Day: June 27, 2006

A Helping Hand?

Brazil 3-0 Ghana So, you’re the coach of Ghana. Your team is great going forward, but possibly slightly vulnerable defensively. You’re playing Brazil. What would your team talk be? Would you say, “Right lads, we’ve heard all about these four fantastic players that they’ve got. What shall we do about it? Well, I’ve been thinking about it, and I think they’re all over-rated. Ronaldo. Look at him. Weighs about forty stone. Don’t worry about him. Kaka? What sort of a name is that? Must be rubbish. Ronaldinho? Far too ugly to be a proper footballer. That David Beckham. He’s good looking. That’s what a real footballer looks like. Adriano? Well, lads, I’ll put it like this – have you ever heard of a footballer called Adrian? Well, obviously there’s Adrian Mutu, but he was stuffed full of the old Bolivian marching powder all the time. See, they’re all over-rated. It’s all a big advertising campaign for Nike. So, what I was thinking was this… we’ll defend on the half-way line. They’ll keep running off-side. They can’t help it! It’s all those “Samba Skills”! They get the music stuck in their heads and they can’t actually control their legs. It’s all programmed into them before they go abroad. I can’t believe no-one thought of this before! It’s so simple it’s brilliant! One more thing. Strikers – if you get into...

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Rampant Commercialism Isn’t A Completely New Invention

Okay. First of all, as promised, a quick word about last night. I’m delighted that Switzerland have been eliminated. As I’ve said on here a few times before, one of the great things about this World Cup has been that one of that the defensive teams have, in the end, been found out and eliminated appropriately. In that respect, Switzerland, who showed no attacking flair at all, and appeared to be playing from penalties from about fifty minutes in, got what they deserved. The Ukraine weren’t much better, but they at least showed some degree of attacking intent. Switzerland made a pretty good job of shutting down their supply line to Shevchenko, and as such any threat to the Swiss goal was neutralised. The penalty shoot-out was about as bad as the match, though by this time my schandenfreude had over-taken any aesthetic considerations that I may have had. Let’s not forget, though, that Ukraine weren’t much better than the Swiss, so any praise for them prior to their quarter-final against Italy should be guarded. Let’s hope that we don’t see any more of this overwhelming fear of losing. Whilst searching for something to put on here this morning, I chanced upon the above picture, which reminded me that rampant and avaricious commercialism isn’t a completely new story. For those of you too young or pig-ignorant to know about...

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