FIFA World Cup: Day Ten column

celebrates a famous win while continuing to express his disdain for Mark Lawrenson

If allowed, I would like to channel the words of John Barnes: “you’ve got to hold and give but do it at the right time. You can be slow or fast but you must get to the line. They’ll always hit you and hurt you, defend and attack. There’s only one way to beat them and that’s around the back. So, catch me if you can, ‘cause I’m the England man and what you’re looking at is the master plan.”

But I digress. Football hasn’t come home yet, but it’s looking at the price of flights. Football is texting its mum to make sure she’s free for lunch. It’s checking for local storage solutions to make sure it’s clarinet is looked after while it’s away.

There are some that may dismiss England’s 6-1 win against Panama. Some will criticise the fans draped in the St George’s Cross celebrating by dousing other England fans in beer. But as I have noticed in previous posts, England’s win against Tunisia was their first World Cup win since 2010, and we are perhaps 12 years now without any proper pride instilled in the fans by the Three Lions. Let us not forget that Emile Heskey was starting in the 2010 World Cup. Jesus wept.

My man of the match had to be Kieran Trippier. The boy didn’t put a foot wrong all game and delivered some of the crosses that the media frenzy has now dubbed as England’s set-piece speciality. Trippier is also the unsung hero of the Spurs side that has propelled itself into relevance in the last few years. In a world where elite full-backs come at a premium, Trippier is worth his weight in gold.

Football punditry is a curious thing during World Cup times. On the one hand, you have the crème-de-la-crème of punditry: Gary Neville, Martin O’Neill, Roy Keane and Ian Wright [, Wright, Wright]. But the high demand on a shallow pool results in a pay cheque for the likes of Mark Lawrenson, a man who once said Alaska was a country. There are excellent sports journalists out there who can’t get work because the big broadcasters assume that we won’t watch because they’re not a big name.

Stick some decent non-players in there. It’s getting ridiculous now.

Finally, I would like to remind you all not to book anything for the 15th of July. Football is coming home, and we all need to be ready to greet it at the airport.

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