The year in guff


The year in guff

Don’t trifle with Brian Kerr: “I think there’s been a lot of pavlova around the whole Beckham thing.”

Peter Reid: “Dzeko went down a bit theoretically.”

Phil Babb: “There’s some kind of falsity going on.”

Barry Fry after delivering his own granddaughter: “Got a text from my daughter; she was having contraptions.”

Charlie Nicholas on Tony Pulis: “He’s encaptured his team with a lot of new ingredients.”

Sam Matterface: “He stretched out one of those telegraphic limbs.”

Perry Groves: “Gareth Bale has been levitated to the status of one of the best players in the world.”

Jamie Redknapp: “An Arsenal win would be a great fillet.”

Will Perry: “Fulham are on that mythological 40-point mark.”

BBC’s Darren Fletcher: “They lacked steel, fire, desire, confidence; go through the adjectives.”

Michael Appleton curried favour: “People will say it’s been a case of footballing korma.”

Danny Dichio: “Sunderland players will be full of emulsion at half- time.”

Geoff Shreeves lifted Gary Neville onto Fergie’s high horse: “What was he like in the sanctimony of the dressing room?”


Stell got it

“Rotherham score through Ben Pringle — a crisp finish.”

“Gerken in the Bristol City goal clearly getting in a pickle.”

“Zander Diamond sent off for violent conduct — a rough diamond.”

“Hitchcock the scorer. I think he took 39 steps before he hit that one.”

“Three Egyptians in the squad today, as far as Hull as are concerned. I suppose if you want to climb the football pyramid...”

“Erik Thorstvedt said Spurs had sold Elvis and bought the Beatles; but a Norwegian would.”


What might have been

Trevor Francis: “If that ball had dropped to a West Brom player, who’d put it in the net, that would have been the equaliser.”

Alan Smith: “It certainly would have crept under the bar had it been on target.”

Steve McClaren: “If Villa hadn’t conceded three goals, they’d still be in this game.”


Sugar-coating it

Roy Hodgson on Ashley Young: “I don’t like to use the word ‘dropped’. He just fell outside the 23.”

Stephen Hunt: “If you look at the last 10 games and you turn the league table upside down, we wouldn’t be far off top six.”

Roberto Martinez: “The draws were more victories without goals.”

Peter Drury: “Howard, despite letting in two goals, hasn’t had a save to make.”

Stevenage manager Graham Westley, after one win in 10: “To me, we are winning here right now. The reason we are winning here right now is the loss rate is dropping.”


Time just wouldn’t stand still

Alan Brazil: “City midfielder James Milner joins us to look ahead to yesterday’s remarkable display.”

Paul Ince: “I’m sure David and Alex will sit down and decide who should be the predecessor to his job.”

Guus Hiddink: “I never can predict my future because a big part of the future is already behind me.”

Matt Le Tissier on Ryan Giggs’s career: “I don’t think we’ll ever see that again in the history of football.”

David Moyes: “I remember my first game against Fulham — I remember it like it was tomorrow.”


Destiny’s children

Callum McManaman: “I always believed we’d win it.”

ITV reporter: “How does it feel?”

McManaman: “I can’t believe it.”

Paul Merson pondered the Mancini-Balotelli relationship: “He probably believed in him and thinks he’s an unbelievable talent.”


Smooth talkers

Robbie Savage: “You need to take your rose-scented glasses off.”

Niall Quinn: “They’ll be going there with a step in their stride.”

Gary Cahill: “I was glad to get that duck off my back.”

Christian Purslow: “I think you’ve hit the needle on the head.”

Paul Merson on Sian Massey: “Great decision by the lady linesman.”

Niall Quinn: “Wes Brown has stepped into the plate.”

Players kicking the ball out give Kenny Cunningham the itch: “It’s a real bedbug of mine.”


With Eamon Dunphy

“Ribery isn’t a first-team player.”

“Javi Martinez is a bit of a donkey.”

“The Spanish manager is on around €50,000 a year.”


Losing the numbers game

Mickey Quinn always gives 110%: “Possession stats at one point were 77% to 33%.”

Will Downing: “That’s the first goal Southampton have conceded in seven hours and 77 minutes.”

Sam Matterface: “Chester is never going to out-leap him. Chester is what; about 5-foot-11, 5-foot-12.”

David Pleat: “In the last year, 46 of the 92 managers have lost their jobs — that’s over half.”

Steve Bruce scoffed at conclusion-jumping journos: “People are putting two and two together and getting four.”


The inside track

Stan Collymore: “Quite simply, we’ve got to be honest, there’s a very large Polish community in Poland.”

Peter Taylor: “What I saw in Holland and Germany was that the majority of people are Dutch in Holland and German in Germany.”

Steve Staunton refused to be pigeonholed as just a football pundit: “Spanish is probably one of the top languages in the world.”

Clive Tyldesley: “Tottenham have lost all their European quarter-finals since they last won one.”

Steve McManaman: “When I joined Liverpool as a schoolboy, of course I was still at school.”


The debit side

Ronnie Irani gave Vincent Tan a leg-up: “He’s a billionaire — estimated worth around £850million.”

Darren Gough on Alisher Usmanov: “He’s got loads of money — we know that from his wealth.”

Packie Bonner on Celtic windfall: “They know there’s financial money coming to them now.”


Cruel to be kind

Stephen Alkin: “Elding was on the point of giving up the game. Indeed he was going to sign for Limerick.”

Lawro was cool on Mertesacker: “Looks like he’s pulling an old fridge when he runs.”

Iain Dowie: “Some real positives for Wales. Their back four’s not bad, sometimes.”

Jeff Stelling: “If you’re a manager, what do you say to Lee Cattermole before a game?”

Charlie Nicholas: “See you in 30 minutes.”


Six of one…

Paul Merson: “I don’t know if you could give it, but it could have been given.”

Rafa Benitez: “We don’t have any problems apart from the problems we have.”

Paul Merson: “If you don’t give him a chance, what chance has he got?”


Biology lesson

Sam Matterface: “The ball came off the left breast of Sebastien Bassong.”

Lawro on Fifa: “Basically, you get sick of the sight of listening to them.”

Dion Dublin knows footballers: “Sandro’s holding his face, and you can tell from that it’s a knee injury.”

Craig Burley: “Aaron Ramsey has not often been the flavour of the Arsenal fans’ eyes.”

Niall Quinn: “It’s left a sour taste around the heart of the club.”

Phil Thompson: “Nobody would have batted an eyebrow.”


Taking the proverbial

Brian Little: “There’s a saying in dressing rooms up and down the country; if you play okay that’s not good enough.”

John Toshack on Barcelona’s slump: “There’s a saying; you pay for the meal after the coffee.”

Jamie Carragher: “The old adage; if it’s outside the box, 100% free-kick.”

Jamie Redknapp: “There’s a saying; good general or lucky general.”


Neck on the block

Graeme Souness: “If you’re going to win the Premier League this season, you’re going to have to finish ahead of these two.”

Ray Houghton: “The width for Spurs is down the flanks.”

Glenn Hoddle: “He’s not going to get himself back into the team sitting on the bench.”

Peter Beagrie: “Big-game players turn up in big games.”

Alan Shearer: “Defenders don’t like guys who get in the six-yard box and score goals.”

Glenn Hoddle: “Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than unlucky.”

Ian Wright on the FA Cup final: “For Wigan, this game is a cup final for them.”


Nurse, the screens

Harry Redknapp: “Remy looked like he might be getting over that groin strain. He showed a few flashes.”

Jimmy Magee: “It was difficult there with the tricky, sensual Fellaini.”

Mark Saggers on Spurs: “They need a bit of impotence.”

Mick Martin: “Southampton deserve a big pat on the backside.”

Cristiano Ronaldo on Twitter: “Thank you all for participation in the CR7 Boys Underwear Competition — it’s been a real pleasure to see all of your photos.”


So good they said it twice

Jamie Redknapp on Luis Suarez: “He will improve and he will get better.”

Steve Claridge: “He’s exacerbated the situation by making it worse.”

Ian Wright: “It’s one of them days when you just say; ‘it’s one of them days’.”

Rebecca Lowe: “That’s what so magical about the FA Cup… it has that magic.”


What an anchor

Sky Sports News presenter: “Nelson Mandela, recovering in a South African hospital at the moment... but can Sunderland recover in the second half?”


Miss you, Jimmy

Many commentators would simply tell you it was cold at St Mary’s. Not Jimmy Magee: “A lot of big cruising liners leave Southampton for the Caribbean and the USA etc. I’m sure the people on board now will be taking off … well, do liners take off … will be sailing in a couple of hours. And they’ll be hoping for warmer climes.”


Setting the record straight

Kevin Keegan: “Manchester City are built on sand and I don’t mean that because their owners are from the Arab countries.”

Alan Parry: “Giggs tearing people apart — defenders that is.” Not families.

Giovanni Trapattoni: “I love Doyle. As a player, not as a man. I love women, without doubt.”


Pure guff

QPR assistant manager Kevin Bond worried about new signing Javier Chevanton: “He don’t speak the language too good.”

Dean Saunders thinks twice: “If I was managing in Spain, I’d have a plan to stop Ronaldo… but you can’t stop him.”

Charlie Nicholas on the best league in the world: “I know it was loaded with mistakes but this was everything we ask of the Premier League.”

Steve Staunton eyed a comeback: “At the end of the day, if you’re old enough, you’re good enough.”

Eamon Dunphy kept Barcelona in mind: “They’ve given us memories that we will never forget, and we should remember that.”

Arsenal-Southampton gave Martin Keown food for thought: “Neither side creating many chances, it’s like a war of nutrition in midfield.”

Who says self-praise is no praise? Not Ray Stubbs: “If they name a stadium after you, like Dave Whelan, it shows you’ve done an awful lot of good.”

What George Hamilton gives with one hand... “Ryan Giggs, who’ll be 40 in November — the ageless Ryan Giggs.”

Chris Kamara thinking outside the box: “If that happens anywhere else on the pitch, it’s a stonewall penalty.”

Niall Quinn on aquarium advances: “Tony Fernandes is in that goldfish bowl and he’s swirling around and swimming against the tide.”

Jamie Redknapp on Schteve McClaren: “In this age when everyone wants a foreign accent in the dugout, Steve deserves another chance.”

Roddy Collins on inbred problems at grassroots level: “A lot of the coaches of underage teams have a spouse on the team — either a son or a nephew or someone.”

Blind logic from Phil Brown: “If you close your eyes, you couldn’t tell the difference between the two sides.”

Danny Mills let bygones be bygones… nearly: “There is no precedent for what Suarez did, other than he’s done it before.”



More in this section

CourtsSports ColumnistsPerson: Brian KerrPerson: BeckhamPerson: Peter ReidPerson: DzekoPerson: Phil BabbPerson: Barry FryPerson: Charlie NicholasPerson: Tony PulisPerson: Sam MatterfacePerson: Perry GrovesPerson: Gareth BalePerson: Jamie RedknappPerson: Will PerryPerson: Darren FletcherPerson: Michael AppletonPerson: Danny DichioPerson: Geoff ShreevesPerson: Gary NevillePerson: FergiePerson: JEFF StellPerson: RotherhamPerson: Ben PringlePerson: GerkenPerson: Zander DiamondPerson: HitchcockPerson: EgyptiansPerson: Erik ThorstvedtPerson: ElvisPerson: Trevor FrancisPerson: Alan SmithPerson: Steve McClarenPerson: Roy HodgsonPerson: Ashley YoungPerson: Stephen HuntPerson: Roberto MartinezPerson: Peter DruryPerson: HowardPerson: Graham WestleyPerson: Alan BrazilPerson: James MilnerPerson: Paul IncePerson: DavidPerson: AlexPerson: Guus HiddinkPerson: Matt Le TissierPerson: Ryan GiggsPerson: David MoyesPerson: Callum McManamanPerson: McManamanPerson: Paul MersonPerson: ManciniPerson: BalotelliPerson: Robbie SavagePerson: Niall QuinnPerson: Gary CahillPerson: Christian PurslowPerson: Sian MasseyPerson: Wes BrownPerson: Kenny CunninghamPerson: Eamon DunphyPerson: RiberyPerson: Javi MartinezPerson: RunningPerson: Mickey QuinnPerson: Will DowningPerson: ChesterPerson: David PleatOrganisation: ArsenalOrganisation: FulhamOrganisation: BBCOrganisation: SunderlandOrganisation: Bristol CityOrganisation: HullOrganisation: SpursOrganisation: BeatlesOrganisation: VillaOrganisation: CityOrganisation: ITVOrganisation: Southampton

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