Saturday, 12 June 2010

Watching England

A very full day in Cambridge - now in Hitchin. Of course we put ourselves through the agony of watching England play. It is not agony because they are awful - it is agony because they are peculiarly accident prone. The team is not great, though it could get better, and given one or two breaks might look as though it were doing more than blustering, but you know something is always likely to go wrong, often something ludicrous. And so it did. A crippling, slow-motion, joke of a goal. Such things happen to the best of keepers, such as David Seaman, though there must be a reasonable suspicion that Robert Green may not be the best of keepers.

He offers no security. Teams need security, and the goalkeeper is there to provide it. I doubt whether there has ever been a successful team without an imposing, infallible-looking goalie. So while he may not make another mistake in the competition his defence will be so worried in case he does that one of them will make the mistake instead.

That's enough technical chat. Tomorrow I discuss the midfield problem in equally illuminating detail.


James said...

Watched the game in a Scottish pub in the company of some Glaswegians who had rolled up to our table and introduced themselves. England's goal greeted with loud cheering, so too the equalizer. Good atmosphere, no comments about the English etc etc.

(But we walked past our first choice pub when we heard - and this a full hour and a half before kickoff - "USA! USA! USA!" pouring out of it in Scottish accents - it just sounds wrong...)

Pleased with a draw and pleased with the performance on the whole. For all the brattish soccerball jokes from the British media, the US can be a formidable team on their day as Spain will attest, and this was more of a landmine for England than a potential banana skin.

Poor Robert Green. I know, I know, but he didn't deserve that. Brazil didn't have a top class 'keeper until the '90s. But that's possibly not the kind of example you were thinking of!

George S said...

I am not sure whether the British media pretend to be 'us' or whether they are in fact 'us'. Reading the comments column of The Guardian report (a reasonably fair minded report) on the game, I feel undecided whether the more asinine comments are the true voice of 'the people' or whether they are the voices of quite intelligent people who, for some important sociological reason, have to pretend to be asinine.

But then that might be a perfect description of the Guardian's catchment area.

George S said...

Yes, I don't think Dida was a great keeper. But that matters less when your forward line and midfield are constantly on top of the opposition. Then all you need are one or two fast full backs, and one hard alert defensive midfielder sitting next to one with ideas.