OTP Podcast: Episode 19 – Boxing Day Bouts
This week the OTP podcast fashions a feast of football coverage from the meaty scraps leftover from the Boxing Day bouts.
Putting all Ferrero-Rocher (not a Portuguese left-back) consumption on pause for a few hours, the Pod huddles over the mic to share stories of Berbatov’s beautiful forearms, illegal pitch downsizing at the Britannia and tubby Blackburn fans; all crucial subjects that fail to get a fair airing at a festive dining table.
Also plopped into the post-Christmas soup is an extra helping of genital-based injuries, a sprinkle of mayhem in the Iranian futsal league and a dollop of obligatory bread puns to celebrate Mark Bunn’s superb performance in goal at Anfield.
And with New Year’s celebrations on the horizon, we place our favourite football personalities into the big midnight countdown. The formulaic London Eye fireworks are a thing of the past – how about Micah Richards parachuting into Traflagar square this year… whilst enclosed in a zorbing ball. We are leaving 2011 exactly as we entered it – floundering for facts and fervently committed to uranium-enriched nonsense. Tick, tick, boom.
We always wanted to be a fly on the wall at a Premier League team’s Christmas party – and now we can courtesy of MUTV. No strippers, narcotics or fancy dress on this occasion – but film charades with Jonny Evans – just as hedonistic in our opinion. Wayne Rooney’s superb clue for ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ is up there with that bicycle kick last season for pure genius invention – it certainly made his manager’s jowly jaw drop in a similar manner. Rooney purchased a race horse last week… let’s just hope Fergie isn’t a fan of The Godfather.
Ever wondered where Rene Higuita learned the famous scorpion kick? Well perhaps it was from 62 year-old Hassan Shehata – manager of Egyptian team Zamalek. He has down to a tee. The key here is the nonchalance that follows Shehata’s immaculate skill. He shirks a celebratory fist-pump for a no-nonsense flurry of tactical gestures that put Rooney’s timid charade actions to shame. Sure the Egyptians gave us a lot of objects of wonder in the past, but the pyramids and Mido’s gut have bugger all on this.
There’s a number of ways to declare your affections for a lady – a bouquet of flowers, an audiobook of Avram Grant’s greatest press conferences perhaps… or a bullet in the hand. Sure it’s an ice-breaker but it does tend to sour the atmosphere fairly sharpish as bloated Brazilian striker Adriano allegedly found out at the weekend. We’ve all harmlessly mucked about with our bodyguard’s pistol, but he just had to take things a little further didn’t he? There’s nothing that says I love you quite like enforced hand surgery on Christmas Eve.
Forget ardently tuning in to the Queen’s Speech, there was only one thing OTP peeled away from the Christmas table to watch on Sunday – the big Iranian Futsal match-up between heavyweights Gity Pesend and Firuz Sefe ( with commentary significantly less baffling and infuriating than Alan Green). Futsal may seem dull to some – but there is nothing like ludicrous cheating and an all-out riot to change our minds. The flashpoint is one for the ages. One on one’s can often be scuppered by a number of things – last-ditch tackles or an unfortunate slip for starters. But a propelled water-bottle is a new and welcome one for us. Should the chucking culprit be suspended for unsporting behaviour? Most probably. Should he be praised for embracing the versatility of a bog-standard drinks container in a sporting capacity? Absolutely yes.
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