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Dear me, I've been uncharacteristically quiet today, and on those occasions where I did bring myself to say something, I was uncharacteristically brief. I'd try to come up with something now, but it'd probably be talking about the Football World Cup. Often for the sake of international readers I call it soccer, just because there can be no confusion over what that means, but I'm in a World Cup mood right now, so I'm gonna call it football and remain vaguely ambiguous to anybody who doesn't read this initial disclaimer. To all those not reading the disclaimer - shame on you.

So, an interesting first day. France, the World and European Champions, losing 1-0 to Senegal. To be fair, the confusion between Petit and Barthez was the key factor, rather than skill on the part of the goal scorer, but all credit to them - if Emmanuelle is gonna bounce the ball off his keeper and let the other team score, then I shan't complain... France really weren't playing at the level I would expect of them, and despite the fact that a lot of it was blamed on the absence of Zidane, it can't be a good team that crumbles without one player. Likewise us without David Beckham - we're not a good team, simply because we can't really do without him.

Anyway, the next games start in about four and a half hours, coverage on BBC1 beginning at 7:15am. And before the end of the program, coverage of the next match has started on ITV, and then (yes, you've guessed it) once that ends, BBC1's coverage begins again. Three matches in a row, including Germany v Saudi Arabia, and Eire v Cameroon. Both of those matches look to be exciting, and I shall be rooting for the Saudis with all my heart - sorry Dirk, but you know, you're Germany, we're England, you must all lose horribly... ;o)

When I really think about it, I'm not the most enthusiastic person about football in the world - most of the people I know care at least as much as me if not more, with just a few exceptions. But are they gonna stay up all night for the first Saturday game, and keep watching from 7:15am to 2:30pm? I don't think so! Am I? Well, probably not, no, but still, I'm sure there was a point to this somewhere.... :o)

In terms of what I think will happen in the long run... Well, for some reason the pundits are writing off England rather early on - they think that France will win their group, and we'll come second in ours. I rather think we have the skill to come first in our group, and then face the second-place team in the other group - sadly, I think that team will be France. I think that their initial upsets, along with the fact that they seem lost without Zidane, will leave them struggling to get through. And if we played them, on their current form, who would win? I rather suspect it might be France, but it's by no means the foregone conclusion that the football pundits think. I think we can probably get to the quarter finals, perhaps even the semi finals. We'll never reach the final, and we'll certainly not win, I'm sure. But we'll not do too badly (hopefully...)

Anyway, a long rambling post about football was not what I had in mind when I started worrying that I've not written much today, but I suppose it'll do for now... Apologies to anybody who doesn't care about sports - I'll try to write something of more interest to you just as soon as I work out what I want to write about. If anybody has any suggestions about what I should write about, please, let me know :o)

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