Dear The FBI, Can We Can Have Our Ball Back, Please?
Toot Toot! All Aboard The Managerial Merry-go-Round! (2015 Edition)
The 200% Podcast 13: FOUL!
The Power Of Discretion And Why Guidelines Are… King
Steven Gerrard, The Media & Liverpool’s Structural Issues
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Where, Exactly, Do Queens Park Rangers Go From Here?
End Of Season Ennui
The 200% Podcast 12 – General Election Special
Saturday Night On Channel Five For The Football League
The Decline & Fall Of Leyton Orient
Rape, Disrespect & Fury: The Oyston Family & Blackpool FC
Is It Time For A New Football Club For Newcastle?
Tranmere Rovers & Cheltenham Town Stare Into The Abyss
As the likes of Brazil and Spain have already found out to their costs, there doesn’t seem to be any such thing as “the easy way” at this World Cup finals. Not, of course, that the England national football team has much truck with the concept of such a thing. Where there might smith passage, England will usually find some degree of drama. Where we might expect drama, they will usually contrive to manfacture some sort of crisis, whether real or illusory. The atmosphere surrounding the England team this summer, has been very different to recent years. When they were beaten out of sight by Germany, there was considerable gnashing of teeth, as if such a thing happening should have been some sort of surprise.
It wasn’t, though. It really wasn’t. Since the summer of 2010, however, something has changed within the psyche of the English in terms of their relationship with their national football team. At the European Championships two years ago, ambitions were set at a more realistic level and, frustrating as yet another penalty shoot-out defeat might have been, England got through the group stage of the comeptition and kept Italy out or one hundred and twenty minutes before succumbing to the inevitable. With expectations fully adjusted, even a loss in the opening match has been treated with a somewhat sanguine attitude. England didn’t disgrace themselves in any way on Saturday night, and there were plenty of positives to be taken from their performance against an Italy team that we would expect to see featuring in the latter stages of the competition.
Whether this new new realism would survive defeat or a draw against Uruguay this evening, though, is a somewhat different matter. Defeat would mean elimination from the competition at an all bar mathematical level, and furthermore the English know that their chances of beating Uruguay this evening are considerably greater than perhaps they should be. Uruguay will be without half of what had already looked like a rather pedestrian defence last weekend, with Maxi Pereira suspended for his moment of petulance at the end of their three-one defeat at the hands of Costa Rica last weekend, whilst Diego Lugano is injured. Pereira and Lugano have one hundred and eighty-five international caps between them. That sort of experience can be invaluable to an entire team.
On top of that, there is the small matter of a certain Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz, who returns from injury to play against a team containing five of his club team-mates. Suarez insists that he is “100% fit,” but few seem to be taking that at face value – after all, what else he could he possibly say if asked about that? – and a muted Suarez is probably A Good Thing for England. To highlight such potential shortcomings, however, is to gloss over the obvious talents that Uruguay have at ther disposal, such as Edinson Cavani. And we might well contend that a Uruguayan defence containing two fewer of those that were so hapless against Costa Rica on Saturday might be no bad thing for them. England, menwhile, are unchanged, with Wayne Rooney understood to be moving to the centre of the pitch. Perhaps he will be less anonymous there than he was on the left on Saturday. Then again, though, perhaps he won’t be. Anyway, it all kicks off at eight o’clock this evening, and I’ll be here with Rob Freeman – and whoever else chooses to pitch – from shortly prior to then. England, for once, doesn’t expect this summer, and that’s no bad thing at all.
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Ironically, England may have lost because they chucked in too many floaters. How can this even BE?
And there we are. They’re not quite out, but… oh, come on. Let’s face it, they are, aren’t they?
We all know the difference between the two teams, so there’s no great need to go over that, particularly. But that first twenty minutes of the second half, when England reverted back to their absolute, stodgy worst, proved to be their downfall.
Joe Hart trying to get his head and shoulders to the corner there.
Suarez has been absolutely magnificent tonight. He’s probably the world’s best striker. Imagine how much damage he could have done with two good knees.
Those looping diagonal crossed into the penalty area have been slowly eating away at my patience all evening. The goalkeeper will eat those up all night long.
Ha ha ha ha ha, had to be, didn’t it?
Gerrard being thick, Suarez being intelligent. A tale of two players, there.
And the Gerrard-Suarez combination proves as lethal as it has done so often for Liverpool. A flick on from Gerrard and Suarez blasts it past Hart. Uruguay 2 England 1.
Just to go back to the goal, that was quite a lovely move down the right hand side, from one end of the pitch to the other. I dare say that the talk will all be about Johnson’s final run, but it started about seventy yards before that.
They’ve woken up, now. Got a bit of momentum behind them. *Now* they look a bit more like they did last Saturday.
And England do score this evening. Glen Johnson goes on a run, cuts inside, and lays on a tap-in for Rooney, who can’t miss from three yards out.
Beautifully placed, my last post, I thought. Uruguay defending like England, there.
Oh my god. Thank bloody hell for that. Think I woke all the kids in my street up.
This has been a scruffy half, hasn’t it? Nothing like the ebb and flow of the first. I don’t think that England are going to score this evening. They’ve had a ton of possession and created practically nothing.
Can’t believe that Lampard isn’t on yet.
I agree Ian, its him or Welbeck that should have gone.
And back in the room. Laptop chose a good time to crash.
I’d have gone with Sturridge off, myself. Three or four times, he’s got himself into a reasonable position and then played just completely the wrong ball.
That would have been my choice…
This better be an attacking substitution…
*Penguin wanders onto pitch*
*Wayne Rooney shoots on target*
*Ball strikes penguin and bounces over*
If there was little between the two teams in the first half, there bloody isnt any more.
