March 2008

With Fabio Capello announcing the England squad today i thought i’d pick my first 11 from that squad and then thought it would be interesting to see what other people thought the team should be, so comment and let me know:

David James
Wes Brown – John Terry – Ferdinand – Bridge
Bentley – Lampard – Jenas – Joe Cole
Rooney – Defoe

I think some of the players i would have picked may come as a surprise, Wes Brown is in there due to injuries due to Richards and Neville. Bridge is in there due to Ashley Cole’s conduct in the chelsea vs tottenham game yesterday as i don’t think he deserves to play due to his lack of respect to referees. Bentley over Beckham? Beckham deserves his cap but i think Bentley merits a place on form, but then again i haven’t really seen Beckham play. And Jermaine Defoe, because i think out of the strikers he’s the best on form, playing well for Portsmouth and scoring goals, proving he merits a place.

 So what would your first 11 be?


West Ham goalkeeper Richard Wright has joined Southampton on loan for one month today.

The ex Everton, Arsenal and Ipswich keeper joins Southampton to aid their goalkeeper injury crisis. The Saints are bizarrely without all three goalkeeper; Kelvin Davis, Bartosz Bialkowski and Michael Poke.

England international Wright joins Saints at a crucial part of the season, as Saints battle to avoid relegation to league one. With Saints desperate to pick up points, a keeper with Wright’s experience could be just what they need.

Manager Nigel Pearson said: “I am delighted to have got Richard. He is a quality proven keeper with plenty of experience.”

The 30-year old hasn’t seen much first team football at West Ham and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get some games and prove his worth to the hammers.

All Southampton fans will be hoping he can inject some much needed confidence and experience into a backline which has been performing poorly throughout an injury hit season.

Controversial video game Manhunt 2 has finally been given the go ahead for release in the UK.

Manhunt 2, the sequel to Manhunt, a violent and graphic Playstation game was originally banned by the Video Appeals Committee. However the ban has been overturned and given a much required eighteen certificate.

When Rockstar, the game producers, first wanted to release the game it came under much criticism and was banned due to its violent and graphic content.

The Video Appeals Committee said the game ‘went too far’ which sparked a nine-month battle between censors and producers Rockstar. The BBFC banned the game in June 2007 and later rejected a edited version.

The director of the BBFC, David Cooke said: “We twice rejected Manhunt 2, and then pursued a judicial review challenge, because we considered, after exceptionally thorough examination, that it posed a real potential harm risk.

“However, the Video Appeals Committee has again exercised its independent scrutiny. It is now clear, in the light of this decision, and our legal advice, that we have no alternative but to issue an 18 certificate to the game.”

Rockstar have always claimed that the game doesn’t contain anything more graphic than other games and films of the same nature. The Saw films being their key examples.

In a statement, the company said: “We are pleased that the VAC has reaffirmed its decision recognizing that Manhunt 2 is well within the bounds established by other 18+ rated entertainment.

The Daily Express has issued an apology to Gerry and Kate McCann in a libel settlement, over stories published about the McCanns.

The Daily Express and Daily Star released stories linking the McCanns to the disappearance of their daughter, Madeleine, 3, however have now admitted “the utter falsity ” of various stories written about them.

As well as apologising, the newspaper group has also paid £550,000 to the Find Madeleine Campaign. It said it was wrong to suggest that the couple were respsonsible for for Madeleine’s death.

Madeleine disappeared days before her fourth birthday, whilst on a family holiday in the resort Praia Da Luz in the Algarve on 3 May last year. Her parents of Rothley, Leicestershire, were named as suspects but have always denied any involvement in her disappearance.

The McCanns didn’t attend the hearing at London High Court, however the couple’s spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, read a statement out on their behalf.

It said: “We are pleased that Express Newspapers have today admitted the utter falsity of the numerous grotesque and grossly defamatory allegations that their titles published about us on a sustained basis over many months. ”

“The exceptional publication of these apologies, together with today’s statement of full apology in open court before Mr Justice Eady, was the only just and proper response by Express Newspapers following our complaint.”

Wednesday’s editions of both the Daily Express and Daily Star have apologies to the couple via their headline, “Kate and Gerry McCann: Sorry.”

For both newspapers to perform a complete u-turn and apologise has come as a surprise for many people. Media Commentator Roy Greenslade described the move by both national newspapers as “unprecedented”.

With both national newspapers having already apologised, it’s widely expected their sister papers will also issue apologies in their Sunday editions.

Daily Express and Daily Star

The ‘Big Four’ of the Premier League were all included in the Quarter Final champions league draw earlier this week.

Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool have all made it through to the latter stages of the Champions League this year. However they have been unable to avoid each other.

The best tie for the neutral has to be Liverpool vs. Arsenal which is sure to be a thrilling encounter between Rafa’s European Giants and Arsene’s young, but formidable team. Both teams knocked out Italian teams in the previous round, Liverpool beat Inter Milan 3-0 on aggregate and Arsenal defeated AC Milan 1-0 over both legs.

Chelsea earnt themself a tie with Turkish side Fenerbache having beat Oympiakos in the previous round, and Manchester United are set to face Roma once again. United played Roma in the competition last year and famously beat them 7-1.

This draw means at least one English side will definetly make the last four of the competition, increasing the possibility of an English team lifting the trophy once again.

Missing Nine year old girl, Shannon Matthews, was found alive in the base of a divan bed earlier today. 

She was found more than three weeks after she disappeared, in Batley Carr, about a mile from her family home.

 A 39 year old man was arrested on suspicion of abduction, and later charged with kidnap,  following scenes of police carrying the nine year old school girl out of the house.

The man appeared in court today charged with kidnap and false inprisonment of Shannon Matthews. Michael Donovan, 39, was remanded in custody by Dewsbury magistrates. There has been no application for bail for Mr Donovan.

Sufficient evident has been collected in order to charge Michael Donovan, formerly known as Paul Drake, and he will appear infront of Dewsbury Magistrates on Tuesday.

‘English is the world’s most used and abused language. This book is on the side of the angels. It should become an essential textbook for every journalist’ – Paul Dacre, Editor, Daily Mail.

 Essential Engish for Journalists, Editors and Writers is an excellent book for all journalists, new and old. The information, advice and examples included are vitally important for journalists, especially student journalists.

The book includes various aspects of writing and editing and explains the best ways in which to do them, including examples and explanations to help the reader fully understand.

Harold Evans is regarded as one of the best journalists and editors ever, “Harry Evans is the journalist we all wanted to be” – Alan Rusbridger, Editor-in-Chief, Guardian. The book demonstrates Evans’ expertise and knowledge on the subject and includes vital tips for all new budding journalists.

A must read for all journalists.

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