Sport Glenn Hoddle is set for a role with the FA

The former manager is being touted as a possible replacement for AVB

Sport on TV: Empty feeling for the Saturday night fevered

IT TOOK a while for the full magnitude of last week's big transfer story to sink in at the BBC. Late on Monday, just after Newsnight, they ran their pre-season teaser, a brief film in which an assortment of blokes do sad, aimless things, like traipse around DIY superstores with their wife, or build card castles in the pub, because there's no football to go to or talk about. The good news for the lads, though, was that their 10-week stint in purgatory was almost over, for as Gary Lineker reminded us, "on Saturday, normal service will be resumed".

INSIDE LINES: ALAN HUBBARD COLUMN

Athletes hooked

I'll tell you what, Gary, this is a sad day for the BBC. But, hey, it's only a game

SO, WHERE were you when you heard the news? Because for some of us, Desmond Lynam's big-money transfer to ITV is news of where-were-you- when-you-heard? status. And mark my words, it won't be long before the conspiracy theories start. "Where were you, and what were you doing, when you heard that JFK had been assassinated?" social historians like to ask. To which they can now add, "And what about when Des left the BBC, where were you then?"

Sports Letter: Foreign lesson

Sir: Arsenal recently transfer-listed four players, two of whom were English. Pundits in the newspapers cried out that this was the latest worrying example of English talent being squeezed out of our leading clubs. Not wanting to be left out in the cold, the sports minister Tony Banks promised to bring Government pressure to restrict the foreign players in domestic leagues.

Football: Cole is likely to partner Shearer

KEVIN KEEGAN was pondering his striking options at Bisham Abbey yesterday. Should he go for pace or muscle? Experience or youth? Penalty- box poacher or roving creator? With Alan Shearer's place apparently cast in stone, as it has been since Gary Lineker's retirement seven years ago, and Michael Owen and Kevin Phillips injured, the decision comes down to who partners the captain out of Andy Cole, Teddy Sheringham, Emile Heskey and Robbie Fowler.

Be smart: take the colour and run

PETER YORK ON ADS; NO 275: DULUX PAINT

Match play

`Escape to Victory' gave footy films a bad name, but a new TV drama, `Bostock's Cup', is in a different league

Football: Ginola: I feel I must help people dream

He was regarded as a luxury item. Today he is the essential ingredient

Football: Opposites attract praise for defensive skills

The confidence has returned for Tottenham's Justin Edinburgh, their longest serving player.

Football: Rush, Dalglish voted best British strike duo

ALAN SHEARER and Michael Owen have voted the Ian Rush-Kenny Dalglish strike force the best Britain has seen. The England forwards made their decision for Match Of The Day magazine as part of a poll to establish the most lethal forward duo of all time.

Rock: Songs of passion, depth and eeling

The Eels Royal Festival Hall Depeche Mode Wembley Arena

Football: Owen makes another crisp pounds 500,000

Even on a day off, the nation's favourite teenager can add noughts to his bank balance by smiling and saying `cheese'.

He's game for a laugh

You can guarantee two things about the new English football season, which starts today. First, that a certain sarong-wearing, Posh Spice-loving England and Manchester United midfielder will be booed wherever he plays. And second, that a host of new comedy football shows will spread across the television schedules like a nasty case of heat rash.

I suppose I'm not alone among domesticated males in yearning now and then to get in touch with my inner lad

IT WAS the cake. Lying in bed, bug-eyed and clammy-skinned, at 3 am, I suddenly understand why I'm feeling unusually wakeful. Earlier in the evening, the goalkeeper had produced his own contribution to the evening, homemade to his own special recipe and, politely, I had taken a large slice. Homemade? Special? Ganja cake, of course. Here I am, in my own bed, in my own house, stoned out of my box. No wonder I can't sleep
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