Coming home?

The 2010 World Cup is starting to look a little like a World War II re-enactment with the French bailing out early, the Yanks firing in late, whilst England are left to deal with the Germans! And then of course, there’s the Italians who were total non-starters and leave the Jules Rimet trophy in Africa as they head for the airport.

A 1-0 win over Slovenia was all it took to send England into a second round tie against the Germans. After a painful and disappointing start, the team started to show glimpses of real class and should have run out 4-0 winners. It seemed to be written in stone however that we’d face the Germans in round two, and as the US secured a late win, England fell into second place. If we’re going to win this World Cup, it won’t be the easy way!

Leeds born, bred and trained, James Milner was the star of the show as he made the right-midfield position his own. There was no trickery or mazy runs like we see from Theo and Lennon. Instead, what we had was a player not dissimilar from David Beckham. Not the quickest, nor the most skilful, but able to pick the precision crosses out that strikers thrive off. And it was one of those precision crosses that sent England through, when he found Jermaine Defoe in the first half who gratefully fired home.

John Terry has received some much deserved criticism over the last few days, but you have to give credit where it’s due. He answered his critics with an impressive performance, leading the defensive line and fearlessly defending David James throughout. I’d have had him on the next plane home after his antics earlier in the week, but Fabio made the right call and Terry thanked him in the right way.

So, it’s the Germans up next, with a possible meeting with Argentina in the quarters. The World Cup has finally come to life, and England are performing again just at the right time. Bring it on!