Good morning. Here is your briefing. Let’s start with some news.
We don’t always agree with Martin Samuel over here, but he’s on the money this morning. Here he is, tearing the ‘big five’ a new one for their complete incompetence and utter cowardice.
Speaking of Leicester, we were quite tickled by this story about their players not being allowed in a trendy nightclub and being forced to stand aside and let the Tottenham team in. Let’s hope there’s no prophetic symbolism in that.
But are Tottenham looking tired now? Jack Pitt-Brooke has seen them a lot this season and he fears for them.
Is this the end for ‘slow, plodding,’ Michael Carrick? That’s the question Matt Stead is posing over on Football 365.
And finally, over on SB Nation, Andi Thomas asks the question: Which ancient mythological creature is your team? Our lives were incomplete until we read this and discovered the fabled, fireshit-spraying Bonnacon.
ON YOUR TELLY THIS WEEK (Assuming that you live in the UK)
It’s another European week and, as always, there is a lifetime of football crammed into the next five days. It all begins tonight with, brace yourself, Freibrug vs Leipzig in the Bundesliga 2. That’s on BT Sport Europe at 1915. If that starts badly, reach for the controller and whack Espanyol vs Rayo Vallecano on, thats on Sky Sports 1. Though, given how much football is on its way, you might just want to skip Monday.
UEFA have graciously allowed the FA to put Hull vs Arsenal cup replay on Tuesday, just about the only slot that either team had clear in their diaries. That’s on BT Sport 1 at 1900. Obviously, this is likely to have a huge impact in global advertising revenue, so we really have to salute them for their kindness. If you want to give something back, maybe consider taping Wolfsburg vs Ghent on BT Sport 2 and Real Madrid vs Roma on BT Sport Europe. They both start at 1945.
There’s a Champions League double bill on Wednesday on BT Sport Europe. If you rush home from work, you can see Zenit try to claw their way back into their clash with Benfica at 1700 and then after that at 1945, plucky Chelsea take on moneybags PSG. Can Guus Hiddink’s cut-price chancers prevail? If you still want more football after that, France take on England in the SheBelieves Cup at 2200 and you can find that on your BBC red button.
It’s a Europa League marathon on Thursday. Full details are here and the English ties are conveniently split to make sure you can see them both. It’s Borussia Dortmund vs Tottenham on BT Sport 2 at 1800 and the small matter of Liverpool vs Man Utd on BT Sport Europe at 2005. Europa League viewing figures tend to be limited to the fanbases of the clubs involved, but we’ve got a feeling that there might be something of a spike this time.
Have you really got the energy for more? Don’t you feel like going to the cinema to watch a CGI London blow up? No? Okay then, let’s continue. On Friday, you can watch football from all over the Europe. You can watch Malaga against Sporting Heehon on Sky Sports 5 at 1930. You can watch Monaco vs Reims on BT Sport Extra 4 at 1930. You can watch Hertha Berlin vs Schalke on BT Sport Extra 3 at 1930. You can watch Juventus vs Sassuolo on BT Sport Europe at 1945. My God, you can even watch Motherwell vs Dundee United on BT Sport 2 at 1945. And finally, there’s Reading vs Crystal Palace on BBC 1 at 1955 in the FA Cup. Who needs Morgan Freeman now, eh?
Full TV listings can be found over here on the Live Football on TV page.
BOOK OF THE WEEK
No-one sends us books anymore. We’re reduced to trawling North London’s charity shops for interesting reads. Still, it turned out nice again this week with Alan Weisman’s The World Without Us. It’s essentially a giant thought experiment based on the premise of all human life suddenly vanishing from the earth in an instant. How long would it take the planet to remove every trace of our existence? Given that Donald Trump continues to lead the way in the Republican primaries, this might not be as abstract a concept as you’d hope.
BEST NON-FOOTBALL THING
Ad-free giant air hockey in your browser against an enormous friendly bear called Bob on a table that grows progressively more infuriating and is laden with kooky power-ups. You want Cube Slam. You need Cube Slam. Your boss may not agree.
FROM OUR VAULT
We’ve had so many fine Voxes in Boxes, but we particularly enjoyed Gab Marcotti’s visit to the site last year. Click here and read him railing against the culture of the clickbait.
If you’d like to recommend something for next Monday’s briefing, get in touch by emailing [email protected]