Anorak News | Football’s Shame

Football’s Shame

by | 7th, October 2003

‘FOR a brief moment, it appeared that Sven Goran Eriksson may have a full squad of players to choose from for this weekend’s crucial match against Turkey.

Sven poses for next year’s Chelsea yearbook

But an injury to Michael Owen has been followed by the news that Rio Ferdinand failed to turn up for a random drugs test – and suddenly there is a familiar ring to proceedings.

As if that wasn’t enough, Eriksson is under fire from Liverpool boss who is concerned that the Swede may be using England get-togethers to line up players for a potential move to Chelsea.

The Express says the Frenchman’s views are shared by other Premiership managers, “who are also concerned Eriksson could have a hidden agenda”.

It is widely expected that Eriksson will leave his job as national coach to replace Claudio Ranieri at Stamford Bridge.

And, says the Mirror, “with Michael Owen’s future very much up in the air at Anfield, it has become an extremely contentious issue”.

As for the Turkey game itself, the Mirror’s Matthew Norman is surely not the only person hoping that England fans do misbehave and the country gets thrown out of Euro 2004.

“The major point,” he says, “is that football desperately needs a near-fatal shock – a dose of national humiliation so intense and dramatic that the ostriches who run the game and the country have to raise their heads at last and stare the problems in the face.”

Again, we turn to England’s rugby squad as an exemplar for the so-called beautiful game.

Not only is England’s travelling support not tainted by a group of far-right, racist knuckle-heads, but the team itself is a model of excellence on and off the pitch.

The Sun this morning publishes its 16-page guide to the Rugby World Cup, which gets underway this weekend, with a picture of captain Martin Johnson tearing apart a rugby ball on the cover.

If he can do the same to the Springboks in 10 days time, he will make a lot of Englishmen very happy.’

Posted: 7th, October 2003 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink