Blue sky thinking: Cassano switches sides and shirts


ALL IN THE GAME: A quick search of the All in the Game archives found one of the lovelier footballing quotes of our time.

It came from talented Italy striker Antonio Cassano (right), who declared in December 2010, when he joined the club of his dreams, “I’ve reached the top – there is nothing above AC Milan, only sky.”

Last week? Well, he left Milan for neighbours Inter after scoring seven goals in 33 games for the Rossoneri.

“This time I’m not the one who got it wrong,” said Cassano, blaming AC Milan’s president, Adriano Galliani for his latest switch.

What about the sky comment, though, he was asked. “Yes, but above the sky there is Inter,” he said.

He’ll transfer to Mars yet, this fella.

Off-pitch: What makes a player come out on top through thick and thin

“We’re going to put Bannan in a grow bag. This is something we’ve been working on. Fellaini is about 15ft 6in and Barry’s 3ft 4in – but we’re hoping it works.”

– Paul Lambert on his plan to neutralise Marouane Fellaini on Saturday. How’d it go? Villa 1, Everton 3. Fellaini scored.

“It’s remarkable that Zanetti is making his 800th appearance for Inter. I don’t even think I’ve seen 800 games in my whole life. The captain ought to be cloned, because in my view he is not human. He’s bionic.”

– Andrea Stramaccioni on his Inter Milan team-mate, Javier ‘Peter Pan’ Zanetti.

“Before we started in this league I thought we’d be playing against fat amateurs. But I’ve encountered many good, young players. Even if they don’t quite have the qualities to make it, they’re hard working.”

– Rangers’ Dorin Goian on life in the Scottish third division, where they scraped a draw with Berwick Rangers yesterday.

“I am angry, I am disappointed, I’m embarrassed. Careless attitude, careless passing, not enough people wanting the ball, not enough people demanding the ball, not enough people going into dangerous areas . . . totally lacklustre.”

– And after that draw, Rangers manager Ally McCoist hinted that he was less than content.

“Making a transition into this circus sometimes is unbelievable . . . the referees think they’re bigger than the game itself.”

– LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena implying the man in the middle was a bit of a clown for sending off Robbie Keane after he complained about a booking for diving in the Champions League win over Isidro Metapan.

“If he can understand me, he’s doing well – I might join him for English lessons myself.”

– West Brom manager Steve Clarke doffs his Scottish cap to new signing Claudio Yacob of Argentina.

“A tin pot side.”

– Goalkeeper Paddy Kenny, now with Leeds, sending his love on Twitter to his last club, QPR.

Plea: Make love not war

Most heartfelt plea of the week?

That’d be the one from Cologne manager Holger Stanislawski (above) who begged the supporters of the German second division club to desist from being rowdy and chucking flares about the place, as they did when they were relegated from the Bundesliga last season: “I want people to really cheer in the stadium, swear, mourn, to lie in each other’s arms or father children in the stands. But please, no violence and no flares!”

Yes, “father children in the stands”.

Mind you, it’d beat the Mexican Wave as a flare-chucking distraction.

Double take: Striking similarity to Sheringham

Already feeling old? Well, look away now.

- Seventeen-year-old forward Cauley Woodrow is highly regarded at Fulham.

The staff there reckon that there’s a bit of the Teddy Sheringham about him.

“Yeah, I don’t know what to make of that to be honest, I’ve been called Teddy a few times before though,” he told the club’s website.

And then he admitted he’d kind of only half-heard of Sheringham.

“I know he played for England and Manchester United, right?”

In fairness, Woodrow was minus-one when Sheringham made his England debut.


The word is out: Joey on ‘Joey’

Joey Barton’s Twitter declaration: “How I wish the mass media had christened me Joe instead of Joey. I hate Joey, not going to lie. Nobody I respect calls me it . . .”

And then: “If you call me Joey when we meet, I will instantly in my head be thinking, ‘What a ****ing bellend this cat is!’”

Barton’s Twitter name: Joey7Barton.

Barton’s website:

Barton’s introduction on his website: “Whatever your label for me, I’m Joey Barton and this is my site.”


Bored: Hoping for move

Swansea City supporters are rather keen to see the club rebuff the advances of Manchester City for their star man Scott Sinclair, so it wasn’t hugely surprising that they were unimpressed by last week’s tweet by his girlfriend, former Coronation Street actress Helen Flanagan: “Started to get bored now, been in Wales too long, Lol. Must take action.”

It being before the watershed, we’ll spare you some of the replies she received.

She’s clearly a big, big admirer of Scott, though, not least his fighting qualities: “I find the second world war fascinating . . . I reckon Scott would have been a good solider #reallyquick and I would have been a good nurse.” #O……kay

Own goal: Not so Swede for AIK fans

When CSKA Moscow arrived in Stockholm for the first leg of their Europa League tie with AIK, local supporters decided to do their bit for the cause by trying to keep the Russian club’s players awake all night. So, according to Yahoo News, they arrived at their hotel in the middle of the night “armed with flares, fireworks, whistles and horns”.

“Yes, of course we woke up because of the noise. But there was no danger to our lives,” said CSKA’s Swedish international Pontus Wernbloom. Did it work? Well: AIK Stockholm 0, CSKA Moscow 1.

That’d be a no, then.

Name game: United trying to muddle through

By common-ish consent, what Manchester United need more than anything is a brand new name in midfield. Well, on Monday night they got one, with the introduction of ‘Andesron’.

Alas, he couldn’t save them from defeat to Everton, but give him time to settle in.

10 out of 10 ban: Jahovic sees red over red card

The 10-match ban handed out to Adis Jahovic, the Macedonian forward who plays for Swiss second division club FC Wil 1900.

Ten?! What did he do?

From “The disciplinary committee of the Swiss Football League announced the 10-game suspension after he apparently threatened to kill a referee who gave him a red card in a league encounter earlier this month . . . After Jahovic was shown a direct red card in the 40th minute, he supposedly approached the referee at the halftime break and told him, ‘If I see you after, I kill you’.”

Ah, right. You have to love one of the charges levelled at him: “unsporting conduct”. Well, yeah.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection


Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.