Day: June 10, 2009

Match Of The Midweek: England 6-0 Andorra

…And breathe. That’s your lot. It’s the second week of June, and it’s finally, finally the end of the 2008/09 football season in England. This being England, of course, the nagging doubt that one of these days they will get turned over by a team like Andorra, a team of butchers, bakers and candlestick makers with not much greater ambition than to turn up at somewhere like Wembley and keep a clean sheet. Of course it never ends up like that (which is the reason why the once in a lifetime wins for the likes of The Faroe Islands and Liechenstein stick in the memory. With each crushing defeat, however (and, make no mistake, this was a crushing defeat) the clamour grows to sort the wheat from the chaff and make these countries play off against each other. In previous years, I would have argued against such a measure, but it becomes increasingly difficult to defend when one sits through a match that is so one-sided. A small pot of money for the Andorran FA aside, what exactly have they got out of this evening’s match? What, indeed, have they ever got from their involvement in international football? In a shade over ten years, they have managed three competitive wins, against Belarus, Macedonia and Albania. On the evidence of this evening’s match – with the “park the team bus...

Read More

Going Underground

The London Underground strike may be about to cause one or two problems for the England team this evening for their match against Andorra. The kick-off time has already been put back to 8.15, and people that have bought tickets have already been advised that they will be able to claim refunds if they are not able to trek across to north London this evening in order to make the match. The FA may have cause to consider the emotional argument for having chosen Wembley with some irritation when they look at situations such as this evening. The option was there for them to move the national stadium to a more central location in England, but the emotional argument eventually won the day and London, with all of its infrastructural difficulties, was the choice. To a great extent, though, this is part of the problem which will, in the long term, have to be solved with regard to football and travel. Most modern stadia take little to no interest in public transport, giving easy access only to those that chose to travel by car. This is not, however, an environmentally sustainable way of controlling the flow of the public to and from football matches. Some clubs, such as Brighton & Hove Albion, have resolved the issue of car parking by adding an element of “park & ride” to their...

Read More