Friday, 28 December 2007

2007 - a funny old year

Where has the year gone? As we hurtle at break-neck speed toward the conclusion of yet another year, it's amazing to think how much has happened in the world of football in the last twelve months.

More silverware for Chelsea, Manchester United, AC Milan and Real Madrid.

England miss out on the Euro 2008 finals and Steve McClaren gets the big elbow, with Fabio Capello stepping in to occupy the still warm seat. Alex McLeish takes over the top job in Scottish football but does not last the year.

The Beckhams go to LA. Italian football grabs the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Iraq win the Asian Cup, against all the odds.

West Ham are charged with a breach of Premier League rules but avoid a points deduction. Chelsea announce the shock departure of Jose Mourinho; Avram Grant takes over.

The new Wembley is unveiled. Cristiano Ronaldo wins the PFA Player and Young Player of the Year awards, becoming the first man to win both in the same season since Andy Gray thirty years ago.

On a sad note, Alan Ball dies, aged 61. Sevilla's Antonio Puerta dies three days after suffering a heart attack and collapsing on the field during a game against Getafe.

Those were just some of the big stories, the football news that demanded headline space in 2007. As ever, football remains both predictable and unpredictable. The only certainty is the uncertainty.

However, if there is one single thing that can be relied on year in, year out, it is this; the ability for those involved with the game to deliver quality quotes.

These are real quotes from 2007 (you just can't make this stuff up):

"If that was a penalty, I might as well call myself Alec McJockstrap, and put on a kilt."
[Ian Holloway on a dodgy penalty decision.]

"Ninety-nine per cent of the letters and emails are supporting us and that's not bad. That's as good as Saddam Hussein did and he was fiddling the figures."
[Ken Bates on fans' support after buying Leeds United.]

"If I have offended any Croatians, then they have my deepest apologies."
[Tony Henry after singing, in Croatian, "My penis is a mountain" during his rendition of the Croatian national anthem at Wembley. He should have sung, "How we love your mountains".]

"The Croatians think it's great, and they've invited him to come over and sing at Euro 2008 and asked if he will be their mascot."
[Henry's agent reveals there are no hard feelings.]

"I'll bounce back - I'm not one to lie on a beach."
[Steve McClaren, before getting ready to jet off to Barbados.]

"Big Trev will be missed when he goes back to Peterborough. He's a funny character to have around and a big strong lad - reminds me of an elephant seal."
[Richard Money, the Walsall manager, paying tribute to on-loan striker Trevor Benjamin.]

"He'll be like a father figure to him."
[Jamie Redknapp on the relationship between father and son Peter and Kasper Schmeichel.]

"Don't hoover up while Chelsea are playing because if you knock the telly, Robben will fall over."
[Ruud Gullit on fellow Dutchman Arjen Robben.]

"If I'd have been one of their fans I'd have hit him with a bottle myself."
[Ian Holloway after an over-the-top goal celebration by Plymouth player Hasney Aljofree led to bottles being thrown by Peterborough fans.]

"Up front we played like world beaters - at the back it was more like panel beaters."
[Wigan manager Paul Jewell on a 3-3 draw with Spurs.]

I tell you what - I can't wait for 2008.

No comments: