Monday, 24 June 2013

Lad Lit Book Reviews: Banged Up Abroad: Hellhole by James Miles & Paul Loseby

Books for Men Book Reviews - Banged Up Abroad: Hellhole by James Miles & Paul Loseby
I've learnt a thing or two since reading the odd book about how you might want to try and avoid the perils and pitfalls of finding yourself behind bars in a foreign nick. For example, that dodgy bloke you met in the pub who offers you easy money for going on a simple little trip is dodgy for a very good reason. Another little tidbit is smuggling drugs out of an Asian or South American country is generally a pretty piss-poor decision, especially when all you get is a weeks holiday at a 5-star hotel and about five grand for your troubles. Stick with your 3-star hotel with Thomas Cook, paid with from your own hard earned money; it's less hassle, trust me. 

Oh, and if you've got nothing but clouds between your ears and you opt to take the dodgy bloke up on his offer of luxury in return of doing a little 'favour' for him, run a million miles if he says the job involves traveling to Venezuela!

Franks Kane's In The Shadow Of Papillon sent a shiver down my spine when I read it, and James Miles and Paul Loseby's account of their Fight To Survive South America's Deadliest Prison comes a very close second!

I remember seeing these two lads on the TV show Banged Up Abroad and it was one of my favourite episodes. Here you had two normal guys who naively agreed to smuggle cocaine back into the UK after growing 'bored' of their lives in Leicester, and my God they paid the price for that boredom!

I've said it before in my reviews of these types of books and I'll say it again - I don't applaud anyone for attempting to smuggle or deal in drugs, but I do applaud the testicular fortitude these people put on display when faced with sadistic prison guards, vicious gangs armed to the teeth with knives, guns, and grenades, and not to mention the filth, insects, and rat infested conditions they have to live in. Miles and Loseby had to deal with some of the worst conditions and scenarios I've read about.

My only criticism - and it is a minor criticism - is that at times I did find myself thinking that Uri Geller would have been proud of the levels of truth 'bending' going on in here! Some of the stories seem a little far fetched. James Miles takes control as the lead vocal in this book, and he clearly enjoys playing the tough guy, which I appreciate you have to do in a situation as extreme as this. But there is a bit too much bravado for me at times; too much of Miles making sure he lets the reader know how much of a 'geezer' he is. You're in a awful, horrible, vile situation - we get it. We know how tough you have to be, you don't need to keep reminding the reader!

Then again, maybe I'm being too harsh, and perhaps after you have been through what these two guys went through you're entitled to some creative freedom and dare I say it, boasting. After all is said and done, the sad reality of this book is that it's a very tragic story of a lost youth. It never ceases to amaze me just how shocking some of these experiences can be; sometimes words simply don't do them justice. 

The bond between these two kids - because that's what they were at 19 when this happened - is testament to the inhumane conditions and regime they fought against to live to tell the tale. I'm sure people would be quick to label and stereotype Miles and Loseby as two typical council estate wannabe gangsters; but I think that upbringing probably saved their lives. Christ knows you need to show a bit of streetwise savvy and aggression to survive a place like Yare (the prison in which they were housed).

I found myself engrossed within the pages of this story, and I came to quite like the two boys, and I was willing them to make it through this terrible journey. Everyone makes mistakes, and these two made the Godzilla of all mistakes. But they fought with every ounce of strength and soul left in their bodies, and that comes through in their words.

http://stevenscaffardi.blogspot.co.uk/p/the-lad-lit-book-review.html

Sunday, 16 June 2013

The real reason Luis Suarez is leaving Liverpool

Luis Suarez is legging it from Stevie Gerrard and Liverpool
Luis Suarez is legging it from Stevie Gerrard and Liverpool
Luis Suarez has once again reiterated his desire to leave Liverpool Football Club. In recent weeks the controversial Uruguayan striker has cited press victimization as the reason behind his decision to quit Anfield.

Suarez is currently serving a lengthy ban for gnawing away at Branislav Ivanovic's arm at the end of last season, and he has said that if Real Madrid or Barceolna come knocking then Liverpool have to listen to their offers.

