2014-15 Guardian Cartoons

Posted: August 5, 2015 in Football

A few months into the 2014-15 football season, I was invited to produce a weekly cartoon for the good people at The Guardian. Here are a few of the cartoons I created over the course of the campaign, and you can see the full series here.

Sepp Blatter – self-proclaimed mountain goat – finally came a cropper (or at least, that’s how it seemed in May):

blatter goat

Also in May, Britain braced itself for a General election:

election specialv2

Chipping Norton won the election, but Chelsea won the Premier League, here’s my heartfelt tribute:

Chelsea Champions

Chelsea also managed to win the League Cup Final, which was previewed here:

league cup

Spurs lost the final, but they could console themselves with the arrival of a new saviour:


In the FA Cup, the fourth round produced a number of dramatic shocks. Chelsea were knocked out by Bradford, Man City lost at home to Middlesbrough, Man Utd could only draw at Cambridge Utd and some other things happened too:

fa cup 4th round

Seriously, Dennis Wise’s hair has to be seen to be believed. Also featured there is Steven Gerrard, who announced his intention to leave Liverpool halfway through the season:

Steve and Brendan

Things weren’t going smoothly at Newcastle either, where supporters vented their frustration at owner Mike Ashley:


Ashley also makes a small cameo in this cartoon about the Premier League’s new TV deal, in which Richard Scudamore channels Jordan Belfour:

tv deal

Around this time, our old friend Sepp Blatter announced that the 2022 Qatar World Cup would be played in winter:

qatar2022 v2

On a cheerier note, Manchester United’s manager, Louis Van Gaal, ended the season on a rousing note at the club’s annual awards night:

LVG speech

I’ll be back with more cartoons on the 2015-16 season, thanks for reading!

As some of you may know, I live in Australia. Famously, there are lots of nice things about living here. Two of those nice things are:

  1. A vibrant football culture
  2. A political class than provides a cornucopia of comic material. Seriously, cartoonists here can’t draw quickly enough.

I tried to combine both in a series of cartoons I produced for The Guardian Australia towards the end of the last A-League season.

Firstly, this cartoon was a result of the startling news that Kevin Muscat had been named as captain of the A-League ‘Team of the Decade’. Thankfully, this is only a ceremonial title, so Kev won’t get the chance to break anyone’s shins:

muscat v2

To be fair to Muscat, he did manage to steer/terrify his Melbourne Victory side to the A-League Grand Final, where they would face Sydney FC:

grand final

Melbourne Victory cruised to a 3-0 win in the final, but Sydney could console themselves with a pair of high-profile friendlies against Spurs and Chelsea:

Sydney friendlies

The new A-League season starts up in October, so hopefully I’ll be able to do a few more of these, if only to relieve the pressure on overworked local cartoonists.

2014/15 season

Posted: September 6, 2014 in Football

Here’s a collection of drawings from the 2014/15 season.


England beat Scotland in a friendly in Glasgow, but it was their fans who made the headlines with their repertoire of songs:



The month began with a touchline confrontation between Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger, who shall henceforth be known as The Mantis:

wenger the mantis0001

Or at least, he will be in my living room.

Roy Keane and his impressive beard also found themselves back in the media spotlight as the second installment of Keane’s acerbic autobiography was released. Here he lays down the law:

keane paddlin0001

Raheem Sterling was the focus of negative attention when he was rested for an England match, having apparently complained of tiredness. Chief among his critics was Alan Shearer, who stated that the ‘working man’ would be furious:


However, attention was soon diverted to Sterling’s Liverpool colleague Mario Balotelli, who committed the cardinal sin of swapping shirts with Real Madrid’s Pepe at half time during a heavy defeat at Anfield. Poor old Mario was only following instructions though,

balo final

Arsene Wenger found himself on the end of some probing questions on Match of the Day. Not something he’s really accustomed to:

wenger motd0001

West Ham had a good month, typified by a home win over Manchester City, during which they were graced with the presence of a special visitor.



