Arsenal At The World Cup #2: Jack Kelsey & Dave Bowen 1958

Sweden 1958 and Pele was launched upon an unsuspecting world, his hat-trick in the final entering into football folklore. It was also the only tournament to date where all four home nations qualified for the finals. England had qualified undefeated in their campaign, eliminating the Republic of Ireland and Denmark. Northern Ireland went into their final game against Italy in Belfast knowing that victory would see them qualify; a 2 – 1 victory sent them to the top of their group. Despite a 4 – 1 thrashing in Madrid, Scotland qualified ahead of the Spaniards and Swiss.

The Welsh seemed destined to miss out, finishing as runners-up to Czechoslovakia but politics intervened. Israel had been drawn to play Indonesia, Egypt and Sudan. The former pair withdrew in the CAF second round whilst the Sudanese pulled out in the final round. Fifa, ever the compromise artists, decided that a European runner-up should play-off against Israel. When Belguim declined, Wales stepped in and duly won both legs 2 – 0, reaching their first and so far only, World Cup finals.

Drawn alongside hosts Sweden, Mexico and Hungary, the Welsh believed the could qualify. For Hungary 1954 seemed a lifetime away. Soviet Union military crushed the 1956 revolution and many of the ‘Magnificient Magyars‘ had left the country. The 1958 squad containing just six players who had travelled to the 1954 tournament.

For Wales, it was their ‘classic’ line-up. In goal, Jack Kelsey was outstanding, a world class goalkeeper who made 352 appearances for Arsenal between 1949 and 1962 before going on to run the club shop until the 1980s. Kelsey is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers ever to don the Arsenal jersey, his performances in Sweden widely held as the reason for Welsh progression.

Often overlooked in this campaign, in Arsenal terms, was Dave Bowen. Having started his career at Northampton, Bowen joined Arsenal in 1951, going on to make 162 appearances for the club. Like Kelsey, he was part of the London XI which was defeated 8-2 on aggregate by Barcelona in the first Fairs Cup Final.  Bowen was to win nineteen full caps for his country, the 1958 World Cup finals were the pinnacle with the Arsenal man named captain despite the presence of other, more famous names.

For Arsenal Football Club, it was the first time that a current player had appeared in the finals. Laurie Scott had travelled with the ill-fated England team to Brazil in 1950 whilst future Gunners Mel Charles and Don Howe would also be in Sweden.

Under the current system, Wales would not have qualified for the Quarter Finals. They drew all three group games against Mexico, Hungary and Sweden, one of the two games that the hosts failed to win all tournament, the other being a 2 – 5 reverse in the final. Finishing level with Hungary, this was a time when equality of points meant a play-off. The Hungarians had scored more and a better goal average. It mattered not. They would have progressed today. As it was, their main objective was to stop John Charles in the play-off and hope for the best.

When Tichy scored just after half an hour, they achieved the second objective. The first was to prove costly for Wales, Charles suffering an injury that would end his participation in the competition thanks to overly robust defending by the Hungarians. Many believe that had he been fit, the Brazilians might not have progressed. That they did was despite the best efforts of Kelsey. The level of his performance can be gauged by the fact that a nation not noted for appreciating their own goalkeepers called him “The Cat With Magnetic Claws“.

Wales 2 – 1 Hungary

Wales 0 – 1 Brazil

Read more about this endeavour by Wales in In the Shadow of a Giant and King John.

Posted on June 1, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Soccer, World Cup 2010 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 138 Comments.

  1. shit!!bb!

  2. wow personal best for me!! i think bigbrovar has this fixed with YW!!!!!!!!

  3. LimparAssist

    So John Charles was a centreback as well as a centre forward? Bit like Dion Dublin then…

    Was there a World Cup in which Scotland qualified, but they’d lost to England in an earlier qualifying game so they said ‘We’ll only go if we beat the English…’ The game was set up and Scotland were beaten but England said, ‘Oh come on, don’t be silly, you can still come…’ but the Scots said ‘No. We f*cked it up. We’re not going anywhere… you doss English so-and-sos…’ ?

    Or have I just dreamt that up?

  4. When Jack Kelsey was in charge of the Arsenal shop he was a right miserable f****r.Bit like Blakey in On The Buses

  5. HAHAH…..we arent signing,GOURCOUFF,COLE!! http://www.arsenal.com/news/transfer-links/transfer-linked-gourcuff-cole-and-powell. ahhhaa ,they listed gourcouff as a DEFENDER!!!

  6. Wales in the world cup.So funny.It will never happen again.They will always get hard groups(Italy and Germany in recent years) so they have no chance.Even though they have produced great players over the years Giggs Rush Southall etc

  7. Joe Cole went to my old school.He is an Islington boy and was brought up a Gooner

  8. LimparAssist

    Oh for fuck sake, Capello. You fucking dickhead.

  9. Silver Gunner

    Anyone worried about what this will do to Walcotts already fragile confidence?

    This could either be the making or destruction of him.

  10. So that’s official then. Now I don’t think Wenger will have too much trouble lifting Theo come the new season. He will be up for it and raring to go, giving his all for the Arsenal, with a strong focus on how he can improve further still. England’s loss will be our gain. No problem.

  11. Hark – I played against Joe Cole as a kid in Islington and what struck me most about him was the great attitude he had. Despite being repeatedly kicked and tripped he always played with a smile.

    He was a very skillful player even at the age of 13, I feel it is slowly being coached out of him at Chelsea, which is a shame.

  12. No destruction, Silver gunner. We will be there to back him all the way next season. 20 goals from Theo 2010/2011

  13. Silver Gunner

    but we still dont know…….

    Just let us know the full list already this is beyond a fooking joke.

  14. Poor Theo, he must be devastated to get this far and not make the final cut. He is paying the price for Capello and Pearce forcing him to play in both the senior and U21 campaigns last summer, against Wenger’s advice. He came back crocked and was unable to get a proper season.

  15. Silver Gunner

    mingus i hope you are right but if the reports are to be believed i feel dissapointed by Capello after his heroics in Croatia.

    FFS and heskey if that donkey goes i will be even more pissed.

  16. What the fuck.

    WHAT THE FUCK??!!

    DID ANYONE WATCH THE GAME AGAINST MEXICO??

    Its times like this I feel like I know nothing about football.

    I hope England don’t get out of their fucking group.

  17. 1 loose cannon

    So theo doesn’t make the world. I really thought he would be the secret weapon for england to come on and change the game. I admit he is not a starter but definitely an impact player, he did on many occasion for Arsenal. How can the likes of heskey, Swp, lennon who have contributed nothing so far.

  18. Limestonegunner

    unlucky, theo. Maybe this is what he needs–he has to concentrate on club first. England will come if he shows success at Arsenal. Until then it has been a big distraction and a great deal of pressure.

  19. This England team under Capello has had 1 single highlight worth talking about….and that was the win in Zagreb with Walcott’s brilliant hat-trick.

    France-lost against
    Spain-lost against
    Brazil-lost against

    Flattering to decieve. I am fuming.

  20. Come on Theo next season show this sorry England outfitt what they missed out on in South Africa.

    Wenger will know what to say to Theo to turn this into a possitive.

    I’m not a manager…and I don’t propose to understand the balance of the squad more than Capello, but I just cannot for the life of me understand why they would leave out one of their better players.

    Beggars belief.

  21. He’ll be at his peak next time around – bound to be in the squad unless he’s injured.

  22. LimparAssist

    As an Arsenal fan I can see the positives in Theo not going – this England team really are shit and the way Theo gets isolated and underused on the right wing doesn’t do his game any favours. One less player to get injured at the World Cup.

    As an Englishman I am very pissed off with Capello. Awful decision.

  23. What has SWP done recently?

    Did theo come off the bench and score against Barcellona?

    I dont care what anyone says or writes, he was Englands best player against Mexico.

    He did more than enough to warrant his place on the plane.

    SWP and Joe fucking Cole going is a real kick in the teeth for the boy.

    End of Rant.

  24. I agree Limpar.

    It’s just that this is going to realy hurt the kid. He’ll have every justification to feel that the world is against him about now.

    And as an Englishman I have to say…….COME ON HOLLAND

  25. I think he can run very fast and, er……

  26. @Hark would that be St. Aloysius?

  27. deano your a prick fuck off to holland then.

  28. john

    OK I’ll fuck off to Holland, whilst you sit in the rain watching a bunch of over-egoed moraly bankrupt criminals play anti football and get knocked out by the first team thats above average.

