Switzerland 0-0 England (5-6 PENS); Pickford penalty heroics secure the Three Lions the effectively meaningless Nations League third place

Switzerland 0-0 England (5-6 PENS); Pickford penalty heroics secure the Three Lions the effectively meaningless Nations League third place

It took some penalty shootout heroics from England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, scoring one spot kick before then saving another, to earn the Three Lions victory in the UEFA Nations League third-place playoff.

In truth, it was an accomplishment – and a match in general – that few cared about, myself included in that crowd.

It’s something I’ve never understood the desire for in international football – the meaningless third-place playoff. Teams are already spent, they’ve already endured the ignominy of being knocked out of the respective tournament, any yet are somehow expected to rally back around to care for a match that means so incredibly little to anyone.

Continue reading “Switzerland 0-0 England (5-6 PENS); Pickford penalty heroics secure the Three Lions the effectively meaningless Nations League third place”

Fabian Schar’s head injury v Georgia demonstrates football’s glaring issues regarding injury protocols

Fabian Schar’s head injury v Georgia demonstrates football’s glaring issues regarding injury protocols

It doesn’t take a medical expert to understand that there should be little messing around when it comes to serious head injuries in football. For example, should a player be knocked unconscious after a clash of heads, it’s probably not best he continues playing.

Yet, for Newcastle’s Swiss international Fabian Schar, that very situation did happen over the weekend.

The central defender suffered a nasty clash of heads with Georgian defender Jemal Tabidze as both players challenged for the ball early in the first half, and the Premier League centre back was left visibly unconscious.

Continue reading “Fabian Schar’s head injury v Georgia demonstrates football’s glaring issues regarding injury protocols”

Newcastle 3-0 Cardiff: Swiss star Schar steals the show in commanding win

Newcastle 3-0 Cardiff: Swiss star Schar steals the show in commanding win

It took some time, but finally a performance clicked for Newcastle at home. In football, the saying goes that your home ground should be a fortress – well it’s been anything but at St. James’ Park this season.

However, against Cardiff, all that changed, largely through the actions of a particular Swiss centre back.

Fabian Schar has looked like a pretty inspired bit of business already in his time donning the black and white – having cost the Magpies just £3m thanks to a release clause. The centre back is comfortable on the ball, confident and boasts an impressive passing range and accuracy.

Continue reading “Newcastle 3-0 Cardiff: Swiss star Schar steals the show in commanding win”