That's the difference between him and someone like Cristiano Ronaldo - his body just isn't right. We have mails on him, Sparky, Brendan Rodgers and the Europa Lge...
Nice one UEFA, but not far enough. We have some ideas to make the Europa League better as well as more views on Wayne Rooney, Vermaelen in midfield and...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Keepy-Uppies With Fernando Couto
I remember being on holiday as a football mad teenager in Portugal. We were in a hotel in the Algarve and the word going round was that Portugal and Lazio captain Fernando Couto was staying in the hotel. I got seriously excited as he was one of the centre-backs in my Pro Evo master league team.
On one particular day, I spotted him on the beach just as he was making his way to the long stairway which led to the elevator back to the hotel. My friend and I followed him from a safe distance and then made a mad dash to make sure we got into the same lift. I had my flashy silver scorpion Nike football in hand as we stood opposite Couto, who was cooly sporting black shades and fresh from leaving hundreds of women swooning on the beach.
So just as the lift took off, he grabbed the ball from my hand and started doing keepy uppies on his right foot until the lift reached the top. He handed the ball back to me and exited leaving me gobsmacked. What a lad!
Brian, MUFC, Dublin.
Let's Finish The Week With Some More Thunderbastards
On the subject of "thunderbastards", how the hell is Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink not getting a mention?
Dick (Maybe the Chelsea fans are too busy making posters), LFC, Taipei
...Alex's free kick vs Arsenal was it two years ago?
I remember this because it came close to decapitating Alex Song.
And also because (ironically) I thought he was a thundering b*st*rd for doing it.
Adam (still do) Gooner now in France.
...Come on. Loads of Thunderb*****d XIs and no Thomas Hitzlsperger?
Foot like a hammer AND a traction engine at the same time.
...A thunderb*stard XI with not a single nomination for Andreas Brehme. Shocking...
Harry The Manc.
...I hate to drag this T******b*****d thing on much longer but since David Hirst smacked the hardest shot ever recorded in English football against Arsenal's crossbar, I think it would be remiss to leave him out.
183 km/h since you asked. Have a watch www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9tV9evOCIs
...Sorry I'm late to this party, but in any world 11 would have to be Seedorf.
...You have a list of players with thunderous shots and not one reader found room for Patrick Berger in their team?
Andrew (Hleb had the opposite of a thunderb*st*rd) H
...One player not mentioned in the various Thunderbastard teams was one Alvaro Recoba.
This guy was beyond lazy, and from what I have heard he was pretty obnoxious. But he had a left foot that was forged on the top of Mount Vesuvius, using Stainless Steel, Chuck Norris' Moustache and Margaret Thatcher's soul.
8 seconds in, i rest my case
Max, South London
...On the subject of the recent Thunderbastard XI, and someone's subsequent mention of Peter 'Lasher' Lorimer, brought to mind a tale my old Assistant Headteacher, Maurice Green (not that one).
Mr Green was a 60-something, whiskey-drinking, fire-and-thunder Scotsman, the last bastion of a dying breed of dinosaur-like school teacher who used to terrify us when he strolled into class as cover for our absentee English teacher. Mercifully, when he was in a good mood (which appeared to be rare), he'd tell us a few anecdotes from his younger days, presumably as a teenage whiskey-drinking, fire-and-thunder Scotsman who was apparently quite a decent footballer, and played in the same schoolboy side as Lorimer.
After recounting a tale where he played central midfield against Billy Bremner and came off bleeding from the shins, he went on to continually state that Lorimer, at 14, could hit a football harder and cleaner than every single adult he'd ever gone on to play with. And this being with those laced-up medicine balls whilst playing on the Colluden Battlefield. Rather than them plastic flyaways the professionals are using these days (we don't know we're born, etc etc).
After watching my uncle's old Revie's Leeds videos, he wasn't far wrong. Good god could he hit a football...
So too could the previously unmentioned David Hirst. Didn't Sky get right giddy when he hit the bar at 100mph for Wednesday against Arsenal about 15 years ago?
Andy (We always called it the 'HAMMERTOE' when someone absolutely pinged one) Bob
On Being Told What To Do
I do wonder how peoples minds work sometimes. I have supported Chelsea all my life, I can't help supporting them, their results matter and affect me, and this has been the case since I was very young, sometimes I do wonder why, but I can't help it.What I don't get is why people who don't support Chelsea feel they can tell me what I can and can't like and what I can and can't moan about.
Apparently I have to put up and shut up with the current situation because I sold my soul to Roman Abramovich and there is nothing I can do about the decisions he makes. OK, there is nothing I can do about the decisions he makes, but there was also nothing I could do when he was sold the club. If I did sell my soul, I did it at a very young age to Chelsea Football Club and I am now stuck with them forever, I can choose wether I go to games or not or wether I buy my kids the latest replica kit, but that is where my influence ends. In my lifetime I have not been responsible for bankrupting the club to build the East Stand, selling it to Ken Bates but without the freehold of the ground, building a hotel as part of the Shed End, selling it to a Russian billionaire and a long list of etcs.
What is left open to me is to react to these events, and enjoy them if they are good and voice my discontent if they aren't. I don't like Rafa Benitez, and I truly dislike having him as manager of the club, I despair at the way the club is being run at the moment and I don't like the people Roman has in charge, but what I really don't like is being told by people that I can't boo if I want, write in to websites if I want and generally moan just because I also celebrated all night when we won the Champions League. None of it is my fault, I am merely a fan, all I can do is react to events beyond my control and please don't tell me I can't react any way I want, because I can and I will.
So RAFA OUT!!!
