Morning Christian Eriksen too. Touch and go there yesterday but if you are going to have a life-threatening episode he chose the right place. Congratulations to the Medics who revived him. If that had happened pretty much anywhere else he might have died. When you think of his career - from Denmark via Ajax and Spurs to Inter - and the amount of medical testing and sport science supervision he'll have been subjected to, nothing was able to predict yesterday's episode. Another sharp reminder that we should all try to make every day count.
And so on to Engerlund at Wembley. As ever, the intense media hype surrounding the national team has overlooked the fact that Croatia are still a very strong side. I watched them last weekend in a warm-up game in Belgium which they lost to a single Lukaku goal. They gave the FIFA #1 ranked side a real test. They aren't coming to Wembley to make up the numbers and Stones and whichever unfortunate lines up alongside him today, will need to be bang at it. Modric is still a fantastic creator and we have nothing comparable. The one advantage England have is strength in depth and if we are to beat this opponent it could be by timely substitutions. They have a few old-uns in their ranks and Foden off the bench on 65m might unsettle them. I just hope the Mongs don't boo our players taking the knee. If the thick feckers do that - I'll be supporting Croatia.
Then Channers' group kicks off with matches in Bucharest (Austria v N Mac) and Amsterdam (Holland v Ukraine - look out for the Russkie offending shirts!!)
Very sunny and very hot here - The dogs (our Lab plus mad 2yr old Cocker Spaniel inherited for the week) will not get walked till late. Might go down the club today but have so much to do - watching the match with the usual suspects is likely to develop into something long and messy. Probably best to stay here.
On the match, I am with Spot here - Croatia will give us a real test today and I do not expect to win - not least because we always start slowly.
But that might not be a bad thing as the important bit is to finish second in the group. I know you have to beat the best teams, but I would rather take that chance in the semis or the final rather than the second round.
It is a bit late now but here is an excellent article from last weekend on the summer of Euro 96
That was one of the 'Times of My Life' - I remember every second of it - The heat (like today) - The music (not only the great and unifying 'Three Lions' - the song of that tournament for me was 'In a Room' by Dodgy displaying their Who influences to the max - drummer Matthew Priest could give Moon a run for his money) - The pre-kids parties and barbecues and where I was and who I was with for every single match.
Strangely none were at home and all in different places (and cities) with different people. It all ended in the usual despair of course in my Sisters front room in New Malden - But rather there than on the high street where there was a general riot and tables-through-the-windows time. I think that happend in a lot of places. A sad ending to a Summer of Love.
Looking forward too seeing North Macedonia in action later. I have just been reading up about them in the Weekend i paper. I didn't even know where the country was, although I was vaguely aware that it was once part of Yugoslavia.
Watching the whole Eriksen thing unfold last night led me to wonder what sort of effect the crazy league seasons are having on the players. I don't claim to know anything about Inter Milan's schedule, but the Premier League players involved will have been playing for months and months without a rest. For that reason alone, I am glad the James Ward-Prowse wasn't selected, as he has played every minute of every game for Saints.
I see that the England cricket team have had their collective arses handed to them on plate by New Zealand, but it has led me to wonder why we only play them in two match test series? I know they were pretty average in the distant past, but they are now consistently high performers and certainly several levels higher than England. Still, England now move on to play a five match series against India, before going to Australia for more ritual humiliation.
The cool of the evening will see me doing more work on the IBO Euro website, but it is quickly taking shape, which is just as well really.
That Eriksen episode was scary as hell. Incredible how quickly it happened. It’s a good opportunity for a reminder that the first priority in a situation like this is instructing someone to locate an AED, then start cpr, as the best chance of survival by far is if someone has a shockable rhythm. Good idea to make a mental note of if you have one at your workplace, and know where to find it.
Read a lovely story in the i yesterday about Simon Kjaer.
In a 2007 home game v Getafe, Sevilla's Antonio Puerta collapsed on the pitch with heart problems. He was able to walk from the pitch but suffered another collapse and died in hospital 3 days later. Sevilla erected a statue in his memory at their training ground and implemented a culture of teaching all staff about heart problems and encouraged them to learn CPR.
That season, Simon Kjaer was promoted to Midtylland's senior squad before embarking on a career that took him to Italy, Germany, France and Turkey before arriving at Sevilla in 2017 - where he learned about the fate of Puerta and, crucially, CPR. Back in Italy, Kjaer signed a permanent deal with Milan last summer and played in their back line during their run to 2nd place in the Scudetto. He scored his first Milan goal at Old Trafford in the Europa League.
When Eriksen collapsed last Saturday, Kjaer knew exactly what to do. He quickly ensured Christian's tongue was not blocking his airways and began CPR whilst the medics were lugging their gear across the pitch. With them on the job, he organised his team mates to shield their stricken star from supporters and TV cameras before consoling Mrs Eriksen and generally being a good guy.
Apparently the medical team at Parken Stadium had been given CPR advice before the game by a German Cardiologist. The specialist was also a football lover and had stayed to watch the game. As soon as Eriksen went over he legged it to the pitch and was able to take charge of the care the downed player received. Eriksen was so fortunate he suffered this episode when he did and not whilst relaxing at home or walking the dog. He may never play football again but, thanks to the emergency care he received, at least he and his family have some sort of future.