I had planned to do some kind of congratulatory piece on Iceland reaching the Euros but the BBC beat me to the punch.
It’s a decent read to be fair, more informed than I could put together with my limited resources, and well worth a look – after you’ve waded through this of course.
It is crazy that a country with a population roughly the size of the London Borough of Ealing, or five Scarboroughs if you prefer, can reach a major tournament. The British media have made a big deal of Wales and Northern Ireland getting there and rightly so, but Iceland’s achievement far eclipses that of the two home nations.
The BBC may have beaten me to it but their article did throw up something else of interest. They interview veteran striker Eidur Gudjohnsen and he is on the lookout for a European move.
“I’m looking at a few options now,” Gudjohnsen said.
“I think it’s fair to say it would be best to be playing in Europe, to try and play at the best level to be as fit as possible when the tournament comes.
“The success of the national team has been one of the key factors in me just continuing. It’s been a motivation to keep me going until at least next summer.
“But in saying that I just love the game too much, it hasn’t been difficult to keep motivating me to keep playing. This has just been a nice bonus, a little extra at the end.”
That leads me to wonder, could he make another return to Bolton Wanderers?
Gudjohnsen went back to the club where his career took off last season and did fairly well with 14 appearances and six goals in all competitions. It looked as if he would stick around for 2015-16 but instead he left for Chinese Super League side Shijiazhuang Ever Bright as the Wanderers seemingly stalled on offering him a deal.
I don’t think you can really blame him for that to be honest. If they didn’t offer a deal it would have been foolish to sit around waiting for one when a presumably big package from China was on the table. I’ve thought about doing something similar myself, just giving up any notion of being a serious journalist and taking a copywriting job in Dubai. The only thing putting me off is the very real possibility I could find myself languishing in a UAE jail or deported in disgrace. I’d like to think that would happen after I’d been caught with my pants down with an absolute stunner, but chances are it would happen because I’d been caught with my pants down pissing in the street after too much prison-style hooch, made with custard creams and orange juice. Worst-case scenario would be my Facebook profile pic being used in some unflattering Daily Mail article – and I really don’t want to be that guy.
I’m fairly sure most Wanderers fans would forgive the 37-year-old for taking what could potentially have been his last big pay day. He may have enjoyed spells at Chelsea and Barcelona but he is nowhere near as good with his cash as he is with his feet, having had well documented debts as a result of a gambling problem. His former team-mate Dean Holdsworth, meanwhile, is rumoured to be putting together some kind of Bolton takeover package. His career after Wanderers included spells at the likes of Havant and Waterlooville and Heybridge Swifts, hardly Barca and Monaco, which just shows how important it is to make the most of your investments I suppose.
Do Bolton need him? Hell yes they do, any kind of striker to be fair, although with a granddad’s army that already includes Emile Heskey and Shola Ameobi up front maybe boss Neil Lennon would prefer someone who even remembers what it was like to have youth on their side.
As yet there hasn’t been any talk I’ve seen of another return but no doubt someone else will read his comments and put two and two together. I’m convinced I read some quotes a while ago from Lennon saying something could be possible when the Chinese season ended, which it now has, but I can’t track them down, so maybe I didn’t.
Whether he returns to Bolton or not it does seem the man Jose Mourinho once referred to as the ‘blonde Maradona’ will be making a move to Europe ahead of Euro 2016. Having had great success at club level; it would be fitting for him to feature in a major international tournament in the twilight of his career, and perhaps enjoy one final stint at a club where he is still viewed as a hero.