Good morning. Here is your briefing. Let’s start with some news.
Jurgen Klopp is preparing to swoop for Mario Gotze and Jonas Hector in a bid to stop Liverpool from being infuriatingly inconsistent for evermore. He’s going to improve them. He’s going to make you notice them. He’s going to use his arms. He’s going to use his legs. He’s going to use his style. He’s going to use his sidestep. He’s going to use his fingers. He’s going to use his, his, his imagination.
Tony Evans says that Wayne Rooney is no longer the first name on the English team sheet. Or even the eleventh. And he’s not the only one to feel that way. Here he is on ESPNFC.
Southampton are scrambling to secure Ronald Koeman to a new, extended contract. But can they convince him that the St Mary’s is where he needs to stay? That’s what the Daily Mail are asking.
Ahead of England’s game against Holland, Football 365 are running a top ten of Dutch players in England. There’s no Winston Bogarde, sadly.
And finally, how nice was it to see Dean Ashton finally saying a proper farewell to Upton Park? Injured on international duty, he was forced to retire before anyone had really seen the best of him. He could have led the line for England for years. And then he came back for Mark Noble’s testimonial and did this.
ON YOUR TELLY THIS WEEK (Assuming that you live in the UK)
You can catch the last of the international week tonight, and there’s certainly plenty of choice. England’s 3-2 win over Germany is arguably the story of the week and if they can beat Holland, a shadow of the team they were, at Wembley, they’ll have some serious momentum for the summer. You can watch that on ITV at 2000. Failing that, you might want to see how Germany respond to shipping a two goal lead in their own stadium. They take on Italy, who played well against Spain in their 1-1 draw last week and are using a new 3-4-3 formation. An early Ciaran Clark goal was enough to help Ireland beat Switzerland, but can they beat England’s group opponents, Slovakia? Find out on Premier Sports at 1945 or watch Scotland vs Denmark in a relatively pointless friendly on Sky Sports 1 at 1945.
Can Southend recover from their 1-4 drubbing at the hands of Rochdale? It’s the question that all of football is asking and you can find out the answer on Wednesday when they play Sheffield United on Sky Sports 1 at 1945. Phil Brown thinks the push for the play-offs is over. But has he got his eyes on other things?
There is no football on Thursday.
And we are back into the domestic campaigns on Friday. Bayer Leverkusen and Wolfsburg need to quickly gain ground if they’re to secure Champions League places. Watch those two go head-to-head on BT Sport ESPN at 1930. Monaco are five points clear of third place and…erm…22 adrift of leaders PSG, but you can see them play Bordeaux on BT Sport 2 at 1930. Middlesbrough make their third Friday night appearance in five games. They travel to QPR, which isn’t exactly convenient for their supporters, is it? That’s on Sky Sports 1 at 1945. You can also watch Rayo Vallecano vs Getafe on Sky Sports 3 at 1930 or Cheltenham Town vs Grimsby on BT Sport Europe at 1945, but that might be taking things too far, don’t you think?
You can find all the TV listings on Live Football On TV
BOOK OF THE WEEK
Yeah, we’re still trawling charity shops, but with a 100% hit rate for good reads. Remember that terrible Kevin Costner movie ‘The Postman’? Well, this is the book that inspired the film, but don’t run away yet. It’s actually really good. Hugo Award winner David Brin (for ‘Startide Rising‘. This one was nominated, but didn’t win) tells the story of a wandering minstrel in a post-apocalyptic America who finds that a discarded postman’s uniform and a few white lies has quite the effect on his fellow survivors.
FROM OUR VAULT
Bank holiday weekends bring families together and when families come together, they want to play games. Or get drunk. Or get drunk and play games. Either way, did you find that you had no games in your cupboard? We didn’t. We’ve got Subbuteo. We reviewed it last year and it was a lot of fun. Not too hard to learn the rules, not too complicated to play when you’re tired and emotional. And it’s practically impossible to break the players now too.
NON-FOOTBALL THING OF THE WEEK (SORT OF)
There have been times when we’ve been guilty of taking our game of CM01/02 a little too seriously. Those diagrams were a bit much and the tantrums do not reflect well on what is an otherwise professional operation. But in comparison to some, we’re not taking it seriously at all. The Redmen TV are going balls deep on this.
If you’d like to recommend something for next Monday’s briefing, get in touch by emailing [email protected]