The big match

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The waiting is over, almost. And not before time. We were concerned about the delicate matter of the skipper's nagging groin strain, now, by all accounts, thankfully alleviated.

The waiting is over, almost. And not before time. We were concerned about the delicate matter of the skipper's nagging groin strain, now, by all accounts, thankfully alleviated. But we must confess to a problem of our own in the stamina department, over the rest of the lead-in to today's big game between England and Germany.

Our complaint is with the quality of the build-up. Same old stuff about the sense of humour, the dastardly ploy of having a noisy beer cellar next to our team's hotel, pub regulars here saving their seats in front of the big television screens with towels, the usual arrests. Where was the vision, the creativity, the flair? Apart from the three fans who slipped into the German training camp and started to play Posh Spice songs quite loudly on their portable hi-fi, nothing.

Which is why we appeal to our German friends today for help in combating what remains, for no obvious reason apart from markedly superior sausages, this enormous English inferiority complex: lose.

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