Images from England v Norway set to the lyrics of ‘The Dead Flag Blues’ by Godspeed You! Black Emperor:


Later in the month, Manchester United came unstuck against newly-promoted Leicester. Things were not going according to Louis Van Gaal’s plans:



Pre-season brought the news that Steven Gerrard had decided to step down as England captain. However, every problem presents a solution (it doesn’t), and here was mine:


Crystal Palace parted ways with their manager, Tony Pullis, just days before the Premier League season kicked off. Thankfully, it was all part of a broader strategy:

steve parish0001

Palace thought they had a replacement lined up in Malky Mackay, but those paragons of equity, The Daily Mail, broke the news of a series of offensive text messages sent between Mackay and Palace’s Iain Moody:

daily mail0001

The League Mangers’ Association (LMA) jumped to the defence of Mackay, stating that the offending text messages had simply been “banter”, which I have nominated as word of the month.


Despite that unpleasantness, everyone was delighted that football had returned:

the 72 in safe hands0001

The Football League is clearly in safe hands, but what of the Premier League? Before the season started, Chief Executive Richard Scudamore addressed criticism about high ticket prices:


Much was expected of Manchester United under their new manager, Louis van Gaal. However, they got off to a bad start with a 2-1 home defeat by Swansea. During the match, television cameras captured the moment when Ashley Young caught a mouthful of bird poo. An occurrence that wasn’t quite as coincidental as it first appeared:


It was an uncomfortable month for Manchester United, the nadir of which was losing 4-0 at MK Dons in the League Cup. Who could argue that the MK Dons story really was a fairy tale:


Still, Van Gaal retained his sense of humour and was more than happy to indulge in the latest charity craze sweeping through social media:


As the month ended, the transfer window closed. QPR’s transfer policy is explained here:

qpr transfer policy0001

Transfer Deadline Day has become something of an event for Sky Sports News, who have taken to sending reporters to training ground car parks across the land. At Everton, their reporter had his live broadcast interrupted by a supporter pushing a purple sex toy into his ear; a career-defining moment.


Bullshit Rodeo 2

Posted: August 6, 2014 in Football



Yes, it’s the time of year for disappointing sequels. I’ve thrown in more explosions and a gratuitous sex scene too. I know my audience.

enable macros!


World Cup Draw(ings)

Posted: June 28, 2014 in Football, World Cup 2014

Here’s a collection of some of the drawings I did as I  watched the 2014 World Cup. As World Cups go, it was a good one, and more importantly, provided plenty of comic material (and that was just Brazil)

The build-up

Pressure was building for FIFA President, Sepp Blatter before the tournament, but he had the situation under control:



However, the excitement mounted as he arrived in Sao Paulo for the opening ceremony:


Those troublesome questions just wouldn’t go away, but, as ever, Sepp had a solution:



The group stage

Thankfully, the tournament had got off to a great start, meaning I was able to stop relying on Star Wars parodies. Spain provided some early entertainment, with a performance that rolled back the years and reminded us all of a time when they were amusing underachievers. They lost 5-1 to the Netherlands, with Robin Van Persie scoring the pick of the bunch with a remarkable diving header from distance:


Group C was a toughie. Spain and the Netherlands were joined by Chile and Australia. I thought that the Aussies would be in for a turbulent time, so produced this helpful accessory for Socceroos supporters:


However, despite losing all three games, Australia played bravely and went home with their pride intact. The same probably couldn’t be said of Spain, but I couldn’t get my hands on an Air Iberia sick bag.

England, meanwhile, did their standard thing of running around a lot to little effect, but found themselves in a tougher group than usual and went out. They played okay in their defeat to Italy, but the margin of defeat could have been greater, with Andrea Pirlo completely wrong-footing Joe Hart with a swerving free kick that hit the bar:


Actually, Hart had moved even further to his right before the ball swerved:


England lost their next game to Uruguay and were out, but it was all part of a greater master plan:



Not long before the tournament, the English FA had outlined a series of recommendations to alter the structure of the domestic game, with a view to improving the fortunes of the national team; a tactic that had previously been be so successful with the formation of the Premier League. Here’s how I imagined they would react to this latest calamity:



I forgot to draw Greg Dyke’s thumb in the last frame, but as long as I don’t point it out, I doubt anyone will notice.

England were undone in their second game by Luis Suarez, whom you may have heard, later took a bite out of the Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini and was kicked out of the tournament. Uruguay coach, Oscar Tabarez launched the case for the defence:


Things got weirder as the Uruguayans made increasingly paranoid claims of persecution; blaming, among others, the British media for their cruel harassment of their saintly Luis. Where would it all end, I cried?



Goodbye, Uruguay’s rose. Commemorative plates will be available by mail order later in time for Christmas (the won’t). Whilst this was bad news for Uruguay, it was celebrated at the meme head offices:


Elsewhere, Mexico’s flamboyant coach, Miguel Herrera, was giving us all a smile with his touchline antics. I noticed in their first game against Cameroon that he is one of those people who can do really loud whistles without using his fingers. There isn’t much I wouldn’t trade to be able to do that.



Well organised, that Mexico team. Brazil found this out as they held them to a goalless draw. Talking of Brazil, I’ve noticed a lot of this kind of thing whenever they are on TV:



Over in Group E France started well, apparently scoring at will against Honduras and Switzerland. They put five past the Swiss, but the most memorable moment came when Cabaye volleyed the ball against the bar from close range as he followed up a saved penalty:



Switzerland bounced back from that defeat with a convincing win over Honduras, with a hat-trick from Xherdan Shaqiri, a young man who has clearly been eating his greens:



Honduras didn’t really add much to the tournament, but did have the best badge, consisting simply of a large blue “H”. If England take anything away from this World Cup, it’s that they should follow this example, ditching the three lions for this design:



Portugal got off to a dreadful start, with a 4-0 defeat to Germany. Arguably the biggest star in world football, Cristiano Ronaldo, was apparently playing but had no noticeable impact:


They never really recovered from that defeat and were pipped to second place by the United States, whose manager Jurgen Klinsmann appears to be both a good egg and a man who dresses like he has a weekend job in a sports fashion outlet:



One of the surprise packages of the World Cup has been Algeria. Dreadful in 2010, they’ve turned up this time with more attacking intent and a large backing of boisterous fans. In the last round of matches of the group stage, they saw off Fabio Capello’s Russia. He wasn’t happy, but then again, is he ever?


The best moment of the first round came when an Algerian substitute blasted the ball into the stands during stoppage time in that game. It made Luis Suarez appear like a paragon of subtlety:


“Quick, Aleksei, we still have two minutes to get a winner”

“Nope” <PUNT!>

ha ha.

Second Round 

Into the knockout stage. Brazil edged out Chile after a penalty shoot-out, to the rapturous delight of the home crowd.

brazil fans0001



One of Brazil’s penalties was taken by Neymar. Here’s a helpful nine-step guide to enable you to take penalties like the Brazilian superstar:


Just kick it, mate. Brazil were joined in the quarter finals by the Netherlands, who scored two goals at the death to overcome Mexico. The winning goal came via a penalty, following a foul (just about) on Robben. Mexico didn’t take it well.



To get that cartoon, you really need to have seen the opening episode of Season 3 of Breaking Bad, specifically the bit where the two cartel twins crawl to the shrine. Yep, the best jokes are the ones that require both homework and lengthy explanations.

Germany needed extra time to get past Algeria. The highlight of the game came when the German players conspired to produce a memorably hopeless free kick. Straight from the training ground, this one:


The United States were heroic in their slender defeat to Belgium, none more so than their goalkeeper Tim Howard, who broke the record for the number of saves in a World Cup match.


The team’s efforts captured the imagination of the US public, with even the President getting into it:


The second round was characterised by late drama, which made me wonder whether anyone had come a cropper doing this sort of thing:

ring road0001


To be fair, that ring road can be a ruddy nightmare.

Quarter Finals

Before each quarter final match, FIFA made the team captains read out anti-discrimination messages. Here, those important messages are translated for English readers:

discrimination0001Brazil employed both physical aggression and religion to beat Colombia, 2-1. David Luiz smacked in a free kick from miles out and then gave praise to a higher power:

luiz 20001

Colombia’s goalscorer, James Rodriguez had been the target for most of Brazil’s foul play, but it was he who pulled a goal back. As he ran back to the halfway line, cameras picked up that he had a disturbingly large insect sat on his arm:



The Netherlands beat Costa Rica on penalties, with Dutch coach Louis Van Gaal successfully pulling off a bold tactical intervention, bringing on a substitute goalkeeper for the shoot-out. Does this prove Arjen Robben’s theory about Van Gaal having a golden pee pee?

van gaal


Probably not very comfortable, that. Some other games happened too, but I only have one pair of hands and a regulation dinkle.


