This image taken at the game at Macclesfield marks an important moment in the history of Manchester City. It shows Stuart Pearce alone on the bench deep in conversation having heard that Shaun Wright-Phillips had asked to speak to Chelsea regarding his transfer. Having arrived with the rest of the players for this pre-season friendly SWP went out onto the pitch with his colleagues so it was noticeable that he did not reappear for the warming -up session. It was only at the end of the game that it became known that he had cried off 'ill' just before the game and then expressed the wish to speak to Chelsea which is the same as saying - I want a transfer. Now this appears to be a complete about turn from a day or so ago. Did some genie (agent) appear from a bottle and get him to change his mind or is has it all been a big con from start to finish with a carefully arranged scenario to avoid the board from being directly blamed by supporters for his departure. I can remember the scenes at Maine Road many years ago when supporters forced the exit of past chairmen. I am disappointed too with the amount that Chelsea will be paying- a miserly 21 million. They should have held out for 25 million. If we had said no he would have been worth a lot more next summer.
It could be that money was so short there would have been sod all for a new striker and Chelsea were waiting for the Wright - sorry right moment to strike.
I hope the trip to Thailand is going to be worthwhile. Knowing the conditions there (having coached and refereed there) I am not so sure about its benefits without time to acclimatize and it deprives the manager of valuable time to organize his replacements for SWP. No doubt like the decision to play in the away strip for the last game last season it was done purely for financial reasons.


Macclesfield 1 City 1
Back to City
July Notes
Farewell to SWP. A couple of the last images of Shaun in City colours taken at the final game of last season
Well the Bangkok trip is now history and only a bit of soul searching by the board and management will decide whether it was all worth while. The results were peripheral to the antics of Barton and the injury to Dunne and the early morning fracas in the Hotel will get the headlines. It beggars belief that players and some staff were up at that time of the morning anyway and it doesn't say much for the parental control of the parents of the 15 year old Everton supporter for him to be in the hotel bar at that time either. As for Barton's loss of temper and Dunne's foot injury as a result of the incident, words fail me. I understand the club will fine Barton heavily and demand that he goes on an anger management course. The incident a while ago with Tandy was bad enough and the writing was on the wall then but little was done other than a fine and a slapped wrist. I doubt whether the club will transfer Barton though I understand a certain Birmingham City manager is waiting in the wings. No doubt Steve Bruce would find the cash. It's now been confirmed that a fine of 8 weeks wages will be paid by Barton and he remains with City ..... for the time being.
Talking of transfers Andy Cole on a free move from Fulham has now taken the place of Macken upfront with Robbie Fowler and it looks like Darius Vassell ( 2 million pounds ) is likely to feature on the right - replacing SWP who will be warming the bench at Chelsea. Vassell is a bit of a risk and no doubt there were Risk Management meetings at Carrington to consider the pro's and cons of the move. Vassell had bad luck with injuries last season with Villa but he is young .. still and has done well for England at times but then so did Sinclair . The latter did well in Bangkok I understand and now looks fully recovered from his injuries so with the welcome return of Sun Jihai the squad is looking stronger. When he was at his best Vassell was similar to SWP in many ways so his pace will be useful.
Perhaps we may get another striker and creative midfielder before the door shuts on transfers, keeping some of the cash from the SWP move until the January transfer slot.
The above 4 shots were taken by a friend of mine at the Bolton game in Bangkok
Stoke City 1 City 2
City 3 Olympiacos 1
August Notes
City 0 West Brom 0
City 2 Portsmouth 1

As I write this a few days before the start of the Premiership season it is hard to realize we will be seeing a City side without SWP. I suppose realistically with the debts City have and with the squad badly needing reinforcements it was inevitable that Shaun would be on his way south. It was the manner of his going that left a bad taste in the mouth. To say he was staying one day, then feigning illness and then asking for transfer the next is a bit much and I wonder how much agent Mitchell Thomas had to do with his decision. As the next best offer was about ten million from Arsenal, City had to grab the 21 million from Chelsea before Chelski started to 'reduce' the offer. Anyway it's now water under the bridge and as Stuart Pearce did so well at the end of last season without the services of SWP team performances have got to be of the highest order and now the 'honeymoon' period is over for the manager the real battle starts on Saturday against West Brom.

Anyway this leads me to a ' I don't believe it topic' . I was just glancing at an article in the Premiership Guide published in a recent Daily Mail and noticed that the writer a certain David Thomas had included Stuart Pearce in his list of possible shock sackings at 25 to 1 .Anyway to cap it all Mr Thomas ( I hope no relation to Mitchell Thomas) put City's debts upto 96 million and wait for it .. he thinks we still play at Maine Road!!

The injuries to Distin and Dunne just before the start of the season have given the manager a few problems but I guess the best lineup at the moment will be
James: Onuoha, Dunne, Distin, Jordan: Sinclair, Reyna, Barton, Musampa, Vassell, Cole
subs Weaver or De Vieger, Thatcher, Sun, Sibierski, Bradley-Wright-Phillips
others Fowler, Croft, Ireland, Mills, Sommeil

Fowler's injury is a bit of mystery so I doubt whether he will figure for a few weeks. Dunne's injury doesn't appear to be as bad as first feared so he might play against West Brom probably with Onuoha in the centre of defence.

It was interesting to hear about the weeks trial for Pep Guardiola who has been playing in Quatar. His past performances for Spain and Barcelona were of the highest standard but whether he can perform to his best in the Premiership at the age of 34 is the question. If he can show the manager he is up for it then his creativity even as a sub could be a key factor. However playing in the more sedate league in the Middle East is vastly different to the fast and furious Premiership. I also understand Hussain, also from the same league, who had a trial earlier has been offered a longer trial contract providing a work permit comes through

City have made an offer for Bolton midfielder and Greek International Stelios Giannakopoulos who scored 7 goals in 34 games last season. He would certainly help fill the gap left by the departure of SWP.
No luck in the transfer market yet with the closing day rapidly approaching. With targets Ashton and Stelios G. re-signing for their clubs no doubt Pearce will be looking for those players that will fit into his team ethic.
Well, the transfer deadline has passed and no new signings to report. We shall just have to hope City keep injury free.
The relatively poor attendance for the opening home games is symptomatic of a general trend. With Sky dictating kick-off times - I notice the Bolton game has been moved to a Sunday 4-0pm kick-off and the Everton game to a 11-15 Sunday morning start , while the derby with United was quietly switched from a 1pm start to 3pm - when are the Premier league going to take control of their own league!. There is talk now of Abramovich and co taking a financial interest in West Ham - what next - I cannot imagine the catastrophic effect on soccer should anything happen to him.

September notes
September already and what a start there has been with City almost beating the old enemy at the swamp and England finally winning the Ashes. I covered one of the days of the Old Trafford Test and you can see images here. I must say we could do with a bit of the passion shown by the England supporters at our home games. With City now in third position and the unbeaten run now extended to 13 games the remarkable change in fortunes deserves maximum crowd support. The team effort led by Stu Pearce is now capable of a top six position so more support at home is vital. Visitors are bound to arrive to fill the midfield and deny City space around their penalty area.
With Sky failing to televise the United game live I was forced to make use of all the senses by listening to the excellent commentary on GMR with my left ear... watching a 4 minute delayed satellite image from China on the laptop ...with the occasional glance at a TV with Channel 4 to see if the test had resumed and my right ear half taking in Test Match Special!
The Doncaster cuptie left me pretty speechless. For the first time this season the team started with the wrong attitude and the absence of several first choice players didn't help. Its a pretty poor situation when we have to wait until extra time before any City player runs at the opposition -several divisions below- and that has to be a defender -Dunne - who wins a penalty. Then ,the referee, keen to make a ' name 'for himself sends off Nedum Onuoha for an accidental collision with the keeper. If that was bad enough he then awards the home side who had been giving him some stick a penalty for an innocuous handball against Distin. However with better finishing - Sun and Sibierski missing good chances- City should have had this game won in normal time. City played the game at Doncasters pace and against a packed defence every chance has to be taken. The absence of Cole was important and so it showed too at Newcastle with a lack lustre first half and with the inevitable goal by Owen the difference between the teams. So after the great start we have lost three games on the trot. At least our next two games are at home . Lets just hope our striking power is back by then!
City 0 Bolton 1
A very sad bit of news this month. One of City's greatest fan Helen Turner has passed away. She was 85 and used to ring a bell at Maine Road.
I believe the pic on the left shows her (centre) waiting for the winning Cup Final City side in 1969. I took the picture in Albert Square.

You can also see her here (top left of image) in April 2003 at a game against Middlesbrough at Maine Road

On the right she is watching Anelka in the very last game at Maine Road

City 2 West Ham 1
Sad to learn about the death of Johnny Haynes following a car crash recently. First of the 'Brylcreem Boys' he was one of England's greatest inside forwards. I was fortunate enough to have seen him play for England and Fulham on several occasions. I first saw him play for Fulham at Ipswich just after my return from the Far East in 1957 and shortly after saw him get two goals for the England under 23 side in a 6-2 win against Bulgaria at Stamford Bridge. Also playing that day were Jimmy Greaves and Maurice Setters.
Leyton Orient v Fulham 1-3 1958
I'm pretty certain that's him behind the referee
A month or so later and I was at Wembley to see him help England slaughter the French 4-0. Tom Finney was his partner on the wing that day and Duncan Edwards behind him at left half. What a trio! His passing Johnny Haynes' passing was his forte. He would have been a star in the Premiership.
The next season I was lucky enough to see him score a hat trick against the USSR at Wembley as England won 5 nil. He was both a goal maker and goal scorer netting almost 150 for Fulham with whom he stayed throughout his 18 year career. They don't make them like that any more. Indeed he was the first player to earn £100 per week. I saw him play many times for Fulham against City and fortunately for City he was never on the winning side when I watched him at Maine Road.
While checking through my records I did find an unusual event in a game between United and Fulham in 1959. Alan Mullery and Bentley were also playing for Fulham that day and the game ended 3-3 but the game was held up for 7 minutes when a dog got on the pitch!
City 3 Aston Villa 1
City 0 Blackburn 0
City 0 Liverpool1
November Notes
As November came to its end so did the life of one of the greatest footballers I have the pleasure to watch over the past 60 years. I first saw George Best in February 1964 when I saw United beat Sporting 4-0 , Denis Law scoring a hat-trick. I was able to watch him about 40 or 50 times over the years and he had everything . He could dribble , score goals, pass, tackle ,head -the lot. You name it he could do it ! Those were the days when football was a joy to watch and there was not a prawn sandwich in sight. In the 67-68 season City were back in the first division and though beaten at home by two Bobby Charlton goals in September we had a great victory at Old Trafford in March 1968 winning by 3-1 .Though Best scored for United ,goals by Lee, Bell and George Heslop gave City the win. In April I saw Best score the winner against Real Madrid and I was lucky enough to see him score three goals in a 6-0 win over Newcastle - 7 days before I went to Newcastle to see City win the Championship by beating the home side 4-3 before about 20,000 visiting blue fans. The left back for Newcastle on those two occasions was a chap called Frank Clarke - yes our ex-manager.

Well George has now joined his father figure when he came across to Manchester and now doubt Sir Matt Busby will be penciling Best straight into his top heaven side.
George was no doubt the best player I have seen and I have been lucky enough to have seen Pele, Eusebio,Puskas and Di Stefano ,Finney and Matthews to name but a few!

He was a genius - a flawed genius maybe but he was the VERY BEST.

On the way home from Old Trafford I called into Maine Road to see the state of the old ground . Latest situation above.
It was good to see tributes from City supporters among the overflow of appreciation at old Trafford
City 4 Birmingham 1
December Notes

Having organised a trip to Cambodia to conincide with City away games at West Brom and Charlton I was unsure whether any of the hotels I was staying at would be able to pick up TV coverage of the games. Fortunately I need not have worried for the Charlton game as I was able to watch it live at ten at night through ESPN. I did not get much sleep that night as we were on the move next morning at 5-00am but it did put me in a good mood next day -especially as our guide was a Middlesborough fan -and I had constant reminders of Fowlers penalty miss! However the next game against West Brom happened while I was waiting to take off for home from Bangkok airport. I was able to see Wigan v Chelsea live but the scores from West Brom came up at the bottom of the screen and I just saw the goals before been called for the flight. Whatever was Thatcher doing that day!
The win against a poor Birmingham side was better and now City have a number of tough fixtures coming up over the Christms period. I shall be at the Wigan and Chelsea games but it seems a long time since I watched a game on Christmas day. I checked in my records and was surprised to see I was at the Blackburn-Blackpool game in 1959. I can't think what made me watch that! Mind you in 1957 it had been City reserves against Newcastle reserves!

Wigan 4 City 3
City 0 Chelsea 1
City 0 Tottenham 2
City 3 Scunthorpe 1
January Notes

It's been a bleak Christmas period for City with only one league point since the win against Birmingham in December. The loss of confidence of many of the players and stupid mistakes in defence has cost City dear and the coveted European place looked a million miles away during the game with Spurs.
The only City signing so far in the January Sales is Albert Riera from Espanyol. He is on loan with a possible permanent move in the summer should he fit in. Could this mean the exit of Musampa who has not figured for a while.

The result from the United game has made the headlines and brightened up the whole outlook for City. It was a superb team performance and with some more new players on the horizon there is still chance of a top six place. As I write City are hoping to sign a Greek forward ( Samaras) from Dutch Club Heerenveen. Well that now looks pretty certain with just a medical and personal terms to sort out. Georgios Samaras is the first Greek player to play for us and I look forward to seeing what the 6ft 3 inches 20 year old striker can do. He has scored 9 goals in 21 matches this season so far. Last season it was 11 in 37 games.
There is only a day or so to go before the end of the transfer window now so we shall know soon enough whether the midfield is to be strengthened. Interesting that Musampa played in midfield when he came on against Wigan. Its farewell to Robbie Fowler who has returned to his beloved Liverpool on a free transfer. I think his heart never left Liverpool when he went to Leeds and his move to City was fraught with injury problems. It was only on rare occasions that we saw the best of him and it was fitting our lasting memory of Robbie should be him scoring the final goal against United a few weeks ago.
City also signed Matthew Mills from Southampton. He is a 19 year old defender who has played a few games for Southampton. He has also been on loan to Bournmouth and Coventry.
However the main item of concern was the transfer request by Joey Barton. After all that City have done for this player I am astonished at the latest news coming through. Turning down a good pay rise and then virtually saying that City weren't good enough for his talent is incredible. Its not as though he is a world class player. His errors in midfield have cost us goals recently and his efforts generally in recent games has been lower than his best. He must be getting some really bad advice from 'his friends'! Unless the situation is sorted pretty quickly he can say good-bye to any outside chance he had of getting in the England squad as he must be well behind others in the race for selection.
I am afraid loyalty is becoming rarer than ever in today's society and this fiasco could and should have been avoided. Its a good example of how NOT to make good friends and influence people. No doubt should the manager select him against Newcastle tonight Barton will be looking forward to a welcome from the City supporters!


City 3 United 1
City 1 Wigan 0
City 2 Everton 0
City 3 Newcastle United 0
City 3 Charlton 2
City 2 Sunderland 1
March Notes

Well the departure of Graham Souness from Newcastle after their loss last month has now been followed by the sacking of Sunderland boss Mick McCarthy after their defeat recently at COMS. It must be catching! I feel sorry for the ex City defender. He was hardly given any money after their promotion to improve the side and unless a miracle occurs Sunderland are a certainty for relegation.
Simulation they call it .... well it's cheating and it's becoming far too common in the modern game. What is being done to stop it. Not a lot really. Plenty of words but not a great deal of action. Now I am in favor of the return of the death penalty for certain offenses but perhaps that would be a little harsh! In these days of modern technology with cameras analyzing every move it is not beyond possibilities to use software to post-analyse diving or injury simulations frame by frame using different camera angles. If cheating is going on usually there is a slight gap between the continuos movement of a tackle and a fall. The referee cannot possibly be able to spot every attempt to cheat so post video examination of the game should be used to bring the perpetrators to some kind of justice. Fining is pretty useless for the top players and clubs so initially match bans should be used followed by the docking of points for clubs using persistent offenders. You will be amazed how quickly this type of cheating will stop. Chairmen and managers will not be happy to lose points due to the cheating of their players. At the moment Clubs employing such players adopt a 'Speak no evil, See no evil, Hear no evil' attitude. It's time for action to eradicate this offensive behaviour from soccer.
Sad to hear of the deaths of Peter Osgood of Chelsea fame who I saw play in the late 60's against City at Maine Road and nearer to home, Roy Clarke . Roy Clarke was an old fashioned attacking left winger who made his debut at the end of the 1946-47 season against Newport County the town where he was born. I was fortunate enough to see him help City win 5-1 all five goals scored by George Smith. A City man through and through he will be sadly missed by all who met him or saw him play.
With West Ham beating Bolton in their Cup replay City now meet them next Monday, a match I have to miss alas, for a semi-final place at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff. Having confortably already beaten West Ham at COMS earlier in the season City should on their home form go through. If we can avoid Chelsea or Liverpool in the semi then there is a good chance we could make the final.
Well the draw having been made Chelsea do play Liverpool. The only drawback is that we lost to West Ham! Having now watched the game on TV the absence of Samaras upfront was a big blow. Bradley Wright-Phillips was no match for the West Ham defenders and the sending off of Sun didn't help. Pity Musampa dithered in midfield instead of moving the ball on quickly to give away the second goal. Shame Keegan didn't sign Ashton when he was nearby at Crewe! With our horrendous injury list points are going to be hard to come by for the rest of the season. At least we are safe from relegation!
After my remarks a little earlier re the cheating I was astonished to see SWP indulging in the practice to get Elliot sent off in the Chelsea Newcastle cup clash. How are the mighty fallen. He has yet to score for Chelsea -any bets that will end tomorrow!- and he has obviously been taking lessons from Drogba. Incidentally there is no truth in the rumor that Peter Kenyon has been seen in Hollywood talking to stunt men! Some people have been saying its up to the ref. I think they already have their hands full. No FIFA and the FA have to get their act together and start suspending offenders . As I mentioned earlier video evidence should be looked at in cases where referees have not acted. I shall watch future events with interest. Pity I didn't get that job with the FA when I applied in 1959!
I noticed this morning that Andy Townsend in the Mail also said that video evidence was the way to go with cheating. After the Chelsea game in which our reserves held the home side to two nil with ten men it would not surprise me that in the future, like cricket, there will be a 'third umpire' watching TV replays. The technical advances in both video and communication will allow the 'third umpire' to tell the referee either on request by the referee or on his own initiative if something has gone on unnoticed by the match officials. It might mean an extra minute or so to be added but it would help clean up the game.
The sending off of Distin by referee Stokes was a joke. The look on Stokes' face was full of guilt. The linesman to the right of Drogba should have seen the handball or at least seen the movement of the hand and immediate reaction of the City players. He would also 'hopefully' be aware of Drogba's reputation and so let the referee know.