I have been quietly chuckling away to myself while this little saga has been going on. Not because I'm an Everton fan and can't wait to see the back of him, and it has nothing to do with the fact that Liverpool fans have blindly stuck by Suarez through the racism row and the biting ban and now he is throwing it back in their faces.

No, I'm allowing myself a sly giggle because I know the real truth behind Suarez's decision to quit Liverpool! The blaming of the British media is nothing more than a smokescreen to cover-up a very bad practical joke gone bad, and it all started with some classic David Brent-esque behaviour from one Brendan Rodgers...

CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE
Luis Suarez, Liverpool, Brendan Rodgers, Steven Gerrard, training, training ground, The Office, David Brent, Luis Suarez leaving Liverpool, Luis Suarez wants to leave Liverpool, Luis Suarez quits Liverpool, funny Luis Suarez picture,

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Top 10 John Terry Photobombs!

Exactly one month ago John Terry shocked the world when he unashamedly stripped off his suit faster than Clark Kent and whacked on a full Chelsea kit to join in the Europa League cup final success! We shouldn't have been surprised. After all, the man has previous. It all started one year ago after Chelsea's penalty shoot-out victory over Bayern Munich in the Champions League final.

And believe it or not, Super JT has done his fair share of joining in with others celebrations over the years, turning up in the most unlikeliest of places. Some men like to party, and some men like to P-A-R-T-Y! Here is a look at some of those famous Super JT limelight-stealing moments!

Top 10 John Terry Photobombs!

1. John Terry celebrates Denmark's win at the 2013 Eurovision song contest!
John Terry, Photobomb, celebration, photoshop, Eurovision,

2. John Terry collects his medal alongisde Chewie, Han, and Luke for helping bring down the Dark Side
John Terry, Photobomb, celebration, photoshop, Star Wars,

3. John Terry was quick to stand in and help Tom Daley when his dive partner Blake Aldridge was unable to join him at the 2012 Olympics
John Terry, Photobomb, celebration, photoshop, diving, Tom Daley,

4. One giant leap for man, one HUGE celebration for John Terry!
John Terry, Photobomb, celebration, photoshop, moon landing,

5. Tiger Woods is the number one golf player in the world again, and we all know that he has just one man to thank...
John Terry, Photobomb, celebration, photoshop, Tiger Woods, Golf

6. Many people think it was David Hasselhoff that helped bring down the Berlin Wall, when in fact it was Super JT of course!
John Terry, Photobomb, celebration, photoshop, Berlin Wall,

7. John Terry is running on to the pitch with a full kit on; he thinks it's all over! It is now!
John Terry, Photobomb, celebration, photoshop, World Cup 1966,

8. The wedding of the year meant the party of the year, and there was noway Super JT was missing that one!
John Terry, Photobomb, celebration, photoshop, Royal Wedding,

9. Four more years! Well, at least he didn't change out of the suit this time!
John Terry, Photobomb, celebration, photoshop, Barack Obama

10. Sir Bradley Wiggins won our hearts at the 2012 London Olympics, and John Terry was there with him every step of the way (well, at the finishing line anyway...)
John Terry, Photobomb, celebration, photoshop, Sir Bradley Wiggins,

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Dating & Relationship Advice For Men!

Steven Scaffardi, author of the hilarious dating disaster novel The Drought, offers some cracking dating advice for men trying to woo that special lady. Check out these four videos with some top class dating and relationship advice

First date advice for men! 
First dates can ber very awkward, but not anymore! Just follow this expert advice from yours truly and you will make the ultimate first impression!
   

Do chat-up lines work? 
You bet your sweet bippy chat-up lines work, you just need to know the right ones to use in order to leave the lady like putty in your wandering little hands...!


 
A guide to becoming a player! 
There might be a bit of a stigma attached to players like me, but lets get one thing clear - girls absolutely love a man who knows what he's doing. Watch carefully and you learn...



The art of texting the ladies! 
Technology is there to help us men get that sweet candy, so listen up and if you follow these rules, you'll be getting all sorts of dirty texts and pictures within seconds!


Like what you have seen? Want some more grade A advice like this? Then check out The Drought to find out more expert guy advice when it comes to dating and relationships!

Monday, 10 June 2013

Top 10 funniest and best moments in Entourage

Top 10 funniest and best moments in Entourage
If you are a guy, there are only three shows you ever need to watch for the rest of your life:

1. Baywatch for obvious reasons
2. The Sopranos for being the best damn TV show ever made
3. And the ultimate guy show... Entourage!

Because if any man could choose the way to live their life, then this is that show!

So here is hoping they finally make Entourage into a film with a look back at 10 of my favourite scenes from the Mark Wahlberg inspired hit HBO show. Enjoy...

Top 10 funniest and best moments in Entourage

10. Ari Gold and Lloyd
Season 3, Episode 14 Dog Day Afternoon
Poor Lloyd was forever at the end of one of Ari's rants but deep down we all know Ari had a soft spot for his assistant as this scene shows when he comes to Lloyd's rescue...



9.Johnny Drama bugs out!
Season 4 Episode 5 The Dream Team
Hanging out in his trailer with Turtle and the cast of his new drama, Drama tries to show-off in front of a group but it backfires spectacularly!



8. Johnny Drama breaks Tom Brady's golf club
Season 6, Episode 5: Fore
Executive producer Mark Wahlberg would turn up from time to time, and none more hilarious than when he plays against Vinny and Drama in a charity golf day.



7. Ari Gold uses the white board to get his message across!
Season 3, Episode 15 Manic Monday
Classic Ari Gold as he applies his 'one-strike' policy to fire one of his members of staff via a white board!



6. Johnny Drama gets some good news = Victory!
Season 3, Episode 20: Adios Amigos
Poor old Johnny Drama was always down in his luck, so we all punched the air and shouted 'Victory' when his luck finally changed and his TV show became a hit...



5. Best Ari Gold speech (well, one of them...)
Season 3, Episode 15: Manic Monday
There are honestly too many to choose from! All I know for sure is that if politicians had Ari Gold as their speech writers, politics would be a lot more entertaining. This is classic Ari...



4. Ari Gold's paintball revenge
Season 6 Episode 12: Give A Little Bit
Ari Gold has regained control of his agency and plots his revenge by turning up with storms back into the office with a paintball gun to announce his return!




3. Johnny Drama suffers road rage
Season 2, Episode 8: Oh Mandy
Drama is having a bad day and it gets even worse when he gets into an altercation with a surfer that results in a spot of road rage!



2. Ari Gold bitch slaps Adam Davies
Seasn 5, Episode 3: The All Out Fall Out
After Adam Davies sends Ari Gold a picture of his wife from a porn movie years ago, Ari storms over to his office and demands an apology...



1. Johnny Drama kicks it all off in Las Vegas
Season 3, Episode 9: Vegas Baby, Vegas!
Following an indecent proposal from his favourite male masseuese, Johnny Drama storms off and right into a Vegas bar room brawl with Seth Green and his crew. It was the perfect finish to the greatest ever episode of Entourage!

 

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Ramblings of a 30-something man... The Argumentative Friend

Ramblings of a 30-something man... The Argumentative Friend
I’ve agreed to meet a mate I haven’t seen for a while. We’re going for a few beers because that is what men do. Women do lunch, we drink alcohol. I walk into the pub and meander my way through the Sunday lunchtime drinking crowd to my pal who is sitting at the bar, nursing the two-thirds of lager that is left in his pint glass.

I give him a manly slap across the back as I greet him. “Hello mate, long time no see,” I say with genuine enthusiasm.

“You’re late,” he replies rather deadpan. The reaction takes me aback a little. “You know I can’t abide tardiness,” and he taps at his watch. I start to feel a little bit like a naughty school child. This wasn’t the sort of greeting I expected after a couple of months of not seeing each.

“Yeah, sorry about that mate. The tubes were a nightmare. I should have left earlier,” I say in a tone to placate him; after all no one likes tardiness, so I hold my hands up and order myself a pint and raise my glass to good health.

“So how have you been?” I enquire, and we start to engage in the type of intelligent conversation most men of my age talk about, which happens to be the same conversation man has had with each other since we are able to open our mouths and gurgle.

