top of page
  • Writer's pictureWill Uglow

"And Moira Stuart blasts home for Forest!" 8 bizarre football predictions for 2023...


Football, as we all know, is a weird and wonderful sport, and can quickly prove to be a graveyard for anyone foolish enough to try and make sober and sensible forecasts on what will happen next in the beautiful game. So let's throw 'sensible' out of the window... As we embark on another crazy year of the globe's most popular sport, here are some not so measured and considered suggestions of what could be in store for us over the next 12 months. Just take these ones with a pinch of salt - these are merely fanciful musings, unless, of course, any of these madcap events do in fact come to pass. In which case, they are the result of pure genius insight. You heard it here first...


Haaland goes goal, err, crazier...


It's the 71st minute of an FA Cup 4th round tie against Bristol City, and Manchester City are winning 14-1, but manager Pep Guardiola is a frustrated man. In the ensuing drinks break, he gently taps his Norwegian striker on the shoulder. "Come on Erling, this is getting a bit silly...". The City goal machine has just slotted home his eleventh goal of the tie, adding to a barmy run of 27 strikes in 6 games in all competitions to haul City back into the title race and keep them fighting on four fronts. But for his manager, the sight of the club's star striker callously tearing apart opposition defences has all become a bit unedifying. "It's unfair on the opposition!" snaps Pep in his post match interview, Haaland having ignored the Spainard's advice to take it easy by plundering a further hat trick in an eventual 23-2 triumph over the Robins. "It's disrespectful and its bad sportsmanship! I accept that playing six midfielders up front wasn't always exciting last season, but if I'd realised this guy would score so many goals on his own, I wouldn't have touched him with a bargepole!". Rumours that Guardiola will place the Norwegian in goal for the upcoming Champions League tie against Napoli, to alleviate his striking threat, have yet to be confirmed...


Klopp's excuses turn ridiculous...


"All I'm saying is how can we be expected to win this game when the shade of the grass rendered our players 2% blind?". An enraged Jurgen Klopp is speaking to the media after his Liverpool side's 3-1 second leg defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League Last 16, eliminating them from the competition. "I can provide a Pantone colour chart to demonstrate what hue the grass should have been if it is of any use." It's merely the latest in a long line of dubious explanations for disappointing results from the German, who in the last month alone has blamed Brexit, the Taiwan fishing industry and BBC property programme Homes Under the Hammer for the Reds exiting 2 cup competitions and dropping further behind in the race for the Top 4. When quizzed on his manager's strange behaviour, captain Virgil Van Dijk simply claimed "who are we to argue that the Norman Conquest set in motion a chain reaction of events that led to Mo's missed penalty against Fulham last Tuesday? It's completely logical when you think about it..."


Chelsea and Nottingham Forest enter a scattergun transfer war...


With the Blues under well minted new ownership and Forest optimistic ahead of their first top flight campaign in 23 years, these two took on a rather unique approach to transfers last summer, spending over a combined £400 million and at one point looking as if they were attempting to sign half of the worlds registered professional players between them. That was just the appetiser, however, for a summer window of even greater madness... Chelsea's opening gambit is a swoop of retired players who enjoyed their pomp in the '80's and '90's, including David Platt and Bruce Grobbelaar. Forest push the boat out slightly further than the round ball game with a double capture of local legends Jane Torvill & Christopher Dean to play down the wings. But that's just the beginning... A triple Blues raid of Ade Edmondson, Chesney Hawkes and Sir Trevor McDonald is met by a Tricky Trees salvo of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Moira Stuart and Glen Smith, an accountant from Mansfield who is allegedly the twenty-one times grandson of Robin Hood. It all appears good natured, however, until an early September meeting at Stamford Bridge sees Moira Stuart ram home a volleyed winner for the visitors in the 89th minute, sparking wild scenes. "Newsreaders", a dejected Todd Bohley sighs, "why didn't we think of that?"


Ronaldo signs for Newcastle. Falcons...


Even a man of CR7's bulging ego would admit that his spell in Saudi Arabia hadn't gone swimmingly. "I made mistakes" claims a stone faced Ronaldo in a June interview with Piers Morgan. "Mistakes?" replies Morgan, in a tone suggesting that storming out of the stadium after being denied the chance to take a throw-in may merit a slightly more damning self-assessment from the multiple Ballon-Dor winner. "But that's the past now, I'm looking forward to the new challenge at Newcastle..." beams a slightly nervous looking Ronaldo. All seems to be progressing well until he spots a few worrying signs on his first day of training. For starters, since when was Newcastle's badge a minimalist looking bird? And why is their next fixture against a team called 'Saracens'? And why is he being asked to do goalkeeper training (at least, that's what he assumes it must be) with some bizarre oval shaped ball? "These things will work themselves out" Ronaldo attempts to convince himself, safe in the knowledge that nothing can be as strange as witnessing Man United score four at home last season...


Elton John: Watford Manager...


