A disrespectful sandwich

Xabi Alonso stranded in Bangkok

💬 Quote of the day

“One of his assistants was eating a sandwich at the time, which I thought was a complete lack of respect. Hopefully he enjoyed his sandwich while he was talking to a Premier League manager." - Sheffield United gaffer Chris Wilder on his post-match meeting with the referee.

FOOTBALL

🎭 There are so many people I’d like to thank for this award: my mum, my dealer, the bloke with the lighter

Joseph Fiennes is hoovering up the plaudits for his stage portrayal of Gareth Southgate, but he’s not the only actor clinging to the coat tails of greatness.

A new play called Why I Stuck A Flare Up My Arse For England tells the heartwarming tale of Charlie Perry, the England fan who shoved a firecracker up his bum (and an ungodly amount of beak up his nose) at the Euros.

At the time, Charlie explained “I’d been on the piss since half eight in the morning and had had at least 20 cans of Strongbow," noting that he also “banged a load of powder” throughout the day.

Looking forward to seeing this highlight from Charlie’s day recreated on the hallowed boards of Southwark Playhouse…

FOOTBALL

👻 This is the ghost of Bill Shankly, I need 12 bitcoin for an Uber to Anfield

It’s been a rough week for the good people of Liverpool, who greeted Jurgen Klopp’s bombshell departure with the stiff upper lip of a 14-year-old who just learned One Direction are splitting up.

Sobbing fans berated Talksport for “prattling on about the cricket” instead of paying tribute to Klopp, and a Merseyside priest led his congregation in prayer for the beloved gaffer.

But the odd vulture was circling the disaster zone too.

Thai scammers are posing as Klopp’s rumoured replacement Xabi Alonso, and targeting grieving Liverpool fans with this message:

I am Xabi Alonso, I will be in charge of Liverpool next season, but I am short of money for my flights to Liverpool. Please send me £7.

Sounds legit.

Klopp’s departure took everyone by surprise - except Upshot Gold members, who found out the night before from Kevin in our WhatsApp group.

Upshot Gold gets you access to the WhatsApp group, a hotbed of rumours, scoops and endless jokes. Plus you'll get three weekly editions of The Upshot.

And those members-only editions are where spill the really good stuff.

Stories like these:

  • A Man City defender interrupts a family dinner to shag a pornstar in the loo.

  • How James Haskell's boat party "turned into something dark and wrong".

  • The Premier League manager who lost his job over a secret sex dungeon.

And you can try it all free for 7 days - just hit the button below.

FOOTBALL

👖 Dodgy Klobber

Before you feel too sorry for Liverpool fans, spare a thought for their spiritual cousins in Hamburg.

Back in 2008, the German giants interviewed then-Mainz manager Jurgen Klopp for their vacant manager’s position.

But while they were impressed by his slick gegenpressing and luminescent teeth, Jurgen exhibited one fatal flaw: his ripped jeans.

The club’s directors also compiled a dossier of other evidence against Klopp, complaining he stank of cigarettes, had a “gruff” appearance and was “not a great timekeeper”. They appointed ex-Spurs boss Martin Jol instead.

Klopp joined Dortmund and led them to two Bundesliga titles, while Hamburg slid into mediocrity and were eventually relegated for the first time in 2018 - two weeks before Klopp led Liverpool out for the Champions League final.

They’d take those ripped jeans now…

WRASSLIN’

🤝 The best McMahon for the job

As WWE founder Vince McMahon’s stepped down amid a revolting sex scandal, the company’s shareholders were hoping for a straight-laced suit to steady the ship.

An accountant perhaps, or some grey-faced, asexual corporate drone to neutralise McMahon’s botoxed, permatanned Florida depravity.

So who did the federation wheel out to face the press? None other than McMahon’s son-in-law Paul Levesque, aka Triple H, the wrestler famed for locking his opponent’s head in his groin and bellowing “suck it”.

Is the news freaking you out? No wonder when the Government’s falling apart, Taylor Swift is the next leader of the free world and we’re knee-deep in soccer love rats, barmy boffins and bolshy billionaires.

Stay on top of it all with the PAPER CUTS – the fastest, funniest way to get the best bits of the news in a podcast.

Out five days a week, totally free. Listen here.

FOOTBALL

💒 Dearly Beloved, do you consent to the use of cookies on this website

Everyone laughed when Kevin-Prince Boateng got married “on a digital version of the moon” in the metaverse.

The former AC Milan midfielder held an online ceremony attended by cartoon recreations of the happy couple and their three dogs, plus a smattering of guests who shelled out €50 for an NFT ticket.

But their lunar love story came crashing down to earth this week when Valentina was spotted cavorting on a beach (in the real world) with another man, and they’re now splitting up (also in the real world).

No word on ticket prices for the courtroom battle over custody of the digital dogs, but we’ll keep you posted…

💉 Quick hits

🪵 Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez hit the woodwork four times on Wednesday night - a Premier League record.

👰 Graeme Souness was best man at Dale Winton’s wedding.

💼 After his Skelmersdale United side lost 10-1 to Bury, Pascal Chimbonda has now brought himself out of retirement to play in defence.

💦 More madcap adventures in the wanking dungeon for South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus, who was hospitalised “after a freak accident with a detergent product”.

🍿 Nearly half the players featured in the new Six Nations Netflix doc will be missing from the first round of the tournament due to injury or retirement.

On The Upshot podcast this week:

AND FINALLY

🎮 In Kim Wii Trust

Why do North Korean volleyball fans look like they’ve been simulated on Wii Sports?

That's it for today. Thanks to Reuben, Frankie and Ben.

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