WORLD CUP BLOG - BY PHIL SIMMS

THE ENGLAND FOOTBALL TEAM - An Apology
In recent weeks, in common with all other newspapers, footy fans, train spotters and Scots, I may have given the impression that the England Football team, following defeat to Northern Ireland in the World Cup qualifiers, Rooney’s metatarsal injury and Owen Hargreaves’ inclusion to the final 23, were in some way completely and utterly useless and were about to be humiliated by their vastly superior group opponents.
Headlines such as “Sven’s sinking Ship,” “Beckham’s bottler’s,” and “Why don’t you just sod off you bunch of pathetic overpaid losers?” may have given the impression that I had little confidence in Sir Sven and his team.
I now wholly accept that there was not one iota of truth whatsoever, in these malicious callous and beastly remarks, and that, following their emphatic 2-0 win over the Soca Warriors at Nuremberg, I would like to make a full and unreserved apology.
I would also like to make clear that Wayne Rooney is a superhuman figure who now towers over the World footballing scene like a phoenix rising from the ashes, while his colleagues are scarcely less distinguished in their prodigious talent, and that at the very least, once he has passed on, be ceremoniously stuffed and placed at Dover to warn off illegal immigrants.
England’s Calypso Clangers
After England’s uninspiring performance against Paraguay in their opening group D match - World Cup confidence was needed to be restored against the fun-loving footballers of Trinidad Tobago. However, the billed crunch match was more like an episode of the 1970s Clangers rather than a World Cup warning.
England, like the Clangers, looked similar to mice and piglets as they scurried round a foreign soil with no real purpose, innovation or attacking flair.
A lot has been said about T&T's tactics prior to the game. Indeed, former England manager Graham Taylor, told me in interview that, "along with Paraguay, T&T will be going out looking for a draw," he was right.
T&T’s formation of 9-0-1, proved to be too difficult to break down, and for 84 minutes looked certain of getting their second point of the competition. But England was also orchestrators of their own downfall with their persistance with playing the long ball to Peter Crouch (who is not that great in the air at the best of times). As I explained in my last blog England’s crystal bollocks the England midfield, if starved of space will be unable to perform – I never get tired of being right.
Anyway, this being said, up against teams who, I dare say want to  go out and win the game, the match will be more open and thus allow England to play the football the nation has been dying to see. Ok, at the end of the day they have six points from two games – without conceding. Even though the score-line could and should have been far greater, we now have the opportunity to raise our game.
A word about Argentina, my tip for tournament finalists, have taken this World Cup by storm, winning their last group game 6-0 against Serbia and Montenegro. Also my tip for player of the tournament Lionel ‘Messiah’ Messi made his debut – scored two and set up a third.
Mummy's boy Didier Drogba
The Ivorians will look for their own Chelsea star, Drogba, to lead from the front if they are beat the Dutch - and it seems leadership runs in the family. If the Ivory Coast remain a long shot to lift the World Cup it self in Berlin in three weeks' time, they at least remain in with a shout of the prize for fussiest nation in action - having made sure every last need of their pampered players is catered for to the maximum.
Drogba explained: "Our parents have come with us. My mother is in charge of them and they make sure we eat what we want and that we are looked after."
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