Friday, 3 September 2010

England 4 v Bulgaria 0 - Euro 2012 Qualifier

Friday 3rd September 2010
Euro 2012 Qualifier - at Wembley Stadium

England (1) 4 (Defoe 3, 61, Adam Johnson 83, Defoe 86)

Hart, Glen Johnson, Jagielka, Dawson (Cahill 56), Ashley Cole, Walcott (Adam Johnson 74), Gerrard, Barry, Milner, Defoe (Young 87), Rooney.
Subs Not Used: Foster, Gibbs, Carrick, Bent.

Bulgaria (0) 0

Mihailov, Ivanov, Milanov, Manolev (Minev 66), Iliyan Stoyanov, Yankov, Angelov, Stiliyan Petrov, Martin Petrov, Bojinov (Rangelov 63), Popov (Peev 79).
Subs Not Used: Vladislav Stoyanov, Kamburov, Domovchiyski, Genchev.

Booked: Popov.

Att: 73,246.

Friday night is football night, a great idea, unless you're one of those people heading to Wembley on the M1 southbound past Luton, where the roadworks are hideous at the end of each and every week.
Valuable drinking time was wasted crawling along past the 200,107 traffic cones Bedfordshire highways authority owns - I counted them all individually and you can't prove otherwise!
The Green Man pub's bar takings will have suffered tonight given our later than usual arrival time.
But everyone on the North Notts England Fans coach was in good spirits, they're well organised trips with plenty of 'in flight' entertainment organised and a labour of love war and peace sized volume of a newsletter to read en route.
The papers were saying that England fans would be boycotting this game and the handful who were going to show up, were only trekking to Wembley to vent their spleen on the team who ought to be flogged and persecuted for 'only' reaching the last 16 at the recent World Cup tournament.
Sensationalism sells papers - and everybody present tonight had never been under any illusions that this team was ever anything like good enough to even reach the last eight in the first place.
We hadn't come to boo, or cast aspersions or murder anybody, we were here to support our national team, nothing more, nothing less.
Leave all that hyperbole to the journalists eh!?
Football fans, England fans in particular ... ignore all of that bullshit anyway.
Journalists and 'rent a flag' once every four year 'patriots' are both made from the same low grade casting in my opinion, I could happily live out the rest of my days in this mortal coil without encountering either sub species again.
They feed off of (and are as bad as) each other.
So what of England tonight?
Rooney played deep, that'll piss off the stay at home critics who want him beheading every time he doesn't score ... regardless of the fact he did all of the running and fetching for the forward line and created Jermaine Defoe with a couple of chances that he put away with relish from absolutely sublime passes.
Joe Hart put in an assured performance, Adam Johnson took his goal well after he came on in the second half ... in fact there didn't look like a weak link throughout the squad.
The World Cup is over, England under performed (they weren't alone in that respect) in what wasn't, if truth be told, a very inspiring tournament. Germany who had looked phenomenal in the group stages peaked too soon, France and Argentina wilted in much the same England did and I was actually very grateful that I couldn't afford to travel out there in person, but it's over and done with now ... tonight it was rip it up and start again time and as qualifying campaigns go, the road Euro 2012 is off to a flyer.