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"Yes, having-my-head torn-open-and-hot-lava-poured-into-my-skull gifts."
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July 01 2006

England for the World Cup says Alyson Hannigan. Unfortunately despite Willow's endorsement, England lost 3-1 to Portugal on penalties earlier today.

Hurray for Portugal!
The English really made a bad showing today, especially with Rooney's red card and actions afterwards. They really had a mediocre world cup, but they had many chances today, even with a man down. Once again, so much potential is wasted, and now all my teams are out...Brazil, USA, England, and Argentina. I swear if France wins the world cup, im gonna throw something.
well, so would the Germans if the French won. I was stunned Brazil just missed tying the game, and upset England just wilted.
I say the home team, Germany, will take it
Yeah, sad to see England go. Hurrah for France though! I'd love to see it come down to Germany/France for the final next weekend!
Hopefully now the world cup related adverts (which is 95% of them) will stop now.
hey, adverts least problem, and everybody who wishes Germany in the final... I don't know if there'd be a penalty hard enough for that person; but I'd want to try to meet the real him/ her...

[ edited by bookworm on 2006-07-02 01:02 ]
Allez les bleus! I'd love to see a Germany-France final. (Rematch of the 82 and 86 semifinals, when I lived in France.)
Yeah I was rooting for England today too...they can't let it get to penalties as they are not so good at those most of the time.
I predict a France-Germany final. France played well in beating Spain and Brazil so shouldn't have too much trouble with Portugal.
The former Buffy The Vampire Slayer said that she and her husband planned a vacation in Germany specifically around the World Cup

What's wrong with that, wouldestous?
Bah. That's what happens when you play badly. Ho hum. At least we weren't beaten by Germany, eh? Or the French!

Honestly though, I feel worse for Brazil.
Sigh, I would have liked to see both England and Germany in the final, cause they are both my favourite teams.

Oh and bookworm? You just met her. But then again I was born there so...
At least rooney got to step on a man's groin before leaving the game. I wonder how many times that has happened in any sport.
As an Englishman, I am very sad that we're out, but we didn't really desereve to win. We have been quite poor recently, hopefully the departure of Sven Goran Erikson as manager will change things for the better.
With names like Gerrard and Lampard in the team? How can any English side be poor with stars like these? Not just stars, but star leadership who inspire. And Joe Cole was just amazing - the English answer to Christino.

I wouldn't blame Sven for the way that England ended their run in this World Cup. The competition in the final's stage has been white hot and there's a thin line between success and failure. Would England with the current team have won the World Cup outright with someone like Hiddink at the helm? I'd say it would have made no difference.

Hold your head up high England. This was a most entertaining match. And to go down on penalties should be no cause for shame.

[ edited by StaffOSimon on 2006-07-02 04:59 ]
Good catch, wouldestous! Unless, ya know, in the super-secret pilot even before the unaired pilot, Aly was actually Buffy...

At least rooney got to step on a man's groin before leaving the game. I wonder how many times that has happened in any sport.

You've obviously never seen hubby and I play UFC! :~D
Shame on you, Bookworm. I didn't think you would hit me. Would you? A fellow Browncoat? Fie on you man! And hurray for Kessie! You go girl. And Germany to the finals of course. :)
On the basis of their performance against Portugal alone, 10-man England can go home with their heads held high. I HATE penalties!
I was counting on W being the one place I wouldn't have to be reminded of the result. Thanks Simon! Oh well, the only saving grace about England's departure is an end to knotted stomachs and blinkered hopes . . . Personally I'm hoping Italy beat France in the final. The way Portugal played their last two games, they can't lose soon enough (or badly enough) for me.
I approve of Aly's choice of who to cheer for! But so sad to see them go. Even sadder to see John Terry cry, *that* broke my heart.

I think a lot of Dutch are now supporting Germany (as am I). Who'd have thunk it!
OK, i'm Scottish so if you're English and reading this you may want to sit down. Here we go...

I really think they deserved to beat Portugal.

There, I said it. And I don't even feel that nauseated ;).

Sure England's performance up to now has been lacklustre (to be generous) but I think they played OK in the first half while Portugal never really comitted men forward or looked that threatening in attack.

Also, i've watched it a few times now and I still don't see that Rooney's nut stamping was deliberate (and I normally have very little time for him and his tantrums) and actually showed rare restraint for him given that he'd been fouled at least twice leading up to the incident. Give him a yellow for the push and dissent (he kept his hands down so no need for a red on that basis, IMO) and get on with the game (that said, I may get a chance to watch it totally sober today and change my opinion completely ;).

And I agree that they played with a lot of guts after going down to ten but what is it with England and penalties ? Given their record over the last 20 years they must've taken literally thousands in training and they still can't just put them away. Crazy.

Anyway, bad luck guys (even if you did make a rod for your own backs) and Come on, Germany !

(and in unrelated news, go on Murray, ya wee beauty. As usual, when England's fat's in the fryer there's a Scot there to pull ye out and keep the British end up ;)
I really think they deserved to beat Portugal.

I'm Scottish, and I agree :o
came on strong, I know. still beaten by the Argentina-loss. (but can anybody tell me why pekermann took out crespo and riquelme, and didn't bring whether messi nor saviola) and I got a history with germany (hating it), but sorry to kessie and harpy (and everybody who wants to see them winning, isn't there anybody who wants them to loose in a big way, please???). but the idea of germany as the next world-champion makes me go blind with rage, as from one of the little neighbour country (where the biggest part of the population speaks the same language).

and portugal should've never been good enough to beat england;

hopes up for italy: Italy - France, that's the only final I'd watch now (with the loss of Argentina and Brasil, yeah I'm sucker for the old classics: Uruguay, Uruguay!!!)

[ edited by bookworm on 2006-07-02 15:54 ]
Can I be a dissenting (part) Scottish voice?

England certainly began to play better after David Beckham was taken off. His desire (arguably) might not be in question but he under-performed in a major tournament yet again and he no longer has the pace he once possessed. His contribution to the team is, I would say, greatly diminished these days. The sending off of Wayne Rooney was fully deserved, I think. I saw nothing but intent in the stamping. I will say they were clearly the better side after that, although I am still not sure what Peter Crouch brings to the team apart from increasing the average height calculation. The problem is that for the first 50 minutes they were mediocre at best, giving the same tired, uninspired performance they had done in the first four games. They still canít string together passes, retain possession of the ball or alter their game plan when it is clearly not working. Do they even have a game plan?

They did well to get as far as they did, given the dreary nature of their performances, but they were not exactly up against world-class opposition. Their alleged match winners all failed to perform and I'm not particularly sorry to see them exit. Yes, they were better than the constantly erratic Portuguese team on the day, but the bizarre tactics of their coach in playing Rooney out of position up front on his own to one side, why didn't they manage to score a goal before the sending off? Did they ever look like scoring in that first hour?

France and Germany have got better with each match. Even the over-hyped and under-performing Brazil had moments of brillance. Italy are still (as ever) a threat and seem to be playing to a more adventurous, attacking game plan than in previous tournaments. Argentina, who I think were the best team in the competition, were spellbinding on occasions before their exit. England never gave a performnce to match any of these teams, at least not that I saw.

Having said all of that, I am hardly an expert about the "beautiful game" (I'm more of a cricket man, myself) so I'm probably just talking out of my arse!
Yeah, I agree about Beckham. It used to be that even when he wasn't putting amazing balls into the box his work-rate was excellent, tracking back, running all over the place, putting in great tackles etc. Now, as he's getting older and maybe not quite as hungry he's become a bit of a baggage player, IMO. Fair play to him though, I think he may realise that it's hard to take the captain off for under-performing which is partly why he's resigned from that position.

I also agree about the system Eriksson chose to play. Just crazy (and personally I think he's been a liability for years now, just as Volks was for Scotland). True, Rooney likes to run at defences and has the strength to hold the ball up but he can't do it all himself. The team looked out of sorts and like they were just barely keeping it together with 4-5-1 and even though Crouch may be a bit variable at least he could have brought balls down to Rooney's feet and England could've maybe got something from the good old 'route 1' stand-by tactic (OK, it's dull to watch but it works, especially with a 6' 7" forward).

Did England deserve to win the tournament ? No chance. In fact, i'd argue they only got out of the group stage because of the low grade opposition but I do think they were better than Portugal on the night and more willing to chance going forward (not to mention gutsy with ten men) and so deserved to win that particular game.

Re: the stamping, well, i'm definitely going to have to watch it again without the beer goggles on ;).

I'm going with Germany now because a) they're the host nation so it just seems polite ;), b) they're starting to play some good, entertaining footie, c) they play a fairly clean game (not too much diving, holding face when hit in chest etc.) and d) Klinsman has a bit of passion about him and actually seems to care about his players and team's success (i'm not very demonstrative myself so I understand Eriksson being a quiet sort of bloke but it's the frikkin World Cup finals for pity's sake, if you can't show emotion there as a football manager, where can you ?).

Anyway, i'm also far from an expert so it's just one neutral's (well, ish ;) opinion. Not really into cricket though I actually did attend my first live game last week and quite enjoyed it (at least partly because it was a 20-20 and so all over pretty quickly ;).
The team looked out of sorts and like they were just barely keeping it together with 4-5-1 and even though Crouch may be a bit variable at least he could have brought balls down to Rooney's feet

That's the problem - neither player can be a lone striker. After he came on, Crouch won 90% of the balls played to him and held them up, but because there was no second striker and limited midfield support he had no outlet.
I'd love to see a Germany-France final too. With the better end for Germany. :-) But first things first. First I'm looking forward to the semi-final versus Italy in Dortmund, my hometown.
Hey, Caroline, is that true? The dutch cheering for Germany? ... The mind boggles at the thought! :)
Hey, Caroline, is that true? The dutch cheering for Germany? ... The mind boggles at the thought!

Yeah, when the Dutch were knocked out(and hello, what was Van Nistelrooy doing on the bench??), hubby decided he'd be for the English, then after them, the Germans....I think he's hoping it doesn't come down to rooting for France; but I'm personally okay with either France or Germany in the end. They're the only ones who didn't either knock out the Netherlands, or play an ugly game against the US!
I am German, so of course, I want Germany to win the world cup. But I honestly think, that they played the best tournament until now, getting better every game. France had been terrible in the first games (I have been in France then and the French were outraged about their team) and Italy and Portugal weren't as stable as the Germans. Plus - we kicked out Argentina, who had been the best team until the quaterfinals.

Even though there is a rivalry between Germany and England when it comes to football, I start to feel sorry for them. Penalties is just not there thing! And I already heard about dutch people cheering for Germany. That's so weird.

And I am sorry bookworm, but: "54, 74, 90, 2006, ja da stimmen wir alle ein. Mit dem Herz in der Hand und der Leidenschaft im Bein, werden wir Weltmeister sein!"
(Sorry, you feel so pissed, mayby you should have left your country for a week to join the fun...)

Anyway - I think, it has been a great party so far and that a lot of fans came together to celebrate their passion peacefully. Fans from opposed team partied together without any fighting until now. The public viewing places are packed with people in colorfull outfits and make-up (I even met people from Trinidad and Tobago!) That's really awesome and I am hoping for a great last week.
Even *I*, who usually doesn't watch football, was angry for that red card to Rooney. WTF?

I wanted England to win(I'm always for England, unless they're playing against my country). And they actually played better than Portugal(good improvement since the game against Equador:S)....damn.

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