Tag: Andorra

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...

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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...

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Match Of The Week: Andorra 0-2 England

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss? It’s reassuring, in a way, actually. The new season has started, and England are being terrible. Last night in Barcelona, England toiled and struggled and huffed and puffed their way to a tortuously laboured win against a country with a population of less than half the size of Brighton. What was probably the most worrying about last night’s England performance was that Fabio Capello is starting to display the same sort of errors of judgement that his predecessors made. Couple this with the obvious shortcomings of the players (how many more times are people going to try the argument that “the players are all good enough – why oh why are things going so badly wrong?”) and the utter lack of imagination being displayed by everyone concerned, and it becomes pretty obvious that the next two years may turn out to be as grim as the last couple have been. Anyone with any knowledge of the game would have been able to tell them that Andorra, possibly the most limited team in Europe, would put eleven men behind the ball and hope for the best. Jermaine Defoe almost gave England the lead with thirty seconds played on the clock but, apart from a shot from Frank Lampard that flashed just wide, that was more or less it for the first...

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Andorra And Out

To those of you that say that there are no competitive matches at international level anymore… God. Although it was a terrible performance from Andorra, I suppose you could argue that it was a decent enough performance from England. They looked a bit more balanced, and had a bit more shape in midfield. Defoe looked sharp. Robinson (indeed, Brown and Ferdinand as well) were mere spectators, and the lack of any Andorran attacking ability whatsoever meant that Ashley Cole was able to play more-or-less as a winger. They even allowed themselves to shut up shop with twenty-five minutes left to play and still didn’t look like conceding a goal. However, even the trip to Macedonia on Wednesday night will be a considerably greater test for England than this was, and, in spite of the rest of the country’s belief that England should stroll to the top of this group with some ease, I’m less than convinced. Russia and Croatia could both be very stern tests for England, and Israel might well prove to less than push-overs. So… I’m going to stick my neck on the line, and say that England might well not qualify for Euro 2008. There. I said it. England, it has to be remembered, do occasionally miss out on major tournaments. Euro 84 and USA 94, on top of the World Cup twice in the 1970s....

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