The fiver _ a face-full of gnashing german metalfury _ football _ the guardian


It’s time for everything to change again, reader. Yes, it’s still international friendly break, a painfully slow-moving time for supporters far and wide to hope that their favourite players show no passion whatsoever, tackle like rubber dolls and generally put in as little effort as possible in order to return to their clubs in optimum condition, ideally after defiling the flags of several powerful countries in a dressing room urinal, ensuring they are never again summoned for international duty.

It is also, of course, a time for maligned footballers to deflect criticism on to a different profession, usually the pesky meddlers of the translation community, who, apparently, are forever turning generous praise into caustic gyp. Hardly an international press conference goes by without a footballer saying something to his compatriots in his mother tongue only to find himself having to denounce the way his utterances have been twisted by the time he gets to the Premier League, where he explains that the Spanish word for “likeable and smart man” is very close to the Spanish word for “raging gobaloon” so that’s where the confusion must have arisen.

Related: Christian Benteke questions why Jürgen Klopp ‘ignores’ him at Liverpool

Christian Benteke, however, seems to have broken new ground. No, Crystal Palace fans, not by falling on to it with an exaggerated thud, but by using an interaction with the press in his homeland to highlight the value of good translators. Indeed, he effectively called for Liverpool to hire a specialist interpreter or anyone who can help him figure out what the heck Jürgen Klopp is on about. Because whatever Klopp has been saying to him at Anfield these last few months, or at St Mary’s on Sunday after the striker’s woeful miss in the defeat at Southampton, it has not been getting through to Benteke.

“Some team-mates have said that I was lucky with the arrival of Klopp because I certainly would play,” Benteke fired, just wide of a microphone reportedly held by Sport/Voetbalmagazine. “When your coach says he wanted to take you to Dortmund and a little later you sit at the same club and he ignores you, it is hard to understand,” Benteke is said to have added, as The Fiver found it hard to understand how someone who only three days ago copped a face-full of gnashing German metalfury could think he was being ignored by Klopp. “I do not understand why people say that [I cannot fit in at Liverpool],” continued the bemused striker. “I can play pressing and moving a lot, it is not that we play in the Barcelona style,” he concluded, as one exasperated Premier League manager and millions of Liverpool fans launched an urgent search for a way of saying “yes, we know you can do it, so bleeding well do it!” in a language that Benteke can understand. QUOTE OF THE DAY

“We are losing a good player, someone who would have helped the team, but we have lost players before who would have helped the team and I think that the club, the squad and myself will move on. We won’t stop to play football just because a player leaves us” – Christian Keller, who you may remember from Monday’s Bits and Bobs for starting a relationship with the wife of Randers team-mate Jonas Borring, displays his compassionate side after Borring decided he had to leave the club.

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The heart wants what it wants. Photograph: Jan Christensen/FrontzoneSport via Getty Images


“Re: Gavin O’Sullivan (yesterday’s Fiver letters). Let me tell you about a strange incident that occurred last week while I was working at a London pub that showed the City/Kyiv game. I was whiling the time away when I saw a regular customer sit down beside some simpleton who was having fish and chips for his tea. The simpleton was behaving oddly, and the bloke tried to make some small talk, asking what he was eating. ‘My tea,’ he replied in a tone that implied the man is an expert in stating the obvious. ‘Looks like cod and chips,’ I heard the other guy reply sympathetically. ‘Yup,’ he answered in a gruff manner. ‘That’s a good one, legendary,’ the bloke proceeded to fight the losing battle. The poor little lad picked up the ketchup bottle and was clearly struggling with the spill-proof cap – ‘You’ve got to do it a certain way mate, give it here I’ll show you,’ he offered. Leaning in to assist him, the out-of-town bloke slapped the back of the hand of the guy who was trying his best to give the rude man a nutritious and tasteful meal. I got a bit anxious so decided to to defuse the situation by playing some nifty jazz” – Marko Teodorcevic.

“I’m thrilled that the Manic Street Preachers have recorded Wales’ Euro 2016 song (yesterday’s Fiver). The band members are not only life-long football fans (the three-piece consists of supporters of Nottingham Forest, Spurs and Liverpool) but they were also early sages of how modern football was going to turn out. Just think Gold Against the Soul, released shortly after the glittering dawn of the Premier League. And they may yet again prove prophetic, with the 20th anniversary commemorative release of Everything Must Go coming right at the close of this season, just as gilded clubs up and down the table are holding desperate fire sales to rebuild, rebrand, reload, remain, relevant” – Peter Oh.

“In response to Mick O’Regan’s ‘etymological’ pedantry regarding names that cross the gender divide (yesterday’s letters), the study of the origin and history of names is more accurately ‘onomastics’, or even ‘anthroponomastics’ for personal names. If we’re going to be pedantic, let’s not half-ar$e it” – Gary Ford (and others).

• Send your letters to the. boss@theguardian. com. And if you’ve nothing better to do you can also tweet The Fiver. Today’s winner of our prizeless letter o’the day is … Marko Teodorcevic . JOIN GUARDIAN SOULMATES

Chances are that if you’re reading this tea-timely football email, you’re almost certainly single. But fear not – if you’d like to find companionship or love, sign up here to view profiles of the kind of erudite, sociable and friendly folk who would never normally dream of going out with you. And don’t forget, it’s not the rejection that kills you, it’s the hope. BITS AND BOBS

Danny Drinkwater has been fielding softballs at his first press conference with the England squad. “I have been given a small chance here to show what I am capable of and it is up to me to take it,” he thrilled.

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!! Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Arsenal will consider putting Kieran Gibbs on eBay, but are presumably worried he won’t meet their £4.50 reserve price.

Nigeria’s Alex Iwobi has been released from hospital after chowing down some dodgy scran. “Had The Maddest Food Poisoning But I Am Good Now & Feeling Ready For The Egyptian Match,” he tweeted, Firing Shots @ Style Guides Everywhere.

Knee-gah! could rule Bastian Schweingsteiger out for the rest of the season and Euro 2016. “World Cup winner Schweinsteiger sustained the injury to his right knee on Tuesday afternoon,” cheered a morale-boosting German FA statement.

Caf has rejected Malawi’s request to move their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier from Guinea, where two new cases of Ebola have been confirmed.

And Joe Allen is still amped after the Wales squad met up with James Dean Bradfield and co to, er, drop some dope beats? “In some ways I suppose it was a bit like getting measured for your suits before a cup final,” he rapped. “I’m a big Manics fan anyway, so to work with them and be part of the song was incredible.” STILL WANT MORE?

Ousmane Dembélé is sure to be on Tottenham’s wish list soon enough with that last name. Especially now that Ed Aarons has gone and written all about him.

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Your man. Photograph: Damien Meyer/AFP/Getty Images

Home teams who roam the country like N’Golo Kanté covers midfield and Sheffield United getting away with terrible home form. These and a little bit more in this week’s The Knowledge.

Baseball, despite being incomprehensible, is A Big Thing over in USA! USA!! USA!!! Should MLS follow its example by recruiting more Asian players? That’s the question John Duerden’s asking.

Jessica Hatcher reports how women’s football in Burundi is offering hope to a shattered nation.

Which club will finish fourth in the Premier League? Well?

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