Despite His White Boots

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

Friday, June 23, 2006

Mad Dogs And Englishmen

It's not been the best few days for Englishmen at the World Cup. The team played well for about half an hour I thought, Joe Cole especially lively, but there must have been another uninspiring team talk at half time, after which they played like total lemons, defending set pieces in a style that would be frowned upon at Underhill never mind Loftus Road. Listening to Gareth Southgate's anodyne commentary, when he of all people said Ericsson was less Churchill and more Iain Duncan Smith (in 2002), you realise how bad it must be.

As of the now, Owen has been put back in Freddie Shepherd's toolbox (some people deserve each other I do think) and it's becoming more and more apparent that even if the manager was Mr Motivator, outside of the first XI England just aren't good enough. Owen, Neville and possibly Ferdinand will be out of the next game ; Ashley Cole and Rooney aren't 100% fit ; and Fat Frank is either off form or a greedy cunt who's playing only for himself and making a terrible job of it, depending on your domestic allegiance :-). 4-5-1 may now be the only reasonable choice but whether Rooney is the "1" is the real question, given that he's so much more effective playing off a main striker. Despite all this, England should have too much for Ecuador and then they'll be only two games from the final. It's a knockout now after all ; a couple of bits of magic from Rooney and Gerrard could still be all they need.

At least the players have more chance of making the final than Graham Poll, whose entertaining sideshow I sadly missed last night. In all the aftermath, exciting game, historic moment for Australia, blah blah, all I could think of was how did the betting work on those three yellow cards ?

Finally my own betting, I'll wrap up the Group Stage scores tomorrow, but I reckon I'm about even at the moment anyway so it's no big deal. Then we'll see if we can pick any bones out from the second round.


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