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England March to South Africa. Let The Hype Begin….

September 10, 2009

Chuck England

At least now I know that I will have something to do next summer

I can look forward to group draws, get my World Cup poster as is tradition, and block out the days of importance in my diary, so births, marriages and funerals do not interfere with my TV viewing times..and bless!! South Africa run on Greenwich Mean Time..

So England have qualified in emphatic style… 8 wins from 8 has shown Capello’s know how. Getting the best out of a team whose confidence was shattered by the faux Dutchman McClaren. It is easy to criticise the team because of past results. For heavens sake they have rattled all of our nerves and tested our belief to breaking point. The “Golden Generation” as labelled by the tabloids in both 2002 and 2006 were bound to fail with the ridiculous pressure we lay down on our national side in England. Talent does not always mean you will win, let alone a World Cup.. ask the Dutch Masters of the Netherlands. Ask the flair of the Spanish. Maybe whisper it in the ear of an American as he watches the baseball. We DO have a very talented national side and that is something to be proud of. But we should have learned our lessons by now. Expectation brings Disappointment…lets just revel in it… Caribbean style, and let what be will be.

There is no doubt that we will be one of the favourites come the finals..and rightfully so. If tradition does not dictate this on its own, then form surely does. The performance against Croatia last night was excellent. But, because we are English, we do NOT have to pick the bones out of it to find the bad stuff. And because we ALWAYS get over-excited by national sports achievements like none other, we do NOT have to dance in the streets like we have won the whole damn thing! Moderation is the key.

One great thing from last night was the utilisation of England’s most maligned stars, Messrs Lampard and Gerrard. We all know that if we can harness the talents of just these two players, and add it to the talent of Rooney, that we would have a genuine axes of fear. No one would want a piece of us. Not Brazil. Not Germany. No one. It is funny how people interpret line ups, thinking that England must surely be about to play Gerrard as a left sided winger of some type. For we all know that Stevie can only get past the last man when he is in some sort of bar fight (allegedly) Capello’s plan to play Gerrard left sided when defending, but in a free attacking role when going forward is part genius, part obvious. But previous managers have always let formations cloud their gut instincts. Lampard, although playing in a more disciplined central midfield role than Gerrard, has the security besides him in Barry, as he has in Essien at Chelsea. He has the licence to get forward. That is why he is a world class midfielder. Nobody does that specific role better in the country. Not even his fatness stops him.

All and sundry banged on about the possible selection of Emile Heskey before the game, but i got the idea (as im sure many others did) He is there to add muscle and not goals. Once again, our preconception of a centre forward (note how i do not call him a striker) shackles our thoughts when it comes to selection of this position. Yes, Defoe will always score more goals than Emile, but he wont bully the centre backs. He wont buy Rooney, Lampard or Gerrard any space to create. And he certainly wont hold up the ball as he is about five foot nothing tall.

As a non-neurotic England fan (i save my neurosis for United!) I am fairly pleased with Fabio’s game plan so far. Results speak louder than words. If the Italian can sort out what for me still seems like a shaky defence (it is nearly there, but nearly wont be enough come the tournament) then i think we stand in very good stead.

If the angels look down on us by keeping the players fit and healthy, then maybe…just maybe..we will have something to really get excited about next summer!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 10, 2009 2:52 pm

    Wonder if William Hill has started taking bets on which star player will get a metatarsal injury just before the WC?? hmm…

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  1. England March to South Africa. Let The Hype Begin…. « WDKF … | centralafrican

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