World Cup – Sunday 11th July

…It Is Now!

 This win for glorious homeland Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea will show the imperialist west that we are superior in every way. The lads will be welcomed home as heroes for an open-top tank parade. All hail me!


No – hang on. That’s not what happened…

Result – Sunday 11th July

  Final Spain 1 – 0 Holland


View From The Hotel Room

 Tonight we are going to do things a little differently. I watched the final in a hotel room so my normal colleagues are not around and it’s just me. Here are the match highlights as I saw them…

1 min: Referee Howard Web has polished his head in an attempt to look like Pierluigi Collina.

9 mins: Nothing happenend.

17 mins: Ohh – ahh – no, almost! Throw in.

24 mins: It’s good to see some proper fouling. In too many games up to now we have seen yellow cards given for soft fouls but Van Bommel’s deliciously crude tackle from behind that took out his man plus the mans dog was a joy to behold and much better value for yellow.

28 mins: Just when we thought that was good along comes De Jong and applies his studs to Alonso’s chest a’la Gazza. Again – excellent value for a yellow.

30 mins: BBC commentator Cliche Watch: “There will be a new name on the trophy whoever wins“. REALLY?!

42 mins: Sneijder shows consumate skill to jams his studs into a Spanish midfielder without getting booked. Now that’s how you do it.

44 mins: Cliche watch: “Van Persie has fed on scraps in the first half“. Perhaps if he would stop eating and concentrate on the game he might have been more effective.

HALF TIME
Alan Hansen bemoans the fact that the game has been tight with lots of fouls and little flair on show. Yes Alan – it’s the World Cup final. This coming from a dour central defender whose playing career (and subsequent punditry career) was hallmarked by dull thuggery.

56 mins: Johnny Heitinga receives Hollands 5th yellow card – not for shooting as the felled Spaniard would claim – but for a something-and-nothing challenge. Not in Van Bommels class.

62 mins: Arjen Robben through on goal finds his shot saved prompting the commentator to spout yet more predictable cliches

66 mins: Capdevilla clips the heels of advancing Van Persie to get his name into the book. Snidey and not nearly dangerous enough.

69 mins: David Villa picks up a loose ball 2 yards out and with the goal at his mercy manages to win a corner.

73 mins: Cliche watch: After a promising Spanish move is brought to a halt by a foul – “If Spain score from this it will be poetic justice“.

76 mins: Sergio Ramos fancies an extra 30 minutes judging by his open goal miss from a corner.

79 mins: Quote of the match – Spanish winger Jesus punts the ball over everyone’s head and out of play. Commentator: That’s not his greatest cross. True, but a little insensitive on a Sunday!

82 mins: Robben is through again and with just the goalkeeper to beat manages to emerge with a booking.

84 mins: Cliche watch: “We are at the stage where one goals means you’re world champions“. Erm, no actually.

FULL TIME and Gary Lineker is clearly distracted – If it goes to penalties it’s going to be a knee trembler. I’m not sure if he’s talking about his own circumstances or whether FIFA have introduced a new way to settle tied matches.

92 mins: Three Spanish forwards dive simultaneously in the box. It’s beautifully choreographed.

94 mins: Fabregas wants penalties and so decides to miss when clean through.

95 mins: Mathaison also fancies pens so heads over from a corner when well set.

102 mins: Cliche watch: “We are still no nearer to finding out which of these two nations will be crowned world champions

EXTRA TIME – HALF TIME
Commentator to Clarence Seedorf – “How can Holland win this game now?“. Go on Clarence – just say it, please!

106 mins: Cliche watch: Torres comes on – “It’s the story often told – a substitute comes on and wins the match“. Name one of these stories…

109 mins: Heitinga sent off for second yellow card. Nothing too malicious unfortunately.

110 mins: Van Der Weil booked for allowing Iniesta to blatantly dive.

114 mins: Cliche watch: “You have to score to win a world cup

116 mins: INIESTA SCORES! Two more bookings.

117 mins: Cliche watch: “Holland are losing

120 mins: Xavi booked for kicking the ball away.

121 mins: Torres makes his only contribution to the world cup by pulling his hamstring.

122 mins: The ref blows – it’s all over! Dutch players crowd around the referee to dispute something or other in an attempt to get some late-late bookings but it’s to no avail. Just the 14 yellow cards this game.

