More On England’s Success And A Little On Chelsea’s Failure

Posted: July 9, 2018 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Football, International Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, The World Cup
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CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v80), quality = 75

After four years of waiting, not quite with bated breath, the World Cup arrived and here we are already at the semi-final stage. What is surprising about this year’s tournament is that England’s players are still there!

For the first time since 1990, (Gazza’s tears at missing the final they never made it to, and all that), England have reached those dizzy heights once again.

Whether by luck, good judgement or good play is debatable but they are there, no denying it.

Granted they qualified from a group including those footballing giants Panama and Tunisia and then had to beat Colombia, (ranked 16th in the world, four places below England), but, the point is, they did it.

They then beat Sweden who are ranked 24th in the world, a mere 12 places below England. So it is reasonably fair to say that they haven’t met anybody who is recognised as a better team than they are, unless you count Belgium’s reserves who beat them 1-0, and that is when the truth will be told.

Even in the semi-final they will play Croatia who, at 20th, sit eight places below them in the world rankings. So it is no exaggeration to say that they have enjoyed a large slice of luck with the draw.

They still managed to start off making everybody feel that they could blow it when going into the final minutes against Tunisia at 1-1 before Harry Kane scored the winner.

Still, they are through and that is all that matters and, if they can overcome Croatia, then the final will be the first meaningful game in which England meet a team ranked higher than they are, (France are 7th and Belgium 3rd).


Harry Kane scores the last-gasp winner against Tunisia

If they could win this tournament they would finally lay the ghosts of 1966 whereby the accusations are that they only won the World Cup because they played every game at Wembley.

Back then that would have been akin to a Premier League team playing all of their FA Cup games at home including the semi-finals and final, (a little like Tottenham Hotspur tried to do last season, even though they originally played a few minnows away from home, when they failed miserably in the attempt).

Obviously, if victorious, the cynics would point out that England didn’t play a decent team until the final but, again like the FA Cup, knockout football tends to raise the personal best of average teams.

If they lose in the final, those same cynics will argue that it was because they failed the first time they had to play a good team! Either way, from that point of view, it is a no-win situation for Gareth Southgate’s team.

The fact of the matter is that, if England can win the World Cup under any circumstances, it will be a great achievement from a team and manager whose initial ambition was to try and make it through to the quarter-finals. So well done whatever the outcome.

Belgium and France, on the other hand, are both probably where they would have expected to be. Belgium deserve their spot purely on the basis of having eliminated Brazil. France are in a similar situation having knocked out both Argentina and Uruguay.

Again, England can be thankful that others have eliminated most of the favourites and, by so doing, have enhanced the chances of the World Cup going to England for only the second time in it’s history.

With a little luck, after two more games, the England team and the World Cup will be on the same plane home for the first time ever.

And finally…..


Sacked and replaced by Carlo Ancelotti, Maurizio Sarri is still contracted to Napoli. Work that one out!

Ethically-challenged Chelsea are, deservedly, going to have to find around £16 million to change manager. That is because they have mis-managed the whole situation and now find themselves negotiating with Napoli on a £7 million buy-out clause due if they wish to employ Maurizio Sarri, who has already been fired and replaced by the club.

They will also have to pay Antonio Conte around £9 million for the final year of his contract so, for a total of £16 million they can have a new manager, eventually.

Unless they can negotiate these figures down, which is unlikely, it is looking like an expensive period for the Blues who haven’t even started on the transfer market yet!

  1. RedMe says:

    Chelsea can also save all the money or give it to the poor, have Conti working the last year by then Sarri will be free. They also don’t need to spend in the transfer window and do a big come back the season 19/20.


  2. pauleee says:

    They should tell Conte that he isn’t in their future plans and he should just hang with the practice squad. Or in Brazil, whatever. That tactic worked out sooooo well for us last year.


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