July 1st, 2006

International Kittens of Mystery

I am much beset my kittens

In one of those 'it seemed like a good idea at the time' moments I was persuaded that getting another kitten would make our life easier. The abandoned fawn and dark brown tabby that we found under the dustbins needed something else to play with besides my leg. So, we looked in the paper and ... became the proud owners of a smoky grey and black Wan Tom Persian of the male and playful persuasion. What's a Wan Tom Persian? A Persian cross Wandering Tom - giving him his mother's face and looks and his father's wandering feet.

Now, my legs and keyboard are beset by two kittens. There is much fighting and some spitting. Not all of which comes from the cats.
International Kittens of Mystery

Magic Pendulum sacked

"I'm gutted," says Magic. "How was I to know the Italians brought their own referee! And I did get the Germany result right."

It's tough being a pundit.

Which brings us to today's two games. First up we have England v Portugal. On performances so far, Portugal are favourites but they are without Deco and probably Ronaldo too. And England ... well they're England, which in this World Cup is best summed up as a team in search of plan.

We went into the competition with a 4-4-1-1 formation. Owen up front, Rooney tucked in behind and the best midfield in the world. Then Owen and Rooney broke their metatarsals, fought to recover in time and then Owen's knee went. And Sven didn't bring any extra forwards as cover. Result - we're experimenting with a new formation in the middle of a tournament. Rooney's playing as sole striker - which is not his position - and Sven is playing with 5 in midfield instead of four. The only possible reason for all this is that Sven has money on England and is trying to drive up the odds by making it more difficult.

So, what will happen this afternoon? England have five proven world class match winners. In previous matches one or two of them have clicked and scored - Cole, Gerard and Beckham. One day all five have to play well together. While I'm not sure this will be that game, I think England have too many exceptional players for them all to fail and expect England to win but with the usual spattering of self-destructive behaviour.

Next up is France v Brazil. Brazil are favourites but France are hitting form at the right time. For some reason - maybe Fate, maybe neatness - I think this is the year of all European semi finals. But it'll be close. Even though Ronaldo's about a stone overweight and can only play in bursts - he's still scored three goals so far. And it's not over until the fat man swings.

What price an England Germany final?