All in the Game: Ex-Fulham defender not all talk, just ask his friends

Covid-19 prompts revised plans for Kosovo Superleague side and Guinean champions

A pinch in the pecker between friends

Former Fulham full-back John Paintsil once told Peter Crouch that he was going to break his leg during a game and the Englishman admitted afterwards that he had been a little bit thrown by the old school threat.

Against Nigerian striker Yakubu Aiyegbeni, then with Everton, the defender took slightly less conventional action as the two tussled for prime position at the near post as an Everton corner was about to come in.

Footage from the game a few seasons back shows what is shaping up to be a tetchy confrontation taking an unexpected turn when Painstil reaches down and pinches Yakubu on the pecker.

The shock on Yakubu’s face is clear as Paintsil moves away smiling.

Look at the difference in size between us,” the assistant manager of the Kaizer Chiefs said as he recalled the incident this week in a Citisports interview that is worth a watch just for the amount of joy the interviewer is deriving from the footage.

“He was thick and heavier than me and I was supposed to mark him but, in the game, the more you stay long the more you gain experience.

“So, for you not to go one on one contact, you have to distract him; do something to take his mind off from the game.

“Besides that,” Painstil added, grinning again, “Yakubu is my very good friend.”

Quotes of the week

"We need a different image than what we saw last week against Bayern Munich because that's not the Barcelona we want to see." – Ronald Koeman gives an early insight into why he is the man getting the big bucks to sort out the shambles at the Nou Camp.

"One of my brothers is called Mamadou. When he calls for a job, as soon as he says Mamadou they hang up. He changed his name to Claude and got some jobs. But it's not enough to say no to racism. Let's educate people. We can play with shirts that say Black Lives Matter but it's more important what your parents teach you or what you teach your kids." – Former Manchester United, Juventus and France defender Patrice Evra on the need to combat racism both inside and outside the game.

"They're built like wardrobes and they hit you." – Gonzalo Higuain on his fond memories of Premier League defenders.

By the Numbers: 100,000

That's the amount, in euro, the Daily Telegraph says it would cost Harry Maguire, who earns as estimated €211,000 per week, to buy his way out of a three-year prison sentence in Greece in the event that he got one after being found guilty of assaulting a police officer and offering a bribe which, of course, he denies doing.

Word of mouth

"I asked for it. But I think he was a little bit upset. Next time, maybe." – Alphonso Davies on asking Lionel Messi fir his shirt immediately after that 8-2 win last Friday week. "A little bit upset," eh? We can only hope he actually said the "Next time, maybe" bit to the great man.

Covid prompts revised plans (part I)

Drita may have forfeited their Champions League game to Linfield after two of their players tested positive but fellow Kosovo Superleague side Prishtina are clearly made of tougher stuff.

Eight of their players tested positive for Covid-19 after touching down in Gibraltar last week for a Europa League qualifier against Red Imps.

The locals seem to have been expecting a walkover too but under Uefa’s regulations in these troubled times, clubs are given an opportunity to field an alternative team if fewer than 13 players are available on the day. The intention seems to be to allow the reserves to be wheeled out instead but Prishtina simply borrowed a bunch of players from rivals back at home in order to play the game at the weekend.

“FC Prishtina publicly thanks the teams of Feronikel, Llapi, Trepca 89, Flamurtar, Balkans, Drenica and Vushtrri who have urgently helped Prishtina,” the club said in an acknowledgement of the successful whiparound.

Their hosts were less impressed and the game was postponed again on Saturday. Uefa will now decide how to resolve the situation, say Red Imps.

Covid prompts revised plans (part II)

Like the Champions and Europa Leagues, there have been some venue changes in Africa’s Confederations Cup and Guinean champions Horoya are due to fly to Morocco on Monday to start their preparations for their second tier semi-final next month. The club will be up against Egyptian side Pyramids and, happily, were giving themselves plenty of time to settle in ahead of the game.

Bit of a problem, though . . . the club official entrusted with organising the trip gathered all of the players’ and coaching staff’s passports in a bag which he put in the boot of his car which he then forgot to lock. And guess what?

The club are said to be offering a significant reward for their safe return and reports that the club official has been offered to Conakry rivals Hafia on a free are said to be premature, but not by much.