As soon as commentator Bill Leslie revealed that Georgios
Samaras is Celtic's fastest player,
ED feared a tough night for the SPL giants.
Over the last decade Celtic have had numerous players with
more pace than ability, like Bobo Balde and Momo Sylla. Last night it became painfully apparent they had neither, as
they were humbled 2-0 at Parkhead by Arsenal, a result that all but condemns
them to life in the Europa League.
Although both their goals were supremely jammy, Arsenal even
managed to take the edge off the famous Celtic Park
roar. Perhaps the Hoops hardcore, never shy to flaunt their Irish links, were watching
U2 a couple of miles away at Hampden.
It was a fitting coincidence that the last song Bono and universe-saving
pals played last night was called 'Moment
of Surrender'; precisely what Gary
Caldwell's 71st-minute own-goal was
in the context of the tie.
Well, not that fitting, obviously. Or even coincidental. U2
have played that song at about 20 shows in the last six weeks. And ED doesn't
seem to recall IFK Gothenburg suffering some gut-wrenching defeat the night U2
appeared at the Ullevi Stadion.*
Before the game, Arsene Wenger said both Old Firm sides would
be top-eight in the Premier League, which seems a bit high until you remember
Celtic were significantly less bad last night than Everton were on Saturday.
As these Anglo-Scottish encounters take place only
occasionally, there is a temptation to read too much into the result; the consensus is that last
night showed the SPL up as pathetically weak in face of its mighty southern
But the Everton comparison was a useful one; Saturday's result didn't
prove that Arsenal are champions-elect or that the Toffees are doomed to
relegation. There are another 37 games to sort all that out.
chance to save face comes next week at the Emirates and, let's face facts; it doesn't
seem likely to happen.
* In researching this information, ED discovered that U2 are
encouraging people to print out masks of Burma's
dissident leader Aung
San Suu Kyi and wear them to concerts. Take that, tyranny!
- - -
Harry Redknapp said yesterday that 'tapping-up' rules are pointless and, let's
face it, he should know.
"Every club lets a player know that they're
interested and anyone who says they don't
is telling lies," he said.
"It's not a case of tapping
a player up, it's a case of the
agent ringing up and asking if you're
Or, as with Redknapp, it's a case
of brazenly name-dropping players in press conferences.
Redknapp was responding to comments from Portsmouth chief executive Peter Storrie that Spurs' pursuit of Crouch was done in a
It is somewhat rich of Storrie, given it was Redknapp who
brought Crouch to Portsmouth
in the first place, after publicly saying things like this:
"I do like (Crouch). If Liverpool
decided to sell him there would be plenty of clubs in for him."
And: "I like Crouchie and I would take him any day of
- - -
QUOTE OF THE DAY: Patrice Evra clearly takes his job as Old Trafford DJ very
seriously indeed: "I enjoy the role very much. Before the match I sit down
in my room and work out a playlist. I
have to change it every time. You don't
know these guys - they're like dogs!
They're hungry for new songs and get
angry if it's the same stuff as the
last game. So I mix it up and make sure
everybody's happy. I put some
English music, some Brazilian, some R 'n
B, some dance. Now it's part of the
ritual before games. Sometimes other
people try to put their own music on - I don't
want to name names - but my team-mates say 'Come
on, respect the iPod of Evra'."
If Early Doors ever gets that elusive
record deal, its first album will be called 'Respect
the iPod of Evra'.
QUOTE OF THE DAY 2: "He's one of those lads that you would want to play
even if you chopped his leg off." Come on, Phil Brown, Ian Ashbee isn't that good...
FOREIGN VIEW: Milan
president Silvio Berlusconi has come out in favour of a salary cap in football,
saying players' wages are
"Footballers' salaries are
outside reality. It is necessary to introduce a salary cap," Berlusconi said.
"They are unacceptable, distant from the real economy in which we live
in a difficult time like this. They are outside every parameter."
This is the same Berlusconi who has been a driving force
behind a European super league, in which all the big boys get together and tell
the little old likes of Wigan, Catania and Almeria to scurry off
Last year he said: "The great sides should make their
own championship. When you invest a lot in a team it's
unthinkable to make them play against a team from the provinces whose stadium,
usually with a capacity for 20,000 people, is inevitably half-empty."
His change in heart wouldn't
have anything to do with the fact that Milan
are now a selling club, would it?