Bad boys. No, we haven't been holed up in Castle Limey watching tepid
The story that undoubtedly has grabbed the most coverage, on the front and back pages, and across every other form of media has been the scandal surrounding Chelsea and (now former) England captain
The Terry situation potentially threatens to derail both Chelsea's charge for honors this season and England's quest for glory at this summer's World Cup.
Despite England coach
"As a captain with the team, John Terry has displayed extremely positive behavior," Capello said in a statement. "However, I have to take into account other considerations and what is best for all of the England squad. What is best for all of the England team has inspired my choice."
At the club level, Terry's situation seems secure. Chelsea manager
Many senior members of the squad apparently had backed Terry to remain as captain. However, British sports minister
An interesting parallel to "Terrygate" emerged this week when it was revealed that former U.S. national-team coach
Could Terry get similar treatment? There are big differences. Terry is one of the world's best central defenders, and even more of a key player given the poor form of his center back partner, Ferdinand, this season. Axing Terry would create a huge dent in England's World Cup chances. In addition, one of the unfortunate parties in this whole affair (other than Mrs. Terry, of course), Bridge, is highly unlikely to feature in the squad that flies to South Africa based on his current form and fitness.
Bridge's Manchester City teammate
Last week, City agreed to loan Robinho to his former club, Brazil's Santos, for six months. "Robinho is someone who needs to be playing regularly and we wish him well for the period of his loan," City boss
Two questions linger: 1) How did a player, previously rated as one of the world's best, end up struggling for game minutes at a club on the fringes of Europe's elite? And 2) to whom and for what fee will City sell him this summer?
Robinho, desperate to leave Real Madrid in summer '08, thought he was Chelsea-bound until hours before City surprisingly acquired him. City, bought only hours earlier by oil tycoon
With fellow Brazilians
Things dramatically changed for Robinho in the summer. Elano was sold to Galatasaray, and with Jô loaned to Everton, the homesick attacker was now the lone Brazilian at City. Injured for two months in the fall, Robinho's keenness to play in a friendly for Brazil in November while still recovering infuriated City. That looked to signal his exit from Manchester. Still, Mancini's replacing
Robinho sulked his way out of Santos in '05, then out of Madrid and now out of City. His recent comments to the Brazilian press leave little option of reintegrating him at City. "My goal is to stay for a long time," he said. "If the [Santos] president wants to extend my contract to four years, that would be great."
City paid $50 million for Robinho, and to avoid losing face, it will want at least $30 million of that back. Santos might be able to afford to helicopter Robinho into his debut alongside
Meanwhile, Bridge, returning from injury, will play his first game for City since the Terry scandal broke. The Citizens travel to Hull aware that a win could see them finish the weekend in fourth place, the last of the Champions League qualifying berths. Two of their three rivals face each other when Aston Villa travels to Tottenham Hotspur. Meanwhile, Liverpool plays host to in-form crosstown rival Everton.
Manchester United will be keeping a close eye on Chelsea vs. Arsenal, as its weekend task is seemingly a formality: hosting in-crisis club Portsmouth, which, in addition to its ongoing financial strife, is reeling this week from the news that manager