Southgate’s World Cup Plans in Ruins as Fifth-Choice Right-Back Quits

England manager Gareth Southgate was reportedly left blindsided by Tariq Lamptey’s decision to switch nationality after the Brighton right-back announced his decision to represent Ghana.

According to sources inside the England camp, Lamptey was viewed as an essential component within Southgate’s pioneering new eight right-back system which is set to debut at this year’s Qatar World Cup. Alongside Kyle Walker, Reece James, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Kieran Trippier, James Justin and Matty Cash, the plan was to use Lamptey to create overloads on the right side of the field while one of the other seven right-sided fullbacks whipped in crosses to England frontmen Harry Kane and Tammy Abraham.

Southgate held crunch talks with Lamptey back in March of this year but after assuring Lamptey that being England’s fifth-choice right-back is better than being England’s first-choice left-back, he thought he’d done enough to convince the Brighton star to stick with England. When news of Lamptey’s decision broke, the Three Lions boss was said to be apoplectic – an unnamed member of Gareth Southgate’s coaching staff told us that Southgate locked himself in his office, tore off his waistcoat, and penned an angry letter to the Ghanaian FA as Frankee’s 2004 hit ‘Fuck You Right Back’ played on repeat – the music so loud that it could be heard during an England U9s game where parents were left incensed by the song’s x-rated lyrics.

Southampton’s Kyle Walker-Peters is now expected to take Lamptey’s place in the starting lineup, however, with only Luke Ayling and Max Aarons left to cover for England’s eight starting right-backs, Southgate is concerned that he’ll be left without a plan B in the event of an injury or late-game fatigue. One source told us that Southgate has reached out to Gary Neville in case of emergency, with the England manager favouring the ability to play right-back over fitness, match sharpness, or even talent.

Kits Inspired by Your Favourite TV Shows (Part 1)

From The Simpsons to South Park, The Total FootBull team have designed a series of football kits inspired by your favourite television shows. Drop us a comment below and let us know your favourite…

Taking inspiration from The Simpsons’ opening titles, this kit is emblazoned with the blue skies of Springfield and in sponsored by Homer’s favourite lager, Duff Beer.
Little Britain’s bright pink Kappa strip takes inspiration from Vicky Pollard’s tracksuits and is sponsored by Marjorie Dawes’ employer, Fat Fighters. Dust. Anybody? No? Dust.
Eric Cartman served as the muse for South Park’s slick City Wok-sponsored jersey.
Dropping off the back of a lorry near you, this bright yellow strip borrows its colour from Del Boy’s three-wheel Reliant and is sponsored by none other than the Trotters Independent Trading Company. Made by Abibas, it wouldn’t be Only Fools if it wasn’t a knock off.
Sponsored by Gus Fring’s Los Pollos Hermanos, this Socceroo-esque design is influenced by Walt and Jesse’s yellow hazmat suits.

Look out for part two next week, where we’ll be taking on The Office, Friends, and a few more of your on-screen favourites.

Tuchel Takes Player Criticism Step Further, Hosts Comedy Roast of Chelsea Squad

Following his harsh criticism of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Tammy Abraham after Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Southampton, Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel has taken things a step further, hosting a no holds barred Comedy Central-style roast of his Chelsea squad.

As the players arrived at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground on Monday morning, they were led towards the canteen area where multiple rows of chairs had been set out for them, all facing towards an unoccupied microphone stand.

Once the players were seated, manager Thomas Tuchel appeared from behind a curtain and took to the makeshift stage that had been set up for him. The Chelsea boss gestured for a round of applause from his players before swiftly laying into his team: ‘Okay, before we get started, some Covid news. The UK government has identified 16 new strains in the past week. 15 of them were linked to Christian Pulisic’s hamstring.’ Failing to see the funny side of Tuchel’s comments, the American reportedly hobbled out of the canteen in anger.

Undeterred, the manager proceeded to tear the rest of his Chelsea squad a new one, next turning his attention to out-of-favour left-back Ben Chilwell.

‘Is Chilly in the building? Where are you, Ben? Stand up for me’, the Chelsea boss waited for the defender to rise before continuing, ‘people ask me why we call Ben Chilwell, “Chilly”, I tell them, “it’s because I’m freezing him out of the squad.” You can sit back down now, Ben, you’re getting good at that.’

After each joke, the German let out a loud purposeful laugh, which grew noticeably stronger as the routine went on, while his assistant Arno Michels made sure to punctuate each gag with a ‘ba dum tss.’

He then mocked Thiago Silva’s age, made the customary Marcus Alonso car crash joke, and later went in on striker Timo Werner, saying: ‘He’s fast and he’s German so he always arrives first to the pool, but when he throws down his towel he misses the sun lounger.’

On the subject of low-hanging fruit, backup goalkeeper Kepa wasn’t spared the managers wrath either: ‘Oh Kepa, we all give Kepa a hard time, but he’s no different from any other young man living in London, he’s worried about job security and finds it incredibly hard to save.’

With over an hour on the clock, the manager finally brought his performance to a close, and if their faces were anything to go by, the Chelsea squad weren’t impressed – with only N’Golo Kante left smiling at the end.

How well Chelsea’s players will respond to Tuchel’s impromptu roast remains to be seen, but if his team fall flat in tonight’s tie with Atletico Madrid, it’s safe to say that the joke will most certainly be on him.

Roy Keane SLAMS Wife’s Performance in Bed

A characteristically scathing Roy Keane has critically analysed a disappointing sexual encounter with his wife on Thursday evening. The outburst took place during a live recording of what was supposed to be analysis of Liverpool’s Saturday showdown with Leicester.

‘There was no passion, no drive, no hunger,’ began the former Ireland international, speaking from the Sky Sports studio as an alarmed Micah Richards and David Jones watched on. ‘After more than 20 years of experience, you never imagine you’ll see a performance like that. The least you expect is a little bit of movement in the box.’ 

‘A big of sluggishness can be expected on a wet playing surface, but sometimes it was like she didn’t know what position she was supposed to be in.’

Despite Jones’s attempts to bring the conversation back to Leicester’s defending from set plays, Keane pushed forward with his tirade, uninterested in the endless debate about zonal vs man marking. ‘And what’s with all this kissing and hugging? Back in my day you just disappeared down the tunnel and went home.’

Richards, sniffing an opportunity to further enrage his fellow pundit, gently reminded him that his wife Theresa has lost a yard or two. In typical fashion, Keane rounded on Richards, telling him that his wife had a job to do and that she can’t keep living off past triumphs.

‘I learnt that the hard way with United.’

Alisson Diagnosed With Kepatitis

Following Saturday’s late-game collapse against Leicester, Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson has been diagnosed with Kepatitis.

The Liverpool backroom team sought expert medical opinion after another blunder from their star stopper; the Brazilian has now made 7 errors leading to goals since joining the club back in 2018.

The condition was first discovered by the Chelsea medical staff last season after goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga forgot how to use his hands and brain. And after 3 costly errors in the space of just two games, Liverpool’s coaching staff began to notice parallels between the two highly-priced goalkeepers.

The symptoms associated with Kepatitis are wide-ranging but, most commonly, the condition has an adverse effect on a goalkeeper’s handling, reflexes, and spatial awareness, while also seriously hampering their decision making.

The keeper underwent a series of scans on Saturday evening.

We don’t yet know if a correlation exists between the severity of the condition and a goalkeeper’s price tag, though, notably, the two hit hardest by the illness also happen to be the two most expensive goalkeepers in football history.

Whether Alisson will miss time as a result of his diagnosis remains to be seen, but whatever Liverpool do decide to do, the team at Total FootBull will be wishing him an extra speedy recovery. Get well soon champ 🙏

Saliba Records Mikel Arteta Diss Track – EXCLUSIVE SNIPPET

Arsenal loanee William Saliba is back at it again. Following his controversial interview with French outlet RMC, during which Saliba criticised Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, the French centre-back has escalated tensions further by recording a Mikel Arteta diss track.

Last week Saliba told press: ‘He [Arteta] judged me on two and a half matches. I would have liked for him to play me more. But he told me I wasn’t ready.’ This week, the defender has taken to the mic to offer a scathing rebuke of the Arsenal boss, as well as some of his Arsenal teammates, clearly still peeved by his lack of game time under Arteta.

While the full song is yet to be released, Total FootBull is able to bring you an exclusive snippet which you can listen to below:

Arteta, je suis better than David Luiz/ Arteta, gone regret(a) not playing me g
Arsenal’s best defender? That’s Willie Sali(ba)/ Arteta’s best defender, ask AFTV (please)

Hey Mikel Arteta, why you so upset, huh?/ I’ll fire shots like Lacazette and pull out my Beretta
Hey Mikel Arteta, why you so upset, huh? Fire shots like Aubameyang, all you’ll hear is bang bang bang

It’s not yet clear whether the Spaniard will respond, though he was reportedly apoplectic upon hearing the diss. Sources close to Arteta claim that he’s since reached out to Bradley Wright-Phillips, Lord of the Mics participant and son of Arsenal legend Ian Wright, as he gets to grips with penning a retort.

Whatever happens from here, it’s safe to say that Arteta has 99 problems right now, and William Saliba is certainly one.

Klopp Regretting Giving It the Big’un After First Title Win

After a 6th successive Anfield defeat, and with Liverpool’s title defence in tatters, it’s believed Jurgen Klopp is regretting ‘giving it the big’un’ after winning his first Premier League trophy.

The accusation was first put to him by Frank Lampard following a tense touchline bust-up last July, with the ex-Chelsea boss telling Klopp, ‘only title you’ve ever won and you’re f***ing giving it the big un, f*** off!’

While Klopp initially laughed off Lampard’s suggestions, sources close to the Liverpool boss say the German has grown increasingly superstitious about the ex-Chelsea man’s comments and has questioned privately whether Lampard was right. A concerned Klopp reportedly told one assistant: ‘The success has gone to our heads. We’ve known all along that Trent can’t defend. And we know why nobody notices Firmino’s contributions… because he doesn’t f***ing make any. How could we have been so naive?!’

In recent weeks, in a bid to reverse a lacklustre run of results which has left his side labouring in 8th, the Liverpool boss has been drilling his players on the importance of humility, even bringing in boxing superstar Anthony Joshua to give a pre-match team talk. In a largely ambiguous 3-minute-long speech, AJ told Liverpool players: ‘You’ve just gotta stay humble.’

If Joshua’s talk hadn’t already done the trick, it’s safe to say that Liverpool were well and truly brought back down to earth after Sunday’s 1-0 defeat at the hands of relegation battlers Fulham.

Lampard Set to Take Over as Amazon Boss

According to reports in Seattle, Frank Lampard is set to replace world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, as Amazon boss – a job he has absolutely zero qualifications for.

Bezos stepped down yesterday following the announcement of Amazon’s Q4 earnings, and as the news spread, the company’s share price soon began to plummet. It’s believed that the strong market reaction forced the board’s hand, and with Tuchel, Pochettino, and Allardyce now unavailable, Amazon turned their attention to the recently-axed Blues boss.

Lampard, 42, built a career arriving late into the box, but will now be tasked with making boxes arrive early. And while his lack of experience may offer investors cause for concern, the ex-Chelsea man will once again have unlimited resources at his disposal and is looking to bring in the best talent available, providing they’re not German.

Jody Morris, Lampard’s right-hand man, is also set to join him stateside and is expected to take charge of Amazon’s flourishing Web Services business. Asked what Jody would bring to Amazon, Frank said: ‘You know as well as I, the internet is a young man’s game, and Jody has a lot of experience working with the youngsters.’

One person who won’t be heading to Seattle anytime soon is Mason Mount, with Lampard telling reporters, ‘my kids will be staying in London for the time being.’

When pressed about his plans for Amazon’s future, Lampard offered a stark warning to shareholders, telling them not to expect immediate results: ‘The company’s has had a great run these last 8 or 9 years but we’re now entering a transitional period, new ideas will need to be implemented, and I’d be lying if I said there wouldn’t be losses along the way.’

Following the press conference, Amazon’s share price dropped 3 points, something Lampard’s former employer will know all about.

Liverpool in the Running to Sign Any Centre-Back with a Pulse

According to reports on Merseyside, Liverpool are in the running to sign anyone alive willing to play centre-back for them.

Following a tough start to the season which has seen the club lose all 3 of their starting CBs to injury, as well as frequent fill-in Fabinho, Liverpool are now in dire need of defensive reinforcements. Jurgen Klopp has expressed an interest in RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano but the board won’t fork out for a top-tier defender in January, so have signed Ben Davies from Preston instead. Now, with the transfer deadline fast approaching, the Premier League champions are searching for someone to partner Davies at the heart of their pound saver menu defence.

Club officials had originally planned to bring in Meikayla Moore and Niamh Fahey from the Liverpool Women’s Team – both were practicing putting on a deep voice, with the two hoping to disguise themselves by going for a short back and sides. However, with new restrictions requiring barbers to close across the country, the club was forced to pivot.

Since then, the club has held talks with several free agents including Neven Subotic, Ezequial Garay, Pascal Cygan, Jean-Alain Boumsong, Jeremy Lynch, Steve Bruce, John Terry, Jamie Carragher, Titus Bramble, Sami Hyypia, Marc Klopp (son of Jurgen), Martin Skrtel, David Unsworth, Philippe Senderos, Kem from Love Island, Richard Dunne, Lucas Radebe, Sylvain Distin, Nemanja Vidic, Wes Brown, Winston Bogarde, Marcel Desailly, Roque Junior, John Bishop, Joleon Lescott, Rio Ferdinand, Anton Ferdinand, and Emerson Thome.

So far, all of the 273 defenders contacted by the club have rejected their proposed pay packet, with the Fenway Sports Group unwilling to cough up more than £2000-a-week + subs.

The clock is now ticking on the Premier League title holders. Will they get their man (or woman) in time?

Reddit Traders Inflated Pepe’s Price Tag, Says Edu

According to Arsenal’s technical director Edu, Reddit traders were to blame for driving up Pepe’s eye-watering price tag.

The Ivorian winger was acquired from Lille in 2019 for a staggering £72m, a move which raised eyebrows within the football community and even amongst Arsenal’s own board, who launched an internal investigation into his signing late last year. His lacklustre performances since have done little to alleviate their concerns, and the club are increasingly worried about the possibility of recouping their fee. Edu has told them to hold the line.

Edu didn’t clarify whether the Redditor theory was a result of the club’s internal investigation, or merely a chance to deflect blame and capitalise on this week’s Wall Street drama.

How Reddit traders could have achieved such a goal is not yet apparent. Some say they formed a 3rd party ownership group, while sources close to the club claim members of r/WallStreetBets bought millions of Pepe shares on Football Index, sending his valuation skyrocketing.

Edu’s comments, while tough to believe, have also raised questions about other stars’ exorbitant transfer fees, with fans asking if Reddit traders helped inflate the fees of Harry Maguire, Kepa Arrizabalaga, and even Willian who joined Arsenal on a free last summer.

Whatever the truth of the situation, as long as Pepe’s playing in red, it’s unlikely Arsenal will be going #ToTheMoon