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By nebbish (Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 12:48:47 AM EST) World Cup, footy, footie, football (all tags)
Not really necessary for me to actually write anything, but I might as well I suppose.


Yet again, an underwhelming performance from an average team. Job done though. I don't think we'll have any problems with Ecuador. Anything after that is thinking too far ahead.

The breakdown in our defence is a worry. It's the only thing we had right.

Owen's injury could be a blessing in disguise. He's been poor and not shown any signs of getting better. I could hardly believe it when Sven brought on Gerrard as an attacking player - just what I've wanted all along. And he scored.

However, our manager's ineptitude shone like a shitty beacon every time we saw poor Theo Walcott sat on the bench. Not only is he a waste of space, he's a very young man who thought he was going to play in the World Cup experiencing complete humiliation. That's unforgivable.

Also, I am very hungover and still slightly drunk.

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This is a diary to talk about football in | 48 comments (48 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
I don't know what Sven said at half-time by gazbo (4.00 / 2) #1 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 12:58:31 AM EST
But I guess it was something like "Good first half guys, why not take a well earned break?  No need to exert yourselves."

The second Sweden goal - that's the sort of mistake that happens in primary school matches, not internationals.

If we'd played as we did in the first half and got 2-2 I'd have felt cheateds but optimistic.  As it was, if anything, it could have gone 3-2 or even 4-2 the other way.

And for fuck's sake - I want to see what Walcott can do.  What's it going to take?  Gerrard, Crouch, Beckham and Lampard all to break their legs?  Even then you get the impression that he'll just make 4 defensive substitutions, and hope to win on penalties after 0-0.

I do wonder what's going through the poor kid's head: whether he's pleased to be there and to generate such a lot of talk, or pissed off that Sven seemingly has no intention of playing him.

Rooney was funny after coming off though...


I recommend always assuming 7th normal form where items in a text column are not allowed to rhyme.

That was the best bit of the match by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #2 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 01:02:43 AM EST
Rooney throwing his shoes around. Shows how bad things are when you cheer him for it because at least someone shows some passion.

We were crap, and it's the luck of the draw that will take us to the quarter finals.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Yeah, by ambrosen (4.00 / 1) #3 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 01:05:47 AM EST
was he pissed off with his form, or pissed off at being substituted?

I reckon it was his form, but ICBW.

[ Parent ]
I think it was his form by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #4 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 01:07:27 AM EST
But if he carries on like he is he'll be back in no time. He's like fucking Superman or something.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
That long ball he got by ambrosen (4.00 / 1) #6 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 01:14:43 AM EST
towards the end of the first half was amazing. Where he was right in the middle of two Swedish defenders, and got a coherent enough play out of the pass that it could have scored.

It was one of the memorable moves from Beckham.

Also, I liked Gerard's header. And Joe Cole's goal was pretty nifty.

England did score most of the goals in that match, whether through just pasting all their skills together to get the ball in, or completely cocking up and letting the Swedes hammer on them until they were no longer there.

[ Parent ]
I didn't think there by yicky yacky (2.00 / 0) #5 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 01:14:07 AM EST

was defensive "breakdown" particularly. Allback scored a perfectly excellent goal (which Robinson might have saved, but that's a different issue - it was well-taken). Larsson/Mellberg's was clumsy-as-hell but, personally, I think you have to write it off as "just one of those things" rather than a systematic problem. I loved Beckham berating the defence; he was at fault in at least one and arguably both incidents.

There is a systematic problem, but it's not at the heart of the defence; it's in the willingness to cede the middle third of the pitch. and the inability to hold a higher line against even average opposition. If the other team are occupying that area, they will create chances and, no matter how good your goalie / defence, eventually one of them will get converted; it's just probability. This is the same problem England have had for the last five years, though. I became a lot happier when I accepted that, despite declarations to the contrary, nothing had changed; it stops you being perennially disappointed.

I didn't think he played Gerrard as an attacker. Didn't they go to 4-5-1 when he came on? Having said that, it looked a pretty decent formation given that England haven't played it much, and it gives Gerrard and Lampard more license to roam. I didn't think Hargreaves played that poorly, but would still like to see Carrick in there: There was one incident with a quickly-taken free kick where I thought it would have been better to go with a classical set-piece, and you could see Beckham's face grimace in a "What the fuck are you doing?" fashion, but generally he did OK.

I can't figure out whether Walcott just isn't ready, or whether Sven is too concerned about his own marketability to even try. It's ridiculous, at this level, to be concerned about using your substitute; that's what they're there for.


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Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
Walcott by jump the ladder (4.00 / 1) #8 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 01:26:14 AM EST
Maybe he's not playing him because he's keeping him as some sort of secret weapon. None of the opposition teams know anything about him or the way he plays just like us and Sven then ;)

[ Parent ]
My concern... by Alice Pulley (2.00 / 0) #22 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 03:11:21 AM EST
...is that if Sven doesn't give him some time on the pitch until he absolutely has too (eg 2-1 down in quarters, 5 mins to go), the poor lad will come on, do nothing and then his confidence will be really destroyed - and he'll probably get a roasting from our lovely press to.

If Sven doesn't play him, I hope he comes out after the tournament and admits he made a mistake:

'I'm sorry, I was incorrect in taking someone with so little top level experience and realised that as we played each game. I would like to apologise to Theo for that but would like to state I believe he has what it takes to get to the very top of the game, he will play a big part in future tournamenets and maybe this experience will help.'

I don't know, something like that may help to give the lad his confidence and dignity back. At this rate, Sven'll play David James up front rather than Walcott.

--

'But they're adults and perfectly capable of working it out themselves. And if not, well, fuck em.' - Nebbish '06.

[ Parent ]
You by yicky yacky (2.00 / 0) #33 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 04:43:09 AM EST

and Breaker have both mentioned the "secret weapon" thing (not necessarily seriously). For the week after "squad deadline day", FIFA were running a multi-lingual poll (something like twelve languages) asking who readers thought the most surprising inclusion was. Theo Walcott topped it by miles. What was interesting was that they gave the option to filter the results by voter's browsing language settings. In almost all cases, Walcott still came out top. In the one or two instances where he didn't, he came a close second. He's hardly a secret - most countries (especially the football teams) know plenty about him.


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Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
[ Parent ]
Disagree by jump the ladder (2.00 / 0) #35 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 04:59:13 AM EST
The football teams might have heard of him but how many of them have videos or dvds of him in action so they can show defenders the best way of marking him etc. He's played a couple of games for Southampton and in the Arsenal reserves and that's it so there's not much publicly available material on him.

I'm sort of half hoping that Sven is cleverer than he seems although the evidence of past few years dissuades me from that view.

[ Parent ]
Gerrard played in the right place for once by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #9 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 01:29:35 AM EST
I suppose I meant he had room to attack, the formation really freed him up. Maybe I have too much faith in him but I'll say it again, he's the key to doing well in this tournament.

Defence and midfield - food for thought, you're probably right. One of the problems about last night's match is I didn't see as much of it as I would have liked because of my mate constantly babbling in my earhole about fucking work all night. Last time I watch the football with him.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
I nearly punched my sister... by Alice Pulley (4.00 / 1) #23 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 03:13:35 AM EST
...who having asked if she could come to the pub with my mates, then preceeded to babble on about her holiday to one of them, whilst sitting next to me.

In the, I explained my annoyance and poured a packet of pork scratchings into her wine punishment and she shut up after that.

--

'But they're adults and perfectly capable of working it out themselves. And if not, well, fuck em.' - Nebbish '06.

[ Parent ]
Heh by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #26 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 03:20:08 AM EST
I just had to grin and bear it, I'm too polite. Worse thing is he's a proper footy fan. He just doesn't seem to be able to shut up. Had the same problem last time I watched the footy in the pub with him, but didn't remember for some reason.

I've promised to watch more matches with him as well *sigh*

I'd probably like pork scratchings with wine.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Well... by Alice Pulley (4.00 / 1) #27 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 03:26:41 AM EST
...take along a couple of other mates and locate yourself at a reasonable distance. Or is that mean?

Yeah, at the end of the day, I must like the taste of wine and pork scratchings as they've often been digested at more or less the same time.

I've often had thoughts of a lager and cheese & onion 'smoothy'.

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'But they're adults and perfectly capable of working it out themselves. And if not, well, fuck em.' - Nebbish '06.

[ Parent ]
Laughed out loud then by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #31 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 04:21:29 AM EST
I'll be making someone one of those smoothies at the weekend.

Yeah, he's loads better when he's diluted with company. God, I'm making it sound like I hate him. He's ace. Just a bit eccentric :-)

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
I think the sign of a true friend by ambrosen (4.00 / 2) #34 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 04:58:15 AM EST
is someone whose foibles you really complain about. At least if you're a bloke.

[ Parent ]
Disgusting! by ambrosen (4.00 / 1) #36 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 05:01:39 AM EST
You want a bitter with beef & mustard Brannigans smoothy.

No one who I know locally is interested in football, so I watched it with my dad, who musters up a little enthusiasm, generally being a rugby and cricket sort. Unfortunately, he brings the trait he normally shows watching those matches to football, which is to be hypercritical of the England performance, and to cheer a bit for the 'underdog', which is to say, England's opponent.

I think he enjoyed the first half, but he was asleep for the second. He had been working hard all day.

[ Parent ]
There was a guy near us... by Alice Pulley (4.00 / 1) #37 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 05:05:03 AM EST
...in the pub (who I have also seen in there for Spurs games exhibiting the same behaviour) who despite supposedly supporting Englad, spent the whole game loudly and very explicitly slagging them off. I'm all for an odd 'oh, for fucks sake' or 'what was that?' but not 'this lot are a bunch of useless cunts, they're never going to get anywhere, useless wankers etc etc'.

It annoyed me.

--

'But they're adults and perfectly capable of working it out themselves. And if not, well, fuck em.' - Nebbish '06.

[ Parent ]
It annoys me slightly in my dad. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #38 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 05:12:48 AM EST
He wouldn't do it in a pub, though.

[ Parent ]
Good man. by Alice Pulley (2.00 / 0) #39 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 05:21:58 AM EST


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'But they're adults and perfectly capable of working it out themselves. And if not, well, fuck em.' - Nebbish '06.

[ Parent ]
Mainly because by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #40 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 05:24:03 AM EST
I can't imagine him going to the pub to watch the match. Pubs are somewhere you get dinner after a walk in the country, or maybe on a Sunday evening.

[ Parent ]
There was a bloke in the pub I was in by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #41 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 05:25:48 AM EST
Shouting CUNT at the top of his voice every ten minutes. I thought it was really funny.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Yes, I'm sure you did. by Alice Pulley (4.00 / 1) #42 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 05:30:42 AM EST
<imageofnebbishsittingonownshoutingcuntregularlyandlaughingmaniacallyatself

--

'But they're adults and perfectly capable of working it out themselves. And if not, well, fuck em.' - Nebbish '06.

[ Parent ]
WIPO: Sure, why not? by Rogerborg (4.00 / 1) #7 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 01:24:23 AM EST
If by "we", you mean my national team, and if by my "national team", you mean Trinidad and Tobago, then sure, it could happen.

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Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.
I'm using the royal We by nebbish (4.00 / 2) #10 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 01:30:57 AM EST
Apologies. It's a bad habit, thinking everyone's English. But, you know, we're like that - at least it'll remind you why you hate us.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Close by DullTrev (4.00 / 2) #13 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 01:57:53 AM EST

Everyone wants to be English.


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DFJ?
[ Parent ]
Apart from me by nebbish (4.00 / 3) #15 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 02:07:22 AM EST
I want to be Argentinian

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
That's ok by DullTrev (4.00 / 2) #17 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 02:09:26 AM EST

As an Englishman, you're allowed to be eccentric. As opposed to all those mad foreigners.


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DFJ?
[ Parent ]
Racist (nt). by Alice Pulley (4.00 / 1) #24 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 03:14:52 AM EST


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'But they're adults and perfectly capable of working it out themselves. And if not, well, fuck em.' - Nebbish '06.

[ Parent ]
OK, fair cop, it wasn't true by Rogerborg (2.00 / 0) #28 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 03:33:49 AM EST
I actually want to be Cameroonian.

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Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.
[ Parent ]
Yeah right. by Alice Pulley (2.00 / 0) #29 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 03:40:34 AM EST
We all know this is how you've been watching the world cup.

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'But they're adults and perfectly capable of working it out themselves. And if not, well, fuck em.' - Nebbish '06.

[ Parent ]
Stevie G is my god by DullTrev (4.00 / 2) #11 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 01:51:10 AM EST

I agree completely about Walcott - if ever there was a game in a World Cup you could throw a kid on for the experience, this was it. I feel incredibly sorry for the poor lad.

But, in general, I have to say I think we're doooooooooooooooooooooooomed. The only way it could be worse is if Sven had picked Heskey.

But Stevie G is so much better than Frank. I have decided.


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DFJ?
My god too by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #16 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 02:09:06 AM EST
He's ace, and might get the chance to show it now.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
I still remain optimistic by TPD (4.00 / 2) #12 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 01:57:15 AM EST
England played pretty well in the first half.

Rooney back helped a lot though he's not playing at the level he was before he was injured and faded fast. Joe Cole was pretty sensational without even considering the goal.

The awfull defending of set pieces was worrying and a sad inditement of the management that we were so weak given the players we have. As the commentators said, Beckham really didn't seem to know his job at the near post. Once Sweden had exposed this weakness they kept picking at it, and byu the end of the game any sort of set piece was defended just by mass. Their second goal was just ridiculous.

I think for the Ecuador game the players should make a concious decission not to go in at half time for the team talk.

why sit, when you can sit and swivel with The Ab-SwivellerTM

Optimism by DullTrev (4.00 / 2) #14 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 02:03:13 AM EST

Don't do it, it just makes it worse in the long run.

You know, it's at times like this I realise supporting Birmingham does have some benefits - I can take the inevitable exit of England from any major competition with equanimity, because I get practice at dealing with humiliation every time Birmingham play.


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DFJ?
[ Parent ]
Funny by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #18 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 02:10:43 AM EST
I've got my practice with humiliation from watching England.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
*cough* Ridsdale *cough* n/t by Metatone (4.00 / 2) #32 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 04:42:13 AM EST


[ Parent ]
You had to bring it up didn't you by idiot boy (4.00 / 1) #45 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 08:57:00 AM EST
sniff.

Watford b'stards.

[ Parent ]
Well, as a resident... by Metatone (4.00 / 1) #46 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 09:23:46 AM EST
of Doncaster, I firmly believe that the crimes of chairmen need remembering...

http://www.doncaster-rovers.demon.co.uk/

[ Parent ]
Doneeehh! [NT] by idiot boy (4.00 / 2) #47 Thu Jun 22, 2006 at 10:51:44 AM EST


[ Parent ]
There's an old house tune by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #48 Thu Jun 22, 2006 at 11:36:16 PM EST
With really passionate, soulful lyrics about a girl called Donny. I always thought it'd make a good terrace chant.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
There seems to be a fair consensus by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #19 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 02:39:50 AM EST
That Walcott should have been brought on when Rooney was taken off.  Maybe Svensvensven is trying to keep him as a secret weapon, who knows?

Lampard really, really needs to bring his shooting boots next game; I counted about 5 shots he had and only one was on target (and straight at the keeper no less).

Hargreaves did very well I thought, the best I've seen him yet.

Back 4 looked solid when under pressure (save the terrible defending of set pieces but that's a whole team thing not just the back 4).

But hey, we're through, we have won the group and now have 5 days more training and recuperation before taking on Ecuador.

COME ON, ENGLAND!


Like you, I am strangely optimistic by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #20 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 02:56:16 AM EST
Basically we have yet another game in which to sort ourselves out. Although Ecuador shouldn't be underestimated, I don't think they will be a problem.

So in effect, we don't have to play hard until the quarter finals. By then we should be able to go flat out, and by then we're nearing the end of the tournament.

There's still hope.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Ecuador by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #21 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 03:07:59 AM EST
Will not take well to our long ball play and more physical approach to the game.  The question is, how will our midfield and defense cope with a fluid, passing side that will hurt us when they break?

Unless we are very unfortunate, we will beat Ecuador.  After that, it's in the lap of the gods.


[ Parent ]
We all know how well England can play by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #25 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 03:16:20 AM EST
When the pressure's on, and not facing that pressure until the quarter finals is a real bonus for us. I think we can sort it out. I voted yes in my poll :-)

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
not "necessary" to write by alprazolam (4.00 / 3) #30 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 03:50:10 AM EST
but I definitely look to read your guys thoughts, the kinda stuff that probably gets repeated all over bars and offices around england, but doesn't quite make it to the bbc sport page.

fwiw nobody has been that impressive so far, brazil and argentina you can definitely see having great chances but brazil has some obvious weakness at least. not sure about argentina.

owen going out is a big loss even if he wasn't playing at 100%. i'm looking forward to watching rooney in the next round though.

I forget who said it, or the exact quote by Breaker (4.00 / 2) #43 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 05:39:29 AM EST
But someone said being Engerlandland's football manager was the hardest job of all; you're competing with 40 million other football managers.


[ Parent ]
Fair enough by DullTrev (4.00 / 7) #44 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 06:03:38 AM EST

I just wish 35 million of them weren't better than the one getting paid for it.


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DFJ?
[ Parent ]
This is a diary to talk about football in | 48 comments (48 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback