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Chris Charles | 11:01 UK time, Thursday, 23 July 2009

We've all heard tales of Sven's alleged antics down the years, but it still came as a surprise to learn he was tied up in Notts.

I noted a couple of weeks back how this year's close-season had turned into the silly season, but if Michael Owen's move to Manchester United was a bit of a shock, Eriksson's switch to Meadow Lane was a thunderbolt.

In his first press conference as Director of Football, the Swede insisted his only motivation was the "challenge" ahead, but if the much-missed Mrs Merton ever got her claws into him, she'd be sure to ask: "What first attracted you to the multi-billionaire owners of Notts County?"

Sven-Goran ErikssonEither that or Sven's bought into the notion that Nottingham women, who outnumber their menfolk by five to one, are indeed the prettiest girls in the country. If the old devil starts turning on the charm during his stay in the Midlands, County might be forced to rename their ground Blushing Meadow.

When the story first broke I thought I'd slipped into some sort of Mighty Boosh Jazz Trance - and it's a sure fact Eriksson will get a reality check when he peruses his new side's opening half-a-dozen league fixtures. At first glance he'll see Liverpool at home, but once that friendly's out of the way, the list reads: Bradford, Macclesfield, Chesterfield, Dagenham, Barnet, Burton.

Meanwhile, away from the heady world of League Two, Owen marked his United debut with a goal in Malaysia. The former Liverpool striker seems to be settling in well at his new club, despite skipper Gary Neville allegedly introducing him to Danny Wellbeck by saying: "This is Danny. He's 18 and HE'S won the league."

Red Nev's former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo was another debutant, playing the first half of Real Madrid's game with Shamrock Rovers, as local fans gleefully taunted him with chants of "Who are ya?" The £80m man hardly set the world alight and seemed more interested in talking about music than football, declaring his undying love for Oasis who, he informed us, were better than The Beatles.

Ronaldo, who thrives on the importance of being idol, invited Liam and Noel to come and be his guests when Madrid play Barcelona, despite admitting: "I saw them around town a couple of times but never spoke to them. They didn't look that approachable but sometimes these artistic types are like that." He added hopefully: "Perhaps they could put on a little private concert in Madrid?"

Amazingly, dyed-in-the-wool Man City fan Noel took the bait, saying: "There's only one Ronaldo! I always knew deep down inside him somewhere there was impeccable musical taste. I'll be taking up his offer of tickets for the Madrid versus Barcelona game. I'm not sure whether even he could afford us for a gig though!"

But the guitarist was less enamoured with the news that City were continuing their pursuit of Chelsea captain John Terry. Noel told Football 365: "I don't like John Terry and I never have. He's got funny eyes and he's a cry baby." Gallagher also slated JT for being a 'Cockney', although sensibly held back his comments until after Oasis had raked in a fortune playing to a few thousand Londoners at Wembley Stadium.
Carlos Tevez billboard
Emmanuel Adebayor was the latest to join the City revolution, while Carlos Tevez appeared to have borrowed his Nan's tea cosy when he signed on the dotted line. The club marked the Argentine's arrival from their near-neighbours by putting up a huge billboard (above) in the centre of Manchester. Cheeky.

Although perhaps not as cheeky as the decision by Goodison Park wags to name their new club store Everton Two, which can be found in the City's biggest shopping centre....Liverpool One.

Back to Man City and the news that defender Micah Richards was struck down with swine flu on holiday. "At first I thought it was a chest infection - or alcohol poisoning," he explained. That last revelation should go down well with the gaffer.

From booze to boos as David Beckham ran a gauntlet of hate back in LA. Becks singled out one vociferous fan, beckoning him to come down from the stands in a rather forceful manner. The former England captain insisted later he just wanted to shake him warmly by the throat. Actually he said hand, but we knew what he meant.

Fortunately it didn't come to blows but if things had got tasty Becks would have been reassured by the menacing presence of his friends watching in the stand - Tom Cruise and Gary Barlow.

Of course Beckham's been down this road before, but while effigies strung from lamp-posts were the order of the day after the '98 World Cup, the Galaxy fans responded with threatening banners like '23 Repent' and 'Is Evil Something U Are Or Something You Do?' Ooh, get them.

Quote of the week came from former Liverpool star Jermaine Pennant following his recent move to La Liga. The winger said: "I wanted to come to Spain and had offers from important teams in Europe, but joined Real Zaragoza." Doh.

Meanwhile The Guardian reported the ongoing uncertainty at Newcastle had led to Alan Shearer "tearing his hair out" - that's another 30 seconds of his life he won't get back, then.

And finally, I can't leave without mentioning the heroics of Freddie and the England team - although the victory celebrations have been slightly tarnished by the news about KP. Incidentally, what did they call the Achilles before the Trojan War hero came on the scene?

I'm off on my annual excursion to the Isle of Man on Sunday - back the day after QPR's first home game of the season (brilliant timing from the other half there).If I can get to a computer I might send a blog - if not, back in a fortnight.


J League player wears shorts back to front
'Michael Owen on Dragon's Den'
Mexico coach Javier Aguirre sent off for kicking Panama player
Mitchell and Webb football sketch
Which football manager are you? (I was Keegan)

(Taken from Off The Post and Whoateallthepies football blogs)


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