Oh international football. Why do you even bother turning up? Nobody likes you, you bring out the worst in people and everyone is happy when you leave so we can all go back to normal. Please, just take the hint and call it a day. You won’t be missed. Apart from World Cups and European Championships, you can come back then. But quit these incessant friendlies and qualifying matches. They are rubbish. And, let’s be honest, with UEFA and FIFA’s respective plans to make the main competitions even bigger we won’t even need qualifying competitions as everyone will be there anyway.
Did England not notice they had been invited to Lukas Podolski’s works leaving do on Wednesday night? I mean, come on. That wasn’t a serious football match. The Germans were pretty much doing the conga whilst Podolski gave his leaving speech just before kick off. I was half expecting Franz Beckenbauer to come on at half time and play up front with Manuel Neuer. Still, as ever, you can expect the English to turn up to the works do, get drunk and make complete idiots of themselves singing songs that really should stay in their respective heads. England tried to copy the en vogue 3-4-3 tactic whilst Poldi sauntered around in his party hat taking shots from everywhere. Eventually one went in and, shock, the person having the party thrown for them got to win the biggest prize. England might have played OK, sure. But they lost to a team that really couldn’t have given two hoots about the result.
Of course, that meant they played at a packed out Wembley against Lithuania. When will the English football fan actually learn? No matter how much tripe they get served up, they still keep flocking to North London in their tens of thousands to watch England huff and puff their way past a mediocre side only interested in keeping the score down. Ryan Giggs shocked me more than the match itself by making a couple of decent points in the half time analysis. I won’t tell you what he said, it’s not really in keeping with the tone of the column. Anyway, who would have thought picking the most natural English goal scorer still playing other than Harry Kane would have led to him scoring? Defoe must have been thrilled to have someone like Dele Alli and Raheem Stirling trying to play him in as it’s quite the step up from Darron Gibson and Fabio Borini.
Everton have probably come off worst from the international matches, losing Seamus Coleman and his leg to a tackle by Aston Villa’s Neil Taylor. Whether he is that kind of player or he isn’t that kind of player is irrelevant. It was a bad tackle that caused Coleman a serious injury, but I can believe Coleman’s suggestion that Taylor was sitting in the changing room virtually in tears at what had happened.
I made a deal with Scotland earlier in the week. If they entertained me against Canada then I would remain awake to watch their evening match on Sunday night. A 1-1 draw with Canada, whilst highly amusing, was not entertaining enough for me to be able to provide you with any information on how they did against Slovenia. Also, I am off the Northern Ireland bandwagon since Euro 2016 so have nothing to say on them either. Sorry, and all that.
Anyway, the real stuff starts again next week and we can look forward to Chelsea grinding out another Premier League title, more tittle-tattle around Arsene and Jose putting all his eggs in a Europa League shaped basket.