Sunday, November 13, 2005

England 3 Argentina 2

Following on from that Man U v Chelsea game last weekend, tonight's tremendous match went some way towards restoring my faith in football - and I was thinking that even when we were a goal down with three minutes to play.

How refreshing was it to see two good teams, with nothing more to play for than national pride, try their hearts out to win the game by taking the game to the opposition. I've tried hard to recall a better friendly international game, but at the moment nothing springs to mind.

I thought that despite the result, on balance Argentina were marginally the better side, and that Riquelme and Rooney were head and shoulders above everyone else on the pitch. Eriksson appears to have inherited Bobby Robson's trick of accidentally stumbling across his best formation, albeit six months before the finals as opposed to wor Bobby's two games in - see 1986 and 1990 for details.

I think these two sides are deservedly second and third favourites behind Brazil - Italy are short of creativity, France are not the force they were five years ago, and Spain and Holland often flatter to deceive at big tournaments. Cannot see a winner beyond those seven though - even though one writes off hosts Germany at one's peril...

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