England lost their opening game in the current World Cup campaign against Italy on Saturday night (14th June). It was a late kick-off at 11pm, but my 8 year old managed to have an early-evening nap and then wake up to watch the match, whereas I crashed and burned for the second half and missed England’s second half performance, and Italy’s unfortunate second goal.
I was interested to read match reports and media post-mortems the next day, to catch up on what I had missed, and to gauge the reactions to England’s performance, as they fielded a bold team of youth and inexperience – but with plenty of skill, enthusiasm and attacking verve.
Surprisingly, given the usually pessimistic outlook of the English sporting press, the response to the style of the English defeat was overwhelmingly positive, and there was high praise for many individual players, Sterling and England’s sole goal scorer Sturridge amongst those singled out. There was some criticism of the English defence, and also superstar player Wayne Rooney – who underperformed, but played out of his favoured position.
Generally, expectation was low coming into this World Cup, and most observers and commentators were impressed by England’s creativity, attacking flair and spirit. Manager Roy Hodgson believed that this was the “best” performance of his time in charge.
This result does leave England’s progression from the competitive Group D very much up in the air – with fixtures against Uruguay (19th June) and Costa Rica (24th June) still to come.
But, we can still do it…and Mark (who drew England in the Office sweepstake) will be very much hoping that they do progress and ultimately triumph, in this exciting Brazilian World Cup!
Below, is a Wordle which was created by copying and pasting the contents of two post-match articles. The program selects the most frequently-mentioned words to include and enlarges the ones that crop up most regularly.
Click to Enlarge Wordle!