Team of Funny Names – FOR (2)

And so, with a tear in my eye, we’ve reached the end of our quest to find the funniest footballing names. From Norman Conquest, Rod Fanni and Yaya Banana, all the way to Danger Fourpence, Sammy Ameobi and Britt Assombalonga, it’s been great fun compiling the list and producing the blog posts. The feedback has been mostly fantastic and that’s greatly appreciated. Thanks for that! As stated last time, the sheer volume of good forward options has enabled me to drag this series out slightly longer, so it’s time to finish on a high and blitz through the final nine strikers.

Johnny Moustache

Google this name and you’ll be surrounded by vintage furniture websites, that’s how little is known about the Ascot United player. Where are they from, you might ask? The Seychelles, where Moustache used to be national team captain. His facial hair is unknown and Johnny is normally in a hurry, but there’s no way a man with that name gets left off this comprehensive list.

David Goodwillie

A funny name in itself, Goodwillie already has a criminal record. He’s assaulted a man in a Stirling nightclub, knocked a doorman unconscious and was convicted of assault after a Glasgow takeaway incident. You want more? His name became even more striking after he was accused of rape in 2011. The victim recently waived her right to anonymity, although charges were originally dropped due to insufficient evidence. It’s hard to remember that there’s a football career in there and Goodwillie became Scottish PFA Young Player of the Year in 2011, before a failed move to Blackburn Rovers. He’s now back at Dundee United on loan.

Danny Invincible

Continuing the Scottish theme is Australia’s Danny Invincible, who was a very average player.  After scoring 32 goals in his eight years at Kilmarnock, he was a fan favourite but now plays his football in Thailand. Maybe not so invincible! However, his cult status did inspire a 2006 Mark Wahlberg film as well as a Tinie Tempah and Kelly Rowland song. Tempah, a known Killie fan, penned the song in 2010 after meeting Danny backstage at a gig.

Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink

Another Scottish link, as the 6ft 3in striker scored on his Celtic debut in 2006, before a stunning diving header against Barcelona in the Champions League. His 132 goals in Holland earned him a move to Celtic Park, as well as 17 Dutch international caps. His unusually long surname seems to be the equivalent of double-barrelling names in England, as The Guardian did some research. They found that “In the 17th Century, two farming families in the Enschede area of Holland intermarried. Both the Vennegoor and Hesselink names carried equal social weight and so they chose to use both”. In this case, ‘of’ translates as ‘or’, meaning his name indecisive name can be translated as Jan Vennegoor or Hesselink. When at Hull, they tried different lettering styles to fit it all on his shirt. After their initial giant loop reached the bottom of his shirt, they switched to a very thin font – he paid them back with only three goals. Stressed out by such incidents, Jan has now retired.

Creedence Clearwater Couto

“People often think that it’s a nickname but it’s not. It’s my real name and on my birth certificate”, Couto himself says. “The only thing I regret is that some people are more interested in me because of my name than my qualities as a footballer”. Erm, whoops. We’re interested in your qualities too! Although to be honest, they’re not much to shout about. Now aged 34, Couto has spent his career dwelling in the lower leagues of Brazil – apart from one loan spell in Belgium. This fortunate son nicknamed himself Paulista for simplicity (and probably his sanity) once he was named after the Fogerty brothers’late-60s Californian rock band. His parents were huge fans and he’s in great company – Roberto Carlos was named after a Grammy Award-winning singer and World Cup-winning captain Dunga is a translation of ‘Dopey’ from Snow White. Mary would be proud.

Honourable Mentions:

Demba Ba – Every chant in the world works for Demba Ba, try it out! It has repetition, is swift and he was great for Newcastle. All positives!

Ricky van Wolfswinkel – A slightly less glamorous name now he’s at Norwich, the Dutch striker sound like he should have rabies.

Michael Gash – The clue is in the name. Currently at Kidderminster.

Carlos Costly – The clue isn’t in the name. After a career in obscurity, the Honduran now plays in China and can probably be bought for a box of ice pops.

On that bombshell, it’s time to go. There’ll be other blogs on different subjects, so I’m not going at all actually. But no more ‘Team of Funny Names’ – these seven blog posts can be immortalised and hopefully, one day, will reach over 100 views. Hope you had almost as much fun reading as I had writing. Take care! And Merry Christmas!

Team of Funny Names – RM/LM

After assessing goalkeepers, full backs and centre backs, it’s time to move on to the wingers. Well, I guess it depends on the formation. Even though 4-2-3-1 and 4-5-1 variants have seemingly become the systems of choice these days, it’s only right to stick with a traditional 4-4-2 here. To be honest, there’s such a lack of funny-named wingers that perhaps a 4-3-3 would’ve been better. However, these sentences are basically just filler to make up for the lack of players this time. So how has your week been?

