Poems tagged ‘Football Humour’

VAR on the grapevine

So Marvin Gaye heard
It on the grapevine
The rumour mill is
Buzzing frantically
VAR could be binned
Oh glory, glory glory
So football finally
Comes to its senses
And not before time
Various parts of the
Anatomy are
No longer responsible
For goals shrouded
In controversy
Forget that insane
Offside law
It always seemed absurd
Football dictated by
High tech graphics
Hieroglyphics at times
It seems, so old
And dusty are the rules
Illustrations and lines
Movements of shoulders,
Arms, toes straying
On the wrong side
Of legality
Elbows offside
Trees offside
Programme sellers offside
Floodlights offside
Show the yellow card
To intruding shadows
Book them now
On the pitch
Remove those encroaching
Hips from the last line
Of defence
Because they were offside
As well
A comedy of errors
This multitude of madness
90 minutes of organised chaos
Goals no longer goals
Suspended in animation
Fans raucous cheers
Silenced, stilled
Surely this has got
To stop immediately
And it looks as though
It might
Get rid of
Nonsensical VAR
Abstract absurdities
It’s disfiguring
The great game
Sucking the joy
Out of its essence
Mocking its tradition
Its gorgeous grandeur
Slowed down immeasurably
Its tantalising tensions
Those electrifying excitements
To a snail’s pace
Punctured and punctuated
By pitch side screens
Referees studying for their
A Levels or so it would seem
Look at those angles
And then after a thousand
Centuries of dilly dallying
Potty prevarication
Scratching of heads
It’s a goal surely
But hold on it’s offside
Oh no it’s not.
Yes it is
But those shorts were
Infringing and
Interfering with play
Time for the spray
Yes the dreaded
White paint on
Lush green May grass
Draught excluders
At free kicks
Players kipping
At their leisure
No time for forty winks
The game is no longer
The one we used to know
But maybe our generation
Should have known this would happen
VAR just trampling all over
Football’s fertile ground
Of imaginative innovations
Squeezing out the positive
Draining its energies
Leaving it senseless
And dumbfounded
Just leave the goals
To stand before
Football sinks into the morass
Deep into the quicksand
Vanishing without trace
It’s a goal definitely
Stockley Park
Please examine your conscience
Football is in dire need of
Decisive thinking
No more ferocious disputes
About goals resolved
By machinery rather than
Humanity, please
Stop these twenty minute
Deliberations about
Obvious goals scored
Before somebody introduces
A third half
Logical extensions
Of injury time
VAR it has to be
Abolished, locked away
In the archives of time
Never to be seen again
Oh please for football’s sake
Restore its immediacy
Now before football
Forgets about its fans
Its vibrant, vivacious
Heart and soul

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Neville Cardus- it’s not cricket

Today Manchester lives, breathes,
Talks and walks
Football on pursed lips
But then you pause for a while
Neville Cardus
Manchester’s favourite son
But this is cricket
Pigeons in full conference
In the slips or mid wicket
Cardus was never one for
VAR, indecipherable offsides
Cans of spray at free kicks
Much more the leisurely languor
Of third man boundaries
Or pavilions with passion
The gentle ruminations of the
Cricket was Cardus
Not the fiery combustion engine
Of football’s multi million
Pound playmakers
On left and right wing
Dropping deep,
Tracking back,
Stepovers and dragbacks
Mazy, bewildering runs
Forged in the steel of
The moment
Cardus preferred quiet,
Rippling applause
As Old Trafford trains rumbled
By electronic scoreboards
With centuries, overs,
Maiden overs, tales
Of yorkers and googlies
Temperamental wickets
Bring on the covers
Rain stopped play
Cardus may have tolerated
The giant sized egos
Match of the Day
Analysing the obvious
And not so abundantly clear
But Cardus may have preferred
The murmuring sedateness
Of Lords, Trent Bridge,
And yes Old Trafford
Of course
Where once David Lloyd,
Clive Lloyd, Jack Bond
Combined the subtleties
Of music from a thousand
Bats, cracking fours
Sweetly humming over
The lilting rhythms of
Cricket but not
Oh if only

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Luton, Luton, Luton.

Luton Town, Luton Town, Luton Town
Luton Luton, Luton Town, Luton Town
Milliners of the world rejoice
Milliners of the world rejoice
Premier League, Premier League
We rub our eyes with astonishment
We can hardly believe it
It did happen. Yesterday
Back among the big boys
Again Again
Hatters wearing their best Trilby
Hatters wearing their best Trilby
Luton Town wearing their best Panama
Luton Town wearing their best Panama
Luton Town wearing their best Boater
Luton Town wearing their best Boater
Kenilworth Road hosts to the great and good
Kenilworth Road doffing their hat to
Aristocracy again
Welcome back to the world
Come on in
Come on you Hatters

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Has anybody spared a thought?

