Day 21: The end of the road for England????

England V Portugese Ponces

Moment of truth…Scolari beat us 4 years ago with Brazil in the 1/4s of world cup…then 2 years later he fucked us again in the 1/4s this time with his grubby little hands controlling Portugal.. 

Rooney is the only one who can solve England’s problems.. 

Hargreaves is In..Neville returns at right back…. 

Deco and Costinha are suspended…C. Ronaldo isn’t fit, but he plays…..Simao dropped for extra muscle in midfield,…Tiago comes in…Weather 30c!! 

The stadium has a very solid roof which keeps the sun and its searing heat away from the pitch…                       

We can’t play like we have and win the world cup’– Gerrard… 

This is our best chance to win a world cup since Italia 90….The next tournament is in South Africa where it will be too hot for english blood to do anything other than boil… 

I declare that we reject racism…’ Beckham 

Figo and Beckham, Captains, both Number 7s… 

Anthems…
England- I stand….’come on then’……Beckham looks fierce..Rooney not singing…

Portugal- listless expressions…snakes in the tallgrass…
 

Before the world cup I knew that we needed Rooney to be firing on at least one cylinder for the team to have any chance of winning. We have played solidly but without spirit, which is rare for an English team; given our traditional strengths of grit and steel. Rooney has come back to fitness much quicker than we had been led to to expect, and it is now that the Toxteth Terror must begin to show the world what he can do…Our world cup future rests at his feet…. 

All the officials are Argies…The same ref that sent Beckham off a few years back…. 

1T

we’re off….lets get the bastards… 

English fans doing the lads proud ’eeeengerlaaaaaaaaaannnddd…’ 

I remember this ref…for positive reasons…. He is the brooding Argie with the stiff Collina type scowl…. 

6- Beckham FK>>7- Ricardo fists it away….. 

8- Petit needlessly concedes a throw by playing the ball straight off the park to a camera man…
England look to have a bit of zip about their play..
rule brittania,,’ the crowd sings…. 

9- Rooney brings the ball down 25 yards out, turns then shoots well..saved… 

10- Ronaldo speeds towards goal then unleashes a drive from 25 yards…comfortable take by Robinson.. 

Scolari- won 7 with Brazil, 4 with Portugal…WC record… 

13- Tiago surprised to find the ball at his feet in the penalty area after lucky rebound off Neville. 

Figo is diving scum..he falls over whenever an opposing player is close enough to breathe on him….2 Portugese dives so far… 

19- Ronaldo is released down the left flank by pinpoint pass from Figo…he has Neville for company but finds space for the left foot shot which flies harmlessly over the bar.. 

3 dives.. 

Early signs of promise for England…one touch passing in the final third… 

22-Ronaldo looks fit as a fiddle….the winger stopped in full flow by a wrap around challenge by Gerrard…no love lost there…. 

25- Rooney charges into a tackle with his head, winning the ball, but taking a bit of Tiago’s boot on his chin….Gritty…. 


England don’t look comfortable when passing the ball around in defence. It is not part of our domestic game, which is based more on speed, power and determination….than patient probing..
 

29- Terry jumps for a high ball and cracks the ball and Tiago, with his forehead….Terry is hurt…lying face-down on the turf….a warrior, back to his feet…..on;y to see YELLOW…why???for the challenge…harsh decision…he will now miss the semi, if we make it…. 

We need to dispense with this 5 man midfield and stick someone up front with Rooney. 

39- Figo flashes a 18 yarder a couple of feet past Robinson’s left post. 

50/50 possession….

41 Portugal win first corner of the match>>>Figo>>header pawed away meekly by Robinson. 

43 Hargreaves wins an English corner>>Beckham>>Joe Cole is fouled on edge of area>>BOOKED- Maniche…FK>>>45->>>20 yards out, left of centre>>>Beckham>>doesn’t beat the wall 

45- Joe Cole skilfully finds Lampard who pops one in from 25 yards out..saved by Ricardo… 

When Ronaldo got fouled by Neville, he didn’t make a meal out of the tackle, like he would have done if it weren’t a club mate… (nonsense-edit)

HT 

terrible as per usual….I don’t know any premiership team who plays with only one up front. Our formation and tactics as a country are vastly different to the formations and tactics used by English club teams. Only Beckham is used to a definitely non-English style of football, as he plays in Spain where flair and possession are much more important than high tempo, all action, heart on your sleeve and growling grit. Why oh fucking why does Eriksson continue to force the players to perform in such rigid systems???Does he not believe that we can beat anybody at our OWN game???Rooney isn’t a lone striker naturally. Of course he can hold the ball up and lay it off, but his potency is released optimally when he plays off another striker…4-4-2 is a must if we are to improve…England need to stop trying to play like the continentals and get back to grass roots British spirit and toil. An even match really, with both teams creating a couple of half chances but generally playing within themselves…Only Ronaldo has looked exciting, running powerfully whenever the space appears…He seems the most likely to score….The only positive I can take from how we have performed so far is that I know we can play much better,but under this coach however, I don’t know if we will ever see that ‘better’which we all know exists but is rarely if ever seen…While I wouldn’t go as far as Ian Wright ‘I would rather England went out in the first round than win the world cup with a foreign coach’, I do see a desperate need for an Englishman to be leading the English…Eriksson has never been able to find the kind of football we should be seeing from such an obviously talented bunch of rogues and pimps…. 

2T

Nothing can change for us until Crouch comes on, or someone is pushed up front from midfield; Gerrard has shown competency… 

Lennon warms up… 

51- Beckham maybe with slight injury makes way for Lennon SUB…..the young right winger has been England’s most explosive player (in the finals)…. 

52- Corner ENG Gerrard will assume set piece duties now that Beckham has departed >>Lampard is found but his first time volley is harmless and embarrassing…great chance..Lampard is overdue a goal… 

Beckham has his head in his hands, his face contorted by grief/pain ,receiving physio…. 

56- Gerrard becoming prominent..ENG corner>>>

57->>Ricardo clutches to his chest…. 

57- England put the ball out so that Maniche can receive treatment for …???replay shows Hargreaves fingers brushed his cheek…fucking cheat…either Maniche is as fragile as a daisy or he is a cheat…good call by the ref but he should have booked him..2 minutes wasted due to the Portugese midfielder’s theatrics… 

59- Lennon bursts into the box from the right wing, Rooney mis-kicks, then Cole puts the ball over the bar….explosive start for Lennon.. 

Quality refereeing…ignoring Portugese re-enactment of Romeo and Juliet 

Simao warming up, receiving instruction from Scolari… 

61- Rooney battles like a pit fighter with two portugese players..he leaves one on the floor, RED….no fucking way,….Ronaldo was first in to the melee demanding the ref sends him off, Rooney pushed him..but RED may have been for foot left in the legs of the ‘injured’ Carvalho…… 

SUB Pauleta off , Sabrosa On……Simao on ,, Pauletta off… 

Is this the end of the road>?????NO….. 

65-Crouchy comes on,,,no-one comes off…..sneaky..( edit- for Joe Cole SUB) 

Happy and glorious’…. 

69- Ronaldo rolls 3 times after mistimed tackle by Lampard..straight back on his feet after yelp of pain earns free kick,…prick…disgusting players, they bring the game into disrepute, not Rooney.. 

Ball girls…sign of improvement in behaviour and safety at stadiums, a nubile girl in a 1920’s London derby would have been eaten alive in the midst of 100000 drunken apes…                       

The only ray of sunshine that can be taken from the dark Rooney cloud is that it is better to have a striker sent off, than a centre-back……We have lost our main incisor but still have the grinders and canines…. 

Justified boos from the crowd… 

74- Tiago subbed for Viana..wide, left footed, dribbler….Ronaldo attacking through the middle 

79- Figo shoots from 20 yards, good save from the keeper who tips it wide, out of the reach of Maniche and out for a throw… 

The way I feel about the Portugese makes my hatred for the Spanish- borne of Enrique’s fake broken nose- seem like the truest of loves…. 


England should carve a few of those pansies into paella….
 

Viana fakes injury….then pretends he has something in his eye…replay shows a delayed drop to the ground 10 seconds after contact with Crouch..another blatant show of cheating… 

81- Viana is found on the edge of the box by Miguel, but his left boot can only deliver an effort straight at Robinson… 

82- wicked running from Lennon earns a free kick for England, 30 yards out, central position..FK>>Lampard>>Well struck….Ricardo parries, Lennon is first to the rebound but his shot towards goal lacks power… 

World class teams show their class when they go down to ten men…they step up their game..like the Italians did against Australia. 

86- SUB POR Figo replaced by Postiga…. 

The stadium foundations tremble to the rhythm of the crowds ‘engerland, engerland, engerland’‘… 

Loudest fans of the tournament are England…’happy and glorious’  

92- Hargreaves battles hard then sets up Terry…Corner….The spirit..the british spirit is back…..this is what we have been missing..now with our asses firmly pressed against the wall, we are coming out fighting, like we should have done from the start…. 

Open game… 

FT

extra time it will be.. 

