It is quite hard to believe that Euro 2012 has come and gone so very quickly. At the end of it all, it was Spain who emerged victorious as they retained their crown by sweeping aside Italy 4-0 in the final. They were quite majestic in doing so, and in turn proved any doubters and naysayers who had called their style of play "boring" very much wrong. For a team to win three major tournaments in a row is quite an amazing achievement, and they don't look like being knocked off their perch any time soon.
As for England, it was a mixed bag of a tournament which ended in yet another penalty shoot-out heartache in the quarter-final against the Italians. Although this was certainly hard to swallow, I still think England are making progress under new coach Roy Hodgson and they did well to secure a first place finish in a tricky looking group. Even though the defensive mindedness of Hodgson's tactics can be some what of a concern, we simply have to look forward and realise that we have promising young players coming through who can help us qualify for the World Cup in Brazil in 2014.
So with the end of Euro 2012 comes the build up and anticipation leading to the start of a new domestic league season. I'm already counting down the days.
As with any pre-season, there are lots of different changes made to every club, with players coming and going along with managers and their coaching staff. This year, however, the managerial merry-go-round has been in full swing with movement happening left, right and centre. For whatever reason, the revolving door has been working overtime with different league managers.
Where to begin? Well, "King Kenny" has been usurped at Liverpool by Brendan Rodgers. The former Swansea chief had turned down an initial approach from the Anfield club, but caved at the second time of asking. He has a massive job on his hands, and it is certainly a gamble by Liverpool themselves to employ such a young manager with only one season of top flight experience under his belt. But Rodgers' Swansea team last year were so impressive as they blew teams away with their 'pass and move', slick style of football. Whether he can now implement his passing philosophy on an underachieving Liverpool team is anyone's guess.
This then left a job open at Swansea, with Barcelona and Denmark legend Michael Laudrup answering the call. He will get his first taste of the Premier League with the South Wales club as he attempts to keep them in it, as well as retaining the flowing style that was a staple of the team last season.
Along with Swansea, Norwich City were another newly promoted team last year to have now been left by their manager seeking to enhance his career at a so-called "bigger club". Paul Lambert has taken the reigns at Aston Villa following the sacking of Alex McLeish. This left the void at Carrow Road to be filled by Chris Hughton. I know first hand how fantastic a manager Hughton is after the wonderful work he did at Newcastle. Norwich are in good hands.
But this left another vacancy to be filled, as Hughton left Birmingham to take over his new post at Norwich. Up stepped Lee Clark to fill that vacancy after he was sacked by Huddersfield earlier in the year to be replaced by Simon Grayson, he himself having been let go by Leeds and replaced by Neil Warnock, who was shown the door by QPR, as they brought in Mark Hughes as his successor. Are you with me so far?
Furthermore, there was a void to be filled at West Bromwich Albion due to Hodgson accepting the FA's offer to become the new England manager before Euro 2012. So, this led to Dalglish's old number 2 at Liverpool, Steve Clarke, to take over there. And despite constant talk of a move away from Wigan, (including rumours spouted by his own chairman Dave Whelan), Roberto Martinez looks to be staying at the DW Stadium for at least another season (unless he gets the sack too which, let's face it, wouldn't be the most surprising of outcomes given the ruthless nature of the game these days.)
Chelsea finally did the right thing and appointed Roberto Di Matteo as their permanent manager following the immense success he had during his term as interim boss in the second half of last season. FA Cup and Champions League triumphs aren't too shabby, are they?
But what of his predecessor, Andre Villas-Boas? Well, despite being sacked by Chelsea after only eight months into a three year contract, the young Portuguese tactician has found himself in the White Heart Lane hotseat as he takes over from the sacked Harry Redknapp. This was probably the most surprising managerial change over the last few months. Redknapp had guided Tottenham to a fourth placed finish last season, but, according to chairman Daniel Levy, this just wasn't good enough. So Redknapp seems to be stuck in limbo without a club, while AVB gets a shot at redemption; a second chance in the Premier League after his nightmare at Stamford Bridge. It will be so intriguing when Chelsea and Tottenham eventually meet in the league and Di Matteo will come up against the man who brought him to Stamford Bridge in the first place.
It's all shaping up to be great season, I just can't wait for it to start. Here's hoping it's just as good as the last one.