Fernando Torres has struggled to find the net since his £50m pound move, but his record this season is better than others'...
1. For the world to cut Fernando Torres some slack
It’s a sorry state of affairs when your striker scores a Champions League brace, only to acknowledge his feat with a sullen face that would put Susan Boyle to shame. You may not believe this, but Torres has scored 9 (NINE) goals in all competitions this season; the same amount as Wayne Rooney, Mario Balotelli and Andy Carroll put together. Granted, of late, he’s missed the target more times than an inebriated lavatory-goer, but with a bit of support from his fans, rather than sarcastic applause when he scores in the warm-up, he may just overcome his writer’s (or scorer’s) block.
Parlez-vous française Joey Barton?
2. Elocution lessons for Joey Barton (and Steve McLaren)
We’re not sure if you’ve noticed or not but something fishy seems to be going on when an English footballer makes the rare move away from their native country. Joey Barton perfectly encapsulated this when he gave an interview to the French media sounding like Pepe Le Pew. Riddling his sentences with grammatical errors and raising the pitch of his voice at the end of each oration, Barton continued to tag the French premiership as “uhhh… Boring” with the arrogance of a born and bred Parisian. Let’s just hope the next thing the French pass on to him is a bit of their apprehension to fight.
Could Guardiola be coming to England?
3. Pep Guardiola to the Premier League
Whoever isn’t excited about the thought of having Pep Guardiola, or Jose Mourinho, bringing their mutual animosity to the Premier League should seriously reassess their life. For all the good that Sir Alex Ferguson has done at Manchester United, he’s in the twilight years of his managerial career and with Roberto Mancini’s job at Man City as secure as a Greek bank account, there is certainly a possibility that Pep and Mou could both end up plying their trade on opposing sides of Manchester. Mourinho will not be renewing his contract at Madrid at the end of this season and has already managed in the Premier League. Guardiola has been a top priority for Chelsea but their countless advances have been ignored so far. Whatever the outcome, having the pair in the Premier League would be top drawer.
Unhappy customers: Chelsea fans want Benitez out.
4. Chelsea fans to stop whinging
It’s about time Chelsea fans stopped complaining about how they want Rafael Benitez out of Stamford Bridge. Fair enough, the dismissal of Roberto Di Matteo left many of us flummoxed, and yes, a few things were said when Benitez was in charge of Liverpool. But the Spaniard was brought in on a short-term deal that was never going to exceed six months and his managerial record boasts 2 La Liga titles, 1 Uefa Cup, 1 FA Cup, a Champions League trophy, 1 Uefa Super Cup, an Italian Supercoppa and two Uefa Manager of the Year awards. Maybe Chelsea fans should be more interested in watching and supporting their team rather than anticipating the sixteenth minute to hail the late, great Roberto Di Matteo.
Harry Redknapp brings a whole new meaning to transfer window
5. Return of the through-the-window Transfer Deadline interview
Never has slouching around the house in your pyjamas whilst doing your best not to move from the sofa been more socially acceptable than on Transfer Deadline Day. Throughout the course of the day, the hot-off-the-press rolling coverage can get a bit repetitive and the only thing that will get you up out of your seat other than a multi-million pound signing is the traditional Harry Redknapp ‘through-the-window’ interview. Before the season started, we thought we’d seen the last of this bi-annual phenomenon, but thanks to QPR chairman Tony Fernandes bringing ‘Arry on board at Loftus Road, we can stop panicking.
Even though the net was empty he still managed to miss.
6. Emile Heskey back in the England squad
An absolute hit Down Under, Emile Heskey has his own song, his own red button player cam and if that wasn’t enough, he’s also scored five goals in eight games for Aussie outfit Newcastle Jets. Once revered for his ability as a striker who assisted more goals than he actually scored, Heskey has been taken under the proverbial A-League wing since moving in September. He’s also had time to practice his karate on an opposing goalkeeper during his debut game against Adelaide, knocking him out in the process. Classic Heskey.
Beckham and his sons celebrate with the MLS Cup.
7. David Beckham back in the Premier League
If we all look deep within ourselves it’s safe to admit that in one way or another, we have a man-crush on Mr. Beckham that is bordering on the unhealthy. What he has done not only for football, but also for sport in general is incredible. Working tirelessly to bring the Olympic Games back to London and acting as an ambassador throughout the whole process caused him to rise in a lot of people’s estimations. Now he has played his last game for LA Galaxy, we plead you David – Come back home!
Taking a dive: Gareth Bale has received criticism for his dramatic tendencies.
8. Put a stop to diving
A recent stat that had the PlayUp office furiously debating the dignity of the Premier League was the horrifying news that behind Serie A, with 19 yellow cards, the English top flight is the worst of the top five European leagues when it comes to diving. The worst offender is Gareth Bale who has racked up four bookings for simulation, making up over a fifth of the total bookings for simulation this season. Not far behind is Luis Suarez who has also received criticism for his play-acting. Whatever happened to staying on your feet? Not only are these players embarrassing themselves, they’re also putting shame to the reputation of English football.
Wouldn't that be a sight...
9. Freddie Flintoff to play centre-back for Chelsea
There’s something quite intriguing about watching sports stars take the leap from one sport to another. We’ve seen it before, with Michael Jordan trading the NBA for the NBL, Dwayne Chambers trying his hand in rugby and Ian “Beefy” Botham making 11 appearances up front for Scunthorpe United. Last weekend, Freddie Flintoff took to the boxing ring and won in his first professional bout against American Richard Dawson. Saying he would like to move on after his debut win, we think it would be brilliant for Flintoff to use his brawn to help out the struggling David Luiz in the centre of the Chelsea defence. Based on recent performances, who knows with a few months training he’d certainly challenge Luiz for his place!
Class act: Messi has almost levelled with all-time goalscoring legend Gerd Muller
10. Lionel Messi to beat Gerd Muller’s goal record
At number ten, what could be more fitting than making a wish for the best number 10 of this generation? Injured in Barcelona’s Champions League game against Benfica, Little Lio was taken off the field on one of those golf buggies the Spanish leagues love to use. As worried fans looked on, Barcelona headed to a 0-0 draw with Muller’s record of 85 goals in a calendar year still in tact. With just four games remaining for Messi this year, the race is on. Fingers crossed he makes it back in time to finish the job.