Hugo Greenhalgh believes Ravel Morrison should follow in Paul Gascoigne’s footsteps and join Lazio…
In November 2012, Paul Gascoigne made an emotional return to the Stadio Olympico to watch two of his former clubs, Lazio and Tottenham. Although he won nothing in three, injury-ridden seasons at Lazio, Gascoigne received a hero’s welcome. A banner made by their fans declared: “Lionhearted, headstrong, pure talent, real man. Still our hero”. They had completely fallen for the offbeat humour and swaggering technique of a player who had burst onto the European scene in the 1990 World Cup in their own backyard.
Ironically, the Englishman who may follow in his footsteps to Rome is once alleged to have uttered the words, “Who’s Gazza?”. Ravel Morrison has been strongly linked this week with a move to Lazio and given the stuttering nature of his career so far, there are certainly worse places he could go right now. Italian football could offer a fresh start for Morrison and allow him to come back a stronger player. He is too good for the Championship and other Premier League sides seem reluctant to take a punt on his precocious talent. Continue reading
Making his debut for The False Nine, Joe Hall looks at a list of potential wild card picks for England next summer…
The World Cup Wildcard: the final, desperate attempt of an England manager who has suddenly realised the impending humiliation and dejection he is about to face.
Ahead of recent World Cups, every England manager has seemed to pick one player he knows nothing about in the blind hope he could be the next Gascoigne. The “wildcard” will not have played for England much (if at all) and will nearly always have displayed some form of skill or invention that deludes us into thinking he can have an effect.
The results have been mixed. In ’98 Hoddle caved into public pressure (The Sun ran a campaign of course) to pick Michael Owen and it worked a treat.
In 2006 not one, but two “wildcard” choices made their way to Baden-Baden. Aaron Lennon, uncapped but impressive for Tottenham, was a bold but typical choice from Sven-Goran Eriksson. Theo Walcott, who had run really fast in the Championship, was inexplicable.
And then there was Mike Bassett’s inspired and redemptive selection of Kevin Tonkinson.
Who will it be this year? Here’s five players who, with a late surge of form, could convince Hodgson they will be the man to send England into the promised land of a semi-final.