Yes, you are all still football widows for the time being.
The one thing on everyone’s lips is that Wayne Rooney has return to the
I’m not a fan of Wayne Rooney. I am a fan of Wayne Rooney’s potential, to be sure, and sadly, it’s a potential that has yet to be realized for
becoming increasingly skeptical that it will ever be realized. England
It may be him personally, or his inability to adjust to
game from Manchester United’s, where he routinely averages a goal every two
games or so. I’m not sure. And I’d be wary to upset the apple cart and
slip Rooney into a starting eleven that has done very nicely without him thus
far this tournament. England
But that’ll never, ever happen. Rooney carries the Expectations of a Nation on his broad shoulders, where anything else but a cup win with him capping a hat-trick per game will be seen as a failure.
I anticipated a positive result against
berth in the quarter-finals. I cannot
see Ukraine England making it past
either Spain or . I hope they do, and as Saturday rolls around,
I’ll turn into a crazy, hope-against-hope fan again. And who knows? It could happen (it WILL happen… we still
My feeling is that this is a young team that still needs developing. It’s unfair to put upon them the expectations that were put on the so-called Golden Generation of Beckham and co. They had their best chance in 2006 when a young Rooney, still nursing an ankle injury got sent off for stomping on
Figo. I felt they had the talent to win
that game, had they had their full team on.
It wasn’t to be and the Portugal
squad disintegrated to the point where they failed to qualify for Euro 2008 and
put up their worst World Cup showing in 2010.
To put it in perspective, England England
scored as many goals against
on Friday as they did in all four games in WC 2010. And most of their opponents weren’t exactly
top-level competition either. Sweden
There’s a positive energy to the squad now that’s been absent for the last 5 years or so. I’m not sure what it is – coaching, new blood or a combination of both. I feel though this is the squad we can take to the World Cup in 2014 and show very well.
did it… sort of. With a lot of luck they did it, because they
did not play well. And yes, Rooney
scored, but to be fair it was a goal I could
have put in, had I been in his position. England
It really should have been a tie, because
one over the line, but the officials didn’t spot it. At least we Ukraine England
fans can be sympathetic toward Ukraine,
because fate was against us too in in 2010. Can we please put goal-line technology in
place now FIFA? How much more convincing
do you need? South Africa
I didn’t see the entire game. I watched about 20 minutes before I took Nick to his doctor’s appointment and got a text about Rooney’s goal as soon as I sat down in the pediatrician’s office. The doctor and I celebrated and spent 5 of Nick’s 15 minutes talking soccer while he gave Nick the once-over. He declared Nick to be ridiculously healthy, with the body of a young Olympic athlete, and sent him on his way with a handful of jelly beans.
’s play was sloppy at best,
frightening at worst. England was
given too free a reign with the ball. Ukraine England should be lucky they weren’t playing Spain or , because either team
would’ve punished them in short order. Germany
Okay, I’m officially eating crow now. I was dead-set against Gerrard being included in this
line-up. I think everyone was. Gerrard is old
and hasn’t been healthy in a long, long time.
Further to that, Gerrard represented the notion that England was
clinging to the promise of the past a little too long (Frank Lampard
anyone?). I mean, it’s not like England doesn’t
have midfield options, but they don’t have anyone quite like Gerrard, who can move so fluidly between offense and
defense. Two assists and two Man of the
Match awards in three games, engineering vital set piece plays, and being an
all around great captain. He’s been a
bright star, all that much brighter for someone whose best days are decidedly
behind him. England
Let me be blunt: England would not have made it out of the group stage without Hart. He has been that important. The France game for sure would have been a loss, and I'm quite certain Ukraine would have been either a tie or another loss. England hasn't seen a keeper like him since David Seaman, and he still has a good 10-15 years ahead of him. A winning team is anchored by a good keeper. This is a good start.
England drew Italy. Their other option was to draw defending champions Spain, who are looking quite comfortable right now, drawing a fighting-behind-closed-doors France.
I've got a good feeling about this game. Italy is an old squad, while England is primarily kids, with a few vets thrown in. Italy is a defensive side, and so is England. Oddsmakers have them virtually even. Balotelli will be the wild card for Italy. When he plays well, there are few better. But he is a prima donna and prone to erratic and bizarre behaviour. I'll be bunkered at the King's Head Pub on King St. in the Exchange District this Sunday.
Come on Eng-er-land!! Who are you pulling for this tournament? Or could you care less?