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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 1 day ago
Read
Apr 4, 2011

Roo swears wins

Few of us like Monday but The Fifth Official does, for it brings with it a chance for him to point the finger and laugh. Here he pulls out the pretty, the puzzling and the downright pig-ugly from a week brimming with potential victims.

Roo f***ing beauty

We all know the Roonatic isn't the sharpest tool in the box, but surely even he realises those cameras stationed around a football pitch are relaying live pictures from Manchester United's game onto the tele box so people at home can watch? Surely, after the last time he swore directly at me, during the World Cup after another wretched England performance, someone must have told him?

He may get away with talking like that in front of the young ladies he used to visit in Manchester hotel rooms, but aggressively shouting the 'f' word down the barrel at the thousands of kids watching is especially brainless. I can just see little Billy now, watching the game at home: "Look mummy, there's one of the country's best players, celebrating the completion of a superb hat-trick, one that has delivered a knockout blow to title rivals Arsenal. What a great player. But what's that? He's now telling me to eff off? Why mummy, why? F***ing why?"

Rooney's rant was just another morsel in the smorgasbord of reasons to dislike Manchester United further. Don't forget the weekend began with Fergie dismissing the latest attempt to get players and managers to treat officials properly by saying referee respect "isn't an issue". Why then, old man, are you being forced to sit in the stands and deliver tactical advice down a phone that looks like an elephant's tusk?

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you our Premier League champions elect. Aren't you proud of them?

Gunners firing blanks

I'm genuinely running out of scorn for Arsenal, so regularly have I been required to produce it over this last month. They are infuriating even for me so lord knows how their fans feel - those who aren't already in therapy anyway. The season that has already shrunk from the quadruple to the single will now have to be downgraded again, so it is simply recorded in the history books as the Jack Wilshere breakthrough year.

Their impotent treatment of Blackburn means that the only team they have beaten in the last seven games is Leyton Orient. With a paltry five goals in their last five games, their well of creativity is running so dry that Arsene Wenger might genuinely be considering a loan deal for Fulham's Wacko Jacko statue to add a bit of dynamic movement in the final third.

Wenger must hate spring. It's the time of year when his (mostly) young charges disintegrate under the pressure of trying to end the trophy drought, when Barcelona start to crank their Cesc-hype machine into overdrive and the fans get on his back for not buying a decent goalkeeper or two solid centre-backs the previous summer. Arsene is stuck in his very own version of Groundhog Day.

That's Bad. Very, very Bad

Amazing isn't it, for such an overtly odd chap, that Mohamed Al Fayed hasn't starred more in these pages since we began? His long overdue appearance is a thumper though, after he presided over the most bizarre statue unveiling in Premier League history.

In Al Fayed's warped reality, any of those fans who found it a little patronising for a statue of the so-called King of Pop to be unveiled next to Fulham's greatest ever player, Johnny Haynes, could "go to hell". After all he did for the club, Haynes will hardly be moonwalking in his grave at having to share the spotlight with a chap who dangled babies out of windows and turned up at Craven Cottage just once in his life. I've been there more than that, so I'll be on at Al Fayed to ask when mine is going up.

Apart from anything else, the statue looks like it was put together by the same blind sculptor who starred in Lionel Richie's video for the god-awful song "Hello" all those years ago. It looks so badly put together I don't know which to bet on first; that it melts at the first sign of sun or disintegrates in the rain. Mind you, that's a pretty accurate representation of the man himself isn't it? Shamon.

Wedemption for Woy

"I get no extra pleasure from beating Liverpool," wibbled Woy after West Brom's win, to which I reply, do me a favour, love. Hodgson may not be renowned as a liar but in porky terms, that's a whopper. No-one can begrudge him a victory either, after he was hounded out of Anfield by fans the second King Kenny parted the Mersey and said he'd like his old job back.

Reds supporters will be particularly perplexed at the performance their former target coaxed out of the Baggies as they looked everything Woy's Liverpool team didn't, namely cohesive, determined and fluent. Of course, West Brom didn't have to cope with the poisonous presence of Fernando Torres, skulking around the pitch in a shirt with his agent's mobile number on it whispering "call me" every time the camera panned to him.

It should have been a slim one-niller for the King, after Martin Skrtel's opener, but both Sotirios Kyrgiakos and Pepe Reina became infected with hanging leg disease, offering Peter Odemwingie a chance to hit the deck quicker than Neymar. Chris Brunt kept his nerve from 12 yards and handed Woy the well-earned wedemption he's been dreaming of since January.

Tottenham's Real-ity check

There's a famous old yarn that sums up Spurs fans. It involves a Grandma whose son is washed out to sea when playing on the beach. She looks at the sky and implores the Lord to return him. "Haven't I been a good person?" she cries. "Haven't I looked after my fellow man?" Soon after a wave brings the child back, spluttering, but fine. The woman smiles but then turns her head skywards again and says: "Lord, he had a hat."

There was more inexplicable grumbling from the away end during Tottenham's 0-0 draw at Wigan - the team they smashed 12 goals past during two victories last season - and even full scale calls for 'Arry's head on a few message boards. This a few days before they play REAL MADRID in the QUARTER-FINALS of the CHAMPIONS LEAGUE. I know you are a bit slow on the uptake Spurs fans, so I've capitalised the important bits of that sentence for you and bolded them up too.

Perhaps their mood will have been lifted slightly by the rumblings from Spain after Sporting Gijon's win in the Bernabeu ended Jose Mourinho's nine-year home unbeaten run. The special one offered Spurs even more hope when he labelled his players as "dead" in the aftermath and said he'd be happy with a draw on Tuesday, but if he's trying to coax 'Arry into a slice of mind games he'll be disappointed, seeing as the Tottenham boss can't remember what he said to who ten minutes ago.

Don't forget, you can help The Fifth Official's bid to attract more followers on Twitter than Sepp Blatter at www.twitter.com/fifthofficial

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