Comment & analysis round-up
Quote of the day: “[Mr. McGee] grabbed my menu off me and said ‘You are not fucking deciding what music goes on in here.’ When he grabbed it I said ‘What’s your problem, why can’t I change it?’ He basically said to me ‘I am not putting your music on.’ It was quite aggressive, and I said ‘What’s the fucking problem, why can’t I put my music on? He said ‘Because you fucking can’t, you’re not allowed.’I didn’t go over there intentionally to have another argument or start fighting. I was having a good night but I was gutted and just wanted to straighten it out with him. He stood up quite aggressively out of his stool and I thought to myself, ‘I am not going to be able to sort this out in the way I wanted.’ I thought he was going to give me a smack. He was shouting back and I didn’t know what he was saying but he started arguing and I thought he was going to hit me so that’s why I threw a punch.” – Steven Gerrard.
Runner-up: “[Manchester City] may gel, click, straight away and itâ€™s magic. But we canâ€™t really say until we see them play. I hope they do it. I have friends there and I hope they do really well â€“ and that they finish above Arsenal.” – Ashley Cole.
Today’s overview: Hold the backpages. After weeks of nonsense and lies it now seems that the John Terry saga is drawing to a close. So will JT be heading to Eastlands…
No, quelle surprise, as detailed by Dominic Fifield. “John Terry has reached an agreement in principle to remain at Chelsea despite persistent interest from Manchester City, with the England captain expected to reaffirm his commitment to the club publicly before the weekend.” The Times’ Matt Hughes also agrees that Terry is staying put, claiming the Blues captain “will receive a significant pay rise, taking his weekly earnings to Â£150,000, making him the highest paid player at Stamford Bridge.”
Some however refuse to let sleeping dogs lie.
Michael Walker and Ian Herbert are found barking “Manchester City were standing their ground last night and refusing to concede the England captain is lost to them. They have been given no sense whatsoever that Terry is intent on staying put.” And they find company in the form of Chris Wheeler who screeches “Manchester City will make a sensational last-gasp bid to sign John Terry by offering the Chelsea captain Â£1million a month in wages.”
The Stamford Bridge exits continue with Peter Lansley announcing that “Galatasaray, the Turkish club, have launched an ambitious bid to lure Deco from Chelsea.”
After all the excitement over Sven Goran Eriksson’s appointment at Notts County, it now seems that the League Two side have some skeletons in their closet.
Owen Gibson lifts the lid on the fact that “the club’s new owners have yet to pass the Football League’s fit and proper persons test that will confirm their purchase… mystery surrounds the identity of the club’s financiers… under the Premier League’s new fit and proper persons test, major shareholders have to be made public, but under the Football League’s rules, that information can remain confidential.”
On Sven’s remuneration package Sandy Macaskill printed that “some reports suggest that he will earn in the region of Â£2 million-a-year.” Janine Self goes one step further in The Sun writing “the Swede has signed a five-year contract worth Â£2million a year plus bonuses and a shareholding in the League Two club.”
Others remain hugely skeptical over the whole affair, with Oliver Kay firing pot-shots at the Swede. “This feels like Eriksson opting out, turning his back on management after an ill-fated spell in charge of Mexico and opting for a cushy, well-paid job.” Kevin Garside is also quick with the sarcasm scribbling “as far as we know Eriksson is not a registered charity. His pockets will not go undernourished.”
Scooping the booby-prize for the day’s most awful pun is the Daily Mail’s Neil Moxley. “It remains to be seen if Sven becomes as big in Nottingham as Robin Hood, who also had a habit of taking money from the rich.”
Almost nastily, James Lawton tears into the Notts County-Sven marriage. “Just when the old schmoozer’s credibility in the job â€“ out of which he is estimated to have made at least Â£40m since he arrived as England manager eight years ago â€“ finally collapsed, a new one has been created for him by another venerable failure known as Notts County.”
The sweepstakes have already opened on how long Svennis will last at Meadow Lane. For Stuart James, “speculation has already started as to how long the 61-year-old will hang around, with his name almost certain to feature prominently as soon as the first Premier League manager loses his job next season. Eriksson claims he is in for the long-term and although it is understood that there is no clause in his contract in the event that another opportunity should arise.” Singing from a similar hymn-sheet is Rob Kelly. “After a few months of sitting in the stands at Accrington Stanley, Burton Albion and Grimsby watching his new side play, the pull of the cosy world of the Premier League mightÂ prove to hard to resist, leaving County in turmoil.”
Opting to be far more optimistic, Barney Ronay celebrates the Notts County experiment. “Don’t buy in at the top. Instead, take a slumbering mini-giant, plonk an undeniably competent big name coach in on a success-related contract, and maybe even make some money out of the whole thing. Sven on the Trent? Don’t laugh. This could well be the future.”
The Independent go one step further asking Jacob Daniel, the editor of ‘Notts County Mad,’ to pen his thoughts in the broadsheet. “That we can employ someone on Â£2m a year just two months after finishing 87th in the Football League is insane yet brilliant. I now have genuine hope that I might see us face Nottingham Forest in a competitive fixture for the first time.”
As the dust settles on David Beckham’s confrontation with the LA Riot Squad, Marina Hyde salutes the coming of age of the MLS. “Galaxy fans: are you experiencing feelings of disappointment? Let-down? Anger? All-consuming disillusionment? Then you might well be suffering from football. Welcome to the club.”
Onto the rest of the transfer news and we begin with the striker-merry-go-round.
According to Simon Cass, Sunderland’s Â£12million move for Darren Bent is back on as Harry Redknapp closes in on Peter Crouch, while “Klaas-Jan Huntelaarâ€™s move to Stuttgart for an initial Â£15.5m had finally been agreed after a wrangle over wages was ironed out.” Yet reports in Spain suggest Huntelaar could yet be moving to North London as Marca link the Dutch forward with Arsenal. While over in The Sun we learn that “Steve Bruce wants to seal a Â£10million deal for Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh.”
Defenders also appear on the move in the Premier League. The Guardian play up Everton’s pursuit of Manchester City defender Nedum Onuoha, while the Daily Mail report how “Aston Villa will return with an improved Â£3million offer for Sylvain Distin after Portsmouth rejected Â£2.5m.” Shit-stirring, Alan Nixon adds that “Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is ready to move in on Aston Villa’s bid for Pompey defender Sylvain Distin – once Martin O’Neill has agreed a price.”
Finally, the Telegraph report how the real Ronaldo is set to turn his attention to the big screen. “The former Golden Boot winner, now 32 and playing for Corinthians in the Brazilian league, is to appear in a film about a Palestinian girl who was killed before realising her dream of meeting him.”