Advantages We didnt lose game one
Disadvantages Boring hump it and run
Going Green is the end of the world?Three Lions on your Chest is not a good song to sing in South Africa, your safari going very wrong if you are, Robert Green preferring that safari right now. The whole team will need to get behind the West ham goalkeeper in the next match – if just to stop the ball going over the line. Yes, England’s campaign has got under way in it’s oh so typical way with a tedious performance against the USA. The 1-1 draw showed all the signs of yet another stumbling and timid England run to the Q/Fs and out on penalties. England played as moronically as the drone of the vuvuzela horns, the only good omen that our best World Cup success of 66 and 1990 also began with a stodgy draw.
Just as Sven installed fear in the England players through giving them too much responsibility, Capello has induced fear through discipline, England players too rigid and tentative to express themselves in fear of a bollocking. Capello only seems to shout and so transfer that fear and not encouragement to his players from the touchline. I was not surprised they fumbled their way to a draw. When England won the first two games of the 1982 world cup pretty convincingly the then manager Ron Greenwood told them to get pissed after each game to celebrate. Somehow I can’t even see Fabio even letting them play their Playstations in their rooms after this. The way he started ranting to the players to get back when Gerard scored early really annoyed me. It was score and then block for the rest of the game stuff.Argentina have started well with a solid 1-0, Messi looking dangerous, a team that’s confident, England’s exact opposite, Maradona installing passion and belief. The omens are good for them, 24 years since they won the cup with Maradona (1986 to 2010), the same 24 years length it took Brazil to win without Pele (1970-1994). In the last ten world cups just six teams have appeared in the final, most of those Latin countries, just Germany winning for the Northern Hemisphere. The Germans play blue-collar football like us but have that absolute arrogant belief they can’t lose in their genes and so show no fear. Germany have made 5 of the last 8 finals and so a great each-way bet to make the final at 7-1. If you feeling flush then bet all of those six teams to win the final, winnings to be had if Spain or Brazil don’t make the final. You can hedge that bet by taking 11-1 on a Brazil- Spain final.
The six winner’s odds.Spain - 4/1
So back to the big match and England’s early and perfunctory stuttering woes in the big tournaments where there a plenty yet again, Rob Greens thumble like Shane Warne dropping Kevin Pietersen in the slips in that decisive Ovals Ashes Test. With Slovenia beating Algeria England are already under pressure. He thumbled because he was scared, told just two hours before the game he would play. The back four were typically edgy too, a couple of passes across the line and then the ball boomed down to the forwards, Heskey, if nothing else, the best in the world at trapping the ball with his neck. Argentina had made twenty passes before Messi got a touch. America just mopped up and pushed their likes of the truly terrifying forward line of Biddle and Landon Donavan on to the decrepit King and Carragher and Green made the career defining mistake. This is not unusual for England keepers, of course, Kirkland’s air kick in Croatia, Carson’s thumble against Croatia. The reason it happens is we give the ball away all the time and so increase the risk of those errors. The Argentinean keeper had 11 touches in the whole game.
Up front and my first concern is Rooney effectively on his own up there, the United striker itching to drop deep and pick up the ball and run, but denied that natural side of his game so far under Capello. But is receiving a pass from Crouch, Wright-Phillips or Heskey any better than zipping a pass into them clear on goal? We have nothing without Wayne so pray he doesn’t get inured guys.
ITVs coverage so far has matched the BBCs, although their huge blunder by the automated advert for the car when Gerrard scored very odd. The BBC, as ever, have not spared the expense, a purpose built revolving studio in Cape Town their star turn. I wonder if we press the red button it would speed it up when the hopeless Adebeyor is the pundit. That feels like a token black African appointment to me, Togo TV clearly not paying enough to employ their star player.
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