Beckham will not be celebrating occupation

Reports that UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and former famous footballer, David Beckham, would be attending a celebration of the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara is fake news, according to UNICEF.

Tuesday, Moroccan World News reported that former English international David Beckham would be attending a celebration of the 44th anniversary of the so-called Green March, where 350.000 Moroccan civilians entered Spanish Sahara (now Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara). Read more of this post

Breaking the curse of 1966

As a player, Gareth Southgate missed the final penalty that saw England crash out of the 1996 European Championships in the semi-finals – a kick that started the latest 22 years of hurt for England. As England manager at Russia 2018 he might just have begun a quiet revolution that could end the curse of 1966.

England did not win or reach the final of this year’s football World Cup, crashing out to Croatia in the semis. But perhaps manager Southgate, the Football Association and the players have sown the seeds for future success. Read more of this post

England’s impossible feet

On paper, England look set for a quarter final clash with either Germany or Brazil in the upcoming World Cup in Russia. On grass, however, England often end up disappointing.

Premier League stars such as Sterling, Alli, and Kane ought to ensure that England qualify easily from what looks to be the easiest group of the World Cup – Group G with Panama, Tunisia and Belgium. And in the second round, Poland, Senegal, Colombia or Japan also look beatable. Read more of this post

Englands umulige drøm

Steve Mason foran Café Osborne”Jeg tror ikke på Englands chancer”, siger han til sidemanden, som omtalte han en elsket søn der havde skuffet ham en gang for ofte. Begge mænd er i midten af halvtresserne, at dømme ud fra deres begyndende rynker og grånede hår.

Vi befinder os på Café Osborne, et samlingssted for engelske fodboldsfans og andre med interesse for engelsk fodbold og god, billig øl. Caféen ligger under gadeniveau i Elmegade på Nørrebro i København, og er ikke er meget større end en dagligstue. Alligevel har 50 fodboldfans presset sig ind på de få kvadratmeter, flere af dem iklædt engelske landsholdstrøjer med de karakteristiske tre løver på brystet. Read more of this post

World Cup 2010: England play “one of the worst games ever” yet again…

So if all goes to plan in this World Cup, England will scrape through the group stage with unspectacular wins over Algeria and Slovenia and loose to Germany or Serbia in the second round, or France in the quarterfinals, on penalties. But perhaps this is being overtly defeatist?

I wrote this five days ago after England’s 1-1 draw with the USA. Apparently, I was being rather optimistic in my pessimism because England (and France for that matter) does not look like a team that has the will, or the skill, to progress.

Tonight’s goalless draw against Algeria must go down as one of the worst performances, or at least one of the most lacklustre, in recent history, although I guess the term “one of the worst” is becoming something of a cliché when talking of England’s performances in major tournaments (or in the case of 2007, 1993, 1983, 1977 and 1973 in failing to qualify for them).

Players like Gerrard, Rooney, Lampard, Cole, Terry, all valuable, world class players for their clubs were all made to look very mediocre indeed by an Algerian side whose captain plays for a mid-table French side. Read more of this post

World Cup 2010: Will England disappoint yet again?

Yesterday seemed something of a déjà vu for England fans: Enormous expectations ahead of a major tournament that were doused by personal error and underachievement. This time it was England goalkeeper Rob Green’s schoolboy error of a fumble from a seemingly harmless shot from Clint Dempsey that saw the USA earn a point, but there have been many other disappointments.

In 1950, an England team that was supposedly one of the best in the world shockingly lost 1-0 to the USA in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, in what is probably the biggest upset in World Cup history and a premonition of things to come. Even the USA, a team of amateurs and semi-pro’s, hadn’t really believed themselves capable of winning, and had been out drinking the night before. Joe Gaetjens, a dishwasher by trade, scored the winning goal. Read more of this post