Thursday, 12 August 2010

England 2 v Hungary 1 - International Match

Wednesday August 11th 2010.
International Match at Wembley Stadium
England (0) 2 (Gerrard 69, 73)
Hungary (0) 1 (Koman 62)
Admission £20 to £40. Programme £6
Free Lions Fanzine FREE.
North Notts England Fans newsletter FREE (a nice touch Stuart)
Attendance 72,024
Another 'over the line' (was it or wasn't it?) goal incident (it was because the scoreline says so), a captain's performance from Steve Gerrard, a few international débuts and quite possibly an imminent international 'retirement' of no small significance.
Watch this space for more details presently.
Midweek motorway roadworks and late nights are not conducive with blog updating.
Looking up Wembley Way from the coach as it passes Wembley Park Station

So the horrors of South Africa 2010 are forgotten about and we all lived happily ever after.
Erm ... not quite so fast!
But here we go again, another warm up game preluding another qualification campaign and all the usual press hype is reaching hysterical proportions.
The crowd is going to be one of the lowest in Wembley history and those who do turn up are going to boo the team, apparently ... well, if you believe anything you read in the newspapers any more it is/they are.
But in the event over 72,000 England supporters turned up, quite some crowd for a midweek .meaningless' friendly on the back of a disappointing World Cup finals campaign.
A few booed a couple of the under performers from the World Cup, quite a few more booed Wayne Rooney when he was being substituted tonight in response to his comments about England fans on live television over the summer ... and a few more joined in when he reacted sarcastically to that, but for the most part the press hacks never got their wish of a public denouncement of Fabio Capello and the civil disobedience they wished for to give them something to write about and all in all, the night went fairly well for England.
Looking down Wembley Way from the Upper Level seats bar terrace

One more paparazzi lie, quite a blatant one, is that in the run up to this game the Football Association had slashed the prices of tickets due to poor sales, in a desperate attempt to fill empty seats.
The ticket prices for this game were exactly the same tonight as when they first went on sale. The prices reflected that the game wasn't a competitive fixture and have been set at exactly the same rate all along.
Here comes the new post World Cup England team ... Oh, it's you lot again!

Of course, during the build up to the game I got the usual messages on my phone, predictive texting is it called? Asking why I'm bothering with the England team any more and how I can justify watching such crap.
Err, I'm not obliged to justify anything I do to anybody, I can make my own lifestyle choices ta very much.
And for the record, virtually all of the people sending those barbed missives will be back down the pub wearing their new football shirts and singing 'England 'til I die' again once Capello's team has tucked a few wins under their belts and will be blathering on about 1966 and winning the next tournament.
Frankly, for the time being, for a while at least the England scene is a better place to be in their absence.
England fans standing respectfully silent for the Hungarian anthem

Of course, once things turn round (and mark my words, they will) and those vulturesque journalists realise that the tide has turned again, they'll start putting the boot in on the national psyche and denounce all the hysteria that they themselves stirred up before, telling us we've got to understand it's a long haul plan that we have to develop a different kind of sophisticated mindset to comprehend the bigger picture. Hopefully tabloid newspapers will have become completely redundant by then along with the desperate shallow and fickle 'writers' that pontificate unlimited volumes of effluent in their sports pages.
Oh ... and for the record, David Beckham will be quite old for an international footballer when the European Finals come around in two years time.
So maybe, being realistic, he might have to retire, or be retired during the interim, if of course England qualify.
I personally hope he is fit enough to play some role by 2012, but there are a lot of players on the verge of breaking into the England team and that is where Me Capello should be looking now.

England won tonight by the way, but their are countless reports to be found elsewhere so I won't keep you any longer.
Suffice to say, when England went behind, their captain Steven Gerrard stepped up to the mark and inspired his team to victory and weighed in with two quite outstanding goals.
Now lets get down to the real business in the Euro 2012 Qualifiers next month.
At half time, the England Under 17's team were presented to the remainder of the crowd who haven't already nipped off for a an overpriced pint or a pee (the difference is negligible).
Kenny Swain's England Under 17's won the Nordic Tournament Final when they beat Sweden 2-1 on August 8th.
They also beat beat Finland 5-0, Denmark 2-0 and Iceland 2-1 en route to the Final.

Call me geographically challenged, but I didn't even know England was a Nordic country ;-)