Football.

“What do you make of Luis Suarez then?” I say in reference to the Ivanovic-snacking Liverpool strikers comments about wanting to leave English football. “That guy is one sandwich short of a picnic!”

I raise my eyebrows in approval at my very own assessment of the controversial Uruguayan. As an Everton fan, I rarely need any excuse to have a good dig at anything Anfield-related and I’m hoping my friend will join in.

“I totally agree,” he says. “That is one hungry man for success.”

And I burst out laughing at his witty pun, clearly referencing Suarez’s penchant for biting opposition players. Granted, I probably go a little overboard with my level of laughing to be honest. I mean it was funny, but it wasn’t that funny. But I’m keen to encourage this theme of Suarez bashing so I’m hoping my reaction will coax my buddy into more of the same.

“What was so funny?” he asks me, with a face as straight as Family Guy’s Glenn Quagmire.

“You know,” I say, brushing away his obvious fishing attempts for a compliment at his rather average joke. “The thing about Suarez being hungry for success.”

“Oh right,” he says and takes down a mouthful of lager. “But I still don’t get what is so funny about that.”

This is ridiculous now. Give a guy one tiny piece of encouragement about him being the funny man and he wants to swim in it for the next half hour. I simply give him one of those ‘yeah right’ nudges in the arm, and I’m confident he’s satisfied with his moment of glory and we can move on.

“I still don’t get it,” he pipes up again and I’m now starting to look around for the nearest fire exit so I can make a quick escape because there is no way I’m going to continue letting him dine out on what was quite a shit gag. “I was merely agreeing with your assessment that Suarez is driven to succeed.”

“I never said he was driven to succeed,” I make my point clear. I’ve never said any Liverpool player was driven to succeed. That would be a compliment for crying out loud! “You said he was hungry for success. I said he was one sandwich short of a picnic.” And I’m glad we’ve cleared that up.

“It’s the same thing!” and his face lights up as he wiggles his finger at me like he has just found me after a game of hide and seek.

“No it’s not,” I protest, now realising that his witty comment minutes earlier was anything but a witty comment, and was in fact him making a statement. “It means he is off his rocker! A loony-tune! A whack-job! It’s an old well-known saying.”

“It does not mean that at all! That wouldn’t make any sense!” And he now has the gall to look at me like I’m one sandwich short of a picnic! “If you pack a picnic and when you’re finished eating all the food and are still hungry, you’d want another sandwich. Hence the saying one sandwich short of a picnic.”

I look around in disbelief, half expecting Jeremy Beadle or Harry Hill to jump out at me as part of some hidden camera show.

But then it dawns on me.

There is a good reason I haven’t seen my mate for a while, and that’s because he is the most argumentative person I’ve ever met. He’d argue the sky wasn’t blue, and he even did once!

I take a deep breath and decide I’m fighting a lost cause with this one. It’s best if we just move on and forget it so I raise my glass to him as a compromise. “I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree,” and I clink my glass against his.

“Why would anyone agree that they are wrong?”

Friday, 7 June 2013

Jimmy Fallon presents Brian Williams rapping Snoop Dogg style!

This is the funniest thing I've seen in a long time! Someone at work showed me this today and I only have two words for you - pure genius! Here is NBC news anchor Brian Williams rapping the Snoop Dogg classic Ain't Nuthin' But A G Thang...


And just when you thought it couldn't get any better, he only then goes and follows it up with a bit of Regulate by Warren G!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Top 10 best Championship / Football Manager players ever!

UPDATE! This vote has now closed so make sure you vote on the greatest CM/FM First XI all of time - click here! To see the result of this poll, you can read the article here.

 I'm not sure there is a man on the planet that at some point in their life has not played Championship (and later on Football) Manager. Champ Man, as it still affectionately known today by its legion of fans, has been cited in over 30 divorce cases and tales of wives and girlfriends coming home to find their men sitting with their head in their hands after an agonizing defeat or conducting a pre-match press conference in the kitchen before the big cup final are all too familiar.

