CAHILL GIVES TERRY A ROCKET
In 90 minutes, Gary Cahill did more to shake up John Terry than all the fines, suspensions and finger wagging from the press he’s received over his Chelsea career. Cahill’s stunning goal was the icing on the cake. He was outstanding alongside David Luiz for the win at Tottenham. Just as he did in the Champions League final, Cahill showed there can be life at Chelsea without JT. Now there’s talk he’ll be allowed to wind down his contract next season. It’s still 18 months away – plenty of time for Terry to mend any broken bridges with the decision makers at Cobham. But one things certain, he can no longer lean on being indispensable. Playing ability alone won’t be enough for Terry to finish his career a one club man.
AVB BEATEN BY THE CHELSEA TEAM HE PLANNED FOR
Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas was good value after the Chelsea defeat. He praised the Blues midfield, the manner of their performance and even said “fair play” to the taunting away fans. And why not? He can afford a wry smile. His Spurs team were played off the White Hart Lane pitch by a side he laid the foundations for. No Terry. No Frank Lampard. No Didier Drogba. It was the new generation. The team AVB attempted to ferry in during his frantic six months at Stamford Bridge – and now thriving under the former assistant he agreed to bring in last year.
WALKER EMBARRASSED BY MATA
Kyle Walker is a great player and a great guy. But the Tottenham fullback was embarrassed by Juan Mata on Saturday. Mata kept his cool when Walker attempted to thump the ball straight into him late into the game. He even reached out to the England defender, as if to say ‘C’mon, you’re better than that’. And, of course, the Spaniard had the last laugh in injury-time, bundling Walker over and squaring for Danny Sturridge to tap home number four for Chelsea.
ADRIAN NO REYES FOR ARSENAL
After the impact of Santi Cazorla this season, is it any surprise Arsene Wenger is shopping in Spain for a new striker? Adrian Lopez, of Atletico Madrid, is being mentioned as a £15 million target, while Athletic Bilbao’s potential Bosman Fernando Llorente is another being watched by chief scout Steve Rowley. Adrian looks the more likely candidate. A real fox-in-the-box type who Rowley has been aware of since he was leading the line for Real Oviedo as a 17 year-old. Like Cazorla, Adrian is also a tough little so-and-so and Wenger will feel more confident spending big on the Spain international than he did all those years ago on Jose Antonio Reyes.
NEWCASTLE KID AS GOOD AS OX
Newcastle United fans have to be excited about what Alan Pardew had to say on Adam Campbell over the weekend. Pards says the teenage striker boasts the same potential as Arsenal superkid Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. And he should know, having given the Ox his first team debut while in charge of Southampton. Campbell has also been likened to Michael Owen and the excitement around the 17 year-old is barely controllable. But it doesn’t begin and end with the North Shields lad. Goalkeeper Freddie Woodman, at 15, is in the England U17 squad this week, along with striker Alex Gilliead. It does appear the days of Shearer, Bruce and Carrick having to go elsewhere to forge careers are over at Newcastle – 17 years on after Kevin Keegan disbanded the reserve-team.
UEFA SHOULD PRAISE FA FOR TURNING U21s INTO MONEY-SPINNER
The FA have actually made U21 games international money spinners. Dropping ticket prices and encouraging school kids to attend, Stuart Pearce’s team plays in front of packed houses around the country. The roars of the crowd are always a couple of octaves higher at England U21 games because of the families and kids in attendance. The contrast between what you get at an U21 game in England and the disgraceful scenes in Serbia couldn’t be greater. There’s some good people in UEFA and you wish they would pipe up. Even if it is a discreet quote or two to the English press. The FA deserve public acknowledgement from UEFA for actually making the U21s commercially viable. The feeling inside the game is that UEFA will actually break the habit of a lifetime and come down hard on Serbia’s FA. What we saw last week belongs to another era.
BUTT CAN TELL MAN UTD KIDS GRASS NEVER GREENER
Sir Alex Ferguson made another signing last week at Manchester United. Nicky Butt has followed the path of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, joining U21 boss Warren Joyce as assistant manager. Ferguson will be delighted having a club great back at Carrington working day-in, day-out with his youngsters. And Butt will have plenty to offer. Unlike Solskjaer, he returns to United after spells at Newcastle United, Birmingham City and in Hong Kong. You wonder what influence he could’ve had on Zeki Fryers, Paul Pogba and Ravel Morrison this time last season.