Enrique (free to do what I like with a clear conscience) Essex
...I have been reading the emails about Rafa and Chelsea and I would like to make a plea to fans from other clubs.
Firstly, we couldn't care less what you think of us. Being your 'second team' is not something that, as fans, we could give two s%!ts about. We have paid to go to the stadium and had a manager forced on us we detest. We don't need to boo the owner to make our frustrations known. Booing the manager is fine by us. He is a tool, not very good at football management and once again has slagged us off as fans. We will boo him until he disappears to mediocrity where he belongs (Liverpool maybe?)
Secondly, your opinions on the 'dire state' of our club are not only ridculous but of equally less interest. It's been a bad season, yes.
The club is largely at fault but we are one of three teams chasing two Champions League spots. If we win at the weekend we will have made ground on one of or both of the other two teams. We just need to get to the end of the season, brush ourselves down and start again.
Maybe, Roman might learn a few lessons along the way. Maybe not? But to think Chelsea will not be in the hunt for trophies next season is a mistake. We have real quality in our squad and a great source of money (despite you all desperatley trying to convince yourself he is on the next plane to Siberia).
Also... Jose looks available at the end of the season
You worry about your 'classy' clubs (whatever that possibly means) and we will worry about ours
...Are the fans of a club that hounded out the perfectly reasonable Roy Hodgson and sold out to two successive sets of American investors really lecturing Chelsea fans on treatment of managers and selling out to foreign investors? It is a small consolation in this season that whatever else we have achieved, Chelsea have hopefully irreparably damaged the already tattered reputation of Rafa Benitez.
Tim Colyer, Chelsea fan, London
Some Delightful Friday Pendantry
The mailbox (most recently Stu, Southampton) has been exhorting Chelsea fans to "put up and shut up".
This makes no sense, and is logistically impossible.
The expression we are groping for is "put up or shut up". It means, either make your move / pull your gun etc., or stop talking about how you might do so.
It comes from the rulings of the UK Takeover Panel that, after a certain amount of time, a potential buyer must either "put up" - i.e. make a firm bid for the company - or "shut up" - by saying that he will not make a bid and being barred from making an offer for that company for six months.
When John Major told the Euro rebels in his party to "put up or shut up" he meant that they had to either stand against him for the leadership or stop trying to undermine and replace him.
It is impossible for someone to put up and shut up, because they would have to both bid and not bid for a company, or stand for election and cease attempting to replace the incumbent.
And Chelsea fans don't have the choice to 'put up', because what the hell can they do? Their club took the interestingly acquired oil money from Abramovich (and would have gone bust if it hadn't), Abramovich owns it, none of them could possibly afford to buy it from him, and he - I strongly presume - doesn't give a toss what they think about his choice of manager.
So what everyone is trying to say to Chelsea fans is very simple. It is a message for the ages. It is, "just shut up."
Hugs and kisses
Seb, N1, Gooner
Afternoon Friday mailboxers
- Isn't it nice to be talking about Chelsea being the laughing stock? Arsenal, Newcastle and Liverpool are all very grateful.
- Any list of thunderbastards mentioned so far has not included Stuart Pearce! Simply outrageous quite frankly!
- Who do Chelsea fans want to win this weekend Spurs or Arsenal? There is a massive chance that Chelsea will finish outside the top 4-5 for me..
- Seriously surely only total mercenaries would want that job now? No one with an actual wish to promote their career would go there until Terry Cole and fat lad are gone?
Al (Agent Rafa your work is nearly done.. You didnt print my email from the day Rafa signed saying this might happen coz you thought I was mental didnt you.....?)
I thought we busted this myth earlier in the week?
The Big Weekend this morning starts off with Arsenal and Spurs. Of the Arsenal defence, it says that it has 'hardly been watertight this season'. Of the Spurs defence, it's 'been working out so far'.
Goals conceded by Arsenal in the league: 30. By Spurs: 32.
As someone mentioned recently, Arsenal actually have the second-best defensive record in the league (alongside Chelsea, behind City). I suppose it's all about perception - we seem to concede so many of our goals to ludicrous errors that we give the impression of being totally useless at the back, even though we're not statistically bad at all.
Joe Rice (Everyone is wrong, Mertesacker is excellent)
I'm delighted to see Giggs has signed a new contract. Yes he's a legend of the game etc etc but mainly because I see him as my last link to youth.
When I first started taking an interest in football around the age of 8, Giggs was there. From then on, through junior school, 2 senior schools, which totals about 14 years (but as anyone knows feels more like 30, when you think how quickly a few months can pass now, compared to terms which lasted seemingly forever, and when you look at the changes to your life in that time) as well as university, and now 7 years in full time employment, Giggs was the one constant. And in the same way that life for those into football can be framed around major international tournaments, Giggs' career may one day provide a 23 year reference point.
I think the point I'm trying to make is that once he retires (and SAF eventually) that will be the point that everything in football has changed since I first got into it. They are the only things that haven't changed since c1991 (cue responses of all the other things that haven't changed).
I'm not being nostalgic here about the old days. I simply mean I'll feel old, in a similar sense to how you felt when players your age started appearing on the scene.
Next milestone: Being older than a manager.
Ben (30) London
We Had Quite A Few Of These
In response to "Colin Ivin, COYS!", Bale's formation of an "A" with his hands when celebrating is in tribute to his recently born daughter, Alba Violet Bale. Those initials seem more than a little familiar...
Ollie (getting constant butterflies about the derby on Sunday), Spurs, Surrey.
Proof of the lack of 'outstanding' quality in the Championship?
Peterborough, the team at the bottom, with 13 games remaining, if they won them all, could still overhaul Cardiff to win the league.