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Motson's alarming incident

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Dan Walker | 10:38 UK time, Wednesday, 8 February 2012

The last week or so has been slightly on the busy side. Last Saturday's interview with Rio Ferdinand went down well. I spent most of Thursday thinking he was going to pull out. When it was announced on Friday morning that the captaincy had been taken away from John Terry I was convinced it was going to be called off but, true to his word, Mr Ferdinand turned up and was on top form.

There was some nice light-hearted stuff in there but I thought he spoke with real insight and thoughtfulness about his brother, why he didn't want to be England captain and racism in football generally.

If you missed the interview, or wanted to watch the full length version, you can click on this:

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Transfer deadline day wasn't exactly a classic of our time but did produce a few little beauties. I know people have spoken at length about QPR but I'd be very happy if I was an Evertonian.

One of my friends, who is a particularly sticky toffee, sent me a text in the middle of the night on Tuesday that simply read "Get in there you plank". It wasn't really worth interrupting my slumber but I took it to mean he was happy with the arrival of Nikica Jelavic and return of Steven Pienaar.

There were two highlights of the day from my perspective: 1. Our little 10 minute transfer round-up on Match of the Day which was good fun all round and 2. Witnessing John Motson accidentally hit the alarm in the BBC lift with his rear-end. "The alarm has been pressed in lift two. Please wait for assistance," the polite computery voice repeated over and over. "Oh deary me. Can you believe it?" chuckled Motty as if describing a childish fracas between Hugo Rodallega and Brede Hangeland.

The following day I was asked to film CBeebies Bedtime Stories which I think you'll be able to see during the week of Sport Relief. It was great fun talking to giant fluffy animals on camera but it did prove what I have always suspected and Michael McIntyre also famously observed: the secret of children's TV is to perfect the art of looking surprised when the camera disturbs you attempting a menial task. "Oh hello there. You caught me buffing my collection of rare lettuces. Would you like to hear a story about someone who loved lettuce? You would? Well, there was once a small raccoon called Toby..."

This coming Saturday we are taking the show on the road again. The Stadium of Light is our next port of call and after Alan Shearer understandably turned down our polite invitation last Saturday, Martin Keown will be in attendance. We shall try and unearth the secret of Sunderland's 22 points from 10 games under Martin O'Neill and I'm determined to find out where all the plastic bags, polystyrene cups and crisp packets come from when there's a spot of wind in the north-east.

You'll hear from Carlo Ancelotti, Kevin Doyle and Shane Long and other things that I can't quite confirm at the moment but believe me, it will be well worth watching BBC1 this Saturday at 1215 GMT.

In the meantime, if you have any comments, questions, dazzling insight or words of sporting wisdom you'd like to share with the world then please type away below. You can also find me on twitter at


  • Comment number 1.

    Welcome again Mr Walker – you write a decent blog.

    Any remarks over the prior blog? They had 442 comments and the next closed rather quickly with 66 – was this to do with the revamp on the site? (Rather bright in appearance).

    Hope you will not add to the food litter!

    Keep up the interesting work.

  • Comment number 2.

    Didn't expect the blog until the dust had settled after the Rednap verdict.

    WHAT DOES EVERY ONE THINK ABOUT CAPELLO'S OUTBURST??? I think he has every right to speak his mind and I agree with him.

    ]I'm not really to excited about seeing you with kids stuffed animals. I would like to tune into the Sunderland piece though if I can from USA. I like Martin O'Neill so much, his success on the pitch backed up by a quiet and courteous confidence. I've met a few Northern Irish people like him, and then others quite the opposite. PLEASE GET AN EXTENDED INTERVIEW WITH HIM. We have not had too many interviews this year of that kind, think back to last season with Rafa, Barton, etc...

    And why was last weeeks blog closed so swiftly?

  • Comment number 3.

    # 2 blaenorynyclwyd

    I concur, Mr Capello should be allowed to express his opinion.
    No doubt with Mr Redknapp free from other taxing issues the newspaper media will
    now centre further on the general topic of Mr Capello.

  • Comment number 4.

    Does anyone actually believe the FA will appoint Harry? not a chance, you mark my words!

  • Comment number 5.

    Once again the only winners in the raft of legal battles going on in football are the legal beagles.
    Before the CPS agree to prosecute and potentially waste tax payers money they should look at whether the case serves the public interest, as well as spending a few cursory moments assessing whether they have a hope in hell of winning.
    Another example of avoidable public spending.

