- The Upshot
- Unethical hair
Roman Abramovich's sinister text message and more...
💬 Quote of the day
“How much force is enough to knock someone over? 10 newtons? 12 newtons? We need to add a physicist to the VAR to measure strength.” - Rafa Benitez’s solution to confusing refereeing.
As Chelsea gaffer Mauricio Pochettino braces for a spanking from Man City on Sunday, he can look forward to owner Todd Boehly storming into the dressing room to deliver a pep talk about “playing like rockstars”.
Annoying, sure, but it’s still preferable to the menacing approach taken by Todd’s predecessor Roman Abramovich.
According to former manager Carlo Ancelotti, every time Chelsea lost, Abramovich would text him a single question mark.
Which would be scary enough if Roman didn’t also have the Wagner Group on speed dial.
Former Blues midfielder John Obi Mikel revealed this week that a nonchalant Abramovich once offered to hire some mercenaries to rescue his father, who had been kidnapped in Nigeria.
"I remember Roman Abramovich saying ‘Do you want me to send people over? Because I know if I send people over, I can get your dad out’. I was like, "how are you going to do this?"
"He said don't worry about that. Just let me.”
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If you’ve ever wondered why Americans hate Formula 1 or what the greatest year is in film history, you’ll love it.
✂️ Yeah my ballsack’s a little bruised and swollen but otherwise fine. How about you?
We’ve all got that one colleague who responds to a polite “You alright?” with a fifteen minute rant about their “really stressful kitchen extension” and their nine-year-old daughter’s verruca.
In the CBS studio that figure is pundit Clint Dempsey, who this week replied to a quick "What's up?” by announcing “Well, I’ve had the snip... No more kids.”
It drew a few surprised glances pre-watershed, but it could have been worse if they’d invited another Fulham legend on air.
According to one of our favourite rumours, former Cottagers boss Chris Coleman once spotted midfielder Steed Malbranque in the showers after training, and burst out laughing at the size of his tackle.
The manager’s mockery caused Steed to hand in a transfer request, but feeling self-conscious, he decided to undergo penis enlargement surgery and told clubs that were interested in him that he was out injured.
Tottenham eventually found out the truth, but saw the funny side and signed him anyway, telling fans he was out with “a groin strain”.
Probably bollocks, but enjoyable nonetheless.
🥙 All these things they do with kebabs now. Just cut em, fry em and stop putting fookin za’atar on em and things like that
Football in the Middle East is catching up fast - they’ve even got their own Gary Neville.
Pick My Postcode literally gives away money for nothing. Well, nothing apart from seeing some ads - like you’re doing now!
Just enter your postcode and check back daily. Some have won thousands of pounds, which is just enough to get you to work and back these days.
When PSG keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma returned to the San Siro, he knew he’d face a hostile reception: AC Milan fans rained fake cash down on their former hero and berated him mercilessly throughout the game.
But surely Giani could rely on his teammates for some support?
When Milan fans began chanting "Donnarumma, son of a bitch", club captain Kylian Mbappe simply joined the pile on and sang along.
👨👦👦 Before you ride your new bike, do you mind quickly swabbing your cheek?
“The most important thing is my children. I am a family man,” announced Asamoah Gyan outside court this week, after finalising his divorce.
A charming sentiment from the former Sunderland striker, only slightly undermined by him forcing the three kids to take a DNA test to prove they are really his.
It was a pretty surprising move considering Gyan had been raising the children for the last decade, but he was locked in a bitter fight over child support with his excellently named ex-wife, Gifty Gyan.
Local press claimed Asamoah’s “face died” as he learned the results of the test, and the court has now ordered him to hand Gifty two homes, a petrol station and two cars.
🎙️ Roy Keane: shove it up your bollocks
Everyone knows Roy Keane is a mad bastard.
The United legend humiliated teammates, knocked out opponents and scrapped with his own manager.
But there’s more. So much more.
From nights at the Hacienda to kung fu kicks in the dressing room, this is his story…
💉 Quick hits
🥕 Apparently in cockney rhyming slang, a tiny penis is known as a Jermaine Jenas.
💇♂️ While playing in the UAE, Asamoah Gyan was ordered to change his hairstyle after officials ruled he had “unethical hair”.
🚨 Former Chelsea assistant Henk ten Cate turned down the Ajax job because he’s playing the chief inspector in a new police series on Dutch TV.
🟨 New leader in our “most yellow cards at once” rankings: a Czech ref booked 16 players after a whole team and five substitutes took their shirts off in a coordinated goal celebration.
🌹 Lest we forget
It's that time of year again, when crowds fall silent to remember those who lost their lives in war.
And what more dignified way to do that than by handing a wreath of poppies to Hammerhead, West Ham's permanently grinning mascot?
Very moving. But not sure it beats this scene at Tranmere Rovers in 2019...
That's it for today. Thanks to Toby and Simon.
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Still want more?
🎙️ From nights at the Hacienda to kung fu kicks in the dressing room, get to know that mad bastard Roy Keane on The Upshot podcast.