I have been on my travels as usual in the close season. Yes it has been wonderful thank you very much; but no live football to report on this time, or any live sport for that matter, though I did check out a couple of Croatian non-league grounds, both with very good facilities, including excellent BBQs, and both added to my suggested list of potential overseas trips for the lads when club funds permit. I’m not holding my breath.
And of course there is the World Cup. I'm writing this before the quarter finals but it looks like the Boys from Brazil for me, much as I hope I'm wrong and England can do it. The highlight for me so far, excluding England of course, came as I watched Croatia beat Argentina in a bar in Novigrad. The celebrations were something else; where do you buy those flares? We need some of them for the Vase games. I haven't seen smoke like it since Gary Shields retired. Southgate seems to be playing his hand as well as he can, although I think Sterling is a luxury we can't afford and the no nonsense Vardy style would be more my plan, but that's just opinions and it's the managers that matter, quite right too. At least we look like a team, and the coaching staff have done their homework. None of this 'you can't practice penalties' rubbish as per Hoddle, or, Mr Woy and his 'by Jove this Iceland lad takes good throw ins, who knew?' Well you should have for a start, sunshine. No, the constant lazy amateurism of past years seems behind us, thank god. We could still use at least one genuine left footer mind; and Rose may find, or have already found his way in, and even given his defensive frailties that would be a good thing in my humble opinion. Let's see how it ends.
And what about Swaz's bold boys and the Northern League? Got to be expecting another good season with the boys from the past couple of seasons and a some good additions. We will be fancied of course, but more than a few clubs look like they are hoping to do well, including at least one of the promoted clubs, making good signings and talking the talk, but it's the football that matters as you all know. I'm looking forward to it, the last few seasons have been great, can we go a bit further this time? Time will tell.