Sunday, June 25, 2006

Bend it like Beckham... and didn't he just!

World Cup 2nd round: England 1 (Beckham 60 mins), Ecuador 0. England are through to the quarter-finals for the 9th time. They still don't look to me like they're quite good enough to win the World Cup just yet, but they are certainly getting better, and Wayne Rooney looks like he's hitting top form now after "that injury". As for David Beckham, what an amazing goal he scored - one of his trademark pin-point-accurate long-range free kicks. Oddly though, this is the first one he's scored from himself in around 3 years. What a perfect time to change that!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The 2006 World Cup Finals tournament... so far

Well, I think this is the best World Cup Finals tournament ever. So far it's featured the best football, the fairest play and the friendliest fans all partying together regardless of the countries they support. Wonderful stuff. Shame England look decidedly average up to now, despite two wins from their first two matches and qualification for the second round. On their current form I wouldn't rate England's chances against the likes of Argentina, who look unbeatable. Still, one lives in the hope that the English long-ball game might unsettle the top sides enough to get the desired results. And you never know, we might yet rediscover our real creative attacking form and play the game properly - as the mother country of the beautiful game, we ought to try.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

England, the Cross of St. George and the World Cup

Having just seen the England football team completely outplay Jamaica at Old Trafford to win 6-0 in their final friendly before the World Cup, I was impressed by two things: the incredible amount of English patriotism on view in the 70,000 strong crowd, with the red and white of the flag of St. George seemingly covering every inch of the stands; and the fact that England surely won't really miss injured striker Wayne Rooney THAT much given that the gangly but skillful Peter Crouch certainly can score goals too (he scored 3 in this game).

It's been really lovely to see English patriotism (not nationalism mind you) steadily on the rise. For far too long we English seem to have been embarrassed by our great nation and have hidden our patriotism from view. All over the world other countries celebrate their national identities for all to see, and I'm so pleased we're now starting to do the same here.

And please, please, please can we stop hearing about Wayne Rooney from now on. Enough is enough - there are other players in the England squad more than good enough to "cover" for his absence, so let them get on with the job in hand.