Day: June 28, 2006

England’s Dreaming?

That St George has fot a lot to answer for. As one or two of you may already be aware, I’ve spent the last couple of days trying to fight the corner for those amongst us that would like to win the World Cup, and won’t apologise to the rest of the world because we apparently spoil some people’s view for a couple of hours every few days or so in doing so. It has been an illuminating discussion, and has been to biggest single reason for the lack of posts on here this week (for which I apologise). The debate has been between three groups of people: 1. People that think that the way that England have played thus far has been an affront to those that have other wise enjoyed this carnival of football and will hopefully be eliminated as soon as possible. 2. People that think that England supporters should fall in behind England and support their team. These people couldn’t care less what happens, so long as it ends up with David Beckham lifting the trophy on July 9th. 3. People who are concerned that England have not played very well yet, but believe that they have the capability to improve. These people are aware of England’s shortcomings, but believe that these are of a secondary importance if they can raise their game. As you...

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The Old Masters

France 3-1 Spain You can’t keep a good team down. France have, finally arrived at this tournament and, curiously enough, in exorcising still more of their own demons, they also showed up the limitations of Spain which were overlooked in the hyperbole following their opening win against Ukraine. Last night, they called on all their reserves of experience to overwhelm the Spanish. The scoreline was flattering on the French. For eighty minutes, the two teams were inseparable – slugging it out like two prize heavyweight fighters. But then Henry went down, and it all changed. Now, I like Thierry Henry. He’s a brilliant footballer. One of the best in Europe. I’ve always felt that (regardless of the fact that he signed for Arsenal) he is an intelligent player, and one capable of always doing the “right thing”. Of course, he’s no such thing. Going down clutching his face after getting a bit of a whack across the chest is pretty reprehensible behaviour, no matter what way you look at it. His half-arsed justification of it only compounds it. For God’s sake. If you’re going to claim that a fellow professional whacked you across the face, at least have the good grace and courtesy to apologise for it afterwards. France’s defensive experience dulled Spain’s attacking edge. A team that had scored eight goals in it’s previous three matches barely had...

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