Liverpool Legend Alan Hansen takes his wife shoppingAlan Hansen, a cheery chappy

So, England have qualified for the 2010 World Cup in style, gaining their place after a decisive 5-1 win over Croatia and with two qualifying games still to go. It would be nice to think this would be a cause for confidence in their chances of bringing home the trophy, but as we all know, for certain football pundits it will not be enough. I predict, by Saturday the naysayers will have crawled out of their luxury executive homes and will be saying something like this:

Orange-tinged Presenter: So, Cynical Former Footballer, what do you think of England’s chances in 2010?

Cynical Former Footballer: I don’t rate them highly. Yes, they beat Croatia 5-1 and qualified with two games to go to, but I’m not impressed. If it had been 25-1, maybe; if they’d qualified before they’d even kicked a ball, then I might have given them a chance, but not on this performance. It’s shoddy, very shoddy. In my day, we qualified for international competitions without even getting out of bed, we really were that good. And of course, we did it all without the advantages these lads have today. No hair gel for us, we had to play with ludicrous hair – you try scoring a header with a bubble perm! Steven Gerrard, pah! Doesn’t know he’s born.

Read more about the match at Caught Offside.

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