World Cup 2010 - Paper Round: Beckham in mascot role

Tue, 16 Mar 09:19:00 2010

Crocked midfielder David Beckham could still go to the World Cup with England - as a high-profile cheerleader.

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Beckham's playing participation this summer is almost certainly over after surgery to fix a snapped Achilles yesterday, but Milan's on-loan LA Galaxy star has spent most of his recent international career cheering on his pals from the bench.

So why not take him along for the ride anyway? According to broadsheet quartet The Times, Guardian, Daily Telegraph and The Independent, boss Fabio Capello thinks it would be good for team morale if he were involved with the boys.

Capello reckons that Beckham still has a role to play for England after the World Cup, such is his professionalism and fitness, and wants him to feel that there is a route back after recovery - the Italian even said that he "hope(s) he will be fit for the Euros".

Beckham will almost certainly be in South Africa in June anyway, in his role as ambassador for England's 2018 World Cup bid, so it would hardly be at any extra expense.

Football appears to be one of the few professions where trigger-happy club bosses fire senior management staff for performance reasons with no viable, superior replacement lined up, as Hull City have shown.

The panic-sacking of Phil Brown - who led the club from a Championship relegation dogfight to Premier League survival in just over two years - was followed by a claim from Adam Pearson that a new manager would be in place by Wednesday.

Alan Curbishley (wants longer contract), Gary Megson (kidney stones, apparently), Mark Hughes (yeah, right!) and Terry Venables (really?) have all been ruled out for various reasons, leaving Iain Dowie as the last man standing (Times).

The Daily Mirror and Daily Star think Hughes is still an option though, even if he did reject Bolton and Burnley, while The Telegraph believes Venables is in and the Indy and the Star throw Avram Grant into the mix too.

Tottenham Hotspur have finally agreed a £6 million deal to sign Brazilian midfielder Sandro from Internacional (Daily Mirror).

The 21-year-old will join after the Copa Libertadores at the end of August and is yet to sign a contract but the Brazilian club - who have rejected previous bids from Spurs for the former U20 captain - say they have agreed terms this time.

Sandro has one senior cap for the Selecao.

As part of a wider-reaching deal, Internacional will send youth players to Spurs, who in turn will provide marketing and management assistance.

Talk about kicking a man when he is down. The Sun claims that West Ham stopped paying defender Calum Davenport after he was stabbed by his sister's boyfriend in a domestic dispute last year but were ordered to resume his wages.

Now, despite returning to training, the 27-year-old will be let go by the club, keen to get his 16,000-a-week salary off the wage bill given that he has barely played for them anyway. A £250,000 pay-off has been mooted.

Manchester United's strong-arm attitude towards anti-Glazer fan protests continued after a student was sacked from a catering job at Old Trafford for wearing a green-and-gold Newton Heath scarf (Guardian, Telegraph).

Jeff Vyse, a freshman anthropology student at Manchester Uni, was shown the door during the 4-0 win over Milan for "failing to comply with the club's regulations regarding employees' uniforms".

Vyse insists he was told it was not because he was wearing a scarf but solely because of the colour.


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