Early Doors spent yesterday celebrating rumours of a Stone
Roses reunion like it was 1989, so how very appropriate that Phil 'Brownie' Brown
should dominate the news agenda this morning.
defeat at Arsenal in their FA Cup quarter-final, the young Ian McShane
lookalike delivered his forthright opinion in a manner completely at odds with
opposition manager Arsene Wenger.
"Yep, that's offside," he said abruptly after being shown a
replay of William Gallas's late winner.
"Yep, he's offside," he added of Nick Barmby's disallowed
goal midway through the first half. No ifs, no buts.
It was refreshingly honest stuff from a Premier League
manager, but Brownie wasn't done yet. Eyes lit up with fervour, he then regaled
a story that will have Arsenal's PR staff in overdrive for the rest of the week
and should keep 24-hour sports news channels going until the London Olympics.
"I was there, I
don't need to elaborate," Brown said. "Their club captain spat at the feet of
And there it was - Cesc Fabregas accused of flinging flem in
the direction of Brian Horton to become the second Arsenal captain this season
embroiled in a sticky patch of controversy.
It was as if Brown the manager had channelled the famous words
of Roses frontman Ian Brown:
"You know it, you show
it. And the time has come to shoot you down, what a sound."
Fabregas has denied the incident and Wenger naturally didn't
see it, but the Arsenal manager has clearly found a new sparring partner in
Brown - who accused him of influencing the referee by complaining about time-wasting from early in the second half.
Whatever happens next will be reported right here, but ED is
just thankful to have something to talk about after sitting through West Ham's
soporific draw with West Brom on Monday night - has there been a worse Premier
League match this century?
Back to Brown, ED can't help but appreciate his schtick. In
a league where managers speak mostly in clichés, if at all (that's aimed at you
Brownie shoots from the hip and is clearly not afraid of taking on the big
boys head on.
Ultimately Wenger will win their battle, but watching Brown stand
up to the dark lord of the Emirates is truly a life-affirming thing.
- - -
Bayern Munich's general manager has called for every
household in Germany
to stump up two euros (£1.85) a month to put Bundesliga action back on terrestrial
"My biggest hope is that folks at some point will be
prepared to pay two euros a month for their football," Uli Hoeness said.
"That's not even half a pack of cigarettes or a small
beer in the pub.
"Not everyone wants to watch soap operas, folk music,
romantic drama, arts programming, or even politics.
"But everyone still has to pay a 17.98 euro monthly
ED could not agree more, but would you give up half a beer
to watch Karlsruhe take on Energie Cottbus?
- - -
Quote of the day: "Somebody asked me if I would like to
manage in England
and, eventually, I would but there is an awful lot we still have to do here
first." - Aberdeen
manager Jimmy Calderwood puts out some early feelers for a big-money deal in the Premier League.
Coming up: Promotion-chasing
take on Watford in tonight's Championship