Then Saturday Comes… the half decent football blog

Analysing the bid + play offs fever

Should England host the World Cup?

Should England host the World Cup?


And here we go again.

England have made a bid to host the 2018 World Cup, and in all honesty we probably deserve it.  In terms of stadia, resources, transport and interest, 52 years is long enough for us to host another World Cup.

Essentially the bid is there for us to lose, and surprise surprise that’s what we seem to be doing.

The last time we lost out on a World Cup bid, it was because of two things; firstly, politicians jumping on the bandwagon and policising the process.  FIFA are a dodgy enough body without liasing with politicians.  The 2006 German bid was made by Beckenbauer and Becker, France 1998 was Platini’s rise to prominence and USA ’94 was one on the back of a Bruce Springsteen concert.

True, the South Africans sent Mandela but he’s more of a faux saint than a politician.

The obvious delegates are the ones to go for, and a tasty combo of Boris Johnson, Simon Cowell and Melinda Messenger would have been more than enough to bag the bid.  So what do we do?  Why, make it a New Labour project, of course;

The other reason was the typically patronising English assertion that ‘Football’s Coming Home Again!’.   Such words worked to galvanise the unwashed masses on the terraces in Euro 96, but they don’t help to sway the decision of FIFA bigwigs.  It suggests England is above the other countries, not ideal implication seeing as the only pre-requisite is that you can welcome 32 countries.

2018 bid organiser and FA chairman Lord Triesman said: “It probably wasn’t the brightest slogan ever invented.  There was a bit of a suggestion that this was the only real home of football, and it was somehow in the natural order of things that it would come to us.  It’s not a phrase that will cross my lips in public.”

Step forward Gordon Brown once again.

“It’s fitting that we are launching the bid in England, the home of football, and at Wembley – the greatest stadium in the world.”

Oh Gordon, you’re making it too easy for political cynics these days.

Also a special mention must go out to the FA bid team, and it’s spectacular efforts to step away from tokenism and obvious positive discrimination.  What do you do if you want to look like a tolerant country ready to accept people of all creed and colours…


This photo opportunity is also known as…


Fantastic stuff.  And not to mention there was actually invited a BNP councillor to sit in the crowd at the bid too.

One day in and we’ve already lost it haven’t we?  What with this and Eurovision I’m starting to wonder if we should even bother interacting with other nations, it always gets embarrassing.  I’m reminded of this poem I just wrote;

“I hoped the FA would get it right,
But they’ve already lost the fight”

Sure, it’s only a two-line stanza but you know they’re going to be quoting it in the playgrounds in the morning.  If Carol Anne Duffy can be poet laureate that rhyme is worth a knighthood.




Ah yes, it’s the best weekend in football.  No, not the culmination of the Premiership (we all know Hull are going down), but the Play-Off Finals.  As regular readers will know, I’m throwing my hat behind Scunthorpe (I’m all about Liam Trotter, me).  But what of the other ties?

  • LEAGUE 2: Gillingham vs Shrewsbury

Shrewsbury fell at this stage two years ago when they lost to Bristol Rovers.  More interesting than that, I was in the crowd that day!

These teams have the lowest league point accumulation ever for a play-off final, with 5th placed Gills on 75 and 7th-placed Shrews on 69.

That last fact was made up but I bet you believed me.

My prediction: 3-1 Gills, Paul Scally’s barmy army!


  • League 1: Scunthorpe vs Millwall

Millwall have lost both times they have played Scunny this season, 2-1 at the New Den in January and 3-2 in a pulsating game at Glanford Park in October.

Scunthorpe’s talismanic striker Gary Hooper will be back to lead the line for Sunday’s final.  He will hope to emulate his goalscoring form from this season’s JP Trophy at Wembley.

If Millwall win this, only 1 relegated team per division will have bounced back for promotion Championship (Birmingham/Leicester/Gillingham)

PS that fact only works if Gillingham win, geeks.

My prediction: 2-0 Scunthorpe, what a Wembley!


  • Championship: Sheffield United vs Burnley

If Burnley win on Monday they will return to the top flight for the first time since 1976.

FAO supporters at Wembley: don’t sneeze when Sheffield United are taking corners.  If they lose they may sue you for lost earnings.

Burnley have done the double over the Blades, although the 3-2 win at Bramall Lane in January was admittedly before Sheff U realised they were actually pretty good..

My prediction: Sheffield United 2-1 Burnley AET


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Hey mate like your site, it’s a good read.

I got around to putting a link up for you on mine.


Comment by Fed

That poor ugly baby… And can you really thank The Boss for bringing world cup here? I hope so

Comment by James Melena


Comment by Jess

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