Tag Archives: world cup

World Cup 2010: the final entry. Unless I do another one

And that’s the 2010 World Cup over with. First one in Africa, a resounding success (not from the standpoint of the quality of football, mind) and a great advert for South Africa as a friendly, welcoming nation. Well done them there then.

This is far too positive. On to today’s irritation.

I did find it endlessly amusing that pundits and commentators alike – including in today’s final – sounded surprised that Spain weren’t simply rolling over all of their opponents. It’s your usual lazy, reputation-based punditry that fails to notice the fact a team haven’t been all that great throughout a tournament. They’ve done enough, but they never looked like the best team in the world. Even if they are.

It all comes together nicely into another point: why do all pundits agree with each other 99 per cent of the time? They’re not there to just agree with each other – they are present to talk about the game. This much they seem to be able to get right. The part where they should debate the game’s events, discuss what’s happening and maybe use some of their insider knowledge to enlighten us mere mortals as to how the game is going is where they falter. It’s covered, sure, but there’s no debate – it’s an endless wall of backslapping and self-congratulatory nonsense from some of the worst boys clubs I’ve ever been unfortunate enough to lay eyes on.

I’m sure there was a point in there somewhere.

Anyway, it’s over now. Four years til the next one, two years til the next Euro Championships. But I’m going to remind myself, and remind all of you reading here – and this is going to be here to remind you whenever you might forget it – I will make this statement, of sound mind, on July 11, 2010: International football is shit. The tournaments are always a let-down and the matches are overwhelmed by ‘safe’ (boring) play. Stars are overhyped, everyone always forgets the Germans are really good and the coverage is just plain annoying. League football, on the other hand, is brilliant.

So that’s that. I have to think harder for new topics over the next six months.


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Stockholm Syndrome + Clive Tyldesley = oh god no

I’m glad this World Cup thing is going to end soon. I’m not going to go into any kind of rant here about the quality of football (or lack thereof), the terrible refereeing decisions, the blatant cheating or anything so negative. No, I’m happy it’s going to end soon as I’m coming down with Stockholm Syndrome.

I have made no bones about my disdain for commentators and pundits, whining and complaining about them a few times on here and many, many times everywhere else. But this consistent contact I’m having with this bunch of reprobates is making me… not hate them so much.

I smirked a few times just now during the BBCs post-match coverage of the second semi-final. I chuckled when Gary Lineker said “Hollish”. I even thought Alan Shearer showed a bit of character when he was talking about Pedro’s chance. I’ve clearly gone crazy. But this is nothing – nothing- compared to yesterday.

See, yesterday ITV co-commentator Jim Beglin was unable to carry out his banal chatting duties during the first semi-final. As a result of this, and as a result of ITV’s inability to provide more than one member of staff for any given role, main commentator Clive Tyldesley was left to carry out the job on his own. At any other time I would laugh at his stupid voice and fat, red face. But because of my constant exposure to all of these morons I’ve been left in such a state that I actually felt a little bit sorry for the man.

I felt sorry for Clive Tyldesley. I felt sympathy for the man. I didn’t over-analyse every comment he made in the match, and in fact went so far as to not mind some comments. I… have succumbed to Stockholm Syndrome. The worst of all the syndromes. The worst.

This is why the end of the World Cup on Sunday can’t come fast enough for me. Then I can go back to some old fashioned Dransfield hate.


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A late entry to the Englandpinion pile

The analysis has all been and gone, it’s all said and done and all the rest of it. In fact, there doesn’t seem to have been as much of a post-mortem about England’s performance yesterday as I expected – likely because of massive embarrassment on everyone’s part (and definitely not just because I’ve barely watched or read anything newsy today. Definitely). But anyway, I haven’t had my say, so I’m going to talk about why England completely and totally failed yesterday.

  1. They’re shit and over-rated.
  2. They play too many games (see: all players from other leagues shining, all players from Premiership failing).
  3. All of them play in the domestic league, meaning they don’t actually know how to play anything other than English football.
  4. No one cared as much as Stuart Pearce (see image).

That’s about it, really. I could go into more rambling detail, I’m sure, but there’s nothing more boring than football opinions – as I’ve said before. But I will say, in relation to point two: look at how Robinho is playing tonight, and compare that to how he was playing at City/how he would be playing had he been there all season. It’s plainer than a Bulgarian pin-up (a Red Dwarf joke than no longer works as we now know all Bulgarians, and Eastern Europeans in general, are hot).

Anyway, that’s my two bits. It’s a short entry, but it could have been reeeeally long. So count yourselves lucky.

ITV are now literally discussing whether the British refs will get to the final. And now they’ve just made a joke I made ages ago. I’m no better than them. Sigh.

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England vs Germany ULTRA PREDICT-O-MAT

England vs Germany, innit. Let’s see how this goes down. Hopefully it will turn into a literal war, so all of those newspaper headlines and off-the-cuff remarks by commentators and pundits alike will be proven true. I’m sure that’s what they all want – well, it must be, given how quickly they turn to them. Though to be fair that’s more the English side – I have no idea what the German side of the press is saying.

But if it doesn’t turn into a war, it will be one of the few footballing fixtures that actually makes my blood ache along with all of the idiots in this country. For once it’s something I almost agree with the tabloids on. This is a serious rivalry by matches that have been played while I’ve actually been alive, rather than just clinging on to a 40+ year old victory. Euro 96 was heartbreaking. I wasn’t even that into footy in 1990 but I still remember how sad I was when England lost that.

I know it’s not cool to like football if you pretend to be open to more intellectual stimuli – “overpaid Neanderthals FNAR” etc. – but I do like it, and this fixture does make me quite passionate about the game. So that’s my prediction, really. I’ll get a bit het-up, then I’ll get even more het-up as I have to leave 15 minutes before the end of normal time, thanks to having to catch a FIVE HOUR TRAIN (not that I’ve ever mentioned stuff like that before) back to Bournemouth. That’s sure to be the greatest last fifteen minutes of a game of all time, isn’t it?

It’s odd that I’m posting this so close to kick off, thus making my Nostradamus-style predictions outdated as soon as they hit the public view. AH WELL.

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FIFA World Cup 2010 predictions – groups G-H

Right, last one now and a lot later than I intended to do it so it’ll probably be worse than the other three – and they were pretty bad. Ah well. Read on, reader.

Group G

Brazil: See, I don’t really care about Brazil in any World Cup – I just accept they’re great. I care even less right now that my brain is dominated by post-Sony conference E3 thoughts.

Ivory Coast: Like, when can I play Twisted Metal? What did Gabe’s half sentences about Steamworks mean? Is PS3 getting Steam? That would be amazing.

Portugal: It’s fun how E3 has managed to actually ignite some excitement from me for once – the last few years have been abject failures on that front. Twisted Metal! Kevin Butler is funny too. I reckon they’ll get a bit more use out of that character. He’s funny.

North Korea: Oh look – North Korea! I wonder if anyone there is even aware there’s a new Twisted Metal game coming out. I hope there is. If only a handful of secret North Korean nerds. Hard as that might be.

Group H

Spain: Wait, right, football. Errm… Spain are a team who are well good, like. I think they will do well in the football Word Cup, and that “Torres” will score some goals. I wish he still had a mullet though. Don’t know why, I just do.

Switzerland: Oh yes, THE SWISS. The monsters of the footballing world, known for their fury and sheer emotion on the pitch – as well as on the world stage. Filthy neutrals. They do have a chance to get out of this group, mind, as they’ve done well up to now.

Honduras: Another one of those teams you don’t really understand why they’re in the finals. Also I called them Costa Rica the other day, though that’s acceptable because I was thinking about Paulo Wanchope. And probably Twisted Metal.

Chile: What do Chile have going for them these days? I lost track of them in the early noughties, so I have no idea where they’re at right now. Probably shit. Oh well. Out in the group stage after the monsters of Switzerland beat them into a tearful submission.

Be fair now – it wasn’t as painful as you think it was. Maybe it made you laugh? Oh, screw you. I don’t give a shit if you laugh or not. You sick bastards. You suck.


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FIFA World Cup 2010 predictions – groups C-D

Well, I started it so I’m going to finish it. Who knows, maybe it’ll get funnier this time? Or actually be funny. We can but try.

Group C

Slovenia: Tired of being mixed up with neighbours and soundalikes Slovakia, it will be the Slovenian national football team that puts in motion the first steps towards changing the name of the country to something more individual. For their second and third group games – and no more, as they won’t get past this stage – the team will wear a newly-designed strip with the country’s name as ‘The Mega-Republic of Tittybumnia’. There’s no saying how popular this will prove.

USA: The USA will be eliminated… *snigger*… after they think they can play in pads… *titter*… and use bats to hit the ball… *giggle*… and use the wrong terms to describe the action, like “shut-out” and “overtime”… *guffaw*… and something about hoops and basketball shorts… *laugh*… THE STUPID COLONIALS.

England: Will undoubtedly disappoint, seeing as it’s impossible to live up to the expectations of a nation of complete morons, such are those who inhabit this very nation. Shaun Wright-Phillips will probably play again. This will prove, once more, that there is no god. Out in the quarters.

Algeria: After a quick blast on the FIFA World Cup game, the Algerian coach Rabah Saadane will adopt a similar strategy to anyone playing as the Algerians in the game do: pass it to Belhadj. It won’t be as successful in real life.

Group D

Ghana: The nation will collectively tire of ITV’s constant replays of Marcel Desailly’s celebration of Ghana’s goal against Serbia. This ‘tiring’ will manifest itself first in the national team withdrawing themselves from the tournament and will soon spiral into scenes of civil unrest, culminating in all-out civil war. ITV will continue to play replays of Desailly’s celebration.

Germany: Will shock the world by proving they are indeed a more than competent footballing nation, able of carrying off a technical passing game with as much care and attention as the true greats on the world stage… oh, no, wait – wrong country. That was the text for Zaire.

Australia: Will remain in that strange position in the minds of everyone where nobody sees the point in putting any Aussie players in their fantasy league team. Even though Tim Cahill is good and Marco Bresciano was quite good on Football Manager once, there just won’t be anything the… sigh… “Socceroos” will be able to do to convince the general public there’s any point in having their players in fantasy sides.

Serbia: Poor performances will eventually be revealed to be a result of Serbia as a whole missing its old lover, Montenegro. Like many break-ups, it won’t have been immediately evident to anyone else but it has actually had a huge effect on everyone even slightly associated with Serbia. The news will make everyone in the world cry. And Serbia will do fuck all in the World Cup.

Well, yes I am tempted to abandon this. But, then, it is two more easy entries. Ah, thinking/writing out loud.

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FIFA World Cup 2010 predictions – groups A-B

In the fine spirit of seeing something someone else has done – in this case, Byron – and ripping it off for yourself, I have decided to offer you my predictions of what will happen with/for/to each individual team taking part in the soccerkicknet World Cup, 2010. Today I will cover the teams from groups A-B, tomorrow it’ll be C-D etc, etc. I am aware the tournament has been going a day now, but shut up – I didn’t read Byron’s blog til today and that’s when inspiration struck. GO:

Group A

South Africa: Steven Pienaar’s voice will get deeper as the tournament progresses, thus suiting his face (and godawful hair) even less than it already does. Vuvuzela’s will be outlawed: anyone brandishing one in public will be shot on sight. The first person gunned down will be Clive Tyldesley as he demonstrates how to use one – again – on ITV. *pleasepleasepleaseplease*

Mexico: Javier Aguirre will play a bit of Football Manager the night before his team’s next match, realising that he meant to right click on Ochoa’s name and not Oscar Perez Rojas, which he seemed to do by mistake before the game against South Africa. Idiot.

Uruguay: The amount of people saying “you are gay” will reach the point that the Uruguayan government will adopt the name as an unofficial moniker for the nation. This will lead to an unprecedented shift towards promotion of acceptance and encouragement for LGBT rights across the world, making the world a far more progressive, accepting and altogether nice place. Meanwhile, Uruguay will get knocked out at the first hurdle.

France: The French will adopt a new technique whereby the combined force of Andre-Pierre Gignac, Yoann Gourcuff, Jeremy Toulalan and Thierry Henry will flounce about with nice haircuts and designer stubble, devastating their opposition with their sheer good looks. This will tie in well with the whole “you are gay” situation encouraged by Uruguay, and will lead to group A being one of the most interesting parts of this year’s World Cup. That’s what France will have to rely on, at least, seeing as they were shite yesterday.

Group B

Argentina: Maradona, after snorting four pounds of neighbouring Colombia’s finest before each and every game, will at one point go ‘off his noggin’ – as the medical profession refers to it – and gun down 136 of his own country’s supporters. This will be written off by the press and officials alike as one of fatty’s quirks, and Argentina will go on to get to the World Cup final. Though they probably won’t. Either that or he’ll die of a heart attack during the side’s second group game.

Nigeria: Everyone who has ever played a video game version of football will have high hopes for the Nigerians, seeing as they’re always one of the fastest and stamina-rich of the nations. This will translate to the side being referred to as “athletic” non-stop by pundits, though you would be a fool if you thought this was just a slightly different way for the presenter to say “all black people are really fast and strong”. Nigeria will not win the World Cup.

South Korea: While it’s unsure what will happen to the team, what with them looking surprisingly good against Greece right now (though I could look surprisingly good against Greece), I do know one thing: at least four commentators will be sacked for referring to a Korean player as ‘nippy’. Even if it isn’t the right racial slur to use against Koreans, what does it matter? Crazy racist bastards get the sack. Ron.

Greece: By the time Greece’s third game comes about they will have bored themselves so much with their awful performances that each and every member of the playing and coaching staff will fall into a dull-induced coma. None of them will ever wake up again.

Well, that was fun, wasn’t it?

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