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Who ate all the pies

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David Beckham of the LA Galaxy receives a traditional Hongi (Maori greeting) from local woman Ritihia Hailwood as he arrives at Wellington Airport on November 29, 2007. Photo Marty Melville/Getty Images

The Eredivisie’s top two teams both picked up 4-1 victories this week to maintain their positions at the top of the league. Ajax won at home to Vitesse thanks to goals from Luis Suarez, Gabri, Albert Luque and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s twelfth strike in as many games. PSV won by the same margin away at Excelsior with Otman Bakkal, Danny Koevermans, Danko Lazovic and Kenneth Perez on the scoresheet.

Sister Shiny site Scrumbag (try saying that after a bottle and a half of Calvados) posted recently on the topic of David Beckham and odd-shaped balls. Naturally, I clicked on it, only to find a semi-serious debate on whether Becks could have a career in rugby. This opinion is based on the recent PR stunt […]

horror%20hair%20veloso.JPGSporting Lisbon midfielder Miguel Veloso was one player especially hoping to catch Sir Alex Ferguson’s eye when he played against Manchester United last night, and he certainly picked a haircut to do just that. The 21-year-old holding player is reportedly a target for Fergie who wants to add him to the Old Trafford Portuguese contingent before next season.

I told you yesterday about Sydney FC’s 5-3 defeat of LA Galaxy Down Under, a defeat for the MLS team that was softened by the free-kick scored by David Beckham. Here is a video of that free-kick, and it’s a beauty. ‘It’s a bender! Its a classic! It’s a Beckham!’

May 2002 Now that Sven has got rid of muppets like Steve McClaren and Sammy Lee, watch him go! They were obviously holding him back. This photo shows Sven, then manager of England with glamorous assistants McClaren and Lee during the friendly international between England and Cameroon in Kobe, Japan.
Photo Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Cameroon wore this eye-catching sleeveless kit in the 2002 African Cup of Nations – it looked pretty cool, too, like a basketball top. Fifa, spoilsports that they are, immediately declared the kit illegal and black sleeves were added for Cameroon’s appearance in the 2002 World Cup in Japan/Korea. Now I’d rather play in a sleeveless top […]

Three seasons ago Senderos was hailed as one of the best young central defenders in Europe. Many Arsenal fans believed he would be their new Tony Adams, only with less hair and more brains (he speaks six languages, roughly six more than Big Tony).

Sevilla stormed to victory despite conceding an 11th-minute goal from Eduardo da Silva. It was Arsenal’s first defeat of the season, and in a match they didn’t have to win. I don’t think it heralds a dip in form for the Gooners, who had already qualified for the next stage of the Champions League. Seydou […]

Copa%20Classic%20Hair%20t-shirt.JPGPies’ love of Horror Hair is well-documented, so what better for Santa to bring us than this cool t-shirt dedicated to some of the beautiful game’s most infamous barnets.

Entertaining match, this, and although Rangers lost out to the German champions, they still have a very good shot at qualification – Barcelona’s 2-2 draw at Lyon means that Rangers need only a draw (a dangerous scenario, nonetheless) when the French club visits Ibrox next month to progress.

Billy Davies is the sixth Premier League manager to leave his club this season – there’s a Pies pat on the back if you can guess the others? But, it could be unlucky seven before Christmas with these two hanging from tenterhooks – Rafa’s upset the owners while Sam isn’t the fans’ favourite.

Here are Italy team-mates Alex Del Piero and Francisco Totti struggling to get through a simple TV sketch. Apparently the gag is supposed to go:
Totti: Alessa, how was your exam?
Del Piero: Bad, bad. I gave it in blank.
Totti: Me too! Now they will think we have copied each other!

Unfortunately, Del Piero cannot stop laughing at Totti’s pronunciation of his name.

Bayern Munich rediscovered their early season form this week to ensure they remain top of the Bundesliga. A poor string of results has seen Werder Bremen and Hamburg both move to within a point of the leaders. A 2-1 win over Wolfsburg was enough for Bayern to maintain their narrow advantage. The victory was needed as Hamburg defeated Hansa Rostock 2-0 and Bremen saw off Energie Cottbus by the same margin.

Is Freddy Adu going to disappear into the Bermuda Triangle? US rapper Jay-Z seems to think so. The Benfica youngster is namechecked on his new song American Gangster. The lyrics are:
Yeah that’s my goal
And then I bid you Freddy Adu
Prodigal Child, y’all not ready for the future
Then I disappear in the Bermuda Triangle

When he is not busy impersonating TV’s Gok Wan or signing any player with at least one Northern Ireland cap, Fulham boss Lawrie Sanchez loves nothing better than pretend he is onboard the Starship Enterprise.

You know those cycling sprint races where both riders go as slowly as possible in an attempt to get the other to take the lead? Well that (give or take a bicycle or two) is La Liga at the moment. Real Madrid, currently the leaders looking nervously over their shoulders, dropped points with a 1-1 at Real Murcia on Saturday giving Villarreal the perfect opportunity to overtake them. Villarreal were having none of it though. They followed up with a 1-1 draw of their own at home to Almeria.

Robert Green His injury-time penalty saved secured a point for West Ham against Tottenham.

Well we say worst possible new England manager but we were are working within the realms of reality here (for once). In other words the list takes for granted that the new man will probably already have some experience within the game of football and probably some experience in management too. Hopefully this explains George W Bush’s omission.

France held a 2-2 draw with the Ukraine as a celebration party for their qualification for Euro 2008. Les Bleus had already guaranteed their place in Austria and Switzerland with Saturday’s sequence of results. Henry and co had some new gear picked out especially for the party though. The new France home kit is pictured above.

Football’s most quotable manager, Ian Holloway, has been appointed the new manager of Leicester City. Pies told you earlier this week that Ollie was likely to leave his manager’s post at Plymouth Argyle to take over at the Foxes. Holloway has always maintained he was happy at Home Park and would honour his contract.

A Sky News reporter has never asked me who I want to be the new England manager, so I guess you never know how you will react until has happened to you. One man at the back of this mob of England fans suddenly gets an urge to go home – via the middle of Sky’s outdoor broadcast set and taking part of the microphone with him!

Saturday’s win over Scotland secured qualfication for Euro 2008 for Italy so they rounded off their campaign with a 3-1 kickabout against the Faroe Islands. The visitors must have been happy enough to get on the scoresheet and keep the score down to three.

First we had the Turnip and then the Swede so in keeping with tradition it’s now ginger man McClaren’s turn to be immortalised as the vegetable…

1 Shunning David Beckham
McClaren was determined to become his own man after succeeding Sven. Dropping Becks was an easy way to signal this, but it was a case of cutting his nose off to spite his face. The former skipper clearly still had a part to play and Macca was first to go crawling back.