Anorak News | Le Pauvre Patrick

Le Pauvre Patrick

by | 13th, September 2002

‘REALLY. What does Patrick Vieira think he’s playing at? Only five games into the new season, the Frenchman is claiming that he’s tired and he needs a break.

Here’s a little goblin…

”I can hardly stand up at times,” he told French newspaper L’Equipe. ”My back hurts, my legs hurt, I hurt everywhere.”

And round the country fans’ ribs are hurting from laughing at the Arsenal midfielder. It’s not as if he even had a busy summer with France being knocked out of the World Cup at the first hurdle. And given the amount of suspensions Vieira picks up (the first one of this season is already in the bag), he gets more breaks than most.

As the Express asks incredulously, can he be serious? And, it says, he also faced a barrage of criticism, not least from London firemen who are currently ready to strike to try to get their annual pay up to Vieira’s weekly wage.

As the paper helpfully points out, ”the kind of money which Vieira earns is beyond the comprehension of most public sector workers”. Private sector workers, on the other hand, regularly receive seven-figure salaries.

Anyway, the upshot of Vieira’s bleating is that he has been told to get on with it by manager Arsene Wenger, who tells the Mail: ”I have no plans to rest him.”

Someone who has been resting for the past year is Juan Sebastian Veron, Manchester United’s expensive Argentine midfielder.

Whatever Alex Ferguson says, Veron has been a disaster for United and this morning ex-United captain Bryan Robson pretty well says as much.

”Seba has to stamp his authority on games this season, take them by the scruff of the neck and dominate things,” he tells the Sun. ”Everyone at United feels he is capable of doing that, but now is the time for him actually to do it.”

Which is not exactly saying he’s a waste of 20 million quid and looks like a goblin – but it’s as close as you’re going to get with an ex-footballer.

To prove the point, ex-United centre-half Brian Greenhoff weighs in on the same page with his thoughts on Rio Ferdinand’s return to Elland Road on Saturday.

”He is such a very focused young man that it wouldn’t surprise me if he walked away with the Man Of The Match award,” said the man who played for both clubs. Just the kind of anodyne ”opinion” that the sports media love – a career of punditry surely awaits.

Meanwhile, history was being made in the world of cricket where Pakistani batsman Shoaib Malik became the first batsman to be given out lbw by a third umpire – a decision which, the Mail says, ”could change the face of world cricket for ever”.

Not only does it mean that the umpires might get a few more lbw decisions right, but anything that pisses off Dicky Bird and Fred Trueman has to be good news.

Posted: 13th, September 2002 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink