You know it's a slow news day when
Nicklas Bendtner can make the back pages without even getting headbutted by
Emmanuel Adebayor or wearing pink boots.
striker has signed a new five-year contract with Arsenal, something that has
prompted the Daily Mirror to describe him as 'Round
Why the mockery? Well,
it emerges he rejected the advances of Barcelona,
Internazionale and Bayern Munich to stay at the Emirates.
Still, it is a
bit rich to question Bendtner's
judgement here. Are Arsenal really so bad that they do not at least bear
comparison with the other clubs.
While the Gunners
were playing a Champions League semi-final in May, Inter and Bayern were already at
home with their feet up.
It is hard to
question Barcelona's recent record,
but do you think Bendtner would get anywhere near the 50 club appearances he
made last season when competing for places with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Lionel
Messi, Thierry Henry and Bojan Krkic?
In any case, he
was not going to be out of contract until next summer and none of the clubs
mentioned had made a serious bid for him, so any interest was entirely
The real talking
point is not that Bendtner signed a new contract, but that so many top clubs
were supposedly competing for his dubious services.
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Liverpool's dismal start to the season continues, with yet
more evidence that Rafa Benitez possesses all the man-management skills of the
HMS Bounty's captain.
revealed yesterday that he was told in 2008 he was surplus to requirements, a
shock that prompted this summer's
move to Real Madrid.
He also pointedly
remarked that his relationship with Benitez was no more than
The latest player
threatening mutiny at Anfield is Ryan Babel, who is peeved at his lack of action
which has caused him to be axed from the Netherlands squad.
said: "There were all sorts of assurances and promises from the club but
they have not kept them. I should get more playing time but after the first
defeat of the season I was the only one who was singled out - and I lost my
The winger is now seeking a loan to Ajax in January.
ED is not sure
what kind of manager promises first-team football to his players, especially
those as inconsistent as Babel.
But while the
best advice might be "play better than Yossi Benayoun" the episode
suggests Benitez is communicating about as effectively as a British tourist in
- - -
Matthew Le Tissier has admitted taking part in a betting
scam worth £10,000 in 1995, when he and a friend placed a massive spread bet on
there being an early throw-in in a Southampton-Wimbledon game.
Saints had the kick-off and the ball fell immediately to Le
Tissier, but appropriately for a man who could make the impossible look simple
and the simple look impossible, he failed to locate row Z.
In his autobiography, Le Tiss
says: "The ball was tapped to me and I hit it towards Neil Shipperley. I tried to
hit it just over his head.
"But with so much riding on it I
didn't give it enough welly. Shipperley knew nothing about the bet and managed
to head it."
While ED always
considered Le Tissier a football genius of the highest order, it seems
successive England managers'
misgivings about his technical ability might have had foundation after all.
Based on this
selection of beauties, however, he might have made more money backing himself
for goal of the season.
- - -
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "David (James) has got to knuckle down and work hard. He
may be the England
goalkeeper, but we have got a lot of talented goalkeepers here. David has got
competition, believe me. For the first time since he
has been at the club, David's place
in the team is not guaranteed. Amir (Begovic) has grown in stature and Antti
(Niemi) is not far from fitness." Portsmouth chief exec Peter Storrie is kidding nobody but
FOREIGN VIEW: Bulgaria have raised concerns over the state of the pitch
at the Vasil Levski national stadium ahead of Saturday's
World Cup qualifier against Montenegro after fans attending a recent Madonna
concert damaged the playing surface.
disgraceful," Bulgaria's sporting director Nasko Sirakov said. "Do we
have a national stadium or not?"
been aware of this Montenegro
qualifier for one-and-a-half years and now the stadium administrators are complaining
about the short time they have to repair the pitch."
Bulgaria coach Stanimir Stoilov also blamed stadium officials
for allowing last Saturday's Madonna's concert to take place just a week before such
"These people have no idea how to take
care of the pitch, the surface is completely destroyed," Stoilov said.
no grass on it... we should sue them for crimes against football."
And against music...
COMING UP: It's time to get briefly excited about women's football as England play their European
Championship quarter-final. Finland
v England is live from 14:00