Early Doors

  • FIFA drags football through the gutter again

    Sepp Blatter is a man with a list of bizarre statements longer than David Icke's, but yesterday his insistence he was "pleased" a Swiss court released a much-awaited document regarding FIFA, bribes and now defunct marketing company ISL was still pretty incredible.

    The president of football's global governing body was apparently happy that finally - and only after years and years of pressure from some noble media outlets like the BBC, who have been castigated for pursuing the story - the real extent of the corruption, greed and venal self-interest that has gripped FIFA was laid bare for all to

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  • The writing’s on the wall for Carroll

    This week, Brendan Rodgers asked Liverpool to restore the old 'This is Anfield' sign that adorned the stadium's tunnel at the time of the club's greatest triumphs, when European Cups were won in daring fashion and Liverpool became a byword for attractive football.

    It was a symbolic gesture, a sign that Rodgers is intent on restoring a brand of football that appeals to the club's grand history. Early Doors is pretty sure he didn't whack it up himself, despite being pictured with a hammer in hand, but it was quite a statement of intent from the man prised out of Swansea this summer.

    It was

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  • Mancini deal underlines City stability

    Early Doors hates summer.

    Perhaps it's the flocks of vengeful wasps swarming in the air, or maybe the knowledge that as ED sweats away in its office, conspicuously younger people are having a lot more fun gallivanting around outdoors, coloured sunglasses on their heads and bottles of cider in their hands.

    When the sun isn't out it's an excuse for an tiresome moan, and when it is, it all gets a bit much for ED's fair complexion, rendered sallow having spent the rest of the year locked away at Eurosport HQ, covering the football season.

    But what ED really hates about summer is the brief pretence

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  • Schuerrle you can’t be serious?

    He is serious, and do call him SchuerrleThese are topsy-turvy times to be a Chelsea fan.

    The Blues - much like the rest of the footballing world - are still adjusting to life in a world in which they are European champions, but the talismanic striker who fired them to glory has since left the club.

    The Stamford Bridge faithful excitedly await their first opportunity to catch a glimpse of the much-hyped, big-money new addition Eden Hazard, but they also face an anxious week as their captain, John Terry, today begins his five-day trial for allegedly racially abusing Anton Ferdinand, a charge he denies.

    And only yesterday they showed

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  • For years the goal-line technology debate has rumbled on at the top level of football and among fans and media alike, reducing what would be one of the most significant changes to the sport ever into a tiresome issue.

    Like the interminable saga that is currently engulfing the future of Rangers — and, consequently, Scottish football — the wrangling over whether or not the authorities should allow officials external assistance in ruling if the ball crossed the line or not has become both very important and very boring.

    But now, after the International FA Board voted unanimously to approve two

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  • Self-serving Van Persie burns his bridges

    As a means to an end, Robin van Persie's statement yesterday was devastatingly effective.

    Such was its forthright deconstruction of Arsenal's lack of ambition, it made the prospect of Van Persie staying at the club all but unthinkable. Certainly there is absolutely no way he can captain the club again without Arsenal becoming a bit of a laughing stock. If they aren't already.

    Early Doors should point out it has no qualms about Van Persie's reasoning. If secretly this is about money, and a reported £220,000 per week that he can earn at Manchester City, who could blame him for leaving?

    In a

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  • AVB: coach or manager?


    Yesterday afternoon, in his column for this website, Paul Parker suggested four things AVB had to change about his management style.

    The first three were: stop crouching on the touchline; ditch the raincoat; smile.

    Unsurprisingly, these suggestions met with a wall of derision from users, incredulous that such superficialities could be considered the key to success.

    The thing is - Parker is right.

    One of the main reasons AVB failed at Chelsea is because his image stank.

    His surly demeanour and wild touchline gesticulations made him ripe for mockery - ED felt that AVB, sitting on his haunches

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  • Retail therapy

    Now the football is out of the way, it's finally time to focus on the summer's main event - the transfer market.

    Yesterday, this website booted up its transfer-loving cyborg, Eurobot, for two months of live chat.

    Well, not entirely about transfers. There's also stuff about Angela Merkel, famous Jimmys and, above all, whether or not Eurobot is actually a robot.

    The reason for all this extraneous guff is simple - there are not enough actual transfers to fill 10 hours of live chat every day.

    So the rest of the time has to be spent shooting the breeze or making up entirely ficticious rumours about

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  • There is no intrinsic beauty in football. Beauty comes from efficacy. A stepover is pointless unless it beats a man; a save irrelevant if a forward puts the rebound away.

    That is why people started to turn against Spain at Euro 2012. Their perfectly-honed tiki-taka, the key to European Championship and World Cup success, stopped creating goals.

    For long spells, it didn't even create chances. The players just passed the ball sideways for their own amusement, racking up record figures in every statistical category but the important one.

    So beguiled were the Spaniards by their own technique and

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  • With the European Championship coming to a finale tomorrow, it is time for Early Doors to look back at some of the stories you may have missed around the continent over the past three weeks.

    On Monday, you will be able to find out who scored the finest goal, who was in our best XI etc - but for now it's time for ED's legendary end-of-season/tournament awards, The Doorsies!

    Click on the links to re-live any of the EuroTrash you may have missed first time around.



    The women of Iran - who were banned from watching live public screenings of Euro 2012  games because of an

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