FRIDAY’S BIG STORIES
Where is the love?
The nerve of Joe Gomez. Has he not already caused enough damage?
Not only did he have the audacity to not retaliate when provoked by Raheem Sterling, rightly earning a scratch for his ridiculous peace efforts, but he then brought himself on as a substitute to steal the limelight in a 7-0 win that sent England to Euro 2020. No wonder he was booed.
Then there’s Harry Kane.
Not only did he insist on starting up front against Montenegro, wrestling the captain’s armband from more worthy contenders in the process, but he was unavoidably selfish by scoring yet another hat-trick. When will he learn that scoring goals won’t convince the prophets of Twitter that he’s a world-class striker?
Abraham: 'Unacceptable' for England fans to boo Gomez
Of course, there are alternative narratives for the above. Mainly, that are a sizable chunk of England fans are idiots.
Gomez’s crime? Playing for Liverpool and being the centre of a story that wasn't his fault this week. Kane’s crime? Scoring in practically every game, having the cheek to win the Golden Boot in Russia and adopting a deeper, central position so Sancho, Sterling, Rashford et al. can run into the free space behind.
When did jibes and jeers become the norm? Why can't England fans be excited that they have an attacking, young squad? Why does Sterling have to emerge from the naughty step to speak on a matter that should have closed days ago:
It was hard for me to see my teammate get booed for something that was my fault. Joe hasn’t done anything wrong and for me to see someone who keeps his head down and work hard especially after a difficult week for him to be booed when he came on tonight was wrong.
Southgate: The whole dressing room 'disappointed' with Gomez boos
At least Gomez is appreciated as a player. At Wembley, Kane resumed his role as the only striker in world football to be slated for SCORING. Even Gary Lineker couldn't resist a little swipe:
It's an odd country.
It's time for England to win something
Harry Kane a signé un triplé face au Monténégro
Image credit: Getty Images
It was November 30, 1872.
Queen Victoria commanded the throne, Thomas Edison was seven years short of inventing the lightbulb and Gandhi had just finished potty training.
Oh, and a crowd of 4,000 were huddled inside Hamilton Crescent on the outskirts of Glasgow to witness the first international football match. It was a thriller: Scotland 0-0 England.
In the time it took to research all of that, England had already scored five times against Montenegro in their 1000th international. But despite all the exciting young talent at Gareth Southgate's disposal, the history makes grim reading: one major trophy in 147 years.
Thursday's demolition job showcased that maybe, just maybe, the building blocks are there for an extended run at Euro 2020. So get behind them, England fans...
Ronaldo: 98 not out
14-11-2019, Portogallo-Lituania, Qualificazioni a Euro 2020: l'esultanza di Cristiano Ronaldo (Getty Images)
Image credit: Getty Images
Perhaps the greatest testament to this man's goalscoring heroics is that he is chasing down a record that is widely considered a joke: Ali Daei's 109 goals for Iran. And yet Cristiano Ronaldo may yet catch him after moving to 98 with a hat-trick against Lithuania.
IN OTHER NEWS
Manchester City avoid Champions League ban
We've skim-read the exclusive from The Athletic and the details of Manchester City avoiding a Champions League ban are so dull that we reckon you just accept it and move on with your life.
IN THE CHANNELS
We know we’re late to the party, but Ian Wright is going on I’m A Celebrity and it’s going to be amazing. Get a load of this unavoidably excellent video:
Relive that classic goalless draw between Scotland and England from 1872.
Spain, Italy and the Faroe Islands are all on Friday’s menu in Euro 2020 qualification.
Enjoy your weekend in the knowledge that Marcus Foley (of ‘throwing away unassailable leads in table tennis’ fame) is here on Monday.