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Worst, Wurst, and Waist

THE FIVER WORST PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARDS V

Welcome to the fifth annual Fiver Worst Player of the Year awards. How about that, then? The fifth! That’s five years! Five! 1,826 days! Of our lives. Our all-too-short lives. Of which we only have one. Sitting here. Just sitting. Sitting. Gah!

But what’s done is done. There’s no point worrying about it now. Which is surely the attitude the eventual winner must take if he ever wants to get some sleep at night. Because for every Henry or van Nistelrooy, there are hundreds of lumpen oafs sending crosses sailing over the far stand with their shin. Although one in particular stands out, as any season-ticket holder at Anfield could tell you.

So who’s in the running to join a roll of dishonour which includes Hartson, Sutton, Ziege and Veron (but Black Prada Eyeglass Case surprisingly no Akinbiyi)? Well, this year, we’ve got a new format: up until the time we send your Fiver out on Wednesday (around 7.35pm), you can nominate whoever the hell you like. Then we’ll announce a shortlist of the leading five fat talentless idiots who are being paid SO MUCH of YOUR money it’s almost tantamount to them TAKING FOOD STRAIGHT FROM A HUNGRY CHILD’S MOUTH.

After that, with your help, we’ll spend the rest of the Bicester Village Prada Discount week abusing their characters. But just in case you need some ideas on who to vote for:

Mr Em (for that preposterous miss against Crystal Palace); Tore Andre Flo (£6.75m, six goals, two of them against Cambridge in the Worthington Cup); Mr Em (for taking a shot-cum-fresh-air-swipe and kicking up a massive clod of turf in the Worthington Cup final); Ricardo (five games played, 53 penalties conceded); Mr Em (for attempting a delicate dinked through-ball to Michael Owen against Arsenal and nearly taking someone in the back row of the Kop’s eye out); Paul Okon (the poor man’s Jacob Burns); Titus Bramble (let’s face it, it’s him or Mr Em, isn’t it?); Jason Roberts (two fewer goals than Scott Dobie and he’s after a big-money transfer); or Lee Bowyer (just because).

We’ll also be giving one lucky recipient the inaugural Fiver Worst Manager of the Year award. The shortlist is as follows:

Terry Venables.

So get voting in both sections! Send an email to [email protected] with the subject heading Fiver Worst Awards and we’ll either count them all up or rig it if we get a bit snowed under.

GROUNDS FOR COMPLAINT

It’s been a while since the Authentic Prada Handbag Uk Fiver last spoke to Plumb Bob Fiver, the overweight building-trade buddy we fall back on when searching lazily for an angle on Black Prada Bag Mission Impossible tedious ground development-based yarns. Ah, you’re right, we’ve never spoken to him before, but that’s mainly because he’s normally too busy chugging cheap char to talk to us. Still, we finally collared him today to get the low-down on Everton’s exciting new stadium plans. He belched abruptly, before pointing us in the direction of David Taylor, a suit working with Liverpool developer Inner City Solutions on a proposed 55,000 all-seater stadium at the city’s Central Docks.

“We have met Michael Dunford [Everton’s chief executive] and hope to meet the board in the next couple of weeks,” flapped the excited opportunist today. “This scheme started out as a fall-back for Liverpool FC in case their plans to move to Stanley Park fell through, but now they are committed to that and we are dealing with Everton after the collapse of the Kings Dock plans.” Or put another way, Everton have been offered Liverpool’s cast-off (which is nice symmetry, given Liverpool are playing in Everton’s first ground). “This has not been discussed by the board and whatever we plan to do in the future, if anything, won’t be on our agenda until well into the summer,” sniffed a club spokesman. “We’ve been approached by countless groups offering us land around the docks and elsewhere in the city, this new scheme is just one of them.”

No such dilemmas over at Manchester United, you’d guess. But guess again bags, because Uefa’s Diktat Division today reminded the club that the neon Manchester United sign atop the club’s East Stand (visible from space, no less) must be switched off and the Nike-clad club shop closed for the Big Cup final next week. “We’re obliged as hosts to provide a clean stadium, free from corporate branding or advertising of any kind,” rued a confused United spokesman today, clearly thrown by the phrase ‘free from corporate branding’. “This is to allow Uefa to market the game properly with its sponsors: McDonald’s, Monster Munch*, Dunkin’ Donuts* and Bratwursts of Munchen*.” The rumour that Lord Ferg’s tannin-tinged nose may also need to be covered up for the occasion, however, is merely a cheap parting shot.

[*Unconfirmed and largely inaccurate]

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Would I move to another club? I don’t think so. There is not Amancio Prada Prada much higher than Arsenal and, if there is, they probably won’t buy me” – Realism, thy name is Dennis Bergkamp.

SUITS YOU, SIR!

With his hallmark silver hair Are Prada Mens Shoes Good and Italian leather skin, Giorgio Armani uses only the finest materials to make clueless men look sharp. And with his latest commission, he can’t fail. Armani now has Authentic Prada Handbags Outlet Online designs on the England football team after Sven-Goran Eriksson bespoke to him today, calling him up for England duty. His task is to make England’s players look better off the pitch than they do on it. Which, let’s face it, is not difficult. “I am delighted and honoured to be working with the England team,” said Giorgio, in typically measured fashion. “They are representatives of one of the world’s great footballing nations,” he added, hiding an unsightly criticism with a stylish if meaningless platitude.

The new classic navy blue cotton/linen summer suits with two-button fastening and low-waisted flat-front trousers, paired with pearl grey button-down cotton shirts and dark blue-grey iridescent silk ties, will get their first airing tonight. Authentic Prada Handbag Uk Not on a Milan catwalk, however, but on a Luton runway as the England squad jet off for Thursday’s match against South Africa. “I am sure the players will enjoy MY GROIN! PLEASE KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF! wearing the suits and accessories designed by Mr Armani,” said FA suit Paul Barber, as a tailor tinkered with his inside leg measurements. “The collection he has created fits the squad’s requirements perfectly.”

Well, all requirements except Gareth Barry’s. The Aston Villa midfielder, called up from the U-21s today to replace Danny Murphy, arrived too late to get measured up and has been told to make do with Wayne Rooney’s hand-me-downs. Wayne’s strain, keeping him away from South Africa, also looks set to rule him out of next month’s Euro 2004 qualifier against Slovakia. “It has always been an ambition of mine to try and get back into the full national squad,” said Barry, unexpectedly joining the seniors for the first time in two-and-a-half years. If you think Barry looks silly in the squad, just wait until you see him in Rooney’s oversized strides.

THE RUMOUR MILL

Patrik Berger could yet be flicking the hair out of his eyes on Merseyside next season. Apparently Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Everton boss David Moyes wants the hairy Czech turncoat to fill the problem position on the left of midfield.

Meanwhile, Gerard Houllier’s boggling washing-machine eyes have begun a spin-cycle of excitement again, this time at the prospect of signing Samuel Eto’o. He’s available for around £5m from Real Mallorca, but the deal will only go through if Liverpool fail to sign £13m Djibril Cisse from Auxerre.

David Midlife Crisis Seaman has been linked with a return to Birmingham City, from where he left in 1986, a time when ponytailed men were more socially acceptable.

NEWS IN BRIEF

Roma have agreed a deal with Leeds for the permanent transfer of Olivier Dacourt. “Dacourt will stay in Rome until 2006,” said the club’s sporting director Franco Baldini. “I have sent a fax to Leeds this morning regarding our talks last week and the deal should be official between today or tomorrow.”

Claude Makelele says he’s no interest in signing for Manchester United. The Real Madrid midfielder told Spanish newspaper AS: “My representatives have not been speaking to Manchester United and I don’t want to play for Manchester United.”

Slovakian referee Lubos Michel will take charge of the Euro Vase final between Celtic and Porto in Seville on Wednesday.

Stan Lazaridis has signed a new two-year deal with Birmingham to keep him at St Andrews until 2005. The 30-year-old told the club’s official website www.bcfc.com: “The manager and I have both agreed that it was probably my best season at the club.”

TONIGHT’S TV AND RADIO

ITV1: Big Cup Weekly (1.20am) Never go back, suggested some wise man or other once upon a time, but then he never had to piece together a TV and Radio section with no new emails.

Channel 4: Dutch Football (4.30am) Alex Pradas Quiles Rephrase that, just one new email. That’s not to say that Martin Burke’s point isn’t both valid and ironic, just that we reported the subject was dead on Friday.

Sky Sports 1: FA Cup Special – How The 2003 FA Cup Was Won (5.30pm, 9.30pm & 2am) Still, beggars and all that. “Tom Paternoster’s idea for the Littlest Hobo as the new mascot for Franchise ‘FC’ has at least two good selling points,” he begins, before falling conveniently onto the next line.

World Football Show (11.30pm) “First, the Littlest Hobo would double the attendance at Franchise FC, and secondly, the dog which played the Littlest Hobo was, ironically, called ‘London’.”

Eurosport: Italian Football (10.45pm) Right, what now?

Radio 5 Live: Sport On Five With Ian Payne (7pm) Well, a cocktail wouldn’t hurt.

Talksport: Football First (7pm) Kamikaze – 1 oz. Vodka, 3/4 oz. Triple Sec, Dash of Lime juice & Sour mix. Shake with ice, Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Newstalk 106 (www.newstalk106.ie): Off the Ball with Ger Gilroy (7pm) Only you can stop this happening again. Send your Dear Fiver dilemmas to [email protected], and we’ll literally use anything we can get away with, we’re not fussy.

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YOU LIVE, YOU LEARN DEPT: STAYING UP DRINKING UNTIL 8.30am WHEN YOU’VE GOT A WEDDING TO GO TO FIVE-AND-A-HALF HOURS LATER IS NOT IDEAL