Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Inger-land!..

Rustenberg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth... Just three days, now.

I don't know why, but football has this capacity to enthrall me - probably because of the infinite variety and the speed of the game. It's over thirty years since I saw my first World Cup Finals, in Argentina (which England hadn't qualified for (Scotland did, but why they bothered making the trip, nobody knows to this day)), and I'm still able to feel that sense of expectation. Assuming we (LOL - because I'll be playing, obviously!), win Group C, we're due to meet France at the Quarter Final Stage, Brazil in the Semis and Spain in the Final.

Hmmm. Still, hope springs eternal, and even with Rio injured, we've got the players to achieve something. In fact, this squad is possibly the best we've had since, well, Germany four years ago, except this time we've got Capello at the helm.

I have my inflatable "We Believe" TV chair, with a pattern on it like a football. I have a couple of boxes of Stella standing by to do service for Queen and country (OK, so Stella's Belgian, but WTF, eh?). And I have a quite implausible degree of optimism. What could possibly go wrong?

Bring on the Yanks!

5 comments:

BOB FIDDAMAN said...

My tip - Holland

I think we [England] had a better squad 4 years ago Matt. Our defence is dodgy and we lack a playmaker in the middle of the park. Take out Rooney up front and it all looks pretty depressing [**Hands self Seroxat]

I, like you, will be full of hope and optimism on Saturday and throughout the tournament. We are allowed that right, we are English after all :-)

Fid

Radagast said...

Holland? If they avoid the internal strife that seems to dog the, I suppose. There're a couple of dark horses, outside the predicted Final between Brazil and Spain... Holland, France, England, Argentina (particularly if Messi has a good tournament). Maybe even Mexico - that 3-1 scoreline at Wembley flattered England, I think. And then there's always Germany and Italy - although they don't look brimful of individual talent, they're too organized, as teams, to be discounted.

Anyway, I thought England looked better balanced than under Sven, what with the emergence of Barry. And we've got to overlapping fullbacks, now, which gives us attacking options we didn't have, before (although Johnson's not as sound defensively as Cole, I suppose). And if Joe Cole has a decent tournament, then we've got that bit of individual flair that's needed to get at the better teams.

I dunno... If we make it to the QFs, then anything's possible, from there.

Matt

BOB FIDDAMAN said...

Toughest game of the group will be this Saturday.

England v USA - Kick off 19:30.
USA will turn up at 19:41 and then claim victory. :-)

Spain, Argentina will be there or thereabouts but who knows - I remember the Cameroons beating Argentina some years back - major shock.

Barry has not had the greatest of seasons with Man City, I'm not saying that because I'm a bitter Villa fan.

Our defence is weak - Terry, when turned, is just not quick enough.

Now that Gerrard has the captaincy, he may perform better in an England shirt - I think his last good game for us was when we beat Germany 5-1 on their own patch - that was eons ago, although it is still firmly etched in my mind.

I like Joe Cole, bags of stamina and an abundance of skill.

There's been much talk about Heskey, I'm one of his biggest critics when he wears a Villa shirt. It seems that Rooney prefers to play alongside him - I just wish he would use his given strength more though Matt.

Flag is out the window, shirt is ironed and cider is chilling in the fridge. [ I can't have beer as it brings on gout]

Rule Britannia Matt.

Radagast said...

[shrug] FIFA has the US at 14th in the World, with us at 8th, as I recall. It wouldn't be a major shock if they turned us over. But they won't.

I don't think Heskey's goal tally is good enough at any level, let alone this one. He never seems to play to his strengths - he's big and fast, and ought to be nigh-on unplayable. He holds the ball up well, though. He may be the perfect foil for Rooney, but Crouch's goal average has to make him the starter, I should have thought (but then I'm not Don Capello).

[shrug] No need for further speculation... The action starts shortly, and all will be reviled!

Matt

BOB FIDDAMAN said...

To get you in the mood, check out the jukebox on my blog - right hand side bar.