  • Comment number 6.

    If the FA wants an English manager, Pardew's gravitas seems to grow by the day.

    Very amused to hear his reply on 5Live to a question about SAFC:

    "We don't talk about Sunderland here." The interviewer thought he was joking, but soon realised he wasn't.

  • Comment number 7.

    Has it not occured to anybody else that once again with Sir Alex sticking his purple nose in defending Fabio Capello being upset with the the way the FA have dealt with the John Terry issue.
    Ferguson claims ha ha that there is nothing wrong with an opinion in which obviously Capello gave one which now means he is in the FA dock.
    Thats fine but hang on a bit ---- only last week Ferguson lambasted Alan Hansen for his opinion that Ferguson's team (Man Utd) are not the force they were last season or words as such, Oh deary deary me Fergie then blasts Hansen through the media and TV as if nobody has a right to criticise his team.
    What an hypocrite Ferguson is and its about time the pundits,the media,the TV and Radio people started to stand up to him.
    If anyone wanted proof of Ferguson's HYPOCRISY then here you have a classic example, stand up to him for the good of the game please?

  • Comment number 8.

    I sincerely hope that Harry is appointed England Manager. If he does, watch Totters go down the pan like every other club he's walked away from!

  • Comment number 9.

    Pleased to see the BBC is waking up to the fact that there are football teams north of Watford. Tell your cousins on Five Live please! Martin O'Neill is doing a fantastic job at Sunderland. We have a good balanced team with experience - John O'Shea and Wes Brown - and youth _ James McClean and Jack Colback. Not to mention the flair of Stephane Sessegon and Seb Larsson. Oh and there's a superb young striker called Frazer Campbell who is desperate to make up for lost time (ask Norwich). The future's bright - it's red and white!

  • Comment number 10.

    Harry may well go on to manage England, but he will leave behind an unfinished job at Spurs.

    On Monday we witnessed a Spurs performance that lacks the ability to adapt in certain situations. We may well be seeing more of this if he is given the England job.

    Liverpool v Spurs: Fail to Dare and To Do:

  • Comment number 11.

    Good blog Dan....

    As I am forced to watch Cbeebies rather often, it will be nice to watch your attempts to read to my you do voices? Not enough of the storytellers do....

    Sunderland just shows the boost a new gaffer can bring to a club, but it also shows that Steve Bruce certainly deservces credit for assembling a squad capable of producing such form - even if he hadn't got the players doing it yet....

    Anyway, how about a feature on the lower leagues in the coming weeks? Plenty of goings on.....

  • Comment number 12.

    The selection of the England national team manager is never going to please everyone.

    Even Sir Alf Ramsey suffered a total lack of respect.
    Later “popular choices” like Messrs Hoddle & Keegan were negative.

    The opportunity was there at one stage with Mr Terry Venables then assistant manager (even backed by Sir Alex Ferguson for the job).

    Perhaps time for a duo with a suitable Manager & able team coach.
    Personally, I doubt Mr Rednapp has the necessary quality. A new appointment needs the full backing of the media, at least Mr Fabio Capello has displayed decent self discipline. Shame that Mr Martin O’Neill is not currently available. Recent other English “bright” names have soon disappeared off the scene ………….. Messrs Allardyce & Curbishley for example.

    Looks like the main current requirement is for a native Englishman and that narrows the field.
    Perhaps Mr Martin Hugh Michael O'Neill is the nearest and most suitable alternative……………………..

  • Comment number 13.

    loved the Pardew comment RE not talking about Sunderland! that was a smart touch from the man.

    that said, O'Neill has done a great job turning his boys around!

  • Comment number 14.

    Harry as the next England Manager? I'm sorry to use a U.S. term, but it looks like a "Flavour of the Month" choice, and the only ENGLISH flavour on the menu. Uncle Neil (Warnock) was mentioned, but is a big loveable softie. Tony Pulis is worth a mention and is good at complaining. Big Sam was in the frame and is a Dark Horse with good Odds in the 19:30 at Wembley. I wouldn't rule out Ian Holloway... a no-nonsense kind of a chap. But the FA will bow to Press pressure I'm sure.

  • Comment number 15.

    I think Pardew and O'Neill are doing wonderful jobs at their respective clubs and I'm glad O'Neill is continuing to be succesful wherever he goes - just wish it was back at Forest.

