All in the game
Compiled by MARY HANNIGAN
Playing most foul: Why the English are better
Last week wasn’t the first time Stoke manager Tony Pulis had a go at Chelsea’s foreign players, back in 2009 he was a bit exercised too by the behaviour of Michael Ballack during a game between the clubs.
“The problem with foreign players is they go down and stay down,” he said. “Our players jump up after a foul …. I was born in Wales, I played my football in England and we are different to them I suppose. I am not having a go at Ballack, it is just their culture.”
The theme was similar after the teams met in the League last week, Pulis particularly upset by dives from Oscar and Branislav Ivanovic. “This is England,” he said. “Were playing in England, were not playing in Europe. And we cant watch people just fall over and not talk about it … its a part of the game that I dont think we should stomach.
As Anorak delicately reminded everyone, Pulis’s reaction to Peter Crouch’s two handballs before he scored against Manchester City last month: “I havent see it, but if Peters got away with it then brilliant.”
Zidane gets his own back: The art of head butting
It was earlier this year that Algerian conceptual artist Adel Abdessemed had an exhibition in New York that featured, among other cheery things, 500 stuffed wolves, suicide bombers, genocide and themes of “abandonment and resignation”.
There was also a statue of Zinedine Zidane head butting Marco Materazzi at the 2006 World Cup.
Where’s the statue now? It’s bang in front of the Pompidou Centre in Paris – somewhat dwarfing passers-by, it being five metres high.
Pity anyone stumbling home from the pub who bumps in to it.
The long road to understanding: 'They'll punish me but I don't know why'
“Carl had anothTheyll punish me but I dont know whyer fine game on Sunday. I even heard he was trending on Twitter.”
– Arsenal’s Thomas Vermaelen on young Carl Jenkinson’s progress and the ultimate accolade he’s received.
Harry rang me last Sunday and said there was absolutely no truth in it. The only worrying thing was at the end of the conversation he asked me what the best areas to live were.
– Ipswich manager Paul Jewell on an almost reassuring phone call from Harry Redknapp, who insisted rumours that he might replace Jewell at the club were untrue.
Football is like a pyramid. It is easy to reach the top of the pyramid but to stay there is the hardest part. Patrice Evra will have to fight for his place. Patrice Evra has always fought for his place.