    How does that sound?

  29. For the player it is obviously disappointing but not entirely surprising either.

    He has not been consistent this season, primarily due to injury, and Lennon has better statistics than Walcott, ie more assists.

    I think it is indicative that Heskey or Crouch is going to start every game and Capello needs someone who can cross consistently.

    Walcott does not play in a team that uses that plays this way every week so in that respect, his exclusion makes sense.

    YW

  30. Yogi

    I suppose when you put it like that.

    But Shaun-Wright-Phillips? Realy?

  31. or you get behind your country regardless of some cunts who play for them.

    we could of had loads of england players but arsene chose another way.

  32. LimparAssist

    Yup. That does make sense. I think Lennon has widely been considered above Theo in the right wing pecking order for some time. But SWP? Naaah. Bad decision. Theo’s end of season form was very good for us, while Shaun was being kept out of the City side by Adam Johnson.

  33. wb. no mate. i’m over here

  34. It speaks volumes that Adam Johnson almost made it into the England squad, almost entirely because he is left footed. Why has a country like England not produced a decent left footed midfielder since…..I don’t know when.

    I agree with YW, except to say regardless of his crossing ability, if Walcott was left footed, he would be amongst the first names in the squad. Are we seriously relying on a defender to produce all our width and crossing from the left?

  35. Silver Gunner

    Its high time walcott stopped getting seen as a right winger which he is not he is a strike the problem is he will never play as striker at arsenal as wenger has shown no sign of wanting to move him infield.

    Shame cause like Deano said he consistenly beat him full back against mexico but was poor against Japan. But i dont care what anyone says he is a better finisher than SWP and lennon.

    Lets hope wenger gives him the pep talk that he will undoubtedly need.

  36. Always thought that Lennon would start over TW14, StevieGBH or Cole for England on the left.

    (So Cole didn’t go to the Grove? Who was the last AFC first team player to come from Highbury Grove School? I have no idea.)

    I thought Lennon was one of Englands better players last time out, a shame he was dropped back to the bench for Goldenballs, but not surprising.

    But as expained above by others,
    SWP over TW14?

    A dodgy one on the Capello Index.
    No doubt, it’s a stinker.

  37. The truth is when everone is fit Theo does not get in Arsenals starting line up.He’s an impact sub for Arsenal and thats it.I have been disappointed in the 4 years at the club he still hasnt got a football brain when playing with such great players.Yes he has pace but his final ball is poor.Even though he is a Spud we have to hold our hands up and say Lennon deserves to go to the world cup on form

  38. I’d have taken TW14 over Heskey.
    He’s scored more goals!

    That’s because he is a forward.

    Catastrophists will now attempt to apply the logic that AW is to blame for Theo’s failure, for playing him on the ‘whinge’ when he’s not a ‘proper whinger’.

    Unfortunately, they’ll be proven wrong again. TW14 will play as a ‘forward’.

  39. Silver Gunner

    Walcott will always be seen as a right winger until he plays centrally for Arsenal. No point in getting bent out of shape over it; ’tis done and that is that.

    YW

  40. Silver Gunner

    Well i will be supporting england but i really feel we have missed trick here.

    And why take 3 keepers that is just a waste if you ask me, better you have an additional out field player.

  41. Silver Gunner

    aye YW i am just venting.

  42. Hark

    1. If everyones fit Walcott MAY still satrt for Arsenal. Depends who we play.

    2. Hasn’t got a football brain? What does that even mean? Did you watch the season before last? Before Walcott was stopped by injury? He was in inspired form for long periods and still only 20.

    3. Lennon is marginaly more consistent. He’s also just as injury prone….And it only seems a year or so ago now when he had dissapeared, people adamant that he was just pace and nothing more. Things change quickly don’t they Hark….so lets support him and he will get better.

    He has desire, a good attitude on and off field, respect and humility. Plus bags of talent. He should be going to World Cup 2010, no two ways about it.

    But I’m convinced the ridiculous nature of the snub will SPUR him on.

    har har

  43. Plus Michael Carrick has been picked. The world has gone mad.

  44. Your time will come Walcott, be encouraged.

    Forward line looks rather weak!

  45. LimparAssist

    Quality, deano.

    No football brain. Pfft.

