WEDNESDAY’S BIG STORIES
One. Month. Away.
We’re not ready.
'Clearly offside' - Solskjaer complains over Villa goal, Fernandes' missed penalty
Yes, yes, we are being given a month to prepare for the Premier League’s return – it starts on Friday 13th, naturally – but it’s still all too soon. We cannot fathom that players are already back in training, can’t cope with the fact the Champions League has already started (?!), and we are definitely struggling to deal with the fact Arsenal played Hibernian in a pre-season friendly last night (and lost).
And we don’t even matter.
Won’t somebody think of the players…
They will have been given the appropriate rest and Euro 2020 is undoubtedly clouding our judgement, as players who participated late into that tournament or Copa America will not have returned just yet, but it is still taking some adjustment to see Arsenal team news and finding out Eddie Nketiah is lining up alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in a 4-4-2 at Easter Road.
Meanwhile, Liverpool casually dropped the fact Loris Karius is back among the goalkeeper’s union, for now, at their training camp in Austria, with centre-backs Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez kicking balls around too, while Chelsea, Manchester United and basically every other Premier League club have joined them in posting training pictures the past couple days.
That’s given each club’s “Wadmin” something to do as they reply to pleading posts of players pictured in training, but it’s good to see Kai’s having a great time on his hols at least.
*Mutes “pre-season”* … *unfollows every club account* … or better yet … *Deletes Twitter*
Make it happen!
Charity Shields and other such Super Cups feel unnecessary but this is something we can get on board with, particularly if it quietens the calls for a World Cup every two years. Italy vs Argentina.
Ramp up the hype around one game in a slot that would otherwise be an international friendly, and forget Arsene Wenger thinks World Cups that often is what the people want.
IN OTHER NEWS
Rashford mural restored
Fans cover vandalised Rashford mural with love hearts and messages of support
The messages of support on the Marcus Rashford mural initially covered an act of racially aggravated vandalism, but they have come to represent where we are as a country. There is a feeble minority looking to kick people when they are down, hiding behind keyboards or mindlessly defacing wall paintings overnight, and then there is the rest of society trying to prove that love trumps hate.
Street artist Akse has restored the mural, and it looks better than ever with the messages of solidarity surrounding it, but we must never lose sight of how it got to that point and why there was a need to paint and plaster love hearts over it in the first place.
These cowards are among us, have normal jobs, and are indeed both England fans and football fans. They’re not wanted, but they are there, and it will require years of education to ensure the scenes and stories we’ve witnessed over the last few days are a thing of the past. That's on all of us, and we could all learn from Rashford himself when it comes to working out how to do so.
IN THE CHANNELS
This went down a treat yesterday. Not the taco – nearest Taco Bell is 2.1 miles away so didn’t feel worth the effort – but rather the response this got on social media. Not the best timing, Harry.
The Premier League’s youngest ever scorer is now twice the age he was when making history. Yup, James Vaughan is now 32, having scored on debut when he was just 16 years (and 270 days) old for Everton.
More pictures and videos of players training on your social feeds, and some more Champions League first qualifying round action, including Welsh outfit Connah's Quay Nomads. Their road to Saint Petersburg continues.
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