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Posts from the ‘World Cup’ Category

Best game ever?

Just like for the final of The Euro’s I was once again on a (long-booked) flight during the majority of the World Cup Final yesterday. I landed just at the beginning of the 2nd half and with the result seemingly a formality, I escorted the family to the mall for a bit of Christmas shopping.

The mall in Miami was pretty sparse, but there were pockets of people crowded around phones and after the gasps that followed France’s incredulous comeback, the place erupted at the finale. Whether they were Argentinian, I’m not sure – it would seem odd an Argentinian would be out shopping at this time – but the considerable Latino populace in Miami clearly enjoyed it.

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Gutted encore


We never seem to lose conventionally do we? There is always drama, agony and misgivings. I feel truly gutted for Harry Kane, he really is one of the good guys.

I thought, I think we all did, that France would be the roadblock to winning the tournament, yet the fact is beyond this round, this has to be the biggest opportunity ever to win the whole thing since 1966.

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England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 move on

That was quite comfortable in the end despite a rather tricky first half hour when Senegal should’ve or could’ve been ahead. Jordan Pickford’s one handed save was pivotal.

There was no better time to score that first, and Kane getting a second allowed us all to relax and enjoy a half-time cuppa.

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Auf Wiedersehen Pet

You have to love the World Cup. What an incredible day it was yesterday.

Group E had to be the easiest group to predict pre-tournament, yet for five minutes yesterday Japan and Costa Rica were headed to the knock-out stages in Qatar.

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Giving thanks

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends.

There’s a lot to like about Thanksgiving – eating, drinking, the complete removal of pressures to buy gifts and sport, a lot of it, and this year the added bonus of World Cup soccer football.

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Don’t cry for me Argentina

They will be dancing in the streets of Newcastle Riyadh tonight. What an incredible and deserved win by Saudi Arabia. The tournament has properly started now.

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Joe Wollacott out of World Cup

Unofficial but if true devastating news from African sports journalist Gary Al-Smith that Joe Wollacott has fractured his finger and will miss the World Cup.

I mean we have some dreadful luck with injuries, but this takes the biscuit. Joe was expected to make Ghana’s final 26 and travel to their training camp on Monday.

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Millar on as sub as Canada thrash Bermuda

Liam Millar came on as a 70th minute substitute and crossed for Wolves prospect Theo Corbeanu to finish the rout of Bermuda 5-1 in last night’s first Group B CONCACAF World Cup qualifier.

It was a home game for the Canucks, but the game was held in Orlando due to Covid restrictions in Canada. It did not stop Canada’s best players travelling to Florida including Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies and 7 others that play in Europe incluidng Millar, Cardiff’s Junior Joilett and hat trick hero Cyle Larin, who plays for Besiktas.

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I was up early this morning like a lot of Englishmen, women and children west of the Atlantic Ocean to watch more sporting disappointment in a major event. It makes how Ben Stokes and England won the Cricket World Cup even more mysterious.

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Insane day of sport

The best day on the couch. Ever!

A severe case of RSI tonight flicking between channels like a mad person as both the ICC World Cup Cricket Final and the Wimbledon Men’s Final concluded within minutes of each other.

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What to watch post season

The first few weeks after a football season always feel a bit empty as I adjust my schedule and attempt to find things to fill the void. A little bit different this year as I’m still singing myself to sleep though with a smile as wide as the Wembley Arch.

It is an adjustment though but there’s normally something to occupy me, and oddly I always get a bit miffed when the whole pre-season circus starts. Clubs who moan the loudest about too many games appearing in pedestrian exhibition games in far flung places. You know who you are.

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Football did come home

A World Cup Final to bless the best month of football in my lifetime. I felt for Croatia, and my mate out in Moscow, but after three exhausting games their continued chasing of the ball when they were out of possession and their lust to get forward and make chances when they had it was extraordinary. The Croats were admirable finalists.

But the best team should win it, and they did. As in the semi-final, France seem content to sit and counter, and they do it with such pace and effectiveness. This team is young as well, and have many good players on the bench and in reserve. Whilst Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Germany, Portugal and Italy all lick their wounds and plan for the future, France already have the future and a superstar in Kylian Mbappe.

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On the 31st day..

A traditional 3rd Place humdrum affair yesterday. In truth both sides put out strong sides and it was reasonably fast paced, but Belgium are irresistible on the break, and we failed again to make the most of our possession around their penalty box, specifically in the second half.

Oh well.. still, it was a very enjoyable journey and there is plenty of hope for the future with youngsters like Joe Gomez, Ryan Sessegnon, Jadon Sancho and Phil Foden amongst others still to come. Loftus-Cheek and Eric Dier were good today, and Trippier, Pickford, Maguire, Stones and Henderson all return home with their stock high. Kane appeared to try too hard after the group games, but it is hard to knock a Golden Boot winner, which he is sure to be. Lukaku got no closer to him yesterday.

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That was tough to swallow last night wasn’t it? In the end the experience and brilliance of Modric and Rakitic, and canniness of Mandzukic was too great for our young lions. If Kane or Lingard had got a second, and Kane should have, then that might have been too much for a tired Croat side to come back from.

There was Trippier’s perfect free kick to get us going, yet Croatia led by Modric, rallied in the 2nd half and started to dominate the midfield, and as we started to lose momentum, Croatia grabbed the initiative and made the kill with just 11 minutes of ET left.

Another way to exit a big tournament game, and I think we will for a while all feel that after over half a century we missed such an opportunity to contest a World Cup Final. Nonetheless like millions of other Englishmen and women this group of young men representing us has made their way into my heart.

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We’re on our way

My brother and I have just got off the phone, we have worked out the visa system and have looked into hotels and flights. Problem is I’m talking about the Final, he is talking about the Semi, and to do that I have to seriously ditch some long planned work stuff this week. We will see.

Today’s game was as I had hoped more straight forward than the Colombia game, and was like watching a Premier League match at times. We always looked better, and should have long put the game to bed, Sterling culpable but he was a constant handful for the Swedish defence.

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