‘TheHardTackle Satire’ is a semi-regular column which takes potshots at anything and anyone even remotely associated with football. With no pretensions about wanting to be taken seriously, ‘TheHardTackle Satire’ parodies, lampoons and jests at the people who make the beautiful game tick – both on and off the field.
Brendan Rodgers was noticeably stoic after watching his side crash to a defeat in their first game of the Premier League season. Facing West Bromwich Albion, the Reds were expected to win comfortably. Not only did they fail to achieve a victory, they also confidently shipped in 3 goals despite having the likes of Carragher, Gerrard, Suarez and Lucas. In short, Liverpool started off their season just as they’d ended the last one – by swindling their supporters out of their hard earned money.
Arsenal stumbled to a scoreless draw against Sunderland, in their first game without the magic of Robin van Persie at their disposal. As the game remained scoreless, the Gunners tried changes in formation, substitutions and new game plans. When all hope was lost, Arsene Wenger decided to take matters into his own hands. Stepping up from his seat, he waved and gesticulated with his arms wildly until the final whistle blew. Most viewers took that to be a sign of his frustration until TV commentators pointed out Wenger was actually thrilled his team hadn’t lost.
Andre Villas-Boas who promised he’d learned from his mistakes at Chelsea, might actually have learned the wrong lessons. After being told he needed to get down to the level of his players and display more humility, Villas-Boas traded his trademark expensive suit for a training jersey and track pants. He then goofed up even more by asking Luka Modric to fetch his Nike shoes for him. On being told his actions smacked of arrogance, Villas-Boas said “But it’s a really old pair of shoes”.
After Defoe equalized, Villas-Boas refused to show any emotion until everyone in the team had come over to the touchline and celebrated with him. It got even more awkward when he substituted everyone who’d refused to hug him at the touchline. At the post-match press conference however, Villas-Boas lamented how the universe was out to get him. When asked about Tom Huddlestone’s pointed tweet, Villas-Boas denied everything, insisted he had turned a new leaf and accused everyone of not supporting his project. On the positive side, he also set a personal record going through an entire press conference without blaming Frank Lampard for once.
Meanwhile Fernando Torres reassured relieved Chelsea fans that his performances at the Euro was only a flash in the plan, with a shambolic attempt at goal in the game against Wigan. His attempt was so weak that the ball was officially declared the slowest thing to come out of Chelsea, since John Terry.
Torres’ attempt was cleared off the line by a sauntering Ramis who also managed to find time to sign a couple of autographs before getting to the ball and stroking it away from a gaping goal. Torres who seems to have lost a yard of pace, a few pounds of muscle and also lost his legendary ability to make you feel sorry for him, instinctively tried to blame Drogba before realizing the Ivorian was nowhere around.
Manchester United got their league campaign off to a rocky start losing 1-0 away to Everton. Prior to the game, Sir Alex Ferguson had said Robin van Persie’s experience would help United. The Scotsman would have no idea how true his words prove to be, as van Persie’s vast experience in dealing with losses to lesser teams away from home certainly came in handy at the final whistle. As United players were left stunned at an unexpected defeat, van Persie who spent several years at Arsenal expecting to lose led the way with plaudits for Everton’s players.
Van Persie had earlier claimed he made the move to United having listened to his inner child. He said “When I have to make hard decisions, I always listen to little boy inside me and what he wants. That little boy was screaming for Manchester United”. Upon hearing that, Arsene Wenger immediately enquired if he could sign up the little boy.