    In your face, Hark, in your face.

  46. The problem I see with him not being sent is that he offers something that no one else has, his speek obviously. He could prove the difference maker in the end of matches.

    We will see how it pans out.

  47. LimparAssist

    Fred Trueman might remark to Capello, “…wasted on thee, lad, wasted on thee.”

  48. I had been figuring out how I was going to suppress chanting “Theo, Theo, Theo” while sporting my USA jersey at the Royal Bakofeng stadium next week as he put one or two by us, but I guess I won’t have that problem. Still can’t figure out why it was supposedly TW14’s fault that Rooney either ran offside or failed to get onto his crosses against Mexico. I’d take Theo over Lennon or SWP any day of the week, particularly since Theo is the only one who could cover for Rooney in an emergency, and would take two of those three (plus Johnson) over keeping so many center backs, holding mids, keepers, and Heskey. Odd selections.

  49. What is the likelyhood Walcott can even make the Arsenal team next season?

  50. earflow

    the same likelihood as you coming out with something un-intelligent.

  51. Flint McCullough

    I think all 4 home nations went to the 1958 WC in Sweden. The only time this has happened.

    Wales & NI reached the 1/4 finals from the group stage.

    Jack Kelsey was my first favorite & by all reports literally kept Wales in the game against Brazil. No one could catch a ball like Jack.

    My biggest memory of Dave Bowen was him sitting on his arse after 1 of the 3 goals lowly Northampton, his old club, scored to knock us out of the cup.

    John Charles was an equally good CB or CF but I never saw him play, in fact most of his English league football was in the old 2nd Division. He was a star player for Juventus for many years, mainly as a CF.

    Theo has not had a consistent run of games since joining us. If he had managed to keep fit he would have made much more progress. For me, he has never been really ready for international football. His pace makes him an ideal impact sub but Capello has decided that was not enough. I don’t disagree with him.

    Perhaps this will take a bit of the pressure, of expectation, off him, so that we can see more of what we know he is capable of but not seen often enough.

  52. *

  53. Well, I guess now I have no reason to watch England games in the world cup.

    I’m not disappointed Theo was not picked up. Wenger told him before, he needs to concentrate on his club first. In the past he put country first and look what happened to him? Overplayed, injured, then omitted from the National team.

    I hope he learned a lesson.

  54. I agree about the “taking pressure off Theo” observation. And I think it won’t be a difficult piece of management for AW to guide Theo into the right state-of-mind. Think about it, disappointing? Yes. End of the world? Not by a long way. Theo will still become an Arsenal great in a few years.

  55. I have no doubt TW14 will be one of the stars of world cup 2014.

  56. YW,

    Great article. I watched and cheered at (along with our other lads), Jack Kelsey before he said “i ‘ate you, Butler”.(Thanks for the laugh, Gooner Al).

    Shame about Theo. At least, he won’t get injured.

  57. 1 loose cannon

    Flint. I don’t agree. Walcott should’ve gone he is devastating against teams who play high defensive line. Specially last 20 minutes of the game. I would include him in the squad instead of Upson who in my opinion is a waste of space. And how about heskey what is the point ? Walcott is the only player who can offer something different when things are not going well. Capello was sacked by madrid because he plays dull football. He has put together a bunch of old players, no pace no excitement just dull. A lot of slow defenders will delighted walcott is not going .

  58. Bouldy's Friend

    We have not produced a single national player for years but Arsene Wenger continues to develop players for the French national team.

    May be its time French fans pay his wages.

  59. ^^^TWAT

  60. Bouldy's Friend

    No reason to support England? Since all of you wants Arsene to bring in French players season after season, why not support the cheating French.

  61. Emile William Ivanhoe Heskey, Englan striker.

    58 games, 7 goals. Some striker.

  62. shotta-gunna

    SSN had an interesting stat; the average age of this English squad is 28 plus years vs 26 plus in the last tournament. It speaks a lot to Capello’s conservatism. From my observation, the more the stakes get higher, the more likelier we are to see the true Capello rather than the media-inspired image of a uber coach. Walcott may not be the polished gem but in the past two games he was always doubled up by the opposing sides defenders; that to be is a better measure of the threat he posed than the hype of the media. Last Saturday Wright-Phillips was not treated with similar respect by the Japanese. But Capello it seems has decided to go with the standard, but hitherto unsuccessful, tactic of choosing someone who can lump it in the direction of the heads of Crouch and Heskey when the game is on the line.
    Somehow I think Capello will be found out in this world cup.

