Good morning. Here is your briefing. Let’s start with some news.
Gary Neville had opted to stick around in Valencia for a few more days, rather than join up with the England camp as planned. Sadly, it may take more than that to placate the supporters, who were distinctly unamused with this weekend’s defeat to Celta Vigo.
Remi Garde’s short, but spectacularly unsuccessful reign at Aston Villa will come to an end today when he goes the way of Paul Lambert and Tim Sherwood and becomes the third sacking in 12 months. And guess who’s favourite to take over?
Did you learn five things from the Manchester derby? Well, you can’t have been paying much attention. Daniel Storey learned SIXTEEN things. And here they are.
And we particularly liked Barney Ronay’s careful take on Chelsea and Alexander Pato.
ON YOUR TELLY THIS WEEK (Assuming that you live in the UK)
The football has been relentless of late, but it’s time to throttle back and gather your strength for the final straight. It’s time for dozens and dozens of innocuous injuries to suddenly make themselves known. It’s time for the carefully laid plans of managers across Europe to be torn up and replaced by weird mix and match line-ups of tired regulars and eager wannabes. It’s time for international week.
If you’re desperate for football tonight, you’ll have to watch second division Freiburg vs Karlsruher on BT Sport 2 at 1915. Yes, quite.
There is no football on Tuesday. Nothing whatsoever. If you really need a fix, can I interest you in full match coverage of the 1987 FA Cup Final between Coventry and Tottenham? It’s a bit of a classic.
The only option on Wednesday is Wolfsburg Women vs Brescia Ladies on Eurosport at 1700.
The good news is that the internationals begin on Thursday when the Czech Republish take Scotland as a sparring partner and Wales do battle with Northern Ireland. The bad news is that you’ll find the former on Premier Sports at 1945 and the latter on BBC 2 Wales at the same time. If you either don’t fancy or can’t watch that, you can find Doncaster Belles vs Chelsea Ladies on BT Sport 1 at 1945.
On Good Friday, you can watch Republic of Ireland against Switzerland on Premier Sports at 1945, or you can enjoy a third division double bill on Sky Sports 1 when Swindon take on Wigan at 1730 and Peterborough play Coventry at 1945. At 1500, there’s Tranmere vs Lincoln in the National League on BT Sport 1.
BOOK OF THE WEEK
We’re still working our way through the sobering The World Without Us, a book that necessitates a long, mournful look out of the window every three pages as you reflect upon the cruel trick of an author using a ‘hypothetical’ thought experiment about the end of civilisation to lure you into a book that then gently insinuates that the end has already begun.
FROM OUR VAULT
Speaking of thought experiments, we took a common one (what if a football club took the tenets of Soccernomics really, really seriously and never deviated, regardless of circumstance) and applied it to Football Manager. Alex Stewart is your guide to ten extraordinary seasons with Bristol City.
If you’d like to recommend something for next Monday’s briefing, get in touch by emailing [email protected]