Harris Sportsthoughts

Thoughts about Sport

England Might Win The World Cup. Or They Might Not.

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An Artist's Impression of the England World Cup Bandwagon

An Artist's Impression of the England World Cup Bandwagon

It was a performance that threatened to boil under against Ukraine, but big Johnnie Tezza’s late goal put the keys back in the ignition of the ‘we’re going to win the World Cup’ bandwagon. I can almost hear the sound of the engine revving. The light has turned amber. The foot is on the throttle and we’re ready to accelerate away with the calm efficiency of the latest Brawn.

But next to it at the lights is another bandwagon. The passengers are all sneering naysayers, faces pressed against the window, gesticulating osbcenely at the other vehicle. They wank on ad nauseam about how we’re never going to win the World Cup, there are too many foreigners in the English game, endemic failings at grass roots level, the players are all paid too much to care, etc etc etc.

But the truth is that we could win the World Cup. We almost certainly won’t. But we could.

Now that’s the kind of incisive comment they never taught me at journalism school, but I don’t get paid for writing this shit so I’ll make my fence and sit on it thank you very much.

The point is that once you reach the finals, which England almost inevitably will, it’s only seven games to win. And two or three of those are likely to be against substandard opposition.

Look at the Italian side that triumphed three years ago. It’s not as if they were golden-haired cherubim educated in the beautiful game on the Elysian playing fields. They were a functional team representing a national game riddled with corruption. They scraped past the likes of USA and Australia before edging out a one-man team in France in the final. A one-man team whose one man was contemplating his retirement options in the dressing room as the last acts were being played out.

And I know that Spain are a better team. And Holland and Germany are looking strong. But the hosts will be weak, and then there are large question marks over the South American challenge (although I’ve always rated Bolivia).

So I am going to place myself between the twin freeways of optimism and pessimism. You’ll find me on the central reservation of hope. Probably carefully sticking players into my Panini album. Maybe. Possibly.

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Written by harrisharrison

April 2, 2009 at 11:41 am

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