  63. Fuck off you idiot

  64. Bouldy's Friend

    He only buys French players and don’t care whether good or bad. Once French, they always get in.

  65. Arsenalkabisa

    theo has only himself to blame. Arsene warned him at the beggining of the season not to play for both senior and under 21.. He didnt listen and suffered poor form instead through out the season.

    The same seniors team threw him out.

  66. Arshavin is French is he? What about Chamakh? Are you even an Arsenal fan?

  67. Arsenalkabisa

    at least now I have no reason to focus on John Terry, Ashley Cole and Spurs..

    Hope England dont make it past the group stage…

  68. I almost forgot that other French signing Thomas Vermaelen.

  69. Delia-----Block 112

    What a day,no Theo in WC Squad and Roger has just lost at Roland Garros. With Cesc a lost cause,
    I’m relying on RVP to cheer me up in S.Africa and it wouldn’t suprise me at all if CV puts on a show for Mexico.
    Nice to read of Jack Kelsey, who was a real world class keeper . I have great memories of his heroic displays in a not very good Arsenal team in my early days at Highbury. Oh that Arsene could find us a keeper out of the Kelsey mould this Summer, not a big guy by any means but I thought of him as the equivalent of a rubber ball
    bouncing around his area and great in the air.

  70. If England perform like they did against Japan I cannot see them getting very far in the WC.

  71. Bouldy's Friend

    Arsenalkabisa

    Its easy, support the cheating French.

    I’m an Arsenal fan but hate this Frenchie, Frenchie shit that has been with us for years.

  72. It’s almost as if people who aren’t fans of the club see the way we play and say, “We want some of that in the national side”. AW has added prestige to the Arsenal name, and our young players have learn to cope with the expectation.

    I suppose we can hope that the burden on Theo’s shoulders will be lessened slightly after this summer; it’s likely that we’ll have three or four (maybe more) England prospects in the squad next season.

  73. Bouldy's Friend

    dupsffokcuf

    France will only get far if they cheat again.

  74. Bouldy’s Friend if you were an Arsenal fan you would support the team. Clearly you do not support the team so how can you be a fan?

  75. LimparAssist

    No, Bouldy, he doesn’t. Stop embarrassing yourself.

    Upson and Cole are two players in Capello’s squad of 23 that Arsene Wenger signed and coached. They are Arsenal products, esp. Cashley.

    Pennant, Bentley, Jeffers… all English, all signed by Arsene Wenger… all given their chance… none of them took it. There are many more examples.

    Look at our current squad. Gibbs, Eastmond, Wilshere, Lansbury, JET, and Theo Walcott…
    and a bunch more coming through.

    Arsene Wenger has done more for English football than any other manager in the modern era.

    I don’t think you’re an Arsenal man at all. Very suspect.

    And speaking of the English right-wing…

  76. If only Howard’s parents had remembered their French letter…

  77. RvP is looking good in Oranje v Ghana

  78. LimparAssist

    Thanks, Frank. Great tip. Beautiful football from the Dutch.

  79. BillikenGooner

    If it wasn’t for Cesc-gate, I’d have more of a positive feeling for Spain in the WC, but after the last month.. f them and their 80% Barca squad.

    No matter how many Arsenal players are on France, I just could never bring myself to root for them.

    I’ve always liked the Dutch, so it’s RVP and the Oranje in South Africa for me.

  80. Good football being played by the Dutch.

  81. Arsenalkabisa

    SWP over Theo is what baffles me. But its Ineresting how Capello just bought a stick 4 the media to whip him with.

    After Englands brave but inadequate performance, they’ll blame him for leaving Theo out…

  82. Hey Bouldy….Nice Italian manager for the English National team by the way

  83. And f*ck off Howard.

  84. England is 1 of 10 teams who are managed by a foreign manager in the 32 Nations going to the world cup.

    Most of the 10 teams are from Africa & South America. I think the only other team from Europe is Greece.

  85. If i was Theo i’d be kicking down Wenger’s door asking to be played upfront or i’d be off. Wtf is going on with Wenger refusing to play Theo in his natural position.