It's 8:15pm on a bitterly cold November night in Hertfordshire. A scything wind howls through the stands and concourses of Vicarage Road's half empty stadium. Fierce bolts of rain lash down on the cars outside. Basically, it's ruddy horrible. But Watford hold a narrow 1-0 advantage over Birmingham City heading into half time in this Championship evening kick off, and if that wasn't enough to keep the locals awake, what comes next should do the trick... Out of the centre circle emerges a giant, brightly lit stage topped by a man playing on an equally gaudy piano. He proceeds to give a full rendition of "I'm Still Standing", to the stunned surprise of everyone in attendance, before kissing the club badge. This man is Watford's new manager, their fourth in ten months. The intenational pop icon and life long Hornets fan is only too happy, if slightly perplexed, to be succeeding Sam Allardyce in the dugout following an ill fated two week spell, but backs himself to be the club's, err, Rocketman... The half time entertainment fails to inspire Watford to hold out, however, Brum clinching a late equaliser to leave the Hornets teetering above the relegation zone. "Well", sighs the new gaffer in his post match interview "I guess that's why they call them the Blues"... He is promptly sacked, obviously.


Monaco & San Marino 2030...


Just when it seemed as if FIFA had scraped the barrel for international tournament hosts, their most nonsensical selection yet is unveiled. The shock outcome of a FIFA Congress meeting in April is to bring forward the decision to award hosting rights for the 2030 World Cup by almost 2 years, originally not scheduled to take place until late 2024. This move strangely falls just two days after a Saudi billionaire residing in Monte Carlo was spotted chatting with FIFA president Gianni Infantino at a Europa League Clash between Monaco FC and Feyenoord... Intense worldwide criticism follows when the hastily arranged vote, catching established bids from the likes of Spain and Uruguay off guard, convincingly goes the way of the tiny French province and fellow microstate San Marino, co-hosting on the rather dubious basis that Monaco would be unable to field its own international team. Quite how these two landlocked countries, with a combined population that could fit inside Old Trafford and an international football history no more glorious than San Marino's 1-0 victory over Lichtenstein in 2004, will handle the logistical mountain of hosting football's most prestigious tournament is another matter. However, Infantino is quick to assure doubters that another nearby country is willing to step in if the pressure proves too much. Italy? Greece? No, Vatican City of course...


Champions League Final held at Forest Green...


For three consecutive years, European football's biggest game has been forced into a location change at short notice. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 & 2021 saw Istanbul's Ataturk Stadium stand aside in favour of Benfica's Estadio Da Luz and Porto's Estadio Do Dragao respectively, whereas last year's showpiece in St Petersburg was swapped to the Stade De France in Paris after conflict broke out in Ukraine. This year, the global energy crisis is the disaster of choice, as an enormous power cut in Turkey denies the unlucky Ataturk once again. So where to now? What better opportunity to demonstrate UEFA's superb green (washing) credentials, decides head honcho Alexsander Ceferin, than hosting the final at a venue that generates its own electricity? Cut to Saturday 10th June, and the sleepy Gloucestershire town of Nailsworth is the unlikely backdrop as the team coaches of Real Madrid and Bayern Munich roll into view. The New Lawn, total capacity 5,147, hasn't seen anything quite like it, but puts on a good show despite an overspill of thousands of Spanish and German supporters being forced to flood into the local Cotswold fields to watch on big screens. Everything is set to go, then disaster strikes... Just as the players are expected to emerge from the tunnel, a joint statement from both clubs is announced. It transpires that 17 players from either side, used to a finely tuned personal dietary regime, are miffed at the idea of a no-meat pre-match meal. The deal is off and, in desparation, UEFA quickly pay off a local farmer to loan a local cow field to host the match. At this decision, Forest Green fans secretly breath a sigh of relief. At least it wasn't Cheltenham...


Messi sets eyes on Papa John's Trophy...


Inspiring Argentina to World Cup victory in Qatar ensured that Lionel Messi has now essentially completed football. Right? Wrong, according to the man himself... "Ever since I was a young boy, I've always dreamed of lifting the Papa John's Trophy high into the Wembley sky. It's the one aim that still eludes me..." In an astonishing press conference to announce his shock summer switch from Paris Saint Germain to Exeter City, the 7 time Ballon D'or winner continues to wax lyrical about the history of the competition... "I remember right back to the Autoglass days... Port Vale overcoming Stockport in '93, Grimsby's comeback from the death in '98, Wrexham's Cardiff triumph in '05. Sorry, I'm welling up just thinking about it all..." The press room at St James' Park falls awkwardly silent for a few moments, before a tearful Messi concludes "the prestige of this trophy is unmatched..." As expected, the former Barcelona star gets off to a flyer for the Grecians in League One, before an initial brush with his favourite competition comes with a first round trip to Spotland. Can Messi handle it on a cold, wet Tuesday night in Rochdale? We may never know, it turns out, as the Argentine ace is injured for the clash and the Grecians exit the tournament 1-0 in a turgidly dull affair. Well, so much for that...

7 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Euro 2024: Final Group Stage Predictions

2 rounds, 24 games and 61 goals. The opening stages of Germany's summer of football certainly haven't disappointed. New stars have emerged, established names have stepped up to the plate and some un

Comments


bottom of page