Anorak News | Too Good To Fail

Too Good To Fail

by | 9th, June 2004

‘HERE’S a headline all aficionados of England football campaigns since 1966 will enjoy: “TOO GOOD TO FAIL.”

England’s new No.6

It appears on the back page of the Express and seems to suggest that England are on course for victory in the European Championships.

Indeed, Michael Owen says it will be nothing short of a “travesty” if the lads don’t bring home the silver. That’s some big talk.

But the Mail prefers to talk about whether or not John Terry will be fit enough to partner Sol Campbell in the heart of the England defence for Sunday’s opener against France.

While an FA spokesman says Terry’s participation in the match is “in the balance”, Campbell argues that England should not risk Terry unless the Chelsea player is fully fit.

Only they should, because even a partially fit Terry fills England supporters with more confidence than the man whom the Sun sees as his likely replacement: Jamie Carragher.

Such a move would be, in the Mail’s considered opinion, the stuff of nightmares. “BOTTOM OF THE BARREL?” it asks alongside a shot of the Liverpool defender.

But while England look forward to combating the electric pace of Thierry Henry and the sublime skills of Zinedine Zidane with the sixth choice defensive partnership of Campbell and Carragher, tennis hails a new hero.

Move over Tim Henman and make way for Ian Flanagan. Who’s he? Why, he’s the toast of the Express after his victory over last year’s Wimbledon finalist Mark Philippoussis in the Stella Artois Championships.

“I was living under Kew Bridge this week, now I can afford to live on it,” said Flanagan, who had only won around £4,000 in his professional sporting life until yesterday.

“I went out there with a small chance as he is so strong but I played well and here I am.”

And so he is. And to find out more of who he is, the Express gives us “Ten things you didn’t know about hero Ian”.

It might have easily been 1,000 things, but the Top 10 contains such gems as how he loves playing Tiger Woods on his PlayStation and how he lives with a parrot named Bruno and a dog called Hoover.

The Mirror does some sleuthing of its own and finds out that the Welshman is also a friend of snooker player Ronnie O’Sullivan.

Meanwhile we at Anorak have learnt that, since Flanagan has not represented Welsh football at any level, he is liable to play for England.

And with two feet, decent hand-eye co-ordination and a good touch under pressure, he might be the man to step into England’s defensive breach.

He’s got to be better than Carragher…’

Posted: 9th, June 2004 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink