Anorak News | Under The Hammer

Under The Hammer

by | 30th, May 2003

‘THE West Ham fire sale has started, with the goalkeeper David James, midfielder Joe Cole and striker Freddie Kanoute all attracting offers this morning.

Spot the ball and win a West Ham player

The Mirror say that James is off to Barcelona for £2m, provided that coach Raddy Antic keeps his job at the end of the season.

Which is a big ‘if’, considering the Catalan giants are ninth in La Primera Liga at the moment – behind a group of British holidaymakers.

Joe Cole has attracted the interest of Chelsea, but the Hammers are not interested as yet, laughing off the £5m bid from West London.

The Mail says the relegated club described the offer as ”derisory”, but face a dilemma because their captain’s contract expires in a year.

”West Ham will continue to claim publicly that they will not sell to try to pacify supporters already enraged by relegation,” it says.

”But they must privately hope that demand for Cole will develop into an auction situation to thrust his price nearer an acceptable £8m.”

Meanwhile, the papers are still picking over Wednesday’s 0-0 draw in the European Cup final after Ronaldo – and the Spanish papers – branded it the world’s biggest bore.

Not so, says Mark Lawrenson in the Mirror, who claims it was ”the most fascinating, exciting and intriguing game that I have seen this season”.

And the Mail was also intrigued, calling it boring only in the same way that Bjorn Borg was a boring tennis player and Steve Davis a boring snooker player.

But the Spanish papers are not so happy, with Marca saying: ”They should prohibit two Italian teams from playing in a European final because, as Johann Cruyff has said, the presence of just one Italian football team is a tragedy for football.”

Not of course a case of sour grapes because Real Madrid had surrendered their grip on the trophy.

Both the Sun and the Express believe that Real could have a new manager next season – Arsene Wenger.

The Sun quotes controversial agent Marc Roger as saying that Wenger wants to coach Madrid, while claiming that the Frenchman is frustrated by cash problems at Arsenal.

The Express also talks to Roger, who say that Wenger will know his future in two to three weeks.

And just before anyone gets too worked up about what is – despite Bill Shankly – just a game, the Star reports on the sad death of Dave Jefferies, the top rider in this year’s TT race.

Posted: 30th, May 2003 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink