So it is almost here. The all-German Champions League final sees Bayern Munich face Borussia Dortmund at 7.45pm (BST) on Saturday night at Wembley Stadium. No Premier League teams made it to the home of English football, but that does not mean we should be turning our backs on the best of the Bundesliga. Early Doors came up with 10 reasons why turning over to The Voice on Saturday night would be an act of folly. Even if ED does like Sir Tom Jones. Just look at those glorious German boys below. All they are after is some football and a few big cold beers, but there are other, moreRead More »from 10 extra reasons why you can’t miss the Champions League final
- Eurosport | Early Doors – 3 hours ago
Name a better English striker than Andy Carroll... Go.
OK, Wayne Rooney you can have, even if he has more miles on the clock than a B-reg Austin Allegro. Rumour has it he named his son Klay after what it looked like he was running through this season.
Right, who else? Jermain Defoe? Gives you 10 of those great goals a season when he cuts in from the left and pings it into the far corner. And literally nothing else. There's a reason trusted Emmanuel Adebayor - a.k.a. the least reliable striker in world football - down the stretch this season.
Daniel Sturridge? Terrific goalscorer, but almostRead More »from Why £35m ‘flop’ Carroll is actually underrated
April 17, 2011. Stoke City have just battered Bolton Wanderers 5-0 in the semi-final of the FA Cup. Around 40 minutes after chants of "it's just like watching Brazil" have faded from the end of Wembley occupied by delirious Potters supporters, Tony Pulis makes his way into the national stadium’s media conference room and, as is his style, maintains a standing posture as he addresses the press.
"We have a plan that is in place," says Pulis. "When we got in to the Premier League the aim was to build gradually and slowly. We knew we would be criticised for certain things that we do, and wouldRead More »from Stagnant Stoke right to ditch Pulis
- Eurosport | Early Doors – Tue, May 21, 2013 01:25 BST
Much like Bayern Munich, a long-standing culture exists where the players - particularly those from the local area - are little princes and even kings, a culture that can be seen to develop beyond their careers on the pitch and into the fabric of the club.
Sporting directors, special advisors, members of the technical staff... ex-players form the structure of the club, its history.
As a result coaches, no matter how impressive their CVs and reputations, come and go, rarely lasting more than two or three seasons and often barely completingRead More »from Love over money – why Mourinho had to leave Real Madrid
Imagine a Tottenham fan had bet his Arsenal-supporting friend £1 that Spurs would finish higher in the Premier League in the 1995/96 season.
And suppose that at the end of each campaign the fans had played 'double or quits'.
The Spurs fan would now owe his friend £131,072.
That's the consequence of 18 consecutive seasons of North London supremacy for the Gunners.
If we go back to August 1995, that Spurs fan's bet might not have looked so stupid.
That February Arsenal had sacked George Graham, and although Stuart Houston led them to a Cup-Winners' Cup final (in a word: Nayim) he was replacedRead More »from Will Spurs ever finish above Arsenal?
David Beckham will bring down the curtain on his 21-year career as a professional footballer when the French champions Paris Saint-Germain visit Lorient in their final Ligue 1 match of the season on May 26.
Still only 38, somehow we can't see Becks fishing, playing golf or meandering down the local bowling club when he hangs up his boots. Not with his obvious good looks and charm. So what will Becks, worth an estimated £165 million smackers, do with the next chapter of his career? An emotional Early Doors is in mourning this morning, but has picked itself up off the floor to come up with aRead More »from What will David Beckham do next?
- Eurosport | Early Doors – Thu, May 16, 2013 06:40 BST
So the interim one becomes a special one. Not THE special one, but certainly A special one.
Branislav Ivanovic's header in added time earned Chelsea a rousing 2-1 win over a technically superior, but profligate Benfica in last night's breathless Europa League final. More poignantly, it ensured their temporary - and probably outgoing - head coach Rafael Benitez of a unique place in the club's folklore.
Whether or not his detractors can stomach it, the much-maligned Benitez will depart Stamford Bridge having enhanced his reputation as a man of character and coach of real substance.
Millions ofRead More »from Reviled ‘Spanish waiter’ Benitez delivers silver service to Chelsea
If Chelsea win the Europa League tonight, Rafa Benitez will not bask in the adulation of the fans as Roberto Di Matteo did a year ago.
Grateful players will not toss him joyously around like Pep Guardiola or Jupp Heynckes.
The best he can hope for is to be ignored while everyone else celebrates a success devised by him.
Even outside Chelsea, there is not much sympathy for Benitez, but Early Doors reckons he has taken on an impossible job and performed remarkably well.
Don't believe ED? Let's do what the man himself would, and examine the facts:
FACT: Rafa Benitez’s record as Chelsea manager:Read More »from Rafa Benitez deserves Chelsea’s thanks and praise
The news emerged last night at 10:24pm that Roberto Mancini was being "relieved of his duties" by Manchester City. In blunt British football terms, this is traditionally known as the sack.
At around 12:04am this morning, the chirpy cockney tones of the former City and England forward Rodney Marsh could be discovered on radio discussing what the new manager-in-waiting Manuel Pellegrini will bring to the job.
With Malaga’s Chilean coach apparently poised to succeed Mancini, Marsh seemed a sound enough commentator on the topic having turned out for three years at Maine Road in the early 1970s.Read More »from Good luck Roberto, but you earned your sacking
- Eurosport | Early Doors – Mon, May 13, 2013 06:33 BST
Nobody said following Sir Alex Ferguson was easy; and yesterday David Moyes began to find out just how hard it will be.
Just minutes after bidding farewell to Old Trafford and urging Manchester United fans to back the new manager, Fergie placed item number one in Moyes’s inbox.
Asked a perfectly swervable question by Sky’s Geoff Shreeves about Wayne Rooney’s non-involvement, Ferguson played a straight bat.
“He’s asked for a transfer ... We’re not going to let him go.”
Though his influence around Old Trafford will remain immense, that second statement will depend on the man Ferguson chose asRead More »from Moyes’s first job at Manchester United? Sell Wayne Rooney
Early Doors began life as a daily vehicle for mocking Rafa Benitez - and as such represented something a prototype for the modern internet. It has now evolved into a must-read morning feature from our team of football writers. Serious or silly, penetrating or puerile, Early Doors has always got something to say on the big issues. And there's still a fair amount of Rafa mockery.
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