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By Matthew Handley
Joey Barton’s just been issued a 12 game ban for his post-sending-off rampage at Manchester City. John Terry will be flying to the Euros despite an excuse for his alleged racism that wouldn’t even pass muster in OCA. And Luis Suarez continues to exist. With all of this in mind, it’s time to cast an eye on some of the most despicable rogues to ever sully the good name of football, with my Odious Individuals XI.
In goal is Charles Itandje, who made a grand total of 0 League appearances for Liverpool. Despite this he’ll be remembered by fans for giggling and texting his way through a Hillsborough memorial service in 2009. His apologies did little to assuage supporters’ seething anger, and he can now be seen milling around in the lower echelons of Greek football. Berk.
Praying that this moron isn’t called into action are the equally despicable defence. Ashley Cole slots in at left-back. Not content with leaving Arsenal for rivals Chelsea, Cashley deemed it necessarily to convey his reasons for this in his literary masterpiece My Defence, in which he describes his fury at the ‘joke’ of a contract the Gunners attempted to persuade him to stay with (£60k a week). On top of this, he cheated on ‘Nation’s Sweetheart’ Cheryl off of Girls Aloud and literally shot a work experience kid at Chelsea’s training ground. Cole’s ego was unhurt in the incident. Next to him is his teammate John Terry, a man you sense even the Dalai Lama would describe as a bit of a twat. Mocking Americans in an airport post-9/11? Check. Parking in disabled bays? Check. Knobbing teammate’s girlfriend? Check. Racially abusing black players? Pending trial. Knob? Asbotively! Marco Materazzi joins JT in the centre, having been sent off 4 times in just 27 games while at Everton in the 90s, ‘The Butcher’ firmly established himself as a ‘bit of a character’, a reputation confirmed when his mum-jokes incited the usually ice-cool Zinedine Zidane to headbutt him in the 2006 World Cup final. Completing our defence is race-hate merchant Sinsa Mihajlovic, who kicked things off in what should have been a placid match between a Croat and a Serbian side in the Yugoslavia Cup Final of 1991 (no, wait…) by chasing Croat Igor Stimac round the pitch for the entire match in an attempt to injure him; while in 2000 he admitted to calling Patrick Vieira a “black piece of shit”. Should get along well with Terry…
Moving into the midfield, our motley crew gets volatile with the inclusion of Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer. Independently they’re awful; the former’s CV includes throwing chairs at McDonald’s staff and beating up students outside nightclubs. The latter insolently refused to play on the right-wing when asked by Bobby Robson (so that’s where I’ll stick him). Together they’re a colossal whirlwind of prattishness, as evidenced by their on-pitch brawl against Aston Villa, while both were at Newcastle. Joining them is the aforementioned Mr Joey Barton, Nietschze, Morrissey and casual violence enthusiast, whose other ‘indiscretions’ include assaulting teammates, stubbing cigars out in youth team players’ eyes and doing bird for street brawls. Completing our midfield is Robbie Savage, for being Robbie Savage.
Up top, we’ve got Luis Suarez who, having put Ghana out of the World Cup after handballing on the line (and celebrating the subsequent penalty save with less sensitivity than a post-Teddy Hall ball shag), proceeded to bring his unique brand of despicability to the Premier League, serving an eight-game ban for racially abusing Patrice Evra. Coming out on top over Carlos ‘AWOL’ Tevez for the final spot is El Hadji Diouf – once described as one of the world’s 125 best living players by a (presumably high on Viagra) Pele – now resides at Doncaster after irritating everyone in the country by spitting at just about everyone and engaging in Bowyer-esque post-clubbing activities.
United by their common values of douchebaggery, I sense great things for this team. They’d probably finish above Liverpool (and have fewer collective convictions) anyway…
PHOTO// PAUL ELLIS/AFP/GettyImages