I was equally sad and angry that a handful of people showed disrespect during the minute of silence in two games this week.
The bottom line is that someone died. A family in mourning. She happens to be our queen. my queen. A woman who made 70 years of dedicated service. The ultimate example of what it means to be a government employee.
I don’t pretend to be a historian but I say without a doubt that we are talking about the greatest woman who ever lived on our shores and arguably the greatest Briton of all time. You speak of the likes of Winston Churchill, who has served this country so well. But this woman served her country for 70 years. Flawless in everything I’ve done.
Rangers played the national anthem before the Europa League match with Napoli on Thursday
For some mindless fools, protesting the way they did it was an embarrassment to themselves, an embarrassment to their football clubs and an act of utter chaos.
The word “respect” is not even in the vocabulary of these people. Thank God they were a small minority and the sport we love showed the appreciation that millions feel from the monarch who was also a sponsor of the FA.
If you’re talking about the other end of the scale – and beyond – look at the way the old club, the Glasgow Rangers, paid their tribute on Wednesday night. The coordination and detail that went into creating the Queen’s silhouette against the Union flag, which covers the Broomloan platform, was superb.
There was also the playing of the national anthem, despite the completely ridiculous order from UEFA not to let them.
UEFA has told British clubs they cannot play the anthem in the wake of the Queen’s death
Rangers – and other clubs across the country – also observed a minute’s silence for Her Majesty
House supporters in Ibrox have always been singing the anthem and will never bow to some faceless bureaucrat sitting in Nyon. Dream if you think this will be adhered to. Some UEFA executives think they can tell us we can’t sing our national anthem after our Queen of ’70s passed away. It would never have happened
Don’t play the anthem? Wait a minute. This is just football we’re talking about. Our king has passed away and a member of the UEFA team is telling us what we can and cannot do. I don’t know who came up with this decision.
The need for proper respect and a sense of perspective also made it 100 per cent right to cancel football matches at all levels this past weekend. I saw cricket being praised on the rafters for its continuation, barely 24 hours after the death of the Queen, but no sport should be played.
The fact that they started the Test series against South Africa is not important. This is a sport. Cricket game. Football game. It means nothing, simply nothing in the great survey of our national history. At this moment, the sign of respect couldn’t be too great.
England’s crucial test against South Africa continued to advance in the Oval League this past weekend
This will be a weekend of reflection for me. Tomorrow I will be doing Kiltwalk Charity in Edinburgh, my home city, which the Queen finally bid memorable goodbye this week. My son James and I will walk 21 miles to help the charity DEBRA, which mostly helps children. The charity, of which I’m the vice president, does a lot of great work.
Once I’m done there, I’ll fly to the airport to take a flight south and back home to Dorset, before flying to London for the funeral.
If I can get 100 yards out, at 200 yards, I’ll be there. She was born a month before her coronation. For me, this is an important moment.
Football started again. Controversies, drama, and skills that we all love have become a part of our lives once again.
A few days after that, remember that there is a bigger picture and a world outside of our sport, that won’t hurt anyone – although some did find common decency to show basic respect.
Queen Elizabeth II passed away peacefully at Balmoral last week at the age of 96
Why did you go on the radio?
The discussion I had about Chelsea owner Todd Boehle – and whether Thomas Tuchel should be sacked – with Simon Jordan on TalkSPORT this week was the most interesting to me so far.
Simon and I agree an amazing amount, although we’ll have our moments on a regular basis.
Meanwhile, co-host Jim White is sitting there with a large gas can, only filling the fire occasionally.
When you’re a director at a post-game press conference, you’re weak because your emotions aren’t exactly where they should be and you know reporters are trying to get a headline out of you.
It’s a bit like that with Jim. He has an endless amount of jars under his table. I really enjoy it.
Keep the American football lecture, Bohli
Here comes Todd Boyle, as he marches on the Premier League – the most successful, most watched and most envied league in ‘football’ history – he immediately tells us we need a north-south playoff and relegation playoffs.
Chelsea owner Todd Boley suggested a north-south match in the Premier League
Aside from the apparent crowding of matches, there is a very good reason why there is no appetite for a North vs South American-style match.
North America is a continent while we are a small island. Culturally and geographically, our countries differ greatly. I wouldn’t say we can’t make improvements in different areas but don’t tell us what we should do after five minutes in our game.
Erling is a goalkeeper, but he’s also a team player
It’s the less obvious things that tell me that Erling Haaland is a very special player. His goal celebrations, for example.
For many players, this is the “me, me, me” celebration these days, running into the crowd and kissing the badge. This is not the Haaland method. He celebrates with his colleagues and praises them as well. This shows a maturity well beyond his 22-year-old’s.
Erling Haaland is always keen to celebrate with his teammates after scoring a goal
COSTA IS A WIND-UP DEALER, BUT WORTH IT
I always thought Diego Costa sounded like someone who belonged to Spaghetti Western. He’s a bandit and I must say I would have loved to have played against him and with him. He’s a player who would have been at home here in the ’80s.
The attractive part to me, when I see him playing, is that he seems to enjoy every duel that comes his way. He wants to be the instigator. He wants to make you focus not on your game but on him. You know it will end with you. He will stand on you. He will hit you when the ball is nowhere near you. He’ll leave a foot here, and an elbow there.
It’s just Mr. Agro and yes, I would have certainly imagined facing a rival like that.
Former Chelsea striker Diego Costa has signed a deal with Wolverhampton until the end of the season
He has just arrived at Wolverhampton at the age of 33 – an age at which there should be plenty of life left, although what is going on in his head is less certain.
He was a tough boy to manage wherever he went, and as his manager, you have to be prepared to look the other way at events.
It’s a trade off. As a manager, you have to decide that it is worth taking on the special attention you have to pay him, because of what he brings.
The 33-year-old has earned a reputation for being an aggressive and fiery player
But he also arrived at Molineux with plenty of experience under his belt in a respectable career
I look at the wolves and feel that the targets are the last piece in the jigsaw. They have some great players who create chances in every game. But Raul Jimenez did not score for them the goals he had before the serious head injury he suffered nearly two years ago.
Fabio Silva, who has struggled in the Premier League, is out on loan to Anderlecht. Sasa Calajdic was injured on his debut earlier this month.
Costa has been back in Brazil at Atletico Mineiro since August last year and hasn’t played since January, but he will be fine. He will stand in the tunnel, look the defenders in the eye, and think: “I’ll leave you a little at the first opportunity and see what reaction I will get.” That’s still a lot with him. I’m not sure you’ll ever lose it.
Raul Jimenez has struggled to rediscover his prolific form since returning from a head injury
Costa pretended to cough at reporters while in Atlético when the COVID-19 pandemic started
It’s personal with him. If he doesn’t get out every time to get into an argument and engage with someone, he feels like he’s not in the game. This will affect his teammates who are not quite ready to fight. If they saw someone who wanted to fight everyone and everyone else, they would respond.
Some aspects of his behavior were unacceptable. Pretending to cough at journalists, when he played for Atletico Madrid at Anfield at the start of the Covid pandemic, was not something we should see in our football. It’s better than that and he doesn’t want to be remembered.
But there is no such thing as an experience in life. Costa brings a lot of that, from the highest levels of football, with Chelsea and Atletico. A striker who is on the wrong side 30 must be very special if he is going to score goals in our league. I think Costa will do that.