It’s that time of year again. Fresh from England’s disappointing performance in the World Cup, it’s time to gear up for the Premiership football season, with the vain hope that someone will be able to compete with Roman Abramovich’s millions and dislodge Chelsea from the top spot. Forget bringing Rangers and Celtic into the Premiership – at this rate, we’ll be calling for Barcelona to be given a wild-card entry. And can you imagine the look on Jose Mourinho’s face…
But anyway. It’s also the time of year when eminent consumer technology blogs round up a
random carefully-chosen selection of the hottest football gadgets to splash your cash on. From barbecues to hi-tech boots, retro games to, er, urinal accessories. We’ve got more gadgets than Victoria Beckham’s had hot dinners! Which isn’t saying much, but…
btw don’t forget our wonderful Premiership football blog Who Ate All The Pies?
1. Garlando G500 Football Table
You could argue that table footy is best played in a dog-eared pub with a slanting floor and several pints placed precariously on the sides of the table. But the next best thing is having your own one at home (with or without the slanting floor). Garlando’s G500 was recently rated by Stuff magazine as the best table under £1,000, which is recommendation enough for me. It’s a solid mass of wood, steel and little plastic men, which’ll set you back £315.
2. Beer Butler
Because as the website suggests, "Everyone needs a buddy for their beer". Try reciting that mantra when your so-called mate has filched your last can of Special Brew. But in this case, the buddy is a battery-operated football-shaped beer-holder whose innovation appears to be that you can slide it across the table, and it’ll stop when it reaches the edge. Which sounds a bit risky to me, but enough people bought it to make it sell out on TheGadgetStore.com.
3. Mr Soccer Robot Football
Why do us humans spend so much time teaching robots to play football? Shouldn’t we be teaching them useful stuff like irrigation or road-sweeping or remembering where we’ve left our keys? But no. Mr Soccer is a table-top game of robo-soccer which has you controlling remote-controlled bots. You get two with the game, but can play up to seven-a-side if you buy extra robots for £17.95 apiece (the game itself costs £39.95). The bots only come in England and Brazil strips though – bad news for us Bishops Stortford fans.
4. Football TV Remote Control
The hardy perennial of the football gadgets world, football-themed remote controls tend to be a.) really hard to use, and b.) intensely irritating for anyone you live with who doesn’t live and breathe the beautiful game. This £24.99 one looks good though, made from proper leatherette panels like a real football, and boasting official England branding courtesy of the FA. Ideal for those ‘Jesus, England are playing like a bunch of donkeys again, I’ll just check what’s happening in Hollyoaks’ moments.
5. Adidas TUNiT boot
Customisable football boots are surely the future, if only as a way to ensure England players are physically incapable of ballooning penalties over the bar in crunch knock-out games. Adidas’ TUNiT claims to be the world’s first fully customisable boot (winding gaffer tape around your knackered old cheap pair to keep them together doesn’t count). It’s made up of three interchangeable combinations – the upper, chassis and studs – with 52 combinations of parts to try out. A bit like [insert topically relevant manager name here]’s selection policy, etc etc
6. Desktop Football
Can’t afford the first gadget in this list? Don’t fret. After all, small is cool nowadays. So spend £13.95 on this pint-sized desktop football game, which squeezes three rows of table footballers into something you can hold in your hand. It’s stylish too, with a silver body and green felt pitch to scuff shots along. I’m not convinced by the flat 1-3-3 formation though, surely they could’ve fitted a sweeper in.
God bless America. And God bless Stupid.com in particular for this marvellous spin – weak pun not intended, honest – on the traditional football rattle. Invented for this summer’s World Cup, you can program it to display patriotic messages and images as you spin it around, while it blares out rousing American anthems. "There’s nothing simpler than waving a flag. So let’s make it REAL complicated…" enthuses the site. It’s not a real gadget? Well, it should be.
8. Football BBQ
BoysStuff reckons this gadget combines the two best things about Summer: football and barbecues. Haven’t they tried the donkey-rides on Blackpool beach? Tsk. It’s a pretty nifty barbecue though, sitting on three legs with a carry handle so you can take it out. I’m not sure they’d let you into a stadium with it, mind. Still, this is one gadget that proves you CAN mix football and roasting without the police getting involved.
9. Klokicker urinal game
Remember, men, you’re not allowed to talk about anything when urinating in a public loo. Not even football. But you can play this whiffy German game that has you aiming your stream to knock a football into a goal. Hit a bulls eye, and the ball changes colour. "It will make men’s hearts leap and make the women’s league give a loud groan," reckons the website selling it. Surely someone can adapt the concept for those new-fangled female urinals?
10. Sensible Soccer 2 Plug’n’Play
For those of you who worship the Mega Drive version of Sensi, this gadget is probably already nestling next to your TV. But for the rest of us, it’s a pair of replica Mega Drive joypads which plug into the telly and let you play head-to-head on God’s Own Football Game (apologies to Pro Evo, Football Manager and Emlyn Hughes’ International Soccer). Marvellous stuff, and they even throw in two non-football games to boot: Cannon Fodder and Mega-Lo-Mania. £24.95 well-spent by anyone’s standards, even Deadly Doug Ellis.