“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.“
Good morning peeps, meditation done.
“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.“
Yesterday I spent most of the day watching sport, starting off with Switzerland and Albania in Euro 2016. I was fascinated in the history and heritage of the Albanian team and the connection between both countries, it really is a miracle that the Albanian team have made it to a major championship.
Then it was on to Wales v Slovakia or to believe the press it was Gareth Bale versus Slovakia and as with the night before with Dimitri Payet cometh the hour, cometh the man and Bale duly delivered with a wonderful free kick to keep everyone happy, but then the script went wrong and Slovakia equalised. Chris Coleman sent on journeyman Hal Robson-Kanu who has just been released by Reading. Robson-Kanu kept making lung busting runs and immediately increased the energy and tempo of the Wales play and he got his reward by scoring a late winner for the team of his grand mother’s birth.
I jumped up and celebrated the victory with the Welsh in their first major championship since 1958. I support all the British teams agianst European opposition, because I am British and I support any country representing the British Islands and that includes both Irish teams starting with Northern Ireland today, it’s the same in club football when we are playing continental opposition I support Manchester United, but I will support Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham next year Leicester, Celtic, Aberdeen or whoever is a club from the British isles against continental opposition and I really don’t get people from other British countries or clubs who will support anyone other than England or against England that makes no sense to me whatsoever.
I get rivalry and banter in fact I love it, I love the rivalry between England and Australia in cricket and rugby and rejoice in giving as good as it gets in the banter stakes with the opposition, but hating for hatings sake makes no sense to me.
On to England’s game against Russia the build up which had been ruined by the mindless hooliganism of a mindless few that makes you ashamed to be English, British whatever, made worse by misguided policing and Russian and French hooligans targeting the English. Morons are morons wherever they are from.
I sat down in front of the telly with hope at the exciting squad of youth, exuberance and talent Roy Hodgson has put together, but was also wary of expecting too much as England have always failed to deliver after showing much promise since I was a baby and we won the World Cup 50 years ago in 1966.
We started really well, full of attack, verve and clever runs off the ball. Rooney was the conductor in his new midfield role in the team, pulling all the strings, doing his best Paul Scholes impression spraying the ball all over the place. As much as I wanted Vardy to start I could see the sense in starting with the formation we did, giving us the opportunity to use the more attacking option, once trhe game had unfolded and the opposition’s legs began to tire.
It was the best first half display by an England team in an opening game at a major tournament that I could remember, but we hadn’t scored and if you don’t take your chances and finish the opposition off you always leave yourself open to be caught out by one moment at this level in fact at any level the other team are bound to have at least one opportunity to score.
The second half began and England had taken their foot off the pedal and the Russian’s began to gain confidence. Half an hour remained still no goals, I was shouting at the screen for Roy to bring on James Vardy and take off Raheem Stirling who was showing lots of promise, but not delivering the final product, the killer pass or a good first touch when needed to provide himself a simple chance in the box.
I contemplated going for the double whammy and bringing on Marcus Rashford as well in place of Adam Lalana on the other flank to provide a triple goal threat with plenty of pace on the flank, Lalana had been similar to Stirling lacking the composure at the crucial moment inside the box from close range, once smashing the ball at the keeper instead of aiming for the corner and then hooking the ball past the post instead of guiding it into the corner, neither Stirling or Lalana are natural goal scorers, Vardy, Rashford and let’s not forget Sturridge all are.
Then we got a free kick, would Rooney put it over again, why isn’t Garath Bale English? Would Kane waste yet another set piece, why was he taking corners? Kane lined it up, but then he ran over the ball and then Dier blasted it into the net, Dier, Dier, but he doesn’t take free kicks does he, who cares he scored and we had the all important goal. Great I thought we can keep possession and hit them on the counter act.
Would Roy still bring on Vardy instead of Rashford or even in place of Kane to keep the same formation? No he’s bringing on Jack Wiltshire, ok I thought take Stirling off and keep possession, no he’s bringing Wayne Rooney off our most experienced, most capped player and record goal scorer of all time? Strange one that I thought to myself, but he must be tired and Wiltshire is used to playing the holding role for England as well.
The game carries on Roy’s making another substitution, great now he’s bringing on Vardy to exploit the tired legs of the ageing Russian defence. Hang on a minute he’s bringing on James Milner. James Milner is he off his head, we can kill the game with another goal, Vardy, Rashford, Sturridge, Barkley all on the bench and you bring on ‘Mr. Reliable’ James Milner so much for being adventurous Roy.
Ok I suppose Milner’s a workhorse and is good defensively and now 90 minutes is almost up so not to worry, only added time to defend now.
Up the left plods Milner plays it into the corner for Wiltshire to chase, will he hold it up to waste a bit of time, no he plays a reverse pass back to Milner, who is not expecting and is on his heels a bit, so the ball goes behind him to a Russian player who picks it up and drives forward with Milner out of position. That’s not good I think, but thankfully the danger is snuffed out, but we still have one last corner to defend with just over a minute to go. The England defence does not fill me or anybody else for that mind with confidence and the Russian’s who have a couple of giants, look dangerous at corners.
The ball comes in to the near post and an England player heads it clear with a good defensive header out high and wide, now close the man down whilst it’s in the air and stop the ball being played back into the danger area. The England player fails to close the ball down quickly enough and then inexplicably lets the Russian player go on the outside, schoolboy error. Who was the England player?
I found out later that it was “Mr. Reliable’ James Milner who Roy had brought on because of his defensive ability…… really!
The balls back in the danger area, a cross comes in the Russian centre half goes up against Rose it’s no contest, but it’s quite far out we should be safe, he got his head on it, got contact, but no real power, it should be ok, but no it’s looping in slow motion towards the goal, surely Hart will get it, no it’s over him, please tell me it’s going over, there is a defender on the post, anything, it can’t go in, oh no there is a Russian forward following up, it’s gone in, he must be offside I shout desperately, but no the referee is signalling for a goal, it’s happened again we have failed to live up to all the expectation a false sense of hope, it feels like a defeat here we go again.
I am disappointed, but we didn’t lose, a draw in your opening game is not a disaster and we put in a good performance, there are more pluses than negatives.
Then it starts the Russian hooligans attack the English fans, the French Police start spraying tear tear gas and water cannons and the Scottish start taking the mickey can it get any worse?
I will leave the authorities to deal with the hooligans. Regarding the Scottish of which I am by blood equal measures to my English blood, but I was born in England and spent most of my life in England, I would say I would love Scotland to have been at the European championships in France and your amazing fans the Tartan Army could have shown the English fans how to behave, but unfortunately you are the only country on the British Isles that failed to qualify, Wales are there, Norther Ireland are there, the Republic of Island are there and yes England are there. Scotland are not there and you have to be in it to win it. If you are not there you cannot even try to win it and unfortunately Scotland have not made it to a major championship since France 1998, so why don’t you support the other British teams, many of who play for the clubs you suppoert, no not the Scottish clubs you support I mean the English clubs you support, that you fly down from Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow to watch on a regular basis?
I don’t get it why are the Scottish so anti English?
I have heard it is because of all the atrocities the English have done to the Scottish over the years, but that’s in the past. That would be like me saying I hate white people, because of all the atrocities that have gone on for centuries and centuries, starting with colonisation, slavery and the racism that is still rife today all over the world. Things have changed, move on.
Which brings me to the last bit of sport I watched last night. The Thrilla in Manilla, documentary about the third Ali v Fraizer fight. The hatred between these two men was intense, they literally killed each other in the ring, neither man was ever the same again, neither man knew when to give up, it was as brutal as it was incredible and was a fitting display of all the strengths and weaknesses of Muhammad Ali.
Muhammad Ali was a great man, my hero, but he was by no means perfect, but he said and did what he had to do for the times he lived in. He changed and mellowed as he grew older and wiser and his life was summed up beautifully in this piece by Billy Crystal which shows why he was chosen to speak at Ali’s funeral on Friday.
Click Here To View Video
Rest In Piece my hero, thank you for showing us all that we all have the ability to accomplish great things no matter our colour, race or religeon as long as we try.
Have a super Sunday peeps.
Breathe, Believe and Achieve
Be Happy, Healthy and Wise
Keep on Winning, Smiling and Living the Dream
Founder of Beyond Lifestyle Secrets
Author of Celebrity Training Secrets