Chapter 743: St. George’s World Cup
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Apologies for not updating it on time…
A day had passed since the game, and it was possible that the Spanish fans were unwilling to accept the fact that the predicted champions Spain were knocked out by England’s most incapable shooter.
This game boosted George Wood’s fame in world football, and even most pseudo-fans now knew George Wood.
After the game against Spain, George Wood passed the urine test without any problems. He was then named the most valuable player on the spot. FIFA’s official website comments on him were, “Impeccable defence and game attitude, last-minute elimination of the favourites Spain, embodying the full value of a central midfielder.”
Motson’s new nickname for Wood was also widely spread along with the goal, and now England fans had a new moniker for George Wood: St. George. After the game, on England’s streets, public squares, echoes a sound – “St. George protects England!”
The English media said that George Wood’s stunning shot was perfectly comparable to , David Pratt’s last-minute shot against Belgium in the quarter-finals of the 1990 World Cup in Italy. Pratt’s goal 20 years ago saved England and helped the team to reach the top eight, and two decades later George Wood’s screamer helped the team reach the Top Four.
Fàbregas looked frustrated after the game, but in the interview he still praised George Wood’s performance, “I tried to intercept the ball, but he was too fast. Maybe I should have fouled earlier…That’s football, a second of hesitation costs us the game. He did well and deserved to win the game, and I wish him good luck.”
Capello rarely praises a player individually, but this “rule” did not apply to George Wood. He was very emotional after the game and he took the initiative to mention Wood to the media, “He’s a great player and I’m happy to have one of those players in the team. Yes, he played beautifully but what I valued most was his performance in the 119th minute before the goal — it was perfect. He completely contained Xavi and Fàbregas , and not losing the ball was the best affirmation of his efforts.”
Bosque was calm after the World Cup loss. When he was asked about George Wood, he replied, ” Capello’s three full backs were successful, but without George Wood, the three full backs are not as strong as people think. He is the core of the midfield defence…Yes, I think he is the best defensive midfielder in world football in recent years. But maybe in a few years I’ll have to get rid of the ‘defensive’ aspect. That was a beautiful goal. I have nothing to say after being beaten by a goal like this.”
Twain, who trained George Wood, was also the subject of media pursuit after the game. He was not surprised at Wood’s success. “Because I knew he would succeed. If Eriksson had been as clever as Capello, England might have gone further in Germany. If McClaren had a clearer head, England wouldn’t have had to be spectators in the summer of 2008. You see, anyone who looked down on Wood had a miserable ending. Do you think Nottingham Forest’s two European Champions Cups and one league title in two years were due to luck? What is there we can’t achieve with St. George?” At this point, Twain laughed with pride. He liked Motson’s new nickname for Wood in the live stream, it was a lot better than “monster”, “artificial man” and “future soldier”.
So many people complimented George Wood, but what did he think of himself?
“I’m happy to get into the top four. I’m just playing as I usually do. ” He said he was glad, but there was no obvious smile on his face.
“He’s just playing normally, and I really want to see how his extraordinary play looks like…” The reporter who interviewed him said in the report.
In short, George Wood had established himself as a god in the football world.
From before the World Cup began, all the way to the group stage. The English media was still trying to debate whether Lampard and Gerrard or George Wood and Gerrard should start. There are people who supported Lampard but there are people who supported George Wood. Capello’s arrival did little to solve England’s “double German”; on the contrary the issue exacerbated.
Now, all the arguments disappeared overnight. Some media even said this, “Capello should not think about whether George Wood or Lampard should start, but instead who should start with George Wood?”
It seems like “St George’s” World Cup journey was just beginning but he still had time to write his own legend. Thanks to Wood’s excellent display, England’s fans were even starting to look forward to the finals and him lifting the Champions Cup.
“… Since 1966, we never got close to that trophy. Every World Cup, we say we’re the strongest English team in history, but in reality? But this World Cup may have a different ending. Capello is a coach who prioritises defense and, in the World Series, defending meant champion and victory. Now with ‘St. George’, we have the power to dream big! ”
But St.George’s World Cup trip ended.
