Saturday, 19 June 2010

Saturday 19 June 2010 – WORLD CUP DAY NINE

“Nice to see your home fans boo you. That’s what loyal support is.”

In a way this was an awesome gesture but from another perspective I don’t think Wayne Rooney could have chosen a worse moment to utter a more inappropriate message to the supporters of England. This it would appear is a man on the edge, seemingly going nowhere fast. Quite frankly the boos were and are justified.

More word of post match fun and games emerge as the FA complain to FIFA over how an England supporter managed to get into the England dressing room eventually squaring up to David Beckham. Quite frankly the guy has as much purpose being in the dressing room as Beckham.

The other curious thing is how the BBC keeps showing an Algerian supporter complaining about England’s performance and how some people have paid in the region of an annual salary to be at the game. I think the English can fight their own battles mate.

It is a weird thing, back in the dark bad old days of football hooliganism there seemed to be some kind of snap to the team, a fear of failure and a genuine sense of fight. Was it motivated in some way by crowd control, driven in an effort to keep said hooligans happy and prevent them rioting? Certainly this is not the case in these finals or any of recent memory. Just a thought.

Part of me is convinced that failure is all down to the England games serving as warm-up for the James Corden famous football supporter wankfest. So far both England games have been screened on ITV and so far they have both sucked. Thankfully the game on Wednesday against Slovenia is on the BBC. Just a thought, please prove me right.

With this in mind I have decided to analyse the matches so far and which TV stations they have been on. The BBC has shown 12 of the games featuring 21 of the goals. Slightly better ITV has shown 11 games and featured 22 goals. Additionally the BBC and ITV have both shown four matches that have ended in a draw each while ITV has had the misfortune to broadcast both goalless draws including last night’s debacle.

As this game is kicking off I find myself sat queued at a set of traffic lights in my car thinking about the amazing sandwich that I am about to make with the ingredients I just bought in Tesco when I get home. It is strange listening to a match on the radio, a really pleasant throwback to my youth, back as far as Espana 82. Perhaps I should ditch watching these games on TV now and concentrate on the radio coverage. When it comes to commentary Alan Green is head and shoulders above anyone anywhere. That said they just can’t help it with Honda and the puns. Eventually I make my sandwich and eat my sandwich (Dairylea and chorizo in a baguette) and begin concentrating on the game. Again this is another match where the Mexican wave begins early which as the commentators seems to point out every game is never a good sight. Once again Robben is on the bench, not really fully fit for business but in theory without him the Dutch should be enough to beat Japan, their victory over Cameroon seemingly coming more from fortune than flair. Before I even know it the game has reached halftime with the score 0-0 and little to report home, the only interesting thing seeming to be the big plaster now sitting on the chin of Yuichi Komano. The second half begins with lots of pressure from Holland and soon in the 52nd minute they take the inevitable lead with a fiercely struck shot by Wesley Sneider from the edge of the box that Kawashima in the Japanese goal appears unable to handle. From here the Japanese come back into the game and slowly begin to threaten although they appear eternally lacking a final touch. Impressively in the 76th minute Japan bring on two strikers suggesting a never say die attitude. In contrast however it turns out to be Afellay who breaks away with a couple of strong opportunities to add a second late on to kill the game. It all ends with Japan pressing as Okazaki has a great opportunity to equalise before two minutes into injury time De Jong appears to foul Nagatomo in the penalty box but nothing is given. Not long afterwards the game ends as a 1-0 victory to Holland and Takeshi Okada one step closer to his future career as farmer.

Listening to the Australia national anthem today it is funny how to me it suddenly resembles a drunken version of the American national anthem. Today with a manager in Verbeek that looks like a young Rupert Murdoch Australia have something to prove if they are to remain in the World Cup. The game begins brightly as both teams appear up for it for a change. On 11 minutes the Australians take a surprise lead as Holman scores a rebound from a comedy fumble/bobble by the unfortunate Kingson in the Ghanian goal after a direct free kick. From here Ghana pick up the pace and in the 23rd minute a solid move sees Mensah firing a shot which is handled on the line by Kewell resulting in a penalty and inevitable red card meaning for a second game running Australia are reduced to ten men. Moments later Gyan slots home the penalty for his second goal of the finals. With the advantage Ghana proceed to press Australia and in the 43rd minute Boateng brings a good save out of Schwarzer. Into the second half Ghana continue to pile on the pressure with the benefit of an extra man but the final touch fails to arrive. Indeed in the 71st minute Wilkshire beats the offside trap only to fluff perhaps the best opportunity of the half. With the game heading to an end Mensah comes close in the 89th minutes as Ghana push on with pressure into injury time but Australia lockdown the remains and stand stoic. The game sadly ends with Paintsil seeping blood and being stretchered off as both teams just about remain in the tournament with a slight hope of playing the winners of Group C.

Tonight I miss the encounter between Denmark and Cameroon as I get invited (dragged) to a performance art event called “I’m Think Of You” at Colchester Arts Centre by Franko B, a London based artist originally from Italy. Apparently this is bringing people out in their dozens. When I eventually rendezvous with my friends we find ourselves being kept in a holding area before being led into performance platform/room where we find ourselves presented with a fat, naked, tattooed man with his knob pierced riding a reckless swing repeatedly gurning towards anyone present. At the other end of the room a lady plays piano and to experience this for fourteen minutes I guess is the piece. I am missing the fucking football for this? Dare I suggest with the right trust fund and the wrong mental illness anybody could do this. I derive no emotion from this experience just annoyance. By the time the moment passes the Cameroon v Denmark game is all but gone so instead we head down the pub for a Saturday night drink. Surprisingly with no televisions showing the football the place is surprisingly packed, do these people not know a world event is currently taking place? When I eventually get home I catch the highlights (after enduring James Corden). The impression I get is that I have missed out on a good one. I am surprised to learn that Cameroon has bounced out of the tournament losing 2-1 to Denmark. When Samuel Eto’o gave Cameroon the lead after 10 minutes it amuses no end that I learned this fact from an exuberant Twitter posting by Chad Ochocinco. Later when I actually see the goal it comes from a classic defensive foul up from the Danish. In contrast the two Denmark goals turn out to be skilfully taken/finished efforts from Bendtner (33 mins) and Rommedahl (62 mins).

Tonight on James Corden his guests are Vernon Kay and Alan Carr. These are soft stupid men and hardly the kind of people our players should be associating with if they are to be world beaters. Is it any surprise that our players performed like fannies last night when they are being associated with such bullshit? The clip featuring Corden exchanging penalties with Lampard at Stamford Bridge is incredibly infuriating. Hearing this guy’s bellowing fake/false laugh is the kind of thing that could induce insanity if taken too seriously (and I feel I’m almost there). What is the answer?

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