Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Pal Dardai for Hungary (v England), 30 May 2006

So, I spent my Tuesday evening with 56,000 or so others at Old Trafford to see England's World Cup back-up Plans H through Q. The mighty Hungarians were the visitors for England's penultimate warm-up game prior to the start of the World Cup.

Some National Anthems:

a big flag at the Stretford End.....

Some observations from watching the match. Some of these you may agree with, some not....

Owen Hargreaves is the answer to no footballing question whatsoever. Shame, really, seeing as he is ostensibly a good player but has done (as I can gather) the grand total of "sod all" in his 30 or so England appearances.

I am worried about Michael Owen. I know he is playing himself back into full fitness but he doesnt look that great to me.

Our defence on top form loooks pretty solid.

Half way through the first half, the guy sitting next to me called Joe Cole a "greedy little c*nt" loudly, and then apologised for his language. I told him not to worry as it was the most accurate thing I have ever heard. It's like watching an eleven year old who knows he is miles better than his classmates.

Beckham's dead ball delivering ability is key.

Peter Crouch is in every single sense of the term a brilliant Plan B but in no sense whatsoever anyones Plan A. He is also the lankiest streak of p*ss on the planet (and this comes from someone who is nearly as tall as he is) - his trackie bottoms don't anyway fit. He looks like Melman the giraffe off of Madagascar.

And our penalty taking genius remains intact - Frank Lampard the latest casualty....

Overall, I thought England did pretty well. Patient, solid in defence and composed. When we play at an attacking tempo we look a match for anyone, although for long periods of the second half I still thought we failed to retain possession of the ball for long enough. Beckham dropped deeper and deeper into that nonsense "quarterback" role rather than the team keeping their shape and moving the ball about.

Anyway, notwithstanding these criticisms, I thought we did OK. If we find a penalty taker, that is.


weenie said...

Yeah, it wasn't bad but hardly the performance of a WC winning team.

Anyway, where's your bit for Panini swapsies? I have quite a few to swap now. Cheers.

Mike said...

That Hungarian goal was a cracker, wasn't it?

SwissToni said...

swapsies coming up soon. You might have to wait until after the Trent Bridge test though... all the lads are coming up, and they're bringing their albums with them.

The whole situation could change.


Paul said...

Joe Cole, like Mark Lawrensen, has a face you would never tire of slapping.

If Owen Hargreaves is the answer, the question must either be:

"Which player has gone to two World Cups with England, yet never played professional football in the country?"


"Which member of the England squad is a bit crap and looks areally weedy?"

El Tel said...

Owen off the pace - indeed. Hargreaves shit - double indeed. But will Sven really persist with him - surely not. More positively, I do like Crouch - a man for whom the term deft was created; also a man for whom the term lanky t*** was created, but still, etc etc.

Are any of you placing any World Cup bets? I'm erring heavily towards Klose (Ger.) for top scorer [20/1] and a Brazil-Italy final [12/1].

Lord Bargain said...

Tel, I might post something on World Cup bets before the tournament starts, actually.

Be careful with Klose - he left the Germany squad "for personal reasons" the other day so his mind might not be fully on the job.

I am erring towards Italy for the Cup. Germany? Second favourites? How did that happen?

El Tel said...

'For personal reasons!' F****** hell! How very Sol Campbell of Herr Klose. Timely advice, m' Lord, timely advice. Will hold back on that particular punt, for now.

Ben said...

Lord B: I would have thought you would have thought better of giving tips to one of your main rivals in advance of the World Cup predictions league!

El Tel said...

Back off Ben, back right off. The Lord advises in mysterious ways. Question not his wisdom.

adem said...


Oh..Hugary are ranked 76th in the world....ummm..