Friday, 11 October 2013

England 4 v Montenegro 1 - World Cup Qualifier

Friday 11th October 2013
at Wembley Stadium
World Cup Qualifier
England (0) 4
Rooney 48
Boskovic 62 OG
Townsend 78
Sturridge 90 pen
Montenegro (0) 1
Damjanovic 71
Attendance 83,807
Left click pictures to enlarge, but be warned, I only took them on my decade old, steam powered Nokia phone, so they're not very good.
Hart, Walker, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines; Gerrard (MIlner 87), Lampard (Carrick 65), Townsend (Wilshere 80), Rooney, Welbeck, Sturridge.
Unused Subs - Ruddy, Smalling, Gibbs, Jones, Barkley, Defoe, Lambert, Forster
Poleksic, Pavicevic (Beqiraj 57), Savic, Jovanovic, Volkov (Vukcevic 72), Kecojevi, Zverotic, Drincic, Boskovic; Jovetic (Kasalica 81), Damjanovic.
Unused Subs: - Blazic, Novakovic, Krkotic, Igumanovic, Janjusevic, Vesovic, Dembasic
It is notoriously problematic to reach Wembley Stadium via England's overcrowded and congested southbound highways and byways on a Friday evening, but the traffic chaos on the M1, caused by an accident around junction 24, was something else on this rain lashed and chilly night.
The Green Man public house lost out on a lot of trade tonight, due to the delayed arrival of a lot of their regular northern and midlands based matchday clientele, but the only shop selling alcohol at Tollington services were quids in, as thirsty travellers stripped their shelves bare, as if a swarm of alcoholic locusts had descended on them.
Thankfully, we'd set off with plenty of time built in to our schedule in case of such unforeseen events and after a brisk stroll down Wembley way we reached our seats with plenty of time to spare, just before the trooping of the flags and the national anthems.
In my humble opinion, section J is the best place to watch England games from inside the stadium, because it is pretty much in the thick of where all the atmosphere is generated, but just far enough away from the England supporters band for them not to be a complete irritance.
It also just happens to be the section of the ground with the entrance you arrive at first when walking up the stairs when you arrive from the direction of the Green Man pub, or up the slope from Wembley Way, if you've come via Wembley Park tube station or the Torch public house.
Of course, the best way to get to Wembley is via the North Notts England Fans coaches, which at just £16 per person return fare from Retford, Worksop, Barlborough and the M1 junctions for Mansfield, Alfreton and Nottingham, is also the cheapest way to travel to.
They run coaches to all England home games and if you book early enough, do a return coach and match ticket deal for just £39 combined.
When the details of the November international friendlies, or play off dates (hopefully the former) are known, I'll post the booking details on THE66POW. So keep checking for updates.
Tonight's game was dedicated to all those who have latched onto the latest national craze, that revolves around putting down the England team and rubbishing their players and efforts at every turn. FFS, they are top of their qualifying group with their destiny in their own hands with a game to go, just what is some peoples problem?
I'm bored of peoples anti national team attitude and platitudes and I hereby invite them all to go away and spout their unfounded and ungrounded vitriol to somebody who gives a toss about their ill informed 'wisdom and logic'. The media don't help matters either. Tonight a national red top paper was bemoaning the exclusion of Theo Walcott from the side. 
What!? Is Roy Hodgson supposed to pick players who are out injured now then?
Joe Hart has been ripped to pieces in print these past few months, but looked solid enough tonight to me. When he was beaten, it was a only by a bit of a fluke when Damjanovic stretched out his leg to get a touch on Beciraj's hapless shot that was going well wide.
Wayne Rooney is apparently past his best, another widely purported myth. Probably spread by people who haven't actually seen him play for his club this season, or his country tonight.
Andros Townsend's been ridiculed for not being international class. Hmm, run that one by me again after tonight.
And what of Roy Hodgson himself? 
Lambasted universally for being boring and predictable. 
Even tonight's attacking formation, which saw the majority of play condensed into the Montenegro half, is being dismissed in the aftermath of a great win, as a one off 'uncharacteristic' gamble by the apparently 'over cautious' national team manager, who, apparently, was reluctant to give a goal scoring debut to Andros Townsend. 
What? is that the same Andros Townsend the media had all those doubts about, or somebody else with a similar sounding name then? 
Backtracking or what!?
And wasn't it Hodgson who gave Rickie Lambert his first cap on the occasion of his goalscoring debut v. Scotland in August, or was I imagining that one too?
In a nutshell, if the English media (for the most part) and a lot of people in this country, get a collective hard on over England's football teams failings, then that is their problem. But if you fall into that category of people (and a lot of you do), please don't trouble me with your half baked concerns.
If you can't give credit where it is due, I'm not even vaguely interested in listening to your bullshit.
I'm damn sure the other 83,000 plus England fans who travelled to Wembley through the wind, rain and travel delays, to support their national team tonight, don't much care for all of your condescending rubbish either. Bugger off and bore somebody else, or find another bandwagon you know sweet FA about to jump on.
Reportage wise, you don't need me to tell you what happened, you'll no doubt have seen it for yourself, or read about it elsewhere, though a couple of selected write ups are attached at the end of this post for your entertainment.. 
Sadly, far too many English people had already made their minds up and decided that they were going to pick fault with and hate the national team tonight as a matter of course anyway, even before the game kicked off, whatever happened tonight. 
And even now, listening to the radio on my way home from Wembley, the presenters are already moaning about the Polish ticket allocation, trying to whip up a hornets nest prior to the next game, instead of enjoying the positives displayed tonight. 
Why? It's not as if the supporters of the Poland national side are personally denying you a ticket is it? They're travelling to Wembley to cheer on their team and show pride in their nation ... you knockers should all try it some time!
I can't get to the England v Poland game on Tuesday, too many commitments at work that day, I'm gutted!

Match reports: