What’s that? England are in another football semi-final? That’s becoming a bit of a habit now, isn’t it?
We’ll head back to Thursday night’s Wayne Rooney Farewell Tour in a moment because right now is the time to revel in the fact that England have booked their place in the semi-finals of the ‘Greatest Football Tournament in the World TM’ (after the World Cup, European Championships, Champions League and the FA Cup, of course).
If I put aside the fact it would have been great if England could have done this to Croatia a few months ago, it might actually be time to get a little carried away by the potential of this England team. I mean, as an England fan, it’s something we do very well; getting carried away about an England team.
Before the game at Wembley kicked off, pretty much all outcomes were still available to England. Had they lost they would have been relegated and a 0-0 draw would have seen them finish second, or something. Not that any of that matters now, right?
England battered Croatia in the first half but could not find a goal, Harry Kane once again looking like he was going to come up short against a half decent national side. Hold that thought.
Jesse Lingard should get a transfer to Tottenham straight away as he only seems to be brilliant when he plays at Wembley. He came off the bench and equalised almost immediately before clearing one off the line at the other end. Add to that his goal against the USA on Thursday and the Poch should make his move in January.
Harry Kane, pretty anonymous for most of the game, chose the perfect moment to reappear in the eyes of the Man-of-the-Match sponsors by poaching the winner with a few minutes left in the game. That’s the way to win a bottle of champagne, let your team do all the work and then steal the glory right at the end.
Given how England scored their equaliser, is there anyone out there (other than Andy Gray and Richard Keys) who still feels a throw-in coach at Liverpool is a daft idea? Joe Gomez launched a bullet into the Croatia area leading to a goal that had Tony Pulis yearning for Rory Delap to come out of retirement.
The UEFA Nations League is officially brilliant. I never doubted it.
Days before, England fans flocked to Wembley to get a final glimpse of Wayne Rooney in an England shirt after it was decided that the match against USA needed an extra something to sell tickets. And that something was gifting Rooney his 120th cap, all in the name of the Wayne Rooney Foundation. Ah, it was all for charity. That’s OK then, I shall step down. Eh? Not a single penny of the gate receipts, concessions, sponsorship or merchandise went to Wayne’s charity? Punters were expected to make donations into a bucket having already spent their hard-earned on the match ticket? In any other week, that would have been the worst sold idea of the last few years, hey Theresa?
Even if the match was a glorified testimonial in theory, England put USA to bed 3-0 and young Jadon Sancho looks like a proper talent. Fortunately, he plays in Germany so there is a chance he’ll be able to develop in peace without the press and social media following his every single move.
Manchester City have been in the news once more over their interesting ways of financing their quest to become the biggest football club in the world. Don’t get me wrong, Peppy G’s team play football that is nice to watch but then I am sure my beloved Luton Town could do the same if they found a way to bend the FFP rules to the same extent, ahem, allegedly.
Yet, City’s blatant disregard for following things to the letter is not the biggest story of ‘the game’s gone, lads’ in the last seven days. Oh no, not even close.
Ex-Arsenal chairman David Dein, who I thought was a decent guy up until this week, has proposed that every Premier League club donates £250k to a a pot that will end up becoming a £5m farewell gift to the outgoing Premier League CEO Richard Scudamore.
£5m for leaving a job. A job that he gets pretty well paid to do.
It’s worth pointing out that very few Premier League clubs even pay their staff the living wage, yet all but five have agreed to this crazy, insensitive plan.
I am sure Scudamore has done a fine job for them, helping their pockets be lined by more TV rights money than they could have ever believed, but still. In a British week of terrible PR moves, this one sticks out. At least those season tickets won’t go up again at the end of the season, right? Oh.