Friday began like any other
day at Eurosport-Yahoo! Towers. Ravanelli the office carrier pigeon (think
about it) swooped through the skylight around 6am and dropped off the day's football
news wrapped in bamboo scrolls.
Chefchenko the office cook
arrived soon after, delivering our daily fare of passion fruit, oysters and
bellinis, before heading over to serve Rupert Murdoch's heathens their blood
pudding and Nesquick in the East End.
As usual, the scrolls offered
up mostly inane and predictable fodder - Beckham this, Robinho that, Benitez is
a lunatic...just your day-to-day dross from planet Premier league. But then it
appeared, exactly the type of ridiculous story that keeps Early Doors in
Wetherspoons lager of a Saturday breakfast time.
It seems Joe (F***ing) Kinnear
has struck again. The man who began his Newcastle
tenure by calling a journalist "a c***" has offended Charles N'Zogbia so
gravely that the French full-back has decided to pack his designer bags and
leave St James' Park.
"Having been insulted by Joe Kinnear, I will never play for him again while
he remains Newcastle
manager," N'Zogbia said. "The club are aware there are offers on the table and
they should accept one of them."
As JFK might put it himself, "What the f*** is that all about then?" Well,
apparently Kinnear has been struggling
from day one to pronounce N'Zogbia's name and has (allegedly) taken to calling
him 'Charlie Insomnia' - an absolutely belting name if you happen to be a
house-music collective from the late 1990s, but not the best moniker if you
aspire to be a cultured left-sided footballer.
Kinnear denies this of course,
claiming his one and only faux par occurred in an interview following Newcastle's 2-1 defeat at Manchester City.
"Ok, I got a little tongue-tied, but if I had a pound for every time I've
mispronounced a player's name down the years then I'd be a very wealthy man
indeed," Kinnear said, before (presumably) reminding the interviewer of his excellent
relationships with Nacho Nacho man, Fabio Colon and Ben Dover - overseas stars
with no intention of leaving Geordie Paradise.
"Sadly this just smacks of a desperate attempt to
engineer a move away from Newcastle United - a club that gave Charles the
chance to play in the Premier League and which has rewarded him handsomely
during his time at St. James' Park," said Kinnear.
So which is it? The Premier League's very own Mike Bassett giving Charlie
Insomnia a dose of the old-school Crazy Gang treatment?, or the Frenchman
manipulating his manager's reputation to cultivate an escape route?
ED is not at liberty to comment,
but it might be worth pointing out that N'Zogbia is rubbish. According to our
cleverly-titled weekly feature Team of the Week, the Frenchman has been by some
distance the worst player in the Premier League this season. Kinnear would be
well-advised to get rid, but it might be a hard sell.
- - -
Blackburn's Matt Derbyshire never really struck ED as the type
to take a European sabbatical at Olympiacos. A Lancashire lad born and bred,
Derbyshire's only excursions to date from Ewood Park have seen him land at
Wrexham and Plymouth, where you can be sure he had a local Harvester on hand to
serve up hearty northern grub and a freeview box to watch Corrie on.
Perhaps Derbyshire's ambition
will serve as inspiration for English players, the majority of whom consider a
two-week break to Ayia Napa their cultural indulgence for the year.
- - -
Quote of the day: "In
the title race, some wins are not impressive, but we are winning without
leaking goals and if we keep that up, we will be back in the title race before
very long." - Arsenal's Samir Nasri is under the quite hilarious illusion that
his team can get back into the title race.
Worth a read: Jim White's
latest blog is all about everybody's favourite footballing golfer, Craig
Coming up: All the team news
ahead of packed weekend of Premier League action, plus the second men's
semi-final at the Australian Open, with Spain's Rafa Nadal up against countryman