Twenty-three years ago this summer at Italia ’90, an Englishman of uncommon talent took the world by storm and elevated himself to a platform where greatness is achieved.
Unfortunately for Paul Gascoigne, alcoholism and injuries have left us wondering what could and should have been. If that tackle hadn’t been made, would Gazza have moved on to become the world’s best? We’ll never know but at least we did get a glimpse of what could’ve of been…
Jack Wilshere is in trouble and it’s not the kind that can be swept under the carpet or paid off with a fine. The boy has injury concerns and it’s bad enough to make me fear we’ll never see the best of him.
His ankles are as knackered as Gazza’s knee was. Arsenal know it, his manager, Arsene Wenger knows it and pretty soon the English footballing public will know that the finest footballer that those shores have developed since the Geordie wonderboy will never hit the heights the country so desperately needs him to find.
And to think it was only seven weeks ago that Wilshere was showing Brazil how to play Brazilian football.
Driving forward with a ball. Delivery deft passes. Showing imagination. Demanding set pieces. Biting into challenges. It’s called bossing the game!
Arsenal will try and baby him through the last part of the campaign but it will do no good. If you haven’t got strong ankles, you can’t play professional football.
Goodbye Jack Wilshere, you shone brightly but way too briefly.
The United States takes on Costa Rica in a friendly tonight at Red Bull Arena, as the USMNT must put the Mexico match behind them and focus on the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
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The biggest inclusion in tonight’s starting XI is that of Tim Howard in goal, marking his return to the national side after taking a self-imposed sabbatical. It will be Howard’s first appearance for the USMNT since his legendary performance against Belgium in the 2014 World Cup.
Klinsmann has chosen to go with a 4-4-2 tonight, and Geoff Cameron remains the only starter in the back-line from the Mexico match. He’ll partner with Michael Orozco in the center of defense, with Brad Evans and Tim Ream on the outsides.
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In the midfield, Klinsmann has put some speed on the wings through the likes of DeAndre Yedlin and recent call-up Brek Shea. Danny Williams joins Jermaine Jones as the central midfielders.
Up top, Jozy Altidore will play alongside Gyasi Zardes, who returns to his more comfortable position as forward.
Cristiano Ronaldo has added another trophy to the collection, winning his fourth Golden Boot as Europe’s top scorer for the 2014-15 season.
The award accounts for goals in league play only, which means the Champions League and domestic tournaments are not included. In La Liga, Ronaldo scored 48 goals in 35 appearances.
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Ronaldo first won the award after the 2007-08 season with Manchester United, and has now added three more with Real Madrid in 2010-11, 2013-14, and 2014-15.
With his fourth win, Ronaldo moves ahead of Lionel Messi as the only player to win the award four times. Messi has won three, while eight players have won two.
Below is a post from Ronaldo’s Facebook page reflecting on the award:
What a special moment in my professional life!
Winning four Golden Boots is a privilege for me and I’ll keep challenging myself because I want to do better every time and I want to keep chasing for more records.
I have to thank everyone in Real Madrid that made this possible and we want to keep winning more titles and more trophies. Thank you everyone.
Ronaldo alone scored more goals in La Liga play last season than 14 clubs did, which shows how prolific his season was. The only player to score more than 48 league goals in a European season was Messi, who scored 50 in 2011-12.
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While it was a successful year for Ronaldo personally, it was a very disappointing campaign for Real Madrid, who fired manager Carlo Ancelotti after finishing the season without a trophy.