Anorak

Anorak | Sick & Tired

Sick & Tired

by | 26th, June 2006

“SICK OF WAITING FOR A SVEN-SATION,” says the Star’s big Cheese Brian Woolnough, or “Woolly” as he is known to his fellow hacks when his immaculate coiffeur appears on the football chat shows.

Woolly is right England looked tired and their captain was physically sick on the pitch. In this respect, he has now emulated Zinedine Zidane, who once puked up after scoring in the European Championships. In other respects, he is emulating the Zidane of 2006 a shadow of his former self.

There has been “paper talk” for some time about whether Beckham should keep his place in the team, although nobody believes that Eriksson would ever drop him, despite his protestations that he is “not married” to Becks. They may not be married, but they have been cohabiting for long enough to ensure that the Swede will stick by him in through the rocky times,

The inevitability of Beckham’s presence, and the fact that he did, after all, score the winner for England, has encouraged the press pack to look elsewhere for scapegoats.

John Terry has been earning nothing but praise for the past couple of years, but now he is experiencing the sharp side of the tabloid tongue. He does what all good defenders do when they make mistakes, and holds his hands up (“Terry: I owe you one Ash” the Star).

Few players receive plaudits. Even Michael Carrick, praised to the skies by the BBC pundits for what Alan Hansen called a “masterclass”, is awarded a paltry 5 in the player ratings in the Telegraph, Times, Guardian, Star and Sun. Only the Mirror gives him a decent mark (7), but that doesn’t look so great when you realise that they gave the same to Lampard, who managed a mere four out of ten in other papers.

Indeed, there is now a debate about whether “Lamps” is worth a place at all. He still gets up and down, thanks to his aerodynamic waxed torso, but where is the end product? Some say he’s getting nearer to scoring all the time; others, that he couldn’t hit Wayne Rooney’s arse with a banjo (nor should he, we hasten to add that would be precisely the kind of inappropriate behaviour that we are all trying to stamp out).

With five days’ papers to fill before Saturday’s quarter-final, expect the selection debate to run and run. But don’t expect Eriksson to take any notice of it.

One further talking point, entirely of Anorak’s own invention: will there be an acknowledgement of Beckham’s puke after England’s next goal? A vomiting celebration, with the boys doubled-up and

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