Red, White, Blue and Green
If you are reading this I know what you were doing this evening. Here’s a full rundown of events today…
Results – Saturday 12th June
|Group B:||South Korea||2 – 0||Greece|
|Group B:||Argentina||1 – 0||Nigeria|
|Group C:||England||1 – 1||USA|
|Post Match Review|
|The plans of mice and men. Months of preparation, the team held close to Capellos Milanese chest until the first peep of the whistle. The dice cast into the red, white and blue cauldron of Rustenburg. Doubts? What doubts? Heskey to Gerrard, one-nil with four minutes on the clock. Joy unbridled for the captain fantastic and the door to the group stages ajar. There’s a first half swagger we can’t quite remember, and yet, for all the squeaks and shaves the presidents men refuse to lie down. And then from the African nights steals a chancer in stripes as Dempsey’s apologetic shot hops oh so innocently out of the keepers hands and rolls into the net. Green – fingered. So much talk of keepers all for naught.
A change of ends and one hopes luck. Heskey, Lampard, Rooney – remember him – all test the door but it will not budge. A scrap of redemption for Green as he claws a shot onto the upright. King Ledley is forced to retire. Crouch enters the fray. England expects but today is not to be the day of fulfilment. Capello is left to start all over again. Snake eyes.
Fixtures – Sunday 13th June
|Gazza’s Daily Football Factoids|
|Slovenia played their first national match in 1992. Previously their players turned out for Yugoslavia or the Republic Of Ireland.|
|Mystic Ron’s World Cup Horoscope|
|I had real trouble choosing between Algeria and Slovenia in Sundays first kick-off. You see an intersection of midfield biorhythms this weekend means there will be a conclusive result but which way is less clear. I’m going to give it to Serbia by a tea leafs width. Both Serbia and Ghana have cancerian defences and as you know this means that goals will be hard to come by so I predict a draw. Sundays glamour tie sees Germany take on Australia. Injured Michael Ballack is a Water Carrier and would have proven a match winner but in his absence the third quarter quintile leanings of Scorpio manager Joachim Lowe will lead his team to victory over the plucky Aussies this time around.|
View from the sofa
We finally found out what Fabio had in mind. It was 4-4-2 with Green in goal, Heskey partnering Rooney and Milner on the left. You know what happened, Gerrard scored early on and Green’s howler gifted the yanks a point. The net result was a point, a recurrence of Ledley King’s knee injury, Milner substituted after 30 minutes and just a point to show for our opening encounter.
It’s more or less what I expected and I’m not torn up about what happened, although three points would have been nice. What we have learned is that we played the toughest opponent in our group, they played their best and had a great stroke of luck and we just played well in patches. We had much the better chances and another day we would have taken some. The awkward first game is out of the way, the team have finally got some African mud on their strips and we can now set out our stall and win the next two matches to finish top of the group. Anyone that thinks that any team strolls their way through all the fixtures on the way to a tournament victory is deluded but I’m sure the media will be pitching in to criticise the team. Rob Greens howler? He was a good keeper this morning and he is a good keeper now. But don’t do it again…
In case you forgot, there were other matches today. Greece looked woeful – not just useless but without any passion – as they were given the run around by a spirited South Korean side. Argentina were superb going forward yet somehow contrived to win by just a single goal. Nigeria actually looked quite decent and their keeper was superb. After the first round of Group B matches you have to back Nigeria to finish second to Argentina.
The final word, to the captain…
|Aharh! Twas a rum night indeed. Good skipper Gerrard put the old girl on a fine course but then shipmate Green dropped the cannonball on his foot. Will he be made to walk the plank?|