It is difficult to separate truth from fiction? It appears that the list of runners and riders for the vacant manager’s post has got slimmer. Depending on which papers you read it appears that Roy Hodgson is favourite to take the reigns however he now appears to be closely challenged by Marseille’s Didier Deschamps
The BBC website appears reasonably confident that Hodgson will be appointed even though there are two other candidates. In contrast The Daily Telegraph has suggested that Deschamps might be the man. Liverpool have been I contact with him however The Marseille president said
“It is true that the managing director of Liverpool Christian Purslow called me on Thursday… He asked whether he could talk to Didier and Jean-Pierre Bernes (Deschamps’ agent) and I replied that I would not forbid anyone from meeting with him, whoever they were. At the same time I told him nicely that there was no hope in hell of Liverpool stealing our coach.”
So the plot thickens and who is the mystery third candidate? Not Kenny it seems. So what about Martin O’Neill, Manuel Pellegrini or even Slaven Bilic? What about Sven Ok, may be not! We can only speculate and I guess it would be premature, not to mention pointless, to run the comb over any of them especially when there are such conflicting reports?
So to the World Cup I don’t find England Germany games particularly fascinating, give me The Mancs v Liverpool any day, but I can remember most of the games and what I was doing at the time. They seem have served as rough but not exact milestones for most of my life.
I was too young for 1966 but one of first footballing memories was the 1970 World Cup. Although I was captivated by the whole event, especially the Brazilians, but it also taught me a harsh lesson. England the holders and, therefore in my young eyes the best team in the world, were 2-0 up against Germany in Leon. A semi final beckoned but then Beckenbuaer, Muller and co put them to the sword ably abetted by Peter Bonetti.
I was unprepared for the heart break. I cried at the unfairness and unjustness of it all but can also distinctly remember my parents consoling me whilst trying not to laugh! Since then I’ve always tried to take defeat of my team on the chin and not be such a sissy. I have managed it most times apart from nearly welling up when The Mancs beat us the “cream suit” FA Cup final to take the double. I don’t think it was the result but that fact that it was a cruel clarification, a tangible illustration, of something I’d been denying even though, deep down, I’d known it for years – we had slipped and they were rising again it was as if, with this result, Fergie and his team were saying “look, now do you believe us?”
And on it goes with England and Germany , 1985 a win in Mexico City I was student and watched the game in Germany on holiday. 1990 Italia 90 semi final, a glorious summer punctuated by the World Cup and chasing, and finally winning, the heart of a girl I’d fancied for best part of three years but never had the courage to say. I watched the 5-1 in thrashing in 2001 with my newly born son in my arms (not from the same girl). Am I boring you? I suspect I am!
Hopefully today’s game will just remembered for the result. England will still need to improve on Wednesdays performance but I suspect Capello will not change the line up in the hope that the momentum will continue? This of course means Jamie Carragher will have to settle for a place on the bench. The result? I have a feeling of gloom and dread honed by years of disappointment resulting from this tie. England have had their fair share of good results but the Germans always seem to win when it matters ie. in the major international tournaments! Win and it will be great, lose and in his house it will be a shrug of the shoulders and, unlike 1970, no tears and sadness. Why? Not because I’ve hardened myself to defeat but simply because it’s England, and it always seems to end this way, and of course because it’s not Liverpool!
Elsewhere and no red involvement yesterday as Uruguay beat South Korea and Ghana beat USA a tie whose final whistle sent Peter Drury into an orbit of platitudes and alliteration that forced me walk off into the garden, I need the TV for tomorrows game and there was risk of it being drenched in lager from a flying can of Stella! All in all however, two reasonable games if not for their footballing quality but the basic fact that both teams knew that this was it, they has to make their mark or get their passports.
Spain will begin their knock out game in a few days time against Portugal. I suspect they will start without Fernando Torres who had yet another flat game against Chile and was eventually taken off. Later the camera panned to him on the bench and focused on an ice pack strapped to what looked like his ankle or higher. I’m wondering if Torres needs some long term treatment and op or something but has been putting off with Liverpool because he knew he’d miss the World Cup? His performances for his country and us at the back of the season have suggested this? If it is the end of his World Cup then hopefully he will use the summer break to get this sorted and come back strongly next season, hopefully with us?
Good luck to England and especially the reds in the side it’s going to a hot one in Bloemfontein and on these shores!