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News & Comment

Something From The Weekend: City's loverboys; Edwin van der Sar; the barmy army; Steve Bruce

The Good

City's loverboys

Roberto Mancini is often seen as a tough customer – just ask Carlos Tevez after the pair's foul-mouthed argument earlier this month. But if you look deep into those smouldering Italian eyes, you can see that really he is a lover, not a fighter – and certainly not a drinker. The Manchester City manager has told his players to have sex – and not hit the booze – if they want to unwind after a game. "I tell my players now it is better that they go with a woman than drink," Mancini said. His failure to specify whether he means wives and girlfriends, or if any old woman will do, means it's unlikely Coleen Rooney will be urging Sir Alex Ferguson to adopt a similar policy at United.

The Bad

Edwin van der Sar

Fergie described the blunder by United's keeper that gifted West Bromwich their equaliser as a "primary school" error. The Dutchman turns 40 at the end of the month and if he's not careful it might be more a case of off to the nursing home than back to school. Ferguson has little patience for bungling keepers – who remembers Massimo Taibi?

The barmy army

Foreign exchange is not a topic oft covered on these pages, but when it concerns a beer at the cricket then our ears prick up. Englanders going to the Ashes next month should be distraught at the news that the Aussie dollar is experiencing a renaissance. Why? Because a pint of lager will now set you back about £5. Ouch.

The Odd

Steve Bruce

The Sunderland manager has jumped to the defence of the Premier League's tough tacklers, saying it is the division's hustle and bustle that make it so special. "If we take [the competitiveness] away, we will end up like leagues in France, Spain and Italy, where it is just all technique." All technique, you say? Sounds awful. Much more preferable to watch Bolton and Stoke kick lumps out of each other than watch players with this strange thing called technique that you talk of, Steve.