Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Wednesday 23 June 2010 – WORLD CUP DAY THIRTEEN

Day Thirteen? That’s a bad omen. Early in the morning I find myself online and buying porn, I guess this is in preparation of England leaving me unsatisfied later on today. Unsurprisingly when it finishes downloading five hours later I have long forgotten about the passion.

I begin the day by listening to the new podcast from Derek “Robbo” Robson. He is a loudmouth Middlesbrough fan who has been plugging away telling it like it is with regards to all sport for over a decade now. I first discovered him years ago passing comment on an old Radio Five show hosted by Stuart Maconie called The Treatment. He was the best thing about the show by a mile. Over the years he has remained passing judgement and waxing lyrical for Five Live but now he appears to have struck out on his own with his Robbo Robson blog and attached podcast. He hasn’t lost it, still happy to banter shit with an energy certain other pundits and commentators appear to be lacking.

OK, off the back of my opinions expressed yesterday it would appear that I am COMPLETELY alone with my take of the Terry vs Capello apparent war of words. Let it be understood, I can’t really bare either of them but provided we are winning I will be for them all the way.

The latest issue of Vice Magazine comes through my letterbox today and the only England player in sight is Joe Cole shilling Nike on pages 2 and 3. Perhaps this is a sign.

Less than a year ago we were beating this team 2-1 at Wembley. So why should they be providing such a problem for us now? The reality is that they aren’t, we are in the process of defeating ourselves. This is the English way, the resounding mentality of grafter nation repeatedly being beaten down by the powers that be (anyone else see that Budget yesterday?). Ahead of time Capello has announced his team which to his credit shows he listens to voices and suggests he is not as stubborn as we had been fearing (stubborn to the point of Kurtz). I get dragged out to the pub for this game. I was trying to avoid a boozy experience and incoherent football during this competition but today I get my arm twisted. We wind up in a pub called The Castle, which I guess it what you need in these times of necessarily patriotism and tradition. Getting a position next to the bar ultimately proves something of a mistake as beer flows and by halftime I have already nearly knocked back four pints of Kronenbourg on an empty stomach (blame the nerves). Thankfully England look a team rejuvenated today. I genuinely believe in Capello again, the sense of suffocating seriousness feels as if it has passed and the team is hinting at and suggesting flair again. I believe in the addition of Defoe. As an out and out striker he is better than Heskey (whose role is provider) but with Rooney not working alongside poor old Emile. This is a good move that pays off early in the 21st minute as Defoe smacks in an effort, off a cross from Milner, fired straight at the Slovenian goalkeeper’s face it would seem. There is a true sense of relief attached to this goal going in. From here confidence builds as the beer goggles kick in. Thankfully Terry looks unaffected by the apparent spat of earlier this week as he plays a very solid game putting out a performance that is slowly making me a fan out of a player I never thought I could ever warm to. After halftime things are looking good as everyone in the pub exchanges gestures of confidence in gobby fashion. Three minutes into the second half Defoe scores again and the pub explodes. Somehow though I appear to be the only one that spots the linesman raising his flag and while everyone around is cheering I am booing. Even the score in the top left corner of the BBC coverage shows 2-0. FAIL. In the 58th minute Rooney hits the woodwork and suddenly it begins to look like a second goal is not necessarily going to happen. Suddenly the game begins to resemble something of a slog/scrap. When in the 71st minute Capello pulls off Rooney and puts on Joe Cole I fail to clock that he has been limping and once more I find myself with a paranoid distaste towards our leader as I find myself reminded of the time that Graham Taylor yanked off Lineker against Sweden at Euro 92 before he got the goal scoring record and ruined the end of his international career. I am wrong though. Eventually we win 1-0 and all that stuff gets forgotten. It’s not a complete performance, not one that really inspires but it was business like for a change and came with the desired result. We are through and likely to be against some soft touch in Serbia or Ghana from Group D as despite our fears we end the campaign topping the table of Group C (see twist below). By now I think I have knocked back six pints in a short space of time on an empty stomach. This would probably explain Tweets such as “England games make me feel like fighting” and “scraping a draw against Slovenia? We fuckimg suck!” We exit the pub in the zone for food. For shits and giggles we decide to step into a restaurant called Clowns. It’s a fucking kids restaurant with unsurprisingly a circus theme. I guess this gives me license to say “I’m famished.” Inside there is only one other table eating so typically we sit in the booth right next to it. We are a state. At least however we have not wound up in a night club as with past experiences of England games (a memory and moment in time having been noted in our haze). When the poor waitress takes our drinks orders I find myself unprepared and not necessarily sensibly I order a banana milkshake. Next as it comes to food I order a “Mile High Burger”. This is what the truly obese eat and now I am skirting/skimming towards that fast track off the back of an England victory. When the food finally gets served it is four burgers in a bap with bacon and cheese inside and a skewer holding it all together. This food is so wrong. Sporting true English grit and spirit (much like the footballers) with determination I finish my plate (barring the sweetcorn). It’s a dirty job. Eventually we exit leaving an apologetic but pathetic tip for the waitress that thankfully chose to turn a blind eye to our indiscretion and shame. Walking down Colchester High Street on a blazing Wednesday afternoon with dickheads in England shirts blowing plastic vuvuzelas isn’t necessarily the most awful thing in the world.

“Here’s hoping the Yanks fucking fail” (my thoughts beforehand). Through the entire England game all news of the other match (this match) remains silent, nothing is heard which surely without doubt equates to no action and no goals. Then after the England game finishes and I can barely stand from somewhere news filters through that America have scored an injury time winner through Landon Donovan. Of course this news fails to register with me until the day after but it changes things wholesale at the last gasp as Serbia, who otherwise looked through, are suddenly ruthlessly dumped out of the World Cup at the death and somehow the next time I see the Group C table on the big screen through my beer goggles for some reason it is showing the USA at the top of the table. Wha’ happened? After the game it gets reported that Donovan breaks down in an interview like a bitch with a skinned knee. He needs to watch Entourage and learn how to man the fuck up.

Nothing is ever easy, just ask the Germans that. I wake up in the 92nd minute on top of my bed having passed out probably naked. On screen I am barely able to make out a score of Germany 1 Ghana 0. Minutes later I find myself leaping from my bed and to the bathroom where I repeatedly throw up, surely my feelings towards Germany are not so visceral. Tomorrow I will find out that the physically interesting looking Ozil scored the winner in the 60th minute. Even better though I will also learn that Ghana have progressed to the knockout stage and Africa will actually have representation after all. Celebration.

I don’t think this game existed, I don’t believe it was ever played. Absolutely nothing attached to my Wednesday suggests it occurred. On paper though I am surprised to read that Australia defeat Serbia 2-1 with goals from Cahill (69 mins) and Holman (73 mins) with Pantelic (84 mins) responding for the Serbs. I believe in Planet Tim Cahill so eventually the score looks real to me. Being an unexpected victory for the previous winless Australia it just serves to cause both teams to exit from the tournament, quite a surprise after the Serbian victory over Germany on Friday.

As I nurse my head with a wet flannel and eventually throw up again, with Danny Baker’s midweek show on my radio I find myself barely aware of the longest game of tennis in history that has been taking place elsewhere today. These are truly historic times.

No comments:

Post a Comment