The more things
change, the more they stay the same.
This week's news has featured Manchester United getting too
much stoppage time, El-Hadji Diouf and Gary Neville
clashing with opposition fans, Craig Bellamy clashing with anyone and everyone,
Arsenal's youngsters getting the
fans' hopes up with a largely
meaningless win, and Sol Campbell staging a dramatic walkout.
Campbell has left
Notts County less than a month into a
five-year contract worth £10 million.
As splits go, it
is hardly a surprise to rank alongside the demise of Chas and Dave. More like
Sugababes shedding another member.
Early Doors noted
signed that his heart hardly seemed committed to the County project.
At his introductory
press conference last month, he wore the nonplussed look of a man who had
unwittingly signed on the dotted line while under powerful hypnosis.
For all ED knows
that could be Derren Brown's next big
trick after 'How to win the lottery' and 'How
to control the nation'; 'How to get Premier League footballers to join a League
Eriksson did not so much need a lifetime membership of the Magic Circle to lure Campbell to County, just a wheelbarrow of cash.
But Campbell has now snapped
out of his trance and come to the same realisation as everyone else; that the
whole thing is a bit silly really.
It looks like Sven
needed Brown-like powers to stick him to the dressing room benches at Meadow Lane.
Campbell obviously has previous when it comes to
high-profile walkouts, having legged it from the Emirates after being
substituted at half-time in Arsenal's
3-2 home defeat against West Ham in 2006 (pictured).
This time he is
thought to be unhappy at what he considers an insufficient level of investment
in the club; when he signed, County were being linked with the likes of Luis
Figo, Pavel Nedved and Christian Vieri.
Instead, the only
subsequent arrival was Matt Ritchie on loan from Portsmouth.
County's takeover by the Munto Finance group has come
under scrutiny from the Football League, and while one cannot necessarily read too
much into the departure of a notoriously capricious player, ED doesn't hold out much hope for Sven's
10-year plan to take the Magpies into the Champions League.
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QUOTE OF THE DAY: El Hadji Diouf on the incident that sparked his
confrontation with Everton fans: "The
ball went out and I wanted to take the throw in quickly. The ball-boy threw the
ball at me like a bone to a dog." How exactly would he do that?
seriously, Diouf has said Everton fans threw bananas at him, a claim the club
have vehemently denied.
claimed Diouf told him to "F*** off, white boy" and the Blackburn man is thus accused of racism.
"white boy" is most often prefaced by a request to play that funky
music, and is not the kind of thing that is genuinely going to offend anyone.
It might sound
unfair to anyone hoping to reclaim the 'N' word for the National Front, but racism against
black people (and other minorities) is worse. It just is.
Still, Diouf was more than happy to get stuck into the theme
of reverse racism, pulling a classic "some of my best friends are
He said: "I've had other problems, of spitting or fighting on
the pitch but not of racism.
"I don't have just black friends. I have a very good
understanding with Gael Givet here at Blackburn
- - -
FOREIGN VIEW: Emmanuel Adebayor should count himself lucky. If he were an
Aussie he could have been banned until he is 45.
This from Reuters:
An Australian 16-year-old has been banned from playing rugby league for 20
years after a mass brawl in a junior final at the weekend.
Two of the boy's team mates were
also handed long suspensions, while another 10 players have been ordered to
face a judiciary probe following Saturday's
Australian police are considering bringing charges against parents who
allegedly cheered on their teenage sons during the fight.
One player suffered a broken nose and a fractured eye socket and several
others were left with cuts and bruises.
"I am totally disgusted by the behaviour that I saw in that
footage," New South Wales
state assistant commissioner of police Denis Clifford said.
"I think the footage of the parents cheering from the sideline and
high-fiving the players involved in the brawl - it's
the thing that disgusted me the most."
While fights are not uncommon in rugby league, and players and parents have
been given lifetime bans, the melee between Blacktown
City and Lower Mountains
could not have come at a worse time for a sport that has been plagued by
off-field drama this season.
"What we saw was beyond unacceptable and I'm
very comfortable that the sentences handed out are appropriate," National
Rugby League boss David Gallop said.
"I think the game has taken big steps in relation to the way we see our
game on the field and we will continue to do that."
He added: "Everyone was shocked to see such graphic violence on the
field, particularly from very young kids and they need to understand that's totally unacceptable."
The amateur footage, which was broadcast on Australian television, showed
players attacking their opponents. The Blacktown
coach was sacked.
The Lower Mountains
players were commended for not retaliating and given complimentary tickets to
Friday night's NRL playoff between Canterbury and Parramatta.
- - -
COMING UP: More Carling Cup coverage from 19:45
with nine Premier League sides action.