UK News

Insights from the UK and beyond

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Scotland on their way back to London, but England match must wait a while

tartanScotland's soccer team return to London for the first time since 1999 at the end of this month -- but they won't be playing England at Wembley.

Instead they will face five-times world champions Brazil in a high profile friendly at the Emirates Stadium which should be filled close to its 60,000 capacity.

If that game goes ahead without trouble -- which is the most likely outcome -- it could give added impetus to the English FA's plans to host a one-off "home international" series in 2013 to mark their 150th anniversary.

That could then mark Scotland's return to Wembley for the first time since the stadium was re-opened four years ago.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

More World Cup questions than answers for England’s Capello

SOCCER-WORLD/A muted send-off and a manager wanting more perhaps told the true story of England’s 3-1 friendly victory over Mexico at Wembley on Monday in which Fabio Capello was left with more questions than answers over his World Cup squad selection.

On the plus side, goalkeepers Joe Hart and in particular Robert Green would have given the Italian confidence in a position that poses a problem for fans with first-choice stopper David James still susceptible to a clanger.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

England sail through, but how are their World Cup chances?

So, once again, England qualify in style. The garages can start stocking up on plastic flags of St George, the breweries can breathe a sigh of relief and the tabloids can start their gradual shift from cautious support to the crescendo of expectation that will accompany Fabio Capello and his squad to South Africa next year.

But is there any evidence that "this time, more than any other time, they'll do it right"?

FA Cup can only hold so much romance


ccfc.jpgYou wait 81 years for your football team to get to Wembley in the FA Cup, and then it falls on your wedding day.

My brother, a Cardiff City season-ticket holder,has waited until he is 45 to tie the knot, only to find his Bluebirds team are playing in the semi-finals of the FA Cup on the same weekend.