    I'd be wary of hyping up Pardew too soon though, I want him to be succesful and want to see Newcastle as high up the league as possible but one impressive season does not make a manager. I know he was good with Reading and nearly won the FA Cup with West Ham but give him a bit more time to really prove himself and build something long lasting at Newcastle - then we can begin to think about him for England.

    Harry does seem the man for England now that he's been cleared of the charges against him, the prospect of Redknapp's England and Mourinho's Spurs next season is rather exciting I think.

  • Comment number 16.

    Jelavic is a decent signing for Everton: good technically, knows where the goal is and does a wonderful swallow dive, and will fit into the EPL perfectly. Unlike Scotland where players get punished for blatant simulation, the big guy will be perfecting his acrobatic twists, turns and falls as we speak.

    England manager is a poisoned chalice: too much media negativity, arrogance and fan expectation. They should go with an English coach though the better ones are very thin on the ground these days.

  • Comment number 17.

    I like reading Dan's blogs - so much better than Nil McFaulty's!!!

  • Comment number 18.

    I did not comment on Pardew at Newcastle earlier, O'Neill is my man. However, agree with # 15 that it will take more than one season, just as long as he does not end up higher than the gooners I don't mind.

    Rob04- #16 I don't really want to see The Special One at Whiteheart Lane. A swap of Wenger to Bernabeu and The Special One to the Emirates would be surreal. I'm not sure either of those North London Clubs would be willing to pay his salary though. Having said that, given recent spending patterns the lesser of the two clubs is more likely to than the greater.

  • Comment number 19.

    Can't see the Special One at the Emirates. Introducing some determination, fight, % football and players over-30 to Arsenal fans would be too much of a culture shock! Many would spontaneously choke on their Croissants at the very news. And Harry is old enough to know that missing the England job is like dodging a bullet.

  • Comment number 20.

    I would think appointing Harry or some of the other names mentioned does pose one problem. That none of these managers have much knowledge of the outside football. Now, im not suggesting they do not watch it or dont know who the players are, but I think its an important element to consider for your national manager. His exposure - directly- to European leagues, players, cultures etc, as you will be coming up against them regularly.

    Just an opinion. For us for instance Blanc has played in 4 of the top 5leagues in europe, and that has to be valuable first hand knowledge

  • Comment number 21.

    If (and when) Redknapp leaves Spurs for England, you need to put your money on Paul Lambert being the next Tottenham manager.

    You can thank me later.

  • Comment number 22.

    why is john terry's court case after the euros yet mr huhne is in 2weeks?

    also mr r. ferdinand comments about playing alongside mr terry at the euros is abit hypocritical.

    mr s. pearce should be the next england since he knows alot of the young players in the england squad from the u21s. mr redknapp is very good club manager who requires millions of pounds to have success where mr moyes, mr lambert and mr rodgers have not alot of money to spend and have done excellant jobs with the resources that they have.

    the success at sunderland is that mr oneil is a movitator and has good man management. the question would be what would mr oneil do with my gyan in the summer?

  • Comment number 23.

    Why is this hypocrisy?
    What would you expect SAF to do when someone criticises his team? Ferguson has always been consistent on this. What he really thinks and what he says to the media are often two different things. He knows (as do I as a Utd fan) that the current team is not up to those of previous seasons, but he will keep that between him and his players.

    As for Capello - he felt he needed to make a public statement to send a message to Terry. He knew he would upset the FA, but so be it. The FA and Capello have different agendas. Capello's madate is to win tournaments. To do that he wants his best players, and his best option as captain. The FA have to consider wider issues.

  • Comment number 24.

    If (and when) Redknapp leaves Spurs for England, you need to put your money on Paul Lambert being the next Tottenham manager.
    Don't spoil it mate, don't shout that too loudly, he was my number one choice if they stayed British, I think the odds will be very juicy and a speculative punt.

  • Comment number 25.

    Can't see Lambert swopping Delia's cooking for Daniiel Levy's shenanigans. Besides he'll know if Harry has left a club so has the budget!

  • Comment number 26.

    Hi Dan,
    Loved the Rio interview - I loved it when he suggested you both took over from the old fogies who do MOTD!!! Seriously hope someone in the Beeb was listening - we might get away from the cliche ridden, same old back slapping of their pals in football! I did think that the interview was particularly good on the topic of racism where I thought he talked a lot of sense while keeping his dignity (there's a lot more I'm sure he'd like to say but wisely kept it back). A refreshing contrast to Mr. Dalglish who seems to portray none of those characteristics - you'd get a lot more sense and understanding from those stuffed toys on CBeebies...
    Iggle Piggle

  • Comment number 27.

