Saturday, June 30, 2018

Football Crazy

The current state of international politics is intriguing for all the wrong reasons; for example is North Korea still building its nuclear arsenals despite the well publicised meeting with President Trump and what will the latter's forthcoming meeting with Vladimir Putin mean for the West generally and NATO in particular?

However having posted so many points recently about worrying international political affairs the World Cup football which is proving  is more intriguing so far than expected seems an happier subject for a blog post hence this post's title.

No one was expecting much from the England team firstly because the team rarely delivers much on the European (beaten even by tiny Iceland) or World stages and secondly because the team including the manager  Gareth Southgate, is new and in many respects experimental. Yet England won its first two games quite convincingly and qualified for the next round before playing the third game with Belgium. Germany on the other hand which had managed to go as far as the last 16 since I believe  1938 lost  2-0 to South Korea so had to make  premature exit, much to Angela Merkel's chagrin

England Losing 1-0 to Belgium was of course disappointing but given the huge number of changes made by both managers before kick-off, the outcome was hardly disastrous.

That Belgian politicians have a sense of humour as well as pride was exemplified by their gift to Theresa May who was in Brussels for an EU meeting, of a Belgian Football Team shirt. 

Some argued that it was better to lose the England/Belgium match because the losing team which would be runner up in the group would have the easier task in the next round. From what I could see however, both teams played to win and indeed the best of the two experimental teams - Belgium too fielded many changes to give all their men an opportunity to play in the World cup - did win.

Doubtless however England will field the best possible team for the match on Tuesday against Columbia.

"Come on England!"

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