Anorak News | Becks’ Hat-Trick

Becks’ Hat-Trick

by | 18th, May 2004

‘IT’S a good job David Beckham is fit and ready to lead by example in England’s bid for glory in Portugal.

Beckham and a computer-generated image of what he’ll look like in 10 years’ time

Beckham has shown a rare grasp on languages (perhaps learnt on the pillow of some willowy Spanish babe) and has recently strung three Spanish words together to form the phrase, “hijo de puta”.

The words, as delivered to a Spanish linesman, translate as “son of a bitch” – and earned Beckham a red card in real Madrid’s defeat at Murcia yesterday.

But England coach Sven Goran Eriksson, speaking in the Independent, is not worried about his captain.

“I am not worried about David,” says the Swede. “I am 100 per cent sure he will have a very good tournament, that he will behave on the pitch and off.“

But what of the rest of England squad, the boys who will win the first meaningful pot since 1966 and all that?

The Telegraph lists the players who will wear the Three Lions, a list that finds room for such less-than-sensational names as Jamie Carragher, Phil Neville and Emile Heskey.

But there is Nicky Butt, a player the England coach is likely to deploy as Zinedine Zidane’s marker in England’s opening match against France.

“It is beautiful to see Zidane play football,” says Eriksson. “It is not easy to take the ball from him.”

He’s not kidding, and Butt will be forgiven by most England fans if in trying to tackle the world’s best player he accidentally brings him down.

Up front, there is no room in the travelling party for Alan Smith, the die-hard Leeds Untied player who has only made the reserve list.

Better news for Smith – although not for Leeds fans who believed things could not get any worse – is that he looks set to make the starting XI at Old Trafford.

The Times says that Smith is on the brink of joining Manchester United for £6m in a move the paper calls “controversial”.

Away from football, the Guardian reminds us all that today is the day when London can inch a step closer to securing the rights to host the 2012 Olympic Games.

The International Olympic Committee will decide which of the nine cities bidding to stage the event should make it onto the shortlist.

How big that shortlist will be is a mater of guesswork with the paper suggesting anything between two and four cities, and Craig Reedie, Britain’s IOC member, saying that “six might be a practical alternative”.

This is on top of the comments made by Jacques Rogge, the IOC president, who has said that all nine cities could go through to the final round.

The winner will then be decided by making a representative from each bidding city jump through a hoop…’

Posted: 18th, May 2004 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink