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Last Updated: Monday, 13 September, 2004, 10:57 GMT 11:57 UK
Players pay the penalty

By Derek 'Robbo' Robson
The Tees mouth

Dermot Gallagher

Seems these days you can't beg, steal, or legitimately acquire a penalty for love nor money.

Lee Bowyer, the cockney street-kid even Fagin would have turned away, had two cast-iron spot-kicks turned down by the white-tipped matchstick Dermot Gallagher.

Didier Drogba was booked for being fouled by Rob 'It's not about you!' Styles. Then there's the curious case of Mr Halsey and his reconsideration of a penalty in the light of the 'players' reactions'.

Halsey consulted his assistant who told him it wasn't a pen, so he changed his mind. And between them, they got it right!

This has Lineker scratching his head and wondering what sort of histrionics Halsey might get lumbered with the next time he gives an iffy spot-kick.

I'm sorry, Gary, but there's histrionics every time a pen is awarded anyway.

Often it's because every Premiership squad seems to be practising synchronized diving once a week.

Gary Neville still needs practice, but the rest of them are a pike and a tuck short of Olympic bronze.

So with that sort of skill being rehearsed, is it any wonder the penalties aren't being awarded? You reap what you sow, you pampered Premiership posers!

These refs aren't up to much but they expect to be conned at the moment and I don't bloody well blame 'em.

No cause for celebration

Fabrizio Ravanelli
Referees are getting too shirty

On the other hand, booking a man for being pleased with scoring a goal is just downright lunacy. (Cahill and Healy in the week).

Who's it supposed to be harming? It's like giving a driver a parking ticket for filling up the parking meter in an exuberant manner!

Goals is what the bloody game's about! As long as it doesn't take too long, you should be able to skinny-dip into a vat of olive oil and pole-dance round the goal posts if you want to!

Has anyone involved in Uefa or Fifa actually scored a goal? Heaven help us!

Becks to Front

Giving the press the silent treatment post-Poland really made a serious point to all the waiting journalists.

That is until David Beckham answers his critics three days later in... the News of the World.

Now correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't poor David James (very poor) getting all manner of stick from The Sun? Are these two papers related at all?

I mean if our skipper, who I for one have not given up on, really wants to have his objections noted, then he better stop being such a tease with the media.

He's worse than the Royal Family that lad.

Chumpions Trophy

Who exactly thought it would be an interesting spectacle to watch cricket matches between the USA and anyone?

I know every sport would like to break into the Yank market but they have their own sports - with their own World Champions.

Evidently there ain't no world beyond the States and judging by the tiny number of passport holders in that vast, lame country, it's not hard to see why they don't think other countries matter.

It's cos they don't really know they exist.

Any road, having some US sponsored mercenaries making a pathetic stab at the world's greatest game is enough to make you want to send the ICC a giant P45.

With Zimbabwe and Bangladesh making similarly miserable contributions, you wonder why they didn't just start with four quarter-finals instead.

I mean this is men against toddlers stuff. It's worse than watching an Audley Harrison fight. Let the big fish go at it and throw the tiddlers back in the pond! Now!

Hewitt Roger-ed...

L'il Kim
No not that L'il Kim

... and not by his li'l Kim either.

Yes I know who the real Li'l Kim is but I'm trying to wean myself off rap videos as my missus says them lasses should know better. They seem to know plenty if you ask me.

Any road, even this hard-nosed old hack - who thinks tennis would be a lot better if it was all wooden rackets and we just let the girls play - even I think this lad Federer is making an art-form out of the whole thing.

Anyone who trashes that irritating Aussie tick so spectacularly goes down in my book as a top lad.

Plus he saved young Tim from another defeat against Hewitt, which is a real blessing. This Swiss'll roll and roll.

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