Roy Keane leaves earth
Roy Keane has left his post as Martin O'Neill's assistant at Nottingham Forest to return to his home planet. "He's had trouble settling in here on earth," said O'Neill, "what with the language and the culture. Recently he's become very fretful. He kept asking me where they sold Lucky Bags. When I said I wasn't sure they made them any more, he became very unreasonable."
Travel news: man escapes from Birmingham New Street
A man who was trapped for half a day in Birmingham New Street railway station has escaped on a train to Preston. George Notch claims he was trying to catch a connecting train to Oxford, but spent hours in a near hopeless quest for the right information. "Somebody told me to go to platform 1A," he says, "but it was almost impossible to find. There was a sign which said 1A, but it was at the top of an up escalator. Purely by accident I found a lift hidden behind a wall. The lift had many buttons with what looked like ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics on them. Eventually I discovered that platform 1A was at the bottom of the lift. By the time I got there, my connection was well gone. I nearly went mad then. I stepped on the next train I could find. It was to Preston. I don't know anybody there."
Mr. Notch is recovering in Preston station short stay car park.
Being confused by Nations League "nothing to be ashamed of" say experts
"What is the Nations League?" people are asking. "Is it from Mars?" Here is our football experts' guide to the new event:
Not to be confused with its predecessor the League of Nations, the Nations League is an exercise designed to replace meaningless friendlies by equally meaningless but more lucrative competitive fixtures. Qualification for the later stages of the Nations League is achieved through a combination of alchemy and the predictive complexities of the Mayan calendar, and the eventual winner is the team which isn't knocked out by the intervention of poorly calibrated video technology. The competition has some tenuous link with European Championship qualification, but no one has a clue how that one works.
See him in the balls that flattered by beer
Champions League final Lpoo 2 Spurs 0
This was a match between two teams who had left their best work behind them, like a trail of jewels abandoned in the desert. The corporate and media johnnies were not happy with this. They expected good value for the money they had poured into the hype, and what they got was two teams suffering from that too long season's trek and the ridiculously high expectations generated by the event itself.
So, not a great match. It would have been awful had it been decided by that dodgy penalty, but thankfully the game was settled by a second from Origi, a man who couldn't pass his water under a bridge, as they say. All Spurs were left with was the consolation of being the better side, which is the worst consolation of all.
The most entertaining part of the evening was to be found on the BT/YouTube stream of the match in the form of the voice-to-text subtitles. The software couldn't cope with the speed of the commentary or the varied accents of the commentators, so we ended up with stuff that Stanley Unwin would have been proud of. Sadio Mane became stereo mono; Dele Alli was suddenly Gary Allen; too many corners didn't mister frontman; Mo's cellar didn't see enough of the ball; and for some unaccountable reason you expected to see him in the balls that flattered by beer.
SeMeN not doing its job, claims expert
Sir Harry Benchmark, the man responsible for the development of SeMeN, the Smart Motorway Network, has admitted that the system has not worked as well as he had hoped. "It was supposed to make journeys safer and more efficient," he said, "but it's just turned the motorways into a series of traffic jams." When asked why things had gone wrong, Sir Harry explained, "We think that some time within the last five years, SeMeN became self aware, and decided to bugger up human behaviour by reflecting its own absurdity back on itself."
SeMeN was asked to comment on Sir Harry's analysis, but would only confirm that Junction 19 was 11 minutes away.
The long handle is back
The Cricket World Cup arrived at the Oval on Thursday with England's convincing win over the Prostate or whatever they call themselves. The 50 overs game has changed over the years, but one thing has remained constant: "giving it the long handle" still refers to the enormous amount of time spent listening to the cricket when there are far more important things you should be doing. "Have you got those figures for me?" asks your line-manager, and instead of admitting that 311 didn't strike you as being a winning score for England, you have to say, "They're taking quite a long time to handle." "Have you weeded the drive yet?" asks the wife, and instead of describing the near heart attack you had when Stokes clung on to that catch, all you can manage is, "I need a weeder with a long handle."
Of course, the length of the handle depends very much on how deep England go into the tournament. We could be giving it a very long handle indeed. Time to shut up now.
In a galaxy far, far away...
Europa League final Chelsea 4 Arse 1
After receiving a weak signal from the outpost at Baku which was wrongly interpreted as a transmission of the 1957 comedy "Just My Luck" starring Norman Wisdom, the second half of this match burst into life with 5 goals in 25 minutes, most of which were scored by Chelsea. A spokesman for the Arse team admitted to finding it difficult to explain the Gunners' collapse. "It's just Arse for you," he said. "You put pressure on us, we turn to fungal jelly. Especially that Ozil guy. I'd like to throw him into the Fires of Doom, like that Gollum bloke, cos he looks like him and stuff."
Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri said the victory had made him less grumpy than he might have been, but grumpy enough to twat you if you didn't take that microphone out of his face.
Derby told to take play-offs seriously
Championship play-off final Villa 2 Sheep 1
Derby were given a stark warning by the Football League to start taking the play-offs seriously after yet another failure saw them condemned to Championship football for a 12th season. "It's getting ridiculous now,"
said Football League Chief Official Mark Placement. "It's like they're having their own pantomime season. They should know that, if they do not start taking the play-offs seriously, they could be charged with bringing the game into disrepute."
A long-time Derby fan, George Shunt, did not see the funny side of things. "It was funny for a bit," he said, "but now it's just embarrassing, like one of those black and white Billy Fury films full of kids who can't act or sing and a few old jobbing actors scraping a living at the wrong end of a career that never really took off."
Reports that Frank Lamppost had decided to stay in London to get over the disappointment were denied last night by somebody.
Underland to spend second year in purgatory
League 1 play-off final: Charleston 2 Underland 1
The play-offs infect people with a kind of brutal stupidity. The prize is so great that common sense eventually gives way to baser instincts. The brutality in this match began after three minutes when Max Power was butchered by Sarr and eventually ended up on crutches. The stupidity kicked in just after 5 minutes, when the Charleston keeper allowed a benign back pass (from Sarr) to roll through his body into the net. Charleston equalised just before half time.
The second half drove deeper into the heart of darkness, until a final stupid foul gave Charleston a free kick in the 3rd minute of injury time. They took their chance, scored, won, got promoted, and generally went mental.
So Charleston join Luton and Barnsley in the Championship. Joy.
Tory pig endorses BoJo
The pig that Conservatives would vote for if it wore a blue rosette has declared that it will not be standing in the Conservative leadership election. Its agent said that if the pig had run, it feared splitting Boris Johnson's vote. "Pig has stepped aside to give Boris
a free run," explained the agent, "because people would have had genuine difficulty choosing between them."
Watford waste two hours of everybody's time
FA Cup final: Man City 6 Watford 0
Man City won on goals scored
"Sit deep, frustrate them, hit them on the break" was, apparently, Watford's plan. Sadly, the sitting deep bit needed a lot more patience than Watford could sustain, and the hit them on the break thing delivered only two or three bursts of energy, like a dying fly spinning on its back. In short, despite all the shouty, patronising commentary, Watford were so hapless they probably ended up considering packing in football and starting a pie shop.
Walsall dump five
After their relegation to League Two, Walsall have released Will Kane, Jonas Henderson, Martin Howe, Sam Fuller and Frank Miller, because they are all characters from the classic 1952 western "High Noon".
BBC live commentary a week late
Ofcom has criticised the BBC for "unacceptable delays" in its digital live text commentary service. Ofcom found that text commentary on football matches was generally delivered at least four minutes after the event. In some cases, commentary was abandoned altogether, and in the case of one mid-season Premier League match, the final two comments arrived a week after the final whistle. The BBC said it would react to the criticisms in a month or so.
Derby warned to stop behaving like dicks
Championship play-off semi(2) Leed 2 Sheep 4 - agg. 3-4
The Football League issued a surprise warning to Derby County after their comeback against Leed sent them through to the Championship play-off final at Wembley. Football League Chief Official Mark Placement advised the club's players and management not to repeat their "bizarre" celebrations. "To be honest, they celebrated like dicks," he said. "We understand that the semi-finals have been likened to a Madame Tussaud's Comedy Special, but we don't want to see that kind of bizarre behaviour at Wembley. And while we're at it, they'd better win this time. The League would not look favourably at another failure from a club which seems content to waste everybody's time on a yearly basis."
Man vows never to watch football again after "horrible experience"
Championship play-off semi(2) WBA 1 Villa 0 - agg. 2-2 aet
Villa won on penalties
The second leg of the Championship play-off semi final was Clive Whistle's first ever football match. "I only went because my brother had a spare ticket," he said. "He supports one of the two sides. I'm not sure which."
Twenty two year old Clive will remember the experience for all the wrong reasons. "It was awful. It was like the players spent the whole match falling over or trying to hurt each other or trying to get this guy called Brunt sent off. It was like watching gangs of delinquents going at each other. Then one side scored and the noise was so loud you could almost eat it. It went on like this forever. It was like being in a Coliseum."
At the end of extra time the two sides were level on aggregate, so the tie went to penalties.
"I didn't understand that part," said Clive. "I couldn't work out whether the aim was to score or miss. Then it just ended, and some people acted like dicks and others were a bit miffed. It was a horrible experience, like watching a circus full of psychopathic clowns. I'll not be going again, thank you."
Premier League season ends with most statistics ever
The final day of the Premier League season may have generated a great big bag of statistics but failed to produce the elephant orgasm of excitement anticipated by many. Instead, a dry climax saw Man City take the title again, their rather awkward celebrations indicating the simple truth that a tremendous number of people are beginning to not care as much as the television companies think they should. Their victory over Brighton was both routine and inevitable, mainly because the total value of the Man City scorers ran into billions, whereas Brighton's scorer Glenn Murray was worth his weight in glue.
By far the most interesting result of the day was relegated Caerdydd's defeat of Man Utd at Old Trafford. It is fascinating to listen to an under pressure manager start to talk nonsense, and Solskjaer is certainly under pressure. Sentiments like "Today was not the problem..." or "The work starts now, everyone has the summer off..." don't really add much to the sum of human understanding. Perhaps if he said, "That indolent waster Pogba has no place in this team," he might regain a bit of the respect he has undoubtedly lost.