Day: June 18, 2009

The Confederations Cup: Egypt 1-0 Italy

On a night like tonight, one has to wonder whether there is something wrong at the heart of the psyche of the Italian national football team. They stand alone amongst the Great Football Nations in that they are prone to these bouts of extreme sudden clumsiness. No-one is going to suggest for a second that the Confederations Cup ranks anywhere near the World Cup in terms of prestige, importance or, well, anything, but it remains a tantalising possibility – did the ghosts of North Korea in 1966, Cameroon in 1982 and South Korea in 2002 drift silently and invisibly across the pitch at Ellis Park this evening. Just as England may never win a penalty shootout, are Italy to be forever doomed to the possibility of losing to opposition that they should, theoretically, be able to beat. The alternative, of course, is that common consensus has got things wrong. Egypt have been out of sorts of late, but they are deservedly the African champions and also the country of Al-Ahly, whose current team may just be the strongest that African club football has ever seen. It is wrong, in this day and age, to make patronising assumptions about what might once have been called football from Africa. There was only one team in Johannesberg this evening showing defensive naivete and that was the team in washed out blue and...

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Shit Shot Mungo: Holiday Special Part 3!

Our behind the scenes look at the stars of “Shit Shot Mungo” continues this week with a visit to the palatial home of “Dangerous” Ducky Norton, in which Ducky is eager to share his passion. Which is making models of human phalluses. Lovingly crafted in living Technicolor by Dotmund, this week’s episode features, umm, cartoon nudity so, if you’re bothered by crudely draw pictures of willies, this might not be for you. Should you be interested or very interested in crudely drawn pictures of willies, there is a bigger version (of the picture)...

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The Confederations Cup: USA 0-3 Brazil

The problem with the Confederations Cup, aside from those bloody, bloody, bloody vuvuzela air horns, is that it brings about more mismatches (in terms of quality) than even the World Cup.  However, you’d not necessarily have pegged this game as being one.  If the orthodox Anglocentric viewpoint is to be accepted – that ‘we’ invent sports so brilliant everyone in the world adopts them and then get good enough to beat us hollow – this match represents a battle between the great old new-world football power and the coming colossus.  In reality, the hardworking-but-useless USA team were taken to pieces by a Brazil side who, moving more into their stride now, could turn goalscoring opportunities on or off as it pleased them.  3-0 it finished and, as the old saying goes, the US were lucky to get nil. Brazil coach Dunga said that jet-lag was at least partially responsible for his side’s lacklustre display against Egypt on Monday and so had made 4 changes to his starting eleven.  This is a large number of changes to make in an entire tournament let alone between games, so is the sort of bold decision which is prone to making a manager’s reputation or else getting them in a lot of trouble.  The USA, who had been neat and tidy if little else in their defeat by a typically chaotic Italy on...

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