In the semi-finals, they encountered the Italian team led by “Silver Fox” Lippi.
It was a contest between the two Italian coaches and a direct conflict between aconservative person and another who was even more conservative. In the end, Italy’s reinforced concrete chain-link defence beat England. In the face of Italy’s shrinking defence, England lacked the means to break the deadlock. Revealing their weakness in the lack of a deciding midfielder, Gerrard and Lampard acted both more like scoring midfielders and were slightly inferior in passing.
On the Italian side, Pirlo sorted the team’s midfield in a well-organized way. Threatening England’s goal with a defensive counter-attack kept England from full-out attacking.
In the end, the game was dragged into a penalty shootout.In fact, England was exhausted by the time they entered the overtime period. Playing 120 minutes against Spain consumed too much energy, and now they played another 120 minutes against Italy. With that in mind, the mindsets of England’s players began to collapse.
Only George Wood and Gerrard were exceptions, both of whom were still running tirelessly in the hope of breaking the deadlock for the team. Wood wanted to repeat history, by scoring from the back. In fact, in the last minute of the game, England’s fans and the media all wanted that.But their opponent this time was not Spain, who did not guard its midfield, but the defending footballer’s forerunner, Italy.
George Wood was focused on the defence and the Italian players were more willing to foul early and would not have given Wood a chance to step in. There were times when Wood rushed to shoot but it was way off. Despite England fans shouting, “May St. George bless England”, St.George had no energy left and he could no longer watch over England.
The game was dragged into a penalty shoot-out and England had completely lost their confidence, even though it was not the first time they had fallen in penalty. During a penalty-shootout, almost everyone would have an inexplicable psychological shadow.
George Wood was not put on Capello’s penalty list. Although his psychological state was good, but his shooting skills was really not reassuring.
The result was indisputable. The world’s best goalkeeper, Buffon, who dived and blocked a penalty shot, “frightened” away another penalty shot. The Italian side made four penalties and England’s fifth man did not even play before the game was over.
Twain was not sad about the result. On the one hand, he was not a real Englishman, so his emotions will not be affected by the fate of this team. On the other hand, when the game was dragged into overtime, he had seen England’s fate. They could not keep up on a physical level. Not being eliminated by Italy in overtime would only be because they were lucky, but now they were out of luck after the two overtime games and could not afford to return in the penalty shoot-out.
George Wood stood side by side with his teammates in the middle circle, watching his teammates step up one by one to the main penalty, whether they would be happy or frustrated. However, he could only watch his World Cup journey come to an end.
He did not get a minute off at the World Cup in Germany, and even if England was knocked out by Portugal, he had no special emotion other than to experience Beckham’s sadness. Four years later, South Africa was different, he had been a major player since the knockout stages and he really felt he was part of the team. England could finish in the top four but he deserved more than just stopping at the top four …
He felt sad, but he did not cry. He could not remember ever crying in his lifetime. He just stood in place with his back straight, not even wavering in the slightest even to vent his frustration. He could not move because a man was leaning on his back.
Lampard, who came on as a substitute in overtime, was the fifth to play, but the game was finished before his turn and he cried behind Wood. It was not because he was not strong enough, but because he knew this could be his last World Cup. He would turn 32 in 2010, then 36 four years later, making it almost impossible to play for his country again.
Nobody, no matter how strong they were, could withstand such a blow.
Beckham was initially criticised for not being seen at the time when he was substituted for the match against Portugal and sitting on the sidelines and sobbing. Those people were just trash talking, because nobody could understand how sad they were if they had never been in their position.
When the fourth Italian player, Grosso, kicked the ball into Joe Hart’s goal post, the Italian players next to him buzzed him immediately and half of the crowd in the stands cheered.
Wood looked at his opponents’ ecstatic expressions and raised his fists. He now regretted that he could not make a little more contribution to the team on offense. Had his shooting been better, had he taken one of three chances in overtime, he would not see the Italian’s expression right now. .
He hated to see his opponent laugh, and he liked to see people who were fighting against himself cry.
Shoot a little better! Attack a little better! I’m not going to be a midfielder who would only defend! I do not want others to take control of the direction of the game! I want to take destiny in my own hands!
