Oh, the sheer bloody hell of it!

Lee Gadsby Basannavar,
Chief England Correspondent
in Los Angeles

Imagine:

the Loch Ness monster is real

Elvis is found alive in a trailer park in Tupelo

David Cameron is appointed manager of Aston Villa

Simon Cowell becomes Prime Minister after David Cameron is appointed manager of Aston Villa

Piers Morgan becomes Arsenal manager

Kim Kardashian becomes President of the United States

England win Euro 2016


Alright, granted, the last one is beyond ridiculous, but each of these things, according to the statistical wisdom of UK bookmakers and betting agencies, was more likely than Leicester City winning the Premier League.

Week after week, we waited for the streak to end, game after game we thought would be that one where the fairytale's protagonists finally lost their wings... We lauded them for the astonishing feat of guaranteeing a top four finish, we patronized them again and again with the whatever happens now, it's been an incredible season rhetoric... Then, in the last couple of weeks, we realized that the very foundations of the earth we walk on started to crack, we looked at ourselves in the mirror and saw the time-space continuum distort our faces as if we were hanging on the event horizon of a black hole; suddenly, Newton, Galileo and Einstein were all wrong. And today, our eyes popped open and we looked around to discover that we have all in fact been in states of suspended animation, plugged into one giant Matrix, our lives one big simulation on a supercomputer known as Claudio I.

Because Leicester City have just won the Premier League.

Just read that again. Just look at this England team-only website which prides itself in either ignoring or damning (see below) the Premier League -- talking about this wondrous club achievement. Everything we thought we knew was wrong. The seemingly-impenetrable tower, guarded on each turret by Manchesters City and United, Chelsea and Arsenal, has tumbled like the dinosaurs tumbled out of existence.

The Premier League, this giant whore of the most grotesque extremities of capitalist excess, has been impaled by a beam of light which has restored our faith in sporting humanity. If we look closely into this wondrous beam, we will see things like conventional wisdom -- the more you spend, the better you will be -- turning to folly, young men expressing themselves, blending their talents and flaunting their abilities -- together -- is as much a winning formula as the manufacturing of an 11-man machine, and that, yes, the whole is more than just a sum of its parts. And conducting, a gentle but majestic maestro, surgically orchestrating this most incredible of feats. Take that Chelsea, take that Ken Bates, and take that, you football anathema Roman Abramovich -- today Claudio Ranieri shames and shines above all of you.

People ask why I believe the best international sides would beat the best club sides should, perhaps ironically, look to Leicester City, because Leicester have adopted the same type of mindset. Compare Leicester to Greece and Denmark, only this time spread and miraculously maintained over a whole domestic season. Leicester City treated this Premier League season in some ways like an international tournament -- the players looked harder at the shirt, reached higher for the prize, saw deeper into the hearts of their fans. They became something more than they thought they were. There are lessons here for every fan, player, club and country.

And for England going into Euro 2016, what can be learned? Firstly, let Vardy and Drinkwater loose, let them sprinkle some of the magic dust into the England team! Then, Mr. Hodgson, find the ties that can bind these lads like Ranieri has done with his. Leicester have proven that the answer is to be set free from all convention. There is no reason why this young England -- with a sprinkling of Leicester fairy dust -- cannot do the same.

Leicester City, Premier League Champions. Bloody hell.



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Marcus Rashford Euro 2016 inclusion unlikely - Roy Hodgson

from BBC Sport

England boss Roy Hodgson says he would have to sacrifice a player who has "more reason to be called up" in order to fit teenage striker Marcus Rashford in his Euro 2016 squad.
Manchester United forward Rashford, 18, has seven goals in 13 outings since making his senior debut in February.
Hodgson has been "very impressed" with the teenager but said it was "unlikely" he would take him to France.
"I think it would be a very bold decision to put him in," added Hodgson.
Rashford, who is still six months short of his 19th birthday, marked his senior debut with two goals against FC Midtjylland in the Europa League.
Since then, the England Under-20 international has scored four Premier League goals, including winners against Manchester City and Aston Villa.
The youngster also scored at West Ham to help United book an FA Cup semi-final date at Wembley with Everton.
In March, Hodgson said he would "neither rule him in or rule him out" when asked if Rashford could make his squad for France this summer.
Hodgson has numerous attacking options in the shape of United's Wayne Rooney, Tottenham's Harry Kane, Leicester's Jamie Vardy, Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge and Arsenal's Danny Welbeck.
In addition, West Ham's Andy Carroll has staked a claim after scoring six goals in his last five league games.
"I think it would mean possibly leaving someone behind who, at the moment, has more reason to be called up," said Hodgson when again asked about Rashford.
"But you never know. The fact is it would be foolish as well to say 'no, no, he's not ready, he can't do it'.
"I am sure he could do it.
"It's not inconceivable but it looks unlikely to me with the current players we've got and the competition for places in that area of the field."
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England will not beat Wales at Euro 2016 says Ian Rush

from BBC Sport

Wales' record goal scorer Ian Rush says Chris Coleman's men will not lose to England in the European Championships in France this summer.
Wales face England in the second game of the group stage on 16 June in Lens.
They play Slovakia in the opening game on 11 June and Russia the final match of Group B on 20 June.
'I've got a strong feeling that we won't lose to England, even though they've had a good result against Germany," Rush told BBC Wales Sport.
Rush feels Chris Coleman's side will be full of confidence when they come up against Roy Hodgson's men.
"The first game is vital - you don't lose the first game," Rush said.
"After that, we'll go into the England game full of confidence."
Rush, who scored 28 goals in 73 games for his country, feels Wales are a side most teams would rather avoid in France, but believes this is just the start of the nation's football ascent.
"When you've got Bale and Ramsay in the side, as well as the defence we've got, teams won't want to play us," said Rush.

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Gadsby's England Matchweek Special continues with all the reaction from England's reality-check defeat at Wembley against the Dutch

Gadsby's England has a new recruit owing to Gadsby Jr coming down with some condition called "can't-be-bothered-itis" or something...welcome Nick Hladnik, football thinker and pundit with punch, to the cauldron, the mad tornado of football radio which is Gadsby's England. Gadsby's England's Matchweek Special continues as England take on Holland at Wembley. Available now:























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Gadsby's England podcast following England's win in Germany now available

Gadsby and Carlos bring you all the action from Berlin as England stage a sensational comeback to beat the World Champions in their own backyard. A Gadsby's England Matchweek Special continues, including a post-match chat with German TV presenter and sports journalist Julia Helbich, brave enough to give us her country's perspective after seeing England's second-half mauling of Germany. Let the sparks fly! Available now at:





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Germany vs England LIVE updates at www.facebook.com/gadsbysengland

Follow Gadsby and Carlos in Berlin as England take on the foe -- Germany.


facebook.com/gadsbysengland
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Bertrand out, Walcott uncertain, Cahill Captain, plus "all these very boring words that coaches come out with all the time."

Lee Gadsby Basannavar
in Berlin

YES, it could only mean one thing: another rip-roaring, edge-of-slightly-leaning stool England press conference, with 1,000 hacks eyes wide shut hanging on Roy Hodgson's every transferrable bacteria.

Ryan Bertrand is out of the squad through injury, Walcott will (probably) not train this evening, and beyond that Hodgson played his cards closer to his chest than banned German player Max Kruse, who just pocketed 60,000 euros for...playing his cards close to his chest. Hodgson to'd and fro'd about giving away first team line-ups, twisting and turning like a contortionist in a tornado, then basically empathized. Empathized! Do you really want to hear "all these boring words that coaches come out with all the time?" he dive-bombed. It was a humdinger. Keys jumped out of keyboards, pencils snapped of their own accord, and brainwaves flatlined.



That's right, Roy Hodgson built his own wall in Berlin today and one which said thou shalt not pass (unless it provides the full backs with a promising counter-attacking channel, which we can exploit and waste a quarter chance the other end before giving it back to the Germans). This was the poise of an emperor, and before those German journos could take umbridge at "the wall" being referenced, it was quickly pointed out that if there were any metaphorical walls to be climbed and booted off here, they would be Hadrian's or possibly Pink Floyd's, not Walter Ulbricht's.

Gary Cahill stared down the rest of 'em, reminded us all it was a Chelsea central defender what won it here last time, and said a load of things about options and choices. Then the carpet patterned like a wannabe solar system parted, and Emperor and Captain charged off into the Marriott sunset. Schadenfreude that why don't you.

The carpet patterned like a wannabe solar system






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A Gadsby's England Matchweek Special previewing Germany vs England, plus a tribute to Johan Cruyff, with Gadsby and Carlos from Berlin

It's another Gadsby's England Matchweek Special with Gadsby and Carlos in Berlin for England's Easter clash with World Champions Germany. Plus, following the tragic death of Johan Cruyff, Gadsby and Carlos offer their own special tribute to one of the greatest footballers ever to play the game. 

Available now at:





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The most elegant footballing drifter there's ever been

Lee Gadsby Basannavar
in Berlin 

The desperately sad news of the death of Johan Cruyff, aged 68, has just been announced.

Cruyff was the greatest footballer who ever lived never to win the World Cup. 

A majestic, balanced, flexible magician on grass.

The most elegant footballing drifter there's ever been.

Totally wondrous and totally brilliant.


The total footballer.



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Germany striker Kruse dropped from national squad against England for his Nutella addiction and building a chicken coop in dungarees






from BBC sport website :
(though wish it was one of ours...)

When Wolfsburg striker Max Kruse was fined for leaving 75,000 euros (£59,000) of poker winnings in the back of a taxi, he probably thought his week could not get any worse.
How wrong he was.
Now after a tumultuous seven days in which he has also been publicly admonished for his Nutella addiction and forced to build a chicken coop in dungarees, the 28-year-old has been dropped from the Germany squad for the friendly against England in Berlin on Saturday.
The sanction imposed by his Bundesliga club was 25,000 euros (£20,000), meaning Kruse's misdemeanours have left him almost £80,000 poorer - not to mention the considerable dents to his pride and blood sugar levels.
As if all that was not enough, he was photographed at a night club at the weekend where he grabbed a woman's mobile phone and tried to delete the pictures, according to German newspaper Bild.
Germany manager Joachim Low was not sympathetic, saying: "We need players who are focused on football and also understand their role as role models.
"I talked with Max about what I expect from players on and off the pitch. His actions in the last weeks were unprofessional."
According to Bild, the trouble began in October, after Kruse enjoyed a successful evening at the World Series Poker tournament in Berlin.
Sadly, his joy was short-lived, as the cash suffered a fate familiar to countless Bundesliga defenders: left trailing in Kruse's wake.
The striker contacted the police but the money has never been recovered, and to add to insult to injury, he was reprimanded by Wolfsburg last week after the incident was made public.
To make matters worse, Kruse could not even seek solace in his favourite comfort food.
Wolfsburg director Klaus Allofs confronted him at the club's winter training camp and told him to kick the chocolate hazelnut spread into touch, Bild reported.
"The aim is to support our players to deliver optimum performance," Allofs said. "Max needs to correct a few things."
Deprived of his sugary fix, there remained one final indignity for Kruse.
As part of Wolfsburg's community programme, he was sent to help out at a youth group - where he was snapped in a fetching pair of green dungarees, taking part in the construction of a chicken coop.
So far, it has not been a month to remember for Wolfsburg's strikers: last week Nicklas Bendtner was fined 2,250 euros (£1,750) after sleeping through his alarm clock and missing training.
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