It speaks volumes that the first time the Chelsea youngster opted to clear his lines didn’t arrive until the closing minutes of a game where Watford should have walked away with all the three points if not for a string of defensive errors.
Tag Archives: England
“I get nervous when he crosses the halfway line” is what I can hear from a Spurs fan behind me, but his concern is clearly misplaced. The scoreboard on the North Stand shows that’s there half an hour of the game left and the truth is Tottenham have the game and possibly the last 16 tie against Inter Milan sewn up just minutes earlier courtesy of Jan Vertonghen’s header from a corner delivered by the left boot of one Gareth Bale.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t cast an eye over BBC Sport more than once on January 31st, but the circus that Sky has now created on the last day that football clubs can sign up players until the end of the season ensures any real football news gets buried in the incessant transfer speculation and interviews conducted through car windows.
“Welbeck or Sturridge: Who would you take?” popped up as a friend’s Facebook status 10 or so games into the 2010/11 Premier League season and created some healthy debate should we say. Two young, exciting unorthodox English forwards fresh from successful loan spells at Premier League outfits arrived back at two of the biggest clubs in the country and played with a fearlessness and a swagger that suggested both could be lighting up the domestic and international stages for years to come.
So this week it’s all been about John Terry versus the FA, his Chelsea teammate Ashley Cole calling the English football governing body a bunch of twats over Twitter, and tube tales from Mr Roy Hodgson as he made his way to the Emirates to take in Arsenal’s Champions League tie against Olympiakos.
For some Manchester United supporters (including myself), last week’s transfer activity at the club will only really set in when the team sheet is Sky Sports News ticker tape material ahead of the game against Everton.
That familiar air of inevitability has been swirling around pubs, bars and living rooms as an era of England supporters once again get that horrible sense of Déjà vu that doesn’t at all seem so surprising anymore. Topping the group and avoiding the reigning European champions Spain should be positive things to gleam from another trophy-less campaign, but in truth as much as we prayed and tried to believe, the realists of us knew deep down that this would probably be the EURO 2012 curtain call for England and may well have saved certain embarrassment against a German side bursting at the seams with attacking talent that would have given Terry and company much worse nightmares than the ones endured in Bloemfontein two years ago.
Jaap Stam once called them ‘whingers and ‘busy cunts’ and while the former United defender made those comments about his one-time teammates in that infamous book over ten years ago, the Nevilles’ enthusiasm for the beautiful game show no signs of waning more than a decade later.
“I’ve paid real attention to the history of the club and the great players to have played for it.”
Prior to securing his season-long loan to Newcastle United, Hatem Ben Arfa revealed that he took a good look at the tale of the Toon before deciding to move to the North East.
It’s understandable that the 24-year old, who has yet to find a home for his unquestionable talent and often fiery personality, has given this move some thought. Ben Arfa surely need only look back fifteen years to the summer of 1995 when a long-haired left winger from France arrived on Tyneside where he would swiftly acquire a Geordie God-like status.
With much of the talk of a 1984-85 season dominated about the growing violent behaviour on the terraces, on the pitch, Everton were drawing the plaudits as the FA Cup became the only trophy that stood in the way for Howard Kendall and his impressive team to secure a historic treble.