Well, did you give in, did you tune in to watch England take on Iran? I did and quite enjoyed watching England win 6-2. I caught an interview with an Iranian women before the game and she said her teams ‘Iranianess’ would help her country against England. I soon learned that ‘Iranianess’ meant kicking the opposition to bits. Slight exaggeration perhaps but boy Iran weren’t afraid to get stuck in.
For all the stick Harry Maguire has received this season, when England have an attacking set-piece, he’s an asset. Trouble is, his defending, and he didn’t have much to do yesterday, isn’t particularly good. I’d be concerned if I was Gareth Southgate because if a poor Iran can score two, a better team could have a field day against England. Jude Bellingham was good I thought and so was our very own Bukayo Saka. Did you know Jude Bellingham has a younger brother called Jobe? He’s 17 years old, plays for Birmingham and he’s meant to very very good. #justsaying. Their day was a very good footballer in his day too…..
Matt Turner was in action later in the day and I suspect he’s pretty cheesed off with whichever player it was who gave away the penalty late in their game as he was on course for a clean sheet.
VAR is already stealing the show after the opening fixture of the tournament and again yesterday when England were denied a stonewall penalty early in the game yet in the second half, the referee was advised to view the pitch side monitor for something far less obvious in England’s own box.
A good start for Southgate and his players though. The USA are up next on Friday evening. Today though, William Saliba is likely to start for France as they take on Australia.
It’s such a shame though that this World Cup isn’t a show piece of football alone. Politics, racism and equality is the main topic of conversation before a ball is even kicked on a match day. We can talk, take the knee, wear the ‘one love’ armband as Alex Scott did yesterday at pitch side but little is likely to change in my opinion. How can the FA allow ‘non western beliefs’ ownership of English clubs and then protest against it? One minute we watch the Sky Sports presenters getting excited about how much money Chelsea, Man City and Newcastle Utd are spending on bringing great footballers to England, yet the next they are criticising the ‘politics’ of a country whose beliefs are similar.
Don’t get me wrong, not for one minute do I support the decision to play this World Cup in Qatar, nor do I believe or agree with what goes on around the world in relation to equality, politics etc etc, but it’s not like the FA, FIFA and every other footballing body didn’t know there would be controversy when it was announced that Qatar were going to be the hosts.
The FA need to decide whether they want to be the fox or the hounds because running with both won’t work.