It’s time to spare a thought
For the good, old fashioned
Cross bars and posts
Of all our present, past
And future
Football’s striking reference
Points, match after match
There through the vagaries
Of all weathers
Trembling with trepidation
As volleys from half -way
Leave dramatic repercussions
On pulses and blood pressures
Traumatised by the after -effects
Hours after the final whistle
Shaking with fear
In desperate need of counselling
Goalposts in silent solitude
Crying out for company
When fixtures have come
And gone through
The nine month grind
And gristle, the gruesome
Ordeal of win, lose and draw
But then out on a limb
Now that summer
Leaves them in heartbreaking
Isolation, in danger
Of complete alienation
Spare a thought then for those
Jolly old goal posts
White as the sheets
That once flapped in
Helplessly in the optimistic
Breezes, but always beautiful
When half time beckoned
Still standing guard for
Weeks and months
On end
Then there are the crossbars
And nets shivering nervously
In case their summer idyll
Is broken by a thunderbolt
From outside the 18 yard
When winter reduces
Them to anxious stares
Of yet more billowing
And blustering
Theatrical sighs and
Gasps of delight
As the penalty
Sends a thunderous note
Of severity and brutality
Down the decades
Our dear downtrodden
Crossbars of our youth
It was the cross bar
We remembered that
Almost denied England
Their only World Cup
And yet sympathetic
It was to our collective
Throats and voices
Sir Geoff though secures
His hat-trick on his
Day, our July afternoon
And yet how the cross bar
Almost left us in a
State of tremulous tumult
So let’s just stop
To consider a while
The fates that befell
Our Saturday heroes
For these are the posts
And bars
Deserted by football’s
Faithful fans,
Through the seasonal calls
Cold shouldered and
Ignored during days
Of labour, sweat and toil
Suddenly though
Weekly devotees return
To the scene of
Last week’s disagreement
Settling old scores again
But then re- united
Those wondrous goal
Posts and cross bars
A hindrance at times
But then the source
Of relief, but then
In football’s present
Day of
Premier League
No longer those lonely
Sentries on guard who stood
By considerate terraces
With hearts of gold
Full of warmth and tender care
Fear not you’ll never be alone
So let’s hear it for cross
Bars, and goal posts
Those anguished nets and
Solitary stanchions
Before 22 men
Return again

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East London horror show.

Oh to be of a claret and blue disposition
A hat-trick of disasters
A cacophony of calamities
Reckless defending
West Ham, bottom of the
Premier League, no points
No goals. spineless, still dazed
Crocodile tears and no sympathy
Slumbering in the late August
Soporific warmth and heat
Dozing in the lengthening shadows
Where summer has now left her
Blissful legacy on the year
West Ham, now reminiscent
Of an ancient listed building
Forgotten by progress and
Beaten up, discarded like an
Old Benson and Hedges cigarette
On the old Upton Park Chicken Run
Weather beaten and haggard.
What happened to the world beating
Hammers of last season?
Surely just a blip
We must hope so
Now just grotesquely distorted as
Those ugly images at fairground mirrors
Time for stern re-appraisals
For David Moyes
Serious training ground discussions
Seven new signings but three no
Shows. Don’t panic but be wary
Of relegation rumours and vultures
Bats in the belfry
Lost in the Forest and overwhelmed
By City gents of the Premier League
Champions variety
And now defeated by end of pier
Seaside entertainers
Gulls swooping voraciously
On London Stadium chips.
Brighton, breezy, carefree
West Ham jinxed and hoaxed
By Potter’s finest ceramic
Figures of well crafted
Maybe enough said
Meanwhile Arsenal head
The Premier League in its
Infant cries
Three out of three
Opening salvoes
Gunners grapeshot
Firing on cliched cylinders
Nine goals against the residents
Of the palatial Palace, then outfoxing
the Leicester Light Brigade
Brendan Rodgers can only fantasise
About another Premier League trophy
Then another seaside stroll for the
Galloping Gunners beside the
Red and black deckchairs of Bournemouth
Spurs on the shoulders of their North London
Rivals, blowing fiercely down their noisy
Neighbours necks
Wolves hounded by the past
Palace off the mark properly
Against the clueless Villa
Steven Gerrard struggling for
Crumbs of comfort
But finding none
Whitewashed villa now
Tarnished by the weekend
Claret and blue stains and the
Villa Park slump
Temporary they
Must hope
Lampard’s Everton
Still in turmoil, crisis
Partially lifted by a point
Against the hunters
And gatherers in the Forest
Where Cloughie once
Worked the oracle,
Tangled weeds and bushes
Now cleared for a profitable
Return to Premier League shores
Fulham also back in the big time
The Cottagers industry is alive
And well
Edging London derby
With fellow neighbours
Brentford in five goal
Humdinger deep in the
Cottage but far from overawed
This time Fulham will drop their
Anchor, securely tied to their
Craven Cottage moorings
In Premier League safety
They must wish with bated breath
Foxes of Leicester
Beaten by those saintly
Saints of Southampton
Brendan Rodgers
Must be hoping for
Religious salvation
Premier League winners
Now just a prehistoric footnote
Manchester City surprisingly held
To six goal thriller
By high tempo Newcastle
Eddie Howe’s Geordie
Black and white striped army
Seemingly on the verge of
A bright and lustrous era
Revitalised and refurbished
By millions of Saudi money
Defeats now inexcusable
And finally Leeds
With the Midas touch
Of an American in Yorkshire
Elland Road slowly stretching
The aching limbs of a tortured
Past of the Championship
And League One
Jesse, this is your time
To seize that celebrated day
Over the weekend
Leeds beat Chelsea
Now that used to be a fixture
To treasure and will be once again
Chopper Harris eyeballing
Norman ‘Bites Yer Legs Hunter
With lingering menace
Through the seasons
Leeds now score their own
Personal hat-trick against
The Chelsea without the billions
Of Russian oligarchical money
That once washed over Stamford Bridge
Like a crashing tidal wave
Premier League back to back winners
But the waters are cascading down
The terraces and posh seats
An interesting turn of events
Chelsea may have lost their focus
Yet your Hammers are sinking rapidly
Marooned and stranded at the bottom
Seeking light at the end of the tunnel

