Phew! The World Cup series of posts took longer than expected (and I was actually planning to have a round-up of the groups and the progress of each participant which I have now shelved). This is mainly because of a mini-heatwave that is affecting Birmingham (and my computer) at the moment, making it among the hottest places in the country just a week ago. Among the news I have failed to comment on are the sale of Emile Heskey and Jermaine Pennant at Blues, the fact that they are favourites for the Championship in the fortcoming season with Albion second, and an exclusive from West Brom: I have from a reliable source that Mr Robson will have 10 games to turn the fortunes of the club round when the new season starts, otherwise he will be shown the door.
Meanwhile at Villa there are enough rumours going on for an entire article to be devoted to it. In summary, some newspaper reports suggested that Villa players were unhappy at the cost-cutting going on at the club (apparently a physio was not allowed to claim back the price of a cup of airport coffee from the company's expenses, the Villa players had to personally pay a masseuse after the club stopped funding them and a new training facility was scrapped). This story transmogrified into one player egged-on by Mr O'Leary. This led to an investigation and a "parting of company with the club on amicable terms". While the search for a new manager goes on three interested parties are attempting to buy the club: an American called Randy who owns the MBNA brand of credit cards, local Solihull business man Mr Neville, and Sven Goran Eriksson's agent. Maybe we will see Beckham in Brum after all...
Elsewhere in the city the Dubliner pub was burnt down in an apparent arson attack a couple of nights ago. Worldwide, Israel has gone over the top in attacking everything that moves in Lebanon as the result of a couple of soldiers being kidnapped, and as usual America and Britain haven't got the leadership to tell them to stop. Question marks over the Metropolitan Police have resurfaced - ridiculously, no-one will be charge over the Jean Charles de Menezes incident, although the Met will be charge under Health and Safety Legislation (because they shot the wrong man) and a BBC documentary claims a senior policeman involved in the initial investigation of the Stephen Lawrence murder was bribed by a relative of one of the suspects. And we thought the serious crime squad was bent.
Anyway hopefully normal service will soon be resumed.