Feel free to debate which hairstyle is Eric Dier’s best. I definitely don’t think this one’s it, though.
Ramble of the Day
David Beckham resurrected his acting career last night on an episode of Modern Family, which I have successfully watched and will now detail because the meeting of football with television and films is one of my favorite things. (Here’s a family tree in case you need to reference the characters and their relationships to each other, though I don’t think it particularly necessary.)
The episode takes place in a resort-residence combination for the rich people of/in southern California that I’m convinced sells their data, though this is not addressed in the episode. Beckham lives there, Alex's new employer provided her a living space there, and all of the amenities are attractive to every other member of the family, so they sneak in to use them. Cameron is specifically motivated to find Beckham to record his outgoing message, but others are involved in their own thing.
We see Beckham for the first time (and only with) Courteney Cox, who tell Stephen Merchant’s butler character that they’re preparing for a celebrity bowling tournament. Beckham’s no good, apparently, and they need coaching to do well. The first scene seems remarkably manufactured, but with the less storytelling they have to do, the better the scenes get. The rest of the episode sees Beckham and Cox interact with multiple family members — they think Manny and Luke are their instructors, then Cameron and Mitchell. It is unclear if Cameron succeeds in his mission to get Beckham to record his outgoing message.
As for overall hijinks, the episode set up for it — I was convinced Jay would attack Beckham at one point — and delivered almost none of it. It all felt quite tame, and it might’ve been more fun if Beckham wasn’t around so that they could chase after him as a running gag — clearly I’m grasping at straws because the episode was missing stakes. Beckham did well enough for himself, though, though the one time he was asked for a lot, the whole thing felt awkward.
tl;dr: David Beckham was on Modern Family last night, and the episode kind of sucked.
Links of the Day
Lazio was fined €20,000 after supporters racially abused Brescia’s Mario Balotelli, but avoid further punishment.
South Wales police have received criticism for a decision to use facial recognition technology to police this weekend’s derby between Cardiff and Swansea.
Former Heerenveen midfielder Marco Pappa received a five-year sentence for domestic violence in Guatemala.
Transfer updates: Burnley signed Danny Drinkwater on loan from Chelsea; West Ham’s signing of Darren Randolph has been delayed with injury concerns
Today’s longer read: David Conn and Rob Davies report that seven betting companies are live-streaming FA Cup matches despite the FA wanting to end associations with betting for The Guardian
Supplemental reading: Rob Davies on betting’s inextricable link to English football for The Guardian