Football: Chelsea to miss Elliott for season

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The Independent Online
CHELSEA will be without Paul Elliott for the rest of the season. The 28-year-old centre-half learned yesterday that he severely damaged cruciate ligaments in his right knee at Anfield on Saturday. With Jason Cundy and Ken Monkou sold, Chelsea may need to buy in reinforcements.

Elliott, injured in a tackle with Dean Saunders, may require the complicated surgery which saved the careers of Paul Gascoigne and John Salako. Elliott had been building a promising partnership with Mal Donaghy, a former Luton team-mate, but now Ian Porterfield, the Chelsea manager, must choose between promoting David Lee, the former England Under-21 sweeper, or looking elsewhere.

Craig Short, the pounds 2.5m-rated Notts County defender, has been interesting clubs, notably Liverpool and Blackburn. Liverpool's enthusiasm may have wavered: Birmingham's Paul Mardon is to have a trial at Anfield and Liverpool may make an offer for the accomplished 22-year-old, who has caught their eye in the past.

Porterfield's blues worsened with the news that Steve Clarke's groin injury has not responded to treatment and the Scottish full- back may be out for several weeks. Porterfield should have pounds 700,000 to spend after agreeing to sell his combative midfielder, Vinnie Jones, to Wimbledon. The tattooed 27-year-old is known to be reluctant to leave.

Another footballer who arrived through London's non-League ranks, Ian Wright, is to be reported to the FA by the police for allegedly making a V sign at Wimbledon supporters after scoring his first in Arsenal's 3-2 defeat at Selhurst Park on Saturday. 'We are taking statements from three members of the public who say they saw Wright give the V sign,' a spokesman for the increasingly busy South Norwood police said yesterday. 'There is also a police witness.'

Northamptonshire police have reported the Hereford midfielder, David Titterton, to the match referee, Brian Coddington, for inciting visiting supporters to invade the pitch during Sunday's game at Northampton. Titterton was one of four Hereford players sent off.

Steve Froggatt, Aston Villa's Lincoln-born midfielder, last night decided to commit himself to England, and play against Spain's Under-21s tonight, rather than represent the country of his mother, the Republic of Ireland. 'After all, I am English,' he said.

ENGLAND'S UNDER-21s (v Spain, Burgos tonight): Walker (Tottenham); Hendon (Tottenham), Wright (Blackburn), Awford (Portsmouth), Ehiogu (Aston Villa), Whelan (Ipswich), Anderton (Tottenham), Parlour (Arsenal), Bart-Williams (Sheffield Wednesday), Clark (Newcastle), Froggatt (Aston Villa). Substitutes: D Watson (Barnsley), S Watson (Newcastle), Sheron (Manchester City), Sutton (Norwich), Barmby (Tottenham).

Taylor muddled,

McCoist criticised, page 33

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