Early Doors

Nani’s Jaap Stam moment

Early Doors

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It's the moment Manchester United fans have been waiting
for. Nani has turned on Sir Alex Ferguson, accusing the manager of
"shattering" his confidence by constantly shuffling him in and out of
the side.

Displaying the lack of self-awareness unique to professional
sportsmen, Nani blamed Fergie's refusal to guarantee him a first-team place for
his dismal performances, not vice versa.

A word in your ear, son: it's not him, it's you.

In 2007, Nani risked Fergie's ire with his acrobatic and
potentially hazardous goal celebration - something which no longer seems to
present a problem now his shooting is as wayward as a clergyman's daughter.

But his expose of Fergie's motivation techniques - "He shouts at players in front of
everyone ... Giggs and Neville suffer most, because they have more experience.
It is 'F***' here and 'F***' there"  - could earn the Portuguese the same treatment
meted out to Jaap Stam and Roy Keane after they spoke out of turn.

Stam and Keane were hastily bundled out of Old Trafford after, respectively, accusing Fergie of tapping-up and trashing his team-mates.

Will Nani suffer the same fate? United
supporters will certainly hope so.

- - -

Speaking of
angry Fergie, we can safely say his brief moment of contrition over Alan Wiley has
well and truly passed.

Having issued a
mealy-mouthed apology for trashing the ref's fitness levels, King Crimson has
gone back on the offensive.

He will use
today's FA improper conduct hearing to demand more stringent fitness tests for
referees - presumably demanding that they beat a butcher's dog over a Krypton
Factor-style assault course.

Despite the fact
Wiley ran further in the infamous United-Sunderland game than most of Ferguson's players, the
Scot wants officials to be able to keep up with the ever-increasing pace of the
modern game.

Or how about -
please feel free to stop ED if you've heard this one before - using some sort
of televisual equipment to record the game's major incidents, which could be reviewed
by a pitchside official.

If only a TV
company were willing to place, ooh, 20 or so cameras around the ground to
capture every meaningful action on film.

Until then,
we'll have to settle for some panting 40-something bank clerk who cannot
possibly monitor 22 players and a ball simultaneously.

- - -

In August, Jermain Defoe's lawyer, Nick 'Mr Loophole'
Freeman announced the England
striker was suing Essex Police for 'wrongful arrest'.

Defoe was banged up for five hours before police admitted
making an "inputting error", apologised and released him.

Freeman, whose former clients include Sir Alex Ferguson,
Jeremy Clarkson and the fatter Mitchell brother of EastEnders, even suggested racial
undertones, noting: "It does not seem to happen to the white players, just the black ones."

He
added: "He feels particularly aggrieved as he is stopped constantly. He
feels like whenever there is a police car behind him he will be pulled over for
a check."

Early
Doors would suggest a very simple reason why Defoe gets pulled over every time
there is a police car behind him. It might have something to do with his habit
of repeatedly breaking the speed limit.

Yesterday
he had an appeal against a driving ban thrown out by a judge, who described Defoe's
case as "sad", "ill-conceived", "frivolous" and
"highly fanciful" - adjectives that may also be used to describe the
Spurs striker's now defunct relationship with spray-tanned 'glamour' model
Danielle Lloyd.;

Defoe
had promised to donate any damages awarded from his legal action to charity. ED
wonders if he will now be invoicing Barnardo's for the £1,500 fine slapped on
him yesterday.

- - -

Anyone assuming Kieran Gibbs, Jack Rodwell or Daniel
Sturrdge have a big international future would do well to take note of Kevin
Gallen's appearance in Luton's FA Cup triumph over Rochdale last night.

The striker was universally hailed as the next big thing in
the 90s - he broke innumerable scoring records as a youth player at QPR, then
enjoyed a storming first season in the Premier League.

He scored 12 times in his debut campaign and formed a
dominant strike partnership with Les Ferdinand, firing the Rs to an
eighth-place finish and to within two points of pipping Spurs for 'London's
best team' status.

He was leading the line in everybody's hypothetical future England team,
pre-emptively rubbing shoulders with the likes of Alan Shearer and David
Beckham.

Then Ferdinand left for Newcastle and the following season Rangers
were relegated. Worse followed, as Gallen knackered his knee early in 1996/97 and
never played in the top flight again.

A look at some of the strikers with whom Gallen shared an
England Under-21 dressing room - Neil Shipperley, Mike Sheron, Andy Booth -
further illustrates the difference between having talent and fulfilling it.

- - -

It emerged yesterday that Luke Young retired from international football
earlier this year, only nobody knew about it.

So what else don't we know about the Aston Villa full-back?
Here are five more Luke Young secrets:

1 - Young is a mermaid, and wears specially adapted boots to
make his tail look like feet.

2 - Young invented the telephone, but was mugged by
Alexander Graham Bell en route to the patent office.

3 - When first called up for England, Young was surprised that nobody
would sit near him at dinner. However, he then discovered a rotting haddock in
his shorts placed there weeks earlier by Charlton team-mate Radostin Kishishev.

4 - Young has launched his own range of skin products,
called Young Buck.

5 - Although he is not bald, Young shaves his head the day before matches and
commissions Turner Prize-winning artist Chris Ofili to make a toupee from
elephant dung.

- - -

FOREIGN VIEW:
Former Real Madrid president Lorenzo
Sanz was arrested on Wednesday and charged with the illegal export of artworks
linked to his failed bid to buy Italian club Parma in 2005.

The investigation into Sanz, who led Real
from 1995-2000 when they twice won the European Cup, began a year ago and is ongoing,
El Pais and other media reported, citing unidentified sources close to the
investigation.

The 66-year-old is accused of using artworks
valued at 7.5 million euros (£6.5m) as part of his attempt to buy the Serie A
club. Spanish police were not immediately able to confirm the reports.

Sanz was also arrested in September 2008
after a complaint from a financial institution but released without charge.

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