Posts Tagged ‘Gareth Southgate’

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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. (more…)

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And on the 16th day they rested. Let’s face it, this football malarky is tiring. Since the tournament started on the 14th of June, the poor players have only been managing an average break of four days between games.

What kind of break is that? The selected combatants have had, occasionally, to run around on a football pitch which some of them have had to grace with their presence for a whole ninety minutes!

Now, in fairness, they have been training between matches on the days they haven’t been allowed off by their coaches. (more…)

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The afternoon matches today were from the tightest group. Going into the games Japan were top with four points, Senegal were second, also with four points, and Colombia were third with three points. By this time Poland were already eliminated having lost their two opening games.

So it was a three horse race whereby the first two would progress to the last 16. From a fan’s point of view it was extremely nail-biting stuff particularly if the flavour of those nails happened to be Colombian, Senegalese or Japanese! (more…)

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So to the day’s games and first up was Portugal against Morocco or, more realistically, Cristiano Ronaldo against Morocco. Fresh from his 3-3 draw with the entire Spanish team he set out to prove it was no fluke and, indeed, that he could take things a stage further by actually beating a team.

He managed it but it was a close-run thing. With just the one goal, a bullet header in the first half, he had to rely on his team mates at times to defend his lead. They did this heroically, albeit with a few of the stutters they showed against Spain.

So for a few short hours Cristiano was top of the group. He is, of course, far too modest to accept all the plaudits and was gracious enough to allow the team name to be used when the tables were shown. (more…)

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According to the headline of an article in The Guardian, Gareth Southgate wants “young, hungry England to dream of winning the World Cup

Well, we have news for you Gareth, they do! The problem is that dreams, particularly that one, rarely come true!

In fairness, the reporter actually quotes Southgate as saying he has no problem with the players believing they can win the World Cup, which is slightly different and just goes to show that members of the press often submit articles which then have the headline added or edited by somebody else. (more…)

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So that’s the end of the meaningless friendlies for the time being. There now follows what, for England at least, will probably be a meaningless tournament. Having beaten Nigeria and Costa Rica both by a scoreline of 2-0 England still haven’t quite grasped the point of these friendly/warm-up matches.

The Germans have them down to a fine art. They spend most of their time outside of tournaments being rubbish. Joachim Löw has drilled it into his players that they must give the impression, to every other coach, that they are now reasonably easy to beat. They must play as though the days when they used to win everything are long gone and the team is now going through a transition which they may or may not come out of positively. (more…)

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Apparently Manchester United are going to buy almost every player who is rumoured to be for sale. In an attempt to separate the “possibly true” from the “absolutely not” we look at deals which could happen.

Dastardly Daniel Levy decided, a while ago, that Toby Alderweireld was surplus to requirements at Tottenham Hotspur because he had the audacity to think he should be paid more than the minimum wage.

This alerted Manchester United manager José Mourinho and had Ed Woodward reaching for the nail-biting repellant at the very thought of having to negotiate with London football’s answer to Shylock. (more…)

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It’s nearly all over! At Manchester City they think it’s already all over and it is now! At Manchester United they just have to put the finishing touches to the season by beating little old Chelsea in the FA Cup final. They can’t let their neighbours get awaywith two trophies and not pick up anything!

Then there’s them there scousers! They may be good enough to beat serial Champion’s League winners Real Madrid and pick up another European trophy as yet another year with no league title goes by. How many is it now? (more…)

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The FA is, once again, trying to redeem itself over the pathetic way it managed to massively overpay for the “new” Wembley.

As usual, the way it chooses to redeem itself involves ripping off supporters, this time those of Chelsea and Manchester United who are, totally unfairly, expected to pay back some of the lost revenue.

They have increased ticket prices at Wembley by up to 35% from the semi-finals. Why? Other than blatant profiteering, (which we thought was illegal), there is no other excuse for it. (more…)

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So that’s it then! No more checking through endless channels to see which is showing the game. No more checking social media disgraces Twitter and Facebook to read the views on the match. Life, as we have become accustomed to it, is over.

Well, for two weeks anyway!

Stubborn old man can stash his blazer and his grey jumper and, in exchange, can dig out the long quilt coat he has been trying to make fashionable for years. You know the one, when he puts the hood up he looks remarkably like the Grim Reaper.

Pep and José can look forward to a continuation of the Manchester rain but, after the break, it will be a few degrees colder. (more…)