Friday, 25 June 2010

Top 5 England World Cup Goals

Well they put us through the ringer again but England finally found their form and made it through to the knockout stages. In celebration of that, and to get us in the mood for the forthcoming game against Germany, here are my top 5 England World Cup goals.

1. Michael Owen v Argentina (1998) - Little Michael Owen sets the nation on fire with this jinking run and quality finish. My 30th birthday forever marked by this moment of brilliance and another departure on penalties.

2. David Platt v Belgium (1990) - Wonderful turn and volley to clinch victory in the dying seconds.

3. Gary Lineker v Poland (1986) - Gary notched a hatrick in this game to put us through after two poor opening performances (sounds familiar!). Either of the first two would be worthy of inclusion but the quick and accurate passing makes the first goal my favourite.

4. Geoff Hurst v West Germany (1966) - Some people are on the pitch! Sir Geoff's third goal to confirm England's one and only World Cup triumph.

5. Joe Cole v Sweden (2006) - Joe Cole lights up an otherwise dull encounter with this remarkable effort. Hmm. That kid can play a bit guess he ought to be in the starting eleven!!


Friday, 18 June 2010

Top 5 World Cup Goals

This is quite a hefty topic and I have to own up to relying on the BBC website's top ten goals from every World Cup since 1966 to remind me of the details. It also became quickly apparent that if I wasn't careful this could be a list of Brazilian wonder strikes. To help me narrow down my options I limited myself to one goal per World Cup and one goal per nation. There's also one very obvious omission which I'll justify at the end.

1. Carlos Alberto (Brazil v Italy) 1970 - This has long been my favourite World Cup goal. I was too young to watch this as it happened but grew up on the highlights that showed how brilliant that Brazilian side was. This was a wonderful team goal with a bit of simple genius from Pele and a perfect finish from Carlos.

2. Dennis Bergkamp (Netherlands v Argentina) 1998 - An underrated gem. Bergkamp is one of my all time favourite players and this is the perfect example of his sublime skill. A long ball from Frank de Boer which Bergkamp controls with his toe. A flick inside between the legs of the Argentinian defender and a finish with the outside of the boot into the far corner of the net. Oh and it won the Quarter Final in the 90th minute.

3. Archie Gemmill (Scotland v Netherlands) 1978 - The Dutch were a very good side who went on to reach the final. Scotland had lost 3-1 to Peru then drawn 1-1 with Iran. Collecting a loose ball, Gemmill skipped past one defender, cut inside a second, nudged the ball past a third before firing home past an out rushing 'keeper. Persistence, control, composure and a great finish. Better than Maradonna.

4. David Platt (England v Belgium) 1990 - Were it not for Dennis Bergkamp I might have been talking about Michael Owen here but this goal is one I have a very special place in my heart for. The point when I became an England fan, the moment that got me back into football after a 3 year sabbatical. Gazza's chipped free kick found Platt in the box who somehow twisted his body to complete an over the shoulder volley that won us the game in extra time. Bobby Robson's little jig by the dugout makes me smile whenever I see it.

5. Marco Tardelli (Italy v W.Germany) 1982 - '82 was a great World Cup, once England were out of the way. This wasn't the best goal scored in it, Socrates for Brazil against USSR or Boniek for Poland against Belgium, but the celebration afterwards earns it a place in my top five.

So, no Maradona from 1986 against England. I've always felt that goal was overrated. It is a great run but I can't help thinking it's aided by some dreadful England defending. Terry Fenwick, what were you doing? I also like the ball to look good hitting the net and Terry Butcher's sliding challenge seems to force Maradona's foot to fire the ball home. Sour grapes maybe but not a top 5 goal for me.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Top 5 England World Cup songs

Well, it couldn't really be anything else. I've had a couple of weeks "off Football", a lovely holiday in sunny Cornwall and am now ready for a month of the greatest football tournament in the world.

1. "Three Lions" Baddiel & Skinner with The Lightning Seeds (1998 World Cup) - I'm really talking the original Euro 96 version but it has since been adopted as a proper England song for just about every World Cup since. I still know the lyrics word for word and they really mean something, it's now 44 years of hurt but Baddiel & Skinner genuinely captured how most England fans feel about the national team.

2. "World In Motion" New Order (1990 World Cup) - Kind of an average New Order song with Keith Allen looning about and the genius of the John Barnes rap. 1990 was a very special competition (which we should have won) and this song evokes many happy memories.

3. "Back Home" England Squad (1970 World Cup) - Proper footy song sung by the squad. Cracking little ditty with decent lyrics and a surprisingly in tune set of vocals. We should have won it this year as well.

4. "Vindaloo" Fat Les (1998 World Cup) - Keith Allen again. He's a Fulham fan and the na-na-na section was based on something Fulham fans used to sing in the early 90's. It's got some moments that make you cringe, you could say that about most of Keith's career, but it's still pretty good.

5. "We're On The Ball" England 1970 squad? - Not the Ant & Dec version released for the 2006 world cup (though I've had to use their video below) but the original that I think might have featured on the 1970 World Cup album. Baddiel & Skinner talked about it on their "Fantasy Football League" show and I always thought it was one of those songs that was both brilliant and crap at the same time. The Ant & Dec version is just crap.


Friday, 4 June 2010

Holiday Break

Hello, there's no Top 5 today as I've been down in Cornwall all week. If you're reading this you must either be really bored at work or as anal about this whole Top 5 thing as I am. Either way, thanks for stopping by and reading the blog.

OK, seeing as you bothered here's a secret Top 5 just for you.

Top 5 Topics I'm planning to write but haven't had time to complete yet

1. Top 5 Pubs I Have Drunk In - Still so much research to complete.

2. Top 5 Stupid Things I Have Done - Not sure I can quite face up to this yet.

3. Top 5 Seaside Resorts - As requested by my brother-in-law. Feel I'm a bit shy on Northern resorts and want to present a balanced argument.

4. Top 5 Paper Aeroplane Designs - I've only got three contenders.

5. Top 5 Hot Wheels/Matchbox cars I owned - Need to take some pictures.