Sport Steven Gerrard in action for England

Roy Hodgson is eager for his side to test themselves against Central and South American opposition

Bring on Wilshere: reasons to tune in to the friendly nobody wanted

Waste of time?No.It may be fun and Capello might learn something

The O'Neill backlash begins

Aston Villa director accuses former manager of putting himself before the club as caretaker coach picks up the pieces

Brian Viner: TV rivals slug it out in final battle

At last, four long weeks of football reached a glorious crescendo. This, finally, was what the 2010 World Cup had boiled down to, a head-to-head battle between two teams desperate to find peak performance when it mattered most, one led by Gary Lineker, the other by Adrian Chiles. This was it. BBC 1 v ITV 1. The big one.

Sport on TV: Blessed is no peacemaker but BBC keeps calm and carries on

The BBC or not the BBC, that is the question. They invoked the spirit of "Harry, England and St George" to crush the Slovenian hordes. Now the game's afoot again, big time, so what can we expect this afternoon as we take on the Germans? Brian Blessed – and most blessed is he – shouted his Shakespeare loud enough to drown out the vuvuzela drone against Slovenia (BBC1, Wednesday) but today we might need to try a different approach. After all, Prince Harry shuffled off to meet his ex-girlfriend after the dreadful Algeria match, St George was probably Turkish anyway, and if we delve too far back into our history we might find that we actually are the Germans.

Bleak future for struggling Boro

Middlesbrough 0 Manchester City 1

Grand old men prove Yorke is off target

Talking Point

Mackie gives 'Wee Gordon' rotten start at Boro

Middlesbrough 0 Plymouth Argyle 1

Strachan aims to get Middlesbrough off to a screamer

Gordon Strachan's first game in charge of Celtic could not have veered further off the rails, a 5-0 embarrassment by the unheralded Czech side Artmedia that, in the goldfish bowl of Glasgow football, raised immediate doubts over his tenure. He failed to win either of his debut games when at Coventry or Southampton, his other managerial stopovers, which cannot inspire those of a superstitious nature at this most supernatural time of year.

Strachan wants 'something different' at Middlesbrough

Gordon Strachan has joined Middlesbrough in search of "something different" from his previous managerial experiences.

Strachan accepts Middlesbrough job

Middlesbrough have confirmed the appointment of Gordon Strachan as their new manager.

Preston give Strachan plenty to think about

Preston North End 2 Middlesbrough 2

Middlesbrough delay unveiling manager

Middlesbrough are not now expected to make any announcement about their new manager over the weekend.

Strachan set to become Middlesbrough boss

Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson was today finalising his move to appoint Gordon Strachan as the club's new manager.

Boro aiming to replace Southgate with Strachan

Middlesbrough could have beaten Derby County 10-0 and it would have made no difference to the fate of their manager, Gareth Southgate, who was sacked two hours later to pave way for the anticipated arrival of Gordon Strachan.

Strachan favourite for Middlesbrough job

Gordon Strachan could be appointed as the new Middlesbrough manager before the weekend following Gareth Southgate's shock sacking.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?