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Robinho’s a Trouble Magnet, Old Man Becks Playing Like the Becks of Old, England Submits World Cup 2018 Bid, and more



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There are some days when life just seems like it’s giving you a big punch in a sensitive place.

And sometimes, it’s just your teammate.

Robinho may be feeling like that right now, since he’s been making headlines for all of the wrong reasons lately. Of course, sometimes you have to make your own breaks, and he didn’t by walking out on the club and landing himself a hefty fine, but you can’t pin the blame on him just yet for the sexual assault claim that has been made against him.

The thumb-sucking Brazilian has certainly come good on the pitch, but are all of these distractions really worth it for Manchester City?

Mark Hughes can spend as he pleases, and could be set to spend even more, but that’s a luxury that Rafa Benitez doesn’t have. A potential change in ownership could see him get more control, and it could pave the way for the kind of all-around success that Liverpool fans have been craving.

Having the right backing has certainly benefited Martin O’Neill at Aston Villa, whose 11-match unbeaten run combined with Liverpool being wasteful, Chelsea looking somewhat ordinary, and Arsenal dropping points when they can’t afford to, has them, in my mind, the biggest threat to Manchester United right now, besides the injury bug and gravity.

Fabio Capello looks at O’Neill’s core of young English stars as a big part of England’s future, but David Beckham is certainly doing his best to ensure that he’s a part of England’s right now, with goals in back-to-back matches for AC Milan after a trademark Beckham bender in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw against Genoa.

As smitten as he is with Milan (and as much as his wife apparently isn’t), the affection is mutual, so much so that the Rossoneri are already thinking permanent deal.

But as amazing and unbelievable as it may be, the 2009 MLS season will go on, even if Beckham is in Milan for good. I know, stop the presses.

Beckham, unless he discovers the fountain of youth and keeps on rolling into his early 40s, will only be a spectator for the 2018 World Cup, but if England’s bid to host is successful, you can expect him to be front and center in some form. There’s still time for the likes of Australia and the U.S. to throw their names into the hat, and I’m sure they will, but you have to fancy England’s chances to host in 2018, or maybe in 2022, if Portugal/Spain don’t beat them out for ’18.

While it will be a little while before we know whether football’s biggest international tournament will be in England a decade from now, it looks like the country will get a chance to host the final of football’s biggest club competition in the near future. If English sides can continue their domination of the Champions League (which hopefully won’t have some corny name by then), that final could be a glorified home tie for someone.