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England v France – Live!

Big Match Pre-amble: So this is it, then. War online, apparently. Sven’s named his team, and it’s as predicted in every paper for the last 19 days.

England David James Gary Neville, Ashley Cole, Sol Campbell, Ledley King Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, David Beckham, Paul Scholes Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney

They’ll be chasing Gallic shadows in a 4-4-2 formation.

Likewise, France will be lining up 4-4-2: Coco The Clown Bixente Lizarazu, Mikael Silvestre, Lilian Thuram, William Gallas Zinedine Zidane, Claude Makelele, Patrick Vieira, Robert Pires Terry Henry, David Trezeguet

7.30pm pre-amble: An early crumb of comfort for England: Switzerland and Croatia could only share the spoils in the earlier Group B game, one of the dullest games in Euro history played out by two of the most inept collectives I’ve ever had the misfortune to see. If England can’t beat them both, I demand Sven’s head on a stick.

7.43pm pre-amble: Keep those emails coming, readers. That said, I can’t read any of them as we speak due to an unforeseen technical error. I’m guessing the gerbil in the wheel who generates power for my email has croaked, so I can’t read a damn thing you may or may not have sent in.

Meanwhile, it’s anthem time, and only Becks and David James are bothering to sing. It’s a disgrace, in my day etc. and so forth. We’re only moments away now, and Posh is pouting in the crowd…

The kick off: Missed the toss but England are kicking off, Are All Prada Products Made In Italy right to left as I look. White shirts, etc.

1 min: Early corner for France, cleared by Rooney to Vieira, who shoots over from 20 yards out. Confident start by the champions.

3 min: Early burst from Lampard down the right, whipped ball in cleared easily. They’re just sizing each other up at the moment, like surburban swingers sloshing Black Tower.

5 min: Nothing much going down. Beckham pinging a few speculative balls about the place, Zidane dancing about the midfield to no real effect. Early doors, etc.

8 min: Second corner for France, who are pinning England back. It glances off Silvestre’s shiny pate and trickles out for an England throw.

10 min: “Fancy a bribe?” asks Pablo, as the hamster twitches into life and England stroke the ball around at the back. “Your mate Barry Glendenning (el coruptee) and the other one whose name has slipped my memory for the moment took it.”

“Give us a plug on the web coverage and we will send you some nice juicy Cuban fat ones for free. What are we talking about? We’re talking Montecristo, Cohiba, Hoyo de Monterrey, whatever takes your fancy.”

13 min: You might have been able to buy Glendenning and the other one, but you won’t buy me, gringo.

If you think I’m about to mention Pablamos Cigars España (La coruña) for Cuban cigars direct to your home, you’ve misjudged my integrity. Are Prada Trainers Made In Vietnam And likewise with the website address, http://www.pablamos.com.

Some people, eh? [Same address, compadre]

15 min: First chance to France, with Trezeguet nipping between Campbell and King and arrowing a good header an inch over the bar. Calamity didn’t move.

18 min: Pushed back for long-ish periods, England are resorting to long, hopeful balls out wide, usually asking Rooney to chase them. It’s not working so far.

21 min: Black Prada Bag With Gold Apparently, your emails will eventually get through to me but we’re currently suffering some technical problem or other. Keep sending them though. Please. Meanwhile, Ledley King’s debut has passed off so far without incident. He looks assured so far.

23 min: As you might have guessed, France are getting most joy down their right, with Pires attacking his Arsenal team-mate Ashley Cole at every opportunity. From one such foray, Campbell is forced to clear from his six-yard line for a corner. It comes to nothing.

25 min: Another long, hopeful ball thrown into the box by Gerrard ends with a whistle against Owen for pushing Gallas. Very little from England so far – they’re being harried into mistakes and sloppy passes.

26 mins: Corner for England following a last-ditch tackle on Gerrard by Gallas. It comes to nothing but was their best moment so far.

28 mins: “I thought Coco was between the English posts?” sniffs Laura Geary, one of the four emails to have trickled through. And she has a point, but so far Calamity’s had very little to do/balls up. England are enjoying more possession, and Scholes hammers one high and wide from 25 yards.

30 mins: For the umpteenth time, Ashley Cole leaves his foot in on Robert Pires, who ignores his instincts and stays on his feet. Lampard goes in hard on Zidane and concedes a free-kick. It’s their clearly best bet.

33 mins: So far, mere huff and puff from Wayne Rooney, but that’s more than we’ve seen from Owen and Beckham. By the same token though, Henry doesn’t appear to have touched the ball yet.

36 mins: Still no sign of any emails, nor a goal or indeed those Pablamos Cigars España. Bah! Etc.

GOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALL!!!! England 1 – 0 France: From Beckham’s free-kick out on the right, Frank Lampard rises 12 yards out and buries one past Cocoa The Clown. It was never a free-kick, but who cares?

42 mins – England 1 – 0 France: Even better news, a few emails have finally arrived. I’ll give them a glance shortly, but for now Authentic Prada Handbags Wholesale I’m too busy watching England back on the back foot. Vieira has a free header from eight yards but makes a dog’s arse of it. Lucky escape, and England need to keep this lead until half time.

44 mins – England 1 – 0 France: “I’m shaving my hair off at half time!” announces Ray, apropos of absolutely nothing at all. Any reason, Ray?

