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All White captain Ryan Nelson

The All Whites have set themselves two goals for the upcoming friendlies against Honduras and Paraguay. After the success of the recent World Cup where we were the only undefeated side the team have high expectations for the upcoming games.

Speaking today captain Ryan Nelson said the first goal was to get the ball in the opposition half from any means other than hoof from left or right back. The long ball down the left and right flank has become staple diet for the All Whites with the move used at every opportunity. Nelson hopes that somebody from the central midfield might offer themselves as a passing option over the 180 minutes coming up.

The second goal for the team was to get the ball into the opposition box from general play. Ricki Herbert talked about this extensively at today’s press conference. “We managed to get into the opposition box 4 times at the World Cup but all of those were from free kick within our own half. Our goal is to put a few passes together and perhaps if luck goes our way we might get an opening and get into their goal box.”

When questioned on how the All Whites were planning to do this Herbert seemed a little shocked, although he did hint that there maybe a formation change from the World Cup. “We are playing at home so we want to come out and attack. In South Africa we went with a flat back 8 with three on the goal line, including our goalkeeper.  That formation saw us very hard to break down but very boring to watch. But when you are playing at home sometimes you have to throw caution into the wind. So we may see us play an 7 man defense, the usual goal line wall, with a lone striker.”

So with Herbert promising an attacking, almost samba style, game plan the upcoming games will no doubt prove to be very entertaining. Lets just hope that someone turns up to watch.

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John Key parties following All White's victory

John Key used his PM privileges today to watch the All Whites in their historic draw with Italy. The PM wore all white for the game but that was soon gone as the PM was caught up in the emotion and took his shirt off and chanted with the large group of New Zealand supporters. Rumours that some supporters had to hold the PM back from streaking following Smelts early strike have not been denied by the National Party.

Yes that is Chris Carter in the top right. He  used his vast number of airpoints to pay for the trip although and was not involved in any shenanigans. Spending the time watching all the men, including our PM, with their shirts off.

John key celebrates with the All White fans

Ricki Herbert talks to Winston about his goal

Ricki Herbert

All White's Song – Rubbish

With the Football World Cup only months away preparation is underway in all aspects of society. One of the main events of any major sporting occasion is the adopting of a song. Prior to the All White’s qualification we had a handmade ‘One Shot for Glory’ number which was perfect for a local game against Bahrain. However, with the step up to the main draw of the World Cup New Zealand Soccer had to step up their musical ability and have decided upon a cover version of the Feller’s song, Stand Up. New Zealand Soccer, chief Michael Glading said “Lyrically, the song captures everything this campaign is about,” Sadly he obviously didn’t listen to the tune of the song as it is appalling.

A sporting song must excite a nation and get everyone enthused. It should be able to be sung in a pub late at night but also have a little  style to it as well. Sadly, this song does everything but. New Zealand has had such a long history of classic sporting songs. From the ‘Sailing Away’ hit which launched our love affair with yachting to the All Whites 1982 “Heading for the Top”. Are there any others that spring to mind???

 While New Zealand have decided on a song it has been decided that the England team may do an offical world cup song this year. For me this is a shame because if there is one nation that does this well it is the English.

Football’s coming home – 1970

World in Motion – 1990

 Three Lions – 1998

We’re on the Ball –

This Time – 1982

 It is my hope that this song isn’t a reflection of what we are going to see on the field from our boys. Lets just hope we have got all our bad decisions out of our system before kick off.

Come on you All Whites

I may have only been 4 years old when the All Whites last made it to the World Cup, (Spain 1982) but I am still excited by the massive football game on this Saturday. New Zealand will take on Bahrain in a ‘winner takes all’ game for a spot in the World Cup. As far as sporting events in this country it is up there with an All Black test in my opinion. After a great result in Bahrain, the All Whites just need a victory in front of 30,000 screaming football fans and the game is ours. However, could the lack of an away goal come back and haunt us – perhaps. Qualification for the World Cup would be massive on many front, least of which I would be forced into getting Sky TV reinstalled for the World Cup.  Personally I think the boys will do it with a 2-0 victory in the driving rain of Wellington.

Like all great sporting occassions the need for a song is paramount. In 1982 New Zealand came up with this classic ‘Heading for the Top’.

This year we have a new song to get us all excited and pumped for the game. In 2009 they have named the tune ‘One shot for Glory’. I kinda like the new tune, especially the little comments put in overtop.