Clarke to Albion, Agger’s Euro shock and five rings for Bellamy

ith Kenny gone I guess the departure of Steve Clarke, even though his initial resignation was turned down, was on the cards?

 Perhaps Brendan Rogers, having been at Chelsea with Clarke, would have kept him? However since moving on I guess Rogers has developed his own style of play and management and will want his own men around him so they can help him implement it as soon as possible, so no place for Clarke it seems?

Clarke’s coaching record is a good one. OK I know many of you think Fenway were right to dismiss Kenny but surely he and Clarke, with their respective records, would have come good eventually? When appointing Rogers John Henry said

 “We do not expect miracles overnight nor should anyone else”

 No one expects Rogers to hit the ground running however the period in which Fenway  expect the “miracles“ to happen was never elaborated on. If they are wiser after their first year or so in charge then presumably this will be longer than Kenny and Clarke were given?

 Clarke was never going to be out in the cold for long and it was only a matter of days before West Brom were announcing him as their new manager. The Hawthorns is becoming quite a fertile breeding ground for managers who go onto to better things? There is Roberto Di Matteo and of courseRoybut then there’s Gary Megson! This is Clarke’s first managerial post and who would bet against the Hawthorns producing another manager that leaves with “better” things in mind?

 Over in Euro 2012 we’ve had a reasonable start. Congratulations to Daniel Agger who was part of the Danish team that produced what is probably the shock the tournament so far by beating the Dutch. The Dutch finishing was dreadful but nonetheless quiet how Agger and his colleagues managed to keep them at bay is slightly beyond me! Elsewhere and Poland’s  Szczesny proved why Arsenal fans “love” him so much by giving away a soft goal and then getting sent off whilst the Germans were ,, er the Germans overcoming Portugal. Have Russia peaked too early with their win against the Czech Republicwho still have Milan Baros as their main striker. Ian Rush to brush his boots off for Wales not so it turns out Baros is only thirty!

 Ireland’s bouncy castle football was given short shrift byCroatia. The game was spoilt for the travelling hoards by a series of Irish defensive blunders and a poor decision by the referee not to give a penalty after Robbie Keane was clearly up ended. Things were made worse by ITV’s Peter Drury’s dreadful commentary which always assumes we were are away from the TV  in the kitchen making toast or something, why else would he shout so loudly whenever anything of note happens? He also made reference toIreland’s commendable run of clean sheets and then, after Croatia got their first, declared the sheet “stained” I assume he dreamt that one up overnight!

 SoEngland enter the tournament tomorrow. One has no idea as to how they will do. I sense a quiet confidence in the squad and determination to lay the ghosts of South Africa however whether they have the talent or nous to do this is debatable, perhaps it will depend of which version of France turn up?

 Re the line up, rumours suggest that Downing will start (along with Johnson and Gerrard) which suggests that Hodgson wants the full backs to push forward whilst our man, along with Milner on the other side, “tucking in” to protect? Forward thinking? I doubt it, I suspect the emphasis will be on defence and being hard to beat.

 I’ve no doubt that Roy Hodgson will be ruing the amount of injuries he’s had to deal with however it appears he’s missed a trick as Joey Barton, on Twitter, claims he would “walk” into the squad have he been better behaved

 “Why are people giving me loads about England saying “can’t get in squad etc”. On ability I walk in the squad, on behaviour I don’t…”

 I think the maximum amount of words for one “Tweet” is 140 however, I can save 136 by simply saying “no”, “you”, “would” and “not”

 inally congratulations Craig Bellamy who, despite being sworn to secrecy, has revealed he has been picked for the Olympic squad. I didn’t know golf was an Olympic sport!

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