Thursday, September 11, 2008



WHOOPS, WRONG AGAIN....

Well, a bit. Yesterday I once again denounced the England football team as a bunch of overpaid poseurs who could hardly bring themselves to don the shirt with the three lions on. So what do they do? They go away to Zagreb and stuff Croatia 4-1 with an apparently thoroughly professional performance. Well done - I apologise for doubting you, but to be fair last night was an all too rare occurrence.

It seems last night`s star performer was Theo Walcott, who scored a hat trick and finally consigned David Beckham to the out tray of international football . Now, whilst I am always impressed by sporting excellence, I am often disappointed when it comes to sporting `personality.` Just witness the contrast between the sporting prowess of Andy Murray and the surly Caledonian mumblings of his interviews. In Walcott`s case, things are different. He is possessed of a remarkable talent but also an engaging personality. At 19, with all the riches and fame that has already come his way, he still retains a genuine boyish charm and modesty which makes him a pleasure to watch both on and off the field of play.

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Theo doing it for the Saints

Walcott, of course, was nurtured from the age of 11 by the Southampton FC Academy and I saw him burst onto the stage with a string of stunning performances for the Saints which led to his departure to Arsenal for a fee which now seems like the bargain of the century. I am so pleased for him that he has now seemingly come of age on the international scene but a corner of my heart still weeps that he might still have been thrilling the audience at St. Mary`s had it not been for our relegation from the Premiership and the subsequent mismanagement of the club by a succession of undistinguished managers and directors.

Never mind, maybe Theo will make watching future England performances less of a trial and more of a pleasure.......and give me less cause to eat this morning`s humble pie. (I did enjoy `Lost in Austen` though.)

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