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Thursday, July 06, 2006

2006 World Cup Final : Italy vs France

Well, the 2006 World Cup Final is on Sunday and then that's it for this blog for another four years. It's been fun though.

Quite how France managed to get to the Final is still a mystery to me - they were terrible in the Group stages, lacklustre against Brazil and have never really looked that great to me. Zidane, however, is playing out of his skin and is dragging the rest of the team kicking and screaming along with him.

Italy, by contrast, have been good to watch (no, honestly, they have, really !) - in particular Gattuso - that little trogladite in midfield who seems to get his head trodden on in every match.

My money's on Italy and I'm hoping for a good match. I suspect it will be defensive and dull, though.

posted by mark_s at 10:02 PM 1 comments

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

England Post Mortem

OK, I'm back from my holiday in sunny Egypt where I managed to catch the England games and a couple of other matches. And overall...England, like, sucked, man.

They thoroughly deserved to lose to Portugal. In fact, England barely looked capable throughout the tournament and only a fortutious run of matches enabled them to get that far.

For a team so blessed with attacking talent, the dull, unimaginative tactics and the tendency to hoof the ball upfield regardless has turned potential World Cup challengers into also-rans. Joe Cole, Frank Lampard, Beckham, Rooney, Gerrard...they were, let's face facts, all rubbish, all the time. Aaron Lennon was good though. But he plays for Spurs, so that's to be expected.

So, who's to blame ? It's very easy to place the blame at Sven's door. So I will. He spent the entire tournament looking like a rabbit caught in the headlights. His decision to take Theo Walcott backfired as - when Owen got injured (even before as Owen too was rubbish) - he left himself with virtually no fit strikers. And, no, I haven't forgotten about Peter Crouch as much as I would like to.

Anyway, here endeth the Sven era. Thank God for that.

posted by mark_s at 10:07 AM 1 comments