World Cup – Wednesday 23 June

Business as usual

The path to glory is rarely straight. The path to ignomony is always kinked. England remain on course for either following a richly deserved victory over Slovenia.

Results – Wednesday 23rd June

  Group C: England 1 – 0 Slovenia
  Group C: USA 1 – 0 Algeria
  Group D: Germany 1 – 0 Ghana
  Group D: Australia 2 – 1 Serbia
Post Match Review
 Twice denied by failings in their own camp England are no longer to be decried following this decisive group encounter. Where before there was tension there was determination. Where there was panic there was guile. Where there was Heskey there was – Defoe.

The words of Capello, Terry et al receded in our memories as the incisiveness of old opened up Slovenia time and again. Milner was a thorn in one side, Gerrard the other and Defoe the sole finisher in a game less close then the scoreline would suggest.

Slovenian chances merely served to provide the English defence with chances to prove themselves. And they did. Terry was collosal and James resolute. Rooney somehow denied was replaced by Cole and some team will later pay for his impotence today. The players left it on the pitch and Capello – impassioned – left it on the sidelines.

Today we witnessed the heart and spirit missing from previous games. This day the lions were restored to English shirts. This day the pride returned.

Fixtures – Thursday 24th June

  Group E: Slovakia vs Italy
  Group E: Paraguay vs New Zealand
  Group F: Denmark vs Japan
  Group F: Cameroon vs Holland
Gazza’s Daily Football Factoids
 In 1992 Denmark they failed to qualify for the European Championships but were granted late entry after the withdrawal of warring Yugoslavia. They proceeded to win the tournament although they have yet to win a World Cup.
Mystic Ron’s World Cup Horoscope
Mystic Ron Well done England! I’ve had my agent hang another flag out of my window. That’s 9 of them now. I’m toasting your victory with custard creams – the regal queen of biscuits!

Did you know that animals have an amazing foresight? It’s true you know. Only yesterday my fat poodle Kevin went to the front door and barked and moments later the postman arrived! Also, he always knows when it is meal time even before I have finished filling his bowl. Clever dog Kevin!

Kevin is going to predict tomorrows results and prove to you just how clever he is aren’t you Kevin wevin!. Choose a team boy! … He’s sniffing my right hand – that’s Italy! And again – which hand…Paraguay – clever pooch! Try again …. Not sure? No? I think that means a draw between Denmark and Japan. And one more – which hand Kevin, which hand? ….Urrrghhh. BAD BOY! I’ve told him about that before! He just won’t learn.

In the final match Holland are going to crap on Cameroon.

View from the sofa

Talk is cheap and there has been lots of it in the last week. Yes we have played poorly but here we are in the second round undefeated and yet to concede a goal created by the opposition. Our stock is on the rise and we have a platform to build upon. Germany awaits and then perhaps Argentina. Opportunities to lay ghosts to rest – we just have to take them.

If you aspire to win this tournament you have to beat these teams, and more. You need longevity more than a flash in the pan. If you want proof just look at todays play at Wimbledon – the fifth set between Isner and Mahut rests in the balance at a world record 59 all. Somebody will win through and that vistory will count for as much as a straight sets walkover. It’s all about the result.

A final word from the Cap’n…

Captain Pugwash Yo ho ho and a bottle of Baileys! The ships all a’merry with frolicks and unwholesome behaviour atop deck and down below. All the men are drinking to master Defoe and his moment of magic! There’s going to be some sore heads in the morning that’s for sure. I’ll let the lads enjoy themselves tonight for tomorrow we set sail for Germany. Tis not a happy tide that has greeted us there before. This time we will be ready for it…

Sick-as-a-parrot-ometer 23 June