Early Doors

  • Who do you believe?

    It's a straight choice as to who you want to believe - Alex Ferguson or Kia Joorabchian.

    The Manchester United boss claimed, following the striker's game-changing appearance off the bench in the 2-1 win at Wigan, that the club has offered Carlos Tevez (yes, him again) a permanent deal, a statement the player's people describe as "categorically untrue".

    The press are all over it, with The Sun asking "Deal or no deal?", the Daily Star heralding the dawn of the apocalyptic sounding "Tev War", while there are other more wordy leads in most of the other papers.

    It's not that often you get an

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  • Fergie an ungrateful guest

    There are few managers anywhere in football who have benefitted more from home advantage as much as Alex Ferguson.

    As surprisingly docile as the Old Trafford crowd can be, there is nothing like 75,000 screaming fans to influence a referee's decisions. Just ask Howard Webb.

    So you'd think that he would appreciate when visiting other clubs that not everything will always be exactly to his pleasing.

    Sadly, that's not the case. Being a knight of the realm, Ferguson sees it as his duty to look down his nose at the rest of the league and carry on like a disgruntled hotel guest complaining a lack

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  • Political own goal

    England
    launched their World Cup bid yesterday in uninspiring fashion.

    First of all, they couldn't
    seem to decide which tournament they want to host, hedging their bets with a
    logo proclaiming England's desire to see football come home in both 2018 and
    2022
    , which seems a little unrealistic.

    And what better way to woo the world than with a giant
    football
    ,
    some kids with flags painted on their faces
    and a Prime Minister with all the charisma of a cereal box?

    Gordon Brown was on the scene to chat with David Beckham and
    Wayne Rooney amid much forced joviality
    ,
    although goodness only knows what

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  • Where’s the football?

    Early Doors cannot wait for the football season to start.

    It came to this realisation when it opened this morning's Sun and found it had devoted almost an entire
    page to a story about Sven-Goran Eriksson, based around the premise that there is a
    Hooters in Nottingham.

    You see, Hooters is a bar-slash-restaurant where customers are
    served by buxom 'beauties' in skimpy tops, and Notts County newcomer Sven is famous for putting it
    about. And the rest writes itself.

    "A perfect match. The adding of a Sven Screwdriver or
    Eriksson's Sex on the Beach to the
    cocktail menu is surely only a matter of days

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  • United: Europe’s Spurs

    Sighs of
    relief all round at Old Trafford, then. For a minute it looked like Manchester
    United might not be able to field a full team next season, and would have to recruit
    some 13-year-old ringers from the local park.

    But now
    they have splashed £16 million on Antonio Valencia (pictured). Who cares whether he is the
    right player? He's a player. And
    given the summer they have had so far, United will be grateful to get anybody
    on board.

    It is the
    kind of signing that must make Arsene Wenger pound his fists in that ineffective way of his. The Arsenal boss and his scouts
    comb the world for

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  • The property boom

    A report yesterday said the housing crash was even worse
    than thought - with prices falling 12.2 per cent this year and 4.6 per cent
    next.

    Almost simultaneously came yet more evidence that footballers
    live, to use parlance Jamie Redknapp might understand, in a different stratosphere.

    The Sun claims that Emmanuel Adebayor has bought Cristiano
    Ronaldo's home in Cheshire's home of the stars, Alderley Edge, where the
    streets are literally paved with gold.

    The local housing market has been blown sky high by the
    arrival of Manchester
    City's new army of recruits, many of whom were in the
    running

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  • One angry man

    Alex Ferguson kept up his campaign to become poster boy for the Respect campaign following Manchester United's 1-0 defeat at Chelsea.

    A month after questioning Alan Wiley's physical fitness, a criticism which landed Fergie with an FA charge, he could be in hot water again for his rant against official Martin Atkinson's performance at Stamford Bridge.

    After United had been the better side for 75 minutes, Darren Fletcher was harshly penalised for a foul and Chelsea scored from the resulting free-kick. Ferguson also took issue with the fact that Wes Brown was on his backside as the ball came in,

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  • Video nasty goes global

    The world has seen the ugly side of women's football now that video footage of Elizabeth Lambert's savage display has become an online sensation.

    The violent femme's performance certainly puts the furore surrounding Liverpool striker David Ngog's dive into perspective. To paraphrase Spinal Tap's David St Hubbins, perhaps too much perspective.

    Lambert has been suspended indefinitely by New Mexico University's team, the Lobos, after she brutally kicked, punched and pulled hair during the 1-0 defeat to Brigham Young University in the Mountain West Conference semi-final last week.

    Early Doors

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  • ‘Arry backs New Firm

    Spurs manager Harry Redknapp is no stranger to money-spinning ideas that get people's backs up, and he has waded into that most interminable of debates: should Celtic and Rangers join the Premier League.

    Bolton chief Phil Gartside's ridiculous plan to add the Old Firm to a new two-tiered top flight has been endorsed by David Moyes and Martin O'Neill, but Redknapp is the first boss with no links to the Scottish game to come out and support the idea.

    Redknapp, aiming to endear himself to fans north of the border by name-checking an obscure 1990s Scottish sketch show, said: "Absolutely, I would

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