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Anorak | Ding But No Dong

Ding But No Dong

by | 6th, September 2002

”’THIS is a ding, rather than a ding-dong,” said an FA spokesman. He was referring to the latest clash between England coach Sven Goran Eriksson and Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

Fans celebrate as Sven issues an invitation to play to anyone who has an England shirt, own ball and wants to

The intention, presumably, was to indicate that the whole thing was a storm in a teacup. The effect was rather different. Whereas a ding-dong suggests a two-way battle, full of cut-and-thrust, a ”ding” suggests a knockout inside two seconds. And no prizes for guessing the winner.

Eriksson may have initially put Sir Alex on the back foot by whisking David Beckham off to Dubai midway through the metatarsal saga, but Fergie landed a killer punch this week and Eriksson and the FA are still reeling.

When Sven sat in the directors’ box and watched the ”unfit” (and unavailable) Paul Scholes zipping about like a demon in a United shirt, he must have felt utterly humiliated. When Beckham was taken off in the final minute with a dodgy calf, and consequently withdrawn from the England squad, insult was added to injury.

Beckham’s injury is by all accounts genuine, but the symbolic damage has been done. Ferguson has stuck two fingers up at Eriksson and the Football Association, and the club v country ”debate” is once again in full swing.

In Ferguson’s defence, no-one can blame him

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