Friday, 25 June 2010

Well, come on, then before "zee" Germans get here…

It had to happen, didn’t it?

Sunday's clash between the two teams will be their 28th full international match together and of the previous 27 internationals, England has won 12 while Germany has only won 10. During these 27 matches Germany have scored 34 goals, but England have bagged a massive 4. Good omens then.

Not quite.

England’s stuttering start was given a breath of fresh belief after the rampage of goals against Slovenia, according to our own Jermain Defoe. The fact is we were average in that game and repulsively bad before then. And we will be coming up against the youngest German team in a World Cup since the 1930s, whilst we will be fielding the oldest team England team ever.

The two teams have met in two penalty shootouts; in 1990 and 1996 - Germany have won both.

The Germans play very similar football to the English; powerful players with accurate passes that don’t usually play the appealing football, but tend to get the job done. We usually bring the best out of each other, similar to the North London Derby. The difference being the team in white tend to prevail in this one.

Gary Lineker summed it up brilliantly in one statement:
"Soccer is a game for 22 people that run around, play the ball, and one referee who makes a slew of mistakes, and in the end Germany always wins."

Please Lord, lets not have Jamie Carragher at the back.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Let them eat cake!

Fabio Capello. Run of the mill or king of the hill?

He came to these shingle-infested shores with a glistening résumé at club level and was the autocratic leader that our plucked and premed beauty queens (exception of Rooney. Maybe Crouch.) desperately needed.

As England got off to a swirling success throughout the qualifiers we truly believed he was the best thing to come out of Italy since Ragu sauce. He was like your best mate that you share banter with, buy rounds with, even drunkenly hug and spill Chili sauce on your shoes with. Until you go away on holiday with them and their characteristics become almost intolerable.

It seems the totalitarian approach that we saw as our leader’s greatest attribute has now sunken to his greatest hindrance. The players seem bored and disinterested, their concentration levels appear lower than Blackpool’s wage structure, and they even seem tired and impotent in front of goal.

The lack of freedom and leniency appears to have not only affected morale but as a result the country’s hopes and dreams of success.

The latest victory against Slovenia (whose best player’s claim to fame was a West Brom substitute appearance several seasons ago) was far encouraging. The corner flag shenanigans towards the end may seem adequate in a game against Brazil, even France, but Slovenia?! We were simply hanging on.

Although this is a learning curve for a man whose previous glory has come predominantly at club level, the weight of expectations building up to this world cup was higher than Frank Lampard’s cholesterol. England expects. Capello needs to lighten up. I say let them eat cake.