Anorak News | General Nasser

General Nasser

by | 25th, May 2004

‘ENGLAND expects – and when it comes to cricket, England usually expects her team to be either thrashed out of sight or play out a boring draw under a moody sky.

A last hurrah?

But things are changing. The weather might be beyond most people’s control, but the English cricket team is very much on the up.

Yesterday, the Times reports, the team beat New Zealand in a Test match of gripping drama.

And the hero of the hour was Nasser Hussain, the former captain who scored the 14th Test century of his career to guide England to what had looked for long periods like an unlikely victory.

He might just have easily been the villain of the piece, as the paper notes how it was his Geoff Boycott-style running between wickets that led to the run out of Andrew Strauss – who, well set on 83, was on course to become the first Englishman to score two centuries on his Test debut.

But Hussain kept his cool, and now the Mail hears that the elder statesman of the England XI may quit while he’s ahead.

Indeed, Hussain is mindful of the emergence of younger talent, saying how “the last thing I want to do is hold up a young lad like Strauss” – especially as he raced to sacrifice his wicket to keep Hussain in.

Hussain knows that there is always a time to go – and yesterday it was Gerard Houllier’s turn to say au revoir.

And he did so in unusual fashion, choosing not to bleat and whine but recall the good times at Anfield.

The fondest memory he has is of Michael Owen scoring the winning goal for the Reds against Arsenal in the FA Cup final.

”The second memory,” says Houllier in the Sun, ”is of watching the television at home whilst I was recovering from my illness and seeing the Kop display the ‘GH’ message before the game against Manchester United.”

That the “GH” should mean “GO HOME” is best left for another time, and for now we wish the gracious Houllier the best of luck.

As we do Alan Smith who, the Mirror reports, is all set to sign for Manchester United in a £6.5m deal, and Carlos Queiroz, who has been sacked from the top job at Real Madrid and may now be on his way back to Old Trafford.

“In England I have friends and it is clear I miss Manchester United,” says the Portuguese coach in the Sun. “There they valued my work.”

Of course, Queiroz could become head coach at Liverpool, although the Express says that another of his countrymen, Jose Mourinho, is ahead of him in the queue for that job.

Liverpool apparently want the Porto manager to be their new boss, but, the Sun says, Chelsea have warned them off.

“Jose has promised he will be here next season,” a Chelsea insider tells the paper.

So that’s that then. Only it might not be, since Mourinho’s contract at Porto suggests that he promised them he’d also be there.

When push comes to shove, Mourinho will have to be somewhere. And, as Andrew Strauss found out yesterday, even the most promising talent cannot be in two places at once…’

Posted: 25th, May 2004 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink