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  • It ain’t funny, you know

    Every so often, a footballer, a manager or a football person says something that is very funny, but most often unintentionally. Today I will go through some of my favourites. I will give an Arsenal flavour to most of them. They made me laugh, but often I actually know what they were trying to say, so I guess I am a candidate for saying such stuff.


    Not if you are the Spuds, Thierry

    This one is probably the most quoted and misquoted, with George Best after his testimonial with a big bag of money in a luxury hotel and Miss World on the bed, and a porter comes in and says “Georgie, where did it all go wrong?” Another favourite from Georgie was “I spent a lot of money on booze, birds (girls)and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.”

    Personally, I love Ron Atkinson "You half fancied that to go in as it was rising and dipping at the same time." And his ability to count:
    "If Glenn Hoddle said one word to his team at half-time, it was concentration and focus." Or his logic: “Liverpool will think 'we could have won this 2-2”.

    Here he sounds dangerous: ‘Stoichkov's playing on the wing, in this situation he likes to come in and scalp the centre-half’.


    Always the smartest guy in football
    And nobody can talk about funny quotes without mentioning the master himself, David Coleman the English sports commentator, who Private Eye the English satirical magazine devoted a section called Colemanballs often including others who were just as inept.

    "Forest have now lost six matches without winning."

    “In fact that's Swindon's first win of any kind in nine matches” David Coleman apparently struggled with the notion of winning.

    And then there was former English manager Bobby Robson and maybe it says something about me that I know exactly what Bobby meant here:

    "I would have given my right arm to be a pianist."

    But maybe not this: “We didn't underestimate them. They were just a lot better than we thought”.


    No, really, what is Sagna doing?

    I am not sure how the former Southampton manager Lawrie McMenemy came up with this one, though: "When you are 4-0 up you should never lose 7-1.”
    Or Des Lynam, the Irish sports commentator who also struggled with maths. "Real’s second goal made it 3-0."

    And Mark Lawrenson the former Irish player clearly  had a longterm struggle with it: “You need at least eight or nine men in a ten-man wall." And:
    "Ireland will give 99% - everything they’ve got."

    Even Arsenal do it

    But I suppose I have to get to Arsenal and I will start with our hero - Ian Wright
    "Without being too harsh on David (Seaman), he cost us the match." And again with his logic:

    "Burton really couldn’t lose tonight – but they have."

    “I don’t want Rooney to leave these shores but if he does, I think he’ll go abroad.”

    Ah Ian, what are you doing to us?


    Send them to their room!

    And Niall Quinn can get in on the logic action:

    "Tony Fernandes is in that goldfish bowl and he’s swimming against the tide."
    "I won’t name any names but I’ll name just one, David Dein."

    And I love this from John Helm, the English sports commentator:
    "Viv Anderson has pissed a fatness test."

    Poor old Merse obviously spent too much time on football and not on school:
    "Paul Lambert has learned Fabian Delph the game."

    Ray Parlour also struggled with counting:

     “Martin Jol has put his hands on his heads.”


    Always, Cristiano

    Logic was the problem for RTE commentator George Hamilton "That's a yellow card for Cazorla. So the next time he's involved in Europe, he won't be."

    Kevin Keegan, ex England manager, was also a great exponent of putting your foot in your mouth: "There's a slight doubt about only one player, and that's Tony Adams, who definitely won't be playing tomorrow."

    "I don't think there's anyone bigger or smaller than Maradona." True, Kevin.

    "Not many teams will come to Arsenal and get anything, home or away."  Also true, Kev.

     "Chile have three options - they could win or they could lose." Maths too, Kevin?

    Ally McCoist, the Scottish player and manager struggled to count:

    "One thing about Germany – they’ll be organised, they’ll be big and they’ll be strong."
    Mark Draper of Aston Villa should have listened in geography class rather than concentrating on keepy uppies  "I'd like to play for an Italian club, like Barcelona"
    But poor Rob McCaffrey actually had a point here: 
    "What do you think of Manchester United's three Rs - Rooney, Ronaldo and van Nistelrooy?"

    The legend

    And then there was this twist of logic by former Scottish manager Craig Brown:
    "We had two shots saved off the line by the post."
    Or this truism from a true Spud Glenn Hoddle: "I didn’t say them things that I said."
    I love this from Ian Wright’s former partner at Palace Mark Bright: "He's signalling to the bench with his groin."
    Elton Welsby the commentator with a great segue "And now the goals from Carrow Road, where the game finished 0-0."

    Another Spud in Terry Venables "If you can't stand the heat in the dressing-room, get out of the kitchen"
    Steve Claridge who seemed to have played for every small club in England: "I'm sure Spurs will get another opportunity, hopefully before the final whistle.
    Craig Bellamy is a master of logic:  "Arsenal are streets ahead of everyone in this league and Manchester United are up there with them."
    Alvin Martin of West Ham got it absolutely right: “If Arsenal don’t finish third, they might not finish in third place.”
    Terry Venables again, how does he do it?: "Apart from their goals, Norway haven't scored."
    Nasser Hussain, the cricketer, who thankfully knows more about cricket, came up with this masterpiece: "They (Leeds United) used to be a bit like Arsenal, winning by one goal to nil or even less."
    Gerard Houllier, showing that Liverpool weren’t winners, Of course he was right: "You can't say my team aren't winners. They've proved that by finishing fourth, third and second in the past three seasons."
    And the wonderful BBC commentator John Motson "The game is balanced in Arsenal's favour." It always is, John, except when it’s not.



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