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Chris Charles | 13:53 UK time, Friday, 11 September 2009

On the day The Beatles entered the world of gaming, it was Lennon who took centre stage at Wembley.

The boy from Tottenham is getting better all the time, tearing Croatia to pieces with an all-action display as the Capello revolution continues apace.

Following the famous win in Germany eight years ago, the chant was: "5-1 - even Heskey scored" but the striker went to extraordinary lengths to ensure there would be no repeat of that this time.

The big man's record of seven goals in 56 appearances for England is one more than defender John Terry has managed in the same number of games, although the 'Emile Heskey Needs Shooting' headline in the Mirror was a little harsh, not to mention the pay-off line - 'Best not let him do it himself'.

As for the new song, how about: "5-1, even Lampard and Gerrard scored - twice - while playing in the same team - are you watching, Steve McClaren?" (Admittedly it needs a bit of work on the scanning.)
Croatia fan invades pitch Croatia fan invades Wembley
Incidentally, there was not an umbrella in sight at Wembley this time around, although the Croatia fan who staged a one-man pitch invasion (above) was clearly off his brolly. As for manager Slaven Bilic's assertions that England 'lost their Englishness' - he was right. You wouldn't get an English team scoring five when a 0-0 would suffice. Next thing you know they'll be winning a penalty shoot-out. (OK, one step at a time.)

While Lennon was weaving his magic for England, McCartney was forced to watch from the sidelines with an injury as Northern Ireland capitulated to Slovakia.

But there was at least a silver lining for NathanNI on the Loftforwords messageboard, who wrote: "Only thing keeping my spirits up is the trip to Prague for the final group game. If the game is meaningless, the trip to Darlings Cabaret club after won't be." And no, I won't be including a link to their website.

Moving swiftly on and Scotland suffered a fatal blow to the Nether regions as a late Dutch winner at Hampden Park ended their dreams for another campaign. After the win over Macedonia, George Burley did a comedy jig on the touchline, but if the SFA take a dim view of proceedings it could turn out to be the last waltz for Georgie.

Scotland's defeat came hot on the heels of Andy Murray's exit from the US Open at the hands of Croatia's Maran Cilic.

'Cro-ker' was the general consensus in the Red Tops, although I was hoping to see the headline 'Cilic: Bang And The Scot Is Gone!' in homage to my four-year-old's favourite advert. She really should get out more.

As for Cilic's home nation, they now have to hope England can do them a favour by getting something in Ukraine. If they don't, those crazy conspiracy theories doing the rounds last week will start resurfacing quicker than you can say 'Lee Harvey Oswald? Do me a favour.'

David Beckham is another who will be sweating on his World Cup place. Becks endured a 10,000-mile round-trip for just 10 minutes of action, a few days after celebrating his 10th wedding anniversary - a symmetry the former skipper would no doubt appreciate.

Becks' special gift to wife Victoria consisted of 10 roses tattooed on his arm. Which begs the question, why couldn't he just buy her some like everyone else?

Actually, he might be on to something there - instead of getting my other half those £300 Jimmy Choos for Christmas, I'll just get a drawing of some etched on to my arm - I'm sure she'd appreciate it more. (Just in case you're watching, dearest, that was a joke. The only choos I'll be able to afford this year are of the penny variety. The satsuma and bag of peanuts are a given, though.)

One person who does believe in traditional gift-giving is Cristiano Ronaldo, thanks to a remarkable revelation from Phil Collins. Big Phil said: "Cristiano sent my boys Christmas presents. He's a lovely guy, really charming."

As strange friendships go, that's right up there with Dale Winton and Graeme Souness - an association that apparently began when the Supermarket Sweep host spotted Mrs Souness in a restaurant and remarked "you're gorgeous", before gushing to the former Liverpool hardman: "And so are you".

Ronaldo's Portugal lived to fight another day after a crucial 1-0 win in Hungary but things aren't looking too clever for Diego Maradona, after his Argentina side made it four defeats out of five following their loss to Paraguay.
Diego MaradonaMaradona's living on a prayer
Before the 3-1 reverse to Brazil, Maradona organised a mass prayer meeting for the squad at their training ground - seems there's only so many times you can ask for a hand from God.
Former Brazilian left-back Roberto Carlos was in the news, following talk of a 'sensational' move to Notts County, while his old Real Madrid buddy Beckham was also forced to laugh off claims that he would be joining Sol Campbell at Meadow Lane. Shame, I'd pay good money to watch the Geriactricos in action.

Bizarre news of the week involved Manchester United defender Pat Rice Evra. According to the Currant Bun, when the Frenchman was asked what he planned to do when he hung up his boots, he replied: "I'd be a babysitter for my son...and maybe I can babysit for all the other players. I like TV too - a comedy show with my friend Ji-Sung Park would be nice!"

Footballers in sitcoms - why not? Team-mate Ryan Giggs once had a cameo in The Simpsons, while Joey Barton and Duncan Ferguson have both done a bit of Porridge.

Elsewhere, Southampton fans have launched a petition on Facebook to name the city's airport after Matt Le Tissier - can't see that getting off the ground - and Cheryl Cole has admitted she would love to buy Newcastle United, making hubby her first signing.

Not sure the Geordies would go for that - the last thing they need right now is another bloke called Ashley rocking up at St James'.

Meanwhile Dizzee Rascal declared, without a hint of shame, that he was a supporter of West Ham and Arsenal, before working on his latest mash-up: 'Hammertime (Hear The Gunner Get Wicked)'.

Story of the week comes courtesy of Popbitch, which reported: "As Chelsea face a long transfer ban...let's look back 10 years to a simpler time. We're told that Jermain
Defoe decided to leave Charlton to sign for West Ham aged 16...because West Ham promised to buy his mum a fridge."

Seven years later, Defoe found himself frozen out of Sven's World Cup squad. Football can be a cruel game sometimes.

And finally, back to the England/Beatles link, where a quick internet search revealed Fabio Capello will turn 64 during the World Cup. Will we still need him? You bet your life we will.

Have a good weekend one and all. I'm off to watch QPR-Peterborough on Saturday. If anyone sees me, do me a favour by heeding the tabloid headline marking England's qualification for South Africa and get de beers in.


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