Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Roll on June 12th!

Look it's been a while but apart from the odd bit of play-off nonsense - meaningless without the Teesside terracists to swell the Wembley throng (and chance would be a fine thing) - the last couple of weeks have just been a waiting game.


Oh I know there's a couple of stories brewing about this n that. There's talk of Southampton FC being broken up and divided amongst Champions League competitors next season. And Manchester United too.


Frank Lampard has finished with Chelsea, which is a huge relief, Nice man, frequently 'orrible team. I've always thought that Lampard was a very, very good one trick pony. The equal of any goalscoring midfielder but without the adaptability of, say, Gerrard or Scholes. In my head there will always be a question mark over his England appearances as I always wanted to use him off the bench if Gerrard was being a bit shit, rather than wedge the two of them in the same place and pray that they could somehow work it out between them.


But good luck to him. A fine pro, and a top bloke from what I hear.


But I'm just itching for the World Cup to start. The TV roster is in place at home. The rules are the same as they are every World Cup. If the footy's on, shut your gob and watch.


I have a ban on the wife uttering the following phrases:


"Not more football!" (You never hear me say 'Not more police drama centring on a dysfunctional cop investigating a child murder' so I see no reason why a reciprocal arrangement can't exist once every four fucking years.)


"But why do you care who wins out of Colombia* or South Korea*?" (*insert random obscure football nations in here)


"Can't you just watch the highlights later?"


"What do you mean, the lads are coming round after closing time?"


"Where's David Beckham/Jose Mourinho/David Ginola?"


"Is this what my license fee is going on?"


"Why's Michael Owen allowed to say anything?" (Oh no, wait, I'm the one who says that.)


There are of course many things she's allowed to say, such as: "I don't think you spend enough time down the Blue Bell these days" or "What do you think about Brazilians?" But generally she understands the situation and stays away, except during the England games when she participates whole-heartedly. But annoyingly. Kind of like Robbie Savage really. But more perceptive. And less peroxide.


What's particularly good about this competition is that our boys haven't got a Joey Barton's chance on Question Time of coming across particularly brilliantly and therefore, much like Joey, I'll be giving them plenty of leeway to be a bit crap here and there as long as they manage to entertain.


The major dilemma for Hodgson - at least this is what the media are talking up in the ansence of anything genuine to discuss - is whether Rooney merits a starting place. Against Peru there was that familiar flat post-season air to him. Come June the lad looks light last night's unfinished lager. In contrast Sterling and Barkley look like they've just come out the fridge.


But as Scholes suggested, would the manager dare to leave Rooney out. I don't see why not, myself. He's not the only source of creativity in the squad and when we've made him the cornerstone of the side, there's been a distinct lack of corners. Let him sit a couple out. I would.


But it is really refreshing to be going to the World Cup with that level of expectation, i.e. nil. Just imagine being Belgian right now. They have a golden generation of talented players who have qualified comfortably against run-of-the-mill teams and haven't played anyone good since losing 3-1 to Germany four years ago.


They've got a brilliant playmaker, Eden Hazard, who's done sod-all in the national team. Yep, that's pretty much how golden generations work in our experience. Sorry my flat-landed friends but this is the sort of story that ends in the last 16 with a disappointing scrappy defeat against a petulant Portugal.


I've also been preparing by going out for some hot and humid training just so I don't underestimate the difficulties our boys face out there in the jungle. I tried doing keepy-uppies in the wife's sister's greenhouse the other day. Knackering, I can tell you. Until I smashed through the glass ceiling. If that's what working women keep complaining about then take a football to work, ladies.


Of course you'll be wanting to know who I'm tipping to lift the old trophy and it's always a tricky one. There a few more imponderables than usual this time.


Will any European team be left come the quarter-finals or will they have dissolved into a pool of their own perspiration by then?


Can Brazil conquer the demons of 1950 and get to win the whole caboodle for the sixth time? Or will some falling masonry from an unbuilt stadium take out Neymar and throw the whole tournament into confusion?


Will an African side make it to the final? And if it's Ivory Coast, will Yaya Toure get enough vehicles from his national football federation to convince him to play in it?


Has Sepp Blatter and his pals already decided who the winner is? You can just picture the FIFA HQ sweepstake where every one of them pulls out the name Argentina and they all celebrate together. And indeed will the football be so festive and freewheeling that we can for a short while forget that not a decision is made by its governing body without someone seeming to be inserting a finger in someone else's pie.


Blatter is still insisting his work is not done. I'm sure there'll be a vote which has all the integrity of a Syrian election and lo and behold the ancient Big Swiss Cheese will still be ballsing up the international game.


Desperate.


Any road, I'll be casting me eye in greater detail over the challengers in the next blog. And what I don't know about Algerian football isn't worth knowing. Then I'll tell you that Brazil win it. Okay?





























183 comments:

  1. 1st Wahhheeey

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  2. And now to read it!!

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  3. I'll claim second. USA also a relaxing watch as they look to be giving some kids a chance.

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  4. Good stuff Robbo but you can safely and calmly raise your level of expectation. England will undoubtedly win it. There were those that once thought he was a bit of a gormless twat, those who pondered how he expected Liverpool to win the world cup when he couldn't get them up the table as a club side, all that will soon be forgotten, Arise Sir Woy

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  5. A European place... I'll take it.

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  6. Yup, I'm okay with that, Robbo. England and the USA out in the group stages. Belgium will be better off the next go round.

    Why is it that European teams can use weather as an excuse for failing to perform in South America, but South American teams can't use the same excuse for not doing well in Europe? Sure, most of the South Americans play (and live) in Europe... but then why aren't they excused from winning in South America?

    As for Blatter picking Argentina... nah. He's picked Iran in exchange for the nuclear warhead he's using as insurance for election to a fifth term. Though I half expect Qatar to be parachuted in to the real final after Brazil top Spain, having been spotted a 15-goal lead and requiring Brazil to use only six players (no keeper), all selected from their u12 squad.

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  7. Top Eight - better than England will do! That's why the Baggies haven't named a new manager, they're waiting for Woy to get the Spanish Archer after England lose to Costa Rica.

    Great Blog as always, Robbo. Obviously your wife doesn't read it - if I compared my wife to Robbie Savage, I'd be in ITU quicker than you can say peroxide.

    Can't see anything happening at FIFA, especially as the Chief Investigator's role seems to be to get the result Blatter wants. Remember this when Argentina beat Brazil in the final on a very dodgy penalty.

    Spider

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  8. I don't know if the rest of you have found this,but there seems to be a complete lack of excitement from people I speak to (whilst butchering their hair) about this year's World Cup.(Apart from one Stockport County fan that wants me to shave the flag of St George into his hair.Thank Goodness he's not an American) I'm struggling myself to get any excitement up (It's an age thing perhaps.Anyone got any spare blue pills?)

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  9. FFS Jacks, it's the World Cup. You've just got some no-mark punters in your barbershop there mate. Offering 'em some of the kids' lollipops in exchange for a random attack on the perennial failings of Rooney as a big game player and they'll soon be up n running.

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    1. I suspect that once it starts Robbo they'll all be in full flow about 4-4-2,Ecuadorian centre halves and the rest.

      Being close to Manchester means the main topic of conversation starts with "What do you think about Un**ed Jack?" followed by "All right,it's not that funny".

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    2. As a Spurs fan living in the Manchester area, I can assure you it IS that funny Jacks.


      Jedi

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  10. Considering that Lord Triehardasyoucanman claimed before the world cup that there was corruption that Spain would win and in exchange Russia would win the next biding process and then had to resign (for being 100% correct), be careful what you say where the words Sepp Blatter, Corupt and Cunt appear in the same sentence. For example...I think that Sepp Blatter is a totally corrupt Cunt. See...you may lose your job if you say something like that. And Platini (who I think is Depardieu - the actor not the Everton loanee), his son, Mohammed bin liner full of cash, Jack "Meoff" Warner and the rest of them are all corrupt cunts as well. I resign!

    Rastafairy

    PS -Portugal to win the world cup 4-1 with Ronaldo winning a penalty by diving and converting it when his team are already 3-1 up in the last minute and then acting like a Cunting King of the Cunts as if he won the whole thing on his own.

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    1. Hey - it's not a proper win unless Triumph TR7 puts his cunty stamp on it. When I was playing an Easter gig this year and the congregation had to state their credo about rejecting Satan and all his works, and I swear I got a mental image of Sepp Blatter in Jon Lovitz's cheesy devil costume from SNL (horns, tail, trident and all) standing in front of FIFA headquarters.

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  11. I'm afraid I have to agree with Jacks.

    My giveashitometer has hardly registered a blip, I hadn't even realised that England had played Peru until I read it on here a few moments ago.

    It's not for lack of trying, I've already stragically hung the bigscreen projecter and decked the bar out in the customery orange bunting and Hup Holland Hup banners a few weeks ago, I did this early because last time, (the Euros) I did it a few days before kick off and had to take them down a few days later, but nobody seems to really give a toss this time around. I've even got an extra give away action from my brewery, order 4 beers and get football trivia game cards free (the dutch looooove free stuff), but still no one seems to care.

    It may all change tonight with Oranje playing the mighty Wales who are without Bale and Ramsey, but the way van Gaal has been setting them up over the last few games, which is a kind Maureenihioesque not to lose formation, which is not winning over many of the purist supporters, I can't see the WC fever getting into full swing just yet.

    It maybe because NL aren't that great to watch anymore, it maybe because like England they find themselves in a pretty tough group. It may even be politically motivated as people are becoming increasingly disconected from overpaid footballers and disgusted by the ever more corrupt FIFA. Or maybe it will all kick off on Friday the 13th 21:00 CET when The Netherlands take the field to face Spain in a repeat of last times final.

    Just have to wait and see I suppose.

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  12. Well, I have to disagree with the two of you. This is possibly the most I have looked forward to the WC (when you get to my age you are never sure of anything.

    As for Rooney, all I'll say about him is, if an Italian sports reporter states he has to be played, then it's time to leave him on the bench.... of course he could have been using reverse technology.

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    1. I thought older people dreaded going to the WC.

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    2. No. We do it more often.


      Jedi

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  13. The Italians used a lot of reverse technology during the war, Bo. Eg On their tanks

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    1. i'm a big advocate of reverse technology. My mobile is just text and talk.

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  14. Actually I disagree with everyone. As a matter of fucking principe. But seriously, England is more football mad than any other country in the world, Brazil included. Its out game, stolen by FIFA. WC fever is admittedly nowhere in evidence. Yer average psychologically damaged football fan nursing his/her (hello bells) secret wounds had adopteda strategic survival persona a phenomena better known amongst the bullied abandoned little bleeders at boardng schools. Damage limitation necessitates that we conceal the truth, that we secretly understand that its our game, our cup, our fate to win it, every time. The only resin thus doesn't happen, ever, is that foreigners are cheating little cunts. Every Englishman knows these things. This time we've wised up and adopted a defence mechanism of affected indifference.

    But its there beneath one atomic later of skin, to be exposed in its full jingoistic glittery the moment wet win ONE SINGLE FUCKING GAME. Then just watch the excitement mount. We don't expect to win, but we're actually not that bad on paper (grads is the problem) so the low expectations mean that we've got more chance of winning than when the Golden Shower were crippled by fear, so actually the less we expect the more we expect really. I'm gibbering now. With excitement.

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  15. Well I am looking forward to World Cup but, judging by my FFL leagues, what do I know about football.

    Anyway I do like to bring a bit of culture to this blog sometimes, so here we are

    http://www.thepoke.co.uk/2014/06/03/tortoises-that-look-like-louis-van-gaal/

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  16. if I hit the back arrow on my browser enough, will I get to Robbo's last blog on the BBC? Is that reverse technology?

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  17. Great blog, Robbo. Thoroughly entertaining and perceptive as usual. Forwarded your link to my mates - they like it too! You've gone global - fans in Hong Kong and Wales. My tip - Argentina.

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  19. Ox will be lucky not to have medial collateral ligament damage, the one on the inside of your over, resulting from that blow on the outside of his knee. I know ths because that's how I did mine. Recovery =2 months, or in my case about 4.

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  20. I wonder if the Ox was struck by the same witch doctor who claims to have taken out Ronaldo?

    http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/jun/04/cristiano-ronaldo-portugal-ghana-witch-doctor

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  21. Seems some of you don't care simply because you can't win. Does this mean you'll never care again? The USA will be lucky to score twice this time around, never mind pick up any points, but that won't stop me from watching. I'm already making big plans to enjoy Qatar '22 in person. Who's with me?

    Congrats to Gibraltar, too.
    http://www.101greatgoals.com/goals/internationals/gibraltar-win-their-1st-ever-international-match-beating-malta-1-0/

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    1. I put it to you that they care too much! Me on the other hand, I'm so sure we'll win that I'm past caring!

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  22. Barkley and the ox looked like the future, but nearly all the others were pretty shit I thought. The two centre halves looked like disaster waiting to happen. Phil Jones might be better out on the right. Milner was shockingly bad...poor touch, poor vision, tendency to lose the ball, not a defender, sterling proved he's too immature to risk with a start, Rooney average, was lamppost playing? Etc etc. This it's the real trouble with the England team...no depth. Let's hope the ox is ok.

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  23. Didn't watch the game last night,keeping my powder dry for the tournament itself.

    However,it's not all bad news.Italy drew 1-1 with The Mighty Luxembourg. so it's in the bag!

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  24. I had the NL v Wales game on in the bar.

    Only two people showed the slightest bit of interest.

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    1. And how are Rhys and Dai H?

      I suspect it's a general footie fatigue.

      However,once the tournament starts things should pick up.

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    2. You're probably right Jacks.

      People here don't put too much stock into friendly internationals. I remember the first few years here, i would pull on an orange t shirt wheh NL were playing such a game and everyone asked why I was wearing it, most where even unaware that they were playing.

      Stoopid cloggies.

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  25. Arsenal don't want Fabregas back...that's gonna come back to haunt them. We don't exactly need more midfielders but we could do a swap for Ozil, Arteta.
    Boolcks I can't even spell!

    Rastafairy

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  26. 30 million for outstanding Fabregas. or 42.5 mill for pile of shit Ozil. Wenger should buy Cesc and kick out Ozil - useless crock of shit.

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    1. https://storify.com/LordMoloch/the-cesc-story

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    2. He didn't suit Pep's style of play H2. I would have welcomed him back but I understand Wenger's view... unless he buys in an attacking midfielder in the next couple of months, that is
      .

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  27. Odd that Ozil is considered crap now. Yes, he faded by the end of the season, but I don't think Arsenal were top-4 without him.

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    1. He lifted the whole club.

      Hopefully with a better supporting cast next season he will really shine.

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  28. Evenin'all. Great blog as always Robbo. Me, I'm so unexcited about the World Cup that it's annoying me. Once every 4 years? I should be foaming at the mouth with excitement, but I'm not even half-arsed. For one, I have my final exams starting next on Monday and lasting 4 weeks, so I'll be too busy to watch any games. Two, with the time difference, all matches will be on tv at stupid o'clock. And thirdly, I just haven't watched that much footy over the last nearly 5 years that I've been in Oz. Instead, become a complete rugby league convert. Going to struggle when I head back to the motherland in 6 months.

    There's a chance that Australia could get absolutely hammered this time round - like double-figure scores. Their group will be tight with Spain, Holland and Chile and it'll probably come down to goal difference, so they'll be going all out against a very poor looking Aussie squad.

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    1. Noel, I teach and take summer classes that are scheduled to coincide with most of the matches, but thanks to WatchESPN, I'll split my attention on replays while not in the classroom. Is something similar available in Oz? Good luck on your exams. Four weeks?!

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    2. I don't thnk The Netherlands is that good Noel, They play not to lose, not really to steamroll teams.

      A reporter called van Gaal out saying that he didn;t really play exciting football.

      van Gaal just gave him an evil eye and basically said that he wasn't hired to entertain, but to get results.

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    3. I'm sure there is Stephen, and the games will always be available online somewhere, but I just haven't got the will to bother. Having time to watch the games, or staying away from the score until I get to watch the game is never going to happen. I'm sure I'll catch a few games if they look entertaining. I'm looking forward to seeing how Belgium get on. Can't see England doing anything.

      Looking forward to seeing that particular brand of football being played at the Theatre of Dreams next season then, H. Utd v Chelsea games will be complete fucking shit-fests then. But it's that kind of playing mentality that will make the games v Australia more important - if Chile, Spain and the Dutch are all drawing with each other, then spanking the Aussies will be their only chance to get out of the group on goals scored.

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    4. I think you are right about the Aussies Noel, they haven't performed well under Postecoglou. If memory serves me correctly he is the third Australian manager in charge of the Socceroos, none have been successful. However, you can never underestimate the Aussies and although I don't see them advancing out of the group stage, I don't see them as the whipping boys either. Any team that underestimates them will do so at their own peril..

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  29. Ribery backs out of the World Cup

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/27739174

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  30. How ridiculous is this? :

    http://metro.co.uk/2014/06/06/world-cup-2014-stadium-in-curitiba-still-not-ready-just-10-days-before-first-match-4752504/

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  31. Three cheers to Stan Hollis and his lot for a job well done.

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  33. Hyyp Hyyp Hyyrah! Three cheers for Brighton!

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/27635342

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  34. Inside look at Klinsmann at the helm of the USA. Decent piece, though it doesn't make me like him any more than the Suarez piece made me warm to that particular humanitarian.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/08/magazine/how-jurgen-klinsmann-plans-to-make-us-soccer-better-and-less-american.html?_r=2

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  35. Why is it whenever we are after a striker it's always a fucking frenchman that's in the frame (not that I have anything against the french in general.) I mean, Loic Remy, if he is so fucking good why is playing for qpr. Let him return to france, at least english females will be safer.

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  36. Replies
    1. Is this the Bernard Jordan you are praising Blog? If it is, he didn't run away for the woman did he, those are four, well lets be kind and say three of the ugliest females I have ever cast my eyes on (that includes my ex-wife.)

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  37. Who's favorite here for the disastrous last minute injury? My money's on Gerrard.

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  38. Gerrard would be a massive loss.if Rooney gets injured tho...bring on Berkley

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  39. That's a first for me, lightning stopped play... good thinking.

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  40. No team is an island?

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/27383488

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    1. Their hockey captain was kicked out of the Olympics for doing something similar as there is 'no room for politics in sport'. Somehow can't imagine FIFA doing the same with the Argentine football team though.

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  41. 2022 is going to be the most corrupt, depraved world cup ever. One way or another. Truth, reason, justice? How naive off me.....This from the guardian about the commercial motives behind probably gestural protests from sponsors such as adidas, visa, coca cola against farce the Qatar wc.. I hope no one buys your fucking shitty products and over priced services ever again....

    The United States, Australia, Japan and South Korea were the rivals who lost out to Qatar in the 2010 vote and are all safer choices as former hosts of major sporting events and developed markets for consumer brands.

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  42. This one though....really looking forward to it without the usual hysteria and plans for a full facial three lions tattoo if err win etc.which is a relief. Personally I don't think this team is any worse than the previous teams ever sent out. Woy inspires confidence. We've got pace and a couple of secret weapons in sterling and Barkley who might give us the pace enterprise and directness well need to beat the better teams IF we qualify from the groups and lardarse Rooney and the average defence don't let us down. The right back position has me worried as any coach who does 5 mins home work will focus their attack down that flank. But If as I've read we're 28-1 I might have a quid on it.

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    1. ahhhh Woy has a plan to counter your counter. He's gonna switch Glenn 'Liability' Johnson to the left wing and slot Ray Wilson in at right back.

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    2. I agree Blog, RB is a real problem. I can't believe Johnson is still the only option available. Even Jenkinson, who get's an occasional game for Arsenal, is a better option defensively.

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  43. Ok, it's time to get reckless. My long range predictions for the WC (if you have read my previous predictions you will now to go directly to the next post.) First, England will top their group just ahead of Uruguay. We will win our next match against Chile but get beat by Brazil in QF. Brazil will go on to beat Germany in the SF then beat Argentina in the Final. Messi will win the Golden Ball and Neymar will take the Golden Boot.

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    1. QF would be a good wc, Bo. Alternatively we could get beat in all 3 matches and come home humiliated sparking a national decline. No one will care. Premiership football attendances will slowly diminish, by qatar 2022, we'll be sending Old Corinthians out, a team of 34 yeal old Old Etonians with handlebar moustaches and Boarding School Syndrome, the domestic game wither'd on the vine, replaced in the nation's hearts by rugby, or morris dancing or something. No one will care.

      No one will care that we don't care - by 2022, the scots will be independent (who knew we had 5 million miserable whinging fuckers on our northern extremity...ok actually we always knew that didnt we but we never cared enough to register the fact) so scotland will be even more of an international non-entity than it is already, America will have palled up with our new overlords the Chinese, we'll be morris dancing on the graves of immigrants and our two mega aircraft carriers (no aircraft) accompanied by nuclear subs (no nuclear) and our army of 350 veterans (2 bullets each - one for the enemy one to commit suicide) will be sent to invade the EU, recently rebranded as the EEE - the Evil european Empire.

      Our only international allies will be the "lost amazonian tribe" which the Sun has recruited today by swapping england shirts for a tribal spell to harness the power of the jungle. at least this time we know all the monkey chanting is by real monkeys.

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  44. Time for a rebirth of the amatuer ideal I think. Money is ruining ever sport there is. footy=qatar, billionaire oligarchs etc; cricket=spread betting; horse racing - the horses are more doped up than their crooked jockeys; cycling/armstrong only the latest and greatest cheat in a sport built on the foundations of drug abuse (i saw an interview with a 1960s tour winner who was asked if he ever took performance enhancing drugs; he answered: only when i thought it was necessary; how often was that asked the interviewer..."every race" says yer man.

    so re: above suggestion we should send the Old Corinthians in. well i was joking, but now im not.

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  45. one last thing - im gutted roy keane wont be commenting on the wc. he's the only one i tell everyone to shut the f up when he's talking. the rest may as well be reading from a PR approved communication manager's briefing whiteboard. Andy Townsend is actually better on FIFA2014. The real andy townsend would fail the Turing Test.

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    1. He'd pass the Turding Test with flying colours though

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    2. If that's the one where a member of the public can tell the difference between him and a lump of shit, im not sure he would, Bells.

      btw RIP Rik Mayall, one of the Young Ones. if he's 56 that must make me....oh shit

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    3. Indeed, farewell to Rik the complete basterd.

      This house will become a shrine, and punks and skins and rastas will all gather round and hold their hands in sorrow for their fallen leader. And all the grown-ups will say, "But why are the kids crying?" And the kids will say, "Haven't you heard? Rick is dead! The People's Poet is dead!"

      R.I.P

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    4. R.I.P. to the People's Poet...first British comedy I saw that was current, i.e., not Monty Python/Benny Hill reruns on Public Television. Loved it. Also loved Rik Mayall presents - very inventive guy.

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  46. RIP Rik Mayall, whose humour gelled with me, which probably says more about me than I would usually want to divulge.

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  47. Pretty much a new low for Blatter (is it possible to get any lower). He's using the race card to garner support for his next term in office. There are too few words in the English language to properly describe this opportunistic, divisive, despicable pile of shit.

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    1. Agree Bo, I was going to write something similar however there are plenty of words in the english language to describe Blatter but they'd just get the post banned if you tried to use them - just think Danish King of England! There are also many many opportunistic, divisive, despicable piles of shit that are deeply offended at being compared to Sepp Blatter.

      Spider

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    2. he is indeed a pile of shit for pulling that move, well, no, he already was, this just adds more steam.

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    3. I'm surprised Blatter didn't resolve the Blatter way (TM), i.e. by shaking hands since it according to him earlier, it solves all the on-pitch racism so it might work in this case too.

      Alternatively, I suppose he can fine all the publication that were "racist" 10,000 pounds and said it had been dealt with adequately

      Zed

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    4. To be fair to Blatter, he may be right on this one. EVERY World Cup he's presided over has been awarded corruptly (it's how FIFA runs), so why single out Qatar?

      At least, I think that's what he means.


      Jedi

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  48. FIFA World Cup Fantasy Football sponsored by McDonalds. Four things that make you sick, all in the same place.

    http://en.mcdonalds.fantasy.fifa.com/
    League: Robbo Blog World Cup
    Password: robbo

    Decent format, too. 23 player squad, 11 man lineup. Lineup changes between matches, transfers only between rounds, but unlimited. Spread the word!

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    1. Thanks Stephen. Hopefully it will be more than just you and me in this one.

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  49. This sums it all up;

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlJEt2KU33I

    It's thirteen minutes long, but well worth the watch.

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    1. Indeed, well worth the watch. Funny/disturbing. As is the Tony Abbott clip alongside it.

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    2. that's a crackin' good analysis. Thanks H

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    3. Great stuff, H2H. Maybe I'll just follow the scores this time out. And 2018. And 2022. In 2026, I will turn 59 during the tournament (assuming they're not having it in the autumn because of unpredictable summer weather in Canada). I'm already catching the fever!

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  50. Its nothing to do with racism you SWISS CUNT.

    NEWS FIFA President Sepp Blatter today left his Brazil hotel with a riot squad surrounding him. Police report it was to protect the public from his bullshit.

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    1. It's all to do with SB getting another term as it has dawned on him that once he retires his successor will "Savile" the fracking canute.

      Spider

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  51. anyone watch the beckham in the jungle on abike prog? he's a very simple likeable guy but saying "i like it here because for the first time in a very long time no one knows who i am" TO A CAMERA CREW is surely a bizarre take on this man's unreal celebrity bubble of a life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought it was spelled 'Beckenbauer'. Or are we talking about Posh Spice's shoe attendant, and manny?

      I'd like to see the bit in full. The locals I saw in the promo seemed very interesting.

      Who wants a football pitch next to a basketball stadium? Uggh, how passé. Almost as stomach churning as having world class tennis facility being near a baseball stadium. ;-)

      Delete
    2. I thought it was spelled 'Beckenbauer'. Or are we talking about Posh Spice's shoe attendant, and manny?

      I'd like to see the bit in full. The locals I saw in the promo seemed very interesting.

      Who wants a football pitch next to a basketball stadium? Uggh, how passé. Almost as stomach churning as having world class tennis facility being near a baseball stadium. ;-)

      Delete
    3. I have no idea why the above was posted twice.

      Gemlins? Ghost in the Machine? Sting?

      Delete
  52. fingers crossed today for a Glenn Johnson hamstring pull in training.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Martin O'Neill has lofty ambissions for the Republic of Ireland..."But it was also a game that I wanted us to participate in because this it is what it is about - playing one of the best teams in the world heading to the World Cup."

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  54. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger could make a summer move for Lyon midfielder Clement Grenier, 23.
    Of for fuck's sake Arsene - you don't want Fabregas back - which I though meant we already had too many midfielders - but apparently it's because he's not French.
    Arsenal will welcome striker Carlos Vela back to the Emirates next season.
    Exactly how we will welcome his is not mentioned - with open arms or bemused indifference.

    I need to stop readin gth eBBC Gossip page

    Rastafairy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I need to speel check before publishing

      Rasta the doslexix

      Delete
  55. Here's the best one I've read on the looming protests in Brazil. When FIFA were just another bunch of fat parasites in blazers governments didn't care because guess what, governments are too. But there are signs that FIFA is becoming a symbol of globalised corruption, greedy oligarchy and the breakdown in trust between the governed and the government. This is very dangerous and i expect something will be done about it at some point in the next two hundred years.

    http://babb.telegraph.co.uk/2014/06/why-brazilians-are-protesting-against-the-world-cup/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. they've also cottoned on that Budweiser is piss water.

      Delete
    2. And perhaps that the Brazuca (which really is something that should be pointed at a panzer) is just an unsold Jabulani with new paint on.

      Delete
  56. So the FFP punishments handed out really seem to be making a difference. Man City were fined 49m, but only have to pay 17m as the rest is suspended. They had to field 8 home grown players in a Champs League squad of 21, but now only have to field 5 as it's against the player's rights. If clubs know they're going to get fairly insubstantial punishments, which they can then negotiate down to fairly insignificant, then what's the point?

    The squad size will pinch a little, but it'll be overcome easy enough.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have you heard of "Claytons" Noel. This is a Claytons punishment.

      Delete
  57. Here it comes!

    England to beat Germany in the final, 4-2.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is that a prediction, or are you predicting the past Blog?

      Delete
    2. Both..recollection and repetition are the sane movement just on opposite directions. I've sort of forgiven them for trying to kill my granddad but they can't shake that hitler ting, can they, the krauts, no matter how hard we try to help them forget. This its their world cup slogan...

      “One nation, one team, one dream!” “Ein land, ein mannschaft, ein traum”

      Just add ein fuhrer for full effect

      Delete
    3. When you add, "Ein Fuhrer," I presume it becomes the slogan for Team USA...

      Delete
  58. Any of you guys over there have influence with the PM? I would like him to apologise to the Australian people for allowing a dickhead such as Tony Abbott to immigrate from England. He should have been forced to stay where he could have risen to be lead in a Morris dancer troupe, a position much more suited to his qualifications and abilities (and appearance.)

    ReplyDelete
  59. platini vs blatter now ... this might get ugly

    http://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/michel-platini-praises-europes-assault-on-uturn-sepp-blatter-9527462.html

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  60. 13 minutes to view John Oliver for you H2, a little over an hour for me made it just about worth the watch.

    ReplyDelete
  61. For anybody interested, here's an article which does a good job of summing up football's place in Australian society.

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  62. Chelsea sign Fabregas from Barcelona. Wasn't a rumor after all. Well Gooners, how about that. Not just back to the PL, but to a London rival.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pissing fucking bollocking wanking shite!

      Rastafairy

      Delete
    2. Dont hold back now RF, tell us what your really think.

      Delete
    3. Spiffy. Another midfielder.

      Delete
  63. Criminal penalty for Brazil.

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  64. Absolutely shocking - Sepp Blatter's influence at work - total fix of a result

    No surprise FIFA corruption at work again

    ReplyDelete
  65. 3-1 to Brazil with the help of an Old Trafford penalty. They deserved the win but were not over-impressive. On today's performance they definitely look beatable. Oscar impressed.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Lovren looks perfect for our defense. With him, skrtl and Sakho in the side, the opposition don't really need to play any strikers.

    ReplyDelete
  67. No. matches to date: 1
    No. matches ruined by referee: 1

    And you just know after Greg Dyke’s rant the other day that the mighty In-ger-lund will get absolutely feck all from referees.

    Anyway, interesting stat time for anyone having a few bets during the tournament:

    In their last 10 major tournaments England have scored first in 9 of their opening matches (one finished 0-0) and they only held on to win twice. Therefore, get your cash on Italy to win after having been behind at a highly generous 16/1.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I consider behaving rationally in accordance with the evidence to be highly unpatriotic, warwick

      As for the rant, just like the panorama expose just before the corrupt douple vote for 2018/2022, at the time i thought stfu but the time is not right for england to stfu as we're not going to win anything in the near future, so now is the time for the truth, the time for shutting the fuck up may one day be upon us

      Delete
  68. While I'm here.....I'm fed up with idiot pundits already. The latest thing that's really getting my goat is all this shite about 'impact' players, e.g. I'd bring Sterling/Barkley on with 20 minutes to go because I can see them being impact players.

    If they're good enough to have an impact then give them 90 fucking minutes to make one, not 20.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Zidane was quite the impact player, given the right motivation.

      Delete
  69. Imagine Higuain, Messi and Aguero against a back 4 of luke shaw, jones, smalling and johnson -could happen - and smile.

    And then cry.

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  70. H - should be a good night tonight .... oranjeboom v t' tikka takka taliban

    ReplyDelete
  71. I didn't feel the game was ruined by the referee. Brazil did just about enough to win the game... maybe 2-1 rather than 3-1. I have seen more biased refereeing in the PL without all the fuss and ado surrounding the opening match.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. he ruined it with that ridiculous penalty decision for me. Although I was quite impressed with his freehand straight line from his aerosol can. Wouldn't be surprised if he goes back to his graffiti job sooner rather than later.

      Delete
  72. The greatest athlete you've never heard of.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beryl_Burton

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You may not be surprised to know that I've heard of her Blogs.

      The Merckx of her day (and many other days too)

      Delete
    2. she was on performance enhancing Yorkshire pudding even before it was popular in France.

      Delete
  73. Why aren't the dutch playing in Orange? Specially since the Spaniards are playing in white. Strange colors for both teams.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FIFA told them what colors to wear. I shit you not, the commentator mentioned it.

      Delete
    2. The Fracking Canute has probably got shares in the shirt manufacturers!

      Spider

      Delete
  74. I have to admit this is the first time I'm seeing Diego Costa play. He's a bit of a cunt, isnt he?

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  75. I take it you had a good day at the bar H2?

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  76. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  77. as usual, top end up! fuckers!!!!

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  78. After 15 minutes in the Chile v Australia game I had visions of a Noel suggested result. Then the Aussie fighting spirit kicked in and those who watched the game were treated to an exciting game of football. Chile's sealer in extra time came pretty much against the run of play and against a tiring Aussie team that put in 150 percent effort the whole match. 2-2 would have been a fair result.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, yeah when the second goal went in I did think my prediction would come true, but credit to the Aussies, they gave them one hell of a game. I thought Chile were trying to be a bit 'Arsenal' and pass it into the net, but the Australian wingers, particularly Leckie, had great games. I thought the ref had a good game. Tony fucking Abbott sent a good will message to the Aussie captain 'Mike Jedinak', despite his name being Mile.

      Delete
  79. What do you expect from a man who while visiting Canada referred to the country as,"Canadia".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know, but I didn't expect 5-1.

      Delete
    2. No-one expects the Spanish Inquisition - least of all the Spanish!

      Spider

      Delete
  80. World Cup + Data Visualization = Math Nerd Heaven... or lotsa spots.

    http://soccer.si.com/soccer/planet-futbol/2014/06/12/world-cup-odds-brazil-2014

    ReplyDelete
  81. WC UPDATE. No England flags round my end yet. checked my pulse. Not racing. Brazil through coutesy of their new start Referrinho. Enjoyed the humiliation of an ageing Spain team. The hidden truth of tikka takka is the athleticism of perpetual motion required. Not for 30 year olds. Seen the pitch in the jungle for tonight? Last time we played on a surface like this was v Germany, Xmas 1917.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Grass was greener in 1914.

      Delete
    2. the udder man's grass is always greener

      Delete
  82. 3-1 for Costa Rica has made life even more difficult for Uruguay in group D.

    Surely Joel Campbell has to be called back to Arsenal next season, seen him twice now and he has impressed on both occasions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He's too direct, Bo. Now if he could side-foot it in from 6 inches following an intricate 94 pass move involving all 16 Arsenal midfielders, Arsene would probably be all over him!

      Spider

      Delete
  83. Arsenal's decision not to take up the option to buy back Fabregas, especially for the reason given, may yet come back to bight them in the arse, if rumours linking Santi Carzorla with a move to Atletico Madrid prove to be true.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't get why they didn't buy him back either especially as he's gone to Chelsea. He is better than Arteta and Carzola and it would have given Arsenal a real chance to win the league next season. Chelski looking a strong bet for the title already especially if they sign Costa. Man Utd need to get on with signing some players otherwise we'll be lucky to finish 7th again next year as everyone else is signing players already

      Delete
  84. 2-1 Italy. They controlled the game and played it at their pace. I thought we played well enough just wasn't good enough on the day. Italy's goals were preventable, the second in particular.

    Contrary to my expectations, it was our left side of the pitch that Italy chose to attack, the first half in particular. Baines, without support from Rooney, was caught out often.

    I don't want to keep knocking Rooney but surely you have to do more in a game than put in a cross, a great cross though it was, a lot more should be expected and given. His position in the team should be in doubt for the next game, although I doubt it will be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would help if Hodgson actually played Rooney in his best position. As Thierry Henry said if you are going to play him, play him in his position. England looked a lot better when Sterling was wide and Rooney in the middle.

      Delete
    2. In the second half Rooney played in "his" position and still did fuck all. England looking better had nothing to do with anything he did.

      Delete
  85. can anyone in the England team actually cross the ball. Baines' delivery from corners was rubbish, Gerrard's free kicks were rubbish and generally England's final ball was consistently rubbish. Need to go back to 4-4-2 - Would stock with back 5, bring in Wilshere instead of Henderson, Oxo-Cube if he is fit instead of welbeck and play Rooney and Lambert up front.

    Will be home-time on Thursday I reckon unless there is a massive improvement in our crossing

    ReplyDelete
  86. The Netherlands- Spain result was brilliant. Even though Costa cheated a penalty out of the ref they got destroyed. Bet Sepp Blatters crying in his soup especially after the President of the Dutch FA wants him to resign

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also, Spain is currently bottom of the group due to goal difference. Who would have seen this coming?

      If Spain qualified as second place in Group B and Brazil as leaders of Group A, we can all look forward to a Spain vs Brazil match. I bet Costa won't be very popular with the crowds then!

      Delete
  87. I watched that game with Assn unusual sense of equanimity which enabled meto enjoy watching England for once. Expectations are about where they should be this time, with a recognition that we don't have the quality to beat the top teams bit with real hope for the future, maybe France /euros 2016.

    ReplyDelete
  88. Hope Rooney isn't scapegoated in the press, but I think he probably will be for that miss.

    ReplyDelete
  89. perfect result, just enough to remind 'em to fix a few things, pull a few fingers out here and there, it's all going to plan. WC Champions 2014

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You mean WC Champions 2213A*, right?

      *By this time the World Cup will be held 98 times per year to maximize FIFA's revenues. 40 major donor countries will play host, plus a rotating pool of 55 other countries and 3 other planets. England will only win, for the first time since 1966, due to all the other countries boycotting Sepp Blatter's re-election in 2212.

      Delete
  90. we couldn't beat a mundane italy, who were about as good as france in 2010 or even italy themselves in 2010 for that matter. roll on june 24th when us english can start to enjoy the world cup.
    rjs

    ReplyDelete
  91. Don't agree with that, rjs. I enjoyed the match last night. Great skill pace and movement up front. Could easily have won it. What had been so excruciating about England in recent years has been the lack of enterprise and the dishonorable pusillanimity of it all. Last night was different, thanks to Woy. Maybe this young team will develop into world beaters maybe they won't..how many caps have lalana, Sturridge, sterling Barkley, Wilshire, Barkley got between them -20? But it at least seems possible. Above everything I could watch the game without walking out of the room/hiding/self medicating with alcohol -yes I know that's usually the point but I've given up alcohol before it kills me.

    Only one thing spoiled it a bit for me. The one relic. The reminder of team England as Project Fear. Rooney. It wasn't that he was bad, he was worth his place. I just felt sorry for him. He will never be considered in the same category as ronaldo and co. because he self evidently doesn't cope with pressure well. The bald ex Chelsea guy forget his name said pressure was an aggregate of expectation, scrutiny and consequences , and he still thinks he has to prove himself too be something special and it weighs down on him. The Italians, who tactically were on top through out, knew this and overloaded the left hoping he didn't track back, putting pressure on Baines who had a tough tutorial vs Candreva who I thought was Italy's best player. Hodgson switched Rooney in the second half, Rooney himself didn't seem to have the brains our tactical awareness to see what was happening himself. Scholes, who was always shit for England didn't help with that worrying, for Rooney, and probably correct suggestion he's over the hill. So it was all a bit embarrassing for Rooney. Tbh I can handle one embarrassing team member, and add I say still does enough to keep Milner out of the team. Not so long ago the while team was embarrassing.

    Well done Woy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dishonorable Pusillanimity was my favorite thrash metal band.

      Delete
    2. Agree with most of what you say Blog. England were quite enterprising and deserved more out of the game. The young guns, although they didn't really shine they did enough to make you feel there was possibly a bright future for English International football.

      I disagree that Rooney wasn't bad. If a young player in his first half dozen games for his country had a game like Rooney's, it could be accepted but this is Rooney's third WC, he should be expected to do than that, whether he is playing in "his" position or not. For me it's not so much about having an embarrassing team member but more that he is keeping a younger, more enthusiastic player out of the team.

      I also add my appreciation for what Woy has done with this team.

      Delete
  92. The studio punditry was top quality..I thought Rio and Thierry wetter brilliant, the sort of current inside knowledge and understanding you can't get if yo have the equivalent of a golf club vote in past for years. Hansen.

    Great inserts too. Shearer there as the 'studio Rooney'

    Not sure what purpose Phil Neville served with his FIFA14 style push button monotone, but easy to ignore at least.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *golf club bore in post

      fucking phone

      Delete
    2. Phil nev's



      commentary

      http://youtu.be/z34MZ5Dm0yA

      Delete
  93. Just bought Rik Mayall's 2010 recording "Noble England," basically a mash-up of the Henry V speech and chant for the chorus ("Come on you Eng-a-land, you noble Englishmen!), but it's pretty good. Apparently, his fans have pushed this to number 7 on the UK charts this week in tribute.

    On a side note, and if you will take a Yank's opinion, I finally got a chance to watch the match back, and I thought England were unlucky to come away with nothing.

    Just saw that Swiss winning goal live at the death, on the counter-counter attack - sublime stuff. Kudos to the referee for allowing them to play their advantage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "...live at the death..." I really should proofread. Meant I was watching live when they...oh, sod it, Robbo blog readers are above-normal in their intellect (also charm, looks, and personal hygiene), you know what I was on about.

      Say, H2H - NOW have the Dutch got World Cup Fever? :)

      Delete
    2. Oh, and I probably should have looked it up on ViewTube, but here's the Noble England video:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMAFme1hBH0

      Delete
  94. In other news:

    Messi finally scored his first WC goal and it was a rather good one. Maybe the reason he couldn't score earlier is because he despises "ugly" goals?

    Now if only Rooney could do the same. He's had 3 WC so it's not like he wasn't given enough time or chances.

    I mean... even Gervinho scored in this WC so Rooney has no excuses.

    Zed

    ReplyDelete
  95. I'm so glad we have serious journalists like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert to help us make sense of modern American life, even sport:

    http://babb.telegraph.co.uk/2014/06/colbert-report-takes-apart-jurgen-klinsmann-for-display-of-un-american-realism/

    ReplyDelete
  96. I like Stewart Scott but never been a fan of Colbert.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stuart Scott the ESPN anchor and cancer survivor? Ha - too many people in the meeja these days, Bo.

      Yeah, Stewart definitely > Colbert. Colbert OK in smaller doses, like when he was one of the "reporters" on the Daily Show, but I thought this bit was funny, mostly due to the "German UN Ambassador." I still cannot believe Colbert is going to take over for Letterman.

      Delete
  97. new blog up H... ah like you care anymore, what with all that oranje world cup feber around u now...

    --BeeZee

    ReplyDelete