Let’s be honest, we’ve all lied to a member of the opposite sex when bids to impress them aren’t quite going to plan. If I were Lord Triesman, however, I could think of better ways of sexing up than taking a limp stab at two countries who are now one step closer to hosting the 2018 World Cup. I’ll kiss Maradona’s dog on the lips if Putin doesn’t get what he wants now.
Speaking of sleazy old men out of work; Avram Grant made more time for massages this week as he resigned as Pompey boss. Far more entertaining, however, is the news that goalkeeper David James claims to want the job. Despite lacking any relevant experience, the astoundingly egotistical ‘keeper thinks his Aretha Franklin hairdo and irritating smugness are just what Portsmouth require in their hour of need.
Portsmouth’s tired effort at Wembley means Carlo Ancelotti will avoid the salt mines of Siberia for another year at least as one of the strangest F.A. Cup finals in history ended with the least strange result possible. As for United, Sir Alex may have finally admitted that his Carling Cup heroes need some squad enhancement, promising no less than one addition to the Old Trafford ranks. They did manage to shave a fraction of Glazer’s debts with the sale of Ben Foster to Birmingham for £6 million, but that gentle, loveable, £30m Bulgarian won’t be going anywhere apparently.
Cesc Fabregas finally realised that Arsenal aren’t too good at keeping promises when it comes to silverware, and will leave before the World Cup by the look of it. It’s sad to lose him, but I’m sure even Wenger will feel a Kes moment coming on when he lets the Spaniard go to the best team in the world. It’s for the best. Elsewhere, Man City’s first attempt to splash their oily cash ended with a rather embarrassing rejection of a £20m bid for James Milner. They’ll no doubt cope without his acquisition, though, as they line up Ashley Young, Yaya Toure and the marvellous Jerome Boateng. As for Milner, it would appear he has a choice all too familiar to bookies: United or Chelsea.
The Germans may be found somewhat Bal-lacking in South Africa thanks to Kevin Prince’s flailing tackle, but at least they’re not panic-phoning former international stars. Paul Scholes literally has better things to do than play in the World Cup it seems, and Carragher will have to jerk out of his depressed scouse stupor to fit in. As always, Gary Neville is behaving like a very angry man.
A quick final word to congratulate the play-offs on plenty of genuine excitement and drama throughout: they’re always fantastic and must remain, no matter how unfair the system may be. Fans of lower half Premiership clubs will be hoping for a Blackpool win on Sunday because that means only two relegation places next season. Whether it’s the capital of Wales or the capital of low-budget nostalgia, I have no doubt Holloway and Jones have an entertaining afternoon planned…..