Sunday, 18 November 2007

Northern Ireland Against Denmark and Flower of Scotland

Considering that there was no team playing that I care about- yesterday was pretty exciting.

Despite beating Denmark 2-1 it is very unlikely that Northern Ireland will be going to Euro 08 next year (they have to beat Spain and hope Latvia beat Sweden). This is a shame because I'd happily listen to more commentary- with mad laughter, like this:

Some Observations.

1. Both Northern Ireland and Scotland had fantastic qualifying campaigns - (despite having to change managers) - but won't be going to Austria/Switzerland (short of a miracle in Northern Ireland's case) whereas England had a terrible campaign and are still in with a good chance. I'm pretty sure that if Scotland were in England's group they would have qualified, and so may have Northern Ireland.

2. Scotland are out because of the initial draw - (and the Belarus result). They have their best team for a generation and then get drawn in the same group as both of the last World Cup finalists. If they had been better seeded then this would not have happened but their poor seeding meant that they were still hamstrung by the legacy of Bertie Vogts. That is behind them now.

3. Lots of people in England are whining about how the amount of foreign players in the Premiership somehow undermines the national team.. This is rank nonsense - England have failed to qualify before when there were hardly any foreign players in the Premiership. More importantly- whilst England have better players than Scotland and Northern Ireland- those two countries, both of whom have a number of Premiership players, know how to play as a team - there ain't one self important gadabout amongst them - and it's that that nearly got them to the finals. If England could show the team spirit, work ethic and ambition of either Scotland or Northern Ireland then they could win in Austria and Switzerland.

...and England should get rid of their dirge like National Anthem- it just cannot compete with something like this: