In our house lives a Spaniard, a Honduran and an Englishman. Up to a couple of weeks ago there was also an Italian and Hungarian. Four of those nations were in the World. We were all excited in the run up to the World Cup. Nacho was particularly mocking England saying that they are likely to finish behind what we thought would be the whipping boys Costa Rica at the bottom of the group, but it seems the Ticos have already outplayed the Italians and the Uruguayans and the English are being served up next on the plate. It seems though, Nacho might be right. An rightly so, after their pathetic performance against a less than vintage Uruguayan team (their best player was on crutches a fortnight ago). Spain, who were one of the favourites (and I was mocking them for the end of tiki-taka), were probably worse than England (at least England looked bothered again Italy). But last, and definitely not means least, Honduras. We all had hope that they would put a couple of performances but we were pretty sure they would fail to get out of the group. Despite their loss to France when they were down to ten men and played off the park (the French should have had Paul Pogba sent off: the referee decided that only the English should be red carded kicking in retaliation and the French again get off the hook with an amazing piece of luck. Let’s be fair though, the French have played some great football), Honduras has played with a lot of passion that has put England and Spain to shame. The news that Harry claims he has had some English players not wanting to play doesn’t surprise me at all. As always suspected, the Premier League rules the roost and they don’t give a hoot about the English national team. Why would Mourinho or Pelligrini wait on the slow progression of English players when they can hop over to Spain and buy a player who is technically better and more tactically aware? They’d be risking their own jobs if results aren’t up to near perfection. Scudmore could help by setting a charter or some sort of rule demanding a team has to play at least four English players at any one time, but he has made it quite clear that he doesn’t give a hoot. However, he could making the league more exciting by doing so. By doing this, it would make top coaches do their best to train the young English players, as well as try to bring only the best foreign players to the Premiership.
However, this isn’t a knock on foreign players. They have played a huge hand in making the Premiership the most exciting league in the world. And to put any xenophobic thoughts to rest, I HATE UKIP. I just love football.
The stats for England, Spain and Honduras in this world cup is pretty much on par with Birmingham City (I’m far used to Birmingham, but at least our defence seems stronger than England’s!). Played six, lost six. And where we thought Honduras were doing to be knocked out first, they are the only ones left in, with a slight glimmer of hope if they beat Swiss by a couple of goals and hope the French massacre Ecuador (even though they are pretty much guaranteed passage to the next round). It’s a lot to ask for, but it’s still possible. I watched the Honduran v Ecuador game in the Marriott Hotel. The atmosphere was buzzing and Honduras played well. They were unlucky not to win a penalty and have two goals disallowed, but they can say their team restored some pride, having been criticized for some of the tackling (note, only the consented Europeans are moaning. Uruguay, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador and Brazil have also been a bit heavy handed, but without the same criticism. The Latin American teams do play like that, but they are not a patch on the aggressiveness of the English leagues or the Madrid derby or El Classico. Hondurans have a right to feel victimised). Seeing Hondurans score, especially Costly who missed the 2010 World Cup to injury, was a beautiful thing. It was the first goal in the finals since 1982. The release and happiness was fantastic. The emotion on his face will be ever lasting in my life. Tears rolling down his cheeks. A player who cared. Who is passionate about playing for his country. Take note England. He also played for Birmingham for a short time.
So, we could make an English, Scots and Irishman type of joke out this. I’m not sure yet which way it would go, but we could be based on a very basic fact: Which is the odd one out between the Spanish, the English and the Hondurans? Yes, Honduras is Central America. And yes, Honduras is still in the World Cup!!
If Honduras go out after the Swiss game, which unfortunately is highly probable, the ESPN blogs will be coming to an end, which is a shame because I’ve really enjoyed doing it. Here is my review of the Honduras v Ecuador game.