THE FA, once again, were virtually in a no-win situation over the Wayne Rooney affair.
Issue a warning and they’d have been slammed. Give him a ban and they’re criticised for making him an example because he’s so high profile.
Heat of the moment? Rubbish. He looked as if he picked out the camera lens.
Mind you, the cameraman will be getting a pat on the back. Get in there, stick the lens right up the nose of some excited/disappointed player at an emotional moment and you just might get a reaction into the said lens! Result!
The apology issued on Rooney’s behalf said it was aimed at no one in particular. What, not even those sports writers who had suggested that same week that we might have seen the best of Rooney.
Best way to answer that is the way he did at Upton Park (with a hat-trick) and in midweek at Chelsea not a foul-mouthed, respect-losing spew into a live camera lens!
n The excellently-produced item about the Star’s sports paper, the Green ‘Un, on Monday night’s Late Kick Off on BBC1, sparked a few comments to me about one aspect of it - after, that is, the initial greeting of “ah saw thi on’t telly!” It was about those pigeons which were used to transmit reports and results in the paper’s earliest days.
Perfectly true! In the Saturday night paper’s first season, 1907/08, a basket of homing pigeons accompanied the Green Un reporter to local home matches.
Reports during the game and, eventually, the result would be attached to a pigeon which flew back to the coop situated on top of the paper’s building at York Street.
There were stories of some landing on nearby buildings and a bloke would have to attract them by rattling a tin of seed! Don’t ask me how they went on from away games!
We’d like to think it’s a bit more reliable nowadays although when a laptop or a computer does crash...
n Team of the week? Step forward John Pemberton’s Under 18s at Sheffield United for reaching the FA Youth Cup Final, the most prestigious competition at that level, for the first time in the club’s history.
They did it too, “playing football” as they say - and those Blades fans amongst the 4,000 or so who saw them defeat Aston Villa and were watching the “kids” for the first time, must have been pleasantly surprised at the way the young Blades played.
On such a big night for them, and protecting a 1-0 lead that might have made some a touch nervy, they never looked less than assured.
Their confidence in possession, in the way they passed it and received it, showed they are learning well at the Academy and Pemberton is obviously preaching the “right way” to play.
There’s always a time and a place for it to go long and you won’t get too far without the teamwork and defensive qualities they showed as well, but they are happy to start their moves from the back and the Blades fans seemed appreciative of the efforts.
As it’s Man United or holders Chelsea in the final then the Bramall Lane leg is sure to attract a big gate - I would reckon into five figures.