Spain 1 Germany 0: send out a search party

DV770778

So the World Cup winners will be either the Netherlands or Spain. Colin Randall considers tonight’s semi-final result a fair one, but needs to make swift contact with a warm, witty or wise supporter of each finalist …

My heart just wasn’t in this match. I sensed it would be tight, with none of the swashbuckling thrust of Germany’s earlier performances and Spanish flair struggling to break down Teutonic resilience.

Read moreSpain 1 Germany 0: send out a search party

Cheating, or just playing the game?

lamp

Have we reached the stage where the art of cheating should be taught to children as no more than a basic technique of football? Examine the differing reactions to Suarez (because he gloated), Neuer (because he denied an Englishman) and Jeremy Robson (because his young lad was the one taking liberties). Is there, Jeremy wonders, just a spot of hypocrisy in our approach to bending the rules? …

Following up on the article from last week about goal line technology, a lot of the debate here on Salut! Sunderland has extended from “righting the wrongs”, resulting from poor officiating, through to a more comprehensive analysis of the problems associated with cheating, which from here on in may be referred to as “Suarezing” or “being Suarezed”.

Read moreCheating, or just playing the game?

More nasty practices: trying to get opponents booked or dismissed

balls2Image: Shine 2010

The rotten face of football part two. In its relentless campaign to show up football cheats for what they are (whoever they play for), Salut! Sunderland has suffered arrogant, whingeing fans of other clubs who believe it happens only to them, never by. But we’ve been consistent, and as ready to condemn such acts by our players as by opponents. And the World Cup has reminded us of most of the forms cynical cheating takes …

To borrow from and adapt the words commonly attributed to Jack London (he was talking about scabs) ….

After God had finished the rattlesnake, the toad, and the vampire, he had some awful substance left with which he made, for the game of football, the diver/feigner of injury/shirtpuller/bonebreaker and Suarez.

Read moreMore nasty practices: trying to get opponents booked or dismissed

The rotten face of football: Suarez finding glory in cheating

billt

Bill Taylor, pictured on a visit to St Tropez, has probably watched as much World Cup football as most. From out west in Toronto, he’s enthused, criticised and slumbered – whichever response has seemed appropriate – his way through the competition. But some of the downright dishonesty he’s seen has left a nasty taste in the mouth. You can take it as read that this is not the last, but the first, Salut! Sunderand piece that will examine the cheating side of football …

If this World Cup has proved anything, it’s how rotten football has become at international level.

Read moreThe rotten face of football: Suarez finding glory in cheating

Small mercies: let’s say the unsayable and hail Germany

SOCCER-WORLD/
There comes
a time when even Englishmen can forget the island race mentality and show a little European solidarity.

Germany’s trouncing of Argentina not only makes us feel ever so slightly better about having lost by a similar margin – as it was when I started writing; it became greater of course – and with much more by way of grievances to moan about.

Read moreSmall mercies: let’s say the unsayable and hail Germany

French farce: should Patrice Evra be banished from international football?


This clip shows why Patrice Evra, of Manchester United and France, is ranked among the best footballers in the world. There is also a case for saying the “and France” part of that description should now be considered a thing of history …

Here in France, the inquest continues at various levels, from grass roots to parliament, into the pathetic failure of the French squad to rise at any stage above a surly, snarling and professionally embarrassing presence at the 2010 World Cup.

Read moreFrench farce: should Patrice Evra be banished from international football?

World Cup Soapbox: keep your head up, Big John Mensah

soapbox

John Mensah may have adopted the Mickey Gray approach to penalty taking – I draw the line at saying the “Jeff Whitley approach” – but he played his full, lion-hearted part in a thrilling game, and a team display that will have had most of the world saddened by a cruel defeat. Pete Sixsmith concurs …

What a game between Uruguay and Ghana. I thought it had everything – pace, skill, vision and the most incredible finish I think I have ever seen in a game of such importance.

Read moreWorld Cup Soapbox: keep your head up, Big John Mensah

A Dutch treat – and fab for Fabio

jeremy3


Having just watched a fine second half performance by the Netherlands to overcome Brazil (though Van Bommel should be quietly told that Salut! Sunderland would have booked him for the rotten offence of trying to get an opponent – Michel Bastos – sent off, and then again for his two subsequent fouls in successive minutes), I was already happy enough. But Jeremy Robson‘s thoughts on Fabio’s continued employment have just brought another smile to my face …

Fabio Capello is still the England coach. For now at least he remains in the employ of the FA. It’s hard to imagine what sort of conversations took place to reaffirm the Italian’s tenure.

Read moreA Dutch treat – and fab for Fabio