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Do They Fear Us? Do They?

USA have been fairly reverential in exalting England’s attributes and players, which is all very nice, thank-you-very-much, but do they fear us? Should they?

Jozy Altidore is the latest to speak respectfully of our qualities. Unsurprisingly, given his position, he has pin-pointed the defence – particularly John Terry – as a formidable force for any forward to overcome, whilst Tim Howard has praised England’s goalkeepers (all three of ‘em) as difficult obstacles to beat. This is all prim and pleasant but we don’t want a nice gentle bit of love making, we want it rough, we want to throw them about, bend them over the table and ….well, basically want them to fear us (not as actual rapists, so don’t go shouting ‘sex-crime!’). We don’t want them to be just worried about our defensive structure – important though it clearly is – we want them to be concerned about our thrusting forward play, out free-flowing football, out potency. And you get the feeling they aren’t.

Ok, in honesty, they will be acutely aware about the threat we can pose; any team possessing the attacking outlets of Manchester United’s Rooney,  Liverpools’ Gerrard, Chelsea’s Lampard, is going to be respected. But, we really should be more piercing and penetrating.

What exactly will they fear, or, indeed, what will we find problematic? The USA shouldn’t be underestimated and it will not be an easy ride. They’ll undoubtedly be hard-working, determined, and certain to give us a battle and so withholding the early hurly-burly and the bustling energy will be important. However, once the game takes shape, they’re also likely to be fairly reactive. Hence, the onus is of course on England to show ingenuity, an incisive edge, the key to the lock, and to make them FEAR THE WRATH OF ENGLAND!!

But, even if the USA don’t fear us that much, we’ll grind, grind, grind them down and prosper through stealth. You can imagine lots of midfield possession without much penetration, a truly frustrating affair. Which is why I predict 1-0 to England – probably through a set-piece – though it’ll likely end up as a dull, drab goalless draw (I’m cheery, optimistic happy-go-lucky kinda guy toady aren’t I?) However, even if we only just scrape by via a solitary goal or, indeed, fail to win, there’s no need for panic; most World Cup winners grow steadily into the tournament… slowly slowly, catchy monkey.

Anyway, I’m off to work (on a f**kin Saturday!), so enjoy the build-up, enjoy the banter, enjoy the sunshine… you lucky s**t’s.

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