They played well but as I watched it, I reflected on how common it is that when a game turns, like when it turned in Netherlands favour, -that the side on top seems to get luckier. The ball seems to fall for them and they win all of the 50/50 balls.
2 days with no World Cup coming up. I’ll have to start living a normal life again. Well not quite normal because I am living in a hotel for several weeks. So far all work and my only spare time was football or recovering from jet lag. I am not often in London these days so I am thinking what should I do in the time here, to make the most of it?
The weather’s good! (You can’t say that too often in England, sadly)
In this post I was trying to be positive. Why? Because the build up to the match was so negative. So much talk about previous failures, penalties. Maybe it’s because I have been living away for so long, but I could not understand all that negative talk. It must have affected the players. They even asked them questions about penalties in interviews. “Will you miss like we always do?”
If you were walking along the top of a wall, what’s most likely to make you fall?- Someone shouting at you “Oh my god don’t fall off that wall!”.
Well that’s what was done to the players “Oh my god don’t lose to the Germans, it always happens!”. So you could see the players freezing with fear when it started to go against them, they were fragile. Capello is an experienced successful manager but he can’t beat an overwhelming fearful media attitude.
The Germans did not have to deal with media like that. It made a difference.
Tonight we will see Maradona who has inspiringly being trying to bring out the devil in Messi, to raise his international game. It seems to be working.
– That is what will happen later. Chances are by the odd goal, or maybe 2. Not penalties this time I think, although everybody seems to be obsessed with it. I think the current England team does not remember much of that past.
My hotel was full of very quiet Americans last night. Very unusual, quiet Americans!!
New Zealand’s achievement of finishing above Italy in the World Cup and not losing a match in the finals is a great step forward for football in New Zealand which has been growing for some time now.
An interesting point is I remember looking at New Zealand’s rating in the FIFA world rankings about 10 years ago. They were 132nd at the time. Like Fiji is now. They have come a long way!
The way Capello handled Terry’s outburst was controlled, brilliant leadership. He showed he was in charge and emphasised the importance of the group over individuals. He pulled the team tighter together and showed a steady hand in crisis. This will have calmed the nerves of players and allowed him to take the responsibility for the problems from them.
This WILL pay off against Slovenia and England will win.