Saturday 19th June – Cape Town (published same day – Andy)
OK so it was not the best game of football and I came out of the ground in a very black mood. Black as coal, I didn’t want to have a drink afterwards, although I did get persuaded for one. I was even accused of ‘losing it’ by Steve, not in a mad way, but with reference to my passion and committment. He could be right. A good night’s sleep and t have woken up with some optimism – we are now effectively in the knock out stages and that is where we, England, get better. Indeed we have a game advantage now in that we must win or go home so no ‘nothing game’ to play out, the next game could be our last, and that’s how we like it. The pressure is on, we, the fans now expect they, the team to deliver. There have to be changes, not wholesale, but fundamental tactical changes – ditch Heskey, put Gerrard in behind Rooney, put Joe Cole in and play Dawson not Upson (althought that is unlikely to happen) as Carragher is (fortunately) suspended. It s now time to show the proper bull dog spirit and either go down fighting or march on to the second stages. All is not lost, the fans me included booed the team off last night and I make no apology for that at all. We have taken time out and spent a load of money following England down the years, so we actually have the right to express pleasure or displeasure. Sorry Wayne. Sorry Fabio. Sorry FIFA.
South Africa is a wonderful country with loads of fantastic sights and sounds. But it is a country fundamentally flawed by money or the lack of it for the vast majority of the people. There are the very rich, a few, and the very poor, a lot. Poverty is something that England’s footballers will never experience. May be they should pause for reflection, admit how lucky and favoured they are and get their heads down and play like the Americans. Never thought I would say this, but well played USA. If there is one team out here who espouses the never say die spirit, it is them. They have gained a new fan and I for one would be pleased to see them win this competition, if we don’t. World football needs someone new, a team who cares. England, your time is at 4pm local time, Wednesday 23rd June 2010, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. xxx
Keep your flights, when do you arrive – we are going all the way to the semi finals. Trust me