Anorak News | Bugger Rugger

Bugger Rugger

by | 1st, September 2004

‘IT takes some story to overshadow Wayne Rooney’s £27m move from Everton to Manchester United, but the England rugby coach stepping down to become a football manager is just that.

‘What d’yer mean handball?’

The news on the front page of the Times and the back page of the Independent is that Sir Clive Woodward will today sever his links with Twickenham and join Southampton.

What role the 48-year-old will play at St Mary’s is not clear – the Indy thinks it will be just a motivational role, the Times envisages something more substantial.

What appears to be certain is that Woodward will quit as England rugby coach in a row over player availability and preparation time for internationals.

The Indy says the World Cup-winning coach wants to stay on for the autumn internationals against South Africa and Australia and also take charge of the Lions’ tour to New Zealand next summer.

But it is Woodward’s friendship with Southampton chairman Rupert Lowe that is the intriguing part of the story.

The Times says that Woodward is deadly serious in his intention “to pursue a role at the highest level of football, either as a coach or an administrator”.

Meanwhile, in the round ball game all eyes were yesterday on 18-year-old Rooney’s transfer to Old Trafford and the £1.5m that his agent will get for the deal.

The Telegraph says Paul Stretford has even received death threats from Everton supporters who blame him for persuading the teenager to leave the club he supported as a boy.

Rooney himself will get £55,000 a week, which equates to 1,222 hours with the £45-an-hour prostitutes that our hero favours (or 7.5 prozzies every hour of every day).

“It was a tough decision to leave Everton, the club I’ve supported and played for all my life,” Rooney said, “but I’m excited to be joining a club as big as Manchester United.”

And Sir Alex Ferguson described his new recruit as “the best young player this country has seen in the past 30 years”.

Over at Newcastle, not only do they not have the best young player this country has seen in the past 30 years, they don’t have a manager either.

The Guardian this morning throws Bolton boss Sam Allardyce’s name into the hat to replace Sir Bobby Robson, after Middlesbrough’s Steve McClaren ruled himself out.

Birmingham City boss Steve Bruce also appeared to rule himself out, although he’s not exactly known in football for his loyalty to his present employers.

And so finally to matters on the pitch and the Guardian says the Sven Goran Eriksson will pair Rooney’s new team-mate Alan Smith with Michael Owen for the match against Austria.

But Nicky Butt is out – with the paper suggesting that Wayne Bridge could come in on the left alongside David Beckham, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard.

Joe Cole will be asking himself what he has to do to get a game…’

Posted: 1st, September 2004 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink