“Give me joy in my heart….” Knobhead was on the table already. It was midnight, two hours before kick off and it appears that some people have already had enough. The issue with the game kicking off so early/late is that some people had been drinking from 6pm, although Melbourne isn’t the cheapest city in the world to enjoy a beer in. With Spain, Australia and Cameroon now out of the competition, the main worry was that England could well be joining them if they lost this one. It was no surprise that the majority of the pub were supporting the South Americans – in fact the number of Ashes comments as I waited at the bar suggested that the locals would be happy to see us fail (again).
But England are made of stronger stuff. Who can forget that epic win over Egypt in Italia 90 when our backs were against the wall? Or Lineker’s hatrick to get us out of the mire four years earlier in Mexico. Limping through the groups in major tournaments is quintessentially English, and we are proud of it.
1. Sleeves – Look closely at Joe Hart’s shirt and you will see he wears a green undershirt and appears to have taken a pair of scissors to his keepers shirt and cut off the cuffs…I’m sure Nike will be pleased with that.
2. What is the point of Glenn Johnson? – As a defender he was time and time again caught out of position and the Uruguayans soon realised this and started to exploit the gap when he pushed up too far to try and make a tackle (and often missed), leaving a whole behind. OK….he did set up Rooney’s goal with a great run, although I’d still question what he was doing there in the first place.
3. Camera speed – Earlier in the tournament I noted the continuing use of super sloooooooooow motion camera work for important things like players spitting or fans in the crowd picking their nose. What struck me tonight was the lack of Benny Hill-esque fast camera work – perhaps showing us run rings around ourselves in midfield.
4. Face painting – Why? And why have a half/half look. These are the people who buy half and half scarves, constantly start Mexican waves and leave with 15 minutes to go to “avoid the crush”….Who are they supporting? Of course, it is more than possible they have been planted there by FIFA to show the happy, smiley face of the World Cup. Like coloured boots, musical instruments and Mexican Waves, they will be immediately banned when I run world football.
5. Offside or not offside? – Suarez certainly appeared to be a yard or so off when the ball was played from certain angles, although played on by a Gerard header on others, but even so how was he given too much space? It’s not as if the two centre-backs were playing against someone who they have never faced or heard of, yet they let him wander in between them.
So we are almost certainly heading home in five days time. Defensive discipline has been our downfall – no clear leadership at the back has been the question mark over three of the four goals we have conceded so far. Whilst we never expected to pull up trees, the lack of real threats on goal shows that we are simply a “functional” team rather than world beaters. Oh how we crave a Michael Owen, a Gary Lineker and I hate to say this, but even a John Terry.
The Beer World Cup
Whitewash for England as we stuck to “home” brews such as London Pride, Courage and Australia’s Coopers Ale, which also surely counts as English?
England 7 Uruguay 0