Daily Archives: 07/02/2015

Madrid Prospect Kanes Arsenal as Spurs Record Rare Derby Win – by Rob Atkinson

Plucky Spuds Kick Arse

Plucky Spuds Kick Arse

Young Harry Kane, the latest product to roll off the Real Madrid talent production line in London N17, is certainly making a case for being able to join Gareth Bale at Tottenham’s mother club sooner, rather than later.

Two opportunist second-half strikes were enough to sink a below-par Arsenal, the Kings of London never quite managing to get into their usual regal stride. Kane’s first goal was an object lesson in instinctive movement and being in the right place at the right time, as the ball zipped across Arsenal’s goal line. Kane found himself in space beyond the far post and finished adroitly. The winner was simply wonderful, a back-pedalling Kane somehow managing to rise to a steepling cross and punch the ball squarely with his forehead to drop into the Gunners’ net.

In the first half, Özil had given the Arse an early lead somewhat against the run of play. Arsenal had other chances, but lacked bite and cohesion. The result, in the end, was a fair one and Spurs now stand a point ahead of their hated rivals – something to look fondly back on at the end of the season when they have been eclipsed yet again by the Emirates men.

Spurs’ umpteenth failure to qualify for the Champions League may not – quite yet – cost them the services of Harry Kane. But the writing is already on the wall; Tottenham are simply not big enough for such a talent and Kane’s imminent international preferment will only make that more blindingly obvious.

For Arsenal, this was just a bad day at the office. They can and will recover; a glance at their remaining fixtures as compared to those of Spurs will make it clear that the Gunners are destined to finish as North London top dogs yet again. But that alone will not heal the wounds inflicted at the Lane today.

The Arse will be able to comfort themselves by winning the war despite losing this battle – and by the fact that they will not have to face local derby opposition that includes Harry Kane, the latest potential Wunderkind headed inevitably for the Bernebeu and the higher-class environment of la Liga.

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FL to Induct “Heroic” Ref Salisbury Into the Ray Tinkler Hall of Fame – by Rob Atkinson

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A statement released today by Football League CEO Shaun Harvey reads: “Following the outstanding performance of our highly-valued match official Graham Salisbury in the Leeds United versus Brentford Championship fixture, the Football League is delighted to announce that Mr. Salisbury is to be awarded honorary admission, forthwith and with immediate effect, into the “Ray Tinkler Hall of Fame“.

This is a move almost unprecedented in the history of the game; such an elevation into the ranks of match officials most highly regarded by the League normally takes place only in recognition of achievements over a whole career – as with Howard Webb, Mike Riley and Mike Dean of Man Utd. Previous exceptional cases have included two accolades awarded to foreign referees, both for outstanding conduct in European Finals involving Leeds. Christos Michas (1973, ECWC Final, Salonika, Greece) and Michel Kitabdjian (1975, European Cup Final, Parc des Princes, Paris, France) were given honorary membership of the Tinkler Hall of Fame after going above and beyond the call of duty in each case to ensure defeat for The Damned United. Both men sacrificed their careers to stop Leeds winning the trophies concerned. The requirements for The Ray Tinkler Hall of Fame are simply that exacting.

League spokesman Ivor Whytes-Grudge was happy to elaborate on the Salisbury accolade. “Yes, we know that this is unusual, to say the least,” admitted an excited Ivor, “but Mr. Salisbury really exceeded all our expectations today. Greater love hath no man than this: that he should lay down his very reputation and integrity for a cause we all hold dear,” he added, solemnly.

So, what has the newly-honoured Salisbury actually done to deserve such a signal honour? “Are you actually kidding??” ejaculated an increasingly emotional Whytes-Grudge. “Did you see what Graham did to that beastly club today? Why, he pretty much single-handedly ensured their defeat to Brentford. You got the feeling that he wouldn’t stoop to giving Leeds a penalty even if one of their attackers had been cynically murdered inside the box. Now that’s what we call good refereeing – and how!”

Mr Salisbury himself was typically modest after the match, insisting on sharing the credit with his officials. “Yes, I was brilliant,” he quipped, his eyes twinkling. “I sorted Leeds out good and proper, didn’t I?? But think on – if my assistants had flagged for a penalty – as they would have to have done, for any other team – well, I’d have been in a very awkward position. But my colleagues were superb, they backed me to the hilt – and we’ve pulled off a famous victory. And the thought of even being mentioned in the same breath as “Sir” Ray Tinkler – the referee all of we modern officials look up to and revere – well, there’s just no greater honour. What’s integrity and honesty, compared to that?? You can stick ’em, quite frankly.”

The League have confirmed that they hope to appoint this official for other Leeds games this season. “He’s the man for the job, isn’t he?” purred an admiring Ivor Whytes-Grudge. “Shaun simply adores him.”

Meanwhile, our Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything matchday correspondent, “Mutton” Jeff, reported from Elland Road that the Leeds reaction to today’s referee was surprisingly favourable. “A prominent member of the United management team told me he thought Mr Salisbury conducted himself like “a real Count” and that he was just what they’d been expecting”, said our man on the spot, who has a slight cold. So that’s ok then… Unbelievable, Jeff.

Graham Salisbury is grossly, irretrievably, bent.