Saturday, June 10, 2006

One down, six to go

England are off. 1-0 victors and despite a so-so showing in searing heat, you take what you can get and if that's a win thanks to an own goal then thanks very much we'll bite your hand off.
Of particular amusement was the Paraguayan keeper Justo Villar. After 5 minutes he comes out to clear his lines lands awkwardly without any contact with an English player and goes off injured. So let's see: you lasted five minutes, already got the ball out of your own net, got one of the crappest injuries ever and subbed off. Good World Cup, Mr Villar. And if things couldn't get any worse, he cries on leaving the pitch.
England didn't look very good. Was slightly encouraged by Sven's tactics. Going from 4-4-2 to 4-3-2-1 hinted of a Plan B. However, Cole and Lampard didn't really get into the game under the new system and Crouch was left isolated and freak-like. Downing was a good substitution who didn't really get into the game and, once again, Hargreaves was given no chance to shine but asked to come and shore up the midfield. It should have been Lamps subbed rather than Cole, who with Gerrard and Becks was our best player. Also was reassuring to see Rio play like the Rolls-Royce of defenders he is.
More reassuring than seeing Rio's programme about winding up his team-mates. Rio plays Jeremy Beadle minus the freak hand and sets up stunts to wind up teammates Gary Neville, SWP, David James, Peter Crouch, Wayne Rooney, Ashley Cole and David Beckham. A poor idea done badly culminating with Rio running onto the scene to compound his teammates merking. (Seriously Rio is on the scene quicker than when he is the first to celebrate a goal despite being nowhere near the play and having had no influence on the goal.) Merking apparently means humilitated or done up like a kipper in some patois or other.
3 points on the board is more than the Swedes boast after having been held by the Trinidadians to a 0-0 draw on their World Cup debut. This result together with Ecuador's beating of Poland it is looking good for England.
Cheating b*stard slimy diving XI Argentina are out of the blocks like a drugged up horse; looking particularly impressive in dispensing with the Ivory Coast 2-1. Incidentally Toure, Eboue and Drogba were good for the Ivorians.

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