England make complete Umtiti’s of themselves and West Ham are confirmed as a pub team


Here’s a shock. I’m not a fan of international friendlies during the season, so I’m even less of a fan in the close season. Sure, I understand the fact you need to fit another World Cup Qualifying match in, but why then another meaningless 90 minutes against a side so clearly better than we are? If we could have paused the match after ten minutes, England looked pretty good and it was a lovely goal for Harry Kane to score but, after that, we made right Samuel Umtiti’s of ourselves. Seriously though, how much young talent have France got? I am pretty sure that lot didn’t win the U20 World Cup – they were too busy playing first-team football for their clubs week in, week out. Bah. I have been wondering when the Alli-Kane partnership would truly get going on the international stage and last night it officially arrived. Dele Alli tumbled in the area, won a penalty, got a man sent off, Kane scored it. Just like watching Spurs play, eh?

West Ham United have confirmed that they are indeed a pub side. Apparently, they cannot use their pitch until September because the athletics is still on. Normally the excuse is cricket, isn’t it? Especially if you are the Red Lion. The Premier League fixtures for next season have been announced and I haven’t read them, to be honest, I was too busy laughing at the Hammers and the whole London Stadium farce. You can’t play Combined Counties Football unless you can guarantee you have a ground available each week of the season, so how the hell is Lady Brady getting away with this one?

Mike Ashley normally does well over the summer. Last season he found someone stupid enough to take Moussa Sissoko off his hands and give him £30m for the pleasure, this summer it looks like he might have found someone stupid enough to buy his football club, Newcastle United,  for way more than it is worth as well. They love a Chinese takeaway in Newcastle (and yes, that joke will appear every time a club or player is heading to the Far East) and Ashley looks like he will be quids in. The news might please Rafa Benitez, if it happens quickly, or frustrate him if transfers get put on hold as a result.

Speaking of China, I think John Terry got confused. He thought he was leaving Chelsea guaranteed a move to a huge contract playing in the Chinese Super League. In fact, it looks like he is off to Aston Villa who are owned by a Chinese man called Dr. Tony – possibly in the same way Dr. Fox was Dr. Fox. I am not convinced by this, I can see JT heading out on loan to join his old mate Oscar shortly after the Villa contract is signed.

It’s all very well Arsenal taking all their rubbish to the tip in the shape of Kieran Gibbs, Carl Jenkinson, Mathieu Debuchy and Jack Wilshere but they do need to actually sign some people to replace them. There’s more chance of Ian Wright making a comeback than Kylian Mbappe, Thomas Lemar or any of the other French crowd choosing Arsenal, so Arsene Wenger does need to have some kind of backup plan. What is it Arsene, what is it? No doubt he knows already but will choose the right time to tell everyone else.

Hull City’s Harry Maguire looks like he is heading to Leicester City. That’s the relegated Harry Maguire, who appears to be commanding a higher transfer fee than the twice Premier League-winning Manchester United captain Chris Smalling, who is being linked with a move away from Old Trafford for a snip at £15-20m. You don’t hear Ray Wilkins going mad at that decision, do you?

Finally, Samir Nasri is being linked with a permanent move away from Manchester City. All that tells me is that I didn’t realise he was still owned by Manchester City.