A first time footballer is back, having watched a World Cup warm-up game between England and Ecuador. What did they learn from the match and has it inspired them to be glued to the TV set over the next few weeks?
I do have two very fond memories of previous World Cups. Firstly, when I was in prep 4, my teacher, a huge football boffin, had a TV permanently in our classroom playing whatever games were on – we had our multiplication books out ready to pretend that we were hard at work. Secondly, I just so happened to be in Spain when they won the competition in 2010. The atmosphere was absolutely electric and we all rushed to the main square afterwards and partied all night long!
Despite these memories, it’s safe to say that, as a ‘first time footballer’, I won’t be tuning into every World Cup match – in fact, I’d be surprised if I even catch every England game. Furthermore, all my football fanatic friends will be facing a tricky dilemma this summer because the World Cup final is on my 21st birthday!
I did, however, manage to watch the second half of England vs. Ecuador – a friendly game before the real thing. I can’t say I was particularly impressed by much of the play however England’s second goal was pretty slick looking as Ross Barkley niftily assisted Rickie Lambert to a lovely shot at goal (I did have to check with Google who these two people were…).
Being fairly ignorant of the rules and regulations of football means that I tend to pay more attention to the players themselves and their reactions to what is happening throughout the matches. The thing that particularly caught my attention during this game was the spat between Valencia and Sterling (thanks to Google again for confirmation). I’m told that it was quite a bad challenge from Sterling but it certainly didn’t look there was any malicious intent behind it. I’m not the first to say that Valencia’s reaction was over the top and, quite frankly, embarrassing. Although Sterling made a poor challenge, you have to accept that in football, as in all sport, things happen so quickly that you often have to act in a split second and people make mistakes like that. Nobody was injured and the game carried on as normal after that point. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the referee had spotted Sterling’s mistake and would have red carded him for it with or without the subsequent conflict – Valencia’s red card could have easily been avoided.
What do you think about this incident, or similar ones? Is it an unnecessary overreaction or does it show a real passion for the game? Tweet us at @0riginalfooty