Day: June 30, 2010

The England Obituary, Part Two: What The Papers Said (And Didn’t Say)

As some of you may have noticed, England were knocked out of the weekend in just about the most emphatic way possible last weekend. Over the next couple of days, each of the five regular Twohundredpercent writers will be offering their own take on this failure. In the second of this brief series, Ian King looks at the media’s reaction to the defeat and the search for someone to blame, and reaches the conclusion that whilst the fourth estate may have reached a degree of consensus about who’s to blame, they seem unlikely to get anywhere near the truth. There is a line in the film “This Is Spinal Tap” in which the band visits the grave of Elvis Presley, and when they ponder that The King’s death puts everything into perspective, singer David St Hubbins concludes that it is “too much fucking perspective”. It didn’t take very long after England’s thrashing by Germany last weekend for the inquest to begin, and it took even less time for the inquest to begin to assume many of  the characteristics of a pogrom. Within about forty-eight hours, the voices of reason and moderation were being shouted down by those of extremism but, then again, what else could we expect from a press that has seemed to be virtually incapable of reasoned debate for as long as anyone can remember? In the...

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The England Obituary, Part 1: Do England Need An English Manager?

To fill the void caused by the World Cup rest days before the quarter-finals (I’ve never fully worked out if the rest is for us or them), over the next two days here on Twohundredpercent our writers have been looking at where they thought it all went wrong for England this summer. This will be immediately followed by shooting some fish in a barrel. First up is Dotmund, wondering whether or not things would or could have been better with an English coach.

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World Cup 2010: Spain 1-0 Portugal

I’m not sure what channel I’m watching but it’s not one of ours. The pundits sound refreshing. There’s a Scotsman who looks a bit like Hansen but uses verbs and sounds interested. In fact, it’s as if it is Hansen but he’s next to proper pundits, so he has to raise his game so as not to sound lazy and under-informed. Alongside him is a nicely understated Dutchman who is always to the point. He admires the Spanish not simply because “they’ve got Torres,” but because “there are always two options for the man with the ball… it’s not about the man with the ball if he has no options.” Simple logic. I’m not even pining for Lee Dixon, the best the Beeb has to offer. And on the end is an American fellow with a German sounding name but a broader Californian accent than even the state’s governor himself. Proper broadcast journalist, too. He has a take on Fernando Torres’s fitness because “I spoke to Torres.” Can’t imagine Alan Shearer would even try. Unfortunately, though, whatever channel this is has had to buy in the BBC’s match coverage – journalistic budgets aren’t what they were. And so we’re soon in the company of Jonathan Pearce and Mark Lawrenson, the comedy double act with two straight men; Lawrenson possibly one of the reasons music hall died. Pearce avoids the...

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