NOT THE FULL MONTE, SO ENGLAND SHOULD QUALIFY FOR BRAZIL 2014

WHILE members of the Football Writers’ Association are confident that England will qualify for the 2014 World Cup finals, Dejan Saviević, president of the Montenegrin Football Association, is worried that his country’s hopes of success have been hit by injuries to four key first-teamers for the first of the two matches that will decide England’s World Cup fate.

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WHY CAN TODAY’S STARS NOT PLAY AS MANY GAMES AS YESTERDAY’S HEROES?

DID THEY breed them tougher in the old days? Are current footballers pampered? Have managers taken rotation to an unnecessary level?

Yes, the game is faster now, yes, players are stronger while there is a perception among managers that they must rotate for domestic cups and even European competitions to keep their top stars fresh for the Barclays Premier League, even though for most clubs the Capital One Cup and FA Cup represent their only realistic chance of silverware.

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SWANSEA HAVE ALREADY SPOKEN ABOUT LAUDRUP’S SUCCESSOR

CHRIS WATHAN of the Western Mail says that planning ahead has been a significant part of the Capital One Cup finalists’ success

By CHRISTOPHER DAVIES

SOME CLUBS have found it difficult going on impossible to appoint – and keep - the right manager. Swansea City have made the task seem so easy you wonder why others have such problems.

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FWA Interview: Ian Ladyman

By CHRISTOPHER DAVIES

MEMBERS of the Football Writers’ Association have praised the press facilities at Euro 2012.

Not only is the entertainment on the pitch first class in Poland an Ukraine, Ian Ladyman, northern football correspondent of the Daily Mail, said: “There have been no complaints about the facilities out here.”

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My Week: Christopher Davies

Monday December 19
It is at times like this a guy finds out who his friends are, or even who his friend is. Someone, somewhere will be able to do the Christmas My Week...surely? I’ll ask a few of the lads. Bit of a bind having to keep a Christmas diary even for a great cause like the FWA but I have no doubt I can call up a favour or two from somebody. We all go back a long way.

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Beckham hopes for another year at Galaxy

DAVID BECKHAM’S chances of returning to the Barclays Premier League in January were hit after he admitted he wants to play one more year in Major League Soccer.

Beckham’s four-year deal with the Los Angeles Galaxy ends in November. Spurs and Queens Park Rangers are keen to offer the former England captain a chance to return to English football this winter while the midfielder is keen to play for Great Britain in the 2012 Olympics.

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The Road to Brazil starts…in Trinidad

ONE DOWN...831 to go. Belize 5, Monserrat 2 (att 150) was never going to knock Alex McLeish or Luka Modric off the back pages but the game was significant as it was the first 2014 World Cup qualifier.

The road to Brazil started at the Ato Bolden stadium in Trinidad because there is no suitable venue in Monserrat, an island near Antigua which was almost destroyed by the 1995 reawakening of La Soufrière volcano. Deon McCauley claimed a small slice of history with the first hat-trick of the 2014 campaign.

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