Tuesday 1 June
Carlo Ancelotti has been appointed Real Madrid boss for a second spell. Everton are looking for a replacement as Carlo left them somewhat in the lurch. Nuno Espirito Santo and Eddy Howe have been mentioned as possible replacements.
Antonio Conte, meanwhile, has been linked with the vacant Spurs job. It was difficult watching Mourinho in that role but Conte would be
Wednesday 2 June
England 1:0 Austria
More shame on the North East as the Riverside crowd booed when the players from Austria and England took a knee before kick-off. Honestly if you don’t want to join in why come to the football. Its not for you, after all, football supports Black Lives Matter and all you achieve by booing is making yourselves and your community look irrational and racist.
The match was made livelier by the referee’s decision to allow any kind of tackle, Jack Grealish was kicked up in the air all night but still had a positive impact and helped in the build-up to the goal.
His pass enabled Kane to bend the ball out to Jesse Lingard who would have found Grealish but for an Austrian boot playing in Bukayo Saka and the young Arsenal man finished from an angle.
Trent Alexander-Arnold had a good night at right-back but limped off at the end and may solve Southgate’s right-back glut by withdrawing.
Billy Gilmour got a handful of minutes for his full Scotland debut, as Scotland drew 2-2 with the Netherlands. Scotland, with a bit of a scratch side due to covid withdrawals, made a good fist of the match, attacked with flare and finished well. But for a late free-kick they would have their first win against the Netherlands since a Euro qualifier in 2003.
Thursday 3 June
Sam McClelland came off the bench for a few minutes of senior international debut as Northern Ireland lost narrowly to Ukraine.
Friday 4 June
Thomas Tuchel has been rewarded for winning the European Cup, that is WINNING the EUROPEAN CUP, with a new contract that keeps him in the job, theoretically, until 2024.
European Cup winner Thiago Silva has extended his contract for another season at the Bridge.
Antonio Conte will not be the next Spurs boss after all. Tottenham fans have been gabbling about now Conte had the stature to convince Harry Kane to stay. Sadly a few meetings with Daniel Levy put Conte off and talks broke down.
There are plenty of other managers knocking around but Spurs have sunk every penny into an expensive stadium that has barely seen a bum on a seat for eighteen months.
Sort of makes sense of the stadium plans Roman put on hold.
Saturday 5 June
Ethan Ampadu played on the right side of a back three for Wales in an epically dull 0-0 with Albania. The role does underline the young Welshman’s versatility and it will be interesting in pre-season to see what Tuchel makes of the loan army.
The retained and released list were published yesterday and Jamal Blackman, Izzy Brown, Willy Caballero, Declan Frith, Danilo Pantic, Marco Van Ginkel and Jack Wakely will be leaving us. Most of those have featured heavily on the injury list over the years or need to move on for regular football. Van Ginkel and Brown should still make significant careers for themselves and we wish them all well.
There have been bigger clear outs elsewhere, Crystal Palace are getting rid of 22 players including Gary Cahill.
Sunday 6 June
Billy Gilmour briefly lit up an otherwise dull Scotland win over Luxembourg.
The second-half substitute had one early burst that got him to the edge of the box and a shot just wide. Another chance was saved after he’d juggled his way past two defenders. It was a strong performance but the cameo came to an early end as, after half an hour, he went off with a knock.
Later the manager confirmed that Gilmour was just winded and was assessed for concussion but the lad is made of girders.
Steve Clarke will face pressure to include our youngster but knows his own mind and will probably use Billy as a sub.
Monday 7 June
Christian Pulisic is the first to add to his medal haul by netting the penalty that won the Concacaf Nations League for the USA. The 3-2 win over Mexico means the men’s USA team has finally won something even if it is just a nations league.
You elected such a bunch of emotionally and socially difunctional public school boys to parliament in the last election that one of them has decided that footballers taking a knee before matches is similar to players making the Nazi salute to Hitler
Bassetlaw’s moronic MP, Brendan Clarke-Smith, said the players were endorsing “a political ideology akin to Soviet Union communism”. Most of us would just say soviet communism but then we understand what that means whereas Mr Clarke-Smith appears to be a cretin. He blustered on that Black Lives Matter is a movement with “quite sinister motives”, including “crushing capitalism, defunding the police, destroying the nuclear family and attacking Israel.”
Just for clarity Black Lives Matter is not a political movement, it has no stance on capitalism, the family or Israel. It has one aim and only one aim, that is to highlight the indiscriminate murder of black people by the police and their mistreatment by the criminal justice system. By asking for equality they seem to have upset Tory MPs whose right to racially abuse others is under threat.
If someone tells you that Black Lives Matter is an ideology they cannot support, you could explain that human rights are not a political issue and that more equality for them doesn’t mean less equality for you – equality is not pie that runs out if one group gets a larger slice – or you could just punch them in the face.
Friday 11 June
Turkey 0:3 Italy
It started with Nessun Dorma, featured some brilliant attacking play and finished with a clean sheet. A perfect start for Jorginho and Italy as they began the delayed European Championships with a thumping win over a woefully unambitious Turkey side. It was as if the Turks arrived determined to park the bus and avoid a thumping and then had to settle for a thumping.
Italy looked a little scratchy in the first-half, crisp passing around the midfield but little penetration and a wall of bright red Turkish shirts. Chiellini had a header tipped onto the crossbar by a flying ’keeper but that was a close as the Azzurri came in the first half.
It took a slip to allow Beradi to cross and a tumbling defender barged the ball in past his own goalkeeper for 0-1. We know, Italy playing in Italy were not, officially, the home side. Postcards to Uefa.
Immobile tapped in the second and Insigne curled in a third.
It could have been more but for some selfish attempts at finishing but it is churlish to complain when Italy scored more than two in a European Championship game for the first time.
Jorginho was quietly efficient in everything he did. Snuffing out danger when it did come but mainly keeping the ball circulating at the right pace so the Turkish midfield couldn’t settle. One or two penetrative passes created openings but he will be happy for his work to go largely unnoticed.
It was a cracking game to open the championship.
Saturday 12 June
Wales 1:1 Switzerland
Robbie Savage would be a pain in the arse to sit next to at the football. As it is we have to listen to the twat rantings on the BBC. When Wales fell behind to the Swiss, a clean, unmarked header for a corner, the windbag lamented how poor Wales were and despaired of them ever scoring a goal. When they equalised, from Kieffer Moore’s header, he bubbled about how only one side was likely to score another, meaning Wales, only for Switzerland to look more likely, draw the better saves and have one chalked off by VAR.
Savage blathered on about the 500 Wales fans behind the goal in Baku, an observation only underlined by the fact that fewer than 300 made the trip. Baku, as we all know, is a very long way away.
The poor defensive and midfield performance could be due to Ethan Ampadu, given the squad number 15, starting on the bench and only making it onto the field for all of three minutes and eight seconds.
Denmark 0:1 Finland
Christian Eriksen collapsed just before half-time and received CPR on the pitch in front of clearly distressed colleagues and supporters. It was an incident that completely overshadowed not just this game but football.
Eriksen was later said to be awake in hospital and stabilised. At which point the referee, the teams and Uefa took the decision to continue with the match.
What followed was a disjointed affair as clearly rattled Denmark couldn’t find their stride and Joel Pohjanpalo headed the Finns in front.
Denmark did have a penalty but wasted the effort amid a general funk.
Many will question the decision to replay the match so soon but amidst the confusion Andreas Christensen was calmness personified and displayed control and authority of a fully mature international player.
Sunday 13 June
England 1:0 Croatia
The first time in 10 attempts that England have won their opening game at the Euros.
Sadly, moronic boos rang out as the players took the knee. Honest people drown the idiots out but the shame was there for the world to hear. How we can rid ourselves and our game of racist scum will exercise the FA, club, players and fans. CCTV and hidden cameras among the crowd would weed out those who attend the match but the point is to re-educate and explain. Someone – The Daily Mail and The Sun, has told them that Black Lives Matter is a threat to them. They have a deluded fantasy that black people want to overthrow society and destroy the family. How you counter delusions like that is the difficulty.
The team sheet was greeted with some confusion as Southgate picked a right-back at left-back, in Kieran Trippier and a right-back at right-back but not the right one. Reece James sat on the bench and watched Kyle Walker play nervously and way below the standards our youngster has shown this year. Why Trippier started instead of a left-back is a mystery but the move shows no faith in either Shaw or Ben Chilwell.
Mason Mount and Kalvin Phillips provided what spark we managed in the first period but Kane and Sterling looked tired and rusty. The first-half drifted past without much incident. The early press England used to rob possession wasn’t sustainable in the heat and although Croatia had more of the ball there wasn’t a real chance at either end.
And the second-half looked to be drifting the same way until Phillips stepped forward and found Sterling’s run and the City forward scored his first championship goal.
Mason Mount stood a beautiful ball to the far-post only for Kane to collide with the post in shanking the ball wide. Sadly the fat, useless Spurs striker was ok to carry on. Mason skimmed the top of the net with a free-kick ten-minutes later.
Brozovic was the only Croatian who threatened , he flashed a couple of efforts wide but then Sterling, leaning back, blazed over too.
Jude Bellingham came on with ten minutes to go, he is the youngest ever player in the history of the Euros. Also coming on at about the same time was, Chelsea old boy, Mario Pasalic who replaced Mateo Kovacic. The Chelsea man had a mixed afternoon as he found some space to run into but neither he nor Modric influenced that game in the way we expected.
The way we closed the game out will have given the coaching staff the most satisfaction. We never looked panicked, kept calm in possession and beat Croatia. If only we could have found that steel three summers ago.
Earlier we had confirmation that Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest and “was gone” according to a Danish doctor. They revived him with defibrillation and he sent a message back to his team mates today. The Inter midfielder will remain in hospital for further tests.
Austria 3:1 North Macedonia
You can’t watch them all.
Netherlands 3:2 Ukraine
The first really entertaining match as the Netherlands let a two-goal lead slip before snatching a late headed winner.