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World Cup 23/6/10 - Day 13

Well, the vindictive talkSPORT Lodge roof pigeon can coo for all he's bloody worth at 7am tomorrow and I won't care one jot, thanks to Jermaine Defoe. I cannot ever remember being as clueless beforehand as to what to expect from England in an international match as I was at lunchtime today, but what I saw was more like the England we're used to. Still loads of room for improvement, you have to be realistic and say that, so the negativity that the lads got from callers to talkSPORT drivetime after the final whistle was very disheartening.

No-one here is saying that 24 hours has changed everything and that we're suddenly going to win the bloody thing - we're just saying that we're in the last 16 and if we continue to step up our performances like we did today then we're a match for anyone, particularly if Rooney can rediscover his touch in front of goal. Milner and Johnson outstanding on the right hand side by the way. See? I can be complimentary about Villa players ;o) I await Moose telling us all repeatedly ad nauseam tomorrow that because Defoe scored, Lampard played 2 good passes & Upson made a crucial block late on, West Ham are going to win the World Cup again. Blah blah and indeed blah. He will say it, without a hint of irony too.

And look who's next up for us - how about that? This World Cup is turning into World War II - the French surrender early, the USA arrive very late and now we're fighting the Germans! Could've been Ghana actually, if they'd had a Defoe up front for them as they missed several great chances to spring a surprise at Soccer City.

So now itineries change and allocated games have to be swapped around seeing as England didn't do as we might have expected as a station and won the group. My job as commentator isn't to follow Capello's boys, but my schedule is determined by where they are and who they play, so there's a lot of mad planning that has to be undertaken to work out where I go for last 16, quarter final and even a possible semi-final trip to come. I have plenty of homework to do tomorrow before I head off to see Japan vs Denmark, who are both vying for 2nd place in Holland's group, and then it's off to Pretoria on Friday for what promises to be a great game between Chile and Spain. It all comes thick and fast when you're a commentator at events like these. Bring it on!

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