World Cup 2006 Blog

From our reporters in Germany

Ray Winstone's England verdict

paul_fletcher.gif HAMBURG - Ray Winstone, actor, West Ham fan and all-round top bloke, has been in Germany since the World Cup started.

In fact, earlier in the tournament one of our bloggers bumped into him in Frankfurt.

The actor has been keeping a close eye on England and was privileged enough to watch them train on Thursday. We caught up with Ray to find out what he made of England’s prospects.

Ray, is of course, a West Ham fan and was keen very early in our conversation to make it clear that being a Hammer you have to be “an optimist”.

Not surprisingly then Ray is very confident of victory over Portugal on Saturday.

“Portugal have got a great footballing side but we have a team to match and better them,” said Ray.

winstone203.jpg “We will beat them comfortably enough. Sometimes you get a little feeling.”

Winstone was clearly chuffed at spending Thursday with the England players - as any fan would - and if his inside word is anything to go by then prepare yourself for glory.

“The players have no fear. I was impressed with the way the training went, the way Steve McClaren coached the boys, the respect they clearly have for Sven.

“We have been scraping through but doing a job. The Italians have been doing the same thing for years - not been playing that well but getting results - that is what wins a World Cup.”

Winstone may be a household name to most British folk but I very much get the impression that he has revelled in his spending his time in Germany as just another England supporter.

“We have done some camping, gone back to our roots,” said the star of the film Sexy Beast.

“We have had a blinding time and meeting the players has been the icing on the cake.”

Winstone has been making a video diary of his trip and talking to all kinds of people to find out what they really think about the English rather than how stereotypes are portrayed in the media.

He is in Germany with a group of mates and I get the impression he has been having the time of his life.

But don’t for a moment think that penetrating the Winstone gang is easy.

They have all given themselves codenames and when I enquired as to Ray’s he gave me short shrift.

“I could tell you that, but then again if I did so I’d have to send the boys round to kill you immediately.”

Don’t say you have not been warned.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 03:43 PM on 30 Jun 2006,
  • Greg S wrote:

What an excellent idea to get Ray Winstone to talk about the England game.

But why stop there? Why not get a range of celebrities called Ray to comment on the match. You could get Ray Reardon, the famously vampiric former snooker world champion to talk about England from a Welsh perspective. And there's Ray Davies, the lead singer of the Kinks, who were famous for music that celebrated the minutae of English culture. And you could speak to Ray Romano, the US star of sitcom Everyone Loves Raymond about how English "soccer" is perceived in the States.

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  • 2.
  • At 04:04 PM on 30 Jun 2006,
  • DaveH wrote:

What are you ray-vin on about Greg? Sorry, I can't help it - it's Friday afternoon...

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Long way from Germany to home :)

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  • 4.
  • At 04:28 PM on 30 Jun 2006,
  • Greg S wrote:

I am not raving, I'm drowning.

The whole programme could be called "Rays of Hope". Naturally, it would be presented by Ray Stubbs.

Incidentally, I'm sure you'll all be pleased to know that if you are displeased with Ray Stubbs, you can sing "No, we don't want Ray Stubbs" to tune tune of No Scrubs by TLC.

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  • 5.
  • At 04:40 PM on 30 Jun 2006,
  • Kat wrote:

Doubtful if Engerlund will beat Portugal to be honest. They've not got a striker! AND they've not really had the chance to 'perform' as a side yet - Sven's had his men in different positions, different formations and different line ups for each game - they've not had time to settle into a rhythm and really perform - which is a shame coz they ARE a bloody good side.

I just hope FIGO doesn't stomp all over Rooney's feet - Sven (and Fergie) wouldn't want to see him injured again. That'd be a nightmare.

I had predicted an England vs Brazil semi final... Let's see what happens.

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  • 6.
  • At 04:40 PM on 30 Jun 2006,
  • Bellamy wrote:

you guys are totally cracking up with these mad jokes. keep them coming!

(My one: Rays the roof!)

PS Greg S, Yr site is well wicked guy. I dont think I get yr TLC joke though. why do we want to have a go at stubbsy? hes a top geezah!!

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  • 7.
  • At 04:40 PM on 30 Jun 2006,
  • Kat wrote:

Doubtful if Engerlund will beat Portugal to be honest. They've not got a striker! AND they've not really had the chance to 'perform' as a side yet - Sven's had his men in different positions, different formations and different line ups for each game - they've not had time to settle into a rhythm and really perform - which is a shame coz they ARE a bloody good side.
I just hope FIGO doesn't stomp all over Rooney's feet - Sven (and Fergie) wouldn't want to see him injured again. That'd be a nightmare.
I had predicted an England vs Brazil semi final... Let's see what happens.

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  • 8.
  • At 04:44 PM on 30 Jun 2006,
  • Matt Halsall wrote:

I really like the idea of celebrities commenting on England. It shows that we are behind the team them no matter who we are. If they are going to use Ray Winstones speech for the Portugal game that could be a major boost for us. In the Rugby World Cup, Clive Woodwood played a scene from the Dead's Poet Society "Seize the day". At this stage in the tournament it boils down to self belief, motivation and psychological preparation. All the remaining teams have the skills required, it's the extra edge that will carry them through. Brazil of course are a shining example of this.

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  • 9.
  • At 08:15 PM on 30 Jun 2006,
  • Greg S wrote:

Ray Stubbs is not a top geezer. He is an embarassment to broadcasting. And he has a suspiciously square head.

Just for the record, here are the good and bad BBC presenters/pundits.

The good:

1) Gary Lineker: prone to smugness but thinks on his feet and is fairly bright
2) Martin O'Neill: tends to go off on tangents, but otherwise excellent. No respecter of reputations
3) Alan Hansen: debatable - he does lapse into self-parody and tends to start every sentence with "If you're looking for..." but does make some good points.

The bad:

1)Mark Lawrensen: Offers very little expertise and spends the entire match vainly sneering at people and making weak jokes
2) Ray Stubbs: Bland, sycophantic, and as mentioned, he has a strange shaped head.
3) Garth Crooks: Terrible. Incomprehensible, and he seems to think that referring to his interviewees in the third-person lends him gravitas.
4) John Motson: He of hysterical yelping and always a good seven or eight minutes behind the play. He believes his job is to capture the "spirit of the nation". It's not. He just has to commentate on football.

I would like to add that as a half-Argentine, I am currently quite sad, so if people want to shower me in money and gifts, that would be nice.

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  • 10.
  • At 10:08 PM on 30 Jun 2006,
  • Peete wrote:

Who cares about yet another celeb getting on the bandwagon for good ol' engerland.... just like this blog it's all media people led with little scope for self-expression and creativity from ordinary people, scrutinised for anything 'unacceptable' and totally banal! Almost as good as the Blair led labour party - spin spin spin, celebrity celebrity celebrity - shame the football is crap too - just watched Argentina throw it away and bored to tears with Italy - still there's always engerland's overpaid and overhyped superstars to come.....

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  • 11.
  • At 03:15 AM on 01 Jul 2006,
  • Kevin Rodgers wrote:

I think England have a great Chance to make the Semi Finals just like 1990 and Hopefully play France in the Semi final?

Who knows if win tomorrow and we could make the final if France or brazil show weaknesses in defence then England can win?

If England get to The Final they could play either Germany or Italy?

If Germany a re run of 1966 but in Germany this time?

Or Italy in The Final facing England this would go well in Bedford in Bedfordshire which has a big Italian Community which came over after War for London Brickworks near Bedford.

I would like a ideal World Cup Final Italy v England with Bedford Buzzing with English and Italian Supporters in the Town Pubs in Bedford.

A great occasion this would be?

But I want England to win this World Cup to ease the pain of 40 years of hurt after last time we won it was 1966 but we got a Great Squad and now is the Time for England to win it?

The World Cup!

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  • 12.
  • At 02:46 PM on 01 Jul 2006,
  • John wrote:

Mick McCarthy is also shocking when it comes to presenting, offer little in the way of constructive criticism and thinks his irish wit and colloqualisms are enough... they aren't!!!

On the other hand Leonardo has been a brilliant addition to the BBC for their World Cup coverage.

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  • 13.
  • At 04:44 AM on 02 Jul 2006,
  • steve ( Hampshire ) wrote:

Oh well a good display by
swin and the mumptess ! Not.

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