Ancelotti: “He is always well motivated and works hard at his game at all times. Because of this I am sure that Salomon will become an even more important player for Chelsea in the future.”
I’m glad he’s staying.
I reproduce this without comment. It was published in BBC Football’s Gossip Column on Saturday.
Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has revealed he would love to coach Roma one day. “I would love to return to Roma,” Ancelotti told Sportmediaset.it. “It would be the only Italian club I would go to.” The 50-year-old, who spent eight years as a player for the Giallorossi, also said he would consider the Italy job after the World Cup, if he was offered it.
“The first thing is the stadiums. Here in England they’re attractive, comfortable, suited to the show. In Italy, they’re not. And then there’s the fans, who here go to a game to be entertained and not to get angry with the referee or the opponents. Here there’s more of a sporting culture.”
Lampard has developed into one of the most accomplished midfielders of his era, the kind of skilful, committed and productive professional the finest players of any earlier generation would have appreciated as a teammate. All of that has long been undeniable. Yet, though demonstrations of his extreme value to both Chelsea and England have been powerful and consistent, it seems to me there is still sometimes a whiff of reluctance about acknowledging just how remarkable what he brings to the game really is. But perhaps when some people’s attitude towards him is less enthusiastic than mine (which, admittedly, wouldn’t be difficult) the source is basic aversion to his persona rather than a residual scepticism towards his abilities. Only a fondness for baiting him could explain the continuing eagerness of two or three journalists to toss the hoary “fat Frank” insult at a man whose level of fitness leaves all but a handful of his competitors embarrassed by his profitable mobility.
While we’re on the subject, England’s debacle in Ukraine. Caspar Llewellyn Smith writes in the Observer about the experience of watching the match online.
Settling down to watch any match, not in the pub, nor even in the sitting room, but in a study at home, perched on a stool over our computer, might yet take some getting used to. With kick-off looming, there was that familiar tingle of anxiety, but for once this had nothing to do with how England might perform – the team has already qualified for the finals in South Africa next summer. Rather, it related to the question of whether, as experts feared, the internet would go into meltdown when coverage started.
The actual number of pay-per-view “buys”, from £4.99 to £11.99, can be estimated at 250,000‑300,000 … If Sky had shown the game, it might have expected around two million viewers and had it been broadcast on ITV, the audience would probably have peaked at around seven million.
It doesn’t take long for the first glaring difference between this and the average top-level football-watching experience to become clear. For a start, people who want to buy a ticket are able to. Just like that. They don’t even have to queue. All the best seats have not already been sold to corporate sponsors. You were not required to book during a two-week application window last November. You do not need to have registered for the platinum membership scheme before the age of 12. It’s a glorious throwback to the days before football was popular.
Lists, lists, lists. I love me some lists.
I was wrong. Andriy Shevchenko is listed as the eighth worst striker to have played in the Premier League by the Daily Mail. Numbers 20-11. See last week’s Shorts for numbers 50-21.
Following on from Football’s Rich List, the Daily Telegraph lists the top ten British earners in sport. Frank Lampard and John Terry are at numbers three and five respectively. I was surprised to see Andrew Flintoff at number ten.
Brian Clough’s reign at Leeds United may have been short, but it was eventful enough to spawn a book and film in its wake. Taking one of his first training sessions, Clough told the Championship winning Leeds players: “You can all throw your medals in the bin because they were not won fairly.” Not the politest of introductions.
Known as ‘Psycho’, Stuart Pearce now busies himself terrifying England’s under-21s. He earned his nickname during his playing days for his no-nonsense style on the pitch and his propensity to let his feelings be known with some venom. To relax in his spare time, Pearce is known to listen to punk music.
So does Pat Nevin.
The details of the test are myriad but the most important points forbid anyone with unspent criminal convictions relating to acts of dishonesty or someone who has taken a football club in to administration twice from taking charge of a football club.
It’s one of my favourite football songs. I’ve also got a soft spot for Three Lions by Baddiel, Skinner and the Lightning Seeds, and Vindaloo by Fat Les. What are your favourites?