Early Doors

  • Coke bust-up

    Nigel Reo-Coker has been sent home from training after a row with Martin O'Neill that was either, according to which account you believe, a purely verbal spat or something slightly more physical.

    The ubiquitous training ground bust-up has reared its ugly head at most clubs at some point in time (think of them as a bit like Christian Vieri) and there can be few clubs out there which have not seen tempers boil as frustration spills over into an angry word or even violence.

    But most take place behind closed doors and only a small minority end up getting reported. Here is a small selection of

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  • Hodgson priorities make sense

    The tournament formerly known as the UEFA Cup kicks off in
    earnest tonight and excitement across the continent is palpable.

    While the presence of teams such as Debrecen, APOEL Nicosia and Unirea Urziceni
    may lend a feel of the newly branded Europa League to this season's Champions
    League, tonight sees the start of the real thing.

    This is the genuine article, with the likes of Hapoel Tel
    Aviv, Politehnica Timisoara and Sheriff Tiraspol all in action, each one hoping
    to win through to a round of 32 by mid-December, when they will be joined by
    eight Champions League dropouts in time for the

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  • Counting your chickens

    Considering they invented the word 'schadenfreude', you'd think the Germans would be a bit more wary about setting themselves up for a fall.

    However, that's exactly what they have done by booking their base in South Africa for next year's World Cup finals even though they are yet to confirm their qualification.

    The way things stand in Group Four, with Germany top of the group with Russia one point behind, means they are odds on for a play-off spot at the very least, but this pre-emptive move is asking for trouble.

    To make matters even more interesting, the website for the five star Velmore

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  • Eurosport-Yahoo! football podcast

    This week's Eurosport-Yahoo! football podcast is now online.

    Listen to it here!

    The end.






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  • Fergie hates (most) diving

    He might have given Cristiano Ronaldo gainful
    employment for six seasons, but make no mistake; Sir Alex Ferguson hates

    stand it.

    what he's all in favour of the
    two-match ban slapped on Eduardo for his tumble against Celtic.

    "It was a high profile game and something has to be done," said Ferguson of the pre-Champions
    League play-off whose result had already been all but decided.

    "(In a big game) it creates an incredible reaction from the media and
    public in these instances."

    As much of a reaction as this doozy from Cristiano Ronaldo last season -
    coincidentally against

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  • Confusion reigns over Lescott

    Just a short Last Orders today; ED is too busy fashioning a
    statue of Stuart Broad out of milk cartons and tin foil.

    This morning saw a flurry of conflicting stories surrounding
    Manchester City's
    ongoing attempt to buy Joleon Lescott (pictured, definitely not doing a Barry Ferguson) from Everton.

    David Moyes left the England defender out of his side to
    play Sigma Olomouc as a punishment for getting the hump over Everton's refusal to accept his transfer request.

    Everybody assumed this was the end for Lescott, who has
    started the season getting cheered to the rafters by Everton fans, and was

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  • Novelty record?

    David Beckham is in line to earn his 108th England appearance tonight in Seville.

    However, while Fabio Capello has been happy to say that that the former England captain more than deserves his place in the squad, he is not guaranteeing that he will hand him a cap that will equal Bobby Moore's record for an outfield player.

    It could be said that Becks will reach the milestone via the back door somewhat by chalking up plenty of those caps from cameo roles off the bench. And that's exactly what ED is saying.

    While there is no doubting the achievement of the man who single-handedly brought the

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  • How transfers should work

    ***STOP PRESS*** About 15 minutes after this was published, it emerged that Lescott has been dropped for the Sigma Olomouc game. The point remains, though: transfers need sorting.

    - - -

    Joleon Lescott's move from Everton to Manchester Cityapproaches with a weary inevitability.

    The Toffees have today refused to comment on reports the Englanddefender did not train with the first-team squad ahead of the UEFA Cup gameagainst Sigma Olomouc.

    Rather than simply keeping schtum, an Everton spokesmansaid: "We will not bemaking any comment on this," thereby commenting and suggesting that thistransfer

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  • Footballers who don’t like football

    Sometimes, you just feel like jacking it all in, don't you?

    You feel like you're going nowhere, your boss is on your back, the thousands of people who watch you work won't stop giving you abuse...

    All right, so that last one only really applies to professional sportsmen, who by and large can handle it, but even they sometimes have bad days at the office and consider leaving the game behind for a trip down the Job Centre.

    One young footballer who has actually taken the brave step of getting out of the game is Ipswich goalkeeper Shane Supple, who today called time on his five-year career.


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