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Who ate all the pies

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England under 21s are through to the semi-finals of the European Championships after beating Serbia in controversial circumstances. Leroy Lita gave England the lead when he threw his enormous forehead at Steven Taylor’s cross-goal header. The victory was sealed by Matt Derbyshire (or “Durbyshire” according to the American commentator on the video below), who slotted home while being played onside by an injured Serbian player. More evidence that FIFA and the Premier League need to reach an agreement over the correct protocol for kicking the ball out for injured players.

In which comedian Paul Kaye (aka Dennis Pennis) takes a pop at the way our American friends cover soccerball.

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The Serbian Under-21 team celebrate progressing to the semi finals of the UEFA U21 Championship after a goal in the 93rd minute secured a 1-0 win against the Czech Republic. [Photo: Jamie McDonald/Getty Images]

Football referees truly are the traffic wardens of the sporting world. Good to see that the crowd’s first reaction is to cheer when the ref gets the ball smacked into his face at high velocity. One bloke even says ‘That’ll knock a bit of f**king sense into ye!’ Or something like that – his accent is so thick I can’t be sure.

He creeps the hell out of me with his permanent grin and blue skin, although the bit where’s he stuck in the tyre swing is mascot gold…

In a break from FFQ convention, we present a picture round special.
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David Beckham smiles as he waves to the media during his last press conference as a Real player, on 14 June 2007. [Photo: Denis Doyle/Getty Images]

England can’t hold on to a bloody lead at any level, can they? Leading 2-0 against Italy, thanks to goals by David Nugent and Leroy Lita, Stuart Pearce’s lads let it slip in a big way. In the end England were very lucky to escape with a draw, after being comprehensively outplayed in the second half – none of the English players seemed to have a clue how to play it simple and keep possession.

We haven’t a clue what is going on here, but we know quality football entertainment when we see it! It seems to be some sort of mascot football, possibly between representatives of Mexican teams. Any Hispanic Pies readers who know what it’s all about, let us know!

Talking of attire for the summer, you might want to give this outfit a miss unless you also happen to have Fabrizio Ravanelli’s six-pack and baby-oiled thighs! The Silver Fox seems to have ditched his day job as a professional David Beckham lookalike and is now concentrating on modelling swimwear for Belgian designer Dirk Bikkembergs.

sao%20paulo.JPGSummer is here (allegedly) and that often means football fans reaching for their Brazil shirt and heading for the nearest beach for a kickabout. Unless you’re very lucky, the beach in question is unlikely to be the Copacabana and the shirt needn’t be the Brazilian national team jersey.

Hollywood actor and Sheffield United fan Sean Bean has recorded a video message criticising the Premier League panel’s decision not to dock West Ham points over Carlos Tevez’s transfer. The message is part of the Campaign for Fairness in Football. You can sympathise with the Blades’ plight but when Bean says they were relegated through no fault of their own you can’t help but think that winning more games might have helped their cause!

74015450.jpgLiverpool have confirmed their interest in West Ham’s Yossi Benayoun. The Israeli playmaker has stalled on signing a new five-year deal at Upton Park, which may surprise some Irons who recall that Benayoun verbally agreed that he would remain with the club less than a month ago.

Picture%201.pngWe haven’t taken a peek at Moritz Volz’s diary for a while, but a recent visit is full of tremendous information on his summer holiday to America – like how he took all six of his ‘heavy biology books’ to revise for his exams, but that he hasn’t yet got around to opening any of them, because he’s ‘relying on being asked the right questions’ – a cunning exam trick which Pies tried on many occasions.

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The West Ham/Sheffield Utd relegation mess is still unresolved, but football league chiefs are clearly very confident that the Blades will fail in their bid to overturn their relegation from the Premiership – so confident that West Ham, not Sheffield, have been included in the brand new fixture list for the Prem 07/08 season.

berb.JPGSpurs striker Dimitar Berbatov has been named as the best transfer buy of last season by university researchers. Pies has already given you its transfer flops of the season, but now Professor Tom Cannon, of the University of Buckingham, is informing us where the wise money was spent last summer. The analysis ranges between the blatantly obvious and the alarmingly random!

In which the recently retired Mr McAteer manages a leaping karate kick that is way more impressive than the infamous effort by Eric Cantona, or the brutal block by Israel’s Kobi Mossa. The incident occurred during a World Cup qualifier between Macedonia and the Rep. of Ireland in 1996. The Irish’s away kit is quite a piece of work, too…

[Via Guardian]

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The 06/07 Premiership season has only just finished but there’s no time to think about that, because the fixture list for the 2007/08 season has just been released. The new season begins on 11 August (is it me, or is that earlier than ever before?), with this set of fixtures:

iToon.JPGAlan Shearer may have been put out to pasture in the Match of the Day studios over a year ago, but his shadow hangs over St James Park like… erm… like a silhouetted figure dominating an iTunes advert.

Panama head coach Alexandrie Guimarae avoids a sliding Jose Andres Guardado of Mexico during their first round match of the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2007 yesterday. We thought the Gold Cup was for horses only, but there you go!

Aw, this is so cute. As it’s the tennis season, what better than to post a video showing a first date between Inter players and some of the world’s top men’s tennis stars, including Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Hernan Crespo, who looks more like a tennis player than a footballer, seems especially pleased to meet his racket-wielding idols.

Reading%20fans.jpgReading fans are the most stylish in the country, according to a survey carried out by Brylcreem. The haircare firm interviewed fans from all 92 Football League clubs to find out their taste in hairstyle, clothes labels, drinks, holidays and nights out. The Royals fans came out on top, narrowly pipping Northampton Town supporters.

Terry Tate: Office Linebacker was a series of short comedy sketches made by Reebok. They feature Tate instilling his own unique brand of discipline into people from all walks of life. Here he is taking on a streaker!

Tuncay Sanli is the striker chosen by Middlesbrough to replace the sizeable hole left by the departure of Mark Viduka to Newcastle United. Sanli was out of contract at Fenerbahçe and he is due to undergo a medical with a view to completing a move to the Riverside. He is perhaps best-known for scoring a Champions League hat-trick against Manchester United in 2004.

Bent_D-06.jpgDarren Bent is an excellent Premiership striker who has long been linked with a (give or take the odd quid) £10 million move to a top club. Why then would he move to West Ham – a club which could easily have been playing Championship football with Charlton Athletic next season? And why would the Hammers pay so much over the odds for him?