needed was a West Brom reject. They could've had Gary Megson years ago. 3. Chelsea proved that having John [.

Video: Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel proves that Geoff Shreeves isn’t the world’s most annoying touchline reporter

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Talk about better the devil you know. OTP always assumed that Sky Sports' Geoff Shreeves was the world's most annoying touchline reporter. But that was before Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel stole his microphone in the aftermath of the Champions League victory over Bayern Munich. After a brief, erm, piece to camera, the Nigerian star [.

Video: Didier Drogba causes another scoregasm from Gary Neville (Bayern Munich 1-1 Chelsea)

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One of the unexpected consequences of an unexpected Champions League run from Chelsea has been some unexpected noises from Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville. After his infamous response to Fernando Torres' late goal against Barcelona, Neville again got over-excited during the Champions League final. He emitted another disconcerting howl as Didier Drogba equalised against Bayern [.

Video: John Terry attempts to go centre stage at Chelsea’s trophy presentation, Frank Lampard and Jose Bosingwa have other ideas

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Much has been made of John Terry's attempts to muscle-in on Chelsea's Champions League celebrations despite having got himself suspended for the match. But during the trophy presentation, JT's team-mates quite literally closed ranks to ensure their skipper didn't steal too much of the limelight. Terry was supposed to be jointly lifting the trophy with [.

Top five John Terry Twitter gags

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After managing to steal the limelight by running onto the pitch in full kit (including shinpads) and lifting the trophy despite being suspended for the final, John Terry has received more criticism for making it all about him once again. Thankfully, people were quick to turn to Twitter in order to mock the Captain.

Radamel Falcao scores incredible overhead kick

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With the talk this morning about whether or not Didier Drogba should be offered a new deal after Chelsea's Champions League heroics, Roman Abramovich could probably do a lot worse than open his chequebook for Radamel Falcao if Drogba does leave. Falcao was unstoppable in the Europa League final last week, and last night scored [.

Salomon Kalou’s Champions League Final spider hair

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Chelsea attacker Salomon Kalou opted for an arachnid themed haircut for tonight's Champions League Final clash with Bayern Munich. It's the creepiest thing to appear in a Champions League match for the Blues since John Terry got sent-off.


Video: Bayern Munich fan caught picking her nose during Champions League final

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Whoever ultimately loses tonight's Champions League Final, they might like to reflect that at least footage of them picking their noses wasn't beamed to a global TV audience. That was the fate suffered by this Bayern Munich fan, who chose to go digging for bogies while the cameras were trained on her.

Top five Championship Play-off Final conclusions: West Ham 2-1 Blackpool

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1. Who needs RVP when you've got RVT? Ricardo Vaz Te has given West Ham a massive boost since arriving from Barnsley in January, but his winning goal today topped it all. 2. Never mind Blackpool and Ian Holloway, the real loser today was Steve Kean. Big Sam Allardyce will probably be using a promotion [.

Video: David Beckham doesn’t know who he’s playing tonight

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Jet-setting David Beckham was in Cornwall last night to bring the Olympic flame to the UK and light the torch that will relay around the country over the coming weeks. But does such ambassadorial work impact on your football? Of course not. With today's stats, analysis tools and video scouting you can prepare for a [.

Gary Lineker challenges Daily Star over headline

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We have grown used to our tabloid newspapers writing garbage headlines, and so it is nice when they are challenged by the subject of their rubbish. The front page of the Daily Star shouts out today: Lineker: England team are losers But Lineker, hearing about the story last night, took to Twitter to defend himself.

Arsenal legend Robert Pires: ‘Being subbed early in the Champions League final killed me’

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OTP this week enjoyed a rather laidback chat with Arsenal legend Robert Pires – his opinion of Thierry Henry's mega aquarium and thoughts on Grant Holt being our main lines of inquiry. We also took the time to ask him something a little less jovial, regarding his infamous early substitution against Barcelona in the 2006 [.

Bet’s be ‘avin you: Football betting tips for the 19-20 May

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The penultimate domestic Bet's be ‘avin you of the season, and we have some right rollocking good games to look forward to. Four finals, four previews, four tips. More simple than The Only Way is Essex crossed with the eye-bleedingly terrible Compare the Market adverts: Champions League final Ol' Bobby Di Matteo has had a [.

Gianfranco Zola would “be dead” if he acted like Manchester City star Mario Balotelli

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Former Chelsea player Gianfranco Zola says he would "be dead" if he got up to some of the antics of compatriot Mario Balotelli. But he says the Manchester City striker can be the star of Euro 2012 if he manages to control himself. Zola, who briefly coached Balotelli during his time with Italy under [.

Bosnian side NK Sloga Ljubuski perfect Arsenal’s Henry/Pires penalty cock-up

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Players from NK Sloga Ljubuski, a second division side from Bosnia and Herzegovina, have recreated Thierry Henry and Robert Pires' infamous penalty routine but they managed to score. Whether they did so while keeping within the laws of the game is difficult to tell from the camera angle in the video above.

Gianfranco Zola: ‘Pain of 2008 Champions League Final will double Chelsea’s strength against Bayern Munich’

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Gianfranco Zola says the pain of Chelsea's Champions League Final defeat to Manchester United four years ago will help them as they take on Bayern Munich tomorrow night. When OTP caught up with the Stamford Bridge legend, we asked him whether Chelsea can defy the odds in Europe one last time and defeat Bayern in [.

Match-predicting llama tips Chelsea to beat Bayern Munich in Champions League final

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Chelsea will defeat Bayern Munich to lift the Champions League trophy tomorrow. That's the verdict of a match-predicting llama. The llama operating very much in a similar spirit to Paul the Octopus makes his predictions by choosing a ball to headbutt off a pole. He can pick from a red ball, sitting behind [.

Aston Villa in talks with former Manchester United star Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (as predicted by Mystic Tom Cleverley)

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Aston Villa are talking to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer about the Norwegian becoming their new manager. Solskjaer's current club, Molde, have confirmed that Villa are 'in talks' with the former Manchester United hero. The 39-year-old has been in charge of the Norwegian side since November 2010. A statement on the club website said: "Molde Football Club [.

Top 10 downmarket former Swansea City managers for your club

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With Swansea City managers past and present currently very much in fashion, OTP wonders whether this might filter down. While Roberto Martinez and Brendan Rodgers are being widely linked with the Liverpool job, your club might have to set its sights a little lower. Here are 10 other former Swansea bosses you could choose from [.

Top 10 downmarket former Swansea City managers for your club

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With Swansea City managers past and present currently very much in fashion, OTP wonders whether this might filter down. While Roberto Martinez and Brendan Rodgers are being widely linked with the Liverpool job, your club might have to set its sights a little lower. Here are 10 other former Swansea bosses you could choose from [.

Arsenal hero Robert Pires relives crunching tackle on Patrick Vieira

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Robert Pires has hailed the only tackle of his football career. Gunners supporters fondly remember the Frenchman's uncharacteristic challenge on former Arsenal team-mate Patrick Vieira, then at Juventus, during a 2006 Champions League tie. When OTP caught up with Pires this week, he was only too happy to remember the moment he ditched his trademark [.

Arsenal hero Robert Pires relives crunching tackle on Patrick Vieira

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Robert Pires has hailed the only tackle of his football career. Gunners supporters fondly remember the Frenchman's uncharacteristic challenge on former Arsenal team-mate Patrick Vieira, then at Juventus, during a 2006 Champions League tie. When OTP caught up with Pires this week, he was only too happy to remember the moment he ditched his trademark [.

The world is watching. A huge weekend for…

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Roberto Di Matteo A difficult predicament for Roberto Di Matteo. Although he was never expected to get the job on a full time basis, if he wins the Champions League, he will do more than Mourinho, Ancelotti, Grant, Hiddink, Villas-Boas and Scolari did for Roman Abramovich. The problem for the Italian is that should Chelsea [.

The world is watching. A huge weekend for…

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Roberto Di Matteo A difficult predicament for Roberto Di Matteo. Although he was never expected to get the job on a full time basis, if he wins the Champions League, he will do more than Mourinho, Ancelotti, Grant, Hiddink, Villas-Boas and Scolari did for Roman Abramovich. The problem for the Italian is that should Chelsea [.

Nigel De Jong gives Manchester City’s kitman a beating… with an inflatable dolphin

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OTP spotted this inflatable dolphin playing a key role in Manchester City's title celebrations last Sunday but we completely forgot about him until this footage was released. When we saw Flipper, he was stuffed down somebody's jumper and gatecrashing lots of photos. But it turns out he was also deployed as an offensive weapon [.

Brazilian ball girl gets deal with Playboy

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A month ago we told you the story of a Brazilian ball girl who had grabbed the headlines in her home country by essentially getting an assist through her quick actions. At the time the phrase I used was "frighteningly good looking", and it appears that like Graham Carr at Newcastle United, I have an [.

Dennis Wise was better than Diego Maradona, says Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola

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Diego Maradona's footballing ability was put to shame by Dennis Wise. That's according to Gianfranco Zola, who played with both of them. We suspect that Zola immediately clocked on to OTP's mischievous line of questioning when we asked him which of the pair was the better player. He told OTP: "I think Dennis Wise was [.

Video: Byron Moore’s incredibly bad miss in the play-off (Southend v Crewe)

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Crewe defeated Southend last night to reach the League Two play-off final and nobody was more relived than striker Byron Moore. The Railwaymen's victory means Moore avoided a lynching for this shocking miss. With his side 0-2 up on aggregate, Moore was presented with an open goal after a scuffed clearance from Shrimpers' keeper [.

Top 10 candidates to become the new Liverpool manager

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1. Rafa Benitez Let's talk about facts: Rafa is still loved by the Liverpool faithful, is settled on Merseyside and is available. Little wonder that he's gone straight in as the bookies' favourite for the job. 2. Graeme Souness Woah, woah, woah, Rafa. If the Reds are going to continue this retro manager vibe then [.

Real Madrid star Gonzalo Higuain fakes head injury at Kuwait airport

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At first it looks like Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain has madea complete fool of himself whilst walking through Kuwait airport, when his team were on the way back from facing a Kuuwait XI in a friendly game. He turns the corner and seemingly smashes his face against a glass door. However, on closer inspection [.

The Euro 2012 coaches to watch

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With all eyes on England's rookie boss Roy Hodgson, here are the other managers with plenty to prove at Euro 2012. No doubt Hodgson will attract plenty of headlines, as he looks to silence the doubters who questioned his recent appointment as England coach. But there will also be significant pressure placed on the managers [.

Arsenal youngster Alex Oxlade Chamberlain in England squad on basis of performance against two players he didn’t play against

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England manager Roy Hodgson said Alex Oxlade Chamberlain made his Euro 2012 squad after impressing with his midfield performance against Massimo Ambrosini and Andrea Pirlo but the Ox didn't face either player. While AOC's stunning performance against AC Milan won him many plaudits, Hodgson saw him up against a different midfield than everyone else.

Kenny Dalglish sacked by Liverpool

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Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has been sacked. The announcement of his departure brings to an end considerable speculation that he would be removed after 15 months in charge. A club statement said: "Fenway Sports Group (FSG) and Liverpool Football Club announced that Kenny Dalglish is to leave his post today as Manager after having his [.

OTP introduces Robert Pires to former Arsenal team-mate Thierry Henry’s giant aquarium

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Back in February, OTP told you that Arsenal legend Thierry Henry was planning to build a new London home around a 40ft aquarium centrepiece. For some reason this exciting news was obviously left off the agenda at the Arsenal Invincibles AGM, so it fell to OTP to inform Robert Pires of his former team-mate's plans.

England Euro 2012 squad announcement

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Squad will appear here.


Video: (Unused) substitute goalkeeper stops certain goal (Huracan Las Heras v Club Atletico Union)

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You often hear commentators saying: "They wouldn't have kept that out of the net if they'd had two goalkeepers." But it turns out sometimes two goalkeepers would come in handy. Take this example from the Argentinian lower leagues, for instance. Huracan Las Heras substitute goalkeeper Fernando Espinoza has left himself open to temptation by positioning [.

Video: Hopeless Slovakian hooligan lights a flare in his face

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This bungling ultra finds out the hard way why footballing authorities are not particularly keen on you bringing flares to matches. Spotted on Dirty Tackle


Chelsea great Gianfranco Zola: “I don’t star in Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart video”

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Gianfranco Zola has laid one of football's great urban legends to rest by confirming that he didn't appear in the music video for Bonnie Tyler's 1980s classic Total Eclipse of the Heart. Myth and Wikipedia has long claimed that the pint-sized forward featured in the power ballad video. But Zola says it's not [.

OTP Podcast: Episode 38 – Noisy Neighbours

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Ep.38 Noisy Neighbours by Off The Post on Mixcloud 10 months. 380 games. 1,066 goals. And yet Man City still waited until 5.52PM on the final day of the season to somehow re-hang the title race door back on its battered hinges and slam it in the face of a Manchester United team who thought [...]


Video: Fortuna Dusseldorf v Hertha Berlin play-off held up for 20mins after premature pitch invasion

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Fortuna Dusseldorf eventually won promotion to the Bundesliga last night. But the final whistle in their promotion/relegation play-off with Hertha Berlin was delayed for 20mins when joyous Fortuna fans ran onto the pitch before the final whistle. They thought it was all over, but there was still just over a minute of injury time left [.

Video: Fortuna Dusseldorf v Hertha Berlin play-off held up for 20mins after premature pitch invasion

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Fortuna Dusseldorf eventually won promotion to the Bundesliga last night. But the final whistle in their promotion/relegation play-off with Hertha Berlin was delayed for 20mins when joyous Fortuna fans ran onto the pitch before the final whistle. They thought it was all over, but there was still just over a minute of injury time left [.

US President Barack Obama jokes about David Beckham’s underwear during LA Galaxy reception

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David Beckham found his line of underwear the butt of jokes during a reception at the White House with President Obama. It's customary for the President to meet the MLS Cup winners at the end of every season. But attention soon turned to Becks' moonlighting role with H&M. Obama said: "I have to say, I [.

US President Barack Obama jokes about David Beckham’s underwear during LA Galaxy reception

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David Beckham found his line of underwear the butt of jokes during a reception at the White House with President Obama. It's customary for the President to meet the MLS Cup winners at the end of every season. But attention soon turned to Becks' moonlighting role with H&M. Obama said: "I have to say, I [.

Arsenal legend Robert Pires: ‘Going to Highbury development made me cry’

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Robert Pires has revealed he cried when he returned to where Arsenal's old Highbury stadium used to stand despite owning one of the flats built on the site. Having enjoyed some of his finest footballing moments at the ground, Pires felt obliged to purchase one of the apartments. But he wasn't exactly overjoyed when [.

Gianfranco Zola: ‘Didier Drogba must start for Chelsea in the Champions League final’

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Chelsea great Gianfranco Zola says Didier Drogba must start ahead of Fernando Torres in Saturday's Champions League final. The Italian reckons Torres could make an impact from the bench, but claims Drogba's status as a big-game player means he has to start the game. Speaking exclusively to OTP, Zola said: "I think that Didier Drogba [.

Proof that Grant Holt must be England’s Euro 2012 secret weapon: Arsenal legend Robert Pires has never heard of him

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While big-boned Norwich hitman Grant Holt has created waves in the Premier League this season, the ripples don't quite seem to have reached the shores of England's Euro 2012 opponents France. New England manager Roy Hodgson is set to name his squad at 1pm today, so OTP undertook some last-minute market research to help Hodgson [.

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce starts legal proceedings against Blackburn boss Steve Kean over YouTube comments

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Sam Allardyce has begun legal action against Blackburn manager Steve Kean over comments made in a YouTube video. The footage, brought to you by OTP earlier today, features Kean chatting to Blackburn fans during a pre-season trip to Hong Kong last summer. He can be heard claiming Allardyce, his predecessor at Ewood Park, was sacked [.

Video: Valencia’s Mehmet Topal gets charged by a bull during bullfighting lesson

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Valencia star Mehmet Topal decided to try his luck as matador Topal... but was soon regretting his decision. Although faced with just a young bullock, Topal soon lost his nerve when the beast was eventually coaxed into charging at him. In other words, he dropped everything and run. The bull caught him easily and gave [.

De Graafschap midfielder Rogier Meijer is comforted by his daughter after relegation

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Awwww, bless. An emotional scene from the Dutch Eredivisie where a little girl toddles onto the pitch to see whether her recently relegated dad, De Graafschap midfielder Rogier Meijer, is OK. He's not. A comforting hand on the shoulder only seems to upset Meijer even more as he lies down flat on the pitch.

BBC football experts struggle with their predictions

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In the past Mark Lawrenson (shown above giving another upbeat prediction on Newcastle's chances this season) has come under a lot of criticism from this site for his awful weekly predictions, and there are some gems from this season's final league table based on his predictions. Remember, these games are predicted week on week, so [.

Video: Sandro thinks he’s starring in Alan Partridge, breaks into spontaneous dance

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At first it appears that Tottenham midfielder is helping someone to recreate a classic Alan Partridge moment (video below) as he prepares to leave Spurs Lodge. But he eventually acknowledges the supporter who's bellowing his name... through the medium of dance. Legend.


Video: Blackburn boss Steve Kean calls Sam Allardyce a “f**king crook”

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New footage showing Blackburn manager Steve Kean bad-mouthing his predecessor Sam Allardyce and claiming Rovers would finish in the top-half of the table this season has emerged. The video, reportedly filmed during last summer's pre-season trip to Hong Kong, was uploaded to YouTube yesterday. We can only assume that whoever recorded wanted to give Kean [.

Tottenham midfielder Sandro becomes world’s least likely darts player, gets tips from Bobby George

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Spurs star Sandro has revealed he's been enticed by the great British past-time of darts. The midfielder reckons he might be the first Brazilian 'baller to try his hand at arrows. And Sandro is so caught-up with his new hobby that he regularly has darts legend and walking pawnshop Bobby George round for a game.

Video: Carlos Tevez holds up ‘RIP Fergie’ banner during Manchester City victory parade

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Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez has once again courted controversy after displaying a gravestone-style banner proclaiming 'RIP Fergie' during his side's Premier League victory parade this evening. During the open-top bus tour, the Argentine held aloft the jibe at his former manager. While undeniably morbid, the banner is perhaps not quite as sinister as it [.

Alex McLeish shows the lack of self-awareness that got him the sack while talking about his Aston Villa future

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"I'm expecting the board to back me. I have no reason to think I won't be (Villa manager next season). We've got through a really tough season. I've won lots of trophies as a player and manager and I haven't turned into a bad manager overnight." Alex McLeish, Aston Villa manager, May 13, 2012 "Aston [.

Stewart Downing 2011/12 Liverpool goals and assists now available on commemorative DVD

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Stewart Downing's debut season at Liverpool has been a rollercoaster of emotions. Now you can relive his finest moments on this special DVD. Video via Pies. Image via 101GG.


Video: Galatasaray fans avoid their match to bring good luck, are very happy when the plan works

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There's no logic to the superstition of the football fan, but these two Galatasaray fanatics decided for whatever reason that it would bring their team good luck if they didn't go to their title decider against Fenerbahce. In fact, they decided that they wouldn't even watch it on TV or listen to it [.

Tottenham full-back Kyle Walker set for an unusual fitness test ahead of new England manager Roy Hodgson’s first squad

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Kyle Walker is set to dance his way into Roy Hodgson's first England squad, according to Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp. The right-back appeared to be a Euro 2012 injury doubt after limping out of Spurs' victory over Fulham yesterday. But Redknapp said that fans shouldn't be concerned as the youngster would be probably be throwing [.

Video: Paul Merson’s crazy commentary on Manchester City v QPR

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If you weren't going absolutely mental as Sergio Aguero found the net against QPR yesterday, you probably don't 'get' football. Paul Merson was no exception. Unfortunately, his reaction to the drama was being broadcast to the nation.


OTP End of Premier League Season Awards 2011/12

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Dust off your tux Welcome to the OTP End of Premier League Season Awards 2011/12. Unfortunately, our budget isn't exactly at Oscars level... so we'll leave you in the hands of your master of ceremonies... Garth Crooks. Player of the Season: Robin Van Persie. Boringly predictable, we know, but what can you do?

OTP End of Premier League Season Awards 2011/12

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Dust off your tux Welcome to the OTP End of Premier League Season Awards 2011/12. Unfortunately, our budget isn't exactly at Oscars level... so we'll leave you in the hands of your master of ceremonies... Garth Crooks. Player of the Season: Robin Van Persie. Boringly predictable, we know, but what can you do?

GIF It: The second Manchester United lose the title

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Yes, you can pinpoint the exact moment when news of Manchester City's winner against QPR reaches the Stadium of Light. The Manchester United celebrations are immediately halted.


Top 10 conclusions Premier League 13 May

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1. It's difficult to conclude any differently than Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini: that was a crazy finale to a crazy season. 2. Two decisive, trophy-winning goals during a longer than average spell of injury time. Perhaps the tide really is turning in Manchester. 3. Manchester City fans with a long enough memory will be [.

Video: Sergio Aguero wins the title (Manchester City 3-2 QPR)

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Hundreds of Athletic Bilbao fans missed the Europa League final, went to Budapest instead of Bucharest

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Around 400 Athletic Bilbao fans are believed to have missed their side's Europa League final appearance after getting their European capitals muddled. The barmy Basques turned up in the Hungarian capital Budapest expecting to see their team take an Atletico Madrid, only to discover that the match was taking place 500 miles away in Bucharest, [.

ITV creates wonderfully simple Euro 2012 adverts

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With the Euros fast approaching and the domestic season drawing to a close, it is time for England's sponsors to release their tournament adverts. Mars have already released their penalty shoot out advert, which is so poor it forces sick into my mouth whenever I get caught unawares with it on screen.

Welcome to Transfer Window Riddles. And here’s your host, Newcastle manager Alan Pardew

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Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has been teasing the football rumour mill by setting a bit of a riddle about who he's targeting as his next signing. The Magpies boss said: "I am contemplating bringing in someone because we don't have a dominant header of the ball. On the scouting front we are looking at a [.

Carlsberg introduce their fan academy

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Another advert released for Euro 2012 is Carlsberg's Fan Academy. Carlsberg have taken to using as many famous football faces as possible in their recent attempts, and this is no different, with three wannabe England football fans being shown round England's Official Fan Academy by Des Lynam. The advert contains names such as Lynam, Peter [.

Kitman: Manchester United new 12/13 home kit revealed, looks like a table cloth

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Manchester United have launched their new home kit... and it kinda looks like a table cloth. The Premier League champions for at least another day have opted for a gingham pattern on the new shirt. The pattern is apparently a throwback to the fabric produced in Manchester's mills in the mid-18th century.

Republic of Ireland squad set to combat Euro 2012 boredom with Connect4

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After watching England's 2010 World Cup campaign unravel amid rumours of player boredom, the Republic of Ireland are not about to fall into the same trap. Oh no, they've got this box of fun ready to go to Poland and Ukraine. The Irish players can look forward to games of Connect4, Scrabble, darts, Monopoly and, [.

Spoof: England suffers worst nightmare – Chris Smalling to miss Euro 2012

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England's population held its collective breath last night as the long-awaited results of Chris Smalling's groin scan were finally revealed. Sir Alex Ferguson emerged onto a hastily-erected platform in front of 75,000 fans who had packed into Old Trafford awaiting the news. Also addressing an estimated TV audience of 13.

Ex-Coventry and Celtic goalkeeper Magnus Hedman considered suicide over drug addiction and financial ruin

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Former Premier League star Magnus Hedman has revealed he was pushed to the verge of suicide after succumbing to drug addiction at the end of his career. The ex-Sweden international reckons he has blown his £5million fortune on cocaine, amphetamines and sedatives. He told a Swedish newspaper: "Today, my economy's very bad.

Bet’s be ‘avin you: Football betting tips for the Premier League final day

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The final Premier League games of the season this weekend, which means two things: 1. The title race, battle for survival and Champions League qualification will be sorted out 2. All we have to look forward to is Euro2012, which will consist of criticising Roy Hodgson's squad selection, tactics, team selection, substitutions, press conferences and [.

Ladies, stop grabbing Freddie Ljungberg’s crotch in nightclubs. He’s had enough

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Former Arsenal midfielder Freddie Ljungberg has revealed the downsides of moonlighting as a Calvin Klein underwear model: women are always fondling him in nightclubs. It seems that Little Freddie is generally considered to be public property since the Swedish star appeared on billboards in his pants.

Video: The Nutmeg Collection – John Terry (Liverpool 4-1 Chelsea)

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Earlier this week, OTP quipped that 'Nutmeg Spice' John Terry was bringing the Spice Boys era back to Anfield. Somebody has now very kindly collated the Chelsea skipper's various 'megs' catastrophes from Tuesday night's defeat to Liverpool. Via Pies


Swansea suffering Elvis costume shortage after Brendan Rodgers’ fancy dress plea

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South Wales is experiencing a severe shortage of Elvis Presley fancy dress costumes as Swansea fans step-up to their manager's request for a fancy dress tribute to the King. Brendan Rodgers asked Swans supporters to don Elvis outfits for their final game of the season against Liverpool on Sunday. He touted the idea after last [.

Top 10 alternative random old Wimbledon players Wolves could appoint as their new manager

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With Wolves set to name former Wimbledon midfielder Stale Solbakken as their new manager, OTP touts 10 other former Dons players who could take on the Molineux job. 1. Hans Segers OTP can't understand how Hans Segers isn't the frontrunner. Who snapped up everybody's second favourite betting irregularity goalkeeper when he left Wimbledon?

The world is watching. A huge weekend for…

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Manchester City Their task is simple. Win a home game, which they have done on all but one occasion all season, and they win their first title for 44 years. And in facing a QPR side that have only obtained 11 points away all season in the Premier League, it should be easy. But this [...]


Video: The Great Game – old school information film about football

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This classic film produced by the British Council gives a fascinating insight into football in Britain in the 1940s. The film looks at the professionals who go into schools to teach football to youngsters, the amateurs who play at the weekend for their local team and the Cup Final: the absolute pinnacle of the game [.

Inter Milan veteran Javier Zanetti’s never changing hair (as told through the medium of Panini stickers)

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Inter Milan stalwart Javier Zanetti is infamously defensive of his beloved side-parting. But precisely how defensive he is of it is very neatly demonstrated by this collection of his Panini stickers through the years. That hairdo has stood the test of time. A similar Panini compilation has been done for Juventus star Alessandro Del Piero.

Celtic defender Andre Blackman wins Tackle of the Year for flattening manager Neil Lennon

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Celtic have bestowed the tongue-in-cheek honour of Tackle of the Year on their young defender Andre Blackman after he lunged in on manager Neil Lennon. The previously unreleased footage comes from a reserve match last month. Blackman battles to keep the ball in play, presumably in a bid to impress Lennon enough to give him [.

Top 10 players you forgot joined the Premier League last summer

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With the Premier League season drawing to a close, OTP reflects on the players who were ready to set the Premier League alight last summer... but have hardly been seen since. 1. Park Chu-Young (Arsenal) Park's summer transfer looks increasingly like a marketing ploy on the evidence of his first season at the Emirates Stadium.

Top 10 players you forgot joined the Premier League last summer

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With the Premier League season drawing to a close, OTP reflects on the players who were ready to set the Premier League alight last summer... but have hardly been seen since. 1. Park Chu-Young (Arsenal) Park's summer transfer looks increasingly like a marketing ploy on the evidence of his first season at the Emirates Stadium.

Spoof: The Premier League table releases it’s very own autobiography

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Another season, another football autobiography except this one is a little different. After 20 years in the job, the Premier League table has finally spilled the beans on his time as the true barometer of football's top tier. "Laying My Cards On My Table" will be available to buy next week and OTP has [.

Spoof: The Premier League table releases it’s very own autobiography

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Another season, another football autobiography except this one is a little different. After 20 years in the job, the Premier League table has finally spilled the beans on his time as the true barometer of football's top tier. "Laying My Cards On My Table" will be available to buy next week and OTP has [.

Deivis Barone (Atletico Tucuman) scores injury time own goal winner

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If you like a flutter on football, then you'll know that one of the best bets placed is the one just before you go to sleep, just so that as soon as you wake up in the morning you can log in to your account and confirm that your bet lost because of one selection. [...]


Stephen Bywater goes mad on the Football League Show

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Stephen Bywater has a little bit of history when it comes to being a little unhinged, after being forced by a court to take down a ridiculous modern art installation in his garden, but he confirmed this on the Football League Show after his club Sheffield Wednesday gained promotion. When reporter Mark Clemmitt went into [.

Video: Arsenal fan cheats on girlfriend, wears Tottenham shirt to the Emirates to show remorse

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Meet Luke McQueen. Luke's an Arsenal fan who cheated on his girlfriend. And now he regrets it. By way of penance, he's turned up at the Emirates Stadium on matchday wearing a Tottenham shirt. Luckily for you he's also made a short video explaining what he's up to and uploaded it to YouTube for you [.

Video: Paolo Di Canio sings Dancing In The Moonlight for Toploader

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Swindon boss Paolo Di Canio has surprised a lot of people this season. When he took over at the Robins he appeared to be what's not known in the trade as an Onka's Big Moka appointment: a seemingly exciting move that pretty soon emerges to have little substance and ultimately ends in swathes of disappointment.

OTP Podcast: Episode 37 – Yaya Glouré

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Ep. 37 Yaya Glouré by Off The Post on Mixcloud It's all getting a bit tight in the Premier League, and with just a handful of games left to go there are still many questions waiting to be answered. Who's going to win it? Who's going down? Who's finishing fourth? And now Wigan are staying [...]


Video: Brazilian player does Moonwalk in protest at being sent-off

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It's not unusual for a player who's been sent-off to show dissent towards the referee, but this is rarely expressed through the medium of Michael Jackson dance routines. That was the approach taken by Sport Recife player Tobi. Given his marching orders by the ref, he opted for Moonwalk-ing order instead.

Top five conclusions: Liverpool 4-1 Chelsea

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1. It was a night for redemption for Liverpool's under-performers, but fate said: "Stewart Downing? You're taking this too far now." 2. John Terry wanted to bring the Spice Boys era back to Anfield. He turned up as Nutmeg Spice last night. At least he resisted any temptation to do a Sol Campbell-style half-time walkout.

GIF It: John Terry. He fell over. (Liverpool 4-1 Chelsea)

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Chelsea skipper John Terry endured a torrid night against Liverpool yesterday. It literally couldn't have gone much worse in his nightmares, Jamie. A series of nutmegs, failing to pick up his man at set-pieces and some general slack defending was topped off by this embarrassing slip, which allowed Jordan Henderson to score for the Reds.

Ex-Liverpool star Xabi Alonso keeps Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho informed of FA Cup Final progress

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Former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso and ex-Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho kept up-to-date with Saturday's FA Cup Final clash between their old teams despite being in the middle of their own match against Malaga. Alonso was spotted passing the latest score to Mourinho from his spot on the Real Madrid substitutes' bench.

Random 1990s Footballer Tuesday: #32 Temuri Ketsbaia

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Name: Temuri Ketsbaia In his 90s prime for: Newcastle United Lowdown: After starting his career with Dinamo Sukhumi, Ketsbaia soon moved to the most famous Georgian team Dinamo Tblisi. After two years at Tblisi, where he won the league title, AEK Athens cam offering to take the midfielder to Greece, and he duly obliged.

Random 1990s Footballer Tuesday: #32 Temuri Ketsbaia

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Name: Temuri Ketsbaia In his 90s prime for: Newcastle United Lowdown: After starting his career with Dinamo Sukhumi, Ketsbaia soon moved to the most famous Georgian team Dinamo Tblisi. After two years at Tblisi, where he won the league title, AEK Athens cam offering to take the midfielder to Greece, and he duly obliged.

West Ham fan quits as best man via banner

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West Ham's comfortable 5-0 aggregate play-off victory over Cardiff City ought to have been cause for celebration in East London last night. But not for 'Chris'. 'Chris' was busy trying to draft in a second-choice best man at short notice. OTP can deduce that 'Chris' is due to tie the knot on May 19, the [.

West Ham fan quits as best man via banner

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West Ham's comfortable 5-0 aggregate play-off victory over Cardiff City ought to have been cause for celebration in East London last night. But not for 'Chris'. 'Chris' was busy trying to draft in a second-choice best man at short notice. OTP can deduce that 'Chris' is due to tie the knot on May 19, the [.

GIF It: Chicken on the pitch (Blackburn 0-1 Wigan)

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Blackburn were relegated from the Premier League after a 0-1 home defeat to Wigan last night but not before a chicken had been let loose on the pitch. You'd think the only possible explanation for the first-half pitch invasion is an anti-Venky's steward turning a blind eye to poultry being sneaked through the turnstiles.

Kitman: Arsenal launch new home kit with Wojciech Szczesny booting the ball at Arsene Wenger’s car

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Arsenal have launched their new home kit with this mildly humorous little video around the theme of target practice. The Gunners' squad take part in a variety of target-themed challenges, with goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny left on the periphery by some of the more skillful players. But left on his own with a ball, a target [.

Did Spartak Moscow’s Emmanuel Emineke receive the harshest ever red card?

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In an incident that could have given birth to the updated version of Spot the Ball, the referee in the Spartak Moscow v Zenit St Petersburg match at the weekend invited the crowd and TV audience to play Guess The Reason For The Red, a new game where we have to try and deduce just [...]


Top 10 conclusions Premier League weekend 5-6 May

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1. The champagne is definitely on ice at the Etihad now. Just don't expect Yaya Toure to be imbibing. 2. He's big, he's game and he's some player. But most importantly, he's a big-game player. How often does Yaya step up when City need him? 3. Champions League qualification has gone out of fashion. None [.