Having thought beyond the ‘Team of Funny Names’ starting XI, I think all home games should be played in the capital city of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou. We might have to push pineapples and shake some trees to get permission, but we can grind some coffee and plan it out. Maybe drive there in a Renault Twingo, although it’d be a mammoth journey. Regardless, I won’t be handling this team – that’s the job of former Wolfsburg manager Wolfgang Wolf! Although I’d happily leave him alone if Wolverhampton Wanderers had a vacancy….

So yes, with those on board and Kriss Akabusi as fitness coach, it’s time to proceed with the right and left-sided midfielders.

Sidney Sam – RM

Credit for this goes to Matt Cobb and The Football Ramble. The Bayer Leverkusen winger has a name that demands a kick-ass cowboy hat, gun duels and drinking sarsaparilla in a saloon. For this 25-year-old belongs in a Western movie – go on, say it! Shid-knee Shaaay-yum. Once upon a time in the West of Germany, this outlaw started his career at Hamburg, before making his name on loan at Kaiserslautern. After dancing with the idea of signing for Wolfsburg (narrowly avoiding Wolfgang!), the German international joined Leverkusen in 2010 for £2m. He’s started this season incredibly well, forming a superb trio with Stefan Kiessling and Son Heung-Min as Leverkusen have pulled away at the table’s summit with Dortmund and Bayern. If they somehow don’t qualify for the Champions League, Sam could easily be Unforgiven.

Sammy Ameobi – RM/LM

The Premier League has seen some incredible brother combinations in its time – we’ve witnessed the Nevilles, the Toure brothers and the Da Silva twins. The Ameobis aren’t one of these. Yet Shola and Sammy are part of a clan that has ‘graced’ Tyneside for nearly 15 years. He made his Newcastle United debut against Chelsea in May 2011 and has scored two League Cup goals. However, his career highlight so far was sparking a pre-season pitch invasion at Darlington. After Geordie promises that “If Sammy scores, we’re on the pitch”, Ameobi proceeded to score past keeper Sam Russell. In fairness, the Newcastle fans stuck to their word and the following melee delayed the match for 10 minutes. Sammy’s name has delightful repetition and a beautiful rhythm, as shown by chanting it to the ‘hokey cokey’ and Black Lace’s party classic ‘Do the Conga’.

Brian Pinas – LM

Continuing the Newcastle United theme, Pinas arrived from Feyenoord in 1997. Signed by Kenny Dalglish, Pinas was thought to be the full package but the jokes and ridicule began immediately. The Sun newspaper claimed that “The first time a referee takes his name he’ll get sent off for using foul language”. When Arsenal came to Tyneside that December, anticipation lingered in the air over the prospect of Brian emerging from the substitutes bench and guiding the ball over Arsenal’s goalkeeper into the net. In other words, people wanted to see Pinas lob Seaman. Battered by a year of similarly poor jokes, Pinas returned to Feyenoord and tried to forge a career for himself. He has since been seen at Groningen, Cercle Brugge, NAC Breda and Dordrecht.

Alex Kacaniklic – LM

There’s nothing rude or clever about this Fulham winger’s name – I just love the ‘clickety click’ noise it makes. The 22-year-old was part of Liverpool’s youth team, before being used as a makeweight in Paul Konchesky’s monumental move to Anfield in 2010. Arguably on his way to becoming better than Konchesky ever was, Kacaniklic has five Premier League goals for Fulham and 14 caps for Sweden. His impact from the bench against Germany inspired his country to turn a 4-0 deficit into a stunning 4-4 draw. If he stays away from injuries, this winger is set to have a promising career at the top level.

Honourable Mentions:

Andreas Ivanschitz – Unlike Rafael Scheidt and Danny Shittu, this Austrian has had a good career (like Igor Shitov). With 64 caps for Austria and Champions League experience, the ‘David Beckham of Austria’ has a talented left foot.

Siphiwe Tshabalala – Currently playing for the Kaizer Chiefs, the South African is known for scoring the opening goal of the 2010 World Cup, inciting the riot that his club predicted. A goal for ALL of Africa!

Magaye Gueye – ….actually has a girlfriend. Well, according to Google, he did in 2011. The Frenchman is now on loan at Brest. Insert joke here.

Back next week with the central midfielders. Clue: there’s a lot of rhyming going on!