Grow a pair Boris. Ipso facto.

Published: Tuesday, 22 June 2021

I hate missing our regular Monday get togethers. I’m sorry I didn’t file yesterday, but I’ve got a very good reason. I was on the golf course with Gianfranco Zola. No. Sadly, I didn’t win!

It’s a long standing 4-ball from the time Gian spent a year working in Qatar. For a long time he just couldn’t beat me and Andy - whoever he partnered. He’s good by the way - very good. He plays off six. I’m hopeless, but Andy can play. But anyone who’s come up against us will tell you’re we’re a formidable pairing. A lot of our best work is done on the tee - and approaching a green that’s asking the opposition a few tricky questions! Having said that - it’s not our fault if the opposition are listening to our conversation is it? Time and again Zola was putting a few quid in our hands for lunch, before beating a hasty and angry retreat home! But we got spanked yesterday. I thought I’d chosen his partner well. Jason McAteer can be a little fragile if you get inside his head - but we accepted Zola’s ‘no talking’ challenge and paid a heavy price as a result. 😂. Well played boys. It was fun.

Let’s get round the the serious stuff then. What a good tournament these Euros are turning out to be. The football has been terrific. For the most part, teams are on the front foot trying to win games - not passing sideways and backwards to the point of sending us all asleep. Italy have led the way. They’ve been brilliant. If England can’t win it - I repeat what I’ve been saying - I hope the Italians do.

The first ko games might bring a bit more caution, but I’m really hoping that we’re beyond the high water mark of passing tedium. If Italy win this tournament with their exciting brand of high tempo, forward thinking football, it’ll set a trend that we’ll all ultimately be grateful for.

What a pity young Billy Gilmour tested Covid positive. What a start he made to his international career v England. Probably for the first time in his life he was a giant! He should have a fabulous future. Good luck to him.

Sadly his ‘positive’ test exposed how daft England have been. Why on earth aren’t the players vaccinated? Gareth Southgate has told us that he suggested that they should be in March. My only surprise is that it took until March for someone to mention it. Why aren’t they? It’s crazy.

I hear what the anti-vaxers have got to say on the subject and I respect their argument - but surely they’ve got to come into line with the majority - for the sake of the majority?

I’m double-jabbed and have been for three months. In Qatar - If you’re not - you’re not getting out. We’ve got a very sensible system whereby you’re welcome in shopping centres, restaurants, bars - anywhere you like, as long as you’re carrying proof of vaccination. We’ve currently got 75 cases in ICU and 127 under acute care. That’s it. Which strongly suggests that it’s a policy that’s working.

I’ve heard all the arguments about ‘infringements of civil liberties’, but what it it that govts all over the world don’t already know about us? And I’ll be honest - I was scared of Covid - that was another reason to get the jab for me.

I’ve got underlying health problems. In fact, it’s four years to the day (Tuesday June 22) that I underwent life-saving open heart surgery. Every day now is a bonus. Yea, the eagle-eyed amongst you have noticed that I’m a pound or two heavier than I used to be! I could always stop taking the tablets that keep me alive and lose the excess, but I don’t think that would work out too well. I’d get very thin. 😉.

Anyway. I digress. Why aren’t top footballers vaccinated? Of course they’re going to be susceptible. They’ve all got families and mates that are constantly mixing elsewhere. It’s crazy. But as Southgate himself said - ‘the horse has bolted now’.

What we can ensure is a careful end to the tournament. Why is the British govt trying to accommodate 2500 UEFA VIP’s? Why are UEFA demanding that they do? What’s changed between the time that fraud Johnson said ‘no’ to their CL requests and now? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. So why refuse the request previously and fudge it now? We all know why - because someone has whispered in Johnson’s ear that England need home advantage to win it. And he wants to be part of that. No. I’m sorry - if the U.K. is still vulnerable to Covid then it’s got to be a firm ‘no’. How can Johnson deny the English freedoms at home - and stop us from flying abroad - and yet capitulate to the demands of a few of football’s big wigs, that want to ride rough shod over all his Covid protocols? Too many people have hurt during this pandemic - lost loved ones - given up too much - to watch now as a few suits turn up to see a couple of football matches.

I haven’t seen my family for more than a year. If I want to fly home 2 hours after the tournament ends I’ve got to lock down for 10 days (plus a day on arrival and one at the end - which is something no-one talks about) at a cost of £1750. It’s an outrage. I’m double jabbed. I’m as safe as houses. I live in a country where Covid is negligible. Grow a pair Boris. Stop lying. And do the right thing. Ipso facto.

In the meantime - continue to enjoy a very good tournament. Joining us on beINSPORTS for the ko stages will be Peter Schmeichel and Arsene Wenger. I’m looking forward to spending time with both.