Kieran Trippier gave ME a 4/10 rating! CRAIG HOPE's postcard from Erfurt as England's staff took on the media

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By Craig Hope

Published: 05:35 EDT, 3 July 2024 | Updated: 05:35 EDT, 3 July 2024

So, what was Tuesday’s astir surreal moment? Playing 11-a-side against an England squad including Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and managed by Kieran Trippier? Taking a punishment pinch Jude Bellingham watching on? Or, later successful nan day, sitting extracurricular my edifice room and seeing Jude casually stroll done nan secluded courtyard little than 15 feet away? Who else, eh?

Oh, location was besides a chance gathering pinch Conor Gallagher and his very charming family, during which I gave them a speedy guideline to Erfurt.

But let’s commencement pinch nan football, England unit versus nan media successful Blankenhain. After we arrived successful dribs and drabs and wearing various kits - West Ham, Scotland, Middlesbrough each connected show - it felt for illustration we were successful a Carlsberg advert erstwhile their squad autobus pulled up. 

I was convinced Bryan Robson, Peter Reid and Stuart Pearce were astir to disembark. Instead, coach Trippier led them disconnected pinch prima striker Hasselbaink not acold behind. That felt for illustration 1-0 England consecutive away.

But then, correct from kick-off, aft a daring dribble from this analogous and through-ball to nationalist newspaper workfellow Tom Barclay, England were staring astatine different San Marino moment. Could we slope connected Barclay to score? 

Mail Sport's Craig Hope took portion successful a lucifer betwixt England unit and nan media connected Tuesday

Kieran Trippier managed nan England unit XI to a broad victory

But nan media XI sewage their revenge successful nan punishment shootout that followed

It was an awesome turnout for nan arena astatine England's training base

The relationship was saccharine but nan result was sour, England’s keeper making nan prevention to spare their blushes. It mightiness person been different had that gone in… we mightiness person sewage hit 7-1 alternatively of 7-0. Hasselbaink scored two, by nan way.

Anyway, we vanished pinch a punishment shootout, astatine which constituent Bellingham pulled up successful a car down nan goal. Cole Palmer, Kobbie Mainoo and Adam Wharton were location excessively - they looked for illustration kids retired for a motorcycle thrust successful nan schoolhouse holidays. 

Kyle Walker was successful nan stands, singing ‘Football’s Coming Home’ connected full-time, while Trippier employed immoderate mind games pinch america media boys during nan shootout - ‘he looks nervous, unit penalty, this’ we could perceive him saying, and that was his intention!

Did it work? Not a chance. Not erstwhile we had nationalist workfellow John ‘The Cat’ Cross successful goal, who made a large prevention successful a 5-4 triumph for nan media. England and penalties, let’s dream that’s not an omen.

Colleague Jonathan Northcroft - nan only Scotsman near successful Germany - converted his punishment pinch aplomb, which was surprising, because Scotland person ne'er sewage arsenic acold arsenic penalties before. 

And a typical mention for my Mail Sport comrade Oliver Holt, who did thing nary England subordinate has managed astatine these Euros - playing near wing, he dribbled by their correct backmost connected nan outside. It didn’t matter that nan shot ran retired of play.

Kyle Walker (right) watched connected from nan stands and was moreover singing 'Football's Coming Home'

England midfielder Kobbie Mainoo besides watched connected from nan sidelines

Oliver Holt (centre) did amended than immoderate England winger astatine Euro 2024 by dribbling past his man

Trippier gave Hope conscionable a 4/10 standing arsenic he returned nan favour for being fixed nan aforesaid people past play pursuing a difficult outing against Chelsea

Afterwards, Trippier gave maine a merit people of 4/10, a chance to nonstop revenge, he said, for maine scoring him nan aforesaid aft a crippled astatine Chelsea past season. Ouch, I thought I did OK.

Back to Erfurt and I was recovering connected my pavilion erstwhile - and I thought I’d mislaid my mind here, delirious aft nan run-around successful nan sun - Bellingham walked into nan courtyard a fewer yards below. 

Turns retired he had parked his car successful my beautiful small edifice and was seeing awesome Erfurt pinch his parents. It ended successful a spot of a commotion pinch autograph hunters and him needing a constabulary escort retired of a restaurant. Meanwhile, I stood unsocial nearby. Despite scoring that punishment earlier successful nan day, no-one asked for my signature.

Auf wiedersehen, Craig.

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