Here’s a worrying thought. Fabio Capello earns in a week what David Brailsford earns in a year. Brailsford’s name might not be familiar to you but the exploits of his charges will be. For Brailsford is the Performance Director of British cycling and is the man credited with delivering 14 medals from the velodrome in Beijing. True, he’s been in the post a lot longer than the Italian but you get the impression that if he’d walked in to England team training the day before the game against the Czech Republic, Brailsford would have got more out of the national team than Capello managed. Brailsford doesn’t do losers, plucky finalists or also rans. He does winners.' Capello and his management team could do a lot worse than spending a bit of time with Brailsford getting to know his methods. After that shocker at Wembley, it certainly couldn’t do any harm.
GB United 2012
Having been in Beijing to witness first hand the football tournament at the Olympics, I am more convinced than ever that Great Britain must enter a team for the Games of 2012. The final between Argentina and Nigeria was played out in front of a 90,000 packed house at the Birds Nest as Messi, Riquelme and Co beat the African’s 1 – 0 to take the gold medal. Even if BOA officials agree to only form a team for 2012 and never again, it has to do so, whatever the objections of the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish. Fifa say it isn’t a problem and national identities won’t be eroded, the government is keen (or at least, haven’t found a way of cocking it up yet) and with fervent home support, the team should be competitive. Even if it turns out to be a purely English side under a GB banner that will be better than nothing. We invented the game for goodness sake so let’s play on the biggest stage of all.
China may be full of 1.3 billion people who are constantly reminded that we in the West are a bunch of opportunistic capitalist pigs, but the locals that packed in to the Wukesong Culture and Sports Centre didn’t seem too concerned about that when they turned out in their thousands for the basketball final between the USA and Spain. And, you’d have thought that the likes of Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, not to mention Pau Gasol of Spain would have been the big draws. Well, they were until an image of ‘our David’ was flashed up on the giant screen. In an instant 200 photographers forgot about the match and the 16,000 strong crowd followed them as everyone tried to work out where Beckham was sitting in the stadium. As it happened, he was located just behind the best looking woman in the joint who was soon under the Beck’s spell as he offered her a breath mint. He may be in the winter of his career on the field, but off it, the boy’s still got it. And in spades.
Double Dealing Daniel
His star striker has thrown a wobbly and his side has been beaten in their opening two Premier League games by, wait for it, Boro and Sunderland. No wonder Spurs Chairman Daniel Levy looks about as happy as a primary school teacher who’s just seen one of the kids take a tinkle in the Lego box.' And some would say serve him right. It’s all well and good having a bash at Manchester United for their pursuit of Dimitar Berbatov who’s “under contract” when, barely 12 months earlier, you’ve flown off to Spain and signed up a manager who was' “under contract” to someone else. What goes round comes round. Ramos to vamos anyone?