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All Things Footie | Monday, June 17 | Jordan

Bring on the Samba

After watching Brazils very average performance this afternoon I have to say I'm looking forward to Friday. If we keep it tight at the back and have the confidence to attack the South Americans I'm going to go as far as to say we will win. England have nothing to fear from Brazil. There's no doubt that they have quality all over the pitch and will create chances, England however have a strong defence, the best 'keeper in the competition and a midfield that I think just shades Brazil's. The key for our boys is work rate; Belgium demonstrated today that putting the wind up them will get you a long way (and to be fair to them, I thought the Belgians deserved something from the game). If we can hold on to the ball for a while and run at the back line then we stand more than an even chance of causing an upset.

Poor old Ireland. They deserved to win, they should have won, but at least it was an honourable — if painful — defeat. The only thing that really struck me about yesterday's game was the spirit with which it was played. By this I am not referring to the mythical and patronising ‘Irish Spirit’ or anything made in a distillery. I'm talking about the sheer good naturedness of the match, players of opposing sides helping each other off the floor, virtually no complaining to the referee and a real feel that the game was being played for the entertainment and enjoyment of the players and fans.

Games that are a tight as that usually descend into petty complaints, bad tempered challenges and a general antipathy towards opponents. To see the Spanish players mingle with Ireland after the penalty shootout, commiserating their opponents with dignity and genuine emotions was a wonderful sight, and in-keeping with the spirit of the World Cup. It's just a shame there had to be a winner. One thing is for certain though, all the players can come home with the head held a lot higher than one Roy Keane. Three words — Better. Off. Without.

Going [Seneg]all the Way?

Definitely my favourite team excepting England, Senegal have really impressed me so far. I always though they would do well, but I think they must even have surprised themselves (despite unanimous claims to the contrary). Well organised, talented, passionate and determined they deserve everything they get from this World Cup, and I feel a semi final place against England beckoning. Apart from El-Hadji Dioufs increasingly prevalent habit of falling over a bit easily, the team are a delight to watch and a credit to the game. I think Birmingham have bought a star in Aliou Cisse and I predict big things for Khalilou Fadiga and Henri Camara.

A Request

It's worth mentioning the USAs progression into the final 8; as not many people thought they'd make it into the second round, let alone the quarter finals. A comprehensive victory over Mexico this morning saw the land of the free progress in a match marred by some hideous challenges in the last quarter of an hour. The question I have is this — are there any Americans out there who give a damn? If you were up at god knows what hour in the morning to watch your team see off the enemy from the south then get in touch and let me know about it. Were you the only person in a hundred mile radius that watched it? Are all American ‘soccer’ fans girls? Just how much do the media care about it? Did it even make the national news? please send any stories to [email protected] I'll only be more than happy to hear from you!

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