Early Doors

England’s golden nuggets

Early Doors

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Frank Lampard has said England's players should never have been called the Golden
Generation.

That was the boastful name given by former FA big cheese Adam Crozier to
the group of players including Lampard, David Beckham, Steven Gerrard and
Michael Owen.

But Lampard
believes the tag gave people an excuse to slag them off.

He said: "By
calling us 'The Golden Generation' it was almost as if people were waiting for us to
fail."

You can see
where he is coming from, but by his reckoning the English media and public are
driven by some sort of masochistic self-loathing.

Lampard suggests
people are actually glad England
keep losing quarter-finals on penalties - that they would prefer to slag off
their 'heroes'
than see them win the World Cup. This is patent nonsense.

The media are
often said to build sportspeople up just so they can tear them down. Not true.

They build
sportspeople up in the hope they might win something. Then, if they don't, they tear them down to make everyone else feel
better.

People
criticised Lampard, Rio Ferdinand, Ashley Cole  and co because they oozed a kind of
bling-encrusted complacency entirely out of keeping with their performance on the
pitch.

However, had they brought
home the World Cup in 2002 or 2006, it would have been knighthoods all round
and an open-top bus with 122-inch alloys, Cristal on tap and an ear-splitting R
'n'
B soundtrack.

Like the 2005
Ashes winners' frankly outrageous
36-hour booze-up, we would have found a way to find it charming (pissing in the Prime
Minister's garden? Hilarious,
Freddie!)

Everyone wants to see their team succeed. To throw rotting fruit at the
useless overpaid layabouts when they fail is just human nature.

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The Eurosport-Yahoo! football podcast is now online! Hear three men ramble on about some World Cup matches that took place two days ago. Football chat doesn't get any better than this!

- - -

Watching TV footage of John Barnes and Jason McAteer struggling to fit a
bicycle into a car boot on their way out of Prenton Park,
you wondered if Barnes would ever work in football again.

Yet just a few days after being sacked by Tranmere, he has been offered
the chance to recreate the finest achievement
of his playing career.

Not that goal in the Maracana, nor his
inspirational form in Watford's run
to the 1987 FA Cup final, nor even his 22-goal haul in Liverpool's 1989/90 title-winning.

No, obviously ED refers to his rap in World
In Motion, England's 1990 World Cup song.

Early Doors doesn't
know whether World In Motion deserves its status as a modern classic, but
certainly it qualifies as the best football song ever, on the grounds that it can
be listened to without blood pouring out of your ears.

New Order bass player Peter Hook revealed: "We've just been offered John Barnes to redo the rap
for next year."

ED imagines the situation developing as follows:

November 2009: Recording gets off to a rocky start as Barnes fails to
record a single second of usable material in his first six recording sessions.

December 2009: New Order insist they have "complete confidence"
in Barnes, despite leaked footage of him repeatedly failing to pronounce the
word "football correctly".

January 2010: Barnes insists he has not discussed his position with the
band, saying he will "keep plugging away until 2014 if necessary".

February 2010: Barnes is sacked. Current players Wayne Rooney, Rio
Ferdinand, John Terry and Jermain Defoe all try unsuccessfully to record the
rap.

March 2010: With no suitable players available and the project in danger
of collapsing, the FA extract a promise from Fabio Capello to include Tinchy
Stryder in his World Cup squad.

April 2010: Stryder records the rap, and Capello insists he will play a
more prominent role in South
Africa than Theo Walcott at Germany 2006.

- - -

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "You get stung by a bee and then
find yourself in the newspaper as if you had been doping." Did the bee
sting Fabio Cannavaro with cortisone?

FOREIGN VIEW: Portugal only need to beat Malta to book
their place in the World Cup qualifying play-offs. Simple, eh? Not necessarily
if, as expected, Carlos Queiroz replaces the injured Cristiano Ronaldo with
Nani.

COMING UP: Live
scoring of Brighton v Gillingham in League One at 19:45 UK time , plus both U20 World Cup semi-finals.

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