Ladies, ever loved your boyfriend so much you could do anything for him but you notice that when it comes to football hour, you’re clueless and don’t feel the love he has for you?
You don’t have to worry anymore. Instead, Just join in the action. No need to sit there in silence while your partner’s glued to the television – here’s how to sound like a football guru
What to say before/ during England v Italy
“Look out for Buffon crying”
The Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon always cries during the national anthem. He’s a devoted nationalist and the song moves him to tears, every time.
“Hodgson’s scared of Italy, so he’ll go for Welbeck”
The big selection dilemma in the England v Italy game is the attacking midfielders: Danny Welbeck or Raheem Sterling? Sterling, who plays for Liverpool is a much younger and exciting player, who’s more likely to attack. Welbeck is a more conservative player and the unpopular choice but Roy Hodgson, the England coach, is nervous about Italy and will probably pick Welbeck.
“Pirlo plays as good as he looks”
Andrea Pirlo, the Italian footballer with a love of fine wine, is an extremely sophisticated player. He’s seen as a genius who can turn a game very quickly and was dominant when England played Italy in 2012 and were knocked out of the European championships. Can he be stopped?
“I wonder how Balotelli will cope with playing against his former teammates?”
Italian forward Mario Balotelli used to play at Manchester City with England players Joe Hart and James Milner. It will be interesting to see how they work as opponents.
After the England game
“Where are we watching Ivory Coast v Japan?”
Ivory Coast plays Japan at 2am UK time so, when everyone’s drunk and celebrating/commiserating the result at 1am, start looking forward to the next match. Neither team are football giants, so this is definitely one for the purists.
Any match, any time
“Of course, this isn’t Roy Hodgson’s first World Cup”
England coach Roy Hodgson previously managed the Switzerland team in the 1994 World Cup.
“England won’t have trouble with a painted pitch — they’ll have the ball in the air anyway”
Photos have emerged of ground staff appearing to cover up dry patches on the pitch by painting brown patches green. But a bad pitch should only affect teams that play a very artful and tidy game that’s very technical, with plenty of short passes. England don’t play pretty football, and will be putting the ball in the air more often than Italy.
“England will never win unless they change training in schools”
The English Premier League is very strong but the country is weak internationally. One theory is that English players are psychologically incapable of coping with major championships, and that the way football is taught in school needs to change. The best teams are extremely technically gifted at ball trapping and passing accurately, while England kids get ahead by being big and strong. England haven’t managed to progress to keep up with the new age of football.
“It’s Rooney’s last chance to prove himself”
Wayne Rooney has never scored a goal at the World Cup and Paul Scholes recently claimed that the forward is past his best. Rooney hasn’t had a good year, with Manchester United playing terribly, and so this is a big tournament for him. Will he fulfil his promise?
“Shame about the centre back pairing”
Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka make up the England centre back pair, and are nowhere near as good as Rio Ferdinand and John Terry in their pomp, who used to hold the positions. And before that, England had Sol Campbell and Tony Adams, so these two have very big shoes to fill.
“Perhaps the new generation won’t be such a disappointment”
There are a few new players to revive England’s hopes this year. Adam Lallana plays for Southampton — though probably won’t for much longer — and Leighton Baines has finally displaced Ashley Cole as left back. Huge things were expected of Beckham, Cole, Gerrard, Lampard, Rooney and Fredinand, but they didn’t come to much. Hopefully the younger players will be less of a let down.
A few technical terms
“I could see Rooney thriving in a false 9”
Designating two players as strikers is seen as somewhat outdated, so some teams have just one and some have none at all. Instead, there are players in between midfield and attack who drift around a bit more. England probably aren’t good enough to pull this off, but it sounds impressive.
“Will they use Welbeck as an inverted winger?”
Traditionally, the right winger is right-footed, so he can run ahead and cross the ball over easily. Using a left-footed man on the right wing is quite a trendy tactic, and England might just try it with Welbeck.
“They’ve parked the bus, they’re really scared now”
When a team are worried about losing, they “park the bus”, which means they focus strongly on defence and trying to block the ball from goal—almost as if they parked a bus in front of it.