ENGLAND legend Paul Gascoigne has described “the pain” of knowing he might start drinking again even though he recognises it might kill him – and has turned his addictive personality to an addiction to sweets.
A new documentary about the former England footballer reveals he is now addicted to the sweet treats, and that he spends £1,000 a year on anti-wrinkle jabs to counteract the ravages of drinking.
Gascoigne, who played for teams including Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur, was followed by a film crew for three months for an ITV documentary after his return from a treatment clinic in the United States where he overheard doctors say he might die.
The 46-year-old told the filmmakers: “I just remember one bit after the third day of being in hospital when he said ‘I don’t think this guy is going to make it’ and I sort of put my head up a little bit and I was like, tubes in my arms and an oxygen tank injecting round my heart and lungs and that. I just come forward and I went ‘I don’t want to die I need to water the plants’ and that was it and then I woke up two weeks later.”
Gascoigne, who describes himself as “an addictive personality”, said: “With me now if I did have a drink and relapse, it’s like becoming tipsy and merry is okay for a couple of days but like the next mouthful I’m so down, I’m so depressed, I cry. I do all that because I know inside I’m hurting myself again. I know where I’m heading, a wooden box. Or I’m back in treatment or hospital. Or getting sectioned.”
TRANSFER Deadline Day is here, the most exciting window-based day in the footballing calendar.
And with it comes the news that a Premier League club has finally completed its transfer dealings – Stoke have confirmed the signing of Austria forward Marko Arnautovic on a four-year contract from Werder Bremen.
The 24-year-old becomes the fourth new arrival under manager Mark Hughes following the signings of Erik Pieters, Marc Muniesa and Oussama Assaidi.
The club said on their official Facebook page: “Stoke City are delighted to sign Austria international winger Marko Arnautovic from German side Werder Bremen.
“He joins on a four-year deal for an undisclosed fee.”
Oh, and Gareth bale has moved to Real Madrid for a world record 100m Euro transfer fee.
Looks like today could be a humdinger.
THIS transfer deadline day looks like it could be a stormer – because some of the biggest deals of the summer are reportedly all lined up and ready to go.
Top of the pile when it comes to transfer business has to be the Real Madrid slow motion swoop for Tottenham’s Gareth Bale.
If this deal doesn’t go through I’ll eat my dubious hot pink baseball cap.
Of course, rumour has it that this deal will allow Madrid to sell Di Maria to Arsenal – not an all-but-done deal, sure, but highly likely nonetheless.
And we’re being told this morning by the Belgian media that be-Afroed powerhouse Marouane Fellaini has been told he has played his last game for Everton and can leave for Manchester United.
Whether Leighton Baines leaves is not quite so certain, but if they both do, Everton will surely be in the market for last-minute replacements.
Add to this that Manchester City boss Pelligrini said outright yesterday that he plans to bring in one more player, and you have the recipe for a big-spending deadline day tomorrow.
Of course, follow Goaltastic tomorrow for news and views on Transfer Deadline Day.
OH HOW we’ve missed you Mourinho.
The Special One is well known for doing things his own special way, and that extends from the touchline to the transfer market, but this week’s work will take some beating.
Despite a medical being completed and a transfer fee being arranged between Anzhi Makhachkala and Tottenham Hotspur for midfielder Willian, an 11th hour bid by Chelsea this week saw the Brazilian winger change his mind and agree a move to Stamford Bridge.
This is despite Chelsea owning more attacking midfielders than you can shake a Oscar, Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Andre Schurrle-shaped stick at – a strange move it seemed at first.
Rumours were rife that the swoop would allow Mata to become the bargaining chip needed to prise his top target Wayne Rooney away from Manchester United – which could still be a possibility.
But now it appears that Gareth Bale’s mooted £93m move to Real Madrid is on hold as Daniel Levy won’t let Bale leave without a replacement in the bag.
So the Willian move has messed with both Chelsea rivals Spurs and former employer Madrid’s dealings, and made his own business look much more likely too – talk about two birds with one stone, Jose.
THIS season, more than any I can remember anticipating, is a hard one to call.
The top three teams from last season, Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea, all have new men at the helm.
Arsenal underperformed last season – but then, Arsenal have underperformed for a good few years now – while Spurs and Liverpool could both be facing up to life without their star men next season.
I can’t see any other team seriously breaking into the top four, but which of these six elite squads will is a hard call.
There’s my disclaimer out of the way.
But neck on the line I find it hard to see past Mourinho’s Chelsea for the title.
His team has a strength in depth matched only by Manchester City, with some real creative talent in the form of Hazard, Mata and Oscar – plus if anyone can hit the ground running it’s the Special One, a manager adept at settling into new clubs, with the benefit of having been here and done it before.
It’s this that gives him the edge over Pellegrini’s star-studded legions of Manchester City, who I’m placing second come May.
Last season, Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal gave themselves a mountain to climb, and they climbed it admirably during the second half of the season. If they come out of the traps in the same form as they finished last time around, I can see them overhauling David Moyes and Manchester United’s defending champions, who’ll have to settle for fourth place.
Liverpool and Spurs I see missing out, without the depth in their squad to maintain a season-long campaign – although I will tip the Lilywhites’ new boy Roberto Soldado for the Golden Boot.
Tomorrow, I’m going to have a look at the other half of the table and predict who’ll be relegated…
I MAY not be in David Moyes or Jose Mourinho’s league just yet, but as the author of Goaltastic I do take in more football than the average man. Hell, I’m even the reigning Hinckley Times Official Fantasy Football League champion.
So as you can imagine, I’ve been thinking quite a lot about my team for the forthcoming season.
Now you don’t need me to tell you that the likes of Robin van Persie and Juan Mata are probably going to score well this season – their double figure price tags tell you that – but what a canny manager needs to find is value for money, cheaper chaps that might make a mockery of their prices.
Here are my top five…
Simon Mignolet was a solid stopper at Sunderland last year, and this season despite moving to Liverpool – who are far more likely to keep their opponents at bay – remains relatively kind in price as the levels were set before Pepe Reina was transferred. This means for just £5.5m you can grab a slice of the Liverpool clean sheets, plus save points.
He’s getting on a bit, granted, but Nicola Anelka is as lethal as ever judging by his pre-season form for West Brom, and he was one of the fittest in the Juventus squad last season according to the Italian side’s coaches. Plus he’s cheap as chips too, at just £5.5m for a proven Premier League goalscorer.
Yeah yeah, we all know how much of a red herring being a scoring sensation in the Dutch leagues can be, myself more than most being a Middlesbrough supporter having to endure Afonso ’30 goals last season’ Alves, but it’s a real miracle that Swansea snaffled up Ivorian hitman Wilfred Bony to lead their line ahead of some of the continent’s bigger guns.
There’s always a bargain to be had in finding a player out of position – midfielders playing up front, defenders playing in midfield, goalkeepers playing in defence… Okay, scratch that last one, but Irishman Seamus Coleman, listed as a defender for Everton, has been playing as a winger in some formations for his team this season, leaving him dangerously close to being a defender playing UP FRONT. For £5m, how can you not go for that?
Now I know £9.5m isn’t exactly cheap, but… Roberto Soldado is World and Euro champs Spain’s number one striker at the moment, he’s been a 20 goal a season man for the last three campaigns, and he’s without competition for places at a Spurs side burgeoning with midfield talent. If I were a betting man, which I am, I’d be laying a cheeky punt on Soldado for this season’s Premier League Golden Boot.
Agree? Disagree? Leave me your bargain spots in the comments, and put your money where your mouth is by signing up to our free league at fantasy.premierleague.com and then join the competition by using the code 148075-41877.