What's the matter
with you people? Don't you like
It was a weekend of big events and huge entertainment. We had the
British Grand Prix, a Lions rugby Test, the final of a brilliant cricket
tournament (two, actually), a golf Major and the build-up to Wimbledon.
And what was far and away the most-viewed story on this
website? The announcement of something everybody already knew about Carlos
How did ED know Tevez was leaving Manchester United? Because
on May 10 he said: "I don't
think I will be a Manchester United player next season ... I guess what I'm saying is goodbye."
Then, on May 17, he said: "I know that I am not
going to continue at Manchester United."
And yet, somehow, the confirmation of this fact attracted
more attention than the heroics of Sebastian Vettel, Shahid Afridi and a few
dozen butch blokes in shorts.
Seeing as it is Early Doors's
job, and the mission statement on the right says ED prefers stupidity to
football, it will throw in its two cents. Again. You know, just like last
Well, first of all, United's
self-proclaimed 'biggest club in the
world' credentials will hardly be
enhanced if Tevez joins City - a club who are themselves much-derided for
declaring themselves 'massive'.
Just a week after Ronaldo left fake tan stains on the Old
Trafford dressing-room wall for the last time, another big name has quit.
Top players could not be fleeing the club any quicker if John
O'Shea had returned from his
holidays in Mexico
with a bit of a sniffle (N.B. swine flu is definitely still topical).
But all the Schadenfreude in the world cannot obscure just
what a brat Tevez has been.
Throughout the saga, he declared himself frustrated,
disillusioned and hurt at losing his first-team place, apparently without
realising that a few goals might have helped him win it back.
He used the fans'
affection for him against the club, basically saying to Fergie: "The fans
love me, so why don't you?"
And when United eventually got round to overpaying
significantly for him, he declared himself too traumatised to sign on for
another five years.
While Kia Joorabchian said Tevez loved United too much to
sign for Liverpool, he will have no problem joining Manchester City
or Chelsea - who, coincidentally, are offering significantly more money anyway.
Early Doors has no problem with mercenaries, but it prefers
them to be open about it. Much better to be Pascal 'It's all about the money'
Chimbonda than the kind of badge-kisser who says he will die for a club before sauntering
off in the direction of a bigger pay packet.
When Fabrizio Ravanelli ('My
heart belongs to Derby
County') and Juergen Klinsmann pulled these kinds of stunts,
everybody was up in arms. But Tevez seems to have acquired some sort of immunity
And if ED sounds like a stuck record going on about how
dishonourably Tevez has behaved, it is only because nobody else seems to have
- - -
In order to qualify from their Confederations Cup group last
night, the United States had
to beat Egypt, hope Brazil beat Italy, and hope the two wins were
by a combined margin of six goals.
As that meerkat off the telly keeps saying to ever-decreasing
And knock ED down with a feather if that is not precisely
what happened, as a pair of 3-0 results sent Italy out on goals scored.
The World champions produced a performance of supreme
haplessness, conceding all three goals in the first half including a peach of
an own goal from Andrea Dossena, who proved he can be just as useless for his
country as he is for Liverpool.
Meanwhile, Team USA opened the scoring with a
ludicrous effort that Charlie Davies knocked in, pinball-style, off the head of
goalkeeper Essam Al Hadari.
Clint Dempsey capitalised on some woeful marking to complete
the rout and it was job done.
In the bad old days, ED might have suspected a carve-up,
especially in a tournament of little genuine importance.
But as the goals flew in it was clear that Egypt and Italy's
only crime was one of incompetence.
Even if they had deliberately eased off, ED wouldn't have blamed them on the grounds that most people
would do anything in their power to escape those bloody 'vuvuzela' horns.
FIFA supremo Sepp Blatter reacted to the furore about the racket
with typical head-in-the-sand sangfroid, saying: "It's noisy,
it's energy, rhythm, music,
On ED's television it sounds more like a dying cat with
its head stuck in some bagpipes. Better take it down the TV repair shop.
- - -
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: It's not
really a quote, more a conversation involving the surliest Mr 10 per cent in
the world. Here's what happened when
fotbollskanalen.se quizzed Zlatan Ibrahimovic's agent Mino Raiola about the Swede's move to Real Madrid.
fotbollskanalen.se: "Marca says you have begun negotiations - what are
your views on that?"
not correct, but I don't care what
F: "Have you discussed with Inter?"
none of your business."
F: "Will there be a transfer before Inter's
training starts in July?"
R: "I don't
know. I can't see the future, I'm not God."
FOREIGN VIEW: The natural modesty of Africans is hampering
the ability of South Africa
to project itself as a country capable of staging an outstanding World Cup next
year, according to local organising boss Irvin Khoza.
Khoza told Reuters
in an interview that doubts expressed in Europe
and elsewhere about the hosting of the 32-nation finals had not yet been
"We are too
modest," he said. "We have a weakness as Africans. It's our nature to show respect and modesty - and that
can be self-defeating at times.
"We are the
opposite of Americans. We don't
celebrate in advance. We don't show
COMING UP: Our transfer ticker is off and running
and you can follow that throughout the day. It's
also on Twitter, for those of you with only enough room in your lives for 140
characters of transfer news at a time. We've
already got 500 subscribers - just 326,000 to go until we catch Jonathan Ross.
And our countdown of the world's
top 50 footballers continues in painstaking one-a-day fashion.
And it's only the
start of Wimbledon! Full, comprehensive and
exhaustive coverage from 12:00 UK time.