“It’s a very pleasant 18 degrees in Moscow ahead of the game,” declares Jim Kemp. “Even the weather is giving us a helping hand.” Have the clouds organized themselves to spell out It’s Coming Dwelling but?
“I see Mr Geiger is a maths teacher,” notes Oliver Pattenden. “I guess that makes him a Geiger counter.” And as such, he would in all probability inform you that you’re the 25,764th individual to crack that joke. I don’t know what made you assume the MBM would the place to get such unoriginal humour revealed. Oh. Proper.
“So your referee today is Mark Geiger, the maths teacher?” blurts Tom from Chicago. “Good luck!” One will get the vibe that Tom is just not a fan of the American official. Neither is Morocco’s Nordin Amrabat, who complained most angrily about Geiger’s efficiency throughout Morocco’s draw with Portugal earlier on this match. However even Amrabat was not as irritated Panamanians have been throughout an notorious Gold Cup semi-final in opposition to Mexico in 2015, when, as was subsequently admitted by Concacaf, “officiating errors” occurred through the match reffed by Geiger. These errors associated to a crimson card and a penalty in opposition to Panama and led to the next entrance web page headline in Critica, a well-liked Panamanian newspaper: “Fucking Arbitro!” However hey, everybody makes errors. And right now Mr Geiger could have VAR to assist him …
“Hi Paul, have you done an MBM on England before and if so what is their record with you MBMing?” demands-to-know Damian Brown. Disgrace on you, Damian, attempting to find scapegoats already! Nonetheless, others are in all probability nicely forward of you and have their ‘Wally in the Waistcoast’ headlines able to go simply in case Colombia destroy English celebration plans.
Or will they only single out Raheem Sterling once more? By the way in which, it’s been precisely 1,000 days since he scored for England. What a splendid time to search out the online right now could be.
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“Hi Paul, any update on James Rodriguez’s injury?” asks Jasper Thomas. Completely none, Jasper. The suspicion is Colombia will wait till the final minute to resolve whether or not he has recovered sufficiently from the calf downside that compelled him off within the first half of their final match, the win over Senegal. Scans after that sport revealed the muscle wasn’t torn, simply sore and swollen. If he does begin right now, he’ll absolutely not be at 100%. So even when he performs and does nicely right now you’ve received to assume, given he didn’t discover the online in Colombia’s first three matches, that it’s unlikely he’ll end that he’ll repeat his 2014 feat and because the World Cup’s prime scorer once more this 12 months. It’s Harry Kane’s to lose. The Golden Boot’s coming dwelling!*
* The Golden Boot was not invented in England.
Right here we go once more. Gareth Southgate has preached quiet optimism; warned in opposition to falling into the traps of the previous; and pointedly sported a waistcoat in road-melting warmth to symbolise the significance of dignified assist and at all times retaining management. However his group have been so darn thrilling, and the trail to the World Cup ultimate has change into so very inviting, that the prospect of glory is out of the blue being spoken about out loud and a few England followers have misplaced the run of themselves solely. It’s coming dwelling!
Or is it? We’ll certain have enjoyable discovering out. There are good causes for believing England can beat anybody left within the match, together with the Colombia facet they face in Moscow right now. However there are additionally sound causes for suspecting they may very well be uncovered by anybody, together with the Colombia facet they face in Moscow right now. At the least we will make certain that Southgate, for one, hasn’t been filling his gamers’ heads with ideas of a quarter-final in opposition to Sweden, a semi-final in opposition to Croatia or Russia and a ultimate in opposition to a group masterminded by Roberto Martinez. No. He’ll have been doing his utmost to make sure they focus on the duty handy and on their very own talents with out being paralysed by the mounting stress of expectation.
England have proven some valuable qualities to date – vibrancy, pace, talent and (from setpieces) inventiveness – however solely in opposition to Tunisia and Panama. Stuff’s about to get actual. Can they hold their heads and groove when the going will get robust? How stable is that defence? Is that this actually a brand new England? The solutions to these questions, and lots of extra, are going to change into clearer very quickly. It’s on!
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