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Richard Birch
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21 followers
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**
I'm huddled in my man cave again. Just me, two bottles of Old Speckled  Hen (one for each half), and the World Cup final. It is already a belter, with Croatia looking good in their gorgeous kit. As I type, VAR is making a dramatic return with Perisic's hand...
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Beer clouds
Here in the UK the weather broke simultaneously with England players' and fans' hearts, upon the final whistle of their semi-final. A month of relentless sunshine and joy cracked suddenly, to be replaced by rain and a national sigh. The rain on my street wa...
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The whole country has a semi
Another rewarding weekend in an amazing World Cup. I just has a game on Fifa18 and quite by choice decided to recreate Russia vs Saudi, that seemingly dull encounter, that actually sparked the tournament off 3 and a half weeks ago. The quarter finals, often...
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Quarters
The only thing taking the shine off a genuinely sumptuous set of quarter-final matches (I'm giving England vs Sweden a pass here on the basis that it is a match containing England) is the fact that they are not being played on Saturday and Sunday (to enable...
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As tight as Southgate's waistcoat
Whilst we mostly expected Sweden and Switzerland to claw their way, in a battle of attrition, through their round of 16 tie, I don't think even the most damaged England fans really expected the 2.5 hours of utter torture that ensued last night. With Sweden ...
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Post tica-taca
The tournament has excitingly evolved over the weekend and there’s three main themes that have emerged enough to get my attention today. 1) First is the emergence of a two-tier competition. There is a real competition and a ‘plate’ going on simultaneously n...
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Boot camp selection
I'm watching on delay tonight, having amazingly avoided any spoilers this afternoon despite being in the company  of a thousand or more people at a festival. It really gets tense now, and whilst things might not be as end-to-end as they have been in the gro...
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The Southgate bluff
Our Gareth. What a sneaky chap he is. He gave it the big chat about "momentum" and "will to win", before fielding a full b-side and laughing his way into the easy side of the draw. The big giveaway was in his post match interview, where he stumbled through ...
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My headline writing career is over before it starts
"Moses departs the Messi!" was going to be my stunning arrival into top-flight journalism, before Rojo popped up with that stunning winner. Maradonna gave it the double bird and like that my dreams (and Nigeria's too) we're in tatters. What a game though. A...
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Second is the new first
The sixteen chair challege has begun. And four of them are already taken. A chastened Russia team sits alongside a chastened Spain, a chastened Portugal and increasingly menacing Uruguay. Not winning matches seems to be very much in Vogue, with good teams e...
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