Et1

Hargreaves has had a storming game for England, perhaps MOM so far… 

93- ENG Corner>defended… 

Simao’s face is wreaked by tension and nerves… 

Scolari and Mclaren both gesticulating with hand signals and spitting, get forward!!! 

Riccardo’s eyes are too big for his face. 

99- Gerrard almost finds Crouch in the 8 yard area…. 

101- Simao has a shot saved by Robinson, who couldn’t hold it, lucky that Cole was nearby to clean up… 

105 Ronaldo hits a powerful drive a foot over the bar from 25 yards out… 


England have looked the more likely to break the deadlock.
 

HT ET 

ET2 

Thinking about penalty takers….Lampard(miss), Gerrard(score), Hargreaves(score), Crouch(score), Neville(score)… 

English fans lifting the players past the prospect of impending penalty doom…Spectacular support from the Brits…. 

106– Lennon was taken down in the area….good tackle…. 

107- Hargreaves BOOKED for dissent 

110 Carvalho is BOOKED for impeding Neville… 

Our best football has come when we have a player sent off and no Rooney… 

Carvallho goes to ground like a wilderbeast mauled by a Croc.

115- Terry has cramp… 

If spirit and bravery count for anything in a penalty shoot-out situation then England should win. 

118- after much calculation…Carragher is coming on for Lennon…he must be a penalty taker…. 

121- corner for Portugal>>>short…..Robinson is a bigger keeper than Ricardo….in terms of height and bulk…

122- one final chance for Portugal as Maniche blasts over from 13 yards out… 

Robinson was being told my Mclaren/Clemence which way the Portugese players tend to put the spot-kicks…advice for sure..they have been studying the previous Portugese penalties…the English keeper will be less affected by nerves..sporting a beaming smile as he strides casually towards the goal-line… 

It goes to penalties…..English average state of mind is palpably more positive than that of their opponents… 

1.

POR Simao>Robinson and ref make him wait….standing there all alone, Simao becomes anxious….he wants to get on with it…..turn thought into action before the thought starts to falter…>>>Hit to the right of Robinson…keeper went the right way.1-0

ENG Lampard>>>Saved…Ricardo read it well…..1-0 P 

2.

POR Viana….it hits the post….MISSSEDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD Robinson had gone the wrong way.. 

ENG Hargreaves>>>>have the Germans taught him anything>>??>>>>>yes they have….IN it goes, keeper got a touch but 1-1

1-1 

3.

POR Petit>>>MISSSSSSSSSSSSSEEEEEEEEEEEEEEDDDDDDDDD Robinson goes the right way, but the ball flies past the post…1-1 

ENG Gerrard…>>>can Gerrard put us in the lead??>>>>>>>Saved…..wonderful save by the keeper, leaping high to his left..1-1 

4.

POR Postiga>>>>well taken……2-1 

ENG Carragher>>>quickly despatched and IN,,,,but ref calls for retake as Ricardo wasn’t ready….>>>Riccardo pushes second effort up onto frame of goal……2-1 

5′ We are fucked…

POR Ronaldo>>to make himself the most hated man in England>>>>he scores….
Portugal are through…
 

The tension ebbs quickly out of my body, replaced as fast as it leaves by the heavy desolation of defeat…. 

Big Rio subdued by waterworks…… 

Riccardo won it for Portugal with three brilliant saves…or were they three badly taken penalties??? 

FT

It is a shame that it wasn’t until we were a man down, a Rooney down at that, and playing with our backs to the wall before we finally started to display some of the traditional british spirit and grit. We were much the better team for the majority of the match, but admittedly we didn’t create many gilt-edged goal-scoring chances. I hate to admit it- because I am a huge Beckham fan- but
England became far more spritely as soon as Lennon arrived on the pitch.
If it wasn’t for Ronaldo demanding severe action from the ref, and Rooney subsequently pushing him, then I reckon the Argentine would have given a Yellow. Still, we can’t blame Ronaldo. Rooney knows full well that a ‘come on then’ push will get at least a yellow and he should have showed a touch of professionalism and just bit his tongue and hoped for the booking rather than look for ‘afters’ with his Man United team-mate. I can’t see those two ever quite clicking for United…hahahhahahah…
I thought the Portugese were despicably unsporting for the whole match. Either that squad is as fragile as egg-shells or they are a bunch of cheating, play-acting, injury-faking swine, who should be banned from competing in international tournaments for a century. I would make such an innovative FIFA president….Before the penalties, I thought we would win due to our apparent superiority in terms of Spirit, Determination and Bravery. Those factors are usually important in the shoot-out routine but alas not on this occasion.Carragher obviously had only one penalty kick worked out in his head and was ultra-eager to take it…If only he had waited an extra second or three for the ref to say ‘go for it’, then the story may have been so different..As it was though, Carragher was unable to formulate a second succesful spot-kick in such a small amount of time. The first one may well have done the trick, but asking a defender with no goal-scoring pedigree, to score twice in quick succession from the spot is ridiculous.Too little too late.

from teamtalk::>>>
‘Shearer wouldn’t be surprised if Rooney “sticks one on” his Manchester United team-mate Ronaldo when the pair next meet in the wake of Rooney’s red card in
Gelsenkirchen. ‘

Shearer should of been offered the England job as player-manager, maybe that would have persuaded him to get back in an England shirt.. 

I know that England have much more than the Bite, as anyone who has seen any of the premiership action over this last few years will confirm. Gerrard and Lampard miserably fail to transfer their often scintillating club form onto the internationl stage. Why?I refuse to accept that they havn’t got what it takes to show their class at the top level, and my indignant gaze rests solely on the ugly shape of Eriksson. I do agree that we lack flair, but with a manager who is prepared to focus more on our strengths than weakness, I feel we can still be one of the strongest teams in the world. I guess the operative phrase there is ‘can be’…’when we can be’ is a entirely different matter.  

I am not happy about the appointment of Mclaren because from what I have seen with my own eyes his impact on
England is worthless. That is unless he basically acts like a lapdog to Sven, which I doubt…Often I have seen Mclaren shoving his notebook in front of Erikkson’s eagle eyes…
 

There can be major comparisons drawn between the Tony Blair/ Gordon Brown situation and the Sven/Mclaren partnership, which has now dissolved into a one man show…. 

England don’t have the defence of Italy or the attack of Argentina, but we do have an extremely talented, also ultra-irritable, world-beater in Rooney, and some other players of youth and quality. Lennon has showed a huge amount of promise and by the time the EUROS come round, the English team should be well into a serious transitional phase which will include the departure of both Beckham and Neville. The future still looks very bright, but this world cup must go down as an opportunity wasted for
England…
 

18 dives for Portugal and the victory 

Brazil v France 

Brazil are very relaxed…Frogs came to life in their match against Spain with Viera, Ribery and Old man Time Zidane, impressing more than most…. 

The french are the last European team to destroy Brazil, back in 1998 at la stade de Paris..3-0..Zidane got a couple….Ronaldo had a seizure….French form has been poor but Brazil have been far from amazing themselves… 

I am a big admirer of Viera, Zidane, Thuram and Henry (though I despise, but embarassingly relate to, his petulance)It would be great for the tournament if the french could bullwhip the Brazilians… 

G Silva starts in place of Emerson…. 

Spanish refs…

There are a fair amount of Pros who will be playing their last world cup for their country…Ronaldo, Zidane, Thuram, Carlos… 

Maloudra and Ribery will support lone Striker Henry, from the flanks… 

Ronaldo and Ronaldinho up front… 

Prediction:——2-3 frogs….more from heart than mind… 

11 straight wins for the Brazilians since that 98 defeat to Zizou inspired France… 

1t 

Juninho has come in for Adriano..no more quartet..extra midfielder needed to combat the Gallic attack… 

3- Ronaldnho draws foul 28 yards out, left of centre…..>>>

4-FK>>Juninho>> over, off wall (26 goals from set pieces for Lyon) 

As France are the only team left in my Dark horses group, I will offer them the support that I previously pledged to the Brits….France V Italy final would be enjoyable….Domenech the indignant stoat/ostrich… 

Ronaldinho, with that permanent horse smile…is wearing a headband with the letter R in the centre of his forehead.. 

8- Ze Roberto skips past two challenges before running head-first into the Makalele wall…. 

Carlos has been wasteful in every match… including this one. could be culled before next WC

11- Ronaldinho free kick finds Ronaldo…..(62/96 goals/games)…..but his shot, which came of the nose, flies over the bar… 

12- Henry’s shot from 25 yards hits Lucio in the head…the Brazillian falls to the floor…Brave defending… 

Good pressure from France wins a corner

14 corner>>rebound falls to Ribery whose shot flies 60 yards over the frame of the goal..
France have many extremely robust characters who are impossible to intimidate….Viera, Zidane, Makele, Thuram…..
 

25- Cafu BOOKED for pulling back Malouda…6th yellow at world cup….a new record… 

26- FK Zidane>>>30 yards out..>>goes for goal but one to forget… 

Zizou is pulling a few tricks out the bag….

28 Corner FR>>headed clear… 

31- Corner FR>punched away by Dida.. 

