Saturday, October 20, 2007

Its the hope that gets me.

So here we are, World Cup final day. I'm sure I'm not the only bloke (and quite a few ladies too) who has woken up with a knot of apprehension in his stomach this morning. In fact its been building for several days. It is fair to say that for once the taxpayer did not get their money's worth out of me this week.

This week has been different to the last couple. Having witnessed our thrashing to South Africa in the pool stages, and our less than convincing win against Tonga, I didn't give England a prayer against the Aussies. Last week following the dramatic scenes in Cardiff I thought there was no way the French would let their own World Cup slip away from them. It wasn't until Jonny slipped over that drop goal that I believed we could do it.

And now? well now I have hope. After winning two games we should have lost, one must have hope.

On paper we shouldn't stand a chance. Man to man its probably only in the front row that we have an edge, and South Africa play the kind of territorial game that looks to score off mistakes well suited to beating us. With Habana and Pietersen on the wings any loose kicks, a perennial problem for this England team, or turnovers, Paul Sackey I am looking at you, and Phil Vickery will be giving another inspirational team talk under the posts.

But you could have said similar things about France and Australia, so there is hope. Throw in every Jonny Come Lately spewing forth their opinion about how Saint Jonny is going kick us to glory (he isn't, a 60% success rate is not acceptable for a club let alone an international place kicker) and you can't help but think we can do it. There is hope, and I'm afraid come around 10 o'clock this evening that hope is going to get crushed. And that is going to hurt. A lot.

At least I'm not in SA.

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