ENGLAND go into Saturday’s second Ashes Test in Adelaide humbled and hurting after their disastrous 10-wicket loss at The Gabba.
Joe Root’s men will be done if they lose a seventh straight Test in Australia and things don’t look good in preventing another whitewash.
Four years ago Alastair Cook’s broken team lost 5-0 and there are worrying signs for the class of 2017-18.
Opener Cook, who made an embarrassing 2 and paltry 7 in his innings, looked like he couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat, while bowlers Chris Woakes and Jake Ball were as useful as a pair of woodpeckers with rubber beaks.
What had looked a decent start Down Under was soon seen to be an illusion as our lads failed to make a fight of it.
While Aussie skipper Steve Smith, plus Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins stood up when it mattered our experienced players wilted in the sun.
If Root & Co are to have any hope the promising half centuries have to be turned into game-changing centuries; the tail has to wag not fall to pieces and heart has to be shown.
At the moment England have an inferiority complex – and sadly it’s fully justified.
THE LIONS have the chance to lift a World Cup this weekend.
Saturday night’s decider in Brisbane sees our rugby league boys take on Australia.
Kangaroos prop Aaron Woods will have a painkilling injection to play as his AC joint is separated in his shoulder.
England skipper Sean O’Loughlin looks set to play despite picking up a quad injury in the thrilling 20-18 semi-final win over Tonga.
You have to admire the physicality of this sport and its stars. I mean football players use tape to secure their shin pads. Rugby players use tape to secure their ears!
THE Premier League is entering a key stage with December a bumper month where teams play a leg-sapping seven games.
The Manchester clubs – the current top two – go head-to-head at Old Trafford on December 10 and if City are victorious the title could be a procession even this early in the campaign. They won 2-1 there last season remember . . .
Before that Jose Mourinho resumes hostilities with Arsene Wenger and after it’s City v Spurs and Arsenal v Liverpool.
When the dust settles on those crucial clashes we’ll see if City are like a crunchy bowl of pasta that came off the boil far too soon.
RUSSIA has unveiled its World Cup poster but we have to hope the retro style isn’t a hint at the country’s retro values.
The poster features legendary Moscow-born goalkeeper Lev Yashin – for many the greatest to ever play in that position.
In 1963 he won the Balloon d’Or – the only stopper to have earned the accolade of the best footballer on the planet.
Russia is still struggling as a country seen to be on the right side of human rights, LGBT issues and racism so I hope the tournament does not tarnish the image of its poster boy.
AND finally Manchester United’s global partner Chevrolet has unveiled a campaign which encourages girls to have goals in life.
Shame then the Red Devils are the ONLY Premier League club not to have a woman’s side.
Don’t worry about glass slippers girls, focus on smashing glass ceilings!