It could have been better: it could have been a lot, lot worse. Robert Green knew he made a mistake but he more than made up for it with the save from Jozy Altidore in the second half, so there’s no reason for the red tops to go mental on Sunday morning, even though they will.
If I’d been able to publish a preview before the game, it would have been along these lines: do not underestimate the United States, this one of the first round games that is likely to be far closer than most people think and that it’s highly likely that the USA will score. If you would have agreed with those sentences, keep reading the blog. If you are one of the flag toting dreamers who think England only had to book into the hotel and hang a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the bedroom doorknob and tick the continental breakfast option to win the World Cup, then you probably need to read something else.
England can stillÂ win the World Cup; if England want to win the World Cup then a victory over Algeria on Friday is vital. You know that and the team know that; we’ve been in far worse positions before.
It was always bound to be a case of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’; following David Beckham’s metatarsal in 2002Â and Wayne Rooney’s broken foot in 2006,Â Ashley Cole may miss all or part of the World Cup finals with a fractured ankle.
Multiple ironic angles here: the injury was sustained when Cole was tackling Landon Donovan of the USAin Chelsea’s 2-1 defeat to Everton during the week: but now the door is wide open for Wayne Bridge to make an international return…alongside Errol Flynn. Obviously it’sÂ Sr. Capello’s shout from here on in, but this needs to be sorted out as soon as possible, arguably before John Terry gets back from Dubai (where he’s been ‘talking’ to his wife) and definitely before the friendly versus Egypt.
The main reason: I would hope that ourÂ forthcoming opponentsÂ have too much class to start making comments aboutÂ the ‘situation’ between Terry and BridgeÂ on the pitch – but all you need isÂ a Marco Materazzi and Zinedine Zidane style incident and England could be on the next plane home.
Let’s just hope that no-one else gets crocked.
In other news…Sven-Goran Eriksson’s rather bizarre sojourn as Director of Football at Notts Countyis over after Notts were sold for Â£1. If some of the rumours flying around are to be believed, he may be moving from the sublime to the ridiculous; apparently he may be in line for the North Korea job. Sounds likeÂ a job for Photoshop if ever there was one; on that note, we’ll wish you a pleasant weekend and leave you with a song (which contains some choice language right at the start, so be warned!)Â that seems appropriate on a number of levels…
Burns Night is a couple of weeks from now, but having been for a bit of a trawl round the internetÂ this eveningÂ I came across this gem and was immediately reminded of these lines from Burns’ poemÂ ‘To A Louse’:
‘O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!’
By the way, the Algerians may very wellÂ be ‘box fresh’ in June but they lost Â 3-0 to mighty Malawi in the African Cup of Nations earlier today. If Malawi can put three past them…