World Cup – Sunday 27th June

Football’s Coming Home. Unfortunately.

You know the result. You know the performance. You probably have a good idea of the reasons. In times of darkness like these I can always find solice in a picture of a pig…

Is that better?

Results – Sunday 27th June

England 1 – 4 Germany
    Argentina 3 – 1 Mexico
Post Match Review

Fixtures – Monday 28th June

Holland vs Slovakia
    Brazil vs Chile
Gazza’s Daily Football Factoids
 Did you know that famous 80’s footballer Alan Brazil changed his name because he was such a fan of Brazilian football? He was so impressed by their football as a youngster that he changed his name by deed poll from Alan Scotland.
Scientific Siegfried’s Rational Assessment Of Football Results
Scientific Siegfried Attention Englanders. For you ze world cup ist over!

Your Mystic Ron is here no more. He was, how you say – “a fraud”. Now that the Fatherland have triumphed over your sorry boys I am taking over the predictions. This will be done with science. None of your silly astrology nonsense.

Tomorrow vill be a vin for Holland uber the Slovakia – because they are the superior team. Also, Brazil zey are to beat Chile. Both teams have gutt players but Chile are having less players suspended due to infringements. These are my considered opinions although they are subject to chance.

Now I will sit on this sofa and consume some battenburg cake. Whose poodle is this? It is pathetic.

View from the sofa

Beckenbauer was right. Not about kick and rush, but he said England were stupid and he has a point. We let ourselves get thrashed by a reasonable German side. There are only German 2 players who would get in the England first XI – Lahm and Ozil. How did we let this result happen? How did we let a rocky German defence get away untested for so much of the match? Why has Rooney been so anonymous?

Take a look at the opposing benches. Fabio Capello the strict disciplinarian with his inflexible systems foisted upon players who are forced to play out of position. When it’s not working he replaces like for like. Joachim Lowe the relaxed but passionate communicator gets the best out of his players. They are well drilled and play to their strengths. His young players are encouraged to express themselves and the team play with flexibility and confidence.

It can’t all be Capello’s fault. The clueless defending and almost unfathomable lack of pace or marking when on the back foot could be down to a long premiership season. The buck must stop with him however. If he had taken the players at his disposal and built a system around them that utilised their strengths we would surely have achieved so much more, and the fans would have excepted whatever limitations remained. We might have shipped some soft goals but in most matches we would have scored more than we conceded.

He has to go, and I’m not one to jump on such a popularist bandwagon. So many aspects of his management left onlookers bemused and the performances and results didn’t justify his actions. A metaphor for the chronic failure of his management style could be seen on the pitch when trailing 3-1 and needing to push forward at any cost he takes off the dangerous pace of Defoe and brings on the impotent Heskey. It completed an ironic circle given that it was his controvertial inclusion of Heskey on the England squad that resulted in Rio Ferdinand being crocked in training, resulting in the loss of any pace in our defence. The butterfly effect.

For what it’s worth Lampard’s disallowed goal was a good yard over the line and it’s another nail in FIFA’s farcical “we don’t need technology” stance. If the goal had stood if would have been 2-2 and the match might have run differently although it’s clear that our ingrained problems would only have caught us short around the next corner.

It’s over. The inquests will begin. Good luck to Germany. Their defensive frailties will be exposed by Argentina in the next round and this will only serve to emphasise our failure to play to our considerable strengths.

All along we were afraid of failure but only now will the England squad realise that what they should have been afraid of was under-achievement. We were stupid.

Captain Pugwash Woe is me! We be holed beneath the waterline and taking on water fast. I fear the old girl has a date with Davy Jones’s Locker. Twas a skirmish too far for the lads and they were over-run by a German man-o-war. Tis a dark day but the game is up. Abandon ship! Swim north lads, swim north! If the tide is with us we may be back to blighty in time to see Andy Murray lose at Wimbledon. Aargh!

Sick-as-a-parrot-ometer 27 June

World Cup – Thursday 10th June

The Big Kick Off

A warm welcome to the first instalment of my World Cup 2010 blog. Over the next month I’m going to detach myself from society so that I may dedicate myself to full immersion in the worlds greatest football competition. My concession to sociability will be a daily update to be posted here each evening. You can try phoning or emailing but don’t be offended if the response is intolerant, slow or non-existant. No change there then…

If you really hate football or just don’t see the point in it don’t stop reading quite yet. You see I’m not going to compete with the other media channels with their dry and predictable content. Things will be different here…

  • There will be some unique features to read, if I come up with any
  • I will be fabricating all sorts of facts to help you enjoy the tournament
  • A whole host of celebrities have not agreed to join me in my living room to react to events on and off the pitch, including the likes of Mystic Ron, Stuart Hall and Jimmy Hill
  • You would be mad to miss the competition I have lined up for you. There’s a very special prize for the lucky winner. More soon…

Obviously this is all a whole lot of innocent fun and a creative invention on my part. You would have to be mad to think any of this was anything other than made up.

With the tournament due to kick off tomorrow let’s waste no more time in looking forward to the opening games with todays panel of experts.

Fixtures – Friday 11th June

  Group A: South Africa vs Mexico
  Group A: Uruguay vs France
Gazza’s Daily Football Factoids
Bambi Hello and good evening. Your starter for 10 today regards France. Did you know that Just Fontaine holds record for most goals (13 in 1954) in a finals?
Mystic Ron’s World Cup Horoscope
Mystic Ron Everyone wants the home nation to do well but a partial moon over Uranus means there will be a cheeky twist in the tail when they play Mexico on Friday – they can’t expect to have it all their own way and it will end honours even. In the evening kick off Uruguay may find themselves short of players by the end of a match that France will win. Their sign is in Mars which means those latin tempers are going to be on a short fuse! So my message to all four teams is to get a feng shui expert in to align their dressing rooms before the game.
Pre Match Comment
Hansen That’s just plain drivel. I don’t know where ye get it from man. The key to all of these games is defence. The teams that defend best won’t concede goals and that’s the key to winning matches. When I played for Liverpool … blah blah blah boring dull Kenny Dalglish drone tedious monotone dull

View from the sofa

Thanks for that guys. It sounds is if you are as excited as me about the opening games. There are some really intruiging groups and Group A is a case in point. Hosts South Africa don’t inspire me with any confidence, but they have home advantage which is bound to help, while former world champions France are in disarray. It really is anyone’s group.

Here’s a question for you. What would a major media event be without some gratuitous graphics? John Snow has his swing-ometer and Jim Bowen has his Bully animations so I’m not going to be left out. I introduce to you a fabulous feast of football fun designed to help keep your finger on the pulse of the nation – the Sick-as-a-parrot-ometer.

Throughout the course of the tournament Captain Pugwash will be plotting the mood of the public as we all ride a roller-coaster of emotion following England. He will be updating it at various junctures throughout the tournament, do keep an eye on these blogs.

Captain Pugwash Ahoy there me hearties and welcome aboard the good ship Engerland as we try to navigate the rocky straits of South Africa! There be rumours of a golden trophy at the end of our passage but first there’s no telling what we may come upon along the way. The portents were against us when master Heskey was allowed to board and already shipmate Ferdinand has come down with the sickness. We be due a fair wind in our sails now, time will tell me hearties, time will tell…


Thanks captain – you have certainly shivered my timbers with that introduction. Let’s leave it at that for now. The plan is to post a daily update around 9:30pm each evening until I get sick of it. See you Friday as we build up to England’s big opener against the United States world series soccer team, sponsored by Dunkin Donuts.