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Thursday, 8 November 2012

The Waste Land; Or, ITV4 Commentary (Tottenham vs Maribor) A Found Poem

Speed, lightning.
Not a lot of Carrol,
The referee's the same age as Jermain Defoe!
Rigid shape - swinging,
A little heavy to begin with
Under the nose.

Facing the wrong way,
Before they had their own identity.

Jonjo Shelvey Haiku

For Jonjo Shelvey
Football is made much harder
He has horses legs.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Ledley Rex

Mabbutt the Priest, and Sheringham the Prophet anointed Ledley the King
And all the Spurs fans rejoic'd, and said:
God save the King! Long live the King!
May the King live forever,
Amen, Allelujah.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

The England Supporters Band

An England match, rarely a spectacle
But there's something quite
Unacceptable -
The noise made by those five men
It's totally indifensible.

The Great Escape, God Save the Queen
Play them once and then again
When they're bored they just hit that drum
An England match it just leaves you numb.

A soundtrack of wonky brass
Accompanies every misplaced pass
If the England band we did dispose
Could be the solution to England's woes.

Thursday, 17 May 2012


Chewing a wasp
Does not quite grasp
The grim enjoyment of his face.
Calciated, the visage opens
And his stalagmite teeth bark forward orders.
His folded nose, stately
And bespectacled -
Casting truculent shadows.
When that mouth turns upwards
It must creak like ancient mills.
They surely don't make faces like this one anymore.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Stars and Stripes

Their emblem fringed
With gilded scudetti
Bears the weight of history.
This year's addition
Questionable -
Forever asterixed.

Tanka for the Recently Sacked Manager II

Sat rapt in stillness
Like Kitchener lost at sea
An idol for stoics
And in his newfound freedom
He counts trophies in ashtrays.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Deportivo Quito vs Universidad de Chile

A footballing fever dream
Left rapt -
Gasping breath
In that altitudinous arena.
Yellow flashed red
The man he disappeared
Then dazzling snowflakes burst rapture.
Dizzy sick fell the men
Sand in their lungs
Sweat still damp on the forehead.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Stood Before the Firing Squad (Souleymane Camara's Penalty)

As the world roared around him
The pooling eyes betrayed
A doubt that closed off possibility.
For when one man faces another
And the heat of the battle surrounds
Forced to wait
The itch in his fingers perpetuates.

Palpable, the fear
Expressed through shining screens.
A nation watched knowingly
As he stumbled towards his fate.

The Owl is not what he seems.

Flickering on the edges
Of that reality
Only existing in the dull light
Of television
He sat, stage left
Ocassionally panning to centre.

Now his time
In the leading role
The owl is not what he seems.
For a lifetime -
Watching, perhaps
He has gleaned what afflicts
This sorry state.

Friday, 27 April 2012

For Pep

Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world
Josep Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
Josep Dei, you who take away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.
Josep Dei, you who take away the sins of the world, grant us peace.
You, Messianic
In the face of turning trends -
Greece '04,became all in 2010.
You who washed our feet,
Let loose upon that sublime field
The form of God made manifest.
Now stricken you die for us
In the face of Mourinho -
Persistently monochromatic cardigans.
Let down from your cross
On the lips of a thousand apostles
An endless conversation hushed onward.

Josep Dei, you who take away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Phil Babb Kebab (Isn't It A Pity)

Isn't it a pitta
Isn't a shame
That he crashed into a goalpost
And bought himself some pain
How on the first page of pictures
When you google his name
Is a picture of a kebab
Isn't it a shame.

His career was reasonably good
But how do you explain
How it's boiled down to two images
Isn't it a shame
Due to these cruel twists of fate
People won't ever see
He was an alright defender
Isn't it a pity.

Forgetting Phil Babb now, isn't it a pity?
Forgetting Phil Babb now, isn't it a shame?

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dear John Lennon: Imagine This

Imagine there's a defence
It's easy if you try
This could really happen
They could be seen on Sky.

Imagine two Scottish brothers
Their names Gary and Steve
Let's reunite the Caldwell's
Make them play centreback.

Imagine alongside them
Playing on the right
Phil Fucking Bardsley
What a terrible sight.

What could top this trio?
Who could play left back?
There's only one man to play here
And it's Bolton's Paul Robinson.

Imagine there's a defence
It could make you cry
Imagine if they played football
We'd have to imagine football.

Don't Cry For Me Diego Villar

Don't cry for me Diego Villar
The truth is you'll always leave us
All through these last few years
Our mad existence
We danced our blue ballet
And now you're distanced.

Don't cry for me Diego Villar
We've lost you once before
Like we did Mariano Donda
I've loved before
I'll love again
But not Ruben Ramirez.

Don't cry for me Diego Villar
I'll not shed a tear for you
When you jump on El Expreso
Skating out of Mendoza
Enzo Perezesque, like so many more
At least I have my Nicolas Olmedo.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

If Man Utd liked hip hop

If Man U liked hip hop
And didn't have a game
Surely they'd dress Danny Welbeck
Up like Big Daddy Kane.
Maybe make them all sing
Ashley Young might go far
He's on backing vocals
The next big RnB star.
Now Michael Carrick's a toughie
He's got two left feet
They asked Phil Jones to breakdance
And he smashed up his seat.
Ryan Giggs is a stalwart
Every trophy he has won
But he's got a few problems
And surely the bitch is one.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

The First Half of Arsenal vs AC Milan

Now Wenger told the Arsenal
Your heads they mustn't drop
The golden trophy glistens
The moaning's got to stop
Chamberlain with the corner
A goal from Koscielny
Rosicky with the second
What chance could there be?

