So when it comes to sport are you superstitious? Do you believe in omens like all those f**wit presenters on Talksport? No me neither until yesterday when news emerged of England rugby’s loss to South Africa 42-39, with England having led 24-3 in the first half. Eh? That’s 5 successive defeats for the red roses after being unbeatable about a year ago. Sigh. A Welshman then went and won cycling’s Criterium du Dauphine and Spaniard Nadal won the French Open. I then watched Scotland, who are not even a recognised test status team and for whom cricket is like their 17th most popular sport, beat England the official one day cricket champions in a ODI rather excitingly. Sigh again. Never mind Hamilton was in 4th place on the grid at the Canadian Grand Prix. Surely The Englishman in his all-powerful Brackley-based Team Mercedes supercar would catch that insufferable Vettel and stretch his lead in the F1 Championship. Nah. He ended a place further back in 5th as the unlikeable German assumed leadership in the F1 leadership race. Gott und dammer. So it looks like the omens are stacking up against English sporting success just as we head off to Russia for the World Cup. Or so you might think….
Well here’s the official England football shirt showing the single star for our sole World Cup win way back when I was just a young lad. And the FA aren’t going to be adding any more stars following our exit from the excellent 2014 World Cup. Still we did last 8 days at the tournament before getting eliminated. Sigh. Only two things make me happy thinking about this; the thought of Colleen having to re-pack those 15 cases and knowing that the extended holiday for the 70 people – that’s right seventy! – who made up the FA’s official tour party will shortly be over. At least we didn’t lose on penalties I suppose.
Now who’s your favourite for the World Cup? It would be nice to see a new name on the trophy I reckon – Chile perhaps? Then they too can enjoy decades of hurt waiting for the second one to arrive. It’s nice to share.
It’s one of the classic lines from Fawlty Towers uttered by the hotel’s oldest client and Basil’s dead-pan response, ‘I didn’t know you did Major’ was one of the all-time great put downs. It’s an exchange that puts me in mind of the situation involving the England team’s training regime in preparation for the World Cup. You see Roy and the boys are busy doing their squat thrusts at a training camp down in exclusive Vale do Lobo on the Algarve. I’m sure it’s great fun but why are they there rather than at the National Football Centre in Burton, a purpose-designed facility costing some £120m, which was built to be the base for England team get togethers? Ah you’ll reply, it’s to give the team some warm weather preparation before the lads hit the steamy heat of Manaus in Brazil. But it’s no big secret that the Algarve in late spring, delightful as it is, tends to be cool and blustery as yesterday’s high temperature of 15° indicates. So Roy’s had the lads playing in jumpers and extra layers to get them sweating up a bit. Of course he has. And I wonder how much the 50-man jaunt to Portugal has cost, whilst the FA’s own facilities (bathed in a mini heatwave a few days ago) stand empty and unloved?
Is it just me or has top level football completely lost all sense of value and proportion? As the Major may have put it ‘Just what is the point of St George’s Park, Fawlty?’ Answers on a post card to the FA Chairman Greg Dyke.
It’s been an interesting year. We lost the 2018 bid but got the coalition government we voted for apparently; played totally crap at the World Cup but were brilliant in the Ryder Cup; seen flights from UK airports completely grounded by hot volcanic ash and also by freezing weather conditions; witnessed the return of the prodigal Robbie Williams and the internment of bongable George Michael and endured £7B of swingeing Government cuts which was promptly handed over to the Taoiseach to rescue the ailing Irish euro economy. Oh yes it’s been an eventful 2010. Continue reading
This is just a mix of thoughts about footie stuff tracking some of the main news items over the last 24 hours or so. Firstly did you hear the 5 Live interview with McClaren today? Very intriguing stuff. That £2.6M pay off isn’t going to last long in chez McClaren clearly and he’s a little bored now so he wants to get back into management. He did that mini charm offensive when the Newcastle and Derby jobs were unfilled, declaring his readiness to listen to any offers. Well ready or not, that didn’t work and now he’s out and about again declaring that he would be happy to work abroad or EVEN in the Championship providing that the club Chairman had a ‘vision and belief’ that matched his own. Oh that’s rich. How I hoped he would end up at Leeds but that’s not going to happen any time soon. I think you’ll be lucky to get a job within 2000 miles of Soho Sq though I’m praying that the Blackpool job doesn’t become available soon.
So after more than 3 months of searching the Irish Football Association have captured Giovanni Trapattoni as the next manager of the Republic of Ireland’s national football team. There was a lot of sniggering behind hands around the appointments of the completely untried Steve Staunton and Brian Kerr before him but the doubts proved valid. Now they’ve appointed someone with huge experience and you can feel the shock waves over here in sleepy Buckingham.
Well 2-1’s alright I guess. What do you reckon 6 out of 10? What did we learn from tonight?
Well here we are about to witness a new England managerial period under Sr Capello. To be honest I’ve been impressed with Capello’s no nonsense approach; banning hangers-on and WAGS from the hotel, games of golf, filp-flops and insisting on all eating together, punctuality etc all seem eminently sensible. I’m not sure about the use of surnames – these are grown men after all (well some of them) but anything’s better than listening to McQuiff’s sickening faux mateyness, referring to Stevie G, JT etc. How was that ever going to inspire respect? Continue reading