The untimely death of Peter Osgood is a sign of age as he was playing in the first football match I ever saw; the passing of players that I remember seeing “in the flesh” is going to become more frequent from here on in.
So England beat Uruguay. Who cares? Sven? I doubt it. For all of his media comments, the guy knows who is on the plane to Germany come May / June barring a loss of form. Martin Samuel in yesterday’s Times makes the point well about the standard of the England squad, asking the reader to categorise England’s players into those who bring a smile to your face, those that make you shift uncomfortably in your seat and those that as he puts it, are “Wha – Hey, Whoah – Ho, The Full Jack Douglas”. He lists 15 that fall into the first category, 5 in the second (although somewhat bizarrely one of those is Teddy Sheringham) and 4 in the last; James, Martyn, Wright – Phillips and Brown. The inclusion of Wright – Phillips is based on the perception that his progress has come to a grinding halt since going to Stamford Bridge, proof positive that Stamford Bridge is now the footballing equivalent of being sent to Siberia if you are not in the first XI, whilst Brown is there due to not being able to hold down a regular place at Old Trafford over the years and when he does play, it seems that he and Silvestre are held to blame for the defensive mishaps that beset United every few games. This ignores the fact that Rio “Test Tube” Ferdinand was culpable for a number of United’s goals conceded around Christmas time.
As usual there was a player departing the squad through injury. Seems Fat Frank has tightened his hamstring bending down to pick up some pie he’d dropped on the floor although I expect he’ll be fit for Saturday. What has surprised me is that Ryan Giggs turned out for Wales. Someone should really have told him it was a friendly so that he could have pulled out and not have sullied his international career by appearing in a meaningless game. Oh, he’s Welsh so all of their games are meaningless.
Arsenal’s injury list refuses to lie down and go away quietly, with Ashley Cole confirmed as being sidelined for at least three weeks. It is proving a turbulent year for the left back after the Chelsea debacle he is now embarking on legal action against the News of the Screws and The Sun for reasons that I have not quite understood in that he believes that they implicated him as being involved with “Gay Premiership” star non-story. Good to see he is focussing on getting fit and allowing no distraction to come between his return to the first team and possible World Cup glory. Sol Campbell is expected back on the 12th March, seemingly ruled out of the return leg of the Champions League tie against Real Madrid. The good news is that Bergkamp, van Persie, Ljungberg and Gilbert are all expected to return this weekend which should give us a reasonably strong side, at least as far as attacking options go, to field against Harrods FC and Madrid.
Quiz time – follow this link to get a mega – football quiz that is doing the rounds and should waste an hour or two of your time. It’s in Excel format.
Unashamed Plug – have I mentioned that The Charlatans have got a new album out in April? Go to their myspace page, here, for preview tracks and details of their tour and festival dates.
Todays Tunes: Normally, I am not keen on DJ mixes or, “mash ups” I believe the youth of today call them but I stumbled by accident across Mark Vidler’s website, Go Home Productions, who has taken an interesting angle on this mixing contemporary songs with those from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Such luminaries as The Sex Pistols, Marvin Gaye, The Jam, XTC, Stone Roses and Devo are mixed with Madonna, Steps, etc.
The two tracks chosen are interesting, to say the least. First of all, Ray Of Gob puts “Ray of Light” over “Pretty Vacant” and “God Save The Queen” whilst Strung Out King is an Elvis Presley rant over “Stepping Stone” by The Farm.