It has now! Across the land in the countries workplaces people are starting to fake mild cough symptoms so that come next week they can claim to have have full blown flu and take a sickie to watch the football. The whistle has blown on today’s games and this is what happened…
Results – Friday 11th June
|Group A:||South Africa||1 – 1||Mexico|
|Uruguay||0 – 0||France|
|Post Match Review|
|People might think that France being held to a draw is an upset but I’m not surprised. They have an unsettled squad and an unpopular manager. As for the hosts this match was make or break – win it and you have hit the ground running, lose it and you are playing catch up.|
|That’s right Ron. The omens were always stacked against France. I was watching Raymond Domenech’s kit man after a France B-Side friendly against Vietnam last month and some of the football tops were still stained after the wash cycle. With standards like that there were always going to be question marks against the first team in this fixture.|
Fixtures – Saturday 12th June
|Gazza’s Daily Football Factoids|
|Artifacts recently discovered in a Crete monastery include an ancient team sheet for an early national side, managed by Zeus. Players include Athena, Apollo, Hermes and Artemis amongst others. Atlas is depicted in a defensive midfield position with Proetheus playing just off strikers Poseidon and Georgios Samaras.|
|Mystic Ron’s World Cup Horoscope|
|All three of tomorrow’s ties are very interesting. In the early game I expect Korea to win. Greece is typically piscean and they will struggle with the early kick off. Argentina will beat Nigeria but expect at least one sending off. The flags are not aligned – can you see – vertical against horizontal stripes – so expect some fireworks. Finally the game everyone is talking about. Managers Capello and Arena are closely matched on all astrological fronts today so expect a draw. Fear not England fans – Capello’s aura will be in the ascendency from Tuesday. I’m going to be watching the match sat on my poufee with a pack of jammy dodgers.|
|Pre Match Comment|
|This is how I imagine a goalkeeping discussion with David Icke|
|In the lead-up to England’s opening game in Group C much of the talk has been about who will be first choice keeper. I have my own views but here to provide an inside view is former goalkeeper and presenter David Icke. David – who should we see between the sticks on Saturday night – David James, Robert Green or Joe Hart?|
|The question we should be asking is – “who is leading our civilisation?”. I have proof that the world leaders are part of a reptilian race that have been sent to earth to control us. They control our goverments, they control our media and they control out monarchy. You need to know this and you can find out more at my website|
|Erm, so you say David, but what people are currently debating is who Fabio Capello will choose as his first choice. You played at the top level for Coventry City so I expect you have so shrewd view on his likely choice.|
|Look, what the public needs to understand is that what we see isn’t actually real. Society as we know it is an illusion. We are living in a matrix style optical illusion that the authorities have created so that they can control us. We are being used, you are being used – I am being used.|
I’m sorry David, I’m going to have to press you on this. Your first choice keeper would be?
|Well, OK. David James.|
|My god – that really is mad! I think you may have a point about the royals though.|
View from the sofa
I had visions of sitting with my feet up watching the opening match on my sofa but instead I found myself at work like many other people trying to get first half coverage of South Africa vs Mexico on the ITV website. Perhaps you also got the “website unavailable” screen with the strikingly inappropriate message apologising for the outage and asking whether I would like to click on a link to view a mother and baby programme instead.
I arrived home for the second half however and after repositioning the sofa and TV for optimum viewing pleasure enjoyed a NOISY 45 minutes of football. It’s what I expected. Mexico held sway with endless short passes but always looked toothless and narrow in the final third. The hosts were nervy and a little wragged but showed glimses of pace and skill. It’s a game Mexico should have won but nobody can begrudge South Africa a draw from their opening fixture on home soil.
After the match I read on the BBC website that fat druggy cheat Maradona – now manager of Argentina (!) – has called for fair play at this years world cup. Here is a slime ball that doesn’t understand the word “irony”.
The evening sees 1998 World Champions France face Uruguay. The French are in disarray with manager Domenech a figure of hate in his homeland due to his eccentric behaviour. Uruguary are a talented collection of parts.
The malign influence of Domenech manifests itself throughout the course of the match. He has a squad with a decent level of talent, flair and pace yet his side is set up to play with a chronic shortage of width so everything gets slowed down and compressed into a tedious impotent terminus. Uruguay have less at their disposal and progression beyond the group stages would say more about the rest of the teams in the Group Of Dearth.
Mystic Ron got it mostly right yesterday – a draw in the opening encounter and a sending off for Uruguay, although France never did clinch the winner that was just waiting to be claimed. Moment of the match? In a level of irony to match FDC Maradona’s earlier outburst, Thierry Henry (a man with a cheating pedigree of his own) makes a great big fuss about a claimed handball against a Uruguayan defender in the box.
If you watch the replay in slow motion and look into Henry’s eyes you can just catch his flicker of realisation about what he is doing and I would like to think that for a split second the image of a crestfallen Irish player flashes into his conciousness. Henry, cursed with intelligence and self awareness, will think back to his actions on that cold Parisian night for a long long time.