As it stands England’s start to the world cup campaign has been a stuttered one, with two bad performances leading to draws with USA and Algeria, teams we really should be beating. The last match was a relief against Slovenia, especially seeing how France and Italy; the two finalists of last world cup, have flopped out of the tournament.
However, the resulting route for England to the semi finals has both Germany, and if we progress, Argentina (also if they do as well), England’s biggest international rivals. The rivalry between England and Germany has its roots deep in both our histories, ranging further back than the beautiful game, although this is where it is present in modern-day.
It is a time when we are once again underdogs, fighting to beat our sworn football enemy. Beating Germany has led to many of the England highlights as it led to our victory in 1966, and I’m the memory of Michael Owen slotting goal after goal past the Germans. And this is a time when we should stay true to our obsession with 44 years ago.
Argentina is also a thriving football nation, and with the owner of the Hand of God as manager tensions between fans and players on opposing teams will be running higher than ever. Of course, as Maradona’s maverick reputation has grown, it also means England have a lot more to prove when it comes down to it as the solid tactics of Capello come together with the confused and somehow succesful theories of Maradona.
Hopefully when England come to play Germany England can show that experience has more value than youthful enthusiasm, and show their full potential as they did during the qualifying matches, and showed more than enough to get excited about against Slovenia. Also when Argentina come into play I am sure the fact that Maradona did not bring enough defenders will be his downfall, but lets just take it one step at a time.