Unbeaten Run – England can top group (the positive spin)


A less impressive than hoped for England team can top their group on Wednesday if they beat Slovenia in Port Elizabeth. Fans of England have been less than inspired so far by their teams efforts in South Africa at the World Cup but there is cause for hope. And casue to get behind the team. England are unbeaten so far in South Africa and a good result on Wednesday night could land them a relatively easy tie in the last sixteen against the likes of Ghana or even Australia.

Rather than focusing on the negatives of a draw and booing the team off the field after a less favourable result – how proud would we all be if our fans in the stands were cheering the boys as they trudge off as though it were a famous victory. The players are England fans too. They are frustrated like us. They know it was a bad performance and a poor result in terms of what we all expected. How amazing would it be, though, if their fans (us) were chanting and cheering as they left the field, they would want to go and win it even more. How united would we look as a nation, as a football power? It would be superb. What a sense of national pride it would be for us all if the team and the fans were appluding each other in tandem.  Instead, we build them up, expect the world and then, at the first sign of faultering, we are on thier backs. Jeering. Booing.

Let’s think about the realities and be positive. We have still not lost. Italy have lost. Spain have lost. France have lost. Capello’s England won every game bar one in qualifying. We scored 35 goals and only conceeded five. We scored 8 goals in three friendlies in before the World Cup kicked off. It will come. It has to. If I am wrong – then you can boo. England have not moved out of first gear yet, and thats a good thing in a way. It means there is is still better to come and even when we play awfully, we don’t lose.

There are mistakes being made, though. Rob Green was a mistake. He should be sat watching on TV not stood watching from behind the defenders. Another mistake is Crouch not being on the pitch.  Heskey has done well ok, but he is never going to set the world alight. Crouch scored 5 times during qualifying and has 18 goals in 17 England starts. For me Crouch needs to be in the side against Slovenia. So too Joe Cole. Always looks lively, amongst the goals a few times in qualifying and a real threat going forward. England are lacking any kind of spark and are not asserting an influence on the games so far. Joe Cole can give the side a lift and be a real inspiration. The country are crying out for him. Finally, not telling the players who has been picked until just before kcik off is a big mistake of Capello’s for at least two reasons. No matter how famous you are, how experienced, you have nerves, especially on a big stage like the World Cup. If they spend all night lying awake wondering if they are getting picked it really won’t help. If just before the game you are told you are starting, the nerves will kick in, the adrenaline will start pumping and by the time you are out on the pitch you will have legs like jelly. You need notice. Time for everything to settle. That’s one thing, but even more important is this point. If you don’t even know who is starting, what exactly do you practice on the training field. Surely there should be at least a day of training where the first eleven know who they are and get the chance to work together on their defending, creating chances, finishing and getting it all to come together as a team. Surely? I can’t see any reaon why the belated team announcement would be beneficial to the players.

That’s enough of the negs!

Back to positive vibes. England are not performing that badly in terms of results and in terms of where we could be (top of the group) come Wednesday. We have now had time to settle and get used to ‘the ball’! We know what we have to do on Wednesday and the players will not want a repeat of the last performance. Get behind the team. 0-0 at half time on Wednesday, dont boo, pleaese. Cheer the lads off. They will come out fighting. We need the win. We can go top of the group. Is it really that bad for us? A chance to top the group and go into the last 16 unbeaten. Yes the games have not been sintilating but the position we are in is a good one. We are still in the World Cup and it’s in our hands. Let’s make the nation proud. The fans have a part to play too. Let’s make the world sit up and take notice of England, not just as a football team but as an amazing set of fans too. As a force!

The less we expect, the better all results will feel. If Scotland were in the World Cup they could lose every game 5-0 but I bet they would still be singing at the bottom of the group. That’ not a bad thing. Let’s have some of that! 


One Response to “Unbeaten Run – England can top group (the positive spin)”

  1. 1 Frank Lucas

    england can never top their group. i will eat my pant if they do. They are all over-rated.
    I hope Slovenia humiliates them on Wednesday.

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