THE fact that Manchester City may be allowed to sign Marton Fulop on an emergency loan after Shay Given’s season-ending injury really irks me. In today’s paper, rival manager Martin O’Neill said he could be accused of sour grapes by criticising the decision to allow them to bring in Hungarian international Fulop – but I totally agree with him. Man City should and do have enough keepers on their books – so what if one is injured and they can’t get Joe Hart back, that’s just hard cheese. The situation echoes the problems across town at Manchester United when Rooney’s crocked, or the toothless Liverpool minus Torres – it baffles me that teams who can pay over £30m for a single player can leave themselves with so little depth to their squads.
I CAME across an amusing section of the Panini website while researching my new hobby of collecting World Cup stickers like an overgrown kid today – a gizmo where you can put yourself, or anyone else you have a photo of, onto a Panini sticker, and live out your national team call-up fantasies. Yes, even you, Kevin Davies. Check me out above, collar popped Eric Cantona-style, ready to answer my country’s call. Maybe. Click on to http://ww2.mypanini.com/site/sito.aspx?iniziativa=WC_10&idiniziativa=48&lang=BT to try it out for yourself.
THERE’S potentially millions of England managers out there, especially in the run-up to the World Cup, so – if you’re reading this, FA – cards on the table, I thought I’d devise my personal 23-man squad to take to South Africa. Let’s see if me and Mr Cappello think alike… First on the team sheet must be Rooney, so I’ll start up front. Alongside the talismanic Liverpudlian would be Carlton Cole and Goaltastic favourite Peter Crouch – with Heskey omitted and melted down for glue at the earliest opportunity. In attack, Defoe and Zamora would also be on the plane – I like my options up front, okay? In midfield, you’d be a fool not to have Lampard, Gerrard and Milner on the left as certains, with only right wing up for debate – personally I’d start Lennon, with Walcott the super sub and Bentley as variety. Filling up the midfield berths are Carrick, Barry and Downing. In defence, Johnson, Terry, Ferdinand and Cole have it, with Baines, Brown and Upson on the bench. In nets, Green and Hart can draw straws. World-beaters? Let me know below.
THIS is FIFA’s official song for the South Africa World Cup – Waka Waka by Shakira. Colombian pop sensation Shakira said: “I am honored that Waka Waka (This Time For Africa) was chosen to be part of the excitement and the legacy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. “The FIFA World Cup is a miracle of global excitement, connecting every country, race, religion and condition around a single passion. “It represents an event that has the power to unite and integrate, and that’s what this song is about.” Altogether now, Waka Waka hey hey. No?
WAYNE Rooney for Real Madrid? Pro Evolution Soccer thinks so. At a recent photo shoot for the football game’s 2011 edition, the Manchester United megastar was reportedly snapped in both a Red Devils shirt and the white of Spanish squad Real Madrid, just in case…
FOR the past year I have been attempting to prove that SAF knows sweet FA compared to me in Football management terms. Putting my experience of years playing Championship Manager in the wee hours of the night to good use, I have put together a pretty nifty side on the Premier League’s free Fantasy Football game. And with a season total to date of 2,031, my Ashletico team is currently ranked 117,060 in the world out of two-and-a-half million plus players. More importantly, it’s top of the Loughborough Echo’s in-house league with only a few games to play before glory is mine, all mine. For the second year running, might I add. Next term, Goaltastic will be running its own league, and all-comers are welcome. To join, put together a team at http://fantasy.premierleague.com – it’s free to do – and then join the Goaltastic league by using the code 1034621-447644. C’mon Sir Alex, I dare you.
NOW I’m no stranger to geekery – I seem to have become the unofficial IT guy in the newsroom, and I’ve played a game of Dungeons And Dragons in my time. But I have “levelled up” my geekery a notch this week. I couldn’t help it. There I was, queuing in my local supermarket, when the words “Free” and “Sticker Album” caught my eye. Two days later, and I’ve got a Panini South Africa 2010 FIFA World Cup sticker collection including the likes Frank Lampard, Fernando Torres, Kaka, John Terry, Didier Drogba and, er, Steve Cherundolo. Only 600 or so stickers to go… So if anyone out there wants to do swapsies with a rather sad 27-year-old man, drop me a line.