Something has got to change - and quick.

I’m not talking about England’s performance - I’ll come on to that - but this complete lack of confidence in all things Covid. What the f*** was all that nonsense with Gilmour, Mount and Chilwell?

So young Billy tests positive - a nightmare for the lad, of course - but then why do his Chelsea colleagues have to self-isolate? Because they had a chat? Because they had a hug? Sorry, I thought hugs were allowed now.

And please don’t tell me the wonderfully talented Gilmour wasn't hugged by his manager and teammates in the dressing room after his great effort for the Scots against England last Friday. They’d have been all over him. He wouldn't have been blanked.

So why did Mount and Chilwell have to self-isolate? It’s complete b******* and makes a mockery of what the authorities are doing. In that one episode, they have undermined so much of the hard and good work they’ve clearly done.

That was clueless, a knee-jerk piece of advice which had so many very intelligent people questioning the science they talk about. Just look at social media - wise heads some of them absolutely perplexed and dumfounded. As I was.

I’d say we now have too many talking heads sitting in front of bookcases beamed into our living rooms by the news programmes 24/7. They’ve got great brains clearly - and might have got more O Levels than me - but they’ve no f****** common sense. Get a grip.

So, to the action at Wembley - and a difficult one.

 

 

The pluses first. England are top of the group, have not conceded a goal, and are through. Their defence is rock-solid, Pickford in goal looks top-notch again, Sterling is scoring goals for fun again - and the last 16 game will be held at Wembley. Job done.

On the minus side, England look slow, lack dynamism, Kane can’t seem to hit the back of the net and, worryingly, after all this time and with a wealth of young talent at his disposal I’m not sure Southgate knows his best team.

Now, it might all change for the game next Tuesday. I want to see Mount back in, a place for Chilwell, plus Rashford, Sancho and Grealish pushing for places, maybe even Bellingham. That’s a dynamic team - but it ain’t going to happen.

In fact, let’s get Grealish involved even more. Build a team round him, let him push on in the space just behind Kane and work with Sterling, Rashford, Mount, Sancho or whoever. Grealish can terrorise defences. He gets free kicks - for Mount to score. 

You can see Gareth is being pragmatic and that, in the end, might win us the Euros. Building from the back and then taking your chances. Okay, two goals in three games is hardly earth-shattering, but if you don’t concede you’ve got a better chance of winning.

 

 

 

So I see where we’re going.

The worry is whether one of the more dynamic and classier teams unlock our defence - and then we have to go and win the game. We’re not free-flowing and quick enough to believe that can happen - but you never know. Keep the faith.

I’ve said from the start, we can win this thing.

I’m also keeping faith with my Welsh boys. Well done to Rob Page who’s doing a great job and good luck to them on Saturday against Denmark.

I’ll have my Welsh shirt on and be cheering on loudly and proudly. I’ve led the team out as captain and that’s definitely one of the proudest moments of my career - and you can see the boys are wearing the shirt with real pride.

Denmark will not be an easy game. The love for that team after what happened to Christian Eriksen is understandable and the noise the fans made when they scored to qualify was amazing, spine-tingling.

But there’s so much experience now in this Wales side they can brush emotion aside, will be utterly professional about it, and can kick on. Let’s have it lads.

 

 

 

Well done to Big John Rahm for winning the US Open, his first major.

After what happened at the Memorial, when the nonsense of Covid protocols reared its ugly head again, it was almost in the stars that the Spaniard would do something that even Seve couldn’t achieve in winning the toughest of majors.

Understandably he’s taking a week off this week, but most of the best players are heading to TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut, for the Travelers Championship. Less of a test physically than Torrey Pines, this tree-lined course rewards accuracy even more.

So with that in mind, Vinnie’s Three Off The Tee for the Travelers are Paul Casey, who finished well in the US Open, Cameron Smith and Sam Burns.

 

 

 

And in what is a fantastic week for golf punters, the European Tour is on this week with a visit to Germany for the BMW International Open. It’s a great entry headed by US Open runner-up Louis Oosthuizen and newly appointed Ryder Cup vice captain Martin Kaymer.

However, Vinnie’s Three Off The Tee in Munich are Victor Hovland, Sam Horsfield and John Catlin. All have had decent seasons and should go well.

FINALLY, how are my horses and dogs getting on?

Well, the boys at Rogues Gallery Racing tell me they’re enjoying the better weather - and the horses are doing great.

Crimewave ran a good race at Lingfield on Monday and, after a break, he’ll be back for some nice handicap races in the autumn. Rogue Force also ran a big race this week, so look out for him and the likes of Sugauli and Cash Machine.

Have a great sporting week - and come on Wales and England!

Vinnie.

Vinnie’s Best Bets

Travelers Championship

Paul Casey
Cameron Smith
Sam Burns

BMW International Open

Victor Hovland
Sam Horsfield
John Catlin