With everybody’s thoughts elsewhere, this week has been a low-key one for England.
Let’s begin with a quick nod towards Sport Relief, during which England and Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard appeared in a sketch with the cast of Outnumbered. Hat-tip to Off The Post for finding the video online so I didn’t have to. Christine Bleakley’s in it too, as is the great Aston Villa’s very attractive away strip – well, some of it.
In terms of judging Lampard’s contribution, I’ll say this: he doesn’t make Outnumbered any worse. Well done, Frank. Referee Howard Webb’s cameo steals the show.
Fabio Capello might have resigned from the job prematurely after a dispute over the fate of John Terry, but he hasn’t lost all affection for the job. Before denying that he’ll end up managing in Italy, the former England boss warned his successor – whoever that might turn out to be – about the attention of the press. But he went on to say that managing England is “something beautiful”.
While TSC is focusing on England during its European Championships series, Twohundredpercent is covering the lot. All of the tournaments, without the obsessive partisan focus on a particular team; as always, 200% is doing a magnificent job. So have a read of Ian’s assessment of UEFA Euro 1992.
With Darren Bent injured, Wayne Rooney suspended and other options not really up to the job, the impact of Daniel Sturridge at UEFA Euro 2012 is going to be right in the spotlight. Amit Singh‘s post on Just Football this week breaks down the Chelsea forward’s form, strengths and weaknesses in great detail, and it’s easily worth a few minutes of your time.
Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper Paul Robinson, of course, will not be at the European Championships. He retired from international football a couple of years ago and told The Guardian that he is enjoying his football more and has become a better goalkeeper because he is no longer involved with England. Judging by his form in the last 18 months, he’s not wrong.