Present Kom­pany ex­cluded: Time City axed skip­per

Irish Examiner - Sport - - SOCCER -

TAK­ING FLIGHT

Af­ter Satur­day’s win over Hull, Sam Mat­ter­face feels Stoke will no longer have their head in the sand: “That whole os­trich round the neck is the idea of get­ting that first win in the league.”

SHIFT­ING THE GOAL­POSTS Sky’s Bill Les­lie: “Aguero has rat­tled the foot of the cross­bar.”

POSTER BOY

Paul Mer­son has long shared the same aversion to say­ing the word ‘post’. Merse’s many rhyming slang al­ter­na­tives in­clude ‘Norfolk Coast’, ‘the Casper’ (the friendly ghost), ‘Sun­day roast’, and ‘the Stelling’ (game show host, dur­ing the years). On Satur­day, Merse got back to ba­sics, with Cal­lum Wil­son hit­ting the ‘beans on toast’ in Bournemouth’s ‘Des­mond’ with Ever­ton. But there was also a fresh ad­di­tion to his stock­pile:

“It’s come back off the ‘Rac­ing’” WHERE’S THE CATCH? David Provan con­tin­ues to over-com­pli­cate what was once a rudi­men­tary part of the goal­keeper’s trade:

“I don’t think Cech can take it into his gloves.”

HILL OF BEANS

Sky com­men­ta­tor at Yeovil: “In the old Huish Park, the pitch had an eight-foot slope, a real lev­eller.”

SUM WORDS OF WARN­ING David Pleat cau­tioned jour­nal­ists link­ing Zine­dine Zi­dane with the man­ager’s job at Manch­ester United: “They’re try­ing to make two plus two equal four.”

PUNBELIEVABLE JEFF

Jeff Stelling makes a patsy of the QPR goal­keeper:

“Joe Lum­ley was ab­so­lutely fab­u­lous at times.”

GRASSING UP

Mark Chap­man has lit­tle sym­pa­thy for Premier League players who com­plain about a bob­ble in the box:

“We’re hack­ing through grass at knee-high level at grass­roots level.” PLANE TO SEE

Michael Owen likens the Reds’ pat­tern­less move­ment to an aer­o­batic team famed for fly­ing in strict for­ma­tion:

“Liver­pool are ev­ery­where, there’s no rules as to where they play — they are lit­er­ally like the Red Ar­rows.”

ABOVE BOARD

Merse will not be sought to pro­vide pun­ditry at the Olympic pool any time soon:

“I didn’t think it was that bad a dive. It wasn’t like he jumped off the thing.” MOUTH­FUL

But Merse will also be thank­ful he wasn’t on duty at Wolfs­burgschalke, which pro­vided the word of this week­end, for a rain­bow-coloured cap­tain’s arm­band: “Re­gen­bo­genkapitäns­binde.”

BIG TALK

Chan­nel 4’s Ali­son Mitchell: “You can’t take your eyes off the ac­tion. More from Edg­bas­ton af­ter the break.”

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