Spain search, Gareth Southgate has England issues and COVID-19 stalks Champions League

Europe’s finest footballers have broken away from their club duties and come together to compete on the international stage.

A run of friendlies and Nations League clashes await from Wednesday evening until October 14, while the process of discovering Euro 2020’s final four competitors continues apace as the continent plays catch-up because of the backlog caused by coronavirus.

Here are five key issues that await:


Serene progress, such an alien feeling, for England under Gareth Southgate has begun to take a downwards turn toward the dysfunctional norm associated with the international game’s usual great underachievers.

September 5’s, frankly abysmal, 1-0 victory against Iceland which featured hectic late penalty drama at both ends, was then followed by a much-changed side labouring to an instantly forgettable goalless draw at Denmark. This whole stint, however, was overshadowed by indiscretions from young guns Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood in Reykjavik which dominated newspaper front pages back home.

The last thing Southgate would have wanted coming into this month’s Nations League double header versus Belgium and the Danes was more off-field drama, particularly when frays related to the on-field action are beginning to show. Saturday’s impromptu 23rd birthday party for Tammy Abraham, however, attended by compatriots Jadon Sancho and Ben Chilwell broke coronavirus rules by the British government.

This has necessitated their absence for Thursday’s Wales friendly, plus strengthened views about a squad increasingly out of control and returning to the chaotic norm. A player meeting to emphasise the importance of discipline could not come soon enough after these high-profile lapses.

Discussion should be centred on whether Nick Pope can usurp error-strewn goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, how red-hot striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s debut call-up impacts equally in-form skipper Harry Kane and whether a return of a three-man defence was experimental

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Home of child star murdered 32 years ago ‘haunted,’ says family living in it Stock Photo

The residence of a late child star in Los Angeles, California, has been haunted for decades since her death, according to the family who moved into her home.

The Bernal family revealed in the home renovation show “Murder House Flip” that since they got the home 19 years ago, they have felt “bad energy” in it, the New York Post reported yesterday, Oct. 6.

The house was where 10-year-old actress Judith Barsi was murdered in 1988 by her own father Jozsef Barsi, after which he shot his wife, Maria Virovacz, then killed himself. Judith starred in films such as “Jaws: The Revenge” and provided her voice for “The Land Before Time” series.

The family would notice the garage door open and close and would also feel cold spots around the house. Gaby Bernal would get nightmares while sleeping in the room where Judith was killed.

Finally, the family got a new beginning with their home through a renovation that involved designers, psychics, mediums and detectives.

Gaby’s room, for instance, was completely transformed, with windows becoming French doors and an amethyst crystal placed to bring calm. The hallway where Judith’s mom was killed was repainted and received more lighting.

“The negative energy that we felt in the house is gone already,” Gaby’s father, Francisco, said. “No more sadness, no more crying. This is one of the greatest things that has happened in my life.”

The true-crime makeover show, which started airing in April, can be viewed on streaming service Quibi. Niña V. Guno /ra


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Chris Javier looking beyond basketball

Chris Javier now plays for TNT Giga in the PBA. INQUIRER PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The fast turnover of talent in the PBA and the uncertainty of the current situation has Chris Javier thinking beyond basketball.

Although he has found a home with the TNT Tropang Giga, Javier wants to future-proof his finances, channeling much of his basketball earnings into a new business venture.

The 27-year-old Javier opened the ‘Top Boss Auto Garage’ – an auto shop that specializes in repair and upgrade of suspension for Sports Utility Vehicles or SUV cars in Biñan, Laguna.

“We opened last July,” said Javier, a five-year PBA veteran who had stints with Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok and Blackwater before he was dealt during the off-season to TNT.

Chris Javier

Chris Javier’s auto shop. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

“I am fond of cars but more importantly, I want to secure my future,” said Javier. “Like they say, basketball won’t always be there.”

A product of the University of the East, he opened his business after he got the Australia-based company dealership of Pedders Suspension and Brake, as well as the Saber Off-Road accessories, and the BF Ceramic Tint.

Before this business investment, Javier was already in the vehicle maintenance industry since he’s the supplier of oils and lubricants to one of the major bus line companies in the country.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Javier said he believes his auto shop business would thrive.

“I took the risk because many SUV owners need repairs and they want a smoother ride,” said Javier.

Already, he has lined up clients from his basketball circle, including NLEX shooting guard Jericho Cruz and another former UE hotshot in Roi Sumang, Javier’s former teammate at Blackwater.

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