This post, written by Josh Burt, is republished with permission from The Spoiler. Go there often if you like soccer stuff.
As mentioned earlier today, it's Blue Monday — the most miserable day of the year. [Deadspin editor's note: This was published yesterday.] So to celebrate, The Spoiler thought it would be GREAT FUN to list 10 people in and around the world of football who would drive you to self harm just by turning up at a dinner party. Feel free to add your own in the comments section…
Even at his most cheerful, Graeme Souness still has a grey raincloud floating above his head ready to piss it down. Once upon a time, his grumblings could at least be offset by the presence of a hilarious joke moustache, but now even that's been moodily shaved off and thrown in the bin — presumably because he became sick to death of getting dreary spoonfuls of mushroom soup in it.
Like mobster wives, it's always been assumed that WAGs will turn a blind eye to the gumars, the gambling, and stick merrily to what they do best — namely hair ironing, and designing new fragrances for hot young tarts to wear whilst they're being rogered by their husbands. Not Cheryl Cole. No, sister. She's a strong, beautiful, independent woman, and now an ex-WAG. Albeit one who seems perpetually cross about something.
When Mark Lawrenson speaks, it's the listening equivalent of a dripping tap, or an old curmudgeonly mute holding down the most depressing key on a Moog keyboard to accurately sum up his mood. Even compliments sound like sarcastic insults. Which isn't great.
Should you happen to have a very short memory, Vanessa (pictured) was the lady who caused such an explosive eruption around the planet that it rippled and rippled, until eventually on a football pitch somewhere, Wayne Bridge shunned the opportunity to enjoy one of John Terry's wet pre-match handshakes. A gloomy-looking woman, had she played her cards a bit more cheerfully, she could have been the next Rebecca Loos. Preferably minus jerking off a pig on Channel Five.
Fans of The Godfather trilogy may have spotted the parallel running between Wayne Rooney and Michael Corleone — in that both of them started out happy, yet have somehow wound up looking at best tired and blighted and at worst capable of murdering a family member. Rather fittingly, Rooney's brother — Fredo — has recently gone off to lord it up in America. Uh-oh.
When Liverpool supporters were shouting from the stands, urging the reinstatement of King Kenny, all of those who don't know him will have envisaged a wonderful brute of a man triumphantly riding into Anfield with Sammy Lee next to him on a leash. Not so. Liverpool fans got their man, and as he wandered from the tunnel with his hands in his pockets like a reluctant stepchild at their dad's second wedding since he ditched their mum, the U.S. owners continued to stand waiting for this King guy long into the match.
On the pitch, Tevez still resembles a wolf-child having the time of his life, but take him away from it, hand him a Dictaphone to journal his thoughts, and you will be left listening to the long tearful lament of a man who has simply had enough of it all. If the rumours are true, he could yet be cheering himself up with a series of main courses served as starters in sunny Spain.
Not so long ago, Stephen Ireland was cutting a euphoric figure, with his magnificent ink-wings, and his thrilling "look at me" cars. Fast forward only a matter of months, and those wings have been replaced with bloodied stumps, whilst the startling pink cars have begun to show signs of going rusty in a Spaghetti Junction layby. By which we're clumsily using metaphors to suggest that he stops the rot and leaves Aston Villa.
Is Roy football's most moody gentleman? As a player, he was notable for shouting hysterically at his teammates — even when the going was good — and he now divides his time between intimidating journalists and oscillating between having a beard, and not having a beard. Either way, he looks totally pissed off.
No miserable list would be complete without the inevitable mention of Anelka — even though he mightn't be miserable at all. But still, why the long face?