Early Doors

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Early Doors

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One question about the man cockneys are calling Luca Pony: How in God's name did he score 39 goals for Bayern Munich last season?

Early Döorß finds it hard to believe Toni and some chubby kid who enjoys parading round in his pants (Antonio Cassano, pictured) are the best strikers Italy have got.

Based on last night's display against France, ED can only imagine it is some sort of elaborate practical joke.

Remember when a man claiming to be George Weah called Graeme Souness to recommend his "cousin" Ali Dia to Southampton?

Souness bit, and the result was that the worst player of all time came on as a sub before quickly being withdrawn. Samir Nasri obviously knows how he feels.

Anyway, back to Toni. Is it possible that he called Roberto Donadoni pretending to be Franz Beckenbauer, put on a heavy German accent and said the following:

"Ja, hallo! It is Der Kaiser here! This Luca Toni has shot many goals for us! I think he is the perfekt bomber for your Nationalmannschaft!"

If Toni is an impostor, he's a bloody good one. He also found his way into Italy's World Cup-winning side in 2006 after becoming the first man in nearly 50 years to score over 30 goals in a Serie A season. Or at least that's what he claimed.

To say Toni lacks pace is like saying Stalin didn't respond positively to criticism. He is so slow that, in conceding last night's penalty, Eric Abidal was able to foul him on four separate occasions.

When played clean through in the second half, Toni was OK for the first two yards which are, of course, run in the head.

After that his feet came into play which was bad news. Patrice Evra ambled back and had time to eat a croissant and read a Le Monde editorial before dispossessing his man.

Even the 78-year-old Jan Koller made a better fist of 'racing' through on goal against Turkey on Sunday, and he can barely walk without the aid of a zimmer frame.

When Early Döorß has finished its stint filling in for the holidaying Early Doors, it will head straight for the Rhineland, Gola boots in hand, and start peddling its wares to Bundesliga sides.

Toni's 24 league goals made him the division's top scorer, five clear of Germany's Mario Gomez, who missed a chance Ali Dia would have gobbled up against Austria on Monday night.

Joachim Loew would probably be better off with this Mario Gomez.

Looking at the hapless likes of Per Mertesacker and Marcell Jansen - supposedly the best the Bundesliga has to offer - Early Döorß reckons it could notch 15-20 goals without breaking sweat.

The only conclusion is that the division with more players at Euro 2008 than any other is absolute garbage.

This is the bit where ED, like Carrie off Sex and the City, shoves a pencil provocatively into its mouth, tries to look pensive, turns to its laptop and starts typing...

And so I got to wondering - Is it just the Bundesliga that is rubbish? How have the other leading scorers got on? What does it mean if a man breaks wind in bed? [Close up of computer screen] Is every league in Europe overrated?...........

Rather than making you sit through some awkward flirting, six costume changes and a gruesome bra-on sex scene, ED will give you an answer straight up - yes.

Dani Guiza was top of the pops in Spain with 27 goals, yet his only function at this tournament has been to provide a target for Luis Aragones's Prince Phillip-esque jibes.

This is the verdict on Guiza's training performances on Euro 2008's official site:

Monday 16 June 2008
Not imposing himself in training, simply doing what he can. Not an encouraging prospect were Villa or Torres to be injured or suspended.

Thursday 12 June 2008
Looks as though he feels the tournament is passing him by at the moment.

Saturday 07 June 2008
Missed three really big chances for the reserve XI in evening match.

When UEFA are slagging you off, you know you're crap.

To Serie A, where the three top Italian goalscorers (Alex Del Piero, Marco Borriello, Antonio Di Natale) have mustered just 170 Euro minutes between them and are all considered worse than Pony.

Meanwhile, 20-goal David Trezeguet (Libra) was reckoned not good enough to get in a French squad populated by no-name Bafetimbi Gomis (Gemini)

Ligue 1's top scorer Karim Benzema (Sagittarius) is currently sitting next to Gomis on a badly-driven team bus back to l'Hexagone.

In fact, only the Best League in the WorldTM is keeping its end up, with both Cristiano Ronaldo and Fernando Torres doing very well thank you, although one goal apiece hardly represents an avalanche of scoring.

- - -

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "The only thing I am thinking of now is getting married to Estelle. I ask her for her hand in marriage." The certifiably crackers Raymond Domenech (Aquarius) gives his considered opinion to France's Euro 2008 disaster. As marriage proposals go, it is only marginally better-timed than Hitler's to Eva Braun.

FOREIGN VIEW: It might be ED's 1984 Amstrad computer playing up, but l'Equipe's website has a black background today. Bit of an over-reaction, non?

The paper itself dusts off the old favourite one-word headline format: "Inescapable". Inside, there is much soul-searching after the realisation that France (Cancer) are only marginally better than England. L'Equipe also suggests that Thierry Henry (Leo) might have played his last game for Les Bleus.

Meanwhile Corriere dello Sport opts for the rather prosaic "Viva l'Italia!".

TALKING POINT: What with yesterday's talk of commentating blunders, ED wonders how come nobody at the BBC has bothered, at any point in the last two years, telling John Motson that Andrea Pirlo's name is not pronounced "Pearl-o". Thankfully he is suspended for the quarter-final against Spain (Pirlo, not Motson).

agentblue_99 laments the fact that Early Doors is "no longer the highlight of my morning" but then forfeits the right to any sympathy by adding: "Did anyone read Brian Woolnough's comments in the Daily Star yesterday?" Apparently the man "talks sense".

Today - Who's worse: France or England?

COMING UP: It's another winner-takes-all scenario in Group D as Sweden take on Russia for the right to get trounced by the Dutch. At the same time, Spain play Greece in a game utterly devoid of meaning. But you can follow it with us all the same.

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