Club v Country?
Despite the season that Pompey have had, the short break from football was just about enough to rekindle the desire to watch another game as I transitioned from F.A. Cup Final defeat to World Cup Opening Ceremony and the match between South Africa and Mexico. It was great not to care about the result and instead just sit back and enjoy the event. And it was o.k. The ceremony itself wasn't overly long (something others have been guilty of in the past) and the game itself was reasonably entertaining with a few familiar names on view; notably from our point of view - Aaron Mokoena. As a consequence I was tempted to then watch Uruguay versus France and, to be honest, wished I hadn't. But that's football and next on the agenda was Argentina v Nigeria which had to be better. And it was, just about.
So this was all building up nicely to England's opening game on Saturday evening. This would be when my real enthusiasm for the game would shine through like one of the better floodlight bulbs at Fratton Park. Or so I hoped. We soon discovered that, predictably by this time, Robert Green would get the nod ahead of Pompey's David James. But as this was England that I was going to watch I didn't think that this news would be too disappointing - but it was! The decision not to play Pompey's (and England's) No.1 between the sticks took more than one layer of shine off of our encounter with the good ol' U.S. of A. Of course, I still watched it and soon forgot who was and who wasn't the preferred choice in goal until ....... and then it mattered again. Jamo simply would not have made the same mistake. Ok, maybe he would have made a different one but I doubt it because Fabio simply got it wrong on this occasion. Green has always been third choice in my eyes. I would have understood it more had Hart been handed the jersey but let's face it, it should have been David James'.
Unfortunately, I think the error has probably cemented Green's place for the Algeria match and then also the Slovenia fixture. I think it's one of those strange ones where a manager thinks it wrong to drop a player for just one much-publicised mistake but also because the odds on something like that happening again in the space of a few games will drop like a stone. Green has got the shirt and, barring injury, will keep it in my opinion. But I hope I'm wrong.
Anyway, back to Club v Country. Having sat through the game and having over the past four or five years watched similar matches and then wondered why the hell I've bothered - I'm at that point again. Euro 96 was great fun and the England team were good to watch but prior to that for a number of years and since then, performances from the national side have largely been disappointing. Yes, it would be great for the country to win it; of course it would. Can I see it happening? Not really. And do I really care? Not really. Club football is what really matters. As long as my team are there to support and preferably challenge in whatever division then the national team provide a mere side show that help deflect attention away from cricket every other summer when the Europeans and World Cup take place.
Basically, they help keep football ticking over in the slightly inconvenient but often welcome gap between the end of one season and the beginning of the next. So, for now, I shall watch with interest, not just England but more so now those teams featuring players recently associated with PFC. In that respect, Ghana v Germany holds more appeal than England v Slovenia but at least I'll have a better excuse to watch the Algeria match, if only to see Nadir Belhadj and Hassan Yebda play. And if David James happens to get a recall ........ Play up Pompey!!
Written by Dave_S139.
The views within this article are the views of the individual who wrote and submitted this piece, sometimes solely theirs. They are not necessarily shared by the Vital Pompey Site Journalists.