Early Doors

  • Twelve Doors of Christmas: August

    Early Doors takes a nostalgic and sherry-fuelled look back at the year's big stories through the medium of recycled posts. ED returns on January 4. 

    August 10: Chelsea beat Manchester United in the Community Shield

    ED's take: Alex Ferguson's face is the football season's equivalent of a pregnancy test; the moment it turns purple, you know it's game on and there is no turning back.

    Who will be holding the little bundle of joy that is the Premier League trophy in nine months' time? The game offered few clues. But the Community Shield fulfilled its brief as a super-size friendly admirably, even

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  • Twelve Doors of Christmas: January

    Early Doors takes a nostalgic and sherry-fuelled look back at the year's big stories through the medium of recycled posts. ED returns on January 4. 

    January 2: Shay Given announces he wants out of Newcastle because they are so rubbish

    ED's take: The following is an announcement on behalf of the Early Doors dogs' home:

    'Shay used to be a happy, bouncy puppy, full of energy and life. A family in Newcastle bought him and he loved nothing more than to leap around on the grass, catching balls in his mouth and chasing after referees.

    But then Shay's owners started to mistreat him. They told him they

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  • Twelve Doors of Christmas: February

    Early Doors takes a nostalgic and sherry-fuelled look back at the year's big stories through the medium of recycled posts. ED returns on January 4.

    February 2: Snow disrupts transfer deadline day and makes ED late.

    ED's take: If you were logged on and expecting to see this blog at its usual 'early' time, then you obviously live above your place of work or the concept of a job is a distant memory or an abstract concept to you.

    ED had to use an old pair of winklepickers to plough its way through the snow, and it's not the only one who has been well and truly stymied by the weather.

    While the

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  • Twelve Doors of Christmas: June

    Early Doors takes a nostalgic and sherry-fuelled look back at the year's big stories through the medium of recycled posts. ED returns on January 4.

    June 10: A tube strike threatens England v Andorra

    ED's take: Thank goodness for RMT chief Bob Crow and his striking tube drivers. If not for them, there would be nothing to talk about ahead of tonight's England game against Andorra.

    Wembley could be half-empty for the Pyreneans' visit, but ED would suggest that has less to do with the tube strike than the fact that the FA are charging people £30 to watch a country with the same population as

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  • The right move for United?

    Ever since
    the yellow bar started scrolling across the bottom of the TV screen yesterday,
    Early Doors has been torn.

    Half of it
    thinks Manchester United are mad to sell Cristiano Ronaldo, while the rest of it thinks they have done a brilliant piece of business.

    Unable to
    resolve its internal conflicts, ED's
    brain has split into two separate entities, a bit like the 118 blokes.

    The
    analytical left side of the brain
    thinks that it is rarely a good idea for a football team to sell their best
    player, while the creative right side thinks Ronaldo is an idiot.

    ED put the
    two hemispheres in a room,

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  • Good news, Gerrard’s injured!

    Take that, cynics!

    Liverpool fans can walk tall this afternoon after it was proven Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres's injuries were actually genuine.

    We know this because both players have been ruled out of tomorrow's trip to Sunderland; a situation Rafa Benitez has not faced in a Premier League game since the season before last.

    Accusations of shady goings-on flew when the pair were pulled out of their meaningless midweek World Cup qualifiers. But the club can take a perverse sense of satisfaction in the withdrawal of Gerrard and Torres from Saturday's game.

    The downside, of course, is

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  • Divers for the high jump

    Guess which newspaper is leading the moral outrage in the wake of the diving furore nobody is calling 'Ngog-gate'? Why, the Mail of course.

    The last line of defence between us and a metric Eurocrat hell loves a good campaign, and this morning they have issued a clear warning to the nasty Johnny Foreigners of the Premier League who have brought the scourge of simulation to our game, as well as their 50 per cent tax rates - but we won't talk about that just now.

    'DIVERS BEWARE!' screams the back page, along with the news that the FA are now considering introducing retrospective punishments for

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  • The other Tom Cruise

    You'll notice this blog post is essentially a list of
    names. Inspired by Arsenal-left-back-cum-scary-Hollywood A-lister Tom Cruise,
    here are some more footballers who share their name with famous people.

    Michael
    Jackson
    (Former Preston, Tranmere and Blackpool
    defender / Dead singer)

    Paul Weller
    (Retired ex-Burnley midfielder / Modfather)

    James Brown
    (Hartlepool striker / Godfather of soul)

    Robbie
    Williams
    (Huddersfield left-back / hyperactive
    'entertainer')

    Jimmy
    Carter
    (Former Liverpool and Arsenal winger / US President)

    Chris
    Morris
    (Former Irish international / Day Today/BrassEye creator)

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  • Mersey beat-down

    A bad week for Merseyside has got worse after Everton had their plans for a new stadium turned down by the government.

    On top of losing 3-2 at Hull, despite Kamil Zayatte's best efforts, the Toffees were told that their proposal for a 50,000-seater ground in Kirkby has been refused because it would breach local retail competition policy.

    Everton's plans to have a 15,000 square metre Tesco megastore as part of the site, and communities secretary John Denham believes that will severely damage local businesses.

    The news may come as a relief to some Everton fan, especially those who remember the

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