Reuters Soccer Blog
World Soccer views and news
Ukraine coach Oleksiy Mykhaylychenko said his players had been overawed by the Wembley atmosphere in their 2-1 World Cup defeat by England but their nerves must have been based on the twin-towered mystique of the old stadium rather than the soulless feeling of the new.
At a cost of 800 million pounds ($1.15 billion), the new Wembley undoubtedly looks impressive and there was no hint of the credit crunch as the wine flowed in the packed private dining suites before the game.
Out in the seats, however, any hope of building a rip-roaring atmosphere before the game continues to be undone by the FA’s obsession with deafening announcements.
In the 30 minutes before kick off on Wednesday fans were treated to a spoof comedy show involving the England players, a lengthy film pleading for respect for referees in amateur football — including the chance to receive the FA’s own guide to parental behaviour — and pleas for the fans to respect the national anthems.