Anorak News | Jones Steam

Jones Steam

by | 23rd, March 2004

‘THE Sun, which prides itself on getting football scoops, leads with news that Claudio Ranieri is a goner.

Jones follows through with an uppercut

That which was rumour is still rumour – but it’s now at least a rumour laced with some degree of fact as the paper reports on how the Italian called together his team to say goodbye.

Ranieri called a meeting after training and told his players that he will be sacked at the season’s end.

The speculation over his tenure at the club has got to the gregarious Italian, who argues that if the club really want him to stay they would dismiss talk of his successor with a firm denial.

“The club should do something to defend the coach,” he says. “If they don’t want to, I cannot say anything more.”

So Ranieri is out, to be replaced with…well, just about anyone – or what about everyone?

Given Chelsea’s drive to purchase anything in boots, they might take on a handful of managers and rotate them during the game.

While Ranieri’s lament cannot help Chelsea as they prepare for their Champions’ League quarter-final with Arsenal, one team with a firm sense of direction occupy the Telegraph.

The team are the England cricket side and they are heading towards victory in the second Test against the West Indies, having already won the first rubber.

What Steve Harmison did in the that first encounter, the Times watches Simon Jones try to do in the second, as the fast bowler took five wickets for just 57 runs.

But not all is rosy, and the Telegraph says that Jones behaved rather less like a gentleman and rather more like a player when giving two of his victims a vulgar send-off.

His boorish behaviour will most likely earn him a fine for breaking the International Cricket Council’s code of conduct.

But will it, as the paper says, take the gloss of England’s scheduled victory?

Answer: no. The idea of England going 2-0 up in the West Indies is so notable an achievement that the history books will have little or no time for Jones’s show of pique.

If you want to win, aggression is needed, and the Independent says that just such a quality has been located in Tim Henman.

The tigerish one is now the world’s eighth best player, according to the latest tennis rankings, and the paper is of the opinion that Henman’s re-emergence as a tennis force is down to his “new-found aggression”.

On the eve of the Dubai Open, Henman appears to be in uncharacteristic bullish mood.

Reminded by the paper’s John Roberts of his poor record against Lleyton Hewitt, Henman turns on his inquisitor.

“Let’s get this straight,” he says. “If I was 7-0 against you, then I’d start to worry…

“If I was losing seven times in a row against a guy ranked 75 or 100 in the world, then there would be a question mark.”

Henman seems to have reached the conclusion that he is a talented player – and he is.

But his repeated failure to win the matches that matter stymie any further move up the rankings board, aggressive or not.’

Posted: 23rd, March 2004 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink