Reuters Soccer Blog
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PHOTO: We are half-used to seeing former Hammer Frank Lampard in a West Ham shirt (see this Ian Hodgson pic from 1998) but John Terry?
That shirt? Well yes it suits you sir, but looks a little strange ….!
There are certain things you simply don’t expect to see in football like John Terry in a West Ham shirt or … and this one is for older fans …. Alfredo Di Stefano in Barcelona’s red and blue rather than the all-white of Real Madrid.
The news this week that Terry, who trained with the Hammers until he left for Chelsea at 14, has agreed to play for West Ham in a testimonial match for their academy director Tony Carr sets the imagination racing.
Somehow, try as hard as you like you just cannot imagine Mr Chelsea himself in a West Ham shirt.
After 20 years’ loyal service most employees can expect a carriage clock or a bottle of wine. When your employer is one of the richest men in the world, and some of your colleagues earn more than 100,000 pounds a week, you might even hold out hope for a silver hip flask or even a set of golf clubs and a cheery farewell.
Steve Clarke’s reward at Chelsea is for the club to reject his resignation, after he sought to join Gianfranco Zola at West Ham.
With the top four never changing, it is almost more entertaining following the Premier League when there are no matches taking place. So it proved this week, from the takeover and mega-spending at Manchester City to the Kevin Keegan saga at Newcastle and Alan Curbishley’s exit from West Ham.
Curbishley claimed that his position had been undermined by the men in suits selling players without his approval and that is the underlying sub-plot that links all three acts in this week’s Premier League soap opera.
Whilst Manchester City fans were still pinching themselves at becoming one of the world’s richest clubs, Curbishley has quit his post despite two wins from his opening three league games.
Footballers. If we aren’t reading about their exploits on the pitch, more often than not we can read about their exploits off it. Much is speculation and the rest can’t be mentioned before the watershed, but as I recently read, it’s not always bad.
West Ham United striker Craig Bellamy is more used to finding himself in hot water rather than hot weather, but following a recent trip to Sierra Leone, the Wales international has formed the Craig Bellamy Foundation there.
So Kevin Fylan has poured scorn on this season’s FA Cup, saying romance was “the last word” he would choose to describe what’s happening in the competition. Well Kev, as we prepare for this weekend’s semi-finals, let me say I couldn’t disagree more.
I’ll admit I’m something of a footballing Luddite, one of those old-fashioned fans who laments the fact that the days are gone when clubs like Derby County, Nottingham Forest, Everton and Aston Villa won league titles. The days when supporters had a genuine affinity with players. The days when Sunderland, Southampton and West Ham could win the FA Cup.