    Capello quits as England manager……………………
    Well, there we are, whilst we await the full story, or, the prepared version, looks very like the great British (English) disease and & we shoot ourselves in the foot once more ~ “….. would like to stress that during [the] meeting and throughout his time as England manager, Fabio has conducted himself in an extremely professional manner”.

    Mr Capello seems to be an honourable man although not getting the success we so wanted. Leaves with an unfinished tenure

    So, we end up with “FA” = Football Association!

    Thanks John Terry……………………

  • Comment number 28.

    Just got back from a "working away from study and computer" and discovered Capello resignation.

    I'm not saying "I told you so!" Obviously I had no idea what would unfold. Could have been anything.
    What will unfold in the next few weeks? Is this the end of Spurs season?
    Here's another thought, what about the Special One managing neither Arsenal or Spurs (see above) but managing England?

  • Comment number 29.

    Yet again the FA get it wrong and indeed quite a few football pundits etc in the last few days!
    Our legal system is based on innocent until found guilty.
    In my book it is the manager’s role to manage the players; who plays, who plays where, who is captain – not a committee’s role
    Then the FA take action without any communication with the manger – go to the bottom of the man management class FA. I fully support Fabio’s right to run the team as he sees fit – whether I agree or not.
    So we start our final preparations for the Euros without a captain, quite possibly without a good centre half in the squad (to complement others) and without a manager – nice one FA.
    I do so hope Harry turns you down; out of principle and because we need him to focus on winning the Premiership and the Champions league next season.

  • Comment number 30.

    Why didn't Fabio resign after Toxic Terry was demoted last time round for alleged marital infedelity? Why now? Why this time? If anything the last time was even more surreal.

    How have the FA infringed innocent until proven guilty?

  • Comment number 31.

    BBC News reports that Mr Capello received £28 million.
    That the Mr Rednapp’s case has cost £8 million.
    (Money well spent, then. Strange the timing element of both……………………)
    That Mr Pearce might be caretaker with also Mr Brooking mentioned.

    So, Football’s Euro 2012 tournament is done & dusted then for England.

    Well done all.

  • Comment number 32.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 33.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 34.

    thanks moderator. But the end result is Kick out racism

  • Comment number 35.

    Pedantic point I know, and I have no doubt he'd do a great job, but Martin O'Neill isn't English! British, yes but by those odds so is Sir Alex Ferguson.

    English manag

  • Comment number 36.

    Pedantic point I know, and I have no doubt he'd do a great job, but Martin O'Neill isn't English! British, yes but by those odds so is Sir Alex Ferguson.

    English manager for England - why not, but remember who is English hey?

  • Comment number 37.

    pardew for england??

    The tea lady's probably not safe then....

  • Comment number 38.

    Harry to take England post Capello to take Spurs post!

  • Comment number 39.

    The general debate is set to rumble on & on ……………… .

    First impressions after the radio transmission & announcement:

    In many ways it was like something from the 1950’s , when things really were in black & white. Not a colourful dynamic affair and at times rather pompous.

    Mr Capello was due to depart in the summer anyway, correct? Surely then some thought had been given to a natural succession? It doesn’t sound like it.
    If this body is to be strong and direct – why not already planned, and if planned why not mentioned?

    Where is the pride? Mr Allan Shearer recently genuinely commented on the tremendous pride he felt being appointed England captain – good man. This is how it should be. The “Capello era” is now history but a costly one the sum involved is reputed to be £24 million.

    In this day and age everyone is stat mad. A radio reporter commented today that Mr Capello’s results ratio were better than Sir Alf Ramsey. Perhaps so, but it was within the stewardship of Sir Alf Ramsey that the one FIFA World cup trophy was won way back in 1966.

    British, English. or, indeed foreign lets have a really decent appointment with Mr Pearce a close understudy. Now the talk is getting away from the adopted ‘Spanish style’ passing game and being more British in the manner of play. Come on guys, get organized! Be real. Results are what counts and having pride in being the selected manager, captain and player !

    The English football world is lacking in one very major ingredient = RESPECT!

    (Awaiting your own remarks Mr Dan Walker).

  • Comment number 40.

    The FA cannot appoint Harry - 30 years of 'similar' issues to this one that has finally got to court will prevent that ...


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