Half time – England 1 – 0 France: The last action of the half sees Wayne Rooney waltz round Zinedine Zidane. It’s been an odd half, and England’s tails are well Biggest Prada Store London and truly up. Right, those emails…

46 mins – England Bicester Village London Prada 1 – 0 France: Things I learnt from your half-time emails – all six of them: The US sports networks would rather show women’s platform diving than Euro 2004. There are no cars on the streets of Montpellier. Kevin Brady is in the doghouse in Malibu And El Mundo is the latest outfit to attempt to ape the Guardian’s minute-by-minute coverage. It’ll be dull. They all are.

48 mins – England 1 – 0 France: Oh Christ, it’s Argentina 2002 again. France are pouring forward and this is going to be a long and hairy second half.

50 mins – England 1 – 0 France: Henry scuttles 50 yards and tests the mettle of David James’ ribs. He should have scored and if given such room again surely will. Ahem.

52 mins – England 1 – 0 France: Gary Neville charges Henry’s cross down with his arm in the penalty area, but the ref for some reason waves play on. Lucky call. Down the other end, Michael Owen gets his first touch of the ball and wins a free kick, which Lampard this time heads well over.

55 mins – England 1 – 0 France: Gary Neville’s bleeding from the head, the poor lamb. Henry did it, I saw him. With his stud. But while he’s bleeding, Beckham thumps a shot from 25 yards well over Coco’s bar.

57 mins – England 1 – 0 France: Authentic Prada Handbags Outlet Online It’s getting ugly out there, mainly because Wayne Rooney’s on the pitch. The portly scally just shoved Makelele in the chest for no apparent reason.

60 mins – England 1 – 0 France: Acres of space for Rooney down the left, but he trips over the ball three times in a manner not seen since Emile Heskey’s outing. It’s a rare foray into French territory and the ball just keeps coming back.

63 mins – England 1 – 0 France: The emails have dried up again, I’m afraid to say, so Best Prada Outlet In Florence I’m forced to focus on the game, which is getting niggly. Michael Owen makes his first decent contribution of the night, legging Vieira up as he gallops through the middle.

66 mins – England 1 – 0 France: This has got the last World Cup written all over it. The poor English lads look tired and are falling deeper and deeper, inviting trouble. The exception is Wayne Rooney, who’s playing like the hairy-arsed teenager he probably is.

68 mins – England 1 – 0 France: France are finding feet and cutting through England’s back line at will. Lizarazu rampages into the box and crosses to the back post, where Campbell heads it clear. This isn’t staying 1-0 for much longer. Michael Owen has gone off, 68 minutes too late for all the good he’s done, replaced by Darius Vassell. Oh dear.

PENALTY TO ENGLAND!! Silvestre bring the rampaging Rooney down, yellow card and penalty…

AH, HE’S SAVED IT!! Brilliantly, full-stretch to his right, beating away Beckham’s shot. The playboy did nothing wrong in truth, and Coco hasn’t read the script.

76 mins – England 1 – 0 France: And then, Coco the Clown resorts to type by saving Vassell’s daisy-cutter with his snout, though it did bounce nastily. Pure slapstick, but it’s fraying my nerves. A flurry of subs, with Pires off and Wiltord on for France. And, oh buggery, Heskey’s on for Rooney and Hargreaves on for Scholes.

79 mins – England 1 – Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Sale Uk 0 France: An email from Shane in Shenyang has somehow slipped through, in which he announces he’s smoking cheap Chinese fags in the early hours of Monday morning. Might I recommend Pablamos Cigars España, Shane? A fine smoke etc. and so on. Meanwhile, Willy Sagnol’s on for Silvestre, who should have been sent off.

82 mins – England 1 – 0 France: England look to be enjoying second wind and are finally coming forward. Long ball from Hargreaves to Heskey, headed back to Barthez. Text book defending from the big England hoss.

84 mins – England 1 – 0 France: Gerrard tracks back 50 yards and nicks the ball of Zidane’s boot with a textbook sliding tackle. “Is Beckham playing,” asks Euroresidentes, though I’m guessing that’s not his proper name. Good question, and but for the fact he missed the penalty I’d say probably not. He, like Owen, has been well below average.

86 mins – England 1 – 0 France: Hate to tempt fate, but France appear to have shot their bolt. Still plenty of possession but they’ve hardly troubled David James all night and are relying on long, hopeful balls into the box.

88 mins – England 1 – 0 France: From 12 yards, Willy Sagnol tries his luck and should score, were it not for Ledley King throwing his frame in the way to deflect the ball wide. He’s been heroic tonight, Ledley King.

GOAL! England 1 – 1 France Textbook Zidane free-kick from 20 yards out, bent past the wall and into David James’ bottom right-hand corner. James didn’t move, and you can’t say they don’t deserve it. AND NOW THEY’VE GOT A PENALTY!

GOAL!! England 1 – 2 France Zidane penalty, placed in the exact same place. I’m not making this up. Horrific back-pass from Gerrard, picked up by Henry who nipped past David James and yelped as the big mug clattered him and earned a ridiculous yellow card. Should have been red.

Full-time: England 1 – 2 France What the hell happened there? England’s players have just trudged off shaking their heads and looking shell-shocked, as well they might. France dominated possession, particularly in the second Agata Ruiz De La Prada Shop On Line half, but that was the cruellest defeat you can imagine. Far more cruel than Man United’s mugging of Bayern in 1999. They’ve got to bounce back on Thursday, and Sven will have to earn some of the fat wad he trousers. Oh dear, oh dear. That was absolutely incredible. Cruel, and in many ways, highly amusing. Good night. Especially if you’re French.

What do you think?

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