That goal Emile Heskey scored this morning, that wasn’t a bicycle kick. Seriously. Anyway, here’s all of this week’s England news wrapped up into one bitter and sarcastic post.
In news that would be so much funnier if it were actually true, Raheem Sterling of Liverpool and (kind of) England has been asked to stop commentating aloud while playing football. You can just imagine it, can’t you?
Charles Reep and Charles Hughes: two names that send shivers up the spine of any Englishman who thinks the long-ball game has crippled the national team. Hughes had a position of influence at the Football Association and the ear of both Bobby Robson and Graham Taylor, but Reep’s impact on Hughes has had an effect on football analytics too, if you like that sort of thing. Richard Whittall explains all.
The newspaper phone-hacking scandal goes on, and this time it’s The Mirror in the firing line. Evidence is with Scotland Yard that is believed to relate to the newspaper’s payment for phone numbers and access codes, supposedly before News International’s shameful actions. Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson is suing Trinity Mirror.
Nike (that’s England’s technical supplier) have now officially sold Umbro (that’s not) for $225m, the price of your common or garden top flight football club. The buyers are Iconix, another American brand that also houses Zoo York, Rocawear and a bunch of other stuff I wouldn’t wear if they made the last loincloths in the post-apocalypse. I hope, probably in vain, that they treat the Umbro brand and the fantastic people that work there with the respect they deserve. Footy-Boots has the story.
Arsenal midfielder is back, and he’s going to fix England. Right? Well, who knows. Andi Thomas enlightens us all on a site to which I wouldn’t usually link.
The Serbian FA’s response to the conduct of the country’s Under-21 players and supporters when England visited last week has been nothing short of a disgrace, and generally has been pretty laughable. The investigation into allegations of racism and violence continues, but for the time being Nikola Ninkovic (one of Serbia’s most threatening players on the night) and Ognjen Mudrinski have been banned from all national teams for a year.
Last Tuesday was also something of a nightmare for the senior players, who got to Warsaw and jacked themselves up on ProPlus before discovering that the game was – very, very sloooooowly – going to be postponed. According to KCKRS, Polish sports minister Anna Mucha offered her resignation over the matter this week, but it was rejected by Poland’s prime minister, Donald Tusk – presumably he thought saying his surname to her a few times and shaking his head was a sufficient sanction.
Finally, some sad news from World Soccer. John Connelly, who played in the first game of England’s successful FIFA World Cup 1966 campaign, has died. My thoughts and condolences to his family.