Diego Costa

Diego Costa colour

Why do referees have such a beef with sweet, sensitive Diego Costa?

Is it cos he’s a filthy, cheating bastard? Probably. But on a purely instinctive, subliminal level (indeed if Simon Schama’s new documentary, The Face of Britain, has taught us anything), they’re also just reacting to his face. Specifically the fact he appears to have purloined it from a Robert Rodriguez villain.

Though only 26, Costa already resembles the 55 year old love child of Luis Guzmán (Cinematic Puerto Rican warthog lookalike who’s made a living far handsomer than he is by playing chubby 70s Latino gangsters) and Danny Trejo (tattooed, stab-happy Mexican gangster who hones his thespian craft portraying tattooed, stab-happy Mexican gangsters).

His hair looks like something which washed up in the aftermath of the BP Deepwater disaster. His eyebrows resemble censor bars, possibly mandated by Ofcom to draw a veil of decency over the scar-strewn site of myriad headbutt-related atrocities. His complexion recalls the arse-churned soil of a long-jump pit and his stygian stubble looks like it could sand Gabriel Paulista’s teeth down to a size which might actually enable them to fit into his mouth.

When refs they see him smile that blameless, driven-snow smile of his they probably think, having somehow wandered onto the set of Once Upon a Time in Mexico, that they’re about to take delivery of a toothpick in the eye and a pool cue up the arse.

I mean obviously the fact they’ve just watched him stamp on someone’s throat probably also informs their reaction to some extent. All I’m saying is if he looked like Santi Cazorla, he’d probably get away with it a bit more.


Arsene Wenger

Arsene background

Geoff Shreeves: Arsene, inevitably all the post-match talk will revolve around the remarkable series of incidents midway through the second half which, in the interests of clarity, I’ll just briefly recount for our viewers now.

It technically all started in the 47th minute when Per Mertesacker launched himself into a two-footed tackle on Eden Hazard. However, things really got heated in the 63rd minute – when he completed the challenge. Except by this time, Chelsea had scored three goals, Eden Hazard had been taken off and it was the Blues’ female physio – just on to manually alleviate a groin strain for Ashley Cole – who caught the full weight of the German blitzkrieg. Samuel Eto’o immediately sprinted to her defence but didn’t actually manage to reach the scene until the game had ended, the stadium cleared and the floodlights turned off.

Then all hell broke loose. David Luiz charged straight for Tomas Rosicky but tripped over a rake thrown into his path by a Chelsea groundsman with a particularly petty (and hilarious) sense of humour. Gary Cahill aimed an elbow at Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain but ended up clocking Kieran Gibbs. Having sized up his opposition, Mikel Arteta took a gallant swing at the back of Oscar’s head but before his blow landed, the entire Arsenal midfield suffered death by summary execution at the bootheels of Nemanja Matic.

Giroud mainly just protected his beautiful face.

The only player not involved was – improbably enough – John Terry. But this was largely because at the first sign of trouble, the Chelsea captain had sprinted straight past the unfolding melée and into the crowd in order have sex with Wayne Bridge’s wife.

At this point Arsene, you actually introduced yourself into the fray – shirtless, blood-spattered and firing some sort of automatic weapon wildly into the Chelsea Pensioners’ box. We hear it took four officials to pry the gun from your hands and four more to massage your twisted features – apparently frozen halfway between orgasm and terror – back to a state of telegenic repose.

The game was called off and football was cancelled. None of which, incidentally, seemed to faze Per Mertesacker who was last seen making his way up for the corner Chelsea conceded in the 56th minute.

Quite the talking point, I’m sure you’ll agree Arsene. What was your take on it?

Arsene Wenger: I did not see it.


Roy Keane

Keane colour background

Anyone catch that Keane v Vieira documentary the other week?

If you’ve watched any football on ITV recently, you’ll have seen national village idiot Adrian Chiles repeatedly flatulating over it like some sort of gammon whoopee cushion, each time turning to simper at sweet-tempered Roy with the distinct air of a man doing everything in his meagre powers to avoid having his intestines used to hoist the boom.

Well if you haven’t watched it, watch it.

The format is all very ‘Guy Ritchie’ but don’t let that put you off. Full-time philanthropist and jobbing babysitter Roy and the other bloke (who is actually rather charming) sit across the table from one another in an underground car park for an hour and a half and, between gratuitous squits of the Lock Stock soundtrack, exchange reminiscences about how sportingly they used to test the durability of one another’s shin pads. Apart from a nagging anxiety that Ray Winstone is going to lumber out from behind the nearest cack-smeared pillar at any moment to belch ‘My old man’s a dustman’, it’s a thoroughly bloody good watch.

Naturally, kindly Samaritan and nurser of injured animals back to health Roy steals the show.

Not least when the clever, clever interviewer broaches the subject of Sir Alex Ferguson.

One segment in particular shows just how blissfully unburdened tender-hearted Roy is by the least vestige of rancour or regret. He wouldn’t know a grudge if it put on a Leeds United kit, snapped his cruciate ligament and then told him to stop faking injury. No doubt in search of an approving pat on the head, our interviewer quotes an excerpt from Sir Alex’s first book in which the grand old man describes Keane’s awe-inspiring performance in the 1999 Champions League semi against Juventus:

“Pounding over every blade of grass, competing if he would rather die of exhaustion than lose, he inspired all around him. I felt as though it was an honour to be associated with such a player.”

The fucking nerve of that man. Does he kiss his wife with that mouth, d’you think? As you’d expect, this unprovoked tirade of blind hostility isn’t lost on gentle Roy who looks like someone has just shat in his leaf-blower.

“To be honest with you, I almost get offended when people throw quotes like that at me as if I’m supposed to be honoured by it,” he quite reasonably responds. “It’s like praising the postman for delivering your letters. He’s supposed to, isn’t he? That’s his job. My job is to try and win games for Manchester United.”

Then, of a particular dressing room confrontation, Sir Alex is said to observe: “his eyes started to narrow almost to wee, black beads. It was frightening to watch.”

Kindly Roy’s eyes instantly narrow to wee, black beads.

“Well, if you believe that,” he growls, choking out a sigh which one immediately clocks as the withered fruit of a FA-mandated anger-management course, “you’ll believe anything.”

Well alright, Roy. But only cos you’ve got an honest face.

Here’s a drawing of Roy’s honest face.

Don Vito Corleone

Don Corleone Blackground

How Theo Walcott came to snag a £100,000 per week deal at Arsenal

Theo: I don’t know what to do, Godfather. My crossing is weak, my passing is horrific, I can run really, really fast but my ball-control borders on the comical and I still can’t grow proper facial hair. Anyway, if I had this contract, it would make Gareth Bale really jealous, you know. But this… this man out there. He won’t give it to me, the head coach.

Don Corleone: What’s his name?

Theo: Wenger. Wenger. He won’t give it to me and he says there’s no chance, no chance… Anyway, last week Gareth told me he had cultivated these magic beans and that all I had to do was to stick them under my pillow before I went to bed every night for a month and I’d be able to grow a proper tache. Thing is though, the monkey-faced bastard wants £100,000 for them. Oh, Godfather, I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what to do…


[Hits Theo smartly across the face like an errant prostitute]

What’s the matter with you? Is this what you’ve become, an Islington finocchio who cries like a woman? “Oh, what can I do? What can I do?” What is that nonsense? Ridiculous!

Tell me, do you take the piss out of Gervinho’s ridiculous aubergine-shaped head?

Theo: Sure I do

Don Corleone: Good. Because a man who doesn’t take the piss out of Gervinho’s ridiculous aubergine-shaped head can never be a real man.

You look terrible. I want you to eat, I want you to fuck some bitches. And a month from now this Wenger big shot’s gonna give you what you want.

Theo: Too late. They’re already drawing up blueprints for a machine to extract my natural pace and put it in Per Mertesacker.

Don Corleone: I’m gonna make him an offer he won’t refuse.

The following night, Arsene Wenger awoke with a start to find the severed head of Abu Diaby in his bed. That’s a true story.