More On England’s “Successful” World Cup, A Couple Of Transfers + Chelsea Have Found Another Mug To Manage Their Team

Posted: July 15, 2018 in Arsenal, Chelsea, England, Football, International Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, The World Cup, Transfers
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After tomorrow there will probably be very few articles on the subject of the World Cup. The winner will have been decided and, hopefully, Croatia will have collected the trophy for the first time ever. The alternative is another four years of French strutting and preening which, while not unusual, would definitely be more annoying.

Today, England met Belgium in the meaningless third placed play-off game. A game into which the England manager was trying to inject some life. He was doing so by trying to convince a very dubious public and an even more dubious WSA, that the game was not meaningless.

He had 23 players who all wished to play in the game, he said. It was a chance to finish higher in a World Cup than any English national team bar the one which won it in 1966, he said.

Whatever he said, he was struggling to convince anyone, other than maybe himself, that the game was of any significance whatsoever.

The players, with the possible exception of Harry Kane, who likes scoring goals, would all rather be either on holiday or back with their clubs. They are now fed up with being in Russia as the purpose for their visit is now gone.

It’s like waking up the morning after a party to find that you and one other guest are the only ones still there. The clearing up needs to be done but anything that was important was decided the night before or is still to be decided. It doesn’t matter, you are no longer a part of it. The atmosphere is flat and it is way past time to go home.

As we said, Southgate reckoned that finishing third was important to future generations of England players and supporters and that it would be a great achievement. He is wrong.

Only in England would anybody even bother to remember who finished THIRD in a tournament and then only because it WAS England.

The likelihood is that this tournament will be remembered for England blowing their best chance since 1966 to reach the World Cup final. However, that reality doesn’t appear to have sunk in yet and maybe it won’t for another week or two. When it does, then and only then, can this team start to move forwards.

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Adnan Januzaj celebrates scoring the winner against England little knowing that it would signal the demise of BOTH teams!

The likelihood is also that this tournament will be remembered for only playing one team ranked above them in the whole of their stay in Russia. That team was Belgium in a group game and they managed to lose that, despite the Belgians fielding their second eleven.

So no, despite what you may read elsewhere, this has not been a successful World Cup for England. In fact, it has been one of the most disappointing ever given the draw and the opponents the team faced.

As long as they view this World Cup campaign as having been successful then they are in danger of remaining the deluded nation they have always been. Believing the team to be good when it isn’t is a particularly annoying habit of the English press, ex-football players and public in general.

As Roy Keane pointed out, everybody was busy planning for the final and the parades and the street parties BEFORE the Croatia game.

Now it needs to be confined to football’s history books and the players need to start concentrating on their holidays, pre-season tours and return of the Premier League when quite a number of them will resume their club careers on the substitute’s bench, (another problem England doesn’t seem to realise it has).

For any interested masochists, the game was a routine win for Belgium. They never had to move out of second gear when beating a poor England team 2-0. Belgium finish third and England fourth.

And finally…..

A couple of notable transfers have taken place just recently as Switzerland’s favourite Munchkin has signed for Liverpool. Xherdan Shaqiri has put pen to paper on a “long term” deal with Jürgen Klopp’s team and will hope he actually gets selected to play in it at some stage.

Jannik Vestergaard, a 6’6” Dane has signed for Southampton and will replace the long-departed Virgil van Dijk before being sold to Liverpool for £100 million in a year or two.

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Maurizio Sarri has decided to have a go at managing Chelsea for a few months

And Chelsea have sacked their manager! Poor old Antonio Conte has lost his job. Who would have thunk it? Chelsea finally sacked him having “tried very hard” to reach a peaceful agreement for him to leave without resorting to underhand tactics such as calling the lawyers.

Conte was having none of it and held out for what he was owed, the cad! Now Chelsea have had to act or they faced going into the new season with a manager they didn’t want.

They now have a manager they do want, for a few months at least, as Maurizio Sarri has, very optimistically, signed a three-year deal. He is joined at the club by Gianfranco Zola whose career since retiring from playing has also featured some very short gigs, so Chelsea should be right up his street.

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