Midweek Memoirs No 6
As I sat down to write my memoirs for this week I was in a state of deep shock. Not only had I watched a good England performance and a winning performance, but the F.A have restored some of my misguided faith back into them. Yes, for those of you that regularly read my thoughts, I had a reply from the F.A -and here it is:"Dear Tom
Thank you for your email.
The Football Association does not set the price of tickets to club matches; it is the home team's responsibility.
Prices of football games reflect the demand and product the club feels its offering, for instance a ticket to watch Chelsea at Stamford Bridge is going to be far more expensive then watching Bath City of the Conference South.
With regards to tickets for England home games, there is only one section that caters for child prices and that is the family enclosure section located at the west lower which are blocks 127 - 139.
Anywhere else in the ground is charged at full price. This section is very popular and often sells out soon after the members sale.
I hope that this helps with your query.
Thanks again for taking the time and trouble to write and please be assured that your comments have been noted.
Now I have to concede, as happy as I was to actually have been credited with a reply, I can`t help but feel the F.A representative who received this e-mail has skirted over my actual idea and treated me as something of a moron. I can assure you that I am no moron and the line 'Prices of football games reflect the demand and product the club feels its offering, for instance a ticket to watch Chelsea at Stamford Bridge is going to be far more expensive then watching Bath City of the Conference South.` Offends my intelligence. I am not claiming to be the next Einstein, but any idiot can work that one out on their own.
I am, contrary to popular belief not here to moan for the entire time I write, and so this week, I want to congratulate the England team on a much-improved performance against the Israeli side. There are a couple of issues I wish to address however!
Before kick-off, looking at the team, I have to admit I was worried. You may expect my concerns to have been with Emile Heskey -they weren`t. Although Heskey is scarcely a prolific international scorer, his partnership with Michael Own has been tremendous over the years. With our current striker 'crisis`, Heskey would have been amongst the best candidates to partner Owen for my money.
My other qualm with the starting line up was the inclusion of Gareth Barry. It`s not that I didn`t have confidence in Barry`s ability, more that he was being played out of position, alongside a player from a very similar mould. I was slightly worried that with Gerrard and Barry next to another in the centre we would have a situation much under Sven with Gerrard - Lampard in the middle. I do have to admit though, my qualms with that selection were soon cast aside as Steve and Gareth struck up an almost instant, a very fruitful partnership.
Overall the performance was very complete. We played well for ninety minutes, defended soundly when occasionally called upon, Robinson kept that clean sheet and the midfield ticked. Up front Heskey and Owen continued where they left off several years ago and Owen looked sharp on his international return.
The three goals are something I wanted to cover too. Each was a good goal in it`s own right and gave us three. The Wright-Phillips goal was the perfect example of something I find myself complaining about frequently at Watford. The cross comes in, bypasses the strikers, but there`s no midfielder making the run into the area. For once a member of a team I care about took that gamble, made that run and it paid off -now tell me I don`t know what I`m on about!
The second goal was brilliant for two men; Emile Heskey and Michael Owen. A great, selfless, intelligent piece of play from Heskey, hopefully proving his worth to England to set up Michael who`s touch and finish were superb. To be scoring goals like that, and in fact, any sort of goal has to be a big thing for Michael after such a long time on the sidelines.
The final goal pleased me for a few reasons also. Firstly I was pleased to see Micah Richards on the scoresheet, he will be some player, but also to see that we could make a chance and a goal from a corner without David Beckham was equally pleasing.
Unfortunately for Steve McClaren, from all these positives comes something very, very hard. Owen Hargreaves is now fit and raring to go as England`s current 'player of the year` and Peter Crouch is back. Russia will be a stiffer test. Does he upset Barry and Heskey to play first team players, and at the same time upset the balance of, most importantly, a winning side? These things are sent to try us as the cliché goes, but they`ll probably trouble Steve McClaren`s incompetence more!
Keep the faith,