Les bleus have a good balance…Abedol and Sagnol, Malouda and Ribery…mobile flanks with a granite centre of Makele, Viera, Zidane, Henry…. 

38- FK conceded by Cafu…left of centre..28 yards…Zidane>>chipped in, headed over by Malouda. 

45- Breathtaking skill from Zidane, puts Viera through, but he is hacked down from behind by Juan…YELLOW..there was a covering defender, perhaps….I think that should have been RED, the other Brazilians wouldnt have reached Viera before he had time to shoot….(Zizou beat two players before playing the through ball.. )

47- FK>>25 yards>>central>>Henry strikes it into the wall>>handball>>Another FK>>>YELLOW for Ronaldo who had no chance of moving his arm out the way of Henry’s blast from the set piece..Fk2>18.5 yard Zidane…hits wall….

HT 

France have been better in all areas of the pitch but the final third… Brazil look like their teeth are sharper but they lack the link between midfield and attack… 

2t

46- Viera heads just wide of Dida’s right hand post after pin point free kick by Zizou… 

57- Zidane’s delightful curling free kick finds Henry at the far post who volleys the ball into the net with his divine right foot GOAL…deserved on the flow of play…1-0 Frogs/…slack defending by brazil as Henry wasn’t marked. 

A chance for this Brazilian team to prove themselves worthy of their often glowing reputation as the world’s best.. 

Wonderful replays show contrast of fans reaction to the goal –Les Bleus jubilant..Brazillians-mass depression… 

France were better than Brazil when they met in 1998 and they have been better than Brazil tonight. 

63- Juninho SUB for Adriano..the famous quartet is once more in effect… 

Ribery has shown admirable tenacity and enthusiasm…he battles hard which is rare for those of the creative ilk.. 

67 FRE corner> headed clear… 

Viera imperious..Makele is also no slouch in the crunching department… 


Brazil are attacking in vast numbers, deploying the famous Ronaldinho smile as the first line of offence…

70- Henry looks for Ribery in the middle but Dida is out of goal smartly to deny him the shot… 

I haven’t seen Zidane give the ball away even once… 

73- Sagnol BOOKED for body check on Kaka… 

75- intentionally late hack by Lucio on Henry angers the nearby French bench and earns a YELLOW for Chirac… 

76- Cafu SUB Cicinho on… 

77- the hard working Ribery off, Govou on SUB FRA

79- SUB BRA Kaka for Robinho… 

81- SUB FRA Malouda for Wiltord 

86- SUB FRA Henry for Saha 

87- Saha BOOKED for ignoring the whistle 

Viera, Makalele>>hard as nails. Zidane>> vintage class. Henry>> always dangerous. Ribery..bags of spunk..Thuram/Gallas-experienced, brave, dependable… 

88- Thuram is BOOKED for taking down Ronaldo..Lilian loudly disputes the charges..replay shows minimal contact..Ronaldo dived…FK>>Ronaldinho 20 yards out..central>>>over it goes…………….. 

91- On the break, Zidane sets up Saha whose left foot shot from 18 yards is well saved by Dida…– Ronaldo forces save out of Bartez,.. 

FT..

they’ve done it…the frogs merit the plaudits that are coming their way..not now, because it is 648am here in Melbourne, but tomorrow. or rather later today…too many time zones to deal with.. 

From grey skies come blue and though England bowed out, the frogs have sent packing the only team left in the tournament who I think are capable of scoring against Italy (if that is possible….).

Henry has been my choice for World Player of the year on both the occasions when Ronaldinho has won that accolade. The brazillian plays in a considerably weaker league (than Henry) and has failed to shine in five games for his country in the world cup and the Champions league final for Brazil. He isn’t as good as Henry. La Primera offers flair players the chance to shine because there are no decent defenders in Spain. It is that simple. So Ronaldinho looks wicked for Barcelona against Real Betis, but he looks shit for Brazil against France…And who scored the decisive goal tonight???Henry of course….

 Cafu and Carlos both are well past their cull-by dates as their pathetic passing proved beyond all doubt today. I am happy to see the over-inflated brazillian egos evicted from the tournament…….good riddance I say, those bastards have been running on reputation, not talent or form, for the last couple of years.

France were delicious to watch. Domenechs team has great balance, solidarity and vigour. Ils vont tuer les portugeese….

MOM:-Zidane. The great man seems destined to bow out of this tournament in splendid fashion, perhaps as a losing finalist to Italy….He is the heart of this team, the Erudite Patriarch. Everyone lookes up to him because he is special, as a man and player. When he plays well, like he did so today, France win with style and elegance.

                                                                                   

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