Scando Power Metal

Barney Ronay
01 September 2009


Will things ever bee-ee the same again? Du-du du-duh du-duh... It's
the final countdown. Yes, it's been a momentous day. Not only is
Europe's 1986 Scando-power metal No1 smash hit still sure of its
place in the running order of songs the Fiver wants played at its
emotional public funeral many years hence (along with a live version
of Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me sung by Elton John, where Elton
actually dies at the end, slumping sideways on his piano stool with a
sad, wise expression on his face). As things stand the Fiver can
probably fit them both in just before the bit where a beautiful Asian
child sings the theme to Home And Away and 4,000 pigeons are released
into the sky above London's post-industrial crack-den and organic
bistro district just north of King's Cross.

On an unrelated note, this afternoon also sees the final knockings of
the transfer window. This is of course a very exciting time, a bit
like Christmas Eve only with the warm glow and the violent family
arguments replaced by attractive, robotic women on Sky Sports News
recycling gossip and talking with apparently genuine excitement about
Reading's shock swoop for Darren O'Dea.

Still, dotted around this voracious black hole of transfer-twiddle we
have had some bits of real news. Sort-of billionaire's sort-of
plaything Portsmouth have confirmed the signing of a yellow
puffa-jacketed Tal Ben-Haim. Johnny Heitinga from the Police Academy
films has been moping around Everton. Niko Kranjcar. Spurs. Coughing
for the doctor. Danny Collins. GBP2.75m. Stoke. Sorry. Am I boring
you? Because in truth it has mainly been a day of men in expensive
knitwear being filmed getting out of cars, while Sky pass the time
repeatedly wondering aloud if Franck Ribery could be on the verge of
a sensational move to the Premier League (he isn't), as if they know
something (they don't) and aren't just trying to keep you watching
their pasted-together TV channel (you will) when you should be
outside inhaling the scented autumn gusts (this just in: Jerome
"Johnny" Rothen has passed a medical at Popes O'Rangers!).

Even as the Fiver thunks into your inbox this afternoon the window
itself will be squeaking decisively shut. And despite late news of
Aston Villa paying a vaguely perplexing GBP5m for West Ham defender
James Collins and GBP6m for Richard Dunne, some questions remain. Is
this really the most boring sensational transfer deadline day in the
recent memory of the Fiver and several people sitting near the Fiver?
Will some major headline deal rear its stupid head at the last
second, trashing the Fiver's entire tea-time schtick? Will things, in
fact, ever be the same again? Wa-ooo-oo-oh-oooh. Or in other words,
probably not.

Join Barney Ronay for the final transfer-packed minutes of the window
) before it slams shut on his fingers. And here's a complete list of
all today's deals ($1CTNsUL/fvr20



Who needs a life when you can win prizes in our Pick the Score ($1CTNsUL/fvr21 ) Premier League predictions

You can also sign up for the Football Weekly ($1CTNsUL/fvr22
) fantasy league here ($1CTNsUL/fvr23 ) (you'll
need this code: 178628-47553).



"We've been studying the latest game they [Scotland] played in Oslo
and it's clear they have not improved. In fact, I think they're worse
than when we won 1-0 in Skopje. Their general performance has gone
down all over the pitch and I think they're looking like a very
nervous team as they fear they can't now qualify for the play-offs" -
Macedonia keeper Jane Nikolovski says what everyone else is thinking
about Scotland, although whether George Burley should listen to a boy
named Jane is another matter.



"Paul Jurdeczka is obviously after a job at the Fiver, so I think it's
only fair that we see if he matches the criteria required: a). Can
you write something everyday? Yes; b) Are you terminally unfunny?
Yes. Now you just have to negotiate salary" - Andrew Want.

Send your letters to ( ). And if you've nothing better to do
you can also Tweet the Fiver ($1CTNsUL/fvr24 ) now.



Eduardo has been banned for two Big Cup games by Uefa despite Arsenal
submitting a 19-page defence, no doubt written in BIG letters and
referring to him as the Brazilian-Croatian striker Eduardo da Silva
throughout, to Europe's top football suits after his dive against the
Queen's Celtic.

Rafael Benitez has been charged with improper conduct by the FA for
his comments following Liverpool's defeat to Spurs in their opening
fixture of the season. After Liverpool were denied a second penalty,
a red-faced Rafa said: "Can you get two penalties at an away ground?
No. With this referee, I knew that this was impossible."

Bongo FC chairman David Gold says it is "absolutely ridiculous" to
suggest Luka Modric may have been deliberately injured by Lee Bowyer
to help England qualify for the World Cup. The president of the
Croatian FA earlier suggested his players were being targeted,
saying: "First Eduardo, now Luka Modric. This is horrible. I can only
ask myself if it was really an accident. I'm close to thinking it was
done to us deliberately before the England match." But Gold
retaliated: "To suggest a conspiracy is nonsense. To suggest it was a
deliberate act by English players to weaken the Croatia squad is
absolutely ridiculous."

Inter defender Marco Materazzi has threatened legal proceedings
against the directors of Italian TV series 'L'Ispettore Coliandro'
after a character allegedly ridiculed his propensity for seeing red.
"He was sent off again and I lost," a fantasy football player says in
one episode. "We have received a complaint from the player," sniffed
Inspector Coliandro director Marco Manetti. "The ironic thing is I'm
an Inter fan."

Not-quite-as-Special-One Claudio Ranieri could be in line to manage
Roma after Luciano Spalletti resigned following defeats to Genoa and

A story to inspire little Mickey Owen: Diego Maradona has called up
striker Martin Palermo to the Argentina squad after an absence of
nine years. Palermo, 95, was last called up for a World Cup qualifier
against Chile in November 2000 and missed three penalties during a
3-0 Copa America defeat to Colombia in 1999.

And FC Nordsjaelland defender Jonathan Richter has had the lower part
of his left leg amputated, six weeks after being struck by lightning
during a reserve game against second-tier team Hvidovre. Richter will
"very soon" be moved from the intensive care unit at a Copenhagen
hospital, his family said.



Tottenham are now as short as 25-1 to win the Premier League but, in
the real world, Chelsea made it 12 points out of 12 with another win
on Saturday and we make Carlo Ancelotti's side 6-5 to win the title
this season. Man Utd secured a vital comeback win against Arsenal and
you can back them at 5-2 with Sportingbet to win a fourth consecutive
title. Other Premier League betting news sees Arsenal and Liverpool
locked together at 13-2 and Man City still at 11-1. We have early
odds available on Saturday's World Cup qualifiers and Scotland are
4-5 to triumph at Hampden in their must-win match against Macedonia
while we make Northern Ireland 11-2 to beat Poland. Open an account
with Sportingbet today and you can get up to GBP200 in free bets ($1CTNsUL/fvr25



James and the pod were working very hard yesterday while everyone else
was sunning themselves to bring you the latest Football Weekly ($1CTNsUL/fvr26
), in which they solve such dilemmas as: is Cristiano Ronaldo a
mummy's boy? Will Manchester United end the season in the top four?

Louise Taylor reckons Tim Flowers should be a contender for the
managerial vacancy at Barnsley in her
Football-League-But-Mainly-Just-The-Championship blog ($1CTNsUL/fvr27

Kevin McCarra runs the rule over England's goalkeeping options and
decides that an error prone, knee-knacked 39-year-old ($1CTNsUL/fvr28
) is probably the best Fabio Capello has got.


WELL, CAN HE? ($1CTNsUL/fvr29

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