EURO DIARY: Solskjaer’s New Job, Albanian Invasion Fears, and Gelsenkirchen Ghost Town

EURO DIARY: Solskjaer’s New Job, Albanian Invasion Fears, and Gelsenkirchen Ghost Town

Former Manchester United Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a new job. The Norwegian is providing technical evaluation on matches for UEFA and will be at the Germany versus Scotland game on Friday night. 

Solskjaer’s info will go into a wide-ranging report to be released at the end of the competition which identifies trends and how the game – specifically coaching – is changing.

 

Tournament organisers are harbouring growing concerns about the numbers of Albanian supporters flocking to the competition.

As Euros Diary reported on Thursday, around 50,000 are expected at the country’s opening match against Italy in Dortmund on Saturday, although insiders have now disclosed fears some of that number will try and use fake tickets.

 

With a convocation of Eagles in the England ranks perhaps it is little surprise that Steve Parish has flown out to Germany. The Crystal Palace co-owner will be at the Three Lions’ opening game against Serbia on Sunday evening and will no doubt be casting an eye over the performances of the group. 

Fans in their number are flocking to watch Albania appear in their second major competition

Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish (right) intends to keep a close eye on his crop of players

Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish (right) intends to keep a close eye on his crop of players

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Parish may well be hoping for a successful tournament for defender Marc Guehi, whom many believe will leave the club this year with two years remaining on his contract.

 

In contrast with the riotous scenes in Munich ahead of Scotland’s tournament opener, which saw one kilt-wearing fan unwittingly exposed by one of his ‘friends’ live on German television, Gelsenkirchen was like a ghost town last night. 

England supporters largely shunned the host venue for their match to spend time in other, livelier cities such as Dusseldorf.

Former Germany and Arsenal striker Lukas Podolski has managed to net himself a £200m fortune outside of football after opening a string of kebab shops. 

The 39-year-old, who is still playing in Poland, owns Mangal Doner and opened the first shop in his hometown of Cologne. 

Scotland fans have occupied Munich ahead of their first game but England haven't yet done the same

Scotland fans have occupied Munich ahead of their first game but England haven’t yet done the same

The stores, which also bear his name, are now a common sight across the country, with the slogan ‘Kebab of Champions’. Podolski also owns an ice-cream brand.

 

Who let the dogs out? England did. Players arrived at their Blankenhain hotel to find pictures in their rooms of their pooches mocked up as historic kings, queens and generals. 

The idea came from team management and is one of a host of light touches aimed at making the group feel at home.

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