Everyone was excited about the prospect of Brazil playing again. After all, they play like they are on the beach:


However, against Germany they came up against a team who play like they are on a football pitch and got thrashed, 7-1. I think it’s fair to say that we all enjoyed that one.



The prayers of the Brazilian players clearly fell on deaf ears. This could explain why:


The other semi-final, between the Netherlands and Argentina was less exhilarating. In fact, it could be placed alongside these other things as the very definition of dull:


I’ve been on that rail replacement service and can personally vouch for its dullness. At this stage of the tournament, I thought we should take a moment to recognise the amount of personal effort we had all put in to watch the World Cup. A real level of commitment was required. You might want to print these badges off, cut them out, laminate them and wear them upon your blazer lapels, as appropriate:



The Final – Germany 1 Argentina 0

And so, Germany overcame Argentina. Not a classic match, but World Cup finals rarely are. It was, however, hard fought. No-one battled harder than Bastian Schweinsteiger, who was unstoppable:


However, his opponent Javier Mascherano wasn’t far behind him:



The biggest shock of the World Cup was that I didn’t draw a cartoon about Mascherano tearing his anus in Argentina’s semi-final win. Honestly, I didn’t know where to start. Another surprise was that Leo Messi was awarded the Player of the Tournament. However, when you consider the shortlist FIFA had drawn up, he probably deserved it:

golden ball0001


Most people agreed that Germany were the best team and deserved to take home the cup. I’ll sign off with this picture and see you all for some more cartoons in the new season. Congratulations, Deutschland!



Latin American Romance

Posted: February 28, 2014 in Football

carlos valderrama

This is something I painted for the fine folk at Pickles Magazine; Issue 8 of which is now available to download. Aside from my contribution, it features some great, football-inspired art and design from some talented people. Don’t be put off by the fact that Ashley Cole is on the cover.

My effort was inspired by a tweet from my friend Christopher Taylor, who stated that he dreamed of strolling through Carlos Valderrama’s hair. Who hasn’t, eh? Still, the image stuck in my mind and when Pickles asked me to contribute a design on the subject of lust, my mind returned to Chris’s tweet and here we are.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here, as the ‘Long Term Project That I Wish I’d Never Started’ continues at a Berbatov-like pace. Hope to be able to start sharing some stuff soon though.

enable macros!

Bullshit Rodeo

Posted: May 30, 2013 in Football

Bullshit Rodeo





Somewhere in a Parallel Universe

Posted: March 17, 2013 in Football

Parallel Universe copy

I’m as guilty of this kind of thing as any sports fan. I regularly lounge in my seat at the Sydney Football Stadium and between mouthfulls of pie offer beery advice and constructive criticism to Alessandro Del Piero. Just to outline my credentials: I haven’t kicked a football in over four years and when I was 14 the coach of the team I played for once opted to leave me on the bench and start a match with 10 players.

The pub interior is loosely based on my old local, The Hand in Hand in Brixton. I would often sit in the back room, watching live matches in the company of football critics whose collective tactical genius remained criminally unrecognised by football authorities. England may have won the last two World Cups if the FA had only tapped into this rich vein of thinking.

The pub exterior is based on The Selkirk in Tooting; a fine establishment with a bar billiards table and nice selection of beer. I miss both pubs.

enable macros!

Papal Bull

Posted: February 12, 2013 in Football

papal bull0001

Just a quick one to add to the enormous volume of Pope jokes currently weighing down the internets. I probably should have put something in there about horse meat lasagne for added originality.

stop booing!

Rafa answers the call

Posted: December 3, 2012 in Football


This isn’t as expansive as some of my other cartoons, as I had to skimp on the detail  in order to get it out there before Benitez gets the sack. There’s no time for fancy cross-hatching when Roman’s finger is on the trigger.

stop booing!