OPINION: You know things are getting desperate when there are names you have barely heard of in the England squad.
Liverpool's latest international - well, he's been in the squad - is winger Raheem Stirling, a veteran of five first-team appearances.
Granted, he's looked pretty handy, but England quality? Roy Hodgson called him into the squad for the Ukraine match this week not for a cap, but for the experience. He said he had no plan to play the Jamaican-born 17-year- old.
So it does raise the question about how much an England shirt is worth? Stirling was talking about playing for Jamaica not that long ago, but he's long been seen as a top prospect in England and was sold by QPR to Liverpool for [PndStlg]600,000 (NZ$1.18 million) at 15.
Steve Gerrard has no doubt about his talent though.
"He is a breath of fresh air, especially for the older lads, with the pace and excitement he brings. He is a nightmare to mark for defenders," he said.
Former Liverpool defender Gregory Vignal has joined Dundee United on a short term contract . . . Swansea hope to seal new deals for Neil Taylor, Ashley Williams and Michel Vorm . . . Former Hull boss Phil Brown was expected to take over at Coventry this week.
David Bentley has joined Russian outfit FC Rostov on loan for the rest of the year . . . Sergio Aguero, injured since mid August, is back in training at Manchester City . . . Arsenal are to table a new deal in an effort to keep Arsene Wenger beyond 2014.
Chris Wood was looking at a loan move to Millwall this week . . . former QPE chairman Gianni Paladini is leading a consortium that wants to buy Birmingham City . . . Arsenal were linked with an unlikely move for Didier Drogba this week.
Greek captain Giorgos Karagounis will be on Fulham's books until the end of the season . . . Swansea have signed Feyenoord left-back Dwight Tiendalli and loaned Leroy Lita to Birmingham for three months.
French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has spat the dummy after being told he would have to compete for a place at Spurs. Apparently the French No 1 thought he was guaranteed a starting place, which suggests he doesn't rate the competition at his new club.
Conference league club Truro is fighting for its life and faces a winding up order in court next Monday. The club is bottom of the Blues Square South Table on -2 points after being docked 10 for entering administration.
Leeds may try and take Jermain Jenas on loan from Spurs, after losing David Norris to a thigh injury . . . Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente is being linked with Italian and English clubs.
The second of two independent supporters' clubs linked to Norwich is about to be wound up - and it appears to be a sign of the digital times. Independent Norwich City Supporters' Club officials claim the club won't talk to them, and that followers are now relying on social media.
On the move:
Loan, Chuks Aneke Arsenal-Crewe Alexandra, Craig Lynch Sunderland-Hartlepool.
England, Norwich v West Ham, Arsenal v Southampton, Aston Villa v Swansea, Fulham v West Brom, Man United v Wigan, QPR v Chelsea, Stoke v Man City, Sunderland v Liverpool. Sunday: Reading v Spurs. Monday: Everton v Newcastle. Scotland, Dundee Utd v Ross County, St Johnstone v Celtic. Sunday, Dundee v Motherwell, Hibernian v Kilmarnock, Inverness v Aberdeen, St Mirren v Hearts.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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