Well after the last internationals I fancied a change of scenery. So I hopped over to watch Jadon Sancho at Borussia Dortmund but forgot to collect the tickets so I had to take a de-tour home via München to sample the ale to drown my disappointment.
With this and sorting out a few other things like setting up my new home office and checking up on the folks in Burton on Trent. Did I ever tell you that there is permanent small of hops that fills the air in the brewing capital of England? No, well I’ll save that one for another day.
Ikea!!!! Yes the Swedes sure know how to make a desk look like it will fit in the back of an Austin Metro. We did it! Minus the Allen key! Only because I have a few of those knocking about in the shed.
Back to the football. I went to see one match between the September Internationals and October. The Leicester Vs Newcastle match at the Crisp Bowl Stadium. (Nice and local, I managed to visit a few friends from days gone by on the way back). Newcastle were tight at the back under the leadership of Jamaal Lascelles, whose impressive display earned him his first call up. Leicester showed a lot of huff and puff. And the pixie like Jamie Vardy brimming full of confidence scored the well earned Foxes a goal to see them draw with the Magpies.
With the help of my high level scouts and coaches we announced the following squads.
Charlie Taylor, Jamaal Lascelles, Alex Smithies are the notable inclusions for this squad due to good performances for their respective clubs.
The Under 21’s.
James Bree, Patrick Roberts and Sheyi Ojo are the notable inclusions to the big kids squad.
The Under 19’s.
A lot of change here as most of the players we had in last time around appeared ineligible.
With the squads announced we then had the games to play.
First up was the under 19’s trip to Montenegro. We won 3-0 two Arsenal boys ran the show, Joe Willock providing two assists and a goal to his name. With Eddie Nketiah scoring a brace. A cracking performance by all, except the experimental Libero position which seemed difficult for Flynn Downes to master.
Next up was a trip to Ireland with the Under 21’s. What a performance! A truly unexpected 7-0 win. Tammy Abraham got the plaudits but the whole team played amazingly. (Goals Video)
Then Back to Blighty with the Under 19’s who continued their form from Montenegro into this Ukrainian test at Ewood Park. Nketiah scoring another brace and Jadon Sancho grabbing the other. Next up was a trip to Wembley with the main squad to tackle “auld” foes Scotland. With the likes of Sir Trevor Brooking and Rod Stewart in the crowd, a mix of tartan and blue at one end and a blanket of white in the other we were looking at maintaining our perfect record in qualification and wanting to make sure we thrashed our local rivals.
We were victorious in a dominant performance. We forced our new style of play onto the flat-footed Scots and Marcus Rashford bagged a brace (only his second and third goals for his country). Despite the noise from the Scottish fans, the “Flower of Scotland” was rather limp as we cruised through the 90 minutes.
For the third Under 19’s match we played Portugal. And a scrappy 1-0 win saw the boys complete a treble of victories during this month of games.
The Under 21’s final fixture was against Finland. 2-0 to Tammy Abraham. And another dominant performance at this level by the team.
Then we came to the last match of the October series. I have felt drained of energy after such a flurry of games in such a short space of time. What am I going to be like when I go back to club football?
Awful! Bloody awful was the cry. It’s like watchin’ Steve McClaren’s England all over again! – That was what I was shouting at the lads! The fans were some what bemused too.
A Limp 1-1 drew away to Lithuania. Reg (Jamie Vardy) came up with the goal to save our blushes.
I think too many changes in the experiment of the new faces caused an imbalance to the teams performance. So I’ll take one for the team, and say despite most of the boys playing below par and looking like they were playing with a beachball, I was me that made the changes to the starting eleven so next time I’ll have to hold back the mass movement.
After all of that in such a short space of time I am now off to have a bath…I’ll report back to you with less whimper and more punch in November.