POOR Steve Finn – winter has come for him and he is Finnished – as England’s Ashes preparations lurch from one disaster to another.
The 28-year-old tore cartilage in his left knee when batting in nets and is set to fly home from Australia.
He is our fourth fast bowler ruled out the start of this tour following Ben Stokes, Mark Wood and Toby Roland-Jones.
Moeen Ali also got crocked and needs a scan on his side. The all-rounder will be a huge miss if he doesn’t make the First Test at The Gabba on November 23.
And there was more bad news for England as Mitchell Starc became the first bowler to take two hat-tricks in the same first-class game on Aussie soil this week as he hit ominous form ahead of the series.
The left-arm paceman is only the eighth player in first-class cricket history – and the first in 39 years – to achieve the feat as he spearheaded New South Wales to victory over Western Australia.
So with our preparations in tatters and their players ripping opposition to shreds what could possibly go wrong?
If I had to rate England skipper Joe Root’s stress levels right now, I’d say he’s pretty close to 2007 Britney Spears.
THE misconception that British managers are hard-done-by in the Premier League has been made evident recently.
Crystal Palace have brought in Roy ‘don’t mention Iceland’ Hodgson, West Ham went for David ‘don’t mention Sunderland’ Moyes and Everton are being strongly linked with Sam ‘don’t mention England’ Allardyce.
Between them they have had stints at 15 Premier League clubs and between them the list of honours won reads . . . one Community Shield! Boom!
In managerial terms the trio are as useful as a waterproof teabag, yet continue to be given chance after chance after chance. I wonder why? Couldn’t be because they’re PFMs? Proper Football Men, Proper White English Football Men to be precise . . .
So the Moysiah is back – and the man himself looks as surprised as anyone that he’s been given another top-flight job.
After a solid decade at Everton winning erm . . . nothing, he triumphantly became the Chosen One at Manchester United before quickly making Old Trafford fans think he was the Wrong One.
He was sacked 10 months into a six-year contract and headed abroad to lick his wounds at Real Sociedad but was sacked again after an underwhelming year and worryingly poor start to his second season.
Sunderland were next up for the Scot and they finished bottom of the Prem, winning just six games all season – none at home after mid-December – and signed off with a goal difference of -40. Nice job Dave.
So when Mo Salah cracked home Liverpool’s fourth goal in the rout on Saturday and Slaven Bilic knew his time was up, who immediately sprung to mind, yep the man who is so useless that if he fell over he’d miss the floor.
Remember Moyes spent £27.6million on Didier Ndong, Papy Djilobodji, Paddy McNair, Donald Love, Adnan Januzaj, Javier Manquillo, Jason Denayer and Steven Pienaar the last time he was put in charge of a transfer window.
Two of his three most expensive signings ever are one Mr Marouane Fellaini and he has threatened to slap as many female journalists as he has won Premier League games since March 18 (one)
The ensuing twitterstorm reached Hurricane Irma proportion with reactions including ‘David Moyes losing the confidence of his new employers before he has even started is peak David Moyes’ and ‘couldn’t motivate a three-year-old in a toy store’.
So good luck West Ham – I have a feeling you’re going to need it!
And a special shout-out to Javier Hernandez who saw his Manchester United dream die under Moyes – bet he can’t wait to get started under the man he said ‘didn’t take him into account’ in 2014.
AND finally Mainz goalkeeper Robin Zentner kicked off pantomime season for us all.
His hilarious air-kick when he mistook the penalty spot for the ball had everyone shouting ‘it’s behind you’.
The German has taken the no-look pass to another level – the no-look no-kick pass. Think of it as an early Christmas present to the footballing world.