EXTRA TIME – FULL TIME
It’s cliche heaven. Here we go…
Commentator: “Spain have won the world cup 1-0“. Really? Thanks for that – none of us had been watching.
Alan Hansen: “The goal was scored by Iniesta – the best player of the tournament“, which seems odd since Hansen hadn’t mentioned this up until this point.
Gary Lineker: “A victory for football I think“. Bingo!
Alan Shearer: “Iniesta has got magnets in both feet“. If only the ball were metal…
Perry Groves: “There was only one team that wanted to win right from the start
Commentator: As Spain alight the stairs – “Iker Cassilas was bred for this moment
Commentator: As the trophy is lifted – “Spain are the kings of world football
Perry Groves: “Spain play football like we all want to play it in our heads

Loose Ends

Let’s wrap a few things up before I call time on my world cup blog. The blog banner graphic includes the following footballing folk, in case you hadn’t already worked it all out.
WC Banner

From left to right…

  • Ray “the crab” Wilkins
  • Hoddle and Waddle in their Diamond Lights phase
  • Glen Johnson in his Stealing Toilet Seats phase
  • “Big Ron” Atkinson
  • Jimmy Hill. No seriously!
  • Statto, aka Angus Loughran, who was declared bankrupt in 2008.
  • Saint & Greavsie
  • John “Motty” Motson
  • Carlton Palmer – former England international in all but ability.
  • John Barnes – famous for his rap song and shiny suits. And failed management career. And crap punditry. He used to be a decent footballer mind.
  • Stan “The Man” Collymore & Ford Cortina. Unfortunately his dogging notoriety is far from the most shameful incident in his career.
  • Paul “Daft as a brush Gazza” Gascoigne. Just when you thought his life couldn’t get more screwed up he arrives in Rothbury to provide his good friend the deranged murderer Raoul Moat with his last supper. Pity his agent who he shares with Roger Mellie.

Thanks to all of my guests. BTW: Who’s going to pay for the massive biscuit and cake bill? And this poodle is going for a walk “down by the canal” tomorrow.
No thanks to the jobsworth “celebrity” agent who tried to close down my blog on the grounds that it somehow posed a threat to his D-list client.

Apologies to my non-footballing readers for the last months output – normal travel/baking service will be resumed forthwith.

As my grandfather would have said – “That’s yer lot

3 thoughts on “World Cup – Sunday 11th July

  1. Well, much as I wanted anyone but Spain (and to a lesser extent Portugal) to win – at least once Italy were on the plane home – they deserved it on the day didn’t they? The Dutch had apparently decided they were outgunned and unlikely to win on skill alone, and settled on a strategy that involved relying on the ref’s probable unwillingness to hand out red cards early in the match, combined with the fact that Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder are great players in very good form. And Robben seems to have endless reserves of energy, whether it be chasing down the ball or chasing after the ref. He should have had at least one of course, but it wasn’t his night.

    To my continued confusion, Spain showed in these last two matches that they can play classy football without all (or at least most of) their usual histrionics, even if their spark seems a bit muted by their desire not to take the obvious shot, or at least to wait until the perfect opportunity. Of course when it came, Iniesta took it beautifully.

    Well, it has been a fun month, I think the seventh World Cup that I’ve really watched thoroughly – I remember ’82 but not much about it. It’s fascinating to see how much more interest there is over here each time it rolls around – helped enormously this time by the US team’s gritty effort and the blanket coverage on ESPN and ABC (replete with an entertaining and reputable commentary and analyst team – Alexi Lalas holding his own behind the desk with the likes of Gullit, Klinsmann and MacManaman, and the unlikely combo of Ian Darke and John Harkes, who turned out to be a much better commentator than he ever was a player).

    By the way, you missed John Barnes’ biggest claim to fame – his “isotonic” blue chest. How soon we forget.

    Good blogging! You must be over the moon to have completed your World Cup mission – of course, it’s not over till it’s over, but it is over, so it’s over. Looking forward to Brazil..

  2. Isotonic blue chest – how could I have forgotten?!

    It’s good to hear that the game is being taken somewhat seriously over your way. More so then in Canada where a mate of mine posted this from the local TV listings yesterday http://twitpic.com/24gg91.

    Funnily enough I was thinking about John Harkes last week and wondering what he was up to. Does Lalas still have hair in all the wrong places?

    To be honest I’m glad it’s all over! Committing to watch as many games as possible and blog almost every day has sometimes felt like the snake trying to swallow it’s endlessly long prey, only to find out it’s his own tail. It’s been fun but I will enjoy the whole MONTH now before the season starts again.

    Do snakes have tails?

  3. Mr Lalas is the picture of media acceptability these days, the hair and beard a thing of the past. His passion for the game really shows in his broadcasting style so he’s fun to watch.

    Snakes don’t have tails, they -are- tails. With heads obviously.

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