  86. Well finally when they day comes in the WC when england will need that speed and that “impact substitute”. the x factor that can change a game. We all know he can. On that day, when the game is not going our way, when we have suffered a few knocks and a couple of players are out injured. when we need that little extra push of power and explosion. On that day, when Capello looks over his shoulder wondering who he could throw out there to give us that extra little push to win the game, and all hes got is SWP.
    The man will regret this for a long time. Not because Theo is so exceptional, but because SWP is so UNexceptional and does not have any tricks up his sleeve. Theo has speed atleast. SWPs footballing brain is even less developed than theos, his club mate A.Johnson that snatched his place at City was left home to. Thats like mad!

    It is a real shame Gibbs is injured though, im preatty sure he would have been on that plane if he was fit.

  87. Arsenalkabisa.

    Where you from?????

  88. Superb penalty from RvP in the 87th min. 4-1 Hollland. Both sides look great.

  89. LimparAssist

    Substitution now please.
    *signals to the bench*

  90. 1 loose cannon

    Capello simply bottled it and was scared to select untested players instead he went for ageing players with experience there are no surprises in his selection apart from Walcott been deopped. almost every pundit said he should’ve taken him and come on as impact sub. There is simply not one special player in the squad who can offer something different. Funnily enough Walcott had an impact in most big games he played, I can go back to that run against Liverpool, scored against Barcelona and set up the other goal in the second leg, scored in the League cup final against Chelsea, scored a hat trick against Coroatia in a crucial game. What did Heskey and SWP offer to England? nothing. I was certain he would do the same in the world cup gainst a big team like brazil or Spain, the likes of Lucio, Cnavaro, Puyol will be absolutely delighted they don’t have to face him in the final 20 minutes of a game when their legs have gone. Big blow for England.

  91. Ghana are obvious;y on their travels to get in the practice but they look strong and I reckon they will give any team a run for their money in SA. Holland..well..Holland are my favourites. A little light at the back but they have packed their squad with creative players.

    Capello should have taken Theo….and at least one less centre half. Look forward to two banks of four when England play. Theo is better off out of it.

  92. 1 loose cannon

    we will see how it will benefit him . It will either motivate him and work his socks off for Arsenal or he will lose confidence and end up going on laon somewhere. I hope that will not be the case. I’m sure Wenger will have a word with him. He is still young and has at least 2 or 3 world cups to go to if he does will.

  93. Arsenalkabisa

    @Duke. Am not an English man hence my alligiance to the 3 Lions was only through Theo. I find England to be a very classless footballing nation.

    I prefer attack and flair, other than huff and puff.

    Am from Africa, Kenya.

  94. LimparAssist

    I agree with all that, 1lc. Although in Bastos, Criscito and Capdevilla – all those aging centrehalves you mention have very attacking leftbacks playing next to them. More’s the pity, Walcott up against guys like that would’ve made for quite a spectacle. Walcott would’ve skinned them just like he did that Barcelona leftback Maxwell. It’s a big shame if you ask me. Although having said that it’d be a miracle if we make it far enough to face Italy, Spain or Brazil.

  95. slendid TW goal thingy earlier.
    emphasises the point i think. he can run very fast.
    shame there were not goals enough for. say, 15 minutes or so.

  96. 1 loose cannon

    true, i don’t expect anything with this england team Capello has one thing in mind. Play Crouch hoof the ball, plan B replace Crouch with heskey hoof the ball and hope for the best. Ball possession is almost non existent and we’ll simply struggle once we meet teams with creativity and flair.

  97. Theo had no idea that his place in the England squad was in the balance. What a prick Capello has turned out to be….what a complete prick.

  98. I look forward to your 15 minutes or more compilation of the highlights of SWPs and Aaron Lennon’s international career, trevor Hill….or whatever your other names are.

  99. 1 loose cannon

    Agree Frank, not only Walcott, almost everyone thought Walcott was on the plane, maybe not as a starter but certainly to play a part. The people who have been bashing him for the last few weeks are almost regretful now that he is not going.

  100. Very, very poor management skills demonstrated by Capello over the last few days. Surely there is a better man than this in England to run the team. This man is a retrograde step for English football.

  101. Fuck off Howard.

  102. 1 loose cannon

    Yes 6 millions down the drain.

