All in the Game: if a Nigerian ever calls you a ‘Dundee United’ . . .

And why does Joe Hart need a social media team to type two word messages?

If a Nigerian ever calls you a ‘Dundee United’, you should be deeply offended. File photograph: Getty Images

If a Nigerian ever calls you a ‘Dundee United’, you should be deeply offended. File photograph: Getty Images

 

The Pope’s wish

Pope Francis has been busy of late meeting folk from the world of Italian football, both Lazio striker Ciro Immobile and Bologna coach Sinisa Mihajlovic speaking last week about private audiences they’d had with him.

“It was an unforgettable experience,” said Mihajlovic. “Pope Francis is a wise, witty man who always has a joke at the ready. I went with my wife and my mother-in-law, so when I presented them, he said: ‘You should be made a saint for bringing your mother-in-law.’”

Immobile was no less moved. “It was a very emotional day for me. He liked the fact that I had three children. He likes large families and encouraged me to have more. He told me that I had plenty of time for that right now, and yes, you can’t deny the Pope a wish.”

We’ve a feeling Mrs Immobile and Mihajlovic’s mother-in-law will be demanding a private audience with Francis themselves, just so they can have a word.

World headline of the year

The best headline on any football piece in the whole of 2021 so far: ‘The unlikely story of how ‘Dundee United’ became an insult in Nigeria.’

If you haven’t read Liam Kirkaldy’s epic Guardian investigation in to this most peculiar matter, go to your Google this minute. But the gist is that if a Nigerian ever calls you a ‘Dundee United’, you should be deeply offended - because they’ve just called you an idiot.

Kirkaldy looked in to a number of theories to explain the origins of the insult, but let’s just say, a 1972 pre-season trip to west Africa by Dundee United might have had something to do with it.

How poorly did they play in their games? Well, come the end of the trip, the headline in the Nigerian Daily Express was: “Don’t Come Back”. Nuff said.

Word of mouth

“Friends text me: ‘Are you okay? You look bad!’ I’ve just gotten older and haven’t seen the sun for a year, and I don’t sleep much. That’s why I look bad. And not because we have six home defeats in a row.” Jurgen Klopp, in need of some sunshine and a good night’s sleep.

“I have to say a special thank you to Drago - for the pass and because he’s in my fantasy football team! I’m in my own team too, so I must have got a lot of points this week.” Dusan Vlahovic saluting his Fiorentina and Fantasy Football team-mate Bartlomiej Dragowski for setting up the goal that gave him a hat-trick against Benevento. All you can hope is that Vlahovic had triple-captained himself.

“If you play with him, you play with half a man more because he gives intensity and volume that is outstanding and is unique. He is a big gift for me.” Thomas Tuchel doffs his cap to the man and a half that is N’Golo Kante.

“If you can just make heavy eye contact with Beckham for about 20 seconds, your football knowledge grows exponentially. Sometimes I just FaceTime him and I’m just like, ‘Don’t speak. Just stare at me.’” Actor Ryan Reynolds, who has somehow ended up owning Wrexham FC, on his slightly weird FaceTime calls with David.

“Good team my arse, asshole! You are nothing else, asshole!” AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli, feeling a bit patronised, responding to Manchester United assistant coach Kieran McKenna telling him his team were good at full-time in that Europa League game. He took it well, then.

Job done

Joe Hart’s Tottenham Hotspur crashed out of the Europa league after a 3-0 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb. Photograph: Getty Images
Joe Hart’s Tottenham Hotspur crashed out of the Europa league after a 3-0 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb. Photograph: Getty Images

The one offered by Spurs’ second choice goalie Joe Hart who experienced the mother of all social media fails last Thursday. What was posted on his Instagram account after Spurs’ cataclysmic Europa League exit following that 3-0 defeat by Dinamo Zagreb? “Job done.”

Next morning. “I feel like I need to make an apology on behalf of of my social media team. Someone thought that we’d won 3-0 last night and posted “job done”. As sloppy as it sounds, it’s the truth.”

The most startling thing in this tale, to be honest, is that a second choice goalie has a social media team who he employs to type two word messages. Maybe if he paid them a little more they might actually watch his team’s games.

Quote of the week

“We (Newcastle) were doing very, very nicely until Covid.”

Weren’t we all, Steve Bruce?

Number of the week

43,200,000: That’s how many euros Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone earns a year, making him the highest paid manager in the world, according to L’Equipe - almost double the fella in second, Pep Guardiola.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
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

Hello

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.
SUBSCRIBE
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.