Crumbling like a digestive.
Have England hatched a bold plan to surprise Uruguay, playing considerably worse in the second half? It’s high risk, let’s be honest.
Joe Hart has clearly never heard the phrase, “fool me once, shame on you – fool me twice, shame on me.”
I’m loath to play the devil’s advocate, but: Glenn Hoddle doesn’t half talk some shit, eh?
There we are, then. Once off the woodwork each, a couple of times narrowly over or wide each, and one moment of real quality to seperate the teams. Level would probably be fairer, but football ain’t about fair, is it?
Gary Cahill: the result of a genetic splicing experiment involving Robbie Keane and Frank Spencer.
Who does Suarez think he is celebrating his goal. Has he forgotten which country he plays in?
Twitter is very funny at the moment. A lot of people seem to be really struggling with the question of which they hate more: racism or the England football team.
If Rooney is going to score at a World Cup, now is the time!
What a good goal that was. But the cheer that accompanied it was extraordinary. The Latin peoples do much better cheering than northern-Europeans.
Sturridge forces a save from Muslera, after a lovely through ball from Rooney.
My other half was chatting to a friend and just cheered in error. Think we might be over.
First goalscorer here is Luis Suarez. Cavani chucks a floater in, and Suarez heads past Hart.
So, first goalscorer against Costa Rica then, Edward?
(ho ho ho)
Henderson is moving the ball around really well tonight. He always seems to retain possession.
Wayne Rooney’s first world cup goal for England will come in a dead rubber. At this time, he will score a hat-trick. My name, is Mystic Mund.
A floater was definitely chucked in, there.
Indeed. Godin should have walked for that.
Meanwhile, Wayne Rooney is going to play until he’s at least 256 years old before he scores in a World Cup finals match.
That was a sure fire floater.
And Rooney heads a shot against the woodwork from a freekick for a foul on Sturridge.
That should have been the end of Godin’s night.
Cavani puts a shot over the bar from a corner. These shots are slowly getting further and further away from goal.
“Don’t wait for Joe Hart” (Translation: Don’t trust Joe Hart)
(As an aside, Rich and I were discussing this match this afternoon and I mentioned that if I were the England coach, I’d tell somebody to aim a boot at the precise area that he recently had an operation performed upon.)
Doesn’t look as if they’re going to. Perhaps they’re just hoping that he’ll run out of steam. After all, he can’t have been training that hard recently.
When will someone put Suarez in has place again, Ian?
It’s all a bit panicky, Terry. England look decent going forward, but held together with sellotape and twigs at the back. Uruguay kind of look like scoring every time they go forward, and they’re certainly defending better than they did at the weekend.
Is this game any good? I can’t tell when it comes to England.
Bloody hell, Rodriguez should have scored there. Bit of an angle, but he sacrificed a bit too much accuracy for power, there. England look as defensively brittle as anticipated.
Godin booked for a handball on the edge of the box, and Rooney curls the resulting free kick about two inches wide.
Yes, yes it does. I posted an episode of the 1970s French cartoon “Wattoo Wattoo” here last night during the Croatia vs Cameroon match.
Ooooooh. Just pasting a Youtube URL converts it to an embedded video.
For alternative national anthem, can we have Luke Haines’ “Here’s to Old England”?
Here’s to old England
Sliced white bread and milky tea
Sarcasm, a well developed
Sense of irony
Here’s to old England
Rotting teeth and clotted cream
I promise to do my bit
And cheer the home team on to victory
The Uruguayan keeper is wearing tights. Orange tights.
That Uruguayan goalkeeper is just the worst-dressed man on the entire planet at the moment.
England’s shirts should have red numbers on the back.
And navy blue shorts.
Clive Tyldesley: “You’re not supposed to enjoy watching England at World Cups”
Especially when they’re on ITV.
Suggestion for an alternative national anthem for England: Mama Weer All Crazee Now, by Slade.
“And now will you please rise for the national anthem of England”
I don’t want to drink my whisky like you do
I don’t need to spend my money but still do
Don’t stop now a c-‘mon
Another drop now c-‘mon
I wanna lot now so c-‘mon
I said Mama but we’re all crazy now
I said Mama but we’re all crazy now
I said Mama but we’re all crazy now.
Nice national anthem there.
The top line numbers on the teams, by the way, are that England are unchanged from Saturday, whilst Uruguay make five changes. I don’t honestly think that Uruguay can play any worse than they did against Costa Rica and I don’t think England can manage must better than they did against Italy. Make of that what you wish.
Uruguay: Muslera, Gimenez, Godin, Caceres, Pereira, Lodeiro, Gonzalez, Arevalo Rios, Rodriguez, Cavani, Suarez. (Subs: Munoz, Fucile, Gargano, Hernandez, Forlan, Stuani, Perez, Ramirez, Coates, Maxi Pereira, Silva)
England: Hart, Baines, Cahill, Jagielka, Johnson, Gerrard, Henderson, Sterling, Rooney, Welbeck, Sturridge. (Subs: Foster, Wilshere, Lampard, Smalling, Jones, Milner, Lambert, Lallana, Barkley, Shaw, Forster)
Am I the only person who pronounces Sebastian Coates surname as if it rhymes with that of Ralph Coates? I’m certain that I can’t be.
I’ve just read my son “That boy should play for England” by Alan Ahlberg as his bedtime story…he was unimpressed, can’t decide if this is a good or bad omen.
When England Play On ITV by John Donne
England always win on ITV,
Clive Tyldesley should get an OBE.
And Townsend will dance a jig of glee,
though he was born in Tipperary*
Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.
I can confirm that, even though I know I should know better, I too call him Sebastian Coates as if he is the son of Ralph Coates. Or something.