Anorak News | Toonward-Boond


by | 7th, July 2006

“UNDER federal law, German businesses are obliged to remain closed on Sundays,” begins George Caulkin of The Times, writing in Baden-Baden.

All very interesting, Mr Caulkin, but why is this item not nestling in the business pages, among the latest news of Ottaker’s and Peugot?

Ah, here’s the clever bit. The story is about Sunday’s World Cup final, which is, in footballing parlance, a “shop window”. Of course, the whole World Cup is a shop window, but Sunday takes on a particular significance, because the spectacle of a bunch of Italian players with uncertain club futures will create a feeding frenzy for football agents, who will, depending on your view, either gather like vultures, or circle like sharks, or swarm like bees, or skip straight-legged with their chests puffed up like frill-necked lizards.

Come August, some of these Italians could well pitch up in the Premiership, but until they are signed to English clubs they will have to wait for their day in the Sun – or the Star or the Mirror.

The English papers are focussed, as ever, on all things English, and that means domestic transfer news. The Mirror’s back page hails “HESKEY’S £5.5M MOVE” which has “smashed Wigan’s transfer record”. The Telegraph tells of Bruno N’Gotty’s move from Bolton to Birmingham on a free, and Reading’s failure to tie down Steve Sidwell – “reportedly the subject of a £2 million offer from Manchester City, whose manager, Stuart Pearce, yesterday reiterated his desire to keep midfielder Joey Barton at Eastlands.”

All good stuff, yet nothing compared to the Sun’s story that Marcello Lippi is set to work alongside his “longstanding friend” Alex Ferguson at Manchester United – who also, if reports are true, intends to hang onto his winking winger.

Yet the biggest news concerns an Old Trafford old boy and another United whose supporters believe it to be one of the four biggest clubs in the world. The United whose most recent trophy was the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1969, and whose last domestic honour was the FA Cup, more than half a century ago.

Yes, it’s Newcastle United. They’ll be a-greetin’ down the Gallageet when they read the Star’s back page (“OWEN OUT FOR A YEAR”). But then they’ll wipe away the tears as they turn to the Daily Mail (“Newcastle go for Beckham”).
Yesterday we were told that Real Madrid were keen to tie Becks to a new three-year deal worth £75million.

Yet today the Mail publishes pictures of Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd and singing sensation Victoria Beckham emerging from Claridges. Discounting the more likely explanation (they were indulging in an illicit tryst), the paper concludes that David is Toonward-boond for 100 poond a week, a crate of Broon and a bottle of perfume for the weef.

The paper contrasts Beckham’s arrival in Madrid to the crowds at St James’s Park for the unveiling of Alan Shearer and Michael Owen. It concludes that the north-east has the edge. And there’s plenty there for “Posh Lass” too, with the Metro centre (Europe’s largest shopping complex) offering a choice to rival Madrid’s Calle Serrano.

Yes, it looks like Mr Football’s coming home. A season ends and a new one begins, and the Premiership is the place to be.

But what’s this? Theo Walcott pictured wearing a Brazil shirt? Well, with England on fire and ferocious competition for places, it’s probably the lad’s best chance of getting a game.

Posted: 7th, July 2006 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink