The Football Ramble
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Franck Ribery returned to Bayern Munich’s starting line-up last night for their DFB Pokal Cup fixture vs. Hamburg, but apparently not everyone was pleased to see him.

Ribery was instrumental in Bayern’s 3-1 victory, but was set upon by a pitch invader during stoppage time and struck with a scarf. Sensibly, he then backs off and offers a few hand gestures from a safe distance before being grabbed by stewards and carted off the pitch.

Usually this sentence would be a sarcastic riposte in the general direction of pitch invaders (or the efficacy of Ribery’s face fungus in dealing with him) but the distance that guy managed to cover and number of players he was in proximity to in the time it took for a steward to get anywhere near him is terrifying. 

Goddamit. Bloke stole my mojo. I don’t know if Manuel Neuer’s latest foray into the Midfield Keeper position during the same game is enough to restore my faith in the game.

Alright. I’ll give it a go if you will.

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By Kelly Welles

Bayern Munich, Franck Ribery, Hamburg

Gentlemen. Ever inadvertently touched a lady’s breasticle in public?

If you’re not a sex pest (or disgraced former television presenter, say) you’ll have probably had a small aneurysm and turned into Hugh Grant on the spot, spluttering apologies and denials, just as Hertha Berlin defender Peter Niemeyer was about to do to ref Bibiana Steinhaus in this clip from a game a few years ago.

Thankfully, everybody involved was working on the premise that grown up men and women can interact professionally without being crass or offensive and everyone had a good old laugh.

Bibiana Steinhaus simultaneously became the coolest match official in the universe.

 
The reason for digging up this clip is because Steinhaus has once again fallen victim to ‘inappropriate touching’, this time at the unlikely hands of Pep Guardiola. She was acting as fourth official during Bayern Munich’s fractious and ultimately fruitless draw with Borussia Monchengladbach last weekend, when Pep became agitated at the amount of stoppage time his team were allowed to play and tried, among other things, to put his arm around her shoulder.

She shook him off like the ineffectual irritant he was at that point and the game continued. Pep was left contemplating a touchline ban while we wondered not what it might be like to have a regular female match official (we take it as read that our readers of both sexes don’t have a problem with that) but whether we might ever see a match official in the English top flight as cool, competent and unaffected by reflected celebrity status as Bibi Steinhaus.

clat


Outlook: Unlikely.

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By Kelly Welles

Bayern Munich, Mark Clattenburg, Pep Guardiola, Bibiana Steinhaus

One of the year’s star performers has been excluded from the shortlist of a prestigious award, due to an unfortunate incident involving a bite on a fellow player.

edu

The as yet unnamed hound was on the pitch during a vital cup match between Sao Paulo-RS and Farroupilha last weekend, but bit teammate Eduardo Mandai during what appeared to be a misunderstanding over a substitution. Such was the dog’s influence on the game, Mandai scored a spectacular strike shortly afterwards, but officials were obviously not persuaded by his contribution and he was left off the prestigious Ballon P’Aw shortlist released this morning.

The shock exclusion has led to intense speculation on social media, although the reasoning behind the decision remains unconfirmed at this time.

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By Kelly Welles

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H/T 101greatgoals.

 

Dutch tech company Triple IT have created an Oculus Rift application that allows immersive analysis of football matches.

According to wired.com, the device “uses data from stadium cameras and tracking systems to create a VR replay of a soccer match”.

better

Players can then whack on a headset, replay the game from their own perspective (or that of a team mate) and see precisely how they managed to score an own goal on the volley from the edge of the area.

For example.

It’s not a question of if this tech will be adapted for use by your average punter, but when. So with that in mind, if you could put yourself into any game from any era, which would it be? Who would you play as? Why?

miller

The best answers will be awarded points. These, as per Ramble tradition, will be worth nothing.

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By Kelly Welles

Oculus Rift, Triple IT

Here’s Marseille manager and notorious video addict Marcelo Bielsa sitting on a cup of coffee.

One for Harry Hill, perchance?

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By Kelly Welles

Marseille, Marcelo Bielsa

 
Dirty shorts. A mouthful of mud. A surface like a recently ploughed field. Dog poo.

This is where the real beauty of football lies.

Liam Roberts, Piers Rossiter, Chris Saltmarsh & Tom Henderson, we salute you for reminding us with this superb effort.

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By Kelly Welles

Chris Saltmarsh, Piers Rossiter, Tom Henderson, Liam Roberts

 
“I loathe all that passing for the sake of it, all that tiki-taka. It’s so much rubbish and has no purpose. You have to pass the ball with a clear intention, with the aim of making it into the opposition’s goal. It’s not about passing for the sake of it.”

                                                                      Pep Guardiola via Telegraph Sport.

Bloody hell. Zlatan’s relentless campaign of hate has finally got to him, hasn’t it?

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By Kelly Welles

Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Pep Guardiola, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Tiki-Taka

 
He might look like a choir boy sex doll (H/T JamesOrJimCampbell) but the disgust Mario Götze manages to convey using mere facial expressions and a grunt is more than the entire England team could manage after a year of intensive media training and a bout of electroconvulsive therapy.

Is the German National Team in crisis, as this genius of a journo asks in the mixzone after Germany lost 2-0 to Poland?

We’re going with no. Now shut up. He’s got a bus to catch.

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By Kelly Welles

Germany, Poland, mario gotze

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