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The Fiver | Selflessly embracing the silver lining by giving ourselves the afternoon off


FASTLY AND THE FURIOUS

After the spectacular success of 2009’s STOP FOOTBALL campaign, which was formally recognised by Fifa last year following an unrelated pandemic, The Fiver moved enthusiastically on to its next project: STOP MYRIAD SOCIAL MEDIA DISGRACES. It was a simple idea, designed to preserve the endangered concept of the dignified private conversation. After a year of meticulous preparation, which mostly involved telling our techie cousin Two-Bit Fiver what to do while we watched repeats of Premier League Years 1994-95, we proudly prepared for the launch of our campaign this morning. And then we pressed the wrong bloody button and shorted half the internet!

For a couple of hours, the webbed wide world could not access a number of essential websites. Reddit, Twitch, Imgur, Hulu, Amazon and Big Website were also down. We haven’t seen such blind panic at Fiver Towers since TweetDeck stopped working during a virtue-signalling emergency in 2014. Your friendly neighbourhood Fiver was a little more relaxed about the whole thing, however. A boot or two on the table, a dry cheroot protruding from our partially open face, we selflessly embraced the silver lining in this particular cloud outage by awarding ourselves the afternoon off. But then the internet returned, like Freddy Krueger without the levity, and we had to revert to plan A. We wanted Tuesday’s Fiver to be a tutorial for both our readers in how to avoid mixing up the words historic and historical, which seems to happen every time some fount of empathy digs out offensive tweets sent by a foetus that has since become famous for being good at sport.

Historical means something that happened in the past, it says here, whereas historic means something important. For example, 8 June 2021 will be remembered as an historic day on which the Football Association proudly discovered the existence of a second gender. Debbie Hewitt has been announced as the first chairwoman in the FA’s 157-year existence, and will take over in January provided her appointment is ratified by a load of men. Hewitt, who was awarded an MBE in 2011 for her services to business and the public sector, replaces Greg Clarke, who resigned last November when he realised his DeLorean was about to return to 1973.

“I’ve been passionate about football from a very young age,” said Hewitt, missing the opportunity to establish her legacy-fan credentials by revealing a love of Aston Ham and particularly her favourite player, Sir Trevor Ormondroyd. “I’m excited by the opportunity to play my part in shaping the future of something that means so much to so many.” Once she has fixed football, maybe she could turn her attention to the internet.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“I woke up this morning to all the comparisons to Gazza and Eminem. It was my own thing! I remember watching highlights on TV of Gazza. I know what it means for the country. It wouldn’t be too bad if I tried to bring a bit of Gazza on the pitch” – a newly-bleached blond Phil Foden heaps weight on his slender shoulders by using the G-word before a major tournament.

RECOMMENDED LOOKING

David Squires does not miss … on the unlikely Marxist takeover of English football.

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! Illustration: David Squires/The Guardian

RECOMMENDED LISTENING

Football Weekly’s Euro Not 2020 preview special is here.

RECOMMENDED BOOKING

Speaking of which, tickets are still available for Football Weekly Live’s EN 2020 preview special on 10 June. Get them while they’re hot.

FIVER LETTERS

“Re: recent suggestions for sponsorship of the new European competition (Fiver letters passim), perhaps a well-known fictional Belgian detective could be a sponsor, and we’d have the Tintin Tin-pot Pot?” – Phil Smith.

“At the risk of flogging a dead horse at the same time as (improbably) riding on someone else’s coattails, presumably if The Fiver’s most-favoured brew-house ponied up to promote European football’s practically pointless prize and I popped to the pub to purchase their product, I’d have a Purple Tin Tin-pot Pot tin pint” – Steve Allen.

Send your letters to the.boss@theguardian.com. And you can always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our prizeless letter o’the day is … Steve Allen.

NEWS, BITS AND BOBS

A jury trying Joey Barton over an accusation he assaulted Daniel Stendel has been discharged by a judge who said things were getting “lost in translation” over a cross-national video link.

Joey Barton arriving at Sheffield crown court on Tuesday.
Joey Barton arriving at Sheffield crown court on Tuesday. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA

There will be no rare sighting of Donny van de Beek at Euro Not 2020 after the lesser-spotted Netherlands midfielder was ruled out with unspecified knack.

Steve Clarke reckons letting his Scotland players have two days with their families before reporting to their training base in the north east of England is not risky. “We don’t expect to see any of them going out and about,” he trilled, as Shortbread McFiver did a one-man conga behind him while downing a bottle of Buckfast.

The Fiver’s not $ur€ what made Gini Wijnaldum agree to join P$G on a two-year deal instead of Barcelona.

Meanwhile, Dortmund are determined to keep Erling Haaland in a vice-like grip but will gladly fill the club coffers with dosh if anyone comes calling for Jadon Sancho.

Stuttgart striker Silas Wamangituka, 21, has revealed that he is actually Silas Katompa Mvumpa, 22, because a former Mr 15% told him to use a false name and age. “We make this case public to underline that we are proceeding in a transparent way,” cheered Stuttgart.

And Osasuna midfielder Jon Moncayola has put pen to paper on a new deal that will take him up to 2031, which feels ambitious given the way the world is headed.

STILL WANT MORE?

Always read Marina. Obvs.

Wales fans had the summer of their lives in 2016 – and now we’re back for more, roars party animal Elis James.

This one’s ready!
This one’s ready! Photograph: Huw Fairclough/Getty Images

Gareth Southgate will have to find the right time to let his talented young pups off the leash in the Euros, writes Karen Carney. Here’s David Hytner on how a beer garden in Chingford made England Harry Kane’s No 1 priority. While Barney Ronay reckons England must choose between pace and technique.

Our Euro Not 2020 team guides and player profiles rumble on. No 17: Poland and their good egg Piotr Zielinski. Plus No 18: Slovakia and their Mr Reliable, Peter Pekarik.

Which Euros was the best? Rating all the tournaments, from 1976 to 2016.

You want a Euro Not 2020 stadium guide. Here you go.

All roads lead to Daniel Levy when analysing the reasons for Tottenham’s endless managerial farce, reckons Jonathan Liew.

The beautiful chaos of the USA! USA!! USA!!!-Mexico rivalry has returned, yelps César Hernández.

Oh, and if it’s your thing … you can follow Big Website on Big Social FaceSpace. And INSTACHAT, TOO!

‘NOW YOU KNOW ME, I’M A WOMAN OF PEACE. I DON’T TAKE NOTHIN’ DON’T BELONG TO ME …’





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