There are some international runabouts coming up soon (end of March 2011). A few of them matter, but most of them are pointless friendlies.
The F.A. will be counting the cash a week on Wednesday with England hosting Nigeria at Wembley, but before they are away in a Euro 2012 qualifier away to Wales.
Now going on previous results/form of both national teams England *should* walk this one…
Additionally we have the sideshow of the newly anointed Gareth Bale, currently on form. But as you know one man does not make a team.
Before we get to the next Euro competition though I want to remind you about England and their journey in a previous Euro Championship which didn’t go that well…
Ok that’s an understatement. It was in fact an unmitigated disaster.
England went out in the group stage after they played and lost all three games, scoring only two goals and conceding 7 in the process.
My friends in Ireland will remember the first group game well and will not need reminding. For the rest of you though it was when Ray Houghton nodded one in with the only goal of the game.
– As recreated a few years later by Baddiel & Skinner on Phoenix from the flames:
After this the Republic of Ireland drew with the Soviet Union and then narrowly lost to the Netherlands, the eventual winners. It wasn’t enough for them to go through and along with England (but above them in the table !) they went home.
» Via dermothardy.com: A detailed look at Ireland’s progress for Euro ’88.
» Article in the Guardian: On Second Thoughts: England at Euro 88.
In the above article Rob Smyth argues that it wasn’t just a poor performance that was to blame for their results, but some ill-fortune that fell upon the England team.
I myself believe non of it and can pinpoint exactly where it all went tits up. It was even before a ball was kicked and all because of these three:
For those of you of a younger age who never experienced this particular dark part of our musical history: They are Stock, Aitken and Waterman, or S.A.W. as they were also known, and from the mid-later 80’s they were responsible for production line, mass marketed bland music.
In fact listening to today’s music with the Beibers and Jonas and that type, it’s like they never went away.
So because they were the thing at the time and could pretty much guarantee a chart hit* with whatever they were given, (a soap star, a struggling band – or something the manufactured themselves, such as a tea boy) the clueless suits at the F.A chose them.
*For the record: It reached Number 67)
So then shudder at this production that nearly stopped all decent football and music:
||» England Football Team (1988) – All The Way » England Team (1988) – All The Way (Extra Time Mix) » Eng Team (’88) – All The Way (On Yer Head Dub)|
Oh and joy of joys… here’s the video as well: