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World Cup reflections

England had little difficulty in disposing of Sweden. As usual The Racing Post was the best informed of the morning articles.

They were the first to point out that Sweden were no mugs having qualified  for the World Cup by overcoming Holland and Italy and beating France.

Yesterday they informed and argued, contrary to the “tough to beat” line taken by the broadsheets and red tops, that in their qualifying group they lost to Bulgaria and in the group stage they could not beat a 10 man under-performing Germany.

The Swedish Syndrome is failing to score goals. They may be disciplined in their  set up of two drilled banks of four but they never had a cutting edge. Their main forward Berg did not manage one goal.

With England I still worry about Deli Alle, Lingard and Sterling.

A friend of mine referred me to an article not in the sports section by Jancis Turner of The Times praising Gareth Southgate.

English football for the last 20 years has been dominated by two players, David Beckham and Wayne Rooney.

Beckham was so powerful under Sven Goren Eriksson that he could select suits and hotels. Brand Beckham was all-pervasive.

Pre-tourney with Rooney in it seems to less about the team and more about his injuries and/or if he is moving.

Southgate’s team is modeled on his own decent grounded personality unimpressed by star billing. The nearest to a star is Harry Kane but when subbed for Panama nothing emerged via his agent’s pet journo that he was unhappy and resentful. It’s very much one for all and one for all.

With his trademark waistcoat, hugging of every player, clear pride in leading England, intelligence and core decency he has succeed in getting us all to love the England team. 

About Rex Mitchell

Rex Mitchell is a Brentford supporter from childhood. This has not prevented him having a distinguished Fleet Street career as a sports reporter and later deputy football editor. A widower, Rex is a bit of a bandit golfer off his official handicap of 20 and is currently chairman of his local bowls club. More Posts