The 200% World Cup Breakfast, Day 8 – How To Follow A Narrative

Ian

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.

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5 Responses

  1. Mark says:

    I don’t believe England’s position is quite as desperate as the consensus that is emerging – even Hodgson said England were “out” in one interview, for pity’s sake. The form book (I know, I know, look out the window for that) suggests the three exact results England require. Costa Rica’s three points mean that Italy and Uruguay cannot safely manufacture a mutually beneficial draw in their game.
    And goal difference is tight…and will be even tighter if the results go as shaped above. For instance, if all games ended as one-goal victories, Costa Rica’s goal difference would be zero, Uruguay’s minus two and England’s minus one.
    Now I know my predictions for England thus far – qualification in style, relatively comfortable win over Uruguay – have been wider of the mark than a combination of Cavani’s early second-half miss and 70s popular beat combo Mud’s flared trousers (one for the teenagers). But realistically, England’s chances are slim, not none. Not by any means. At all.

  2. fwis says:

    We were repeatedly told by the media, prior to the tournament, that expectations of England’s chances at the World Cup were low. And yet, now everybody I talk to seems miffed that we’ve simply met those expectations. Narrow defeats against two sides ranked higher on FIFA’s list than England only confirms what we all knew already: they are better than us. For what it’s worth I think the pundits underestimated both Italy and Uruguay.

    And with the best will in the world (and not suggesting they are solely to blame), if you’ve got Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines as one half of your defence – neither who have even played Chumps League football – someone like Luis Suarez is always going to tear you a new one.

    For me, a win against Costa Rica would mean Hodgson’s men achieve ‘par for the course’. A good performance would be a bonus.

    Although I’m not holding my breath for either of those outcomes!

  3. Johnny says:

    Contrary to what you say in the section with the highlights for Costa Rica and Scotland from 1990, I am pretty sure Costa Rica DID make it out of the group stage in 1990, before being spanked by Czecheslovakia in the Second Round. In a very weird ‘where were you when….’, I remember that 2nd round tie because I watched a good chunk of it in my local Chinese takeaway while waiting for my dinner and the Czechs rattled in a couple of goals while I was there.

  4. MD says:

    As Mark pointed out, England is not out yet. If Italy and Costa Rica tie today, England is out. If Costa Rica wins, England is also out. But if Italy wins, then there will be two teams with 3 points that won’t necessarily win any more points in the final round, and England will be able to match them.

  5. fwis says:

    Um…

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