World Cup Soapbox: dudes in pinstripes


Pete Sixsmith surfaces in his sea of exam papers waiting to be marked, fights the football-induced urge to drown himself in sleep and offers home, landlubber thoughts from, er, home …

It must be
a sign of approaching pension entitlement age (mid 70s if the scoundrels running the country get their way), but I tend to fall asleep when I get home from work. Sit in the chair, cup of tea, toast, Guardian and zzzzzzzzz. Unfortunately, this also happens during the football.

I almost missed Defoe’s goal on Wednesday as I transferred from South Africa to the Land Of Nod., rousing myself just as Milner crossed it for the Spurs player to knock it in. Could have been, should have been Darren, but no use dwelling on the past is there. Bloody Capello and his broken promises – “They go if they are fit and are playing regularly – unless they happen to be Gareth Barry, Emile Heskey, etc. Still, no bitterness Don Fabio.

The tournament is moving along nicely. I started out watching the Lads from Ascuncion against the Kiwis last night, but switched to Slovakia v Italy once I heard that the Slovaks were a goal up.

I was rewarded with a fascinating game as the Italians showed all the characteristics of a Premier League side on the slide. A combination of old players on the way down, young players not quite good enough and a manager who appeared to have lost the ability to motivate. Sounds like Middlesbrough from a couple of years ago.

Slovakia were good. They have some decent players and were well organised. They had a managerial team who dressed like dudes, in pin stripe suits. I expected them to be carrying violin cases under their arms and to drill the Italians full of lead whenever they set foot in the Slovakian penalty area.

But weren’t Italy awful? I have rarely seen an Italian side with so little imagination and flair. They couldn’t even foul properly. Gentile must have been sat watching tearing his hair out and wondering what had happened to the Azzuri. I don’t imagine that he would have missed the tackle that Chiellini did to allow the opening goal and I ‘m pretty sure that Rossi might well have slid in the sitter that Pepe missed. Come to think of it, even I would have scored there. Hell, even Jon Stead would have notched it!!

So, it’s au revoir France, arrideverci Italy and maybe even adios Spain after today’s games. Chile look good and could beat the Euro Champs leaving another massive hole in the tournament.

I also watched Denmark get whopped by Japan courtesy of a concrete footed display from Tommy Sorenson. He was beaten by two decent free kicks but his positioning and movement were poor, to put it mildly. I don’t think that we will be seeing much of Tommy next season.

As for Sunday, a survey of 15 young people, came up with 10 England wins, 3 draws and 2 wins for Germany. Admittedly some of them were girls and had no interest whatsoever in the game, but they were prepared to back their country. The two dissenters were yours truly and a keen football fan who, last season, supported Darlington, Arsenal, Chelsea and Arsenal again. He thought 3-1 to Germany and no doubt he will be supporting them if they win.

Viva Paraguay!!!!!

4 thoughts on “World Cup Soapbox: dudes in pinstripes”

  1. A travesty of a game, simply appalling; a cynical draw that rewards minimal effort by giving both sides what they want. I expect within a few minutes the streets of my neighbourhood will be hideous with cars blowing their horns and flying Portuguese and Brazilian flags. As long as the fans realize that their teams will have to play rather more competitively in upcoming rounds.
    What a shame for Cote d’Ivoire and, especially, the heroic Drogba.

  2. Half-time and this would be a much better game if Brazil would stop treating it as a training match. A shame they don’t have a qualifying spot at stake. That said, they’re effectively shutting down the Portuguese and, once again, a superstar fails to impress.
    Lots of yellow cards and Pepe’s lucky not to have been red-carded. If both sides don’t start behaving themselves, it’ll be a surprise if the game ends with 22 players on the field.

  3. I’m no longer? That’s unnecessarily apocalyptic. I meant no longer young. Mind you, I do keep getting the feeling that something terrible is about to happ…….

  4. A wonderful, Italian-opera moment after Italy scored about 10 minutes from the end, with Quagliarella Mucha, the Slovak goalie, rolling about together in the back of the net, each trying melodramatically to get the other sent off. Here, have a couple of yellow cards instead.

    Japan won’t be pushovers for Paraguay but “our” lads should win that one. Meanwhile, Keisuke Honda, the very talented Japanese midfielder, must surely soon be looking for a move from CSKA Moscow to greener pastures. Maybe the Premiership? I wonder how he’d feel about redder-and-whiter pastures?

    I’m no longer and I wasn’t part of your survey but, yeah, 3-1 to Germany.

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