Saturday, July 28, 2007

Bigmouth strikes again*

Fair play to Niall Quinn. Having seen the pudgy back of Fat Fred, the Mackem muppet has realised the role of Embarrassingly Outspoken and Buffoonish Chairman for the North-East is up for grabs - and he's seized his chance to audition with both hands.

How else to explain the man who's just paid £5m for Michael Chopra - a player we flogged for a fifth of that last summer knowing he wouldn't make the Premiership grade - lambasting his fellow chairmen for the inflation of the transfer market?

One of the clubs Quinn singled out as being particularly culpable was Portsmouth, and Harry Redknapp has responded by telling him to keep his nose out and adding: "They offered the same money as we did for David Nugent. Have they got short memories or something?" Touche...

For the record, the Mackems have spent £17.5m so far this summer, with Kieron Richardson arguably their star signing. We, on the other hand, have spent less than half that - £8.7m - on four quality players, three of whom are Premiership proven and another who comes with considerable international experience...

Further additions to our squad are expected, of course, not least because the Celtic friendly saw us pick up another couple of injuries. Nicky Butt had to be replaced by Steve Harper, while Steven Taylor came off with a knock before the final whistle, leaving us with just ten men on the pitch as we'd made all our permitted substitutions.

Meanwhile, Kieron Dyer has reportedly set his heart on a move to Spurs, seemingly intent on following Jermaine Jenas' route out of the goldfish bowl.

We've got our newest bad boy to thank for something, though. According to today's Sun, Mikael Silvestre has spurned Fat Sam's advances because he refuses to play with Joey Barton after Barton's assault on his best friend Ousmane Dabo. We need defenders, yes, but Silvestre's shit so cheers Joey - every cloud etc. Though this silver lining has a cloud of its own, if you read to the bottom of the story: "Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson is keen to offload Silvestre and will try to persuade his star to have a change of heart. He has an ally in Dabo, who does not want his friend to blow the chance of a move to Newcastle because of Barton".

And finally, unforgiving Marca readers have voted Jonathan Woodgate the worst signing of the 21st century. A little premature, and also rather unfair - he may be overly acquainted with the treatment table, but he's a brilliant footballer and showed it in patches for both us and Real Madrid. He's certainly no Jean-Alain Boumsong or Eric Djemba-Djemba...

* And so soon after "That joke isn't funny anymore". What can I say? Smiths song titles are so handy...


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