Wednesday, 9 September 2009

50%

So based on my prediction of a hat trick of sporting losses within the day I've come up fairly short. The defeat in the cricket was always on the cards from the moment Ravi Bopara (wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time, most of the time during his international career) skied a catch to an Australian fielder. Not only did the young batsman manage to hit the ball high enough to break the newly upgraded Hubble but he also took him a whole seventeen balls to put us out of our misery.

Now I understand the lad is under pressure and the slow pitches so far haven't helped him but surely he has the common sense to talk to the management and find a niche lower down the order? Granted, if soccer star Denly hadn't manage to break his fairly frail looking body the situation could be different. England can't keep sticking with a losing team and no matter how many bowlers they pack into the side the continued batting collapses and foolishly late power play overs will continue to cost them.

Moving onto the soccer end of things, 5-1 is a fairly powerful statement against the doubters (where are they now, eh?). Well I still doubt. For a start England enjoyed an easy group, played their best game away in Croatia and have since cruised to qualification. That word, qualification, is the key here. Against competition, and by competition I define any country that you can fairly accurately pick out on a globe, they have faltered. Spain and the Netherlands are tough opponents and suitably made good on England's lack of skill and composure and made the kick it long tactics employed on both nights look fairly foolish. And not just their kit, which, let us be honest, make even the legendary Cameroon one piece leotard look stylish.

So qualified they may be but there are still problems in the team, Barry lacks the mental aptitude to play the defensive position, Heskey can't score and Defoe can't pass the ball. Or head the ball. Really the team is still fairly far from the finished product. For now though, they enjoy a far more comfortable position than the team of '07.

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