If the French game yesterday is anything to go by there has to be a very dramatic improvement in the England team to make there visit to France worthwhile!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thought England were poor last night. Stuart Barnes on Sky was saying that it wasn't a bad performance but I can't recall us breaking the French defensive line once and never came close to even look like we were going to score. The ball we are winning is slower than slow and consequently we look devoid of ideas in the backs.
Someone played like a right Cueto! I thought it was hollow, bumbling, lacking pace and totally sideways - from England's point of view. But I have already moaned about this elsewhere so I think I'd better shh...
However, France showed last night that they have a right nuisance in Dusattoir and Nyanga adding impetus to a slick responsive line.
In some respects you have a point Maggot. Since 2003, their activities have been 'peripheral' to say the least...just look at other big sides that have won the World Cup in the past - they keep on generating wins - Aus, NZ, SA, etc etc - you know that.
England have been consistent in their dismal showings - no real invention or continuity which prevailed before the 2003 competition.
Don't get me wrong, I expect England to do well - like Timmy at Wimbers...but I could be disappointed.
Meanwhile -here's a view on the line ups for the games after the group matches...it is from a blog in Le Parisien so you'll understand the slight bias from my mate Ben - who got a view from his mate Glaoui - so it must be right!
A l'initiative de mon bon ami Glaoui, je vous propose de faire un petit pronostic des sorties de poule et des 1/4 - 1/2 et finale probables.
Voici la manière dont je vois le déroulement des choses :
Poule A : 1er : Afrique du Sud - 2ème : Angleterre ----- Poule B : 1er : Australie - 2ème : Pays de Galles
Poule C : 1er : Nouvelle-Zélande - 2ème : Italie ----- Poule D : 1er : France - 2ème : Argentine
Les quarts de finale :
- Afrique du Sud - Pays de Galle : Afrique du Sud ----- Australie - Angleterre : Australie
- Nouvelle-Zélande - Argentine : Nouvelle-Zélande ----- France-Italie : France
Les demies :
Afrique du Sud - Australie : Afrique du Sud
France - Nouvelle-Zélande : France (soyons chauvins quoi !)
France - Afrique du Sud : la France est championne du monde 2007 !!!!
Took me a while to grasp he wasn't talking about international chickens!!! Hurrah for Poule A.
I admit we're not great right now (!!) but I can still remember the overwhelming excitement when Johnny kicked that ball four years ago. I'm not going to slag 'em off now they're having a bad time! That was one of the best moments EVER!!
Having said that, I think you can't under estimate the huge advantage French teams (in all sports) seem to get when these tournaments are held in France. (cycling excepted). They really do seem to be able to generate the 'home team advantage'.