Monday, June 21, 2010
Finally, the world cup is showing signs of life, and there have even been a couple of half decent football matches. The Denmark game the other night was entertaining enough, largely because both teams were shambolic, Brazil were OK last night but not nearly as thrilling as the pundits would have you believe. Spain played some good stuff tonight. I missed the Portugal game, being a wage slave.
The more interesting happenings have taken place off the field, with the lunatic French taking star billing. It's not just the well publicised rows between Domenech and Malouda and Domenech and Anelka and Evra and the fitness guy, apparently the team is, and has been, very divided, and contains a number of players who have a penchant for bullying younger members of the team. What a bunch of dickheads.
David Pleat was on the radio this morning and he said that he thought that players earn so much now, the game really isn't that important to them. I struggled to believe it, but when you see the self destructive way the French are behaving, there might be something in it, and he knows more about players than I do. Anelka has missed previous world cups, and has managed to get himself turfed out of this one, and his barmy mates have withdrawn their labour………..in the middle of the world cup! Billy Wright would never have done that.
England are trying to match France for idiocy. David James has been sulking publicly, and, yesterday, John Terry let his ego do the talking. Reaction to Terry in the media was mixed; some thought he was a stout hearted Englishman defending the cause, others (not many) thought that he had overstepped the mark. I predict a lucrative book deal and serialisation rights ahead for the ex captain. Hilariously, Fabio has not engaged in mealy mouthed, anodyne spin. He has said that Terry has made a big mistake and went on to more or less tell him to shut his cockney face before he gets it filled in. I demand a knighthood for Fabio.
There is a good article in The Globe and Mail on diving, which, naturally enough, brings me to diving. Last night, a big, athletic player from the Ivory Coast, bumped into the much less imposing figure of Kaka and went down like a ton of bricks; bizarrely, clutching his face, which I can only assume was an attempt to hide his shame. It goes on, it's blatant, every player does it, and there is no point bleating about it.
But bleat I must. When I was a lad, and when I was a young man, it was a point of principle to show the other fucker, no matter how hairy arsed and fierce he was, that he couldn't hurt you. No matter how crunching the tackle, how blatant the assault, you did not show fear, and you did not show pain. It was not manly. Obviously, if you had broken a limb, or lost some teeth, it was acceptable to wince a little bit. Now, a player only has to feel the gentlest breeze and he tumbles over. No one really minds this, players are expected to go down at the merest hint of a touch; it is only the most blatant cheating that is condemned, but the sight of big, strapping athletes falling flamboyantly to the ground, every time they feel a faint tickle makes me feel sick, frankly.
We finally seem to be getting a bit of opposition to this bastard coalition, not from Labour though, who continue to engage in a staring contest with the fraternal navel. Will Hutton was eloquent in yesterdays Observer, and the brilliantly named DD Guttenplan has provided Gideon with a free history lesson. Charles Kennedy has taken the Nicholas Anelka role in the new government and has apparently said to David Cameron: "Don't expect me to fucking support you." Bravo!