Not with a bang but with a whimper. But either way: thank fuck for that. Watching their recent performances has been a dismal experience, but hopefully over the next eight months (or whatever it is), they’ll all play themselves into sparkling form with their clubs, put this run of bad games behind them, and come into the World Cup finals feeling sharp and confident.
In a three-sided match of foocket. I visualise Wayne Rooney as a flamboyant middle-order batsman and Glenn McGrath as a goalkeeper.
I actually don’t have any thoughts about the footie, other than that it would be nice to see England hand out a real thrashing for once. It’s not like Northern Ireland have got a Pat Jennings or a George Best. I want a cracking 6-2 England win.
Simon Jones is a real loss for the Oval. He’s been brilliant this series, completely upstaging Steve Harmison. And the Aussies will be a better team if McGrath plays. I still think McGrath is a more dangerous player than Warne, despite Warne’s heroics this summer. Not sure about Anderson vs. Collingwood. Picking Collingwood looks a little bit like playing for the draw, and we don’t want England to lose their nerve now. On the other hand, a probably rain-shortened game on a good batting surface, with only a draw needed – it is tempting to pack the side with batsmen. And will Anderson look dangerous again anyway?
Either way I remain positive, although planning the victory parade before we’ve won the Ashes seems like bad juju.
There’s a football vs. cricket discussion over at Corridor of Uncertainty. Not surprisingly, since it’s a cricket blog, everyone is saying how wonderful cricket is and how much football could learn from it.
But I still think that for moments of sheer, jaw-dropping brilliance, football is streets ahead of cricket, just because it’s less structured. Even the most memorable moments in cricket – like Warne’s famous Gatting ball – are variations on a theme. Yes, it was an extraordinarily good leg-break, but it was still rather like all his other leg-breaks. The great moments in football – from Gordon Banks, Maradona, Cruyff, Archie Gemmill, Paul Gascoigne – give you the sense of someone doing something impossible and unthought of. It’s like watching a magic trick, except invented on the spur of the moment in front of 70 000 people and with the World Cup at stake.
Inter Milan have cancelled their pre-season tour to England, citing security fears. How’s this for weasel words: “The club has decided to cancel the team tour in England so as not to further stretch the already severely occupied security services”. Fuck ’em.
The Ashes haven’t even started yet.
The first football match of the new season – Liverpool’s Champion League pre-pre-pre-pre-qualifier against Total Network Solutions – was yesterday. I watched a bit of it, but it just felt wrong. The Ashes haven’t even started yet! Has the world gone mad?
[And if you had a club called something as fabulous as Llansantffraid FC, wouldn’t it make you die a little every time you heard it referred to as Total Network Solutions? Mind you, two of the other teams in the Welsh Premier League seem to be called Connah’s Quay Nomads and Afan Lido, so perhaps Llansantffraid FC just seemed a little plain.]
But anyway, I shouldn’t be doing football blogging now, because the Ashes haven’t even started yet. Shame on me.
Unbefuckinglievable. In the first half Milan looked so much better that it was hard to believe that the same two teams were playing in the second half. Surely Uefa are going to have to let Liverpool defend the title?