Perhaps Greg Dyke was in the same room as Kyle Walker when he inhaled laughing gas. That’s the only assumption I can make after watching England’s performance against Ukraine the other night. It was quite depressing to see just how bad our so-called top players can be.
Last week Mr Dyke revealed his vision – England to reach the semi-finals of the 2020 European Championships and win the World Cup in 2022. Two words spring to mind. Oi and vey, based on that 90 minutes!
The new FA chairman touched on quotas, coaching and winter breaks, but he failed to mention one very important thing – futsal. You may not have heard of it; It’s a fast-growing sport globally that can help young players today become the stars of tomorrow.
Indeed Mr Dyke’s commission still has urgent flaws to discuss and solve, such as first touch and our seeming inability to keep the ball or string two passes together. After all, possession is nine tenths of the law and it’s very hard, nigh on impossible, in fact for the other team to score without the ball.
That’s the message I’m trying to relay to the team I’ve starting managing in the Excel Sunday League. Love the ball, treasure it and don’t give it away cheaply. Brazil do it, Spain have learnt how to do it, quite well in fact, and even some of the lesser teams are better at it than we are.
The uptake of futsal within the Jewish community has been huge. Jonathan Kurrant, the newly-appointed manager of Maccabi Futsal, has been playing it for years. Team GB continues to play catch-up with the likes of Brazil, Russia and even Australia at Maccabiah level, and it’s really something we should start to embrace and start treating as a serious sport.
* Sunday’s match between Faithfold A and Oakwood A in the MGBSFL is definitely one to watch. The Oaks could not have asked for a tougher first game, with the defending champions carrying on where they left off in May.
Oaks joint-manager Ric Blank was in buoyant mood ahead of the game as he revealed a new signing. "Dan Cohen will be debuting in goal for us," he said. "His northern roots meant the allure of Oakwood was too strong to resist.
"I love a guy who rings me up and says ‘I’m keen, where do I sign?’ That’s exactly what happened and he’ll give us presence and experience between the sticks against a side who excel from set-pieces."
* Scott Shulton has been schlepping nachas since scoring "a worldie" for Wingate & Finchley against Thamesmead Town.
With his team down to 10 men, following a red card, Shulton came on for the last 15 minutes and scored a goal that John Barnes would’ve been proud of – sprinting down the left, cutting inside and curling a fine shot in off the post. Mr Dyke would’ve approved …