February 12, 2003

LIVE! England v Australia (8pm GMT/3pm EST).: It's a friendly, but will be notable for several reasons: (1) Sven plans to play the England first-stringers in the first half, then completely switch to the young stars in the second; (2) Wayne Rooney of Everton will become the youngest to play for England; (3) Harry Kewell, who's supposed to be injured at Leeds, has declared himself fit to play for Australia. And you can also get the Aussie version of the commentary.

posted by worldcup2002 to soccer at 02:06 AM - 43 comments

I for one am juiced that Sven has decided to blood the youngsters in such a bold way. (I know he's also protecting the senior players.) Previous managers have tended to stick with the tried-and-true even though their rust was starting to show (see Seaman). I'm also hopeful of an Owen-Rooney combo. Has England finally found an attacking duo to be feared?

posted by worldcup2002 at 02:28 AM on February 12, 2003

Sorry to disappoint you, but this is a meaningless and worthless game that is of no interest whatsoever. Most people wouldn't cross the street to see it. Sven has been quite clever in saying he will field a team of under 25's in order to drum up some interest but really, it is a non event. I believe they are talking of little else in Middlesborough

posted by Fat Buddha at 02:32 AM on February 12, 2003

Hey Buddha...relax, there are PLENTY of people who do NOT find it worthless or meaningless. Maybe you do, but i am quite excited about these international friendlies. And not just this one... Bulgaria - Hungary Croatia - Poland Greece - Norway Egypt - Denmark Turkey - Ukraine Holland - Argentina France - Czechland Scotland - Ireland Spain - Germany... I don't understand your negativity at all!

posted by StarFucker at 08:26 AM on February 12, 2003

I am quite relaxed thank you, one reason being that I dont need to get worked up about a pointless bun fight. The season is reaching its denouement, every single match is crucial, why do you think Sven had to promise not to overextend all these poor delicate premiership flowers. It will be more like a love in than a football match, if you believe otherwise you need your bumps read old cock.

posted by Fat Buddha at 11:48 AM on February 12, 2003

International matches are more important than club matches...if you believe otherwise you are a tool of corporate football.

posted by StarFucker at 12:57 PM on February 12, 2003

Actually, SF, your comment brings up the following rebuttal: We may be seeing the beginnings of a growing trend -- top players who quit the international scene to concentrate on their pro careers, mainly to preserve their well-being and, thus, financial viability. But I hope it's not true. Go England!

posted by worldcup2002 at 01:26 PM on February 12, 2003

I know, its sad... How anyone can choose club loyalty over country is beyond me... Greed has taken over the world...

posted by StarFucker at 01:32 PM on February 12, 2003

btw, Brazil drew 0-0 with China today, even with Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldhinho playing. Brazil's coach blamed jet-lag.

posted by worldcup2002 at 01:35 PM on February 12, 2003

Its possible...thats a long trip to China... But China is getting better too so...

posted by StarFucker at 01:46 PM on February 12, 2003

0-0 in a game nobody could give a shit about, what a surprise. Shearer retired from international football years ago to preserve his club career, Keane has just done the same. Giggs can barely bring himself to get out of bed to turn out for Wales. Outside of major competitions players don't care about internationals. Clubs hate them, even though having a few internationals undoudtedly helps with marketing. Wake up Starfucker, football sold its soul years ago, how do you think the world cup ended up in Japan and Korea?

posted by Fat Buddha at 02:04 PM on February 12, 2003

"Wake up Starfucker, football sold its soul years ago, how do you think the world cup ended up in Japan and Korea?" I'm well aware...but its attitudes like yours that will not help the situation. If your nation is playing...act enthused dammit!! Get out there, tell all your friends!! Start a revolution man!! SHIT!!

posted by StarFucker at 02:21 PM on February 12, 2003

England 0 - Australia 1. Where's Wayne Rooney?

posted by worldcup2002 at 02:42 PM on February 12, 2003

Starfucker, it doesn't matter what I think, the game has gone to the devil. The Blues mean much more to me than England anyway. 2-0 at half time. Sven has said he will put the nippers in after half time, we will see how seriously he takes this game, if he keeps that promise. If the result means anything to him he won't change it too much.

posted by Fat Buddha at 03:10 PM on February 12, 2003

This is a great match!! Kewell is all over England!! The commentary on Guardian is "Kewell this...Kewell that...Kewell down the side, Kewell on the left, Kewell shoots from 30, Kewell hits the side netting..." Soccernets halftime comment: 45 mins Will Sven's reserves fare any better after the break? With Kewell raging through England like a bush fire it has to be doubtful. I am going to do my best to bring back the pride for national teams that made the World Cups of old so fucking exciting...and friendlies too. I'll start singlehandedly if i have to...and you would be surprised how easy it is to convince the populace that what you are doing is exciting and meaningful if you yell about it enough...

posted by StarFucker at 03:20 PM on February 12, 2003

"Whut the hell are you people talkin' 'bout?" Love, your friends in America

posted by wfrazerjr at 03:54 PM on February 12, 2003

Please don't bomb us...

posted by StarFucker at 04:57 PM on February 12, 2003


posted by worldcup2002 at 05:18 PM on February 12, 2003

Yup. I hate to admit it the fucker made me LAUGH OUT LOUD, just like seeing Laziridis at left back did.

posted by Fat Buddha at 06:05 PM on February 12, 2003

Why does everyone hate to agree with me or admit i made them laugh?! I am soooooo confused! Is it because i am kicking all your asses in the Fantasy League and i live in Chicago?!? HAHHAHAHHAHAHAHA!! Must be...

posted by StarFucker at 06:43 PM on February 12, 2003

I'm still reeling from the fact someone used the word denouement in a sports blog. Seriously though, Fat Buddha's right. Who cares about friendlies? Not the players, club managers, or even the fans. I can understand the need for them, but, yadayada, who cares really?

posted by BigCalm at 03:13 AM on February 13, 2003

or even the fans. Oh, I don't know. Mexico and Columbia played last night at Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix, and on Telemundo it looked like the 28,700 fans were having a good time at the game. I wish I had known about the match a little bit ahead of time. I could have made the hour and a half drive to go see Mexico not score again.

posted by eckeric at 09:46 AM on February 13, 2003

Some people still care about friendlies. There were at least 100 people at our local pub last night watching the England debacle. The worrying thing was the first half, where virtually the first choice England team proved unable to come to terms with Kewell's invention and pace. At least the kids drew the second half but given the fact that Kewell and Viduka were withdrawn during that period it's hardly comparable.

posted by squealy at 11:18 AM on February 13, 2003

I care...i know alot of people who DO care and i think everyone SHOULD care... People in friendlies and Internationals are playing for their country...lots of pride there. People playing for their clubs are getting paid, and have about as much loyalty to their clubs as i do to my job. Someone offers me a raise and i am out of here...

posted by StarFucker at 12:07 PM on February 13, 2003

I dont believe those hundred people in Squealys pub would have been sat at home engaged some light philosophy or some such if there had been no game on. Some people just like going to the pub; if there is a game on to shout at that's just the cherry on the top. Starfucker, Blues mean everthing to me, it is like a sickness of the soul. I have invested a lifetime of emotion in them and will continue to do so. It is a relationship that is characterised by heartache and misery. I dwell on our results, constantly, I become gloomy and morose at the though of defeat. England are mere dilettantes by comaparison and can fuck off. I only have so much love to give and there is only so much angst I can take. Besides, if they ever manage to win 2 games on the trot the whole nation becomes excessively nationalistic, most distasteful. Can we not have a spellchecker on this bloody thing???

posted by Fat Buddha at 01:27 PM on February 13, 2003

You might try to use shorter words, Fat Buddha. It would mitigate the risk of a misspelling. Hehehehehe.

posted by worldcup2002 at 01:33 PM on February 13, 2003

I'm afraid you are mistaken FB old chap. My local is normally fairly quiet on a Wednesday night. Last night it was packed to the gunnels. If these folks just want a pint then where the hell are they when England aren't playing? Strangely enough there were lots of people there that I have never seen watching Premiership football. These I'm afraid are the football supporting dilettantes. I love Blues and England. I can take the hurt. I'm sure I can.

posted by squealy at 02:53 PM on February 13, 2003

I misspelt comparison, I deserve everything I get.

posted by Fat Buddha at 03:01 PM on February 13, 2003

I dunno Squealy, I am very happy when England do well, and I watched last night, but defeats for England just don't eat away at me, in fact I am hardly bothered at all by them. Starfuckers point about patriotism is wrong too. England are managed by a Swede for gawds sake. I happen to approve, apart from it should have been Cruyff, but it dilutes the cause of the patriot does it not, as does the inclusion of the Canadian Hargreaves and the Welshman Owen. Morrison is about as Irish as my cat and I do not believe Devlin would be playing for Scotland if England had given him the nod. Adebola virtually touted himself around to any country that might be desperate enough to have him. I am sure a simple search on Google would allow me to go on, but I can't be arsed.

posted by Fat Buddha at 03:08 PM on February 13, 2003

Absolutely squealy... I don't know what it is about people like Buddha that are intent on creating a "who cares about England" attitude. So you like the Blues...good for you. There are people like squealy who like the Blues AND England...just because you don't doesn't mean every OTHER Blues fan doesn't either. When you discount internationals as dumb, useless or whatever else you want to say you sound exactly like the millions of ignorant Americans wandering around aimlessly talking about how soccer is boring, it has low scoring and blah blah blah, terrorists, blah blah, soccer is for girls, blah, Bin Laden, blah.... And what exactly is wrong with being proud of your country's soccer team? I don't think there is anything xenophobic about rooting for your country to win a game. A national team is supposed to represent the best of what a country can offer on the international scene. Its a reflection of the country as a whole. And it gives you a feeling of pride when your countrymen score or win. Almost as if you had something to do with it. Maybe its different in England...but here in America the divide between any ball club such as the Cubs, Bears or Bulls and its fans is so fucking wide that it is impossible to actually feel anything for the team. The players make more money a day than you do in 5 or more years. They don't sign autographs, none of them are "local" boys, and the owners could give a rats ass about the fans...All they care about is money, money, money... Its impossible to feel anything for any team emotionally. There is no connection. I could care less if the Bears fucking win the Superbowl or not score a touchdown all year! And the owners don't care either because there are always going to be idiots going to the games no matter what. There is no relegation to a minor league so the cities and towns are stuck with the same lousy team year after year!! There are also people that look forward to OTHER internationals that are not even of direct ethnic interest to them...for instance, this Saturday, FSW will be playing the Netherlands/Argentina match from yesterday. My whole soccer team is meeting up at the pub to watch it and have a few pints. Friendlies are great opportunities to watch teams that don't get to compete against each other in tournaments. Ex: England vs Australia.

posted by StarFucker at 03:30 PM on February 13, 2003

Starfucker, old love, take a chill pill. I personally couldn't give a tuppeny fuck about England, that does not equate with creating a who cares about England attitude. Others can and will do as they please and more power to their elbows. In our multi ethnic society it is not unusual for people who have been born and bred in England to despise the national team on account of their forebears, I know I was educated amongst hundreds of them. Notions of "our" country are a bit amorphous. Er, what has xenophobia got to do with it exactly? Who brought that up? Why should I be proud if a Welsh or a Canadian person scores for a team that happens to call itself England? I agree that other internationals are worth watching as are other leagues. The best league by miles is the Spanish and there was much rejoicing in our house when live Italian soccer returned to our tv screens last week. It doesn't alter the fact that the game between England and Australia was a pointless non event. You are just pissed off because you are going to finish second in the Yahoo league.

posted by Fat Buddha at 04:05 PM on February 13, 2003

i laughed when i read that last sentence...it was very unexpected considering the rest of that paragraph. I could go on and on...but its time to wrap it up here and go home... One last thing though...you play for your country because you are proud to...you play for your club because you are paid to.... tuppeny?

posted by StarFucker at 05:04 PM on February 13, 2003

Two pence starfucker. Stop agreeing with me. :-P

posted by squealy at 06:09 PM on February 13, 2003

And if you can't be proud to play for your own country some other country will probably have you and your heart can burst with pride playing for them, even though you will never have previously set foot in the place.

posted by Fat Buddha at 06:35 PM on February 13, 2003

Who cares about friendlies? Not the players, club managers, or even the fans. I can understand the need for them, but, yadayada, who cares really? Ummm, how about the young players who want to represent their countries, and only get their chances to strut their stuff in friendlies? I wouldn't get up at 2am to watch a friendly, but I certainly think they have value.... especially in America, where the national team actually draws more interest than its most recent nacent league. My $.02

posted by scully at 12:23 PM on February 14, 2003

Thank you for supporting my position Terrapin...

posted by StarFucker at 01:20 PM on February 14, 2003

Friendlies are useful if something is to be learned from them. All the England manager learned on Wedneday night was that he has to go into tournaments with one hand tied behind his back because the demands of club managers render friendlies completely fucking pointless. Nothing was gained from it. Zilch. Nada. Nowt. Bugger All. But then he knew that anyway.

posted by Fat Buddha at 01:32 PM on February 14, 2003

Gee Buddha, thanks for clearing up your position... We were all quite clueless about what you were trying to say in this thread so far...

posted by StarFucker at 01:34 PM on February 14, 2003

Well what was I trying to say, old cock? I only ask because you seem to have completely missed the point. But then I would expect that of someone who looks like Ralph Coates.

posted by Fat Buddha at 01:59 PM on February 14, 2003

I completely missed that one FB. This Ralph Coates? I agree with the FatBuddha. England Friendlies have been devalued, mostly by club managers, but partly by Sven's insistence of playing at least 20 players in a friendly game. In what other footballing scenario (except non-league, dreadful league position) does this happen? And, by having a game, literally of two halves, you're making a farce of it all. You might as well say Australia 2, England 0 (first half), and Australia 1, England Youth Team 1 (second half). If Sven's idea of managing is to replace virtually the entire team at half time, there must be something wrong. Given the choice between watching England v Australia friendly and some non-league football game that actually mattered, I'd watch the non-league game every time.

posted by BigCalm at 05:18 PM on February 14, 2003

Starfucker, you do not realise the enormity of what you have achieved. For me and BigCalm to find common cause, as civilised as we evidently are, is remarkable. Well done old chap, middle east next for you I think. All sides will be united in mutual head scratching. Yes, BigCalm, that Ralph Coates; myself and another Blues fan are engaged in a seemingly futile search for the perfect Ralph pic, with him tearing down the wing with a bald head and one single six foot strand of hair trailing in the wind behind him. That sporting heroes site is the shit isn't it, as I believe the youngsters say.

posted by Fat Buddha at 06:24 PM on February 14, 2003

Well i sure didn't want to do that! I think i'll go talk to Bush and tell him to fuck off....that would be my attempt at bringing peace in that situation. As far as England goes, I don't think Sven did anything wrong...he has alot of talent at his disposal. There are alot of young players that want to play. I thought it was rather original. Like you said, its just a friendly and that is a great arena to check out your players. Well, its Friday night and i am going out. I will add more tomorrow.

posted by StarFucker at 11:04 PM on February 14, 2003

So when does the US play England? And where will it be shown on US television? I am looking forward to that. It'd be nice to get a transatlantic rivalry going!

posted by jasonbondshow at 02:15 AM on February 15, 2003

US playing England...hmm. I'm not sure there is a game scheduled between the two countries right now...but that would be a great show!

posted by StarFucker at 09:01 AM on February 17, 2003

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