Anorak News | Sloppy England

Sloppy England

by | 20th, December 2004

‘ENGLAND’S cricketers may well be more professional than ever before, but they are still notably flabby round the middle order.

Caught in a trap

And so it is as we read the Independent’s back page story that tells how once more England have slumped in the middle.

True, a lead of 88 runs after one innings apiece in the first test against South Africa is none too shabby, but it should have been so much more.

Michael Vaughan’s side – who have won 10 of their last 11 Tests – were well placed to take a commanding lead when they lost four wickets for 12 runs in the course of a mere 15 balls.

This is pretty dire stuff, and took some gloss off a day when, as the Times says, Andrew Strauss became the first batsman to score hundreds against the first three Test opponents he has faced.

But as “sloppy England” (Times) and “careless England” (Telegraph”) allow the Proteas back into it, the Times spots a far rarer sight.

Yes, that is Sol Campbell, Arsenal’s mountainous centre back, lumbering up field and then launching a shot from a full 30 yards into the Portsmouth net – an event viewed over no fewer than five stills – and so giving the Gunners a hard-fought win over a spirited Pompey.

While Campbell ponders retirement – well, do you think he can do it again? – the Telegraph hears a few words from a more prolific striker of goals, one Eric Cantona.

MUTV, the in-house TV channel for Manchester United, is usually a bastion of sycophancy, hype and preaching to the converted. But yesterday it got more interesting. It went X-rated.

No live spit-roasting – not yet – just an interview with an old flame.

In a live interview on the station, Cantona offered viewers the delightful phrase “**** your mother”.

Asked whether he respected other people, Cantona was explicit in reply.

“Of course I respect everybody,” said the old trawler fisherman. “Any time I had a problem it is because people don’t respect me.

“I have to feel I am important. If I feel I am important, I don’t answer people, even if they insult me. They can say ‘**** your mother’ and I would say nothing because I am an example.”

An example of what is not specified. But answer in the form of a poem to the usual address…’

Posted: 20th, December 2004 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink