2010/11: ECQ Group G – Wales v England (Cardiff)

If I’m watching England, then to be honest it is usually a nerve-wracking experience. However on Saturday I have to say that just didn’t happen. Wales losing Gareth Bale from a side lacking top class players helped England’s cause and probably helped ease my mind. Despite all the passion of the home fans in Cardiff, there didn’t appear to be a whiff of an upset as the Welsh team belted out their anthem and the English, mumbled or ignored theirs.

Yes, two goals in the first fifteen minutes effectively killed off the game and thereafter England were pretty comfortable throughout the ninety minutes. The reality is though that England were up against the side bottom of the Qualifying Group, who had lost their previous three fixtures. A couple of things made me chuckle though during the game. Both the individuals concerned continue to demonstrate their complete lack of intelligence on a football field. Step forward Craig Bellamy of Wales, who was obviously attempting to rewrite Shakespeare’s Henry IV with a poor impersonation of Owen Glendower, by snapping at everything in a white shirt, but to little effect. Equally clueless was England’s very own court jester, Rooney, who with the game won, carried out not one but two unnecessary tackles in less than a minute, to earn himself a booking. Plus ça change.

So the half-way mark of the Qualifiers and England sit top of the class with the other Group leaders, Germany, Slovakia, Italy, France, Netherlands, Greece, Norway and Spain. Wales under new head-boy Gary Speed (what were the Welsh FA thinking when they appointed him), sit in the corner with the dunces hat and bottom of the class with other Group basement dwellers, Kazakhstan, Andorra, Faroe Islands, Luxembourg, San Marino, Malta, Iceland and Liechtenstein, with a collective total of 3 points between them all. The Welsh dragon is a creature currently unable to breath fire and in reality gasping for breath. John Charles must be spinning in his grave.