England Win Another Meaningless Game, Scotland Don’t And The Premier League Is Nearer To A Return!

Posted: March 25, 2018 in Arsenal, Chelsea, England, Football, International Football, Liverpool, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur
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england

So what did we learn about England’s World Cup chances from their win against The Netherlands? Not a lot that we haven’t known for the last fifty years or so, that’s what!

The fact that Gareth Southgate’s men managed to scrape a 0-1 win at the home of a team who couldn’t even qualify for this year’s tournament says more about the Dutch than it does about England.

Holland is a team in transition. Having reached the semi-final of the last World Cup and the final of the one prior to that, their fall from grace has been quite spectacular.

Now, with new manager Ronald Koeman in charge, the onus is on youth and the need to provide experience to some of the lesser known players so they can become the greats of the future.

England, on the other hand, have been in transition since they won the World Cup in 1966! They certainly won’t come anywhere close to winning the competition this time out and will struggle as soon as the group stage is over. Hopefully, they will have enough to get past Panama and Tunisia and so secure a second place finish behind Belgium, but you never know.

Jesse Lingard’s first goal for his country was enough to give the visitors their victory but, despite the joy with which the result and performance was greeted by the likes of Ian Wright and Lee Dixon, if this friendly is anything to go by it will be another fifty years before England lift a trophy.

They struggled, in the main, to break down an average team and, although this was an experimental opportunity for Southgate, he will have learned little he didn’t already know about those who played.

Unfortunately for England they have yet another team which, although being good enough to qualify through an easy group, is nowhere near good enough to advance in the major competitions.

This, in turn, is sad for deluded England fans who think, every four years, that England are going to win the World Cup. They aren’t. Not for a very long time yet.

Meanwhile, north of the border…..

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The usual new manager excuse, “it won’t happen overnight” was reeled out after this one. Scots are entitled to wonder when, if ever, it will happen!

Scotland, on the other hand, won’t win the World Cup ever in the history of the world.

They contrived to lose their first game at Hampden under the returning Alex McLeish to a Costa Rican team who scored the only goal through Marco Urena. Of course the visitors are World Cup bound so the defeat shouldn’t really come as a great surprise just as McLeish’s excuse that the team won’t “gel overnight” won’t wash with the fans for very long.

Scotland, under whoever happens to be coaching them at the time, are a perpetual work-in-progress with the problem being that they never seem to actually get anywhere. The manager is nearly always sacked before his project is complete and another one comes in to begin the cycle all over again.

Until they find some lasting stability with both players and manager they will qualify for nothing.

Half-term report…..

We are now half way through the international injury window and, as yet anyway, we are not aware of any actual injuries having occurred. There is still time for this to change of course so we will keep our fingers crossed that these meaningless excuses to gather together some overpaid and, mainly, average players, results in nothing more than a bit of time being wasted along with a lot of money and jet fuel!

Next weekend…..

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These two may not be in the Premier League for much longer!

When the Premier League returns next Saturday there should be wins for the three members of the top six who play on that day. With Liverpool at Crystal Palace, Manchester United hosting Swansea City and Manchester City at Everton there is little to suggest that any major surprises will be sprung.

Sunday sees Arsenal playing Stoke City at The Emirates followed by Chelsea against Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge. The former should see The Gunners collecting three points which will further enhance their false sense of security and the latter will probably be a win for Chelsea purely based on the fact that they really need the points if they are to put any pressure at all on Spurs in the race for the top four.

So with that and with no Premier League on which to comment, we bid our farewell and trust you will have the strength to make it through to next weekend without having to resort to any drastic measures, such as watching old videos of your favourite team over and over again. That would just be sad!

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