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 team's average age by over a year.
Anyway, Burnley added the Gunners' scalp to that of Chelsea and steamed into the
semi-finals. And mustn't those two scalps look gruesome, propped up in the
trophy cabinet next to the 1914 FA Cup and 1973 Charity Shield?
A look at Arsenal's recent Carling Cup record shows you Wenger's
youth policy has been a case of close but no cigar. No cigar, presumably,
because the players are not legally allowed to buy tobacco products.
They have reached at least the quarter-finals in each of the
last six seasons but have not won the trophy at all in Wenger's reign.
Despite today's eye-catching and deliberately misleading
headline, Early Doors is not foolish enough to say you'll win nothing with
kids. You'll win the odd third round tie at home to Sheffield United but no
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Roy Keane has never been slow to point the finger in
troubled times, and throughout Sunderland's
struggles he has been extremely critical - mostly of himself.
Keano admitted recently he has made "hundreds of
mistakes" and wondered aloud on Saturday whether he was the best man for
Small wonder, then, that the man seen as Keane's voice in
the media, Eamon Dunphy, has joined in the chorus of abuse.
Dunphy ghost-wrote Keane's autobiography and took his side in some
almighty rows on Irish TV following his walk-out from the 2002 World Cup.
Small wonder that Dunphy told Five Live yesterday: "I
have the highest regard for him."
However, such "high regard" was not exactly evident
in what he said immediately before that:
"He is rambling about all sorts of things and it's
really ridiculous. I think Roy Keane is beginning to believe the Roy Keane
mythology. He is pontificating on everything and he's lost the plot."
Dunphy added that it had been obvious for a year and a half
"that he isn't going to be a serious manager."
By Dunphy's extraordinarily caustic standards, that was a
fairly mild rebuke, though. Here is what he has to say about people he really
"I think Niall Quinn is a creep."
"He's one of the biggest whingers in world
football... he's a bloody eejit." - On Mick McCarthy, obviously.
is a clown. He was a liability for the first goal and he is always a liability.
It was Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink against Rio Ferdinand of Barclays Bank."
fat and a clown, Bill, a fat clown for all to see." - On Harry Kewell.
"Kilbane's head is better than his feet. If
only he had three heads, one on the end of each leg." - On Kevin Kilbane.
"It's not racism, it's
ethnic criticism, Bill" - Dunphy clarifies his remarks after
slagging off Scots.
"He's the one who left his wife and ran off
with a young one." - On journalist Rod Liddle who wrote a critical article
about Keane. Dunphy later apologised.
"If you're going to quote gutter journalists
calling Roy Keane a c***, you can do it on your own." - To Liam
Brady earlier in the same rant, broadcast live, pre-watershed, on RTE. Dunphy did not later apologise.
On the newly-crowned best player in the world: "Ronaldo's
a poof ball."
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QUOTE OF THE DAY: "We're not courting fame. I can give you a list of numerous restaurants that have underground parking so no-one can get any photographs. I know all the restaurant kitchens in LA." A word of advice to Victoria Beckham - EAT AT HOME!!!!!
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NEWS STORY OF THE WEEK: Taken verbatim from The Kilkenny People:
Lands Youths In Hospital
night prank went horribly wrong for three young Kilkenny men on Tuesday
night/Wednesday morning. As they were leaving a late take-away in the city, one
of the men partially pulled down his pants and farted towards other customers
who were eating a pizza.
resulting fracas, the men received serious injuries and were taken to the
accident and emergency unit of St Luke's Hospital and were kept overnight.'
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FOREIGN VIEW: Former Japan international Kazuki Ganaha,
banned last year for taking garlic IV infusions, has been released by Japanese
club Kawasaki Frontale.
earlier this year won his appeal against a six-game suspension imposed for
using intravenous drips in violation of the J-League's anti-doping rules.
Ganaha's ban also
cost him his place in the Japan
national side. The striker scored three goals in six games after breaking into
the team in 2006.
Kawasaki were also fined around $100,000
after club doctors put the player on the drip. While Ganaha did not take an illegal
substance, intravenous treatment is banned under FIFA guidelines.
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CHINESE BAD-BOY BEHAVIOUR UPDATE: Two Shanghai Shenhua
players have been detained by police for beating up a man in a restaurant a few
hours after missing out on the Chinese Super League title at the weekend, local media reported.
Former China winger Mao Jianqing and his
Shanghai Shenhua team mate Liu Yintao were detained for seven and five days respectively
for their part in the attack, according to the Shanghai-based Oriental Sports
Mao and Liu went
with friends to a 24-hour restaurant in the early hours of Monday morning. Xu Jianping, a
diner at the restaurant, greeted a woman accompanying the players and was
beaten up, the report added.
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COMING UP: There is a real smattering of action tonight - there's
live text commentary on Watford v Tottenham and Manchester United v Blackburn
in the Carling Cup, plus Manchester
City v Paris-SG in the
UEFA Cup. We also have live scores and scorers from the rest of the UEFA Cup
games, Carlisle v Crewe in the FA Cup and Milan
v Lazio in the Coppa Italia.
- Eamon Dunphy
- Roy Keane
- Carling Cup