It's Up For Grabs Now
Monday, March 20, 2006
While we're in a feisty mood, wasn't it the G14 who went along with UEFA taking the second group stage out of the Champions League after their own managers complained of the wear on players?
In fact, why haven't the G14 ever acknowledged that none of their own fans actually like the concept?
Question to all pundits: how do you know Mike Dean couldn't see Drogba's handball, given there was nobody between him and the incident when the ball veered off from about the point Drogba's arm was at? Did Sky implant a video camera between his eyes?And when you say there's no way the assistant could have spotted it either despite, as Dean has said, immediately using the now common electronic messaging device, are you calling him a liar in public, a legally actionable offence?
Oh, and why didn't you make this fuss when Xabi Alonso was sent off last weekend for a foul neither official saw?
Sunday, March 19, 2006
The traditionalist, or fatalist if you like, in us was heartened by whispers of the possible return of England B internationals. A curious, almost amorphous idea, the B team appears about every eight games to participate in two second string internationals and then goes back into hibernation. For instance, in 1998 England B played their first representative friendlies in four years, and this is how they looked. Remember, had the prevailing wind changed some of these players might have made it into Hoddle's 22 for France:
10/2/98 England B 1 Chile B 2
Kevin Pressman, Kieron Dyer (Steve Guppy), Jason Wilcox (Jamie Carragher), Riccardo Scimeca, Dominic Matteo, Gareth Hall, Ray Parlour (Scott Murray), Nigel Quashie (Frank Lampard), Darren Huckerby, Paul Merson, Emile Heskey
You forget how highly rated Chile were at this time, beating the seniors 2-0 at Wembley the following day - what did happen to Marcelo Salas? Played at the Hawthorns, Merson captained, Peter Taylor coached, Heskey scored the late consolation.
21/4/98 England B 4 Russia B 1
Ian Walker, Steve Watson (John Curtis), Carl Serrant, Darren Williams, Wayne Quinn, Trevor Sinclair (Kieron Dyer), Darren Anderton (Lee Hendrie), Nick Barmby (David Johnson), Les Ferdinand (Kevin Phillips), Jamie Carragher, Matt Le Tissier
Le Tiss famously scored a hat-trick here at Loftus Road (Sir Les got the other) but continued to be ignored by Glenn Hoddle. He was useless when he did play for England, we didn't miss much. Oh, and if you thought Oldham's Carl Serrant winning representative honours was unlikely, bear in mind Alan Rogers, Darren Holloway (a lot of players called Darren, weren't there?), Michael Clegg and Matt Jansen were also in the squad.
February 2005: Hunter Davies pours scorn on Wayne Rooney's book deal
March 2005: Hunter Davies is announced as Wayne Rooney's ghostwriter
Saturday, March 11, 2006
From this week's pile of scraps: Arsenal remind us all of the years of Spurs/Judaism references, Martin Dahlin comes back to haunt Blackburn and Kerlon's 'seal dribble', which we think we've linked to before but in a much more fiddly fashion.
Saturday, March 04, 2006
Rafael van der Vaart delivers another defence splitting pass. Obviously it would have been better had the scorer allowed the pass to go straight in, but there you go.
In other video news, a Mexican player takes route one to the art of the counter attack, apparently from "behind the middle court line". What is this, real tennis?
Wednesday, March 01, 2006