LAST TWO TEAMS TO CONSIDER THIS SEASON
SUNDAY MAY 19
LIVERPOOL win v Q.P.R.
RESULT :- LIVERPOOL 1 - 0 Q.P.R.
TOTTENHAM win v SUNDERLAND
RESULT :- TOTTENHAM 1 - O SUNDERLAND
RESULTS SO FAR OF TEAMS PUT UP FOR CONSIDERATION
TOTAL TO DATE :- 142 :-84 WON / 58 LOST
SUNDAY MAY 12
2 TEAMS PUT UP :- 2 WON
SUNDAY MAY 12
2 TEAMS PUT UP :- 2 WON
LAST POST THIS SEASON : 23rd MAY
TAKEN FROM THE GUARDIANS FIVER.
SKY SPORTS YELLOW BREAKING NEWS TICKER OF DOOM.
David Beckham … So farewell then David Beckham. You were a footballer who ran around a lot and took good free-kicks. You played for Manchester United, Real Madrid, LA Galaxy, Milan and Paris Saint-Germain. And let's not forget Preston North End. You scored twice in five games for them. Prolific . You were a decent England captain and played 117 times for them. In fact you loved England so much that you even took long, expensive transatlantic flights to sit on the bench for meaningless friendlies against Slovenia. You won six Premier League titles, two FA Cups, a Big Cup, a Spanish league title and some US Soccerball thing or other, which is not to be sniffed at. But you decided to retire now because, and let's be honest here, you're a better underpants model than a footballer these days. And being worn like a big shiny medallion around the neck of a team who can't really find room for you among their young upstarts, is not really your bag. "I'm thankful to PSG for giving me the opportunity to continue but I feel now is the right time to finish my career, playing at the highest level," said Beckham, who can probably spend a good deal of his spare time counting the £165m he's amassed being successful at lots of other things that weren't football.
BOOOOOOOOO! BOOOSo Rafa Benítez's Chelsea are European champions. True, it's Big Vase raOOOOOOOOther than Big Cup, but still a tremOOOOOendous achievement for the club. Benítez becomes only the third manager, after Giovanni O'Trapattoni and Udo Lattek to win a EuropeOOOOOOOOan trophy with three different clubs. And Chelsea are now the only English club to have liftOOOOOOOed all three major European titles. And the manager that has brought this sucOOOOOOcess is being ditched in order to bring back an old dugout favourite. Well, it worked so well with Newcastle and Kevin Keegan, Liverpool and KeOOOOOnny Dalglish, Everton and Howard Kendall, Milan and Fabio CapBOO-URNS. I WAS SAYING BOO-URNS.
"I could see everyone was happy, so I was happy too ," said the happy Benítez, whose tendency to simply copy the emotions of people he sees must mean he gets wildly excited by watching breakfast cereal adverts on TV and extremely confused whenever lost tourists ask him for directions. "This was a reward for how hard we've been working all season. But I think it's sad to think we are now 'a success' when we have been doing our jobs for six or seven months. It would have changed nothing if we'd won or lost this final in terms of what we have been trying to do." Mind you, it's just as well that Chelsea did pull a rabbit out of the hat in the final third of the game because for the best part of an hour Benítez's side showed all the guile and penetration of a duck banging its beak against a wall. But then Fernando Torres rolled back the years and then two minutes and 18 seconds into injury time, Branislav Ivanovic provided the coup de grace. "It's a great feeling," said the Serb. "To score the winning goal in a European final … we are amazingly happy about this. For me, it was always about the team … we had a couple of guys injured today, but all of us played a big part." Which brings us on to Plain Old John Terry, whose own part in the final was limited to a Mr Benn-style quickfire change into his full kit on the final whistle, followed by a lift of the trophy and general celebratory meandering. But this time, rather than accessorise with shin pads, he went for his two children. Anyway. It seems Roman Abramovich will look to build on this success by splashing the cash again in the summer . "Chelsea will be much better next season because they will spend €100m and they will sign three or four players," said Benítez. "The foundation is already there. The future is bright for them. I don't know who the next coach will be, I am not the person who should say, but everyone speculates the same person." Benítez has now given him quite a Special act to follow.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"On the way, in heavy rain, Maradona made the car stop, got out with a Havana cigar in his hand, took some stones from the edge of the highway and started throwing them at reporters' cars and kicked a photographer's leg" – a Buenos Aires hack tells Argentina's La Red radio about Diego Maradona's low-key return to the country after his time in the Middle East. Meanwhile this is what went down at the airport ... FIVER LETTERS "Oh dear, I cant believe I am doing this but Rick McGahey's Bolshevik analogy (yesterday's Letters) with Arsenal and Wigan is a bit off the mark. Any good Guardian reading Socialist should know that Lenin and Trotsky were both Bolsheviks during the revolution, Julius Martov was the leader of the Mensheviks. Wenger is Lenin to Pat Rice/Steve Bould's Trotsky. We can only hope for Rice's sake he's not moved to Mexico" – Craig Sanderson [and 1,056 others]. "Now that the season is almost over, the Fiver gets a score prediction right in Big Vase final: is this not a good time to Stop Football and go out on an all time high? Take a well-earned summer rest Fiver, as soon you will be called on by the BBC to take over from their tired old score predictor pundit. Come on, you can do him any day of the week ..." – Gary Knowles. "In the event of a third/fourth place play-off between Arsenal and Chelsea (yesterday's Bits and Bobs), would it be possible for the Premier League bods to arrange for silverware to be awarded to the losing side, thus finally vindicating Arsène Wenger's infamous comment?" – Tom Hurles. • Send your letters to email@example.com. And if you've nothing better to do you can also tweet the Fiver. Today's winner of our prizeless letter o' the day prize is: Tom Hurles.
JOIN GUARDIAN SOULMATES
We keep trying to point out the utter futility of advertising an online dating service "for interesting people" in the Fiver to the naive folk who run Guardian Soulmates, but they weren't having any of it. So here you go – sign up here to view profiles of the kind of erudite, sociable and friendly romantics who would never dream of going out with you. BITS AND BOBS FA suits have voted to introduce a minimum ban of five matches for any player found guilty of r@cially abusing an opponent. Having assessed Wayne Rooney's frame of mind, amateur psychologist Mr Roy has decided that the sulky striker is not too sulky that he can't captain England in their friendly with Brazil . Ashley Cole is likely to wear the armband against the Republic O'Ireland. Andy Carroll and Reading's Alex McCarthy are also in the squad. QPR striker Loïc Rémy has been bailed after denying allegations of r@pe which led to his arrest in London. Manchester City cleaners have cleared Roberto Mancini's office, sweeping up Ivan Carminati, Fausto Salsano, Massimo Battara, Angelo Gregucci and Attilio Lombardo before leaving them outside the Etihad with the rubbish. "We thank them for their contribution," blabbed a dusty club suit. And Mauricio Pochettino has threatened to do one if Southampton's executive chairman Nicola Cortese leaves. "I would not understand a Southampton without Nicola being here," sobbed Pochettino, doing down the good work of his interpreter.