It’s no secret that one of the thing things I miss about the UK are the newspapers, specifically the sport pages. The depth and knowledge of the hacks that follow sports for the national papers in the UK is generally very good, a few are exceptional.
In the US the coverage is generally regional and most papers only have a handful of journalists who only do sports reporting. Some are very good and give great local coverage, Art Thiel in Seattle is one example of the good local writers. This contrasts with the coverage at a national level which tends to rather bland and flavourless. Nothing the British papers will ever be accused off, with the banner headlines trying to pull in the casual paper buyer in the ongoing circulation wars.
Yes, there are one or two reporters that are sensationalists, a few others that are obsessed by the antics of the WAGs (“Wives and Girlfriends” for the uninitiated) of the England team, but looking beyond that, there are some very good writers on the papers who have something intelligent to contribute to the ongoing obsession (a word that does not do the level of interest justice) with the England team in the build up to the world cup.
Today the Daily Mail exclaims “I WILL BE BACK, Beckham vows to play on for England as op saves career”. David came though the operation to repair the tear in his Achilles yesterday and according to the Mail, wants to play for England again.
I agree that he should be with the squad in South Africa and I’m sure Capello will find a way to use his vast experience and role as a leader on the team. I think Capello saw Beckham with a limited role in games, less to come in and win games late, but more to kill games off. He’s not as deadly from 35 yards as he was during the qualifying for Germany, but his positive influence on the team as the senior player is huge.
The other story that caught my attention is “I’ll always be Special One, says Mourinho”. Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho returns to Stamford Bridge as manager of Inter in a Champions League game. He helpfully pointed out that since he left Chelsea have only won the FA cup, while under him they won the league twice, the League Cup twice and the FA cup once. Quite a record.
I’ve never heard of winning the FA Cup being used as something the beat the opposition down with. Ultimately Mourinho got fired because he clashed with the owner, but unquestionably he built (using the owners bank account admittedly) a team that could win at the highest levels in Europe, and since he got fired they have only won the Cup.
As I said, I miss the papers and while the Daily Mail is not my first choice, it’s sports writing is rather good.