Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Like 1978 all over again... only it isn't

Well, not exactly, as it is not the final, but the TV is full of footage of the famous final which, seemingly, Holland were not allowed to win. The second World Cup Final in a row which Holland lost, after their defeat in 1974 against Germany.

It is said that the 1974 defeat has had a big effect on the Dutch character, more than the 1978 defeat, and also given the fact that both teams have already qualified, there is no real sense of avenging that 1978 defeat. Not like in the last two World Cups where England have played Argentina and have attempted to atone for the Hand of God incident in 1986. They failed, just, in France 1998, after Owen had scored HIS goal and David Beckham had been sent off. Revenge then for 1986 and 1998 came in 2002 when England beat Argentina 2-1 and helped send them home after the first round.

Maradona is back, not on the pitch, but jumping up and down in the stadium every time Argentina score one of their excellent goals. The Argentinian side is no longer the dirty, fouling, cheating side of years gone by. They play well and fair and produce great football. It will be very interesting to see if they can get past Germany in the quarter finals, assuming they do not lose tonight. If they do.... we will have another England Argentina encounter, but then one without the great Michael Owen who twisted his knee. A six week injury at least for the poor chap.

And what in heaven's name was the England manager doing bringing only four strikers, two injured one, one very tall on and one who has never even played a Premiership match? Incredible.

Looks like we have some intriguing quarter finals in store:
Germany v Argentina
Italy (?) v who knows?
England (hopefully) v Holland (if they can beat Portugal)
Brazil v Spain

The old guard.

Thinking of going to Germany now for the 30/6 and 1/7 quarter finals.


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