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The Best Match I Ever Saw

Ross County v Aberdeen,
Victoria Park,
1999, or thereabouts.

County won 3-0.
Amazing display of football.
You wouldn’t think it possible,
but he’s quite a player,
is Ross.

To be fair, Aberdeen
had an early red card
(well deserved, I might add),
so for most of the match
he was playing against ten men.

But still, quite remarkable
to win so comprehensively.
Never gets the credit he deserves,
does Ross.

Same goes for Patrick Thistle.

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Boris- more rugby than football

Does the Prime Minister
Understand the finer
Nuances of football,
Its grammar and language
Its all- conquering vocabulary
Boris, we know
You’re more of the oval
Rugby union type
But can you grasp
The history, the
Ancestry of when
You were an Old
Etonian, since they
Were the game’s
Pioneering FA
Torch bearers
Forerunners of
Push and run
Pass and move
Deep lying inside
The recognisable
Driving force
Of its origins
But Boris supports
Nobody but himself
Thinks of only him
Or maybe we’ve got
It wrong
He voices his
Approval of Gareth
Southgate’s England
Because patriotism
Suits him down to
The ground
But nobody knows
Whether Manchester
City, Liverpool, Spurs,
Chelsea or United
Make his weekend
Or indeed VAR is
Beyond his understanding
A hazy mist on his
And then there was
The indecipherable
Puzzle that is pressing,
Free kick artistry
As illustrated yesterday
By James Ward Prowse
But probably not the Saints
So Boris pins his colours
To a London centric mast
Chelsea, perhaps fashionable
As the capital city
Wealth in every corner
Of Stamford Bridge
Harbour, village and
The Russian chairman
Who never speaks
To anyone, a voiceless
But Boris has much
Old Etonian eloquence
In his possession
Stories of Latin but no
Sign of any knowledge
Of tracking back
Sitting deep,
Hitting clinically
On the break
Possibly Spurs
But then he questions
The instinctive push and
Run of Arthur Rowe
And Bill Nick, yet
Boris, this was a team
Of arts and crafts
No need to wonder
Or the claret and blue
Of West Ham
Purveyors of the 66
World Cup masterclass
England’s finest hour
Moore, Hurst and Peters
It should be a school
Examination, an academic
As pleasing to the ear
As the first robin
When morning calls
So Boris please inform
Us in all your eccentricity
Whether your team
Plays through the lines
Or doesn’t
Perhaps the practicalities
Of the game are more
To your liking
Driving in crosses
The long, diagonal ball
That makes the fans
Swoon with delight
Get that ball into
The box now,
No hesitation
Boris, we need
To know
Do you really
The Beautiful Game

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Penalty Shootout in Zero Gravity

It was Barry’s idea, so
he only has himself to blame.
For all the thrill of orbital flight,
of seeing the Earth from space,
those journeys are so damn boring.

I admit to sneaking the ball in,
and that Barry was winding me up.
The running commentary didn’t help,
calling me Gareth Southgate,
him being Andreas Köpke.

No one could have predicted
the ball would hit the airlock button,
just when Barry was leaping up,
trying to stop my rocket blast,
straight to the top left corner.

Perhaps he’ll be a hero yet,
get a glove to an asteroid
hurtling towards the Earth.
The slightest of deflections,
nudging it over the bar.

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What would Peter Jones & Bryon Butler have thought?

During the days when radios crackled
Through the ether and beyond
The celestial voices of Peter Jones
And Bryon Butler joined us through
The drizzle, snow and rain
Of wintry evenings
Football’s gracious guardians
Voices of silk, molasses, honey
Radio 2’s finest wordsmiths
When Liverpool had Stevie
Heighway, Brian Hall, Ian
Callaghan on golden thrones
And mid week European Cup
Nights were minted and
Merseyside was on song
Never walking alone
But what would Peter Jones
And Bryon Butler have composed
To the lyrics of today
Arteta’s Gunners fire
Their familiar artillery
Against a struggling Newcastle
Perhaps a soulful lament
To the Blaydon Races
Then Gerrard’s newly
Born, Villa on the crest
Of a wave against the
Team with that palatial
Home at Selhurst Park
But no chandeliers present
Now. Crystal Palace stumble
Over leaden feet,
Time to move the silver
Service into another room
Dust off the decanter
Re-arrange the crockery and
Cutlery, Palace must be in
Impeccable condition for
Christmas visitors,
Butlers in finest suit
And so for Norwich
Hitherto the laughing stock
Of the Premier League
Neither here nor there
Goal-less against a fetching
Pack of Wolves who may
Not be the Stan Cullis of old
But Hancocks and Mullen are
Now ghosts from Christmases
Past and days of brilliant gold
So now the Wolves are howling
Before the nocturnal hour
When once Derek the Doog Doogan
John Richards and more recently
Steve Ball held court.
To a different tune.

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New Managerial Brooms- Gerrard, Howe and Smith

New managerial brooms
It only seemed like yesterday
Since they were young saplings
Childish colts spreading the gospel
On back streets, then the fiery
Furnace of the Premier League
Thrown heartlessly into the fire
Totally immersed in the hullabaloo
And palpitating, nerve shredding
First team, Thrown into the
Pandemonium of fresh faced debuts
The Premier League, the big time
Then Gerrard, Howe and Smith
Again, stamp their trademark
Stevie G, once a Liverpool
Monarch, now in the claret
And blue of Villa, presiding
Over the oldest of them all
Villa, once of the landed gentry
In football’s most imposing
Drawing rooms and parlours
Then among its bejewelled corridors
A footballing powerhouse
Gerrard, in charge of yet more
Greatness, many years
Ago but it’s been 39 years
Since the bearded warrior
Peter Withe headed the winner
Against Bayern Munich in the
European Cup Final, incarnation
Of another age, but Gerrard
Responsible for the slumbering
Giant, a player par excellence
Now furthering his education
In more elevated circles
In the more august of red brick
Universities of the Premier League
Where degrees of prosperity
Can often be a poisoned chalice
But Stevie G, can sense the ultimate
Challenge and never gave more
To the cause, a picture of devotion
Then Eddie Howe, from the salubrious
Breezes of Bournemouth, to the burning
Passions of Tyneside and Newcastle
Where once Wor Jackie, in his richest
Plumage mined the collieries and seams
Of Newcastle, where brown ale
Was never enough
So Shackleton, Milburn, Macdonald
All ploughed their furrow at St James
Park, digging for victory but yielding
Sore heads and bleak defeats, sorrowful
Brows, mopping fevered anguished foreheads
Nothing since the 1955 League title
Only Joe Harvey, frantically gesturing
At black and white stripes when Tyneside
Was the centre of the universe.
But defeat in the 1974 Cup Final
To Shankly’s mighty composition
The perfect chemical formula,
The Liverpool masterclass
And finally Dean Smith
Driven unceremoniously out of his
Childhood club, the Villa now just
A beloved reminder of his past
But back at Norwich, among the rolling
Fens, peaty Norfolk smells, the rural
Cattle, fertile acres of farmland
Where once John Bond owned
A yellow and green revolution
And still Delia demands an extra
Gallon of sweat, toil, mouth
Watering culinary delights
So let’s hear it for those
New managerial brooms
Sweeping the ashes of
Broken hearts, fans
Aching for restoration
Plays. New Shakesperean
Acts and dramas,
A cabaret of Cups,
Premier Leagues and Europe
The big objectives, but only
Laborious struggles briefly
They hope when
Gerrard, Howe and Smith,
Claim the dazzling limelight

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