Simon Grayson has been managing in the lower tiers of English football for over a decade now. The Sunderland job is the biggest job he has taken yet and the first time he has lead a team expecting promotion to the Premier League. Does he have what it takes to take Sunderland back up at the first time of asking?
52 Years of hurt by the time the 2018 World Cup comes round. England fans have been depressed for generations now and for good reason. We have not won a knockout game at a tournament for 11 years, we lost to Iceland a year ago this week and our golden generation has just gone by without winning a carrot. But as with everything else, us Englishmen can make an excuse as to why this is happening. When you really look into it, it could be argued that we should have won almost every World Cup and a few European Championships since 1966 here are the reasons why.
England went into the 1970 with arguably a better side than the one that won the competition 4 years prior. In the same tournament that Gordon Banks produced the “save of the century.” he was stricken with food poisoning just days before our Quarter Final with Germany. His replacement was Peter “The Cat” Bonetti. It’s fair to say that Bonetti had the worst game of his career with England throwing away a 2-0 lead against Germany to lose 3-2 due to some very soft goals. With Gordon Banks between the sticks, this would never have happened and England would have won the World Cup for the 2nd time.
1974 & 1978 Did not qualify
Can’t really judge us on a tournament we didn’t play in. Fair enough West Germany and Argentina can keep these trophies
1982: Stupid Format
The 1982 World Cup contained 2 group stages, one group of 4, where the top 2 teams progressed much like modern World Cups, this was then followed by a 2nd group stage containing 3 teams where the top team progresses. England topped their first group with 3 wins and 6 points. Bizarrely a win was only worth 2 points at this tournament. Then in the second group, England were put with hosts Spain and eventual runners-up Germany. In both our group games we drew 0-0 and were out. England were eliminated from the 1982 World Cup conceding only 1 goal and not losing a single game. Obviously, if we were using a proper format in 1982 we would have won the World Cup. We never even lost a game to get eliminated.
1986: You know the story
This World Cup takes the cake. If there was ever a time to complain as an England fan it is in 1986. Diego Maradona punched the ball into the net and the referee allowed it to stand. He then went on to score one of the best goals ever for Argentinas winner. Nevertheless, he should have been sent off prior to the winner giving England a spot in the Semi-Finals against Belgium which we would have won with ease. Leading to a final against West Germany which could have been another England win giving us another World Cup triumph. With Gary Lineker in the form of his life picking up the Golden Boot award I find it hard to believe that there was a team on the planet that could have beaten us fairly.
1990: The first of many
The England national team is just terrible at penalties and this great tradition started in 1990. Getting beat by West Germany in our first ever penalty shootout and being eliminated from Italia 90 in the semi-finals is just bad luck. On another day we would have gone through to the final and walked past Argentina as they got 2 men sent off that day.
Euro 1992: Denmark didn’t even qualify!
Denmark won Euro 92 beating Germany 2-0 in the final. But the thing is they didn’t even qualify for the tournament, to begin with. They were invited because Yugoslavia broke up before the tournament began so they had to bring in a team to make up the numbers. Denmark were subsequently drawn into England’s group and drew 0-0 with us costing us the points that would have allowed us to qualify from the group. If you swap Denmark for Yugoslavia we qualify from the group in place of them and go on to win the tournament in similar fashion
1994 Didn’t qualify
Once again fair enough. Brazil can keep this one
Euro 96: Gazza’s miss and penalties again
On any other day, Paul Gascoigne puts us 2-1 up against Germany and we go into the Semi-Finals of the European Championships at Wembley and bring football home. But it wasn’t to be. Gazza mistimed the run and his leg was an inch too short to poke the ball home. Instead, we had to suffer through another penalty shootout loss which is again just bad luck.
1998: Two farces and the same story
Three things can be argued as to why England should have beaten Argentina in the 1998 World Cup 2nd round. David Beckhams sending off for “kicking out” at Diego Simeone was ridiculous and we would’ve won the game with Becks on the pitch. Sol Campbell scored a completely legitimate winner late in the game that would’ve seen England win. And once again England were knocked out just due to bad luck because of penalties. If any of these decisions go in the other direction we may very well have won that World Cup.
World Cup 2002: Jump David!
In hindsight the only thing that stopped England winning the 2002 World Cup is David Seamans inability to jump. Our first World Cup with our golden generation was ruined when Ronaldinho scored one of the most audacious free kicks I have ever seen. But this goal is easily avoided if David Seaman was to just jump and tip it over the bar. It isn’t a hard shot to stop at all and it is a mistake that lives long in the memories of England fans
Euro 2004 and 2006: More of the same
To be eliminated in the Quarter finals twice on penalties in 2 years is bad enough but the fact that these two tournaments mirror the 1998 second round so much is uncanny. Firstly in 2004 Sol Campbell scored what would have been the winner again. Only for it to be disallowed again. In 2006 Wayne Rooney was sent off in similar fashion to David Beckham 8 years prior. With Cristiano Ronaldo playing the villain this time helping get Rooney sent off with his infamous wink.
World Cup 2010: It crossed the line.
This one still infuriates me to this very day. While I am writing this we are exactly 7 years on from this. I still am not over it. They say goals change games and never would this have been more prominent than if Lampard’s goal was given this day. Upson’s goal was exactly what England needed and only a minute later England had gotten another. Or so it seemed. The goal wasn’t given despite it being clearly over the line. For Germany to throw away a two goal lead in two minutes would have demoralised the Germans and going into half time it would have been a completely different game. Because the goal wasn’t given Englands heads dropped and they went on to lose 4-1 but I am certain that if the referee had made the right call that day England would have won that game and maybe even the whole tournament.
