England 1 Slovenia 0: job done

englandIt may or may not have been too convincing in the end, but the job in hand was to get a win, and that’s what England did when others, notably the French, haven’t been able to do so.

Salut! Sunderland expects a lot of SAFC fans to reflect on the identity of our scorer, Jermain Defoe, and wonder whether Darren Bent would have done as well with the cross (or, indeed, have made a mark in the earlier, unimpressive England games).

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England 1 Slovenia 0: doing OK, or so I’m told

THIS POSTING HAS BEEN SUPERSEDED BY England 1 Slovenia 0: job done

Sod’s law prevails and if, like me, you are in France and don’t have Canal+, the usual option, TF1, is of no use since it is showing the unbelievably drab Algeria v USA game (0-0 five minutes into the second half).

Kurdistan Goals, or whichever of those iffy internet streams is prepared to give a picture from the England game, is doing so only sporadically, with two competing commentaries, one of them in English, but both ahead of the stuttering images.

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England, by any other name


Jeremy Robson has already commented at another Salut! Sunderland post that France’s abject failure means Slovenia – maybe – couldn’t have chosen a worse time to face us, so great will be England’s fear of following France into the early departure lounge. But as this piece of whimsy shows he’s having it both ways, dreaming up a novel explanation in case we stumble again …

Everyone is puzzled about the poor form that England have shown thus far in the World Cup.

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Luke’s World Cup: comfort in the discomfort of giants


Time to concentrate anew on England v Slovenia. OK. England have been rubbish so far. But France have made our rubbish look good (I hate to say it but the obvious reaction to today’s decisive result is frankly “good riddance”), and there have been unconvincing performances from Italy, Germany and – until last night – Spain. Patriotic to the end, Luke Harvey tries his best to keep the faith …

“I can’t believe we didn’t beat such a poor team,” came one comment from around the table. “I know,” I replied, “It almost makes you ashamed to be Algerian, doesn’t it?”

A few forced smiles were raised but the day after the night before was still a bit too early for such jocularity. The conversation was quickly diverted away from football towards something less disheartening.

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England v Slovenia: a World Cup ‘Who Are You?’


Imagine a different world, one where you haven’t the faintest idea of what footballers get up to off the field. A life lived in the beautiful city of Ljubljana, capital of a country where football isn’t even the national sport, and you’ve barely even heard of Sunderland. Jaka Katrasnik* is a keen fan of Slovenia, and his club, NK Olimpija, all the same and looks forward to a result tomorrow that would keep England on our own front pages for the wrong reason … and there may be a second Slovenian fan along soon to rub it in

Salut! Sunderland: The first two games leave Slovenia in a strong position. But how bad does two unimpressive draws make England, and how lucky were you to avoid defeat against the USA?

Yes, we have good chances for advancing to the next stage. In my opinion England didn’t play as good as this team can. I believe England has very good individuals but from seeing their two games I would say they lack team spirit and motivation. The Slovenian team is the opposite. Our players are not as good as England’s. They don’t play in the best European football clubs, as England’s players do. However they are very good as a team. They have team spirit and motivation. They have played very good in qualification (eliminating Russia) and they are playing very good now in the World Cup. They did have some luck against the USA. But so did the Americans. The refereeing was horrible from the start. Dempsey should have gotten a yellow card for that ugly start on Ljubijankic in the first minute. There were more yellow card fouls committed by the Americans that the referee didn’t see. The American goal was disallowed because of Bocanegra’s (3) foul on Pecnik (7) (see the image above). True, the Slovenian players were fouling the Americans also but the referee decided the Bocanegra’s foul was more severe.

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Luke’s World Cup: Group C goalkeeping woes deepen


Luke Harvey considers an opening weekend in Group C that left Robert Green and Faouzi Chaouchi thankful for each other’s existence, and England drawing consolation from today’s Algeria v Sloveia game producing a result, leaving us joint mid-table instead of joint bottom …

Group C is far from the Group of Death, Group of Goalkeeping Howlers perhaps.

First Rob Green, England’s apparent number one, managed to turn Clint Dempsey’s innocuous looking long range effort into his own net. The gaffe sent the media into a frenzied overdrive as tabloids searched for the wittiest headline to describe the incident.

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