Archive for June, 2012

Over to you God

June 30, 2012

Hola. Hope you are well.

As the Euro 2012 Final is tomorrow, I’d like to talk about England’s exit from the tournament, but before I do that I want to refer back to my last blog post, entitled, ‘How God conspired against me’. In an attempt to get people to read the post I sent the link out to friends in an email. Normally, I don’t get much feedback on the rare(ish) occasions I do this, but one reply I got, simply said, ‘Just so you know … there is no God’. So now you know.

Ok… and on to England. The first thing to note is that at the start of the tournament, expectation was low, people thought we were rubbish. I even heard it said that this was the worse squad we have ever sent to a major tournament (I’m not sure how that makes those players who never got a game feel). Yet when we went out after being a bit rubbish people seemed a bit surprised. I think part of the problem was that we got a little carried away, after getting a draw against France in the opening game. Little did we know at the time, that France weren’t all that either.

Moving onto the Italy game where England went out. Now I’m not as knowledgeable about footballing tactics as Roy Hodgson. I haven’t got a managerial CV as long as his (even taking into account many of his jobs were in Scandinavia), however whenever I’ve played football and the opposition have had a player who is running the show, we’ve tended to put a man on that man. What we wouldn’t do, which is the approach Hodgson seemed to favour, is to do nothing at let that player, Pirlo, in this case, just continue to cause you damage.

As for the penalty misses. It would appear that Ashley Young is better at winning penalties than he is at converting them. And as for Ashley Cole his penalty miss came a month too late for my liking.

What of the future of English football? Amongst those in prime positions to shape English football are Stuart Pearce and Gareth Southgate. I’ll resist saying God help us, as I’ve been told it doesn’t exist.

Til next time, stay safe!

How God conspired against me

June 20, 2012

Hola. Hope you are well.

So the Euros are at the quarter-final stage and this is my first post about them. That’s just how this blog works. This is after all the football blog that has yet to make any reference to Chelsea’s Champions League victory.

I had a slow start to the tournament and have since felt like I’ve been playing catch up. On the opening day, I managed to watch 50 mins of the opening game before having to go to a restaurant. This subsequently meant that I only watched the last 15 mins of the second game Russia v Czech Rep. On the Saturday, I was at a training day so missed both the games. I’ve missed other games since, including Eng v Sweden, because I had a gig.

Even when I’ve been at home watching the games I’ve missed goals. I missed the Russian goal against Poland, because I was putting rubbish out. I missed the Swedish goal against the Ukraine because I was watching Coronation St (girlfriend’s fault) and I missed both of the Czech Republic‘s opening two goals against Greece because I was otherwise engaged in the bathroom.

On Friday things didn’t get much better as I sat down in a pub to watch Ukraine v France. I knew I was only able to watch the first-half as I had to meet a couple of friends at 6pm. Five mins into the game and it’s suspended due to a storm, meaning I missed the whole game. What chance have I got when God is conspiring against me.

Things however maybe changing for the better. I am meeting up with two old uni friends this Sat. Both of them happen to be  woman. I only mention this because, I think it would have been hard for me to try to convince them to watch football as part of our reunion. So thanks to some dodgy goalkeeping, the failure of football to adopt technology and French ineptitude, England managed to top Group D, meaning their quarter-final against Italy will be played on the more convenient Sunday, weather permitting.

Til next time, stay safe!

Spearing for England

June 8, 2012

Hola. Hope you are well.

So the Euro 2012 is almost upon us and England’s preparations aren’t exactly going to plan, what with so many players having to pull out through injury, yet Rio Ferdinand still can’t get a call up. The thing I don’t like abt Rio’s continued absence from the squad is that people keep hiding behind the phrase ‘footballing reasons’ when we all know the reason he’s been ignored is because John Terry who is in the squad, faces a court case for allegedly racially abusing Anton Ferdinand and so Hodgson et al don’t want Rio and John Terry to be in the same squad. If people were more honest about this, then I could take them more seriously. I can’t help thinking that if I were the England manager I’d not only pick Rio Ferdinand, I’d also pick Anton Ferdinand and even Les Ferdinand, alongside John Terry and see how he enjoys those two weeks.

Rio’s continued absence has however been to the benefit of Martin Kelly, who replaced the injured Gary Cahill. Meaning Liverpool now have 6 players in the Eng squad. Some would say having a quarter of the squad made up of players from the team that finished 8th in the league  isn’t a good idea but I’d say there should be more Liverpool players in the squad. If I had my way I’d boot Scott Parker out of the squad and replace him with Jay Spearing. If I had a Facebook account I’d set up some kind of campaign, I think that’s how things get done these days.

And Finally… with the Euros less than an hour away, at the time of writing, I feel I should draw a line under the 2011-12 football season. I will do this by looking back at the predictions I made at the start of the season, where I attempted to say where each team would finish in the Premier League. I did this by putting all the club’s names in a hat and weighting them, depending on where they finished the previous season. So as Champions Man Utd only had 1 name in the hat and Swansea by virtue of coming up via the play-offs had 20 strips of paper with their name on. See here for the original predictions. (scroll down to the bottom of the page).

Here’s a few observations, I made looking at my predictions and the actual places they finished. Firstly, I was one min away from getting the name of the Champions correct. How was I to know Aguero was going to scupper things, not that I was too disappointed, if I’m being honest. I had Fulham to finish 6th in reality Chelsea finish 6th, but they are both based in West London. In mid-table I had a couple of near misses, I had Norwich in 13th, they actually finished 12th, I had Sunderland in 14th, they finished 13th. At the bottom of the table I had both Bolton and Blackburn to get relegated, which they did. But in 17th place I had QPR and who finished 17th in the Premier League… that’s right QPR! Next stop the lottery numbers me thinks.

Til next time, stay safe!