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Anorak | Fighting Talk

Fighting Talk

by | 5th, September 2002

‘MEMBERS of the FA disciplinary committee had better watch out. When Roy Keane vows to the Express that he will go into his hearing (on disrepute charges) fighting, the first image that springs to mind is of the rabid Irishman chinning a bunch of suits.

Sven indicates the number of fit players he has

In which case, Sir Alex Ferguson would no doubt immediately leap to the defence of his captain, claiming that most of the punches were pretty innocuous and saying what a shame it was that 82-year-old Dufton Bufton went to the floor so easily.

Fergie is under attack from other quarters in the rest of the papers, however, over his ”insulting” decision to play Paul Scholes only 24 hours after claiming he was unfit for international duty.

The Mirror says Sven Goran Eriksson is to lay down the law, demanding that every single England player turns up for future internationals, whether they are injured or not.

Ferguson’s decision to pull both Scholes and David Beckham out of the squad for Saturday’s friendly against Portugal at Villa Park has destroyed the Swede’s trust in the top managers and the FA is now talking tough.

If the FA really wants to play hard ball, however, there is a simple remedy. Leave players who feign injury or do not report for friendly internationals out of the competitive games.

It may have a cost in the short term, but players like Scholes will not put up with Ferguson’s reluctance to release him for long if it threatens his international career.

Graham Thorpe’s international career is currently on hold as the England batsman tries to sort his head out following the break-up of his marriage.

But the good news for England fans is that he will be available to tour Australia this winter. The Mail says the 33-year-old is likely to be handed a provisional place in the 17-man squad when it is announced next week.

He has spoken to all four of the selectors ”and is believed to have gone most of the way to convincing them that his state of mind is much improved following the traumas of his divorce”.

Thorpe, however, will not be taking the field this morning as England and India meet in the series decider at the Oval.

India have not won a series outside of their country since 1986, and Nasser Hussain’s men have a fight on their hand to ensure that they don’t succumb.

As the Mail headline says, ”The Ashes can wait, England’s priority is to save the summer”.



Posted: 5th, September 2002 | In: Back pages Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink