From Nigel Keng
Hope you’re well and enjoying the sun.
England open play goals? How about the blinder scored by Lingard?
Yes only one more open play goal but still double the number you suggested we had.
As much as I hated what Colombia did the other day I was impressed by their tactics of allowing our 3 Centre backs to have the ball. With only Henderson in midfield, and the Colombia attack and midfield congesting the midfield area our CBs didn’t know what to do with the ball when they had it. Too much sideways passing between them and eventually they would misplace a pass and create opportunities for Colombia.
Sweden might exploit that. The 3 CB system works defensively if a team is attacking us but not against a team playing with just 1 Centre forward and sitting back.
That said, I rate our chances better than 50:50 against Sweden and I’m enjoying the euphoria at the moment. Is there any city better in the world than London when the weather is good (and there’s a seemingly successful World Cup taking place)?
Whenever you mention your gambling greengrocer John, I often wonder why you never tell us in advance of his or your bets. Here’s a bet for you. Buy Tesco shares, the good weather and England doing well means more people are are buying beer from supermarkets, doing bbqs and watching the football.
I’m not enjoying the sun, Nigel. It’s far too hot for me.
If I’m wearing shorts every day, I want to be in Croatia or the Algarve with a cool sea breeze and an easy swim.
I didn’t realise you’re such a formidable tactician!
I’m still thinking about how talented Belgium are. How special Kevin De Bruyne’s goal was. How cleverly Roberto Martinez used Lukaku, wide on the right in the first half, making explosive runs infield on his stronger left foot.
Belgium beat Brazil 2-1 and they’re my favourite team in this World cup.
The France QF wasn’t very interesting.
No Cavani, no Uruguay.
It was so one-sided that I went for a walk during the game. I missed seeing N’Golo Kante, my second favourite player after KDB.
But I will enjoy Kante later.
Before 10.a.m my wife Jan asked, “Are you nervous?”
I wasn’t – and I’m not. Yet.
When the teams are announced, I will be furious if RLC doesn’t start. If Loftus-Cheek isn’t there to carry the ball, we could stumble and stutter. Tempo alone will not open up a solid 4-4-2 outfit often enough.
The Swedes might copy Colombia by letting our three centrebacks have the ball.
My guess: Southgate needs the reliable set-piece delivery of Ashley Young and Kieran Trippier, so he won’t start Danny Rose.
Lingard’s goal was superb. We all loved that one!
But I’m still haunted by the multiple chances we missed.
FULL DISCLOSURE : Myles’s matchday starts at 2pm when the teams are announced. Before that everything else is just waiting
We can beat Sweden if we score first.
But Croatia could be too skilful for us in the semi-final.
Why don’t I tell you about my bets in advance?
That would be very irresponsible.
I don’t want you to lose money on my tips. I broke even in 2016-17 by being crafty and made a small profit in 2017-18 with a couple of lucky bets at the end of the season. I’m slightly up so far in this World Cup because I only back the obvious. Like France to beat Uruguay without Cavani. That wasn’t gambling. They were giving us money. But not much.