Early Doors

  • Flap or foul?

    With Hull City's relegation now sealed, the focus is now fully on events in the top half of the table, and Arsenal did their best to keep things interesting with their 2-1 defeat at Blackburn Rovers.

    That result means that there is now the tantalising prospect of Tottenham pipping them to third place if they win their last two games and the Gunners lose to Fulham on the final day.

    The likelihood of that happening will surely increase if Manuel Almunia doesn't make it back for Sunday's match at the Emirates, leaving Lukasz Fabianski in the Arsenal goal once again.

    Fabianski was constantly

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  • Fulham’s fight for Euro justice

    So, it was a bad night for the Reds as their gaffe-strewn campaign took another major hit at the final hurdle before the big day, while the previously unfancied and unfashionable side marched on. There, that's the obligatory and slightly inaccurate leaders' debate reference out of the way.

    In other news, Liverpool's hopes of Europa League glory were shattered by Diego Forlan's away goal in extra time, while Fulham came from behind to beat Hamburg and reach their first ever European final.

    It's no less than either side deserve. For Fulham, it's the culmination of a nomadic 18-match run that has

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  • The Doorsie Awards!

    As another Premier League season comes to an end, it's time for Early Doors to rack its brains and dig out some highlights for the third annual Doorsie awards!

    And without further ado, let's hand out the gongs:

    Love Rat of the Season

    John Terry - The former England captain's dalliance with Wayne Bridge's ex, Vanessa Perroncel, somehow dominated the front pages for one bizarre week in February. Media condemnation was extra vicious due to Terry's failed gagging 'super-injunction' and the sorry mess led to the single greatest moment of the season - Bridge's handshake snub when Chelsea played

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  • Bell tolls for City

    What better way to spice up an already vindaloo-hot
    clash than accusing your opponents of dirty tactics in the transfer market on
    the eve of the game?

    Tonight's Champions League decider between
    Manchester City and Tottenham needed little added hype, such are the implications
    of the outcome, yet Harry Redknapp's blast at City's 'bullying' of his club
    over the signing of Craig Bellamy has ensured there will be fireworks at

    It's certainly an interesting accusation, the
    legal repercussions of which Redknapp himself is not even sure of.

    "It's not reasonable, but they can do
    it, can't

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  • Romeo Triesman comes unstuck

    Oh come on, get off your high horse.

    Who hasn't told a few tall tales to impress a potential conquest on that all-important third date?

    That time you climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for scurvy-afflicted goats? Never happened, did it?

    Your Masters in chemical engineering? Neglected to mention you dropped out after four weeks, didn't you?

    And what about the claim that you once fronted 'the best new band in Britain'? The half a dozen blokes you played to in the student bar that one time might beg to differ.

    But embellishment, exaggeration and outright lies are standard fare in the game

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  • Football’s worst-paid players

    Football has changed since Jimmy Hill campaigned successfully for the abolition of the maximum wage (£20 a week) in 1961.

    Or at least, footballers' bank balances have. The average salary for a Premier League player has increased by a factor of around 1,000, making millionaires of even the most limited players (Early Doors is looking at you, Dean Whitehead).

    In truth, ED doesn't have a problem with footballers earning a lot of money. Lots of people are prepared to pay handsomely to watch games, and ED would rather the cash went to the players than the suits.

    Are £100,000-a-week wages any more

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  • Forget Jose, Olly’s the real special one

    A truly special manager lifted a hard earned and highly lucrative trophy on Saturday - and it wasn't that arrogant Portuguese bloke.

    Ian Holloway led his Blackpool team into the Premier League against the odds after they battled past Cardiff in the Championship play-off final, and seeing the Barmy Bristolian lap up his moment at Wembley couldn't help but raise a smile to the normally stony face of Early Doors.

    By contrast, seeing Jose Mourinho celebrate winning the Champions League after Internazionale had beaten Bayern Munich left ED a little cold inside.

    Holloway's rag tag bunch of loanees,

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  • Barry’s ankle is the new metatarsal

    Forget about metatarsals - this summer it's all about ankles. Gareth Barry's ankle to be precise.

    We were supposed to find out if the Manchester City midfielder would be fit to travel to South Africa by today but, with a medical assessment neither ruling him out nor deeming him fully recovered, Fabio Capello will wait until the last possible moment to make a decision over his inclusion.

    The state of Barry's ankle is the England injury saga that has become a prerequisite before any major tournament. It may not quite have the headline appeal of the metatarsal scares of the likes of David

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