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Blog - The Toe Poke

Sunderland fly banner over Newcastle during their league game vs. Spurs

We never thought we'd say this, but spare a thought for poor Newcastle United.

The club prepared for Sunday's Premier League game at home to Tottenham with a successful fan protest aimed at club owner Mike Ashley. The protest (can see a bit of it here on video) dovetailed with news that it would be their worst home attendance of the season, and then, midway through the first half, came the ultimate ignominy: a banner from their biggest rivals gloating over the current record in the Tyne-Wear Derby.

There was a Sunderland banner flying overhead at the Newcastle vs. Tottenham match reading "5 in a row Sunderland" reminding Newcastle who's won the last 5 derbys.

The...

 By Chris Wright

Drogba, Ronaldo and Zidane combine forces for charity

It's that time of year again, when Zinedine Zidane gets out his little black book and proceeds to rope together all of his old muckers for his annual UNDP Match Against Poverty charity bonanza.

As always, the supporting cast Zidane is currently assembling already looks phenomenal, boasting star names from Cafu to Clarence Seedorf; Edwin van der Sar to Youri Djorkaeff.

Indeed, Didier Drogba became the latest player to sign up for the 12th incarnation of Zizou's fundraiser, with the Chelsea veteran...

 By Chris Wright

Sacramento Republic's Rodrigo Lopez scores super Charlie Adam-esque goal

It's not often we stray into the wild and untamed confines of the United Soccer League (i.e., the third tier of the North American football pile) here on The Toe Poke, but we would be remiss not to share the following goal with you.

What you're about to witness is a 60-yard missile to rival the one scored by Charlie Adam from well inside his own half against Chelsea a week or two back.

The man responsible: Sacramento Republic midfielder Rodrigo Lopez, who glanced up, saw Whitecaps keeper Spencer...

 By Chris Wright

12 of the best Jurgen Klopp quotes: Top of the Klopps

Jurgen Klopp has a silver tongue, and is free this summer.
Jurgen Klopp has a silver tongue, and is free this summer.

Not only is the man a master tactician, a fine upstanding coach and one of football's most intriguing individuals, departing Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp is also an absolute devil with the one-liners.

Given the big news that broke earlier this week, Toe Poke thought we'd pay homage to Klopp's roller-coaster tenure at Dortmund by rounding up 12 of his finest eccentric zingers.

1. On his slightly less-than-stellar playing days.

"I never succeeded in bringing to the field what was going on...

 By Chris Wright

Mario Balotelli to land POTY award as rival fans hijack Liverpool vote

Mario Balotelli has not exactly shone in a Liverpool shirt this season.

As a great man once (sort of) said, there are but three certainties in this life: death, taxes and every interactive online football poll being hijacked by fans of rival clubs.

We're paraphrasing a little there, but you get the gist.

Despite having done little beyond the square root of nothing in a Liverpool shirt all season, there is a good chance Mario Balotelli is to be voted their Player of the Year after -- you guessed it -- fans of rival clubs hijacked the poll on the Reds' official website.

 By Chris Wright

Illusionist Uri Geller offers his FA Cup services to Reading

Illusionist Uri Geller believes he holds the key to a Reading victory this weekend.
Illusionist Uri Geller believes he holds the key to a Reading victory this weekend.

Professional illusionist Uri Geller has offered his immeasurable services to Reading to help them overcome the odds and knock Arsenal out of the FA Cup at Wembley this coming weekend.

Considering that Arsenal are not only in an imperious vein of form but have also beaten Reading on all 12 occasions the two sides have met since their first encounter in 1935, Geller is going to have to pull one almighty assist out of the bag.

Geller, who lives 10 miles away from Reading's Madejski Stadium, reckons...