Martin Smith column: England game was like watching paint dry

This guy had more fun than the millions watchng on TV
This guy had more fun than the millions watchng on TV
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If ever a game deserved the Donny Rovers treatment it was this one.

Back in April someone in the club’s media office did the honest and sensible thing of cutting Rovers’ website’s match ‘highlights’ down to 20 seconds for the 0-0 draw with Fleetwood Town.

That might have been stretching it with Ireland v England on Sunday.

Coming after the high–speed excellence of the Champions League final on Saturday night the England game - basically a televised training session - was beyond dire.

The phrase ‘all-important’ is way over-used in sports commentary.The ‘all-important’ automatic promotion spot, that ‘all-important’ second goal, those ‘all-important’ away results in the Champions League.

The Ireland v England game was the opposite of that, more all-unimportant.

An all-unimportant friendly ahead of the all-important European Championship qualifier, you might say. ‘An end of season waste of space’ as the legendarily direct former England midfielder Paul Scholes so eloquently put it. I had it on the radio while up a ladder watching paint dry – or rather indulging in that most English of summer pastimes, painting window frames.

It was even too boring to listen to and you had to feel sorry for the commentators trying to keep themselves and their audience awake. The game was so bad it actually turned out to be a great advert for the Women’s World Cup in Canada if only on the grounds that nothing could be worse - though Germany’s TEN goals against the Ivory Coast was too one-sided to be exciting.

We might really get into this World cup as a country if England have a decent run, the time is right and we’re desperate as a nation for some football success. With a billion people expected to watch the tournament and England having an outside chance of success it’s perfect for us to get involved in.

Win a couple of games and we can transfer the unrealistic hopes and overblown expectation of a nation from the men’s team to the women’s and watch the hysteria grow. Luckily there’s still some painting left to do, just in case.

n On a recent trip to Merseyside went to Liverpool’s new city centre shopping zone – sort of a Meadowhall without a roof.Pleasant enough of you like that kind of thing but the highlight of the day was the name of the Everton gift shop in the mall named Liverpool One.

They’ve called it Everton Two.