Early Doors

  • I’m a slave 4 U

    Torpor, apathy, boredom, listlessness, stagnation, depression, ennui, melancholy, tedium, lassitude, dysphoria, dolefulness and funk.

    No, it is not a list of musical genres covered by Jamiroquai, but a brief encapsulation of Early Doors's state of mind.

    Two football-free weeks have passed since the end of Euro 2008, and a long, pointless month stretches out until the start of the Premier League season.

    God knows ED has tried. It has attempted to fill the football-free void with Formula One, with cricket, with tennis - it even pretended to enjoy the Wimbledon final. But it was all lies. All of

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  • Phil your boots

    Well, it's nice to have another interminable transfer saga to bang on about. Frank Lampard's move from Chelsea to Inter was on, off, on and off again all within the space of a day.

    No wonder his agent Steve Kutner is desperate to engineer a transfer - Lampard has been happily ensconced at Chelsea since 2001.

    While Nicolas Anelka's brothers gorge themselves on a slice of some grossly-inflated transfer fee every six months or so, Kutner's family have not had a decent meal for the best part of a decade and are starting to run low on Pot Noodles.

    The furore rather overshadowed Big Phil Scolari's

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  • Role reversal

    Being an early-rising, clean-living type, Early Doors returned from its three-week sojourn in distant Cleethorpes neither burnt, bloated nor riddled with sexually transmitted infections.

    But having waded through the takeaway leaflets clogging up its hallway, skimmed a couple of inches of cheese off the milk in its refrigerator and scanned the obituary pages for news of any celebrity clogs that might have popped while it was away, ED was struck by the distinct lack of Premier League tabloid scandal.

    ED had had high hopes for the Rooney-McLoughlin wedding, but despite a hundred odd scousers

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  • Hot dog!

    To celebrate July 4th, Early Doors thought it would pay tribute to that most American of sporting events, the Nathan's International Hot Dog Eating Contest.

    Like most US Sports, the Nathan's contest claims to crown a "world champion" despite being massively parochial - although in fairness one of the stars of the show hails from Japan.

    Takeru "The Tsumani" Kobayashi (nickname pre-2004, not so funny now) has been described as the dominant eater of the decade.

    The Japanese eating machine burst to prominence in 2001 when he scoffed 50 hot dogs in 12 minutes, doubling the previous record.

    It was,

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  • Joey Barton: A rap sheet in headlines

    Below is a list of headlines from this website about Joey Barton. Early Doors has left in anything relating to on-the-pitch activities, removing only platitudinous quotes pieces or baseless transfer speculation.

    The words 'repeat offender' spring to mind.

    Jul 2005 - Barton sent home from Tour
    Sep 2005 - Barton equaliser denies United
    Jan 2006 - City reject Barton transfer request
    Jul 2006 - Barton happy to stay at City
    Sep 2006 - Barton in trouble again
    Oct 2006 - No punishment for Barton
    Oct 2006 - FA not over Barton's moon
    Oct 2006 - Barton admits FA charge
    Oct 2006 - Barton escapes suspension

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  • Closing ceremony

    So it turns out you can write off the Germans after all.

    As last night marked the last time anyone will be able to complain about John Motson, Early Döorß thought it would go to town with an alternative minute-by-minute commentary of the great man's swansong.

    PRE-MATCH: ED watches various members of the German squad giving interviews in English. How on earth did Christoph Metzelder get so good? Did honorary Brummie Thomas Hitzlsperger teach him?

    What with the perfect English and beard so thick and sturdy you could grate cheese on it, Metzelder is perhaps the most rounded individual in world

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  • We’ve been here before…

    In football, as in life, there are certain grim predictabilities.

    For every piece of bread that lands butter side-down, there is the summer transfer saga that begins in mildly diverting fashion before rumbling on interminably for so long that football fans are soon gouging their eyes out with their own thumbs in an attempt to avoid having to bear witness to another breathlessly uninformative tabloid 'exclusive'.

    For every indiscriminately pooing pigeon, there is John Motson disinterestedly describing a match-winning 35-yard overhead kick from an ageing defender who's never been glimpsed

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  • Age ain’t nothing but a number

    'Troy Dayak is an MLS All-Star defender. Freddy Adu isn't shaving yet. But when they met on a soccer field last spring, in a full-speed scrimmage between MLS's San Jose Earthquakes and the U.S. under-17 national team, a curious thing happened. Taking a pass on the left side, Freddy feinted to his right, then swerved like an X-wing fighter to his left with such a sudden and breathtaking whooosh that poor Dayak nearly fell over. Both benches howled. U.S. coach John Ellinger turned to the Earthquakes, then the defending MLS champs, and deadpanned, "I guess Troy hasn't played against a 12-year-old

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  • United v Arsenal: aggro all-stars

    Chelsea's crimes are many, but perhaps their worst has been to dilute the seething hatred between Arsenal and Manchester United.

    Once, Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger were once mortal enemies and frequently fired off sarky broadsides at each other. (Fergie: He should keep his mouth shut. Firmly shut. Wenger: Every man thinks he has the most beautiful wife).

    Now there is something of a mutual admiration, as they team up against the Premier League's new money upstarts.

    Fergie wasn't wrong when he said recently that United's best recent rivalry has been with Arsenal - it was just a shame

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  • Dirty Harry’s Spurs get ugly

    Harry Redknapp has achieved a miracle at Tottenham. But Early Doors can exclusively reveal it has absolutely nothing to do with what his team does with the football.

    The shrewdest manager since Sammy the shrew took over at Shrewsbury Town has instilled a manliness at Spurs that has been lacking since Dave Mackay made a living out of kicking people in the 1960s.

    The evidence was plain to see in yesterday's 1-0 victory against Blackburn. If you missed it, ED can confirm the encounter was not an ode to total football. It is safe to assume Johan Cruyff did not awake this morning satisfied his

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