City 2 Aston Villa 1
City 0 Wigan 1
City 0 Middlesbrough 1
April 2006
The run of defeats was ended thank goodness at Villa with a one nil win but with just three games to go the best we could achieve would be a place in the top half of the table - not what we were hoping for earlier in the season. Injuries and loss of form have cost us dearly this season and I am sure the manager is letting the board know that the squad needs to be reinforced if we are hoping for a run at a place in a UEFA competition next season.
Congratulations must go to Middlesbrough for reaching the final of the UEFA Cup in such a manner. To come back from a two goal deficit in the second leg was a magnificent achievement and to have done this feat for a second time after beating Basle in a similar way was incredible.
I must confess to having a soft spot for the team from Ayesome Park as I was stationed at RAF Thornaby for a couple of years way back in the days of Wilf Mannion, Spuhler and co and I went to watch them at their old ground a dozen times or so, the highlight being a 5-0 win over United, Mannion scoring twice. Even in those days Middlesbrough had a good youth policy. I was in communication with George Camsell regarding several of my RAF players as I was in charge of the local RAF side.
So now we know who is going to be the new England manager. What a fiasco - the very first choice - so we are told - Mmm -was Steve McLaren
City 1 Fulham 2
City 1 Arsenal 3
Another historic ground closed at the end of the season with Arsenal playing their last home game at Highbury. The pic on the left shows the start of the Arsenal Chelsea game in 1958 though my first visit there was in 1954 when I saw a certain Joe Mercer play for Arsenal
MAY 2006

A lot of talking points at the end of the season so lets start with the Arsenal - Barcelona game as I've just mentioned the last game at Highbury. The sending off of the keeper Lehmann in the frist half changed the game. It was difficult to tell whether the referee from Norway had blown the whistle for the foul before Barcelona had scored but the ball was put into the net so quickly after the foul on the edge of the area that a delay of only a few seconds would have been the common sense decision. But then there seems to be lack of common sense in Norway after one of the chosen linesmen had been seen in a Barcelona shirt prior to the game!
There is referee talk too in Italy where it appears officials from Juventus have been accused of fixing games via referees. Though Juventus won the Italian League, Serie A , they may yet lose their title. General manager Luciano Moggi is accusd of manipulating the appointment of 'friendly' referees for both Serie A and Champions League fixtures.
Middlesbrough could not repeat their feats in the UEFA Cup Final losing 4-0 to Sevilla of Spain.. Although the score does not reflect the display of Middlesbrough they were beaten by the better side.As far as City are concerned the season ended when we turned out a weakened side against Wigan. From that moment it went downhill and finishing just above the relegation zone was very disappointing to say the least. So Sommeil, Musampa and Riera will not be with us next season. No great surprise. I just hope we can reinforce the left side of midfield. When I looked at the markings from the games I had seen last season I found that nobody stood out as player of the sason. The only ones to average more than 7 per game were Distin, Dunne, Cole and Barton. There were only a few decimal places between many of the players.

June 2006
It's world Cup time again and with hardy any news coming from the City of Manchester Stadium as far as new players are concerned apart from the return of Paul Dickov and Cole signing a one year extension to his contract, it was time to see what was going to happen in Germany. I should not forget the signing of young keeper Hart from Shrewsbury.
Thank goodness coverage of the first game and opening ceremony came via the BBC ad not ITV. There was just enough coverage of the opening to give a feel of the atmosphere in Munich.
There was a heart stopping moment for City fans when squeaky voiced Alan Ball was interviewed but better memories when Paulo Wanchope ( shame he left us- could he come back I wonder)
In this first game against Germany Paulo scored two excellent goals helped by poor German defending
Paulo scoring his two goals
However Costa Rica were outdone by two spectacular efforts by Lahm and Frings and two easy finishes by Klose so Germany won 4-2 but thanks to Wanchope they had a few scares.
England won their first game in the group 1-0 against Paraguay under very hot afternoon conditions. While Robinson had hardly a shot to save all game, England fell away in the second half and I am sure were glad when the final whistle was blown by the Mexican referee Rodriguez who had given some bizarre decisions.
A very sober Geoff Hurst was there as was a rather inebriated Andrew Flintoff who was asked if he was a City supporter. Of course -
England supporters were there in strength for this first game
England's winning goal came very early on. A free kick by Beckham was headed into his own goal by Gamarra. It was a superb inswinging ball that might have gone all the way but the deflection by the defender gave the keeper no chance.
JUNE 10th
June 15th
Well the first set of games now completed and top teams look like Spain and Argentina with Brazil ,England ,Italy and Germany in a second group. Today sees the England game with Trinidad & Tobago so with the good weather I hope we win the toss and bat....ooops wrong game.
Latest City signing possibility is the youngster Samir Nasri from Marseilles. Would be an asset in midfield and he has a great future so I'll keep my fingers crossed. There might also be a Fortune coming to City - Quinton that is !
Reyna got booked for this tackle in the USA game against the Czechs. Looks like the ref is asking him what colour card he wants - blue of course
We don't see many like this at Coms!
This Brazilian supporter went to see KK's old stylist.
What a contrast between Kaka and Ronaldo in the Brazilian team. Kaka was brilliant while Ronaldo was a no no.
One of the sublime moments of the World Cup so far. Kaka's wonderful side foot strike to beat Croatia.
Absolute perfection.
He was even better than Ronaldino and thats saying something. The Brazilians loved it and several flares appeared in the crowd
While Ian Wright Wright Wright has kept his council regarding the absence of Shawn, Sven seems confident Rooney will play today. We will see.
Well in the first 60 minutes of the game against T and T , England were pretty awful with Hislop not having a decent save to make.
Then after 60 minutes on came Rooney for Owen and Lennon for Carragher. At last we had some speed and aggression and chances.
English blushes were spared after 83 minutes when a wonderful Beckham cross was headed home by Crouch who had missed a sitter earlier
Just on full time Gerrard made it safe with a belter from outside the area.
Though the result 2-0 takes England through to the next round but it does not disguise the fact that the predictable way England are playing will not trouble the likes of Argentine and Spain etc. so Sven is going to have to rethink his original team formation and it would surprise me to see Lennon and Rooney in from the start against Sweden. Rooney appeared to come through his return from injury without any upset.
A wonderful display by Argentina against Serbia and Montenegro (6-0) put them in the favourites position in the World Cup today. The 24 pass move for the second goal ended with Cambiasso taking a back heel from Crespo before scoring.
Maradona celebrated as only he can and when Messi came on he finished the scoring with another great goal.
England must not lose against Sweden otherwise they will meet Germany in the next round.
June World Cup stuff
Well its prediction time and being a City supporter this is almost like being mentally deranged!
So any way here goes -
Second Round - Germany to beat Sweden - Argentina to beat Mexico - England to beat Equador - Holland to beat Portugal
Italy to beat Australia/Croatia - France to beat Ukraine - Brazil to beat the Czechs - Spain to beat Switzerland
Quarter Finals -
Argentina to beat Germany- Italy to beat France - England to beat Holland ( miracles do occur -sometimes)
- Brazil to beat Spain
Argentina to beat Italy - Brazil to beat England
The Final
Brazil to beat Argentine 23 - 22 on penalties! It's that close - or perhaps they could decide with a game of conkers between Pele and Maradona!

June 17th
Reyna had a good game for the USA in their 1-1 draw with Italy that ended with three red cards - one Italian and 2 USA. Keller saved the day for the States with great save late in the game as the 9 USA players fought valiently to save a point. Italy will have to improve a lot to qualify,
Italy's possible opponents in the next round France had a shock when they failed to beat a spirited South Korean side. They did have bad luck when the ball went over the line but neither referee or linesman spotted it. It certainly looked a goal from the replays but to be fair to the linesman his view would have been blocked by the keeper and the referee was in no position to judge. Time for technology I wonder? I was surprised that the broadcasters have not been able to show a graphic proving that the ball is over the line as they have frames from many camera angles and such is 3D technology they should be able to do it quickly despite exaggerated lens perspective
Here is the ball coming away from the keepers save from the Viera heder and he is well over the line. The wonderful Korean supporters must have been mighty relieved. Strange the French players did not appeal more.
With less than ten minutes to go Korea equalised with a lucky goal and Park Ji-sung celebrated a moment he will always cherish
There was wonderful celebrations among the Korean supporters who had cheered their team on throughout the game with enormous fervor. What of the French? Well apart from Henry scoring a class goal they looked a shadow of their past 8 year old glories. There is a good chance they will fail to qualify. The French papers will have a field day,
I read that Portugal had attracted some 10,000 to a training session at Guetersloh ( I think there used to be an old RAF Station there ) Well back in 1966 I went to see them train in Cheadle, Manchester and there must have been a good half dozen of us! Above is a pic of the great Eusebio at shooting practice.

