Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Old-Man Fergie Paying Price for Becks Bust-Up

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Old-Man Fergie Paying Price for Becks Bust-Up

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID MELLOR

Oliver's barmy and a cry-baby

KEEN students of history will know the English once got involved in the War of Jenkins's Ear, so why shouldn't the Germans have a War of Goalkeepers' Mouths?

Standard Sport's version of Rudi Voller's message to Jens Lehmann -"for you the war of words is over" - gave us all a laugh but a serious question does need to be asked.

Hasn't Voller got better things to do than fly over to make peace between the Arsenal goalkeeper and his Bayern rival, thus giving the story even more legs?

Oliver Kahn is so up himself it hurts, so he getting his comeuppance has given innocent pleasure to millions, and not just in Germany.

Voller should tell Kahn to stop being a cry-baby and leave him to fight his own battles.

* I CAN'T believe they're thinking of breath tests for England fans outside Euro 2004 games. As a catalyst for trouble, this is a world-beater.

Think about it; the delays, the confusion, the anger of people excluded from a match they've paid to see.

And the basic principle is flawed, too.

A lot of people watch football who are over the limit for driving but that doesn't make them either drunk or likely to behave badly.

Dead drunk yobs are easy to spot without a breath test. My advice to the Portuguese police is: Keep It Simple. You'll regret it if you don't.

Claude lacks silver lining

WHEN Ken Bates first set eyes on the diminutive Claude Makelele, he roared with delight: "Christ, is that all you get for [pounds sterling]15million?"

Well, as they say, many a true word spoken in jest. Makelele (left) hasn't been a flop but he's a serious disappointment, not least because of his pathetic whinges in the French press about being exhausted.

This is a man who portrayed himself at the time of his transfer as utterly tireless, a master tackler who was the battery on which the Real Madrid team was run.

The reality is rather different. He loses as many tackles as he wins and gives the ball away with monotonous regularity, as he did last Saturday for Arsenal's first goal and as he did more than a dozen times in Stuttgart on Wednesday.

I won't go back over the pathetic complaints he made about the food, training ground and having to play in every match. I will merely remind you that he is being paid [pounds sterling]60,000 a week and came to Chelsea as a mercenary because he felt Real Madrid didn't value him enough. But after six months, I'm inclined to think Real Madrid got him about right and would never have let him go if he'd been half as good as he pretends.

Meanwhile, a story that the capacity of Stamford Bridge is to be increased to 55,000 by knocking down the hotel and apartments behind the South Stand made me laugh.

The distinguished hack who broke this "exclusive" had forgotten two fairly vital things. …

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