Sunday 23rd November 2014 an historic day (if somewhat eventually a ‘Groundhog’ one too) when England’s Woman’s football team played their first match at the new Wembley. Over 45,000 fans turned up to watch them take on the current European Champions and twice World Cup winners, Germany. As is always seemingly the case nowadays, a day of English celebration was dampened by a clinical performance from the ‘Teutonic Machine’ with a dominant 0-3 victory (it was like 2000 and the last ever game at the old Wembley!!!!!!!) – GERMAN EFFICIENCY THE WINNER YET AGAIN 🙁 . There are still positives for England, lessons would have most definitely been learned and Mark Sampson has every right to feel buoyant about the future development of his team going into next years World Cup. He will be more than aware a lot of work needs to be done and this result was a good reminder that there is a still some way to go to reach the level of the world’s best teams. The draw for the tournament is on December 6th then it will be full steam ahead onto Canada in June. Come on England 🙂
I’m an England Rugby Union fan and will be hoping they win the World Cup next year (I’m clutching bearing in mind their recent form). Obviously New Zealand and South Africa are the two favourites but one team has gone under the radar, the current Six Nations champions Ireland. Under the stewardship of the canny New Zealander Joe Schmidt (whose CV when at Leinster is trophy laden including back to back Heineken Cup wins) they have been in excellent form especially in 2014 (only one test defeat to England in the Six Nations) and they have had a fantastic Autumn International period with victories over South Africa and Australia which has pushed them up to 3rd place in the IRB rankings – and deservedly so. Even with the retirement of Brian O’Driscoll they are a team with experienced internationals such as Paul O’Connell, Jamie Heaslip, Rory Best, Tommy Bowe, Johnny Sexton, Rob Kearney and they have been cleverly supplemented with young and upcoming players (which Schmidt would have been more than aware of as a coach in Irish Rugby), a lot of whom were blooded in their comfortable victory over Georgia. Their draw in the World Cup is reasonable (likely avoidance of the All Blacks and Springboks if they top their Pool) and if they continue their current form into the Six Nations they may well emerge as the Northern Hemisphere’s best hope of winning the tournament next year. Watch this space.
Well done Lewis Hamilton, World Champion 2014, his second such title after a faultless drive won him the final race in Abu Dhabi after a start from the gods. His teammate Nico Rosberg had mechanical issues and was never a factor from midway through the race. But just imagine, what if Hamilton had had the car trouble and Rosberg had romped to victory, then the German would have been the champion and one of the most undeserving in my opinion. The ridiculous double points situation (which could have meant if Rosberg had won, Hamilton could finish no lower than 2nd to have clinched the title) made it a bit more exciting but massively unfair if you take into account the whole season. Before the final race Hamilton had 10 wins, Rosberg 5 it was so obvious who the better driver has been this year. As it turned out both Mercedes drivers did have something in common the German had 11 pole positions – well done, but the Briton had 11 race wins. The best man won – thankfully – justice prevailed despite the points innovation. Hopefully it will be dispensed with completely for 2015 – are you listening Bernie???????
Let me know what you think – you can also tweet me @biggishmouth or go to my facebook page at www.facebook.com/thebiggishmouth