The World Cup is oh-ver, but international football continues. There’s the Asian Cup, Copa America, Africa Cup of Nations, Euros and then – before we know it – qualification for World Cup 2014 will begin. Maybe more importantly (at least for the purposes of this post) is that the immediate post-World Cup period is usually a time for change and rebirth.
International stalwart names like Thierry Henry, Fabio Cannavaro and Gio van Bronckhorst have all hung up their national team boots to make space in the changing room for new names. There’s a changing of the coaching guard too with… Continue reading
England’s first two matches in South Africa are unlikely to live long in the memories of most supporters. In the past, England sides have played their part in some thrilling World Cup encounters. Here’s a handful of some the most memorable matches, a list which current England players Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney will hope to help add to this time around.
’86 England v Poland, 3-0
England got off to a bad start at the World Cup in Mexico in 1986, losing their first match to Portugal followed by their captain Bryan Robson to a tournament-ending injury. They… Continue reading
The hype, the media circus, the promise of a renewed power and a plucky upstart and it was all defined by one man, one ball, one howler.
The World Cup is hours old and we’ve already had what may reign as the tournament’s biggest blooper – it’s really hard to imagine worse. In the 40th minute, Clint Dempsey shot a harmless bounder in to goal and Robert Green just fumbled it, all the way into the back of the net. A cruel goal on England and a cruel goal on Robert Green, who will endure… Continue reading
Steven Gerrard is the latest in a long and distinguished line of Liverpool FC players to have pulled on the England shirt and represented his country at the very highest level. As one of the most iconic and successful clubs in the world it’s no surprise to see how long the roll of international honours is at Liverpool. From Michael Owen’s stunning impact in 1998 back to Roger Hunt’s goals in 1966 – the Anfield outfit are certainly prominent in the England World Cup story.
Examples of ‘the one club legend’ are increasingly rare in modern football. The commercial nature of the game leas to youth clubs selling their prized talent for increasingly large sums of money. It is therefore heartening to see that two of the most established players in the England set-up, John Terry and Steven Gerrard, share not only the white shirt of England but an enduring affiliation to their boyhood clubs of Chelsea and Liverpool.
It’s been a while since the blue side of Manchester was so prominent in the England shirt. You could perhaps go as far back as the 1970 World Cup when Francis Lee and Colin Bell used their Maine Road success to muscle into a squad full of 1966 legends. Shaun Wright-Phillips, Joleon Lescot and Gareth Barry are staking their claims for a place in South Africa, in the present day and creating a sense of excitement that City has not felt since the halcyon days of the late 1960s.
Colin Bell almost certainly never gained the medals his… Continue reading