Beckham explains bizarre behaviour

The England captain admits he can’t control his need to constantly clean and organise things. It makes him arrange cans of drink, clothes and magazines in straight lines and symmetrical patterns. Becks said his wife Victoria (31), thinks he’s a “weirdo” because of his strange rituals. The 30-year-old soccer hero says he has kept the disorder secret from his Real Madrid team-mates. But he has told how he was ruthlessly mocked by former Manchester United team-mates – including best pal Gary Neville – over his behaviour when he was there. Talking about his illness for the first time, he said: “I’ve got this obsessive compulsive disorder where I have to have everything in a straight line or everything has to be in pairs.” Chelsea to bid ’16m for Cole Chelsea are preparing an audacious bid for Ashley Cole after learning that the England defender has an agreement that will allow him to leave Arsenal for a fee of ’16 million. It is understood that when Cole agreed a one-year contract extension at Highbury last summer, the parties signed a buyout clause enabling him to leave for that specified sum, giving the player freedom to move on and ensuring that the club would be sufficiently compensated. At the time, it was assumed that Cole would move to Real Madrid, who want him to replace the ageing Roberto Carlos, but Chelsea have become aware of his availability and will make their move in the next few weeks. Of Sheringham and his son As Teddy Sheringham faced up to the prospect of life at 40 last Sunday, he reflected on the continuation of the family dynasty. Although he has at least one more year with West Ham, it is his dearest wish that his son, Charlie, can keep the name alive when he does depart the profession. Sheringham Jr, 17, also a striker, has already had to endure the pain that football can bring, having been released by Ipswich Town. Yet as he attempts to bounce back, having been offered a trial with Crystal Palace, he received comforting and encouraging words from his father, whose career record stands at 344 goals in 860 appearances for seven clubs. Sheringham said: “Charlie has met all the West Ham players and talked to them. They’ve all got their own stories and everyone’s been released by someone. Somewhere along the line, everyone’s been told that they’re not good enough. It’s how you react to that and Charlie has got to react to what’s going on in his life at the moment.” Bowyer the most hated player in England Lee Bowyer has been named as the most hated player in British football. The controversial Newcastle midfielder was up against the likes of Chelsea “divers” Didier Drogba and Arjen Robben and Blackburn loudmouth Robbie Savage but still came out on top in a new survey. Top polling organisation YouGov conducted the survey of more than 2 000 fans on behalf of Teletext. The fans were asked who they thought was the worst-behaved player in England and Bowyer, who has been involved in controversy both on and off the field, just pipped Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney. Bowyer tested positive for drugs, has been involved in an on-field punch-up with team-mate Kieron Dyer against Aston Villa and was prosecuted for assault for two off-field incidents. Arsenal, Newcastle in ’30m tax war English Premiership clubs are facing a huge ’30 million VAT bill over payments to soccer agents. The shock tax demands are the result of an investigation into the game’s big-money transfers by HM Revenue and Customs. Every top-flight club has been contacted by HMRC and Arsenal and Newcastle will go before an appeals tribunal with their lawyers next month as they attempt to challenge the tax demands. The other top clubs are anxiously bracing themselves for the result of what is viewed as an important test case. One club source said: “The tribunal’s decision will determine just how much the clubs will have to pay. If it goes badly it could be a huge sum.” Gunners new stadium a hit Arsenal are on the verge of selling out the most expensive seats in British football at their new Emirates Stadium. The Gunners have just a “few hundred” of the 6 700 club level seats -which can cost almost ‘4 000 for one season – remaining at the ‘390 million ground. Corporate buyers have snapped up all 150 executive boxes, costing up to ‘150 000 per term, at the 60 000-seat arena. “We have a few hundred left and are selling about 100 a week. We’ll make more on a match day from the boxes and club level seats alone than we do at Highbury,” said an insider. Chelsea play boring game: Hiddink The man who one day soon could be King of Chelsea delivers a withering assessment of the entertainment being provided by Jose Mourinho’s team. Guus Hiddink is currently the most wanted coach in the world. The announcement that he is leaving PSV Eindhoven this summer has prompted a stampede of job offers from clubs and countries. And given the precarious nature of Mourinho’s current relationship with the Chelsea hierarchy, the prospect of Hiddink being employed by Roman Abramovich is very real. Hiddink’s verdict on Chelsea? “It’s not the way I would like to play football. It’s boring.” Lualua could opt out of Pompey Lomana LuaLua is set to be the first big name to quit Portsmouth if they fail to survive in the Premiership. LuaLua’s contract runs out in 15 months, and he has made it clear he is happy to stay at Pompey provided relegation is avoided and Harry Redknapp stays in charge. The Congo striker does not want to play outside the top flight, and that has already alerted Spurs boss Martin Jol, who is looking to strengthen his strike force. LuaLua (25) moved to Fratton Park from Newcastle two years ago for ‘1,7 million after a successful loan spell. He has scored 15 goals in 50 League starts, and Pompey will be looking for a profit on their initial outlay if he insists on a move.

April 2006
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