  103. Capello has little choice in creative players. Theo would be ignored on the wing as the ball sails over everyone’s head on it’s way to that long streak of piss up front.

    2 banks of 4 sat just outside the penalty area and don’t concede at any cost. Exciting stuff.

  104. Holland are a great team. Really like the look of Ghana too.

  105. Does any one know the final French team going to the WC?

  106. Shotta-gunna @ 7:23 pm – your right Capello has bottled it. He should of picked Bent over Heskey.

    I will still be cheering England on, how ever dull and lacking creativity the team going will be. I wonder if SWP is even match fit.

  107. Howard and his mates know all about the French team.

  108. Holland V Ghana highlights.

    And Capello is rather silly! how can you not take the one player who has the speed to run pass anyone and who has a great strike, puts in some decent crosses also.

    Silly man!

  109. I agree Bent offers much more than heskey.

    This team is going to flap big time.

  110. Maybe Capello wants the vacant Inter job…

  111. Capello has bottled it; plain and straight.
    True to his nature, he decide to take the less risky option, i.e. SWP over TW (experience over speed).
    If Lennon fails to deliver or, even more likely, picks up an injury, Capello’s only alternative to change a game is SWP. I am sure there are very few defenders after the 1st round who will go to bed worried that SWP will easily get behind them.
    You say Capello is being paid 6 million per annum?

  112. Regardless of how England fare in South Africa, Capello will be manager of Inter Milan next season. It’s a perfect fit.

  113. Capello doesn’t have too many options….mediocrity rules.

    Heskey, I would take the Donkey (Shrek’ sidekick) over him any time. Sorry Heskey, no offense.
    Although, I’ll give him credit for the honest effort he puts in.

  114. Really embarrased for Theo, cant believe he’s not going. He is shit on the wing though and its time he was given a run up front. He deserves it and has the talent to be a lethal michael owen in his prime type striker

  115. Agreed Gunner4Ever – USA looks like a tough match now.

    Shotta, I heard Capello really enjoyed the Emirates hospitality and visited our ground the most.

    Key Spurs players have CL qualifiers soon after WC – haha

  116. Great strike by RVP to set up the first goal. He didn’t even really look, just turned and the goal keeper had all sorts of problems with it. That goal was 90% RVP, 10% Kuyt being lucky.

    In the world cup I am going to cheer for Holland, that’s for sure. In the ECI was supporting Spain..but after learning the true nature of some of their players, I just can’t bring myself to cheer them on anymore.

  117. Gooner Gal, I don’t have too much faith in the current USA team but I sure hope it will be a tough game for England & Capello, now that I don’t have TW14 to cheer on.

    I’d like also to beat England, just to shut Nick Webster up 🙂

  118. Capello should of gone all the way and just called up Micheal Owen and Alan Shearer.

    Gunner4Ever Im supporting England, but I guess I need to start looking at picking my second team sooner rather than later.

  119. Queen of Suburbia

    In a way i’m pleased – we’ll have a fresh forward line to start next season with and now I don’t have to pretend to like England, i can happily support A.B.E. (Anyone But England).

  120. 1 loose cannon

    Yes Shotta 6millions to pick steve Maclaren’s team. if owen was not injured we will be included as well capello simply panicked in the last few weeks. Pathetic really. Anyway if he fails I can almost see him getting it from the media for not taking Walcott. This is not the end of Walcott his name will be mentioned by comentators and pundits whever England lack any pace going forward.

  121. Queen of Suburbia

    Just doesn’t seem logical that going into extra time in a hard fought qtr final, you wouldn’t want the option of throwing Walcott on.

    Surely picking a side is about being prepared for different eventualities?

  122. Andy Townsend has Theo on the brain. He won’t be able to stop himself from mentioning his name.

  123. It bears, you would say, the faint but none the less rancid whiff of betrayal.

    Selected at 17, on the whim of a desiccated roué, for a national team in which he had no hope of playing. And then for four years kept dancing on a string by the succession of vacuous incompetents charged with planning England’s success.

    Selected last summer for two national squads – an impossible clash of interests which left him unfit to face the rigours of this season.