I’m going to be the real “St. George” !
Mortensen kept silent for a long time, as if he were dead. Alan Shearer shook his head helplessly. Twain sighed. The first two were really sad for England to finish only as the top four again, but Twain just felt sorry for George Wood.
“Regardless… being in the top four was part of their pre-World Cup goals. But after watching the last game against Spain, I’m sure all the English people are looking forward to more, but…” Mortensen had finally recovered a bit of anger. “This is football. It does not bend to our will. England’s lads are good…24-year-old George Wood, 23-year-old Alan Lennon, 18-year-old Jack Wilshere, 19-year-old Jack Rodwell, 22-year-old Micah Richards, 21-year-old Walcott, 23-year-old Joe Hart, 24-year-old Wayne Rooney, 25-year-old Ashley Young, 26-year-old Bentley, 26-year-old Stewart Downing. Look at these young people, I think we can continue to look forward for another four years. ”
In the third-fourth placing finals on the day before the final, George Wood continued to play as a starter in the match with Lampard as his partner.In the third-fourth placing finals, England’s opponents were Brazil who were in the group stage.Losing the semi-finals did not affect Wood negatively. Conversely, he had become more competitive.
Capello handed Kaka over to him, and he was on the pitch faithful to the manager’s tactical demands. He did not let Kaka receive the ball easily, did not give him the space to start a breakthrough, did not let him easily pass the football, even if it were at the expense of a yellow card. He was out to completely freeze the core of the Brazilian team completely.
George Wood and Kaka’s duel was wonderful and became a beautiful scene in the game. Neither side was on top, both had their wins and losses.
In the end, England, who was not as good as Brazil overall, and with two 120 minutes matches in a row which exhausted their entire stamina, lost to Brazil 1:2 to finish fourth in the World Cup.
The final match was between Italy and Argentina, for a fierce 90-minute battle. Argentina beat Italy 2-0 with two flashy plays from Messi and Aguero, winning the World Cup for the third time in history. After this battle, Messi was labelled “God”, and the media and fans called him the king of the new generation of football. For a moment, “Mesidona” was shouted all over the world.
“2010 is Messi’s year!” At the club, he wore the No.10 shirt to lead Barcelona in the league and The Champions League! In the national team, wearing the No. 10, he finally became the king of the world! We have the honour to witness the birth of a new king in the soccer generation in South Africa! ”
In the midst of such praise, only one person thought the opposite.
Tony, who had a me-against-the-world mindset and despised people who blindly followed the majority, wrote in his column after the finals, ” I’ll admit that Messi has won three championships, but it’s still too early to call him the new Soccer King. Argentina only won the World Cup because they didn’t encounter England. Barcelona only won the Champions League because Nottingham Forest was not there! ”
Some people called Twain a sore loser.
Twain rebutted, saying his team would return to Europe to play next season and he would let everyone know who was right and who was wrong.
“I don’t mind UEFA pitting my team up against Barcelona, I would even hope for it. Come on, use your ‘unspoken rules’ on me! ”
He was later fined 20,000 euros and given a severe warning for his speech convincing people that there was a covert operation inside UEFA.The tension between him and Barcelona was exacerbating.Losing money and fame, and creating a deeper feud with his opponents. In the eyes of outsiders, Tony Twain was an idiot who behaved in an unacceptable manner.But Twain thought he was just calling a spade a spade.
If George Wood had gone up against Messi, all Messi had to do was pray he would not be injured and ejected in 90 minutes and nothing else. As long as Twain was still the manager of Nottingham Forest, he would do it. Why did Italy lose? They lost because they had been too civilised when marking Messi. Unfortunately, as he aged, Gattuso’s standards slipped as well. If Gattuso were in his prime, it would be hard to say what the outcome of this final could have been. In the game, Gattuso clearly could not keep up with Messi’s pace and was always easily left behind by Messi’s speed. He could not even foul quick enough.
The new ball king? Messi was still far from dominating everyone. He still had a long way to go before he could be king.At the very least, let St George test his mettle first.