World Cup 2010 pt.1

Figured that whilst there’s a lull (as much as you can get at Notts) on the domestic front, i thought i’d throw up the occasional World Cup blog. Most likely whenever England play, so let’s give it a shot!

England kicked off last night against the US with a 1-1 draw. Not too disappointed in the result now i’ve had time to digest everything. Had some solid moments in the first half, disappointing not to build on such a good start but you just can’t compensate for such a freak goalkeeping error (incidentally, i think we’re talking top three all time World Cup howlers).

Fact is we do need to keep faith in Rob Green. If we drop him now we risk shattering the confidence of a man based on one mistake that could really impact on a promising career, a la Scott Carson after the Croatian nightmare at Wembley.

Second half was a much better display, you can tell Fabio Capello’s beating the team into submission at half time. Quite a comfortable display i thought in the second bar one major scare. Obviously it’s a concern not to have converted some of the many chances but it’s a start, the team gelled nicely as the game progressed.

There were at least three or four occasions where Aaron Lennon was able to ghost in behind the US’ defence and not make anything of it. Typical Lennon, now is the time for him to step up and find us some end product.

There must be a huge question mark in the centre of defence though. With Ledley King being taken off and his ongoing injury problems, and Jamie Carragher being skinned alive down the left it’s inevitably going to cause problems against the better teams if we get that far.

Emile Heskey turned in the performance we all know he’s capable of, but frustratingly rarely does. Had he converted his one on one opportunity in the second half the man would be waking up a national hero, but following a tame effort into the arms of Tim Howard, he’ll still wake up with that giant question mark over his finishing ability. Otherwise, his input made a great impact and he should start for the rest of the group stages.

I’d still be confident we can progress from the group stages (i’ve not one said we’ll win, i’m far more conservative about our chances) but we need to keep an eye on the American results from here on and better them, or else we’re likely to face Germany in the next round. Confident as i’d be, it’s a chance i’d rather not take!

Decent tournament so far apart from France/Uruguay. Can definitely see the impact the new World Cup ball is having on games, so many free-kicks and crosses going wayward. Feels at times like they’d be better off playing with a 99p petrol station football!

Oh, and if anyone didn’t know…those of us watching on ITV HD actually missed the goal because they accidentally went to adverts! Cut to a sponsors ad, black screen for a few seconds, we return to Gerrard celebrating! Absolutely disgraceful, you wait four years for that first goal of your country’s campaign and you miss it, one of the biggest footballing downers i’ve ever experienced.

An apparently great man once said “Calm down dear, it’s only a commercial”. I beg to differ Michael Winner, it’s not the time!

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Anonymous says:

    I was viewing ITVHD on Freesat mate and no adverts in the Meridian area!!
    I agree with everything you've said, the amount of facebook comments absolutely ripping into England is silly considering the USA men have beaten great teams over the last couple of years and were two up to Brazil at one point!

  2. Stu says:

    ha further confusion! I wondered if it was a regional thing at first, then it appeared to be just HD, now it's both! Sloppy on ITV's part none the less, and it's not as if they don't get enough stick already!

    The US (as much as i did think we'd win) were never going to be as easy as people were making out. There are two mentality's at fault. One, that people still think we have a God given right to walk over teams. And two, that the US are still the same nation everyone was rolling over 10/15 years ago.

    One draw against a team ranked six places below us in the World is hardly the sort of result where you reach for the panic button!

  3. Gill says:

    I personally think it was a usual England performance, so dont know why folks are surprised!! Seems a lot of England fans are arrogant and think we have the god given right to win, which is why they are ripping into them. Seeing as it was a usual England performance I dont know where that arrogance comes from!!

  4. Stu says:

    If you think people's arrogance is bad now, i can only see it getting worse. Realistically, with the team we have, and the World class coach we have, if we don't make a noteable impact THIS World Cup then we're going to be adrift of the rest of international football for a long time.

  5. Gill says:

    We do have world class players, when they play for club, they just cant convert that to the national team – sadly. And i tend to agree about going adrift, again sadly!

  6. Mike McKenna says:

    Nice post, man.

    A draw really wasn't the end of the world as the most important thing is not getting beat. And you're right, if England don't succeed this time, a spell in the wilderness awaits.

    That being said, I think the model of the English game is wrong right now. The inflated British transfer market sees clubs buying cheaper players from abroad, and the demand for immediate success sees less talent coming up through the academies. I mean, how many times do we hear of of massive potential, only for it never to be achieved? How many of these youngsters sit on the bench week after week, before finding themselves farmed out down the leagues?

    I think English football is a giant, expensive bubble waiting to bust, much like Serie A did a few years ago, and it needs a shift in focus, one which has the national team at it's heart.

    The best model to me is the German one. Less 'star' players admittedly, but the main priority is the national team. Most sides are filled with German players, so the national manager has a big pool of players to pick from. Increased competition leads to increased performance, and so a relatively 'poor' German side has reached the Final and the Semi Final of the last two World Cups.

    Then of course there's the fans. Cheap tickets, (10 Euros for a ticket to see Bayern Munich) able to have a beer and standing room at grounds. And you still get to see the likes of Arjen Robben!

    I had a massive rant about this on my own blog a few months back…

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