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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Last Chance Saloon

It's the big match tonight... I didn't expect us to even have a chance at qualifying tonight, but the Israelis did us a massive favour at the weekend and our fate is now back in our own hands. I can't imagine us not qualifying - I remember USA '94 and it was terrible to watch a major tournament without England in it.

I'm pleased that McClown has finally dropped Paul Robinson, though. There are at least four keepers that are better than him in my opinion - Green, Carson, James and Kirkland to name but four. I've always felt that Robinson was massively overrated and a really lucky keeper. Now that his luck seems to have deserted him, he's been shown up time and time again.

But Crouch on his own upfront? I'm really not so sure about that. It's going to put a lot of pressure on the midfielders behind him, notably Lampard & Gerrard... But we'll see. I will of course be cheering my team on, as ever. But if we go out now, with the second chance we've been given - well, it really will be the end of McClown. Won't it?


Shit Sandwich said...

I know it's difficult to be blase when it's your team, but look at the facts:

Croatia need a draw to top the group;
England need a draw to qualify.

If there's such a thing as an ideal situation for a stitch-up, this is it; and England aren't above a stitch-up, whatever the chin-jutting neanderthal berks who grunt about "foreign cheats" might say.

1-1 would seem the most likely outcome, although I've been wrong before (just once or twice...)

Little Zoe said...

Sorry, are we talking about cricket or rugby?

Shit Sandwich said...

Re. my pre-game comment: shows what I know. I do feel for all England fans; I know I'd be mortified if Italy failed to qualify in those circumstances. England have no divine right to be there, but the tournament atmosphere will be the poorer for the absence of England's fervent and (nowadays) 99% well-behaved fans.

However - in the cold light of 25 past 11, it was a VERY easy group, and England were lucky to have the chance to qualify at all. Let's hope that the FA take the chance to do what's best for English football; wrest back a bit of control from the Premiership money men. Salary caps and foreign player quotas ideally, but in the real world a more equitable sharing of the money generated, so that smaller clubs / youth teams can bring good English players on.

LZ - I've taken the liberty of more or less ignoring you entirely. Feel free to do the same to me if I ever butt in on a female-oriented topic of conversation (like chocolate, faddy diets, reckoning that other women hate you for no discernible reason, or chocolate.)