After a week in which Robbie Keane declared his undying love for Liverpool, David Bentley announced Tottenham Hotspur had ‘always had a piece of his heart’ (presumably a piece he managed to ignore while he was playing at Arsenal), it was only inevitable that Spurs target Roman Pavlyuchenko revealed he has had the club’s emblem tattooed on his shoulder since the tender age of 4.
“I have always loved Tottenham Rovers,” the Russian striker confided to numerous Tottenham board members in an interview on his website. “When I was a baby in the womb I kicked whenever anyone mentioned Glenn Hoddle. My first memory is watching the 1982 cup final when Spurs beat Queens Park Rangers, and since then it has always been my dream to play for them.
“I only eat Walkers crisps just to feel closer to Gary Lineaker. Even though I have played for another team all my life and never visited England without the Russian national team, I am as Spurs-mad as Bobby Zamora or Dimitar Berbatov.”
In short, ‘please sign me.’
Footballers always follow their heart though. Other revelations this week included Pascal Chimbonda’s remarkable admission that he used to play on the sands of Guadeloupe in a Sunderland shirt, despite numerous old friends struggling to recall it.
Many people had wrongly labeled the right-back, who famously handed Wigan a transfer request minutes after their relegation from the Premiership in 2006, a ‘mercenary’ who ‘bottled penalties,’ but will now doubtless understand that the player was simply responding to a personal calling which he could not ignore.
“I used to dislike him,” said one Wigan fan we spoke to. “But now I see he’s just living his dream to play for Sunderland. And who can possibly complain about that? That’ll be why he went to Spurs in the first place.”
Chimbonda confirmed this. “I am here to make a genuine title challenge,” he said. “No, it’s definitely not just for the money.”
Some players were clarifying their allegiances before transfers were even discussed. This week Cesc Fabregas denied he had ever been affiliated with Barcelona, thus hinting the door was still open for a move to Real Madrid in the future.
“I can see why people would think that an ex-Barcelona youngster, who was born, raised in and started playing for Barcelona, who came through the Barcelona youth team and who went to his first Barcelona game at the age of 9 months, would have more pride and loyalty than to sign for their biggest rivals Real Madrid,” admitted the midfielder.
“That would undoubtedly be quite disloyal. The thing is though, I’m not one of those people. I know why you may think that, what with all the Barcelona memorabilia I used to have in my room as a kid, and the pictures of me training with the Barca youth team. Actually though, that’s all a mistake.
“The blue and red bedspread I used to sleep in was actually due to my life-long devotion to Aldershot Town who play in the same colours, and when you think you see me in a Barca shirt, it’s actually just my dad’s stripey pyjama top.”
That is all without mentioning Harry Kewell.
How nice to see such dedicated modern footballers, and how refreshing to know they’re not all as selfish as that nasty Ronaldo who wants to play for his boyhood team.
The Armchair Fan promises to bring you all the stories from the football world which you will have missed in the regular press – check them out at his website.