Early Doors

Where’s the football?

Early Doors

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Early Doors cannot wait for the football season to start.

It came to this realisation when it opened this morning's Sun and found it had devoted almost an entire
page to a story about Sven-Goran Eriksson, based around the premise that there is a
Hooters in Nottingham.

You see, Hooters is a bar-slash-restaurant where customers are
served by buxom 'beauties' in skimpy tops, and Notts County newcomer Sven is famous for putting it
about. And the rest writes itself.

"A perfect match. The adding of a Sven Screwdriver or
Eriksson's Sex on the Beach to the
cocktail menu is surely only a matter of days away," titters Charlie
Wyett.

In Wyett's
defence, he probably penned the article while being held at gunpoint by a
panicking editor, desperately trying to fill four pages with some fairly
desultory scraps of news.

It is two months to the day since the Champions League
final, and Early Doors is suffering proper withdrawal symptoms.

This calendar-enforced cold turkey has got ED sweating
uncontrollably, braying like a donkey and hallucinating so extensively its work
mates have turned into talking dustbins and the coffee machine now dispenses
liquid despair.

People often complain about the lack of a proper break in
football, but when there is no major international tournament, the summer can
seem unbearably long.

Even the transfer market has had all the fun hyped out of it
by overzealous chairmen, gobs**te agents and prattling media gossipmongers.

This summer has seen the three biggest moves ever -
Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka and Zlatan Ibrahimovic - but there has been little or no
excitement because each of these mega-deals was preceded by several years of
foreplay.

So, when these sagas were finally concluded, there was no thrill
or surprise; just a sense of grim relief, like a teenage boy who has just sat through
the Vagina Monologues with his mum.

The only thing that can elbow Early Doors out of its malaise
is football. Real competitive football. Not half-hearted pre-season tours or the
Wembley Cup - an imitation of a real tournament so pale it could be mistaken
for the redhead out of Girls Aloud.

Incidentally, hard luck to anyone who shelled out £50 for
Wembley Cup tickets hoping to see the likes of Leo Messi, Xavi, Andres Iniesta,
Daniel Alves and Thierry Henry playing for Barcelona.

The European champions'
biggest stars managed not a single start between them, with their places taken
by people called Rochina, Muniesa and Gai - names better-suited to some Super
Nintendo beat 'em up than a
globe-straddling football colossus.

At this point in time, ED would sell its children to watch
some dull lower mid-table scrap between Blackburn
and Fulham.

Well, it doesn't
have any kids of its own, so it would strap a pair of ice-cream cones to its
chest, 'adopt'
some unfortunate infant from a third-world country, and then flog the poor tot.
All for a desperate nil-nil draw at Ewood
Park.

The next three weeks cannot pass quickly enough. Then ED can
get back to moaning about the football, instead of moaning about the lack of
it.

QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Carlo Ancelotti on the joys of English
cooking: "In Italy
it is only coffee and brioche, but you have very, very good breakfasts, eggs
and bacon. I even had Yorkshire pudding the other day and I thought it was
really good. I can eat it, but the players can't.
Their diet is more controlled than mine." Presumably the Chelsea boss will soon realise it is not that
kind of roast that gets most players into trouble.

FOREIGN VIEW: Ronaldo will take part in a
film about a Palestinian girl who hoped to meet the Brazilian striker but was
killed by a land mine in southern Lebanon before she could fulfil her
dream.

"(Ronaldo) confirmed that he made an
agreement with the Iranian director to make the film in the Palestinian territories,"
a press spokesman at Corinthians told Reuters.

The three times FIFA World Player of the Year's part will be filmed when Corinthians visit the
Middle East to play a friendly 'Peace
match' against fellow Brazilian team
Flamengo at a Palestinian venue on September 15.

Corinthians have authorized Ronaldo, a World
Cup winner with Brazil 2002, to stay on for a few days after the friendly to film
his scenes.

The film is based on the true story of a
young girl who was very good at football and idolised Ronaldo. She died after losing
a leg when she stepped on a land mine.

The former Milan,
Internazionale, Real Madrid, Barcelona and PSV
Eindhoven player's scenes will cover
his trip to Israel
and the Palestinian territories in 2005. As a United Nations ambassador he
visited handicapped children on a day trip to Ramallah on the West
Bank and Tel Aviv.

The film, produced by Iranians Mansur Sohrabpour
and Mohammad Latif, will be filmed in Lebanon.

COMING UP: England's kids are in action again: Slovenia U19 v England
U19
at 17:00 UK
time.

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