France 1-0 England (And Other Trivialities)

So, another Wednesday and another week of international friendlies. I’m always somewhat confused over whether we’re supposed to care or not, and you had to at least be somewhat impressed by the marketing skills of the French Football Federation, who somehow managed to convince 80,000 Parisians that France vs England was some sort of major sporting event. Perhaps it said that it was a rugby match on the tickets. Or a recreation of The Battle Of Waterloo in which Napoleon won. I don’t mind the rounds of friendly matches too much, though there is a case for stating that FIFA doesn’t help itself with some of its scheduling. We’re a week or two away from the quarter finals of the European Cup and four to six weeks from the end of the club season. Could there be a more pointless time to schedule matches? If FIFA and the Big Clubs are facing up for some inevitable showdown, the battle for hearts and minds will be all-important, and FIFA should stop playing into the hands of the Big Clubs by putting on rosters of matches at ludicrous times of the year such as now. Still, the England players did their bit for that debate last night, by putting in a performance so dreadful that even I was wistfully recalling the last round of the European Cup. It’s almost as if...

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