Trabzonspor fans offer dubious display of solidarity with racism victim Didier Zokora

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As OTP showed you yesterday, Trabzonspor midfielder Didier Zokora is doing a pretty good job of handling his racism row with Fenerbahce's Emre. Nonetheless, his side's supporters wanted to show him that he had their full backing. A nice thought, but their execution was a tad clumsy. Fans donned black bin bags around their heads [.

Top 10 FA Cup Final conclusions: Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool

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1. Another big match, another goal-line technology debate. This year's FA Cup has been dogged by these close calls. 2. The universe obviously decided to settle that old Luis Garcia score. 3. The Club Wembley prawn sandwich brigade continue to create new FA Cup Final traditions. Like hundreds of empty seats directly behind the centre [.

Didier Zokora v Emre: Let’s kick racism in the balls

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You might recall that last month's clash between Turkish sides Trabzonspor and Fenerbahce saw an ugly racist incident involving former Premier League stars Didier Zokora and Emre. Former Newcastle midfielder Emre admitted the incident in which he reportedly called the former Spurs man a "dirty n***er".

Video: Liverpool defender Jose Enrique unveils God Save The Queen dance routine

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Liverpool left-back Jose Enrique got into the magic of the FA Cup by debuting a dance interpretation of the national anthem. The Spaniard's carefully choreographed routine was unveiled during the pre-match rendition of God Save The Queen at Wembley yesterday.


Granada’s Dani Benitez throws bottle at referee

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We are all used to seeing fairly evident displays of dissent in this country, but in Spain it is even worse, emphasised by the video above. There were amazing scenes after the game between Granada and Real Madrid last night, after Real came from a goal behind to win 2-1. The result meant that Granada [.

Carlos, Eto’o and Hiddink star in Anzhi Makhachkala rap video

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It is fair to say that Russian Anzhi Makhachkala have been attention seeking since being bought by billionaire Suleyman Kerimov. But this might take the biscuit. Rather than simply offering a ridiculously large amount of money to world stars, they have taken a curious step by releasing their own rap video containing members of the [.

Video: Classy Chelsea lady sings Abide With Me with her Smirnoff Ice

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This Chelsea fan appeared to be well-oiled ahead of kick-off in the FA Cup final. She slurred her way through the traditional rendition of Abide With Me, aided by her bottle of Smirnoff Ice.


Hartlepool fans dress as Smurfs for trip to London

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The end of the season is always a time for away fans to have a bit of a laugh. After following your team all season on the road, there is a degree of making it a day to remember with the barren domestic football-less summer. That is certainly the case with Hartlepool United's travelling support [...]


Didier Drogba appears on the Graham Norton Show

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The Graham Norton Show isn't perhaps the most normal of environments for Premier League footballers, but maybe Didier Drogba isn't a 'normal' footballer. The Chelsea striker's appearance was related to his humanitarian efforts in the name of the Didier Drogba Foundation, which aims to build orphanages in poverty-stricken Africa.

Video: Papiss Cisse causes Steve Claridge to scoregasm on radio

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Granted, he's not as vocal as Gary Neville but Steve Claridge was certainly very excited by Papiss Cisse's wonder goal against Chelsea on Wednesday evening.


Liverpool legend John Barnes talks through his top FA Cup memories

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Regular Off The Post Podcast contributors Dan Jarvis and Will Watson nipped along to a rather entertaining Q and A with world renowned rap star and occasional footballer John Barnes. Like all former England internationals, the jewel in the crown of Barnes' entertaining anecdotes gravitated around Paul Gascoigne.

Confessions of an FA Cup security guard

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On the eve of the FA Cup final, OTP had the chance to take a peek at football's most prestigious piece of silverware. We can confirm it is shiny and emits magic. As is to be expected, the historic trophy was guarded by the cup's very own Kevin Costner: a bodyguard with a unswerving dedication [...]


Video: Sion’s Serey Die slaps a ball boy

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Ball boys. The cheeky little scamps. They're always picking fights, throwing the ball at players, generally misbehaving. But now the players are fighting back. Serey Die, of Swiss side Sion, slapped a ball boy at full-time following a 1-0 defeat to Lausanne for his side.


Bet’s be ‘avin you: Football betting tips for the 5-6 April

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The Football League draws to a close this weekend, but the big news has been Roy Hodgson's appointment as England manager. This week's column will contain a nice rant before each selection after the media f*ckwittery that has followed the announcement. Nice to see The Sun newspaper act on behalf of the notion by taking [.

Manchester United star Tom Cleverley tips Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for Premier League post

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Tom Cleverley says his former Manchester United reserve team boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has got what it takes to manage in the Premier League and has the respect of the Red Devils' squad. He said: "I had Ole for a year in the reserves. I think he will be a fantastic manager and maybe [...]


Aston Villa trio James Collins, Chris Herd and Fabian Delph fined over late night incident

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Aston Villa players James Collins, Chris Herd and Fabian Delph have all been fined by the club over an incident that happened in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The fine relates to a nightclub fracas that followed the club's annual awards ceremony on Tuesday evening (though the nomination lists must have been pretty short).

The world is watching. A huge weekend for…

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Kenny Dalglish It's all very well playing a reserve side in the Premier League before an FA Cup Final, but that assumes that your squad can simply decide to start playing well in a big game. If that was true, Liverpool would not be in the position they find themselves in currently. For Kenny, there [.

Video: Alvaro Arbeloa celebrates Real Madrid’s La Liga win by moonwalking on a plane

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Real Madrid's flight back from Bilbao on Wednesday night was understandably raucous after they secured the league title. The in-flight celebrations were led by full-back Alvaro Arbeloa who showed off his dance moves, which are largely restricted to the moonwalk. All the action was captured by depressive drunk cameraman Iker Casillas, who occasionally likes to [.

