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Football’s coming home (to Montevideo, hopefully) | Football

Ian St John pictured late last year alongside a mural of himself. RIP Saint.


Exactly why the sincere folks and true of Her Majesty’s Government have determined {that a} huge new performative dollop of bellicose patriotism is important to take everybody’s consideration away from the omnishambles of the final 11 years is just not clear. After all, if the polls are something to go by, no one appears to provide a toss. But grifters gonna grift, and now they’ve pledged £2.8m in the direction of a possible joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup by England, Scotland, Wales, Norn Iron, the Republic O’Ireland, the Isle of Man, the Isle of Wight, the Falkland Islands, the Pitcairn Islands, the Bailiwick of Jersey, the Bailiwick of Guernsey and Gib. What an excellent nation! What an excellent ragtag ensemble of wonderful nations!

While it’s by no means in The Fiver’s nature to speak the nation down – our ongoing love of Morris dancing, shortbread, cheese-on-toast and theme pubs is there on file for all to see – we do wonder if that is the wisest caper. Our bid to stage the 2018 match noticed David Beckham lose a magnificence contest to Vladimir Putin, whereas we didn’t precisely cowl ourselves in glory by reneging on a gentleman’s settlement to let Germany have a free run at bidding for the 2006 match, a choice that led to Germany securing the 2006 match. Like it or not, folks keep in mind. The hole between myopic exceptionalism and realpolitik is a big one, and everyone knows about Boris Johnson’s zero-for-one file in relation to constructing bridges.

Nevertheless, a feasibility examine will likely be made – let’s see which brand-new firm owned by a pub landlord rapidly knocks out that PowerPoint doc – after which the formal bidding course of will start subsequent 12 months. Johnson, for his half, is already in flag-waving mode. “It’s the home of soccer, it’s the fitting time, it will likely be a completely fantastic factor for the nation,” the prime minister of England (effectively, y’know) learn off a sheet of focus-grouped bullet factors. UK Sport is assured that new Fifa voting guidelines will give the steady, non-combustible partnership of Britain and Ireland a greater probability of success, and so The Fiver needs them one of the best of luck. But we counsel administration of expectations, too: 2030 would be the centenary of the World Cup, and certainly the romantic selection would be the south-American collective involving 1930 hosts Uruguay. Romance: that’s Fifa’s prime consideration when making these selections, proper?


“A person of heat, humour, information, knowledge and pleasure. Scotland and Liverpool has misplaced a real big” – Andy Robertson leads the tributes to Ian St John, a superb ahead and splendidly droll co-presenter of The Fiver’s favorite Eighties mild leisure present Saint and Greavsie, who has died aged 82. RIP Saint. Here is his obituary, his life in footage and a tribute from Jonathan Wilson.

Ian St John pictured late final 12 months alongside a mural of himself. RIP Saint. Photograph: Murwalls Handout/PA


“Schalke are doomed. They thought Sead Kolasinac and Shkrodan Mustafi may assist preserve targets out. Obviously, they haven’t seen them play. Last weekend’s Stuttgart debacle featured 4 of north London’s worst, with a number of the Spursiest ex-Spurs in Nabil Bentaleb and Benjamin Stambouli, each of whom have additionally captained Schalke at instances. So, with the sport at 3-1, and Stuttgart conceding a penalty, Bentaleb bought right into a dust-up about taking the penalty, insisting on taking the worst penalty seen for some time, a simple save, and no extra probability to salvage something from the match. The final two Stuttgart targets occurred, to cite the good Marv Albert of basketball saying fame, ‘in rubbish time’. Or, as we describe the whole thing of Schalke’s season” – Paul Landaw.

“With all due respect to Doncaster Rovers, I’m don’t know why they’re complaining a lot that they’ve simply misplaced their supervisor to my very own once-great Sheffield Wednesday (yesterday’s News, Bits and Bobs). Since the beginning of the 2018-19 season, which I grant you looks like a really very long time in the past now, we now have burned by managers like there’s no tomorrow. We have had (takes very deep breath) Jos Luhukay, Lee Bullen (caretaker however, fairly frankly all our managers are caretaker managers lately), Steve Agnew and Stephen Clemence (joint), Steve Bruce, Garry Monk, Tony Pulis, Neil Thompson and now Darren Moore. That’s one each 121.2 days, which means that if Rovers nonetheless need him they will anticipate him to take the half-hour journey again alongside the M18 or on the Transpennine Express shortly earlier than 1 July” – Noble Francis.

Send your letters to [email protected] And you possibly can all the time tweet The Fiver by way of @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our prizeless letter o’the day prize is … Paul Landaw.


Join Scott Murray from 8pm GMT for warm Premier League MBM protection of Manchester City 2-1 Wolves.


It’s David Squires on … whistlegate and referees underneath strain.

Here you go.Here you go. Illustration: David Squires/The Guardian


With Sunday’s relegation conflict at West Brom on the horizon, the massed ranks of knacked Newcastle forwards now consists of Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almirón.

Paul Cook has leapt into the Ambitious Paul-shaped gap at Ipswich, the place the USA! USA!! USA!!!-led takeover is that this near completion.

Pep Guardiola has plucked a calculator out of the pocket of his bizarre coat and labored out that Manchester City want “eight, 9 or 10” wins to be topped Premier League champions once more.

Edinson Cavani has recovered from muscle-gah! and is predicted to make it aboard Manchester United’s Megabus to Crystal Palace on Wednesday. “Edinson skilled, he joined in in order that’s good,” whooped Ole Gunnar Solskjær.

What with psychologists, do-gooders or lefties already on his wick, Chris Wilder now isn’t sure he’ll have his job at Sheffield United subsequent season. “We all the time plan brief, medium and long run, however that plan is set by different folks than me,” he tooted. “I’ve not had these conversations. I believe they need to be occurring, however they’re not occurring.”

And Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s gums have been flapping furiously once more. “Athletes must be athletes, politicians must be politicians,” he wibbled after being requested if he stood by his criticism of LeBron James. He was then pressured to defend his choice to warble a duet with Bologna boss Sinisa Mihajlovic on the Sanremo Music Festival. “I hope that Miha doesn’t know the way to sing. If I mess up, no one can choose me.”


John Duerden on Jiangsu’s collapse means “China disaster” will get a headline run-out.

James Coppinger has spent 17 seasons at Doncaster Rovers, as soon as scoring a legendary promotion-grabbing objective, and even helps design their kits lately. Not dangerous for a £30,000 signing, he tells Ben Fisher.

James Coppinger: still got it.James Coppinger: nonetheless bought it. Photograph: Tim Goode/PA

“Zlatan believes you must follow what you’re good at, which is presumably why he’s been speaking about himself once more” – Jonathan Liew pulls no punches.

Why had been US Soccer so sluggish to react to former delegate Seth Jahn’s racist feedback, asks Caitlin Murray.

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