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All Things Footie | Saturday, December 22 | Jordan

Disgraceful Is The Only Word

I'll get the controversy out of the way briefly as I'm sure you're all sick of hearing about it by now. I think it's not in doubt that Lee Bowyer and Jonathon Woodgate are guilty as sin of helping to beat the living daylights out of Safraz Najeib, and the only reason they aren't in prison is because they have a lot more money than Paul Clifford. I don't think that either of them should ever play for England (and so long as Sven Goran Eriksson is in charge I doubt they will), I don't think either would add much to the squad anyway.

I would also be interested to know if either of them (Woodgate in particular) will suffer any kind of censure from the FA. Thierry Henry is to get a three match ban and ‘have an example made of him’ by the FA for having a barney at a ref, not to mention a catalogue of players having the proverbial ton of bricks dropped on them for minor offences. Will either of the Leeds thugs get any kind of punishment from the body so afraid of being ‘brought into disrepute?’ I doubt it.

Return Of The Brat

A wry smile came to my face as I heard of Nicol-ah Anelka's arrival at Liverpool. One wonders whether anyone at Anfield have been paying any attention to the Frenchman's career…

His first manager as a high profile player couldn't have been a more amiable and respected man, a man who does everything to defend and protect his players in all circumstances. Winning the domestic double in his first year and with a first team place in the bag things couldn't have been looking better — London's hardly an unglamorous location either.

Despite this, he refuses to return to the club after the summer and throws a wobbly of petulant three year old proportions leading to (after a fall out with Lazio and Juventus officials) a move to Real Madrid. He had a fairly short spell at the Spanish club, marked mainly by poor performances, refusal to train with his team-mates (they're just not good enough to play with me!) and arguments with referee's and his manager(s). Then a ‘dream’ move to his boyhood club PSG (from whom Arsenal signed him as a precocious 17 year old). Same old, same old at PSG, arguments, refusal to train and fall out's with players and officials led to his (always helpful) brothers/agents requesting a move.

I don't care if he plays like Pelé (which he doesn't — by a long way) he's just the kind of person to steer clear of at all cost's, I thought Houllier had more sense. If Liverpool had paid any money for him I'd (confidently) proclaim it the worst signing since £10m Chris Sutton. I had to laugh when John Barnes offered this pearl of wisdom on football focus this morning;

‘If he's happy to be a bit part player there won't be any problem—but if he expects to play every week…’

Just a hint of irony?

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