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Chapter 9: World Cup 2010

June 10, 2014

As England fans, we’re used to glorious failure; Gazza’s tears, Southgate’s saved spot-kick, repeated penalty shoot-out heartache.

It was none of the above for England in 2010. It was quite simply a shambles.

From the chaos of Capello informing who was in and out of his final squad, right through to Capello talking in Italian through awkward interviews; this was 1 big embarrassment from start to finish.

12th June 2010: England vs USA

England, Algeria, Slovenia, Yanks – “EASY” – the headline on the Sun newspaper after the groups were drawn.

Those newspapers and their lie’s.

I was in Newquay with the lads for the weekend, and after some ID issue’s getting into the local Walkabout bar, Varls, Mark, Rad, Mighty, and my-good-self ended up in the busyish but quiet Newquay Arms. It was a far cry from Yates’.

Before the game kicked off some USA fans were interviewed outside the ground. Facepaint, shirt on, flag draped across them, they had well and truly got into the spirit of things. “Are you familiar with many of the players?” they were asked. “Gee, err Clint Dempsey, and, err Donavan… that’s it, I don’t really watch football, but hey!”

We had to beat these.

It started so well. Gerrard netted on 4 minutes, and just like the Paraguay game 4 years previous, we looked forward to plenty more.

The pub stayed pretty quiet though despite the early goal, and I was pining for Yates’ and a good sing-song.

Come the 40th minute and Rob Green was pining for a big hole to swallow him up.

You’ve all seen it, what an absolute blunder. I can still remember it clear as day. The shot, Green getting down to it… then losing it, the ball dropping then bouncing agonisingly over the line, away from Green’s despairing claw… I turned around and leant against the bar, head in hands, only England…

We were lucky not to end up losing.

After the game we went into the beer garden. A bloke in his 40’s, skinhead, slight but rough looking, asked us for a lighter which Mark duly passed over. “50p”, said Varls.

“I’ll give you 50p if you want”, the bloke replied.

The bloke had a bit of an edge to him but we soon got talking, asking eachother the important stuff like what team we supported – he was a Bristol Rovers fan.

Talk soon turned to the firms, hooligans etc.

“I remember going Derby in the Cup, you lot were nowhere. Didn’t wanna know!”

Varlsy, Mark and Rad laughed and shrugged, as some more of Bristol lad’s mates came over. “Hey Jim! Derby! Didn’t wanna know, did they?”

“What’s that, Derby? Nah, didn’t wanna know mate!!”

“Right anyway, we’re off now lads, trash McDonalds. See ya later.”

Fortunately we didn’t.

USA highlights –

18th June 2010: England vs Algeria

It was Friday night down the New Inn as we all met up for this must-win, should-win, whatever you wanted to call it.

What followed was something even more depressing, dour, boring, uninspiring, shi…. I’ll stop there but you get the picture, this was one awful game of football.

Full time came around and everyone was just fuming. What on earth was going on?? (I’ll refrain from using the f-word!)

Footage was shown of Rooney walking off the pitch at full-time, shouting “yeah thanks for all the support!”, sarcastically as the fans booed England off.

What did he expect?

I’m not one for booing personally, but people had paid a hell of a lot of money to travel Africa and this was just simply unacceptable.

It’ll be 5 mins of your life you’ll never get back, but here’s some footage from the Algeria game –

23rd June 2010: England vs Slovenia

A half-day was booked off work for this afternoon fixture which we had to win.

After a quick “hello” to Albion legend Darren Stride who was doing some building work nearby, I ventured into the Dog to meet up with Pikey, Mighty, Belso, Adam, and others.

It was one of them where you know we’re more than capable of turning Slovenia over, but the way we’d played so far left you worried.

It was tense, but Defoe’s goal on 23 minutes had us going mental, some of that pressure relieved and a little bit of hope restored.

We sat back after that (England, not us, I stayed pretty upright) and the Slovenian’s started enjoying more pressure which bought out one of the best ever blocks I’ve seen, pure bravery from John Terry no matter what you might think of him!

