Early Doors was rather concerned yesterday when it was
revealed that Jermain Defoe would be paraded around White
Hart Lane before kick-off in their match against Burnley.
'Parading' sounded weirdly like the kind of thing the Americans
might do to a captured terror suspect, but thankfully ED's worst fears were not realised. Merely its
Defoe marked his return to London by dressing as a Dickensian cockney
street urchin, complete with a flat cap and dandyish scarf issuing forth from
the front of his jacket. As looks go, it could best be described as Russell-Brand-meets-chimney-sweep.
The little man put on a brave
face despite the biting cold and the fact that he was missing Celebrity Big
Brother, a show that provided the world with his current squeeze Chantelle Houghton - somebody who shot
to prominence despite nobody ever having heard of her. A bit like Avram Grant, really,
except Chantelle won.
at the Lane was further bad news for Channel 4, who saw around 25 per cent of
their audience wiped out as soon as he left the comfort of his sofa.
The euphoria at Defoe's
return seemed a bit strange given he was deemed surplus to requirements this time last
year. Only Tottenham fans could consider it a massive success to spend £15m on
a player they sold 12 months ago for half that amount.
Although, this being a Harry Redknapp signing, there was
plenty of wheeler-dealering to reduce Tottenham's
First of all, Defoe's
Portsmouth contract had a sell-on clause ('Arry
would have known since he was the bloke who wrote it) - meaning Spurs would
receive about 30 per cent of the fee should Pompey sell him.
So effectively Spurs paid a large chunk of the £15m to
themselves. Throw in the fact that Pompey still owed them money for him and
Defoe really starts to pay for himself. Harry probably cashed in Mrs Redknapp's Nectar points to reduce the outlay further.
Redknapp also went on the defensive over claims that he
is plundering his old club, saying: "People say I raided Portsmouth, I didn't. I said I wouldn't
try and upset them.
"They wanted to sell, to us or Man City
or whoever was going to afford him. It wasn't
a case of me going back to Portsmouth
to upset Jermain to come here."
Of course not. It was merely a case of making it
abundantly clear that Spurs wanted Defoe, to the point where some nitwits made
death threats against him and made his future at Fratton Park
- - -
It can be frustrating for players who find themselves
ignored by their manager and unable to force their way into first-team
But Fulham flop Leon Andreasen has taken things a bit too
far by making what appears to be a threat of violence against his own team.
"If a bomb was dropped on the dressing room and four
players broke their legs, maybe I could look forward to some playing time,"
he said, rubbing his hands together and cackling with glee.
In these times of heightened security, Andreasen can expect
a knock from the Old Bill. If for no other reason than to ask him what kind of
bomb would result in four broken legs and no other injuries.
Rumours that Andreasen was spotted in an animated canyon
buying TNT from Wile E. Coyote have been proven to be
Fortunately for everyone, Andreasen should secure a move to Hamburg before he has
the chance to blow up so much as a balloon.
- - -
On the day when David Beckham made his Milan debut in a friendly, he showed signs of
gaining a more important success - social acceptance from Italian football's beautiful people.
'TV presenter' Ilary Blasi and her hubby Francesco Totti have
been described as Italy's Posh and Becks - a description that rather
undersells the eye-poppingly lovely Blasi.
Totti has laid down the welcome mat for their fellow
A-listers, but issued a warning that their arrival may not meet with the
approval of some, less attractive, people.
"I am really curious about David's
arrival in Italy,"
"He is an icon. I am delighted he has chosen to play in our league,
even if it will be for a short spell.
"Beckham is a lad I like a lot, just as I like his wife. They are two
beautiful people to see. Many will envy them."
- - -
QUOTE OF THE DAY: Nemanja Vidic on communicating with Sir Alex Ferguson - a
language barrier even Sergei Bubka would struggle to clear: "I had
problems at the beginning to understand him well. He's
been here more than 20 years but he has preserved the thick Scottish accent. A
lot of players don't catch what he's saying, especially foreign players, but our
results confirm he is getting the message across."
FOREIGN VIEW: 'Inter-Cassano:
What a temptation' - Early Doors is
truly aquiver with excitement at the prospect of Jose Mourinho taking football
greatest loon under his wing.
COMING UP: Manchester United
take on Derby in the Carling Cup at a freezing Pride Park.
Carlos Tevez's punishment for
mouthing off at Fergie is that he has to play. That's live from 19:45 UK time.