Some noteworthy moments from the international break


It’s difficult to get too excited about this week of clammy, mostly unappealing fixtures, some competitive, some not. But, in the midsts of routine drubbings of San Marino and bizarre friendlies between Japan and Jamaica, there were some moments worth mentioning, if only for their novelty.

Wales and Bosnia Herzegovina played out as thrilling a 0-0 draw as is possible, and Stoke City’s Asmir Begovic secured the point for his country with a fantastic save at the death, denying a goal-bound, swerving shot from Gareth Bale.

West Ham’s new boy, Enner Valencia, stunned the USA with a logic-defying swazzer of a shot, in the 87th minute in their friendly. Dipping ridiculously, the effort left Brad Guzan completely bamboozled and heading to his right as the ball swooped the other way.


There was some testiness captured on screen during The Netherlands’ 3-1 win over Kazakhstan, when Robin van Persie opted to shoot from a tight angle, rather than crossing to the open Klaas Jan-Huntelaar. Replays showed the Manchester United forward rudely shushing his team mate, who had reason to complain, with a dismissive gesture. Steady now, chaps, we’re all friends here.

Falcao scored for Colombia against El Salvador, with a lovely header. With the delivery slightly behind him, El Tigre managed to generate prodigious power with his neck, rifling the ball high into the goal. The keeper’s fingertips couldn’t stop it, despite getting a caressing touch on the ball as it went by. Miaow!

And finally, Iker Casillas again excelled in being a liability for his country, letting in an awful goal that set Slovakia on the way to beating the reigning European Champions in their Euro 2016 qualifier. A free kick that, in all honesty, didn’t really swerve that much hit the Spain keeper on the palms, but his wrists proved to be weaker than an American beer, and the ball simply flew straight past him into the goal. With that, the Slovaks were 1-0 up, and would go on to win 2-1, handing Spain their first loss in a competitive qualifier since 2006. Oh, Iker.

If this sort of quality entertainment isn’t enough to satiate your thirst for footballing fancies, then have no fear, for a scrolling good time lies ahead. Below, alphabetised by team, are photographs of every current Premier League manager, taken while they were still playing, a time when a career in top-flight management was half a world away. Highlights include, van Gaal’s nose, Pardew’s shorts and Manuel Pellegrini being ridiculously good looking. Enjoy!

Rodgers in the back, far left.

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