Saturday, October 07, 2006


It's bloody England again this afternoon.

Do I really have to watch it?

After the high-living Swede and his lover boy Becks, we get Steve McClaren the plain-talking Yorkshireman who is only a few months older than me but looks and sounds like he's from a completely different era. Just looking at him makes me think of ham sandwiches with little bits of bone in.

Croatia coach and ex West Ham idol Slaven Bilic has the following to say about England:

"England were shit at the World Cup. I really can't understand why they played so defensively. But they were the same recently against Macedonia."

He's right. But it's always been that way. Ron Greenwood developed attractive footballing teams at West Ham but bloody boring England ones. El Tel and Sven got a couple of cracking performances out of England but they didn't last.

What chance Macca and El Tel? The dour boy and the wide boy?



England 0, Macedonia 0



  1. Amazing. Gerard actually managed to hit the bar instead of planting it 36 rows back this time. Didn't they miss Hargreaves. Two years ago I would never have thought of him as that necessary.

  2. Yes they did miss Hargreaves. Hargreaves and Carrick in the middle with a couple of decent wingers might be a good idea. Except there are no decent English left wingers (Giggs choosing to be Welsh).

    The gaffer says he wants to play with width and then picks his son on the left who can't dribble and can't cross and Gerrard on the right who wanders all over the bleeding pitch - anywhere but the right wing.

    Then you've got the problem of a 6ft 7ins centre forward who's not a natural header of the ball.

    What's the point of any of it?

    Yes, it's easier from up here in Row X.

  3. Yes, I remember Lawrenson tut-tutting at the start of the second half when Gerrard was in central midfield. Didn't he say something like "No change there then"? That's the paradox about Crouch, isn't it. His ball control for a big man is pretty good, he's quite an adept dribbler and I think he's most effective when he gets the ball to feet. As England are now devoid of a decent aerial passer (Beckham can still do it better than anyone - everyone else leaves it floating for far too long) then concentrate on his strengths. I like Crouch though and I don't think his tendency toward the spectacular should be curbed - it's about time there was some flair up front.

    Sorry everyone. Geoff - We're going out for a drive in while - Might go to Deal.

  4. We changed to the digital tv version of Radio 5 Live at half-time: couldn't stand any more of Motson and Lawrenson. Then again they had Alan Green on the radio who's getting on a bit, too. It's a young man's game this commentary stuff. At least on the radio they explain what's happening - "That was a dive by Crouch", "That was another awful pass by Lampard".

    The best cross of the match was by Ledley King - Crouch really should have scored.

    OK, football over for another 3 months, I promise.

    Hope it stays dry in Deal, Richard.

  5. We went down the A20 from Ashford then through the North Downs behind Dover. Postling, Elham and Alkham and then on up the coast through Deal, Sandwich, Ramsgit and up to Margit where we let the dog run on the beach for a bit. It was a lovely afternoon too but S was exhausted by the time we got back.

  6. No, not 3 months! Sooner! Just because I'm not commenting on it (oops) doesn't mean I'm not enjoying it.

  7. I bore myself when I write about football, MJ.

    God knows what readers who don't like football think.

  8. I was asleep for the first half an hour, enjoying a nice nap. I wake up and turn on the telly to find England doing the exact same thing. Rubbbbish. Rooney and Crouch together doesn't work. Carrick played too conservatively, and noone seemed to trust him with the ball. I'd drop him, play King in that spot with Ferdinand back in defence, and give Shaun Wright Phillips a run on the right. And please, God, Lampard have a good game. Please!

    I like ranting about football. Makes me feel like a big man.

  9. I'm so bored with England I think I might support Croatia, Del.

  10. Anonymous12:40 PM

    You could always support Scotland Geoff! We're doing well!!

  11. I think I will, Heather.

    You have got the great Christian Dailly after all.

  12. Croatia were the best bet. And to think that at the start of the season I was worried my beloved Arsenal didn't have any homegrown players. Well, other than Theo who scored twice in the U21s. Amazing what a striker who can run can do. And breathe.

    But you certainly can't support the Scots! That's treason! I simply won't have it.

    (The only exception is during a championship group stage when England have already qualified for the second round, and Scotland are doomed to go out despite several "plucky" performances. Then you can support them in the final, pointless game.)

  13. I was willing Croatia to score a third.

    And no, I couldn't be bothered about the Scotland result. I liked Feance but now Zidane's gone I'll find it difficult to get enthusiastic about international football anyway.

    Those England bastards crocked Dean Ashton after all.