Lord alone knows why, but Newcastle United have re-employed Joe Kinnear as the club's director of football, meaning that manager Alan Pardew and chief scout Graham Carr will now have to answer to a man who appears to live in a realm of fantasy somewhere between Narnia's eastern border and the Dream Zone from Potsworth and Co. Safe to say Kinnear's second Newcastle appointment hasn't gone down well with the Toon Army (see the front page of today's Newcastle Chronicle for details) and the man did little to ingratiate himself with a prickly, defiant interview with TalkSPORT radio on Monday night -- in which, among a slew of erroneous boasts, Kinnear comically mispronounced the names of nigh on half of Newcastle's squad.
An amateur goalkeeper in a local game in the Sarajevo neighbourhood of Boljakov Potok had to be taken to hospital after the match after he unwittingly "saved" a shot of entirely the wrong kind -- playing for almost the entire 90 minutes with a bullet in his head. Dusko Krtalica, 51, complained about having a headache during the game, believing the pain to be a result of him hitting his head on the goalpost at one stage. After the game Krtalica then began complaining of numbness in his extremities and slurring speech.
Spare a thought for poor South Africa forward Bernard Parker this morning, for it was his absolute Howitzer header own-goal against Ethiopia on Sunday night that all but ended Bafana Bafana's hopes of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, four years after providing hosting duties for the last one... With the scores level at 1-1 and 20 minutes left to play, Parker (who had previously scored for South Africa at the right end) rose above his defence and absolutely powered a bullet header past his own 'keeper to hand victory to Ethiopia, who now have an insurmountable lead at the summit of Qualifying Group A and are heading into the play-off rounds.
Like many Brazilians kids, UFC hardman Anderson Silva grew up dreaming of emulating his heroes by one day pulling on the famous yellow shirt and playing for the national team. Sadly, there came the inevitable day when little Anderson realised he didn't quite have the footballing chops to ever make the Selecao squad and instead dedicated himself to punching people hard in the face and choking them unconscious for a living. As a bit of fun, Vivo Sports have produced a rather brilliant "what if?" yarn vis-a-vis Silva's career path, imagining how the MMA fighter's football career may have turned out had he somehow made the grade.
As well as scoring both goals in Sweden's 2-0 victory, Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a busy old night against the Faroe Islands, with several Faroes players complaining about just how much trash-talking and gamesmanship the tyrannical PSG striker got through. After the game, it was revealed that Ibrahimovic spent a large swathe of the evening repeatedly referring to his opponents as "a bunch of fisherman" and boasting about how much money he earns, with utterly baffled Faroes striker Simun Samuelsen rebutting post-match: "Yes, we fish.
A bit of good news for all of you out there who happen to despise people that go around chucking dogs over fences by their necks, in that Enzo Jimenez -- the Argentinian player who took it upon himself to get rid of a pitch-invading dog by hurling it over the perimeter wall and into the crowd at the weekend -- has had his contract torn up by his club for his senseless display of animal cruelty. Jimenez's (now former) employers, Club Sportivo Bella Vista of the Argentinian regional leagues, issued a statement on Wednesday confirming that the player had been sacked.
Over in the Argentine regional leagues, Enzo Jimenez of Club Bella Vista found himself red-carded for an offence that the TP finds unacceptable: animal cruelty. During the game in Tucuman, a dog found its way onto the field and bought play to a temporary halt. Taking it upon himself to get the match back on track, Jimenez grabbed the dog with both hands around its neck and carried it to the side of the pitch before attempting to throw it over the perimeter stadium fencing and into the crowd. However, Jimenez's throw didn't clear the top of the fence and the dog fell back to the floor pitchside, fortunately limping away relatively unscathed as the referee rightfully brandished the red card in Jimenez's direction for his shockingly severe treatment.
Having won pretty much everything there was to win this season as far as his day job is concerned, Bayern Munich 'keeper Manuel Neuer has expanded his horizons in search of his next challenge with the Germany No.1 moving into the world of voice acting. Joining the long list of footballing thesps (some better than others), Neuer has signed up for a role in the German dub of the sequel to Pixar classic "Monsters, Inc." called "Monsters University", in which he plays Frank McCay -- the Uni campus' "superstar scarer", as played by The Office's John Krasinski in the American version.
Last night's World Cup qualifier between Ecuador and Argentina in Quito got a bit tetchy in the final stages, with the visitors being reduced to ten men with minutes left on the clock when Javier Mascherano was sent off for kicking out at the first aid cart driver while being stretchered to the sidelines for treatment... Mascherano issued a half-apology after the game, saying he was dreadfully embarrassed about his conduct and that he only kicked the cart driver because it was going too fast: "One preaches non-violence in our country and in this I was mistaken.
Bristol Rovers have been forced into issuing a rather awkward apology after wrongly announcing that the club’s long-serving kit man had died on on their website last week. The League Two side made the announcement on Friday evening after receiving the "news" that their kitman for the last 10-plus years, Roger Hardin, had passed away. A heartfelt tribute then appeared on the Rovers' official club site. In fact Hardin was and is still alive, though currently very ill in hospital. A club spokesman said: “It turns out this information was not correct.
In much the same way 30,000 Genoa fans gathered in the streets to mourn Sampdoria's passing into Serie B two years ago, hundreds of Lazio fans took to the streets of the Italian capital on Saturday to hold a mock funeral procession for beloved next-door neighbours Roma after beating them 1-0 in the Coppa Italia final the weekend previous. The Lazio fans marched a specially-made coffin, draped in Roma's "Giallorossi" club colours, through Rome as mourners cried, widows wept and last rites were read by priests.
Call us overly cynical but it almost seems that, with a dearth of actual football to report on, the hacks and gossip-mongers of the footballing press turn to the good ol' fashioned "blockbuster transfer rumour" to fill their columns over the summer months. Having scanned the various bumph and baloney that has been polluting the press for the past few weeks, we thought we'd take the opportunity to denounce an octuplet of some of the biggest porkies that are circulating at the moment which won't make it past the "tomorrow's chip paper" stage.