Day: June 3, 2006

England 6 Jamaica 0

What did I say? Hmm? Peter Crouch. I don’t think there’s too much doubt now that he’ll be starting next week against Paraguay – not, of course, that he’ll necessarily finish the match. All in all, this was another satisfactory day at the office for England. The point has been made several times that England should, perhaps, have set themselves a stiffer test for their final friendly, but there is, of course, a reason for the selection of Jamaica. England had never played against a Caribbean team before, and they clearly felt the need to play against a team of a similar tempo. We’re not the only ones to do it. Sweden recently played Ireland (and, it should be noted, got a sound 3-0 thrashing), whilst Paraguay played Wales. To the extent that friendlies can be useful, this was not merely a pointless training exercise. For the first ten minutes, it didn’t look much like England were going to run up a thrashing against a decent enough team (Jamaica were rated 46 in the latest FIFA rankings – where they’ll be next time around is anybody’s guess). There was certainly no being “chilled to the core” as they clattered into England time after time. Once England settled, though, it was much more comfortable. Lampard’s finish was definite, from yet another perfect Beckham free-kick. For the second goal, John Terry...

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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

I’m unsure of what to make over this Peter Crouch business. Obviously, this sort of thing is all very amusing, but I can’t help but be concerned that he’s just giving people another stick to hit him over the head with if it all goes wrong for him this summer. At least he has almost certainly done something that will land himself a very lucrative advertising contract once the finals are over. Without wishing to come over all Mystic Meg or anything, I’m already having visions of a Pizza Hut advert with him dancing like a robot in it. Possibly while Rio Ferdinand wees into a specimen bottle in the background. At the moment, it’s all going very well for him. When he was thrown on against Argentina in December, you could almost visibly see their defenders looking at each other as if to say, “what… the… FUCK… is that?”, but he had the required effect, providing sufficient confusion to give Michael Owen the space to score the two late goals to win the match. He has visibly grown in confidence since then, and has seen off many of his detractors with solid displays for both Liverpool and England since then. I’m still not completely sold on him – £7m is a lot of money for a striker that only managed ten goals last season, but several things strike...

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