Prepare yourselves, people—this summer, the beautiful game is back in its most beautiful incarnation—the fantastic festival of football that is the World Cup! Yes, Russia 2018 is soon upon us—can you believe it’s been four years already? Four years since England finished bottom of their group after defeats to Italy and Uruguay. Four years since we last huddled in front of the television with a knotted mix of optimism and anxiety in our bellies. And two years since we were knocked out of another major tournament by Iceland…population 334, 252. Urgh, I thought I’d buried that memory…
Still, it’s not good to dwell on the past. Because quite frankly there’s a lot of dwelling to be done. We were last victorious in 1966, of course, and it hasn’t looked much like changing, despite a rousing semi-final appearance in 1990, complete with Lineker’s heroics and Gazza’s tears. This year we approach the tournament with a little less buzz, a little less chest-thumping belief. We’ve been humbled before—oh, how we’ve been humbled—and now England march to Russia not under the banner of potential favourites, but as maverick outsiders, a team of mostly young and upcoming starlets, many of which have never played tournament football. We don’t know what to expect from this squad, but we do know that youth and inexperience can often go hand-in-hand with courageous abandon, burning enthusiasm, and bags and bags of energy and pace! With the likes of Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lindgard, Deli Ali and Harry Kane, we have a core of young players who can compete with and scare any and all opposition. Personally, I’m betting on a semi-final place at least. But, of course, I say that every year…
But what makes a World Cup winning team? Most footy fans will tell you the same thing: it’s about the perfect balance of flair, technical ability, strength in defence and a potent goal threat. Well, and a bit of luck, of course. England’s ’66 team has these qualities in abundance: Gordon Banks in goal, athletic and graceful. Bobby Moore, elegant and solid at the back. Bobby Charlton, a goal machine and driving force from midfield. And Geoff Hurst—hattrick hero in the final—a constant threat to the opposition’s goal. It’s the same for all the great teams. Brazil in 1970, Germany in 1990, Spain in 2010. A blend of silky and smooth with rough and ready, devastating pace with patience and guile, mouth-watering skill with savvy experience.
And speaking of perfect balances…Hoogly Tea is the ideal accompaniment to your 2018 World Cup matchday, a winning combination of classic and comforting brews, with exotic and undiscovered tastes from around the world!
Here’s a brief rundown of our squad for 2018: For traditionalists, we have delicious English Breakfast and Earl Grey teas—our relaxing riffs on cherished favourites—the perfect beginning, middle or end to any day! For those seeking a little bit of decadence to celebrate a victory or mitigate against defeat, then why not try chocolate brownie black tea, a rich and indulgent brew that caters to your naughty side! For those seeking something to broaden their tea-drinking experience, why not try Danish Pastry Rooibos, which has a seductive warming chocolate and cinnamon aroma with a subtle pastry taste. Or how about Spiced Orange herbal infusion…a zesty summer taste sensation, combining fruit and mulled spices that will thrill your taste buds?!
Whoever you are supporting this summer (Hoogly founder Tina hopes it is Denmark!) make sure you flip the kettle on and calm your nerves with a mug of beautiful Hoogly Tea. If you give us a go in 2018, there is only one winner…and that’s you!
Written by Chris Bedford.