Sunderland striker called up by Stuart Pearce but nobody can spell his name, while Carlos Tevez says sorry, all is not right at Chelsea and no-one replaces Mick McCarthyBy Jamie Dunn
Fraizer Campbell earns England call-up with one stunning volley
A few weeks ago, WWLTW lauded Sunderland as the Premier League’s great entertainers following their ascent up the table and FA Cup success under Martin O’Neill.
Chief among this column’s reasons for hailing the Black Cats was Fraizer Campbell’s larrup against Norwich City upon his league return after several months out with injury.
Now, said larrup appears to have earned Campbell a place in Stuart Pearce’s England squad for the friendly against the Netherlands on Wednesday, after just two league starts this season.
See WWLTW loves a bit of sentimentality just like everybody else, but Campbell will struggle to displace Stephane Sessegnon at Sunderland, and he’s not even a real striker. Mind you, if Sessegnon were available for England, he would definitely get the call, because he’s ruddy good.
Meanwhile, much to WWLTW’s chagrin, Twitter largely proceeded to forget how to spell the striker’s name, so much so that ‘Frazier Campbell’ started to trend. Remember that grammatical rule, everyone: I before e, except after c, and sometimes with a z in between.
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|"So I went to KFC this afternoon and they asked to take my picture and put me on their wall of fame...not a great look! Ha"
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Elsewhere, there were was call-up for Micah Richards, the man Fabio Capello forgot despite him regularly featuring in Premier League leaders Manchester City’s back four.
Robert Green was involved for the first time since World Cup 2010. That’s probably partly due to him playing in the Championship with West Ham, and partly down to letting a Clint Dempsey sighter dribble through his legs in the opening group game.
The Chelsea power struggle rages on
Depending on which newspaper you read, Roman Abramovich is either set to throw his weight behind Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas - leaving a host of senior names, including Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole, to find new clubs - or the Portuguese coach’s head is on the chopping block, and Rafael Benitez is being lined up to replace him.
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Several players who have been named in Stuart Pearce's England squad will suffer injuries, and the interim boss will have to start all over again.
What is certain, though, is all is not right at Stamford Bridge at present, as the 3-1 Champions League defeat to Napoli in midweek proved. Villas-Boas left Cole, Lampard and Michael Essien on the bench - alongside Fernando Torres - but at the moment you could hardly blame him – as his side were torn open on numerous occasions, while failing to capitalise on a defensively fragile Italian unit.
And what of the phantom team sheet, found in Chelsea’s hotel, which featured the injured John Terry, Cole and others who didn’t make the cut?
Villas-Boas insists it was not a plant, but how someone can go from being in the starting XI hours before kick-off to needing surgery and missing four to six weeks of action is beyond this column.
WWLTW would certainly respect Abramovich more if he were to indulge some long-termism and allow Villas-Boas to continue with 'Project Overhaul', rather than sack another manager at the first sight of a season without a trophy.
As for the potential hiring of Benitez, if the Chelsea old guard are to win the battle with Villas-Boas, the appointment of the talented Spanish coach, who has a less-than Guus Hiddink-esque air about him, is unlikely to appease the big names in the squad, lest we forget the public war of words between Benitez and Chelsea golden boy Jose Mourinho. Miaow.
Saying sorry makes everything alright
That wasn’t so hard now, was it?
After a few months off, Carlos Tevez is back in training with Manchester City, and what’s more, despite claiming he had been treated ‘like a dog’ by Roberto Mancini, he has now apologised to everyone involved with the club.
In the shortest of short statements, no doubt penned by one of Tevez’s many hangers-on, the striker said: “I wish to apologise sincerely and unreservedly to everybody I have let down and to whom my actions over the last few months have caused offence. My wish is to concentrate on playing football for Manchester City Football Club.”
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Mancini revealed he had duly accepted after watching his side beat Porto 4-0 without really looking like they should have, and indicated Tevez could be back playing again in just a couple of weeks.
The Italian, who initially said the striker was ‘finished’ at the club, comes across as a man of principles, but he’s also not stupid. Tevez, for all the ridiculousness of simply not fancying coming on against Bayern Munich on that fateful night at the Allianz Arena, is still deadlier than a half=time balti pie.
The Argentine will likely play a significant part in leading the club to the Premier League title, make enough appearances to pick up his winner’s medal, put himself in the summer shop window and leave England forever.
Nobody wants the Wolves job
You could be forgiven for thinking that, when Wolves sacked manager Mick McCarthy with the club stumbling into the relegation zone, the higher-ups at Molineux would have the perfect man in mind to keep the Midlands side in the Premier League.
Over a week on, and with a game against Newcastle United in waiting on Saturday, Wolves do not have their man. What’s worse is that a host of names have ruled themselves out of taking the vacant post, and they are hardly members of football’s managerial glitterati.
Former Charlton and West Ham manager Alan Curbishley backed out of the running before Brian McDermott signed a new contract at Reading amid rumours of an approach, while Neil Warnock has joined Leeds United. Walter Smith, previously of Rangers, is the latest name to back out, while a move for Gus Poyet has reportedly also failed.
Only former Sunderland managers Steve Bruce and Roy Keane remain it seems, as well as all-round lovely bloke Ray ‘My Word’ Wilkins, who is an outside shot.
It seems there are dark days ahead in the Black Country.