While EURO 2012 shows why security is so important The Circus
can't help but make some bold predictions ahead of next season's EPL.
Move over Psychic Pig (the psychic pig)
On Saturday The Circus brought you up to date with the latest clairvoyant offerings that have been served up during EURO 2012 and most of them aren't worthy to clean the psychic muck from Paul the Octopus's watery grave.
So with the EPL fixture released, we decided to ditch the animals and grab our own crystal ball and see what we could see for the upcoming season. Here's our take on how the early part of the season will play out:
Saturday 18 August 18: John Terry takes to the pitch wearing three gold medals that he souvenired after crashing the football medal ceremony at the London Olympics.
Saturday 24 November: The season is nearly a third of the way done and Joey Barton makes his first appearance for QPR against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Paul Scholes, fresh from signing a five-year contract extension with the Red Devils, brings down Barton in the box. In a blind fury, Barton rips off his kit, elbows Scholes to the ground and starts gnawing at his face. He is banned for the rest of the year but continues to annoy everyone on Twitter.
Saturday 8 December: Mario Balotelli scores a hat-trick for Manchester City in the Manchester derby just one day after he is found racing stolen bulldozers down Canal Avenue and tossing Molotov cocktails at passers-by.*
*Actual crazy Balotelli stunt (TM) may vary, but this is what came up on our crazy Mario Balotelli stunt (TM) wheel this week.
You're never too old to learn
Roy Hodgson has made a sound start to his first major tournament as England boss, guiding his men to the cusp of the knockout stage at EURO 2012. But even the most experienced gaffers learn something each day and Hodgson is no different.
His most recent lesson involved the selection of a venue for his pre-match strategy sessions, and more particularly how not to do it after a Swedish journalist spied on his tactics talk before the second group game against England's Scandinavian rivals.
Reporter Ola Billger found himself with a bird's eye view of Hodgson's presentation to the players and as a patriotic Swede, it was his duty to take notes and feed them to his national team's tactical director.
Fortunately for the Three Lions, the security snafu didn't adversely affect the result of the game, thanks to the highly unlikely combination of Theo Walcott, Andy Carroll and a Danny Welbeck backheel.
The Circus feels there are three key lessons for England out of this whole debacle:
- Curtains are more than just pretty window furnishings;
- Someone needs to pay off Fleet Street journos to stop writing about bored WAGs and start spying on Vicente del Bosque's digs;
- Walcott and Welbeck are not Cristiano Ronaldo and Dennis Bergkamp, as much as Theo likes to think they might be.
You call that a pitch invasion?
While Theo and Danny were busy trying out their party tricks on the hapless Swedes, England fans apparently crossed the line that separates passionate barracking from dangerous hooliganism.
The FA has denied the allegations, arguing that the breach of the fence was borne of the fans' exuberance rather than any desire to go charging half-naked across the turf and give Andy Carroll's ponytail a playful tug. The Circus suspects the fence breach was actually borne of about 15 pre-game pints and the immutable laws of gravity, but that is probably irrelevant.
Regardless, it seems clear that the jobsworths at UEFA need a little perspective. Three England supporters tumbling over a fence is not a pitch invasion. This is a pitch invasion.
The spoken word
"Absolute rubbish, absolute rubbish, absolute rubbish. You saw the effort. How can it destabilise the team when they come out and play like they did and keep on going? The players ain't just gone 'The manager is leaving, we ain't bothered any more'." – 'Arry Redknapp in March denies speculation about his future is hurting Tottenham Hotspur.
"It's not a case of me looking for security. What it's about is players knowing you've only got one year left on your contract and knowing that it doesn't work, basically. I think it's a situation of, 'well, he might not be here next year'" – 'Arry changed his tune last week and insisted the players needed security, lest they find out he is going and can't be bothered any more.
"No, I haven't resigned, and I have no idea why it is being suggested that I have resigned. This is an outrage; an absolute liberty for people to be putting around this kind of rumour on the internet. It is not true, there is not a chance I will resign. Why should I? I have a year left on my contract" – 'Arry Redknapp a day later, just before getting the sack from Spurs.
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