It’s a thin line between pessimism and realism
We’re not winding down the build-up hours in the arse end of Miramar now, practicing behind a huge black tarpaulin, with nobody really giving much of a flying care.
This is Lima, a city of 10 million people where there is just one show in town.
Hudson did really well to cover up Wood’s hamstring issues last week; good luck doing it again now with media building temporary grandstands.
Over the last two years 60 or so years Peru has spent every single international window playing against the very best. And South American countries hate each other; they are at home when the flares are going and you can cut the air with a knife.
The New Zealand players just don’t have that experience; for example the A-League Derby doesn’t really have that edge.
At least Chris Wood, from his Leeds playing days, is used to playing in front of a crowd when universally detested.
Tommy Smith with an I has had his issues with international football, and has been derided as a result of that. In Wellington he was fantastic, and alongside Reid provided assurance not seen since the Ryan Nelson days.
But he got well and truly clattered in the second half of that match, and should he not be passed fit (likely) that will leave a massive hole at the back.
Famously, this is not a word fondly linked with NZ Football. Whether it relates to fax machines or international eligibility checks, the ball seems to be often dropped in NZFHQ in Albany.
This time it has come down to arranging getting players from Wellington to Peru. OK, there are only so many Charter 747s decked out in Economy Class up for grabs but the Peruvians seemed to manage it. Their players arrived in Lima a full 30 hours ahead of New Zealand in a 120 hour window.
That’s quite a lot.
Who knows what deal has been done with Burnley, but the travel schedule above is unlikely to have provided any miracle medical cure
Muchachos, es Nueva Zelanda
To paraphrase Sir Alex Fergusson this would not be the worst advice to the home team in the dressing room build-up.
It’s not all doom and gloom, here is the counter argument.