Monday, July 03, 2006

Notice a trend developing

2006 – Wayne Rooney was sent off playing for England in the World Cup, after being deliberately provoked by Christiano Ronaldo who also encouraged the referee to issue a red card. Both players play for Manchester United

2002 – Alan “Leeds ‘til I die” Smith is sent off in the European Championship qualifier. In injury time, against Macedonia, in the opposition’s half. Alan Smith is later transferred from Leeds to the subs bench at Old Trafford

1999 – Paul “2 bags” Scholes is sent off in a European Championship qualifier against Sweden – Scholes has only ever played club football for Moan U, and at 66 caps has the amazing achievement for a central midfielder of having made more appearances than successful tackles for his country.

1998 – Paul Ince is sent off in a qualifier against Sweden, Ince is formerly of, wait for it, Moan U

1998 – David Beckham is sent off in the 1998 World Cup, whilst being a Moan U player. He is sent off again in 2005 when captaining England vs Austria

Early 1990s – Neil “Postman” Webb is sent off playing for England B, whilst being under Fergie’s charge at guess where.

1986 – Butch Wilkins is sent off for England in the 1986 World Cup in a game against might Morocco. Ray Wilkins of course spent several years playing for the perpetual 2nd placed team of the 80s – Moan U

Of the last 8 sending-offs of England players (ie all those since 1977) only one, David Batty, did not involve a player who has not spent a considerable part of their career at Old Trafford. By contrast only 1 player, current, former or future, of each of Tottenham, Liverpool, Arsenal, West Ham, Notts Forest and Newcastle has ever been sent off playing for England. Even really dirty teams like Leeds and Everton only manage 2.


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