All in the Game: Irvine Welsh has the knives out for Alfredo Morelos

Cassano’s Nutella obsession; word of mouth; quote of the week; by the numbers

Rangers’ Alfredo Morelos stamps on Hibernian’s Ryan Porteous during the Scottish Premiership match at Easter Road. Photo: Ian Rutherford/PA Wire

Rangers’ Alfredo Morelos stamps on Hibernian’s Ryan Porteous during the Scottish Premiership match at Easter Road. Photo: Ian Rutherford/PA Wire

 

Rangers’ Alfredo Morelos had a bit of a mixed night last Wednesday in the meeting with Hibernian, the Colombian scoring the game’s only goal to stretch his side’s lead over Celtic at the top of the table to just the 23 points. But he was subsequently charged with violent conduct by the Scottish FA for a stamp on Hibs’ Ryan Porteous, which went unpunished by the referee.

If Morelos is found guilty of the charge he faces a three-match ban, but that’s a significantly lighter sentence than the one Irvine Welsh believes he should receive.

The Trainspotting author was a guest pundit on Hibs TV for the game and his take on the incident created, well, something of a stir. “Morelos should basically be macheted into small pieces and sent in various packets to different corners of the globe for a challenge like that,” he said. “And kind of consumed by seagulls.”

How did this go down with Rangers? Not tremendously well, their supporters’ liaison officer calling for Hibs TV to be “investigated by the football authorities”. Broadcast regulator Ofcom also received a number of complaints but there’s not much they can do, having no jurisdiction over a club’s own channels.

Hibs did, though, apologise to Rangers, but Welsh himself was a touch unrepentant. His comments weren’t, he said, “serious”, and those complaining were just “professional victims or martyrs who crave being offended - usually on behalf of someone else”.

Did he finish there? No. “When I said ‘some of Hibs’ recent performances have been as appetising as the contents of Dennis Neilson’s fridge’, I didn’t LITERALLY mean I would rather eat the contents of his fridge rather than watch Hibs play.” That’s that cleared up, then.

Quote of the week

“Maybe they’ve just got tired of winning, tired of playing in Scotland, living in Scotland - I don’t know.” - Neil Lennon struggling to find the precise reason for why Celtic’s season continues to be calamitous, their latest hiccup a home defeat by St Mirren.

By the numbers

555,237,619: As revealed by Spanish paper El Mundo, that’s the value in Euros of the four-year contract Lionel Messi signed with Barcelona in 2017, the biggest deal in the history of sport. A bargain, too.

Word of mouth

“I hated every minute of it. I could have gone and put the kettle on and made a cup of tea when Chelsea started to move. I probably could have started drinking it by the time they got to the 18-yard box.” - Let’s just say, the way Chelsea played in their first game under Thomas Tuchel, Wednesday’s 0-0 against Wolves, wasn’t quite Tony Cascarino’s cup of tea.

“I do my job, if that’s not appreciated, then oh well, never mind. I don’t get depressed, but if I get any more irritated, I’ll go and coach in Kuwait or something.” - Gennaro Gattuso, feeling so severely under pressure at Napoli he’s even considering legging it to Kuwait.

“I was like, ‘Virg lad, what’s going on? Surely Manchester United must have been in for you?’ He went, ‘do you know what Chaz, in the summer it was between me and Lindelof and they signed Lindelof’. I was like, ‘you are joking!’” - Charlie Austin revealing that Virgil van Dijk, his former Southampton teammate, told him at the time that Manchester United chose to sign Victor Lindelof instead of him. Charlie, unlike United, is still laughing.

“Idiot.” - Barber Tom Baxter’s not unreasonable response to the actions of Newcastle’s Joelinton. If you’re breaking COVID-19 protocols by having your hair styled by a barber, what’s the last thing you should do? Maybe, post a photo of the hair-chopping session on Instagram? Oh, Joelinton.

Cassano’s Nutella obsession

Few retired footballers reminisce quite like Antonio Cassano, not least about people he didn’t like a great deal - e.g. his former Roma team-mate Gabriel Batistuta. (“One day at training we were both getting a coffee, he pushed ahead of me in the queue so I stuck a finger up my nose and stirred his drink with it, like it was a spoon.”).

Fabio Capello was another chap he didn’t like very much, once calling him - to his face - “faker than Monopoly money”. Last week Cassano recalled his response to being dropped by Capello at Real Madrid. “Nutella was one of our sponsors and every month they gave us five kilos of it. When I was left out of the team, I gained 14 kilos in seven months. I ate it in spoonfuls, straight from the jar, I didn’t care, I didn’t have anything to do.”

He definitely has a thing about Nutella. Back in 2009, when he was booed by Sampdoria supporters: “If people aren’t happy any more, then I can pack my bags. They have been become accustomed to eating Nutella and as soon as they must eat some shit they behave in this manner.” One of a kind, that lad.

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