Match Day – Friday 18th June published Sunday 20th June (Kirsty’s blog)
So match day has arrived, excitement is in the air but there’s definitely an undercurrent of nervousness.
We head down to the Waterfront to meet the Evas, Dave and Jimmy. Simon has texted to say that they’re having Lunch at a sushi restaurant around the coast a bit, that sounds lovely to me but ‘im indoors says we can’t go out to lunch on match day…eating’s cheating! (In retrospect this turns out to be a suspect decision as Simon and Chris enjoyed lunch alongside three breaching whales and I’ve been hoping to spot whales the whole time I’ve been here, they didn’t rub it in though…much). Pilks is on his way from Joburg for his eighth game in eight days, mainly by car, amazing!
We find the boys in fine fettle in the Ferrymans Tavern and the banter begins. They’ve been on the blog and Eva Major is disgruntled that he’s been discussed in derogatory terms and that his snoring and abluting habits have been broadcast to all and sundry, though I pointed out that I’m only reporting what I’ve been told. Loads of pictures were taken and as I posted them on facebook, the question of everyone’s World Cup 2010 nicknames arose as I needed a caption for the pics. So we have Swiss Jimmy on account of him being neutral in arguments and not taking sides, Sweeney Todd Dave due to his cut throat bloodfest shaving antics, Grisly Adams Al (he’s hasn’t shaved at all yet!), Ewok Eva because of a picture with his hair everywhere, Santa Payne as the pictures revealed a grey beard that was invisible to the human eye and ‘bird in the wilderness’ (I’ve booked a getaway in the Wilderness region for Andy and I and refuse to tell the boys where it is in case they follow us) or ‘waste of a ticket’ – the old favourite’.
Though you’ll be pleased to hear that I’ve got my own back secretly and they won’t realise until they read this but I’ve managed to convince them that they’re staying in the heart of the gay and lesbian district where the annual gay pride festival takes place (Cape Town has a fantastic thriving gay scene) and that their accomodation is listed as ‘pink friendly’ in the gay hotel guides, as all four of them are staying in the same room, the other guests won’t be able to figure out who’s with who! It could be Ewok with Swiss or Sweeny with Grisly, though the lack of shaving means that at least two of them could be ‘bears’ ;o)
Anyway, after a lot of drinking and a lot of laughing we head to the stadium and the atmosphere is fantastic, you might not have heard it over the vuvuzelas on the TV but the England fans are singing loud and proud…until kick off.
All I can say is that the dissapointment at England’s performance was all around the stadium, by the end of the game the players were booed off (something that Rooney took exception to apparently), though the game was poor and England were poor, we’ll have to pull something completely different out of the bag to even get past the group games. In my humble opinion, we didn’t look like we even wanted to win, there was no heart, soul or passion and I know the Algerians are big and physical but they easily got us off the ball and all of our players looked like they didn’t want to get stuck in and risk getting injured. We seem to have an abundance of ‘career footballers’ who want to earn the money and protect their career, the old days of a sense of pride in playing for your country might be gone. Compare our performance to USA and Slovenia, we saw heart and spirit in that game. Though I’ll go along with Andy and remain positive, England always play better when under pressure, so let’s see some passion in Port Elizabeth, get behind the team and hopefully we’ll be rewarded for our support.
Our last day in Cape Town tomorrow, we’ll certainly make the most of it.