Anorak News | Taking A Tumble

Taking A Tumble

by | 16th, August 2004

‘IF the Olympic Games were a true contest, the country with the most gold medals would win the right to host the next gathering.

‘Fancy a good whine?’

And this would mean the 2012 Games going to the New York bid and Ken Livingstone’s London campaign behaving like a British hurdler and falling flat on its face.

As the Times says in its headline story (“British hopes take tumble”), Team GB’s quest for metal in Athens is proving to be largely forlorn.

But Ben Ainslie, the sailor with the eye for gold in Sydney, is faring well, Tracey Hallam has upped her badminton game and Mary King has made an “assured start” in the three-day eventing.

But rather than look for hints of something shiny in minority sports, best do as the Sun does and relegate the Olympics.

Over in Sunland, the news is all about the first weekend of the Premiership, in which Chelsea beat Manchester United 1-0 and defending champions Arsenal thrashed Everton 4-1.

All good stuff, and even better when we see the Sun’s headline: “Shut It, Mik.”

Just as the world is supposed to be enthralled by the Olympian ideals of playing fair and brotherly love, it’s heartening to see that football is still full of needle and spite.

The story is that United’s defender Mikael Silvestre has hazarded the opinion that, in buying another clutch of new players, Chelsea would find it hard to foster team spirit.

Not an overly contentious remark, or offensive. But still worthy of that low-rent headline, and a few words from Chelsea’s boss Jose Mourinho.

“Silvestre said we had not time to create a big spirit at Chelsea. But he was wrong,” say the new man in town.

And that’s pretty much as far as the story the Sun thought worthy of its lead headline goes.

The other big football news on the match can be found in the Mirror – “PLONKER”.

After the game, Mourinho and Alex Ferguson shared a bottle of Argentinean Shiraz in the Portuguese man’s office.

Sensation? Nothing less, dear reader.

And there’s more of the same in the Express, where there’s a picture of Southampton’s goalkeeper Antti Niemi shoving David Prutton in the face.

Nothing out of the ordinary there – footballers are always pushing and shoving each other.

The twist here is that Prutton also plays for Southampton, and that, just one game into the season (they lost 2-0 to Aston Villa), the Saints are showing signs of falling apart.

Meanwhile, more than ten pages into the Express, we hear that the England cricket team have fought back and are now in with a shout of beating the West Indies for the third time on the bounce.

Something to cheer about, indeed. But sadly, no Olympic medals for Michael Vaughan and the boys…’

Posted: 16th, August 2004 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink