THE DAILY BUNG LUNCHTIME HEADLINES
Manchester City have once again hammered home the point that money can't buy you common sense by handing Patrick Vieira a chance to top up his pension fund with six months of dragging his creaking bones around their training ground and every now and again coming off the bench to twinge his back.
Gary Neville is to hang up his boots at the end of this season after 86 years fine service to Manchester United, running up and down the right hand side of the Old Trafford pitch, occasionally to jump up and down and stick his tongue out in front of angry Liverpool fans.
And erstwhile wunderkind Freddie Adu - now just plain Freddie Adu - has spurned the chance to join Hull City and instead signed with Greek side Aris. 'Alright guys,' he tweeted, 'done deal. Signed an 18-month loan with Aris. A lot of thought and research went in to this.' Which suggests he might have actually asked someone other than Phil Brown what Hull was like.
THE VICTORY THAT JUST KEEPS GIVING
Those Leeds United fans still insulated from the bitter Yorkshire winter by the warm fuzzy feeling of satisfaction generated by their sacking of Old Trafford last week, you might imagine, will have had their joy tempered by the news that the scorer of the only goal that day, Jermaine Beckford, had handed in a transfer request even before he danced past Wes Brown and slipped the ball past the despairing dive of Tomasz Kuszczak.
You might imagine that. But you would be quite wrong.
In signalling his desire to leave Elland Road, Beckford's exploits at Old Trafford have merely upped the asking price Newcastle United or anyone else will have to pay because of the spotlight now trained on him. Time for those of a white rose persuasion to celebrate that goal all over again.
Beckford will leave West Yorkshire with the good will of his public there but the forward will soon discover that he will miss them more than they will miss him.
Goalscorers will inevitably grab the headlines but Leeds' deserved victory over their rivals from over the Pennines was not orchestrated by but merely decorated by Beckford.
The design was that of Simon Grayson, who sent out a side with a clear game plan of intense, energetic football from the off, the construction of the win was the high tempo snapping at heels of Michael Doyle, the simple tidy passing of Neil Kilkenny and the surging forward runs of Jonny Howson.
It was in the midfield where the battle was won Leeds players simply wanting it more than their more vaunted opponents.
Beckford applied the finishing touch of course, and a terrific one it was too, though the one immediately before owed more to good fortune than talent, Beckford's clumsy attempt to control Howson's hopeful ball forward accidentally taking it away from Brown and creating the angle to beat Kuszczak.
That moment summed up Beckford perfectly for those who have watched him for more than 90 minutes last weekend: the unfinished article; the man who scores goals by the bucket load but went missing in Leeds' recent play-off defeats and when Liverpool came calling in the Carling Cup; earning his luck with persistence but lucky all the same.
Beckford remains unproven at a level higher than the third tier. Newcastle, if that is where he ends up, as looks likely, are not buying a player guaranteed to menace Championship defences as he does those in League One. He might prove a massive success. But strikers of his quality abound in the division below the Premier League none prosper at the top level.
Beckford clearly believes he is better than his current standing or else he wouldn't have asked for a move. But if so then why not stay at Leeds and ride their wave of euphoria in to the Championship and possibly beyond?
The answer is found in the instant gratification culture that stalks English football. Now is Beckford's moment. This is his time. Beckford's temperament is suspect. He is quick to temper and moody when things don't go his way. And he clearly believes his own hype. Just the type of character needed in the goldfish bowl at St James' Park, eh?
Should Newcastle stump up a sizeable transfer fee, as they will now be forced to do because of the brouhaha surrounding the player, it will be for a player with just six months left on his current deal, available on a free in the summer.
Leeds will do right to cash in, safe in the knowledge that only a Devon Lock moment can prevent them leaving League One at the third time of asking.
He will almost certainly be replaced by a striker of equal or better proven talent for a fraction of the cost.
Billy Sharp, the Sheffield United striker who has been banging them in for fun at a limited Championship team in Doncaster Rovers, on loan, is up for sale and Leeds will be able to reinvest the money gifted by Newcastle in a player with more guile and touch, even if he lacks the physical presence of Beckford.
He will certainly be good enough to keep the goals flowing in League One. As would Aaron McLean of Peterborough, who is also available for a snip.
Ken Bates will talk of reluctantly letting Beckford go, the fans will wish him well, but Leeds will be stronger, or at least no weaker, for it.
Things are less certain for Beckford. He could find himself going from League One to the Championship to the Premier League should Newcastle be promoted inside eight months. Not a gentle ascent.
He may believe he is equipped for such a meteoric rise; the Bung senses the club he leaves behind's steady climb back to whence they came is a surer bet.
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