Despite His White Boots

Football, football, football and, if the mood takes me, more football.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

It's Just Like Watching TV

Well, not quite. A 3 inch TV with bad reception while someone is joggling your arm maybe, but with some new video drivers BBC Sport's coverage is just about watchable. What this means, though, is because it's slightly delayed, I can't listen to the Radio 5 commentary. Although when England are playing, that's good, because for some reason Radio 5's two very worst commentators are considered to be their best and always get the plum games. The woeful Alan Green has been dealt with on here before ; his partner in crime Mike Ingham is so passionless and sanctimonious [1] he's almost worse to listen to. By contrast, the intelligent and even witty commentary on Sweden-Trinidad was very enjoyable, with the excellent Jimmy Armfield giving the expert colour.

Back to England, and probably the most unexpected event of this or any World Cup - John Motson came out with a statistic that was both interesting and relevant. I'm sure you heard it yourselves, but England have not scored a goal in the second half in 11 consecutive matches in the World Cup finals. Let's cut them some slack and put it down to the heat, although it's also partly because players who have played all their career in the Premiership simply have no experience of pacing themselves through a game. They can go gung ho for 90 minutes because they never play in that heat. And in the Champions League, they're almost invariably playing at a high tempo too. So after a bright start, England faded and gradually looked worse and worse throughout.

Generally I like Ericsson (mainly because he annoys Jeff Powell so much), and mark my words, you'll miss him once McLaren gets going, but he doesn't help himself with his substitutions. How does he work them out, with a dartboard ? And the shortage of options up front is kicking in already. Owen's not working, let's see, erm, Rooney no he's still fucked, Walcott's never kicked a ball at the top level, ooh bugger that's it. Let's shove Joe Cole up front and punt high balls up to him for a bit, and if that doesn't work then put Owen Hargreaves on to run around like a headless chicken. Those who push Hargreaves' case must have been mightily embarrassed by that air kick near the end :-)

But, but, but, they got the result, and Sweden being held was a bonus. The next two games at least are in the evening so let's hope there's some point in watching the last 45 minutes. I'm going to ease up on the match betting until we've had a look at everyone, but to liven up Groups D and E, the only ones I don't have an interest in, let's go with Portugal to win Group D, 2 pts @ 1.86 and Australia to qualify from Group E, 3 pts @ 3.1. Portugal's just for an interest but I think Australia are a decent bet, I'd make them even money each of two with Croatia.

[1] They say you hate others when they share the same faults as you ...


Post a Comment

<< Home