Euro 2012: Penalties again
We should really practice penalties, shouldn’t we?
World Cup 2014 & Euro 2016: No excuses
These are the first two tournaments in my lifetime that I can look back on and say “We didn’t go further because we were bad.” losing to Iceland is the most embarrassed I have ever been and finishing bottom of the group in Brazil isn’t far behind.
Harrison Dunk has played over 200 games for Cambridge United now and is well on his way to becoming a legend at the Abbey Stadium. He has played through Cambridge United’s best spell since the 80s playing through a promotion and an FA Trophy win. Cambridge missed out on the playoffs by only 4 points last season and will be looking to make the step up this season. Here’s what Harrison had to say to us.
Most Fulham fans would agree that Barry Hayles is a legend of the club. Playing at Craven Cottage in 3 different divisions and scoring plenty of goals. This week we got the opportunity to speak to Barry Hayles about his time at the club and his career as a whole. Continue reading “Fulham Legend Barry Hayles speaks to Charles Jones Sports in an exclusive interview. “
Sorry about missing yesterday everyone had a very busy day at the FC Halifax Town Golf Day. Here are the tips for a day in which short price favourites should get the job done. Back my tips here.
2:30 Albany Stakes
Alpha Centauri 11/4
Has been incredible over her two starts at Naas already the only slight concern you could possibly have is that she hasn’t run on ground this quick yet. But based on her first two runs should be a winner here today.
3:05 King Edward VII Stakes
A horse that I watched win the Dante at York in May beating yesterday’s winner BenBatl and the favourite in this race Crystal Ocean comfortably in the process. That was on quick ground as well so it may suit Permian today. Bad outing at Epsom last time but should be a contender if back to it’s best today.
3:40 Commenwealth Cup
Aiden O’Brien and Ryan Moore team up again here on a horse that is unbeaten. Won the Coventry stakes here a year ago and won the Phoenix stakes at Curragh last year as well. Very talented horse and should win this one easily. Shouldn’t be any shocks in this race.
4:20 Coronation Stakes
Winter to win by and up to 3 lengths evens
This race should be over before it even begins. Winter the 1,000 Guineas winner is a class above the rest of the field and to win by up to and including 3 lengths is good value. Over 7F the winning distance is rarely more than 3 lengths and winter should get the job done.
5:00 Queens Vase
Count Octave 9/1
Finished very strongly in the Chester Vase a few weeks ago coming right from the back of the field to finish a respectable 5th. The step up in trip here could suit it to a tee and it should at least get you an each way return.
5:35 Duke Of Edinburgh stakes
Always hard to call a large field handicap but appeared seems like he has a good chance in this. With the better horses in this race Wadigor and Top Tug carrying more weight than they’re used to. With Wadigor winning by significantly less last time out and taking another step up in weight today. Appeared has a good chance ridden by Andrea Atzeni it won very well at this course last month and could do the same today.
Day one went ok for anyone following my tips with two winners in the first race. Churchill was shown up in a shock. Here are today’s tips as always bet on today’s tips here. http://www.bet365.com/dl/~offer?affiliate=365_639602
Royal Ascot is one of the flat meetings of the season and a lot of money is gambled over this period. Here’s your best bets for Tuesday’s racing
2:30 Queen Anne Stakes
Ribchester will not lose this race. Been a brilliant horse throughout the past couple of years and is probably at longer odds than it should be due to a 3rd place finish in March where it should have won. If I was to place an each way bet in this race it would be Mutakayyef at 6/1, 3rd in the Juddmonte at York last year in a very impressive performance and beat another runner in this race Dutch Connection here last year
Back this tip here
3:05 Coventry Stakes
De Bruyne Horse 6/1
Named after one of the best footballers in the world this is one of the best horses in the race. Winning both starts over 6f finishing very strongly in both outings at both Epsom and Ripon. Should be there or thereabouts in this race if it runs its best.
3:40 Kings Stand Stakes
Won 3 of last 4 starts. Beat Ryan Moore’s ride in this race Washington DC comfortably last time out after being beaten by it in May so it seems to be improving in every run. Another horse that finished well. Lady Aurelia goes into this as favourite and I don’t think that it will win as it has never impressed me.
4:20 St James Palace Stakes
Churchill should easily win this one. So impressive as the 2,000 Guineas winner and a short price favourite with the combination of Aiden O’Brien and Ryan Moore should never lose. But at 8/13 it is not a price that many people will back. Maybe you are best off just adding it to an accumulator to improve the odds as it will win. But if you want a longer odds bet in this race the forecast of Churchill and Barney Roy won’t come in at astronomical odds but should land comfortably.
5:00 Ascot Stakes Handicap
A horse that I saw win impressively in York last year at 6/1 runs Tuesday at 11/1 and can not be ignored. Had a poor run of form since the win in York but placed 2nd last time out. The poor run of form should lead to it carrying less weight in the handicap giving it a much better chance to win. Quick ground suits him and with the weather forecast, it could all fall into place for Oceane to be an 11/1 winner.
5:35 Windsor Castle Stakes.
Nootka Sound 5/1
Anything could win this race. In such a big field form can go right out of the window if the horse gets a bad draw or gets out of the blocks slowly. But anything with Frankie Dettori on its back has a good chance.
Back on all of my tips at Bet 365 sign up here to get a bonus on your first deposit. Please gamble responsibly