GUESS WHO'S F***ING BACK YOU C****?
With the cricket and tennis delayed by rain, the golf and football not on until later and not much else going on, there was a point late on Sunday afternoon when it looked as if the front page of Big Paper Sport's first edition might be entirely devoted to the Fiver's heroic triumph in the Big Paper Sport Dept's fifth annual renewal of the Flicking Playing Cards Into An Upturned Fez Championship. Luckily, a most unlikely saviour arrived in the form of Joe Kinnear, whose headline-grabbing appointment as director of football at Newcastle meant the Fiver's heroics were relegated to the results scoreboard on page 11, sandwiched between Ice Hockey and Squash. Bah!
"I will not be in charge of everything at Newcastle, but essentially I kind of will really," was the general thrust of Joe's interview on Sky Sports News, once it had been established that news of his appointment was not an elaborate and amusing hoax. But Newcastle's equine community may want to brace themselves for punishment at the fists of horrified Newcastle fans who remember Joe's brief stint in charge of the side back in 2008-09, a tenure that started badly with him effing, jeffing and lobbing c-grenades around his maiden press conference, before going quickly downhill.
"My record speaks for itself, it's there for everybody to see," said Joe, whose record states that, after subjecting the Premier League to Wimbledon's unique brand of biff-ball for seven years, then getting sacked by Nottingham Forest and Luton, he won five out of 26 games at Newcastle. "I maybe reacted a little bit over the top but half of the stuff that was written was very disappointing," he added, in an attempt to justify his famously entertaining outburst.
Of course if Joe thought much of what was written about him five years ago was very disappointing, he'd be well advised to avoid the papers in the coming week, when a number of press-box elders who see nothing wrong with constantly brown-nosing one faintly preposterous cockney football dinosaur with a penchant for getting teams relegated sharpen their quills in order to ridicule Newcastle's appointment of another.
Newcastle's owner Mike Ashley has yet to comment on his reason for appointing Kinnear and probably won't because, well, the club belongs to him and he can hire whoever he wants. But with bookies having reacted to the news of Kinnear's new gig by making Alan Pardew 6-5 favourite to win the Premier League sack race, conspiracy theorists could be forgiven for presuming that his motives are abundantly clear.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"And we also have a player – Teheivarii Ludivion – he wakes up every day at 4.30 in the morning and climbs mountains all day long. He is a mountain climber, but he will climb anything. He climbs coconut trees, he climbs all kinds of things and then he comes training. So this is his daily life. He climbs coconut trees and mountains" - Tahiti coach Eddy Etaeta reveals one of his player's unusual professions as the Fiver moves Coconut Tree Climber to the top of its list of dream jobs.
"Can I be the first of many (presumably 1,056) pedants to point out to Mr Bob W Zoellner that he has not in fact named the first 20 linear alkanes, as he missed out heptadecane. Whilst believed to be the smallest impossible alkane due to its steric hindrance, it still has a Wikipedia page, one which Mr Zoellner would be advised in seeking out" – Gary Wilson (and, yes, 1,056 others).
"Re: Gary Brenner (Friday's letters). Surely asking that your letter be returned to sender if it was not up to the usual standard suggests that The Fiver has standards to begin with?" – Lee Murphy.
"I am intrigued as to why Man City's owners have set a target of five trophies over five years (one of which must be Big Cup so we need to add 'inventing a time machine' to the list of objectives). They have only given Pellegrini a three-year year contract. Is this an example of ambitious stretch target setting or just illogical Cityocity? By the way can I have first dabs on the time machine when they have finished with it?" – John Stainton.
• Send your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, if you've nothing better to do you can also tweet the Fiver. Today's winner of our prizeless letter o' the day prize is: Lee Murphy.
JOIN GUARDIAN SOULMATES
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BITS AND BOBS
The state of modern football, No34451000666: Gareth Bale is attempting to trademark his 'heart' goal celebration against its use on, among other things, whips, harnesses and saddlery.
Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini has revealed the underwhelming reasons behind Kyle Lafferty's arrival at the club. "In Switzerland he hasn't scored many goals, so we hope he can get them here," he said of the former Rangers, Burnley and Sion striker.
Nigeria say the row over their Confederations Cup bonuses is over for now. "I don't really want to talk about this issue, it should not have gone into the press and I don't want to elaborate on it much," said captain Vincent Enyeama, playing fast and loose with the requirements of a press conference.
Málaga midfielder Isco has confirmed both Manchester City and Real Madrid have approached him over a move. "Are the two offers real? They are on the table, yes," he said, resting his coffee cup on them.
Robert Lewandoski, like The Fiver's career in coconut tree-climbing, is going nowhere. "Robert will definitely be playing for Borussia Dortmund next season," said the club's general manager Hans-Joachim Watzke.
And Hull City have kicked off the annual summer pillaging of Wigan's squad by signing Maynor Figueroa on a two-year deal.
STILL WANT MORE?
Join AC Jimbo and chums for Confederations Cup Daily. Today's podcast features "japes and hijinks" apparently. If that doesn't make you want to listen, then don't listen.
'Laurent Koscielny to Barcelona' will never happen. Which is why it's the headline on today's Rumour Mill.
Andrea Pirlo is easy to love and Paolo Bandini loves him a lot in this blog about the creaky old pass master's 100th Italy cap, which he crowned with a free-kick that – and the Fiver's going to upset some people here – the goalkeeper should have saved but inexplicably pulled his hand away from.
And if you know how many times Joe Kinnear did a bad word in that 2008 press conference you're probably a bit weird. But you'll do well in this quiz.