Ben and I met up with Peter Brown at the England fans’ haunt The Green Man in Wembley’s Dagmar Avenue this afternoon, ahead of England’s pre-World Cup friendly against Nigeria. There was a lively atmosphere in the large pub garden as fans kicked a ball around and sang the usual fare of well-worn songs.
We walked down to the Stadium at half past four and found our seats in Section 113 behind the goal in Block C. Whilst this end of the pitch is traditionally the England fans’ end, it does mean shielding your eyes for long periods on sunny days!
There was a huge contingent of Nigerian fans at the other end, but they were pretty quiet for most of the opening half as England totally dominated the first half an hour, scoring twice through a well-placed Gary Cahill header and a crisp Harry Kane shot – although the keeper should have done far better when dealing with the latter.
The second half was a very different affair, with Nigeria far more positive in attack and England very quickly conceded a goal from Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi. However 2-1 was to prove the final score and although Nigeria created a few half chances, the only other real moment of note was an appalling dive by Raheem Sterling in the Nigerian penalty area. He was rightly booked by the Italian referee.
I daresay the England camp were satisfied with the run-out, but little was learnt beyond confirmation of the three-at-the-back defensive formation in front of first choice keeper, Jordan Pickford.
We said goodbye to Peter outside the stadium and headed back to our car. As it was a relatively early finish, we drove to the West End and had a celebratory milkshake at Ed’s Diner in Soho. The centre of town was certainly packed with weekend revellers! A fun day with my lovely son.