Early Doors

  • Someone needs their head checked

    Sometimes the actions of figures at the top of football are enough to leave you utterly baffled, questioning the very logic and intelligence of their actions.

    Many a club chairman who has made their billions operating shrewdly and ruthlessly in the world of international commerce will make an expensive gaffe that everyone else saw coming a mile off. Those in the corridors of power, some of whom may be knights of the realm or even lords, can be incapable of the most rudimentary elements of competent administration. Broadcasters will habitually hire pundits so monotonous and inept that you

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  • Hold fire on Gunners and Wenger

    There's nothing the media love more at this lazy stage of the summer, when wishy-washy transfer stories are the order of the day, than a good old crisis. Thankfully, the newspapers were able to latch onto Thursday's developments at Arsenal, where a pivotal summer for the club and Arsene Wenger became a touch more vital due to what is inevitably being described as an imminent 'exodus'.

    Leading the growing ranks of the restless to the Promised Land away from Emirates Stadium is, of course, Cesc Fabregas, and an inauspicious start to Thursday was ensured by reports in the press that a £35 million

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  • Boys from Brazil outdone by Marta

    It was all so typically Brazilian. Two stepovers, a swerve away from an opposition defender and a clinical finish into the bottom corner. But this spectacle did not occur in La Plata as Brazil took on Venezuela in the Copa America. Instead it came 7,000 miles away in Wolfsburg.

    Because while Robinho, Neymar, Pato et all were were labouring to a sterile 0-0 draw, Brazil's women's side looked like far more legitimate purveyors and protectors of what Pele called 'The Beautiful Game' when enjoying an impressive 3-0 win over Norway in the World Cup.

    Richard Keys look away now: Sunday was very much

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  • City can’t afford to let Tevez go

    Carlos Tevez has again stated his desire to leave Manchester City, having previously announced he wanted to leave last December.

    As the Mancunian gloom merchant Morrissey might put it - stop Early Doors if you've heard this one before. Nothing's changed, he still loves City, only slightly less than he used to.

    However, this time he is citing very different reasons for why he wants to turn his back on Eastlands.

    At the back end of last year, the Argentine striker claimed that his relationship with the City hierarchy was "beyond repair", stating: "My relationship with certain executives and

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  • Coentrao deal shows new reality

    Two seasons ago, Pep Guardiola, not a man prone to hyperbole, described the points tallies amassed by Barcelona and Real Madrid and the widening gulf they created from the rest of La Liga as "f*****g barbaric", and last season had a similar feel to it as both clubs surpassed 90 points again. Events so far this summer have indicated this duopoly will remain.

    But Madrid's capture of Fabio Coentrao on Tuesday begs another question: do Barcelona and Real Madrid also belong in a distinct class of their own in a European-wide context.

    At 30 million euros the Portugal international is the second

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  • United move would be a betrayal

    "One thing's for sure: we're not selling him to Manchester United." - Arsene Wenger, June 1.

    If reports on Thursday morning are to be believed, this bold statement from the Arsenal manager will be well and truly tested when Samir Nasri returns to the club on Thursday, strolls into Wenger's office and demands a move to Old Trafford.

    For some time there has been a rather large credibility gap in Wenger's public statements - his constant refrain that his team had a "remarkable attitude" as they threw away their season springs to mind - but having established so forcefully the notion that he would

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  • Football kept NOTW in business

    "COLE LOT OF LOVE: Birthday pic proves Cheryl and Ash are back together"

    "CROUCH'S UNABBEY FAMILIES: Separate tables at big bash"

    "CARROLL POSH FAMILY HOL ENDS IN BRAWL: Boozy brother Andy gave me a black why eye"

    These are just three headlines taken from last Sunday's News of the World, on pages one, three and 17 respectively. Goodness knows what they will be printing this Sunday when the final edition of the 168-year-old rag hits the newsstands.

    While a few players may be sweating on what the tabloid has got on them which it has been saving for the rainy day that has finally come, the

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  • Modric exit feels inevitable

    "If somebody comes to the club and the offer is good for me and acceptable to them, then I want to leave. I want to leave Tottenham as friends. I have enjoyed my time there, but now it is right for me to look at another club... I won't ask for a transfer, no. That would be disrespectful. I hope they can reach an agreement that is satisfactory for everyone."

    So said Luka Modric when he revealed his desire to leave Tottenham for Chelsea three weeks ago. It was all very even-handed and reasonable. Having had a first taste of the latter stages of the Champions League last season, the 25-year-old

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  • Losing Essien a big blow for Blues

    In a league that, above any other at the elite level, values physical qualities over technical excellence, there are few more thrilling sights than seeing Michael Essien dominate a game, flying around at full pelt and leaving opponents cowering in his wake.

    Sadly for the Premier League, Monday's news that he has sustained another serious knee injury may cast a long shadow over the career of one of English football's finest midfielders.

    After Essien suffered substantial swelling having landed awkwardly in training last week, the club's worst fears were realised when it was confirmed he will be

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  • Heroic Guinea left pig-sick

    This is the first and probably the only time Early Doors will ever talk about Equatorial Guinea.

    So
    indulge ED as it pays tribute to their female footballers, who nearly pulled
    off one of the greatest upsets in sporting history against Norway at the World
    Cup yesterday.

    The Equatoguineans had a tricky build-up to their World Cup
    debut. On the eve of the tournament, they dropped two players - 'sisters' Salimata
    and Bilguisa Simpore - following complaints from Nigeria, Ghana and South
    Africa that the pair were actually men.

    Then on Tuesday, striker Jade Boho was banned because she is
    Spanish,

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