Under fire Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has responded to criticism of their inability to purchase players during the summer transfer window by admitting that he is now “thinking of buying things.”
Having lost star player Lukas Podolski for up to three weeks due to a hamstring tear in their 2 – 0 win over Fenerbahce at Emirates Stadium, Arsenal’s lack of depth and firepower has become a weekly topic for journalists at Wenger’s press conferences. Indicating that the pressure had finally told, Wenger produced a long shopping list to put in front of reporters at today’s edition.
“Look, I know I have to spend some money sooner rather than later,” Wenger said, “For instance, we’re out of milk at home and my wife isn’t very happy about that and we’re not sure what we’re going to cook for dinner tonight either, so I’d better go to M&S and buy something for that too.”
Wenger then proceeded to read our a total of 42 items from his shopping list which included eggs, white sugar, vanilla essence, butter, flour, chocolate chips and other pantry stables. When asked by reporters whether he was actually reading out the ingredients required for a batch of chocolate chip cookies Wenger conceded that, “I know it sounds like a recipe, but being a football manager is a lot like being a baker. It’s important to make sure you have the right mix of ingredients and right equipment before bake, otherwise you might not be successful.”
Arsenal’s majority owner, Stan Kroenke, was approached for his comment about Wenger’s shopping list following the press conference. In a written statement Kroenke indicated that “I also like cookies,” and that “people need to remember a cookie is actually quite different to a biscuit.”
Despite having rebranded themselves to the New Zealand Warriors in 2001, the Warriors have today admitted the rebrand was “a bit of a have” and that they’ve actually just been an Auckland only team all along.
Speaking on Radio Sport this morning, Warriors CEO Wayne Scurrah said that he was surprised that nobody had realised the truth earlier. “When you look at the fact that it took until 2013 for us to finally take one of our home games outside of Auckland, while Australian clubs have been giving up their home games to play at other New Zealand venues for years, I’m surprised nobody cottoned on to the fact that we’re still just the Auckland Warriors some time ago.”
Scurrah also confirmed that the 2001 rebrand was a ploy to ensure that, “those bloody Wellingtonians couldn’t enter their own NRL team,” and that the rebrand had proven its value after the recent realisation that Wellington could run a football team better than Auckland could had forced their hand to play a home game in Wellington this year.
“After seeing how Wellington turned around Auckland’s A League football franchise with the Phoenix, and that the turn around wasn’t just a fad, we realised this year we’d better take a game down to Wellington just to show we’re not totally incompetent at running sports teams here,” Scurrah told Radio Sport.
In order to boost flagging attendance numbers, SANZAR CEO Greg Peters today announced that from 2014 all Super Rugby venues would show re-runs of Game of Thrones on their big screens. The move comes on the back of years of declining match day crowds and failure by local teams to successful boost those numbers on their own.
“We know that Super Rugby just isn’t the bums-on-seats generator that it once was,” Greg Peters said during the announcement, “and that we need to both adapt the entertainment package offered by Super Rugby as well as increase our appeal to a broader audience. Showing re-runs of Game of Thrones ticks both those boxes.”
The Game of Thrones episodes would be shown from start to finish, occasionally being punctuated by score updates and TMO decisions so that fans could pretend they were still paying attention to the rugby.
“When you think about the idea, it’s really a match made in heaven. People like to pretend they support their local rugby team while actually staying at home and watching American produced TV. At least this way they can do both of those things and continue to fill our coffers,” Greg Peters said.
When asked whether he had any concerns about the violent and sexually explicit content in the award-winning HBO series, Greg Peters replied, “Not at all. Unlike Ma’a Nonu’s shoulder charges, the acts of violence in Game of Thrones actually have a point to them and involved some amount of thinking by the characters involved.”
The SANZAR CEO conceded though that showing Game of Thrones could distract the players too, but pointed out, “For teams like the Hurricanes, being distracted by Game of Thrones doesn’t really matter as it’s not like they were playing rugby worth watching to begin with.”
The Otago Rugby Union have declared themselves bankrupt and withdrawn from the ITM Cup in an attempt to never let the Ranfurly Shield leave the province again. Coach Tony Brown made the announcement at this morning’s training run where, instead of training, the players set about burning couches and drinking copious amounts of their sponsor’s product, Speights.
“We can’t believe nobody has ever thought of this before,” Tony Brown said to assembled reporters. “If we’re not in the ITM Cup and we’re the current holders of the Shield, and you have to challenge the current holders to win it, then the Shield will be Otago’s forever.” Tony Brown then proceeded to make the evil pyramid of contemplation with his hands.
The New Zealand Rugby Union convened crisis talks on hearing the news with President John Sturgeon telling reporters before going into the meeting that, “It sounds like Otago may have found an unanticipated loophole and we won’t be seeing the Shield again.”
Social media has been abuzz of speculation as to what the NZRU may replace the Ranfurly Shield with should Otago’s plan to keep the Shield forever pay off. User @GoldieWilson73 suggested that teams play for a lock of Jeff Wilson’s hair, while the Wellington Rugby Football Union advocated a trophy that only Wellington could win, “seeing as we can’t seem to win anything else.”
Following being thumped by England 3 – 0 in the just concluded Ashes series, Australian captain Michael Clarke said in the post-match press conference that “the Ashes aren’t really a big deal.”
Speaking fresh after the controversy that saw play abandoned early due to low light, the Australia captain was quick to downplay the notion that any significance should be given to the series. Suggesting that in the scheme of things that the “Ashes don’t mean that much anyway. We’ve got the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy and that’s definitely a bigger trophy size wise, while there’s the KFC Big Bash and that’s practically an international competition given the lack of Australian players in it.”
Asked by journalists whether his lack of passion for the Ashes was due to Australia’s recent run of poor-form, Clarke was quick to point out that the Ashes are, “Just an urn with some charcoal in it. It’s probably not even the original bails, just soot from some old codger’s fireplace.” Clarke went on to clarify that, “What sort of a trophy can’t you drink a few VBs out of anyway? Seems like a pretty dump cup to me.”
Meanwhile the England cricket team have been reported to be scrambling to find the Ashes urn after tabloids spotted Kevin Pietersen inhaling a grey, powdery substances from a table at a nightclub in Hackney during team celebrations post match.
Rumour is swirling around San Francisco today amid talk that Emirates Team New Zealand may have won the Louis Vuitton Cup 7 – 1 over Italian challengers Luna Rossa, though officials are unsure. Setting off in heavy fog this morning, Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa sailed into the San Francisco Bay and, allegedly raced against each other. However, due to the low visibility thanks to the fog, nobody is sure who actually won the race, even the challengers themselves.
“It was pretty tough out there this morning,” said Dean Barker, Emirates Team New Zealand skipper. “We had virtually zero viability and as a result, we had no idea where Luna Rossa was the entire time. They could have been in front of us for all we knew, we didn’t even know where the marker buoys were.”
Luna Rossa skipper Francesco de Angelis was equally as confused after the race, “It was very hazy out there, so we just stopped the boat after going over the start line, turned around and tried to find our way back. Nobody would have known we were cheating, though we couldn’t find the finish line.”
The inability to determine a winner means that the Kiwis and Italians will now have to go head-to-head in a boat-race competition at the San Francisco Yacht Club to determine who will win the Louis Vuitton Cup. Dean Barker has already nominated himself for the drinking competition citing years spent drinking that “organic swill my brother claims is wine” will give him the edge in the competition.
The fog ridden affair has brought back traumatic memories for Hurricanes Super Rugby fans who recall the tragic final of 2006, where the entire Hurricanes team went missing for 80 minutes in the fog at Jade Stadium in Christchurch.
The Silver Ferns have announced their cut-down squad for the Constellation Cup series against Australia next month with the surprise pick of a Fisher and Paykel AquaSmart2 7kg top loader washing machine as a wing attack.
Silver Ferns coach Waimarama Taumaunu denied that the inclusion of the piece of whiteware was a shameless plug for one of the team’s top sponsors, “We know it doesn’t look ideal on the surface, but when you drill down into the AquaSmart2’s performance, you just can’t fault it’s stain removal ability or low water usage.”
When further pressed on the selection Taumaunu replied, “Look, the Australian’s are a dirty team and I don’t doubt for a second that AquaSmart2 will clean them out. It offers dirt and grime busting power that no one else in netball can do today, it’s robust enough to stand up to the Aussie’s physical style and at the end of your day the team’s outfits will be freshly washed, soft and oh so cuddly.”
The inclusion of AquaSmart2 comes at the expense of experienced shooter Anna Thompson and midcourter Katarina Cooper, while Kayla Cullen misses out due to a knee injury. However neither Anna or Katarina were disappointed to miss out to the laundry appliance.
“Taumaunu called us ahead of the announcement and let us know why AquaSmart2 got in ahead of us,” said an upheat Thompson. “We’ve been told we need to go away and work on our energy efficiency and reliability, while also seeing if we can’t contact our parents to upgrade our manufacturer’s warranty, as the AquaSmart2 has a current 12 month one and we know we can’t compete with that.”
After a failed attempt to join Red Bull Racing as Mark Webber’s replacement for the 2014 season, former world champion Kimi Raikkonen has announced he is giving up his Formula 1 comeback and switching to racing Mario Kart instead.
Having avoided the paddock in the lead up to the Formula 1 Shell Belgian Grand Prix, Raikkonen called a hastily convened press conference at his trailer where he emerged wearing blue overalls and a patchy attempt at growing what may have been a mustache on his upper lip. Within moments Raikkonen had broken the news.
“While it’s obviously sad to be leaving Formula 1 after a far more successful comeback than Michael Schumacher, the last few weeks have confirmed to me that I want to take on a new challenge,” Raikkonen said. “To that end, I’m retiring from Formula 1 racing at the end of this season and will be taking up Mario Kart instead.”
When quizzed further about which Mario Kart team he may join, Raikkonen was typically non-committal, “Look I hear there’s plenty of great teams in Mario Kart, so I’ll evaluate my options and go from there. I’ve already held talks with Mario, Luigi, Wario and Bowser. The one team I won’t be joining is Princess Peach. My agent tried getting in touch with them but kept getting told to go look in another castle.”
Raikkonen’s move emulates other Formula 1 drivers who have switched racing formulas, including Alain Prost who joined Dick Dasterdly’s team in the Wacky Races formula and fellow Finn Mika Hakkinen who joined Speed Racer team Racer X.