Phil Simms

Final verdict - War-Torn Berlin

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This year´s World Cup has struck up a few surprises, the emergence of the African nations as a force to be reckoned with, the Portuguese as the new hated footballing figures by English fans and the resurgence of bald blokes all over the front and back pages (what with Italy and France both having their fair share of slap-heads.  

OK, so all my bets were wrong, Argentina failed, Lionel Messi hardly got a look-in, England turned out to be predictably poor and midfield maestro Zinedine Zidane did the unthinkable, showing that a Frenchman really can defend themselves if called upon. But what a tragic way to finish such an illustrious footballing career. A tragic end for arguably the greatest player of his generation.  

Italy has won the World Cup, emphasising the nice guys finish last scenario, what with the spectre of match'fixing haunting the Azzurri men, with the result of their domestic strife set to come to a swift conclusion in the coming days.  

In truth, the final was a pretty big anti-climax, OK there were two goals but neither side, predictably had that killer instinct in front of goal. There were lots of half chances, missed placed passes and flying footballers to call it a truly great final. Afterall, it finished nin the jmost cruel of ways, by dreaded penalties. In fairness, the French probably did enough throughout the game to deserve to win it but they couldn't find that final ball all the extra couple of yards needed to get in front of the last defender. When ZZ got sent off it just brought French frustrations to a head, no pun intended.    

From an English point of view. It really will be interesting to see how the national side will be shaping up over the next couple of years. What with the like´s of David Beckham, Sol Campbell and Gary Neville sure to retire from International football before the next World Cup to be held in South Africa and the resurgence of Aarron lennon, Stewart Dowining and Owen Hargreaves - the Euro Championships in two year´s is sure to matk an interesting transition period for the three lions with Steve McClaren at the helm.    

2 Responses to "WORLD CUP BLOG"

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contribs editor

Thu, 07/06/2006 - 00:25
In true England football fan lingo many felt that their team were &lsquo;robbed&rsquo; of victory in the quarter final show down with Portugal and they feel &lsquo;gutted&rsquo;. I have to admit that I truly hoped that England could overcome the &lsquo;curse&rsquo; of&nbsp; the penalty shoot-out&nbsp; and defy expectation of failure by progressing to the semi-final. Unfortunately, &lsquo;pretty boy&rsquo; Ronaldo and the rest of the Portuguese team were far more hungry for a win. His devious or clever tactic of provoking the immature and volatile Wayne Rooney into wreckless action and a sending off was sealed with that wink of the eye and pout of the lips&nbsp; It was a sight captured marvellously by the cameras and probably to the delight of millions of female viewers more interested in the aesthetic virtues of the players. Psychologically, the Portuguese were far more confident, determined and aggressive. England need to toughen up.&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br /><br />
chris's picture


Mon, 07/10/2006 - 14:03
<p>Will Mclaren last as England coach?</p><p>I know there are contracts involved but&nbsp;I suspect Mclaren is a short term fix rather than a long term solution - 2010 maybe a long time in coming - but the Euro's will determine how successful Mclaren is as top dog!</p><p>I wouldn't be surprised if our&nbsp; rival Luis Felipe Scholare or indeed Martin O'Neil eventually end up as future England prospects for the top job!</p>