I’ve started writing for True Faith again, and the posts are (slightly) more serious than the ones I post here – they’re some kind of a mix of life in Berlin, German football, NUFC and beer. There has been no mention of Shola. Yet.
Anyway, you can find the first two articles here:
Post one: Picking a German football team and the task of replacing Jupp Heynckes at FC Bayern
Post two: The heat of a Berlin summer, Bayern’s selection dilemma and The Maginot Line at NUFC
… Or how to use statistics to prove any point you want, even if it is ridiculous…
Welcome to the fourth in what is, pretty much, the most regular feature on this site: the bit where I compare Shola to some of the world’s leading strikers…
Who is next?
Reet lads. I’m off.
What better time to remind Newcastle fans of what they have? We’ll see below if the loss of Demba Ba is as great as people fear, especially with the Pendower Pele still on the books.
But first, a quick distraction. I just realised I have a tag on my blog for ‘Jamie Redknapp’s spicy sex life’. Yep, it surprised me too. You can check it out here.
Anyway, on with the comparison. No expense spared. No facts needed.
Number 19. No real fables or myths surrounding that number. Except for why Steve Watson stopped doing the forward roll throw-in. Was it just age? Who knows… 4/10
The Big Sho has stuck with number 23 through thick and thin. Like Michael Jordan. Jordan was like the sporting equivalent of John the Baptist, and the Shields Shevchenko is the sporting equivalent of Jesus. And you can’t get better than that. 10/10
Played great as the main striker last season, and then slotted in effortlessly out wide once Papiss Cisse arrived. But it wasn’t effortless, was it? No – he didn’t want to do it and threw his toys out of the pram. As a result, Cisse usually got bumped out wide this season, a position he is nowhere near as suited to as Demba is. Selfish. 6/10
Playing on the wing
Up front, on the wing, in goal, offside, the Heaton Hagi will play anywhere in his own unique style. 10/10
Would rather shoot then pass to his compatriot. Mind, in many cases, this season at least, that worked out better. 3/10
Passing to Papiss Cisse
The Monkseaton Matthews will pass to anyone, even if it is accidental. Having said that, do you remember Cisse’s second goal at Chelsea last season? Expertly chested by The Big Sho back to Cisse for one of the best goals of the season. Watch it here – it’s on a loop. 4/10
Hoyed his toys out of the pram (again) against Everton at start of season when he was brought on as a sub at half-time. 0/10
The Fenham Eusebio has certainly done his share of benchwarming. He recently equalled Kanu’s record, having made his 118th Premier League substitute appearance. He lives for being on the bench, daydreaming about fancy hats. 10/10
Demba has five brothers. None are professional footballers. One is his official agent. He can’t be very good at it, though, as he needs about forty-three representatives. 2/10
Two of the Killingworth Klinsmann’s brothers have played professional football. In fact, the only reason Newcastle never signed Tomi was that they thought playing three Ameobis in the same team would be so dangerous it would destroy the game of football. 10/10
Not going as he couldn’t lead Senegal to qualification. 2/10
African Cup of Nations
The Lagos Laudrup is also not going, but this is by choice. Look at his record – 1 game for Nigeria, and they are unbeaten in all of the games he played. The country needs him, but he knows his people, the fans of our great NUFC, need him more. 7/10
None. He even missed a penalty against them. Has the Saltwell Park Socrates ever missed a penalty? Against anyone? Has he fuck. It’s bad enough that he didn’t score against the Mackems, but to actually score for them… -10/10
Goals v mackems
It is well known that the Rye Hill Ronaldo loves playing against the unwashed. Seven goals against them. No missed penalties. No own goals. I bet he does a cracking piss-take mackem accent: “heeyor, marra, stop scoring past us”. Then he laughs. Loudly. Triumphantly. 10/10
No complaints. All he cost was his signing-on fee, and his wages were reasonable. Could have got a higher fee for him from Chelsea (Torres for 50 million!!), if it wasn’t for the release clause. 8/10
Value for Money
The Walker Weah cost the Toon nowt, and we have gotten eleven and a half years from him. That is like dividing by zero. Which everyone knows you can’t do, as the answer is Shola*. 10/10
Two of them. Led to him failing a medical at Stoke, setting off the chain of events that led him to Barrack Road on a heavily-incentivised contract. Never missed a game for us due to a problem with his knees, though. 6/10
Two of them. Doesn’t have a long-term degenerative knee condition. 10/10
“Demba Ba has done great hasn’t he, everybody is looking at him suddenly. Anybody could have had him a year ago. Full credit to Alan Pardew, he took him. He is probably the most in-form striker anywhere at the moment. They say there is a release clause in his contract, that is what we all hear. It will be interesting to see what happens there, but at the moment he is doing great things for Newcastle.” (Jan 7, 2012). 10/10
‘Arry Redknapp scale
As far as I can see, ‘Arry Redknapp didn’t try to unsettle the Cochrane Park Caniggia. But that could also be because he doesn’t like talking about players who are under contract to another club. Even if they have a release clause. 0/10
So, what are the scores on the doors?
Demba Ba scores 31/100.
The Kenton Kaka scores 81/100.
So, there you have it folks. A decisive points victory for Stoke’s greatest-ever striker against Stoke’s almost-second greatest ever striker. They both still hate Stoke though. Just not as much as they hate mackems.