We held out  for the win, but a late USA winner in their game against Algeria meant they topped the group and we had to settle for 2nd, and a last-16 tie vs the Germans…

Mel came and met us after the game and was Pikey, Mighty and my chauffeur as we took on a tour of Burton pubs which included the Lord Burton and the jewel in Horninglow’s crown – the New Inn.

Pikey, I still remember your Power Ranger watch but I won’t mention why we had to leave the Dog 😉

Slovenia highlights –

27th June 2010: England vs Germany

The lampshade was swinging wildly, knocked suddenly by a fist raised in celebration, as Varlsy, Mighty, Uncle Danny and me jumped up to celebrate Frank Lampards equaliser… but wait a minute, what, the game’s playing on? He hasn’t given it??

The phone started ringing, I answered, “Did you see it?? I can’t believe it!! It was in!”, a perplexed Dad as amazed as the rest of us as replay’s from every angle, even the linesman’s gonad-cam, confirmed that all of the ball crossed all of the line.

It was unbelievable.

Ask a German and he’ll tell you it was Karma for 1966 – but I wouldn’t pay any attention to them.

We were 2-1 down and that Lampard goal would’ve completed our fight back, seen us go into half-time buzzing, and start the second half with that momentum.

Apparantly the England players spent most of half-time expressing their anger and disbelief about the goal not standing, understandable, but calm and order should’ve been restored before focus on the job in hand was regained.

But the moment had passed, and for all the huffing and puffing of Gareth Barry and co it was just not good enough as Germany’s young, vibrant, and exciting team ripped us apart a couple more times as it finished 4-1.

Not even the drama of a penalty shoot-out, we were losing our touch.

Despite the defeat it was still a top drinking session and great laugh, with everyone forgetting they had work in the morning and shoving the beers down. Uncle Danny had us all in stitches 1 minute then shocked silence the next as he told us the story of his trip to the Himalayas, a story so good that you can actually buy it and read it yourself… (no problem Unc!)

I don’t remember going to bed that night but I do remember the next day and struggling out of bed, sitting in McDonalds with an awful hangover, then trying to get through the day at work… there wasn’t even news of Capello getting the sack to cheer me up.

Highlights –

Memories of WC 2010

This was the first World Cup after I had met Mel so I had to come clean early on: “I’m collecting the Panini World Cup stickers.”

Fortunately Mel is the understanding type – she even bought me some packs! So in return I let her stick 1 in… I could barely watch, but she did an alright job.

I then got a Facebook message of my new mother-in-law Jenny – “Hi Jamie, Morrisons are giving away free stickers so I’ve got you some.” get in, well at least they knew I was a geek from the start!

As for the football and there were some shocks along the way, Italy giving us a good laugh by drawing to New Zealand, losing to Slovakia, and finishing bottom of their group, whilst no one predicted Spain losing their opening game to the Swiss.

I put a ‘Spain to win and David Villa to win golden boot’ double on at the bookies so it was with great anticipation that I sat down to watch the final.

David Villa was joint top scorer with Thomas Muller, David Villa and Wesley Sneijder all on 5 goals, but Muller had 3 assists so was in the lead. But surely Villa could net in the final and win me some £$!!

It was a dream I held onto until the 106th minute and his substitution; Ladbrokes 1-0 Jamie.

And I didn’t even complete my Panini World Cup sticker album.

World Cup 2010 stats and facts –

All goals – –  I can’t believe I’ve got this far without saying the ‘V’ word, but you may have to turn it down to avoid the sound of them Vuvuzela’s…


From → England

One Comment
  1. It was a cracking night after the Germany game, not that I remember all of it. The one thing that pissed me off about that world cup, even more than getting turned over by the evil Hun, was the desperation and fearfulness against Slovenia. As if they’re great shakes!?! We were crap in South Africa, I blame the vuvuzelas.

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