Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2002-06-06 Entry: "National Game? Really?!"

Sunday saw the first England game in the World Cup. Big things were expected. It's our national game (allegedly), we've got the best team we've had for years (although, from what I can tell, we've had the same players for the past ten years or so), and when they're not injured or showing off their new hairstyle they actually play some reasonable football.

And lo, they did. Or rather, they did for about 45 minutes. Unfortunately, the game was 90 minutes long.

So our great side (that as usual, is expected to win) managed a single solitary goal in the first half, then lost their captain as his foot is still broken and he can't manage more than that, and then gave the ball to Sweden and didn't bother to ask for it back.

Every pass went to a Swede. Every challenge was won by a Swede. It was a miracle they only managed to get one goal out of it. We really deserved to lose this match, but miraculously we held them to a draw (or, more accurately, they held themselves to a draw by not putting it in the net six or seven more times).

Which means the nation still have this amazing belief that we could win this. Yes, we've only got to beat Argentina (who, lets be fair, should be able to beat us blindfold), and then it's an easy game against Nigeria. But, as usual, there's discussion of the mathematical probability of us qualifying if we lose to Argentina (which we will, have no fear).

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