    Cheerfully and willingly acceding to every demand – track back, run at the defence, shake off your two or three markers, cross into space, give it to Rooney – while surrounded by colleagues who lacked the wit to perceive and the skill to execute the quick through ball which could unleash his ferocious pace.

    Pilloried by the press as a proxy for his club manager whose intelligence and articulacy regularly ties them in knots. And now, at the critical moment, abandoned.

    Well, England may yet win in South Africa. The correlation between talent and success seems to be decreasing. Supporting our national team means clutching at the tenuous hope that this might bring. Should they win, let us hope we can all be as generous in our enthusiasm as Theo himself, who with astonishing magnanimity said: “I would like to wish the team the best of luck and hope they have a really successful tournament.”

  124. QoS, I would add or Spain to that!

  125. John is a cunt. I agree with Deano re: Walcott. And not being English I can gladly say I hope they get what’s coming to them. Capello is a dickhead. All this shit about he’ll only take players on form, as fit players is just so he’ll look like a real boss. The big man. Half the England starting XI isn’t and hasn’t been on form all season while the likes of Parker, Dawson and even A. Johnson have been left out. What the fuck is wrong. If only they all played for a Man U, Chavs or ‘Pool. I really hope they get what’s coming to them this World Cup. They are overrated individuals who have no collective sense of playing football other than to hope their man Rooney does the job. Yes the man who is supposedly as good as Messi and Ronaldo but should never be mentioned in the same breath. The English are arrogant muppets.

  126. 1 loose cannon

    bossman- that is a harsh sweeping statement you’ve made. Not all English are arrogant muppets. Capello is italian

  127. Beat me to it 1lc.

  128. 1 loose cannon

    These are Wenger’s statement regarding the use of Walcott asa donkey for both senior and U21 teams

    ‘If Walcott is burned out, they will suffer as well,’ said Wenger.

    ‘There’s a World Cup at the end of the season and, if there’s no summer break, it will not work. We ask always that the guy plays only for one team.’

    ‘I know how it works,’

    ‘The player comes back later than everybody else, he doesn’t have a decent preparation, you are under pressure to rush him back, you play him earlier than you should, he gets an injury and you see him again in October.

    ‘That’s why I was adamant he did not go to the Under 21s. He has no preparation for the season and, in the end, England will pay the price as well.’

    I remember when Wenger made those statements people laugh it off. one of those is Stuart Pearce and of course Capello just shrugged off his shoulders. As aresult of the injuries he has suffered he did not play this seaon and he has paid the price. What Walcott needs to do now is listen to what Wenger has to tell him and not to trust Capello and FA. they’ve Used him and dumped him in a very cruel manner. he is a young man who does not deserve to be treated this way. I can pick at least 5 players in the England squad who are so bad they are not worthy of cleaning Walcott’s boots.

  129. anyone saw the SUN highlight after Theo been left out …Spurs 4 Arsenal 0.what a bunch of idiot.And you wonder why England have been waiting so long.Overrated,overpaid,over at the quarter final.

  130. Cheers, bossman, you racist prick.

  131. Sorry to bring the Joe Cole story up again but H. Redknap suspects Joe Cole has already agreed to sign for a club. United or us?

  132. Actually no matter that I loathe Capello and I loathe the England squad. No matter that I loathe the English football press, the English football establishment and many England supporters. No matter that in footballing terms my favourite national side is Holland.

    Regardless of the utter distaste bordering on racism that many of you have for England. There is much good in England and it is my home. For that alone I must and will support England in WC 2010.

  133. I agree Frank there are many great things about England, but that group of players is not one of them for me. Try as I might, I just cannot get behind JT and co.

  134. I’ll follow them grudgingly (and with commentary off), if only so I know what my friends are talking about. What I want to see is some humility, and when we lose, I hope we go out with grace.

    I still haven’t decided on my other team at the World Cup. I like Uruguay and Chile, while Brazil haven’t lost all their lustre. France looked far more fluid than I expected as well, and I’d love it if Diaby could announce himself this summer.

  135. I am so angry,Theo’s omission is the highest betrayal, I hope he has learnt his lesson and that he snubs them come the next WC!!!!England can lose to Algeria/US and whoever else is in their group for all i care!!I wouldnt give a toss.

  136. Frank at 8:09 am:

    I am in full agreement with your comment.

    Any form of racism, especially from an Arsenal fan, is abhorrent.

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