Having yesterday dubbed Michael Owen the Homer Simpson of
football, it came as little surprise to Early Doors to see the blighter score a
hat-trick last night.
Not that ED is claiming credit for a 'reverse
jinx' on Owen - if he went on a
scoring spree every time this blog slagged him off, let's
just say Fabio Capello would probably be taking him to South Africa
3-1 win at Wolfsburg,
achieved with one recognised defender on the pitch, actually seemed a bit mean.
Although there was little at stake for the English
champions, they contrived to knock their tearful hosts out of the competition.
Talk about being bad guests. ED would not be surprised to
learn they also nicked all the shower gel from the away dressing room and were
deliberately wayward at the urinals.
hat-trick since 2005 is naturally reported in the papers as a 'World Cup message'
to Capello, but he is far from the only player being linked with a call-up.
In the spirit of Christmas, Early Doors is making a list
(and checking it twice) of unlikely players tipped for England
honours by their club managers.
First we had Blackburn's
David Dunn, then Fulham boss Roy Hodgson backed Bobby Zamora - a striker whose
anger at criticism of him on the club's
message board suggests he spends far too much time searching for his own name on the internet. There have also been props for Birmingham's Joe Hart and Lee Bowyer.
Then yesterday Newcastle
boss Chris Hughton touted his goalkeeper Steve Harper for international
honours, saying: "I would say
that, at Steve's age now, he is in
his prime. He is a player of great, great maturity."
Unlikely as Harper's
chances of a trip to South Africa
are, he still has more chance than Scott Carson, whose career has never really
recovered from that debacle against Croatia in 2007.
Carson hammered possibly the
final nail in the coffin of his England
career last night, when he was sent off for head-butting Cardiff striker Michael Chopra.
Baggies boss Roberto
Di Matteo said ominously: "I haven't spoken to Scott yet. I
need to have a conversation with him."
Cardiff manager Dave Jones added that Carson's
attack was "crazy", adding: "If it was one of my players, I'd be going
- - -
'Tis the season to be lairy. Hot on
the heels of a spate of bust-ups at the weekend comes news that QPR manager Jim
Magilton is alleged to have head-butted striker Akos Buzsaky.
Hungarian has reportedly threatened to press charges unless disciplinary action
is taken against Magilton.
- - -
QUOTE OF THE DAY 1: "Over the moon" - Prince Charles's state of mind after Burnley beat Manchester
United, according to a Clarence House 'insider' quoted in The Sun.
OF THE DAY 2: "Sick as a parrot" - Prince Charles's state of mind after Burnley lost to Portsmouth,
according to a Clarence House 'insider' quoted in The Sun.
FOREIGN VIEW: Argentina's government has warned Estudiantes fans attending
the Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi
that if they use insults or drink they could face stiff penalties under
The Argentine Foreign Relations Ministry also asked fans of South America's
latest club champion to keep their shirts on in the stadium and to stay in the
Argentine fans typically go shirtless during matches and team songs
can be intensely vulgar. Racial insults are common. Local matches are also
plagued with fights and violence often blamed on organised fans known as
"Rude gestures and shouts of a racial, religious, sexual or other
nature can lead to complaints to the police and even to court cases, even if
they were in Spanish," the ministry said in a statement.
The Argentine government also reminded Estudiantes fans that they cannot
rush out on to the field, which is a traditional way of celebrating a
championship in Argentina.
The Emirates' "zero
tolerance" drug policy will force Estudiantes fans to be mindful even when
they carry yerba mate, a herbal tea that is the country's
"There are arrests over minimal quantities, milligrams even, that
result in long judicial cases, prison and deportation," the government
COMING UP: Full matchcasts if all eight Champions League
matches, including Liverpool v Fiorentina
and Olympiacos v Arsenal. Plus two games in the Championship and an FA Cup replay Millwall v Staines.