November 21st, 2007



The Slingbox arrived at the factory. I collected it and spent a couple of hours installing it this afternoon. I wish our lounge TV was less heavy. The physical cable connection was pretty straightforward but configuring the wireless Ethernet bridge was a little more challenging. I had made this more difficult by using a Belkin wireless extender as the bridge because I already had it to hand and thought it might do the job as effectively as a purpose-built unit. The Slingbox installation instructions (not unreasonably) do not cover that specific device as a router but there was enough information for me to create all the appropriate links. It is now possible to watch our Virgin cable TV across the internet and control its function. Weirdly, the signal suspends if the TV is switched off.

England 2-3 Croatia

A desperately disappointing result but no more than we deserved. The first goal seemed to be entirely the fault of Scott Carson and, although our defence should have kept marking their men instead of stopping to appeal for a non-existent offside, the keeper should have had the second goal covered too. So not 15 minutes in and already we were two goals behind and showed no signs of changing that as Crouch got left alone at the front. Come half-time, I was convinced that we would be routed. Bringing Beckham on seemed to make a significant difference to the team's focus but we needed the needless penalty to give us heart. And then Beckham set up Crouch's beautiful volley. Two-all and we were back in with a shout of qualifying. This was a very anxious time and our anxiety was rewarded by a third Croatian goal with just thirteen minutes to go. Our hopes were restored briefly by the substitution of Bent for Cole. Bent is a product of Ipswich's academy and holds a special place in our hearts. He would have enraptured the nation had his early shot on goal been just three inches lower. After the game we agreed that an uninformed observer might have thought that it had been Croatia fighting desperately for qualification and England the pre-qualified team that was just seeing out the group matches. Croatia played exciting, passionate, creative football. England were a tactical mess. So, no European Cup entertainment for us for another three years. Perhaps McClaren's replacement can create a team from our individually brilliant players in time for the World Cup campaign. Le sigh...