Video: Bashed up Eredivisie trophy gets dropped again, lands on Jan Vertonghen’s foot

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The poor old Eredivisie trophy doesn't have much lack. Careless Dutch champions Ajax have dropped it in successive years while celebrating their league victory. This year's assault wasn't quite as bad for the trophy as when Maarten Stekelenburg dropped it off a bus last season. In fact, it was Ajax star Jan Vertonghen who came [.

West Brom to give Roy Hodgson a mask tribute send-off

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West Brom supporters are plotting to give manager Roy Hodgson a fond farewell as he departs to take the England job by donning masks of his face. Baggies fans are planning an England-themed day for Hodgson's final game in charge at the Hawthorns, which is against Arsenal on May 13. Thousands of supporters are [.

Fiorentina manager Delio Rossi attacks his own player

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We are all used to seeing odd scenes in Italian football, and we know that passions can run high in Serie A, but it would be fair to say that Fiorentina coach Delio Rossi overstepped the mark considerably last night. After substituting midfielder Adem Ljajic just 32 minutes into his side's draw at home to [.

Seattle’s Fredy Montero scores wonder goal against LA Galaxy

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Whilst understandably all the talk this morning will be of Papiss Cisse's goal last night [insert standard 'taking Papiss out of Petr Cech gag here], Fredy Montero did his bit for the golazo community with a wonder strike against David Beckham's LA Galaxy. Without a goal in his first six games of the season, Montero [.

Top 10 conclusions: Chelsea 0-2 Newcastle & Bolton 1-4 Tottenham

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1. The laws of physics bow to Papiss Cisse. 2. He's also the classiest time-waster OTP has ever seen. Why not run down the clock with an outrageous lob, eh? 3. Richard Scudamore, give the public what they want! Let's get this Joe Jordan v Owen Coyle fight on. 4. The temptation to 'do an [...]


Real Madrid win La Liga, celebrate by tossing Jose Mourinho

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Real Madrid are La Liga champions after a comfortable win over Athletic Bilbao last night. They won their first title since 2008 with a 3-0 win. Winning the league had pretty much become a formality after their victory over rivals Barcelona in April, but Real completed the job at the earliest opportunity.

Video: Papiss Cisse scores the sweetest brace you’re likely to see (Chelsea 0-2 Newcastle United)

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Newcastle boosted their chance of securing Champions League football next season with victory over Chelsea this evening. And the win was down to two superb goals from star striker Papiss Cisse. His outstanding first-half strike gave Alan Pardew's side something to hold onto going into the last few minutes.

Adidas Predator Lethal Zones boot launch

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Manchester United players Nani and Tom Cleverley and Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko took on a series of skill challenges as they put the new Adidas Predator Lethal Zones boot through its paces. And they weren't the only ones. Before the Premier League stars were trusted to face the five challenges, OTP was brought in [.

OTP Podcast: Episode 36 – One’s Kompany

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Ep.36 One's Kompany by Off The Post on Mixcloud What's that sound? Is it Fernando Torres wrenching open the floodgates? Is it Sandro vomiting all over the Blackburn penalty area? IS it Fergie and Mancini bickering? Or is it the title race being BLOWN WIDE OPEN? We just don't know. After another wild weekend of [.

Manchester United’s Tom Cleverley: ‘The title race isn’t over’

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Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley has warned Manchester City that the title race isn't over yet. The 22-year-old pointed to United's track record of comebacks as he insisted that Sir Alex Ferguson's men have not given up yet. Cleverley, who was helping to launch Adidas' new Predator Lethal Zones boot, said: "The title race isn't [.

Video: Manchester United star Tom Cleverley plots first goal of the season against Swansea

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Tom Cleverley is aiming to put an injury-hit season behind him and score against Swansea to keep the pressure on title rivals Manchester City. The midfielder made an impressive start to the season, but failed to to find the net in any of his five games before succumbing to ankle injury. He's hoping all that [.

Video: Roy Hodgson’s first interview as England manager

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New England manager Roy Hodgson has given his first interview in the role. Given the reaction to his appointment in some quarters of the media, he perhaps wisely gave the interview to the FA's YouTube channel.


GIF It: Sir Alex Ferguson and Roberto Mancini’s touchline row (Manchester City 1-0 Manchester United)

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Video: Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko is slower at dribbling than you

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Well, he's definitely slower than us. OTP completed this water jet slalom dribble in a faster time than Edin Dzeko. The bizarre challenge was part of the Adidas Predator Lethal Zones launch today. It turns out slow and steady didn't win the race for the big Bosnian. But given that his aim was probably to [.

Brazilian ballgirl grabs assist for Botafogo goal

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Fernanda Maia was just a normal girl last week, albeit a frighteningly good looking one. And then she took to her place as ball girl in the Campeonato Carioca final between Botafogo and Vasco de Gama. Botafogo were 2-0 when Vasco de Gama cleared the ball into touch in the Maracana. Rather than slowly fetching [.

Kitman: New Adidas Predator Lethal Zones

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OTP is at the launch of the new Adidas Predator today. We'll bring you all the details later, but here's a first look at the new boots to whet your appetite.


Top 10 conclusions: Manchester City 1-0 Manchester United

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1. Sir Alex Ferguson is like an inventor who's suffered great misfortune at the hands of his own invention. It looks like squeaky bum time has come back to haunt him. 2. The two managers seemed determined to settle their score in the only way they know: a pitchside dance-off of The Birdie Song. 3. [.

Video: Liam Gallagher gate-crashes Manchester City post-conference

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Manchester City fan Liam Gallagher featured prominently in the post-match celebrations after their 1-0 win over Manchester United last night but few expected him to be involved in the post-match analysis. The ex-Oasis frontman pulled what's known in the trade as 'a Balotelli' by turning up to a press conference that was nothing to [.