Friday, December 25, 2009

England Is Really Good ... Have We Mentioned That?

More news on how good the English side is, six months and change ahead of South Africa 2010.

Shall we go ahead and even bother with the tournament? Does anyone have a chance against the Three Lions, conquerors of all they see ... well, at least in 1966, they were.

Today, it's Michael Ballack talking down Germany's chances and talking up England's.

(Anyone else think the Chelsea midfielder looks a bit like Matt Damon? It's just me?)

Here is Ballack lavishing praise on Mario Capello's side.

We've been over this, yes? England's bipolar approach to its team. Oh, yes, we have. How English fans and media people absolutely are in one of their manic phases right now.

A question that often comes to my mind is ... do any of QE2's subjects understand the concept of "poor-mouthing"?

That's the practice of someone associated with a good team sighing deeply and shaking his head and confiding that his historically good squad just doesn't have it this week, this season.

Most veteran sports people recognize this. And give it little credence.

A famous American football coach with the wonderful name of Amos Alonzo Stagg used to poor-mouth his teams relentlessly, on the off chance that someone would believe what he was saying and underprepare for his team. Or show up fat-headed and overconfidence.

Stagg spent much of his career at the University of Chicago, which was a power back in the 1920s, and Stagg's protestations became so ridiculous that when he worried aloud about his mighty team's chances against a much lesser opponent, the headline was written: Stagg Fears Purdue." And everyone laughed. It was ridiculous.

Anyway, England fans are free to believe their team will waltz into the semifinals ... and that Germany is awful. But since England won its one and only World Cup championship, Germany has finished in the top four seven times, reached the final five times and won twice.

Let's just guess and say that Germany will be competent. Let's just guess and say Ballack actually believes that.

And let's say that England is in real danger of thinking this is going to be far easier that it will be.
Read more!