I have always kept an eye on the fortunes of South Korea since I refereed them in the very first Asian Cup. They were pretty strong and fast in those days. Above pic shows me accepting some flowers from some youngsters before the game in Taipei. Korea won 2-1 and went on to win the cup in Hong Kong. more
World Cup
June 20th
D Day for Group A and B with Germany playing Equador and England taking on Sweden. I think it will be close in both encounters with Germany and England just winning.
Yesterday there was a shock for high flying Spain when Tunisia took the lead through Mnari and for a time the counter attacking Tunisians caused a few heart aches for the Spanish supporters.
Despite the efforts of Spanish keeper Casillas when Tunisia took the lead in the 8th minute this young Tunisian supporter could not believe his eyes. The look on his face was a combination of both surprise and delight.
The Spanish Manager Aragones made decisive changes at half time and the introduction of Raul and the young and highly talented Fabregas changed the game. Fabregas took over the midfield, spraying passing around the park and was very influential in Spain's victory. The other top player was once again Fernando Torres whose first touch was often supreme. He scored twice the second from a not so well taken penalty but he is a force to be reckoned with and for those interested in his tattoo on his left arm I have a team of experts trying to decipher the Da City Code. Some say it reads " Come and sign me Mr Pearce. I want to play at COMS"!
Well I suppose we could always offer the Central Library for him.
June 21st
City have signed Ousame Dabo from Lazio Roma. He is a midfielder and played 31 games for them last season scoring against Fiorentina, Empoli and Siena. In the previous season he played 29 games including 5 UEFA Cup matches. He is 29 years old and was in the French interntional squad in 2003 .and played twice for France. He was born in Laval, La Meyenne, Western France. His past clubs have included Inter Milan, AC Monaco and Palma. Last season he picked up one red card and 7 yellow. City have been chasing him since April and now have got their man. This 6 footer will add muscle to the midfield. Could Barton be departing I wonder?
Germany as expected took care of Ecuador 3-0 and will now face Sweden in the next round. Klose scored twice (Pity Keegan didn't sign him a few years ago). Can you spot the face of Arnold Schwarzeneggera mong the celebrating German fans!
England managed a draw with Sweden to avoid meeting Germany in the next round but the biggest blow ws the injury in the first few minutes to Michael Owen suffered a freakish knee injury likely to keep him out of football for months.
Crouch came on for Owen and one wondered whether the untried Walcott was going to get a run out later in the game.
Looks as though Freddie Lundgberg is surrendering to the hard working Hargreaves.
A wonder strike by Joe Cole after 34 minutes put England in front. Not long after half time an Allback header following a corner gave Sweden the equaliser but Gerrard coming on for a tired Rooney, scored a good header and gave England the lead once more with only 5 minutes left. Could England break the hold Sweden have over them such luck. A defensive blunder following a throw-in handed the Swedes a point. England will have to sort out their defence at dead ball situations and how Sven must wonder about his choice of the inexperienced Walcott now he has Owen out and Rooney not 90 minute match fit. Hargreaves I thought did well as a holding midfielder but Beckham was not at his best. Joe Cole always looked dangerous and took his goal brilliantly.
Dabo playing for Lazio against City - number 6 - left and centre
June 22nd
So Chelsea will start the season with a loss at home on August 19th ! Yes that's City's first game next season. First home game is on Wed the 23rd against Pompey.
The Mexico Portugal game was full of incident with one red and 7 yellow cards.Portugal with several reserves won 2-1 and they will play Holland in the next round.Mexico will play Argentina
You're pointing the camera the wrong way mate!
Another alien sighting in Mexico !
We're just good friends..... watch where you put your knee!
Following the great save by Ricardo, Fonseca scored from the ensuing corner
Fonseca attempts to prevent the ref from joining the Magnificent 7 but the ref will have none of it!
Stuart Pearce in action for ITV
Maradone sums up the 0-0 draw between Argentina and Holland
June 23rd
While the Italians had a relatively comfortable win against the Czechs, Ghana meanwhile beat the USA 2-1.
Reyna got injured and lost possession to gift Ghana their first goal. Though the City player came back on he later went off injured again. He will be out for 3-4 weeks.
The Ghana winning goal came from a very doubtful penalty decision give by German referee Merk and they are probably going to be the lone African nation in the last 16.
Though the Brazilian team have been slow starters in this competition their supporters have always been colourful
Against Japan, Brazil upped the temp and even the rather unfit looking Ronaldo scored twice to put him level with Gerd Muller as the top World Cup scorer of all time. Roninho -above left scored a cracker and Ronaldinho above right started to show all his tricks. Expect an even better performance next round.
Britain's only refereeing representative at the World Cup Graham Poll had a shocker in the Australia Croatia game. He appeared to have lost the plot completely. He was previously guilty of pulling out a red card before a yellow card in another game - well this time he went one better! He gave three yellows to Simunic before sending him off. He also missed two blatent penalties -one hand ball above left and the rugby tackle on Viduka -below
After this display I doubt whether Podgy Poll will be staying at the World Cup. Australia however due to their 2-2 draw will play Italy in the next round.
June 24th
Switzerland finished at the top of their group in beating South Korea by 2-0 their first goal coming by way of a scorching header by Senderos who crashed into Choi Jin-Cheul's head . Both players needed treatment and the Korean a visit to the hairdresser.
France who were in danger of dropping out got their act together at last and after a series of misses Viera put them in front
Henry got their second a few minutes later and celebrated with rather less fervour than his colleague.
But then that's his way.
Ribery complete with scar looked a bit disappointed as he misses a goal against a brave Togo side.
Switzerland's second goal was unusual as he looked well offside and the linesman is flagging away. Only one problem. The pass came from a defender! So the referee rightly over-ruled his assistant and gave a goal. Play to the whistle lads!
June 25th
The home nation Germany moved easily into the next round with a 2-0 win over Sweden. It could have been much more but for some good goalkeeping by Isaksson. Klose and Podolki combined well for the first goal scored by the latter following up a blocked shot by Klose
Klose and Podolski combined again for Podolki's second goal but the Swedes had to play with ten men from the 35 minute when Lucic got his marching orders from a highly amused Brazilian referee for a second yellow card.
Early in the second half Sweden had a chance to get back in the game when they were awarded a penalty but to the misery of the Swedish fans Larsson shot well over the bar
The match between Brazil and Mexico was a tremendous game. The Mexicans played out of their skins and gave the Argentinians a real scare when they took the lead through Rafael Marqez in the 5th minute. He sneaked in at the far post to make it Mexico 1-0
The Mexican players and supporters were delirious at their early success
The Mexican lead was not to last for long. After ten minutes Argentina equalised when Crespo and Borgetti met at a corner and the ball flashed into the net -mostly from the Bolton player's head though Crespo claimed it.
The Mexicans gave 100% and as full time approached one slip by Argentina would have caused a major upset. However it was not to be. Into extra time we went and 22 tired players prepared to battle it out. Only 8 minutes of extra time had been played when we witnessed a truly wonderful goal.
A long crossfield pass from Pablo Sorin was met on the chest by Rodriguez and his left foot volley screamed into the top corner of the Mexican net with keeper Sanchez well beaten.
It was a goal to relish . A wonder strike . probably the best of the World Cup so far.
Now its up to England to beat Ecuador in an hour or so with Sven making several changes in both personnel and system. It is expected that Ferdinand will return to the centre of defence and Hargreaves will switch to right back to combat the speedy Ecuador winger. Rooney will probably be on his own upfront. It is likely to be very hot (90-100F) so it's going to be tough going.
June 26th
..... and tough going it was against Ecuador. As early as the 11th minute England almost conceded a goal when a misplaced header by Terry fell to Tenario (no.21) and it was only a last ditch block by Ashley Cole saved the day. Hargreaves was fortunate not to get a yellow card for his high kick against Tenario.
The partnership of Lampard and Gerrard is not working 100% with Lampard a shadow of his normal self.
Now then Sven... what do you think 3 across is ?....
Starts with F and has nine letters.
Rooney stuck upfront on his own tried manfully to hold the ball and managed to last the full 90 minutes. Getting fitter with glimpses of his old self
Englands goal came by way of a tremendous free-kick by Beckham (about time too). His free kick taken some distance out was precisely placed just inside the post with the keeper well beaten
England win through 1-0 in a tight game.
Beckham enjoyed it as did his wife..... the goal that is.
Robinson had to make one good safe and England managed to hold onto their lead but their predictable play is not going to get results against the very best in this tournament.
Ah Steve... you have it .. FORMATION . It's always difficult to get that right!
The Holland -Portugal battle got off to a bad start when Boulahrouz clobbered Ronaldo .He was lucky to have only got a yellow card
Robben started early in his attempt to win a place in the the Dutch diving team
Portugal took the lead in the 23rd minute through Maniche. A well struck drive. It was a good move involving Ronaldo, Deco and Pauleta .
