Yet again the talk surrounding England as they approach a major tournament is marooned somewhere between hope and hype but Damien Duff has questioned whether Gareth Southgate’s players have the commitment required to make a mark at the World Cup.
And so they left with a bang not a whimper, as Spurs said goodbye to White Hart Lane after 118 years in emphatic style, playing Manchester United off the park, sealing second spot in the Premier League, and showing why they are considered the most exciting young side in the country.
Correct us if we’re wrong here, but isn’t football’s silly season supposed to peter out once the season actually starts? Not so, it seems. Here we are with three games gone in the Premier League and the fluff is still overshadowing the important stuff. It’s almost as if a media that had to rely on the mad and mundane for the off-season finds itself unable to kick the habit.
The formation of a new centre-left party movement will challenge the policies of the Government parties; Representatives of the dairy industry are warning against an over-reaction to a suspected case of BSE in Co Louth; A second man has died following the industrial accident in Portmarnock in Dublin.
Paul Gascoigne is set to make his return to football after a journey for cigarettes led him to meet taxi driver and Abbey FC manager Chris Foster - who convinced the former England international to sign for the Hayward Sunday League side.
You gotta larf. The only other option is to cry, to look ahead to next summer’s World Cup with a knowing dread and to what will, on all recent form, be another public bout of self-flagellation on the part of the England football team, its supporters and a media that feeds off the national XI like a shoal of sharks.