David Beckham receives his 108th cap for England. That equals Bobby Moore’s record as an outfielder with the most caps for England. The LA Galaxy stroke AC Milan star looks set to beat Moore and move second in the all time list behind England goalkeeper, Peter Shilton, who got 125. Surely, Beckham can’t play for England a further 18 times to beat that!
Some of the powerhouses of international football scored impressive victories over tough opposition. Spain, Champions of Europe, continued their impressive form with a 2-0 victory over England and a lesson in passing football. Admittedly, England were without some of their bigger names like Rooney and Gerrard, but this was still a comprehensive victory. Argentina beat France in France with another 2-0 victory. Maradona is now two from two in charge. Messi and Guitierrez found the net in a competitive and feisty game. South American neighbours, Brazil also won, with yet another 2-0 victory. They beat World Champions Italy with goals from Manchester City duo, Elano and Robinho. They were all friendlies, but it will do Spain, Argentina and Brazil no harm to have put in such impressive performances against difficult opposition.
Felipe Scolari and Tony Adams are unceremoniously booted out of their positions as coaches of Chelsea and Portsmouth respectively. While it is difficult for me as a Spurs fan to have any sympathy for anything to do with London rivals Chelsea or former Arsenal captain Tony Adams it seems to me that short termism has won out yet again. In the same week that the Premier League announced another record TV deal, ensuring even more riches for their club,s it seems that teams want immediate success with little or no time for managers to get across their message. Scolari was in charge at Chelsea for 7 months while Adams was at Portsmouth for only five.
The falling pound denies Manchester United another Championship. This time it is bragging rights to being the richest club in the world. It would have been different if the pound had not dropped dramatically in value against the Euro. The richest football club remains Real Madrid who top the table and are valued at $365 million. Manchester United are the English Champions, The European Club Champions, and the World Club Champions, but not the champions in the rich list. In 3rd, 4th and 5th are Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Chelsea.
Some of the news coming out of the Chelsea camp that ‘senior’ players were not happy with Scolari as manager and that the dressing room was divided. It’s like rats leaving a sinking ship! The German international Michael Ballack’s comments about the Chelsea former coach were especially disappointing, calling him the weakest link. Well Michael, you’re hardly setting the Premier League on fire and it’s not because of Scolari’s training methods, you’ve been poor for a long time. It’s always ugly to see players bad-mouthing departing coaches.
Manchester City and Wales forward Craig Bellamy was involved in two incidents with fans over the past few days. First up he had to be led away from the Middlesbrough supporters after reacting to their taunts – resulting in him getting a yellow card and then after last night’s friendly for Wales against Poland he had to be led away again from a fan after he reacted to some more abuse. Bellamy asked why these incidents always happen to him. Why indeed Craig, why indeed?