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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 October 2005, 09:04 GMT 10:04 UK
The Odd Squad

By Derek 'Robbo' Robson
The Tees mouth

Well we weren't expecting any surprises in Sven-Goran Eriksson's squad for the Austria and Poland games.

Peter Crouch

Apparently Phil Neville is still fit to pull on an England jersey, before strapping on his clogs. If Everton fans are wondering what's going wrong, just look who's been taking your free-kicks.

And what is Alan Smith doing back in the fold? Surely, Murphy or Parker are better bets? Maybe Sven wants to keep up our record of a guaranteed booking in Rooney's absence.

Meanwhile Wayne has popped over to Madrid to say sorry to Becks for his four-letter outburst in Belfast.

I hope the England captain tells the young lad what sarcasm means after his recent hand-clapping antics. After all it's the worst crime a footballer can commit, isn't it?

That was sarcasm, Wayne...look it up in a dictionary, son... that's a book that describes what words mean...a book? well it's a - oh ask Posh what a book is...On second thoughts, try Brooklyn...

Any road, who's going up front with Owen and who's going to be at the heart of the defence?

Crouch looks likely, but I have to say I'm fed up with hearing the phrase 'he's got a good touch on the floor for a big man'. If he was five-foot eight we'd be saying how crap he was. I'd go for Bent, the form lad.

At the back, well Ferdinand is the doziest centre-back in the country right now. Campbell and Terry will let no-one down. And they can stay awake for 90 minutes.


Jose the Just

Given the fact that Chelsea crushed Liverpool on Sunday, you wonder why they were so bland during the Champions League bore.

Jose Mourinho

Mourinho is convinced his team aren't getting the credit they deserve - and he's right. They are already an excellent team - and so they bloody well should be!

If it suits your bunker mentality to pretend everyone is calling your players a bunch of clowns, then so be it. Maybe they are clowns - they're certainly not making me laugh at the moment.

I mean does Mourinho really expect to get the same plaudits as, say, Jewell or Pardew, whose teams cost as much as Didier Drogba's anorak?

I expect if you went round Mourinho's gaff he'd be offended if you didn't notice how nicely he decked the place out.

At least he can afford nice furniture. We've got the same chairs and sofa we had when we were married but the wife does her best with a couple of throws.

Money matters. The fact is no one is going to like you while your team is the best and the richest in the land. Ask Fergie. But we will respect you, just as soon as you stop going on about being respected.


Murray's Mint

Regular readers will know how fond I am of tennis.

Andy Murray

I'm not sure if it's the game itself, the fact that middle-class ponces seem to be the only ones who play it in this country or that it is almost as stupidly overpaid as our Sven.

But I can't help warming to our teenage senstion Andy Murray. He's a direct talker and seems to have a sense of humour which is almost unheard of in a teenager, let alone a Scottish teenager, let alone a Scottish teenage tennis player!

And, dare I see it, he's got a Lleyton Hewitt-like desire to keep going and going, which is bloody irritating unless he's on your team.

It might be nice if the media stopped showing pictures of him in mid-grimace, although admittedly he does spend most of the time looking like he's in the middle of a particular painful bowel movement.

It's pretty clear he's going to be up there with the very second best very soon. Like just about everyone else, his progress in tournaments will depend entirely on how soon he meets Federer.





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