I have decided to stick with the formula of covering several different topics that have arisen in the footballing world this week due to the lack of an individual story that caught my eye. So here are my opinions of some of this week's big football events... and a brief comment on the England Rugby Team:
Beckham's injury: Having torn his achilles in the final minutes of AC Milan's 1-0 win over Chievo Beckham's season has come to an abrupt end. Many have said that this has done Capello and England a favour but as I discussed last week I personally believed that Becks still had a role to play in the squad and as such I feel the injury blow does dent the quality of our squad, even if he was only ever going to be a fringe player. There has been great debate over whether or not we should care and regardless of whether or not you feel he should have made the squad it you still ought to care on a personal level. It is a sad way for one of the England's greatest footballers of his generation to end, as it surely must, his international career. In other news Defoe is now out with a hamstring injury and joins Spurs team mate Aaron Lennon on the sidelines and these are certainly still bigger problems ahead of the World Cup.
Dowie: The ugliest man in football returns to the Premiership as the new Hull City boss. You would have to assume that he was a last resort. Names such as Mark Hughes and Alan Curbishley had been linked with the job and yet Dowie get the position, he must have got it on his looks. He has only survived 15 game spells as Charlton and QPR as well getting Crystal Palace relegated and also being part of the Newcastle set-up that saw them drop to the Championship at the back end of last season. He seems far from the logical choice and it will be very interesting if he can defy what many, including myself, will be Hull's fate this season – relegation.
Fulham – From one very average manager to one of the best in the country, Roy Hodgson. He continued his outstanding work at Fulham with one of, if not the, result of the season. To come back from a 4-1 deficit against Juventus to win 5-4 on aggregate stunned the footballing world and deserved a mention in this week's big events. Zamora is once again getting shouts of an England call up and if he maintains his current form it would be tough to argue with them, especially after Defoe's lay off. The Cottagers have now been drawn against Wolfsburg in the next round and even though the German side are a quality outfit Hodgson and his men should not fear any side after the feat they accomplished on Thursday night.
England's Six Nations: Watching England grind out a draw against Scotland last weekend was the final straw. Martin Johnson needs to go. Rumours had it that if he failed to get 3 wins in the this year's tournament he would get the boot . With two wins thus far and a very tough game against France (in which you would expect them to be rolled over) he looks sure to fall short of his target. He has finally introduced many of the changes that many were hoping were implemented before the first ball was kicked and despite shifting the personnel he will inevitably continue to favour caution and conservatism in everything his does with the team. Finger pointing can be directed at Borthwick or Wilkinson but the criticisms placed on them really must lie with Johnson. The lack of passion and direction throughout the team is a result of Johnson's tactical naivety and inexperience that has manifested itself in an uninspiring and lacklustre six nations from England. There is a part of me that hopes that England get hammered in Paris tonight if that is what is needed for the RFU to take the necessary action and get rid of Johnson. Yet one can easily predict that the reality of the situation is that Martin will be given a run into next year's World Cup, even though his time as manager thus far does not warrant such generosity.
Thoughts, comments and opinions please...