Early Doors

Twelve Doors of Christmas: June

Early Doors

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Early Doors takes a nostalgic and sherry-fuelled look back at the year's big stories through the medium of recycled posts. ED returns on January 4.

June 10: A tube strike threatens England v Andorra

ED's take: Thank goodness for RMT chief Bob Crow and his striking tube drivers. If not for them, there would be nothing to talk about ahead of tonight's England game against Andorra.

Wembley could be half-empty for the Pyreneans' visit, but ED would suggest that has less to do with the tube strike than the fact that the FA are charging people £30 to watch a country with the same population as Basingstoke.

The FA has offered refunds to anyone unable to attend, and ED would urge fans to take them up on the offer whether they can get to the stadium or not.

ED has no real grasp of the situation's intricacies, but it does seem that trying to get the public onside by inconveniencing them is a bit of an odd tactic. It's a bit like lollipop ladies campaigning for more money by leading schoolchildren into the path of oncoming lorries.

June 17: El-Hadji Diouf wants on to the expenses bandwagon

ED's take: Just when you thought the reputation of politicians couldn't get any worse, El-Hadji Diouf has announced that he wants to become an MP.

As an obnoxious, self-absorbed right-winger who has had legal trouble, can't keep his mouth shut and is an easy hate figure for the public, Diouf would fit in perfectly on the Conservative back benches.

He also owns several properties and probably has a moat somewhere that can be cleaned out on the taxpayer's dime.

Diouf said: "I love politics and find it interesting. I want to be 10,000 times more responsible when I quit football. I'm thinking about being a candidate for election in 2012."

Well, Senegalese politics must be very different from those in Britain if Diouf thinks responsibility is a prerequisite for a career in parliament.

June 18: Liverpool sell Glen Johnson shirts before signing him:

ED's take: Any Portsmouth fans wanting to push forward the £18m sale of Glen Johnson had the opportunity to do so for a short time last night, as they could have bought a new Liverpool shirt with the England right-back's name on the back from the official club store. It's a story that truly has transfer window silly season written all over it.

Much like the Chelsea gaffe that led to them offering Robinho shirts online before Manchester City gazumped them in such brazen fashion, the Liverpool official website had added Johnson's name to the list of choices.

The £52 plus p&p price tag might seem hefty, but if every Pompey fan buys one then their club will be assured of earning a nice little nest egg just in case their rather fishy-looking takeover collapses.

It's strange how this actually made it online. Somebody intentionally put his name up there, but thought to add the TBC caveat. Surely it's all or nothing? Anyway, who would want 'Johnson TBC' on their back? 

June 25: Cesc Fabregas considers his future at Arsenal

ED's take: Impotence is no laughing matter. It causes frustration, anger and confusion. It can erode self-esteem and break families apart, and men will go to enormous lengths to treat it.

But don't take ED's word for it. Listen to Cesc Fabregas, who has used the term to describe Arsenal. For all their youthful vigour, it seems the Gunners lack staying power and Fabregas is considering a trip to Spain to find a remedy.

Fabregas lamented: "Cristiano (Ronaldo) said he's leaving Manchester United because he had nothing else to win. For me right now it is the exact opposite, seeing the impotence."

Not that Cesc is looking to cure his present club of their currently limp state. Instead he could ditch them altogether for Real Madrid - a new, testosterone-soaked club that is so virile it gargles iron filings every morning and has to shave every half-hour.

June 30: England's U21s get thrashed in the Euro 2009 final

ED's take: At least England's kids got their timing right. If you're going to lose 4-0 to Germany in your biggest match for 25 years, you should probably do it while Andy Murray is locked in a five-setter.

Despite Sky Sports News's valiant insistence that the football is their lead story, there is only one sporting water cooler topic today, and that is Murray's antics under the roof at Wimbledon.

For a man who once said he would support anyone but England at the World Cup, young Murray has done our Euro-flops a service by sparing them from public ridicule.

Whenever England play Germany, the tabloids love to go on about the war, casting the players as major historical characters.

If England played the part of any wartime figure last night it was not Churchill or Montgomery, but the Czech Sudetenland; reduced to looking on helplessly as they were completely overrun. 

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