The Quarter Finals part two – vote for today’s winners

July 5, 2014

Both of today’s matches offer the chance of an upset. Argentina were one of the pre-tournament favourites whilst Belgium are one of the surprise teams to reach this stage. In the second match we have, to my mind, the surprise of the tournament, Costa Rica winners of the group containing Italy, Uruguay and of course England versus Holland.

If Eden Hazard can produce his best form there is a chance, a good chance, that he can get a few good crosses in for the likes of Lukaku to get on the end of.

Of course, it will be vital for Belgium to keep Lionel Messi quiet and Axel Witsel just might be the player to do so. The problem for Belgium is that in addition to Messi they have some other very effective players. Angel Di Maria for one and perhaps the sneakiest player in the game Mascherano, he is so adept at the shirt pulls and ankle taps as well as the outright assaults that I’m amazed he manages to stay on the pitch for so long. Higuain has had a disappointing time so far, perhaps he will come good today.

I would love Belgium to do it, but fear Messi and Co. will have too much fire power. So a Germany/Argentina semi-final looks to be in prospect.

Next up Costa Rica versus Holland. Should be a straight forward win for the Dutch side, shouldn’t it?

If Arjen Robben performs to his usual standard we can expect at least one penalty, most refs seem to award one after two or three of his expertly performed tumbles. His other scoring option is to cut in from the right and unleash a ferocious left foot strike into the far corner of the goal. Costa Rica need to be aware of his proclivity for diving as well as be ready to crowed him out on the edge of the box. Junior Diaz and will have to be a bit more defensive minded than usual and will need back up from Umana and Borges. There is also the threat from van Persie, and not just from his elbows, we all know his capabilities, and he will take some stopping.

For Costa Rica, Ruiz must try to use his pace to get behind both Kuyt and the Dutch defence to feed Joel Campbell some balls to run onto, the Arsenal youngster has a good eye for goal and it would be nice if he could get one or two today.

This is going to be a tough game for Costa Rica, I think Holland may just have too much fire power and nous for them to overcome. Holland to go through.

Norfolk Gooner.


Whilst Arsene watches scantily clad babes, he also plots his goals‏

July 3, 2014

Morning Gooner’s.

World cup this, World cup that, fans all over the world are excited by the enthralling football they are seeing. The host nation Brazil was celebrating their win over Chile, while I sat and watched with not much interest. I watched a hard fought out game that went to penalties, the first game with penalties, and some good penalties too, but also some very dodgy ones as well. Like all tight matches this one was decided on the last shot of the day. The Chilean player hit the upright and the ball bounced away from the goal, the Brazilian fans went berserk.

Personally I was hoping for a Chile win, they were the underdogs but I have a heart and I was rooting for them, although I never had much interest in the result, I was surprised how disappointed I felt. Maybe being an ex footballer myself, and suffering many demoralising defeats actually makes you realise just how painful defeat can be, but of course you need to win finals as well to appreciate the victories as well, In my case not to many.

I have of course got to bring in our own club, after all this is an Arsenal blog and while we have the close season we know that Arsene will not keep us informed about the possible ins and outs. Arsene is currently employed as a pundit but he is of course watching all the top players in the world, so its like a Busman’s holiday.

As supporters we realise that some of our players are moving on, and of course Arsene knows that only to well while he is working in Brazil and recuperating on the beach feasting his eyes on all those scantily clad Babes, sorry got carried away there. We do of course hope he has his targets in his sights.

Arsene has just signed a new contract, late of course but he signed it. He has just tasted victory of the FA cup, that must have tasted very sweet for him, I can remember the look on his face as he climbed the steps at Wembley, he looked like the kid in the sweet shop left alone to chose anything he wanted. As I saw Wenger hold that trophy I had the feeling that he was never as happy as he was at that moment. Yes he had won that cup before, and he has won other cups and leagues, but that cup was a very long time coming, and the disappointments over those years was I bet how that missing Chilean player felt.

As I said before, Arsene has signed a new contract, so I can only assume that he has been given the ok to to buy replacements. Arsene brought one player last season, but he brought a record breaker to the sum of £42.5 million> Now that has been unheard of from Mr Skinflint but he did. I must admit I was knocked sideways when I heard the news, I had waited, logging into blogs and Arsenal news and the papers the  media and anybody and everybody for a snippet of news, I expected a striker, and he buys a midfielder, not just any midfielder, a £42 million midfielder.

I  felt  I knew what Arsene would do, I thought buy a striker, but no, and after I calmed down I wondered why he had done what he had.  Arsene had Giroud, Sanogo, and Bendtner and we had strikers in reserves as well, but they still had time left on their contracts. Sanogo was raw but showed promise Bendtner had one season left and Giroud had done all that had been asked of him, he must have felt that he had that position covered.

Theo was the player that Arsene was hoping would feed off of Ozil and with The Ox with his powerful runs and Gnabry who had also shown promise he must have felt Ozil was the key. As we all know we did pretty good up till Christmas but injuries to our speedy front men hit us hard, yes we scraped the FA cup but Theo missing half a season The Ox out for some time even Giroud missing a few games and hardly a show from Gnabry we struggled.

This season Bendtner will be gone  our reserve striker has been released which opens the door for a striker, Bacary leaving was on the cards I think we all knew that and Jenks is still not the finished article so another space. Fabianski leaving was also on the cards he must have had the hump when Viviani was loaned in, but Arsene used him in the cups and he never let us down in fact he showed what a fine keeper he is. Viviani has been released so we need a keeper. I hoped we would keep Kallstrom as he had something about him, but he too has been let go. Maybe Diaby getting back to fitness may have a bearing.

So my summary is that Arsene should be looking for a Striker, a Right Back and a Goalkeeper. I figure £42m for them should cover it, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see another couple of loaners, just in case of injuries.  Will Arsene surprise me again this season, Probably.

Written by Steve Palmer


Poll: Winners? Netherlands vs Mexico. Costa Rica vs Greece

June 29, 2014

First up, the Dutch with those fine upstanding gentlemen Robben, De Jong, Snejder and a chap with a happy child within against some valiant losers 😀

Could this be a game as exciting and engrossing as yesterdays first game? Does anyone think Mexico can take Holland to pens or even beat them? The poll will tell.

The Mexico goalkeeper has been outstanding but I fear he will need to be, Netherlands have pace, power and potency whereas Mexico are ageing. That said they have a great manager in Herrera and it will be an interesting tactical battle with some bloke who has been given the poisoned chalice of resurrecting the Mancs.

Netherlands for me.

Costa Rica vs Greece.  Both teams created a surprise by getting out of their groups. For Greece to be still in it whilst Italy, Spain, England, Ivory Coast and Portugal are watching from the couch is  ….. well, bewildering. They have such a negative attitude and quite frankly are a piss-poor side.  However, I am delighted for the people of Greece who  could use some cheering up!

Costa Rica topped the group with aplomb. They have a Gooner in their midst, I want them to win with a Campbell hat trick.


1930 – The First World Cup

June 21, 2014

The inaugural FIFA World Cup was staged in Uruguay in 1930 and was played from July 13th to July 30th 1930.

1930_World_Cup Final Ball

Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, Spain and Uruguay all lodged applications to host the event. Uruguay was the eventual choice as they were the reigning Olympic Champions (1928), the country was celebrating the centenary of its first constitution and their bid included the building of a new stadium as the World Cup centerpiece. The Uruguayan authorities also offered to refund the expenses of all participants. The other nations withdrew their bids, and Uruguay was chosen to host the tournament at a FIFA congress at Barcelona in 1929. All matches were then played in the Uruguayan capital, Montevideo, the majority at the centerpiece stadium – Estadio Centenario.

1930 World Cup Stadium

The first World Cup was the only one without qualification. Every country affiliated with FIFA was invited to compete, and given a deadline of 28 February 1930 to accept. Plenty of interest was shown by nations in the Americas; Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and the United States all entered. A total of seven South American teams participated, more than in any subsequent World Cup Finals. However, because of the long and costly trip across the Atlantic Ocean, and the length of absence required for players, very few European teams were inclined to take part. Some refused to countenance travel to South America in any circumstances, and no European entries were received before the February deadline. In an attempt to gain some European participation, the Uruguayan Football Association sent a letter of invitation to the Football Association, even though the Home Nations were not members of FIFA at the time. This was rejected by the FA Committee on 18 November 1929. Two months before the start of the tournament, no team from Europe had officially entered.

FIFA president Jules Rimet intervened, and eventually four European teams made the trip by sea: Belgium, France, Romania, and Yugoslavia. The Romanians, managed by Constantin Rădulescu and coached by their captain Rudolf Wetzer and Octav Luchide, entered the competition following the intervention of newly crowned King Carol II. He selected the squad personally, and negotiated with employers to ensure that the players would still have jobs upon their return. The French entered at the personal intervention of Rimet, but neither France’s star defender Manuel Anatol nor the team’s regular coach Gaston Barreau could be persuaded to make the trip. The Belgians participated at the instigation of FIFA vice-president Rodolphe Seeldrayers.

The Romanians boarded the SS Conte Verde at Genoa for the 15 day voyage, the French were picked up at Villefranche-sur-Mer on 21 June 1930 and the Belgians embarked at Barcelona. The Conte Verde carried Rimet, the trophy and the three designated European referees: the Belgians Jean Langenus and Henri Christophe, along with Thomas Balway, a Parisian who may have been English. The Brazilian team were picked up when the boat docked in Rio de Janeiro on 29 June before arriving in Uruguay on 4 July. Yugoslavia travelled via the mail steamship Florida from Marseille.

1930-FIFA-World-Cup-Captains shake hands

All matches took place in Montevideo. Three stadiums were used: Estadio Centenario, Estadio Pocitos, and Estadio Parque Central. The Estadio Centenario was built both for the tournament and as a celebration of the centenary of Uruguayan independence. Designed by Juan Scasso, it was the primary stadium for the tournament, referred to by Rimet as a “temple of football”. With a capacity of 90,000, it was the largest football stadium outside the British Isles. The stadium hosted 10 of the 18 matches, including both semi-finals and the final. However, a rushed construction schedule and delays caused by the rainy season meant the Centenario was not ready for use until five days into the tournament. Early matches were played at smaller stadiums usually used by Montevideo football clubs Nacional and Peñarol, the 20,000 capacity Parque Central and the Pocitos.

A golden trophy known as “The Goddess of Victory” was commissioned from French sculptor Abel Lafleur.

1930 worldcup trophy

Eventually thirteen teams (seven from South America, four from Europe, and two from North America) entered the tournament. Few European teams chose to participate because of the difficulty of travelling to South America. The teams were divided into four groups, with the winner of each group progressing to the semi-finals. The first two World Cup matches took place simultaneously, and were won by France and the United States, who defeated Mexico 4–1 and Belgium 3–0, respectively. Lucien Laurent of France scored the first goal in World Cup history, while American goalkeeper Jimmy Douglas posted the first official “clean sheet” in the tournament.

Action in 1930 World Cup Final

Argentina, Uruguay, United States and Yugoslavia each won their respective groups to qualify for the semi-finals. In the final, hosts and pre-tournament favourites Uruguay defeated Argentina 4–2 in front of a crowd of 93,000 people, and became the first nation to win the World Cup.


The 1930 FIFA World Cup is located in Uruguay



W-enger W-atch

June 19, 2014

Can be pronounced V-enger V-otch, I’m easy on that one.

Tell you what though, our Man in Brazil is having one or two re-thinks. Only last night he texted me this:

cesc v bsr

Ooo la la mon meilleur ami Didite. J’ai vu le match entre les Smokey Dopey Dutchies et Les Espagnols, et zoot alors, ils ont jouer le W-Formation de mon grand pere Herbie Chapman. Peut etre, on va jouer les trois a derriere le saison prochain a Arsenal. Juste pour une blague.

Mon Dieu Didite, qu’est ce, les Espagnols sont fini. Merci Dennis. Maintenant on peut jouer le mix entre le vitesse et pouvoir du style anglais avec juste un tout petit peu du tiki tiki taki. Un peu comme les mangeur des saucisse?

spain go out

Aussi, Didite, tous les equipes jouent avec un sole grand ‘un en haut., mais ils ont tous complete merde. Regarde Fred. Pas exactement “heureux jours” n’est pas.


J’ai entendu qu’il y a beaucoup de chit chat en Angleterre au sujet de Mario Balotelli. Je vous ai dire  c’est mon dernier contract a Arsenal, et, comment on dit on Anglais “I’ll be buggered if I’m not going out with a banging”. Est-ce que mon anglais est correct?


J’aime beaucoup son style de chevaux Mohawk de Mario. C’est surement plus Le Rouge Freddie que Dingdong Frimpong, donc tout va bien.

Dites moi quelque chose Didite, vous etes les grands ballons du chien sur les ticytactics, ou est ce que je vais jouer cet Mario? J’ai vu comment SAF a prit l’autre lunatique Eric Cantona est le transforme a joue juste derriere d’un strikere, mais je vais jouer le Mesut dans la poche, donc je crois que il cera impossible de jouer Mario et Ollie au meme temps.

Ok, a bientot mon ami, je dois frapper la rue.

xxx A

ps For those of you who don’t speak high level eloquent French, Arsene is basically texting his observations, and thoughts on what he may be bringing back to The Arsenal. You seen anything relevant?

écrit par MickyDidIt89


Outstanding Özil Overwhelms Overated Old Portugal

June 17, 2014

New Arsenal marmite man Mesut Özil managed last night in 60 minutes to show why he has the potential to be a superstar or Germany’s own Wayne Rooney. Even though he is their best player he seems to have to walk on water to avoid boos from his own supporters.

He was given a free role on the right where his main focus was being a playmaker and not having to worry about defending. We all know that defending is part of the game but he seemed to relish the freedom he was allowed and was able to weave his magic and cause problems. His diagonal runs were mouthwatering and constantly troubled the Portugal defence.

Obviously playing against 10 men can create more space but that’s not always the case. A more compact defence is often difficult to penetrate but with a world class striker in Thomas Müller and other creative players to link up with Germany, were ruthless.

At sixty minutes Özil was subbed and wore his usual ‘spoilt brat, I want to play on’ expression and there should be no doubting that he’s happy to play for Germany so I think Arsenal supporters should stop seeing this as a sign that he’s not happy playing for us.

As usual social media went into melt down as Arsenal supporters moaning about Mesut’s lack of finishing clashed with others who defended his skills.

Despite Özil’s almost faultless performance it’s clear that Germany are also aware of his penalty taking frailties and it was good to see that he is excused that role.

Could Arsenal’s record signing become a legend and will Arsenal supporters be patient enough to allow him to fulfill his potential?

Written by peachesgooner 



Who should we follow (or not?) in the World Cup?

June 14, 2014

The lazy silly transfer season is upon us. Arsenal fans have to find some other fruitful pursuit to spend their time, what with nothing but useless transfer talk filling the airtimes and twitter world.

However, this year is a bit different. In the grapevine it is heard that the medieval war ritual of Shrovetide Derbies has been transported amongst the Amazonian tribes. They have invited nations from around the world over to spend a holiday in the deep and dangerous jungles of Brazil, and engage in a competition in the ancient war game of football. What is on offer may be more war than a civilized game, and the environs may be a dangerous jungle. And they even dare to call it a World Cup! Nevertheless, there is a bit of a buzz in the air.

Do ladies and gentlemen of AA care? No, not quite. Nevertheless, there are a few issues.

First, a few of the good guys have travelled to Brazil. Well, slightly more than a few. Of the 736 players (23 players in each of 32 national teams) in the World Cup, the highest proportion (124 players, 17 percent) ply their trade in England (and Wales, whatever that may mean!). This is by far the largest origin for World Cup players, the next highest being Germany (77 players). As may be expected, Arsenal has provided quite a few of these players, 12 players to be exact, or about 10 percent. Which, at a first cut, is good news. We should and of course will be interested in following our own players.


Second, there are both upsides and downsides to our players playing in the World Cup. On the downside, potential injuries (fingers crossed, no such bad luck this time!), fatigue and disappointment. But, on the upside, more experience and confidence, but also more appreciation potentially worldwide of the fantastic game that our good guys play. Whichever way you look at it, we have no option but to follow our players in the World Cup.

Third, some other players will hopefully be signed by Arsenal for the next year, and we would are surely want to keep track of them. Here, however, there is a major problem. Given the secrecy with which Arsene and Arsenal handle their transfer business, and rightly so, there will no doubt be desperation to find some Arsenal transfer news. Necessity, as we all know, is the mother of invention! And there will be plenty of such invention of useless transfer rumours.

Every goal-scorer will surely be linked to Arsenal, with claims as to how much better they are compared to poor Ollie. Every goalkeeper making a decent save will be projected as the replacement for Fabianski. Worse still, every right back making a decent cross will be linked to our first choice right back position. Not caring so much about whether our main requirement is for an overlapping right back or one who can defend as well! Then there are CB and DM positions, and the mind really boggles.

Nevertheless, it will be nice to be informed about who potential good players in different positions are, whether they have been linked to Arsenal or not. In fact, one of the major advantages of the World Cup is indeed that we come to know about players from many different countries, and not only the ones that populate the EPL and major leagues in Europe. Further, absolutely no harm in trying to find a good player from elsewhere in the world. How about a Japanese player for a change?

Against this backdrop, chums, let us find out what we can expect from our 12 Gooners in the World Cup and even, dare I say it, identify a few other players and teams that we may like to watch and follow. The Gooners first. 3 each in France and Germany, 2 for England, and 1 each for Belgium, Costa Rica, Spain and Switzerland.


Giroud, Kos and Sagna are included in the French squad. And Arsene is going to be in attendance all through. Exciting! Sagna appears to be more of a back-up, and in any case, is bound for the Northern Oilers. So be it! He has given us a good service and has not been disrespectful. We wish him well. Koscielny appears to be a regular in the French central defence. We hope he will have a good tournament and no injuries, please. The exciting one here is Giroud. Ollie seems to be picking up at the right time, and should play an exciting role in a 4-4-2 combination with Benzema, or perhaps Remy, upfront. Very exciting, not least in combination with the other two. Why, oh why, do we not play with two upfront. Arsene, where is Arsene? Some signings please.


The 3 Gunners in the Germany team are BFG, Ozil and Poldi. Both Mertesacker and Ozil are settled members of the German team, and Podolski is a highly trusted veteran. In the run-up to the World Cup, BFG has been solid, Ozil has had mixed performances but Podolski seems to be picking up at the right time. Germany are one of the dark horses in the tournament. Who knows, maybe Germany will be the first European nation to win the World Cup in Latin America? Exciting times. Come on you Gooners!!!!


The England team has 2 Gooners, The Ox and Wilshere. Should really have been 4, also including Theo and Gibbs. Really really gutted for both. Theo’s injury came at a bad time. I blame the swamps down in N17. Given the poor backline, my conviction is reinforced that the omission of Gibbs was a mistake. Anyway, the good news for Arsenal is that Theo and Gibbs are kept injury free and fresh. The Ox could really have been one of the young stars in Brazil. Lallana is second best, not only in football, but even in the number of letters in his name.

Unfortunately, there is an injury, and worse still it seems The Ox is being rushed back too soon. I hope all will be fine. Jack is not expected to feature that much. In any case, there is such a lot of negativity surrounding the team, and Jack’s keenness to try too hard, I hope he does not play that much. As usual England has conceded defeat even before they started, not least in Greg Dyke’s statements about the quality in the squad and complaints about having the play in the “jungle”. Eh? Whichever way you look at it, it is better England swallow their pride and return home soon. Hopefully without too much damage to the players. I am sad to say this, but I sincerely feel this way.

ox and jack

The Spanish team is exciting as well. Santi is a senior pro in the team, but given the wealth of talent in the Spanish midfield he is expected to provide cameo roles. Come on Santi! We wish Spain well.


Verms is selected for a Belgium team that looks tasty as well. Unfortunately, as in Arsenal, he is not first choice in the national team as well. However, he is a senior member of the squad, something like a vice-captain to Kompany. Like the FA Cup, he may yet lift a trophy as well. No, that is taking it perhaps a bit too far! Anyway, good luck to Verms. Stay fit, please.


The really exciting one is Joel Campbell. He is a star in the Costa Rica team, and I for one will have to support him in the game against England. Still an exciting prospect, his strike against Manchester United for Olympiacos was simply superb. Come on, Joel. Make a case for Arsenal organising a work visa for you this time round.

Campbell_Costa Rica

Last but not the least, there is Djourou. Johann has spent the last season out on loan at Hamburg, and is selected for the Switzerland squad. He is not expected to get that much of play time. Nevertheless, well done and good luck!


And finally, there are the on’s who are prospective signings. What of Balotelli, Mandzukic, Aurier, Draxler, Remy who are doing the rounds in the gossip columns, and even the likes of Cesc and Costa who have dropped out. Exciting prospects? Let us find out what is on offer.

So here is the full line up.

Brazil: Entire team, really, especially Forward – Hulk (Zenit St Petersburg)

Croatia: Forward – Mario Mandzukic (Bayern Munich)

Spain: Goalkeepers – Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina (Napoli); Midfielders – Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona); Forward – Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid)

Netherlands: Forward – Robin van Persie (Manchester United), just to wish 1,000 ill-fortunes upon his house, and to laugh at his misadventures.

Colombia: Goalkeeper – David Ospina (Nice); Forward – Jackson Martinez (Porto)

Ivory Coast: Defenders – Serge Aurier (Toulouse); Forward – Gervinho (Roma), just because we like the guy!

Uruguay: Forward – Luis Suarez (Liverpool), just because we love to hate the chap!

Costa Rica: Forward – Joel Campbell (Olympiakos, on loan from Arsenal). Come on, Joel!

England: The whole team, but especially Midfielders Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal) and Jack Wilshere (Arsenal). COYG!

Italy: Forward – Mario Balotelli (AC Milan)

All defenders and forwards in Group E, particularly in France and Switzerland, not least because Arsene will also be watching them closely.

Switzerland: Defenders – Johan Djourou (Hamburg, on loan from Arsenal), Philippe Senderos (Valencia). Come on Djourou!

France: The whole team, really, but in particular, Defenders – Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal, but Northern Oilers bound); Midfielders – Paul Pogba (Juventus), Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton); Forwards – Karim

Benzema (Real Madrid), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Loic Remy (Newastle, on loan from QPR). Come on French Gooners!!!!!

Argentina: everyone, they should be a pleasure to just watch and admire!

Germany: entire team, but especially,  Defender – Per Mertesacker (Arsenal); Midfielders – Julian Draxler (Schalke), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal); Forward – Lukas Podolski (Arsenal). COYG!!!!

Portugal: just because it is an interesting team.

United States: Goalkeeper – Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)

Belgium: should be an interesting team to watch, but especially Defender – Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal)

So, chums, what do you think? Excited enough. Bring on the World Cup! COYG!!!!!

Written by arnie

Blast from the Past No. 18 England’s World Cup History

June 13, 2014


The World Cup competition began in 1930, and has since become the world’s largest sporting event. It has been staged every four years since then with the exception of 1942 and 1946, when the Second World War forced its suspension.

England did not enter the first three competitions of 1930, 1934 and 1938. Although FIFA sought England’s participation, the Football Association declined all invitations. Not until the fourth tournament in 1950 did England take part.

England has entered all 16 post-war competitions. They reached the final tournament 13 times. They qualified through play in the preliminary competition on 11 occasions (1950, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010), as host country once (1966) and as reigning champions once (1970). They failed to qualify for the final tournaments on only three occasions (1974, 1978 and 1994).

England has had only moderate success in the World Cup, and that is perhaps a fair reflection of their standing in world football.


They have won the tournament just once, in 1966, when it was held on English soil and they played all their matches at their home ground, Wembley Stadium, an advantage extended to no other team in World Cup history. Their 4-2 extra-time victory against West Germany in the only final match they have reached has remained clouded by the controversy over whether their third goal, the first of extra-time, actually crossed the goal line.


England reached the semi-finals on only one other occasion, at the 1990 tournament in Italy, where, following extra-time victories over Belgium and Cameroon, they went down to West Germany on penalty kicks after a 1-1 extra-time draw. They then lost the third-place match to the host nation, 2-1.

Englands WC placing

England has reached the quarterfinals on six other occasions, at the 1954, 1962, 1970, 1986, 2002 and 2006 tournaments. At the 1982 competition in Spain, where the final tournament was conducted through two group stages with the teams topping the four second-round groups proceeding directly to the semi-finals, England finished the second group stage unbeaten but was therefore eliminated.

England have been eliminated in the round of 16 teams stage on two occasions since the final tournament was expanded to more than 16 teams in 1982–at the 1998 final tournament in France and the 2010 final tournament in South Africa.

England have been eliminated at the first round group stage on two occasions 1950 and 1958, when they finished level in group play with the USSR but lost a playoff match.

The World Cup has been a frustrating odyssey for England, particularly since 1966. At several tournaments, their performances have filled their fans with justified hope, but in the end, they have just not had enough to overcome the world’s most powerful teams in crucial knockout matches.

Consolation-seekers like to point out that it has been England’s misfortune to meet the eventual World Cup winners in the knockout stages of four tournaments. They went out to Brazil, 3-1, in the quarterfinals of the 1962 tournament, to Argentina, 2-1 by way of Maradona’s “Hand of God” goal, in the quarterfinals of the 1986 tournament, to West Germany, on penalty kicks after a 1-1 extra-time draw, in the semi-finals of the 1990 tournament and to Brazil again, 2-1, in the quarterfinals of the 2002 tournament after holding the lead.

On three occasions they have been eliminated in penalty-kick shootouts, in the 1990 semi-final against West Germany, the 1998 round-of-16-teams match against Argentina following a 2-2 extra-time draw in which they played a man short following the expulsion early in the second-half of midfielder David Beckham. On a third occasion, in the 2006 quarter-finals, England were eliminated by Portugal following a 0-0 draw.

Perhaps most disappointing was their elimination at the 1982 tournament in Spain. Having won all three of their group matches quite handily, all they could muster in their second-round group was a pair of goalless draws against eventual finalist West Germany and hosts Spain. They went home unbeaten, having yielded only one goal in five matches.

Our first game in the 2014 group stage is on June 13th vs Italy.

There will be no predictions from GN5 I simply want our team to play up to their top potential and hope that Lady Luck favours us.

world cup history

World Cup Finals
1 Jul 30 1930 Uruguay 4 Argentina 2
2 Jun 10 1934 Italy 2 Czechoslovakia 1
3 Jun 19 1938 Italy 4 Hungary 2
4 Jul 16 1950 Uruguay 2 Brazil 1
5 Jul 04 1954; Germany 3 Hungary 2
6 Jun 29 1958; Brazil 5 Sweden 2
7 Jun 17 1962; Brazil 3 Czechoslovakia 1
8 Jul 30 1966; England 4 Germany 2
9 Jun 21 1970; Brazil 4 Italy 1
10 Jul 7 1974; Germany 2 Netherlands 1
11 Jun 25 1978; Argentina 3 Netherlands 1
12 Jul 11 1982; Italy 3 Germany 1
13 Jun 29 1986; Argentina 3 Germany 2
14 Jul 08 1990; Germany 1 Argentina 0
15 Jul 17 1994; Brazil* 0 Italy 0
16 Jul 12 1998; France 3 Brazil 0
17 Jun 30 2002; Brazil 2 Germany 0
18 Jul 09 2006; Italy* 1* France 1
19 Jul 11 2010; Spain 1 Netherlands 0
* Won on Penalty Kicks

wc finals appearances