Whether we are heading for agony or ecstasy all eyes will be on the action in Russia as the World Cup 2018 kicks off tonight.
It’s no different in the Nathan Rous PR office where the beautiful game is this week’s top scorer when it comes to office banter.
And whether football mad or ready to give it the red card we all now have a vested interest after arranging our own sweep stake.
It’s turned us all into wannabe football pundits so we thought why not appoint a couple of official armchair commentators to follow the tournament for us.
So step forward our girl who can and sports addict Amelia West and our reluctant follower Nathan Hughes (do they play on a court or a green?) who will be blogging throughout the tournament to give us their take on England’s performance, the atmosphere in Russia, the favourites, the kits, the fans and any World Cup PR that has hit the back of the net or scored an own goal. Of course they will also be revealing who is the office star striker when it comes to how their chosen teams are doing. Let the fun and games begin……
I am a big sports fan, if it’s sport I’ll watch it. Growing up with parents who have an interest in sport has rubbed off on me, always being the fan of the underdog is something else I have gained from my parents. This week the biggest football event in the world begins, the 2018 football world cup held in Russia.
In true world cup fashion, we came together to draw our teams for the sweepstake. Naturally I was excited about this as a sweepstake gets you rooting for teams who you didn’t realise were in the world cup. With eight members of staff we get four teams each factoring this in you would expect a few different people with top rated teams, unfortunately for Conor this was not the case as he landed himself with Japan, South Korea, Tunisia and Panama who have 1000/1 odds on winning the tournament. Some suspect Nathan Rous may not be playing fairly as he pulled out Spain and Germany.
The competition kicks off on Thursday with Russia against Saudi Arabia, it will be interesting to see how the host nation performs in this tournament and also to see how their fans behave throughout.
England’s first match is on Monday 18th against Tunisia, a match which England would be expected to win but with previous performances in the World Cup and in the Euros, as an England supporter you soon learn that any match deemed easy will usually be a battle.
With no other home nation to support, I have had to choose a different second team to back, as I love an underdog I have chosen fashion forward Nigeria as a team to follow. They have already impressed many with their kit, the Super Eagles also turned heads with their travel and arrival outfits, this is a team I can get behind.
I hope that the home nations will come together to support England in their quest for the title of world champions. If you’ve had enough of the football already and are lucky enough to have nextbikes in your city you can escape the world cup fever which is sweeping the nation by hiring a bike and exploring your city.
Right, football… Not my favourite spectator sport by any stretch of the imagination but there’s a first time for everything I suppose.
The combination of growing up in a family with a fairly apathetic attitude towards the beautiful game, along with my home team being Wycombe Wanders (“come on you blues”) has lead to my football knowledge being somewhat compromised. And still not sure I really care how the offside rule works.
However, as the England team prepare for their first game of the World Cup 2018 in Russia (and as i’ve been told that there is no subs bench when it comes to writing these blogs) it seems there’s no better time to try and get into this whole football lark.
Despite the claims from certain members of the team that our office sweepstake was a fix, I seemed to come out of it alright claiming Iran, Poland, Mexico and Brazil. Dipping into my somewhat limited bank of football trivia (Google helped!), I am able to remember Brazil winning the world cup back in 2002 and so, whilst my other three team’s careers are fairly modest ones, it seems that Brazil with their current 9/2 odds, may give me a shot at going the distance in this competition.
Naturally, I’ll be rooting for my home nation too, but with us coming 26th in the last World Cup and not even making it past the group stages, I’m not holding my breath. However, the new England set up has been praised for their ‘team bond’ and ‘effective and stylish’ football (Google and BBC Sport – my new best friend) and with two wins out of two in their warm up games this year, maybe times are changing.
If nothing else, I certainly do enjoy the camaraderie of this competition. Everybody sitting down together to cheer on their favourite team, the highs, the lows, the shameless patriotism that comes out in people as they tenuously claim roots to countries that you could never imagine them coming from and the outrageous hypocrisy as they denounce all association once that country is eliminated. All in all, it only comes around every four years so you might as well embrace it and enjoy it while you can. Who knows, I may just be uncovering my lifelong passion…