1. The Christian Eriksen story, of course, continues to loom large. It was a beautiful moment when his Inter teammate, Belgium striker Romelo Lukaku, ran to the camera after scoring against Russia to proclaim, “Chris, Chris, I love you!” And equally lovely when Belgium played Eriksen’s Denmark in the next match and the Danish fans, in gratitude, started chanting Lukaku’s name.
2. Harry Kane desperately needs some rest, and the smart thing would be for Gareth Southgate to sit him down, but I am quite confident that Gareth Southgate will not do the smart thing. England would be better at this point with Calvert-Lewin as striker, Grealish behind him as the number 10, and Sancho on the right wing, with Kane, Sterling, and either Phillips or Rice having a seat. And yeah, I know that Sterling scored England’s only goal so far, but overall he hasn’t been great, and I believe a front three of Calvert-Lewin, Foden, and Sancho would be very dangerous. (In the first two games England’s front three had a total of three shots on target.)
3. At the very end of France-Hungary, Endre Botka rugby-tackled Kimpembe in the box — ineptly, after which he fell to the ground in double humiliation, faking injury — and VAR said there was no foul. I am as sure as I can be that that happened because the game was played in a stadium full of delirious Hungarians. And after a year of players’ and coaches’ shouts echoing off empty seats, I’m kinda okay with that. The good thing about human error is that it’s human.
4. The two Ringer FC podcasts — Stadio and Wrighty’s House — are my very favorite podcasts, on any topic, and there was an especially <chef’s kiss> moment in the most recent episode of Wrighty’s House, in which Ian Wright, Musa Okongwa, and Ryan Hunn were discussing the England-Scotland draw. Wrighty opined that, in Kieran Tierney and Andy Robertson, Scotland might have the best left side in world football. Sensing that the time had come for a Game of Thrones reference, Musa said “They’re the Iron Bank” — and then, to make it better, “the Iron Flank.” To which Ryan: “They’re the IRN-BRU Flank.” Too good.
5. Barney Ronay: “The Italian anthem repeats the line ‘We are ready to die’ four times in its second verse. At the Stadio Olimpico Chiellini sang it like it was something beautiful and impossibly tender.”