Bukayo Saka’s dodgy golf swing shows just how far England’s current generation have veered from the old… while it turns out Renato Sanches is actually quite good and Frank De Boer may not be a dinosaur after all
- England’s Bukayo Saka has performed on the pitch against Czech Republic
- But it turns out the 19-year-old starlet is lacking in skills on the golf course
- His dodgy swing showed golf may not be the preferred pastime for footballers
- It turns out, Renato Sanches is actually quite good, contrary to Swansea loan
- Find out the latest Euro 2020 news including fixtures, live action and results here
Now, we knew this England generation was different to teams of old. But Bukayo Saka has showed us quite how far Gareth Southgate’s group had veered off line.
For years, it felt like golf courses were a footballer’s second home. As Alan Shearer recently said: ‘You had four ways to spend your time off: you could go to the pub, the bookies, back home or play golf.’ How times have changed.
England’s current No 9, Harry Kane, is among those still flying the flag but it’s claimed football’s new breed are increasingly turning their buggies around and speeding away from the course.
Bukayo Saka was star man on Tuesday but has more trouble when he is on the golf course
There’s less time for a quick 18 on some of the strict regimes they follow, to be fair.
In 2018, a virtual golf simulator helped keep the England squad entertained en route to the World Cup semi-finals in Russia and, three years on, it has been transported to the St George’s Park bubble for Euro 2020. But clearly Saka has been working too hard on his football to notice.
On Friday, Harry Maguire cruelly filmed the England youngster as he lined up a virtual tee shot.
Dressed in short, socks and sliders (look away, R&A), Saka crouched and quivered over the ball. One deep breath, two wild swings, two complete air shots. Cue hilarity for those watching – and Maguire’s 2.3million Instagram followers.
Eventually, Saka did make contact but the ball barely rose.
His dodgy swing on Harry Maguire’s Instagram shows it’s clearly not his favourite pastime
It begs the question: if not fine-tuning their swing, or clearing out their ears after another appearance from Ed Sheeran, what are England’s players up to on days off?
After all, rounds of golf were one of the few escapes for England’s squad in 2010 – the last time they faced Germany in a major tournament. And look how well that went.
Let’s hope Saka’s dodgy swing is actually sign of fortunes changed.
Yes, maybe you’d prefer Gareth Barry over a four-foot putt.
But who fills you with more confidence against Manuel Neuer?
Harry Kane flies the flag for the old generation of golfing footballers but it may be dying out
I can’t imagine it troubles the first three pages of their to-do list. Nevertheless, tournaments like this are always a good chance for players and coaches to dish out some humble pie.
And how we have acquired a real taste for that dish over the years.
Time and again someone will briefly struggle in English football and that is it: verdict reached, case closed, epitaph written.
Time and again we are proven wrong. Often it bites us on the backside, too.
There are a couple of perfect examples already staring us in the face at these Euros.
Renato Sanches proved he is a talented footballer with his masterclass against France
Turns out Renato Sanches is actually quite good, after all. Maybe that 15-game spell at Swansea wasn’t proof he was a hype-job.
And maybe, just maybe, Frank de Boer is more than a dinosaur in the dugout.
Now, no one is suggesting he should be hailed the second coming of Rinus Michels but perhaps those three hours* he was afforded at Crystal Palace shouldn’t define his reputation.
Fear not, though, the disasterclass that is Alvaro Morata means there is still life in this old habit.
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