Ah the USA. Time and again we are told of the special relationship. Time and again it feels like the kind of relationship where you tag along and do what you’re told and every so often you get told you’re special and get thrown a biscuit.
But we’ll always be there for you our transatlantic cousins. Just ask Mr. Pastry-Hands No-Mark Twot rob Green. There’ll not be a gardener in the land who will take kindly to being called Green-fingered anymore.
Someone labelled Rob a great shot-stopper. He just has trouble with the odd woofty dribbler from twenty-five yarders. A one-legged kitten could have kept that out. It’s no good hanging your head and raising your head like a sad giant green elf. You’ve joined a select band, mate. Robinson, Carson, Bonetti...
Time was that English goalies were the envy of the world. They were showing clips of Banksy after the game in my particular Dubai bar and I have to say it made you want to weep.
And let’s not hear the whinging about the new wobbly balls. That ball went in a straight line from Dempsey’s boot to, about ten minutes later, Rob’s cotton-bud digits before it tottered apologetically over the line like some trespassing bauble.
Oh you plank, Green.
Not that there was much to cheer you up in front of you, save for Gerrard’s neat opener.
Ledley confirmed his fitness is about as reliable as the rhythm method. Carra proved what we all know – that there are gastropods with more leg speed than the rumbling old Scouse donkey. Milner had a mare. Had one kick and that earned him a booking.
Lampard had one of them games where every crossfield ball had the recipient going into instant reverse to try and collect the damn thing. Heskey did everything expected of him. Linked up play okay, fell over a lot and when the big moment came, hit the keeper with unerring accuracy.
Lennon didn’t have the best of days and was positively Walcottian in his delivery at times (but at least he posed a threat). SWP continues to look like a blind man playing Give Us A Clue.
And Rooney had to come and get the ball off Terry just to make sure he got a kick. I won’t have a go at old Shark-eyed Shrek, mind. What good stuff they did produce was a result of his nous. The Yanks dealt with him pretty well – and if they didn’t they simply clattered him to the floor.
Having said all that, 1-1’s okay. Glen Johnson had a good game I reckon. And but for a howler that would quieten all the monkeys in the Amazon basin, we’d have a nicked a win.
But America were so average it feels like points lost, doesn’t it? I mean their centre-forward plays for Hull, ffs. Ours plays for ermm... Villa. Occasionally. Hmmm.
The most unnerving aspect of the game was hearing the chant of USA coming across the bar. Nothing makes you more uncomfortable than that. I expect they’ll put down the Green clanger to the result of friendly fire.
Still, it’s a very Italian start – a scruffy draw. And our best results in World Cups began in similar fashions (’66, ’90). Christ it’s hard to type when you’re clutching at straws.
And I still have faith in Fabio. If only I had similar trust in the blokes he can put out on the pitch, eh?
Onwards to Algeria, lads...
In the meantime we can marvel at the besuited guru that is Diego Maradona. Does he know what’s going on? Nah. But do we care? Nah. He’s box-office, Diego and there’s a little part of me that wants the little bearded box of an Argentinian to go all the way.
His team did the usual. Kept it well, tumbled theatrically, and the defenders looks like they’re concealing hatchets in their pants. Messi glimmered but missed and a couple and Veron strode round the pitch like a languid pirate all flicks and taps and no end product.
Is he the most over-rated player in the tournament – after Daylight Ribery of course? Nigeria almost stumbled to a draw I suppose, but they do look good the Argies till they sat back a bit in the last 15 minutes. The keeper looks like a swarthy Russell Brand, I reckon.
Still the tournament has yet to catch fire save for the near-exhilaration of SA’s opening goal. The main problem is that awful bloody buzzing noise that you get through the game but i’ll get used to ITV commentary team in the end. Ahem.
I jest. I refer to the Vulvulas or whatever they’re bloody called. The missus tells me I wouldn’t know a vulvula if I sat on one. Chance’d be a fine thing.
Fingers crossed that the Aussies can spring a surprise on the Gerrrrrrrrrrrrrrmans tomorrow night.
And tomorrow, I tell you, 1-1 won’t look so bad.
I just hope Cap finds a place for little Joey Cole somewhere and can somehow slip a couple of Duracells up the rear ends of our plodding central defenders or anyone with half a yard of pace is going to mullah us.
COME ON ENGLAND... please...