NORMAN GILLER’s made a mistake – he’s taken on the Kevin Pietersen selection row on Twitter while paying 50p per minute for wifi access
If this is Thursday, it must be Gibraltar.
I am on one of those American-style see-Europe-in-a-couple-of-weeks cruises, and I’m typing quickly because communicating with you is costing me 50p a minute.
P&O are the best company with which I have cruised, but they take terrible liberties with their on-board wifi rates. Journalists like what I am feel fleeced as we try to keep up with what’s happening online. I’ve been all at sea.
Social networking has become a way of life with millions of people, and now Presidents, Prime Ministers, princes and Piers Morgan have joined in the communications revolution.
I have told the P&O PR here aboard the good ship Azura that she should recommend free wifi for all as part of the company’s tariff. That would be trffic, as my old mate Harry Redknapp would say.
I quote Harry because of a funny thing that happened to me on the way here on Sunday. I was watching Tottenham almost certainly condemn Hull to the hell of relegation on a small screen in a Roman bar just outside Vatican City.
Sitting next to me was a beetroot-faced Catholic priest, who got so excited when Tottenham stylist Erik Lamela sliced through the Hull defence to lay on the first goal that he threw his arms wide and knocked flying his glass of red wine.
All those of us within a 10-foot radius were suddenly soaked in Arsenal-red vino, and the priest said in Irish-thick English: “Take that in remembrance of Lamela’s goal.”
He proved far more entertaining than the football and revealed that he had been a Tottenham supporter for more than 20 years. “Biggest mistake they made was letting Harry Redknapp go,” he told me as I refreshed his glass from my partner Jackie’s bottle of plonk.
“Harry lifted the club on to the international stage,” he said. “You can only be considered a major club if you are in the Champions’ League, and Harry made the club as famous here in Rome as at home. Why they allowed him to leave I’ll never know.”
Father Michael gave me an exclusive as he accepted a second glass from Jackie’s bottle. “Erik Lamela will be back in Serie A before the summer is through,” he predicted. “They love him over here, but he has struggled to impose himself on the Premier League.”
Like all Spurs disciples, Father Michael was concerned about the health of club legend Jimmy Greaves. I was able to give him the latest news that it would be at least 12 weeks before he will leave hospital as he battles to overcome the effects of his recent stroke. He has mountains to climb as he strives to regain full mobility and his voice.
“I never had the privilege of seeing Jimmy play,” Father Michael said. “But anybody who knows anything about Spurs and football knows about his goal-scoring feats. I have been praying for his full recovery.”
Jackie and I left him with the remains of her bottle (he’d had so much of it, there was hardly any left) and departed for a nearby café where they had free wifi. From here I was able to carry on my Twitter hostilities with Piers Morgan.
I had picked up Piers on the way he was representing his good pal Kevin Pietersen on his massively popular Twitter platform that has more than 4 million followers.
He revealed that he would declare war on the cricket Establishment if they did not bring KP back into the England squad. I told him that he was not doing Kevin’s case any good by using such emotive language.
I am a massive KP fan, and he thanked me for tweeting: “KP coached my grandson James and was courteous, encouraging and inspirational.”
In my opinion the England and Wales Cricket Board has shown an appalling lack of man-management in failing to keep Pietersen’s batting talent for England. I’ve covered team sports all my sportswriting life and there’s rarely been a side that has not had at least one difficult character to control.
It’s the Aussies who will be laughing during the upcoming Ashes tour. But Piers Morgan “waging war” is not the way to bring KP back into the England camp.
For a journalist of such illustrious standing, I cannot believe how savage Morgan acted in a situation that called for diplomacy rather than depth charges.
I think he could have done with some of Father Michael’s Arsenal-red wine thrown over him.
Now then, back to the cruise and a refill for Jackie. I, of course, am a teetotal bore.
Or some would say just a total bore.
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