England 4 Moldova 0
I really really wanted another opportunity to bash England and the self-important twats (with the exception of Rickie Lambert, Ross Barkley, John Ruddy and maybe Milner) who play for the England team along with the hallucinogenic nimrods and buffoons ((more on that in a moment)) who run The Football Association of England. But in this pursuit, I was denied on the day ((take a drink)).
In fact, as I watched the match, I found myself rooting for them, and especially for Rickie Lambert, who is neither self-important, nor a twat, and in fact, if England had more of his like playing for the team, then England and football in England would be in a better place. Now don’t get me wrong, Lambert loves his club, Southampton. And without him on their squad, the Saints would have been relegated last season. But Lambert is a not a man who is full of himself….his career for the most part has been modest and the clubs he’s played for have been mostly in the lower divisions and mostly unspectacular. But don’t get it wrong. Rickie Lambert knows how to play football, and loves to play football….and since he’s not some overpaid superstar twat, he doesn’t approach the game with a sense of entitlement, and doesn’t approach playing for the national team as if it were a burdensome and tedious chore.
Three of the 4 goals England scored were the result of Rickie Lambert. While skipper Steven Gerrard ((I should start calling him Steve Gerrard from now on….)) scored the first on a beaut at the 12th minute, the rest were all Rickie Lambert.
Knowing how to simply play football, whether it’s in the NFL or the EPL or the Big10 or the Bundesliga, is more important than overall athleticism at the end of the day. Being in the right place, at the right time, counts for more than being spectacular. Lambert is an athlete who gets that. No one will mistake him for Wayne Rooney or Danny Welbeck or Robin vanPersie or Zlatan, but Rickie Lambert knows how to play football and yesterday, against Moldova, he got the job done. Just what England needed.
At the 27th minute, Moldova goalie Stephen Namaşco batted away The Young Jack Wilshire’s® shot, but Lambert was right on the spot to slot it home from close range. England’s final two goals were scored by Danny Welbeck, who was given yellow card with “odprejskni vás natvrdlý onanista!” written on it, for some insubordinate foolishness at the 45th minute which will now keep him out of next Tuesday’s vital tilt with the Ukraine. But moments later in 1st half stoppage time, Rickie Lambert fed him the perfect pass to slot one home, and England took a 3-0 lead into halftime. After the break, on 51 minutes, Lambert lofted a beautiful pass for Welbeck to run under and then doink in over the sprawling Namaşco.
Stay tuned for more about England later.
But right now, unfortunately, we have to deal with THIS:
Costa Rica 3 USA 1
There must be some mistake here. Surely this can’t be the correct score. My thinking is that the NSA trumped this up to make us all angry at the injustice of USA losing at something so we’ll fall in line with some psuedo-attack on Syria or something like that ((even though a lot of the nattering nabobs of negativity think that soccer is just part of some communist plot to take over America)).
What really happened, ofcourse,is that Costa Rica had a red-ass about The Snow Bowl and for them, smashing, smiting us down, and annihilating us at their home stadium was about as good and about as close to winning the World Cup as Costa Rica is likely to get.
Fair play to them. They went out and won it. Made us look like shite because we were shite. Clint scored a penalty kick, but for the rest of the game it was a farce of near epic proportions.
Mexico is on the docket next on Tuesday. And Team USA can ill-afford a repeat performance.
Speaking of Mexico….
Mexico 1 Honduras 2
Mexico lost at the Azteca for only the 2nd time in the thousand or so years ((well….make that 3 times, if you count the defeat of the Aztecs by Cortez)). Mexico has been consistently shite and under-achieving for quite some time now….booted out of the CONCACAF Gold Cup this year ((which was won by USA, btw)) by Panama on a similar 2-1 score. Mexico is now in 4th place for World Cup qualifying. If that’s where they finish, then they’ll face a playoff with New Zealand to get to Brazil next year.
In the aftermath of Friday’s drubbing at the Azteca, coach Chepo de la Torre was fired within moments of the defeat. He is lucky in one sense that Cortez defeated the Aztecs, for if they hadn’t, instead merely being sent packing, Chepo would also have been dragged to the top of The Pyramid of The Sun in Teotihuacan and his beating heart would have been cut out of his chest with surgical precision and offered to appease not only the god or gods or God, but also the entire population of Mexico, including those who now reside in the United States, legally or otherwise. So Chepo should offer a word of thanks to Cortez and his band of uncivilized Spanish louts.
Then again, there probably wouldn’t have been enough blood to go around anyway.
The Chase Is On!!
As the final laps wore down at Richmond International Speedway last night, it was squeaky bum time for a lot of teams and drivers. There were several drivers on the bubble and whether or not they made the Chase could come down to whether or not they won; or it depended on who won; it might have been a matter of not only where they finished but where another driver on the bubble finished; it even could have come down to a matter of tenths of a second on a pit stop ((it did, by the way come down to a bit of that)).
Reigning NASCAR Champ Brad Kesolowski had to win to get in. He didn’t. Bad Brad led the most laps, but finished the race 17th. He’d pitted under green and was back on the track when Jimmie Johnson ((who should have just fockin’ stayed in the garage when he wrecked earlier in the race)) spun out. So Bad Brad was unfortunately out of sequence and was trapped back in field for the duration. In Brad’s case, however, I will say this (and he would be the first to agree with me): Brad and his team could have done and should have done a lot more earlier in the season so he wouldn’t have to have been in such a desperate straits coming into Richmond.
Ditto Esteemed Wine Connoisseur Jeff Gordon®. He didn’t win either. Finished the race 8th, but 13th in points.
Ryan Newman had passed eventual winner Carl Edwards for the lead with 10 laps to go, and was pulling away for the win when Clint Bowyer spun out, or “spun” out, depending on how much of paranoid conspiracy theorist you are. Newman would have and should have one. But both the race, and the Chase, was lost for him on pit road. His pit stop was a almost a full second slower than the others in the top 5. Instead of coming out of that final pit stop in 1st, Newman came out 5th and with only 3 laps left, there was not enough time and laps to catch up. He was charging to the front like a raped ape, but all the closer he could get was 3rd place.
Bowyer’s spin, or “spin” and the resulting caution. put Bowyer’s team-mate Martin Truex Jr into the Chase. Truex had been on the bubble all season. His win at Sonoma, of all places, got him into his first Chase ever. Barely.
So there it is. The Chase is on.
Matt Kenseth is now in first with 2015 points. Jimmie Johnson, and Matt’s team-mate and NASCAR’S Most Popular Driver LOL® Kyle Busch are tied for 2nd at 2012 points. Harvick, The Carl, Joey, The Biff, Clint, Junior, Kurt Busch, Kahne, and Truex wind out the field.
A few of my pre-season predictions went wrong, of course. But I expected them to to a degree. Joey Logano making the Chase is a pleasant surprise when I thought he wouldn’t. Bad Brad not making the Chase is a shocker. Denny Hamlin and Tony didn’t make it…but those were due to injury.
As for who will win it all? Given the races that lie ahead, it’s Matt Kenseth’s to lose in my view. I’d thought before the season he’d win it with his trademark consistency. This time I think he’ll win it with his new trademark consistency by WINNING races. He’s in first because he won the most races so far this year. And I’m thinking he’ll stay there. But, if he falters….heaven help us if Jimmie Johnson turns his bad luck around. Then again, if Matt doesn’t win, I’ll be pulling for Kyle or Junior to win it all. If not Matt, then actually anybody in The Chase but Jimmie Johnson or The Carl, can win the damn thing and I won’t be too tore up about it.
Even if Kevin Harvick wins it all. Football, Bloody Hell!!
For Club and Country….
No other country in the world seems to have this problem. Only England. Self-important and over-hyped EPL English talent who don’t like either or like playing with each other and who think playing for their country is an imposition instead of an honour. Playing for the England team is just another way to glorify their ego instead of their country. If Rickie Lambert hadn’t been there at Wembly to play with team spirit, and if he’s not on Roy’s starting line-up card Tuesday in Kiev, well, then heaven help England. If Sturridge had started instead of Lambert against Moldova, I honestly think England would have barely squeaked by with 2 self-important twats on the front line, referring to Welbeck and Sturridge, of course. Instead of just one….referring to Welbeck who got tagged with a yellow and is out for the game with Ukraine.
There are plenty of egotistical self-import twats in football all over the place. Landon Donovan, Mario Balotelli, and Zlatan all come readily to mind. But to a man, those three who love and believe mightily in their bad-ass selves and love their clubs and the glory that results from their club play, all to man honour playing for their country as much or more. In leagues all over the world, Spain, Germany, Japan, Kazakhstan, Colombia, USA, Mexico and the rest, the top players on down are honoured to play for their country no matter who the adversary is or where they have to play them. They also recognize that rather than just being a group of all-stars, their national team is a TEAM, and thus they find ways to work together as a team.
So much as I’d like England to do better, it amuses me even more when they don’t.
Just because the English Premier League is the top league in World, it doesn’t mean that English players who play in the EPL are the top players in the world. With a few notable exceptions, they are not.
Top talent from the around the world flocks to the Premier League. Most of the top Americans play or have played there. A lot of top talent from Spain, Netherlands, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Mexico and Brazil etc. etc. play there. And none of those top players have any qualms with playing for their National teams. It’s an honour for them. Really you don’t hear much of fuss from the likes of Oscar, David Luiz, Vincent Kompany, Eden Hazard, Nani, Juan Mata, Mesut Özil, Chicharito, Tim Howard, Hugo Lloris, Olivier Giroud, Alvaro Negrado, and so on and so on unless they’re not getting enough playing to keep them at their peak for their national team. They all want to play for their country, and for a lot of them, their performance at club level is important them more because of that desire than any other ((other than money of course, but, well, even in a perfect world, you can’t do as much about human nature as one would like)).
But still, the FA of England has rung the carillon bells of victory as new FA buffoon and Chairman Greg Dyke leads the charge with a proclamation that England WILL win the World Cup by 2022!
Not bloody likely.
And if you or I were on Roy’s squad right now, how would WE feel about that?
Bloody hell…we’re not expected to win RIGHT NOW??!! We might as well take the piss and go out on the piss and….and…..
Despite the loss to Costa Rica the other night, USA will win a World Cup before England ever does. So will Belgium, Japan, and Iraq.
But just don’t bet your mother-in-law’s money on that last one.
Green Bay 48 San Francisco 0
Okay….that was score of the Badgers game from yesterday. Wisconsin kept it’s second clean sheet in a row beating Tennessee Tech 48-0 at Camp Randall.
But the Packers tee it up for the season today out in San Francisco. And pretty soon, I will taking my own San Francisco Hippie Trip up to The Firehouse here in Mt. Horeb to view the proceedings and cheer for the Green and Gold as always.
The Packers will win, but…I’m sure the final score will be a bit closer than that. A bit more like Sweden’s 1-2 come-from-behind win against Ireland in Dublin the other day. More like that. Yes.
And since it’s after 5:00 in Norwich UK, the home of the English Premier League’s Green and Gold, let’s all raise a toast to the Green and Gold and drink a beer. I’m going with a KRÄFTIG Lager from William K. Busch Brewery. That’s the new Billy Beer of our day and age, but brewed with Reinheitsgebot, and it’s nice and good and when I finish this one , I’ll have another. So should you, whatever beer you happen to drink.
And now a little bit of music from Madison, Wisconsin’s very own: