When it comes to football I consider myself to be an armchair pundit. By that I mean that my opinions are ill informed, outrageously positive and usually based on what I read on the back pages or pick up in pubs.
The best thing about armchair punditry is that you never stop learning, there’s always a new little nugget to pick up from a Notts County supporter in IT, or that bloke in parcel dispatch that hasn’t missed an Orient game since he was 18 months old. I’m always amazed at the amount of knowledge people who have a genuine love of the sport amass in a lifetime. I watched the first half of the Germany – Costa Rica game with some friends from work on Friday evening. Two of then, Matt and Aaron, manage and train non-league teams in their spare time, and between them probably have at least 45 years worth of footballing knowledge up top.
These are the people to watch a match with. Opinions unclouded by the ignorance of nationalism, with insightful comments from the brain rather than the wobbling gut. (Saying that, FC knows a fair bit about the game. However the idea of him playing it is akin to Nutty coming on for the last 10 minutes of a Champions League final). There’s nothing better than hearing about famous players when they first started out in the French lower leagues in the early nineties, or stories involving bunking off school to travel all the way to Sunderland to see Wimbledon play on a Wednesday night. Stuff that takes the edge off foul tasting overpriced lager.
Which brings me to Sven. Now I’ve always said that anyone can bluff a 30k year job and get away with it, but there must come a point with earnings in which one really has to come up with the goods. That being so, if one party is willing to pay an individual over five million pounds a year to do a job, I would assume that that person would know what they’re doing.
Now there’s no doubting Sven’s managerial quality at club level, and I would say that he probably knows more about Football than me or that bloke up the pub with no teeth. But something must be up when you secure a win but also the criticism of an entire nation of football fans. We can take a few positives from Saturday’s win over Paraguay, but there was a sense of having been at the second half before, in other international competitions when we lose our bottle.
As the competition progresses we will get better, and I can honestly see us getting to the semi finals. But to do that we need to focus on the game in hand and playing football, rather than on winning the world cup.
But until then, just consider a Rosiky and Henry partnership in the premiership next season.