Tag Wanker of the Week

Tag Wanker of the Week

W@nker of the Week: Stan Collymore

August 30, 2010 Tags: , Just for fun 32 comments

Talksport’s Stan Collymore, the former Nottingham Forest and Liverpool striker, has created a post-career reputation as a modern day ‘shock jock’ whose outspoken opinions influence the 1.7 per cent of radio listeners that tune into the station each week. Hardly new but this week the wife-beating dogger labelled Ryan Giggs a cheat.

Following Manchester United’s 3-0 victory over West Ham United on Saturday, in which Jonathan Spector clearly fouled Giggs for the penalty that enabled Wayne Rooney to break a 13 game goalscoring drought, Collymore made the accusation on his Talksport show.

During the match the Welshman cut inside former United player Spector, who dives in and takes the legs of the 36-year-old winger. Referee Mark Clattenburg had no hesitation in awarding the spot kick.

However Collymore disagreed with the referee, accusing Giggs of simulation.

“It’s [the Spector challenge] brushing somebody, now to brush somebody is one thing. To knock somebody over in mid-flow and therefore cause an infringement is another.

“If there’s a Manchester United fan who can honestly tell me that Ryan Giggs was impeded, and impeded sufficiently to knock him out of his stride…?” asked Collymore on his Saturday evening show.

“It wasn’t a penalty, I’m telling you [the challenge] didn’t [knock Giggs over], it wasn’t a penalty.”

“If we keep giving these soft penalties, players are going to keep doing it [diving], it becomes a snowball effect. It makes it more difficult on referees.

“Until [managers tell] players in the dressing rooms, ‘try and stay on your feet’, which they did in my day or ‘we’re going to punish you if you simulate’ [then] we’re going to keep slaughtering referees.

“For me [Giggs] went down too easily.”

Collymore, who repeatedly said throughout the show that Giggs deliberately fell to win the penalty, then goes on to praise a caller who claimed he always stayed on his feet when challenged.

“Good on you lad,” says Collymore

“I want to see you play for Manchester United, not Cristiano Ronaldo and Ryan Giggs.”

Aside from being patently untrue, Collymore’s accusation that Giggs cheated smacks of the bitterness the 39-year-old still feels over the mooted 1995 transfer from Forest to United. United manager Sir Alex Ferguson rejected the wife-beating sexual pervert in favour of Andy Cole, who went on to score 121 goals in 195 games for United.

The saying ‘those in glass houses…’ comes to mind, with Collymore admitting that he beat his then girlfriend Ulrika Jonnson during the 1998 World Cup in France. Perhaps Stan thought that was just good sport?

Later a tabloid newspaper caught Collymore practising the act of ‘dogging’ – performing sexual intercourse in a public area – which is almost certainly illegal indecent exposure under section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986.

Moreover, the label cheat is one that Collymore has trouble avoiding. The striker, for example, was sent off in 1997 for fighting with Andy Todd as Aston Villa met Bolton Wanderers. Hardly within the laws of the game.

The player frequently courted controversy during a career that never fullfilled its early promise. Indeed, ‘Stan the Man’ walked out on Spanish side Oviedo in 2001, let off a fire extinguisher at Leicester’s luxury La Manga hotel in 2000 from which they were thrown out, and started a fight with Paul Gascoigne during a reserve team fixture between Leicester and Everton the same year.

Perhaps Rant should have been more aware. Later, suggesting that Collymore might not be of the same species as the rest of us, Rant found itself at the centre of the Talksport host’s ire.

“I respect your right to suggest anything you like on football,” Collymore warned Rant.

“But I’d be careful who you call sub human pal. Really careful.”

W@nker of the Week: Gérard Houllier

July 18, 2010 Tags: , Just for fun 13 comments

Former Liverpool manager failure Gérard Houllier has blamed Wayne Rooney for England’s disastrous showing at the World Cup in South Africa this summer. Despite a rash of horrendous performances from Fabio Capello’s stars, Houllier says Rooney’s lack of goals was central to the country’s 4-1 humiliation by Germany in the second round.

“Probably the key to understanding why England didn’t perform at the World Cup is that the top players didn’t do as well as we could expect them to,” he said.

“I’m thinking mainly about Wayne Rooney. He’s an outstanding player but whether he was tired or wasn’t in good shape I don’t know. If Rooney, who for me is a top player and finisher, had scored a few more goals maybe.

“If you look at the teams with one or two top finishers – Germany, Holland or Spain – they usually go forward. Uruguay went so far because of Diego Forlán.”

Rooney, of course, had a poor World Cup but then so did 20 of 23 England players at the tournament. The rest didn’t play.

Strange then that there is no mention by the French Federation’s technical director of England’s other “World Class” stars such as Frank Lampard or Houllier’s beloved Steven Gerrard, who have produced so little at international level for the past decade.

No, when in doubt, Houllier simply resorts to the easy critique: blame Rooney.

W@nker of the Week: Piers Morgan

April 18, 2010 Tags: , Just for fun 10 comments

Former News of the World and Daily Mirror editor turned obnoxious waste-of-oxygen, Piers Morgan, used his Daily Mail column to demand Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement this week. Predicting the imminent demise of the Scot’s “empire,” self-confessed Arsenal supporter Morgan treads a very well-worn path in his particularly vitriolic piece.

Laughably, with United just a point behind Chelsea in the Premier League title race, Morgan claims credit for predicting Ferguson’s demise a year ago. He probably did so every year for the last 23 years such are the Nostradamus-esque qualities of Morgan’s crystal ball.

“To my surprise, United rallied after that and won the Premier League,” writes Morgan’s poison pen.

“But this was almost entirely down to the brilliance of one man, Cristiano Ronaldo. Aided and abetted by the almost as brilliant Carlos Tevez.

“Since then, Wayne Rooney has stepped into the breach and single-handedly kept United from falling into ignominious disarray. Without his 34 goals, Old Trafford would have been in mutiny by now.”

“His fantastic displays have only served to hide the rotting decay in Sir Alex’s lair.”

The blame, according to Morgan, lies solely with Ferguson for letting Ronaldo go “at his absolute peak” and refusing to pay a fee for Tevez that “now looks dirt cheap” given the goals the Argentinian has scored.

Strange then that there is no mention of Ronaldo’s long-term desire to leave for Madrid, a deal in which Ferguson turned a huge profit after polishing the Portuguese winger’s rough diamond.

Nor of the £47 million fee Manchester City paid for Tevez’ 22 goals this season or the £170,000 a week in wages commanded by the Argentinian.

Racist insider-trader Morgan, fired by the Mirror for dedicating the paper’s front to obviously faked photographs of Iraqi prisoner abuse, claims only Jose Mourinho can save Ferguson’s empire.

Strange then that Morgan should have previously labelled the Portuguese manager “self-obsessed, childish, swaggering, insolent, preening [and an] irritating prima donna.”

Some might say it takes one to know one, Piers.

Worse still Morgan, the “smarmy, arrogant and self-satisfied” broadcaster, refuses to hear a bad word spoken of his beloved Arsène Wenger.

While the French manager has won nothing for five years Ferguson’s “crumbling empire” has added three Premier League titles, three Carling Cups and the Champions League to the bulging United trophy cabinet in that time.

If that’s rotting decay, Piers, we’ll have some more of it thanks.

W@nker of the Week: Frank Praverman

April 10, 2010 Tags: , Just for fun No comments

In Rant’s irregular series looking at the great British media’s coverage of Manchester United this week’s winner is The Times’ blogger Frank Praverman. One time Sun reporter Praverman falls into a common media trap, interpreting poor results as the permanent decline of Sir Alex Ferguson’s ’empire’, powers or – sometimes – mind.

In the aftermath of United’s exit to Bayern Munich in the Champions League last week Praverman, ridiculously, asks “Has time got the better of Ferguson?”

Questioning Ferguson’s performance if United’s season has ended somewhere around October last year, much like Liverpool’s, might be fair.

But while United’s results may not match those of the previous season, the Scot has led United to a Carling Cup victory and the Champions League quarter-final.

More to the point, United is still within a result of Chelsea at the head of the Premier League despite an extended injury list that has run to 12 first teamers.

Worse still Praverman insinuates that the team’s apparent decline is down to Ferguson’s age. The excuse the media has used for Fergie bashing in more than a decade.

“Is it not English football that is declining, but rather Ferguson’s team selection, his dealings in the transfer market and his tactics for the big games?” asks Praverman, who seems to have forgotten United actually beat Bayern Munich at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

“Have the younger, more innovative minds of Mourinho and Van Gaal finally overtaken the grand old master?”

Perhaps they have. After all ‘youthful’ Louis Van Gaal, 58, is still at least a couple of years away from his pension. Mind you, the Dutchman last won a trophy in one of the major leagues in 1998.

Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho’s sole Champions League victory came in 2004, aided as it was by the highly dubious decision to rule-out a perfectly good Paul Scholes goal at Old Trafford.

Not that Praverman will let facts get in the way of a good story.

W@nker of the Week: Simon Mullcock

March 20, 2010 Tags: , , Just for fun 1 comment

This week’s prize goes to the Mirror’s Simon Mullcock for an unnecessary and, frankly, ill-timed attack on Dimitar Berbatov. Just as the Bulgarian has hit top form for Manchester United over the past month, Mullcock’s lazy cliché-ridden diatribe serves only one purpose – to drive traffic to the Mirror’s turgid website.

Unassuming Berbatov, known as shy, intelligent and of fragile confidence to those with even a modicum of football knowledge, is essentially accused of being an “arrogant flop” by Mullcock. The Mirror hack – for the term journalist is an insult to the profession – facsimiles any number of tabloid ‘opinion’ pieces on the striker from his past two years in Manchester.

Quoting an unnamed source from, you guessed it, an unnamed Bulgaria media outlet, Mullcock claims that the prevailing opinion on Berbatov extends from England to Bulgaria, where the striker is the country’s all-time record goalscorer.

Shame then that Mullock is unable to recognise the irony in quoting Berbatov’s official website, which under the banner “haters” ridicules a media onslaught, derived as it is from jealousy of the Bulgarian’s success.

But let us leave the final word to the Manchester United forward, who – paraphrasing Mark Twain – warns readers to “beware people who downplay your achievements.”

Small people always do, says Twain.

W@nker of the Week: Rob Shepperd

March 4, 2010 Tags: , , Just for fun 2 comments

When it comes to journalists they say that there are the beards, the bastards and the babies.

The beards: the old hacks who have seen it, done it and bought the tankard to prove it. You’ll find them propping up their local bar roughly 30 seconds after press deadline.

The bastard: the careerist out for the hot scoop and he doesn’t care who gets trampled in the process.

The babies: fresh off the university production line. There’s a Pulitzer waiting to come out but babies will be writing news bites and ‘human interest’ stories for years to come.

Today, Rant brings you a fourth category and a new weekly prize. The WAste of iNKs – or to crowbar an unnecessarily offensive acronym into the mix: the W*NKER. Journalists so inept that mere contempt is not worthy. Those media folk for whom the English language itself runs for the hills. It is to those journalists that Rant dedicates this weekly prize.

This week’s winner stands tall with an ‘opinion’ piece in the News of the World so mind numbingly ridiculous that only a self-inflicted lobotomy comes close. Rant readers, we give you our Media W*NKER of the Week for the following gem. Take it away, Rob Shepherd:

Bully Scholes Failed to Take on the World

EVEN more than Glenn Hoddle, Paul Scholes is the best player England never really had.

Much was being made of Scholes’ possible involvement in the Carling Cup final.

Given he’s coming to the end of his career and has hinted at retirement, this could be the last Wembley final Scholes plays for Manchester United. But how will the 35-year-old be remembered?

Those who have played with or against him revere him. Zinedine Zidane once said: “My toughest opponent? Scholes. He is the complete midfielder. He is undoubtedly the best midfielder of his generation.”

And Marcello Lippi added: “Paul Scholes would have been one of the first players I’d have bought, given the chance.”

Yet when Zidane left Juventus for Real Madrid, Lippi, then Juve boss, didn’t actually try and sign Scholes.

The reason? For all his great technical attributes Scholes, while running the occasional game, could never boss a team for club or country over a SEASON.

He could never transport his ability out of the comfort zone of being a platinum-plated cog in the United machine.

Yes, when United were on top he could play the role of world beater with punishing point-to-point passes, shots and third-man runs into the box.

Or, put another way, he was a flat-track bully who has picked up loads of medals. But how good would he have been playing for a lesser team?

And how many games has Scholes pulled out of the fire over the last decade or so in the the manner of Roy Keane, Eric Cantona, Ryan Giggs or David Beckham? Not many.

“Paul Scholes, he scores goals.” That’s what they sing about Scholes on the Stretford End. A plain and simple salute to a Salford-born hero.

In so many ways, Scholes deserves such understated adulation. He loves the game, plays it very well, shuns the spotlight and has managed to get married and bring up kids without selling his soul to the influence of avaricious agents or sponsors.

As Keane points out: “Paul Scholes is an amazingly gifted player who remained an unaffected human being.”

What a warming tribute at a time when some players seem to feel it is OK to shaft their mates.

Yet I don’t put Scholes up there with the GREAT English players of his era. Scholes does not get close to my best United XI of Schmeichel, G. Neville, Ferdinand, Bruce, Irwin, Best, Keane, Charlton, Giggs, Cantona, Law.

As for England, well, he never imposed himself on the big games.

Instead of battling it out Scholes simply gave up and quit England six years ago.

When you hear Gordon Strachan say, ‘Paul Scholes has been the best England midfield player for 30-odd years’, you realise the ‘professionals’ talk twaddle when it suits.

So, albeit a different style of player, Scholes (66 appearances, 14 goals) is this generation’s Hoddle (53,8), the world class talent who never delivered on the world stage.

Manchester United fans, of course, know what a marvelous player Scholes has been for England and the Reds over the years and no eulogy is needed here to change that. The Ginger Prince is rightly held in the pantheon of the very best players ever to don the Red shirt. So instead let’s hear from the pros that Shepherd holds in contempt, just one last time.

Edgar Davids – I’m not the best, Paul Scholes is.

Thierry Henry – Without any doubt it has to be Paul Scholes, Man United’s midfielder.

Glenn Hoddle – There isn’t a player of his mould anywhere else in the world.

Cesc Fabregas – He is the one whose level I aspire to. He is the best player in the Premier League.

Zinedine Zidane – My toughest opponent? Scholes of Manchester. He is the complete midfielder.

Rio Ferdinand – I can honestly say Paul is the best player in the England squad. For me he is the complete player.

Socrates – Good enough to play for Brazil. I love to watch Scholes, to see him pass, the boy with the red hair and the red shirt.

Patrick Vieira – The player in the Premiership I admire most? Easy – Scholes.

Ferguson – He’s one of the greats.

Nominate future WotW award winners by emailing editor@unitedrant.co.uk.