Is that the spirit of Italia '90 and Bobby…

…coursing through your veins?

Or is it just some cheap, piss horrible, Danish lager? As an aside does anyone out there actually like any of Carlsberg’s products? I honestly don’t know anyone who heads straight for the bar and asks for a Carlsberg.

Anyway back to England and tonight’s game against Algeria. A must win game is it? Realistically it’s more than that it’s a must win with a performance game. Everyone after the USA game wanked on about how it was just like this back in 1990 and look what happened after that opening game draw with Ireland. Bobby almost won it all for us.

Yes there are certain similarities. Of course the inept performance against a limited side that should have been beaten. A manager who is benefiting from close proximity to other England managers, a feeling of uplift after a disastrous Euros previously, and a manager who picks star names not a team, in a formation that doesn’t work for English players.

Bobby Robson hugely benefited from being followed in the job by Graham Taylor. Taylor’s ineptness in the position made everyone look back at a man who got us to the World Cup semis with great fondness. It completely overshadowed the reality of events at that tournament. The same is happening with Fabio, criticise him and everyone harks back to the bad old days of McClown and his inability to qualify for Euro 2008, by default Fabio is fantastic because McClown was so bad. No.

So while they talk with misty eyed affection for Italia ’90 they may talk about the poor performance in that opening game, what they fail to mention is the inept performance against Holland and then Egypt in the group stage. Scraping a win against the latter just getting them through to the knockout stages. Where of course they were inept against Belgium, couldn’t keep the ball at all, again just scraping through.

And it was onto another African side, we never see to lose to them – 3 wins and 2 draws at World Cups – but we never play well against them and how fortunate were England to get past the Cameroon? If the boy Line-aker hadn’t fallen over a couple of naively hanging legs in the penalty area would Bobby have been lauded? Another scrape job – more scrapes here than an NHS clinic with a waiting room full of 15 year olds.

They played one good game that tournament the semi. And on that one game alone and going out via penalties Bobby was sainted the tournament was a huge success. If it turns out that way again will it be a success, really?

So what about tonight, well Fabio is lucky so I see an odd goal win, with a very poor performance, after going in 0-0 at half time. Though the England players have done the Algerian coaches team talk for him and look to be giving them a hand with the look of David “Calamity” James being handed the goalkeeping spot – oh he’s got the experience, yes of messing up on the big occasion.

But if the Algerians, who were very limited and indeed very poor against Slovenia in their opener target the areas they are talking about then a “shock” could be on the cards.

Oh and Fabio you can’t blame the ball, the ball didn’t pick Heskey and Heskey didn’t miss all the open goal sitters in his career with the jabulani.

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