INTERNATIONAL BREAK CONTINUES APACE
The Fiver is enjoying the new series of Dream Team. Talk to the hand, culture snobs! You don’t know what you’re missing. The latest episode focuses on the trials and tribulations of Billericay Town, where mild-mannered chairman Glenn Tamplin is surely just a few tweets away from appointing Wayne Lineker as the National League South side’s new manager. Events move at a dizzying pace and Tamplin is the undoubted star of the show. It wouldn’t work without him. No other character has his presence, his heft, his charisma. He’s a maverick, a star in the making, and some haters can’t handle it. But The Fiver has fallen in love.
After all, it’s been a whirlwind few weeks for Billericay. It began when Tamplin decided to ditch Harry Wheeler, who allegedly received a text message telling him to do one during last month’s defeat to Chippenham Town, and picked up pace when he put the club up for sale last week. But get this – he was just playing with us. You know how television works. They lead you down one path, making you think your favourite character has been killed off, but we all know that Walter White is going to appear in the final episode of Bodyguard. Obviously Tamplin wasn’t going to walk away – not when he still had a very professional recruitment process to oversee!
It wasn’t long before Tamplin found a replacement for Wheeler, with Steve Watt honoured to be added to Billericay’s WhatsApp group on Tuesday. And a little bemused when the job offer was withdrawn two hours later. Word had apparently reached Tamplin that Watt slagged him off in the press while he was at Margate last season. Nobody mugs off Tamplin and gets away with it. Nobody! Total lack of respect. Watt, Maidstone United’s former caretaker boss, was totally out of order. Or was it all a dream?
“I’ve been sacked from a job I never had,” Watt declared. “The thing that’s annoyed me is I’ve never once slagged Glenn off, or the club. If you look at my [Social Media Disgrace] Twitter and any press I’ve ever done I’ve always been complimentary of them. I know who’s accused me and I’ve spoken to them about it today. If I’ve got something to say about someone I’ll do it to their face. I’m not the type who needs to do it behind anyone’s back. You know where you stand with me.” Magnificent. Five stars. What can The Fiver possibly add to that? Other than to ask when auditions for the next series begin? Give us a call, Glenn. Give it Fiver till the end of the season.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“We’re in a state of shock. We never dreamt how much it would be” – Len Nicol, treasurer of Dyce Boys Club, reacts to news of Scotland midfielder Stuart Armstrong’s move to Southampton from the Queen’s Celtic earning them a six-figure windfall.
It’s the latest Football Weekly Extraaaaaaaaaaaaaa.
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“The Marina Hyde article in yesterday’s Still Want Mores contained a link to a past edition of The Fiver (6 July 2009). That particular Fiver opens with a reference to ‘Hegelian dialectic’. Given that José Mourinho recently made a point of using the words of Hegel, his ever more miserable demeanour suddenly makes more sense if you make the reasonable assumption he’s a long-term Fiver reader. However, if there’s a silver lining to that particularly dark cloud it’s that 6/7/09 was the day the Stop Football campaign was launched – and I think we may have found a potential new figurehead likely to finish it off once and for all” – Ed Taylor.
“With the new Apple product names coming out of Cupertino on Thursday, I wondered if it was time for an upgrade from Guardian 5R. Perhaps moving to XR (extremely rubbish) would work for you? The product would be a downgrade from the flagship offering and you could tout the bionic chip on your shoulder and ability survive for up to 30 minutes submerged in Tin. I doubt that putting in an extra one-and-a-half-hour shift every day will help with quality but perhaps you can make it up in volume” – Neale Redington.
“It’s interesting to see Milan want Arsenal’s Ivan Gazidis as their new chief suit but I do wonder how he’ll deal with the challenge of a once great club failing to make Big Cup, reduced to competing in Big Vase and just winning a few domestic cups in the last 10 years?” – Noble Francis.
“Having watched Sunderland’s defence last season, turning up a month late is about par for the course. Papa Djilobodji (yesterday’s Bits and Bobs) could have a case for unfair dismissal” – Daniel Doody.
“Since the transfer window has closed and all, I trained a neural network on two years’ worth of The Rumour Mill and added some death metal lyrics into the mix. Now it spits out some very weird transfer gossip every day (so I don’t have to wait for the real thing). I considered training it on The Fiver, but am a bit frightened of what that might lead to. Anyway, if you want to check it out, you can do so here” – Thomas Krantz.
Send your letters to [email protected] And if you’ve nothing better to do you can also tweet The Fiver. Today’s winner of our prizeless letter o’the day is … Ed Taylor.
BITS AND BOBS
Hugo Lloris has been ruled out for “several weeks” with groin-gah, but Mauricio Pochettino has taken pity on his goalkeeper and will let the Frenchman keep the captain’s armband despite his drink-driving conviction. Muscular issues are the name of the game at White Hart Lane/Stadium:mk/Wembley, as Dele Alli will not feature against Liverpool due to hamstring-twang.
A whole World Cup of VAR was not good enough for the Premier League, which will test the system on Saturday’s 3pm kick-offs to see if it can cope with Jonjo Shelvey and Granit Xhaka playing in the same game.
He might have only played 33 minutes this season, but Ruben Loftus-Cheek is confident of finally making an impact at Chelsea.
And League Two Tranmere have signed a player last spotted plying his trade in the Brazilian second tier. He is the glamorously named Ryan Williams.
STILL WANT MORE?
Swindon Town’s Michael Doughty tells Stuart James how going to Harrow does not define him as a footballer.
Eni Aluko wants Women’s Big Cup to spread its wings.
Conceding goals is bad, as Jonathan Wilson points out.
The Nations League is neither confusing nor overcomplicated, it’s a serious competition for serious international football teams, Nick Ames scribes.
Liverpool to win at Spurs? They have the defence for it now, according to Martin Laurence.
Oh, and if it’s your thing … you can follow Big Website on Big Social FaceSpace. And INSTACHAT, TOO!