Today's history lesson is about to begin. Please make yourself comfortable.
The dark days of England.
Known as the dark ages because nothing was recorded.
Why wasn’t anything written down ?
Because the England team failed to qualify for the World Cup Finals in the 70′s. Twice. That’s why.
The group table England were in for the qualifiers only had 3 teams, England, Wales and Poland (who went through to the finals). England won 1 match [v Wales in Cardiff] and then drew the other two. Snippet via Wikipedia:
England had also been spectacularly denied a win over Poland that would have secured qualification, by outstanding play from the Polish goalkeeper Jan Tomaszewski.
The 1974 World Cup Finals were held in West Germany and the hosts found themselves in the same group as East Germany. Their game, which I’m sure attracted massive interest, was won by East Germany and they topped the group. West Germany with Beckenbauer went on to win in the final against a Holland team which included Johan Cruyff.
Of the other British Isles teams Scotland were in the Finals and were placed in a group with Brazil, with who they drew 0-0. They eventually finished 3rd behind Brazil team. Yugoslavia won their group.
Qualifying for the next tournament England’s group included Italy and despite winning 5 matches and losing only 1 (against Italy 2-0 away), only the top team went to the Finals. England finished on the same points as Italy (who they beat on the home return match, again 2-0) but the Italian’s goal difference was better.
The 1978 World Cup Finals were held in Argentina and like the ’74 World Cup the hosts won the tournament. The Argentinian team included Ricardo Villa and one Osvaldo Ardiles, who we all know what happened to them. (Yes they were imprisoned three years later during the Falklands War) And again like 4 years previously their Cup Final opponents – Holland, were beaten again.
So after these 8 years in the wilderness. After watching the matches for the previous tournaments in the pub, getting a ribbing from their Scotia mates and with another 4 years passing this time… we thought. This time we’ll…
The England 1982 World Cup Squad – This Time (We’ll Get It Right)
Ahh do I detect a hint of kazoo’s in there…
Something of interest if you like collecting that sort of thing » eil.com have a 7" limited edition picture disc.
England won their group in fine style (P3 W3) but then went out in the second round after playing and drawing their 2 matches. Scotland yet again, just to rub it in I think, were there too. But this time… they were home before the postcards.
» If you were expected a commentary about the England Squad and musical output for the ’82 World Cup sorry to disappoint. Not today. But I haven’t finished with this particular year and team. I will return to the subject in time for the next Euro qualifiers.