England are winning, but it was one of the strangest halves of football I’ve ever seen. it was so slow! Even the goal was good and slow!
I was 18 in 1966 and can remember watching England’s first match in the World Cup, where they playing a boring goalless draw with Uruguay.
I think it is true to say, that we weren’t too hopeful of winning in 1966 and if my memory serves me right, I think we did.
So last night and this morning, all of those on the phones-in, who thought England were rubbish, should shut up until at least the last match of the group stages of Euro-2012.
There weren’t phones-in in 1966, and I suspect after the first match, England supporters would have been totally despondent. Much worse than today.
Everybody now thinks of Sir Alf now, as the Messiah, but before the 1966 World Cup, all he’d done was the equivalent of take a Third Division side to the Premier League title in a space of five years. Try doing that these days with a team, without any stars. I suppose to be fair, England were in as bad a state at the start of the 1960s as Ipswich were when he took over as manager. A lot of people thought he was the wrong choice and probably hoped he’d fail.
In fact he had one great advantage in 1966 over Roy Hodgson today. He had at least had time to plan what he did. And plan he did! He even made sure that England had the lightest possible kit, so they would have more energy.
Ramsey incidentally had three years, whereas Hodgson had three weeks.
On Double Take this morning on BBC Radio 5, they interviewed three hardy Leyton Orient fans, who’d gone all the way to support England in Donetsk. One was white, but the others were all or part-Bangladeshi. They were having a great time and had been made very welcome by the locals.
Let’s hope it all stays as peaceful.
Luckily for England, it seems most of the trouble so far is down to old problems with Russia, like these when they played the Czech Republic last night. Hopefully UEFA have got it in hand.
When I went to Belarus, there were no problems, but a Russian lawyer, I met who supports England, talked of the problems between Russia and its former satellite states.
I did’t know until the BBC pointed it out this morning, that Donetsk, where England play their first match on Monday, is actually a city founded by a Welshman called John Hughes in 1869. Everybody is taught at school, that the Welsh colonised Patagonia, but not The Ukraine.
Let’s hope that the dragon, the Welsh left behind is friendly! Except of course to racists!
England have gone up in the football rankings to sixth according to this report.
But is that ranking with or without the injured?
On the whole though, it’s good news. Which is a change!
You’d think that the headlines about Steven Gerrard this morning, would all have been about his performance in the FA Cup Final yesterday. The Times rated him at 6/10, but said he was rather a frustrated figure.
The biggest headline about himn today, is that he has signed a letter with Jamie Oliver, saying that cooking should be taught in schools, as a means of fighting obesity.
Coupled with his measured and thoughtful support for the new England manager, Roy Hodgson, it would appear that we are seeing a very different Steven Gerrard.
Cynics might argue though, that he wants the England captaincy.
Assuming Stuart Pearce is in charge of both Team GB at the Olympics and England at Euro 2012, after today he has a real selection problem after Kyle Walker‘s superb goal today against Blackburn.
Let’s hope he gets some more problems like this!
Whatever happens, Kyle Walker should certainly be playing competitive football in the close season!
I have just read this article about the Ukraine on the BBC.
England will be playing their three qualifying group matches for Euro-2012 in the Ukraine, although not anywhere near where Yulia Ymoshrenko is imprisoned. The Times also reports bomb explosions in the city.
I think that it could be a bit of a difficult trip for England and especially their supporters.
Remember too, that the patron saint of the Ukraine is Saint Andrew.
Talk about a baptism of fire for England’s new manager. Fire must be fought with fire! Even if only it the of the metaphorical sort! So the England team should contain the two English heroes of the Nou Camp; Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard. And of course Stuart Pearce must be on the touchline! Even if he’s just number two in name to some overpriced so-called man with the right experience!
It would appear that Harry Redknapp hasn’t been having the best of luck with getting Spurs into next year’s Champions League.
I wouldn’t rule out Roy Hodgson, especially as like me he is a Leo pig. We come with built-in luck.
It would appear that the next England manager is still not any closer yet.
In the last two weeks, Spurs under Harry, have lost both to Arsenal and Manchester United.
England under Stuart Pearce, just lost to Dutch, by the odd goal in five. On the other hand his Under-21 side did beat the Belgians easily.
So perhaps Stuart won the last two weeks on points!
But if you think, England are in a mess, just look at Chelski!