02 July, 2006

Reasons to be cheerful

Peter Crouchio.
Yes, I'm amazed that I'm writing that. "The lanky twat" as one 11-year old recently described him.

Joe Colio
Finally comes of age after what seems like an eternity. Great goal. Always subbed when Lampard looked a better bet for removal.

Wayne Rooney's incredible healing foot
A medical miracle. According to Professor Wallace.

Michael Carrick
Proved that it is possible for the English to pass the ball and keep possession.

Manchester United in 1999
Steve McClaren presided over a side that played attacking football, knew how to vary its play and most importantly, never gave up. Manchester United have not really looked the same since he left.

Derby County and Middlesboro
Steve McClaren presided over two sides that were not big clubs, with players that were not really premiership standard and not only kept them up but made them look like top flight sides. Derby were relegated within a season of his departure. I predict the same for Boro this time around.

Aaron Lennon
A proper winger. Stretches the opposition defence. Defends high up the field. Give pace a chance.

Owen Hargreaves
He may be a Deutscher (as shown by his proficiency at the penalty spot) but he grew into this tournament. No wonder he is regarded as the lynch-pin of the Bryan Munich team.

Sven's average points per (competitive) England match. An incredible score. Way behind in second is Greenwood on 2.15. Alf Ramsey is on a paltry 2.01.

Passion and Tears
Spirit. Fight. Togetherness. More please.

A fantastic way of getting the press off the player's backs. Not that it helped.

Terry Venables
Involved with the England setup again. He's not the saviour that many make him out to be but his tactical knowledge is second to none. And he likes attacking sides that use width. Plus he was the second-best pundit (after our Martin) even though he was drunk for most of it.

Never forget who we are
England are in the second-tier of international football. Always have been. One major trophy in fifty years. However, we have now progressed from a nation that did not qualify for major tournaments (see the seventies) to one that performed sporadically (the eighties and nineties) to one that is consistently in the last eight. Not an achievement to be sniffed at.

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