Whopper #1: Kurt Zouma
There is a scene in the Netflix documentary Don’t F**k with Cats where it is said you can view pretty much anything on the internet, with nothing seemingly off-limits. It’s all out there, no matter what your vice, or what you’re willing to view - with no judgement.
Bum fights, being pushed down stairs, defamatory images of the Statue of Liberty. There is one unwritten rule - the one which is understood and adhered to. As the title of the documentary says, you don’t f*ck with cats.
Step forward Kurt Zouma.
Now normally I like to do my research on all Ramble-related matters, but having viewed part of the video of him abusing his beautiful Bengal cat, that was enough for me. Case closed.
This court is in session - you are guilty of being an absolute bellend, you tosser.
What is it about footballers? I can stomach seeing Jack Grealish greedily eyeing up the breasts of a woman he’s gone back to a hotel room with after a drinking session at who-knows-what time of the morning. I can handle Wayne Rooney off his face in a nightclub when he should know better. Mario Balotelli setting off fireworks in his own bathroom is fine by me. Look, whatever floats your boat, crack on as long as it’s not illegal.
You might appear a bit of a knobhead but frankly I don’t know you, you don’t know me so whatever.
But this is something else.
And you know what?
The Netflix documentary was right - you don’t f*ck with cats.
It was heartening to see fans boo Zouma, who David Moyes inexplicably handed a start to. But you have to ask, what was self-professed animal lover Moyes doing? You see footballers dropped for far less - poor timekeeping, unauthorised nights out, telling the assistant manager to go f*ck himself. So why the exception here?
Football doesn’t trump everything and it sends out a terrible message.
Moyes has sold himself out there - but then again the bloke probably keeps stick insects.
Many years ago I worked on a documentary about the RSPCA. People who I spoke to weren’t exactly... thrilled about their methods, which, according to them, included breaking locks to enter their premises, smashing gates to give access to vehicles, and an assorted array of trespass on different types of land. Now they would say the reasons for entering property would be for animal protection and welfare reasons - though strictly speaking it shouldn’t have happened. Wednesday bought the news that they had removed the cats from Mr Zouma - let’s hope they kicked the door off its hinges to enter his house.
Whopper #2: The Leicester Fan
Hats off to Leicester City who have really excelled themselves both on and off the pitch this week.
They were always a bit of a nondescript club to me: however three years of living in Nottingham with a number of Foxes fans meant that the craic flowed with regularity - it was around the time they were getting themselves relegated to the league we currently occupy, and Leicester were a bit pony. Bit like us now.
Ultimately though I saw them as harmless - principally because they don’t really have any rivals, with perhaps the M69 derby versus Coventry being their biggest grudge match. Other clubs in the area - Forest and Derby - hate each other far more.
It’s a bit like Boro up here - who I actually quite like but I don’t think they like us. Newcastle, I do actually want to do well. In League Two.
However, something was in the water in the east midlands this week, with the Foxes taking on Nottingham Forest in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
The scenes prior to the match were pretty distasteful, with video footage showing a bar being smashed up apparently by away fans. However, it was during the game that the most unsavoury scenes occurred.
The sight of a Leicester supporter running on the pitch to strike a Forest player in the face while they celebrated a goal was an absolute disgrace. And it raises some serious questions about what must be done to ensure player safety because this cannot be allowed to happen.
It’s always amusing in a perverse way to hear clubs say “this man is no fan of ours” - sadly, I’m afraid they are, and in many ways are your responsibility. To think that clubs cannot alter fan behaviour at least to some extent would be naive.
As it stands anyone could bring anything into a football ground and probably get away with it - and when something does happen then we all become masters of hindsight, offering up opinions as to what should have been done. Now is a chance to get ahead of the curve and stamp out his absolute nonsense.
First thing I’d do is get the coke dogs on these away fans as I suspect that’s the root cause of many issues you see on a weekly basis at stadiums up and down the country.
As for the dickhead arrested - a custodial sentence seems a distinct possibility should he be found guilty.
Whopper #3: Marc Overmars
“Stop calling Marc” quipped Ajax on Twitter when Marc Overmars was linked with a move away.
Bet he wishes his phone would ring now. But it’s most likely to stay silent, as this week he announced his resignation for sending inappropriate messages to female colleagues at the club.
As Arsenal’s former wing wizard should know, this kind of behaviour is deeply frowned upon. Now we don’t know the context of the messages but it’s safe to assume it wasn’t to ask if they prefer red or brown sauce on their sausage sandwiches. Unless of course, it was a double entendre.
Some reports however have suggested it was the sending of unsolicited pictures of himself - and it’s probably safe to assume it wasn’t snaps of him having an awesome time at Disneyland Paris.
So it seems, for now, the only thing he’ll be doing on his phone is playing snake.
Ajax, of course, weren’t exactly thrilled by this most self-inflicted of downfalls. Perhaps we should have read their tweet differently - maybe it was an overt yet subtle message to their director of football, they just forgot the punctuation in a plea for him to “stop calling, Marc”.