Paul Parker

  • No sense to timing of friendly

    Throughout the course of the season, managerial rows are ten
    a penny, so to see bosses united in agreement over something is rather special.

    That certainly seems to be the case concerning this week's round
    of international friendlies.

    After all, I can't imagine too many of them would disagree that
    England's game against Holland is a complete
    waste of time.

    It doesn't make any sense whatsoever to play such a
    meaningless game just three days before the start of the new Premier League

    Who sanctioned the game in Amsterdam? I really don't know, but I'm sure
    Fabio Capello will struggle to

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  • How will Terry react?

    Sunday's game against Arsenal will be John Terry's first back at the Bridge
    since the scandal that saw him lose the England captaincy and it will be
    interesting to see how the crowd reacts.

    Of course
    there will be those die-hard Chelsea fans who will sing his name throughout the
    game against Arsenal, but what about Chelsea's contingent of female fans?

    they be so quick to publically back him after the allegations that he cheated
    on his wife?

    If not, how
    will the player himself react?

    His off the field actions have already ensured
    the spotlight will be firmly focused on him and with even

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  • Let’s give referees a break

    There has been a lot of referee-bashing this week after Frank Lampard's red card against Liverpool.

    We give refs such a hard time it's amazing that anyone would ever want to do the job. But the four officials can make their lives a bit easier if they communicate.

    Referees are wearing microphones - unless they are just long sticks of Liquorice they should be using them to consult with their linesmen and the fourth official.

    Mike Riley made an honest decision based on what he thought he saw when he sent Lampard off. But it would only have taken a couple of seconds for one of the other officials

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  • King will make sure Rio isn’t missed

    Ferdinand's injury was hugely unfortunate but it did not come as a surprise,
    given his fitness problems over the course of the past season.

    Nor is it
    such bad news for England, given how those injury issues have affected his form
    this season. He simply has not been right and on current form he is probably
    not one of the two best central defenders in England.

    So, focus
    turns to the man to replace him in the England line-up.  And for me that
    man has to be Ledley King.

    King has
    been brilliant for Tottenham this season and instrumental in the break-up of
    the 'Big Four'
    and Spurs claiming a

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  • Expect thuggish approach from USA

    England have a reputation for playing in a physical manner, but
    the USA take that to a whole new level and Fabio Capello's side must be braced
    for a robust approach.

    The USA have always been an
    incredibly brutal side, and England are in for a fierce battle: the players
    must be ready to give and take a hefty amount of contact.

    One thing Bob Bradley's side will not care about is yellow cards,
    and you can expect a stack load of cautions if the US play in the way I
    anticipate that they will.

    It will be a question of how England deal with their opponents'
    uncompromising approach and it is no place

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  • Liverpool job not for Kenny

    Does Kenny Dalglish really want, or need, the Liverpool manager's job?

    Sometimes going back to a club where a manager has enjoyed success during a previous stint does not work out. Kevin Keegan at Newcastle is the obvious example that springs to mind.

    Dalglish was incredibly successful at Liverpool during the mid-to-late 1980s, winning the title three times and doing the Double in his first season as player manager.

    And considering what he achieved at the club during his playing days, he is rightly revered on the red part of Merseyside.

    Would he want to put all that at risk? I'm not sure he

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  • United-Leeds still a huge game

    Match of the weekend - Manchester United v Leeds United

    There may now be a couple of divisions between the two sides, but Manchester United and Leeds is still a massive match - and all the history and hatred traded between the two clubs will come to the surface at Old Trafford on Sunday.

    It is a match I have first-hand experience of and it really is a big fixture. I think a lot of the players, with the exception of maybe the local lads on each team, will not truly appreciate the magnitude of the fixture until they walk into the stadium.

    You have to respect what Leeds have done this season.

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  • Barry doubt could be blessing

    I think Fabio Capello should have picked as many of his first team against Japan as he possibly could. Of course they play together sporadically over the course of the season, but they now need to try and gel in the run-up to their campaign. At this stage, there is nothing to be gained by rewarding the fringe members of the provisional squad with a cap before they go home.

    The friendly would just be a waste of time if it was going to be played that way. Many of those players are sure to be involved in future squads and qualifying campaigns anyway.

    One player who will be missing the match in

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  • No need for United to panic

    Manchester United have not had their best season by any stretch of the
    imagination. Their handing over of the Premier League trophy to Chelsea tells
    the story perfectly.

    But it
    is premature to say that their failure to retain the
    title for a third time in succession signals
    the end of an era.

    It's true that United now have a number of players well into their 30s
    and that a certain amount of freshening up is needed over the summer months,
    but it is not the time
    for a complete overhaul of Alex Ferguson's squad.

    Certain areas do need to be addressed though, namely the right-back
    position, central

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  • Capello should name his 23 now

    Fabio Capello's aims from the England training camp in Austria will be to keep everybody fit and to develop the team's pattern of play and organisation.

    Avoiding injuries at this stage is a big consideration, and I imagine there will be only a bare minimum of physical contact stuff - it will mainly be shadow play and fitness work.

    It is also important to keep everybody happy and ensure there is a positive atmosphere in the squad.

    These players will be at close quarters with each other for the best part of two months, so it is vital everybody gets on and there are not splits in the camp.

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