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Anorak | All Sayed And Done

All Sayed And Done

by | 10th, January 2005

‘IF you’re finding it hard to muster enthusiasm for the FA Cup, then a look through some of today’s press will not help lift your mood.

Barney slays ‘Grizzly’ Adams

Rather than celebrating football’s oldest knock-out competition, the Times leads its football review with a piece called “FROM ROMANCE TO HOLLOW FARCE” in which Britain’s foremost table tennis player, Matthew Sayed, tells us why the old tin pot has lost its lustre.

It’s nothing we’ve not heard before – the all-consuming Premier League, big clubs fielding reserve sides, the FA allowing Manchester United to forgo the tournament in 1999-2000 in preference to a jolly in Brazil.

But let’s be fair, if the Cup manages to prove anything, it is that the gap between a lower division journey man footballer and a gilded star of the elite need not be so very wide.

In holding Manchester Untied 0-0 at Old Trafford, Exeter City proved that their less-than-household names are every bit as good as United’s reserves who dream of making the big time and the big money.

And then there’s the curious case of Newcastle United. Although the Magpies saw off the spirited challenge of part-time Yeading by two goals to nil, they did so by a reliance on fitness and professionalism, rather than a superiority of skill.

But let us not discount the value of being fit as we read in the Guardian how Jonny Wilkinson has fallen victim to yet another injury.

There is some suspicion that Wilkinson will never get the chance to follow the magical kick in Australia that gave England the World Cup. He has not played for his country since.

And now, with the Six Nations on the near horizon, the player is in danger of missing the entire tournament for the second successive season, having damaged his medial ligament.

That’s hard luck on him.

And as the boy wonder of English rugby lies on his sick bed, he’d be forgiven for thinking of life beyond rugby.

He could employ his unerring sense of accuracy to good effect in come other field. He could play darts.

If Jonny ‘Blade’ Wilkinson does, he’ll have to beat Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld to be top dog at the oche.

As the Telegraph reports, the heavyweight player won his fourth BDO world championship last night, seeing off England’s Martin Adams.

And, as one commentator on the great game famously put it, there’s only one word for that – “magic darts!”’



Posted: 10th, January 2005 | In: Back pages Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink