All in the game


Compiled by CARL O'MALLEY

Not your bog standard goalkeeper

For reasons best known to themselves, two Japanese firms have collaborated to create a goalkeeping toilet. The Super Great Toilet Keeper was created by Japan’s largest toilet manufacturer, Toto, and a sports lottery agent of the same name.

Using two cameras positioned at either side of the goal, the makers claim, the toilet predicts the trajectory of any shot travelling up to 160kph within 0.1 seconds, adjusts its position accordingly and fires out a smaller ball to deflect the shot away.

The toilet bowl’s goalkeeping prowess is impressively demonstrated in a YouTube video featuring former Japan international striker Tatsuhiko “Dragon” Kubo, who, with 11 goals in his 32 caps, was no bog standard operator.

It was disappointing to learn, however, that the toilet does not fulfil its primary function of actually being a toilet. Ye know what Gilesy would say to that?

“You can have all the fancy tricks in the world but if you can’t do the basics . . .”

Keane not in the LA picture just yet

If raising his profile was part of what prompted Robbie Keane to move from London to LA, it doesn’t appear to have worked. The striker seems to be fading ever more into the background, as the caption from this picture suggests. Poor Robbie. He obliged like a gentleman, had the decency to keep his eyes open and face the right way, opted not to adopt the maniacal crazy-eye preferred by Brand and smiled politely.

Captain of his country, one World Cup, 54 international goals and he’s still just some guy.

Paulo dominates

It’s been a good week for the Paulo Di Canio brand, despite a 3-2 Capital One Cup defeat to Aston Villa for his Swindon Town side (who are seventh in League Two). Ahead of the game, the Italian reminisced on his League Cup winner for West Ham against Manchester United in 2001.

“It was like having sex with Madonna,” he said, “and beating Villa as a manager would be just as good.”

Despite Villa’s win, Di Canio believes he is going in the right direction. Even with five players injured, he said, HE dominated the game.

“If you are a good manager, you have to prove your quality. Tuesday, I dominate the game, without five players, I dominate the game! I create 17 clear chances, I was 45 (times?) in opponents’ box.”

Ballack's fine day

Spare a thought for Michael Ballack, who was up on speeding charges in Spain after being caught doing 211kph in a 120kph zone recently.

The authorities informed the German’s counsel that he was facing a fine of €10,000 and a two-year Spanish driving ban.

Lawyer Jesús Gallego Rol reminded the court his client, who was driving an Audi U7, is unemployed. “Just because he is a famous footballer doesn’t mean he has any money coming in,” he claimed, before suggesting the fine be reduced by 90 per cent to €1,000.

But it seems that Ballack, who wasn’t in court for the case, is not that badly off. He sacked his lawyer the next day and said he accepted the court’s ruling and fine.

McCarthy digs deep for Tractor Boys

We were over the moon this week to learn of Mick McCarthy’s decision to place his arse back in the bacon-slicer of football management with Ipswich Town. The former Ireland manager has been sorely missed since Wolves lost faith last season and were promptly relegated.

McCarthy wasted no time endearing himself to the Tractor Boys squad, who, after failing to win in 12 games for Paul Jewell, registered a 1-0 away win over Birmingham City, courtesy of a goal from DJ Campbell eight minutes from time on Saturday.

McCarthy was impressed by what he saw. So impressed, in fact, he wondered what the hell he was doing there at all.

“Afterwards, I went to give the players a pat on the back but I gave them my usual caustic soda,” McCarthy said.

“I just said to them, ‘You should be embarrassed that you’re bottom of the league.’ If they’d have worked like that, played like that and blocked things like that then I wouldn’t even be in the job.”

Twitter Talk

We know what we are #CFC – Chelsea defender Ryan Bertrand suggests the penny is dropping at Stamford Bridge

When fans chant ‘We want our Arsenal back’, it’s time for a new manager. Wenger’s been brilliant, but he’s lost his competitive edge – Piers Morgan calling for a change at Arsenal after Reading went 4-0 up and before they lost 7-5 to the Gunners

Just seen tape of Santos getting #VanPursestrings’ shirt – utterly disgraceful. I want him sold tomorrow. – Morgan again after Andre Santos asked for RVP’s shirt at half-time on Saturday.

Andre Santos is by far the worst player I’ve seen wear the cannon of Arsenal on his chest. – Olympic bronze medallist Anthony Ogogo wasn’t impressed either.

Cannot believe Santos has just took RVP’s shirt, at half time?! Are you f*king serious? Not only are you s*t at football, but this? – Arsenal fan Dave. Just Dave.

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