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England, the Euros and a day of ‘national shame’ on Wembley Way

·6-min read

A FINAL RECKONING

As The Fiver’s English cousin $exually Repressed Morris Dancing Fiver rolled out of the scratcher on Sunday 11 July, it was coming home. The clouds had formed into the shape of the Three Lions and Sweet Caroline was pumping out of every wireless in the neighbourhood. Cry God for Harry Kane, Ingerlund and St George! Ten full hours until kick-off, how else to build up to the Euro Not 2020 final than tucking into the super-strength Tin and some of that jazz salt Weird Uncle Fiver has dropped off by a man in a motorbike helmet? And there were fireworks, too, with one in particular custom-made to be placed where the sun doesn’t shine and lit, thus making everyone outside the BoxPark lol at the epic b@ntz.

After all, what other possible way was there to behave on the day of Ingerlund’s first major final in 55 years? $exually Repressed Morris Dancing Fiver is English, goddamnit, and this is how he celebrates nice things. It kills the tension, see, and everyone else is doing it, so why can’t he? Sir Gareth had given the English something to celebrate after the Great Unpleasantness had kept him swilling Tin indoors for so many months. Many fans decided they would head on down to Wembley Way to take part in the fun, and there things got heated.

Related: England fan disorder at Euro 2020 final almost led to deaths, review finds

As confirmed in a 129-page report published on Friday, around 2,000 ticketless people stormed Wem-ber-lee after 17 “mass breaches” of the stadium gates, many forcing their way through disabled access entrances by punching and kicking stewards. “The Euro 2020 final was a potentially glorious national occasion that turned into a day of national shame,” said Baroness Louise Casey, the former UK government official who authored the independent report. The behaviour of a large minority of England supporters was not just disgraceful, it recklessly endangered lives. The threats, aggression, violence, smoke and flare use, throwing of missiles – including faeces – excessive consumption of alcohol and cocaine all combined to fuel a febrile atmosphere.”

And worse, Wembley’s disabled entrances were targeted. “A ticketless fan tried to impersonate a steward and hijack a disabled child and separated him from his father, in order to trick his way through a pass gate,” reads the report. It also suggests the chaos would have deepened had England actually beaten Italy and a horde of 6,000 stormed through the exit gates.

Baroness Casey has asked for a new class of fixture, one of “national significance”, demanding greater response from organisers. The report said of those running the Euro Not 2020 final that “no one was fully prepared for what happened that day and it can’t be allowed to happen again”. But “the primary responsibility … lies with those who lost control of their own behaviour that day,” she said.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Maybe if they ask my opinion and everything goes well and we develop the team I might even make the same recommendation to the board that I did at Leipzig twice when I recommended it might be a good idea to keep working with me for one year” – Ralf Rangnick has only been at his Manchester United desk a few hours and he’s already thinking about how to get rid of that interim manager tag.

RECOMMENDED LISTENING

Get your ears around Football Weekly Extra, here.

FIVER LETTERS

“So long, Michael Carrick. He leaves management at Old Trafford with a 67% win ratio. No mean feat for a coach who chose to bring Evil Edna back to the centre of defence after a brief suspension” – Mark McFadden.

“Michael Monroe Asks if things can get worse than relying on The Fiver for wisdom (Yesterday’s Fiver). Fancy a date with Weird Uncle Fiver or a meal with Granny Fiver? I thought not” – Mike Wilner.

“Michael Monroe can stop worrying. The Fiver shamelessly nicked that line from John Cleese’s character in the wonderful film Clockwise. The actual quote is ‘It’s not the despair, Laura. I can take the despair. It’s the hope I can’t stand’. As a Villa fan I’ve long been convinced that it should be our new club motto” – Richard O’Hagan.

Send your letters to the.boss@theguardian.com. And you can always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our prizeless letter o’ the day is … Mark McFadden. And prizes are back on Monday, folks! We’ll have five copies of a revised and updated version of Richard Foster’s Premier League Nuggets to give away through the week. It is also available to buy here.

NEWS, BITS AND BOBS

Europe’s clubs are seeking urgent talks with Fifa after raising concerns over player safety at next month’s Africa Cup of Nations.

Who is going to inspire Newcastle to their first win of the season? Joelinton, that’s who. “I wouldn’t swap [him],” parped Eddie Howe. “I really like him as a person and I think we can take his game to new heights.”

Joelinton feels the love, earlier.
Joelinton feels the love, earlier. Photograph: Scott Heppell/Reuters

Like The Fiver when we first played Manic Miner, Arsenal just can’t get to that next level – and it’s annoying Mikel Arteta to the extent that he wants the oldies in his squad to do more. “The senior players have to lead and the young players have to follow,” he blabbed.

Tommy T is determined to find some way of making Saúl Ñíguez useful. “I think that he could play in a wing-back role for us,” soothed the Chelsea boss. “Even if we play in a dominant game, an offensive game because he is very strong in arriving in the opponents’ box.”

Pep Guardiola can put his tiny violin away because Manchester City’s injury “emergency” is over now that Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gündogan, John Stones and Kyle Walker are training again.

And Jürgen Klopp is delighted to have former Brazil international Taffarel on board as a Liverpool goalkeeping coach. “It is important because he’s older than me and I am no longer the oldest member of the coaching staff,” he cheered.

STILL WANT MORE?

Blind football requires unique physical and mental skills and changes its players for life – and the FA wants it to grow. Paul MacInnes has the story.

Ralf Rangnick’s 24-match task is very simple, suggests Jamie Jackson. Go fourth with Manchester United.

Dortmund fans have often been slightly restrained in their adoration of Erling Haaland but it’s hard to think of a young foreign player more straightforwardly loved by the yellow wall than Jude Bellingham, writes Jonathan Liew ahead of Saturday’s Klassiker.

Erin Cuthbert’s dad, Steve, still won’t let her win at anything but that terrier spirit drives her ambition. The Chelsea and Scotland midfielder gets her chat on with Suzanne Wrack before Sunday’s FA Cup final against Arsenal.

Tariq Lamptey, Adama Traoré and Patrick Bamford are among the Premier League protagonists cast into the spotlight by our writers in this weekend’s 10 things to look out for.

And if it’s your thing … you can follow Big Website on Big Social FaceSpace. And INSTACHAT, TOO!

ROLL ON SUNDAY

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