We are twins, lookalikes. But between us, there is a difference of heaven and earth. I’m the most celebrated defender at my club, while he’s a young upstart. I’m the most uninspiring captain English football has ever seen, while he’s yet to captain any side higher than a reserve side in the Swiss Third Division. I slide in to tackle the player when I feel he’s gone past me and fall over in the process, while he, well, he just slides in.
My Dad always used to say to me, ‘Jamie, life’s a bitch. And what goes around, always comes around, including Red Cards. And the only way to deal with the red cards, is to be…’
In news that is sure to shock the footballing world, it has been learnt that the FA, after holding a high committee meeting in their secret meeting room in their secret facility, decided that Jamie Carragher should have been sent off for pulling down ex-Pal Owen during the game against United last week. Appalled that a referee of the holier-than-thou Football Association could make such a grave error, they passed a secret resolution to right this wrong immediately. And the man entrusted with this onerous task – Referee Lee Mason. However, they didn’t count on one thing. Kaminey.
Hot on the heels of referee Chris Foy doing this at United’s Carling Cup game, the FA’s top-secret plan of ‘Two wrongs making a right’ carried out by Lee Mason also ran into embarrassing trouble. As Philipp Degen slid into Clint Dempsey at Craven Cottage, Lee Mason’s eyes lit up, as he saw the moment had arrived to carry out his bidding. As you can see above, in the blurred darkness of Craven Cottage (which has to be the most primitive stadium in the league) and in his whole hurry of somehow sending off Jamie with time running out, it was quite easy to mistake the two players. Matters were not helped by Philipp sliding in as he did, an act that in the whole of the Liverpool team, only Carragher and Gerrard are allowed to do. Or the fact that this happened on the left end of the pitch, a place where poor Mason would’ve hardly expected to see the right-back Degen. And before anyone knew (including the Sky Sports Producer, who completely missed the card-showing moment), Mason had sent off Degen, only to turn as red as the card he was holding up ten seconds later when he noticed the name on the shirt.
However, fate was on Lee Mason’s side, and this time, he was not to fail his employers! As is customary practice, Carragher bundled all over his striker who was a clean yard ahead of him and both people went down in a heap. It was a case of both people tripping over each other and the ball, as opposed to Owen’s case where the ball was a meter ahead, Owen was in pursuit of it, and Jamie had simply no choice. But the moment Zamora went clattering to the ground, Lee Mason was swiftly on the scene, and the seaside resort in Dover promised to him by the FA reappeared in his eyes as he triumphantly flashed out his second red card in 3 minutes. Justice was served!
However, this issue, which could totally snowball into a massive controversy for the FA, has been avoided and just about brushed under the carpet thanks to a generous helping hand from Benitez, who has taken off all the attention from them. Top mathematicians and logicians from around the world are still trying to figure out the statistical, algebraic, geometric and/or binary reasoning behind taking off the League’s top-scorer at a moment when your team is just about coming to grips with the game and look poised to kill it off. PIt’s been suggested that Yossi was also doing these calculations when he was taken off subsequently, and all those things he mouthed as he was jogging off were in fact, not a string of Hebrew expletives.
We will update you with more on this matter as it comes in. In the meanwhile, in other yawn-worthy news, Fabregas suddenly found himself in a Nike ad during the match against Tottenham, where all the defenders were highly-paid extras doing a token slide-in as he skipped past all of them to score Arsenal’s second goal. He even waited a couple of seconds to make sure after the goal that the Big Tick with ‘Just Do it’ didn’t fill the screen, before actually celebrating. Also, Sam Allardyce without Bolton isn’t quite the same banana-peel fixture that everyone is used to. Him and Bolton were like the New Zealand cricket team, with a sum greater than its parts. Him and Blackburn are like… well, him and Blackburn. A fairly routine win for United, coupled with a fairly routine win for Chelsea, which makes for a fairly routine viewing at the top of the table. What new Manchester team?