ENGLAND all but booked their place at Russia 2018 yet still left fans feeling as cold as a record-breaking Oymyakon winter.
The country is slowly coming round to the painful fact that despite having The Best League in the World ™ our national team is light-years away from dominating Planet Earth.
I don’t know why the lightbulb moment did not come sooner because if you run through our team*** you see we have no world-class players, one great player, a handful of very good players, mainly decent players, some average ones and a poor one – I’m looking at you butterfingers.
The only great is Harry Kane, while Marcus Rashford and Dele Alli could step up to that category in time. I can see the Manchester United boy do it, the Spurs hothead not so much.
Sport doesn’t build character, it reveals it, and Alli’s has been revealed as childish, petulant and arrogant.
He got into hot water again for flipping the bird, at first it was assumed to be at the referee but it later turned out it was a ‘joke’ with pal Kyle Walker. Time and place boys, time and place.
It seems that most of our boys only care about the bantz. They’re ‘too cool for skool’, find stupid handshakes genuinely amusing and would rather have their own emoji than show real emotions like passion.
Even those who pride themselves on being serious and manly like Jordan Henderson, Gary Cahill and Kane would have been picked last in a childhood game of Join the Crew had they shared a playground with the likes of Bryan Robson, Martin Keown or Jamie Carragher.
Each generation seems to have got softer from Nobby Stiles, Norman Hunter, Tommy Smith, Terry Butcher, Stuart Pearce, Tony Adams, to Steven Gerrard and erm Eric Dier!
It has also not been a great week or so for Raheem Sterling. After being mooted as a makeweight in a deal for Alexis Sanchez, he missed a sitter against Malta and suffered the indignity of being hooked at half-time against the minnows.
He then lost his starting place against Slovakia and got just a seven-minute run out. The winger now knows he hasn’t got the backing of either club or country boss.
The Arsenal link must have really hurt. It’s bad enough for anyone to be seen as surplus to requirements – a pawn in a move for a man your club wants more than you – but for a £49m player that has to sting even more. Like a Chinese burn on sunburn.
US OPEN organisers have shamelessly proved it is all about the dollars.
Fifth seed Caroline Wozniacki was vocally critical of the decision to schedule wildcard Maria Sharapova on the No 1 court as the Russian returned from her drugs ban.
And life proved once again that cheats do prosper as the American won her first three Arthur Ashe Stadium matches as top billing.
Meanwhile, Wozniacki was shunted out to Court 17 and promptly lost in the second round.
Justice did prevail when Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova, the 16th seed, beat her 5-7 6-4 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals in New York.
If Sharapova didn’t have blonde hair and long legs I seriously doubt she would have got such preferential treatment. Looking good should not be your only hustle. It is 2017 not 1917 for goodness sake!
AND finally footballers are like bank accounts, without a lot of money they don’t generate much interest.
It is said a third of marriages break up within a year of their star waning and the lucrative career ending.
Wayne Rooney has obviously thought if the gorgeous Jamie Redknapp can be dumped, then what chance do I have?
So Mr Potato Head has gone early with his dubious behaviour and I hope this time Coleen cashes in her marriage chips.
***WORLD CLASS: None. GREAT: Kane. VERY GOOD: Butland; Alli; Lallana; Rashford. DECENT: Pickford, Forster; Heaton; Walker; Clyne; Rose; Maguire; Stones; Cahill; Shaw; Jones; Smalling; Trippier; Henderson; Ox; Sterling, Dier; Wilshere; Barkley, Chalobah; Sturridge; Vardy; Defoe. AVERAGE: Bertrand; Keane; Cresswell; Livermore; Lingard; Welbeck. POOR: Hart