The week of sport in quotes, by IAN COLE: Sir Alex Ferguson’s vow of silence; the start of the Ashes war of words; William Gallas and the Yorkshire Ripper; Kieren Fallon on racing; and the search for the next England manager
“At a place like ours, where unemployment is huge, you are not going to get people turning up to a game that’s on the telly. Only footballers seem to have money. It’s a business that seems to have completely ignored the recession” Gordon Strachan, the Middlesbrough manager, right, on a record low League crowd of 14,633 at the Riverside for the visit of Sheffield United.
“You would not want to be the first reporter to have to put in the request” Gary Lineker on Match of the Day‘s dilemma of trying to get Sir Alex Ferguson to give an interview to the BBC.
“Our message to the 24 FIFA executive committee members is that a World Cup in England will do more than any other tournament to help develop football as a platform for social and human change across the world” Rio Ferdinand in a ghosted column ahead of the 2018 World Cup bid inspectors’ visit this week.
“I told the players it was a great defeat, if there is such a thing” Harry Redknapp is relieved to lose 3-2, after being 3-0 down at Young Boys Berne in a Champions League qualifier.
“Even when there were 10 or 12 strikers injured, I didn’t get a call. I don’t even bother looking at the squads now. I’m disappointed, but that’s life. My half-brother is Jamaican. I might have more chance getting in that squad than England’s” Kevin Davies, Bolton’s traditional English centre forward.
“They hunt in packs, fuelled by cocaine, hooked on violence and occasionally wielding chains. Some are as old as 65. They use mobile phones and the internet to arrange showdowns with rival “firms” at agreed locations away from prying CCTV cameras and police surveillance. This is the profile of the 21st-century football hooligan” Jamie Jackson in The Observer on an out-of-sight-out-of-mind phenomenon.
“I’m going to absolutely love standing there alongside him in the technical area. We might end up losing by the most embarrassing scoreline in Premier League history or we could pull off the shock of the century. Either way, I just hope I get the chance of a cup of tea and a natter with him afterwards” Ian Holloway looks forward to Blackpool’s visit to Arsenal and meeting his managerial counterpart Arsene Wenger. Blackpool lost 6-0.
“I respect him highly as a quality player but I do not like some of the things he does on the pitch. It’s not because you are older that you suddenly become a saint. Overall, he’s a guy who likes a tackle. Unfairly? Of course unfairly. Look at him playing now – he still doesn’t hide” Arsene Wenger is not among those calling for the canonisation of Paul Scholes.
“A whitewash is absolutely possible. There’s no reason why not. It’s all in our hands. It’s how well we play and how well we take charge of different situations” Ricky Ponting, the Australia cricket captain, kicks off the pre-Ashes hype.
“It’s the silly season starting, with all sorts of predictions. Predictions mean nothing. Ultimately, it’s what you do on the field on the first day at Brisbane that counts. Until then, what people say doesn’t interest me” Andrew Strauss, the England captain, responds.
“Australia are on the way down. They’re still tough to beat, but England can win. I don’t think 5-0 to Australia is possible though” Imran Farhat, the Pakistan opener who has faced both sides this summer, offers a neutral view.
“I am not clever. No grades at school. All I can do is ride horses. But I can see that if we are racing today for a lot less than we were 10 or 20 years ago, there’s something wrong. You don’t have to be Einstein to work that out” Kieren Fallon fears for the future of horse racing in Britain.
“The view of everyone in the discussions so far is that we should have an English manager moving forward. And my personal wish, very clearly, is that we should have an English manager post Fabio Capello and post the Euros – in the future the England team should have an English manager” Adrian Bevington, the FA’s Club England’s managing director.
“What do the following people have in common: Roy Hodgson, Harry Redknapp, Steve Bruce, Ian Holloway and Sam Allardyce? Answer: they are the five Englishmen currently managing in the Premier League. Anything else? Answer: they all have little or no chance of becoming the next manager of England” Patrick Collins in the Mail on Sunday.
“Fascinating tea time chat there with the former Arsenal midfielder” Christopher Martin-Jenkins, soon to be MCC President, making mischief during Test Match Special after an interview with X Factor presenter Dermot O’Leary.
“He’s really set the gauntlet that everyone’s going to try and achieve” Colin Jackson‘s “analysis” of Frence sprinter Christophe Lemaitre, demonstrates that he was more fluent over 3ft 6in hurdles than he is with words.
“It is not the Yorkshire Ripper I am signing, is it? He is a footballer” Harry Redknapp on the free transfer deal that takes William Gallas, the former Chelsea and Arsenal player, to White Hart Lane.
“After anointing Spain as world champions before the event, as well as correctly predicting every single winner in Germany’s run to the World Cup semi-final Digger can reveal that Paul the Octopus is now backing the bid. I honestly cannot believe I have just written that sentence” Matt Scott, the Guardian‘s Digger, flags up the most bizarre piece of promotion for England’s 2018 World Cup bid just a week before the FIFA inspectors’ visit.
“I did not want to move to Manchester and so decided to leave. It is as simple as that” Paul Gaskin, hired by the BBC as its £190,000 director of human resources to persuade staff to move to Manchester.
“On the table he was touched by genius, a twitching Mephisopheles who turned the prose of modern snooker into an entirely unpredictable (you could almost say Joycean) form of poetry” Matthew Syed, in The Times on the death of Alex Higgins, makes an outstanding (one might say Joycean) unintended entry for Pseuds Corner.
“I looked at the diminishing number of column inches being given to cricket in the newspapers these days and wondered whether it was really a career with a future” Mark Wagh, the Nottinghamshire batsman, who is retiring from first-class cricket to pursue a career in law, rather than sports journalism.