I remember playing Championship Manager 93 for the very first time on the Amiga. It was a life-changing moment and 20 years later I am still addicted now as a 35-year-old-man as I was then as a 15-year-old boy. My sleeping patterns would never be the same again!

And even today, all these years later, there remains one common theme that still conjures up an explosion of of excitement that is so strong it has even managed to convince hardcore Champ Man players to actually apply for real-life football managerial vacancies, because nothing beats plucking out a future world class superstar that no one has ever heard of before for peanuts!

For all the hidden gems who turned out to be the real deal (see Cristiano Ronaldo, Vincent Kompany, Javier Saviola, et al), there are plenty who never quite made the grade in the real game. But those are the players that stand out the most for die-hard CM/FM fans. It's almost as if they really were our players and they made their names at our teams. We are the ones who moulded them into world beaters whereas those coaches with Uefa grade badges failed!

Who is the greatest CM/FM player of all time? (It may take a couple of minutes for your vote to register)

The game was so popular that those who worked on the game (Mark Collis & Ferrah Orosco in 1993/94 and Tó Madeira in 2001/02) even went as far to put themselves in the game as wonderkids. This A-Z Top 10 is dedicated to the best players from my own personal experience of playing. It was not an easy decision, and many great players were left out but we all have our own opinions - that's what makes this game so great!

The Top 10 Best CM/FM Players of all Time (A-Z)


1. Andri Sigporsson
Starting Club: KR (Reykjavík FC)
Position: S C
Era: Championship Manager 3
Nationality: Iceland

It's often been said that Kerry Katona has done more for Iceland than this Scandinavian striker, but back in 1999 when CM3 loaded on to our laptops, Sigporsson was the ultimate leading man and could be picked up for around £100k. In the real world, despite starting his career at Bayern Munich, his playing days finished in Austria and Norway.

2. Cherno Samba
Starting Club: Millwall
Position: S C
Era: Championship Manager 01/02
Nationality: English

England have always had a reputation of heaping too much pressure on their young starlets but that wasn't a problem for 16-year-old Cherno Samba who took it all in his stride and scored a bucketload of goals in the process! Despite nearly signing for Liverpool in real life, it never quite took off for Samba but we'll still have the memories of his free-scoring antics!

3. Freddy Adu
Starting Club: DC United
Position: AM/F RLC
Era: Championship Manager 03/04
Nationality: U.S.A.

The US love their superstars, and back in 2004 they thought they had their own when they stole 14-year-old Freddy Adu from Ghana! For years Champ Man kept faith in the youngster that even the great Pelé raved about, and he didn't let us down on screen. Despite spells at Benfica and Monaco it never really worked out for Adu and he is now at Portuguese club Bahia.

4. Ibrahima Bakayoko
Starting Club: Montpellier
Position: S C
Era: Championship Manger 97/98
Nationality: Ivory Coast

I signed Bakayoko for my beloved Everton at the start of my CM 97/98 game, and he absolutely ran rampant tearing Premier League defences apart, scoring 30 goals a season at least. So you can imagine my delight when he signed for Everton for real in 1998/99 and bagged himself 4 goals before being shipped of back to France. Her was last seen playing in the Greek league.

5. Jan Lastuvka
Starting Club: Shakhtar Donetsk
Position: GK
Era: Football Manager 2005
Nationality: Czech Republic

In 2005 I was on the lookout for a keeper to replace the aging Nigel Martyn in my Everton squad when this little nugget of Czech gold fell into my laps. For around £1.9m you could purchase yourself at least 15-years worth of world class service in between the sticks. The reality was that you'd more likely get 15-years worth of bench warming!

6. Kennedy Bakircioglu
Starting Club: Hammarby
Position: AM/F RLC
Era: Championship Manager 99/00
Nationality: Sweden

I bet anyone who bought the half-Swedish, half-Turkish, exotically-yet-unpronounceably named Kennedy Bakircioglu didn't picture their playmaker of the 99/00 season to be a balding journeyman who never quite lived up to his Champ Man fame despite a spell at Ajax. The attacking midfielder was a genuine bargain and pulled all the strings.

