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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

What The Hell Happened

I go away on holiday for a couple of weeks and come back to find that the England team - with all the arrogance that a bunch of overpaid, pampered millionaires can muster (and that's a lot of arrogance, believe me !) - have contrived to mess up two of the easiest World Cup qualifiers they are ever likely to encounter.

Scraping through against Wales is just about forgivable as three points is still three points, but losing to Northern Ireland is just unbelievable. I consider myself very lucky not to have seen the match (funnily enough, it wasn't shown on Egyptian TV, although Plymouth Argyle vs Norwich City was available for our viewing, er, pleasure ).

Somewhat unsurprisingly, the media has not been kind and the finger has been pointed at Sven and pretty much all the players. I think this article at SportingLife pretty much sums up many people's views about the whole thing and certainly encapsulates my own opinion.

One thing is clear though - we are going to struggle to win this qualifying group now, so it's likely to be a play-off for England. Luckily, these play-offs are, let's just say, more than a little biased in favour of the big football nations that bring in the largest slice of advertising revenue.

Far be it from me to suggest that they were 'fixed' but it's a good job England is a rich, highly populated country that loves it's football otherwise we might end up facing a real football team like the Czech Republic in a play-off instead of the minnow we're likely to end up with.

posted by mark_s at 7:15 PM


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