Anorak News | Europe Trembles

Europe Trembles

by | 17th, March 2004

‘IT’S becoming less that no-one likes Millwall per se and more that no-one likes playing them in the FA Cup.

A real two-pointer

The Sun reports that last night the Lions of South East London booked their place in the last four of the oldest knock-out cup with a 2-1 win over Tranmere Rovers.

That’s set up a semi-final clash with Sunderland and leaves Millwall one step away from bringing European football to the New Den.

“It’s great for the fans and great for the players,” says the team’s manager, Dennis Wise. And he’s right, but how good it will be for Anglo-European relations remains to be seen.

While the Foreign Office gets its apologies ready for the arrival of Millwall fans on the continent, Michael Owen is at an all-time low.

Speaking in the Express, Owen says the day he missed a penalty at Portsmouth in Liverpool’s FA Cup tie on the south cost was just awful.

“I was just so low I just wanted to wrap the season up there and then,” says the former boy wonder.

“I remember thinking: ‘I wish someone would just give us that fourth place and we could finish it all now.’”

That’s a pretty telling indictment on how far things have slumped at Anfield, when the club’s biggest star sees fourth as the height of his and his side’s ambitions.

Very soon third or fourth in the Premiership might be the limit of Manchester United’s target such has been the slide in their form of late.

But Thierry Henry says in the Sun that United are a great side and will be back.

Not so, says former Old Trafford stopper Jaap Stam in the Mail.

“Arsenal and Chelsea have moved forward quickly, while United have stood still,“ says the Dutchman who formed part of United’s historic treble.

He has a point, but United have not been helped in their efforts to rebuild a winning side by the departure of Rio Ferdinand, their best defender.

However, things may soon change when, as the Mail reports, the player gets his appeal heard.

Tomorrow, Ferdinand will stand before the FA and explain why he missed a routine drugs test. And, so the story goes, he will offer up a hair from his head for testing in a bid to prove that he is clean.

But the follicle test is not one recognised by the authorities, and he might antagonise things further, resulting in an extension to his eight-month ban.

He has, as the paper points out, not been banned for failing a drugs test but for not taking one in the first place.

What he does now comes too little and too late to save his season – or that of his team…’

Posted: 17th, March 2004 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink