Early Doors

  • Keegan’s Mexican standoff

    Newcastle say they have not sacked Kevin Keegan. The League Managers' Association say Keegan has not quit. 

    But nobody can confirm whether he is actually going to turn up to work today.

    Today's Sun claims Keegan's beef with the club stems from an attempt by owner Mike Ashley to sell Michael Owen and Joey Barton on transfer deadline day.

    Already peed off at not being able to spend the £12m proceeds from James Milner's sale, Keegan, according to a St James' Park mole, "hit the roof" when it became apparent his two biggest hate figures could be flogged (in Barton's case, a good flogging when he

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  • Let’s all laugh at Tottenham

    Not many clubs inspire the same level of schadenfreude in other fans as Tottenham Hotspur.

    In which case your average neutral would have looked on with glee as the Lilywhites lost 2-0 at Portsmouth, with both goals coming from former Spurs players, and the defeat leaves the north Londoners bottom of the table after six games with just two points, behind even Newcastle.

    At the same point last season, Derby County had double that, and they are officially the worst team in history. That's a scientific fact, and you can't argue with science.

    And, like erstwhile Derby boss Billy Davies and his

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  • What’s up with Ronaldo?

    Everyone agrees: there is something terribly wrong with Cristiano Ronaldo.

    He must still be feeling the effects of that summer wrangle between Manchester United and Real Madrid.

    He seems aloof. He often refuses to pass. He celebrates his goals with little more than a shrug. Something MUST be bothering him.

    Wait, hold on. Weren't those the exact same characteristics he displayed when he was the best player in the world?

    The cocksure arrogance, the shoo-ing away team-mates at free-kicks, the minimal goal celebrations that say 'yeah, I am great, what of it?'

    And as for passing to team-mates, ED

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  • Spurs can’t go on

    Happy Monday long-suffering Newcastle fans, at long last your ridiculous club is not quite ridiculous enough to warrant top billing on this here page.

    Today that honour belongs to John Branch (Spanish name withdrawn until further notice) and his laughably poor Tottenham team - who have suffered their worst start to a season since 1912 thanks to a 1-0 mauling at the hands of Felipe Marron's Hull City.

    All of which has prompted tabloid comparison to the Titantic, which sank that same year to give birth to the biggest film, like EVER! Oh and that nauseating Celine Dion number which couples

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  • Cigarettes and alcohol

    Great news: It seems bad-boy behaviour is making a comeback. Early Doors surveys the lie of the land.

    CIGARETTES

    Arsenal captain William Gallas was snapped rolling out of a London nightclub on Wednesday night with a cigarette in his mouth.

    Reporting the 'news', The Sun was at pains to point out that the cigarette was not lit.

    This qualifier was presumably based on the slim chance that Gallas models himself on self-styled good boy of rap Will Smith.

    In his magnum opus Getting' Jiggy Wit It, Smith launches his own version of Bill Clinton 'I did not inhale' defence, spitting:

    "Ciga-cigar right

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  • Fit of Pique

    There was mild surprise when Manchester United sold Gerard Pique back to his first club Barcelona in the summer.

    Here was a young, strong and technically accomplished defender with the potential to develop into Rio Ferdinand's heir.

    So why did United let him go? Because it turns out he spent most of his time at Old Trafford asking Sir Alex Ferguson for a number 35, egg fried rice and spring rolls.

    And if Pique's view of China is anything like the Spanish basketball team's, a swift exit was assured.

    "The gaffer, as Ferguson is known in Manchester, spoke in English with a Scottish accent and

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  • Fabregas cannot save Arsenal

    In the current spirit of alarmism, Early Doors would like to state in big, bold writing that ARSENAL DO NOT NEED A NEW CAPTAIN, THEY NEED A NEW SQUAD.

    Cesc Fabregas leads the side for the first time tonight after William Gallas's sacking at the weekend, but ED boldly predicts it won't make a blind bit of difference to the club's predicament.

    Gallas received universal condemnation for airing his dirty laundry in public on Friday, as though his ill-judged quotes were more of a problem than the fact that Arsenal's dressing room is in a state of civil war.

    It is more than a PR conundrum. If you

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  • Bring on the wall!

    With 13 of the 16 Champions League group qualifiers already
    decided, Early Doors suggests some ways to liven up the final round of matches.

    ED has spent enough time slagging off the Champions League
    and thinks it is time to give something back, so get a pen and paper ready,
    Monsieur Platini, the following 600 words could be the key to your re-election
    as UEFA president.

    As things stand, all Matchday 6 will be good for is the
    formality of Chelsea, Roma and Panathinaikos booking their places in the
    knockout stages.

    The group stage anti-climaxes on December 10 when Groups E
    to H play their final

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  • You’ll win nothing with kids

    Arsenal's Carling Cup exit at the hands of Burnley
    gave new meaning to the phrase 'The kids are alright'.

    They're alright, but not great.

    As you might expect from a team made up of Mexicans,
    Spaniards and assorted glove-wearing teens, it was a cold Tuesday night at Burnley that tripped them up.

    Incidentally, why is it always Tuesday nights that are cold?
    Is there scientific evidence to back this up?

    Having fielded 11 young shavers for the 3-0 win against Wigan in the last round, Wenger blotted his copybook with
    the selection of 31-year-old Mikael Silvestre, who single-handedly
    raised the

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  • Liverpool drop the ball

    Fact one: Liverpool have
    not won the league for nearly 20 years.

    Fact two: Liverpool are
    top of the Premier League.

    Fact three: Liverpool were
    booed off last night.

    Rarely can such depression have engulfed a team that has
    just gone to the summit of the Premier League table as after last night's
    goalless draw between Liverpool and West Ham
    .

    Given lack of recent success, you might think they would be
    thrilled to be top of the pile - instead negativity wafted around Anfield like
    a stale fart.

    Liverpool fans feel that, with their history
    and resources, they should be contending regularly for the

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