If there is any truth in the saying that every silver lining has a cloud you can be sure that football is the place to find it.

We hadn’t stopped gloating over the fact that the Premier League has taken over the European scene by producing all four finalists for the major cup competitions when the sun stopped shining and the clouds rolled in.

Leading the search for the worry beads was England manager Gareth Southgate. Obviously delighted at the success of the fab four - three from London and the other from Merseyside - Southgate quickly turned his thoughts to how it is all going to affect England’s bid to win the Nations League.

The Europa League final in faraway Baku in on May 29, on June 1 Madrid stages the Champions League final then less than a week later, it is Portugal’s turn when England face the Netherlands in the the Nations League.

Southgate was concerned that he would not get some of his players until three days before the semi-final.

Fear not, Gareth – if the clubs play their finals with the same line-ups that started their semi-final victories you have nothing to worry about.

The Europa League final – Arsenal v Chelsea – would provide just one England candidate. Step forward Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

No Arsenal player is qualified to apply.

The Big One – Tottenham v Liverpool – offers a wider selection.

A handful at most, but the big worry for Southgate is whether his captain Harry Kane will be fit. And that has nothing to do with the Champions League final.

So while we all bask in the glory of English football success what about the Englishness of it? Foreign managers, foreign players, foreign owners (apart from Spurs) might make you wonder. Of course, Nations League success for Southgate’s team would silence any doubters.

In the meantime, we can enjoy re-runs of Manchester City and Liverpool giving us the finest Premier League title race anybody can remember or we can fret over whether Manchester United, beaten 2-0 at home by relegated Cardiff after drawing 1-1 with relegated Huddersfield, have made the right appointment in giving the top job to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Now, where did I put those beads in case Ole rings?

*The drop from hero to zero is a long one and two men coming to grips with that this morning are Chris Hughton and Kevin Sinfield.

One has been sacked at Brighton and the other did his sacking at Leeds.

Hughton joined Brighton in 2014, won promotion to the Premier League in 2017, was Manager of the Month in 2018, took the Seagulls to the FA Cup semi-final this season (losing to Manchester City) and, in the words of the chairman: “One of the clubs finest and most respected managers.”

He added: “Undoubtedly one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make.”

Brighton did not win any of their last nine games and escaped relegation by two points.

Up at Leeds Rhinos, Sinfield ended the three-year contract of head coach Dave Furner after 14 games with similar versions of “difficult decision” and “thanks for all he has done and wishing him well for the future.”

What they really seem to be saying is: “Sorry, son, you’ve messed up big style.”

But now there is a new catchphrase for ending a coach’s or manager’s contract a couple of years early. It was used at both clubs when the axe fell.

“We wish to take the club in a different direction.” Whatever that means.

We have yet to see how that works out for Brighton but we have already seen how it has worked for Leeds Rhinos. They were dumped out of the Rugby League Challenge Cup by Bradford Bulls at the weekend.

Stand-in coach Richard Agar said: “It’s symptomatic of what it has been like this year and we took it to a new level today. This is as bad as it gets.”

We’ll have to wait and see but in the meantime former great Sinfield as director of rugby is the man taking most of the flak.

*Ice Hockey may not be your thing (how can you even see the puck on TV?) so you may not know that there is a World Cup going on in Slovakia right now.

And for the first time in 25 years Great Britain are involved. They may be among the lowly ranked teams and under the cloud of possible relegation when it is all over but underdogs occasionally have their day (ask Bradford Bulls), so we ought to wish them well .

After all, the game is hardly the highly-charged high-profile sport it is in countries where in snows all the year round and park lakes can be turned into ice-hockey rinks overnight.

For the record, Great Britain opened the tournament with a 3-1 defeat by Germany before facing off to the world’s finest Canada. They lost that one 8-0 but there’s no shame in that.