Monday, June 06, 2005


Romania's defeat on Saturday in Rotterdam to the Dutch means that their elimination from the World Cup is virtually assured. It's a shame, though to be frank, they never deserved to qualify as they only have one decent player (Cristian Chivu) and a bunch of journeymen. However, with a better draw they could have done better. England's group for example has no good teams in it and the fact that the lead is being contested by two immeasurably mediocre sides -England and Poland- is indicative of this. In that group Romania would have stood a chance, but being drawn against The Czech Republic* and The Netherlands* was always going to kill them off. I'll just have to dig out a video of the great team they brought to the 94 WC Final and remember them that way.

*Quick English Lesson. Q: In which cases do we (in English) append a "The" on the name of a country?
A: When the name of the country either incorporates a description of the political system (The Czech Republic, The United Kingdom, The People's Republic of China, etc) or when it is a plural (The Netherlands, The Phillipines, etc). I have absolutely no idea why we sometimes say The Ukraine or The Lebanon.


nojer said...

England's group is, quite clearly, crap. However, it is a little harsh to call England "immeasurably mediocre" in my humble opinion, when you know as well as I do that they will qualify for the Cup finals, and be knocked out in the quarter finals (probably on penalties). The Netherlands often flatter to deceive, particularly in qualifiers as well.

Bill McComish said...

We say 'the Ukraine' in English because Ukraine (like the Krajina region of Croatia) means borderland. Similar to the names march/ mark in English and German.

Anyway, we (NI) are gonna do ye in the Belfast return. Brunty will nick the winner.

Andy H said...

we (NI) are gonna do ye

Who's "ye"? Are you suggesting that the country of my birth is somehow the football team I support? As you ought to know national teams are merely a vehicle for club players to increase their financial value such that cash strappedclubs can sell them for more. As a supporter of a cash-strapped club, I'm hoping that Brunt and Quinn run rings around Rio Ferdinand and John Terry. Or whoever. Up with Belfast!