Keep the faith.
This Toon ain’t big enough for the both of we!
*I have used this joke before, but I like it. So, there.
…Or the perfect way to spend a wet and miserable night in Berlin…
Cup football is back!
Do I sound like a TV advert? I make no apologies, the excitement was real!
Two months after beating Bundesliga side Hoffenheim in the first round of the German Cup LINK, Berliner AK 07 were back in cup action, this time at home to 1860 Munich of the Bundesliga 2. And if they could hammer Hoffenheim 4-0, I, for one, was expecting a good game.
All teams from the third division or lower automatically get home advantage in the cup in an attempt to level the playing field somewhat, and BAK (as a team from the fourth tier, which is split into regions (like the English system is from tier six onwards)) chose to move the game from their home stadium (the Poststadion in Moabit) to the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark in the trendy Prenzlauer Berg area of Berlin. I assume that this was not because the team wanted to disown their roots, but because the increased demand for tickets would mean that the crowd would be easier to handle in the 19,000 capacity stadium.
As the nights have become darker, upon leaving work it was impossible not to notice the bright floodlights illuminating the night sky, as the stadium is only a few blocks away from where I’m working. This is what football’s all about. I rushed to buy a snack (a sausage, since you asked) and a beer for the short walk to the stadium, and was in a crowd outside the stadium within a few minutes.
As with the first game in the 12,000 capacity Poststadion, the home area was in the main stand, and the away section was in an opposite corner (with cheaper tickets). The difference between the two was that, in the Hoffenheim game, the ‘away’ area was a mix of fans (predominantly Berliners who wanted to see a good cup game and the big team struggle). Yesterday night, nearly all of the fans in the ‘away’ area were 1860 fans (or ‘sexy’ fans – from the German word for sixty (sechsig). You have no idea how troubling it is to hear fans continually chanting ‘sexy’ to a bloody loud drumbeat), and they were a noisy bunch.
As we got into the away section, we (naturally) headed for a beer. I don’t know if the number of fans at the was higher than unexpected, but having two staff in the beer ‘van’ (one pouring (slowly) and one distributing (slowly)) for an end holding half of the 4,500 fans was ridiculous planning. Well, so I thought until I seen some smaller, ‘one-woman’ drinks stalls at half-time as we wandered around. But I will never get that time spent waiting back again.
Football under the lights. Yesterday.
But, like I say, I didn’t realise that until too late, nor did most of the hundred or so people who got served before me. As a result, we missed the first few minutes. And then it took us a few more minutes to find seats, as most of the 1860 fans (except for the flag-waving hardcore) were stood at the back of the three blocks and across the stairwells. And then it took me a few more minutes to realise the referee was a woman. I’m telling you, it’s all action when I get to a game! Anyway, before anyone starts with the ‘sexist’ comments (which would make a welcome change from spam comments), I have nothing against women referees, and I knew she was an active referee in the German leagues. It was just weird to see one in the flesh. And she was fine, although I’m still waiting to hear if she made racist comments to the players (a bit of contextual humour there). If you wanna see her in (football) action, this is probably what she’s most famous for in Germany:
Anyway, you presumably want something like a match report. That’s not really my specialty. Something like this is my specialty. But, once again, I’ll give it a go…
The first half was pretty open with neither team really having many good chances. The BAK keeper saved a few shots well, and BAK themselves had a few chances from freekicks flung into the mixer (‘der mixer’, as it is possibly called in German). In fact BAK seemed to be looking to win freekicks around the box, going to ground quite often in key areas (although, in my experience, all German footballers do this). They had a couple of good chances from these set pieces, almost capitalising on the resulting pinball in the box, but for a few smart saves by the Munich keeper (who I would have sworn was wearing regular keeper Gabor Kiraly’s terrible tracksuit bottoms, except for the fact they were black, not soiled grey).
Gabor Kiraly’s soiled pants. A few days before yesterday.
Munich were able to split the BAK defence on the break towards the end of the first half, with Stoppelkamp (that’s a proper German name, that is) putting it past the keeper. The goal was greeted by a flare in the away end, which had the police and stewards interested, if only momentarily. And with that, the first half was pretty much over, with the visitors leading by a goal.
My beer. And my shitty trainers. Yesterday.
During the break, as we wandered to get some more beer (and a sausage, since you asked. Yes, again), the stadium announcer tried to encourage those in attendance that hope was not lost, and the loudspeakers played the specially-commissioned BAK rap song. I’ll let you judge it for yourself:
1860 were cheered on by a very vocal crowd (including several Dynamo Berlin fans, who loudly joined in the cheering against their rivals. It must be some climbdown for the former ten-time East German champions to be playing in the tier below BAK). BAK also had noteable support with the Turkish Prime Minister in attendance, presumably to support the home team, which has both German and Turkish roots.
In the second half, Munich eased into control, coping with the slippy conditions better than their hosts. BAK still put themselves about, but began to tire more noticeably. Their build-up play lacked the final pass, and the players often ran into trouble trying to make the yard of space needed to have a shot. 1860 scored a deserved second after an hour, although their third, from a breakaway near full-time, was harsh on the hosts.
It’s a shame that their cup adventure ended so soon after such a famous victory. But if they win the Berlin Cup this year, they will (hopefully) be able to shock a few more big names next year.