Anorak News | Life Of Brian

Life Of Brian

by | 13th, April 2004

‘THANKS to Brian Lara, we now fully realise how well England’s cricketers have performed to win the series in the Caribbean.

Brian Lara hears the score from Villa Park

Three up in the four-match series, England travelled to Antigua in search of a whitewash. And then the West Indies’ beleaguered captain came into bat and scored an unbeaten 400 runs.

The Mail was there to see the mammoth innings, the largest total ever hit by a player in a single knock, which came ten years after the same man put England to the sword on the same ground with a then record 375.

This time, Lara took 12 hours and 52 minutes to complete his quadruple hundred, facing 582 balls and hitting 43 fours and four sixes.

It’s a wonder he had the energy left after that lot to jump for joy and talk of how it gave him a “great feeling” in a post-marathon interview.

When the chips were down, Lara came good. As they say, form is temporary; class is permanent.

And so it is that Chelsea lost 3-2 to Aston Villa at the weekend, all but surrendering the Premiership tile to Arsenal.

The number of games left and points available still allow room for the Blues to come good, but the Mirror is more interested in another number – the eight players Claudio Ranieri changed from Chelsea’s previous match.

The paper says that such tinkering will go against the Italian when he discusses his future at the club with Chelsea’s chief executive Peter Kenyon later this week.

But Ranieri wants us and Kenyon to know that the defeat that saw Chelsea fall seven points behind Arsenal with one fewer game to play was not his fault.

“I thought we had eight fresh players who would be able to run around better than Villa but it didn’t happen,” he said.

“I’m used to being criticised for my rotation and I accepted that criticism at the start of the season. But I kept doing it and now all the players should be used to it.”

But all footballers ever really want to get used to is winning football matches. And when that stops happening, things can turn quickly sour.

Just look at David Beckham. Not so long ago, he could do no wrong.

But today the Sun reports that in light of Real Madrid’s 3-0 home defeat to humble Osasuna, Becks has been dubbed Forrest Gump by the Spanish press.

“Beckham under siege and alone,” shouts one paper’s headline. “Suicide in the Bernabeu,” says another.

Life may well be a box of chocolates, as Forrest’s mama once told him, and if so, right now Beckham’s being faced with a tray of orange creams…’

Posted: 13th, April 2004 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink