Anorak News | A Foreign Stage

A Foreign Stage

by | 3rd, September 2004

‘YESTERDAY, we outlined the various stages that the newspapers go through as they try to fill a managerial vacancy and a few acres of newsprint into the bargain.

‘The first and last thing I’m going to do is to drop Alan Shearer’

As with grief, different people progress at different rates – and today it appears that the Telegraph has reached the “foreign manager” stage in its quest to replace Sir Bobby Robson at Newcastle.

The paper names Ottmar Hitzfeld, Hector Cuper, Dick Advocaat and Luiz Felipe Scolari as managers who are said to have thrown their hats, chapeaux, hute, somberors etc. into the ring.

But Steve Bruce (manager with Geordie connections) remains chairman Freddy Shepherd’s first choice – although the paper admits Terry Venables could still take the reins.

The Express also claims that Venables is also in line for the job, although indications in the Independent suggest he would not be a popular appointment.

With England’s first competitive game since Euro 2004 taking place in Austria tomorrow, Sven Goran Eriksson is sweating on the fitness of midfielder Steven Gerrard.

The Liverpool skipper has a groin strain and, although he is expected to be fit for the World Cup qualifier, it has thrown the spotlight on Frank Lampard.

The Times says the Chelsea player demonstrated beyond doubt in Portugal “that he possesses the talent and temperament to grace the international stage”.

And he is now an indispensable part of a midfield, which – the paper says, could (if Gerrard is not fit) include Shaun Wright-Phillips on the right and one of Joe Cole, Kieron Dyer and Wayne Bridge on the left.

Before that, England’s cricketers will be in action as the second one-day international against India gets under way at The Oval today.

And the good news for England fans is that Andrew Flintoff has been passed fit to play after a scan on his right thumb revealed only bruising and not a break.

That could be crucial if England are going to extend their unbeaten run in limited overs internationals to…two.

But don’t mock – the Independent reports that (omitting minor nations like Namibia, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and the Netherlands) England’s best run in the past six years is precisely that.

Victory today against an Indian side that is missing the peerless Sachin Tendulkar and has also been struggling in this form of the game will equal that run.

And a third win at Lord’s on Sunday would take us all into uncharted territory…’

Posted: 3rd, September 2004 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink