After yesterday’s World Cup draw, some boring sense about England’s prospects from football365:
It is worth stating something that is blindingly obvious and yet often overlooked in the hysteria surrounding the national team: England’s peaks may be depressingly even, but the troughs have been negligible for many years now.
Since Sven-Goran Eriksson took over, the team have been consistently half-decent, in competitive matches, the world rankings and especially in World Cup terms, when compared with other countries. Handily enough, they also did all right in the previous World Cup, saving the debacle for Euro 2000, when at least they qualified.
England entered the world top eight, according to the FIFA rankings, in July 2002. Yes, they had just lost in the quarter-finals of the last World Cup, but that means only four teams did better than them. Think about it.
Eight teams did better than England’s last-16 exit at France 98. But of those, Argentina, France, Croatia failed to get out of their group in 2002 and Holland did not even qualify. Italy and Denmark (quarter-finals then last 16) have the same results as England, but the wrong way round with the higher achievement first, and Denmark have not qualified for this World Cup.
Only Brazil and Germany have bettered England in both the last two World Cups. No, honestly.
Aston Villa, though, are still rubbish.
That entire argument falls apart at the mention of just two words: “Ireland” and “Northern”.
Or “Tim” and “Henman”, who managed to be in the world’s top 5 tennis players without ever winning anything significant.
I suppose Brazil’s losing 1-0 to Ecuador (ranked 39th in the World) and 3-1 to Argentina during their qualifying for this World Cup puts them out of contention too.
This argument is harder to refute, and will be still more so when England go out to Costa Rica on penalties.
On the grounds that it would be extremely irritating, I expect this time we will lose on penalties to Italy.
> I suppose Brazil’s losing 1-0 to Ecuador … and 3-1 to Argentina during their qualifying for this World Cup puts them out of contention too.
Who said anything about being out of contention? I know sod all about football, the world’s least entertaining sport after chess — for all I know, England are the favourites. What I said was that the above argument, based as it is on the premise that England have been doing “consistently” well with “negligible” troughs, is bollocks. Losing to Northern Ireland was generally recognised as a non-negligible trough. And very funny.
Volz’s theatrical dive; pack-hunting the referee; Mourinho says the linesman couldn’t have seen the incident (how can he possibly know?) and once again assumes that Chelsea have a right to have all decisions go their way; dangerous foul by Gallas…
It’s time to
Wyne’s foot better mend soon or they have to change this song.
Do you remember George Formby (no I’m not in his fan club)? This song sounds like him but it can’t be him cos he’s dead – I think. http://www.lalaforengerland.com