My own fault for betting on England - I broke my own golden rule
Still made a profit, thankyous go to Spain, the Netherlands, France and Armenia....(yes Armenia, Capello!), and offset with a quick in-play on 0-0 at half time, but alas, not the most productive of international breaks...
Anyway, besides my own personal misfortunes, it wasn't very good was it?
It's true the ref had a mare - blatant handball in the box, highly physical opponents and what was the yellow card for Ashley Young about? We're playing a side who are chopping us down left right and centre and he penalises him because he's in the box...could've just played on - he had a better view of the sodding handball!
But excuses aside, we were lacking ideas - to their credit Montenegro kept us quiet well, but I think we were lacking ambition - players weren't getting forward enough, Rooney looked off (again) and in general we were frustrated, fair play to the Montenegrans(/groes?) for making the match as about as exciting to Bolton v Huddersfield - not really in the spirit of the game, but we see it every week so I can't complain
And having the ever-miserable Gareth Southgate on to cheer us up on ITV after was not a good move - he said we will now have to go to Montenegro (our final game) and win to qualify
Right...this is based on the minnows of the group doing as well as they already have, granted they've done exceedingly well, but are we really expecting them to win every game?
It's a blow, yes, but we are level-pegging with them, and are massive favourites for the group (and I'll be checking those odds now btw), if this were Russia or Croatia again, Southgate would have a point, but to blindly expect the minnows to head to Switzerland and Cardiff and claim a total six points is a bit of a leap
and as I said before, Montenegro probably need a handful of points to be assured a top two spot, and we are virtually assured a top two because if Montenegro do screw up, they've split the table for us, and if they do well, assuming we don't have a shocker, the other sides are again, kept down
Even if we are basing this on the facts we currently have, Southgate said we need to win in Montenegro - no we don't - they have scored three and conceded none, we have scored seven and conceded one - draw, and we win on GD
He also said second isn't a guaranteed spot - true it isn't, but in reverse to the previous campaign for the world cup rather than the worst of nine being cruelly dumped before the play-offs, the best of the nine will gain an automatic spot - so we don't need to cry just yet
This loss of two points essentially means we have no wiggle room - we need to beat Switzerland and Wales
But do we need to win in Montenegro? I doubt it, and if we do go in needing a win I'll give you my measly winnings from tonight (and that is my last bet on England)
Who would've thought this group would be between Montenegro and England...
12 Oct 2010