7. Lebokhang Mokoena
Starting Club: Orlando Pirates
Position: AMC
Era: Football Manager 2005
Nationality: South Africa

If you were smart, the first bit of business you would do at the start of Football Manager 2005 would be to raid the Orlando Pirates for the creativity and flair of Lebokhang Mokoena and the rock-solid anchor man Benedict Vilakazi. Both could be bought for £1m and you would have the mainstay of your midfield for many seasons to come. Mokoena never even left South Africa!

8. Nii Lamptey
Starting Club: Anderlecht
Position: M/A RLC
Era: Championship Manager ‘93
Nationality: Ghana

Arguably the greatest CM/FM player of all time! If you could snap up Lamptey from the International Transfer Market (as it was known in the days of CM 93) then you could pretty much sit back and watch the league titles pile up! Lamptey's real career saw him take in stints at Anderlecht, PSV, Aston Villa and Coventry, but too much football too early in his career burnt him out.

9. Pablo Piatti
Starting Club: Estudiantes
Position: AM/S C
Era: Football Manager 2008
Nationality:Argentina

The fact that Piatti's second nationality was Italian meant that you could pick up the South American wonderkid and Lionel Messi lookalike for around £250k without any work permit problems! Some might say that in the game he was even better than Messi! Not in real life though, despite Spanish side Valencia forking out €7.5 million for his services.

10. Tonton Zola Moukoko
Starting Club: Derby County
Position: AM/F C
Era: Championship Manager 01/02
Nationality: Swedish/Ghanaian

They say save the best until last and here we have a player that had everything - the name, goals, unbelievable tekkers, and an ever lasting adulation from fans who set up a Facebook appreciation group. You have to ask how did Champ Man get this one so spectacularly wrong?! After playing at Derby he would return to Sweden and was last known to be playing in Finland.

Well that is the countdown complete! If anything this has been a glorious trip down Nostalgia Lane! Let me know if you agree and who your most memorable CM/FM players are and remember to vote!

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Lad Lit Book Reviews: I Am The Secret Footballer

Books For Men Book Reviews: I Am The Secret Footballer
Football has never been bigger – in terms of both finances and global status. Players are like rock stars from your Ozzy Osbourne’s (Luis Suarez – likes to bite things) to your Bono’s (David Beckham – does a lot for charity y’know) and your Donny Tourette’s (John Terry – no one likes him) to your Liam Gallagher’s (Joey Barton – talks a good game and likes a punch-up).

If the football field is a theatre then the media tales we hear is the pantomime and we’ve become as hungry for all the on-field antics as we have with those off-field. The almost 24-hour coverage of the beautiful game makes us feel like we have almost open access to the inner-goings on at our clubs, but the truth is the truth is there has never been such a wider divide between players and fans as there is today.

That is what makes I Am The Secret Footballer so intriguing. Even before this book came out, this mystery player has been revealing top secret information about the inner sanctum of the Premier League and the lives that revolve around it in his column for The Guardian. Most footballer’s autobiographies are rarely that open, maintaining that What happens in the dressing room, stays in the dressing room stance, especially if they are still playing.

But in this book, the Secret Footballer is more than happy to hold the door wide open and let us walk in to explore all manners of everything football from managers to players and the media to money. He talks candidly about players contracts and what the atmosphere in the dressing room is really like.

And then there is the bad behaviour. For every scandal that makes it on to the front pages of the tabloids, there appears to be double the amount we never hear about. His stories about one footballer’s wife and another married player openly getting jiggy in a Dubai swimming pool or the time the his team had an interesting altercation with a bunch of Barcelona players at a Las Vegas strip club make for more than just an interesting read!

Still, I couldn’t help but think as I read the book that he was always being totally open.  For example, the player is clearly married or has had a long-term partner, so when he regales stories about wannabe WAGs throwing themselves at footballers (one great story is when a girl is ashamed of herself for going back to sleep with a Championship player!), he is always quick to distance himself from any wrong-doing despite the fact some of his stories involve him going back to hotels with these women.

For the most part he is honest and open, and discussion around his identity continues to grow. A recent website set-up by fans of the column believe they have ‘unmasked’ the player to be current Sheffield United striker Dave Kitson after matching certain criteria within the book to the former Stoke City and Reading player.

Whoever he is, he has written a must-read book for all football fans who want to know what really goes on in the world of a top-level professional footballer.

http://stevenscaffardi.blogspot.co.uk/p/the-lad-lit-book-review.html

Monday, 3 June 2013

Top 10 Football Fun moments of the 2012/13 season!

With England managing to secure a 2-2 draw in Brazil at the Maracana last night, the curtain has finally come down on the 2012/13 season. This is one of the most difficult times for a football fan because it now means we have exactly 10 weekends without a ball being kicked. That's 10 weekends without the banter from Jeff Stelling and the boys on Soccer Saturday,10 weekends without any dry wit from Gary Lineker on Match of the Day, and 10 weekends without any classic quotes from Gary Neville on Super Sunday.

Still, on the plus side it does mean we get a break from Andy Townsend's pants commentary on ITV! Every cloud...

So now is a great time to reflect on the season and to look back on what was my top 10 Football Fun moments of the 2012/13 season (counting down from 10)...

10. Curtis Woodhouse tracks down and confronts Twitter troll!
Former footballer-turned-boxer Curtis Woodhouse delivered a knock-out blow to Twitter troll James O'Brien after tracking him down to his house following a series of abusive tweets. The ex-Sheffield United and Birmingham City midfielder - who quit football for boxing in 2006 - offered to pay £1,000 on Twitter if any of his followers could tell him where O'Brien lived after he received a volley of abuse from the troll following his English light-welterweight title defeat to Shane Singleton in March.

Curtis Woodhouse tracks down and confronts Twitter troll!

Within minutes of his offer, Woodhouse had O'Brien's address and jumped in his car to drive the 60 miles from Hull to Sheffield to confront the culprit, and then tweeted a photo of O'Brien's street, saying: 'right Jimbob im here !!!!! someone tell me what number he lives at, or do I have to knock on every door #itsshowtim'. O'Brien was quick to backtrack and the newly christened #JimmyBrownPants made a grovelling apology. As word spread Woodhouse drew widespread support from the likes of Lennox Lewis and John Prescott, handing him one of the sweetest victories of his career!

9. Elmohamady and Holloway express their promotion delight through dance!
The ecstasy of reaching the promised land of the Premier League was too much for some players and managers to hide. First we had to endure a horrifying display of skanking out from Ahmed Elmohamady (see video clip here) after Hull City gained automatic promotion, before old snake hips himself, Ian Holloway, cut some serious shapes after Crystal Palace had booked themselves a place at Wembley for the Playoff Final.

8. Everyone bloody retires!
David Beckham retiresWith United wrapping the title up with four games to go and Wigan failing to save themselves for their usual final day of the season Houdini act, there was very little to play for on that final Sunday. So in order to give fans something to get interested in (because let's face it, no one cared about the race for fourth unless you were Arsenal or Gareth Bale FC), a glut of football luminaries decided to call it a day including Sir Alex Ferguson, Paul Scholes, Jamie Carragher, and Michael Owen.

Not to be outdone, David Beckham then threw his notice into the hat and stole the thunder by blubbing like a baby...!

7. That Robin Van Persie volley against Aston Villa
A sensational Robin Van Persie hat-trick roared Manchester United to a 3-0 victory over Aston Villa and ripped back the Premiership title from their rivals Manchester City. But this is a game that will be remembered for that stunning volley.

Words simply can't do this goal justice, which is why it's best just to sit back and enjoy it in all its magnificent glory...


6. Dave Whelan breaks Guinness World Record for telling the same story 312,977 times in 24 hours
As if the fairytale of little old Wigan winning the FA Cup against the mighty and mega-rich Manchester City wasn't a big enough story itself, one man was determined to upstage them with an even bigger fable of his own! The fact that man happened to be Wigan's chairman Dave Whelan didn't seem to phase him as he regaled his tale of breaking his leg whilst playing for Blackburn in the 1960 showpiece more times than Uncle Albert started sentences with the phrase "During the war..."

Dave Whelan, Roberto Martinez, Wigan, FA Cup, FA Cup Final, breaks his leg, broken leg, Blackburn, 1960,

Even Ben Watson's last minute winner couldn't stop Whelan from banging on about the time Wolves winger Norman Deeley's horror tackle ended his career, and rumour has it that Roberto Martinez actually left Wigan not because they were relegated, but because he couldn't stand to hear the story one more time!

5. Zlatan leads Swedish goal fest against England and Germany
All in all, it hasn't been a bad season for Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The big Swede helped himself to 29 goals and the Ligue 1's Player of the Year as Paris Saint-Germain captured their first league title in 19 years. But none of that - even the sight of the 6'5 martial arts expert yelling "You always ruin everything" to PSG Director of Football Leonardo in a leaked video clip - can compete with Zlat's exploits with Sweden this season.

First came the incredible Swedish comeback from 4-0 down against Germany in the World Cup qualifiers in October to draw 4-4 after an injury time equaliser, and then came November's outing against England as Ibrahimovic tore the Three Lion's apart with four fantastic goals, including a wondergoal to beat all wondergoals.


4. Gareth Bale FC finishes fifth
When you read that Real Madrid are prepared to bid upwards of £65m for a player two things are for certain: a) That player is pretty special and b) The club presidential elections must be around the corner!

Gareth Bale, goal celebartion, Tottenham
The Welsh Wizard has had a season to remember, picking up every individual award going, yet he was unable to help Spurs clinch that final Champions League spot. Even more unfortunate is that for a man who scores an abundance of spectacular goals, his goal celebration is pretty shit. He is lucky that Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge has an even more ridiculous celebration. Word of advice lads - type Ian Wright's name into YouTube and watch how to do a proper celebration!

3. Late drama breaks Brentford hearts
For all the razz-a-ma-tazz of the Premier League, the biggest end of season drama took place at Griffin Park where the League One match between Brentford and Doncaster Rovers saw two teams battling it out for a place in the Championship.

In the dying seconds of the game Brentford surged forward looking for a goal that would earn promotion and were awarded a penalty. Up stepped Marcello Trotta to crash the ball against the bar, and to add insult to injury, the ball was cleared up field and James Coppinger scored the goal that secured Doncaster automatic promotion instead.


In a bizarre similar circumstance a couple of weeks later, Watford advanced to the Championship Playoff Final in a almost carbon copy of what happened at Griffin Park, when after Leicester's Anthony Knockaert saw his penalty saved in the final minute, Watford went straight down the other end and scored through Troy Deeney.

2. Pep Guardiola leaves the best team in the world to join the best team in the world
Pep Guardiola's season-long sabbatical came to an end when it was announced in January that he would be replacing Jupp Heynckes as the Bayern Munich manager for the 2013/14 season.

You have to feel sorry for Pep. First time round he had the tough task of trying to assemble Messi, Xavi, Iniesta and co into some sort of team, and now he has to take over the record-breaking German champions who managed to dismantle his old team Barcelona in emphatic style on route to beating Borussia Dortmund to be crowned champions of Europe. What a nightmare!

Pep Guardiola, new Bayern Munich manager, FC Bayern, Barcelona,

Of course, Pep isn't the real story here - Bayern Munich are. Not only did they destroy the so-called best team the world has ever seen 7-0 over two legs in the Champions League semi-final, but they pretty much broke every record going on their way winning the Bundesliga, before finishing the season with a 3-2 win over VfB Stuttgart in the German Cup final to become only the seventh European team in history to win the treble!

1. Luis Suarez has a quick snack during game
What else is there left to say about Luis Suarez? Hopefully 'goodbye' if recent speculation about his future with Liverpool is anything to go by. Not content with the controversy caused last season following his ban for racism, the Uruaguayan decided to go back in time by biting Chelsea player Branislav Ivanovic during a game - something he had done previously when playing for Ajax.

Of course, Liverpool fans banded together to say the rest of us were all picking on Suarez, but after his recent comments about wanting to leave the club (because he has been treated so unfairly!) even Reds fans must now be coming round to the fact that he is nothing but one horrible little man. And just in case they are still not convinced, then watch this...