Supersized disappointment

After my jaunt to the land of  supersized portions, you might be wondering how the regime is faring. I’m still on track, aided by the cold which has robbed me of my appetite. The US wasn’t too bad. I had porridge for breakfast, salads for lunch and, for dinner, fish with vegetables. One night, I just couldn’t resist it, I had a half a dozen naked cowboys. They’re oysters.  Still, you’ve got to admit, it’s a catchy name.

My sister and brother-in-law are over in France for a few days vacation. It’s rare they venture over here in the October-March period even though they have a flat nearby. I’ve invited them round for dinner. Fortunately, I always have something in the freezer for such occasions, as I’ve not had either the time or the inclination to cook today. I’m feeling much better thanks to those whisky toddies so won’t be passing my germs on to them. I’m much less congested and the thumping headache has passed.

It started raining yesterday afternoon and it’s continued all day today. The forecast for later in the week is milder. I’m hoping to fit in a ride on Wednesday morning before going to Munich. Germany is also the land of pretty large portions so, again, restraint will be called for. Keep me away from the gluehwein, sausages and apple strudel.

My beloved boys in claret and blue played against Liverpool this evening. I was hoping for the revenge of the returning manager. But once again my (and Gerard’s) hopes were dashed. Liverpool, even shorn of the holy trinity of Torres, Carragher and Gerrard, proved too much for my boys. We went down 3-0 having created few chances and looked very static. Stuart Downing had a reasonable match, I couldn’t say that about anyone else. We’re still very much work-in-progress. Meanwhile, Liverpool can take much heart from the movement and speed up front of Babel, Dunn and Ngog.

Weight of expectation

There’s been a collective weeping, wailing and beating of breasts in France today after their football team lost 2-0 to Mexico. Most have them on the plane home already. I’ve no idea what L’Equipe made of it as there were no copies available today in the local newsagents. Maybe, they decided not to publish in protest. The Nice Matin called it “Honteux” (disgraceful) and most players, with the exceptions of Lloris and Malouda, who both scored 5, were awarded less than 4. I think the manager was a definite “nul” points.

Still, that’s not been the only surprise. I watched a bit of the Spain v Switzerland game. The Spanish were passing the ball around beautifully while the Swiss employed that time honoured tactic of the underdog: 11 men behind the ball. It worked. Casillas, the Spanish goalkeeper, fell asleep from boredom  and let in a Swiss goal.

Germany, who started brightly by scoring 4 goals in their first match, lost Klose and went down 1-0 this afternoon to the Serbs.

England, meanwhile,  laboured against Algeria, a team you could buy with the sale proceeds of Emile Heskey and still have change over. We’ve maintained our unbeaten run, but I’m pretty sure this was not what Fabio Capello ordered as his birthday treat. At times there was more action from the bench than on the pitch as he agonised, grimaced and gesticulated over England’s performance.

While David James looked commanding in yellow, back in his rightful place between the goalposts, the same could not be said of many of his teammates. Rooney was rubbish, Lampard lacklustre and Gerrard, by his own admission, lacked courage. It’s still all to play for next Wednesday afternoon against Serbia, a team that has already beaten Algeria.

The pundits have worked out that if England draw 2-2 against Serbia, and USA draw 0-0 with Algeria, the winner will be decided by drawing lots. Given our luck with games of chance and penalties, we’ll be keeping France company on the plane back.