Knife through butter, Newcastle through managers, Fabio Capello through superstars……
And we’ve got Andy Kay through the smoke and mirrors of football. The OhKay! Column.
It Is Fabio’s England
Say what you like about Fabio Capello but the new England coach is certainly laying down a marker ahead of his opening game in charge, the friendly against Switzerland on Wednesday. David Beckham has been left high and dry on 99 caps, omitted from the squad as, according to the Italian, he’s not match fit. Despite all his efforts at the Arsenal training ground, Beckham can have few complaints. He’s not playing regularly and therefore hasn’t got the nod. Meanwhile, apart from a brief ‘how do you do’ at a recent Premier League match, England captain John Terry hasn’t been contacted at all by Capello who’s also banned him from attending a new kit launch as he doesn’t want any injured players around. One thing is clear, even at this early stage of his reign – Capello is going to do things his way and that’s a whole lot different from the ‘touchy, feely’ world of his predecessor. Isn’t that right JT?
Benjani Should Have Been Put in a Taxi
The January transfer window provided its fair share of deadline day stories but I’d love someone to explain to me the enormous cock up regarding Benjani’s move from Portsmouth to Manchester City. Notwithstanding the City board’s apparent last minute reluctance to finalise the deal, aren’t Portsmouth the guilty party here? Put it this way, if you had an asset worth £7.6 million, wouldn’t you take care of it, constantly checking its whereabouts and safety. The moment Benjani missed the 3.15pm flight from London, he should have been stuck in the back of a car, and personally escorted to City’s training ground to undergo his medical and sign the relevant forms. The cab may have come in at £200 but that would still leave Portsmouth £7,599,800. Which is slightly more than they’ve got at the moment having splashed out £9 million on Jermain Defoe to replace, er, Benjani.
Alan Wiley’s Worst Performance
Referee Alan Wiley has put his hat in to the ring for the worst performance of the season. His efforts, along with those of his assistants at the Blackburn v Everton game were too awful for words. But let’s have a go shall we? Blackburn might have had a penalty for a foul on Benni McCarthy but Everton were denied a stonewall spot kick when Andy Johnson was upended by Zurab Khizanishvili. Even stranger was how Wiley let David Dunn stay on the pitch in the first half. Already on a yellow card for a reckless challenge, Dunn was pinged by Wiley for a blatant and deliberate hand ball. The result – a free kick and nothing else. Ridiculous. He should have been taking an early bath, no question. A case of Dunn and dusted to everyone in the stadium apart from the man in black. And then, five minutes before the end, there was the small matter of Everton’s disallowed goal, apparently for offside. The question of active and inactive players has baffled many a football mind, but in this case it clearly got the better of the officials. The only time Johnson touched the ball was in the act of scoring from an onside position. James Vaughan was the only other Everton player to come in to contact with the ball in the Rovers half so when, pray tell, was Johnson actively offside? Answers on a post card please to Ref’s assessor Keith Hackett at the ridiculously named Professional Game Match Officials Board.
It’s been a few days but I’m still struggling to come to terms with the appointment of Dennis Wise at Newcastle United. What is it again? Executive Director (Football). You can’t argue with Mike Ashley’s business acumen. Anyone who’s a multi millionaire before reaching 40 is obviously doing something right in life. But Executive Director (Football). What’s next? Managing Director (Kit & Studs), Group Chairman (Half Time Oranges) or even Chief Operating Officer (Mascots).
This column was brought to you by Andy Kay, Senior Controller (Words).