It was a deserved lead and no doubt manager Scolari was delighted. However the remainder of the game was a disaster for football
Having played his part in the goal Ronaldo began to feel the effects of his injury and eventually had to retire after 35 minutes. He was in tears on the bench and was inconsolable.
Why don't you give me a fee kick ref?
Valente got booked for this high kick
Costinha foolishly handles the ball and gets sent off for a second yellow card
The nearest Holland got to goal was when Van Bommell hit the bar
Portugal now down to ten men defended well as Holland and their supporters became more frustrated.
The next red card went to Boulahrouz who elbowed Figo (above) so now it was 10 against 10.
The game was rapidly becoming a farce with confrontations galore.
I think referee Ivanov is training to become a magician as he was continually bringing out cards from his pocket and the total number was approaching a FIFA record
Yes..... a second yellow card and Deco gets his marching orders
Deco stops Cocu from getting the ball for a few seconds and guess what........
Is he still breathing?
Figo head buts Van Bommell behind the referees back but still gets a caution.... FIFA might still suspend him on video evidence.
Near the end the referee again bradished the red card and the man to be 'busted' Van Bronckhurst.
So the farce ended with red carded Barcelona team mates Bronckhorst and Deco sat together on the side and the lonely figure of Ruud van Nistelrooy who never got a chance on the field.
The Russian referee equaled the World Cup record of 16 cautions and with the 4 reds bring this World Cup total to 23.... highest yet.
With England now facing Portugal on Saturday in the quarter final it now looks as though Portugal will be without Deco and Costinha definitely suspended and possibly Figo also out and perhaps Ronaldo absent with his injury.
June 26th
Emotions run high in football and the results are there for all to see
The game between Switzerland and the Ukraine was a complete bore with hardly any action throughout. It went to extra time which was equally bad and then the Swiss proceeded to miss in the penalty shoot-out ( even Shevchenko missed) and it was left to Gusev to score the winning penalty and Ukraine went through 3-0 in the shoot-out. The referee from Mexico was very lenient in this game and there was only one yellow card- perhaps FIFA had told him to go easy after recent events! A really poor game with neither side wanting to take a risk - not even the Swiss Navy could save this one!
Australia can feel a little unlucky in their match against Italy. They had a fair amount of the play but were unable to test Buffon - a class keeper. There was a disputed red card - what's new... when Materazzi floored Brescianno ...above right.
It was a straight red by the Spanish referee and the Italians were down to ten men early in the secnd half. It was a harsh decision.
Though the Aussies had more of the play the Italians kept them at bay and just as it looked as though there was going to be extra time......
In the last minute Grosso broke down the left wing dashed into the penalty area and Lucas Neill threw himself on the turf infront of the player. His uplifting arm caught the Italian player and down he went. Penalty!
Both sets of supporters were stunned at the turn of events. Just when all were expecting an extra half hour.
Up came Totti of Roma who had replaced Del Piero after 75 minutes and all Italy waited.
It was a well struck penalty giving Schwarzer no chance and Italy were through
June 28th
Brazil against Ghana and the supporters of both sides are ready for plenty of action.
Brazil took the lead in the 5th minute with Ronaldo beating the offside trap and he had the easy task of adding to his total of World Cup goals. In his three World Cups ( 1998, 2002, 2008) he has now reached 15 beating the previous record held by Muller. A moment of history for the Brazilian who looked so out of sorts a week or so ago.
The Brazilian goal had a lucky escape when a header from Mensah hit the foot of Dida without the keeper knowing much about it.
Ghana contributed a lot to the game but their offside tactics looked suspect and their finishing was poor.
No. 7 Adriano was booked for this dive but he had his revenge shortly after when Brazil counter attacked. Cafu crossed from the right.....
..... and Adriano was there to place the ball in the net to put Brazil 2-0 up at half time. It looked suspiciously offside.
Dida had to make several saves before yet another Brazilian breakaway ended with Roberto beating the keeper in a one to one situation......
.........and then putting the ball into an empty net. Three nil to Brazil and they march on towards the final
It was the end of the road for the last African nation in the World Cup but they were really no match for the Brazilians who I thought could have raised their game if necessary. Ghana's offside trap was suicidal and a lack of clinical finishing ended their hopes.
The other big battle yesterday was between France and Spain in Hanover.
To complete the misery of the Spanish fans - in the final moments of the game 'old man' Zidane scored a beauty to make it 3-1 and France will now play Brazil in the quarter final
It was difficult to believe that Zidane is about to retire from soccer as his presecence in the French team was always in evidence. His sublime passing and skills were not of someone 'past it'!
After 28 minutes Spain took the lead with a penalty. Following a corner Pablo was fouled by Thuram right in front of the referee
Referee Rosetti of Italy had no hesitation and despite the protestations of the French players a penalty it was.
Young Villa was given the responsibility to beat Barthez in the French goal
Barthez dived the right way but the speed of the ball just beat him and Spain were one up.
Patrick Vieira ex Arsenal star and now playing in Italy showed many of his skills in midfield
Young Fernando Torres an up and coming star of Spanish football and target of several Premier clubs found it difficult upfront.
It was no surprise when France equalised a few minutes before half time. An offside trap went wrong and Viera put through Frank Ribery who rounded Real Madrid keeper Casillas......
...... and placed the ball into an empty net. 23 year old Ribery who plays for Marseilles could be a target for English clubs. Looks very dangerous.
Pablo gets a painful kick ...........and Malouda holds off Joaquin
Casillas makes a good save from a lob by Malouda.
This Torres run comes to an end.
Fabregas about to be brought down by Vieira.
Vieira tells the Spanish bench to belt up!
With 7 minutes to go we had the games talking point. As Henry and Puyol went for a loose ball , The Spanish player came across in front of Henry and blocked him. In the old days this would have been an indirect free kick for obstruction. However Henry went down clutching his face and Puyol ended up with a yellow card. This was cheating pure and simple and it has made no friends for the Arsenal player. Normally I would have expected better of him but I guess there is some history between these players!
The resultant free kick was met by Vieira near the far post and France went into the lead
July 1st
Todays the day! England versus Portugal in the quarter final . It's going to be tough as England have yet to show any sparkling form. They have muddled their way through so far and Portugal even without Costinha and Deco for certain and perhaps Ronaldo, are not going to be easy meat. I m sure manager Scolari will have a few tricks up his sleeve and he will be all out to outfox Sven particularly as he turned down the England job. The predictability of Englands play will not help our cause and I just hope Lampard finds his shooting boots and Rooney really comes of age and shows us he's world class. I would not be surprised if it goes all the way to extra time.
What of yesterday. Well Italy as expected put paid to Ukraines hopes but there was a battle between Germany and Argentina with the home country winning on penalties.
The first half was a game of chess with neither side willing to take mjor risks. There were a few skirmishes but referee Michel of Slovakia kept control and kept the number of cards down.
... and the same player had a walk-in goal ten minutes later to make it Italy 3 Ukraine 0
Whats up Doc!! The Argentine keeper collided with Klose and had to be replaced by Franco after 71 minutes
Four minutes into the second half Argentina took the lead. Ayala headed in a Riqquelme corner
The Argentina fans enjoyed the moment while Herr Beckenbaur wondered what to do with Klinsmann!
Ten minutes later and Germany got the equalizer. It was that man again Klose with a header.
Generally I thought the referee had a good game only making one major error when he misinterpreted a dive by Rodriguez when it should have been a penalty. Rodriguez got booked for diving- if he hadn't made a meal of it the referee might have given the penalty and perhaps Argentine would have won. A lesson there perhaps.
Germany won 4-2 on penalties in the shoot-out after a goal-less extra time. Arsenal keeper Lehmann saved two penalties and one of the favourites were out.
The Germans were delighted and the Argentinians gutted. Oh ! Should we make Klinsmann Mayor of Munich!
The ecstasy ..............................And the agony
I am sure FIFA will be investigating the disgraceful scenes afterwards as some of the Argentina players appeared to throw punches and kicks. They were lousy losers
Germany have now reached the semifinal stage and I would not bet against them reaching the final the way they are playing. The linking of Klose and Podolski upfront and with Lehmann in goal and Ballack running the midfield they will be difficult to beat
The Italians were firm favourites in this clash against the Ukraine who could not believe they had reached this stage
Italy took the lead in the 6th minute when a defender Zambrotta shot from about 30 metres and his shot beat the keeper who should have saved it.
Italian keeper, Buffon enjoyed the goal but Millevskly looks as though he's seen a ghost!
Ukraine rarely troubled Buffon and for long periods there was only team in it.
Italy went further ahead after 60 minutes with a header from Toni.....
Ukraine suddenly woke up and nearly scored a couple of times in the final minutes.
Italy will now face Germany in Dortmund next Tuesday.
July 2nd

Yesterday was some day.
July 1st 2006 will be remembered for several events.
England crashed out of the World Cup on penalties with Rooney being sent off.
Andy Murrey thrashed Andy Roddick at Wimbledon in three sets.
The England cricket team got thrashed by Sri Lanka losing the series 5-0 and on an even sadder note the great Freddie Trueman fast bowler for England and Yorkshire died.

Full time came and stars of soccer and Rock and Roll could have a break
It's my ball and noboby else can have it!
Terry took a knock in this clash
Given half a chance Ronaldo would fall like a stone
Neither keeper had a great deal to do
England missed the odd chance and when Beckham went off injured after 50 minutes things did not look so good as the tean were not playing much better than in previous games
Mixed emotions for the Beckham family and friends
The introduction of young Lennon in place of Beckham gave us hope for a while and a good run down the right ended with Rooney miskicking ..the ball ran to Cole who shot over......but there was worse to come
Rooney clashed at the edge of the area and when he lost the ball he tried to get the ball back from Carvalho. As the Chelsea defender fell Rooney trod into his groin.. whether by accident or design it was difficult to judge.
There was a minor push by Rooney in the melee that followed and then Ronaldo and company did their best to persuade the referee from Argentina to send him off. Whether Rooney had been sent off for the stamp or push was impossible to tell. What was certain was the action by Ronaldo - his team mate at United.
Earlier Ronaldo had been seen whispering sweet nothings into Rooney's ear - or was he saying that he as going to get him sent off. Maybe the wink by Ronaldo as Rooney was ordered off tells the story. I doubt whether Ronaldo will get a big welcome when he returns to training at Carrington in a week or so. I would not surprise me if he is transferred or is that what Ronaldo wanted all along. What a nice young man!
England had brought on Crouch for Cole after the sending off of Rooney but he had little support and the only player to shine was Hargreaves who played out of his skin. He had been the subject of much criticism but he was the man of the match for me. A good team player -Can we have him at City!
So it was down to penalties. Oh dear not good news with the Portugal keeper Ricardo a specialist in saving!
Portugal got off to a good start but misses by Lampard, Gerrard and Carragher left Ronaldo the chance to put England out and I am afraid he did so with great relish. Whether it would have been different had Beckham not gone off injured and Rooney sent off ( two definite penalty takers) we shall never know. The only penalty scorer for England was ... Hargreaves. The one player who does not play in the Premier League. Savior for Portugal was their keeper who made good saves from the penalties but he should have been given no chance.

It was heartbreak for the England players and joy for the Portuguese and it was goodbye to Sven and his formations.
Beckham has resigned as England captain and I wonder how much Sven regrets his choice of players -especially forwards.

France scored thier winning goal after 57 minutes. Zidane whipped in a free kick from the left wing and there was Henry unmarked at th fra post to crash the ball past Dida into the roof of the net
No doubt the Brizilian supporters were pretty confident they would beat France in the other quarter final so they were in for a shock
Come in number 15 your times up!
France were looking good and the Brazilians were well off their best
Man-of-the-Match and possibly Man-of-the-Tournament was Zinedine Zidane who gave a truly magnificent performance . His individual skill as he glided past the opposition and superb passing inspired the French to a match winning display
Ronaldinho was rarely dangerous and the French defence was always capable of providing good cover for Barthez.
Barthez did not much to do but he did deny Ronaldo late in the game
The Brazilian fans probably could quite believe it that they were out while the French who when they started the campagn looked really poor have improved out of all recognition. Now they will play Portugal.
1st Semi Final - Germany 0 Italy 2
At the start the German supporters looked the more confident.
It could not have been me Ref - I was away visiting my Grandma
Gattuso does his best to explain
Ouch -that hurts
Lehmann throws his weight around
Early in extra time Gilardino hit the post after breaking through
Mr President - Please can you let Germany win!
The goals came right at the end of extra time when it looked certain there was going to be a penalty shootout. Following a corner Grosso hit a terrific left foot shot from the right hand side........
..... that beat Lehmann and then in a beakaway del Piero added a second to add to Germany's woes.
The Italians were through to the Final once more and Ballack and company were left to rue the missed chances
Match for 3rd place - Germany 3 Portugal 1
A full house in Stuttgart for this almost non event. The battle for third place. Most England supporters were hoping for a German win.
The first half was not all that great with neither side able to finish.
Are you wearing that perfume again? Oh my God you are!
The German supporters booed Ronaldo at every opportunity and he obliged with one of his speciality dives and a mock injury
Ten minutes after half time Germany took the lead. Schweinsteiger cut in and let fly with a beauty that swerved and beat Ricardo. Though a better keeper might have saved it.
There was more disaster for Portugal five minutes later when a feee kick taken by that man Schweinsteiger was diverted into his own net by Petit. Despite Portugal having a fair amount of the ball it looked all over.
After 78 minutes Germany made it safe with another cracker from Schweinsteiger. It was almost identical to his first and Ricardo had no answer to the thunderous effort by the German.
Oliver Kahn who had been left out of Germany's previous games was given a last go in the German goal ( brave man that Klinsmann ) and dear Oliver Kahn that quiet, unasuming, shy keeper made one or two typical saves in his last game for Germany
He was beaten however with just 2 minutes to go when a superb cross from Figo - who had only come on after 77 minutes - was met by a diving header by Gomes and it ended 3-1.
So Germany took third place and all Germany rejoiced and particularly Schweinsteiger though he did get booked for taking off his shirt after the first goal.
Jurgen Klinsmann had done well considering all the stick he got early on. ..... and we actually got a smile from Kahn
World Cup Final Italy v France
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