Allegri don't like it
Rockin' the Mesbah
Rock the Mesbah
Allegri don't like it
Rockin' the Mesbah
Rock the Mesbah

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Onward, Christian Soldiers

Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
With the badge of lions, going on before.
Parker, the royal Captain, leads against the foe;
Forward into battle see His lions go!

At the sign of triumph France and Spain both flee;
On then, England's soldiers, on to victory!
Ukraine's foundations quiver at the shout of praise;
Lads lift up your voices, loud the anthem raise.

Like a mighty army moves the England fans;
Brothers, we are treading where our fathers trod.
We are not divided, all one body we,
One in hope and boozing, one in laddity.

What The Sun established that I hold for true.
What The Sun believèd, that I believe too.
Long as bladder endureth, men the faith will hold,
Cafés, plazas and boozers, in destruction rolled.

Golden generations perish, players rise and wane,
But the pressure constant will remain.
Apathy or boredom can never gainst England prevail;
We have the FA's own promise, and that cannot fail.

Onward then, ye geezers, join our bulging throng,
Shout with ours your voices in the triumph song.
"There were ten German bombers in the air"
This through countless ages men and children sing.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Alan Shearer, King of the Rodeo

His boots are made of leather
And now he's earned his spurs,
A shirt of finespun cotton
And Levis 501s.
A bolo tie of splendour
He don't wear no cravat,
Grabs his cream fringed jacket
To match his stetson hat.
Out on the plains
That's where he struts his stuff,
Roping in a steer,
No one quite so tough.
All through the West
His famous name is heard
England's great sharpshooter
The goalscoring wizard.
It's Alan Shearer
King of the rodeo,
Oh Alan Shearer
King of the Rodeo.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Elegy to Mick McCarthy

Sleep with dried up tears
With memories of misfortune,
Loanee unreleability.
Sleep with dried up eyes
Remembering better times,
The irreplaceable.

How to Solve a Problem, Andy

In those halcyon days of black and white
The terror of heading the ball too much!
No defender risked their life
In challenging Andy Carrol's might.
But now his hair much sleeker
As evidenced upon leaving the field
The locks are free to bounce
And shine and shimmer,
To glint the floodlit tears of fans.
Now Carrol and Samson
Are far apart, it's nothing to do with length,
But I've a sneeking suspicion that something's changed,
That Andy's been using shampoo.
Before he towered, tried, and thundered,
No one got too close,
His lank mane caused a shudder
But now it's too often perfumed.
That ancient stench of sweat and tabs
A fortnight in the pub,
His showers were amber
Boots covered in piss
And hair conditioned by Lambert and Butler.
Now he tries to no avail
His follicular folly such a shame,
Tramps around from ground to ground
The Euros a fading light,
His one last chance! He sees at last!
Pre-season! Everything can change!
The John Parkin routine, intensive
Repulsive, perfect!
To spend the summer whistfully
A can in hand a fag in the other
Sitting on the dock of the bay.

Brian McDermott

With a steady hand
And learned eye
His team now pushing
For the sky.

Brian McDermott
Bald and brave
Leads the Royals
Stoic and grave.

Their yearly pursuit
An upward surge
Last year slinked home
As Swans emerged.

Those blasted playoffs
Cursed and grim
But automatic chances
Are growing slim.

"Now's the time
To stand up tall
Down the league
We cannot fall."

"Stand up each one
From Hunt to Harte
And listen here
We'll not fall apart."

One last cry
"Do it for the fan!"
The final urge
"I am the eggman!"

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Monday, 30 January 2012

Follicular Folly

It all began with John Utaka:
The setter of a trend,
He shaved the sides of his head
And spiked it up on top.
Now half the world has followed suit,
Neymar took it a little too far,
His peacocked mane the antithesis to, say,
Kyle Walker's graduated helmet.

But despite the changes and variations
Footballers all look the same
There's a certain breed of defender
Who is identified
By a kind of specific style
Which betrays an empty mind.
Arsenal have Koscielny, Chelsea John Terry,
Tottenham Michael Dawson, to name but three.
This kind of hair a compromise
To halt all kinds of pain,
For if too short you might be Richard Dunne,
Too long, Coloccini.
But the one hairstyle they all avoid
To a man, all but two,
That which grows on the heads of a famous duo -
The chuckle brothers of defending,
A Scottish tour de force,
Please god no, don't sign a Caldwell,
That's not what money's for.

Imagine challenging for a header
With big Kenwyne Jones -
Good in the air you say? No!
Just look at that hair!
Who wants to jump with that thing,
A mace of tangled knots,
Risk or tooth or being knocked out,
It's only Kenwyne Jones.

No these aren't the days of abominations,
No mullets or combovers,
But now it seems more than ever
Footballers all have terrible hair.
How does Drogba get away with that thing on his head?
There's no excuse for Raul Meireles,
Nor his hair...
But there is a small insurrection,
Outsiders, led by a few,
Leighton Baines' post-Best burns
And Parker's brylcreemed mop
They lead the way and show the rest
They don't have to give up.

Monday, 16 January 2012


"Demand me nothing: what you know, you know:
From this time forth I never will speak word."
I sprung hopeful from the guilded La Mascian shrine,
A Piedmontese holiday
A fine tour from the Adriatic to Castellón.
But here I sit my talents rotten
Bathing in the grim Solent
A career where nothing substantial did I provide
Where no one expects, no jewels in my crown.
Cast out from Iberia, the alps did not sustain,
So now this rotten isle my home!
O! Jerusalem!
My sword lay dormant, unclasped for too long
Today my final chance at gold.