Tuesday, 16 June 2009

British sport

I feel quite happy to be British this summer with regards to sport (which I didn't so much last year...).

Firstly, England have played seven matches in the current World Cup Qualifiers and have won all of them. We've scored 26 goals in these matches, conceding only 4, and for the first time in a long while, my expectations for them to win are not unfounded and I can feel confident when watching them. They pass smoothly, they work as a team together well, they score goals, they defend well and even though we still haven't found a decet goalkeeper, we hardly let in any goals. A stark contrast to last year when I wacthed Euro 2008 without my country being represented, I'm now looking forward to South Africa next year when we (almost inevitably) play in the World Cup.

Formula 1 is going excellently for the British. The reigning world champion, Lewis Hamilton, has found himself in an underachieving car this year, unfortunately, but is still ahead of the Ferraris in the championship standings (ast time I checked anyway!). However, Britain's true underachiever, Jenson Button, who waited over 100 grand prixs for his first win and didn't manage another, has found himself in an excellent British team, Brawn GP, winning 6 out of 7 of this years races so far. So now we have the amazing situation of a British driver 26 points clear at the top of the championship and a British lead team 39.5 points clear at the top. I'm loving it and will love it even more if (when) he takes the British win this weekend!

Andy Murray won the Queens Club Championship this past weekend, the first British player to win it for 71 years. I've followed Andy since I first remember seeing him on some sort of early morning chat show as British tennis' next star and used to watch Henman fail each tournament. He's won tournaments before but never this one on grass, the warm-up for Wimbledon, never any sort of grand-slam and certainly never Wimbledon and this summer I'm actually excited to see how far he goes and possibly think we might get another British champion this year! I've never been able to support a British player in tennis who is a world beater and seeded in the top 3, it's all very exciting! Now, all he needs to learn is how to smile...(see above!)

Finally, although England have been knocked out of the Twenty20 World Cup this past week, I'm quite pleased with how they did. We managed to beat Pakistan and India (the world champions in a match, in England, where there was a majority India fans!) and only lost to the Windies on a technicality really, an unfair rule which should never have been used. Coming out of this World Cup we have the Ashes to come, against Australia, and I think we have a real chance of winning after the Ozzies were knocked out of the Twenty20 early on.

Let's see what happens through the summer and into the end of the year, whatever happens, I'll be glad to be a British sports fan either way.