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David McCourt’s Midweek Football Babble

Euro2012 talk, United sign Powell, and City’s new home kit

Written by . Published on June 13th 2012.

David McCourt’s Midweek Football Babble

ENGLAND fans have different expectations now, they said. The pressure is off, they said. Everybody thinks we’re going to be rubbish, and we will be, I said.

Well that lasted all of 90 minutes, didn’t it?

Since England’s opening game of Euro2012 against France ended in a draw, pundits and En-gur-land fans have wasted little time in reverting to the old ‘we invented the bleedin’ game’ ways and decided that Roy’s boys can, after-all, trudge the road to glory.

it’s ludicrous to suggest that all teams who play with an emphasis on defence ‘play like Chelsea’

The BBC’s most peerless football expert, Alan Shearer, compared England’s start to Euro2012 to the one at Euro96, where the three lions began the campaign with an uninspiring 1-1 draw with Switzerland, before going on to achieve their best ever European Championships result.

The halfwit Geordie said in his column in Britain’s best selling newspaper: “I’m looking at ways how we can build on what was an encouraging start. This is what we can do now.”

It’s amazing what two banks of four and a little organisation can do to the hopes of a nation.

Whilst it’s ludicrous to suggest that all teams who play with an emphasis on defence ‘play like Chelsea’, it’s equally as nonsensical to spin a disciplined performance as some kind of heroic act by ‘our brave lions.’

Can’t we just call a spade a spade, for a change?

It’s not all doom and gloom though. Football fans everywhere will no doubt be delighted with the news we’re all being spared the tiresome drone of the England supporters’ band throughout Euro2012.

England_Band1The irritable England Supporters' Band

The Sheffield-based brass mob were refused entry to the Donbass Arena in Donetsk by security officials shortly before kick-off in England’s opening game against France on Monday.

The lads have been tooting the same familiar tunes at every England game for the past 16 years, but have struggled to find support amongst fans since the ban was imposed, and appear to be coming round to the harsh reality that nobody actually likes them. Here’s to a peaceful future.

Meanwhile, back at home, the Manchester clubs have been busy securing talent for next season.

United have confirmed the signing of Nick Powell from Crewe Alexandra for an undisclosed fee – although BBC Radio Stoke reported the sum to be £3m rising to £6m.

The England Under-18 international, most famous for a superb swivel and half-volley in Crewe’s 2-0 League Two play-off final victory over Cheltenham at Wembley earlier this year, has signed a four-year deal at Old Trafford.

The promising striker has labelled his move to Sir Alex Ferguson’s kingdom a “dream come true.”

Rochdale have been busy in the transfer market since their relegation to League Two, and have brought in another two faces to join recent new boys George Donnely and Peter Cavanagh.

Defender Rhys Bennett has signed a one-year deal following his release from Bolton Wanderers, and Goalkeeper Josh Lillis has re-signed on a two-year contract after he was released by Scunthorpe.

20-year-old Bennett failed to make a first-team appearance for Bolton, but did play 19 games during a loan spell at Falkirk last season.

Lillis, has made 28 appearances during two previous loan stints at Rochdale already, but will officially join on 1 July.

New Blue Square Bet Premier side, Hyde FC, have signed ex-Everton striker Phil Jevons.

The 32-year-old, who has scored more than 100 goals in league football during his career, was released by Morecambe in April.

And finally, images of City’s new home kit for next season have been leaked after an Australian retailer reportedly started selling the 2012/13 strip early.

The club are yet to confirm the release date, but one sports shop in Brisbane had the shirt, featuring a black badge and collar, on display for $99 (£63).

Here’s the rumoured home shirt for next season. City fans let us know what you think in the comments below.

Screen-Shot-2012-05-19-At-16.23.11City's home kit for the 2012/12 season?

You can follow David on Twitter @DavidPMcCourt

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