I am an unashamed football nut, have been forever. I was young but remember the ’82 World Cup (I was even given some Spanish stamps commemorating it from a friend that went)
I have been reading and watching the current All Whites World Cup campaign from the early stages: relatively routine progression through the Oceania Group, the warm up game vs Jordan, then the nail biter in Bahrain in the first leg of the qualifier.
I was even lucky enough to be one of the near 35000 who was at the game on “that” night in Wellington.
But then the wait, six months before the true build up to the World Cup itself.
Expectations have been varied, from Ivan Vicelich’s possibility of getting past the group stages, to some of the bookmakers who were giving big odds for us even scoring a single goal.
Recent warm up games have given some optimism, that we will be at least competitive and not the walk overs we were talked as. But more than that, while our midfield is light, especially in technique, our defence is looking strong and the most pleasing things is that we actually look like a genuine threat at the pointy end.
I would expect us now to most likely score in each of our pool matches. If that is the case, we give ourselves the best opportunity to get results in every game.
Who knows, Ivan could be right.