Desmond Kane

  • Raheem Sterling is officially the most expensive player in the England squad. According to the experts at the Football Observatory, a body that apparently provides statistical data for FIFA, the Liverpool winger, 19, with four caps and one kid to his name, would fetch £36.6 million if there was a bring-and-buy sale tomorrow.

    Next up is Everton's midfielder Ross Barkley weighing in at £34.9m with Wayne ‘Wazza’ Rooney apparently worth £34.8m. Take these figures for what you will. And some of Europe's blue-chip buyers probably would.

    All three of this Merseyside-linked triumvirate staged their

    Read More »from England sample World Cup heat 10 days and 2,400 miles short of Manaus opener
  • Keane snub shows why Lennon had to quit Celtic

    There has been much to admire about the general characteristics of Neil Lennon over these somewhat gnarled past four years running Celtic.

    Much of it has been found in confronting parts of a hostile host community in Scotland who could not quite work out, nor offer up a reasonable argument why they detested the man from Lurgan so much. Apart from the fact he existed and managed to prosper in their midst.

    "How dare he.." was the great unsaid from the great unwashed when listening to some of Lennon's bulging, wild-eyed detractors.

    Most of the incessant attacks on Lennon came about because he

    Read More »from Keane snub shows why Lennon had to quit Celtic
  • Larsson the logical choice to succeed Lennon at Celtic

    A few days before Celtic contested the 2001 Scottish Cup final against Hibernian, I found myself interviewing Henrik Larsson in the main stand of a deserted Celtic Park.

    During our interview, an unsuspecting retired Irish priest in the midst of a stadium tour was given the bonus of paying homage to the Celtic folk hero at close range. Larsson was conducting interviews while promoting a range of Umbro boots made from kangaroo leather.

    The priest's mood visibly changed when he spotted Henrik. He suddenly looked chirpier than Skippy.

    The Sweden player was then a feted striker midway through a

    Read More »from Larsson the logical choice to succeed Lennon at Celtic
  • You can catch a thief, but you can't catch a liar. Or words to that effect.

    There is a reason why such maxims have stood the test of time. Such sayings have remained true in life because human nature continues to lend itself to tricky behaviour.

    It is why multi-millionaire popular singers such as Take That fraternise with tax avoidance schemes rather than pay what they can afford towards the public purse. Despite having plenty, it is why some members of the super-rich can't get enough for themselves.

    When large sums of cash are wafting under their nostrils, the descent of man seems to know no

    Read More »from Yaya Toure: Dishonest, deceitful and disrespectful to City’s fans
  • So we have the end of an era at Old Trafford. A year after the end of an era. One month after the end of another era. These eras suddenly appear to be eerily familiar around Manchester United.

    Ryan Giggs, 40, has officially announced his retirement as a player to focus on his fresh role as Louis van Gaal's assistant. It comes 12 months after Sir Alex Ferguson retired as the club's most successful manager. It comes one month after David Moyes was retired as the club's least successful manager.

    Where to now for United under Van Gaal? Where to now for Giggs under Van Gaal?

    Giggs is a true great.

    Read More »from Decision to retain Giggs as Van Gaal’s assistant could backfire on United
  • A few weeks ago when I was talking to Ronnie O'Sullivan about his hopes of winning a sixth World Championship snooker title at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre, I made the point to him that he lived a charmed life when we stopped for a moment to consider the tragic death of his fellow champion Paul Hunter in 2006 from a rare form of cancer.

    The swashbuckling Hunter was only 27.

    Who knows what the future would have brought Hunter, but there is every chance he would have been standing where Mark Selby was last night, clasping snooker’s most visible trophy in a quaint little theatre turned snooker

    Read More »from Tragic death of Baltacha reminds us true despair can never be found in sport
  • In a flashback to the 1980s when it felt like Liverpool ruled the world, Graeme Souness has recently been busy revisiting the main theme of his pomp when reserves of trinkets were expected at Anfield. Not hoped for. Even prayed for when you consider some of the poor frazzled souls engulfing Brendan Rodgers and his team’s unheralded push for Premier League folklore in recent weeks.

    Souness, the former moustachioed midfield enforcer from Scotland, was never one for praying back in the day. "Show me a good loser, and I'll show you a loser," is a Vince Lombardi quote often attributed to a bullish

    Read More »from Football wins if Brendan Rodgers leads Liverpool back to Promised Land
  • Neil Lennon - who said he would not tolerate discriminatory behaviour - with Leigh Griffiths

    Leigh Griffiths could be found meandering around Celtic Park last Saturday afternoon with the rest of Celtic's first team squad acknowledging the Glasgow club's fans who had stayed behind after a tepid 1-1 draw with Ross County.

    The result was fairly irrelevant with Neil Lennon's side coming off a 5-0 win at Partick Thistle that sealed a third straight Scottish Premiership title before March was out.

    All in the garden looked rosy for Griffiths, who has been part of the Scotland squad in recent times

    Read More »from Celtic must sack Leigh Griffiths – anything less is double standards
  • The night which ended Fernando Torres’ Chelsea career

    Chelsea were mugged in Paris, but it remains difficult to ascertain who was the main victim left for dead at the crime scene. Chelsea’s 3-1 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final was a wretched evening that spawned several casualties. All may already be lost for Jose Mourinho’s side such was the mental havoc these sorry goings on wrought.

    But who was left most confused, dazed and traumatised by the nature of the psychological scarring?

    Was it Fernando Torres, a dispossessed striker who was brutally cast aside at the Parc des Princes for one of

    Read More »from The night which ended Fernando Torres’ Chelsea career
  • It is a decade since the term 'parking the bus' was apparently first coined in English football. Like the phrase 'anti-football', it has become as much a part of the lexicon of the world game as 4-4-2, the offside trap and the notion that ‘Zee Germans’ always win. Or not always. Manchester United's meet-and-greet with European champions Bayern Munich was supposed to descend into another withering evening for David Moyes, but the flogging never came to pass despite the visiting side's addiction to passing.

    A 1-1 draw in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final was not what Pep

    Read More »from Parking bus is only way forward for Moyes and United in Munich