The race to see who will be Kane’s back-up for England at Euro 2024

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With the build-up to England’s match against Brazil dominated by an often-deranged debate over the colors of an inconspicuous rectangle adorning the collar of the men’s shirt, we finally have the distraction from real football to discuss. Not much of a match, mind you, as the loudest cheering at Wembley on Saturday was reserved for whoever managed to almost escape Fabrício Bruno with a paper plane launched from the middle row of the stands. In terms of accuracy and precision, Brazilian midfielder Endrick’s young teammate went one step further: the 17-year-old scored his first goal for his country and handed Gareth Southgate’s brave boys a defeat that didn’t really happen in the cosmic plan matters. of things.

Only Southgate and his staff will know whether they learned much from this match, although one of the main takeaways from a largely dismal encounter in the media appears to be that Ollie Watkins didn’t do himself much favors in the race to see if he whether Ivan Toney will. earning the right to sit on the bench at Euro 2024 in the role of backup to Harry Kane. The Aston Villa striker was forced to survive on the edge of a ridiculously inexperienced Brazilian defense and missed a reasonable chance that was certainly not as easy as some Sunday and Monday morning quarterbacks would have you believe. Against Belgium, Toney will get the chance to impress and you suspect the Brentford frontman will back himself, because some jokes, no matter how lame and predictable, write themselves.

While Kyle Walker and Harry’s Kane and Maguire have left the England camp short on talent, there was sad news for reserve goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, who is on the sidelines for what could be a season – and presumably Euro 2024 – ending after an elbow bump . during the training. James Trafford has been called up from the under-21s and has had useful recent training watching from the bench after being dropped by Vincent Kompany for Burnley’s final game before the international break. Trafford’s compatriot Jarrad Branthwaite, an unused substitute in England’s defeat to Brazil and one of the Premier League’s brightest prospects, will be hoping to make his England debut in Maguire’s absence. Seen by many as a future regular for England, the Everton defender, like the Burnley goalkeeper, has had plenty of practice this season when it comes to honing his craft.

After last week’s chatter about a minor tweak to the England shirt, the kit Southgate’s players wear against Belgium is likely to come under scrutiny from those with far too much time on their hands. A similarly expensive dark raisin number with sesame logos and multi-colored panels of different shades that will definitely upset someone. The shirts worn in the second half will not feature player names in an initiative that is part of the FA’s partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association.

“We hope to not only encourage fans to donate to our early diagnosis research, but also to support their loved ones as much as they support their football team,” said Kate Lee, CEO of the charity. “This means taking crucial first steps in seeking a diagnosis if they suspect someone they care about may be affected.” It should go without saying that this small but significant gesture on the part of the England football team has already been dismissed as a pointless waste of time by a mercifully small minority of lunatics who have clearly never had to deal with the grief of being forgotten by one’s loved one who lives with this terrible disease.


“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind – it feels like a lifetime ago. My debut was an out-of-body experience, but it was the best moments of my career. It was incredible to be in the squad and get to know a club of that size. I wouldn’t trade that minute for anything” – former Manchester United midfielder James Weir talks to Will Unwin about those early days under Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford, spells in Hungary and Slovakia, and how injuries led to retirement at the age of 28.


As for the photo of Tommy Johnson with a cabbage (Friday’s Memory Lane, full email edition), that must be due to the fact that County’s manager in 1989 was Neil Warnock, who famously opened a greengrocer’s shop in Nether Edge , Sheffield. towards the end of his playing days. To be fair, he did well at County and there was a lot of fuss about them and him in Nottingham at the time. That was the promotion season from the old Division Three. But he was still widely regarded at the time as a part-time starter who had only managed in non-league and had gotten lucky with Scarborough. I imagine Johnson expressed support. Then again, hanging out at the greengrocer was about as exciting as life in red-light Nottingham got in 1989, so maybe that’s just what he did” – Jon Millard.

The photo you have attached was taken when Johnson was early in his career as a striker for Notts County and according to the then chairman he needed to be built up to improve his stamina. A local greengrocer (presumably Warnock? –Football Daily Ed) arranged for a timely delivery of a balanced veg box to help with the reinforcement plan. Villa fans may remember that before his first game he coughed up his pre-match meal in the center circle, so he clearly enjoyed a special relationship with food” – Richard Bullock.

I can’t claim credit, but enjoyed a reference to the Virgin Islands derby in another August magazine as the ‘No Taxico’” – Rob Taylor.

Send letters to Today’s winner of our Prizeless Letter of the Day is…Jon Millard.


Join Max Rushden and the Football Weekly pod team as they chew on the weekend’s action.


When we heard that a Baumgartner had made headlines last weekend with a sporting feat, our minds immediately went back to October 14, 2012, when Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner threw himself from the edge of space into a Red Bull-funded supersonic freefall and struck back. to Earth from a height never before reached, as the world watched with mild apprehension… but mostly bewilderment.

But the speedy namesake who broke records this weekend was in fact Austrian Christoph Baumgartner, who took us back to our schoolyard kicking days as he sprinted straight onto the pitch from kick-off before slotting the ball past the stunned in just six seconds Slovakia goalkeeper shot. It was the fastest goal in international football history. “We have done this variant before, where we sprinted away from the kick-off with all the risks,” he trembled after the 2-0 win. “Somehow the sequence of steps worked so that I got the flight.” Christoph earns his corn at RB Leipzig, which means he not only has the same nationality and surname as Felix, but also the same paymaster. If Red Bull scored goals, etc., etc….


Dani Alves, convicted of rape, has paid €1 million bail and can leave prison pending his appeal.

Former Chelsea boss Marina Granovskaia appears in documents showing Roman Abramovich made foreign payments amid an ongoing investigation into alleged breaches of football spending rules.

Newcastle United co-owner Amanda Staveley has been ordered to pay a Greek shipping magnate more than £3million following a legal battle at the High Court.

Portsmouth’s Abu Kamara has responded to being one of five players named by former Norwich suit Stuart Webber as an example of black footballers who need to make it “because the alternative may be prison”. “I want to say to all black and minority ethnic children that you don’t have to be a professional athlete to avoid a life of crime and that it is important that the younger audience is not left with this false narrative,” he said . “I am proud of where I come from and recognize the sacrifices my family has made to make a career in football possible.”

Fans from Wales and Poland have been warned not to bring pyrotechnic devices to the Euro play-off final in Cardiff. Four Polish fans were arrested for possessing fireworks in Cardiff 18 months ago and the Football Association of Wales was fined more than £14,500 after home fans set off flares during World Cup play-off wins against Austria and Ukraine.

UEFA has made “no meaningful efforts” to settle claims on behalf of 1,200 Liverpool fans affected by the chaos surrounding the 2022 Champions League final, a law firm has said.

João Cancelo is still suffering from his unconscionable departure from Manchester City. “Lies have been told,” he roared, trying to quell rumors that he had been a disruptive influence.

And Ashley Cole is the latest inductee into the Premier League Hall of Fame. “To join the likes of Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry, Didier Drogba and Rio Ferdinand, I am privileged to be in their company,” said the former Arsenal and Chelsea full-back as he looked around his fancy new virtual club.


Your WSL talking points from the weekend’s action are here. Get stuck in!

Wembley and Belgium give Ivan Toney a big chance to show Gareth Southgate he is Harry Kane’s ideal understudy, writes David Hytner.

It’s time for the US men’s team to take shape, barks Tom Dart.

The choice of Xabi Alonso, a little easier than the choice of Sophie, but which of Liverpool, Bayern or Barcelona should he choose as manager next season? Jonathan Wilson provides career advice here.

Greg Wood has the latest on the ongoing sad saga of Football Index and all those engulfed by it.

And as AI football looms, be thankful for those willing to rage against the machine, writes Barney Ronay.


It appears that there was some turnout for Arsenal’s reserves against their Chelsea counterparts on March 20, 1948. That’s Denis Compton there on the right, who went on to play 78 Tests for the England cricket team.


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