Date: 30th March 2009 at 1:28pm
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That is why Jamo is England’s no.1, and was on goal!

‘What’s he doing in goal’, a line that the guy sitting next to me at Wembley said the other day about David James and his place in the England side…

Well, after save number one I was going to tap him on the shoulder and say ‘that is why’, but I did not. After the second save, which was probably better, I was even more tempted to answer the question, but decided against it.

To be fair I am not sure if it was in jest to his mate next to him, as I assume he would have been a Pompey fan as I heard him keep mentioning ‘Fratton Park’ a fair bit – so it might have been a joke to wind him up?

Either way I think that Jamo once again proved why he is England’s no.1 – and until the likes of Ben Foster and Joe Hart go out on loan, or move on, how can they seriously challenge him to realistically leave anyone seriously asking the question ‘what’s he doing in goal’…


Club before country

I was given the opportunity to tick off another of those ‘I must do things’ at the weekend, you know the ‘see a premier league game’ – check and of course plenty of them now with Pompey, ‘watch an FA cup final’ – check, doubly as this was with Pompey and better still at Wembley, ‘see a European game’ – check, again double, no trebly as I have not only managed this, but managed this with Pompey at Fratton and abroad.

Well, you get the point of the ‘I must do’, anyhow ‘watch an England game’ was another, and I managed to do this with the previously mentioned friendly at Wembley against Slovakia on Saturday…

To be honest I was not up for this at first, as my ‘I am proud to be English but would much rather put my money towards Pompey travels and games’ thoughts put me off… Eventually I wilted and I am glad that I did as it gave me a brief insight into what it is like to really follow England, and by ‘really’ I mean being there ‘following England’ following! For a day all fans are united, usual allegiances are cast aside and camaraderie takes over. I really liked that, and to see all different fans, regional accents and so on mingling, conversing, sharing stories of travels and so on with other fans was fantastic – it really was.

I, like all that are English (or whatever the Vital spread is on this site for you and your country of birth) am proud to be so and always do have an interest in England, but as much as I do reckon it ‘could’ become easy for me to start following the national side after this, based on this one experience then my own opinion is that this would purely be for the ‘gathering’ side of things, as I did not have nearly as much interest in the game itself, and this was not because it was ‘just a friendly’, as I do for any Pompey game I go to!

I love the crack of the day out for football, and even with Pompey the game is somewhat secondary for me to the travelling, banter, drinking and basic whole day out, but I always have a complete focus on the game and follow it with a real passion, it was not really the same with England at the weekend. ‘England til I die’ had no comparison to ‘Pompey til I die’, so singing this song was hard going, even given that is the way it is an my pride in this should not have left that as the case.

Maybe in time I would find this, but for me it is always Pompey first England second I am afraid and if further proof was needed then I think the fact that due to the crazy kick off time, thanks to our ‘friends’ at setanta sports (although to be fair, if it was not them it would probably have been someone else!) meant we had to leave 20 minutes before the end – leaving early is something I have never, ever done in my life, but it was either that or we could not get back to Exeter! – did not leave me anywhere near as ‘put out’ as I would have been had this been Pompey, which would have left me devastated.

It was for sure an experience that I really enjoyed, and one that I probably would do again and recommend, but if confirmation was needed that I am a ‘club before country’ man, then Saturday proved this to me beyond a doubt…


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