Saturday, June 10, 2006
Same Old England
England 1 - 0 Paraguay
Trinidad & Tobago 0 - 0 Sweden
Argentina 2 - 1 Ivory Coast
Sven seemed to make exactly the same mistakes he always makes and England played the same way we've been playing for the last eight years, going a goal up early on and then sitting back inviting the opposition to score... Let's blame it on the heat this time and hope it doesn't happen again.
Other than England, I was particularly impressed by Argentina. I wasn't impressed by the diving, but some of Argentina's one-touch passing was pretty special. They look to be the most dangerous so far by quite a way.
Today's venue was the big screen at Joe and Denning's house and much fun was had by all. I think. The total attendance was an astonishing 22, roughly, with special guest appearances from Kev "Flamin Eck" Wilson and Colin "Colin" Nosworthy. Home made bread was consumed, along with specially baked cake and much pizza and curry. At first we thought Pooch had "accidentally" eaten my naan (not my nan) but then it became apparent that he'd only "accidentally" forgotten to order it. The shit.
Here's a picture of some of us celebrating the goal - as it happened. We always watch football like this.
The flat's a mess now - more so - but if I go to bed it might be cleared up by the time I next go in the lounge.
phew, am knackered. The opening games, after a shaky start, turned out great:
Gremany 4 - Costa Rica 2
We escaped work at 4.45pm to watch this at O'Neills on Carnaby St. When we turned up we found the dreaded "Reserved" signs plastered all over the best tables. I think this is pretty shit, tables should be allocated on a first come - first served basis, if people can't be bothered to get out of work early then they don't deserve a table. So to "Chris" who had a table booked for 4.30pm but clearly had better things to do, you're a spanner.
Anyway, to the game. Thought the Gremans were very good in possession, didn't do anything fancy but kept the ball well. Everyone thought their fourth goal was amazing but I thought it was a bit of a fluke, he just smashed his foot across the ball and it happened to swerve the right way for him.
Final Score: Gremany 4 - O' Neills Carnaby St 0
Poland 0 - Ecuador 2
We then walked on to Holborn to try and find a place for the Poland v Ecuador game, the idea was to head to Na Zdrowie but when we arrived there they weren't showing the game and honestly, I've seen more poles in a disused fire station. Instead, we headed over the road to The Ship Tavern which was awesome - they had saanwiches in cling film at the bar, free nibbles on the tables and a really nice plasma screen which berks didn't stand right in front of like at O'Neills. Our suspicion was that it would be a refuge for Poles from across the road but when Ecaudor scored it turned out we were in a hotbed of the London Ecuadorian community.
It was a bit of a suprising result to me, certainly based on the first half, Poland had much more of the ball it seemed but could do nothing in the final third. They hit the woodwork twice later on though and if those had gone in it would have been a fairer reflection.
Not many photos from last night as I forgot to chaarge my camera batteries, here's one of Kev gaying up Mike at O'Neills:
On the whole I don't think any of Costa Rica, Poland or Ecuador would pose many problems for us if we get through. The Gremans would be another story and until "The Big Man" is more match-fit we'd want to avoid the more decent teams. Right, I might get some food in the belly before the main event starts, awesome.
Friday, June 09, 2006
Finally the World Cup is upon us. Almost. By 3.45pm tomorrow the excitement will probably have turned into disappointment and frustration again but for now all is well...
I did a quick simulation of the England v Paraguay game on PES4, only to discover that Paraguay win 3-0. This is either a bad omen or an indication that I'm not very good at PES. I should have played as Paraguay.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Here's my suggested itinerary for the group stages:
(I'll make them all links later, for now, look at the links on the right-hand-side)
1400: Serbia & Montenegro v Netherlands
1700: Mexico v Iran
2000: Angola v Portugal
1400: Australia v Japan
1700: USA v Czech Republic Bar Czech (West Hamp)
2000: Italy v Ghana Manjaro Bar (Holloway Road)
1400: South Korea v Togo
1700: France v Switzerland
2000: Brazil v Croatia Guanabara (Tottm Court Road)
1400: Spain v Ukraine
1700: Tunisia v S Arabia
2000: Germany v Poland Bavarian Beerhouse (Old St.)
Thursday 15 June
1400: Ecuador v Costa Rica
1700: England v Trinidad & Tobago Arun's flat (Rotherhithe)
2000: Sweden v Paraguay
Friday 16 June
1400: Argentina v Serbia & Montenegro
1700: Netherlands v Ivory Coast
2000: Mexico v Angola Bar Rio (TBC) (Battersea)
Saturday 17 June
1400: Portugal v Iran
1700: Czech Republic v Ghana
2000: Italy v USA Guanabara, 'cause we love it (Covent Garden)
Sunday 18 June
1400: Japan v Croatia Montagu Pyke - www.logosgate.com (Leics Sq)
1700: Brazil v Australia
2000: France v South Korea Bar des Magis (Clap Junction)
Monday 19 June
1400: Togo v Switzerland Africa Bar (Covent Garden)
1700 S Arabia v Ukraine
2000: Spain v Tunisia
Tuesday 20 June
1500: Ecuador v Germany/Costa Rica v Poland
2000: Paraguay v T'dad & Tobago/Sweden v England
Wednesday 21 June
1500: Iran v Angola/Portugal v Mexico
2000: Netherlands v Argentina/I Coast v Serbia & M De Hems (Leic Sq)
Thursday 22 June
1500: Czech Republic v Italy/Ghana v USA
2000: Japan v Brazil/Croatia v Australia
Friday 23 June
1500: Ukraine v Tunisia/S Arabia v Spain
2000: Togo v France/Switzerland v S Korea
Please check with us on the day or the day before if you are considering joining us. For the final group games we'll have to wait and see which matched the TV schedulers pick (I think Holland v Argentina is a pretty safe bet though!)
Monday, June 05, 2006
Before the things start I've been looking out for any good wagers, one thing that's grabbed my attention are the odds for the golden boot:
Thierry Henry 12/1
Michael Owen 14/1
Ruud van Nistelrooy 14/1
Luca Toni 18/1
Hernan Crespo 20/1
Miroslav Klose 20/1
Andriy Shevchenko 25/1
Of particular note here is Luca Toni, the Italian striker. He's been the top-scorer in Serie A this season playing for Fiorentina with thirty-odd goals and is playing up front with the likes of Totti and Inzaghi. You might be able to get 20/1 or thereabouts at Betfair.
Also I've been having a think about what are the standout games from the first-round:
Monday 12th June - Italy v Ghana - Ghana are no mugs and the Italians always start slowly
Sunday 18th June - Brazil v Australia - I think Australia could give Brazil a bit of a physical test
Tuesday 20th June - England v Sweden - Could be interesting if we're both trying to avoid the Gremans
Wednesday 21st June - Holland v Argentina - Two very good sides, should be an even contest
In other news I've signed up an exclusive surprise correspondent from the States (United) to give an American perspective
Tomorrow I hope to finally upload the itinerary of games we will be watching. Stay tuned...